It should come to no surprise that search engines and platforms like Google are constantly evolving and making changes to improve user experience with quality content across the online universe [database]. The technology giant Google released a new algorithm update on May 4th that has affected some industries more than others. Mason Interactive Director of SEO, Jenna Vaccaro, walks us through a high-level overview of what the update means and how your business might be affected.

“Most of Google’s core updates prioritize getting rid of web pages that have poor quality content,” Jenna says. “The first thing their intelligence is scanning through are websites with blurbs of content that are spammy* and not authoritative.”

* spammy: denoting, relating to, or constituting Internet spam.

We are talking about the biggest areas of change, and that means for the better or for worse. Websites focused on fitness, holistic medicine, banking and financial industries were affected the most. 

“In this algorithm update, Google is scanning through all of these websites and they’re giving less priority to the ones that are spammy and more priority to the ones that they are deeming as more authoritative and credible from a content standpoint.”

Local content is also being prioritized. “If there’s spammy content on a website that has locations in 50 states and a page built out for each city or state, Google flushed out content that doesn’t offer information to the user.” If you have a physical address or storefront, you might see some drops. 

While some industries and verticals have been affected more than others, we are not seeing a huge change in e-commerce, and our direct-to-consumer clients don’t appear to have been impacted.

“If you are experiencing a dip in traffic, and it tailored off at or around May 4th, you should be able to monitor this in [Google] Analytics,” Jenna says. “You can check the dip in traffic and visibility in keywords, and if that happened, there’s a few things you can do to track what to fix.” Thin content is an issue, and Jenna recommends a content audit of pages that don’t get traffic or don’t have much meaning to the users. “It’s always better to get rid of this content and start over, or condense a bunch of content into one authoritative piece.” 

Having a blog post just to have a blog post from 10 years ago versus focusing on the pages that actually bring in quality traffic is just one of the ways you can think about your website content going forward.

Top 3 things to consider:

  • Thin content
  • Technical related issues
  • Topics based on user search intent

Contact us for more information about the Google algorithm.

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