Organic links on Google losing out to the knowledge graph, maps, apps and images

The number of “organic” links featured on the first page of Google travel-related search results is falling as other elements are being added to the page.

Research carried out by SEO specialist Searchmetrics showed that on travel searches, Google is now displaying an average of 8.8 organic links on the first page of results – down from the “traditional” 10 organic results on the page.

This average of 8.8 links was the same for both desktop and mobile searches across thousands of travel-related keywords and search terms analysed by Searchmetrics.

More space on the first page of Google’s travel results is increasingly being taken up by “universal search” elements. These include: Knowledge Graphs, which appeared in 65% of desktop travel searches and 22% of mobile searches, as well as maps (17% desktop, 23% mobile), images (18% desktop, 15% mobile) and news stories (20% desktop, 16% mobile).

AdWords paid advertising links appeared at the top of the first page in 15% of travel-related searches on desktops and 32% of searches on mobile devices.

Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics’ founder and chief technology officer, says:

“Getting on to Google’s first page for important search terms is a necessary goal for all travel brands, and the universal search elements offer an additional way of appearing there.

“Travel marketers need to understand which universal search integrations commonly appear for the keywords and topics their target customers are searching for and optimise their web content to increase the likelihood that Google will feature it.”

Searchmetrics saiys Google’s Knowledge Graphs were “a significant opportunity for travel brands to get on to page one” because they pull in information and images from sources the search engine trusts, such as Wikipedia, as well as an organisation’s own website, Google My Business page, social media channels and contact details.

On desktops and tablets, Knowledge Graphs are displayed on the right of the screen next to organic results, while they are shown at the top of the screen on mobile devices.

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