10 Blue Links, All Below the Fold was presented at the 2019 Rocks Digital Marketing Conference by Ryan Jones. Here are the takeaways from his session.
Search results are changing. It used to be 10 blue links to websites per page. And it’s not just search results that are changing – Google is changing. Google used to be like a card catalog at the library, but now it’s evolving to be more like the computers of Star Trek.
We want answers, and sometimes, a website is not an answer. What’s the future of search? It is verbs. Informational search clicks are dying, so if you want to survive, help your users “do” something. Our job as marketers is to help them do it.
People are getting their answers right on Google and not clicking though to websites. So, is SEO dying? That’s a valid question, and the answer is: No, it’s just changing, because how people search is changing.
Where Those Blue Site Links Used to Be, We’re Seeing This:
- Paid Ad
- Map Pack
- People Also Ask
- Instant Answers
- Image Results
- Featured Snippets
- All kinds of other sh*t
And it just gets worse on mobile.
How Are All These Features Affecting Traffic?
There are less clicks to go around. Organic clicks are decreasing. Paid clicks aren’t getting the traffic, either. People are just getting their answer right on Google.
What Do We Do About It?
A good hockey player plays where the puck is, a great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. ~Wayne Gretzky
Change how you do keyword research – focus on topics. When people search a word, what else comes up? What other related things are they searching?
How we measure rankings must change. Some of our tools aren’t giving us a clear idea of where we’re really ranking.
1. Work on your Image search. Need to focus more on images more. Use white or light grey backgrounds.
- #1 ranking spot is going to images
- Expect less clicks – but a higher conversion rate
- Optimize the h*ll out of your images!
2. Maps are more important. Use Google Posts to set your map pack listings apart.
- If you can’t rank in the organic results, rank in the map pack.
3. Work on your Q&A content.
4. Use your schema. (Schema.org)
- Fact Check
- Job Posting
- Local Business Listing
- Review Snippet
- Sitelinks Searchbox
- Software App
- Subscription & Paywall Content
- Top Places List
49% of all Google searches are no-click, study finds
SEO – Is It a Dying Channel?
How Much of Google’s Search Traffic is Left for Anyone But Themselves
How to Successfully Do SEO for Zero-Click Searches