Google Search Upgrades Make It Harder for Websites to Win Traffic

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Google Search Upgrades Make It Harder for Websites to Win Traffic

Bloomberg
By Gerrit De Vynck
July 13, 2020, 5:00 AM CD


This is a long article by Bloomberg, so I have excerpted the main points.
All-in-all it is not good news for SEOers.
Excerpt
A push for quicker answers and more ad revenue has made it more expensive for online businesses to reach consumers. Some say the search giant has gone too far.
Excerpt
Type a query into the Google search bar on a smartphone and there's a good chance the results will be dominated by advertising. That stems from a decision in 2015 to test a fourth ad, rather than three, at the top of search results. Some employees opposed the move at the time, saying it could reduce the quality of Google's responses, according to people familiar with the deliberations. But the company brushed aside those concerns because it was
under pressure to meet Wall Street growth expectations, one of the people said.
Excerpt
By 2016, the extra marketing slot was a regular feature. It's one of the many ways the search leader has altered how it presents results since its early days. Another example is the pre-packaged information Google often displays in a box at the top of a page, rather than sending users to other websites.
Excerpt
But to many web publishers and other businesses that have historically relied on the internet giant to send users to their sites, Google's subtle tweaks have siphoned off vital traffic and made it harder -- and costlier -- to reach
customers online.
Excerpt
It's often unclear who owns content online, especially when it's relatively easy to scrape information from one site and re-purpose it quickly on a new web page. But even when ownership is not in dispute, Google's combination of direct answers and extra ads has pushed free links to sites further down the search results page. Fishkin's former colleague, Pete Meyers, has been testing the same list of 10,000 search terms for years. On average, users now have to scroll down twice as far to find the first organic free link, compared with 2013.
Excerpt
"This has been the slowest but most consistent march in tech," venture capitalist Bill Gurley wrote on Twitter last year. "If you are still holding out hope for a SEO strategy you must be intentionally ignoring all of the data in front of you," he added, referring to search engine optimization, a popular way of improving websites to rank higher in Google's free results.
Excerpt
Kevin Hickey, chief executive officer of Online Stores Inc., said these changes have forced him to spend more on Google search ads to keep traffic flowing to his e-commerce businesses. More than a decade ago, about two-thirds of
Hickey's Google traffic came from free, or organic, listings. But as Google increased ad slots to the top of results, that mix flipped. Organic results account for about 20% of visitors to his sites now, and he spends about 10% to 15% of his revenue on Google ads. He has raised prices, but his profit margins
have shriveled.
#google #harder #make #search #traffic #upgrades #websites #win
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

    Google Search Upgrades Make It Harder for Websites to Win Traffic

    Bloomberg
    By Gerrit De Vynck
    July 13, 2020, 5:00 AM CD


    This is a long article by Bloomberg, so I have excerpted the main points.
    All-in-all it is not good news for SEOers.

    I disagree that it is not good news for SEOers. I don't see how it is bad news. Competition that weeds out people is always good.

    These articles are trash because they start from the biased notion that website owners deserve traffic from Google. They also act like Google is doing something nefarious by running ads on its own platform.

    Google owes you nothing. If you don't like what Google does with the information on your website, block Googlebot.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      I disagree that it is not good news for SEOers. I don't see how it is bad news. Competition that weeds out people is always good.

      These articles are trash because they start from the biased notion that website owners deserve traffic from Google. They also act like Google is doing something nefarious by running ads on its own platform.

      Google owes you nothing. If you don't like what Google does with the information on your website, block Googlebot.

      The perspective I hold is tt's fine with me when a company wants to place additional ads on their own business. I also hold that it's not fine with me for anyone or anything when a company manipulates the query's search results with those same ads.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

        The perspective I hold is tt's fine with me when a company wants to place additional ads on their own business. I also hold that it's not fine with me for anyone or anything when a company manipulates the query's search results with those same ads.
        How are they manipulating the search results with the ads?
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
          Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

          How are they manipulating the search results with the ads?

          By placing the ads above the fold aka in the top placement positions over other ranking sites that are more relative to the query.
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          • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
            Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

            By placing the ads above the fold aka in the top placement positions over other ranking sites that are more relative to the query.
            They have always had ads above the organic results. This isn't something new.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

              They have always had ads above the organic results. This isn't something new.

              What is new is they want to add as many as 5 ads which will display in the whole screen of the average users mobile devices. Being that average users tend to click the top results the majority of the time they will not see the organic results below the ads.
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              • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

                What is new is they want to add as many as 5 ads which will display in the whole screen of the average users mobile devices. Being that average users tend to click the top results the majority of the time they will not see the organic results below the ads.
                They have 4 ads at the top.

                And as someone managing a lot of Google Ads campaigns as well as controlling a lot of top rankings, I can tell you that

                Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

                Being that average users tend to click the top results the majority of the time they will not see the organic results below the ads.
                is just flat out not true at all. The vast majority of the clicks still go to the organic results versus the paid results. It's not even close.
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                • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
                  Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                  They have 4 ads at the top.

                  And as someone managing a lot of Google Ads campaigns as well as controlling a lot of top rankings, I can tell you that



                  is just flat out not true at all. The vast majority of the clicks still go to the organic results versus the paid results. It's not even close.

                  That's good to know. Thank you.
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        • Profile picture of the author dsimms
          very easily...

          For one, they push their own brand/sites/friends of google above the fold or higher in the SERPs, that alone is manipulating search results...

          Whenever a business such as google has access to vast amounts of everyone's data, that alone is manipulating in some form, and you can not say that google has all this data, and does not use to make money.

          I was reading threads on WF that was created 5 years ago about google violating anti-trust laws. If google did nothing with all the data they collect from everyone around them, then it would not be a big deal....

          Corruption runs very deep among these powerhouse companies that have made every effort to crawl into your very existence...

          If you have the ability to collect data on everyone around you, then you use that data to run your business, then one could very well call that insider-trading, and you can use that data to manipulate search, or just about anything you have your hands into...

          Are you saying Google and other big business does not use their power to dominate? ROFL...
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  • Profile picture of the author scraperai
    So right now, someone that just starts off has to spend a lot more money... Seems kind of inline with how the android app marketplace is ended up. 5 years ago you could still have millions of downloads with organic growth, now you need to spend up to 10k to get somewhere near 100k if you're lucky.
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    • Profile picture of the author dsimms
      that is true.

      I wish I could say that if you put up a lot of money, then you would have a better chance of succeeding....

      But that just isn't true, no matter how much money you dump into your site, google wants to see some level of quality along the way.

      Even then, there is no guarantee of success...
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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    It is a good move that will send SEO experts into the boardroom. They will find a away around it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by Medon View Post

      It is a good move that will send SEO experts into the boardroom. They will find a away around it.
      No they won't.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mia alexa
    Kevin Hickey, chief executive officer of Online Stores Inc., said these changes have forced him to spend more on Google search ads to keep traffic flowing to his e-commerce businesses. More than a decade ago, about two-thirds of
    Hickey's Google traffic came from free, or organic.
    ***pressreleasepower***
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  • Profile picture of the author thesmsworld
    Google is constantly testing its search results in order to change and adapt as users' habits change. Google's algorithm is a hidden secret that is constantly being developed using human analysis and machine learning. As always, the end goal is to create better search results.

    Many SEOs have tried gaming the system in order to get around Google's algorithm and rank higher in the SERPs. While this might work in the short term, Google almost always catches on and penalizes websites that proactively use black-hat techniques. This is Google's way of making sure results are not skewed and that users keep trusting them to provide the best results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    I can see both sides. While scrolling through 3 screens on my iPhone to get to organic hotel search results seems insane on the surface, Google's hotel module - populating the page underneath its ads and comprised of "partner companies" who pay to be there - is actually quite handy imo. Ultimately, though, I agree that this underscores the importance of driving direct traffic - whether you're Booking.com or a niche business owner
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  • Profile picture of the author dsimms
    SEO is dead!
    Google killed SEO!
    ROFL!

    Fact:
    people are still crushing it!

    Fiction:
    reading Bloomberg reports on how SEO is dying.

    Maybe some of those businesses need to hire a better Audit/Analytics/SEO team, maybe inform them on what worked 5 years ago will not work today....
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Who are you replying to? If you are on a PC you can view the forum in Classic View which shows the "Quote" button and if you use it we will know who you are replaying to.
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  • Profile picture of the author samsabir
    As far as i remember, the ads have been placed on the top of the organic results, this doesn't really seem like a big news for SEO experts.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by samsabir View Post

      As far as i remember, the ads have been placed on the top of the organic results, this doesn't really seem like a big news for SEO experts.
      Your right, it's not big news that ads are placed on the top. What is new is the practice of adding more of the same is in front of the authorities.

      Debate over Google's influence is gathering intensity as U.S. regulators prepare an antitrust case against the company in what will be one of the biggest legal clashes between the government and a corporation since the U.S. sued Microsoft Corp. in 1998
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  • My mentor says there's always challenges and changes where things get harder and you have to figure out a way around it.

    Nonetheless Google is optimizing for user experience for the searchers. Searchers don't usually click ads to get answers to their questions (which is basically what Google does is answer questions).

    If the ads have the effect that the article purports they will then ppl are going to stop using Google and switch to something with less ads OR their going to scroll down and look for a real answer.

    I'm not overly worried.
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    • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
      Originally Posted by Facebookrecruit22 View Post

      Google is optimizing for user experience for the searchers.
      Google use to optimize for best results many years ago when users
      would find answers to what they were looking for in first 5 pages.

      Example. 15 years ago if you would search for "web directories", G would
      give you list of specific directories like Yahoo, DMOZ, BOTW, AMRAY
      in top 10 and now directories no where to be found in first 20 pages

      Originally Posted by Facebookrecruit22 View Post

      Searchers don't usually click ads to get answers to their questions .
      Oh yes, of course they do. Why?
      Because if you own directory, and you know you ain't going to be found,
      you would place ad on top so searchers would spare their time on going
      over selected by G. garbage and to avoid digging in pile of rubbish would
      rather click ad pointing to real directories.

      And why not after all it doesn't cost searchers a penny and G. knows that
      if it places instead of directories 'dictionaries' users will use that ad.



      fastreplies
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by fastreplies View Post

        Google use to optimize for best results many years ago when users
        would find answers to what they were looking for in first 5 pages.

        Example. 15 years ago if you would search for "web directories", G would
        give you list of specific directories like Yahoo, DMOZ, BOTW, AMRAY
        in top 10 and now directories no where to be found in first 20 pages

        Thankfully Google evolved from that and now give much better results for that search.

        Someone searching for "web directories" wants to see lists of directories and that is exactly what they get.
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        • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
          Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

          Thankfully Google evolved from that and now give much better results for that search.

          Someone searching for "web directories" wants to see lists of directories and that is exactly what they get.
          Are you kidding me? You must be kidding me cause you can't be serious.
          So, in your opinion if people are seeking web directories they want list of directories?
          Hmmm, very interesting abstraction. I wonder if it does work for apples and oranges?
          WOW, next time I'll search G. for oranges, G. would find for me all I can eat apples.

          Hey mister, why don't they cut a middleman and search for list of directories?
          Or you're saying that no matter what people want to find like direct answers
          they don't have to worry because our Dear Leader Godly Father Google knows best?

          Beside, did you ever bother to go over those lists? Try so you learn how 90% of
          deserted and dead on arrival with less that 100 total links directories look like.

          Man, you are my Hero

          fastreplies
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          • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
            Originally Posted by fastreplies View Post

            Are you kidding me? You must be kidding me cause you can't be serious.
            So, in your opinion if people are seeking web directories they want list of directories?
            Hmmm, very interesting abstraction. I wonder if it does work for apples and oranges?
            WOW, next time I'll search G. for oranges, G. would find for me all I can eat apples.

            Hey mister, why don't they cut a middleman and search for list of directories?
            Or you're saying that no matter what people want to find like direct answers
            they don't have to worry because our Dear Leader Godly Father Google knows best?

            Beside, did you ever bother to go over those lists? Try so you learn how 90% of
            deserted and dead on arrival with less that 100 total links directories look like.

            Man, you are my Hero

            fastreplies
            You are biased because this involves your site. You have been on this same rant about this same search for years.

            Get over it or give Google what it wants if you want to rank there.

            Your apples and oranges example is nonsense. Someone searching for apples probably doesn't necessarily want to see specific apples. They want to see where they can buy apples, what type of apples are there, when are apples in season, etc.

            Google has a lot more data about searches and what people want than you do. They are giving people what they want when they search for directories. Period.
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            • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

              You are biased because this involves your site. You have been on this same rant about this same search for years.

              Get over it or give Google what it wants if you want to rank there.

              Your apples and oranges example is nonsense. Someone searching for apples probably doesn't necessarily want to see specific apples. They want to see where they can buy apples, what type of apples are there, when are apples in season, etc.

              Google has a lot more data about searches and what people want than you do. They are giving people what they want when they search for directories.
              Groucho Marx via Mike Friedman
              "Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

              Period
              Period? Really?
              How about triple period "..." to be continue?



              fastreplies
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