Google is testing a new SERP Layout. SEO’s be afraid.

The search engine is evolving because the search engine is losing. SEO’s at large e-commerce sites are telling me more traffic regularly comes from social than search results. People prefer to discover items curated by their friends versus searching for the item themselves.

Google understands this and is evolving the search engine right before our eyes. Google needs to do a couple things to stop traffic from disappearing. 

1) They need to crawl more information out of webpages

2) They need to lock people into the search results

3) They need to experiment on contextual uses that continually improve 1 and 2.

With Markup languages like JSON LD, AMP and Schema.org, Open Graph; Google tries to give better results than the article that 3 of your friends ‘liked’. How is Google going to use this data to lock you in to the search results? 

The answer became perfectly clear when Google was testing a new interface design on me.

    

AMP your first page for Free:

Foundational Changes.

Let me piece together their plan. Having learned about Google’s material design from a friend, you can see in the screen grab that Google is using each result as a ‘card’ or a piece of ‘material paper’. Each piece of paper is a unique object that has patterns and components to interact with. Yes interact with. If you understand what you are seeing in the screen shots are material piece of paper then, you know that SERP interactions are just beginning.

      

Goolge’s Article Swiper.

Just a couple weeks ago I saw Google AMP’s article swiper launched. This totally changes what it means to be in the results. Originally when user clicked on a search result they would be sent to your site. They landed and you had a 1 to 5 seconds to gain attention before the back button is pressed. Now with a simple swipe left and right that time is going to reduce. Google in an attempt to ease discovery is also making it easier to discover your competition. The unexpected result is that SEO’s will see plummeting returns from using search rank as a key metric. Especially when it is so easy to swipe to their competitor.

Google enabling SERP interactions, will make it more difficult for SEO’s to do their job at scale if not impossible. And if you choose not to prepare your page for SERP interactions, your page won’t show up at all.

You can read more about Google Material here:

https://material.io/guidelines/layout/principles.html

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