Organic search just saw its strongest visit growth in over 2 years, according to Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report for Q4 2017.
Total site visits driven by organic search were up 6% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2017, which is said to be the strongest rate of growth since 2015. Even desktop organic search visits were up in Q4 2017, following a sharp drop last year.
Organic Mobile Search Growth
When looking at mobile organic search specifically, it saw an even greater rate of growth at 15% year-over-year. The mobile search market is primarily dominated by Google, at least in the US. Google accounted for 96% of all site visits driven by mobile organic search in Q4 2017.
Mobile produced 56% of all organic site visits from Google in Q4, which is well above any of Google’s top competitors. Mobile accounted for 42% of organic site visits from Bing, and 18% from Yahoo.
Organic Search Not Growing As Fast As Other Channels
All organic search visits driven by Google were up 8% year-over-year— accounting for 92% of organic search visits in Q4 2017. During the same time period, the growth of paid search clicks dropped from 19% year-over-year to just 8%.
Despite the growth posted by organic search in the final quarter of 2017, there was a decline in the overall share of site visits produced by organic search. Merkle reports that social, email, and display advertising all delivered stronger growth in Q4.
Organic Search vs Social Media
The share of site visits produced by organic search was 24% in Q4 2017, down 2% from the previous year but still still way ahead of site visits produced by social media. Social media platforms produced just 3.3% of all site visits in Q4 2017.