Ep 162: Expanding Local Results in SERPS, Cluttered SERP Reduce Organic Traffic, AI Overviews Worsen Search

Google is expanding Local results in the SERPS to the exclusion of organic, Cluttered Google results decrease traditional organic traffic - How do you cope? Google’s AI Overviews make search worse - A lot worse

Ep 162: Expanding Local Results in SERPS, Cluttered SERP Reduce Organic Traffic,  AI Overviews Worsen Search

Part 1 starts 00:13 - Google Expanding Local Results in the SERPS to the Exclusion of Organic

While many SEOs have been focused on AI answers and how they are disrupting search, the story in Local search is different. AI Answers have yet to have any impact in Local but Google, over the past several years has dramatically increased their control & domination of the Local SERPS with Local Entity data and in doing so seem to be in the process of banishing organic results…. this is particularly true in Near Me searches and the EU results, which should be treated as the canary in the coal mine. 

Agencies and businesses need to double down on real world activities that get reflected on line to succeed in these increasingly entity driven search results. 

Segment Reference Articles

Local Brand Loyalty Takeaways From That Time Ace Hardware Was Trending

Part 2 starts 11:25 -  Cluttered Google Results Decrease Traditional Organic Traffic - How to Cope?

We have often mentioned the increasingly cluttered nature of Google's search engine results pages (SERPs). There has been a significant rise in various elements such as product listing ads (PLAs), image carousels, and video results, which diminish the visibility of organic search results. In a recent client analysis, David found that cluttered SERPs for that client, filled with multiple search features and reduced organic presence, were identified as a likely cause for their declining organic traffic. 

In a world where Google's shift towards a more modular, AI-driven organization of search results leads to a disjointed user experience, prompting multiple searches to find relevant information, businesses need to adopt a multimodal approach, optimizing their digital assets across various SERP features. This includes using high-quality images with descriptive alt text, leveraging Google Merchant Center feeds for PLAs, and considering broader online channels to build brand visibility.

Part 3 starts 23:20 - Google’s AI Overviews Make Search Worse - A Lot Worse

SE Ranking conducted a study of Google’s AI Overview frequency, finding them present in only 8% of searches, a significant drop from earlier & much higher percentages. This decline is attributed to numerous errors and inaccuracies, causing Google to reduce their usage drastically.

Jess Peck's article, "How and Why Google Made Its Own Product Worse," critiques Google's implementation of AI, highlighted inherent flaws in large language models (LLMs) and their unsuitability for delivering factual search results. Google's rushed deployment of AI overviews, driven by competitive pressure rather than product improvement, has led to a compromised search experience. Google should either refine the use of AI in a controlled manner or reconsider its placement within search results to mitigate the negative impact on its brand and user trust.

Segment Reference Articles:

AI Overviews Make Search Worse

How and Why Google Made its Own Product Worse