Last week, the world was introduced to Google Instant. The “upgrade” to Google search suggests keywords as you type, reportedly making the search experience faster, better and more accurate. Later that very same day, a well known web strategy firm chimed in. “This changes everything about SEO,” the email screamed.” You must get in touch with us NOW!”
Turns out, no, Instant doesn’t change SEO. It might impact adword placement and value, but SEO is pretty much the same, thank you very much. Furthermore, for all those moaning about loss of click-throughs at lower organic search positions: guess what? Those rates were always low.
Why the rush to judgment? Why be the first to pronounce and interpret? Why jump to conclusions rather than seeing how things play out? Sure, we live in the era of the real time web. The news finds us on Twitter, Facebook, etc. I get it. But is it really so important to break the news? Would waiting a day or an hour really put you at a competitive disadvantage?
We saw the same snap conclusions with the Old Spice YouTube campaign. The campaign, according to one early report, actually lost the brand sales. Well, it was impossible to measure success at that point. There were no sales numbers to back it up. But the article sure made headlines.
I love social media and the real time web. We can learn about everything and connect with everyone. But, with great power comes great responsibility. While we in our field might lend healthy skepticism to a screaming email, those who need our services, those who are less familiar with the industry, might not. Is the push to pronounce just another spam tactic? Are we simply scaring customers into buying our latest services?
With apologies to Abraham Lincoln, better to keep silent and be thought a slacker, then post it to to the social web, and confirm it. We otherwise become the very thing we are trying to replace. A typical, one-way, broadcast communicator. Regardless of the technology.
What do you think? Is it critical to be the fast first, or is there time to see how market forces play? I would love to hear your thoughts!