Is the power of SEO diminishing?

Google is phenomenally good at monetizing search engine results pages (SERPs). Do a search for any keyword with high commercial intent to see for yourself.

Here’s the SERP for the search term of “home security” from a day in September:

What do you notice? The above-the-scroll page is 100% ad space. Not 90%, or even 95%. It’s 100%.

Yes, there are some organic search results farther down the page, but how many users are actually making it that far? All the click-analysis of SERPs I’ve seen suggest it’s not very many.

Is it possible that Google has gotten so good at monetization that there’s little to no room left to drive meaningful value through SEO?

Or, does the SEO game need to change? Do practitioners need to counter-intuitively cede keywords with intent commercial intent, and instead move up the funnel to focus on creating educational materials and lead nurturing for search terms with lower commercial intent?

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