The world’s leading search engine, dominating the market, i.e, Google, is constantly updating its algorithm. This, so as to ensure that it provides the right answer to every query searched by the users. When Google rolls out any update, the SEO industry keenly observes its impact on the websites.
In this post, we’re discussing the top 3 reasons for the declining organic search click-through rate (CTR).
Adwords 4 Block Search Ads
At the beginning of the year 2016, Google replaced the 3-block search ads with 4 blocks. After implementing 4-block search ads, the first page results started showing declining traffic share. The first page of search results that was earlier occupied with a total of 13 results; now has 14 results. This means that the first organic listing goes down by one position and others follow suit respectively. The first organic results used to get around 33% clicks; after the implementation of 4 Adblock, a tremendous traffic decline was noticed, especially on mobile devices.
Google Local Listing
When any user searches for a service or product online, which has Google business listing; the product/service will appear in the local search listing. This means a small portion of users are navigating through local listings. The listing on Google Business helps local businesses gain a small amount of traffic share from search engines, due to which there is a small percentage of the drop in search traffic. The drop in organic search through the local listing is less compared to Featured Snippets. But, still, local listings are prominent for queries like ‘near me’, ‘SEO services in Mumbai’ (name of the city included), etc. and gaining more search traffic.
In the year 2019, Google released Featured Snippets to answer to the queries of visitors without even navigating away from the search engine result page. Google shows Featured Snippets for the search that requires fresh content, something that is updated frequently, as well as based on data and event changes. Google further shows that Featured Snippets for search queries are based on words such as ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘which’, ‘top’, ‘best’, ‘who’, ‘time’, ‘year’, etc. Featured Snippets are directly impacting the organic traffic share.
Let’s take an example – Your website is ranking on the top position for a particular keyword and generating around 30% clicks through organic search queries. Assume that your website is not implemented for Google Featured Snippets and one of your competitors is getting the benefit of Zero Position. Before Featured Snippets, users visited your website to get answers to their queries; now, they’re clicking on your competitor’s website. This means that the website ranking on the first position is getting less traffic after Featured Snippet was implemented. This clearly states that there is a decrease in organic search traffic due to Featured Snippets.
We, as a part of the SEO community always focus on Google’s actions and make changes to reap the benefits of the changing algorithm updates. I personally think every move from search engines like Google, gives birth to new opportunities that you can benefit from. Don’t wait to criticize the search engines, move on and get the benefits of the opportunity much faster.