Do Organic Results Matter Anymore?
Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:49 PM
Maybe overreacting just a wee bit. After all, local results only show up when the search has a local intent (typically) and Adwords is mostly to the side of organic. I know organic (wait...I mean Universal) is still what I am turning to for most of my searching. I think it still matters. Good question, though.
Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:28 PM
You are quite right, however, that there is a deliberate suppression of organic, especially in Google, for their own properties and paid listings.
Which is a great reason to:
1. diversify your SE traffic away from Google.
2. diversify your traffic away from SEs.
The greatest problem facing organic search is not paid results but proprietary inclusion. I love to detest universal search which increasingly means universal Google-property search. We all know the SERP position click percentages; take away the top three to five and the 'organic' results begin to look more and more like Mother Hubbards cupboard.
Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:33 AM
The best thing to do is get your site to the top of google in mulitple ways (you can also get big traffic from the bottom of the first page when the blog listings are shown there for super high traffic topics). There are multiple channels - learn how to take advantage of them. If you run a retail biz learn about the product listings. If you run a local services biz get included in the local search results (Miriam is an expert). If you have a news site, get into google news. Get your images into the image search. The game is now played on multiple levels.
I run analytics on my sites every night and if I tally the monthly traffic by KW across a year I can point to the dates where certain universal results were rolled out into my SERPs. Sometimes my traffic goes down - but not always.
All of this adds additional layers of risk - and opportunity. So now you have organic algo risk, competitor ranking risk, competitor merchandising risk, product risk and the google site management risks.
In summary, Google is doing this to get more page views and advertising income from their own properties. If you do nothing to counter expect to take your losses... but right now while some people are procrastinating and not paying attention, you can harvest the low-hanging fruit. Sometimes it is not very good fruit but sometimes it is excellent, easier than organic and cheaper than adwords.
Posted 25 November 2008 - 04:03 AM
Organics have always been the way. But it really is a case of your own market is. The numbers game figures highly and it becomes a case of just making the the balance sheet a positive.
Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:36 AM
Not to self-promote, but I've been thinking about this topic quite a bit this year and wrote a blog post you might find interesting. It's called: Search Without SERPs: The Future of SEO?
As other have said, while SEO is always changing, these changes bring both challenges and opportunities. The key is to figure out where your site and your customers' sites fit these new niches and how those niches can benefit both your customers and their customers.
Edited by DrPete, 25 November 2008 - 10:37 AM.
Posted 25 November 2008 - 11:35 AM
Surprised Facebook does not have a "search the web function" really.
Posted 25 November 2008 - 11:39 AM
thanks for the link drpete; i enjoyed reading it.
Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:25 PM
Well in my field everything is a local search. Occupation & City. Who searches for just a plummer or a gardener, hence the 10 local results will always come up.
And paid ads are not just on side, they are on top, in other words, the only 1 result organic is showing on page one these days! at the bottom.
Iamlost: Diversity?? Google is 80% now, and Yahoo is even worse. Their paid results seem to be even larger.
Did not understant your thing on proprietary inclusion at all. Please try explaining that in laymans terms. It sounds interesting. Did get a word of it.
Egol: what is universal results? all those things you just mentioned? Getting in that first page local results is great, but I'm not sure how to achieve it consistently.
There may be people - clients- who understand the orgnic is more pure a result, but you cannot deny the clutter.
JOnby: I built up 8000 friends on My space, and it took 8 months of hard work. Hundreds of hours. Then myspace deleted the account in 5 seconds with no explanation and no recouse. I would pay $30 a month for a premium account with real customer service and recouse on myspace, buy it does not exist. Your site is free and expendable to them, and you are just one spam compaint from having it deleted with no notice. I was very p***ed about that. are there good sociall sites to get business that have real customer service where that can't happen again?
Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:35 PM
just looked again at local results in my city. Whew. like thousands listed and top 10 have all these reviews ala citygroup etc. That would seen an entrenched nut for a new entry to crack no?
Curious: how many people out there do what I sometimes do and ignore the paid and city results and go to the more untainted organic? that's probably less is out noisey culture. Is there any bonus anymore for achieving good organic is peoples minds?
Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:17 PM
By proprietary I meant Google's own applications, i.e. YouTube, Maps, Knol. They are not showing up through the algo but by virtue of Google privelege. Depending upon the vertical Google is simply taking up to the top half of the first page for themselves - or put another way: up to 75% of the CTR for that return.
Did not understant your thing on proprietary inclusion at all. Please try explaining that in laymans terms.
Now, as EGOL said those other Google applications can be leveraged (and currently gamed/spammed quite effectively) to display your content.
BUT. That is now your content on Google's sites. You are no longer working for a SE listing but providing quality UGC for Google. And that is an enormous difference in kind.
First, don't jump on the queries number bandwagon. It is hard to get through to the real unique human users but those numbers do put things in a better perspective.
Diversity?? Google is 80% now, and Yahoo is even worse. Their paid results seem to be even larger.
Every niche and site is different when it comes to diversification. It can mean some combination of other SEs, directories, backlinks (for targeted traffic not chasing PR), direct (type-in, bookmarked), appropriate SM, etc. Whether and how you diversify is up to you. There is no one solution, no one plan or methodology.
But if you remain the web equivalent of a one industry town expect a crash sometime in the future.
Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:40 PM
Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:55 PM
As all my sites are niche information deliberately non-localised Universal and similar search, the Chrome browser, etc. are more my areas of SE concern.
The web is certainly splitting. I expect Local to eventually split down to venue and product levels in NA and the EU following current east Asian trends. It is my belief that that future is the driving force behind Android; Google does not want the mobile manufacturers, i.e. Nokia, or the telecoms to divert away future search traffic and grab local advertising.
Lots of fun and frustrating opportunities for you young'uns.
Posted 06 December 2008 - 01:07 PM
Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:43 PM
The author makes an interesting point about how PPC becomes more valuable relative to SEO as Google takes greater advantage of keeping the searcher on their own properties.
Edited by EGOL, 09 December 2008 - 11:44 PM.
Posted 10 December 2008 - 12:09 AM
Nice summation of Google's business plan.
...how PPC becomes more valuable relative to SEO as Google takes greater advantage of keeping the searcher on their own properties.
Of course (although few listen) there are more SEs to optimise than Google and more ppc programs than AdWords.
:mr_rant: There is even more to life than Google. Believe it or not. :frustration:
As Google eases into more verticals/niches with it's own properties and Universal Search combination more people are going to have to learn how to:
* leverage those other G properties.
* use AdWords - how well can you arbitrage your own sites?
* diversify traffic sources.
It is rather like watching a flood tide inundating sandcastle after sandcastle.
Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:33 AM
If I decided that I would start selling computers today, I think that I would struggle to get any quality organic results, at least not for a while, and even then probably not enough to live on. However, it could be possible to build a business using marketing/advertising
I am still just trying to work out what it is that I should be selling ...... then I will start advertising!
Posted 10 December 2008 - 09:29 AM
A SERP is a SERP. You'll need to do something to stay in the top 3. Does it matter, how it's called, Organic, Universal, Local, etc?
Organic still will matter, but you'll also optimize those same pages to be placed in different parts of the SERP, such as by posting a video on YouTube, for example.
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