SEO Insights: June 2024 Report


In this month’s report text, we wanted to cover the subject of “search intent”, which, although it’s something we’ve covered in the past, it’s worth raising this subject again as it’s becoming increasingly important and vital for businesses focused on growing organic search traffic.

What do we mean by “search intent”?

Search intent refers to the perceived user expectation for a given search query. In other words, what is the user expecting to see in the results when they perform a search.

Intent can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Informational – “How, what, why, where”
  • Navigational – “Contact, login, website name”
  • Commercial – “Services, products, reviews”
  • Transactional – “Online quotes, buy online, hotels”

How Google interprets intent is relative to the search term entered. These two examples may appear to be similar, but the intent is different:

  • 15 inch laptops
  • best 15 inch laptops

The first search term specifically yields ecommerce results (transactional) whilst the second one is more commercial/informational, with the results mainly displaying blog posts covering the subject.

It’s important to look at each query individually and ensure that you have a page that matches each of the related queries. Google won’t rank a blog post for the first example above, but it will for the second one.

Google doesn’t rank pages, it ranks content that is relevant to the user and the search query. Therefore, having an informational page about 15-inch laptops means that it’s unlikely to ever rank highly for that particular search term. You really need to have an ecommerce page which is what Google wants to show to the user.

Therefore, when considering search intent, it’s important to understand if your existing pages match what Google is wanting to show in the results. Aligning pages to the intention of the searcher, or creating new pages, is fundamental to positive growth in search.

We are regularly assessing search intent for all clients as Google constantly learns from user behaviour and adapts the search results accordingly. Understanding the user and what they want is possibly one of the most important SEO actions today.

In the news…

Moving on to some recent search news.

Continuous scroll is no more

You may have been accustomed to continuously scrolling through Google’s search results, but this feature is now being removed and Google is going back to paging the results…like the good old days!

Continuous scroll was originally introduced in late 2021 and probably to mimic how social media websites keep you hooked with no end to scrolling. Google’s reasoning is that it will be able to serve up results quicker without the need to keep loading new results.

I expect that search impressions may decline as a result of this, as with continuous scroll the results would keep loading even if there was no intention to click them. How it may impact traffic to lower ranking results, we’ll need to see how that pans out over the coming weeks and months.

June Spam update

Google’s efforts to improve the overall quality of the search results continued in June with the rollout of the last spam update.

These updates are designed to remove very low-quality spam results, in all sorts of formats, and the effects in general may not be so obvious to see in the search results.

There were reports of website owners having been heavily impacted by the update, but most legitimate businesses, following website best practices, shouldn’t have noticed any negative impacts from this update.

As always, the focus is always on quality and creating a great user experience. It’s what we focus on for our clients to ensure long-term stability and growth in search.