Today’s announcement from Google of their new seizure-inducing “Google Instant” search-as-you-type invention immediately made me stop and wonder (after rubbing my eyes from the headache of using it) how Adwords would count impressions on ads as they flash by in milliseconds.
Basically, those fly-by impressions as your ad flickers across the screen aren’t going to destroy your CTR. Looks like they (fortunately) gave this some thought ahead of time:
New predicted query
Although Google Instant won’t change the way ads are served, ads and search results will now be shown for a new “predicted query.” For example, if someone types “flow” into Google, an algorithm predicts that the user is searching for “flowers” (the predicted query) and therefore displays search listings and ads for flowers. Those results will continue to show unless the next letters that the user types lead to a different predicted query.
How impressions are counted
When someone searches using Google Instant, ad impressions are counted in these situations:
- The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
- The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter, or selecting one of the predicted queries.
- The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.
We recommend monitoring your ads’ performance the same way you usually do. Google Instant might increase or decrease your overall impression levels. However, Google Instant can improve the quality of your clicks since it helps people search using terms that more directly connect them with the answers they need. Therefore, your overall campaign performance could improve.
So as usual, if they stick with this as a default option and too many people don’t opt out, they think they’ve got it covered but “monitor your campaigns’ performance just in case it screws up”.