Brafton recently reported that Google has updated its algorithm reward high-quality content. In less than one week, some sites' rankings have shifted as a result of the change, and marketers may want to reinvigorate their site content accordingly.
The algorithm update will impact nearly 12 percent of searches, according to Google. Gabriel Stricker of Google recently spoke with CNN about the change, and he explained that the goal is “to give users the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible.”
Stricker says the current change aims to reward high-quality content in order to meet user demand. “Recently we've heard from our users that they want to see fewer low-quality sites in our results,” he said.
For marketers, this should translate into greater investment in content marketing of the highest editorial caliber. Otherwise, the consequences of Google's algorithmic update may include significant drops in rankings and traffic – and some sites are already facing these penalties.
According to a report from Sistrix, certain websites have seen more than 90 percent drops in their keyword rankings. For instance, faq.com and suite101.com saw a 91 percentage loss and a 94 percentage loss in their keyword rankings, respectively. Both the number of keywords indexed by Google and the sites' Google rankings for recognized keywords have declined.
Dropped rankings translate into lost traffic. On a WebmasterWorld.com discussion thread, several site owners are already lamenting the loss of site traffic. One says, “I was hit with a 50 percent traffic drop,” and another says “I almost lost 40 percent.”
Still, the algorithm change hasn't been bad for everyone. Sistrix's report indicates that some sites are seeing better traffic thanks to the algorithm update, including Buy.com. The Wall Street Journal quotes Neel Grover, Buy.com's chief executive, as saying he is “delighted” that the new Google ranking algorithm “is helping naturally improve the search rankings for 'actual' relevant companies, including ours.”
With this in mind, marketers will want to invest in quality content for their sites and employ SEO bast practices to gain a search edge. Brafton has reported that 85 percent of marketers will invest in SEO this year.