Relying on Google for organic traffic is a tough business. Just when you think you have everything figured out, a new update rolls out and sets you back a few steps. Generally, the updates are discussed heavily among SEO’s and other internet marketers, and as a whole, the masterminds are able to figure out what is the driving force behind the latest update. A panda update will be geared around content. A penguin update will be geared around the links pointing to your website. We see fluctuations with sites based upon duplicate content, large images above the fold, and too many advertisements on a page. Doing this long enough, you expect the updates and spend the next few days fully understanding how sites are responding and what you need to do next in order to improve rankings if necessary. Sometimes however, the updates can make you want to scream.
Image courtesy of: iamandyogden
The Fred Update as it is being called right now is not really one that makes you want to scream, but it surely is one that has a few people scratching their heads. We track 6500 keyword phrases and terms for our clients and our own websites, and each website is optimized uniquely for the industry in which we are competing. There are some industries where links rule, others where content is king. Yeah, we are told all the time that have unique and engaging content is the key to success online, but I have seen many, many times where this is not the case. I have looked at websites with 100% duplicate content across the board rank well. I have seen websites rank with zero links, and have seen websites with links from only quality, industry related websites rank poorly. The latest update from Google impacted some highly reputable and successful websites and huge ranking drops were noticed. To understand a bit more about what I am talking about, take a look at this website which tracks Google’s impact on rankings. https://algoroo.com/.
Understanding Weekly Winners and Weekly Losers
If you look at the website Algoroo, you will see in the orange that there was a period of 5 days that really was volatile in the SEO world. What really caught my eye are the two sites at the top of the lists for winners and losers. Of of the websites that saw a significant increase in rankings was https://oefcu.org/atmbranch-locations. One of the biggest losers this week was http://www.sears.com/fitness-sports-extreme-sports-motocross-helmets/b-1228417479. Yes, you are reading that correctly, Sears got waxed this week for the page on their website that appears to have violated the clear as mud rules that Google promotes to the world. In a nutshell, the Fred update has a few different components wrapped into it, but it seems to be heavily related to links pointing to your website from non-industry related sites. That makes sense on the surface, but when you dig down further into the Sears page what has dropped by nearly 40% in the past week, what doesn’t make sense is that this page has one link pointing to it from an outside source. That one link comes from a pretty reputable website as well, www.reference.com. The update makes sense in a lot of ways, but not in this case. That is why we believe there are many, many other things Google is using in this latest update to keep internet marketers on their toes.
Getting Industry Related Links and Citations
It is pretty apparent that Google wants to see links pointing to your website from other industry related sites. If you have a website dealing with heating and air services, you should have links from manufactures of the HVAC products you install on a daily basis. One of our golf clients has recently reached out to major brands that they provide in their classes such as TPI, Titleist, Bridgestone, and some of the golf training aids that they use such as the K-Vest and K-Player. Very simply, obtaining links from related websites is going to help you outrank your competition. We use a few tools to help us figure out what are the best links to obtain by looking at the top three results in Google for a particular search and seeing which links intersect all three. If they are at the top of the search results, they are doing something well in order to outrank everyone else.
Content Isn’t King….The Frequency And Engagement of Your Content Is King!
Going back to my point above, websites can rank with complete garbage all over the place. One thing that we have noticed that is kicking a$$ and taking names is frequent content being published on sites. The more you post information, the more likely Google will come back and visit your site. The more times it “crawls” the site, the more likely it is to find addition information that they can rank in their index. We are starting to follow our own advice at this point. We are going to start publishing content frequently. We are not going to be publishing long posts like this each time, but we want to have Google visit us more often, and consider us a resource in the world of online marketing. It takes a lot of time, energy, and a commitment to publish once a day. It takes even more of a commitment to do it two, three or four times a day. But quite frankly, we know that this will help you rank, and rank very well in the search engines. Create content that people will find helpful and useful, and gets people to stay on the website for a while reading it, and you will see your rankings increase over time. Shortcuts can help you rank short term, but aggressively providing content is going to help you rank long term, and keep you one step ahead of competition.
What Should You Write About On Your Blog?
If you want to get more visitors to your site, solve a problem in your industry without over-selling yourself. Explain situations that arise and how you are able to resolve those issues, or find creative ways to turn a negative into a positive. The more people that become aware of who you are, what you do, and you become a resource in the industry for great information, the more your rankings will start to improve over time. If this isn’t enough, be sure to subscribe to our blog, and read out next post which will be out within 24 hours on how to come up with great content your users will love. We know it will help you to easily come up with ideas, and more importantly, will help you create a plan if you want to have someone write that content and implement it for you.
PS – If you ever wanted to know what is it like to work for Google and interpret websites, here is the guide they provide to those testers. It is a long PDF, but there is a lot of high quality takeaways you can use on your own website.