Beating the Google Blues
So you have worked hard, and are starting to see some good results from your shop's SEO campaign.... Only to find that your #4 SERP (Search Engine Result Page) is now buried below the fold and your traffic has taken a huge hit. Or... Worse yet, you just made page 1 in #9 slot and now you are on page 2. What the heck is going on anyhow?
There are actually a couple of new Google "improvements" at play here.
- Longer Snippets : Google is now showing an extended snippet for search queries consisting of three or more keywords. The thought process behind this change is that these multiple worded queries are very targeted and and a bit complex. So by that right, a normal shorter snippet short snippet may not be enough information to cover the bases in the searcher’s query.
- Expanded Related Searches: Google has expanded in to technology that can better understand query/word associations and other venues related to your search. Google is now using additional related searches in the search results.
These innovations from Google are designed to make life easier for searchers... and I'm quite sure they do, however, maybe not so good for shop owners. The issue here is that BOTH of these new innovations do two very bad things for us...
- Searchers can often find what they seek without ever leaving the search results page with longer snippets, thus never paying us a visit.
- The search results pages have less room now for results. So many searches have fewer results like 8 for example instead of 10... and many upper middle results are now pushed below the fold.
So if your best SERP got slammed what can you do?
Ideally, you will be checking your search results and you know where you have lost ground. So once you know what searches need help you can then begin to fix the issue.
Building links to the ranking page using the exact search query is always going to be helpful. Remember, even a nofollowed link provides relevancy for the anchor text and surrounding text. While you are out there building these links to save your SERP, remember to use some variations of the text as well. Not only is this a great practice, but it can yield other longtails that can support the original phrase.
Re-evaluate that ranking page. Make sure that the content is exactly what you want, then spend some time optimizing the page as a whole. On page optimization will be very effective here. The increased snippets make the structuring of your content more important than ever. Make sure you are trying to provide Google a great snippet for your longtails. Additionally, while we generally use longer Meta descriptions at PRO Webs in any case, at SEO Scoop, the discussions reagarding the possibility of a longer Meta description to combat this Google phenomena is a very good read.
Social media can really help you out here as well. Many people have Stumbles or other social media tags that are displayed right next to their search result. This is an attention grabber for searchers. With the added link bait opportunities and traffic, now is a good time for you to get educated about social media.
Lastly... Use internal linking with your search query as the anchor text. Now, don't go crazy with this, but if you can provide useful internal linking for your shoppers and great anchor text for yourself at the same time... Can't be a bad thing, right? I have often scolded webmasters for linking to themselves with terrible anchor text... Geez, the least you can do is give yourself a good link!