Google organic keyword search outperforms social media once again

According to recent research, organic keyword search through Google outperformed social media in terms of overall traffic generated in 2017. This is a reversal of a trend that began in 2014 where social media dominated search traffic volumes.

In 2017 Google keyword search accounted for around 35% of all site visits. This was based on a research cohort of 400m internet users across desktop and mobile sites. It has been suggested that changes made by the social platforms to their algorithms over the past 12 months may have been one of the drivers behind the swing.

The social platform most affected was Facebook. Their share of visits dropped by a whopping 12.7%. On the other hand, there are some social platforms that have benefitted whilst Facebook has struggled. Instagram managed to double its user base over the past two years, whilst Pinterest has seen an increase in its share of visits over the past year.

Perhaps one of the drivers behind Google’s return to stardom is the fact that search engines are indexing more social content and including it in their website rankings and SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This may cause searchers to turn to organic keyword search when looking for content that they might otherwise have had to dig around on several social platforms for. Keyword search is so clean and simple!

I think this just illustrates what the SEO community has been saying all along; organic keyword search is far from dead. Everything points to a continued growth in keyword traffic, although the actual shape and nature of keyword search may be morphing to accommodate new channels.

There’s more pressure than ever to ensure that your website is fully optimised for keyword search.

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