Mayday Google updates after-shocks
So there you are with your web-site having a nice spread of keywords associated with it’s pages, when all of a sudden those nice targeted “long-tail” keywords search referrals get cut in half!
What happened, an earthquake, nope just another Google tweak of their algorithm, they do hundreds of these tweaks each year and most go unnoticed, however, this one seems to be a large tweak, but what? There are a lot of theories out there: Google reduced the size and depth of the primary index to keep Caffeine fast; there was broad link devaluation; there was a shift in how phrase match is performed; increased bias was given to authority/brand sites; etc. Who knows, unless you work for Google you don’t.
First off check to see if your site was actually effected, check search referral traffic between April 28th and May 3rd, is there a drop? If there is check to see that its your long-tail terms being effected, if its your main terms it isn’t likely to be “May Day”, but if its those obscure tail terms that dropped off then it may mean the update hit your site. Many have reported a drop of 25% in these areas.
So do you just shrug and except this is beyond your control? Nope, get looking at those links and do a quality check, get rid of those shady links and concentrate on getting a few high quality links in; have a look at your internal link structure and spare some link-juice from a high ranked page those long-tail pages. But the main point is don’t panic as I said Google made more than 500 algorithm changes last year, so relax and keep on doing high-quality, good practice SEO and your site will recover and be fine!