January 21

The Weekly Briefing: Preparing for the Real-Time Penguin Update

SEO Copywriter Jared Townsend announced that Android apps can be downloaded directly from Google’s search results …
First publicized by a simple screen shot on Google+, Android users quickly discovered that they have the ability to download apps without leaving their Google search screens. This capability is currently in testing mode and only available on Android devices. So far, the only benefits of this would be removing a few steps from the app download process and helping app developers get more downloads. However, this does further emphasize the importance of app search optimization (ASO), especially since it is unlikely searchers would see your website before seeing your app – and apps similar to yours – at the top of their search page.

 

Account Manager Michelle Conway shared some tips for surviving the ominous Penguin update unscathed …
As digital marketers sit on pins and needles waiting for the next Penguin Algorithm update, time is best spent evaluating the quality of your backlinks. This update will be a real-time algorithm, so the presence or absence of a good or bad link is going to be noticed quickly and rewarded (or punished) quickly. In the meantime, Andrew Dennis of Search Engine Land determined three general categories to consider when evaluating link quality – relevance, human value, and authority and trust. Much like evaluating content quality, you need to think about who your audience is and how your link will help them – except it’s on someone else’s website.

 

Copywriter Andrew Vanderiet talked about the marked drop in organic referrals, even when your SEO is in top form …
Explaining algorithms and traffic changes to clients can, at times, be quite challenging. This is especially true when you’ve been rocking their SEO campaign with great keywords, exceptional content, and your team is on top of all marketing channels. According to a recent article from MediaPost Communications, 2016 “Google [is stealing] all the organic traffic.” The primary reason this is happening is the rise of mobile search, which inherently brings the downside of smaller screens, knowledge graphs, snack packs, and more advertising space. However, there’s no reason to panic – you just need to do a little more research and prep.

In order to “steal back” your organic traffic, you need to stop blaming Google and start re-strategizing. Let your clients know that you are aware of what’s happening and that you are making adjustments. Expand your scope of “success metrics,” so you can show your client that even though organic traffic is down, people are spending longer on their website or there’s a measurable increase in the conversion rate. Start working on improving content and UX to ensure you are meeting the needs of audiences on all devices. With this in mind, you should also focus on optimization opportunities on apps, social media, e-commerce platforms. Organic search isn’t out – it’s just changing.