Keyword research just got easier

Google has announced Google Instant, a new technique that will save you seconds—seconds—of valuable time. Which, for those of us that use google umpteen times a day, can add up. I’m excited by the prospect of shaving a minute or two off my workload per day; who wouldn’t be? That’s a whole ‘nuther minute I can spend making snarky comments on my friends’ facebook posts.

But what I think will be most useful in this new tool is how it will make it easier to do keyword research. Although I’m sure I will continue to use other tools—such as Hubspot, Market Samurai and of course Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics—for quantifying and comparing, the instant suggestions of other common search terms will be a great quick check. What remains to be seen is how people will use this in the long run, and the effect of that behavior on SEO strategy. Will people take the closest suggestion, and not bother typing the more specific phrase they had in mind? Or will they choose a more specific phrase from the list, rather than the generic phrase they had intended? Or will they ignore the suggestions altogether, and type in whatever they darn well please?

For SEO strategy, the important thing to watch is this: will Google Instant result in more emphasis on long tail keywords, or less?

For all those reclaimed seconds of time, though, I’ll probably waste an hour just playing with Google Instant to see what it suggests. Glad to see that it autofills “red beret design” when you type “red beret”, even before the US Air Force and the Guardian Angels. But now I have to go find out what a red beret has to do with something called Runescape, and listen to the red beret song…

Oh yeah, this will save me lots of time.