On March 12, Google confirmed that it had made an update to its algorithm, this created many questions and very few answers in the SEO world. So far, experts in the field have refrained from reporting the changes they have noticed, as it is very recent to know what has or will affect this change from Google.
At Diamond + Branch, we took on the task of investigating and gathering information from different publications and updates provided by several SEO experts, and in this article, we’re sharing the few things that we’ve learned so far:
1. Currently, over 70% of the traffic to sites comes from either Facebook or Google
Everyone had a feeling about this one, but seeing it in numbers it’s a bit scary!
2. Recently Google has been testing a new Q&A section in search results
This could mean the end of Quora and lots of other sites if Google decides to show their own Q&A instead of showing these other sites in the search results.
3. Google is giving a second chance to sites that were previously penalized and were buried in search results
They will be collecting more user interaction data with search results presented, so high user satisfaction signals (like form completion and pages per session) will work to sites’ advantage
This will also allow them to re-score sites that recovered from previous penalties based on the new results of user engagement data and to make a decision
4. What does quality-based re-scoring mean?
Sites that were overly reliant on anchor text will see major changes
Text with too many links, so many that it doesn’t seem natural, will get recognized for likely being over- or unscrupulously-optimized
This will most likely only affect sites with low-quality backlinks
This may mean that registration with directories may no longer benefit, if at all
This is still pending confirmation
However, high-quality links, from reputable sources should still matter
And everyone should continue pursuing those ?
“Excessive” manipulation of anchor text, via link building efforts will likely be a large penalty for sites
There’s still uncertainty as to what “excessive” means, however, from previous updates and knowing Google, this is most likely something that seems forced and doesn’t flow with a user may find an anchor link to be useful to their experience
Currently, the best recommendation that can be given is to continue on the path of good, and continue doing activities that benefit great content, flow naturally, and create a good experience for the users.
It is still too early to provide a verdict on the changes that this update will cause, and how it will affect our daily activities as SEOs, but you know we’ll keep an eye on it so that you don’t have to!