Shopping Comparison Keywords & SERPs Could Become Much Bleaker

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
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Things have been rough the past few months with the flurry of updates that seem to be hurting more and more. Nearly every site I've looked at has take 10% hit after 10% hit, update after update. People have speculated that the target has been the "Your Money Your Life" niches, and that's largely because the Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines have been focused on them lately.

But it's becoming obvious to me that they're also targeting shopping comparison keywords (I suppose that's "Your Money" even if it's not a financial SERP).

Well, things are possibly about to get worse. Google is constantly split-testing, and everything they test doesn't end up rolled out as a permanent fixture (and those that are are still constantly measured for their impact). One thing Google is testing is the following...


Yes, you're seeing that right. That's a "Best" SERP, particularly the "best car seat stroller combo" SERP. You're seeing, top to bottom:
  • eCommerce Ads
  • Featured Snippet
  • Featured Snippet
  • People Also Ask
That's four slots before we get to the first actual ranking result. That doesn't even mention the fact that most of these now have sidebar ads, sidebar reviews, and more.

It's not just Best / Versus / Top / Reviews keywords either. Check this out:


For the most part, this is going to be a winner takes all scenario, but they split test the featured snippets constantly too, so really it's like the top 5 or so are going to be getting redistributed traffic from shuffling these two featured snippets. And though they get decent traffic, many searchers find what they feel they need in the snippets and don't click through.

What's your take on this? Will it stick and become a permanent fixture of the SERPs? What's Google's goal here? Is it actually better answering the SERPs to focus on one or two results?
 
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Well, that's horror to me. But should have been expected. I definitely think this will be a permanent fixture - or at least something with that type of function.

I doubt Google wants every first page for "best *****" to be affiliate sites with copied content. It just doesn't look very good.

I also have a feeling Google might become a short-version of Wikipedia in the future, for everything. They already have the short descriptions, info boxes and so on. Some searches doesn't even leave the first page, because all the answers are already there. No need to click any links on the result page.

Last few months has been a headache!
 

eliquid

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I told people a long time that debt makes them a slave twice.

Once to the debt holder, Second to the "job" you work so you can pay the debt holder.

This is what SEO is turning into.

Playing the game of SEO is turning into you having to beat competitors twice.

Once against the competitors you rank against ( in the organic listings ), Second time against Google themselves that are taking clicks away from you and exposure away.

Traffic leaking looks better and better everyday.
 
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As least for us Europeans, we can hope that the EU continues to investigate and fine Google for "competition manipulation". Ideally, you'd have legislation to completely separate the search engine from the ads, on reasons of search being "critical infrastructure". Difficult to see how that would work out in reality. Probably not a good idea to count on that happening.