Updated: May 27
Did Google change Search Results?:
Yes, Google changed search results. This is predicted as a result of significant continuing AI research and development as well as to keep up with recent Google algorithm updates [especially post-December 2022].
In fact, such changes are not new. Google has been constantly changing its search results over the years.
Do you know? - “Consumers turn to technology to fulfil an immediate need. According to Google, more than 90% of their users use devices for help and inspiration while in the middle of a task” – Convince & Convert
Why Google search results look different?:
Google has already made updates to its search results algorithm to prioritize high-quality content, penalize websites with low-quality content or spammy practices, and improve the accuracy of its search results.
In other words, the pattern began to change gradually and slowly with the August 2022 Google Update that prioritizes people-first content over search engine-optimized content.
“According to Google’s John Mueller, the quality of content encompasses the overall website, including its layout, design, integration of images, and page speed. These elements contribute to a positive user experience and are key factors that Google considers when assessing quality” – Search Engine Journal
As seen lately, especially over the past few months, social media images, videos, particularly those from YouTube, snippets, and enhanced local search results have taken up some space within search results.
This has resulted in decreased impressions, clicks, and changes in keyword ranking positions. Of course, quality content cannot be ignored too at all times!
“Images make up 62.6% of all Google searches. Google understands how crucial visual results are to a user’s experience, and search results now feature image carousels and visual results more” – HubSpot
Of course, Google continues to test new SERP elements to improve user experience and provide the most accurate results. According to most analysts, the AI revolution has been a significant motivator for those changes.
In fact, here is the latest insight from Authority Hacker's AI Survey 2023 Report:
“Just recently, many marketers were worried about losing search traffic to AI. Now only 30.1% of Marketers think AI will negatively impact search traffic in 5 years”
Another recent insight from Semrush's The State of Search 2023:
"Maybe the March 2023 update was bigger due to the impact that ChatGPT has had on Google…"
SERP Volatility Monthly Trend:
Last but not least, Google has also been giving more weight to mobile-friendly websites in their search results.
As per the Digital 2023 Global Overview Report by Meltwater and We Are Social, the share of web traffic by devices is as follows: mobile phones (59%), laptops and desktop computers (38.99%), and tablets (1.98%).
With more and more people using their mobile devices to browse the internet, it's important for websites to be optimized for mobile viewing.
Google's mobile-first indexing means that they prioritize the mobile version of a website when indexing and ranking pages.
“Many SEOs prefer to use shorter paragraphs and sentences. This aligns nicely with mobile optimization practices. This approach ensures that your content is readable on mobile devices” – Ahrefs
Overall, it's important for website owners and digital marketers to stay up-to-date with these changes in order to ensure that their websites are optimized for better search engine visibility and user experience.
Keeping up with Google's algorithm changes can also be challenging, but it's essential for online success.
Here's related information that might be useful to you – Google’s Various Systems For Search Engine Ranking [18 Major Findings from New Google Guide].
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