As I’m sure most people have heard, Google came out with a new feature yesterday that they’re calling Instant Search.  Since the announcement has been all over the Internet, I thought I’d try to explain what Instant Search does and how it can help your car dealer website.

Google’s Instant Search resembles their auto-suggest feature, where potential search terms are auto populated into a drop down below the search box.  Instant Search differs from auto-suggest in that instead of potential search terms showing, the search is actually performed as Google fills in their auto-suggest.  Here’s an example of how Instant Search works:

So how will this affect your car dealership and your search engine optimization?  It’s hard to know exactly how this new technology will change SEO results and practices, but I think this will help car dealers, especially those optimized for long-tail search.

Before, web searchers using Google had to commit to a search term, just one at a time.  Even though Google would auto suggest additional keywords, searchers had to hit the enter button or click to make the search happen.

With Instant Search, search users can see what their search results will look like without having to commit.  For example, if they start to search for “Boston Nissan” and only see 3rd party, national sites, they are more likely to make their search term more specific.  If “Boston Nissan” doesn’t show them what they want to see, perhaps “Boston Nissan dealership” will or “Boston Nissan used cars”.  Car buyers won’t have to hit search to see what their results will be, leaving the door open for more detailed long tail searches.

Is your dealership ready?  Make sure you’re in contact with your search engine optimization vendor or dealership website provider to ensure your site is prepared and optimized to deal with the recent changes to Google’s search technology.