Google “Mayday” Update Leaves Many Searching for Lost Long Tail Traffic

Recent algorithm changes at Google have left some webmasters and website owners scratching their heads over the precipitous drop in traffic their sites have experienced. It’s important to realize, however, that within the SEO game, Google algorithm updates represent a zero-sum game. In short, when one site loses rankings and traffic, another steps into its place. For some, that means that the so-called “Mayday” update has actually resulted in an increase in traffic, but those making the most noise over the issue are, by far, those that have seen diminishing traffic and revenue from the changes.

For those not entirely familiar with the recent updates, Google began making tweaks in late April in an attempt to bring higher-quality websites to the top of the search rankings. While that is a very basic goal that Google is always striving for, this particular tweak was interesting because it focused more specifically on so-called “long tail” queries, i.e. – highly-specific searches that are not individually big traffic-drivers but, when taken aggregately, can drive vast amounts of visitors.

Matt Cutts, an engineer with Google who frequently speaks at industry events and via web-based video, noted of the change, “This is an algorithmic change in Google, looking for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries. It went through vigorous testing and isn’t going to be rolled back.” Discussion of the Mayday updates reached a fever pitch in the last days of May, when many site owners saw the biggest changes in their traffic logs. Specifically, those with e-commerce sites, or other websites that consist of many pages, were seeing fewer visitors to “deeper” pages within their site’s structure, including product pages and pages that were several clicks away from the home page.

While the mechanism and programming behind the Google changes are quite fascinating, for most website owners the only real concern is what to do about lost traffic. Ultimately, the name of the game is increasing the quality of a website in the eyes of Google. A great place to start is by upgrading existing content and working hard to attract credible incoming links to the site. Contact My Studio Space Web Design today to learn more about how we can help you improve the quality of your website and reclaim your lost Google traffic.

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