Drop in organic traffic after Google changes search interface

An interesting follow up to my previous post about Google adding a new third column is that there have been quite a lot of reports of organic traffic dropping off although rankings haven’t dropped.  An example is the article at the Hobo site which reports a drop in traffic of nearly 90% for a particular keyword when the ranking for it had remained at no 1.

I have also noticed a similar effect.  Organic traffic for many of my clients has dropped in the last few weeks but with no apparent loss in rankings.   Hobo’s theory is that Google’s new layout is driving organic listings further down the page and so getting more clicks for its other types of listing, video, shopping, news etc.

I am also concerned that the way Google has moved the UK only results from the initial search is worrying.  This option is now only available once a search has been completed.  Some of the other changes I can see some benefit in, at least for the user.   Dropping UK only search to me is not a good idea, for either my clients or the user.

This is a particular issue with long tail search terms where Google is increasingly penetrating the search space with more and more local listings for example.

It’s good to know I am not alone in suffering drops in organic traffic even if there is nothing I can do about other than further encourage clients to embrace Universal media.

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