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🔍 The organic pinch | Ho-hum search diversity update

Good morning Refactual, what does your organic traffic trend look like?

Yesterday, we discussed ways in which Google has been tweaking its results pages to keep users on the site by giving them direct answers and enabling engagements on the search engine. According to a new report, nearly 50% of all Google searches are zero-click,  meaning they don’t result in a click-through to a website. Further, 12% of the searches that did result in a click went to a Google-owned site, Rand Fishkin, founder of SparkToro, found in his analysis of Google search click data provided by Jumpshot. Mobile organic traffic is seeing the brunt of these changes — including ads taking up most of the real estate above the fold on many results pages.

Is there a silver lining? “In sectors they [Google] don’t directly compete in, there may be fewer total clicks available, but probably more searches total,” Fishkin told Search Engine Land, adding that practices such as optimizing for featured snippets and adding schema markup can be an effective solution for influencing discovery and searcher behavior.

Turns out Google’s search diversity update, which rolled out earlier this month, was indeed a relatively minor one. Moz looked at the impact of the algorithm update that was aimed at limiting multiple organic occurrences of the same domain on a search results page. Based on an analysis of 10,000 keywords, Moz found a marginal 2.1% improvement across results that had had two or more listings from the same domain prior to the update. On those results, 86.68% of sites had a diversity of 80% or better. Did you see any impact in your sector?

We’ll close out with some good news for SEMs, you can now manage your price extensions for Microsoft Advertising campaigns in the Editor, meaning you can create, edit and associate price extensions in bulk. If you haven’t been using them, or just added a few here and there in the UI, now’s a good time to get started.

Thanks to everyone who attended our webinar on the 2019 SEO Periodic Table of Success Factors (watch on demand here). We had a lot of great questions that we weren’t able to get to. Keep an eye out in the days ahead as we’ll be answering them in this newsletter.

Read on for a Pro Tip on success factors and more.

Ginny Marvin,


Pro Tip

Content is more important than ever in SEO. Here’s why.

“Google is very good these days at detecting attempts to fake out its content quality criteria. Many SEOs know, for example, that freshness is one of the factors Google considers important, but this doesn’t mean all content calls for frequent updating,” explains Search Engine Land contributor Damian Rollison about the Periodic Table of SEO factors panel discussion at SMX Advanced. “Think of the difference between blue whales and protein bars,” panelist and SEO expert Jessica Bowman suggested, “Facts about one topic might change much less frequently than facts about the other.”

“A testament to the dominance of content as a success factor is the fact that it came up frequently as a theme during the panel’s discussion of other factors. In discussing a range of topics around the theme of Architecture, for instance, the panel suggested that page speed, crawlability, page organization and other architectural factors are important primarily because they help to govern the extent to which Google will index the content you want it to index.”

Read More »


Understanding the role of branded and unbranded search in the customer journey

Sponsored by Yext

Knowing how to improve your rank in organic search lets you build domain authority and capture share of search online. But there are more than 3.5 billion searches per day on Google alone. Here’s how to make sure your brand shows up on every step of the customer journey.

Read More »

Search Shorts

Google search ranking algorithm rumblings…

Google search ranking update? The SEO community is seeing some early signs of a possible Google algorithm and ranking update – we will stay on top of it and let you know if anything is confirmed or if this turns out to be something big.

Alt text. Did you know Google can rank web pages based on the alt text used in images?

SEO on mobile or desktop poll.  Aleyda Solis posted a Twitter poll that shows most SEOs seem more concerned with desktop SEO analysis than mobile SEO analysis.

More JavaScript SEO videos. Do you want Google to produce more videos around JavaScript and SEO? If so, fill out this form with new ideas.

What we’re reading

We’ve curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Bringing slave dwellings out of the shadows with Google Street View – Google Blog

Don’t Get Technical: What Link Building is Really All About – The Upper Ranks

Google Does Show Content In Accordions & Hidden Tabs In Featured Snippets – Search Engine Roundtable

Google’s neural matching: Why it matters and how to optimise for it – Vertical Leap

New Chrome Protections from Deception – Google Online Security Blog

Question Answering Explaining Estimates of Missing Facts – Go Fish Digital

Real Estate Giant JLL Debuts Google-Powered Voice Assistant – Voicebot

Why Your Average Cost Per Click is So High and How to Fix It – Portent


Join Us

Unlock actionable SEO & SEM tactics to accelerate your campaign’s success. Attend SMX East in NYC!

Attend the only conference in the East Coast entirely devoted to search marketing: Search Engine Land’s SMX East, November 13-14, 2019. Join us for a deep dive into SEO and SEM tactics, networking, and top amenities including WiFi, delicious meals, and snacks. You’ll come away with at least one tactic that you can immediately put to use… we guarantee it. View rates and register today!



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