A couple of useful videos from the former head of search quality at Google, Matt Cutts. This article will help to explain how changes at Google affect the search traffic to your website.
You may have been wondering how often to expect changes in your website’s search engine results performance, or be concerned that traffic has dropped recently. The example below, referred to as the May Day update hit many small businesses, especially in their long tail search performance. You may have lost rankings to more established and authoritative websites that don’t seem to be as relevant as your website. You may have seen visitor numbers drop and have not been able to identify the cause. Whatever your situation, this is a great opportunity to get your website up to date and start taking full advantage of free visitors from Google by adding fresh, useful information and content to your website, as well as building trust and authority through ethical marketing techniques. Google regular trials changes to randomly selected groups of users before a wider rollout, here we’ll look at a large-scale overhaul from 2009 as an example.
How many search algorithm changes occurred in 2009?
Long and short tail keywords
Matt mentions short tail and long tail keywords. As you would expect this refers to the number of words entered into the search box by a user. Obviously shorter key phrases have larger volumes of traffic as users tend to type the minimal number of words to start their search and then continue to refine by browsing the results and moving to the next page of results. As search engine users become more savvy, longer key-phrases are becoming more popular with users and more profitable for businesses who optimise their websites for ‘the long tail’. As search engines rely heavily on language, optimising for long tail searches requires in-depth keyword analysis and in particular, the use of carefully selected synonyms and related words.
Why has my website lost traffic since May 2010?
Organic search rankings cannot be guaranteed
Some individuals and companies offering search engine optimisation services say they can guarantee rankings. Unfortunately, as Matt explains in the video below this is not possible because Google’s algorithm is a secret. The online marketing community uses testing and analysis with the aim of establishing which signals that are the most important to the search engines.
Here’s the link Matt mentions to Google’s page on recommendations about SEO.
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