Search Engine Optimization Algorithm Updates – Keeping you in-the-know when it comes to SEO
“The only constant is change.” – Isaac Asimov
Last week, we reviewed website design factors that can hurt your SEO on our blog. Later that day, Google announced the first SEO update of 2013. Google named this update ‘Google Panda Update #24’ and used it to lower the value of keywords or meta tags by diminishing their relevance in marketing. At this time, Google urges SEO’s to stop “keyword stuffing,” a technique that was once thought to be the ‘single driver of much of the Internet’s growth over the past decade’ according to Inc.
Remember Google’s last update of 2012? In case you missed it, it had to do with the decreasing the importance of links that SEO specialists used to boast about. Now-a-days, quality links have to be earned since Google stripped sites of links they deemed forced, purchased or otherwise “tainted”. Google decided to favor links based on perceived value rather than SEO tactics. This approach caused an upsurge in content marketing and social media marketing. For example, today a link from an article published in a high-authority magazine or shared on Twitter will garner more Google love than links from e-zines, directories and article databases.
But don’t fear, Google isn’t discounting keywords as forcefully as it did links. They are just making it harder for websites and advertisers to know which keywords drive traffic. Google likes to keep much of that information under wraps and sources predict they will become increasingly secretive.
So what exactly is the ‘update’ and why should you be concerned?
As a website owner or site manager, you should be aware of these changes so you understand the reason in changes of your site traffic data. Google will be making it much harder to track and analyze keyword data but they won’t be stopping you from spending money in keyword research and from putting those keywords in your code. Although your site may/should be equipped with Google Analytics, Google has announced it won’t disclose keyword data making it increasingly difficult to know if someone visited your site because of the keywords or because they stumbled upon it.
It’s a Google Thing.
Google used to freely pass along reports about keywords. But for any site that uses Google analytics — and about 57 percent do, according to study by Optify — Google keeps this information private. This is good for Google — it acquires information for its own advertising purposes — but bad for other companies who sell advertising based on traffic and keywords.
The bottom line is that marketers and advertisers are going to have a harder time analyzing traffic on their websites — and justifying their rates to website owners. Owners who want to get the most out of their marketing dollars — and SEO companies who want to keep earning their fees — will have to look beyond raw data and look deeper into the meaning of traffic and conversion ups and downs.
Here are our top three keys to analyze traffic data despite Google’s attempts to keep the information secret:
1. Google Webmaster Tools
These tools allow website owners to see statistics on daily average traffic, prominent search queries, ranking position and other statistics.
2. Site Search
This tool helps owners and markets understand keywords relevant to a customer buy cycle — you can find out what keywords customers click on (or ignore) and adjust accordingly.
3. Site Surveys
If your website has a decent amount of daily traffic, you can try to survey your site visitors. Questions, ratings and comments on your site tell you more about your customers — and how to market to them — than the keywords they click on. Once you understand your customers, you can match keywords to their intent without Google’s help. If, for example, your site visitors click more frequently on words such as “lose weight now” than “get healthy,” you can build your content and marketing accordingly.
Did you see a drop in your search engine rankings around this time have your rankings already recovered from a previous Google Panda update? Let us know and contact Executionists today for a free website audit and analytics review.
Editors Note: On, Friday September 27, 2013, Google celebrated its 15th birthday and rolled out another search engine algorithm update, named “Hummingbird”. The new algorithm is meant to keep up with longer, more advanced search queries. Follow this link to learn more.
Ready to equip your site with the SEO tools to reach your online marketing potential? Contact our seasoned team of SEO’s for a free website analysis and list of SEO recommendations to get started today.