In January Google slowly moved their search engine over to a new “engine” called Caffeine. Doing just what it implies it sped up the rate at which it could crawl and index websites but also the speed at which it could display results, not that it wasn’t already fast enough.
Caffeine, however I don’t believe was the final product but just a new and improved platform to bring out new functions and services like the newly launched Google Instant. Instant is just that instant results that were just posted on a website within seconds of your search result – essentially a live result. Right now the results are a bit hidden and not mixed within the top ten standard results. Instead you need to change your settings in Google Side Panel.
Here is the standard results for a search for Laptops in Google
You will see most of the results are Twitter and Facebook updates along with a few websites that must have updated their content. You will also notice that how long ago the result was generated is also displayed with the latest one being 2 minutes before my search. On some searches results have been within a minute. Its boggling to the mind to think that Google has crawled and indexed a page and displayed the result all in under a minute of the update!
How this affects you as a business owner and your website
As you can see with the results if I were searching for a new laptop the Instant updates are pretty useless so it’s not likely going to win people over when they have to sift through people’s personal Facebook and Twitter updates about dieing computers or the like. However this is only newly launched and as it grows it could being taking over more of the standard top ten with real updates to sites. So its a good idea that you start making an effort to keep your site updated with new and fresh content on a regular basis. Now this doesn’t mean you should change your text daily or even weekly but if you offer new services or products or make changes to existing products or services etc, make sure this are updated on the site in a timely manner. You could also consider offering adding featured product or service of the month, discount of the month or even changing your introductory text to reflect the season or an upcoming holiday.
As well, if you don’t have one you should consider adding a blog, having a Facebook business page and a Twitter page. If you have them already make sure you are doing at least weekly updates.
It likely won’t help generate any traffic from the Instant updates, however if Google does take it mainstream you’ll already be in a good routine to adapt.
After posting and proofing this post I did a search in Google for the title and looked at the “latest” results and sure enough the post was #4. A good example of how instant will work with everyday blogs.