There’s a 90% Chance Your Content Sees Zero Traffic from Search

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There’s a battle online and it’s raging.

Sound familiar? I lifted the idea, of course, from Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ and swapped in the word “online” to breathe a little 2018 into the landmark song.

The raging I refer to certainly has a lot to do with how modern marketers populate the web with millions of blog posts every day in the interest of getting discovered via search.

It sounds reasonable. According to an infographic from Domo, the world internet population was 3.7 billion strong in 2017 and 3.6 million Google searches are conducted every minute.

Wowza. That’s a big audience. But whoa (or maybe woo), with a big audience comes a searchapalooza battle of immense proportions where a startling majority fail miserably.

90.88% of pages get ZERO traffic from Google

And… 4.5% get 1 to 10 visits. And… 3% get 11 to 100 visits. And… that leaves a miniscule 1.5% that generate upwards of 100 visits and can actually justify their efforts to drive traffic from search.

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This data from Ahrefs is based on a study of approximately 920 million web pages.

And if the numbers aren’t bleak enough, Ahrefs goes on to explain pages were only added to the Content Explorer index (used for the research) if they meet their criteria for inclusion, which ensures only “good” pages are added.

The details here really are just details. The bullet is simple:

The vast majority of published pages never rank in Google and never get any search traffic.

Why do so many posts and pages tank on search? Ahrefs’ blogger Tim Soula says:

  1. The page doesn’t have any backlinks. He shows that 55% of pages have zero backlinks and nearly 30% earn links from less than three websites.
  2. The page doesn’t target a topic with enough search traffic potential.

I’m prone to endorse Tim’s second point, but challenge his first. Though SEO “experts” the world over continue to bang the backlinks drum, many (myself included) don’t buy into the idea that backlinks are the most important ranking factor.

“There is no most important ranking factor,” writes VIP contributor Pratik Dholakiya on a great post on Search Engine Journal.

How do you ensure traffic from search?

The answer is you buy it. Taboola lays it out nice and simple in The Easy Guide to Paid Content Distribution.

Pay-per-click (PPC) ad networks are the most common way to boost your brand’s visibility online. But are they the best? There’s no telling what’s the best way. You can amass a sizable, budget-busting tab focusing exclusively on search engine marketing or running ads on social media channels, so it’s crucial to closely track your ROI.

Speaking of ROI…

The time has come to think beyond the walled gardens of search and social. Native advertising presents a vast playing field to promote content on millions of websites consumed by billions of viewers.

Native ads served via a content discovery platform appear unobtrusively in content feeds on publisher websites. CEO and Founder Adam Singolda explains Taboola’s discovery platform is a search engine in reverse. “Instead of expecting people to find information, information should find people wherever they may be,” he says.

Modern discovery platforms are powered by predictive algorithms that match the user with the content items they are most likely to be interested in consuming.

The Taboola Data Marketplace helps advertisers target online buyers uncover the best performing third party segments to reach audiences, so they can better target specific audiences and optimize ROI.