If you are carefully monitoring your keyword results, then you might have started to become aware of a trend in the SERPs to display only up to seven listings, as opposed to the traditional ten that most people expect to see when they type in a search. Is it something to worry about? Are there now going to be fewer spots for webmasters to compete for? Is this related to the updates that have been experienced over the past year or so?
Cause for Concern?
Many internet marketers are concerned about their placement in the SERPs for keywords that are now displaying only seven results per page. This most dramatically affects those who previously occupied spots eight, nine and ten. Although there is little that anyone can control when it comes to the number of listings that will appear in the SERPs, this should push webmasters to up their SEO plan, and even consider working with a digital marketing firm in order to find some new SEO techniques that may help cinch a spot in the top seven. This way there is no concern about not making it to the first page.
Many SEO specialists are thinking that this change may be more likely to occur for keywords that will obviously contain a majority of brand name listings (e.g., Microsoft) instead of being more diversified. In this way, fewer spots may lead to less dominance and more diversity. However, the jury is still out on this verdict because it is not clear across all keywords, even for brand names. Some experts are claiming that the SERPs are shrinking for about one out of every five keywords searched for, which is a significant amount and definitely a trend that needs to have some attention paid to it.
Nobody knows how this will play out, not even Google. Each of the recent major changes in the algorithms have supposedly been to improve the experience of those users who are searching for information. As time marches on, the results will become more clear and if there are any changes that need to be made, then the online marketing agencies will definitely be on top of it. Right now, it is wise to stay the course with your solid SEO plan, and not do anything too drastic. If you can step it up in the right areas (e.g., quality content, quality links, anchor text, etc.) that that might not be a bad idea. After all, if you are going to be battling for one of seven spots, as opposed to one of ten, then you might really have your work cut out for you! Make sure you know where you stand in the SERPs now, for your main keywords as well as your secondary and long tail keywords. Keep a watchful eye on the results and see if you are actually affected by this supposed trend. Only then will you know if action is required, but at least you will be ready to act fast!