Google had an update back on February 7 and, while it caused a lot of chatter, there really wasn’t much hard data for us to look at. We’ve collected quite a bit of data about it since then, and have seen some interesting results. While there were some hits and misses, most of our clients were barely affected by the update. What we did find, though, are some interesting data points.
At least one of our clients saw results that were fluctuating up and down with no apparent reason. We found that there were two entries on Google’s first page for their site. If this happens to your site, they’re probably splitting the authority between the two pages.
Since Google thinks they’re equal, each page’s authority is weaker than it could be. If you can combine the two pages, or differentiate one from the other by adding links or tweaking your SEO, it should rise in the rankings.
Some of the shuffling you see in rankings is also the result of other sites being moved around, and not any fault of yours. Before the update, one site we’d been tracking was consistently in the top 100. Now it’s nowhere to be found. In searching around, we found that it disappeared because it’s actually a 404 error and Google is cleaning up the page. That naturally shuffled all the other pages ranked along with it. This points to the update having to do with site quality.
I thought this might have something to do with rich results, but no one else has found anything pointing to that conclusion. If Google is serving rich results in your area, I’d be interested in learning about any changes you may have seen.
This article was originally published on stewartmedia.com.au.
Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.