As we’re aware, each year, Google rolls out close to a thousand algorithm updates - most with little noticeable change. However, Google makes significant and broad changes to its algorithms and systems every few months. These are at the heart of the ranking algorithm and are designed to improve the relevance and authoritative content to searchers.
In spite of the COVID-19 outbreak, Google recently announced the May Core Update focusing on the relevancy and quality of content within sites and pages.
It is crucial that you, as well as site owners, webmasters and digital marketers across all industries, are aware of the new update in order to understand any changes in rankings and allow for effective planning to improve them where necessary.
While the details of the May Core Update are not fully known at this point, Google has confirmed that the Update will be rolled out in its entirety within a two week timeframe starting on May 4th.
COVID-19 & Google Updates
Google recently announced that the way in which people use search engines has changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. The volume of searches around local information, shelters, national news and general day to day updates has changed the relevancy of other content across the internet.
The current climate means that content available to users pre-COVID-19 may no longer be classed as relevant, unique and helpful. Categories such as flight information, holidays, traffic updates and events such as concerts, are now not as pertinent as they were pre-COVID. But where does that leave dating?
What does this mean for online dating?
At such a time that websites are being judged on their relevance to a new-era or COVID-19, online dating websites are considered favourable when we compare these to other meet-in-person networking and dating options. More people are searching for online solutions to help them remain connected with society throughout these unprecedented times, meaning that your ads, if pitched in the correct way, are extremely relevant and are likely to give you an uplift in both organic and paid traffic, IF your website copy is also deemed relevant. More about how you can ensure this happens in this article. But first, what exactly is happening with search traffic at the moment?
The interest in online-dating themed searches has increased considerably
The current crisis means that people are reluctant to leave their homes and meet people. People are getting increasingly bored with being stuck with the same people, having the same conversations over and over again. As people crave social interaction more, there’s no better time to help people feel entertained and connected than with online dating. Online dating and networking sites are likely to be deemed more relevant as they are keeping people connected but more importantly they are doing so safely.
We ran some searches on Google Trends and found that there has been a shift in search traffic trends as a result of the ongoing crisis. We compared search terms that involved meeting in person, such as speed dating, with specific terms relevant to the current worldwide climate, such as “chat online’, across the UK (graph 1) & USA (graph 2) since early February.
Results clearly show that the interest in online dating themed searches have increased while the interest in offline dating search terms have dropped drastically - understandably so.
In the graphs below, the peaks towards the top of the graphs represent peak popularity out of 100 and a point halfway means the term is half as popular at a specific point in time. These graphs demonstrate the online-based search terms becoming increasingly more popular from the beginning of March.
UK - Interest over time. Speed dating vs chat online.
USA - Interest over time. Speed dating vs chat online.
There is new traffic available … with low competition!
Due to the current uncertainty in the market, we are aware of more and more advertisers deferring their advertising and marketing budgets to H2 of 2020 while they revisit their current strategies. This is a perfect opportunity for us to action strategies to capture the available traffic and help connect people online!
With more traffic available and the consistent and continued growth of user interest and intent, you will be able to acquire traffic more profitably! The opportunity to keep people online and communicating is extremely important, so if you are able to acquire at a cost that is affordable for you and allows you to make money, we are here to support you as best we can.
What you need to do
Content is king - Audit your content
As with any Core Update, we recommend that you remain aware of changes in rankings and carefully monitor any fluctuations. Google has assured that if rankings change it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong, simply that content needs to be reassessed, reviewed and repurposed to ensure that it is now relevant in the new age.
It is now more important than ever to work on your dating portfolio’s SEO strategy. It’s crucial that your website copy and ads now reflect the new-era of networking - focusing on online, social distancing and communicating while staying safe. You must keep your dating website’s content as holistic, connected and resourceful for a web user’s specific search query as possible.
SEO is a key element to any acquisition strategy and it is now more important than ever to ensure that there are plenty of organic opportunities for sites to grow.
We would strongly advise that all of our partners conduct a full SEO audit of their top sites across all territories in order to see if there are any gaps, or areas to focus on, following this core update. Below are some ideas on what can be done as part of an SEO audit:
> Update content frequently - delete irrelevant content and replace with paragraphs of quality copy
> Add videos, images and graphics to your copy
> Simplify overly complicated content and remove any fluff
> Fix any SEO errors such as duplicate meta tags and descriptions
What not to do
As with all SEO, it is important not to keyword stuff or impact the user journey in a negative or disruptive way. It is best to simply answer the questions that your traffic may be asking by offering the services of your site as the solution to their queries. It is key to remember the user throughout any SEO strategy as well as formatting content so that it is user friendly, easy to read and helpful.
It’s time for a review
Google have supplied the following article on best practices if you feel that your site performance has been negatively impacted by the Core Update:
If you would like some support on how best to work on your SEO strategy or would like to learn more about Google’s recent core update and how it may affect your sites, speak to your account manager or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org today!