SEO NEWS | “MayDay” update is confirmed by Matt Cutts

When SEO managers at WebmasterWorld first caught on to a possible Google algorithm change back in the middle of this month, I was glad to see that my own rankings were not impacted by this possible update. After hearing about this possible Google algorithm change in May I kept an extra vigilant watch on rankings, which was especially nice and easy thanks to the recent update to gwt (google webmaster tools). My own reporting tools also confirmed that the 3 million + keywords I am watching were also not declining in producing traffic. As a result I concluded that either the “mayday” update was invented by bloggers to feed the rumor mill on WebmasterWorld, or that this update was just limited to certain industries (which is typical of some updates with Google). In any case, now that a bit more time has passed I am seeing that the “MayDay” update has been confirmed by Matt Cutts. There has been an article on SearchEngineLand, Google confirms mayday update, that also supports the findings on WebmasterWorld. So I would just like to shout out Kudos to everyone on SearchEngineLand and WebmasterWorld for catching this, and as a result now I am interested to try to dig deeper into what industries were affected by the update and what can they do to fix their rankings? One pattern I am hearing about is that this change does impact smaller websites and shopping websites in particular. What is interesting is that Google seems to be doing a lot within the retail industry. I know that Froogle is going through some revamping in a private beta and also it is interesting that this MayDay update is also timed with the change in the update to the Google SERP UI, which includes more prominant access to Googles own comparison shopping engine. (Which also now offers more ‘featured’ paid placement) I do not think that these updates are mere co-incidence. Any change Google makes is based on a calculated reason, most all of the changes are based on improvements that will help make Google more money. Take for example the fact that Google has recently been touting the importance of Page Speed as an important factor for SEO and SEM. Improve your Page Speed and it is good for your rankings and quality score. Google has openly stated that the reason that they are doing this is to promote better user experience for people surfing the web. And while I 100% agree that this a great reason to improve page speed in addition to its impact on rankings, I couldn’t help shake the notion that there is a bigger reason WHY Google is so heavily promoting the importance of Page Speed. Then one evening after running some SEM tests in adwords, I noticed in one new SEM adwords account for a small website I was helping out that the clicks to impressions ratio was out of wack. The website was getting more clicks than impressions! Upon a deeper dive into why my ad CTR was so high we discovered that double clicks on slow loading pages counted both the clicks. So hello, this is also a big reason WHY Google might be encouraging fast performing pages. Go figure! In any case, I do digress, my point here is that Google is getting more involved in the online retail business with its new updates to the SERP UI and also with its addition of featured products in its comparison shopping engine. So if anyone is wondering WHY google made this change, there is my two cents. More to come soon.