The impact of Google Instant on SEO is under much scrutiny. While the popular argument proposes that this means a dire impact on the long-tail search we do not automatically agree.
Google Instant, for those not in the know, is a new feature that populates popular search phrases as you type your query into the search bar. This supposedly offers a convenience to the user. We think that it may prove to be an annoyance. Why? It's very simple. What I seek is based on MY NEED, not based on popular searches. I suppose Google Instant may work for those people that want to search for the most current pop culture tragedy however it is probably of very little use for consumers and business professionals.
An example would be my desire to purchase a particular brand and model of computer. As I enter in what I want, what is popular is of no interest to me. In fact, to intervene in my search is annoying.
Google is quite an innovator regarding internet tools however I think that Instant will not make profound changes on SEO or web searching. Future advancements with the technology may make a difference but only if it is based more on search history from the individual's computer and not popular searches. I don't envision Google Instant changing our SEO process.