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The incredible shrinking organic SERPs

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 16 Jul, 2018
Essential Essential topic

Chart of the Day: How Google's featured snippets are reducing the number of traditional organic links

Organic search traffic remains one of the most effective methods of customer acquisition. So, it's as important as ever to be on top of the changes that Google makes to its algorithms and the formats used to show recommended sites in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

This Chart of the Day shows nicely what SEOs have known for a long time, i.e. that the search results features such as featured snippets, related questions, images, video are now so important that they should be an essential consideration in most markets.

It's indicated by this compilation from Moz of 10,000 sample queries used in the Moz features graph (see second chart below) which shows that fewer than half of these SERPs have the full 10 blue hyperlinks we have been familiar. The remainder are the features shown in the second chart in this post and also, of course, Google AdWords. Naturally, it's in Google's interest to reduce the number of organic results shown.

As Moz comments:

'the removal of organic results in favor of other features has been happening (and expanding) for quite some time now. SERPs with as few as 3–4 page-one organic results have been appearing in the wild for well over a year'.

For reference, here are the full range of SERPs features and their current popularity amongst the top 10,000 keywords that Moz tracks.

The implications are clear - review the importance of the different search features in the SERPs for the keywords you target in your market and determine how you can gain more presence by reviewing the techniques competitors are using.

Research source

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. 'Dr Dave' is known for his strategic, but practical, data-driven advice. He has trained and consulted with many business of all sizes in most sectors. These include large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell, Confused.com, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses. Dave is editor of the templates, guides and courses in our digital marketing resource library used by our Business members to plan, manage and optimize their marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is also keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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