|Anybody Affected By The Recent Google Mayday Update|
Update said to affect large e-commerce sites disproportiately
I read that the recent Google "Mayday" update had affected a lot of e-commerce sites.
Long tail keywords such as those commonly associated with product names were affected. I found the following from a Webpronews article quoting an ex-Google worker.
t"his is an algorithmic change in Google, looking for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries."
"This change seems to have primarily impacted very large sites with 'item' pages that don't have many individual links into them, might be several clicks from the home page, and may not have substantial unique and value-added content on them,"
"For instance, ecommerce sites often have this structure. The individual product pages are unlikely to attract external links and the majority of the content may be imported from a manufacturer database. Of course, as with any change that results in a traffic hit for some sites, other sites experience the opposite."
We have hundreds of product pages with minimal links. No real change for us. If anything a little up this month but more likely due to the weather improving (we sell a lot of summer items).
Seems to be moving toward content and away from linking. Both types of SEO have always been a focus for me (content-rich sites with few or no back-links in, and well-linked sites). The sites relying on pure content and internal-only optimization seem to be the ones that stayed the same or moved up, while the ones that didn't have as much content and relied on back-links to maintain a strong position have moved down.
We've always heard "content is King", I think Google is starting to prove it.
In the end, it makes sense... all Google wants to do is show the most relevant page to someone's search. The weight of back-links allow people who know how to work the system to make Google think a page is more relevant to a keyword than its own content suggests. By decreasing the value of links and increasing the value of written content, a page would have to actually BE relevant to what's being searched, instead of external forces "telling" Google it's relevant via anchor text.
digitalv, I agree with you 100%.
On the site I refereed to above, we have a lot of user reviews (actively seek them following a sale) so have more content than a lot of our competitors. We also rewrite all product descriptions so its unique.
Never done much on link building, too busy running the business so I won't cry if it not as useful as it once was!
I had the understanding that G was going to be focusing on improving relevance to the "authority" sites and not so much to the scrapers. Guess I was wrong.
Google crawled the daylights out of my site in mid April, so much so that I was afraid I was about to get booted for some unknown reason. No evil eye, nothing happened. My site has 550 pages, each devoted to a product. I write all the content, aiming for 200 words or more per page, with about 10% of pages purely informational. This is in some way a detriment, because many more people come to read the site than come to buy anything. I have been wrestling for quite a while how to deal with that. I thought about shifting to content only but couldn't figure out how to do it--too scared, really. Partly because of this Google update--what it has been about and how it has shaken out--I have decided to incorporate a lot more products that allow for much more content and to create information-only sub-pages that link to my blog and the domain it's part of, which I had intended to seriously monetize as pure content and which I can put a related type of content on. Part of what spurred me to get serious about this was not only the update but the big huge payment of $10.56 that came from Amazon in late May from Amazon sales from the blog. Sometimes it's the little things that end up meaning a lot. I thought, I have done nothing whatsoever to promote that blog. What if I actually did something?
I did notice a big drop in sales this May compared to previous Mays, traffic staying the same, but I also this year did not do any print ads, and I think that is the reason for the drop in sales.
Re this latest update, in my niche I have seen pretty much no changes. Everyone is where they were, more or less. My primary competitors for rankings are shops that also use a lot of content, but nowhere near as much as mine, in general. However, I know they are making much bigger profits than I am. They have focused on having a lot of stuff. I have focused on having a lot of words. Now I need to make that pay off. This update has shown me that with great force.