Can You Still Trust SEO?
We’re all familiar: the primary purpose of SEO is to draw consumers to your platform. We strive to build content and site designs that conform to this strategy, using tactics that increase our search rankings and even writing content for Google’s coveted “featured snippet” spots.
Nowadays, though, these snippets may be doing their jobs too well. Marketing analytics firm Jumpshot recently released the shocking results of a study tracking consumers’ use of Google over the past three years.
Thanks to Google Snippets, consumers are clicking on content less frequently.
Much less frequently, in fact—and we may very well be looking at a clickless future.
The study also noted that Google-owned platforms are attracting a reasonable chunk of the platform’s search attention, which made headlines and brought accusations of platform favoritism.
But what does all this mean for you? Can you still trust SEO to draw consumers to your work?
Breaking Down the Study
Jumpshot’s study dives into the behavioral practices of consumers who utilize Google daily. While the study details a three-year trend tracking click behavior, the most notable data point comes from research done within the first quarter of 2019. In that time, 48.96 percent of Google searches failed to generate a click. This was the case with both organic content and paid content.
In short, the Jumpshot study revealed that consumers were able to glean enough information from Google snippets on the SERP to answer their questions. From a consumer perspective, this is a good thing. For marketers, not so much.
And the data climbs ever higher. As of September, SparkToro updated the Jumpshot findings – released in June – to reveal that no-click searches now total 50.33 percent.
Monopoly: More Than a Game
This data, partnered with additional data that notes an increased flow of traffic onto Google-owned sites, has raised some sources to question whether Google now represents a search monopoly. Study analyst Rand Fishkin is among these voices.
Google and parent company, Alphabet, have long proven to be the heavyweight champions of the Internet. Whether the corporation serves as a monopoly remains up for speculation, but it does suggest that marketers have to comply with the SEO and snippet standards the company sets forth to find consumer success.
Now, with content-generating fewer and fewer clicks, it seems that compliance has a coin’s flip chance of drawing consumer attention.
A Silver Lining
Snippets through Google boost consumer awareness about your business. Likewise, the Jumpshot study doesn’t focus on consumer engagement through social media. Rather, it highlights a potential downside to Google’s well-loved snippets and SEO strategies instead of devaluing marketer-created content.
What are we to do to continue generating consumer interest? We can choose to woo Google’s Featured Snippets. This new feature presents a strong SEO opportunity that doesn’t require clicks to help you find success.
Even without the courtship process, we can still focus on the information value of our snippets. If consumers find they can get all the information they need from a short blurb, they may seek us out on the platforms that the Jumpshot study missed.
image attribution: Mathias Rosenthal – stock.adobe.com