Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.20.147.6

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & andy langton & goodroi

Should we just give up now trying to gain organic mobile traffic?

     
7:56 pm on Mar 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2009
posts:1441
votes: 196


Reality time. I've noticed a drastic difference between SERPS via mobile vs. desktop. Mobile is monetized almost beyond belief. Check for yourself. Stacks upon stacks of non organic results mean getting that coveted free traffic when searchers are using a mobile device is bordering on futile. The pursuit that is. The pursuit appears futile.

I don't think it's accurate to even be discussing mobile search results with desktop or non mobile Google search results. It's apples and oranges.

Mobile is growing more than ever and will continue to do so. When those people get the Google mobile results more and more, that to me is a losing battle. The effort to reward is virtually a joke.

I'm just calling it the way I see it. I think people should start caring less and less about their mobile rankings because when you look at what searches are getting monetized or info blocks stacked above that first result, the hopes are becoming increasingly worthless.

I still stand by my thought that a LOT of regulars here don't use Google search on a regular basis. Rather it becomes a data analysis and technical process rather than looking at this from a normal, users perspective first. Lost traffic? Well duh! More mobile than ever, and that mobile search platform is more commercialized than ever before almost to the point of saturation.
8:53 pm on Mar 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 21, 2004
posts:3237
votes: 195


I'm always a fan of other SEOs calling it quits :)

Being serious, yes the amount of above the fold space in mobile for organic rankings is shrinking for many keywords. Conceptually it is the same thing that has been happening to desktop organic serps for a long time. I find that amount of above the fold space can vary wildly between keywords in the same industry. First, I would suggest we look at expanding our keyword targeting. Second, I would suggest we all expand our traffic sources beyond Google SEO. You still need content pages to convert the traffic you get from social, email, ppc, etc and the content pages for these alternative traffic sources can perform well in Google SEO.

Google misleads SEOs on many things but they kinda got it right when they talk about building a good site as if Google wasn't around. Even if I got zero traffic from Google mobile serps, I would still want to build high converting, content rich pages that load fast & look great for mobile users that come to my site from the many alternative traffic sources besides Google mobile serps.

IMHO there is little reason to quit on Google mobile SEO but there are big reasons to not settle for just Google SEO traffic.
1:02 am on Apr 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:481
votes: 199


I think people should start caring less and less about their mobile rankings because when you look at what searches are getting monetized or info blocks stacked above that first result, the hopes are becoming increasingly worthless.

The same can be said for all of Google - mobile and desktop. Google's search results these days are laden with ad spam and scraped content, making even some of the worst affiliate spam sites look like child's play compared to Google. Mobile outside of Google does work for me, which is a good indication that Google's spammy mobile serps result in useless visitors. Mobile traffic from Facebook is doing ok and has lead to some loyal/repeat B2B customers.
1:24 am on Apr 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2887
votes: 477


I don't get worked up about mobile traffic because, at least for us, it's low-value traffic in terms of earnings. Still, we get quite a bit of it, although desktop (a category that obviously includes laptops) remains our primary source of traffic and revenue.

As far as non-organic content on mobile SERPs is concerned, it's worth noting that many sites (not just Google and other search engines) let ads and such take up a disproportionate amount of space. The typical online newspaper or magazine article has a big ad unit every few paragraphs, interspersed with the text. On editorial sites, such intrusive ads smack of desperation. On SERPs, they may actually have a useful role to play--at least for commercial searches, where an ad can be a legitimate answer to a query..
1:43 am on Apr 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:8313
votes: 335


If you don't nurture app & social media, then mobile traffic may be low. However, mobile resources can be a huge source of traffic if you're will to put in the work.

I spend most of my time seeding traffic sources for mobile, using the available tools many offer for developing a presence for that platform, then consistently commenting, posting, tweetings, etc. I make size-appropriate images for each, open business accounts where needed, add the og tags and image links to my mark-ups, etc.

Organic mobile search ranking will increase if more mobile resources link in.

My mobile traffic has grown significantly; often more than desktop & on weekends it's around 80%.
3:25 am on Apr 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2009
posts:1441
votes: 196


For me the idea of giving up really means that it's a unwinnable battle. I could have the best content the planet has ever seen, but it's simply not going to rise above stacks of commercialization and "content" on the mobile results. That trend is irreversible.

Yes I have sites with mobile friendly design and it's good for visitors, so in that sense I care. However consider the equation or graph here.

Mobile traffic going up, up and up. Mobile search usage going up, up and up. That first organic result going down, down, down.

There is huge value in mobile, and as a business, I get what Google is going. However I'm seeing dramatic ad stacks on mobile search results where you would never in a million years expect to see ads. Then on desktop search those ad stacks are simply not there.

If the world is going mobile, and search is going mobile, then I'm reconsidering time, effort and resources. Inevitably there will be another means for people to find websites like I run, but when Android is Google, and Android is Google mobile search, the picture becomes bleak, and then bleaker. Android phones are big, and becoming bigger. It's not like a Bing search or new search engine is going to somehow embed itself into the global dominant Android OS.

And I can't say I've noticed as much commercialization as I have these days. It's absolutely jarring. Ad upon ad, upon ad. Perhaps that leaves the door open for a competitor, but I'll be dead by the time that rolls around.

It's strange to me that website were the star of the show. The reason people bought the tickets, yet the star of the show is absolutely buried. Only less than 0.4% of the worlds population would notice, so in that sense I feel warm and fuzzy. Thus 99.6% of the worlds population will not notice any change, as Google likes to say.
10:41 pm on Apr 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from CA 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 25, 2003
posts:1026
votes: 212


echo...

I'm always a fan of other SEOs calling it quits :)


There tend to be several points at play in the OP and similar laments:
* traffic is synonymous with Google.
* even in Google no two verticals/niches are the same in where either desktop or mobile organic results begin.
* even in heavily 'monetised', to use OP's term, mobile niches/verticals there is a wide discrepancy on where organic results begin depending on query.

While all the above is true it is also true that for some previously profitable niches/verticals Google has become an 800lb gorilla dominating results across quite a broad front. For webdevs in such life based on Google traffic is a trickle of what once was. However, none of this happened out of the blue, it has been discussed for over a decade albeit more so as Google increasingly encroached. The company in the one industry town has automated or outsourced or shut down. Deja vu all over again.

@goodroi:

IMHO there is little reason to quit on Google mobile SEO but there are big reasons to not settle for just Google SEO traffic.

@EditorialGuy:

I don't get worked up about mobile traffic because, at least for us, it's low-value traffic in terms of earnings.

@keyplyr:

If you don't nurture app & social media, then mobile traffic may be low. However, mobile resources can be a huge source of traffic if you're will to put in the work.

I quite agree with all the above.

Every site in every niche is different in degree and possibly even in kind. You need to know where your audience(s) are congregating, for what reasons, and how to best bring them to your business/site. Or, in really simply terms you need to appropriately market your site. At one time Google was by far the greatest traffic generator the web had ever seen. And, for a real one-two punch AdSense the greatest revenue generator the web had ever seen. And so SEO, more specifically SEO for Google, became the way to the greatest marketing ROI the web had ever seen.

But that began to change a decade ago with the uptake of SM, the advent of the smartphone, and personalisation and universalisation of search results. Marketing is no longer as easy nor as simple as it was back then. The web has changed, Google has changed, where people congregate has (and continues to) change, competitors have changed. If you haven't/don't then life may well get difficult if not impossible.

Once upon a time one built up a thriving business on the edge of a road between hither and yon. Then the interstate was built just over the hill and 99% of the traffic now never even notice you as they zoom on by. When that happens it doesn't matter how great or wonderful your business, how nice or deserving you might be, your traffic has gone. And you need to either change locations or marketing or both. It's that sad and that simple.

A secondary problem of years of Google focussed SEO is that one ends up with a site designed to convert a Google searcher, a first time visitor. And that can be counterproductive to growing return traffic. Or to making a SM referred visitor feel comfortable.
2:52 am on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2009
posts:1441
votes: 196


I'm open to hearing about an experiment where a site blocks Google bots 100% and makes a go at it without buying ads for gaining traffic. Traffic generation without Google and without ads. Let's see that. Who goes first on that? People like to toss around the idea that it's feasible or Google traffic isn't everything. Who has the site and data proving the theory? From scratch of course. Just relying on social media and those plethora of other traffic generating sources that don't require money. It's too easy to throw about alternate traffic sources unless you prove it from starting a fresh site with no links, no history and no money spent on ads. That would inspire but I'm suspecting most people here have more common sense that bothering with such an experiment. Conclusion? Existing sites might have a footprint and can leverage social media or word of mouth after having the benefit of Google rankings in that past. But a new startup now? What I hear is rubbish. You might be known because your site was shown in Google previously. It could be found. If mobile traffic was so low earning then why has everything been about mobile for Google? I dunno. Cornering the market for the advertising dollar perhaps? The issue is not that you and I can't monetize the traffic but Google obviously sure can. Therein lies the irony of that statement.

[edited by: MrSavage at 3:07 am (utc) on Apr 2, 2017]

2:56 am on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2887
votes: 477


If mobile traffic was so low earning then why has everything been about mobile for Google?

Because they deal in huge volume. (And "everything" hasn't been about mobile for Google. They're just trying to capture the lion's share of a growing market. That doesn't mean they're ceding desktop, laptop, and tablet searchers to the competition.)
2:59 am on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:8313
votes: 335


MrSavage - Link building takes years. Branding takes years. Results will depend on the type of site & how much work is put in. Your site has to have something people want, whether info, products, tools etc... but there has to be a reason for people to leave where they're at and decide to visit your site. If you have that, really have it, then the work is to tell people.
3:12 am on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2009
posts:1441
votes: 196


Link building happens when people can find your great content. People toss around the idea of traffic coming from great content that will be shared with glee around places like Facebook. I'm saying that you aren't getting eyeballs to that great new content without a thing previously known as a search engine. However, people here claim that there are many traffic sources outside of Google. I'm saying back this up by proving it. However it has to be a brand new site with no history at all. No advertising budget. Just terrific content because afterall, that's the cure for this. Or is it?

I'm just challenging those who toss around these alternate traffic sources to back it up. Prove it. Block Google and launch a new site. We all know it's easy to say it, but it's another thing to back it up and do it. It's another matter to waste your time on such a venture to prove the value of the rhetoric.

But I'm more concerned about traffic search usage going up, up and up and the mobile organic #1 spot going down, down, down. Maybe my site can rely on what the destop results pages offer, but if the trend is up, up and up for mobile, then what? What's the smart play? So far it seems like the solution is to look at the alternate means of traffic. Fine for sites launched previously, but then if things continue on trajectory, our sites are those things that will be enclosed behind glass in a museum.
3:26 am on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:7499
votes: 503


Who goes first on that? People like to toss around the idea that it's feasible or Google traffic isn't everything. Who has the site and data proving the theory?


(on blocking g and getting rich despite that...)

1. Anyone who is successful in doing that is unlikely to share blueprints.
2. Who blocks a traffic source for any reason?

The user has changed, not the web. More people have phones than have computers. Sadly, most of those phone users AREN'T web users... though they might do the social thing from time to time if not playing games or chatting their friends. The attention span of humans in electronic environments has plummeted. Getting their attention is one thing, getting them to come back is something else.

Pretty sure there were no guarantees of a win going in, and pretty sure nobody cares how you do compared to how they do. But the only way to "win" some games is not to play, such as tic tac toe, but for every other game (business) if you don't play, you can't complain.

Playing these days means more than a one trick pony (g) and bringing the best effort to play. But....

Wait for it....

It never hurts if there's skill, ability, product, AND enough time (and money to hang on if not making it immediately) to get a place at the starting line. After that it is stamina, strategy, and will to continue which carries the day.

I block g and several other se's from a number of sites because they are NOT intended for general public consumption and they do quite well FOR THE PURPOSE for which they were designed. But this is not how commerce, or income incentivize sites operate. Which comes back to:

If you don't play you can't complain.
4:30 am on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:8313
votes: 335


People toss around the idea of traffic coming from great content that will be shared with glee around places like Facebook
What I'm saying, and have always said, is you have to go get it... it's not enough to have great content, you have to go out and bring people in. That's where Social Media has a huge advantage. It's set up to do that very thing.
4:48 am on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from CA 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 25, 2003
posts:1026
votes: 212


I'm not the only one here at WebmasterWorld who has said, year after year after year, that diversification of traffic is quite possible simply because I have done it and continue to do it. On the other hand I've never suggested that it was or is either easy or immediate. Just something that should be worked towards, worked on, day after month after year after decade.

I block all SEs from almost half my pages these days up from wide open 12 years ago. I have never ever bought a single ad in over 20 years online. Further, I've seen Google referred traffic decreasing YoY in site relative terms from ~90% 15 years ago to ~22% the past few whilst increasing in absolute numbers over 100 fold in the same period. I've invested heavily in breadth and depth of subject matter, custom images and multimedia, personalisation and contextual delivery, mobile site display and apps, appealing to both scanners and readers, highly specific often non-standard non-paid marketing, double blind translations of sites and dedicated servers...

I've switched from initially primarily affiliate presell to AdSense and some aff; to AdSense, more aff, and some direct ad sales; to relatively even AdSense, aff, and direct sales; to direct ad sales, more aff, and some AdSense.

I've worked my tail off since the 1980s first with programming, then database design and GUIs, webdev for others, and finally only for myself. Yes, what I have accomplished with my sites was far greater far faster thanks to Google and AdSense for which I acknowledge a great debt of gratitude. However, I have never expected nor wanted to rely on Google (or any other source). Indeed the more Google benefitted me the more I worked on alternatives.

Almost since the beginning it was obvious - for my sites - that SE traffic was about the worst converting traffic and Google was about the worst of that. Which was a great incentive to chase non-Google traffic. Currently, overall traffic conversion is ~9% while SE traffic is ~3% and Google traffic is ~2.25%. There really is a whole other web of opportunity out there.

None of which denigrates the power of Google to refer traffic or the dismay and hardship when it is withdrawn.
1:00 pm on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:481
votes: 199


What I'm saying, and have always said, is you have to go get it... it's not enough to have great content, you have to go out and bring people in. That's where Social Media has a huge advantage. It's set up to do that very thing.

I agree, but am understanding that not all businesses will find this an easy task. For example, if I am running a sale I can reach my followers instantly and watch orders start piling up. But I'm not in business to break even, so I often use social media (paid) to reach naysayers to start some buzz. When those naysayers start chiming in with their comments, others join in and the sharing starts - producing a reach that would takes months or even years with ranking even #1 for many keywords in Google mobile and desktop. So in this sense, social media's reach is far more powerful than Google.

Almost since the beginning it was obvious - for my sites - that SE traffic was about the worst converting traffic and Google was about the worst of that. Which was a great incentive to chase non-Google traffic.

This statement is so true. I think many webmasters suffer from the same syndrome that consumers do - the belief that Google is the alpha and omega of the internet. When I started seeing zombies in Google, I did my best to resolve the issue and sought the advice of others to correct the problem. Nothing worked and with a limited marketing budget and time I ultimately kicked Google to the curb. I think many webmasters continue to pour in countless wasted money and time when Google is giving them little to nothing in return, which brings me back to the point of Google's mobile results being a useless battle as the OP noted. If all the hoops one has jumped through to be mobile optimized in Google are proving to be futile, then it's time to move on and allocate time and money to more productive and lucrative activities. In many respects Google has greatly devalued their usefulness to small ecommerce businesses - organic results well beneath the fold and limited ad slots where only big corporations have the buying power/marketing budgets to participate in. As a small business owner, do I think this trend is going to change? No, I think it is going to get worse and even harder for small businesses to obtain traffic in Google - whether free, paid, desktop or mobile.
2:53 pm on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2887
votes: 477


In many respects Google has greatly devalued their usefulness to small ecommerce businesses - organic results well beneath the fold and limited ad slots where only big corporations have the buying power/marketing budgets to participate in. As a small business owner, do I think this trend is going to change? No, I think it is going to get worse and even harder for small businesses to obtain traffic in Google - whether free, paid, desktop or mobile.

I suspect the utility of Google traffic to small e-commerce businesses will depend, to a large degree, on what they're selling and what kind of audience they're trying to reach.

If they're trying to sell routers or name-brand barbecues, why would they expect to do well in Google, with so many other businesses (large and small) selling the same items? It's like being one of a hundred vendors selling oranges or onions in a street market.

On the other hand, if they're selling doggie wheelchairs for dachshunds or something else that's fairly esoteric and solves a problem, Google search (including organic search, not just paid search) ought to send traffic their way, and they may benefit from social and forum traffic, too (since people with disabled dachshunds are likely to spend time on relevant forums, Facebook groups, etc.).
7:56 pm on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:481
votes: 199


I suspect the utility of Google traffic to small e-commerce businesses will depend, to a large degree, on what they're selling and what kind of audience they're trying to reach.

Which is a good point. If one is simply reselling the same item that dozens or hundreds of other merchants are selling, what makes them any better? Service can be a great selling point, though a search engine's shortcomings in that area are plentiful. Fast shipping, which is a component of good service, can't be reliably measured by Google - though Gmail may help them in that area (tracking numbers sent via email). Pricing does not seem to matter much in Google's algorithm, which for an identical product should have some weight. Price is a major selling point for consumers, and identifying and ranking better prices would be good for the user experience. I think when one objectively looks at the search results, when it comes to products, there is much more search engines could be doing. This is not specific to Google, though as the leader in search I would have expected them to do a better job helping product buyers find high quality products at a good price point.

As a manufacturer, what I sell is unique. Despite this, Google's mobile traffic is a dud just as their desktop traffic is. My guess is few buyers make it beyond the ads, image box, knowledge box, etc. The people that get beyond the top heavy ads and big brand organic fixtures are the ones doing research, looking for information, etc. These info seekers would be great for sites monetized with ads, but not for retailers. No worries though, Google is not the only game in town. People just have to expand their horizons beyond Google and identify what works for them. Then let the underperforming channels go.
10:23 pm on Apr 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2887
votes: 477


The people that get beyond the top heavy ads and big brand organic fixtures are the ones doing research, looking for information, etc. These info seekers would be great for sites monetized with ads, but not for retailers.

Why not? If they're looking to buy something and you've got the information and product they want, why wouldn't they go ahead and buy? I should think that people who take the trouble to dig down past the ads, answer boxes, etc. would be better prospects than casual surfers are. (Any number of studies have suggested that online purchases begin with multiple Web searches.)

I think when one objectively looks at the search results, when it comes to products, there is much more search engines could be doing. This is not specific to Google, though as the leader in search I would have expected them to do a better job helping product buyers find high quality products at a good price point.

They probably figure that Google Shopping ads and AdWords are performing that role.
3:03 am on Apr 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2009
posts:1441
votes: 196


I think most of the points are from the perspective of having a footprint already. Getting other organic traffic streams is doable when I bet you had Google without all the recent clutter. A time when a top ranking meant traffic, that's what carried momentum to other areas of traffic. Get noticed in Google, people talk about it, link to it, and then off to the races. That formula is dated. That's really the point. A new website with zero footprint that relies of Google mobile search results to gain authority, back links and exposure is a pointless venture. Sure you might be able to do it, maybe, but for return on the investment? The organic spot is not going to be rising in 2018. It's going to get buried under another box of something Google comes up with. You can't get noticed if you can't get found. To say you have a long running website and can find alternate organic traffic streams is pretty much irrelevant. It's not what I'm talking about. Of course we created sites that benefited from search results and our content was valued and backlinked and talked about on social media. We got found then. Getting found now as a new site? Seems like nobody cares to look at the landscape. I'm thinking more and more we have museum exhibits. Like this is how it used to work. People don't want to consider the 99%+ of mobile search that Google has and how that's not going away. It's why the makeup of the mobile search is troubling from a big picture perspective. There is no other stream that a website can rely on when it comes to getting discovered via a mobile device. Google has it all, for better or for worse.
6:04 am on Apr 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:7499
votes: 503


New sites are hitting big in the serps if they have what the audience wants. A blanket statement that new sites are screwed before they start just isn't accurate. What has changed is the serps are far more selective about what gets listed .... and all those quality checks are part of that process. A new site that keeps that in mind has a pretty good chance of being listed

What HAS changed is old style SEO will not, by itself, work, and will have even less value for sites that aren't better or different or unique. The old days are gone. Have been for years.
11:47 am on Apr 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:481
votes: 199


Why not? If they're looking to buy something and you've got the information and product they want, why wouldn't they go ahead and buy? I should think that people who take the trouble to dig down past the ads, answer boxes, etc. would be better prospects than casual surfers are.

It's a numbers game and some of the few users that get beyond the ad bloat may buy or return at a later date to buy. But the percentage is so low and likely a contributing factor to the zombies I and others see.

(Any number of studies have suggested that online purchases begin with multiple Web searches.)

Not sure what studies you are referring to, but the last study I saw suggested that 55% percent of consumers go to Amazon first when shopping for a product. Source: [bloomreach.com...] Their study also includes some interesting mobile/ecommerce related statistics.

They probably figure that Google Shopping ads and AdWords are performing that role.

Or users don't think or wish to spend the time doing research instead opting for convenience by clicking the first few/paid results when research/information needed to complete the purchase is unnecessary.
2:59 pm on Apr 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2887
votes: 477


Or users don't think or wish to spend the time doing research instead opting for convenience by clicking the first few/paid results when research/information needed to complete the purchase is unnecessary.

I think it depends on the search:

- If Joe User wants a new propane snake smoker but doesn't know which one, he probably isn't going to buy from a Google Shopping ad. He'll drill down to the organic results for articles and product reviews. (Or maybe he'll just go directly to Amazon, where he can find plenty of information in the form of Q&A and user reviews.)

- If Joe User knows that he wants a new Weber Copperhead 540 Snake Smoker, a series of Google Shopping PLAs will provide the information he's looking for, so he doesn't need to scroll past the ads to the organic results.

What does seem likely (IMO) is that Joe has no special reason to drill down to the organic results for e-commerce listings. Ads can fulfill Joe's needs if he knows what he wants and is ready to use his credit card.
3:37 pm on Apr 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

Administrator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 9, 2000
posts:24148
votes: 521


It's been the case for a long while that there are "destinations" that users go to without the interaction of a search engine. These "destinations" are the brands we all know. No need to search for amazon on Google, just go to amazon and find what you need. Same with auction site, ebay, social media sites, such as FB, or twitter. People are searching on those platforms, too.

Once you couple that with the shift to mobile, apps, add on social, then look at the ads vs organic, you'll see that the ten blue links on their own have been gone from the only online marketing activity for a long time.
That's doesn't mean don't go for the SEO: It means do it, but do the other things, too.
So, what about mobile? Do you have pages optimised for mobile? Do you have AMP pages? Do you have news pages? Have you achieved a knowledge panel? Have you used promotion and marketing via other sites to achieve a successful listing?
I just looked on mobile and Google for a specific search term, which is reasonably competitive and it's clear that the ads dominate, but scrolling down, there are the organic results.

True, the ads could fulfil Joe's needs, but, then, should we be competing in that sector, too? If you want to advertise, that's fine. Use it to supplement shortfalls.

No, I won't give up, but it does require more than just optimising for desktop, which certainly was much easier with pretty much one format. It requires attention to social media, along with, wait for it, traditional media, too. </ducks>
5:01 pm on Apr 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2887
votes: 477


It requires attention to social media, along with, wait for it, traditional media, too. </ducks>

Absolutely. I recently bought a $250 product (which will have recurring costs of $30 a month) because my wife was desperate for something to read at the doctor's office and browsed through an old issue of Oprah's magazine. She told me about the product, I read a bunch of reviews that I found through Google Search, and the company got a customer. If it hadn't been for that mention in O (and the resulting word of mouth), I never would have searched for information on the product or found the company's Web site.