With Googles New Changes What Exactly To Do They Expect From Websites?

by sportsfan54 46 replies
I am sure there are quite a few people with me being one of them wondering what google expects from our sites now.

Is the change basically all about Quality Content?

What exactly would count as quality content?

Would it be things like article uniqueness, 500 to 600+ word articles?

Any insite would be appreciated
#search engine optimization #expect #googles #websites
  • Profile picture of the author DrewClement
    Anything you can do to enhance overall user experience and improve the user metrics that Google sees via your site is ideal.

    Increasing page views and time spent on site, as well as decreasing bounce rate is going to have a major factor on how Google ranks your site from here on in. More so than it did before.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
      Originally Posted by DrewClement View Post

      Anything you can do to enhance overall user experience and improve the user metrics that Google sees via your site is ideal.

      Increasing page views and time spent on site, as well as decreasing bounce rate is going to have a major factor on how Google ranks your site from here on in. More so than it did before.
      Definitely agree with Drew. Bounce rate and time spent on site can be used as metrics although black hatters will find a way to fake that as well.

      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      Nope.

      It's my firm belief that the DIVERSITY OF SUBJECTS is responsible for the slap.
      A "content farm", not specific to one niche.

      What can you do?

      Make great niche sites catering one subject, no "wild" sites with all kinds of stuff on it.

      Although I don't think this is very true I would expect very well niche targeted sites increasing in serps while some article directories decrease.

      Many of the things happening right now with the new Google algo thing will go back to what they were before, I guess
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    • Profile picture of the author greggreg
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by greggreg View Post

        Thanks Drew for the informative explanation

        When exactly will the changes take effect?

        The changes are already live in the U.S., effective last week.

        Other country versions of Google are unannounced, but coming to a search engine near you really soon.
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        • Profile picture of the author greggreg
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          • Profile picture of the author inter123
            The answer is, no body really knows. Everything is just speculation.

            Google say, they want websites to deliver quality content but do not go any further to specify what is quality content and give a detailed guideline. As a result, most Web Site Owners, Webmasters, Internet Marketers, etc are confused.

            They want to provide the answers to exactly what the person is looking for and in this regard they are the best search engine available at the moment. But their software is still evolving and in development and is not complete. They can't answer what quality content is because for the all various keywords, they are still figuring out what exactly the user wants.
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    • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
      Originally Posted by DrewClement View Post

      Anything you can do to enhance overall user experience and improve the user metrics that Google sees via your site is ideal.

      Increasing page views and time spent on site, as well as decreasing bounce rate is going to have a major factor on how Google ranks your site from here on in. More so than it did before.
      My only question to this is: Are we all assuming that everyone has Google analytics installed on their site? Is there a way Google could access those metrics if everyone simultaneously switched away from GA and used a third party for tracking?

      Is having GA on your site so that Google can gather this data a part of SEO now?

      What if you have a killer site, but Google doesn't know that your bounce rate is 0% and that everyone clicks thru???
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Drew nailed it.

    Google wants to improve its algorithm to enable users to find better quality content, pure and simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    Nope.

    It's my firm belief that the DIVERSITY OF SUBJECTS is responsible for the slap.
    A "content farm", not specific to one niche.

    What can you do?

    Make great niche sites catering one subject, no "wild" sites with all kinds of stuff on it.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      Nope.

      It's my firm belief that the DIVERSITY OF SUBJECTS is responsible for the slap.
      A "content farm", not specific to one niche.

      What can you do?

      Make great niche sites catering one subject, no "wild" sites with all kinds of stuff on it.

      My main site has 7,000 syndicated articles on it, in a range of topics.

      Yet, my traffic is up across the board 20% to 35% depending on the day, since this algorithm change went into effect.

      By your calculations, I should be down, not up.

      Additionally, if it was the result of "wild" sites covering a wide range of topics, then Ezine Articles and the other directories that were hit should have been hit with a 100% loss of rankings rather than 70% to 95% ranking losses.
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      • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        My main site has 7,000 syndicated articles on it, in a range of topics.

        Yet, my traffic is up across the board 20% to 35% depending on the day, since this algorithm change went into effect.

        By your calculations, I should be down, not up.

        Additionally, if it was the result of "wild" sites covering a wide range of topics, then Ezine Articles and the other directories that were hit should have been hit with a 100% loss of rankings rather than 70% to 95% ranking losses.
        Well, yes i was speculating, but if what you say is true this is very interesting. Honestly, then i don't know what the exact "algorithm change" is supposed to be - except another SPECULATION that Google simply has a list of article sites and applied the penalty to those sites.

        Because, how should the small/medium site featuring articles be any different than eg. ezine if it basically is the same format?
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    • Profile picture of the author DrewClement
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      Nope.

      It's my firm belief that the DIVERSITY OF SUBJECTS is responsible for the slap.
      A "content farm", not specific to one niche.

      What can you do?

      Make great niche sites catering one subject, no "wild" sites with all kinds of stuff on it.

      I'd love to hear your reasoning, examples, or any sort of proof for this. Sometimes it seems that people tend to state "facts" that end up simply being the way they "hope" it turns out to be.

      Seen a number of all-encompassing sites take off this past month.....plus if slaps are given out based on diversity of subjects how could that possibly explain that EHow managed to get off scot-free with all of these recent changes.

      (aside from the fact that google is in their pockets..
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by DrewClement View Post

        Seen a number of all-encompassing sites take off this past month.....plus if slaps are given out based on diversity of subjects how could that possibly explain that EHow managed to get off scot-free with all of these recent changes.

        According to this story, eHow actually benefited from a 15% increase in Google rankings.
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        • Profile picture of the author DrewClement
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          According to this story, eHow actually benefited from a 15% increase in Google rankings.
          Yeah I came across that yesterday morning.

          And if they dont encompass a diversified list of topics...what possibly does? lol
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    Originally Posted by sportsfan54 View Post

    What exactly would count as quality content?
    Put yourself in the mind of your target audience. What questions do you have? What concerns do you have? What do you need to know before you buy something?

    Answer all of those in a unique, well-written, easy-to-understand way - with statements that are backed up by genuine research and solid facts - and you'll wind up with quality content. Word count doesn't play that big of a role in it, as there is no "magical" word count that makes something "quality" (although it's darn near impossible to answer all of those questions in 250 or 300 words! )
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ward
    My biggest site seems to have gained a bunch of long tail traffic after the recent changes, ranking for a bunch of keywords it wasn't previously ranking for. All of my articles are unique (but syndicated to directories) and about 500+ words.

    I don't really focus on hardcore SEOing of articles; I try to just write and slip the keywords in where they make sense. I also do not use Google Analytics on any of my sites. I'm guessing Chrome probably reports bounce rate, etc?
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    • Profile picture of the author ShaneM686
      Originally Posted by mattward View Post

      My biggest site seems to have gained a bunch of long tail traffic after the recent changes, ranking for a bunch of keywords it wasn't previously ranking for. All of my articles are unique (but syndicated to directories) and about 500+ words.

      I don't really focus on hardcore SEOing of articles; I try to just write and slip the keywords in where they make sense. I also do not use Google Analytics on any of my sites.
      Do you think google analytics plays an important role in getting your sites slapped or slowing down rankings? A bit more explanation would be appreciated!
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by ShaneM686 View Post

        Do you think google analytics plays an important role in getting your sites slapped or slowing down rankings? A bit more explanation would be appreciated!

        I do imagine that Google does use Google Analytics to observe trends and usage habits.

        But not everyone uses Google Analytics, so that is not reliable for them to use for anything beyond analyzing trends.

        More important I think is Google's acquired property DoubleClick, which has been tracking usage metrics across the vastness of the Internet for many years.

        Honestly, I don't know exactly how DoubleClick works, but I am certain that it provides more actionable data than Google Analytics does.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ward
    It's just a personal preference of mine not to use Google Analytics on my sites. I haven't been doing SEO long enough to say that it makes any kind of difference, but I certainly feel better not giving them an inside look at my traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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    They are interested in what they've always been interested in ... serving relevant search results ... and that doesn't mean a bunch of spammy sales pages and shallow made for adsense content when someone wants information on a topic. If that's all they can serve up when people are searching for real information, they won't be the search engine of choice forever.

    Give quality information in your sites.
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  • i can't help but feel sites with a ton of onpage, outbound links or crazy amounts of adverts are being hit the hardest...
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Take a look at Amazon. That's what they expect.

      Take a look at Wikipedia. That's what they expect.

      Take a look at IMDB. That's what they expect.

      Take a look at WebMD (especially if you're into the health niche)

      THAT'S what they expect.

      They expect you to actually serve up content that freakin' helps people.

      If after however long you've been marketing online you don't get that, it's
      time to pull up stakes and go get a freakin' 9 to 5 job because you have
      no business online.

      (Ducking into bunker awaiting bricks, stones and hand grenades that are
      likely to be thrown)
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      Well, yes i was speculating, but if what you say is true this is very interesting. Honestly, then i don't know what the exact "algorithm change" is supposed to be - except another SPECULATION that Google simply has a list of article sites and applied the penalty to those sites.

      Because, how should the small/medium site featuring articles be any different than eg. ezine if it basically is the same format?
      Originally Posted by Steve Peters Benn View Post

      i can't help but feel sites with a ton of onpage, outbound links or crazy amounts of adverts are being hit the hardest...

      George, the link I gave previously will give you a lot more insight into what the pros are making of this update, backed up with a ton of evidence.

      Steve, you will be delighted that your suggestion is one of the reasons attributed in this article as part of the change.

      Google's Farmer Update: Analysis of Winners vs. Losers | SEOmoz
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    The "secret formula" that the "gurus" seem to not have been stressing strongly enough?

    Ask Not What Google Can Do For You. Ask What You Can Do For Your Viewers.

    For the life of me I can't figure out why so many people just don't "get" this one.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
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      In the old days, what did Google have? They had backlinks and on-page factors.

      Now they have so many more ways of analyzing visitors reactions to sites. Toolbar, Chrome, Analytics, etc.

      I STILL think that backlinks are important and will continue to be important. They will help you get into the game. But in order to continue to be successful, the visitors have to be happy when they get there.

      And if your site consistently has 90% bounce rates, I'm assuming that you might not be there for long.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketermatt
    google want unique quality content!

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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    heres a radical thought...bugger what google wants put content up that people would want to find
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Robert Puddy View Post

      heres a radical thought...bugger what google wants put content up that people would want to find

      Not only is it a radical idea, but it is always a good idea.

      If you focus all of your attention on Google, what happens if Google one day decides you are no longer relevant? You cease to exist in Google and go out of business.

      If you are running a real business, then you should seek traffic from a multitude of sources.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oneal Degrassi
    We can all sit here and spout off what Google has been telling us for years. But what has it been...3 days? Anyone telling anyone else what Google wants at this point is talking out of their "you know what."

    I mean really, come on!
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  • Profile picture of the author Oneal Degrassi
    Dude, 3 days is nowhere near enough time to draw any conclusions, especially since Google has been admittedly tweaking the algorithm since Friday.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Oneal Degrassi View Post

      Dude, 3 days is nowhere near enough time to draw any conclusions, especially since Google has been admittedly tweaking the algorithm since Friday.

      If no conclusions can be drawn on the evidence, then you need to stop reading about this topic.

      Honestly, everything in SEO is based on conclusions drawn from the evidence. Nothing is ever known. SEO always has been and always will be nothing more than an educated guess, based on what has been observed.


      p.s. Google tweaks its algorithms daily.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    Google is moving the SERPs around a lot more these days. I think they are measuring user interaction with the search results rather than bounce rates on the site (to some degree).

    Google can only measure what they can track. Sites that lack Analytics and AdSense cannot be tracked on-site by Google. This means their pool of data isn't complete and they would have unwanted bias in their results.

    What they can track is a user returning to a search page and clicking on the next best result. A pattern should emerge about which sites are sending visitors back and how fast. By moving the SERPs around they can 'test' different sites to remove any SEO bias when they have a list of pages they think are really relevant.

    I'm sure they are improving their link profiling all the time but the spamming methods still work, regardless of the quality of the content.

    I have said this a few times about the update already but the well known sites that have been penalised STILL give great results for pages that have been 'seod'. ie good backlinks pointing to them.

    Number of links to a page still means quality content to the Google Algorithim. The big article directories and friends just so happened to have a whole lot of pages in the top 10 that had no off-site backlinks.

    Pages that lack some of the metrics can still be pushed to the top by a bucketload of backlinks.

    I'm not sure about the outbound links and advertising links. If those are a problem then just place them in Javascript of flash or some other method to make them invisible to the bots.
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    • Profile picture of the author inter123
      Maybe Ezine and Co. should employ SEO people to their staff!

      Originally Posted by Fraggler View Post

      Number of links to a page still means quality content to the Google Algorithim. The big article directories and friends just so happened to have a whole lot of pages in the top 10 that had no off-site backlinks.
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    • Profile picture of the author inter123
      With a small sites, say 50 pages for e.g., chances are most of the pages have been SEO'ed. If what is quoted below is true, these sites are not going to be effected. All the talk big sites and the authority it provides to rank all manner of pages go down the drain.

      Perhaps unless the pages within the site are interlinked, the weight given to the pages has become less. Could explain why ehow and wikipedia strengthened their positions.

      Originally Posted by Fraggler View Post

      Google is moving the SERPs around a lot more these days. I think they are measuring user interaction with the search results rather than bounce rates on the site (to some degree).

      Google can only measure what they can track. Sites that lack Analytics and AdSense cannot be tracked on-site by Google. This means their pool of data isn't complete and they would have unwanted bias in their results.

      What they can track is a user returning to a search page and clicking on the next best result. A pattern should emerge about which sites are sending visitors back and how fast. By moving the SERPs around they can 'test' different sites to remove any SEO bias when they have a list of pages they think are really relevant.

      I'm sure they are improving their link profiling all the time but the spamming methods still work, regardless of the quality of the content.

      I have said this a few times about the update already but the well known sites that have been penalised STILL give great results for pages that have been 'seod'. ie good backlinks pointing to them.

      Number of links to a page still means quality content to the Google Algorithim. The big article directories and friends just so happened to have a whole lot of pages in the top 10 that had no off-site backlinks.

      Pages that lack some of the metrics can still be pushed to the top by a bucketload of backlinks.

      I'm not sure about the outbound links and advertising links. If those are a problem then just place them in Javascript of flash or some other method to make them invisible to the bots.
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      • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
        Originally Posted by inter123 View Post

        Perhaps unless the pages within the site are interlinked, the weight given to the pages has become less. Could explain why ehow and wikipedia strengthened their positions.
        I don't think it is just interlinked pages but it might play a big part. Wikipedia actually takes interlinking to an extreme - but they do it so well.

        Ezine Articles and a lot of the other directories do interlink relatively well...for new articles and ones in the most published list at least. This is why new posts rocket up the SERPS (or used to). The links from all those internal pages give it a surge.

        Other than that, their interlinking is pretty poor. There is actually no contextual internal linking. This will make old content disappear deep into the site. Never a good thing for those looking at running large sites.

        I don't think Google went out and targeted these domains. It is just that these types of sites happen to fit into the mould that Google thinks is poor content.

        I still think that each page can stand on its own two feet and the pages that I have (on some of the sites that 'got slapped') that haven't moved proves it - to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    If you don't own a major article site, nothing has changed.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      If you don't own a major article site, nothing has changed.

      There are a number of people who have suggested that their non-article directory websites have been hurt by the last Google update.

      Either they are telling stories, or you are wrong.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        There are a number of people who have suggested that their non-article directory websites have been hurt by the last Google update.

        Either they are telling stories, or you are wrong.
        Chances are they did everything right, lol (they always say that).
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  • Profile picture of the author mandark
    If you don't own a major article site, nothing has changed.
    Google themselves claimed that 11.8% of their queries were affected. I somehow doubt that includes only article directories!

    (source: Official Google Blog: Finding more high-quality sites in search )
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by mandark View Post

      Google themselves claimed that 11.8% of their queries were affected. I somehow doubt that includes only article directories!

      (source: Official Google Blog: Finding more high-quality sites in search )
      Ummm... If you believe everything Google says about seo, all I can say is "Good luck with that". If anyone post a video from Matt Cutts I will have proven my point, lol.

      Besides a month ago EZA owned a large chunk of the SERPs (first page).
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