Connect with us

GOOGLE

Google: Low Traffic Does Not Always Mean Low Quality

Published

on

Google: Low Traffic Does Not Always Mean Low Quality

Google’s John Mueller answered a question about what to do with low traffic pages that have poor search visibility and traffic. He acknowledged that there could be quality issues but also noted that low traffic in itself is not mean the pages  themselves are low quality.

John Mueller offered solutions to the problem of low traffic web pages.

What to Do About Low Traffic Pages?

The person asking the question was concerned about hundreds of thousands of web pages that are indexed but have minimal search visibility.

He communicated that perhaps these pages lacked authority and asked if he should de-index the pages or canonicalize them because he was concerned about the website’s quality score.

How does Google Treat Low Traffic Pages in Terms of Quality?

This is the question asked:

“We have a site that has a hub and spoke architecture.

A hub page might be Eric Clapton and the spokes are what guitars he uses, and each of those pages are relatively small.

The value from them is from embedded videos or pictures with relatively little unique font content.

Over time those pages have become the majority of our indexed pages, with well over a hundred thousand.

But only a third of those are getting traffic through search.

In the past I’ve heard you say that to affect your website’s quality score, we were considering de-indexing those pages …the pages that are not getting traffic…

However, we were also considering canonicalizing these.

So I was curious how Google would treat that from a quality score perspective.”

Google Does Not Have a Quality Score for Organic Search

Many in the search industry and Google discuss site quality. Web pages, groups of web pages and entire websites can be judged to be of low quality.

But Google does not have a “quality score” for the organic search results. John Mueller affirmed this important point.

Google’s John Mueller first addressed the issue of the quality score by noting that Google does not give sites a quality score.

Mueller:

“We don’t really have a quality score, in that sense.

I think that’s something that comes from the ad side.

So that’s one thing to keep in mind there.”

How to Deal with Low Quality Web Pages

Mueller next discussed the different approaches to dealing with pages that have low search visibility.

John Mueller continued:

“I think there are multiple things to think about here.

On the one hand, I would consider taking some action if you feel that these pages are low quality.

Taking action could be something like removing those pages, improving those pages, combining those kinds of pages together.

Anything along those lines could be something that you could do if these are low quality pages.”

Low Traffic is Not a Signal of Low Quality

John Mueller next offered the insight that low search visibility is not a symptom of low quality.

The question of low quality is a good one so it’s always useful to hear what John Mueller or any other Googler has to say about this issue of page and site quality.

Mueller offered the following insights:

“If these are pages that tend not to get a lot of traffic but they’re actually useful on their own then I wouldn’t necessarily see them as low quality. That’s one thing to keep in mind.

On some websites, pages that get low traffic are often almost like correlated with low quality as well but that doesn’t have to be the case.

On other websites it might must just be that a lot of traffic goes to the head pages and the tail pages are just as useful but they’re useful for a much smaller audience.

So they get barely any traffic.

From our point of view, those websites are still useful and it’s still high quality.

I wouldn’t remove it just because it doesn’t get traffic.”

How to Fix Low Quality Pages at Scale

Mueller next discusses the difficult issue of dealing with low quality pages at scale in terms of hundreds of thousands of pages.

Mueller offered these suggestions:

“With regards to the different kinds of approaches there, when I ask the search quality teams about this, usually they say well you should just improve the quality of your pages. which kind of makes sense…

But at the same time if you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of pages that’s really hard to do at scale.

So sometimes people do opt for removing the pages or combining the pages.

The thing to keep in mind with using a canonical to combine pages is that we only take into account the canonical page then.

So if you have one page for example about Eric Clapton’s guitars and another page about Eric Clapton’s shoes, and you say that the guitar page is the canonical for the shoes page then we wouldn’t have that shoe page or any of its content in our index anymore. We would essentially just focus on the guitars.

So if someone were searching for Eric Clapton shoes, they wouldn’t be able to find those pages at all.

So that’s (kind of) with the different approaches, something to keep in mind, so that in a case like that, what I would do is take the content from the page that you want to kind of remove or clean up and include that into kind of a bigger page and make that bigger page stronger.

And by that you’re also making sure that you still have that content indexable somewhere.”

Identifying Quality Issues and Traffic Issues

In a way, this question was really about two topics.

One topic was about content quality. The other concern was search traffic.

If one decouples the issue of “quality” from the concern about pages lacking search traffic, then the answer to the question of what do with the pages becomes a little clearer.

The question becomes, “What can I do to make these pages perform better in search?”

Google’s John Mueller suggested combining the pages to make stronger pages out of hundreds of weaker pages, if the content itself is useful.

But of course, if the content is inherent useless, it’s possible to rewrite it to make it more useful, get rid of it or redirect it to a page that has a similar topic but is better.

Citation

Pages with Low Traffic Aren’t Always Low Quality

Watch John Mueller answer the question at the 40 second mark:

Searchenginejournal.com

GOOGLE

Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

Published

on

Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

Google has agreed to pay a $391.5 million settlement to 40 states to resolve accusations that it tracked people’s locations in violation of state laws, including snooping on consumers’ whereabouts even after they told the tech behemoth to bug off.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said it is time for Big Tech to recognize state laws that limit data collection efforts.

“I have been ringing the alarm bell on big tech for years, and this is why,” Mr. Landry, a Republican, said in a statement Monday. “Citizens must be able to make informed decisions about what information they release to big tech.”

The attorneys general said the investigation resulted in the largest-ever multistate privacy settlement. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, said Google’s penalty is a “historic win for consumers.”

“Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, and there are so many reasons why a consumer may opt out of tracking,” Mr. Tong said. “Our investigation found that Google continued to collect this personal information even after consumers told them not to. That is an unacceptable invasion of consumer privacy, and a violation of state law.”

Location tracking can help tech companies sell digital ads to marketers looking to connect with consumers within their vicinity. It’s another tool in a data-gathering toolkit that generates more than $200 billion in annual ad revenue for Google, accounting for most of the profits pouring into the coffers of its corporate parent, Alphabet, which has a market value of $1.2 trillion.

The settlement is part of a series of legal challenges to Big Tech in the U.S. and around the world, which include consumer protection and antitrust lawsuits.

Though Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it fixed the problems several years ago, the company’s critics remained skeptical. State attorneys general who also have tussled with Google have questioned whether the tech company will follow through on its commitments.

The states aren’t dialing back their scrutiny of Google’s empire.

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was filing a lawsuit over reports that Google unlawfully collected millions of Texans’ biometric data such as “voiceprints and records of face geometry.”

The states began investigating Google’s location tracking after The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Android devices and iPhones were storing location data despite the activation of privacy settings intended to prevent the company from following along.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich went after the company in May 2020. The state’s lawsuit charged that the company had defrauded its users by misleading them into believing they could keep their whereabouts private by turning off location tracking in the settings of their software.

Arizona settled its case with Google for $85 million last month. By then, attorneys general in several other states and the District of Columbia had pounced with their own lawsuits seeking to hold Google accountable.

Along with the hefty penalty, the state attorneys general said, Google must not hide key information about location tracking, must give users detailed information about the types of location tracking information Google collects, and must show additional information to people when users turn location-related account settings to “off.”

States will receive differing sums from the settlement. Mr. Landry’s office said Louisiana would receive more than $12.7 million, and Mr. Tong’s office said Connecticut would collect more than $6.5 million.

The financial penalty will not cripple Google’s business. The company raked in $69 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2022, according to reports, yielding about $13.9 billion in profit.

Google downplayed its location-tracking tools Monday and said it changed the products at issue long ago.

“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement.

Google product managers Marlo McGriff and David Monsees defended their company’s Search and Maps products’ usage of location information.

“Location information lets us offer you a more helpful experience when you use our products,” the two men wrote on Google’s blog. “From Google Maps’ driving directions that show you how to avoid traffic to Google Search surfacing local restaurants and letting you know how busy they are, location information helps connect experiences across Google to what’s most relevant and useful.”

The blog post touted transparency tools and auto-delete controls that Google has developed in recent years and said the private browsing Incognito mode prevents Google Maps from saving an account’s search history.

Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees said Google would make changes to its products as part of the settlement. The changes include simplifying the process for deleting location data, updating the method to set up an account and revamping information hubs.

“We’ll provide a new control that allows users to easily turn off their Location History and Web & App Activity settings and delete their past data in one simple flow,” Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees wrote. “We’ll also continue deleting Location History data for users who have not recently contributed new Location History data to their account.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Source link

Continue Reading

GOOGLE

5 Tips to Boost Your Holiday Search Strategy

Published

on

Student writing on computer

With the global economic downturn, inflation, ongoing supply chain challenges, and uncertainty due to the Ukraine war, this year’s holiday shopping season promises to be very challenging. Will people be in the mood to spend despite the gloom? Or will they rein in their enthusiasm and save for the year ahead?

With these issues in mind, here are five considerations to support your search engine optimization strategy this holiday shopping season:

1. Start early.

Rising prices are likely to mean shoppers will start researching their holiday spending earlier than ever to nab the best bargains. Therefore, retailers must roll out their holiday product and category pages — and launch any promotions — sooner to ensure their pages get crawled and indexed by search engines in good time.

Some e-commerce stores manage to get their pages ranking early by updating and reusing the same section of the website for holiday content and promotions, rotating between content for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine gifts, Fourth of July sales, etc. This approach can help you retain the momentum, links and authority you build up with Google and get your holiday pages visible and ranking quickly.

2. Make research an even bigger priority.

With all the uncertainty this year, it’s vital to use SEO research to identify the trending seasonal keywords and search phrases in your retail vertical — and then optimize content accordingly.

With tools such as Google Trends you can extract helpful insights based on the types of searches people are making. For example, with many fashion retailers now charging for product returns, will prioritizing keywords such as “free returns” get more search traction? And with money being tighter, will consumers stick with brands they trust rather than anything new — meaning brand searches might be higher?

3. Make greater use of Google Shopping.

To get the most out of their holiday spending, consumers are more likely to turn to online marketplaces such as Google Shopping as they make it easier to compare products, features and prices, as well as to identify the best deals both online and in nearby stores.

Therefore, take a combined approach which includes listing in Google Shopping and at the same time optimizing product detail pages on your e-commerce site to ensure they’re unique and provide more value than competitors’ pages. Be precise with product names on Google Shopping (e.g., do the names contain the words people are searching for?); ensure you provide all the must-have information Google requires; and set a price that’s not too far from the competition. 

4. Give other search sources the attention they deserve.

Earlier this year Google itself acknowledged that consumers — especially younger consumers — are starting to use TikTok, Instagram and other social media sites for search. In fact, research suggests 11 percent of product searches now start on TikTok and 15 percent on Instagram. Younger consumers in particular are more engaged by visual content, which may explain why they’re embracing visually focused social sites for search. So, as part of your search strategy, create and share content on popular social media sites that your target customers visit.

Similarly, with people starting their shopping searches on marketplaces such as Amazon.com, optimizing any listings you have on the site should be part of your strategy. And thankfully, the better optimized your product detail pages are for Amazon (with unique, useful content), the better they will rank on Google as well!

5. Hold paid budget for late opportunities.

The greater uncertainty and volatility this holiday season mean you must keep a close eye on shopper behavior and be ready to embrace opportunities that emerge later on. Getting high organic rankings for late promotions is always more challenging, so hold some paid search budget back to help drive traffic to those pages — via Google Ads, for example. Important keywords to include in late season search ad campaigns include “delivery before Christmas” and “same-day-delivery.” For locally targeted search ads, consider “pick up any time before Christmas.”

The prospect of a tough, unpredictable holiday shopping season means search teams must roll out seasonal SEO plans early, closely track shoppers’ behavior, and be ready to adapt as things change.

Marcus Pentzek is chief SEO consultant at Searchmetrics, the global provider of search data, software and consulting solutions.

Source link

Continue Reading

GOOGLE

Google Home App Gets an Overhaul, Rolling Out Soon

Published

on

Google Home app

Google refreshes its Home app with a slew of new features after launching a new Nest gear. This makes it faster and easier to pair smart devices with Matter, adds customization and personalization options, an enhanced Nest camera experience, and better intercommunication between devices.

This revamped Home app utilizes Google’s Matter smart home standard – launching later this year – especially the Fast Pair functionality. On an Android phone, it will instantly recognize a Matter device and allow you to easily set it up, bypassing the current procedure that is often slow and difficult. Google is also updating its Nest speakers, displays, and routers – to control Matter devices better.

Google Home App New Features

  • Spaces: This feature allows you to control multiple devices in different rooms. Google has listed a few things by room: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc., although it’s pretty limited right now. Spaces let you organize devices how you see fit. For instance, you can set up a baby monitor in one room and set a different room’s camera to focus on an area the baby often plays. With Spaces, you can categorize these two devices into one Space category called ‘Baby.’

Google Home app Spaces

  • Favorites: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It allows you to make certain gears as a favorite that you frequently use. Doing so will bring those devices into the limelight within the Google Home app for easier access. 

Google Home app

  • Media: Google adds a new media widget at the bottom of your Home feed. This will automatically determine what media is playing in your home and provide you with the appropriate controls as and when needed. There will be song controls if you listen to music on your speakers. There will be television remote controls if you’re watching TV. 

Google probably won’t roll out this Home app makeover anytime soon. But you can try it for yourself in the coming week by enrolling in the public preview, available in select areas.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish