Google’s April 29th Update Is Causing Organic Traffic Fluctuations

If you are a webmaster, chances are you have been seeing fluctuations on your Google organic traffic since the beginning of May 2015.

Some of our web properties experienced gains in organic traffic, while others witnessed a significant drop during the last couple of weeks.

In a statement to Searchengineland.com, Google confirmed that updates on its ranking algorithm have been made. The search engine giant did not provide lots of info on the matter, however it said that they changed the way their algorithm assesses quality. (Ref: http://searchengineland.com/the-quality-update-google-confirms-changing-how-quality-is-assessed-resulting-in-rankings-shake-up-221118 )

As technology advances, Google is getting smarter and more efficient. Shady SEO techniques that used to work well in the past, will only get your site penalized today.

Instead of focusing on how to cheat the algorithm, we recommend a better understanding of search engines’ purpose.

What does Google want? Simply put: To understand the search query of the users and present them with the best suitable answer, from the best authoritative source, in the best possible format, and its goal is to show that answer on the top of the results page and at the fastest possible time. Although most webmasters I know want to increase their users time on site, search engines are looking for ways to do just the opposite.

My recommendations: Focus on your clients and user experience instead of worrying about ways to increase your organic traffic. Build a quality website that ads value to users. Gladly, we know exactly how Google assesses quality.

Below are the questions that Google’s crawler is trying to answer when indexing your site:  (Ref: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ca/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html )

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

Thank you for your time and I hope that this article was helpful to you.