If you noticed an unusual change to your organic traffic numbers around the beginning of May, this is probably why.
After a few weeks of a ranking shake up (for some) in the organic search results, Google has finally confirmed to Search Engine Land that there were, in fact, changes to its ranking algorithm.
Google had previously dismissed the suspicions of an update. Not that Google was ‘lying,’ considering they haven’t changed what they consider to be good quality content in their guidelines or TOS. Content is still king.
It’s all about the quality (as usual!)
In this past update Google changed how they calculate “quality” content. While Google of course won’t disclose the calculation or parameters, it could be a shift in the relative weights of existing parameters. At the end of the day, it’s just another step toward Google’s goal to make life better for the user. Sometimes it may even be at the expense of using Google to generate traffic; some companies who repeatedly get hit hard from these updates are more prone to reallocating budgets to other traffic driving methods.
But it’s important to remember that for Google, it really is all about the user experience. Panda, Penguin, ‘Mobilegeddon,’ PageSpeed, Caffeine, the Knowledge Graph… All of these updates work toward that aim.
Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but you should always take care to meet Google’s content quality guidelines.