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Why Half Of Google Searches Don't Lead to Clicks

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. 

Why Half Of Google Searches Don't Lead to Clicks

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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Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web
Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web


Ever seen this type of writing on the web? Seriously? What does this stuff even mean? What we’re looking at here isn’t high quality writing. No, my friends, this is junk. Everything you publish on your site or on the web should ad value for the searcher. Never, ever, is it OK to publish junk, anywhere on the web. Unfortunately, the web is littered with junk like this:
Here's an Example of "Keyword Stuffing, Adding Junk to the Web."
Here’s an example of Junk Content on the Web, called “Keyword Stuffing.”
See how the words “red apples” are repeated over and over in the content of this paragraph? The process of doing this is called “keyword stuffing.”

Keyword Stuffing

Google defines keyword stuffing as the “practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” Quite often, keywords appear over and over again in lists, groups, or patterns. Most of the time, these keywords appear totally out of context and repeated over and over. And, guess what? Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing. This is because the act of doing keyword stuffing is an attempt of manipulate Google’s algorithm. Google especially hates any attempt to manipulate their algorithm in any way. What happens when Google finds out a website is trying to manipulate them? Yep, you guessed it. Whenever Google finds violations like this they will “add a slap” to the website and penalize it in the rankings. In real world examples, this usually means that the offending site will drop out of Google’s First page into the second, third, or hundredth page. Basically, the offending website disappears from Google’s Search altogether and it can take alot of work to make that website “move to the top” again. Sometimes it’s not even possible.

Why Publish this Junk?

So why do we see this so called “keyword stuffing” across the web? Once upon a time back before 2012, keyword stuffing was actually common practice among people that did SEO. The reason that SEO people did this was because it actually worked. The combination of keyword stuffing and publishing articles across the web would actually make a website go to the top of Google. Unfortunately, the web was littered with more examples of things that look like this: Alas, here's yet another example of keyword stuffing. Google hates this. Keyword stuffing is, at it’s core, spam. And, Google hates spam. When the engineers at Google saw that the web was being littered with all this spam, they decided to do something about it.

Google Responds

Ready to laugh? We're some humor about keyword stuffing.
Here’s some keyword stuffing humor.
So, what happened? Google got smarter. Around 2012, Google started releasing a whole bunch of updates to their algorithm that began to penalize sites for keyword stuffing. At that time, thousands of sites that were using keyword stuffing dropped out of Google completely, never to be seen again. 2012 were dark days for many SEO’s because they lost thousands of hours of hard work down the drain. Because they considered Google unpredictable, many people stopped doing Search Engine Optimization completely. Since 2012, Google has gotten better and better at recognizing and penalizing all types of spam. The actual process of Google’s engineers updating the algorithm, over and over, have made it much more intelligent. It’s my opinion that all this algorithm updating has made Google into the first Artificial Intelligence (AI). No worries though, Google isn’t an artificial intelligence that wants to “take over the world,” it’s an AI that wants to make the world a better place by giving the user a great experience. Thing about it? If suddenly, Google started delivering search results that had spam, would people keep using it? Of course not. People would start flocking over to Bing (gasp) and Yahoo (double gasp) away from Google. Google would start loosing it’s 64% desktop market share of the search engine market. For that reason, Google’s top concern is delivering an excellent user experience. Google wants:
  • people to quickly find what they’re looking for.
  • results that solve problems.
  • results that answer questions.
  • to suppress spam as much as possible.
The more Google can keep doing those Four things, the more Google can stay ahead of the other search engines, make money, and grow.

Adding Value

One of my mentors would always repeat this mantra: “Always add value to the web.” When he said this, we meant that whenever we publish anything online, we must make sure that it adds value. We need to make sure that the content we’re publishing answers questions, solves problems, and helps people. Why is Value so important to Google? The reason is that sites that provide a high amount of value help people quickly find what they’re looking for. The more value that people find using Google, the more they’ll tend to keep using Google vs other search engines. When a site answers questions that people are asking for, that’s value. When site’s provide direction to life’s persistent questions, that site is providing value. When a site has a high quality design, that’s value. When a site publishes excellent content, that’s value. Value also gets ranked at the top of Search Engines.

How Can You Add Value?

Ok, we get it. Value is, well, valuable. Publishing high quality content on your site will actually boost your company in the search results and also increase your site’s value at the same time. So, what are different ways that you can add value to the web? Here’s a list of pages or blog posts that you could create on your site to add more value:
  1. Blog Posts that answer your most common questions.
  2. Pages that Answer Specific Questions.
  3. Videos about your Company’s Service and/or Offerings.
  4. Info-graphics about humorous, interesting, and great topics.
  5. Transcriptions of videos or audio that you’ve recorded on your phone.
  6. Blog Posts that comment on trending relevant topics on the web.
As a SEO Professional in the industry, we can assure you that if you publish this type of content at least four times a month, you’ll start showing up in more and more searches. You can’t publish this type of valuable content and NOT be ranking in Google.

Go Forth!

Now that you know the importance of value, we encourage you to start adding value to your site. Also, the process of creating great content doesn’t have to be hours and hours of writing articles while looking at the screen. Content doesn’t have to be boring; it can be fun! You can actually get a 500 word article by recording a 2 minute video on your phone, getting it transcribed at rev.com, and publishing the content as a blog post (along with the video). Go forth, always add value to the web, live, and prosper.
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