It has become very clear that with Google’s recent changes to the results pages for local searches that the organic results are actually below the fold. This means Google has made a change the will make it a necessity to have paid listings. Lets take a look at a keyword that generates a map result. I used “NYC Car Dealerships” and all I could see was paid listings and part of a map – Yikes! So no organic results are visible above the fold. Above is a screenshot from my laptop showing ONLY paid ads until I scroll. Below is a screenshot from my mobile device all showing ONLY paid listings. Ouch. Is Google really a good search engine anymore? Why isn’t anyone else asking this?
What does this mean for users?
Well, now all they see is paid results, it makes the organic results almost completely worthless. It promotes more companies to advertise, meaning advertisers will now control the results as they’re barely organic. It’s pretty obvious that the reason is that the billion dollar empire is looking to capitalize on more ad sales, and perhaps try and change the research data to increase the percentage of traffic coming from paid search. However, what made Google the behemoth it is was the organic listings, everyone touted their results as the best, and many marketers promoted them.
Here’s what Bing looks like, Bing shows organic results above the fold. Look at the two search engines and decide for yourself which one you’d prefer going to…
Organic vs. Paid vs. Social
Brightedge, a marketing firm and tool provider, has recent insight into the percentages of visitors coming from search engines. Notice that 51% of all traffic is Organic, Only 10% is paid and even less comes from Social at 5%. Yet all these social media companies keep pushing the death of SEO, the way I see it is its all about sales, they push what they do best. With these numbers below it makes no sense for companies to have lower SEO budgets than Paid Search and Social Media.
The Future of Organic Results
With this change in Google results you can see that if Google remains the leading search engine the world may only know paid search in the future. Google isn’t looking like a search engine but more of a ad site. They’d likely penalize any other firm for having so many ads and content below the fold. 🙂
Right now seems like the right time for a trendy new search platform. Any investors nearby?