Organic traffic is typically the main goal of search engine optimization (SEO). The assumption is that Google and website owners mutually benefit from this structure; Google gets significance by sending their customers into the most appropriate websites, and site owners get worth by receiving those clicks by search users.
But what if Google is starting to throttle organic traffic, intentionally limiting the amount of traffic that may get to a site after hunting?
It could already be happening. Here's how.
The Knowledge Graph
The Awareness Graph has been gradually getting more popular ever since its beginning in 2012. In the event you aren't familiar, this describes Google's central database of info on pictures, politicians, historical events, locations, and other subjects; if a person searches for a few of those subjects, a box on the right-side of their search engine results page can show pertinent information to that subject (along with links to Google pages for other associated topics).
There have been mixed reports about whether that actually steals organic traffic, but it is apparent that an individual who finds out the answers they're looking for in those boxes won't have some need to click a link for additional info.
For a number of queries, Google provides a "carousel" of possible entries to help users with information (like this Knowledge Graph). For example, if you look for "Avengers Infinity War throw," you will see a horizontal bar with separate entrances for Robert Downey Jr., Christ Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and probably some other Crises down on the road.
All of those entries links to a different Google page with unique details on each actor. Essentially, it's another gateway that makes the Knowledge Graph stronger -- while making it less probable users will need to see external sites to locate the info they're looking for.
Rich Answers and Associated Questions
Rich answers and featured snippets would be the near cousin of the Knowledge Graph. They, too, attempt to give users answers in SERPs without requiring them to click on any links. Presently, about 12.3 % of inquiries come with a featured snippet.
Since these rich replies have a link to outside websites, and more Google results, they're inherently more likely to produce organic visitors compared to Knowledge Graph, but they also make clicks improbable if users get the info that they want
Do not forget that Google delivers built-in informational screens for a variety of attributes, for example, whether to your specified place, stock quotes, and sports scores.
Allowed, few companies are competing to optimize for keywords related to these reports, but it's another indication of Google's need to keep people in their sphere of influence as much as possible.
Local Search and Firms
Google local searches function differently than national-level hunts. Though many of the same ranking aspects apply (including inbound links and articles value), local outcomes are distinguished by a "neighborhood 3-pack," the 3 important companies that align with a user's search request. This 3-pack shows each organization's name, a shorter on their Google business rating, a URL to their website, a button to call, and a button to get directions to the organization.
Just one attribute here is a URL to the business's website, though the other features may still be of significance. Users can also be motivated to analyze Google's business reviews to find out more about each organization.
Videos and Content
Depending on the query, Google also provides in-SERP videos and articles to provide responses (or the material a user is searching for). This leaves their possession of YouTube quite precious and gives users a chance to engage with articles without needing to go to any other website or app.
Clearly, there's also the paid advertising lively. Advertising is the way Google makes money, therefore that it makes sense they would continue to market paid advertisements over natural search results--and they'd optimize that earnings and advertising space as much as you can.
Though Google search advertisements have taken a backseat to natural search results (for the most part), the company has increased the number of ads for four, and the quantity of space consumed by ads has improved, with more minimal descriptive images and text to signify they are paid ads.
What Does It Mean?
What exactly does all this mean for search marketers and site owners? Are we facing an impending organic traffic apocalypse?
The answer isn't so gruesome. Google is stepping up attempts, however gradually, to maintain users on Google for as long as possible while still supplying them with the answers and adventures they desire. Updates in the future will likely continue that trend.
So, does this mean you should decrease your investment in SEO if there's a stricter cap on possible traffic? Probably not. All this need is an adjustment; Google cannot provide users with all, so your aim should shift to offer the types of content which Google can't easily offer, or additionally, boost your business to look in manners that stand to benefit you personally for reasons beyond organic traffic--like showing great business testimonials in a local search.
These tactical changes might require some time to ideal, but it's going to be mandatory if Google keeps limiting the volume of organic traffic which could flow to external websites.