Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Google Instant - a impact on impressions

As the more astute of you may have noticed, with the introduction of Google Instant search a couple of weeks back, your search query impressions would have increased in your Google Analytics. As per the recent post on Google Webmaster Central blog, you apparently see an increase due to the way impressions are counted.

Apparently the method used for counting impression has changed significantly and if the user stops typing so that the results are displayed for a minimum of 3 seconds, then Google also counts that as a search results impression.

I have to admit I was a bit foxed by this announcement at first, until I realised that it was not page impressions on the target site that had increased, but just the number of search results that contain your URL.

Google has also stated that they haven't changed the way pages are indexed and ranked. So that's OK then.... isn't it?

Well...I'm not so sure. Aren't Google going to factor in the change in impressions (and therefore the reduction in Click-through rate) when calculating things such as the quality score (which is calculated every time your keyword matches a search query)?
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