Key Issues Summary:
- SE Roundtable reported a finding from Justin Briggs that there were mobile SERPs in the wild with only 2-5 organic listings.
- Yep, 2-5. The rest of the listings were ads, shopping ads, knowledge panels, featured snippets, everything bard organic links.
- The future is here.
- Note, this was a test, and Google is always testing things.
Key Actions To Take:
- Keep you eyes peeled for interesting tests that Google run, occasionally there are some real belters.
- We’ve had reduced SERPs ever since Google modified the algo in (about) 2011, to only show 7 listings in some instances.
- Prepare for a future when there is no more organic traffic, or rather no more organic links.
- Work on being in Featured Snippets & Knowledge Panels.
- And work on being one of the lucky few who may occasionally surface in mobile SERPs.
- Click here to contact me to discuss this further.
Insights & Discussion:
With the furore around fake news, and pressure being brought to bear by governments all around the world, Google is doubling-down on its efforts to provide verified and trusted information in response to a search query.
The people that will suffer will be the website owners and bloggers who have not yet been “accredited”. And that’s a shame for the free flow of information and learning.
The reduction of SERP and the move towards “approved” information will have a Chilling Effect on knowledge, and I don’t think that’s a good position for Google to be in long-term. Sure, some users will always find their information through Google, like they always used to, but then there was a significant rump of traffic over at Yahoo! which hung around for a long while, as Google overtook them and out-stripped them.
Of course there is the argument that users click on fewer results on mobile, or are much more heavily weighted towards the Top 3. This may be so, but of course, if you restrict the number of results, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Also, the results look like a dog’s dinner, if you ask me.
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