Study: Google Now Wants Brands to Get Niche-specific

Oct 18, 2018

Brands’ organic search strategies on Google should now be tightly tailored to the niche they operate in, according to the latest research by Searchmetrics. That’s because Google’s use of technologies such as AI and machine-learning are helping it pin-point, more clearly than ever, the specific factors that satisfy search queries in different niches and contexts.

The new study “Searchmetrics Google Ranking Factors 2018” reveals, for example, that high-ranking Google results for searches related to the weight loss niche are four times more likely to have a video on the page than results for financial planning or credit niches. And that eCommerce sites in the furniture niche can get away with displaying nearly 28 images on a page (more than most other niches) and still rank highly despite the fact that more images can sometimes make pages load slower.  

Here are five important findings from the study which analyzed the top ten Google ( results for searches related to eight different niche sectors:

  1. Images – Some niches are more reliant on images than others: The top results for furniture related searches have on average 27.9 images per page the highest of all the niches. It’s likely that Google has learned that queries for this niche are best satisfied by giving searchers the opportunity to scan through a large selection of relevant images.
  2. Videos – Not always desirable: There was a time when the presence of relevant video on a page was a very effective way of boosting search visibility. But the research indicates that now video content is not necessarily desirable or required for all search queries. For example, while the top ten search results for weight loss related searches average 0.4 videos per page, for most of the others it was 0.1 videos per page or less.
  3. Word count – Some niches are text-hungry: While the variations aren’t dramatic, the study reveals that high-ranking search results in certain niches have more words on a page than others. For example, the top ten financial planning results average 2,581 words per page, the highest of all the niches analyzed; so Google has learned that personal finance queries require relevant comprehensive explanations which tend towards more words.
  4. Internal links – Particularly important in eCommerce: Internal links are important for a good online user experience because they help visitors easily navigate a site and find related content. They can be especially important for eCommerce sites where shoppers want to easily browse through similar and complementary products.
  5. Tables – Great for head-to-head comparisons: While the study reveals most niches rarely present information in tables, they are very relevant in certain contexts. For example, financial planning results had 1.5 tables per page – the highest in the study. Tables are good for niches where head-to-head comparisons are helpful, such as when searchers want to evaluate car models, mortgages, or facilities at a campsite.