Why Google Is Killing Traffic for Smaller Websites
Google updates its algorithm more than once a day on average and last month they tweaked their algorithm so that many smaller sites lost a significant amount of longtail traffic. Most people report this figure to be around the 30% mark.
The million Dollar question: Why has Google decided to remove a lot of longtail traffic from smaller sites and where has it gone?
I run an SEO company and in my opinion, Google had / has a glaring hole its algorithm, this allowed websites with an element of trust and an accumulation of PageRank to rank for hundreds of thousands or even millions of longtail words based purely on the inherent strength of a website. Once people realised they could put junk content and get a gargantuan amount of free traffic, it opened the floodgates to publishers creating multi-million pages websites with very low grade content, mainly written by “writing factories” that are filled with people that are barely literate, let alone speak English as a first language. Aaron Wall has spoken about this in-depth and had given countless examples on his SEOBook blog.
This “hole” still exists but Google has had to take steps to combat what can only be described as “content spam”. The reason Google has had to step on it is to keep its results clean, if it doesn’t normal consumers who don’t understand SEO or search engines may lose a little faith in Google delivering relevant results.
The shift in traffic has gone from many sites with some trust to fewer sites with higher levels of trust and authority. I believe that this will become even more pronounced in the coming years, with authority trusted sites harbouring most of the short-tail as they already do and then all the long-tail traffic too. Google figures that sites with “mega trust” must publish what can be construed as high quality content and they want those sites to appear in the SERPS for most of the queries.
So what do you do if you’re a small to medium sizes publisher? Well, the answer is to become a trusted publisher so that Google graces you with its Mana. Obviously, this means creating ubre high quality sites with niche and original ideas so that other trusted sources link to you. I think that you will have to embrace every media available online in the future to stand a good chance of creating something successful. This includes, SEO, PPC, Social Media, Local SEO, Video etc, I believe that each avenue will become less profitable and you’ll need to adopt the additional streams to really excel.
Christopher Angus is an SEO expert who runs a bespoke digital marketing agency / SEO company in the Cotswolds, United Kingdom. In addition to his extensive SEO knowledge, Christopher specialises in social media marketing, viral marketing, pay-per-click management and Web site design. Rated the 26th Most Influential Marketer in the World in 2009, Christopher’s portfolio includes a range of high-profile companies within the travel, finance and gaming industries.