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Google Strikes Out Against Organic Again

In a never-ending onslaught against “free” organic listings, Google continues to push the top organic spot further and further down the page.  I’ve even seen reports that some searches have no organic results above the fold.  I first posted about this topic back in March of 2012 when I posted screenshots of how much the results had shifted down over a couple of years.  In March of 2010, the #1 organic listing was 138px from the top of the browser.  In March of 2012 it had dropped down to 296px.  In the screenshot below, Google has dropped the #1 organic listing down to 706px from the top of the page.  If that weren’t bad enough, Google is also inserting image results below the #1 ranking making #2 166px further down the page and ensure only one organic result shows up above the fold.

Google puts more self-promotion above organic results.
Google puts more self-promotion above organic results.

Google is pushing their paid platforms hard by devaluing organic listings which forces more and more webmasters to try to get clicks from paid services like Adwords and Product Search. The image below shows how many links on the page drive users into other Google properties instead of to someone’s site.  Only 13% of the links above the fold for this query lead off Google’s “property”.

Only 5/41 of the links in this screenshot take you off Google's site.
Only five out of the 41 links in this screenshot take you off Google’s site.

I don’t expect this to end anytime soon. I think that in two or three years Google won’t provide any organic listings on the first page of results.