May was a pretty good month for Boostability and ranking increases. We had an overall positive month with a steady trend of positive keyword movement. We also saw some abnormal fluctuation from industry trends. Read on for this month’s SEO and social update.
We discovered this anomaly was due to some mass partner changes impacting customer websites. We also saw a short-lived positive spike pushing some client rankings higher before returning to normal. Google also released a suspected algorithm update which could explain the temporary rank boost.
During May, link removal was a hot topic both internally and externally in the industry. Keep reading for more information regarding the unnamed algorithm update and details on Boostability’s approach to link removal.
Unnamed (May 23rd) Google Update
As noted above we did see some initial shifts around the first of May which we discovered were related to some mass partner changes. Towards the end of the month saw another spike in ranking changes matching up with many algorithm monitoring tools.
Initial speculation appears to show the updated targeted is content and user intent. After reviewing our data and considering external feedback, I believe the update was a short term test around Panda or RankBrain. Both algorithms weigh content in various ways from content quality, to user intent, and content relevance. I am leaning towards RankBrain or something more intent based. Many results that saw a jump were specific while those seeing a drop were mostly vague or ambiguous.
What does this mean for you?
It ultimately means you should take a second look at your content. Now is the time to begin dialing in your website’s content for your potential users. Work on creating helpful content that someone can actually use. Blogs are a great way to expand useful content that your potential users can find and share.
Link Removal and You!
It is always a good reminder that the value of someone linking back to your site varies. It is also good to note the true value of any given link is ultimately unknown. What we perceive as a “bad link” could really be an “ok link” or even a “good link”. Without knowing exactly how search engines evaluate a specific link going to your site, judging a link is just going to be an estimated guess.
Google’s general mantra around links are that anything naturally gained is a good link. Here is there exact words around how you should get links:
“The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.”
At the end of the day, getting links can be a very difficult thing depending on industry and any regulations associated. That’s why acquiring links takes time and requires a multitude of link building strategies. You must create a natural profile that increases credibility, while helping others and adding something positive to the internet.
So when should we consider removing and disavowing a link by requesting it not be counted anymore? The answer, if pretty nuanced, can be as complicated as you want to make it. Our general standard is that link removal is not necessary until a penalty or notation has been given by a search engine.
Search engines (Google) have stated they address links they feel are either unrelated or invaluable by simply ignoring links they feel are not important. This is mainly in an effort to allow link building schemes or networks to spin their wheels and waste resources which should eventually stop the bad linking practice.
Another core reason for not removing links without warning is what was first noted. The true value of a link is ultimately unknown which means you could remove links that were attributing to your rankings and now you are removing them. This in turn starts to create a void which needs to be filled just to get back to where you were.
What does this mean for you?
If you are considering taking action to remove links I would urge to you to take a critical look at your site and determine if it will really help. Ask questions not just about your links but about your site’s history and rank trends. If at the end of the day you feel its the best course of action, ask an expert. I am always happy to give it a look. Find me @BigCSEO to get second opinion.
- Mobile First Indexing Notice – More and more sites are being slowly moved over to the mobile first version of Google index when it happens you will be notified in search console. (Source)
- Review Response Notification – Google has now created a feature to notify users when a business responds to their review. (Source)
- New Search Query Stat – Google stated at their recent I/O conference that ~15% of all queries are new and have never been seen before. (Source)
- May Unnamed Algorithm Update – There was a ton of chatter and various tool correspondence that showed an algorithm update occured around the 23rd of May. (Source)
- GMB Dropping Anonymous Reviews – It seems several business owners and SEOs have seen reviews from anonymous accounts get removed. (Source)
- Twitter Password Bug – Twitter discovered a bug that saved logins which may have been shared, nothing suspicious has been noted but they are urging users to change them anyways. (Source)
- Facebook and Local Services – Facebook has officially dived into the local services arena alongside Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and others. (Source)
- Snapchat Redesign – You may have seen the update already but it was a pretty big deal that Snapchat redesigned their app’s interface. (Source)
- Facebook’s Developer Conference Highlights – Some quick highlights to cover what happened at Facebook’s 11th F8 Conference. (Source)