I spent quite a bit of time last night playing around with Google instant, and watching all the activity on Twitter. It’s always amusing to watch the “SEO is dead” brigade find a new drum to bang. But getting into the office this morning meant that actions had to start being taken, and my process is the same as it always is when Google launches something new, so I thought I would share it with you:
Inform Your Clients
While you may be well aware of what is happening, your clients won’t, and they won’t necessarily see the impact that a change like this could have for them. Let them know that they might see a drop in traffic, and what your steps are going to be over the coming weeks. Think about the possible scenarios that the change could have, and outline how you are going to deal with them. Whatever happens, if you keep your clients well informed you will avoid panic if traffic does drop over the coming weeks.
Step away from analytics
As tempting as it is to spend the next few days steeped in analytics reports, stop. The fact of the matter is that anything you see right now will not be a true reflection of how people react to this change. it might be interesting to see how many people are playing with it, but old habits die hard, and there had always been a difference between how people use new Goggle features in the short & long term. It will take at least a week for the dust to settle and for people to start using this feature the way they will going forward, so stay calm and give it time.
if you can’t resist the temptation to look at your analytics over the next few days, for goodness sake, don’t panic. Don’t make any knee jerk changes to your strategy. If you have been working with a solid rounded strategy you shouldn’t have any need to. Yes there may be a need to change where you focus your optimisation efforts over the next few months, yes you may need to go back to the drawing board with some clients, but assuming you have done step one and your clients are kept well informed there should be no need for there to be anything to panic about.
Buy a lot of salt
and take a pinch of it with everything you read about “the effect of instant”. The world and it’s wife can spend 24 hours a day analysing the hell out of possible changes and repercussions, but it will take time for even the best minds to fully understand all of the effects that this change will have. Read the speculation and information that is being put out by all means, but use your own judgements, and don’t assume that anyone has the answers.
So there you have it, my roadmap to surviving a google feature change. The short version Keep calm & Carry on!