Saturday, June 20, 2015

Another Google Core Search Algorithm Update

June 16th saw a huge spike in terms of ranking changes and Google at last confirmed it that it was a core ranking algorithm change. It was not Panda, nor Penguin and not even related to any HTTPS change. This was a regular algorithm change and is one of the 100+ changes that Google makes every year to its core search algorithm.

This is what Google said to SEL:

"This is not a Panda update. As you know, we’re always making improvements to our search algorithms and the web is constantly evolving. We’re going to continue to work on improvements across the board."

Many webmasters have experienced traffic changes on their websites during the period (June 16 - June 19th) and some of them are still experiencing it.

Did you noticed any changes in your website's traffic? Please share with us in the comments below.

You can have a look at this English Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout where John Mueller sheds some light that this update was not Panda:

Also See:

Google Algorithm Change History

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Google's PLA Ads Will Now Feature a Buy Button

Google is planning to launch a buy button in it's shopping ads. This news was given by Google's chief business officer Omid Kordestani.

The new Buy Button has been planned to help the users buy more things online. Some 90 percent of commerce is still offline. Also, users find it difficult to process order online because either the steps involved are too many or the design lacks proper usage of CTA elements. To reduce this friction and to enable users to purchase more, Google will directly display the buy button. This button will allow the users to quickly purchase the items and help the advertisers effectively analyze their ROI from Google shopping ads. 

With these buy buttons, Google is giving a direct threat to its major shopping rivals, Amazon and Ebay. Under this system, shoppers who click on the ads on their phones will be directed to a Google webpage to make a purchase of that single item. This will provide a seamless and uniform shopping experience for the shoppers.

The point to be noted here is that “Buy” buttons will get displayed on mobile ads, which will turn Google into a cross between a search engine and Amazon.

As per Jerry Dischler, the VP of Google AdWords, the Buy Now button will help to improve conversions on mobile and will enable the advertisers to earn more money across mobile devices. 

Also See:

Friday, May 22, 2015

"QUAP-TED-LUV" Factor For Creating Quality Content

Talk about the Panda update or the recent Phantom update, all are focussed towards identifiying quality content. The "QUAP-TED-LUV" factor is the only guideline you will ever need to create quality content for your website. Whether it's Google or Bing, quality content is one of the most important factor for ranking any website on Google. Let's explore this factor and see how you can improve your rankings based on content quality.

The "QUAP" Factor

Quality - The content should be unique and high quality. It should be created to provide a good user experience. It should serve the intent of the user. It should not be mass produced and must not be based solely on keywords geared towards improving the rankings of the website. It should not have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations.

Useful - Think about how you can make your content more useful for your own custom audience. If you are a restaurant owner then including the operating hours can be beneficial. Similarly, if you are an eCommerce site owner then including genuine reviews of your audience can be useful.

Authoritative - The content should have original research, citations, links, reviews and testimonials. Like for a health related query, will the users trust the information present on the site? Will the users recognize your site's content author as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?

Purposeful - Web pages that serve a purpose, providng information, answering queries, entertaining audiences, save a business some money or make a spending recommendation, represent high-quality content. The users should not complain after seeing pages from your site.

The "TED" Factor

Trustworthy - Do your users trust the content on your site? Would they be comfortable giving their credit card information to your site? Do the users trust the advice shared on your site? Do they share the content with others on their social profiles? 

Engaging - Make the user experience great by including images, videos, infographics etc. Make the content free from all forms of grammatical errors. An excessive amount of ads can also distract your audiences. Post regular updates, invite comments and promote social visibility by using social media widgets.

Detailed - The content should be well-edited and detailed. Does the page provide ample information on the given topic? Is it at the appropriate level of depth for the intended audience? Search engines prefer pages with relevant supporting multimedia content.

The "LUV" Factor

Less Distractive - Have you filled your pages with ads? Are you missing proper navigation on the pages? Are the CTA buttons unnecessarily making the users click on them unknowingly? Is your site serving as a gateway to affiliate products? Are they unnecessary popup's on the site? All the elements that tend to distract the audience should be avoided. Make the users love your site not hate it.

User Driven Topic - Are you creating many pages on the site focussed around the same topics but differed by keywords? Are the contents create solely for ranking well on the search engines? You should stop it. Instead, focus more on creating content based on user persona. Find out what the user wants and write your content accordingly.

Valuable - Make your content more noticeable. If you write about how to train a German Shepherd, make sure your article provides more value or a different perspective than the numerous articles on the web on dog training.

Great! Another lesson is over and you have moved a step ahead in making better content for your site and most importantly making web a better place. 

Also See:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Google Phantom 2 Update Strikes - WARNING - Major Issues That Might Penalize Your Website

Phantom 2 update is a sitewide update that affects the entire domain as compared to only affecting the low quality pages. This means, sites getting affected by this update might loose a bulk of traffic overnight causing decline in conversions and profits.

Why It's Called the Phantom Update?

This update is called the Phantom update because it launches itself silently and punishes the websites heavily making them lose bulk of traffic & conversions overnight.

When Did it Happened?

The Phantom update happened on April, 29th, 2015 but no official announcement has been given by Google.

Major Players Who Lost Rankings in the Phantom 2.0 Update

Lost traffic by around 2,133,386.

Lost traffic by around 54,020.

Lost traffic by around 67,907

Lost traffic by around 38,748

Major Players Who Gained Rankings in the Phantom 2.0 Update

Gained traffic by around 2,952,174

Gained traffic by around 246,777

Top Issues That Might Penalize Your Site 

1- Phantom affects sites having low quality, poorly written content, rewritten content that adds little to no value and how to style content which presents the same information with a little twist and misses uniqueness. 

2- Sites that have been affected by the Panda update in the past have greater chances of getting affected by the Phantom update.

3- Sites having lot of ads on the page that affects the user engagement and behavior. Stuffs like large list of links on the page or infinite scroll adding little to no value and pointing the user to a new site or a page for getting further information are at a greater risk.

4- Poor user engagement is a key component of the Phantom algorithm. You can assume Phantom to be stricter than Panda. 

5- Pop-up's that distract the audience won't do any good either. If the user didn't likes it, Google didn't likes it, it's that simple!

6- Thin quality content that have a lot of supplementary content and ads or affiliate links are a thing to worry.

7- Lots of stacked videos also hurts the user negatively and impacts the rankings of the site.

8- Lots of sponsored links and site wide banners forcing users to click on them might hurt the site.

9- If the site has thin content and it links out to other inner page links on the site or if it has a lot of 
boilerplate content.

10- Site design is also an issue. Poor quality and less user friendly design which impacts easier user navigation.

11- This update seems to affect even the subdomains. So, mind the quality of each of your subdomains.

12- Lots of low quality user generated content on the site.

13- Having spam comments on the page. Many webmasters seems to ignore the comments on their site and they grow old and make the overall content look bad or ineffective. It is important to keep an eye of user generated spam comments or old comments and edit the affected pages accordingly so that it does not affects the user experience negatively.

14- Deceiving the users by displaying ad and content in the same color and font in order to make them click on the ads. 

15- Having lots of duplicate pages like the search resuts pages without the proper use of canonical link element.

16- Having low quality unnatural links pointing to the pages or site.

17- High frequency link (generating many links within a short span of time) as opposed to stable link profiles. 

Make sure to have quality content on your site. Get rid of thin content at the earliest because even if Panda misses, Phantom will surely strike. Ensure optimum user experience on your site and dont display ads that distract the users. Was you site affected by the Phantom update? Please share with us in the comments below.

Also See: