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What’s Causing The Latest Traffic Fluctuations In The Search Engines?

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August 28 2016

After watching what happened when Google changed their algorithm last time, it became pretty obvious that Google released a major algorithm update recently. Some websites surged with visitors, while others completely disappeared. According to Search Engine Journal, on June 1, 8, 21 and 26 of 2016, the volatility became visible as Google tweaked the algorithm in order to fine-tune the latest changes. As seen before, quite a few websites experienced the loss or gain of traffic to the site.

WHERE DID THE UPDATE COME FROM?

It is unclear, according to G-Squared Interactive, as to whether the update is panda related or if he came from Google as a quality update. In whichever case, the update seems to have targeted sites that contained quality issues.

WHAT CAUSED WEBSITES TO LOSE TRAFFIC DUE TO THE UPDATES?

Some websites contained a poor quality of content, user complaints about experience issues or excessive amounts of marketing that is viewed as spam. On the other hand, the update looks to be rewarding the websites that have quality content and clean interfaces.

Websites that remained on Google, but were demoted in their rankings, had other problems. Some websites that featured articles bury their contents below a number of thumbnail links that lead to sponsored contents. Other websites have more advertisements than they had relevant content.

Websites that only offered question and answer information or very generic contents also experienced a drop in their rate. Because these sites contain information that could be found on other sites that contained richer information, these sites were viewed as rewrites and suffered as a result. To be fair, one website that experienced a major fluctuation had indexing issues that originated from the websites’ robots.txt file, but since Google may not have been able to scroll through the content properly, that could be the explanation for the decline in search results.

It has been more than a year since Panda has been associated with an algorithm update. When considering that timeframe there are valid reasons why people assume the changes came from Panda. But even if that’s not the case, it’s likely that Google issued a quality update, but not a definitive conclusion.

WHAT CAN IMPROVE WEBSITE TRAFFIC?

Since the issues that Search Engine Journal and G-Squared Interactive found with this update were related to quality content and user navigation, these areas would be the focus to improve traffic. Google has recently started showing answers from websites that match the questions searchers enter into the engine. We believe this is another reason why the thin-content question and answer sites were affected by this latest update.

CREATE QUALITY CONTENT

Many sites have just a question and a 1-2 sentence answer. What we like to do in the SEO program is to use a question as the main topic for a blog post. The answer may be around 3 paragraphs, but cover the topic in different ways. We recommend anticipating questions related to the subject to add to the blog post. This gives more than a 1-2 sentence answer and covers the question from different angles. The reader may not even have thought of the questions you cover in the blog post, but that helps to educate them in their decision-making process.

KEEP WEBSITE ISSUES UP TO DATE

As we saw in one issue with a site’s Robots.txt file, this may have caused Google to not be able to search on the site. We regularly monitor for these issues with a Site Audit. We recommend checking for the same issues every month. We’ve found clients’ pages to show up as blocked on robots.txt files, slow loading pages, sites with duplicate content, and many more issues. All of these play a part in helping a site rank better in the search algorithm.

If you would like to receive a free website audit, please contact us for your proposal.

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