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Over the years, the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) have changed a lot. Features like news, images, videos and the Knowledge Graph have impacted the display, sorting and order of SERPs, dramatically impacting organic listings.

With recent changes to the right side ads by Google (removing them all together). Google has now I

introduced 4 ad placements at the top of a search results page and 3 at the bottom. Although not present on every search, there is a max of 7 ads for each page of results.

Over the past few years Google has recognised that mobile use is increasing and has wanted to make sure that people are finding relevant ads on smaller screens. The new layout to ads makes the desktop experience very similar to the mobile Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). It will allow Google to provide more relevant results for end users and also provide better performance for advertisers.

Google has algorithms in place so that it can differentiate between and query with the intent of a transaction or a query with the intent of information. This means Google will deliver results to improve user experience; it wants to provide relevant information to the person searching so that space isn’t wasted on adverts that are not suitable to the user.

Is Organic Search Impacted?

In short, yes.

With less organic real-estate and more ad space available, naturally the click through rate (CTR) of organic site listing will drop and organic traffic levels will decrease.

On mobile SERPs it’s common to only see ads until the user scrolls. This means that some mobile users may not see organic listings on their mobile browsers.

If brands really want to get the most out of search, they’ll need to create an integrated organic and paid search strategy with focus on top rankings and paid ads to maintain visibility and be in front of their target audiences.

With this new Google layout it is even more critical for small businesses to be featured in the “local pack” in Google search results, as this will mean users will see paid ads, then the local pack, before even getting to organic results. This means businesses that rely on Google for business conversions will need to optimise their information on Google places to ensure they are being featured in an appropriate place to maintain customers and interactions with potential customers.

Modern consumer behaviour has been characterized by Google as a series of intent-based moments (“micro-moments“) enabled by the high usage of mobile, which can be described as “I want to know, I want to go, I want to do and I want to buy.”

If you are not able to appeal to consumers at the first stage in the path to purchase you will need to make sure you have to reach them at different stages. To do this, pages can be created to differentiate between paid and organic landing pages. This means any page a consumers or searcher lands on whether through organic or paid search is suited to what they are looking for.

Paid landing pages should be built focused on the searchers that are in the buying/decision making stages. However organic landing pages should be built around those searchers that are in the research/consideration stages.

In The End

To make sure you aren’t left behind with Google’s new Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) you will need to make sure both paid and SEO work together to ensure you site is showcased in both paid and organic results.

It’s important for businesses of all sizes to keep up to date with how Google is changing. They are always improving and innovating so that the searcher gets the most relevant and appropriate results in both organic and paid results. As a result agencies and brands need to improve and innovate themselves to maximise ROI, capture more conversions and provide end users with relevant content in their moment of need.

Interested to see how you can improve your digital strategy, why not speak to an Adao Internet Marketing expert today.