What You Should Do When You Get Hit by a Google Algorithm Update | Ep. #524

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In episode #524, Eric and Neil discuss what to do when you get hit by a Google algorithm update. Tune in to hear why diversification is so important.

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: What You Should Do When You Get Hit by a Google Algorithm Update
  • [00:42] Eric likes to check Search Engine Roundtable, because they talk about algorithmic updates and signals from different SEO tools (Moz Cast).
  • [01:02] He tries to correlate this information with things happening on his site and what steps he can take to fix the problems.
  • [01:17] In December, Eric and Neil noticed their search traffic declining. So, they knew an update was happening.
  • [01:48] They noticed people who were talking about losing their rankings.
  • [01:57] SEroundtable is calling the current algorithm the “Maccabees Update”.
  • [02:10] There is a trend where blogs are getting fewer hits. Sometimes you just have to wait it out and weather the storm.
  • [02:55] Changing too many things in your content, could have adverse effects.
  • [03:10] You don’t want to be reactionary.
  • [03:41] Wait it out and follow the advice of the people at sites like SEroundtable.
  • [04:13] You have to diversify. If you get hit with an algorithm change, that could be the difference between six or seven figures of business.
  • [04:38] Organic traffic at Single Grain is about 60-70%.
  • [05:02] To diversify his website, Eric would focus on emails.
  • [05:20] Neil gets 50% organic traffic.
  • [05:39] Eric tries to diversify further by focusing on the multiple touchpoints you can use to reach out to new followers (YouTube, etc.)
  • [06:23] Neil is getting a million views per month.
  • [06:50] Paid ads is a great way to get your numbers up. Companies wouldn’t keep spending money unless there was an ROI.
  • [07:05] You can use services like Taboola and Outbrain, re-marketing pixels, and social media as marketing channels.
  • [07:20] Tweet ten times per day and see if it increases your website traffic. Experiment!
  • [07:40] Come up with ways to get increased traffic through your different marketing channels.
  • [07:44] Use push notifications.
  • [07:57] Drift or Facebook Messenger are great live chat options to gain followers.
  • [08:07] You can tie Facebook Messenger in with Zapier.
  • [08:21] Use the signals they are using to gauge their traffic and success.
  • [08:41] That’s it for today!
  • [08:43] Go to singlegrain.com/giveaway if you want to get in on a special giveaway opportunity!

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The post What You Should Do When You Get Hit by a Google Algorithm Update | Ep. #524 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Announcer: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today we're going to talk about what you should do when you get hit by a Google algorithm update. This is a really timely episode because apparently recently as I was traveling I think the update hit. Here's what I do immediately when I feel an update has hit. There's a lot of SEO websites out there. I really like looking at seroundtable.com because it's basically all about search engines and they talk a lot about algorithmic updates, where people are complaining, signals from different SEO tools out there, so there's tools like, there's these weather tools that show ...

Neil Patel: Yeah, like Moz Cast.

Eric Siu: Like Moz Cast for example and it shows a compilation of them. So there's four or five different tools and it shows the complaints from people. That's when I know something is really happening and I try to correlate it to what's going on with my site and then I try to determine what exactly happened and what action steps I should be taking.

Neil Patel: Yeah, and Eric and I are very similar. So right now there's an update going on, and in the month of, we record podcasts in batches, but in the month of December Eric and I started noticing our search traffic continually declining. When you look it over a 30 day period every Monday, not just the whole week but every Monday we are noticing that we are getting less search traffic than the previous Monday. So we're like, "All right, update's happening." We went to Search Engine Roundtable, Search Engine Land, all the sites, Moz Cast, SEMrush has something similar, and we noticed quite a bit of people talking about droppings in rankings and traffic.
Keep in mind, as someone loses traffic there's other people who are gaining traffic. By the time this episode comes out maybe the algorithm will have a name. Search Engine Roundtable is calling it the Maccabees Update. We'll see if that name sticks or not, but nonetheless people are submitting their site, how much traffic is going down, there's very little chatter on hey what's causing this drop, but I've noticed a trend and Eric has too in which we all have blogs. Our blogs are all getting hit and every single blog I have is getting less search traffic even if the content quality traffic is super high.
One thing that we'll do is sometimes you just have to wait it out and weather the storm and see what people are talking about feeling, all right, here's an update, here's what's happened, and then from there you create a game plan and then you adjust. Like right now you and I are both losing traffic. Are you going to make any changes right now?

Eric Siu: I'm going to wait.

Neil Patel: Exactly, because we don't know what changes to make. And that's the reality. Until a lot of marketers and SEOs start diving in and saying, "Hey, here's a drop," or Google releases some information, we don't know what to do. Changing too many things could cause the problem to get even worse, or better, but you want your data to stay consistent so then that way you know how much of a drop you really saw and then you can go and fine tune and tweak from there.

Eric Siu: Yeah, and you don't want to be, it's the same thing with business, you don't want to be reacting all the time. A business where you're just reactionary and you're putting out fires all times and you're just, "Oh, this update happened," and you're just jerking, you're being jerked around by all this news and you're not focusing on what's urgent and, well not urgent and important, that's what you want to focus on ideally. But when you're focusing on everything that's just kind of urgent and popping up all over your face and you're not sure what to do exactly, just wait because these other SEOs out there, like the people on Search Engine Roundtable, the people that are doing these weather casts, these people are really smart, these people have PhDs, or these people study this stuff really extensively. Then when you start to see people take action and you start to take some of that signal and determine what makes sense for your business because your business is different, your website is different, and then you can decide what to do.
Now the other thing I'll add this is this something that you should be doing as something that's preventative but not relying 100% on Google. There's some businesses out there where 80, 90% plus of their traffic is all coming from organic. You got to diversify it. Because nowadays if you get hit by an algorithm, that can be the difference between six or seven figures of business for you, it can be a killer. When you rely on an algorithm like that, you're putting your business at risk and you're putting the people that you support at risk as well. So think about diversifying and using that as a preventative measure so you don't have to worry as much.

Neil Patel: What's your split between traffic right now?

Eric Siu: Traffic right now on organic for Single Grain I think we're at 60, 70% or so. It used to be about 80% plus.

Neil Patel: Yeah. So what are you doing right now to diversify it so that way you're not [inaudible 00:04:49]?

Eric Siu: Yeah, so we think about, well, like stuff like this for example is diversifying, plus it gives me organic traffic.

Neil Patel: No, no. Okay, so the podcasting is another channel, but for your website specifically what would you do to diversify, because I have the-

Eric Siu: Emails, emails. Okay, emails. Collecting more emails is huge.

Neil Patel: Okay, so what are you going to do starting now because your Exit Popup is now for lead capture, not emails? And the reason I'm asking Eric, so all of you guys know, you can see the process that we're going through ourselves. I have, similar to Eric I have a good amount of organic. Mine doesn't make up more than 50%. His is quite a bit higher. But many of you guys are in the position he's in, in which 70% plus of your traffic is organic. So he's going to collect emails. One is going to be content upgrades. He can't do Exist Popup because he uses that to collect more leads. What other strategies can you use to collect more emails?

Eric Siu: So my point here is that it's important to diversify, not just focus on google as a traffic source. Podcasting another traffic source, email is another traffic source as well. Neil's right. One of my Exit Popups now is just focused on free consultations. But also at the same time what other touchpoints could I hit people on, whether it's YouTube for example.
We talked about being omnipresent. That's in one of our past episodes. Check that one out. It's really important that you think about it that way. For example, you look at this podcast, like this one is 550,000 a month, and then the other one is 50,000 to 100,000 per month. And then we have the YouTube channel that gets its own views. You have yours. You're touching like a million views. It's important to be across these other areas and then also Facebook as well.
Here's the thing. If I look at Neil's stuff, if he's getting a million views per month right now, that's a retargeting pixel in itself on AdWords or YouTube for example. So he doesn't have to rely completely on organic to build that pixel up.

Neil Patel: And the point we're trying to get out is not just based on channels. As a business you operate, all right, you have x amount of website visitors and it equates to y revenue. There's other channels you can use. They probably don't monetize as well compared to people going directly to your website, so you've got to figure out how to get your website count up.
Yes, Google is a source. Paid advertising whether you like it or not is an amazing source. Google wouldn't be worth $700 plus billion and Facebook wouldn't be worth $500 plus billion unless the ads were effective. Companies wouldn't keep spending money unless there is a ROI. So paid advertising is a good avenue as well. And you can also use things like Taboola and Outbrain as channels. You can do remarketing pixels as Eric mentioned.
Another traffic source is social media, so building up your fan pages from Facebook fan page to Twitter profiles and you should be testing things such as going out there and tweeting 10 times a day instead of one today and see what that does to your website traffic. Don't just think about, "Hey, I got a Google penalty or something happened in the update where my traffic's going down," and yeah, you can check Search Console to see if there's any errors or any notifications, but more so you need a plan on how you can get your other traffic sources up.
Another simple tactic is using push notifications. Someone comes to your website. Why not make them subscribe through their browser and that way you can push them and get them back to your site.

Eric Siu: Yeah, and don't forget, I've talked about it a couple times already. We have an episode on live chat too. You have the ability with live chat now with Drift for example or even Facebook Messenger take advantage of those two because if you get someone to message you on Facebook Messenger you're building an audience there and then you can use, you tie Facebook Messenger in with Zapier for example and you collect their email or tie into your CRM. There's a lot of different things you can do now. You can't just rely 100% on Google.
I think the main point here is you've got to diversify, and yes, definitely use these signals that we're looking at. We're monitoring the news, we have a process for how we approach algorithms. Here's the thing, at the end of the day it's better to start preparing now than wait at the last, til the very last minute when the algorithm hits you and you lose your shirt and you lose your business.
That's it for today. Hope you enjoyed it. If you want to check out our giveaway by the way for you, just go to singlegrain.com/giveaway and we'll see you tomorrow.

Announcer: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of, and don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.

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