On June 2nd Google released a core update. And in July there will be another one.
During the first few days, most of us marketers and SEOs saw little to no changes in our rankings or search traffic.
But on Sunday June 6th, many started noticing shake ups.
Some of my friends saw declines and others saw gains.
Remember, when someone drops in rankings, someone else takes their spot. So when there are losers, there are also winners.
But what’s beautiful is that I have an ad agency. And because we have hundreds of clients all over the globe in all different industries, I am able to see trends very quickly.
And I noticed something in this update that was a bit unique…
My traffic dropped
I’ve had core updates that have helped me and hurt me. That’s why I believe as a marketer you have to take an omnichannel approach.
For example, at my agency we generate clients through:
- Word of mouth/client referrals
- Partnership program
- Outbound sales
- Social media marketing
- Speaking at conferences
- By hiring good people who have connections and can potentially bring clients
The list goes on and on, but those are just some of the ways we get customers. Hence, I don’t like fully relying on 1 channel as that’s too risky.
For example, here is our TV commercial that we are running soon (the ad still needs some editing and it’s not done yet).
But my traffic dropped roughly 9%. It could drop even more over the next few days or weeks, but that is where I am at right now.
But when I dove into my numbers and looked at my clients who have done well throughout this update, I noticed a trend.
Google doesn’t want fluff
Most of my traffic drop of course came to my blog pages.
But with my blog posts, I typically start them out with storytelling.
For example, here is my post on SEO.
I currently rank on page 1.
But look at my title tag…
SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide For 2021
And here were the first few paragraphs of the post…
Guess how many blog posts people publish each day.
Well, WordPress users alone publish over 2 million posts every day. That comes out to 24 blog posts every second.
That means that users published around 216 blog posts while you were reading these five sentences.
And that’s only counting WordPress users. If we were to count all blog posts, that number would surely be higher.
This makes it kind of tough to stand out. But you have to if you want to make your blog a successful one.
While I often spend 4-5 hours writing my blog posts, the ten minutes I spend optimizing each post are easily the most important.
No wonder millions of people Google the term “SEO” month.
My posts that used storytelling, didn’t do as well. When I write I typically create hooks to try and draw people in.
And my clients who didn’t use much storytelling at all, and just gave searchers the answer to their questions (search query), tended to see the rankings hold and even increase slightly.
And the sites that started ranking above me in many cases were just writing ordinary content (still well written and high quality) also didn’t leverage infographics or video or much storytelling… they just gave the searchers the answer to their question faster than me.
When someone Google’s “SEO”, based on the top 10 results, many of the searchers are looking to get a basic understanding of what SEO is and how to do it.
It’s rare that advanced users are searching for that term, and if that were the case, you wouldn’t see a lot of beginner articles ranking at the top.
So, then I started to modify a lot of my content, which will take a lot of work.
Now the new title of the post is “What is SEO? (Learn SEO in 5 Minutes)”
I now start the post going right into what SEO is by giving my definition of it.
Will that increase my traffic? Time will tell and I probably will have to do multiple tests on all of my title tags and my content to get it right.
But the best way to rank well, in the long run, is to put yourself in the searcher’s shoes and give them what they want.
It’s not about optimizing for time-on-site or bounce rate. It’s about optimizing for giving the user what they want as quickly as possible.
Are there other things to look out for?
Yes, there are other things that Google of course changed in this algorithm update.
As they say, core updates are big.
Even the trend we found probably isn’t coded into their algorithm the way we may all think. I doubt Google adjusted their code to hurt sites with “fluff”.
Instead I believe they look at user signals and tried to optimize for what users want.
We are still diving through data and crunching it to see if we can find more patterns. It’s early, but we will probably find more and of course I will update you as I do.
Go through your content, especially the introductory paragraphs within your blog posts and test removing fluff.
Get to the point and give people what they want.
It’s a great way to improve the user experience.
Yes, it may decrease your word count or time on site, but none of that matters. Focus on getting users what they want as quickly as possible.
How did you do in the latest update?
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