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How to adjust SEO with more ads in SERPs?

5:20 am on Jun 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday I did a search for my major keyword strings. I found the first two pages of the SERPs were dominated by ads.

Has anyone else noticed this?

Given this scenario, how can one improve their organic positioning?
3:44 pm on June 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Terms with profitable traffic have had PPC ads for a very long time and they have always been growing in the serps diminishing SEO results. Let's all remember that Google is a for profit business and they will do what they can to make a profit. One of those things has been Google's adwords system which delivers mostly relevant ads on the serps. Some smart marketers figured it was cheaper for them to pay Google some PPC money & get traffic to their relevant websites than it was to give an SEO consultant money. That isn't going to change. It is much harder to survive in SEO today and it will be even harder tomorrow. In general, SEO profit margins are shrinking so we should evolve if we want to survive.

How can SEO deal with this changing SERP landscape?
  1. Build out more content and go after long tail keyword opportunities that tend to be less picked over by the PPC people.
  2. Think about switching some focus from SEO to PPC. There is limited real estate on the serps and there is a growing number of people fighting for it. We each need to think about what is the best way for our own sites to compete online.
  3. Expand your online marketing efforts to include social. Google search is not the only traffic driver. With diminishing SEO returns it might be cheaper to develop traffic sources via social outreach.
  4. Target newer industries and niches that haven't been fully exploited by PPC.
  5. Use your SEO knowledge and switch to video. Youtube can drive a huge amount of traffic and revenue.
  6. Embrace the many facets of universal serps, push out specialized content & schema to get exposure outside the traditional organic text listings.

Google is not going to remove profitable PPC ads & PPC marketers are not going to stop buying traffic that converts into profits.
5:13 pm on June 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I actually never noticed a plethora of ads lately. Say it ain't so. The icons that seem like a websites icon now might be ads too? The solution? Wait for Google to go too far and a competitor shows up. Maybe 10 years from now and yes, this isn't as sexy as saying spend more on fixing a site and spend more hiring SEO services. The discussion goes far beyond, "what can I do?" minutia.
5:14 pm on June 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone else noticed this?

There are four PPC ads above the organincs for my main two-word key-term.

Improving organic positioning isn't much use if - as in my own case currently - your site is #1 but is below the fold on a desktop (and obviously further below the fold on a mobile). Understandably the ads are placed and designed to take the lion's share of CTR.

Goodroi pretty much covers what to do about it, and a couple of points - 1 and 6 in particular - are worth pursuing as far as Google organic listings are concerned: ads are not the only thing in prime spots on Google's current results layout, and it is worth paying attention to what will get your pages into "people also ask" lists or local supplier boxes, as these typically come higher up the page than organics.
12:29 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi hermosa, yes, companies can bid directly for a place at the top of the first page and not have to worry about the troubles of SEO. And for companies this is very tempting. So now they pay for PPC, and this money flows directly to Google rather than into the pockets of an SEO, Google is also happy.
1:59 pm on June 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Worth noting that Adsense publishers cannot stack the top of the page with ads. Nor can websites go heavy with affiliate links, especially above the fold or risk being considered "thin affiliate site" and suffer the rank drop as a result. Now you search a product in Google and you get their own row of affiliate links above all else. Just a couple realities of web life and I'm not suggesting fair or ethical counts for anything. Now we compete with Google on both those fronts and when they limit the competition by giving us rules that they need not abide by? Seems to obvious for investigations to consider. So back to OP, the way you adjust is by accepting the terms of Google and paying for your ad to appear atop the SERPS. Adjust the business model. Meanwhile, wait for a bunch of bozos to figure out how this all works and decide if there are issues that need addressing from a governmental perspective. I don't think Google has to give away free traffic by law though. Just pay and be done with it. Think 80's music scene in LA. Pay to play.

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