Google is in the process of rolling out its real time search functionality, now known as Google Instant. While the company previously made search suggestions as you type, Google Instant goes a step further and begins showing actual results before you finish with your search.
I’ve been playing around with it, and my immediate thought is that this could impact domain investors, especially those who develop. If Google is predicting your search before you’re finished typing it, people will probably be less likely to finish longer tail searches, which helped produce traffic for developed, long tail keyword domain names. For instance, if yo are looking for “debt management tips,” you may stop typing at “debt management” after seeing some interesting results, and if my site ranks well for “debt management tips” but not the more general term, I will be pretty much SOL.
This does bode very well for short, exact match keyword domain names that rank well in Google for those keywords, but it can also be problematic for some. I know this is contradictory, but let’s use my example below.
DogWalker.com ranks #1 in Google for “dog walker,” #2 for “dog walkers,” and in the last week, dropped out of the top 10 for “dog walking.” If someone is searching for a dog walker, they may actually stop at “dog walk” when the results begin appearing. Despite great rankings for the exact match keyword domain names, DogWalker.com does not rank in the top 3 (see screenshot):
It’s way too early to predict how search habits will change, but if they do change, it could have a big impact on domain investors and the domain names they buy.