Over the last few months there have been lots of changes going on in the Google World.
New search algorithms, re-indexing of websites, massive changes in website traffic and search rankings and now...
The new look Google is upon us!
There are literally thousands of posts on SEO forums across the internet all talking about massive drops in traffic, loss of pages indexed by Google, affected search rankings, the list goes on.
What is of concern is that the sites suffering are the older, more established sites that Google has always held in high regard, sites with good PageRank, lots of indexed pages, good quality inbound links, the list goes on.
When Google makes changes it tends to affect less-established sites more but this time round it is the bigger, more established sites that are suffering.
We are not just talking about short-term losses in small percentages of traffic either, we are talking up to 90% losses for weeks and months, affecting some of the biggest online businesses in the World.
Example 1: A 13 year old website with a PageRank of 7 and 400,000 (yes 400 thousand) inbound links, has suffered a massive loss in traffic
Example 2: A website with a PageRank of 6 and over 1 million pages indexed in Google loses 900,000 indexed pages in a DAY!!!
I could write a long list, but what is Google saying on the situation...
Talk on the SEO forums is that Google are staying tight-lipped because Google is 'broken' and they are rapidly trying to fix the new algorithm, there have been reports of Australia searches showing Scandinavian results, Adwords ads in the organic results, spam sites ranking higher than Wikipedia...
AND STILL GOOGLE SAY NOTHING
The general consensus is they are saying nothing because they don't know what to say, they have rolled out these changes and in a 'live' environment they just aren't working!!!
AND THEY ARE AFFECTING MANY PEOPLES BUSINESSES
But what can you do?
The advice is to keep doing what has worked in the past (as long as it doesn't involve 'black hat' SEO), do not make any drastic changes to your site until Google has settled down and got back to normal, then assess things before doing anything drastic.
What is the talk of 'long-tail' keywords
Long-tail keywords are search terms that consist of 3 or more words and are what the larger sites with lots of content rely on for much of their traffic, these search terms are very specific, e.g.
Searching for a short-tail search term like
Returns the home page of Amazon at the top of the search results
Whereas searching for a long-tail search term like
Search engine optimisation books
Returns an Amazon page at the top of the search results that advertises specific books
Long-tail keywords give websites much more targetted traffic and increase the chance of user interaction with the site (e.g. making a purchase).
It is being said on many SEO forums that Google is changing the way it ranks sites for long-tail keywords, hopefully when an announcement is eventually made by Google on their new algorithm all will become clear on how to continue to optimise sites for 'long-tail' traffic.
There is already talk that to drive traffic through 'long-tail' searches you now need the search term in the specific order, e.g.
Lawyer London Injury
appearing on the page will drive less traffic now than
London Injury Lawyer
For the search term 'London Injury Lawyer' whereas this was not always the case before.
Only time will tell, in my opinion, keep doing what has worked for you in the past, keep an eye on how your site is performing and don't do anything drastic YET!!!
To quote Google's Maile Ohye
"...I think having a solid site: great content, good experience for users, descriptive page titles, standardized URL structure, etc., is of primary importance. A strong site is the foundation where you'll likely make your online conversions..."