Does Organic Ranking Matter?

Well hello, and welcome to this week’s episode of Aftershock Weekly. Last week I was on a podcast with a friend of mine, Myriad Real Estate, and he’d asked me a question about SEO. Is it still relevant? Is it still important? And my answer to him was yes, it’s still important, it’s still relevant.

However, is it as relevant as it was maybe five years ago? I’m going to say no. Now let me explain why I said that. As the last year and a half have gone by, Google made some pretty drastic to how their Google Ads serve up. Number one they changed their name from Google AdWords to Google Ads, because people couldn’t remember the Words part, but that aside they took away all of the side ads that you used to see. If you remember, there used to be side ads, and there used to be a color behind those. Those are no longer. They added one more spot to the top, so instead of three there were up to four positions depending upon how competitive the market is, and they always had ones that were below the organic listings. But by adding one to the top, it pushed all the organic listings down.

Then, recently, they started testing out to where they would show you in the Maps section, so if you’re local and in the proximity of where someone is searching, the first ad that shows up in the map section is now a Google Ad, rather than being organic, and those used to always be organic. So there’s another position that they’re taking up. What does that mean? Well that means there’s less organic real estate above the fold so that being on page one is still important. Who’s on page two of Google for anything? Well, nobody knows because nobody ever goes there, unless it’s super niche and they’re looking for an article on something that’s super hard to find, but today Google has all the resources for everything, so they’ve usually said hey, these are the best things we want to serve up for you, this is what you’d rank for your search.

So because they’ve taken up more of that real estate above the fold and people are finding what they’re looking for quicker, being on SEO has not been as important as it once was. But does that mean you throw the baby out with the bathwater? You stop optimizing your website, you stop doing blogs? Absolutely not. But what I would tell you is that you do pay attention to the Ads section if you are running Google Ads, because there’s a better opportunity than ever to show up at the right time, with the right message, to the right people—and Google Ads is a good way to do that.

So I hope that helps. Again, don’t throw SEO out. It’s still important. But I do think there’s a shift, and that shift will continue going to the paid ad side of it as Google continues to change. Thanks, we’ll see you next week!