Briefing
person
Matt Allfrey
Category
SEO
Date posted
27 Feb 2022
Read Time
SEO

Are indented search results silently stealing your organic traffic?

What is it?

Since 26th July a new format has appeared in Google’s organic search results

Google is offering it’s users a shorter route to relevant content that might not be the best performing for the query they’ve used

Multiple URLs from the same domain are displayed underneath each other, on desktop the second and third results are indented. On mobile they are directly below each other, however, the second and third results lack the favicon.

Up to 2 “indented” results can appear under the domain’s primary ranking

This was initially believed to be a test but has been reported by Moz.com as having fully rolled out. Google does not announce or confirm all changes to the search engine results pages (SERPs)

Why is it important?

Achieving an indented result doubles or triples your site’s visibility within non-brand search results

Indented results push all following sites the equivalent of one to two ranking positions further down the page, requiring potential customers to scroll further to see those results. This is especially impactful on mobile if 4 ads are present and your site falls below other SERP features like People Also Ask as it requires customers to scroll significantly further to see your brand’s result.

Appearing lower down the results page decreases click through rate and, therefore, organic traffic

Industry studies report finding indented results across 40% of competitive searches. Our analysis found it to be as high as 52% across a more curated keyword set.

What to do next?

  • Audit your organic visibility to understand where your brand is achieving indented results and where it is losing visibility to competitors with indented results. Talk to your rank tracking provider to establish how they’re tracking this.
  • Look for pages that have started driving increased organic sessions as this may point to them being served as a second or third link in an indented result.
  • Indented results are often triggered by closely related pieces of content so make sure similar content is grouped together structurally on-site and internally linked.
  • Avoid creating duplicate content or content with too much cross-over as this can still cause cannibalisation and decrease organic performance.
  • First position rankings can and often do achieve indented results so ranking in 1st position as an authoritative brand is an even more valuable strategy as it enables an indented result and prevents the impact of competitors’ results.
  • If 1st position rankings are unrealistic due to a particularly authoritative competitor then diversify your targeting to focus on searches where indented results are less prevalent.
  • Focus on structuring content to answer customers’ questions and achieve the featured snippet at the top of the results page. In our analysis SERPs with featured snippets were far less likely to also contain an indented result.