Tag Archive | "core"

Google’s August 1st Core Update: Week 1

Posted by Dr-Pete

On August 1, Google (via Danny Sullivan’s @searchliaison account) announced that they released a “broad core algorithm update.” Algorithm trackers and webmaster chatter confirmed multiple days of heavy ranking flux, including our own MozCast system:

Temperatures peaked on August 1-2 (both around 114°F), with a 4-day period of sustained rankings flux (purple bars are all over 100°F). While this has settled somewhat, yesterday’s data suggests that we may not be done.

August 2nd set a 2018 record for MozCast at 114.4°F. Keep in mind that, while MozCast was originally tuned to an average temperature of 70°F, 2017-2018 average temperatures have been much higher (closer to 90° in 2018).

Temperatures by Vertical

There’s been speculation that this algo update targeted so called YMYL queries (Your Money or Your Life) and disproportionately impacted health and wellness sites. MozCast is broken up into 20 keyword categories (roughly corresponding to Google Ads categories). Here are the August 2nd temperatures by category:

At first glance, the “Health” category does appear to be the most impacted. Keywords in that category had a daily average temperature of 124°F. Note, though, that all categories showed temperatures over 100°F on August 1st – this isn’t a situation where one category was blasted and the rest were left untouched. It’s also important to note that this pattern shifted during the other three days of heavy flux, with other categories showing higher average temperatures. The multi-day update impacted a wide range of verticals.

Top 30 winners

So, who were the big winners (so far) of this update? I always hesitate to do a winners/losers analysis – while useful, especially for spotting patterns, there are plenty of pitfalls. First and foremost, a site can gain or lose SERP share for many reasons that have nothing to do with algorithm updates. Second, any winners/losers analysis is only a snapshot in time (and often just one day).

Since we know that this update spanned multiple days, I’ve decided to look at the percentage increase (or decrease) in SERP share between July 31st and August 7th. In this analysis, “Share” is a raw percentage of page-1 rankings in the MozCast 10K data set. I’ve limited this analysis to only sites that had at least 25 rankings across our data set on July 31 (below that the data gets very noisy). Here are the top 30…

The first column is the percentage increase across the 7 days. The final column is the overall share – this is very low for all but mega-sites (Wikipedia hovers in the colossal 5% range).

Before you over-analyze, note the second column – this is the percent change from the highest July SERP share for that site. What the 7-day share doesn’t tell us is whether the site is naturally volatile. Look at Time.com (#27) for a stark example. Time Magazine saw a +19.5% lift over the 7 days, which sounds great, except that they landed on a final share that was down 54.4% from their highest point in July. As a news site, Time’s rankings are naturally volatile, and it’s unclear whether this has much to do with the algorithm update.

Similarly, LinkedIn, AMC Theaters, OpenTable, World Market, MapQuest, and RE/MAX all show highs in July that were near or above their August 7th peaks. Take their gains with a grain of salt.

Top 30 losers

We can run the same analysis for the sites that lost the most ground. In this case, the “Max %” is calculated against the July low. Again, we want to be mindful of any site where the 7-day drop looks a lot different than the drop from that site’s July low-point…

Comparing the first two columns, Verywell Health immediately stands out. While the site ended the 7-day period down 52.3%, it was up just over 200% from July lows. It turns out that this site was sitting very low during the first week of July and then saw a jump in SERP share. Interestingly, Verywell Family and Verywell Fit also appear on our top 30 losers list, suggesting that there’s a deeper story here.

Anecdotally, it’s easy to spot a pattern of health and wellness sites in this list, including big players like Prevention and LIVESTRONG. Whether this list represents the entire world of sites hit by the algorithm update is impossible to say, but our data certainly seems to echo what others are seeing.

Are you what you E-A-T?

There’s been some speculation that this update is connected to Google’s recent changes to their Quality Rater Guidelines. While it’s very unlikely that manual ratings based on the new guidelines would drive major ranking shifts (especially so quickly), it’s entirely plausible that the guideline updates and this algorithm update share a common philosophical view of quality and Google’s latest thinking on the subject.

Marie Haynes’ post theorizing the YMYL connection also raises the idea that Google may be looking more closely at E-A-T signals (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust). While certainly an interesting theory, I can’t adequately address that question with this data set. Declines in sites like Fortune, IGN and Android Central pose some interesting questions about authoritativeness and trust outside of the health and wellness vertical, but I hesitate to speculate based only on a handful of outliers.

If your site has been impacted in a material way (including significant traffic gains or drops), I’d love to hear more details in the comments section. If you’ve taken losses, try to isolate whether those losses are tied to specific keywords, keyword groups, or pages/content. For now, I’d advise that this update could still be rolling out or being tweaked, and we all need to keep our eyes open.

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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Core Update Confirmed, New Search Snippets, Bing API & More SEO

This week in our weekly recap, we had a very big Google update that Google ended up confirming as a broad core update. Google said there is nothing to fix or specific here to do and I go through what is going on with that messaging.

Search Engine Roundtable

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5 Ways to Establish Core Brand Values

Your brand is more than just your company or product name. It’s one of the best ways of setting yourself apart from your competitors. Unfortunately, many business owners are confused as to what “branding” really means and how it affects their company.

In a nutshell, your brand value reflects the values your company holds. It embodies your company’s history, vision, and mission. It also stands as your promise to your client with regards to what they can expect from the products and services you offer.

Consider brands like Nike and Apple. These two companies success can be attributed to how well their brands reflected their core values. Nike’s logo and “Just Do It” tagline resonates not just with athletes but people who are looking to channel their drive to succeed. Meanwhile, Apple’s “Think Different” slogan makes it clear to everyone that the company is all about developing the best and most innovative products that are within everyone’s reach.

Defining your brand and the core values it embodies is challenging as it entails time, patience and a little bit of self-discovery. Here are five ways to establish your business’ core brand values:

1. Pick Values That Resonate With Your Business

Discovering your company’s core brand values is a challenging process. One way to go about this is to make a list ofSwan, Towel, Flower, Holiday, Hotel, Bed, Djerba traits that are important to you. But this should go beyond listing down nice sounding adjectives like “trusted” or “reliable.” You have to dig deeper and look beyond your idealized vision of a perfect company.

You can utilize your own negative experiences with other brands. For example, your stay at a glamorous B&B with perfect amenities might have left you feeling disconnected by its cold and snobbish staff. So instead of focusing on “great amenities,” make your mark by offering services that will make your “customers feel welcomed” and loved. And once you’ve chosen values that truly resonate with you, start focusing your energies on that.

2. Be the Best Representative of Your Values

What do your customers say about your brand? Are they impressed with your customer service or with the low price? Find out what traits your customers already associate with your brand and build on that.

Let’s say your customers love the effort you make in answering their queries, then you can make “going the extra mile to answer your questions and meet your needs” as your core value. And since you’re already known for it, make sure you keep representing your core values through advertisements and innovations.

3. Understand Who Your Competitors and Customers Are

You should also consider what your customer needs and expects from your brand while also taking into account what solutions are already being offered by your competitors. Analyzing what your rival is offering can reveal a gap that you can fill, or it can give you ideas on how you can offer a different solution that will better reflect your values.

4. Create Ways to Showcase Your Brand

Image result for taste happiness coke

Once you have established your core values, you have to think about how you can simplify them down to a few key words that will act as a reminder for your business team. Think Coke’s “Taste Happiness” or Nike’s “Just Do It” slogans. This will also help your employees understand and live your values.

Having clearly defined core values will also make it easier for your company to showcase your brand. Aside from your logo, tagline or slogan, there are also other methods you can use to push your brand, like creating your voice or using a unique color scheme.

5. Develop Relationships That Embody Your Values

You can also strengthen your core brand values by using it when building business relationships. Refer to these values in your recruitment and marketing and sales strategies. Hire people who believe in the same values and who are willing to share and spread these ideals.

It’s essential that you establish your core brand values from the start. These will act as the building blocks of your business and will attract consumers who believe in the same values.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

The post 5 Ways to Establish Core Brand Values appeared first on WebProNews.


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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Core Algorithm Update, Autocomplete Changes, Negative SEO, Hijacks & One Line AdWords

This week in search, we got confirmation about the large Google update from Google as being a broad core update. It started a week ago Monday and seems to have gone on for ten or more days…

Search Engine Roundtable

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Google: Focused Search Updates Daily & Core Updates Every Other Month

When Google confirmed the Google update from the weekend, Danny Sullivan explained that it was a “core update” that happens only several times per year…

Search Engine Roundtable

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Google AMP In Core Mobile Results Fully Live?

In early August we reported Google is bringing AMP pages to the core mobile search results. Google never told us when this would happen exactly but it seems to have gone live today/tonight.

Many folks are now seeing it for ordinary searches in Google while on their mobile devices…

Search Engine Roundtable

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Matt Cutts: Google Core Updates Were So Drastic Due To End Of Year Code Freeze

Matt Cutts of Google who is still on leave as far as we know, was on TWIG #336 and he spent about 15 minutes going through the core updates, Penguin…

Search Engine Roundtable

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Inge Lehmann Google Logo Marks 127th Birthday Of Woman Who Discovered Earth’s Inner Core

She was the first woman to receive a William Bowie medal – the highest honor awarded by the American Geophysical Union.

The post Inge Lehmann Google Logo Marks 127th Birthday Of Woman Who Discovered Earth’s Inner Core appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Depression, Suicide at Core of Mariel Hemingway’s Young-Adult Book

Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of famous novelist Ernest Hemingway. While Ernest Hemingway is known for his wonderful writing, he is also known for how he left this world: he put a double-barreled shotgun to his own head.

In fact, Mariel Hemingway has seen troubled lives throughout her family. Her own sister, Margaux, also took her own life. Mental illness, depression and other factors have colored the Hemingway legacy for generations.

Now Mariel Hemingway is talking about it. She has penned two books on the subjects of depression, mental illness, and suicide. One is a young-adult version called Invisible Girl.

Her publisher says:

Born just a few months after her grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, shot himself, it was Mariel’s mission as a girl to escape the desperate cycles of severe mental health issues that had plagued generations of her family. Surrounded by a family tortured by alcoholism (both parents), depression (her sister Margaux), suicide (her grandfather and four other members of her family), schizophrenia (her sister Muffet), and cancer (mother), it was all the young Mariel could do to keep her head… Young readers who are sharing a similar painful childhood will see their lives and questions reflected on the pages of her diary—and they may even be inspired to start their own diary to channel their pain. Her voice will speak directly to teens across the world and tell them there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Mariel Hemingway says that she feels a unique opportunity to talk about these issues of depression and suicide.

“I am a Hemingway, and to me, that means that I have a ticket to understanding a world of darkness, of courage, of sadness, of excitement, and — at times — of complete lunacy. And yet, other people with other names feel these things too. It may just be that they don’t have an American myth to which they can connect themselves.”

When asked why she did a young-adult version of this book about depression and suicide, Mariel Hemingway said:

“Because that’s (the age) when I was the most scared. Also when I was the most confused. A lot of kids don’t know that there’s somebody out there that gets it. You don’t know it’s not normal. I thought that when parents fought and there was broken glass and blood on the wall, that you cleaned it up because this was your job.”


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4 PPC campaigns that violate the 3 core rules of success

Author (displayed on the page): 

When was the last time you clicked on a pay-per-click (PPC) ad on Facebook, Google or another site and were disappointed at what you found? Maybe you were confused after going to the landing page of a banner ad or frustrated when a Facebook ad led to information that had nothing obvious to do with what was being advertised.

PPC Copywriters and Landing Page Specialists understand that – while there are many elements that can increase and decrease conversions in a PPC campaign – there are three core rules that shouldn’t be violated. Those three revolve around:

  • Relevance
  • Clarity
  • Distraction

PPC Ads Never Work Alone

These tiny bits of copy are simply not meant to make the sale/conversion on their own power. Instead, they are (or should be) designed to pique curiosity, instill intrigue or otherwise entice the reader to click for more information.

Because you have two pieces to a puzzle (the ad and the landing page), you have to be oh-so-careful to guarantee that the ads are:

1 – Relevant: What is stated in the ad copy is relevant to what is on the page. You wouldn’t want to mention something in your PPC ad copy that can’t be found on the landing page or is hidden on the landing page.Web surfers don’t have time to search your landing page. If you mention an offer or a specific product (for example) … make very sure that same information is abundantly obvious on the associated landing page.

2 – Clear: When using discounts or other incentives in your PPC copywriting, you want to have the information within plain view of site visitors once they click to the landing page. One sure way to increase your bounce rate and decrease conversions is to make an offer that isn’t backed up on the landing page.

3 – Free from Distraction: PPC ad copy works best when it is ultra-specific. Landing pages do, too. If you’re using a generic page from your site that includes navigation links to other pages, you run the risk of visitors getting distracted from your message. In their truest sense, landing pages offer two choices: take the action on the page or leave. When there are links to your services page, other products, your blog and more, the attention span of your visitors will be fragmented and they are likely to wander off, never to return and complete the task.

Examples from Cyberspace

These four examples of PPC ads and their associated landing pages break the three most important rules of landing-page success. That isn’t to say they aren’t getting some response, but they certainly aren’t performing at their best.

Violated Rules: Relevance & Distraction

This is a screenshot from a Facebook ad I found in my News Feed. The headline works well with copy about getting results. It specifically mentions banner ads and indicates that you’ll discover how to get big traffic and ROI. (Benefits most business people would want.)

However, when I clicked to the landing page, there were no mentions of banner ads. All the landing-page copy is about spying on other advertisers. The PPC ad isn’t relevant to the landing page.

In addition, the landing page in this campaign seems to be just their home page. All the navigational structure is in place along with a pitch for people to subscribe to their newsletter, the latest news and more. It’s all a recipe for poor conversion rates.

Violated Rules: Relevance & Clarity

I am a steadfast Gamecock fan! When I saw this Facebook ad for college football gear, I was excited to see what Walmart would have for the upcoming SEC season.

While the PPC ad copy mentions college football and gear (which is what caught my attention), it doesn’t link to a category page on their site. What you get is a link to their Facebook fan page that mentions nothing about football at all. Huh? The ad copy says you can “Like” Walmart, but that’s more of an afterthought.

The lack of clarity and relevance caused me to leave Walmart’s fan page frustrated and not finding what the ad promised. (And not liking the page, either.)

Next, I ventured over to Google to find some AdWords ads. It didn’t take me long to come across these two examples.

Violated Rule: Clarity

The headline for this PPC ad reads, “90% Off Hiking Boots.” This is a great headline especially for bargain hunters. Since my search was for “ladies hiking boots,” I assumed I would be taken to a landing page showing me the selection of women’s boots at 90% off. Wrong!

I ended up on a page that includes all hiking footwear and accessories: socks, shoes, boots, men’s, women’s, etc. And there was no mention of 90% discounts to be found. This was a definite cause of confusion. I wasn’t clear about where I was or what went wrong between the PPC ad copy and the landing page, so I just left.

Violated Rules: Distraction & Clarity

The folks at Dell should know better than to create a PPC campaign like this, in my opinion. After a search for “antivirus software,” I saw this AdWords ad. The ad copy got my attention by listing benefits such as “Better PC Performance” and “Help You Need.”

I got a big surprise once I landed at their site. It was a page full of every type of support they offered: not just antivirus software.

While the ad was relevant to the landing page, there was only one tiny little link down at the bottom of the “Troubleshooting & repair” section that read, “Virus & spyware removal.” Hmmm… not exactly what I’d call antivirus software.

Because this page was not dedicated to antivirus (as the ad indicated), there was all sorts of distraction, including navigation links, PC checkups, self-help services and more. I was looking for antivirus software and found everything but. Not a good user experience.

When you’re writing PPC ads and developing landing pages for your campaigns, double-check your relevance, clarity and distraction levels. Ask people outside your organization to review the ads and landing pages to make sure they are communicating the way they should. Taking these simple steps will help your entire campaign perform better.

Karon wrote an ebook for Wordtracker that can guide you in your efforts to write exceptional PPC ads for AdWords or Facebook. Pick up a copy today.

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