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Kevin Indig — What 1,200 Domains Tell Us about Zero-Click Searches, SERP Features, and Getting Traffic

These slides were presented at the SEMrush webinar "5 Hours of SEO | What 1,200 Domains Tell Us about Zero-Click Searches, SERP Features, and Getting Traffic". ideo replay and transcript are available at https://www.semrush.com/webinars/5-hours-of-seo-or-what-1-200-domains-tell-us-about-zero-click-searches-serp-features-and-getting-traffic/

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Kevin Indig — What 1,200 Domains Tell Us about Zero-Click Searches, SERP Features, and Getting Traffic

  1. 1. www.kevin-indig.com What 1,200 Domains Tell Us about Zero-Click Searches, SERP Features, and Getting Traffic A journey through 100,000 keywords and 1,200 domains
  2. 2. KEVIN INDIG www.kevin-indig.com Tech Bound VP SEO & CONTENT
  3. 3. KEVIN INDIG • 3/14 - SEO Campixx - keynote, Berlin, Germany • 4/17 - Brighton SEO, Brighton, England • 5/15 - TTT, Miami, FL • 6/13 - Elite Camp, Estonia • 7/12 - UnGagged, NYC • 11/13 - CMSEO, Chang Mai, Thailand Let’s hang out! ✌
  4. 4. KEVIN INDIG “[…] three fundamental shifts in how we think about Search: The shift from answers to journeys: […] The shift from queries to providing a queryless way to get to information: […] And the shift from text to a more visual way of finding information: […]” (Sundar Pichai, 2018, Google Blog)
  5. 5. https://www.kevin-indig.com/a-new-google-from-search-to-discovery-engine/
  6. 6. https://www.blog.google/products/search/helping-you-along-your-search-journeys/
  7. 7. KEVIN INDIG Knowledge Graph Topic Layer Events Names Books BrandsPlaces Politics Evergreen Trends Ideas News
  8. 8. KEVIN INDIG "We are moving from a company that helps you find answers to a company that helps you get things done." (Sundar Pichai, Google I/O 2019)
  9. 9. KEVIN INDIG 1,200 domains Mobile + Desktop Jan 2018 – Nov 2019 SEMrush Traffic Analytics tool
  10. 10. KEVIN INDIG Traffic Winners and Losers
  11. 11. KEVIN INDIG Entertainment + education grow, technology + references shrink Arts and Entertainment 26% Computers Electronics and Technology 26% Reference Materials 14% Science and Education 3% Traffic 2018 Arts and Entertainment Business and Consumer Services Community and Society Computers Electronics and Technology E commerce and Shopping Finance Food and Drink Gambling Games Health Heavy Industry and Engineering Hobbies and Leisure Home and Garden Jobs and Career Law and Government Lifestyle News and Media Arts and Entertainment 29% Computers Electronics and Technology 22% Reference Materials 13% Science and Education 5% Traffic 2019 Arts and Entertainment Business and Consumer Services Community and Society Computers Electronics and Technology E commerce and Shopping Finance Food and Drink Gambling Games Health Heavy Industry and Engineering Hobbies and Leisure Home and Garden Jobs and Career Law and Government Lifestyle News and Media
  12. 12. KEVIN INDIG Traffic winners from 2018 to 2019 Industry absolute relative Education 555m 25% Science 146m 25% Accommodation 119m 29% Health 96m 7% Classifieds 68m 5%
  13. 13. KEVIN INDIG Booking: +49% desktop traffic 2018 vs. 2019 - 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 2018-01-012018-02-012018-03-012018-04-012018-05-012018-06-012018-07-012018-08-012018-09-012018-10-012018-11-012018-12-012019-01-012019-02-012019-03-012019-04-012019-05-012019-06-012019-07-012019-08-012019-09-012019-10-012019-11-01 Millions Booking.com desktop traffic booking.com
  14. 14. KEVIN INDIG Booking: organic traffic trend positive but >55% direct traffic
  15. 15. KEVIN INDIG Build that brand. Maximize every click.
  16. 16. KEVIN INDIG Online education grows rapidly (17% YoY) - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2019-04-01 2019-05-01 2019-06-01 2019-07-01 2019-08-01 2019-09-01 2019-10-01 2019-11-01 Millions Mobile traffic of the biggest course sites coursera.org coursehero.com chegg.com udemy.com - 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 2018-01-012018-03-012018-05-012018-07-012018-09-012018-11-012019-01-012019-03-012019-05-012019-07-012019-09-012019-11-01 Millions Desktop traffic of the biggest course sites coursera.org coursehero.com chegg.com udemy.com
  17. 17. KEVIN INDIG Rise of research: research sites grow 67% YoY - 10 20 30 40 50 60 2018-01-012018-02-012018-03-012018-04-012018-05-012018-06-012018-07-012018-08-012018-09-012018-10-012018-11-012018-12-012019-01-012019-02-012019-03-012019-04-012019-05-012019-06-012019-07-012019-08-012019-09-012019-10-012019-11-01 Millions Chart Title jstor.org researchgate.net academia.edu
  18. 18. KEVIN INDIG Health is a mobile game and Mayoclinic is winning - 10 20 30 40 50 60 2018-01-012018-02-012018-03-012018-04-012018-05-012018-06-012018-07-012018-08-012018-09-012018-10-012018-11-012018-12-012019-01-012019-02-012019-03-012019-04-012019-05-012019-06-012019-07-012019-08-012019-09-012019-10-012019-11-01 Millions Mayoclinic vs. Clevelandclinic on mobile and desktop mayoclinic.org clevelandclinic.org mayoclinic.org mobile clevelandclinic.org mobile
  19. 19. KEVIN INDIG Healthline grew 28% mobile, 21% desktop to 100M/month - 5 10 15 20 25 2018-01-012018-02-012018-03-012018-04-012018-05-012018-06-012018-07-012018-08-012018-09-012018-10-012018-11-012018-12-012019-01-012019-02-012019-03-012019-04-012019-05-012019-06-012019-07-012019-08-012019-09-012019-10-012019-11-01 Millions Desktop organic traffic to health sites webmd.com psychologytoday.com medicalnewstoday.com healthline.com
  20. 20. KEVIN INDIG Traffic loser industries 2018 -> 2019 Industry absolute relative Search Engines -4,672m -51% Dictionaries -2,903m -19% Social Networks -2,271m -16% TV -1,868m -7% Marketplace -680m -14%
  21. 21. KEVIN INDIG Traffic loser domains 2018-2019 Domain Absolute Relative google.com -792,518,170 -57% wikipedia.org -269,924,086 -21% reddit.com -122,653,977 -18% youtube.com -83,816,936 -6% imdb.com -60,882,716 -26% wordpress.com -54,344,652 -29% twitter.com -49,920,917 -18% pinterest.com -33,589,960 -28% yahoo.com -33,162,131 -26% facebook.com -33,118,866 -18%
  22. 22. KEVIN INDIG Wikipedia lost a lot of Featured Snippets in the last 3 years Featured Snippets
  23. 23. KEVIN INDIG Google massively ramped up carousels in the last 12 months (+58% from Sep – Oct 19) Carousels
  24. 24. KEVIN INDIG How much traffic can IMDB get with all these SERP features? Knowledge panels
  25. 25. KEVIN INDIG Dictionaries and thesauruses have a hard time (simple answers) Knowledge panels
  26. 26. KEVIN INDIG Amazon is lost -12% desktop traffic YoY - 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 2018-01-012018-02-012018-03-012018-04-012018-05-012018-06-012018-07-012018-08-012018-09-012018-10-012018-11-012018-12-012019-01-012019-02-012019-03-012019-04-012019-05-012019-06-012019-07-012019-08-012019-09-012019-10-012019-11-01 Millions Amazon international desktop traffic
  27. 27. KEVIN INDIG … but doesn’t have to worry about Alibaba and Walmart ;-) - 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 2018-01-012018-02-012018-03-012018-04-012018-05-012018-06-012018-07-012018-08-012018-09-012018-10-012018-11-012018-12-012019-01-012019-02-012019-03-012019-04-012019-05-012019-06-012019-07-012019-08-012019-09-012019-10-012019-11-01 Millions Amazon vs. walmart vs. alibaba US desktop traffic (Amazon on 2nd y-axis) alibaba.com walmart.com amazon.com
  28. 28. KEVIN INDIG Google lost desktop traffic in most countries (Jan18–Nov19) 2018 vs 2019 google.ru +16% google.pl +30% google.fr -19% google.it -6% google.se +5% google.es -28% google.ca -40% google.de -7% google.com -57%0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2018-01-01 2018-02-01 2018-03-01 2018-04-01 2018-05-01 2018-06-01 2018-07-01 2018-08-01 2018-09-01 2018-10-01 2018-11-01 2018-12-01 2019-01-01 2019-02-01 2019-03-01 2019-04-01 2019-05-01 2019-06-01 2019-07-01 2019-08-01 2019-09-01 2019-10-01 2019-11-01 Non-US Google traffic per country 2018 -2019 google.ru google.pl google.fr google.it google.se google.es google.ca google.de
  29. 29. KEVIN INDIG Google rakes in +20% quarterly revenue YoY more reliably than anything else. 3.872 4.827 5.367 5.701 5.523 6.674 6.82 8.44 9.026 10.58 11.81 10.28 13.11 15.71 15.96 18.1 17.73 21.33 21.5 26.06 26.01 32.32 32.66 39.28 36.34 40.5 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 Q4 Q2 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Google: quarterly revenue (in billions)
  30. 30. KEVIN INDIG Google is under immense pressure to grow stock price with declining traffic - 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 2018 2019 Millions Billions Google quarterly traffic vs. revenue Revenue Desktop Traffic
  31. 31. KEVIN INDIG The second biggest search engine after Google is Baidu 7,951 48 19 449 3,414 48 35 365 google.com bing.com duckduckgo.com baidu.com Visitorsinmillions Search engines 2018 vs. 2019 2018 2019
  32. 32. KEVIN INDIG Search engine mobile traffic outweighs desktop by a lot 3,377 336 133 185 2,331 34 26 261 google.com bing.com duckduckgo.com baidu.com Visitorsinmillions Search Engine Desktop vs. Mobile traffic (apr-nov 2019) Mobile Desktop
  33. 33. KEVIN INDIG Mobile traffic is ~2x as big as desktop 68% 66% 71% 72% 71% 73% 67% 64% 32% 34% 29% 28% 29% 27% 33% 36% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2019-04-01 2019-05-01 2019-06-01 2019-07-01 2019-08-01 2019-09-01 2019-10-01 2019-11-01 Relative destop vs. mobile traffic 04/19-11/19 Mobile traffic Desktop traffic
  34. 34. KEVIN INDIG Desktop traffic decreased over the last 2 years - 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 2018-01-012018-02-012018-03-012018-04-012018-05-012018-06-012018-07-012018-08-012018-09-012018-10-012018-11-012018-12-012019-01-012019-02-012019-03-012019-04-012019-05-012019-06-012019-07-012019-08-012019-09-012019-10-012019-11-01 Billions Desktop traffic of the largest industries from 01/2018 to 12/2019 Arts and Entertainment Business and Consumer Services Community and Society Computers Electronics and Technology E commerce and Shopping Finance Food and Drink Gambling Games Health Heavy Industry and Engineering Hobbies and Leisure Home and Garden Jobs and Career Law and Government Lifestyle News and Media Pets and Animals Reference Materials Science and Education Sports Travel and Tourism Vehicles Adult
  35. 35. KEVIN INDIG Takeaways from the 2019 SEMrush traffic analysis 1. Google is losing traffic 2. Sites are dependent on SERP features 3. 2x as much mobile as desktop traffic 4. Desktop traffic declines across the board
  36. 36. KEVIN INDIG Google = winner-takes-it-all
  37. 37. KEVIN INDIG No attention for organic results
  38. 38. KEVIN INDIG No mobile impressions when SERP Features are present
  39. 39. KEVIN INDIG No more Featured Snippet deduping
  40. 40. KEVIN INDIG 1/24: little impact, average CTR still 43% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% CTRafter1/24 CTR before 1/24 Desktop CTR before and after 1/24 for queries with unchanged ranking positions 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% CTRafter1/24 CTR before 1/24 Mobile CTR before and after 1/24 for queries with unchanged ranking positions https://www.kevin-indig.com/a-case-study-of-2000-featured-snippets-about-deduplicating/
  41. 41. KEVIN INDIG Network effect: use traffic to get more traffic Traffic Revenue Content Links
  42. 42. KEVIN INDIG Google = search engine destination
  43. 43. KEVIN INDIG What seems increasingly troubling for Wall Street analysts is Google. […] analysts said: “In our view, the most concerning trend is the reduced efficiency of SEO (search engine optimization) marketing as Google pushes ‘free’ links’ further down the page. In particular, Google is favoring its own ‘Hotel Finder’ platform, along with other paid links, all of which are capturing more real estate on page one of the search results.
  44. 44. KEVIN INDIG […] TripAdvisor is facing aggressive competition from Google. CEO Steve Kaufer said the search giant's pushing its own hotel products in search results has become TripAdvisor's "most significant challenge," siphoning off quality traffic.
  45. 45. KEVIN INDIG
  46. 46. KEVIN INDIG
  47. 47. KEVIN INDIG SERP Mazes = clicking on the image thumbnails leads you to another SERP KEVIN INDIG SERP Mazes = clicking on the image thumbnails leads you to another SERP
  48. 48. KEVIN INDIG Competition is just a swipe away
  49. 49. KEVIN INDIG Google is now the destination for sports scores and news
  50. 50. KEVIN INDIG The mobile experience is even worse – for websites
  51. 51. KEVIN INDIG Premier sports leagues lost a lot desktop traffic… -12% -27% -11% 9% -30% -20% -10% 0% 10% 20% nhl.com nfl.com nba.com premierleague.com Desktop traffic of major sports leagues 2018 vs 2019 - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2019-04-01 2019-05-01 2019-06-01 2019-07-01 2019-08-01 2019-09-01 2019-10-01 2019-11-01 Millions Mobile traffic of premier sports leagues Apri - Nov 2019 nhl.com nfl.com nba.com premierleague.com
  52. 52. KEVIN INDIG Cameos = a destination for people searches
  53. 53. KEVIN INDIG “Movies” Buy tickets
  54. 54. KEVIN INDIG “what to watch” Find inspiration
  55. 55. KEVIN INDIG “what to watch” +reviews + where to watch it
  56. 56. KEVIN INDIG
  57. 57. KEVIN INDIG “what to make for breakfast” query refinement
  58. 58. KEVIN INDIG “what to make for breakfast” recipe in SERPs
  59. 59. KEVIN INDIG What can we do?
  60. 60. KEVIN INDIG Mobile = source of truth
  61. 61. KEVIN INDIG Even brand keywords have major CTR differences on devices 21.3% 7.1%
  62. 62. KEVIN INDIG If you had algorithm issues in the past 12 months… 1. Google Analytics 2. Segment mobile and desktop organic traffic 3. Compare dips and spikes
  63. 63. KEVIN INDIG 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 G2 traffic by device Organic Desktop Traffic Organic Mobile Traffic Organic Traffic Dips in organic traffic -> from mobile or desktop or both?
  64. 64. KEVIN INDIG Better KPIs
  65. 65. KEVIN INDIG Build your custom click-curve…
  66. 66. KEVIN INDIG … and measure Share of Voice CTR x SV Kategorie SV = SoV
  67. 67. KEVIN INDIG Add a SERP Feature Factor *SERP-Feature Faktor = SoV SF* x CTR x SV Kategorie SV
  68. 68. KEVIN INDIG Be Discovered
  69. 69. KEVIN INDIG Discover = push Search = pull
  70. 70. KEVIN INDIG Google ranks Discover content algorithmically based on content quality and the strength of the match between page content and user interests. The two best ways to boost the ranking and performance of your Discover content are (1) to post content that you think users would find interesting and (2) to use high- quality images in your content. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9046777?hl=en
  71. 71. KEVIN INDIG Conde Nast: Discover drives more traffic than Google Search “Google Discover drove more traffic to Vogue’s international editions than Google Search did” (Sarah Marshall) “Up to 20% of U.S. sites’ Google traffic come from Discover over the past few months” (John Shehata) https://digiday.com/media/publishers-see-mobile-traffic-spikes-google-discover/
  72. 72. KEVIN INDIG Export Discover from Search Console and compare to organic mobile traffic
  73. 73. KEVIN INDIG Discover can bring more daily traffic than regular search
  74. 74. KEVIN INDIG Go all in on SERP Features
  75. 75. KEVIN INDIG Write for PAAs alsoasked.com
  76. 76. KEVIN INDIG Use the Pyramid Tactic to write for Featured Snippets Answer Context Background https://moz.com/blog/writing-content-for-featured-snippets
  77. 77. KEVIN INDIG Use Q&A schema, but manage your expectations
  78. 78. KEVIN INDIG Use Q&A schema, but manage your expectations
  79. 79. KEVIN INDIG Reviews - M.A.D. (market, answer, drive)
  80. 80. KEVIN INDIG Structure your content around entities (entityexplorer.com)
  81. 81. KEVIN INDIG Be seen, be heard
  82. 82. KEVIN INDIG Video + Audio = shortcuts like image search back in the day
  83. 83. KEVIN INDIG Long-term, I think videos will replace Featured Snippets
  84. 84. KEVIN INDIG Even Spotify is indexed…
  85. 85. KEVIN INDIG … and ranks with minimal content
  86. 86. KEVIN INDIG Don’t forget Google Podcasts!
  87. 87. KEVIN INDIG Keep going
  88. 88. KEVIN INDIG Search is still the biggest + cheapest source of traffic – by far https://www.parse.ly/resources/data-studies/referrer-dashboard
  89. 89. KEVIN INDIG Source: Alex Internet, https://try.alexa.com/resources/website-traffic-sources
  90. 90. KEVIN INDIG You can’t win a game if you don’t know how it’s played
  91. 91. KEVIN INDIG You can’t win a game if you don’t know how it’s played NOW YOU KNOW
  92. 92. KEVIN INDIG Thank you 🙏 @Kevin_Indig www.kevin-indig.com Tech Bound
  93. 93. KEVIN INDIG Q&A

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These slides were presented at the SEMrush webinar "5 Hours of SEO | What 1,200 Domains Tell Us about Zero-Click Searches, SERP Features, and Getting Traffic". ideo replay and transcript are available at https://www.semrush.com/webinars/5-hours-of-seo-or-what-1-200-domains-tell-us-about-zero-click-searches-serp-features-and-getting-traffic/

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