Google’s change could be a test. Or not.
You won’t be shocked to learn that Google has made more changes. The subject of their experimentation this time? Sitelinks in organic search results. And while the adjustments won’t have a substantial effect on site traffic, impacted sites can expect to see some large fluctuations in both impressions and average search positions in their Google Search Console.
As this Driving Sales article explains, the latest Google tweaks reduce the number of sitelinks for branded searches. (Sitelinks are the small links that appear below the main home page link in a search result. Typically, they connect users directly to the pages Google believes they’re really looking for on a site, such as Contact, Shop, and Search.)
Because this change in sitelink results isn’t universal, it may be a test. However, it’s had a very clear impact on many sites, including:
- A nearly 80% decline in impressions
- A drop in average position by more than five places
- A 360% increase in click-through rate
Importantly, the change had almost no impact on traffic, due to the low click-through rate of sitelinks overall.
So, how do you know if your dealership’s website has been impacted? The Driving Sales article recommends using SEMrush’s SERP history tool, which enables you to check the performance of keywords before and after the changes. Additionally, your Google Search Console will reflect any drop in average position or impressions starting around October 17, 2016, when the changes first appeared.
While it’s not known if these latest changes are temporary, you can be sure that there will be more to come. Google is always tinkering with their algorithm in the interest of maintaining a level playing field. To ensure you don’t fall behind, it’s vital to stay on top of SEO best practices and remain vigilant for updates from Google.