Kapil Pershad / April 11 2017
April 2017 SEO Updates

SEO UPDATES AND HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR SEO BUDGET

1. GOOGLE RELEASES FRED ALGORITHM UPDATE. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

2. GOOD NEWS! YOU CAN NOW RECLAIM GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING WHICH WAS MANAGED BY A THIRD PART

3. IMPORTANT TAKEAWAYS FROM THE ASK ME ANYTHING PRESENTATION WITH GOOGLE AT SMX WEST

4. GOOGLE ADWORDS MIGHT EXTEND THE TEXT AD DESCRIPTION LIMIT FROM 80 TO 160 CHARACTERS

5. BING ADS WILL STOP SUPPORTING MONTHLY BUDGETS FROM 30TH APRIL

6. FACEBOOK MESSENGER DAY – A NEW TOOL FOR MARKETING

We decided to run some numbers. Our dataset of 3,500+ websites and 240,000+ keywords (local and national) makes it easy for us to get a birds-eye view of how our client campaigns are performing.

Not surprisingly, we were happy to find that this update didn’t have any negative impact on our client campaigns. In fact, we have seen improvement. Most probably, the SEO deliverables which we offer saved our clients. This is another example of how our strategies future-proof your business.

So, how are we protecting you?

1. GOOGLE RELEASES FRED ALGORITHM UPDATE. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

If you think Google is done with the Panda and Penguin updates, think again! On March 7, Google released an ‘unannounced’ algorithm update causing serious damage to websites having poor user experience. Sites which were affected saw anywhere from a 50% to a 90% drop in their organic traffic from Google overnight!

Some of the websites were ad heavy to the point that the ads interfered with the users ability to digest their content. Other sites were built exclusively to cater to Google’s algorithm and left the actual website visitor frustrated when they landed there from the search results. There were other categories of sites affected that were either part of low-value niche and lead generation sites, engaging in paid links or were simply low quality affiliate sites. The only thing that ALL of them had in common was that they scored low when analysed via Google’s Quality Evaluator Guidelines.

Google hasn’t released a statement and so far the only confirmation from them was a confirmation at SMX that the “Fred” update was a Quality Update as well as a Gary Illyes tweet saying that they won’t deny there was an update.

  1. First up, we get the basics right i.e. focusing on On-Site optimization which includes correcting all possible 404 errors, fix duplicate (thin) content on the site, creation of landing pages, etc. Internal blog is also a good addition which we do when allowed.
  2. We do a thorough backlink analysis at the start of the campaign to weed out bad backlinks which can prove to be harmful.
  3. We vary anchor texts to have a proper balance between branded and non-branded links. We also ensure proper link velocity as too many links at a time can be flagged by Google.
  4. We diversify the backlink profile which includes local directories, videos, infographics, informational content, coupons, guest blogs, etc.
  5. Below are some of the additional backlink sources we’ve included in our new SEO deliverables to further diversify the backlink profile.
  • Startup Business Listings
  • Magazine / News Placement
  • Q&A Posting

So, if you’re hit by “Fred” update OR want to make sure you’re not going to be a likely victim, we can help. Just connect with us and let our professional SEOs to do the work for you. And yes, do not forget to ask for a copy of our latest SEO Deliverables.

 

2. GOOD NEWS! YOU CAN NOW RECLAIM GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING WHICH WAS MANAGED BY A THIRD PARTY

You can now reclaim your Google My Business (GMB) listing page which was verified by a third party. Google has recently launched an automated process which enables you to claim your GMB page without contacting the previous manager. It came as a great relief to those who were trying to reclaim their listing but were unable to get into contact with the person who was managing it before.
Here’s the step by step process:

  1. Navigate to Google My Business.
  2. Sign in to Google with the account you use to manage your business.
  3. Enter the name or address of your business, then select it from the search results.

You may see a dialog showing part of the email address that verified the listing. If you manage this email address, sign in to that account to access your business listing.

  1. Fill out the form. The current listing owner may need to contact you for more info, so you won’t be able to submit your request without sharing your contact details with them.
  2. Click Submit.
  3. The current listing owner will receive an email asking them to get in touch with you, and you’ll receive a confirmation email. Check on the status of your request by clicking the link in your confirmation email.
  4. Allow a full 7 days for the current listing owner to respond to your request. If you don’t hear back after 7 days, you’ll be able to verify your affiliation with the business to gain access to the listing.

 

3. IMPORTANT TAKEAWAYS FROM THE ASK ME ANYTHING PRESENTATION WITH GOOGLE AT SMX WEST

It always attracts a lot of attention when Googlers are up on stage and open for questioning. The Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Google Search at the recent SMX West conference was no exception. The panel was moderated by Danny Sullivan and featured two prominent Googlers: Gary Illyes (Webmaster Trends Analyst) and Mariya Moeva (Webmaster Outreach Specialist).

Here are the Top Takeaways from the presentation.

  1. The Mobile-First index will be launched after a month or two. Make sure to have your website mobile friendly by the time is launched.
  2. Google has confirmed that Mobile page speed will be a ranking factor when the mobile first index will be launched. The desktop signals will get replaced by it.
  3. Google does have an individual Page/URL authority.
  4. Google has ended “Authorship” feature for once and for all. It is no more a ranking factor.
  5. Quality content is the key to get your website featured into the featured snippets. Also, it should be well structured & relevant.
  6. For the knowledge graph, Google still prefers Wikidata entities and the CIA World Factbook. There is no way to get in the knowledge graph. Its algorithmic. Anything that gets in requires multiple sources of data to support the need for it to be in there.
  7. There is no specific percent of 404s that can hurt your rankings. But we still prefer resolving these issues for a better user experience.
  8. The quality of content matters the most. There’s no need to unnecessary expand the length of the content. Just provide answers to user questions and that’s it!
  9. Google tries it’s level best to eliminate bad links, but it is not enough, so we encourage you to keep disavowing bad links.
  10. It was clear that the “Fred” update was quality update, however, you will have to refer to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to know the specific details. It is not disclosed as an update, so you have to notice the changes.

 

4. GOOGLE ADWORDS MIGHT EXTEND THE TEXT AD DESCRIPTION LIMIT FROM 80 TO 160 CHARACTERS

Many a time, it’s hard to convey your message in just 80 characters. It’s a humongous task to sum up your product or service in 80 characters and that also in an engaging way. While writing the copies, we all have wished for more characters to play with, so we can deliver our message to our prospective customers as effectively as possible.

Sometimes all we need is to educate our targeted searchers and they will turn into a customer, but for that, we need more than 80 Characters.

Our wish might come true in the near future since Google is testing a new feature that provides the advertisers with double the characters, 160 to be specific.

Many users in the US have spotted a second description line in the Adwords. This additional description line also provides the users with exactly the same number of characters. So when you need to flash more information in front of the users, you can use this.

It’s important to discuss that the higher number of characters in the text ads have also received a lower CTR than the ads with a shorter description. Well, it might be because people don’t engage in an ad unless it is highly relevant to them. And if they come across a relevant ad, they don’t like to read all the info that is there in the smaller font along with a lot of distractions. They might just click on the Ad, go to the page, get the info and jump back or buy. It seems more convenient to just click on the page than to read the whole description right there. However, it is for those who are at the end of the buying funnel and need no convincing.

The additional description line will be valuable for the users that are not at the end of the buying funnel and need more information about the products or service.

But before making any strategies or jumping to imaginary conclusions, it needs to be fully launched and since Google has not given a slightest of hint regarding it, it’s better to just wait for it. Will keep you updated on any progress.

 

5. BING ADS WILL STOP SUPPORTING MONTHLY BUDGETS FROM 30TH APRIL

If you are still using monthly budgets for you Bing Ads campaigns, its about time that you switch to the daily budgets, because if you don’t, Bing will do it for you, very soon.

Most of the advertisers have already moved to the daily budgets, but for those who are still sitting idle, Bing has come up with this announcement. They have strongly recommended that every advertiser should move to daily campaign budget from monthly budget before 30th April.

Any automated rules which were once in place for the monthly budget will need to be recreated. Shared budgets are already based on daily basis, so this change will not impact it.

 

6. FACEBOOK MESSENGER DAY – A NEW TOOL FOR MARKETING

Facebook Messenger has launched a new feature in the Facebook Messenger App – Facebook Messenger Day. Through this new feature, you can share videos and images, with your Facebook friends, which will disappear after 24 hours.

The new feature works just like Snapchat. You can use various emojis, filters, and text in your messages. So, you can utilize this new feature for marketing and promotion of your business, post promotional videos, templates or images, via messenger app with your clients with whom you are connected on Facebook.

The Messenger Day feature is available only in the Messenger app, in the top-left corner you can find Add to Your Day option, tap on it and add a photo or video to your day. You can also customize your list with whom you want to share, tap the gear icon to the left of the screen, where you select My Day and choose your audience and tap send to post it.

 

  • You can also know how many and who all viewed your Day.
  • With this feature, you can promote your brand through social media marketing, on an individualistic personal level, where you can directly interact with your Facebook clients.
  • Attract your friends on Facebook towards your business, through this medium and encourage them to like your business page and official profile on Facebook.
  • You can also share live videos and images of an ongoing event and promote your event, seminar, workshop or exhibition, this way you can also invite people to visit your event.
  • Encourage your employees to share the same on their Facebook Messenger Day to widespread the promotion. More the shares, more the views, more the brand awareness.
  • Share updates and latest developments in your business this way you can make people aware of your business’ progress.
  • Via this feature, you can be in constant touch with your clients and can build a strong relationship with them on a personal level. But, be careful and avoid overuse of it.