Why Half Of Google Searches Don't Lead to Clicks
If you’re involved in the world of SEO, you know exactly how important it is to rank well in a Google search. After all, Google’s been the traditional pathway to success for website owners, and those who can dominate the search rankings are generally those who succeed.
Things may however, be changing on that account.
New data shows that ranking high on a Google search might not be the silver bullet that it once was. In fact, a study from Jumpshot has shown that over half of all Google searches aren’t leading to any clicks at all.
New Data for a New World
If you’re looking at the raw data, things don’t look great for those who are relying on traditional SEO strategies. Only about 45.25 percent of all searches are leading to organic clicks, with the bulk of the remaining searches leading to no clickthrough at all. Perhaps more importantly, a larger-than-average chunk for those searches that do have results – around six percent – go to sites or services owned by Google itself.
The New Trends
Part of the big change is Google’s increasing use of snippets in search results. Now that users can see at least some of the information for which they’re looking on the search page, they no longer have to visit sites. Likewise, Google’s change in how ads are displayed has moved an extra two percent of users towards ads instead of organic results.
As big as these trends are in the world of traditional searches, they’re even bigger in the world of mobile searches. Around sixty-two percent of all searches lead to no website traffic whatsoever, and almost eleven percent of searches lead users to an ad. Given that most searches now take place on mobile platforms, the demise of traditional SEO might be closer than most think.
Transitioning to a New Model
Since traditional SEO isn’t guaranteeing the type of results it delivered just a few years ago, it’s clear that something has to change for those in the industry. While getting back the users that don’t click through might be impossible, industry professionals can still fight for what’s left.
So, what are the realistic options?
The big options surround playing within the boundaries of the new system. This means making the most of snippers when possible. It also means optimizing content for Google-owned sites and services and hoping to get some of the residual business.
As one might imagine, these options aren’t necessarily ideal for most professionals. In a best-case scenario, this still means that Google gets first dibs on website content – something that the search giant might already be doing with its snippets. It’s very hard to see how working within the system does anything more than giving Google even more market dominance.
So, what's left?
Some agencies are targeting those keywords that are still generating clicks, going harder than ever after an increasingly small piece of the search engine pie. Even more businesses are hoping for – and sometimes working towards – a world in which Google doesn’t have quite so much dominance.
There are even companies that are turning away from SEO and back towards paid ads. This isn’t exactly going to delight those who long for the days of SEO as an advertising alternative, but it’s still effective for those who are chasing after a strong return on investment. Simply put, if SEO isn’t working, ads might.
The truth, though, is that going for all these approaches at once is probably the right move. Pushing out material on multiple platforms and through multiple channels is the best way to get seen in today’s market, especially when a business has noticed the efficacy of its traditional SEO processes waning.
A New World
If nothing else, all of this means that the world of online marketing is changing. Some might see this as the death of SEO, while others see it as the first sign that Google might actually be overstepping its own bounds in a way that will bring down the regulatory watchdog. More likely, though, is that this is another change that the industry will have to weather. Just as there have been algorithm changes in the past, there are changed going on today. Businesses that adapt are the ones that will continue to be the most successful.
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