The Biggest SEO Trend Doesn’t Impact Your Rankings

These are the things you will hear a lot in large conference halls as well as small conference rooms.

Google changes …” every day.

“The Google algorithm gets updated 500 times per annum …”

“You must stay at the top of your ranks …”

What if the largest changes in Google do not have to do with the ranking?

Google is always changing. Yes, Google is constantly changing. However, rankings are not affected by the most important SEO trends. They can impact your click-through rates. It’s a huge difference.

With me, travel back in time.

The SERP (search engine result page) was different years ago. You would have seen this page if you searched skin care products in 2014.

Ah, those were the days. The columns, colours, and obvious ads. Images and stars began to emerge, but this was only the beginning.

I began collecting screenshots from Google search results pages three years ago. I had an archive of older screenshots that I used to create presentations or articles. The big picture was revealed by regular full-page screenshots every few months of certain phrases.

This is an easy visual analysis of the SEO trend. The best examples from hundreds of SERPs dating back to 10 years will be drawn. We’ll also share some tips on adapting your marketing strategy to these changes at the end.

Visualizations are becoming more common in search results.

Images, videos, “People also Ask” boxes, maps, and featured snippets appear in more searches than ever. This page tracks the search results over the past three years for the phrase “How do you write a headline?”

Rankings can be maintained. Placement is not.

Are you amazed at the consistency of the rankings over the years? I am not. This page has been ranked near the top of search results for over seven years.

Our experience shows that pages that rank highly tends to remain in the top ten for long periods. Rankings can last for up to five years.

What factors affect the rate at which rankings are changed?

Videos are larger and more frequent.

Since 2012, videos have been appearing in search results as rich snippets. These were essentially search listings (aka “searchsnippet”) with a video thumbnail.

Things changed in 2018. This was the year that the first video carousel appeared. It was initially just three thumbnails.

More things can be clicked from search results.

These SERP features offer visitors more ways to interact with the page. The search results pages become longer and more interactive.

These two examples are good examples of the phrase “hospital home”.

PPC Ads Changes

Google is a great way to find useful websites. However, those clicks on organic rankings do not pay the bills. They don’t generate revenue unless we click on ads. Here, they are paid per click. These clicks generated $209B in revenue in 2021, an increase of 42% over 2020.

This could be due to more searches or higher prices. However, it is also possible that Google has discovered ways to increase ad click-through rates.

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