The number 1 listing gets the majority of the traffic only 49% of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather be number 1 than number 2, but getting there doesn’t guarantee the most amount of traffic.
Paid listings blend in – paid listings aren’t as clearly defined as they used to be. In other words, they blend in, which helps ads generate a higher percentage of the clicks.
Localized listings can be ads – the first listing in the localized listing is also paid.
The right side no longer has ads – most of the elements on the right side, when you click on them, drive you to perform another Google search.
Less organic listings – the homepage only has 9 organic listings if you exclude the localized listings.
Organic results are pushed down – not only do the paid and local listings show first, but news results are also in-between the organic results. This causes the 3rd, 4th, 5th… organic result to get fewer clicks.
The common trend is people are focusing on the paid ads more than the organic listings. And organic listings are no longer guaranteed to be as high up as they once were.
It clearly shows how the paid ads have the majority of the attention.
So, does this mean you should give up?
No, I am not trying to paint a picture of how you shouldn’t try to rank high on Google or that SEO is useless. Because although Google keeps adjusting the layout of their SERPs page, it’s still the most popular site in the world.
Commanding 57.34 billion visits a month means… you have no choice but to do SEO!
But you shouldn’t waste your time thinking about each and every change Google is making because it’s out of your control.
That’s far too many keywords to track on a regular basis.
I focus on 3 things:
Create an amazing user experience – Google doesn’t want to rank sites at the top that are the “best optimized.” They want to rank the site that users love the most at the top. So, focus on providing that and, in the long run, you should rank higher.
Overall organic traffic growth – keywords have trends and they change in popularity over time. Instead of focusing on a handful of keywords or even a few hundred, I just focus on increasing my overall organic traffic. As long as it keeps climbing quarter over quarter, I’m happy.