What’s Up With Google?
Google has been the company on everyone’s minds in light of recent updates. The massive search engine is undergoing scrutiny for lack of click through results, increase in ads and decrease in organic search real estate. In this webinar, David Clemen, Vice President of Digital Operations at LSC Digital, talks through some recent SERP changes and tactics for overcoming new challenges in Google.
Watch the webinar below and download the presentation here:
SERPs: Search Engine Results Pages
Organic Search Results: Natural rankings determined by search engine algorithms, and can be optimized with various SEO practices.
Zero Click Searches: The search intent of the user is satisfied without having to click any actual search result links.
Paid Search Results: You pay to have your website displayed on the search engine results page.
Zero Click Searches
Zero click searches are on the rise in Google. Desktop zero click searches have increase from 31.85% in 2016 to 33.7% in 2019. With this increase, there has also been an increase in paid search clicks and a decrease in organic search clicks. This keeps users on Google’s page while using featured snippets and structured data to pull information from other sites to satisfy queries.
On mobile devices, the difference is even more significant. Zero click searches have increased from 55.59% in 2016 to 61.94% in 2019. Unlike on desktops, zero click searches take up the majority of searches on mobile devices.
New Challenges to Organic Search
If you caught our SEO webinar, you remember that Google currently occupies 95% of the search engine landscape. The closest competitor is Yahoo with 1.6% of the landscape. Sure, users can just use one of the other search engines, but with Google’s vast expanse, it’s the main source of traffic for organic results.
As mentioned, organic results show far below paid results on Google’s SERP. Google has also changed how ads display making them appear more like organic results with a subtle logo just below the headline.
Mobile screen view also makes it difficult for organic results to appear above the fold (on the page before scrolling down). Currently, all searches above the fold on mobile devices result in paid ads.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has purchased 38 AI-related businesses in the last few years. With advancements in artificial intelligence, the systems will be able to answer more complex questions.
Tactics to Overcome Challenges in Google
Google will never be able to generate answers with developed opinions or expert advice. As mentioned in our SEO webinar, creating in-depth, rich content will place your ranking above others. Your expert advice will satisfy a query that’s too specific or in need of a more qualitative answer. AI can’t replace human experience.
Additionally, long form content and videos can drive more organic results. Using YouTube’s algorithm, your consistent, quality content will generate more organic results. This won’t happen overnight, but building the content and remaining diligent will take your ranking far.
Use cards to your advantage. Cards display featured snippets when your organic search result ranks high enough on the page. Implementing structured data on your website will populate that featured snippet, and encourage a click to read more on your website. Learn more about structured data from our SEO webinar.
Even if your site performs well, conduct tests to see which elements are triggering the higher results. Running an A/B test or multivariate test on your website can help determine where to concentrate your efforts to increase organic search results. Testing will also help increase traffic if you’re in a SEO rut.
Facts about Google
- Over 5 billion searches per day on Google
- Almost 72,000 searches per second on Google
- An average person conducts 3–4 searches every single day
- YouTube is the second-largest search engine, right after Google. It’s bigger than Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask combined
- YouTube has 1.9 billion active users monthly
- Organic search isn’t dead, it’s just facing some obstacles
- AI will become a driving force in search results, but it won’t compete with expert advice and opinions
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