Impacts of Google Instant on AdWords advertising

As of 09/08/2010 "Google Instant" is active, and most Google user may have already recognized that their search experience has changed. Some Online Marketers may wonder in which way this innovation may impact their AdWords campaigns. First of all, we have to specify how and when an impression will be counted.
  • The user begins to enter a search query into the Google search box and clicks anywhere on the page (search result, display, suggestion, similar search).
  • The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, or hits the enter button or selects one of the automatically completed searches.
  • The user terminates the input and the results will be displayed at least 3 seconds.
Under these circumstances many additional impressions could be generated affecting the click-through-rate (CTR) which in turn would affect the quality factor. At this point in time we can’t conclusively say whether these effects are positive or negative. Google itself states on the subject that the introduction of Instant on the one hand may increase the number of impressions but on the other hand it may lower them. Google however assumes that the quality of the clicks will be increased and hence the overall performance of campaigns. A first eye-tracking study shows the impact of Google Instant on gazing behavior:

EyeTracking heatmap before Google Instant: (Source:


EyeTracking heatmap with Google Instant:

Google Neu



As you can see, in the new version gaze is more focused on the search field and less on the ads below. This result would therefore rather suggest a worsening of the CTR. However at this point one can’t make any precise predictions on how Instant will change the overall performance of AdWords campaigns. So we will have to wait until we can actually measure the campaign performance and compile significant statistics. We will keep you updated!