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Google’s May 2020 core update

Google’s May 2020 core update & Impact India on Business.

Google’s May 2020 core update

May the 4th be with you – was what was playing on every Search engine marketeers brian, on LOOP.  When google generally announces an algorithm update, it usually has all the SEO gurus, SEO Ninjas, SEO masters glued in to their search console and analytics data to avoid a trip to the cardiac unit.

Search Engine Land, compiled a report of several data companies that track Google’s search results to send us impressions of this update and they all agree, this is one of the largest Google core updates in a long time.

At TTB, we verified the data for the Indian the market, and India shows the same results – we’re a week or 2 late but wanted to ensure our research for India centric. The only reason for doing this is most reports that arise from Search Engine Land and Moz are more US, UK centric. In the truest sense, going #VocalforLocal for the Google’s May 2020 core update.

Initial Thoughts on the Google May 2020 core update

The Google May 2020 core update/ Google algorithm update started to roll out on Monday, May 4th. Like all core updates, this was a global update and was not specific to any region, language or category of web sites. It is a classic “broad core update” that Google releases every few months or so. While we had BERT come in a change things up for a bit, the May 2020 update was triggered by
1. Change in search patterns due to Corona Virus
2. The change in searches from mobile back to desktop because of the Work from home situation
3. To battle amazon and instagram shopping experience.
4. Australia’s and France’s stand on news publications.

That my take on this anyway:)

Here’s what thought leaders had to say:

1. Rank Ranger:

Mordy Oberstein from RankRanger called the May update “an absolute monster.” “The January update was a very big update yet this one slightly edges it out,” he added. The company shared this chart comparing the May to January 2020 core updates in terms of rankings volatility for the terms it monitors.

 

Google’s May 2020 core update_ Top 3 results, Top 5, Top 10 results on Google

What the graph means: In all cases, the May update shuffled the Google results more than the January update.

January 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 35%
May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 38%

January 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 55%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 63%

January 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 84%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 93%

Oberstein added that the Google May 2020 core update is different than previous core updates because “this update appears to be far more uniform across the niches I looked at than your typical core update.” Here are two charts he shared illustrating the May core update’s impact on page one results across a number of industry verticals in RankRanger’s data set.

Google’s May 2020 core update_ Travel, Retail, Finance - Top 3 results, Top 5, Top 10 results on Google

Travel:
May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 31%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 56%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 91%

Retail:
May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 37%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 61%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 83%

Finance:
May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 47%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 72%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 97%

Health:
May 2020 Update for Top 3 searches: Rank Volatility: 38%
May 2020 Update for Top 5 searches: Rank Volatility: 63%
May 2020 Update for Top 10 searches: Rank Volatility: 94%

Google’s May 2020 core update_ Top 3 results on google

Travel:
May 2020 Update for Rank 1/ Position 1 on Google: Rank Volitility: 7%
May 2020 Update for Rank 2/ Position 2 on Google: Rank Volitility: 17%
May 2020 Update for Rank 3/ Position 3 on Google: Rank Volitility: 25%

Retail:
May 2020 Update for Rank 1/ Position 1 on Google: Rank Volitility: 10%
May 2020 Update for Rank 2/ Position 2 on Google: Rank Volitility: 20%
May 2020 Update for Rank 3/ Position 3 on Google: Rank Volitality: 29%

Finance:
May 2020 Update for Rank 1/ Position 1 on Google: Rank Volitility: 11%
May 2020 Update for Rank 2/ Position 2 on Google: Rank Volitility: 24%
May 2020 Update for Rank 3/ Position 3 on Google: Rank Volitility: 36%

Health:
May 2020 Update for Rank 1/ Position 1 on Google: Rank Volitility: 11%
May 2020 Update for Rank 2/ Position 2 on Google: Rank Volitility: 18%
May 2020 Update for Rank 3/ Position 3 on Google: Rank Volitility: 31%

2. SEMRush

Yulia Ibragimova, Olga Andrienko and the SEMRush team prepared a lot of data on this update. SEMRush said that this update was bigger than the January core update as well. They said, “the May update is stronger and influencers more SERPs and positions.” The SEMRush sensor tracking tool is showing a score of 9.4, whereas the January update was closer to 8. So this was a big update relative to other core updates.

Google’s May 2020 core update_ SEM Rush industries impacted

SEMRush data showed the industries most impacted were travel, real estate, health, pets & animals, and people & society. Here is the chart of breakdown volatility by industry from SEMRush:

Google’s May 2020 core update_ SEM Rush industries impacted List

SEMRush also shared the winners and losers of this update. The winners were local.com, yellowpages.com, superpages.com, businesswire.com, prnewswire.com, globenewswire.com, xe.com, mapquest.com, and gamekidgame.com. The losers were linkedin.com, manta.com, allmusic.com, idaily.com, nypost.com, discogs.com, afiavillage.com, eventbrite.com, peoplepill.com and owler.com.

3. The SEO community:

The SEO community in both the online discussion forums and on social media around the Google May 2020 core update have been extremely vocal about this and some people claimed to have lost over 90% of their Google organic traffic, while others did well from this update.

The community is split into two:

  1. SEO’s that are frustrated with Google and the constant effort of the search engine to keep users on Google and not take them to the website with PAA/ Knowledge graphs and
  2. 2. SEO’s that want to take over the PAA listings and use is as a tool for branding/ building credibility.Which side are you on?

What to do if your website is hit by the Google May 2020 Update:

Google has given advice on what to consider if you are negatively impacted by a core update in the past. There aren’t specific actions to take to recover, and in fact, a negative rankings impact may not signal anything is wrong with your pages. However, Google has offered a list of questions to consider if your site is hit by a core update.

Why we care:

It is often hard to isolate what you need to do to reverse any algorithmic hit your site may have seen. When it comes to Google core updates, it is even harder to do so. If this data and previous experience and advice has shown us is that these core updates are broad, wide and cover a lot of overall quality issues. The data above has reinforced this to be true. So if your site was hit by a core update, it is often recommended to step back from it all, take a wider view of your overall web site and see what you can do to improve the site overall.

Here’s the summary of the Google MAY 2020 core update: The TLDR (Too long didn’t read) version

  1. Perhaps the biggest and most volatile Google update yet.
  2. Industries most impacted were travel, health care, real estate, pets and people and society.
  3. PAA and knowledge graph continue to keep users for more clicks on google resulting in a lower CTR to site
  4. Voice search will get more efficient as Google rewrites Meta descriptions with AI ML and BERT logic
  5. Overall CTRs will drop as google is scraping website content and keeping users on google.com – Youtube plays as a light-box and PAA dominate SERP’s – you click on one and it opens related PAA’s

Pushkarraj Mehta, Founder TalkingToBots gets featured on Your Story for DIVEIndia

It brings us great joy to let you know our founder, Pushkarraj Mehta – gets featured on yourstory for his work on DIVEIndia.

Highlights from the article:

Based in the Andaman islands, scuba diving centre Dive India is working on its online presence to attract divers from across the world.

“Being a remote location, with most of our audience only finding us through online research – Google and Google products have played a pivotal role to help reach out to our audience. We partnered with Pushkarraj Mehta (Talkingtobots.com), our digital marketing consultant, in November 2015 to lay down a solid foundation for SEO and to drive traffic to the website with Google ads to help achieve our online goals. We turn up in the top three searches for anyone wanting to learn and or scuba dive in the Andamans.”

“We’ve increased our website lead conversions by an average 230 percent year over year and increased our website traffic by 400 percent by reducing advertising spends by 25 percent.”

Click here to read the entire story here.

Top 5 Tips to Make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly

Top 5 Tips to Make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly

Lets do this!
You’ve figured it out. You have that perfect idea for a service website or blog and want to hire an agency or start the development in house. You are all set to take your idea to market and you have clear understanding of what you customers need. Here’s a list of top 5 things you need to do it right the first time.

 

1. Lightning Fast Page Speed

Google loves speed, Customers Love speed. No one likes waiting especially for a webpage to load that they are interested in. In the internet of things, every second counts.

When was the last time you stayed on a webpage that took more than 4 seconds to load.

The quicker the mobile experience, the more engagement you’ll receive. To begin with, analyze every image and every piece of JavaScript and CSS, and compress when needed. Compress larger images when possible; every byte counts on mobile when it comes to speed.

Also, utilize your cache for things that load constantly, such as a logo. When you cache a logo, you’ll save precious download time, which increases the overall speed of your app.

A good rule of thumb is to set all static resources’ cache lifetime once a week. As for other third-party resources like widgets and ads, cache lifetime should be set for one day.

Remember also that lightning-fast page speeds on mobile help with conversion and customer satisfaction. The average mobile website load times for bounced sessions were about 2.5 seconds slower than non-bounced sessions, according to Think with Google.

 

2. Don’t Use Pop-Ups (At all)

Google now penalizes businesses with mobile pop-ups, which was part of the January 2017, algorithm update.

Due to the small size of mobile screens, search engines see these penalties as imperative to provide better UX for users. This should prompt you to limit the use of any pop-ups.

Some pop-ups, like age verification boxes and smaller banners that don’t obscure a large part of the screen, are fine to run. But if a pop-up covers main content or is a standalone one that needs to be dismissed before content is displayed, this will have a drastic effect not only on UX but also on SEO.

Think of how many times you exited a website when this happened. Don’t repeat this same mistake. Design your site to include CTA’s and design your website to include information you’d like to capture through these pop-ups.

 

3. Design for Big Fingers (Yep, Its a thing!)

Your mobile-first design should have touch screen navigation that is easily scrolled with fingers that are either too big or too small.

Think about the size of a thumb and index finger, and make sure your mobile design caters to all for a smoother UX.The smoother the UX, the more engagement, which means the better the SEO.
Here’s the Google Mobile Test Tool

 

4. Titles & Meta Descriptions

If you’re an SEO, you know the importance of Titles and Meta descriptions. If you’re on top of your game, you’ve probably considered testing your Meta’s for Mobile searches. If not, Well…..

Last May, Google increased mobile title tags to 78 characters — eight more than the recommended character count for desktop. But you’re better off sticking to 70 characters, considering you don’t want any title truncated on mobile.

Meta descriptions should also be shorter for a truly enhanced mobile experience. Google also kept mobile meta description lengths to around 130 characters but has since increased the amount of meta description text shown on mobile. Regardless, keep things shorter than 130 characters because Google is known to truncate meta descriptions on mobile.

Yoast (A plugin I highly recommend for WordPress sites) has a perfect solution for those struggling with optimal lengths for either mobile or desktop. Yoast has settings for both desktop and mobile when creating titles, URLs, and meta descriptions so you can optimize each.

 

5. Simple Design With Clear CTAs

Keep it simple and don’t try to add too much content. Make sure you’re not just adding/ stuffing keywords on a page that go against any white-hat SEO practices. You got want to get penalised by google.

Think with the customer in mind and have CTA across your website where your audience is most likely to convert. Also, make sure all your contact forms are designed for mobile. This is a common mistake among many companies — even enterprise-level companies.

Make sure all contact forms use HTML5 input types, which will automatically register the correct keyboard for mobile browsers, which have various on-screen keyboards for various types of data.

Conclusion

Algorithms are constantly changing to provide a better user experience for mobile users and rewarding sites that have an SEO-friendly mobile design.

As mobile continues its natural trend towards more users over desktop, having a mobile-first design with SEO at the forefront is imperative to success.

Should you have any other doubts or want to add to this, please let me know.

How I increased this brand’s website traffic by 300% without spending a single rupee

How I increased this brand’s website traffic by 300% without spending a single rupee

How I increased the website traffic for a brand by 300% under a year without any paid media or Black Hat SEO practices.

How I did it? Lets just cut to the chase.

*Drumroll* 3 words, Search Engine Optimization

Let’s add some context here.

Situation 1: The Easy Way Out (I wish my job was this easy)

A brand new website/ brand goes from 0 visitors to 300 visitors. It indicates a 300% growth but I wouldn’t hold these results as an indicator or any kind of success on the internet.

Situation 2: Driving Results for an Established Brand

Its really easy increasing the website traffic from 0 – 300 but if you’re plateauing at a steady 300+ user per week, you’re not going to expect a 300% in weekly website users especially with competition that has deeper pockets than you. It wasn’t an easy process but the results were well worth the efforts. We deployed a ground up SEO strategy, targeted keywords that aligned with the business and went all out to dominate the space.

*The agreement I have with all my clients is that SEO is an ongoing process and minimum period of time you need to sign up for is at least 1 year.

Black hat SEO practices and keyword stuffing might get you instant results for a month but you definitely run the risk of getting banned by google. A business that is driven by long term success must definitely stay away from any SEO that promises results under a month.

 

Coming back to SEO and the 300% increase, here’s the data from google analytics to show you the growth in traffic.
Google is constantly updating its algorithms and once you do you keyword research well, follow the best practices and create content that your audience wants to engage with, you’re most definitely going to see the results.

 

Nothing makes me happier than achieving the business goals we set, helping brands grow on the internet, taking on the 1000 pound gorilla (The 800 pound gorilla is now the 1000 pound gorilla) and ranking higher than them.

I’d also like to point out that here is definitely a direct correlation between website traffic and leads.

The traffic growth has had a direct impact on their business. Leads also saw an increase by 200% year over year – I’ll write another post explaining the strategy behind increasing qualified leads from the site.

How is the brand doing today you ask?

We’re still on board and the Traffic <-> Leads are still growing. Here’s the graph for organic traffic growth.

Traffic growth SEO

 

 

Want similar results for your website? Get in touch

Why did my website drop in google rankings?

Why Did My Website Drop In Google Rankings?

Sudden Drop in website ranking

 

So you just noticed a drop in your website rankings, you’ve lost significant ranking positions and if this gif explains your current state of affairs & exactly how you feel right now,

via GIPHY

RELAX,

Here’s your guide to understand what went wrong so you can understand why you experienced the drop in traffic.

  1. Get into your Google Analytics and double check if the tracking code on your website is the same as the one linked to your Analytics account.
  2. Compare your data from previous year reports for a drop in traffic if your product/ service offering is a seasonal offering.
  3. Check your Google console to compare impressions and rankings to verify if you’ve actually dropped rankings.

If you’re on top of your game and you notice a drop in rankings as well. Here’s should you should proceed:

Check if Competitors made significant changes to site

If your competitor has restructured his/her website using the best SEO practices and is now outranking you, you might need to revisit your SEO campaign/ strategy.

 

Check For Lost Links

Run a quick report and check if you’ve lost any links from third party referral websites pointing to certain page/ pages that has lost their rankings. You should also check if you’ve changed your site URLs that have resulted in a drop in traffic. Fix all broken links on site or referral links to ensure this isn’t the reason why you’ve lost your rankings.

 

Check for all major google updates pushed recently.

If you’ve previously employed Black-Hat SEO practices or not played by google’s best practices, I’m afraid google has penalised your website and you’re going to need professional help. Get in touch ASAP

If you haven’t been penalised and are none of the above suggestions help answer your question, thank the SEO Gods and shoot me an email. I’ll help you figure this out.

Should I switch over to https?

Should I switch from http to HTTPS?

There is a lot of talk in the SEO world when it comes to switching over to https from http.

While none of the google updates suggest or hint at https as a ranking factor, I am pretty sure https is the way forward.
Here’s a graph that better helps you answer the question: Should I switch over to https?

Should I switch over to https?

 

 

Moz also suggests and projects that buy the end of 2017, 70% of Page 1 results on google will be https driven.

Today, over 50% of the google’s page 1 results are https compared to a mere 30% in 2016.

While Industry leaders like Amazon, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest are still on the www, we have to keep in mind their brand presence across the board. These Industry leaders have put in years of marketing and advertising dollars to build their brand name, brand awareness and domain authority to maintain their #1 position.

Now i’m not saying the having an https will get on the top of the first page on google. But if done right, it will definitely help outrank the http websites of your competitors. (You can hold me to it.)

While google doesn’t outright say that HTTPS is a ranking factor, it certainly seems to rank websites with https higher.

So, Should I switch over to https?

If you’re a brand/ small business/ e-commerce player taking on the internet, I highly recommend switching over from http to https, ASAP.

Check if your website is secure:

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