If your Google rankings dropped overnight, in this article it is my intention to show you why and how to fix this issue in hope that you may restore, and maybe even improve your previous ranking in Google search results.
Many SEO pros will tell you that Google is forever changing, and it is being said that Google’s most recent goal is for their users to never have to leave their search results pages, ever… without Google’s being paid for your click that is.
Everything that Google does proves this theory (especially for mobile users).
Take for example, any of your recent searches that you have made, especially when you wish to purchase an item. Google is right there serving you up their affiliate ads for your ease of clicking.
Google even provides a Featured Snippet for when you ask a question, and also provides answers to related questions you may have. All of this is in hope that you won’t click on any of those websites they retrieved the answers from for you.
Then there is the handy map along with pertinent information that you can get when seeking information on a local business; all without leaving Googles search results.
Google even goes so far as to provide you with ANY YouTube videos that might correspond to the question you ask (sometimes even related images). Remember, Google owns YouTube.
This sounds pretty scary for most website owners, right?
What you need to understand is that Google wants to be able to trust any website as an authority in their niche, else it will no longer be ranked well in search results.
It is getting tougher and tougher to rank high any more, so if your site does not rank within the first top 2 in search results now, well… you probably will be losing even more organic traffic going forward, especially from mobile users.
The top section of EVERY device is now being purposely populated by Google with Google’s money-making information. Some are saying this is due to Google’s decreased revenue experienced in 2019, and that they are seeking new methods to increase their revenue going forward.
My response is this… what company isn’t seeking new methods for increasing their revenue, right?
If you have not noticed lately… even when viewed from a desktop computer, Google’s top 3 ads are now made to look more like a REAL search results in hope that you will click on the ad. This I find to be very misleading, to say the least.
Within days of posting this information, these Ads were then modified again to be as shown in the screen print below.
NOTE: There is rumours among the SEO specialist that these deceiving ads will end up being sprinkled throughout your search results in the very near future.
Apparently, this will eventually affect Google MyBusiness listings too!
This is where money will now be over powering talent on the internet. So, you will need to be prepared for this to start happening this year.
As far back as 2013, Google has been warning about new guidelines they would gradually be making to their algorithms for what they deem as YMYL (your money your life) websites. These are types of posts and/or websites that could make a huge influence on your money and/or your life.
Well, those changes were felt by many health websites most recently by late summer of 2019. If you are not a health care professional and you have a website focusing on health issues, chances are you experienced a major drop in organic traffic, as many website owners did.
What Google deems as money sites will be those anywhere in the financial district, like those who deal with mortgages, real estate, investment stock brokerages, how to get out of debt, etc.
Your health is ANYTHING in the health industry. Apparently, pet health topics have now been added to Google’s YMYL algorithms too.
It is even being said that if you decide to teach something as simple as guitar lessons and you are selling a course, then you need to be prepared to PROVE that you are an expert teacher in guitar lessons.
Supposedly, all of these changes started with health and legal websites due to some Google user having suffered with pain in his chest and apparently Google searching for an easy solution rather then seeking medical help for his chest pain. It is said that he found some “all-natural solution”, and that in the end it turned out that this person was having a heart attack.
After having suffered a major lawsuit for violating kids’ privacy on YouTube, it is said that Google would now prefer that from now on, should someone actually search for help regarding chest pains that they will be provided with “call 911 go to the hospital”, instead of any other solution.
Step into Google’s shoes for a minute, and if this is true, who wouldn’t want to prevent another major lawsuit.
It is pretty bad when humans no longer need to take responsibility for their own decisions. Now we simply sue each other, or big businesses instead of being responsible like previous generations were. However, this is where we are at this point in time, therefore you need to be aware of these changes.
So, if you are not a registered medical professional, now you have to establish yourself in that niche as an authority. This will be very difficult to do from now on, given the many domains out there that are operated and/or owned by medical professionals.
Apparently, lifetime experiences will still be considered credible sites that will rank well in Google. In other words, if you have suffered a life altering health issue, and you have a blog on this topic, sharing your experiences and what you found helped you, then you will be considered an authority on this topic.
Happiness and safety are apparently also being included within the YMYL algorithms.
So now you need a NEW way to gain the attention you so desire for your website.
Google’s new AI wants to be able to quickly determine what the purpose is of a website. So, websites need to have content that actually helps users. Websites that are created to harm or deceive users, or make money without any attempt to actually help someone will apparently now receive the lowest rating.
This ostensibly will also help Google reduce the amount of spammy websites that have ranked well in the past.
These General Guidelines are apparently authorized by Google. Feel free to read them over so that you will know for yourself what I am sharing here is not being provided to you on a whim.
How You Can Work with YMYL
Establishing your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are primary for any website owner from 2020 forward.
Your website’s About web page is now the most important page on your website. Some experts claim that now you need TWO About pages on your website. One About page should be your author web page and an About page for your company.
You need to write your About page as a story about you that you are sharing with your readers, and written in the 1st person. In other words, making it personal, and you need to provide a real image of yourself.
It is being recommended that the image you use on your About page should NOT appear anywhere else on the internet, and that it needs to be tagged as an original image of you, as claims are being made that this will establish even more authority with Google.
Depending on the niche you are in, you need to have a doctor, attorney, or a recognized professional in your niche to back you up. Seek a relevant professional in your community who might be acceptable with writing you a little review that you could add to your About web page with their name attached, stating that you are reputable and trustworthy in your niche.
It is vital that you gain actual recognized credentials in your niche, and provide them on your website.
Use as many relevant credentials as you have, as well as degrees, diplomas, etc. An example would be that you have an MBA and you are selling guitar lessons. Then make sure that MBA is listed as it proves to Google that you have professional training, and that you can be trusted.
If you have to PAY to link the proof of your credentials then by all means do so as this is being said that will definitely provide you with an advantage over your competition with Google going forward.
It is also recommended that you quote and link to high authorities in your niche. Example would be a study that someone did that is relevant to your website’s content.
Make sure your NAP is setup correctly stated on EVERY page of your website.
You now need at least one video hosted on your YouTube channel where you are speaking, and where you are showing your face, and then embed that video on your About page.
As an introvert, I can assure you that is not something I like to have to do either but those who DO provide this, will gain authority over your competition for doing so.
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How to Improve Your Expertise
- Your contact page must have a telephone number and a geographical address (NOT a PO Box address!).
- Write two or three guest posts for websites within a related niche.
- Brand mentioning without a link is important, so you could ask people/friends to mention you online. An example would be if you were to mention me, you would say “Trish Parr from eParrs.com”. No link is even required as Google scripts are set to recognize this mention.
- Be a guest on a podcast related to your niche, and promote it by adding it to your About page.
- Be a guest on a video show, and again, add it by embedding the video on your About page.
- Create a resource page on your website.
- Because Google loves Quora, create an account with them and answer relevant questions in your niche. On your profile page, use your About page to link to, NOT your website home page.
- Create a REDDIT account and do the same.
- Help at least 25 people on these sites.
- Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile and that it is kept up to date, and is completed. You can audit your LinkedIn company page in 10 minutes.
- Be sure to add a link to your LinkedIn page on your About page, and be active on LinkedIn.
How to Improve your Authoritativeness
- Get people to talk about you online.
- Join Facebook groups in your niche, and be active in those groups.
- Get links to your business.
- Be active on a couple of social media accounts.
- Get brand mentions and author name mentions which don’t have to necessarily be linked. These are considered citations. Google’s scripts look for your brand mentions on websites not owned by you and not on your website.
- Press releases.
- Have someone write a story about you.
- Get published in periodicals related to your niche.
- Establish a YouTube channel.
- Link to relevant authority sites whenever possible within your content.
- Have friends and/or family members do brand name and authorship searches for you on Google.
How to Gain Trustworthiness
- The best way is to gain trustworthiness is to have testimonials on your website, reviews on your Google MyBusiness, and reviews on your Facebook fan page. Get as many of these as possible. For those who provide you with a printed testimony, you can create an image of it to use. Video reviews are the best to have!
- Make sure you provide full contact information on your website.
- Provide a Terms and Conditions web page.
- Add a Disclaimer.
- Link your reviews from other sites to your About page, not your home page.
- Get a SSL certificate for your website. This helps to protect mobile devices from abuse.
- Always use real images of you for your profile pages.
- NAP in every footer of your website, providing your footer is across every page on your website.
- Have a refund and return policy clearly stated on your website, not just on your shopping cart, if you have an eCommerce site.
- Create a FAQ webs page, or a block with FAQ on a page with too little content.
- Have a testimonial page and be sure to include embedded YouTube hosted testimonial videos whenever possible.
- Create a Google MyBusiness page, and be active on it. Use the free blog provided too.
- Blog regularly to build your brand, authorship, and provide a great user experience for those looking for help in your niche.
So now you are fully armed with what needs to be focused on in 2020. I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, please do share this so that I know what types of information are the most helpful for my regular readers going forward.
Google is forever changing; is your website keeping up?
Should you have any question regarding Googles changes for this year, please feel free to leave me a comment below.
Katrina Gasset’s webinar titled GOOGLE’S BIG Change that can make you or destroy you