Google Instant has started its roll-out to users on Google domains in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia. It brings about a major change to Google’s traditional search interface: as users type in new keywords, the page of results updates in real-time. It helps users to refine their search terms faster to find the result they are looking for.

Google Instant is now likely to cause a shift in SEO strategies. Since the search results change almost instantly as the keyword phrase in the search box is edited, users will spend more time refining keywords as they go along. Ultimately, it may lead to an increased focus on ‘long tail’ keywords – that is to say, keywords that through their uniqueness usually attracted fewer searches.

Essentially, Google Instant will mean more searches for multi-word search phrases than before. Although there have been less competition for these niche searches historically, SEO experts believe competition may increase for those long tail keywords. This promotional video from Google explains the rationale behind Google Instant: faster – and more targeted – search results, as well as a more personalized search experience.