SEO Monday – Google May Day Update

By Joe


Welcome to your Daily Concept from Exclusive Concepts – Today is SEO Monday.

My name is Scott, an SEO Analyst at Exclusive Concepts, and today I will be covering an update Google has made to its algorithm, referred to by many as the May Day Update. Over the next few slides, I will provide a brief background of the update, it’s significance to you as a website owner, and actions you can take to turn this potential problem into a competitive advantage.

As Tim Smith from Exclusive Concepts previously reported, over the past month, many websites began to notice a drop in traffic for pages that once ranked well for long tail keywords (search terms with 3 or more words). Industry professionals everywhere had scrambled to try and make heads or tails of it, with many predicting a temporary change in Google’s algorithm. This prediction was coined the May Day Update by these professionals, since drops in traffic initially began in the last few days of April and first week of May.

Shortly after rumors of this update were swirling the web, Matt Cutts from Google confirmed these predictions, saying that the company had indeed made a change to its algorithm. Google stated that the change was made to improve the quality of searches and allow the best and most relevant sites to appear higher in search results. The pages noticing the most significant changes in ranking have been long tail pages, which in the past were normally easier for sites to rank higher for because of the relatively low competition for a targeted term.
A question you might be asking yourself is “How is this significant to me?” Well, one of the biggest take-aways from Mr. Cutts’s statement is that this change is here to stay. Many had first speculated this update may only be a temporary drop in traffic and rankings, but this is not the case. This means that if your site has seen a drop in traffic recently for your long tail term pages, it could be a direct result of this update.

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Now that you have a basic understanding of the update and its significance, the most important question to answer is “What can I do as a site owner to address this problem?” Well, one of the first things you can do is try to benchmark your pages that have seen a drop in traffic against pages that are now ranking well for your long tail terms. What are these pages doing differently from yours that has given them an advantage from the update? Performing a competitive analysis can give you some initial insight on areas of improvement for your long tail term pages.
After looking at your competition, the next step you can take is evaluating the content on your own pages. Just as Tim stated when he first reported the update, content truly is king, and you’ll want to make sure your site has interesting and unique content. Often times, pages ranking for long tail terms are product pages, and many of these sites simply copy and paste the product information directly from the manufacturer’s website. Search engines will penalize pages using duplicate content, as they don’t consider these pages as being authoritative on a subject, and in turn it will negatively impact where the page ranks in search results. To avoid this pitfall, you will want to make sure your product pages are using unique content and not copying descriptions from another website.

Now you may be thinking, “I have hundreds of products on my site and simply don’t have the resources or manpower to change each product page!” To address this concern, we would suggest focusing on the most important products first, meaning ones with the highest margins or quantity of units sold. Once you’ve taken care of these pages, you can then decide how to prioritize the other pages. Taking this top-down approach will help ensure that your biggest revenue generators are not negatively impacted by the algorithmic update.
If you already have unique content, a few other questions you can ask yourself are, “Does my site have enough content or can more be added? Additionally, is my content currently optimized for the long tail terms I am trying to rank for?” Taking a proactive approach to adding new and unique content will not only mitigate the risk of your long tail pages dropping further in rank, but it may also give you a competitive edge against the competition that is not yet aware of the May Day Update.
Unsure of whether or not your site has been impacted by the May Day Update or if there are other changes that can be made to strengthen your site? Here at Exclusive Concepts, we can help site owners evaluate their site and find out the necessary changes to help improve traffic and rankings. Armed with a slew of proprietary tools that are backed by an expert team, our team can fully examine your site to find out whether content is an issue, if there is room for improvement on long tail keyword selections, or if there another opportunity awaits that can increase traffic and improve rankings.

To take the first steps in this process, please contact us for a free Advanced SEO Audit where we will analyze all of the components of your site and outline all of the weak areas that can lead to growth opportunities. The right research gives our SEO experts at Exclusive Concepts’ the information we need to help our clients achieve higher search rankings, so please give us a call at 800-504-4324 to request your free audit today.
Thanks for watching this week’s edition of SEO Monday and we hope you’ve found it helpful for your business. Have a great SEO Monday and tune in tomorrow for a new installment of PPC Tuesday!