Google have just rolled out their real time search interface, (Wednesday) bringing instant AJAX generated SERPS. Not only will Google try to now predict what you are potentially going to type, using existing data, but they will also now actually change the results in front of your eyes, trimming up to a minute off the time taken for searchers to generate new results. Most common typed terms, i.e. that which has been seen in Google suggest previously are used now to help generate results on the fly.
If you don’t already have access via your Google account, you can find this feature by going to this URL: http://www.google.com/webhp?sclient=psy
What does it mean for Google Analytics fans?
With Google now presenting results, with queries only partly complete for example [Micros] returns, obviously [Microsoft.com] as the first result, Google passes [q=Microsoft] as the querystring, to your Analytics software, if the user stopped the remainder of the term before clicking. To find out how far they needed to type to find what they want, an additional querystring has been used in the resultset. The new oq= parameter gives you this information in your logs, and can be extracted using the following guide:
To track Partial Queries, and their position in Google Instant, create a new profile and new filter:
Filter name: “Instant Ranking”
Filter type: “Custom filter – Advanced”
Field A -> Extract A: Referral, ^https?://www\.google\.(co.uk|com)/(?!custom|m/).*[?#&]cd=([^&]+).*&q=([^&]+).*&oq=([^&]+)
Field B -> Extract B: Medium:^organic$
Output To -> User Defined: $A5 (position: $A3)
That should get you started on examining the impact of those queries in G.A. If you are receiving results from another region, just note the co.uk in the RegEx. Obviously it will be a little while before this gets rolled out for everyone, but being prepared before it happens never hurts.
For other background reading on how this is likely to affect paid search take a look at some of these Google blog posts.