Two weeks ago, we discussed how some gaming companies took a hit with the new changes to Google’s Algorithm changes named Farmer and Panda. Now that a little time has passed search engine optimizers and search engine marketers have had some time to digest the changes.
The biggest change hit article marketers hardest with sites like Articlesbase.com and Suite101.com losing more than 90% of their search traffic. Where many search marketers saw the changes as the search giants attack on what they do for a living, on the other side of the coin, Google’s searchers will benefit greatly.
With Microsoft’s rebranded search engine Bing partnering with Yahoo, Google needed to change how they did business to keep their impressive market share.
The full fallout from the changes haven’t fully be assessed as Google is still fine tuning but analyzing the current changes we can make some assumptions based on what we’ve seen and fine tune our own strategies for search optimization and marketing.
I spoke with a few search experts on the changes and they gave me a few items that we should be looking at going forward.
Longer articles – Shorter keyword intensive articles have lost much of their value in Google search results. While a definitive word count wasn’t established, about 500 words should be safe a safe length.
Keep the Bounce Rate Low – Simply explained, the Bounce Rate is when a user clicks to your site and leaves on the next click, a bounce or clicks through to another page on your website. If your bounce rate is too high, Google will downgrade that pages value to the searcher.
Rather than use the term quality content, they were telling me their new motto is useful content. Although they couldn’t exactly define useful content, they said they are putting emphasis on content that has all the relevant information the people are looking for in their search.
They said if the searcher is looking for a recipe on how to make pancakes, all the information on making pancakes had better be there or the page risks taking a hit in search results if the user backs out too quickly.
Google has the ability to measure the amount of time a searcher spends on the page before clicking through to the next page or bouncing out. While they weren’t sure if Google is using this data to it’s fullest extent, it’s safe to say they will be in the future.
One new feature available to Google searchers that will be a huge thorn in the side of operators and marketers is a new button that displays on all search results. The button offers Google searchers the ability to block all results from a particular site.
This means SEOs and SEMs won’t just have to jump through Google’s hoops, they’ll have to cater to the searcher. The search experts I talked to came to the same consensus, they all hate it. I would hate anything that made my job harder too but from an end-users standpoint, I love it.
It offers searchers more control over what sites won’t appear in their search results. This should keep websites on their toes in what they offer up for content. If searchers see little value in what’s offered, the site risks losing potential customers permanently with a single click.
This will force many changes in search strategy but change is good. While content marketing isn’t going anywhere, it will force companies to think harder about what they offer. More useful, quality content will have a positive effect on natural search traffic; in turn, this should have a positive effect on a company’s conversion rate.
Care about what your customer is really searching for and your bottom line should benefit greatly.
If you are an SEO or SEM for a gaming company, please leave your comments or analysis on how the changes in Google’s algorithm is affecting you now and how it will change your strategy going forward.