During late September, Google rolled out a new set of updates that has again changed the way pages are ranked in Google. Users who rely on the Google algorithm explained that this has been the biggest hit to business sales since Google has launched panda 4. Reducing their sales conversions up to 50% for organic search and up to 95% for Adwords and Google Ads. However, some websites saw a drop after the update and then their analytics were restored after a couple of days.
The first people to notice these changes on September 27 were the Black Hat SEOs. In Black Hat SEO, they build spammy landing pages with built-in shopping keywords. For Black Hat SEOs the Google algorithm explained that content quality could be the direct reason why they immediately lost rankings and traffic for their pages during the recent update.
According to Danny Sullivan from Google, the Google algorithm is constantly updated. Major updates will be shared but the more recent was only a smaller update. This doesn’t tell users much about what the updates mean for them, but it has been a drastic enough change for SEO specialists to notice the change from looking at the surges and drops in their analytics.
Website owners and SEO specialists are noticing the significant drops in traffic. This all comes after the August Google update where websites were affected by Google’s new quality raters and were forced to optimise and create higher quality content to regain their previous rankings.
John Mueller, when questioned about the Google algorithm, explained that the best way to recover your rankings from the August update is to ensure that you are providing your readers with relevant content. You want to be answering people’s questions and carefully reviewing content that is dropping in rankings so you can optimise this content or produce more relevant content for your audience.
He also stated that it may take some months before the changes from the most recent updates reflect in their analytics after updating content.
Some SEO specialists have analysed that information sites are seeing great results, which gives evidence the new Google algorithm update is moving away from pages structured with keywords and towards answer based content. These answer based pages have seen an increase in SERP inclusion.
There is also evidence that Google is increasingly showing more bias to long tail keywords, this means using keywords that have more words and are mostly question based keywords.
For many SEO practitioners, the recent update to the Google algorithm explained that the way in which we approach content creation must change. It is all about relevance now, Google is focused on providing its users with the answers and pages that they are looking for. This may seem like it is making it hard for businesses, but in truth, it is a good thing because if users are getting what they want from their Google search, then they will continue to use this method, keeping traffic coming through to websites that are doing the right thing by the user.
If you own a retail website you should include words like; buy, compare or shop. Whereas, if you are an informational website you should be focused on providing information. Think about the intent of your pages and what your target market will be looking for, this will help with planning future content and getting better rankings.
Author intent may help you understand why a page may not be ranking as well as it could be. When Google’s AI looks at your page, it will know if your page is relevant to what someone would be searching for when typing in a keyword that is on your website. Medical related websites have been hit the hardest, with natural medicine sites being targeted for mentioning natural methods when Google AI believes the user is searching for pharmaceutical medicines.
Google still hasn’t made the new changes to the Google algorithm explained to its users but to help outline what content creators need to implement to keep their rankings going forward we have broken it down below.
Actions to help improve your website traffic
- Look at your analytics of each page to see where traffic and rankings are dropping. When you find a page that is dropping look at how you can optimise it for the keyword that you were ranking for and increase the quality of the content.
- Search for longtail keywords that are phrased as questions. When you create content for these keywords, make sure you answer the question correctly and give as much valuable information on that topic as possible.
- Backlinks can help boost your rankings. Make sure that the websites that you are backlinking from are trusted websites with trusted authors. Higher quality backlinks are better than quantity.
- Include more imagery in your blogs and ensure the word count for each article is over 1000 words. The average word count of top-ranked content is between 1,140-1,285 words and it has been found that longer, in-depth blogs generate nine times more leads than shorter content.
- Optimise your websites for AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). This will help your websites load faster before your users leave your website.
- Update your website posts regularly to build your brand and improve your website search visibility, engagement, and traffic. To get the best results, publish updates at least once or twice a week.
Are you struggling with getting your rankings back after Google’s new updates? Contact Whitehat Agency today to get a plan on how to improve your rankings and restore your website traffic.