In February of this year, Google altered it’s algorithms in an attempt to weed out “content farm” websites – that is, websites with excessive duplicate content, keyword stuffing, and in general poorly written content.
This had a reverberating effect across the web. Personal blogs, small businesses and even large corporations were affected. In fact, 12-14% of all search queries were affected.
While this did help remove poor websites from search results, it also had a negative impact on legitimate businesses who rely on organic search traffic to stay in business. What was found was that many online retailers use boiler plate product descriptions that were being used by dozens, hundreds or even more online retailers. This duplicate content was caught up in the algorithm change, and many small businesses saw their Google traffic drop be 50% or more.
You might also have been impacted by this change.
So what can we do to get back our positioning? What can we do better?
It’s time to be different and think outside the box. Google looks for unique content that is informative and responsive to the users search query. If you’re an online retailer, you might consider writing unique product descriptions. If your catalog is to big for this change, you can try adding customer reviews to your product page, and sending out emails to previous customers asking them to rate and review that product. You might try adding videos or other media. You might also consider more traditional sales and marketing tactics, such as calling back previous customers and suggesting items they might be interested in. Email marketing can also help boost sales.
What we learn here is that running a business online requires you to be constantly shifting and evolving your marketing plans. Many of the things we rely on, such as Google traffic, is out of our control. If something is changed, if will affect our sales and business. Stay on top of the changes and be quick to respond and you’ll survive, maybe even thrive.