Vlog #134: Paul VanHevel and Lily Ray of Amsive Digital On Fixing Sites After Google Core Updates

Aug 23, 2021 • 8:00 am | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under Search Engine Roundtable Vlog by Barry Schwartz
 

So you may remember Lily Ray, she was on vlog number two where I went to her office in NYC and spoke about SEO topics at her company named back then Path Interactive. Well, post vaccination, Lily and Paul VanHevel came to my office under the new company name Amsive Digital to talk more SEO. We spoke about the renaming of company and how that all happened at a high level. Paul VanHevel is the senior SEO strategist and Lily Ray is the senior SEO director and head of organic research at Amsive Digital.

What Changed With Fixing Sites After Google Core Updates: We jumped right into fighting about meta descriptions and alt tags for images. As we are about to get into the juicy topic, Google started making noises to stop us. We spoke a bit about what has changed when it comes to fixing sites after being hit by an algorithm update. Paul said typically it is always different for each client but the general rule is that there is something systemically wrong with your site. Paul gave examples like duplicative content, low quality content and things like that. Plus these fixes take months and months and months to fix. Lily said the approach may not have changed but they have baked more of Google’s recommendations into the process to fix their client sites.

I then explained how some sites do recover on their own, like my site but it is not recommended to do nothing after being hit by a core update. I think that shows a site is on the line, the edge, and you probably want to make changes to improve your site. You probably do not want to sit so close to the edge with your site or business.

One thing that is often hard is to communicate to Google that their site’s content quality is not good or the site overall is poor. This is probably someone who invested a lot of time and resources in their site, and it can be hard to not hurt feelings. Paul said you need to be delicate when you discuss this with clients, and you need to first tell the client it will take months and make sure to start small and dig into the quality issues by developing an actionable plan. Go about it in bite pieces he said. It is rare that a client will fight back and argue about the changes they recommend because people call them because they know they have issues.

The common issues they see from their clients who get hit by Google algorithm updates are (1) thin or duplicative content, and (2) dangerous or bad advice type of content. We then discussed how Google knows what content is accurate scientifically, like authorship, fact check schema, sourcing, disclaimers, language of the content itself and more. I brought up an old filter Google had for reading level filters in search, which were graded by teachers. I then told them my theory about content matching other trusted content on the web. Paul then explained you can use your site navigation and architecture to communicate to Google what content is not authoritative and what is.

Learn more about Paul and Lily over here.

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