Considering the facts that there are more than 600 Algorithm Updates by Google, every year, and that Google will not announce all the updates to their Ranking Algorithm, we are very glad to have Barry Schwartz who is collecting, writing and distributing current information about Google for over 13 years. Barry’s perseverance made it possible for us to know that, as far as the Google update is concerned, Fred was remarkable, even though the name Fred was to be a joke from the beginning.
As Barry reported, this update was confirmed by Google and rolled out in March 2017. Knowing where to look, I analyzed 300 domains on Google Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the USA which lost Visibility after March 13, 2017.
Nearly all losers were very advertisement heavy, especially banner ads, many of which were AdSense campaigns. Another thing that we often noticed was that those sites offered little or poor quality content, which had no value for the reader. It seem that many, but not all, websites are affected who tried to grab a large number of visitors from Google with low quality content, which they then tried to quickly and easily monetize through affiliate programs. Here are some of the most interesting examples from the USA, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain.
On February 7th, Google seems to have rolled out one of the most far reaching updates of the last few years – with the fascinating fact that nobody really knows what exactly Google changed.
If we analyse the changes on a directory level, we can quickly see that, in many cases, only certain parts of a domain are affected:
This would indicate a granular change at the directory level. If we take a look at the last and the following example we can nicely see how some directories profited from this Google update while the others stayed the same:
With our Google Ranking Factors 2017 videos under out belt, it is now time for our yearly IndexWatch for the United Kingdom. For our IndexWatch 2016, we had a look at all Visibility increases from January 4th, 2016, until January 2nd, 2017. We considered all domains with at least 5 points in the Visibility Index at the start of 2016. The decreases are shown as percentages.
Something quite interesting on this list is the fact that some of the domains on here were hit by a “unknown Google Update” last year, but now, they profited hugely from the Google Update last week! More on that later, now the list: Read Full Article
Within the past few weeks, we released our Winners&Losers list for Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain. One domain that stood out for their SEO-success in 2016 was Pinterest.com. We even linked to an interview with Casey Winters, former growth product lead at Pinterest, where he explained how important SEO is for Pinterest and its strategy. Nevertheless, one week after releasing the article, we observed a remarkable drop of Pinterest’s mobile Visibility in Google’s most competitive markets.
Back in 2012 I held a conference talk about international and multilingual SEO and was thankful that Johannes gave me some great data from the Toolbox. At the end of last year, I was able to speak at the Inbound conference in Boston (which is nothing like what we know of online marketing conferences in Europe and which is huge, even for US standards. More than 19.000 conference-attendees!).
And seeing how it’s not every day that you get to hold a talk at a US conference, it is only natural that I wanted to put my best foot forward. So I, once again, asked Johannes if he could refresh the data and got some highly interesting data back.
The following four charts are even more interesting than what I got in 2012 due to these reasons:
- We have data for more countries, as the Toolbox “grew” in that direction
- We can compare how the data developed since 2012 as we have data for both years
- and this gives us a different angle from which to consider the situation, which makes the overall picture much more complete
Enjoy. I will always show the graph first and then add my thoughts.
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Our yearly IndexWatch for the United Kingdom is ready. For our IndexWatch 2016, we had a look at all visibility increases from January 4th, 2016, until January 2nd, 2017. We considered all domains who had at least 5 points in the Visibility Index at the start of 2016. The increases are shown as percentages.
The mobile/desktop scale is tipping towards mobile for more and more Google search markets. And the number of users who do their shopping on their mobile devices are also steadily increasing. No wonder that Google is irked by the fact that they do not have such a nicely controlled ecosystem as Facebook or Amazon. In order to change this they invented AMP, which they market as wanting to make mobile loading times faster for users. These are trimmed down HTML-pages which are delivered directly from Google’s servers and they make it possible for Google to simulate something akin to their own ecosystem. Such pages look like this in the mobile SERPs:
In August 2015, Parsely.com – a content analytics platform – released an Authority Report where they suggest that Facebook has surpassed Google as a top referring source to publishers. But is this true? Many European publishers would disagree. Anyway, one and half years and a number of report updates later, it is quite surprising that, in many American and European institutions and sectors (universities, website owners, publishers, e.g.) this statement has been accepted as the only truth, which it is not.
No wonder, if you analyse how this statement has been received: The Nytimes.com writes: “Facebook eclipsed Google for the share of referral traffic to publishers“. Fortune.com begin their article with “Facebook is no longer just vying with Google but has overtaken it by a significant amount.“ And even Marketing Land writes “Facebook has landed the latest punch in the heavyweight battle with Google for referral traffic supremacy“.
Today, I would like to take a closer look at this study and offer additional numbers.
A few weeks ago, I explained how using a directory structure which uses dates within the URLs can kill your content in Google. The examples TheGuardian.com, HuffingtonPost.co.uk and TechCrunch.com all show us that there is still much room for improvement and an opportunity for more traffic. Using dates in the URLs are a symptom of a less than optimal information architecture.
Publishers or news websites have to prepare the pieces of information on their site in such a way that both Google and regular users can find them. Google users do not think in dates (they are not using news libraries!), they use search queries on search engines and that is the way how things work today. Something that e-commerce websites take for granted should also be something that news websites find self evident.
Could you imagine an e-commerce website using dates as part of their information architecture? No, of course not. Shops, for example, are made up of detail pages and categories. With the categories being an integral part of the site, because often users may not know exactly what they are looking for.
2016 has, once again, been an incredibly thrilling and eventful year for us. Some of our highlights are the introduction of the daily Visibility Index for Germany – with a daily update of the ranking data for all domains – the development of our Amazon SEO Tools, the acquisition of SEOlytics, the integration of the Majestic link data as an additional link source within the Toolbox and Google’s “Mobile First” announcement.
We are now on the last leg of 2016 and Christmas markets everywhere are doing their part in enriching our air with the smells of roasted almonds, warm waffles and mulled wine. This means that our annual SISTRIX Christmas charity should not be missing.
In accordance with tradition, we again set up our Christmas Ferris wheel. With every click you start our Christmas wheel and we donate 1 Euro for a great cause.
This year our donations will go to Transparency International. They made it their mission to fight corruption all over the world, in order to turn it into a more just place. This non-governmental organization shines a light on loopholes in laws, institutions or systems and instigates reforms.
SISTRIX shares the values of transparency, fairness and factual arguments with Transparency International. Help us reach our donation goal of 5.000 Euro by starting our Ferris wheel with your click.
We wish everyone on earth a merry Christmas!