I am not going to do what I usually do and basically rewrite in my own words what the actual Google Update was, if you want to read about it you can go here for the official update and here for some more opinion.
What I will do is post my findings which are here.
Overall, most of our sites moved up. This is largely do to not reacting to the previous updates, but at the same time heeding their warnings and following them in a non reactive manner. The sites that moved down were very predictable, mainly ones that have not been adding content regularly.
Last month, we installed tracking on a handful of our high traffic sites to track a few metrics that we have not looked at in depth before. One of them was to track how entry pages/bounce pages stood up to SERP changes. What we found was: pages that had a high bounce rate moved DOWN in the SERPS and pages with a high entry rate moved UP in the SERPS.
Random fact: individual pages that have a ton of content (1500 words or more) moved up.
Sites that have a ton of social connectivity seem to have moved up
Facebook profile pages seem to be way up, i.e. if you search for “Elite Strategies” the Elite Strategies Facebook Page is up a few slots in the SERPS than before. This could be due to the fact to the recent user engagement which is up.
EMDs (exact match domains) are down. A few years ago it became popular to buy up EMDs now they are slowly moving down.
Again, these are just a few findings, there were no major changes that would make or break any of our sites, but it is all worth paying attention to.
Wow – we’ve been seeing a ton of changes in the SERPs over the past few days. The SEO community is in an uproar as evidenced by posts like this:
An open letter to Google (wow, this guy really went off on a tangent)
and threads like this
The “dance” is still happening as of now – dance meaning the algorithm is still taking effect, and positioning is still bouncing around from place to place.
Here at Elite Strategies, the main problem we have run into, is receiving a penalty as a result of what other people have done in the past, for example:
We signed a carpet cleaning company 2 months ago. Before that they were with another company that used some black hat methods to build links to there site, now we are seeing that their rankings have moved down into the results pages -10 or even -50 in some cases. Currently, we are coming up with a solution to counteract this, and are servicing these accounts with high priority.
Already, we are seeing some sites move back into the first page by employing more of a white hat stance with these sites, and Google is recognizing it appropriately.
We consider this a normal part of every day operations, and liability control of sorts.
If you are a company reading this and wish for us to assess your current standpoint, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a visibility report along with a plan to fix your position.
-Elite Strategies SEO Department
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Part 1 - An SEO's Guide to Tumblr
Part 3 - The value of Tumblr links revisited