I have noticed that there has been some news on the new algorithm update that Google has recently finished rolling out on 8th June 2019.
“These updates just affect the smaller sites and then penalise them for being small?”
In a word No. The Daily Mail is one site that has been affected and they have gone public to ask their community for help to regain their ranking. This happened because they lost half of their organic traffic due to the algorithm.
“So, what was in this update?”
This update addressed the Google Search core algorithm (hence the Core Update name) which deals with how Google views websites and in what order they are shown in the organic search results. Danny Sullivan who is the face of the Google Search Liaison account said the update was nothing big but now Google is becoming proactive. From the results that have been seen so far it has had the effect to prioritise sites that demonstrate Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Some people are not surprised that the Daily Mail has therefore had their traffic affected, but they are not the only site. CCN has announced that due to this Google update it has lost traffic and will be closing due to their daily revenue being down more than 90%
“Will my site be affected?”
The short answer is I don’t know but have a look at your website traffic from the period before the update (4th June) and compare it to the traffic you are receiving since the update (8th June) If you notice a drop in your traffic then, unfortunately, your site could be a victim of this new core update. Conversely, if you notice an increase you can thank Google later.
“The traffic to my site has dropped!”
First off don’t panic. Unless you are a company such as CCN who rely on traffic for your revenue (in which case you will have noticed before now.) This Google update is nothing new, but Google is now looking to move their algorithm bar to penalise companies who are not producing quality content, and they have now started to be proactive in this quest. If you are experiencing a drop in traffic you need to objectively look at what content you have on your website. When I say look, I don’t just mean to read it, but look as though you were your target audience. Would the content be relevant to them, does it inform them, and above all is it relevant to them? It’s all well and good posting how you as a company have just turned over £2 million from xyz project, and you should definitely post about it on Twitter or Facebook. But having a huge 1700 blog post about it? Unless you turn it into a case study it’s not relevant to your target audience. If you can’t objectively look at the content on your site a good copywriter or Content Marketing Specialist will be able to look at your content and tell you where you have fallen foul.
“Look, just tell me in an easy to understand way so I can do something about it.”
Previously Google used to give large authoritative sites (such as the Daily Mail) preference even if they resorted to clickbait tactics. Now Google has realised that clickbait (“I can’t believe they let me get away with this for so long, click here to find out what I got away with”) and low-quality websites are sites that people don’t like, and moreover, they are just clogging up search results. Step in the June 2019 Core Update.
With Google now levelling the playing field, so to speak, it’s given smaller sites who do produce content that demonstrates Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness a chance, so they appear higher in the organic search results.
Now is the time to capitalise on this update and make sure you are creating and posting content that adheres to these principles. If you don’t have the skills in house to do this, then find a good copywriter or Content Marketing Specialist who can help you to decide what content you should be creating and have an action plan to create new content on a regular basis. Now is also the time to do a bit of spring cleaning to make sure the images on your site are optimised, and that the speed your website loads is acceptable so that you don’t fall foul of any future updates. This is where your website maintenance team should be stepping in.
It’s also time to ditch the clickbait. I’ve never been a fan of it, it just clogs things up. I want to read content that helps me to solve the problems I have rather than “See how I managed to trick xyz into giving me free money.” I think that clickbait tactics are lazy as they don’t really understand the pain points of your target audience. Realise what those pain points are, what people are actually looking for and then release content that addresses those pain points and solves their problems. (Or at least points them in the right direction to solving their problems.)
Google changes their algorithms a few times each year, we haven’t really heard anything about the previous updates as the larger sites could continue in the ways they had become used to. This has now changed. Google will never penalise sites that show Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, and now it seems that the sites that have been creating content in line with these values are seeing the benefit.
Until next time
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