Top SEO Trends at Google

Original author: Andy Crestodina
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At conferences, we often hear:
“Google changes every day ...”
“Google’s algorithm is updated 500 times a year ...”
“You must stay at the top of the list ...”

And changes to Google mean changes in ranking, right?
But what if the biggest changes to Google have nothing to do with ranking?

Yes, Google is constantly changing. And yes, the changes affect your traffic.
However, the biggest SEO trends do not affect your place in the SERP.
They affect your CTR.

And that makes a big difference.

Traveling with me to the past ...

Five years ago, a typical search results page looked very different. I have an archive of old screenshots, so it will be fun. Just by looking at them, you can identify obvious SEO trends.

If in 2014 you searched for “lead generation websites”, then here is what you found.


Feeling nostalgic? Old google logo.
But how else are these pages different?

1. Ads are more visible

The small icon next to each ad was bright yellow. There was even a line that separated ads from organic issuance. And all these ads were in the right column.

2. The top organic output is approximately 450 pixels below

Assuming an average desktop fold of 700 pixels, the top 3 ads in organic display are visible without scrolling.

3. I am in the fourth issue

800 pixels down the page. We will return to this.

Now let's look at the same search today, in 2019.


Huge changes. And they highlight the main trends of SEO:

1. Less ads

Four ads are visible here, not 12. It's less, right?
Not really, if you count the links under the ads, then there are 11.
Thus, the number of links to advertisers is still large.
And the ad icon is much less noticeable. He is merging.
Ads have become similar to organic delivery.

2. Seller rating

One of the advertisers has stars.

3. Giant snippet

It is large and is in the top of the issue and combines text from one page and an image
from another. The user can get all the necessary information without clicking
on the ad.

4. Block related issues

The search engine “People also seek” carousel gives the user more opportunities to interact and get information without leaving SERP. And that pushes down the SEO results.

5. The top organic output is 2600 pixels lower

Below the first scroll screen.

6. I'm issuing the sixth

This is two places below. Not a big difference. But the actual situation?
3000+ pixels down the page.

The place in the issue did not change much (from # 4 to # 6), but the situation changed significantly. Output with a depth of 800 pixels versus a depth of 3900 pixels

The position in the search results is durable. No position

Surprised by how little SEO has changed in five years? Me not!

In my experience, pages that rank well tend to continue to rank well over a long period of time.

After five years, our page is still in a good position.

What affects the situation in SEO-results?

The changes in the ranking algorithm are real, but the “delivery elements” such as snippets, maps and videos are much larger SEO trends.

Here is a list of search results that you see in the search results every day.

You can see when they first appeared and the likelihood that they will appear in 2019, according to MozCast.


Note: Mozcast is constantly updated. The chart shows the percentages at the time of writing.

Here's another example, before and after, 2015 and 2019:


Highly ranked pages do not rank as high as before. They are below the elements of issuance. In this case, this is advertising, snippets and a block of related issues.

Here's another:


Let's look at one more:


It's fun, because back in 2013, ads still had a colorful background, clearly highlighting them.

It was also the end of the Google era of authorship when Google showed the faces of content creators in search results. This program was canceled, presumably because
it increased clicks on websites and decreased clicks on ads.

What does this mean for traffic?

Over the years, more and more users find answers immediately in the SERP using various elements of SERPs. Because of this, sites began to receive less traffic.


61% of mobile searches and 33% of desktops do not result in a click.
That’s 5.6 billion Google searches per day.
Approximately 250 million fewer website visits every day.

So this is a mega-trend in SEO:
more search results and fewer clicks on an ad.

Even if your position in the payout does not change, you will notice a drop in CTR over time.


But there are examples of how, with the growth of the position in the SERP, traffic became even less.
This makes life difficult for SEO agencies.
“Yes, I know that traffic has fallen, but the position in the SERP has grown.”

What to do with the growth of search elements and the fall in CTR?

Do not despair. Google is still an excellent and inexpensive source of quality traffic for most websites.

But how Google is changing, so should we.

To contain traffic, I recommend the following tips and techniques:

  • Target phrases with fewer search results.
    Often these are longer, non-profit phrases.
  • Fight for advanced snippets. (Here is the manual )
  • Use semantics correctly. (here is the manual )
  • Grow your email database.
    The larger your base, the less you rely on digital giants.
  • Write for other sites. It will not increase your traffic, but publishing on reputable websites can do wonders for the visibility of your content.
  • Increase keyword-targeted content.
    There are millions more opportunities for key phrases

“I would also think about how to keep a visitor to your site.
Think about the user path. What does he want to know after searching for a specific request? Include this in your content! This way you will reduce your bounce rate and the user will find what they need. ” Dan shure

More SEO Trends

Here are a few more basic SEO trends, starting with the main one that we just
talked about.

1. An increase in search results, including snippets and a block of related issues, leads to a decrease in CTR and traffic to the site.

2. The increase in the share of voice search.
According to BrightLocal, last year, 58% of consumers used voice search to find local businesses.

3. Increase mobile search.
According to Statista , 60% of Google searches are carried out on mobile devices. 5 years ago, it was at 34%.
In five years, he almost doubled.

“I need to hire someone to support my SEO ...”

We often hear that.

I answer with a simple question, “what kind of SEO support do you mean?”

Usually, after a short silence, they explain that they want to maintain their position in the issue for a few specific phrases.

Just think about it!

There are things much more important than a place in extradition.

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