Are There Organic Listings Above the Fold?

How to make SEO and SEM work together?

I happened to search for a “msds binder” in Google and the first page listings inspired me to write this blog. As SEOs, digital marketers have been using following data points to track and optimize what their visitors search for and how their websites are performing on Search Engines:

  • Keywords
  • Search Volume (Exact)
  • Ranking (Universal / Verticals)
  • URL of the page that is ranking

On the first page of Google search results for  “msds binder”, there were

  • 4 Paid Ads from Adwords on Top Left
  • 8 feed driven Paid Ads from Google Shopping / PLA
  • A Knowledge Graph / Quick Answer
  • 10 Organic Listings

Now, let’s look at this statistics from Jacob Neilsen 2011 study on eye tracking, 80% of traffic goes to “above the fold” listing, where are only 20% of traffic are shared by “below the fold” listings.

Above Fold vs Below Fold

However what about the critical aspect of above-fold? Let’s take a look. This is a view on my decent resolution laptop.


This is full view on my monitor, which is above the fold on first page on Google for the search term “msds binders”. Would I scroll below to see more?

Right after the prime real-estate of Paid Ads, comes Knowledge Graph / Quick Answer / Answer Box section, further occupying readers attention.

Quick Answer above Organic Listing

Such a prominent Quick Answer from Amazon is bound of take a big chunk of the left-over traffic from visitors who did not click on the Paid Ads.

Finally, when in comes to the prized first page listings for SEOs, it’s already practically invisible.


First page Organic Listings are practically Invisible on Google due to the influx of Paid Ads, Google Shopping, and Quick Answers.

 What this observation from Google is telling Digital Marketers?

In addition to looking at Keywords their corresponding Search Volume, ranking, and the URL of the page, it’s really critical to ask following 2 questions:

Question 1) Are there any Organic Listings above the fold for that keyword? YES | NO
Question 2) Is your page ranked above the fold? YES | NO

 Organic and Paid Working Together for Digital Success

This leads to the conclusion that organic and paid marketing need to work hand in hand for digital success. This is the new World Order in Google’s search universe. For the search terms like “msds binders”, no matter how hard SEOs work, the amount to traffic that can be captured via organic listing would be limited. When all real-estate is covered 100%, by 4 Adwords listings supplemented by 8 PLA (or Google Shopping) listings, chances of readers scrolling below the fold to view even organic listings is not that high.

How to identify keywords for which Paid Marketing is required?

  1. SEO team should export all the important keywords to excel.
  2. Sort/Filter by search volume so you’re only looking at the relevant keywords
  3. Then, filter by “Are there any Organic Listings above the fold for that keyword for NO answers
  4. Finally, filter by “Is your page ranked above the fold?” on NO
  5. Share this list with Paid Marketing team.

Having answers to both of these questions “NO”, means, there are no chances of ANY organic listing above the fold, and neither has yours. So to gain traffic, digital marketers must rely on Paid Channel. Jay Ho Google! Thanks to Google!!

Find Organic Opportunity Gems
On the other hand, when filtered by “Are there any Organic Listings above the fold?” for YES answers with “Is your page ranked above the fold?” on NO, it means this is a list of keywords digital marketers need to focus on via organic search campaigns. Your page is already listed on first page (or second), and the prime real estate “above the fold” is still being available, this presents a huge SEO opportunity.


In the new world order of Google, for traffic generation, both paid and organic search must work hand in hand. Adding the two questions, I’ve described above in addition to Keywords and Ranking data helps digital marketers segment which keywords should have organic focus where are for which keywords paid marketing must be utilized.

So the question is not “Are your keywords ranking, the question is Are Those Keywords Ranking Above the Fold“?

Just take a look at this full page, and decide yourself.


So the question is not “Are your keywords ranking?”, rather the question is “Are Those Keywords Ranking Above the Fold”?


Thumbnail Credit on homepage:



About Ujjwal Bhattarai

Ujjwal is an engineer by education, a programmer by hobby, and an internet marketer by choice. Other than 1 minute chess, and biking, his passion includes SEO, SEM/PPC, CRO, and Web Development. As a lifelong student of Internet Development, he is hopelessly addicted to Internet, and sincerely believes after fire, wheel, and decimal point, internet is the fourth most important invention in the human history. Catch up with him on Twitter at @uj2wal or at his Google+ .

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