As you know, the Google June 2021 Core Update began rolling out at about 6:30pm ET on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 but the chatter within the industry was not at core update levels. Meaning, SEOs who track these changes didn’t really say this was a big update and I still think that to be the case on some level, even this morning.
The rollout did start to pick up Saturday night (in terms of SEOs chatter, SEOs noticing the core update) through even today but it is still not at the big core update levels I would normally see. It reminds me of the September 2019 core update that took a few days to noticed after that rollout too was a slow one.
Maybe this June 2021 core update is similar to that? Who knows. We do know that Google said this June 2021 core update is two part, with another rollout coming in July. Maybe it will have more of a big bang impact of a typical core update when that part rolls out?
Don’t get me wrong, many of the tools are showing big fluctuations a day after the announcement, but the chatter is not at the levels of a typical core update in terms of the timing from when it was announced. Normally, when it is announced, within 12-24 hours we see a huge spike in chatter. But here is the chatter, there is a lot of it, but much more spread out than a typical core update, over several days since the announcement.
Keep in mind, it was mostly quiet and people asking if anyone else is noticing changes until Saturday. Comments like “I went through like 100+ sites today and am seeing absolutely nothing” is what I saw. But then Saturday, Sunday hit and we saw some chatter:
Finally hit me yesterday at 7pm EST on the dot. Down roughly 25% on my largest blog in law and government vertical. Other blogs are seeing small up and down changes. The last few days were quiet but overall May was very volatile for my blogs. I was surprised the update was announced after all the volatility in May… Hoping for a correction with the “two part update” in July. Good luck everyone it’s a bumpy ride.
I’ve seen mostly positive movements here. Both of my websites recovering significantly from the previous core update.
Huge hit suddenly over the last few hours. Semrush shows our ranks plummeting site-wide. Entertainment / education.
Since today started noticing changes. It is very hard to say what exactly the impact is, but it seems negative right now. Have a reason to believe that in further week SERPs can start moving drastically, and we will see the final result for this update.
The last few days it was quiet, now the update is showing its face. As always, when we have improved the site again despite all the highs / lows and increased our income, it goes down again.
I’m seeing another big drop in both ranking and in traffic to my most important pages. My home page and my more popular landing pages with the most inbound links all vanished and have had one visit this morning. For the first time ever I am seeing low rank and low traffic interior pages receive more visits than my top ranking pages. For me this seems to be an indication of some sort of penalty in action. I’m finding myself dropping to page five for terms that I was at the top for years, and it’s not because the other sites have high DA, links or content.
To be honest, I’m pretty panicked seeing the results for my site. I’ve done nothing drastic to my site / structure for a long time. It’s naturally grown over 20 years, naturally gaining backlinks from articles, etc. I don’t do anything “spammy”, just concentrate on doing what my clients want (high-quality content) with regular updates and improvements to the design every 18 months or so.
If these results I’m seeing now stick, it’s game over for me as 80%+ of my business comes from organic results. I can’t afford to spent thousands on advertising.
Oh lordie, Google has just unhooked one of my sites. I only have a handful so it’s noticeable.
What do I mean by unhooked? I mean it’s getting the same amount of traffic but it’s no longer US based, now it’s coming from all countries wether they speak the language or not. Same amount overall but a 70% drop from the US. My site would have to be being translated for that to make sense.
Big drop for us so far.
But this time we got hit with updated rolling out. With prior we got a boost while updated started and got demoted some days later. Hope this time is different.
My site has lost about 30% since a few days But also almost all of my competitors
Niche is design and marketing
I have seen an increase in impressions on 5 sites. All are showing slightly more impressions in the past 3-4 days
Rankings are down on my site so far.
Lost 50% of my traffic
am i the only one with positive results? =)
Massive improvement for the company site I work for, 125% increase in traffic Sunday vs previous week, large ranking increases – hope it sticks!
They seemed to test this two weeks ago, my rankings spiked but it only lasted a few hours and shot straight back down. Rankings seem very similar to then.
Here are some charts from Twitter:
And on the flip side, I’m seeing some sites w/big decreases in visibility. Some of the sites have seen their fair share of volatility during prev broad core updates. Also worth noting that I’m seeing some sites impacted by the Product Reviews Update see big movement. Stay tuned: pic.twitter.com/IGZ2gjS3Mg
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) June 6, 2021
This affiliate site is going to be excited based on the June update. It’s surging after getting hammered by the December broad core update. Some significant ranking changes for important keywords. I’m sure they will be nervous about the July update, which could reverse some of it pic.twitter.com/06ZcUpoYho
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) June 6, 2021
Continuing my thread of impact based on the June 2021 core update, this reviews site surged on 6/5 after getting hammered by the Dec 2020 core update. It also surged during the Product Reviews Update & now surged more. They are having a good few months. We’ll see what July brings pic.twitter.com/fm7gDGUfc5
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) June 7, 2021
Small one caught the wave pic.twitter.com/0YYmBD90O9
— Alex Birman (@oreshki) June 6, 2021
Starting to see a ~40% increase in organic traffic to a site we’ve been busting our you-know-whats on for 6+ months.
It’s still super early, so hopefully the trend continues.
The work was NOT easy. pic.twitter.com/ZQhpyAvris
— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) June 7, 2021
Seeing this Google Broad Core Algorithm on June 6 hit this travel site. Interesting to see the new results above don’t match user intent as much as the previous results were. Thinking this will probably be reversed in July. pic.twitter.com/N8fhwaUio2
— Jacob King Stanley (@jacobkstanley) June 7, 2021
UK – Finance pic.twitter.com/oY1AcG3h6z
— Sam Taylor (@_spamtaylor) June 7, 2021
Huge Drop in my micro niche blog of Tech pic.twitter.com/vcxPluxz8r
— Ashvin Sanghani (@Ashvin1351) June 7, 2021
Edu – Poland pic.twitter.com/1MEytHrJHZ
— piotr krzaczkowski (@krzak) June 7, 2021
FR – marketplace pic.twitter.com/icdU5EZKaq
— Carlos Ortega (@carlos_darko) June 7, 2021
Spain – Medic pic.twitter.com/Z9TEkOYnlS
— Miguel ۞ (@mgdpseo) June 7, 2021
I track over 20k keywords in the (mostly) local space. Looks like the 2nd largest algo update of the year so far. pic.twitter.com/KiBoSkAXsP
— Mike Perez (@highrank) June 7, 2021
So there is movement and for some sites, really big movement.
Here are how the automated tracking tools are pacing right now.
It is interesting to see that some of the tools follow the chatter, where there was a delay from the Google announcement to when SEOs noticed changes on Sunday or so. But some saw changes prior to the chatter from within the industry – makes you wonder.
How to Write For Google
Are you writing your SEO content based on the latest best practice tips?
I originally wrote this SEO copywriting checklist in 2012—my, how things have changed. Today, Google stresses quality content even more than before, conversational copy is critical, and there are revised SEO writing “rules.”
I’ve updated the list to reflect these changes and to provide additional information.
As a side note, I would argue that there’s no such thing as “writing for Google.” Yes, there are certain things you should do to make the Google gods happy. However, your most important goal should be writing clear, compelling, standout copy that tells a story.
I’m keeping the old headline in the hopes that I can convert some of the “write for Google” people to do things the right way.
Items to review before you start your SEO writing project
– Do you have enough information about your target reader?
Your copy will pack a powerful one-two punch if your content is laser-focused on your target reader. Ask your client or supervisor for a customer/reader persona document outlining your target readers’ specific characteristics. If the client doesn’t have a customer persona document, be prepared to spend an hour or more asking detailed questions.
Here’s more information on customer personas.
– Writing a sales page? Did you interview the client?
It’s essential to interview new clients and to learn more about their company, USP, and competition. Don’t forget to ask about industry buzzwords that should appear in the content.
Not sure what questions to ask to get the copywriting ball rolling? Here’s a list of 56 questions you can start with today.
– Writing a blog post? Get topic ideas from smart sources
When you’re blogging, it’s tempting to write about whatever strikes your fancy. The challenge is, what interests you may not interest your readers. If you want to make sure you’re writing must-read content, sites like Quora, LinkedIn, Google Trends, and BuzzSumo can help spark some ideas.
– Did you use Google for competitive intelligence ideas?
Check out the sites positioning in the top-10 and look for common characteristics. How long are competing articles? Do the articles link out to authoritative sources? Are there videos or infographics? Do the articles include quotes from industry experts? Your job is to write an essay that’s better than what’s already appearing in the top-10 — so let the competition be your guide.
– Did you conduct keyphrase research?
Yes, keyphrase research (and content optimization) is still a crucial SEO step. If you don’t give Google some keyphrase “cues,” your page probably won’t position the way you want.
Use a keyphrase research tool and find possible keyphrases for your page or post. As a hint: if you are tightly focusing on a topic, long-tail keyphrases are your best bet. Here’s more information about why long-tail keyphrases are so important.
If you are researching B2B keyphrases, know that the “traditional” keyphrase research steps may not apply. Here’s more information about what to do if B2B keyphrase research doesn’t work.
– What is your per-page keyphrase focus?
Writers are no longer forced to include the exact-match keyphrase over and over again. (Hurray!) Today, we can focus on a keyphrase theme that matches the search intent and weave in multiple related keyphrases.
– Did you expand your keyphrase research to include synonyms and close variants?
Don’t be afraid to include keyphrase synonyms and close variants on your page. Doing so opens up your positioning opportunities, makes your copy better, and is much easier to write!
Are you wondering if you should include your keyphrases as you write the copy — or edit them in later? It’s up to you! Here are the pros and cons of both processes.
— Do your keyphrases match the search intent?
Remember that Google is “the decider” when it comes to search intent. If you’re writing a sales page — and your desired keyphrase pulls up informational blog posts in Google – your sales page probably won’t position.
— Writing a blog post? Does your Title/headline work for SEO, social, and your readers?
Yes, you want your headline to be compelling, but you also want it to be keyphrase rich. Always include your main page keyphrase (or a close variant) in your Title and work in other keyphrases if they “fit.”
– Did you include keyphrase-rich subheadlines?
Subheadlines are an excellent way to visually break up your text, making it easy for readers to quick-scan your benefits and information. Additionally, just like with the H1 headline, adding a keyphrase to your subheadlines can (slightly) help reinforce keyphrase relevancy.
As a hint, sometimes, you can write a question-oriented subheadline and slip the keyphrase in more easily. Here’s more information about why answering questions is a powerful SEO content play.
– Is your Title “clickable” and compelling?
Remember, the search engine results page is your first opportunity for conversion. Focusing too much on what you think Google “wants” may take away your Title’s conversion power.
Consider how you can create an enticing Title that “gets the click” over the other search result listings. You have about 59 characters (with spaces) to work with, so writing tight is essential.
– Does the meta description fit the intent of the page?
Yes, writers should create a meta description for every page. Why? Because they tell the reader what the landing page is about and help increase SERP conversions. Try experimenting with different calls-to-actions at the end, such as “learn more” or “apply now.” You never know what will entice your readers to click!
– Is your content written in a conversational style?
With voice search gaining prominence, copy that’s written in a conversational style is even more critical.
Read your copy out loud and hear how it sounds. Does it flow? Or does it sound too formal? If you’re writing for a regulated industry, such as finance, legal, or healthcare, you may not be able to push the conversational envelope too much. Otherwise, write like you talk.
Here’s how to explain why conversational content is so important.
–Is your copy laser-focused on your audience?
A big mistake some writers make is creating copy that appeals to “everyone” rather than their specific target reader. Writing sales and blog pages that are laser-focused on your audience will boost your conversions and keep readers checking out your copy longer. Here’s how one company does it.
Plus, you don’t receive special “Google points” for writing long content. Even short copy can position if it fully answers the searcher’s query. Your readers don’t want to wade through 1,500 words to find something that can be explained in 300 words.
Items to review after you’ve written the page
– Did you use too many keyphrases?
Remember, there is no such thing as keyword density. If your content sounds keyphrase-heavy and stilted, reduce the keyphrase usage and focus more on your readers’ experience. Your page doesn’t receive bonus points for exact-matching your keyphrase multiple times. If your page sounds keyphrase stuffed when you read it out loud, dial back your keyphrase usage.
– Did you edit your content?
Resist the urge to upload your content as soon as you write it. Put it away and come back to it after a few hours (or even the next day.) Discover why editing your Web writing is so very important. Also, don’t think that adding typos will help your page position. They won’t.
– Is the content interesting to read?
Yes, it’s OK if your copy has a little personality. Here’s more information about working with your page’s tone and feel and how to avoid the “yawn response.” Plus, know that even FAQ pages can help with conversions — and yes, even position.
– Are your sentences and paragraphs easy to read?
Vary your sentence structure so you have a combination of longer and shorter sentences. If you find your sentences creeping over 30 or so words, edit them down and make them punchier. Your writing will have more impact if you do.
Plus, long paragraphs without much white space are hard to read off a computer monitor – and even harder to read on a smartphone. Split up your long paragraphs into shorter ones. Please.
– Are you forcing your reader onto a “dead end” page?
“Dead-end” pages (pages that don’t link out to related pages) can stop your readers dead in their tracks and hurt your conversion goals.
Want to avoid this? Read more about “dead-end” Web pages.
– Does the content provide the reader with valuable information?
Google warns against sites with “thin,” low-quality content that’s poorly written. In fact, according to Google, spelling errors are a bigger boo-boo than broken HTML. Make sure your final draft is typo-free, written well, and thoroughly answers the searcher’s query.
Want to know what Google considers quality content — directly from Google? Here are Google’s Quality Raters guidelines for more information.
– Did you use bullet points where appropriate?
If you find yourself writing a list-like sentence, use bullet points instead. Your readers will thank you, and the items will be much easier to read.
Plus, you can write your bullet points in a way that makes your benefit statements pop, front and center. Here’s how Nike does it.
– Is the primary CTA (call-to-action) clear–and is it easy to take action?
What action do you want your readers to take? Do you want them to contact you? Buy something? Sign up for your newsletter? Make sure you’re telling your reader what you want them to do, and make taking action easy. If you force people to answer multiple questions just to fill out a “contact us” form, you run the risk of people bailing out.
Here’s a list of seven CTA techniques that work.
– Do you have a secondary CTA (such as a newsletter signup or downloading a white paper?)
Do you want readers to sign up for your newsletter or learn about related products? Don’t bury your “sign up for our newsletter” button in the footer text. Instead, test different CTA locations (for instance, try including a newsletter signup link at the bottom of every blog post) and see where you get the most conversions.
– Does the page include too many choices?
It’s important to keep your reader focused on your primary and secondary CTAs. If your page lists too many choices (for example, a large, scrolling page of products), consider eliminating all “unnecessary” options that don’t support your primary call-to-action. Too many choices may force your readers into not taking any action at all.
– Did you include benefit statements?
People make purchase decisions based on what’s in it for them (yes, even your B2B buyers.) Highly specific benefit statements will help your page convert like crazy. Don’t forget to include a benefit statement in your Title (whenever possible) like “free shipping” or “sale.” Seeing this on the search results page will catch your readers’ eyes, tempting them to click the link and check out your site.
– Do you have vertical-specific testimonials?
It’s incredible how many great sales pages are testimonial-free. Testimonials are a must for any site, as they offer third-party proof that your product or service is superior. Plus, your testimonials can help you write better, more benefit-driven sales pages and fantastic comparison-review pages.
Here’s a way to make your testimonials more powerful.
And finally — the most important question:
– Does your content stand out and genuinely deserve a top position?
SEO writing is more than shoving keyphrases into the content. If you want to be rewarded by Google (and your readers), your content must stand out — not be a carbon copy of the current top-10 results. Take a hard look at your content and compare it against what’s currently positioning. Have you fully answered the searcher’s query? Did you weave in other value-added resources, such as expert quotes, links to external and internal resources (such as FAQ pages), videos, and graphics?
If so, congratulations! You’ve done your job.
Google Ads Serving Issue For Ads On Desktop Gmail
Google has a new serving issue with Google Ads that is impacting ad serving on the desktop version of Gmail. So if you are serving Google Ads on Gmail, your ads may not show to a “significant subset of users,” according to Google.
Google posted the incident over here and wrote “we’re aware of a problem with Google Ads affecting a significant subset of users. We will provide an update by Dec 24, 2021, 2:00 AM UTC detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change. This issue is specific to ads serving on Gmail on Desktop browsers only.”
The issue again only impacts ads serving on Gmail on Desktop browsers only.
It started yesterday, December 23, 2021 at around 2pm ET and is still currently an issue. Google is working on resolving the issue but has yet to resolve it.
You can track the issue over here.
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Google Loses Top Domain Spot To TikTok
Google is no longer the world’s most popular domain after being dethroned by TikTok, according to rankings from web security company Cloudflare. The list of most popular domains is part of Cloudflare’s Year in Review report and represents domains that gained the most traffic from one year to another.
Google.com — which includes also includes Maps, Translate, and News among others — ended the previous year as the leader in Cloudflare’s rankings. At that time, TikTok was ranking in the 7th position. TikTok.com is now ending 2021 with a leap toward top spot ahead of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other world leading domains.
Here’s the full list of the top 10 most popular domains as of late 2021:
Cloudflare describes TikTok’s journey toward becoming the most popular domain throughout the year 2021:“It was on February 17, 2021, that TikTok got the top spot for a day.
Back in March, TikTok got a few more days and also in May, but it was after August 10, 2021, that TikTok took the lead on most days. There were some days when Google was #1, but October and November were mostly TikTok’s days, including on Thanksgiving (November 25) and Black Friday (November 26).”
Also included in Cloudflare’s report are lists of the most popular social media domains, most popular e-commerce platforms, and most popular video streaming sites. To no surprise, Amazon ended the year as the most popular e-commerce domain, followed by Taobao, Ebay, and Walmart.
The list of most popular video streaming sites was dominated by giants such as Netflix, YouTube, and HBOMax. Interestingly, Twitch didn’t manage to crack the top 10.
Putting These Rankings In PerspectiveDoes this mean TikTok is now the biggest social media site? No, it still has a long way to go before reaching those heights. What this means is TikTok.com received more traffic than any other domain, according to Cloudflare. That doesn’t mean TikTok has more users than Google or competing social media sites. Insider Intelligence (formerly eMarketer) reports TikTok surpassed Snapchat and Twitter in global user numbers, but is well behind Facebook and Instagram.
In other words, TikTok is the third largest social media platform worldwide. The number of global TikTok users number grew 59.8% in 2020, and went up by an additional 40.8% in 2021.Further, Insider Intelligence estimates TikTok will see a 15.1% growth in global users in 2022.
Should that estimate hold true, TikTok will hold a 20% share of overall social media users by the end of next year.
If TikTok isn’t part of your social media marketing strategy for 2022, these numbers are a good case for making it a priority.
Source: Matt Southern
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