Rand Fishkin is one of our favourite SEO greats. If you haven't seen a whiteboard Friday, used Moz's keyword tool, checked out SparkToro or picked up a copy of Lost and Founder, what have you been doing?? Thank you Rand for your truely inspirational talks, including today's one at Brighton SEO! We left with a to-do list along with a sigh of relief, and here's why:
For the first time ever - we're talking since Google's inception, now over 20 years ago (HB Google) - organic clicks have seen a decrease.
It was reported that looking at February 2018 vs February 2016, there's been a 20% decrease in organic clicks. I wonder why...
Oh, there you are organic.
There are still approx. 15 organic clicks for every paid click, down from 20 just 12 months ago. For every 10 organic clicks, 8.8 searches are performed which results in 0 clicks.
The gradual migration of organic traffic down to the bottom of the SERP.
Rand listed many different categories that are being affected: weather, flights, sports, hotels, celebrities, brands, definitions, film, television, concerts and more recently job listings.
All of these categories are now serving rich information right in the results page, meaning the user no longer needs to take that search further and venture onto your site. Ah.
This isn't an isolated event
In addition to Google's listings, there's been a massive decline in organic and referral on Facebook and Instagram has never permitted links out, keeping the user on the platform.
Twitter and LinkedIn are now showing a bias towards on site content using Twitter moments and LinkedIn Pulse.
Reddit is now trying to keep users on their platforms
YouTube have hidden descriptions from videos
Amazon too are reluctant to provide external links which may make the user leave.
With continuing growth in voice, it will be even more difficult to get an engaged user onto a platform that you own.
We need to own our own property as best we possibly can
- Leverage every scrap of traffic Google & other search engines still send.
- Use CTR estimates to determine which keywords will end with more users on your site.
- Shift content marketing to keywords Google is less likely to canibalise
- Create demand for brand, so you're searched for more than any other
Invest in on-SERP SEO:
Control what shows for your brand
If Google is showing a bias towards YouTube (shock), news snippets, maps etc - create content for these platforms
#3: identify aggregate answers
When Google is showing aggregate answers for a request, there may be an opportunity for you to get visibility here
#4: if using featured snippets, entice the click
Review it from the user's perspective - is it appealing and does it match their need?
#5: employ barnacle SEO for publishers
Other sites may be open for sponsored content, guest posts, online PR and outreach. Barnacle SEO, nice.
A small sigh of relief for SEO
On a more positive note, Rand was confident that organic opportunities will continue, and SEO will still be a crucial skillset for at least 10+ years. Invest in organic now, so you're stronger as more searches are lost to Google only or paid only.
The harder it gets, the more of a competitive advantage it becomes. The value of customers acquired through these channels are just too big to ignore.