Marin Software studied the effects of Google Instant across a sample of clients that collectively manage over $1.3 billion dollars in annualized paid search spend. The longitudinal study compared data for the same set of keywords from the two weeks prior and the two weeks following the launch of Google Instant.
Search users have responded positively to Google Instant as evidenced by increased engagement with search. Marin found that overall impressions for paid search ads increased by more than 9%, while clicks increased by more than 5% – implying that people are actually searching and clicking more as a result of Google Instant.
Overall advertiser costs rose by less than 2% for the time period studied as a result of increased click volumes. Despite these increased costs, advertisers have benefitted from Instant. With average cost-per-click rates falling by over 3%, advertisers are now getting more value for their money as a result of Google Instant.
Additional research from the study indicates that while Google Instant led to increases in impressions and conversions across the board, ads for shorter queries benefited more than ads for long queries, indicating that the predictive nature of Google Instant may be biasing users towards searching for common phrases.