Impact of Google Instant on Paid Search [Report]

Marin Software unveiled key research showing that Google Instant streaming search results was a win-win implementations for users and advertisers… and Google.

Google Instant, launched last month, “was seen as a big gamble for Google when the company announced it, but it’s proved to be a positive change for the industry,” said Matt Lawson, vice-president of marketing, Marin Software. “Google has pulled off the elusive win-win-win with the release of Instant, driving increased usability for consumers and increased volume for advertisers, while managing to increase their slice of the overall search pie in the process.”

Marin Software’s study suggests that cause for concern within the SEO industry and PPC industry is misplaced. Their report finds that Google Instant was a good move for users and paid search advertisers, with metrics up across the board.


  • Most advertisers will see more impressions and more clicks. On Marin Software’s sample set of data they saw a 9.3% increase in impressions and a 5.6% increase in clicks.
  • Exact and Phrase Match keywords will get more clicks and impressions, for a lower average cost, than they would have before (However, broad-match terms still command about 70% of all impressions and about 47% of all clicks).
  • Users are more engaged with search results than before, increasing the number of searches and clicks. Short searches (defined as 3 or fewer tokens for the purposes of this study) saw a greater increase in impressions and clicks, when compared to long searches.


So it would seem that far from killing the long tail of search terms outright, Instant provokes a fatter belly. However, most importantly, Google Instant has managed to significantly increase the number of searches and clicks and thus changed search behavior.

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