Google is constantly adjusting their search results to provide a better customer experience and provide more relevant results.
We – as customers – can now expect to see a variety of content in the results page. As well as text listings we now get video, images, local map results, featured snippets, shopping listings and more.
The standard organic listings themselves also sometimes feature additional results, for example, top pages, review scores and opening times. All this enhances the listing in a way that is easy to scan and visually appealing. Resulting in better click-through rates.
Paid search ads have also changed. The product listing ads – which are still the subject of an EU competition investigation – have increased in size. The number of search ads changes depending on what is being searched for. Some Ads are being displaced by map listings; for other searches up to 4 paid ads can be displayed. PPC ads can also be fairly large with all the extensions that can now be activated.
With Google constantly refining how results are presented, SEOs need to consider which content is displayed – on a variety of devices – so they can attract more clicks from the right search user at the right time.
The Dynamic Effects On SEO
From the classic 10 blue links on the results pages of old, to the more appealing listings of today – dynamic search results has had a huge impact on how website SEOs do their jobs. It used to all be about keywords, content and link building. Now, we must take into account how different content ranks in different sections of the SERP on different devices for users in different locations searching in different ways (keywords are still key!).
High-quality images (for image results).
Video (for youtube results)
Information on your local business – maps/opening times.
FAQs (for a featured snippet).
Each of these elements, in addition to your standard text content, could win a spot in the search results. All this means a lot more content to produce, optimise and track to maximise search performance.
What to Prioritise?
Examine which content type wins the top spot on the SERPs for your targeted keywords (this may also change for locations so think of your biggest market).
Google is never going to show a one-size-fits-all SERPs anymore. In order to sustain and improve your organic search performance, we need to analyse the ranking position of every content element on SERPs for the target keywords. We also need to understand customer intent to see if a keyword produces SERPs with local results — or with any organic listings above the fold at all.
Search engine optimisation is constantly changing, carry on doing the basics, but keep a close eye on the results to discover the types of content being displayed. Manage SEO and content development better and prioritise bigger wins, you are never going to be able to cover everything.