Google May Day Update Confirmed, Our Fourth Post

May 28, 2010 - 8:29 am 7 by
Filed Under Google Updates

This will be our fourth post on the Google May Day update. We first reported it on May 3rd then again on May 14th and then most recently May 25th and today is our last post on it in May 2010.

Vanessa Fox did the leg work to get Google to provide details on this update and posted her findings at Search Engine Land. In short, Google confirmed the update twice, once at the Google I/O, as we said and once again to us at Search Engine Land.

Matt Cutts of Google said at Google I/O and confirmed in an email to us that he did say this:

This is an algorithmic change in Google, looking for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries. It went through vigorous testing and isn’t going to be rolled back.

In a follow up with Google's team, Google said this was a change to the rankings algorithm and not a change to the indexing or crawling areas.

This does impact long-tail keywords, as covered almost a month ago. It is also Google is confident and said they won't roll back. Vanessa's expert opinion was:

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. For instance, ecommerce sites often have this structure. The individual product pages are unlikely to attract external links and the majority of the content may be imported from a manufacturer database. Of course, as with any change that results in a traffic hit for some sites, other sites experience the opposite. Based on Matt’s comment at Google I/O, the pages that are now ranking well for these long tail queries are from “higher quality” sites (or perhaps are “higher quality” pages).

My complete speculation is that perhaps the relevance algorithms have been tweaked a bit. Before, pages that didn’t have high quality signals might still rank well if they had high relevance signals. And perhaps now, those high relevance signals don’t have as much weight in ranking if the page doesn’t have the right quality signals.

The folks over at WebmasterWorld are now picking apart this new evidence and trying to isolate which niches these might impact specifically and what can be done to reverse the impact.

I should note that when analyzing this, make sure your traffic didn't decline due to the redesign. We ran a poll and 43% said traffic dropped due specifically to the redesign at Google and not MayDay.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Sphinn.

Update: Matt Cutts of Google posted a video on this topic, watch the May Day Video on our blog.


Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community


Search Video Recaps

Google Core Update Flux, AdSense Ad Intent, California Link Tax & More - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Google Search Engine Optimization

Google: We Won't Change The 301 Redirect Signals For Ranking & SEO

Apr 24, 2024 - 7:51 am

Google Image Search Tests Tablet Like Design Interface

Apr 24, 2024 - 7:41 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google: Our Link Best Practices Doc Are Still Good Guidelines

Apr 24, 2024 - 7:31 am
Google Ads

Google Ads Established In Extensions

Apr 24, 2024 - 7:21 am
Bing Search

Bing Tests Lock Icon In New Search Snippet Location

Apr 24, 2024 - 7:11 am
Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: April 23, 2024

Apr 23, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Previous Story: Google Not Showing Number Of Results & Return Time