Google’s recent major Quality Core update rolled out on 4th May and caused more stir in the search results as compared to its last two updates.
As a result, some sites were rewarded for their overall quality while some faced issues such as losses for plagiarized content, pages with too much downtime, and overall lack of E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) Signals.
Most SEOs were rather surprised as they weren’t expecting an update amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, sites that were actually invested in improving their overall E.A.T. Signals were thrilled to be rewarded with higher rankings and more traffic.
Not surprisingly, we didn’t notice any major fluctuations with our client website rankings. In fact, there were quite a few websites with improvement in rankings and traffic after this update rolled out.
If you’d like to dig into knowing about the winners and losers, refer to this cool Google doc. Yet again, it all comes down to Quality. On that note, here are a few tips and tricks to boost your sites’ quality keeping in mind Google’s next core update that should roll out in about 3 months, if Google follows its regular timeline.
Boost E.A.T. Signals for Your Site Visitors & Google’s Algorithm
Things that will help boost your E.A.T. Signals!
Update your ‘About Us’ page – Rewrite your ‘About Us’ page while keeping in mind what your customers want. Highlight about your business, your experience and what makes you stand apart from the competitors. Mention if you are a family-owned business. If you hold any awards or recognitions, make them a part of this page. Lastly, add high-quality, fresh images.
Improve your website’s downtime – Work on your website’s page load speed, specifically your mobile page load speed. See to it that all the videos and images on your website load fast.
Run your site through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. The first few pages on your site with major content should ideally open within 3-5 seconds. Speed Index should be less than 9 seconds with ads and 7 seconds without ads. Consider limiting the number of ads or eliminating them altogether if they are the reason behind your page load time.
Include sources of reference for all medical/scientific claims – If your website contains any medical, statistical or factual claims, ensure to link them with relevant data sources. If your users and Google get to see proof of the claims that you have made on your website, it creates a huge signal of trust.
Build up your footer – Typical business information, such as contact details, are often found on the bottom of your site. So be sure it’s there with a current copyright date. As per Google, the address in the footer is recommended and, again, acts as a sign of trust. To show your expertise, you can also add your awards and accolades here.
Also, if you have been featured on any popular media platforms, always put that in! And add it to your ‘About Us’ page as well.
Leverage article markup – Using article structured data markup that includes the “dateModified” attribute is highly recommended. Google knows that your content has been recently updated through article schema. Add a small note with the date the content was updated. This will cover both site users as well as Google’s A.I.
Make sure to link to your author’s page within your article markup so as to enable Google to tie together the content with the expert who wrote it.
Fix site errors – If your site has any technical issues that are holding it back, make sure to remove them. These issues may include broken links, duplicate meta descriptions, chain redirects, broken images, etc.
Have a visible call to action – Your call to action should be the first thing that you want your site visitor to do. It should be visible as they land each of your pages. It should be short and precise. If you want them to give you a call then say it! – Call Now!
Be easy to navigate – Looking at your site from the user’s perspective on both mobile and desktop is vital. Perform a ‘user experience’ (UX) audit, which can pay huge dividends, considering how heavily focused Google is on their version of ‘user experience’.
Remove and rewrite thin content – In this case, you should combine a handful of thin pages and create a solid resource of a particular topic. After that, you should redirect all those URLs to that single page. You can hear it in the recent Google hangout video.
Verify duplicate content – Check if the content on your website hasn’t been used elsewhere. With third party tools like CopyScape, you can quickly find and resolve duplicate content issues.
Refer to Google’s Quality Questionnaire – Google’s August 2019 blog post outlines a big list of questions that you can ask yourself and find out the areas of weakness on your site.
Get high-quality user-generated content – Creating user-generated content is important to encourage reviews for the products that you are selling. Have a Q&A feedback section for big resource articles or prompt positive user comments on your top pages. Not all sites can pull this off, but if you can, nothing like it for your page’s authority.
Read Google’s quality guidelines – Take the time out to go through Google’s Quality Guidelines. This all-in-one document is sure to refine your results.
After you are done with all the above tricks, make sure to have a read through what Google’s John Mueller said in his recent Google Webmaster Hangout on ways to recover from the most recent update.
Again, if you’re affected by the latest update, we can help. Just give us a call and our search experts will be able to assist you right away.
Google recently announced a new initiative known as “Web Vitals”. This initiative has been created to help websites know and improve their important user experience metrics. If this comes off as fairly new to you, we suggest you to first read that update.
With just a few weeks of sharing the news, the search engine giant released yet another information-packed announcement explaining users about how they would be incorporating these user experience metrics into the upcoming algorithm update, planned to be out in 2021, and their factor on the page level.
Read how Google plans to calculate these user experience metrics factors in the future:
“We’re combining the signals derived from Core Web Vitals with our existing Search signals for page experience, including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines, to provide a holistic picture of page experience. Because we continue to work on identifying and measuring aspects of page experience, we plan to incorporate more page experience signals on a yearly basis to both further align with evolving user expectations and increase the aspects of user experience that we can measure.”
Google also has its focus on making sure websites do not have features that annoy users. Here is an example of how certain referenced buttons shift and lead to accidental clicks:
AMP will no longer be a ‘Top Stories’ requirement
Google also revealed that user experience will become such an essential factor that the ‘Top Stories’ carousel will not be limited to just AMP Pages. Rather, there will be more attention on pages with great experience metrics as explained in the Web Vitals Initiative:
“As part of this update, we’ll also incorporate the page experience metrics into our ranking criteria for the Top Stories feature in Search on mobile, and remove the AMP requirement from Top Stories eligibility. Google continues to support AMP and will continue to link to AMP pages when available. We’ve also updated our developer tools to help site owners optimize their page experience.”
Several studies have proved that better user experience can boost your conversions as well as overall rankings. So get ready to welcome the new update that will revolutionize ranking factors for websites.
As always, if you are looking to revamp your website as per the latest and upcoming Google guidelines, you can get in touch with us for assistance.
The pandemic has led to some major shifts in consumer needs and the way one conducts business, and Google is trying to do its best to accommodate these changes.
In an effort to make it as easy for businesses as possible to adjust to the shifting needs, Google has launched several new GMB features and attributes.
What are these new features & attributes?
Here’s a list of some of the latest GMB features and attributes that have been introduced by Google during the COVID-19 situation:
- Online Classes
- Online Appointments
- Online Estimates
- Online Service Bookings
- Temporarily Closed
- Secondary Hours
- COVID-19 Posts
- Curbside Pickup
- No Contact Delivery
- Support Links
What you should do next
It is recommended that you immediately login and check your Google My Business listing to see whether all of these new features and attributes are available for your industry.
If you need any assistance with this, do get in touch.
In an effort to expand its e-commerce capabilities, Facebook rolled out Facebook Shops to enable businesses to set shop on Facebook. Going a step further, this summer, they’re planning on introducing Instagram Shop for businesses in the US. This move is being introduced as “a new way to discover and buy products you love in Instagram Explore.”
Both, Facebook Shops and Instagram Shop services are meant to enable businesses of all sizes to set up online stores through their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The Idea Behind This Move
As per Facebook’s announcement, Facebook Shops is designed to make it easy for sellers to set up a single online store that can be accessed by users on Facebook as well as Instagram. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature and can also customize the look of their online store with a cover image and accent colors.
In their own words,
“People can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, you can browse the full collection, save products you’re interested in and place an order — either on the business’ website or without leaving the app if the business has enabled checkout in the US.”
If and when the customers wish to connect with the businesses to ask questions, get support, track orders, etc., they can do so through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct messages. This service is designed to be a mobile-first experience, for both sellers and buyers, and is free to use.
During these times, when a strong digital presence is considered a means of survival for almost all businesses, this service is certainly a new avenue worth exploring. If you are into e-commerce and your business has a Facebook page or an Instagram account, then you should definitely try setting up your store on these platforms!
Need help in setting up your store? Get in touch with us for assistance.