Report: Number of Google organic blue links results drops from 10 to 8.5

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Searchmetrics has released a new study today showing the impact of the ever-changing user interface of the Google search results. The study says that now, Google is less likely to show 10 organic blue links. Instead, Google shows only 8.5 blue links on average but supplements those links with featured snippets, app packs, knowledge panels, images, videos and more.

You can download the full report over here, but here are some highlights:

Organic blue links drop from 10 to 8.5 per search query:

Searchmetrics says you are less likely to see 10 links on a Google search results page for your query.

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Universal search results change from 2015 to 2016:

Look at how integration of images, videos, product listing ads, news and maps have changed from 2015 to 2016 in the Google search results:

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Knowledge panels, direct answers and app packs

Google has been showing rich results both on desktop on mobile, but how often they show those results depends on the query and category of the search. Around one out of every 10 mobile queries return mobile app packs, and you are twice as likely to see direct answers or featured snippets on desktop as you are on mobile, according to this study.

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Finally, here is a chart showing the percentage of time you will see a rich result, by type, by desktop versus mobile:

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“Gone are the days when optimizing for search was all about trying to appear in the classic ten blue organic links on Google’s first page,” said Lars Hartkopf, EMEA marketing director at Searchmetrics. “Now marketers must also plan their strategies to include opportunities around a variety of Universal and Extended Search boxes, understanding how to create and optimize content which Google will consider useful for each.”

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