MayDay update confirmed by Google - Watch your back..links
Surprise, but no surprise. Google finally has confirmed the Google Mayday update. At Google I/O, Matt Cutts confirmed that Google has changed the search algorithm. The new algorithm "looks for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries". It has been tested quite intense and isn't going to be rolled back. Vanessa Fox, editor at Search Engine Land, published the news yesterday. Again, it seems to be about backlinks again.
Very large sites with low quality pages seem to have been hit
Of course, a lot of webmasters started discussing the update earlier this month on forums like Webmasterworld. Soon the update was named MayDay. Nobody knew the true story behind the update, but it was quite obvious that the long tail got hit specifically.
It's a ranking change, not a crawling or indexing change
This one is kinda funny, cause although Matt told Vanessa that this update is a ranking update only, many webmasters have seen their number of indexed pages cripple from tens of thousands to only a few thousand. Probably the caffeine update is what causing this, but again, it definitely is a sign that Google lost its love for pages that are put deep into the archives of websites over time. Next to that, the popularity might just be too low to get the spiders of Google to visit all item pages in large websites or e-commerce websites.
Watch you back... links.
As we look further into this, it might just all come down to one single issue, again. As Vanessa shares with us in her post: "This change seems to have primarily impacted very large sites with “item” pages that don’t have many individual links into them, might be several clicks from the home page, and may not have substantial unique and value-added content on them". So, basically, it's about the popularity flow within your website, which means that again it's about incoming links. Except this time, it's not only about the total quantity, but also how well they are spread over the pages within your website.
Is search becoming a single page interaction?
It's not so hard to believe if you ask me. Search is a single page interaction. People look for specific information, and Google hands them over specific results, but all to single pages. These pages perform well because they are part of sometime bigger: a website. But the website itself isn't returned in search result pages, it's a single page that is relevant to the search query. So why shouldn't Google treat every page as a single web element? If the page has no external incoming links, then it just might not be that good? Of course the website will still be a factor in the algorithm, but it is not so hard to think that Google lives in a page-world, instead of a world of websites.
What do you think? Share your ideas with us
Have you been hit by the update? Do you notice any specific details that might have influenced your rankings? Let us know, place you comment and share your tips & tricks with our readers.
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