January 16, 2019

SEO & PPC Monthly Roundup – January 2019: Google Search Console Updates, Declining Organic CTRs & Future SERP Changes

Written by: 
Ryan Whiteside


This month, we’re sharing a variety of industry articles on SEO and PPC topics including the new Google Search Console, the decline in organic clickthrough rates, and how to prepare for the SERP of the not-so-distant future. Read these great articles below!

New Features & Removals Coming to Google Search Console

Get ready for a brand new Google Search Console. On January 25, Google announced feature updates and removals coming soon to Search Console in an effort to make things easier for site owners to focus on important tasks. New features will be implemented completely by the end of March 2019, including the ability to track URLs submitted in sitemap files in the Index Coverage Report and seeing real-time sales and conversion data for any website. Old features that are being removed include HTML suggestions, property sets, crawl errors API, and more.

See a complete overview of all Search Console changes on Search Engine Journal: 5 New Features Coming to Google Search Console (and 7 That Are Getting Removed)

Organic Search Clickthrough Rates Are On the Decline 

New data from former MOZ CEO, Rand Fishkin and Jumpshot shows that clickthrough rate (CTR) on organic search results has been declining the last several years in favor of paid clicks (PPC ads), and other newer features on Google search results pages (think answer boxes and “people also ask” results). This means more clicks on PPC ads and “no clicks” on organic results because people may be getting their answers directly from the search results as opposed to clicking through to a website to get the answers. This obviously favors Google as it forces users to stay on their search results and encourages them to click on a paid ad -- which Google earns the bulk of their revenue from. What this means for publishers is the potential for losses in organic traffic. The shift is even more dramatic on organic mobile searches where CTR decreased even more.

Learn all about it on Search Engine Land: Data: Google organic search CTRs decline on desktop, see big drop on phones

The SERP is Changing -- Here's How to Keep Up

The typical search engine results page (SERP) has changed a lot over the years. While you may already be focusing your SEO efforts on answering questions (in text or video form), it's important to also look ahead at what's coming next by staying abreast on how consumer trends are shifting. Search Engine Watch shares what you should expect in the SERP of tomorrow and how you can better prepare yourself for voice search, augmented reality, virtual reality, and more. 

Learn more on Search Engine Watch: What will the SERP of tomorrow look like? Four changes to prepare for today

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