If you can think back a few years, youâ€™ll remember what it was like to search for something on Google. Once you hit enter, you were given a page of up to 10 results, all presented the same way. You had options. Once 2014 hit, we saw these numbers shrinking. Now, youâ€™ve probably become accustomed to seeing a result page with as little as four options. This mean that your website is having to compete for even less space than there was before, and thatâ€™s aside from paid links. Organic results are almost half.
In light of Google SERPs update last year that changed the way you see â€œin the newsâ€ results, we can see a pattern beginning to form determining just how many results we see on our search engine page.
The pattern shows that if there is a higher presence of News results, then the organic results lessen. Chances are you have seen this happening but werenâ€™t necessarily sure of the impact or â€œscienceâ€ behind it. Aside from News results taking up organic positions, positions that your website could potentially occupy, image results are also taking up these coveted spots.
But wait, thereâ€™s more.
Did you ever notice the way extended site links appear under the top search result? Depending on the query, one website could be a standout for that search, with the information expanded to include links to other pages on said website. Well, each row of these links, which usually come in 7 packs, takes up an organic position.
Google has also been redesigning the way articles are presented to us. Before this, each type of result was clearly labeled as so; article, in the news, paid, etc. Now, the lines have been blurred to make all results appear to be organic. Theyâ€™ve gone as far as removing thumbnail images and bylines, so all results look the same. Can you tell which are organic? If you said no, youâ€™re not alone.
The trend is far-reaching, even affecting mobile result pages. On a result page that should have 7 or 9 organic positions, there are only 3 positions left for organic results. The rest are expanded site links, News results, in-depth articles, and even a Wikipedia definition.
So where does this leave us?
Well, it seems like Google has no intention of making a change in favor of organic results, and if anything the available positions are continuously shrinking. Weâ€™re being forced to expand our SEO efforts as true organic prospects are diminishing each day.