What Is The Future of SEO? – The Buyer’s Journey 74

Rand Fishkin has compiled shocking numbers revealing just how often Google searches result in a non-Google site and what that means for the future of SEO.

The Big Numbers

Last month, Rand Fishkin wrote an extensive piece responding to questions asked by Congress to Google CEO Sundar Pichai; questions Fishkin felt weren’t properly answered.

Questions Asked By United States Congress to Google CEO Sundar Pichai regarding Google Search engine results

Fishkin decided to answer these questions in better detail using data from Jumpshot. Jumpshot’s findings for Google’s US web search history in Q1 2019:

  • Received 150+ Billion searches
  • Solved 48.96% of those searches without a click
  • Sent 7.2% of all search clicks to paid results
  • Sent 6.01% of all searches (~12% of search clicks) to websites owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company
  • Directed a click to non-Alphabet-owned websites (aka, the rest of the web) after 45.03% queries

In addition, Fishkin shared this handy pie-graph showing a visualization of non-Google site clicks.

A pie graph titled "Where Users Click After Searching Google"

The Future of SEO

We go into much greater depth on the podcast, but these numbers are incredibly telling. The biggest number is just how many searches are either being solved without a click or leading to primarily Google sites. Almost 55% of searches fall into that category, leaving only 45% of searches for your brand. Furthermore, those searches include things like directories, review sites, etc., that may link to your website. That leaves even less traffic direct to your website. Len estimates the number is probably close to 30-35%.

With the number of potential searches that can lead direct traffic to your site being lowered, this changes the importance of SEO. SEO isn’t dying, not by any means, but expectations of how much traffic can organically be brought to your site on a SERP will likely drop. Furthermore, Google’s featured snippets and images in SERPs are going to become increasingly important. The importance of voice search, too, will likely expand. It’s important that your SEO campaigns are robust enough to allow new these new avenues to grow, while also maintaining the quality of traditional SEO tactics.

Check out our next episode where we’ll discuss a news article covering the Awareness stage of The Buyer’s Journey.

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