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#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Always keep your ear to the ground.
Solving SEO Issues In Google's Post-Update World
How To Track Unc...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Google pushes between 500 and 1,000
changes every year.
• Some are major, some are minor.
• I’m cov...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Unlike Panda(s) of the past…
• And Penguin(s) of the past.
• Phantom 2 in May 2015 was confirmed
(b...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• A mixture of human barometers and technology can help
identify and surface major updates.
The Solut...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Your own data and rank tracking.
• Search Engine Roundtable.
• SEOs focused on algo updates (like m...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Core ranking updates.
• Phantom updates.
• Panda.
• Pre-announced algos (mobile-friendly,
mobile po...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• And sometimes more frequently…
• Phantom 2 (May 2015)
• November 2015
• January 2016
• March 2016
•...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• It’s easy! Just ask Gary Illyes and John Mueller on Twitter.
• Thank you. I’ll go catch my flight n...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Third party data can supplement your own.
• Gather and track data from your own niche.
• Get the ri...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Select a strong bucket of keywords to
track in your niche.
• Don’t simply track 10 keywords… you
ne...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• SEMrush
• STAT
• Moz campaigns
• Rank Ranger
• And others…
Rank Tracking Tools
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
SEMrush Example:
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Moz Example:
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• You’ll need a lot of campaigns.
• And a lot of money. :)
• Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if there were too...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• All three tools are continually tracking many sites.
• And millions of keywords.
• Across many coun...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
SEMrush In Action:
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
SEMrush Search Visibility Over Time:
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
SEMrush Position Changes Report:
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Searchmetrics In Action:
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Searchmetrics Winners and Losers (Keywords):
SearchVisibility
by directory!
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• You can quickly check search visibility gains or losses across sites in
your niche.
• You can find ...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Sistrix In Action:
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Sistrix – Compare sites, subdomains, and directories:
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Sistrix Ranking Changes:
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Sistrix - Desktop vs. Mobile Search Visibility
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• There are times Google reverses course algo-wise.
• Or there can be “tremors” based on tweaks to th...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Google’s mobile popup algorithm launched on 1/10/17.
• Should negatively impact sites using mobile ...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• There are several tools that track volatility
based on a set of keywords.
• They can help identify ...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Google Data
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• There’s nothing better than your own
data.
• E.g. GSC data and Google Analytics
trending.
• Also, b...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Search Analytics reporting will be your focus.
• Track clicks and impressions over time.
• Average ...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Examples of recovery and drops during the September 2015 Update:
Google Search Console (GSC)
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Another drop during a recent core ranking update:
Google Search Console (GSC)
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Positive impact from the February 7, 2017 update:
Google Search Console (GSC)
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Average position (although a bit funky) can help identify increases or
decreases in rankings.
Googl...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• You can also compare timeframes.
• And sort by loss of clicks or impressions.
• But be aware of the...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• You can isolate areas of your site by filtering the Pages group.
• Or isolate keywords by filtering...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Analytics Edge is my tool of choice for bulk exporting data from GSC.
• I published two blog posts ...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Rich snippets can be impacted during major core ranking updates.
• I’ve seen this several times sin...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• You can also check the SERP Features widget in SEMrush to see if rich
snippets have been impacted.
...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Google Analytics
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Make sure you are isolating Google organic traffic!
• You can also check organic search channel rep...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Surge during February 7, 2017 core ranking update.
• Major Panda 4.0 hit.
Google Analytics – Organi...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Big Phantom 2 hit.
Google Analytics – Organic Search Trending
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• February 7, 2017 hit:
Google Analytics – Organic Search Trending
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Panda 4.1 recovery and surge during the 10/24/14 update.
Google Analytics – Organic Search Trending...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• You should dimension by landing page.
• Check trending.
• Then compare against previous timeframe.
...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• And you can do this by directory (or via page type).
• Regular expressions are supported in GA.
Goo...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• After getting hit by a major algorithm update, it’s
smart to check the landing pages from organic
s...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Quick Case Study
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Big Panda hit (lost ~65% of Google traffic overnight).
• Clearly identified the hit via GSC, GA, an...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Case Study – Panda Hit, Recovery, & Phantom Approval
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Case Study – Panda Hit, Recovery, & Phantom Approval
• The company versus its top competitor since th...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Check other search engines to verify an algo hit!
• If Bing drops, as well as Google, it could sign...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Are your mobile pages the problem?
• Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm.
• Google’s mobile popup al...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Use the devices group to check clicks and impressions from mobile
devices.
• Compare to desktop to ...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Use a segment for mobile to view all
reporting through a mobile lens.
• Then use my recommendations...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Major algorithm update on 3/7/17.
• Some sites surged, while others tanked.
• Volatility was easy t...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Some volatility examples due to Fred: SEMrush
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Some volatility examples due to Fred: GA & GSC
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
Some volatility examples due to Fred:
SEMrush Position Changes
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
• Be proactive, not reactive.
• Use a multi-faceted approach for tracking algorithm updates.
• Set up...
#SMX #31A @glenngabe
LEARN MORE: UPCOMING @SMX EVENTS
THANK YOU!
SEE YOU AT THE NEXT #SMX
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Solving SEO Issues In Google's Post Update World: How To Track Unconfirmed Algorithm Updates By Glenn Gabe

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From the SMX West Conference in San Jose, California, March 21-23, 2017. SESSION: Solving SEO Issues In Google's Post-Update World. PRESENTATION: Solving SEO Issues In Google's Post Update World: How To Track Unconfirmed Algorithm Updates - Given by Glenn Gabe, @glenngabe - G-Squared Interactive, President. #SMX #31A

Published in: Marketing
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Solving SEO Issues In Google's Post Update World: How To Track Unconfirmed Algorithm Updates By Glenn Gabe

  1. 1. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Always keep your ear to the ground. Solving SEO Issues In Google's Post-Update World How To Track Unconfirmed Algorithm Updates
  2. 2. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Google pushes between 500 and 1,000 changes every year. • Some are major, some are minor. • I’m covering major algorithm changes (big shifts in rankings). • Google can, and will, roll out multiple algo updates at one time. With Google, Change Is Constant
  3. 3. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Unlike Panda(s) of the past… • And Penguin(s) of the past. • Phantom 2 in May 2015 was confirmed (but we were lucky). • Some are pre-announced like the mobile- friendly algo and mobile popup algo. • But MOST are not announced or confirmed. Most Algo Updates Are NOT Announced! Ah, those were the days!
  4. 4. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • A mixture of human barometers and technology can help identify and surface major updates. The Solution: Data, Chatter, Technology, and Humans
  5. 5. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Your own data and rank tracking. • Search Engine Roundtable. • SEOs focused on algo updates (like me). • Third party search visibility tools. • Twitter chatter. • Webmaster forums. • SEO weather tracking tools. Keep Your Ear To The Ground Note, if you see me tweet this gif, I’m seeing signs of an algo update.
  6. 6. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Core ranking updates. • Phantom updates. • Panda. • Pre-announced algos (mobile-friendly, mobile popup algo, etc.) • Dates are important. • And connections with previous updates. Know Your Algorithms
  7. 7. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • And sometimes more frequently… • Phantom 2 (May 2015) • November 2015 • January 2016 • March 2016 • June 2016 • November 2016 • February 7, 2017 • March 7, 2017 (Fred) Major updates are happening every few months.
  8. 8. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • It’s easy! Just ask Gary Illyes and John Mueller on Twitter. • Thank you. I’ll go catch my flight now… :) So how do you track these updates?
  9. 9. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Third party data can supplement your own. • Gather and track data from your own niche. • Get the right toolset in place AND USE IT. • Be ready for the next algo update. • Be proactive, not reactive. Prepare For Battle (With Data and Tools)
  10. 10. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Select a strong bucket of keywords to track in your niche. • Don’t simply track 10 keywords… you need more than that. • Track your competition too. • You want to see movement across an entire niche, not just your own site. Rank Tracking
  11. 11. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • SEMrush • STAT • Moz campaigns • Rank Ranger • And others… Rank Tracking Tools
  12. 12. #SMX #31A @glenngabe SEMrush Example:
  13. 13. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Moz Example:
  14. 14. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • You’ll need a lot of campaigns. • And a lot of money. :) • Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if there were tools tracking search visibility over time for most sites across the web?? But You Can’t Rank-track The Entire Web!
  15. 15. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • All three tools are continually tracking many sites. • And millions of keywords. • Across many countries. • All three provide search visibility metrics. • And can help you pick up algorithm updates. Tracking Volatility Via SEMrush, Searchmetrics, & Sistrix
  16. 16. #SMX #31A @glenngabe SEMrush In Action:
  17. 17. #SMX #31A @glenngabe SEMrush Search Visibility Over Time:
  18. 18. #SMX #31A @glenngabe SEMrush Position Changes Report:
  19. 19. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Searchmetrics In Action:
  20. 20. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Searchmetrics Winners and Losers (Keywords): SearchVisibility by directory!
  21. 21. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • You can quickly check search visibility gains or losses across sites in your niche. • You can find movement on specific dates and dig in. Searchmetrics – Compare Domains
  22. 22. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Sistrix In Action:
  23. 23. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Sistrix – Compare sites, subdomains, and directories:
  24. 24. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Sistrix Ranking Changes:
  25. 25. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Sistrix - Desktop vs. Mobile Search Visibility
  26. 26. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • There are times Google reverses course algo-wise. • Or there can be “tremors” based on tweaks to the algo (which can happen after major updates). Yes, reversals can happen.
  27. 27. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Google’s mobile popup algorithm launched on 1/10/17. • Should negatively impact sites using mobile popups and interstitials. • I’m tracking 70+ sites employing mobile popups or interstitials. • I’m not seeing widespread movement (at all)… • It’s officially a dud. And Sometimes Algos DON’T Work As Expected… Popups from urls still ranking well after January 10, 2017!
  28. 28. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • There are several tools that track volatility based on a set of keywords. • They can help identify algo updates, but aren’t perfect. • Small data set. • Mozcast, Algoroo, Sensor, SERPmetrics, RankRanger, etc. Weather Tracking Tools
  29. 29. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Google Data
  30. 30. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • There’s nothing better than your own data. • E.g. GSC data and Google Analytics trending. • Also, both GSC and GA have APIs. • So you can automate certain tasks, which can help with tracking (more about that soon). Google Tools and Your Own Data
  31. 31. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Search Analytics reporting will be your focus. • Track clicks and impressions over time. • Average position (although a bit funky) can help identify increases or decreases in rankings. Google Search Console (GSC) Example of a drop during the 12/18/16 update
  32. 32. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Examples of recovery and drops during the September 2015 Update: Google Search Console (GSC)
  33. 33. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Another drop during a recent core ranking update: Google Search Console (GSC)
  34. 34. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Positive impact from the February 7, 2017 update: Google Search Console (GSC)
  35. 35. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Average position (although a bit funky) can help identify increases or decreases in rankings. Google Search Console (GSC)
  36. 36. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • You can also compare timeframes. • And sort by loss of clicks or impressions. • But be aware of the UI limitation of 1K rows per report. • That’s frustrating… but there are workarounds. Google Search Console
  37. 37. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • You can isolate areas of your site by filtering the Pages group. • Or isolate keywords by filtering the Queries group. • And then view trending based on filtered data! • No regex, but you can export the data to analyze further. Google Search Console – Slice and dice.
  38. 38. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Analytics Edge is my tool of choice for bulk exporting data from GSC. • I published two blog posts about this (links below). • For example, exporting queries and landing pages well beyond the 1,000 row limit in the UI. • Then use the power of Excel to dig in further. Quick Tip: I exported 48,129 in less than 2 minutes http://glennga.be/analytics-edge-gsc http://glennga.be/analytics-edge-queries
  39. 39. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Rich snippets can be impacted during major core ranking updates. • I’ve seen this several times since Phantom 2 in May of 2015. • Use the Search Appearance group to filter by “Rich results”. Rich Snippets – GSC
  40. 40. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • You can also check the SERP Features widget in SEMrush to see if rich snippets have been impacted. • It will show you the % of times reviews are showing up for the domain. • And the keywords triggering those reviews. Quick Tip: Rich Snippets & SEMrush
  41. 41. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Google Analytics
  42. 42. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Make sure you are isolating Google organic traffic! • You can also check organic search channel reporting for unsampled data (although it includes all search engines). Google Analytics – Organic Search Trending
  43. 43. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Surge during February 7, 2017 core ranking update. • Major Panda 4.0 hit. Google Analytics – Organic Search Trending Panda 4.0 February 2017 Update
  44. 44. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Big Phantom 2 hit. Google Analytics – Organic Search Trending
  45. 45. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • February 7, 2017 hit: Google Analytics – Organic Search Trending
  46. 46. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Panda 4.1 recovery and surge during the 10/24/14 update. Google Analytics – Organic Search Trending Panda 4.1 10/24/14 Panda Update
  47. 47. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • You should dimension by landing page. • Check trending. • Then compare against previous timeframe. Google Analytics – Digging Deeper By Page
  48. 48. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • And you can do this by directory (or via page type). • Regular expressions are supported in GA. Google Analytics – Filtering is key.
  49. 49. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • After getting hit by a major algorithm update, it’s smart to check the landing pages from organic search that dropped. • You can often find glaring problems on those pages… • I wrote a tutorial for running a Panda report in GA and Excel (provided below). • You can use it for any algo update or traffic drop. Panda Report - Good Time To Bring This Up! http://glennga.be/panda-report
  50. 50. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Quick Case Study
  51. 51. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Big Panda hit (lost ~65% of Google traffic overnight). • Clearly identified the hit via GSC, GA, and third party tools. • Ran a Panda report to gauge the loss of traffic by landing page. • Performed a thorough crawl of the site to surface potential problems. • Fixed A LOT of quality problems. • Set up rank tracking to monitor recovery of core terms. • Site recovered during next Panda update and has increased more during subsequent core ranking updates. Case Study – Panda Hit, Recovery, & Phantom Approval
  52. 52. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Case Study – Panda Hit, Recovery, & Phantom Approval
  53. 53. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Case Study – Panda Hit, Recovery, & Phantom Approval • The company versus its top competitor since the initial algo hit. • My client = red, the other site is blue.
  54. 54. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Check other search engines to verify an algo hit! • If Bing drops, as well as Google, it could signal technical SEO problems versus an algorithm update. • Make sure it’s truly Google organic that dropped. • Confirm with GSC as well. Check Other Search Engines: Bing Google
  55. 55. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Are your mobile pages the problem? • Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm. • Google’s mobile popup algorithm. • Soon-to-be-released mobile-first index. • You can check both GA and GSC. • And you can check third party tools as well. Checking Mobile SERPs and Traffic
  56. 56. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Use the devices group to check clicks and impressions from mobile devices. • Compare to desktop to see the differences. • Including average position! Mobile Reporting in GSC:
  57. 57. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Use a segment for mobile to view all reporting through a mobile lens. • Then use my recommendations from earlier for gauging the impact. • You might find that mobile pages dropped more than desktop. • Then dig in to find out why… Google Analytics
  58. 58. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Major algorithm update on 3/7/17. • Some sites surged, while others tanked. • Volatility was easy to see via the tools I mentioned in this presentation. • SEMrush, Searchmetrics, & Sistrix. • Google Analytics. • Google Search Console. I Couldn’t Present This Topic Without Mentioning FRED!
  59. 59. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Some volatility examples due to Fred: SEMrush
  60. 60. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Some volatility examples due to Fred: GA & GSC
  61. 61. #SMX #31A @glenngabe Some volatility examples due to Fred: SEMrush Position Changes
  62. 62. #SMX #31A @glenngabe • Be proactive, not reactive. • Use a multi-faceted approach for tracking algorithm updates. • Set up rank tracking. • Monitor search visibility across your niche. • Track and ping human barometers. • Monitor industry chatter. • Leverage the full power of Google tools (GSC and GA). • Surface quality problems, fix them, and improve quality overall. • Drive forward and wait for the next update (could be months). Final tips and recommendations:
  63. 63. #SMX #31A @glenngabe LEARN MORE: UPCOMING @SMX EVENTS THANK YOU! SEE YOU AT THE NEXT #SMX

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