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Who Won SEO in 2020 and Why?

  1. 1. | @lilyraynyc Who is Winning SEO in 2020 & Why? #DMOSummit |
  2. 2. | @lilyraynyc Lily Ray SEO Director #DMOSummit |
  3. 3. | @lilyraynyc I’ve become somewhat of an SEO meteorologist. #DMOSummit |
  4. 4. | @lilyraynyc Recap: what caused changes to SEO visibility recently? #DMOSummit |
  5. 5. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Methodology: Analyze organic visibility (VI) of ~1,500 domains in U.S. index over time. Maintain categorized lists of high-traffic domains and changes in traffic patterns. Cross-reference organic performance with Sistrix data, look for link-related anomalies. Analyze how sites have changed over time. #DMOSummit |
  6. 6. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc The master list of SEO visibility
  7. 7. #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc • Organic visibility =/= organic traffic • None of the following brands are my clients • Small sample of websites (~1,500) • My theories about their performance are speculation • 3rd-party tools are not 100% accurate • VI change date range: 1/1/20 vs. 10/1/20 • Correlation =/= causation* Disclaimers: *(not a relevant disclaimer here, but would this really be an SEO presentation without it?)
  8. 8. | @lilyraynyc So, who are the big winners? #DMOSummit |
  9. 9. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Greatest Total VI Change by Domain Jan 1 – Oct 1, 2020, Sistrix U.S. Visibility Index (VI)
  10. 10. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Domains with Greatest % Change in VI Jan 1 – Oct 1, 2020, Sistrix U.S. Visibility Index (VI)
  11. 11. | @lilyraynycJan 1 – Oct 1, 2020, Sistrix U.S. Visibility Index, Similarweb Domain Categories #DMOSummit |
  12. 12. #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc
  13. 13. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Category: Right place, right time. Category: Right place, right time.
  14. 14. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc +332%
  15. 15. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc Zoom appears in #3 position for “meetings” during COVID, likely due to Google’s QDF algorithm (query deserves freshness) & rapidly changing search intent.
  16. 16. Right place, right time.
  17. 17. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc University and museum sites lose rankings, as their locations are currently closed. Online art courses take up the first 3 positions.
  18. 18. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit COVID-19 winners Category:
  19. 19. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit How Google Fights Disinformation (2019) matters most when a crisis is developing.
  20. 20. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc
  21. 21. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Highest traffic keywords
  22. 22. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Web Stories
  23. 23. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit COVID-19 Conspiracy Sites:
  24. 24. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc Some of the biggest winners of SEO visibility this year: • Highly authoritative institutions (i.e. hospitals) • Official .gov, .uk and .org sites • Data-driven & science/evidence-based • Heavily researched and well-sourced content
  25. 25. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc “MedicalXpressprovidesthemostcompleteand comprehensivedailycoverageofthefullsweepof science,technology,andmedicinenews” –theiraboutpage Ranksonpage1for: • Virus • Bunion • Percocetonline • Freeradicals • Safron • Cancernews 359%visibility increase in 2020 Medical Xpress
  26. 26. | @lilyraynyc The real winners: #DMOSummit |
  27. 27. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Date Article 04/03/2020 Google Says They Are Not Filtering Out Sites For Coronavirus Searches 04/06/2020 Google Logo Says Thank You Coronavirus Helpers 04/07/2020 Google Summarizes Its Search Changes For COVID-19 In Tweets 04/07/2020 Google Search COVID Announcements Feature To Be Live Soon 04/14/2020 Google Throttling Crawling Of Sites During The Coronavirus Outbreak? 04/17/2020 Google Now Supports Government Benefits Schema For COVID-19 Announcements 04/21/2020 Google Local Services Ads Enables COVID-19 Highlights 04/22/2020 Google Testing Questions Box In Search Results In US For COVID-19 Queries 04/23/2020 Google Offers Free COVID-19 Posters For Your Business 05/01/2020 Google Question Hub - What Is Your Question Is Wider Than COVID- 19 Searches 05/04/2020 Google Has Not Slowed Crawling Your Site Because Of COVID-19 05/05/2020 Nooglers First Day As A Google Employee During COVID-19 05/05/2020 AMP Not Required For COVID-19 Related News In Google Top Stories Carousel 05/07/2020 Google My Business Adds COVID-19 Responder Policy For Hotels 05/07/2020 May 2020 Google Webmaster Report: Core Update, Google Shopping, LinkedIn & COVID-19 05/07/2020 Google Adds COVID Testing Center Details To Local Panel 05/12/2020 Google Posts Prioritizing COVID-19 Posts Over Other Google Posts 05/18/2020 Google AdSense Unable To Review Some Sites Due To COVID-19 05/26/2020 Google Asks SEOs How COVID-19 Changed SEO Work 06/19/2020 Google Ads Begins Issuing COVID-19 Credits 06/22/2020 Google Internship During COVID-10 Pandemic 07/20/2020 Google Ads To Ban Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dangerous Ads 07/24/2020 Google Search Showing Flight & Hotel COVID-19 Impact Date Article 03/04/2020 Google I/O Cancelled Over Coronavirus Concerns 03/09/2020 Google Asking Businesses To Update Business Hours & Details For COVID-19 03/10/2020 Google Search Relations Team Grounded During Coronavirus 03/13/2020 Googlers Taking Work Stations Home During Coronavirus 03/13/2020 Google My Business Asking Is The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Affecting Your Business? 03/16/2020 Should Google Halt Search Algorithm Updates During COVID-19 Outbreak 03/17/2020 60% Of SEOs Would Like To Pause Google Algorithm Updates During COVID-19 Outbreak 03/23/2020 Google Stops Accepting Local Reviews & Q&A During Coronavirus Outbreak 03/25/2020 Google Advice On E-Commerce Sites Closing Due To COVID-19 03/25/2020 Google My Business Not Functioning Properly During Coronavirus Outbreak 03/26/2020 Most SEOs Claiming Organic Search Traffic Declines Due To COVID-19 03/26/2020 Google Ads Offers Advertising Advice During COVID-19 04/01/2020 Google Ads New Policy Prevents Profiting Off Sensitive Events, Like COVID-19 04/01/2020 Google COVID-19 Announcements Beta Structured Data 04/02/2020 Google Posts With COVID-19 Updates 04/02/2020 April 2020 Google Webmaster Report: COVID-19, Algorithm Updates, Mobile First Indexing & More 04/03/2020 Google Search Console COVID-19 Announcement Feature 04/03/2020 Google Doodle - Stay Home. Save Lives. Leads To Coronavirus Tips Results Timeline of Google updates related to COVID-19
  28. 28. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc
  29. 29. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc The June 22 “Wear a Mask” Update* *my very unofficial name for it
  30. 30. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc The FDA takes the top two positions for “hand sanitizer,” despite previously being owned by transactional pages.
  31. 31. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit International Google Glitch? Category:
  32. 32. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit#DMOSummit | Yes, this belongs here
  33. 33. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc Domain % Change (U.S Index) pinterest.ca 1,912.55% ebay.ca 700.28% pinterest.co.uk 687.47% pinterest.fr 490.39% pinterest.de 469.83% pinterest.ru 420.71% pinterest.it 273.60% pinterest.es 267.14% rtve.es 166.58% amazon.ca 154.46% diabetes.co.uk 134.11% walmart.ca 99.01% allegro.pl 89.96% cbc.ca 89.66% rae.es 85.24% onet.pl 82.68% filmweb.pl 74.59% scielo.br 72.23% google.ca 62.02% amazon.it 59.59% google.co.uk 53.78% olx.pl 52.28% homeaffairs.gov.au 50.10% ebay.co.uk 48.93% raisingchildren.net.au 46.56% Notice a pattern?
  34. 34. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc The Problem (May Core Update)
  35. 35. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc
  36. 36. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit “We’ll look into it*” (*May 22)
  37. 37. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc Surge in Indian Sites (in the U.S. index)
  38. 38. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Stock Images Category:
  39. 39. | @lilyraynyc NSFW warning. #DMOSummit |
  40. 40. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Huge growth in stock image websites
  41. 41. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc Pinterest (Canada) & Shutterstock
  42. 42. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc
  43. 43. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc Change in Intent? Transactional pages used to rank for “girls in panties,” now it’s largely stock image sites.
  44. 44. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit E-A-T Winners Category:
  45. 45. #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc I talk about a lot. Google it if you don’t know what it is.
  46. 46. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc 421% 275% 256% 182% 170% 148% 85% 77% Jan 1 – June 1, 2020 SEO visibility changes, Sistrix U.S. visibility Index
  47. 47. #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc These companies have been investing heavily in
  48. 48. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc
  49. 49. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc What have they done to improve ? • Improved “About Us” pages • Drastically improved content quality • Hired expert reviewers • Updated facts and figures • Implemented better sourcing • Substantiated claims with evidence • Removed underperforming content • Consolidated content • More transparency with users
  50. 50. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit +148%
  51. 51. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit E-commerce Category:
  52. 52. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc Biggest e-commerce winners by total VI change
  53. 53. #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc (if you’re )
  54. 54. #DigitalEliteDay | @lilyraynyc #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc Meanwhile, on
  55. 55. #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc • Free shipping • Robust product descriptions • Thousands of product reviews • Extensive product specifications • Call & chat about products • Product highlights • Similar item cross-sell • “You might also need” & “Frequently bought together” up-sells • “Visually similar items” • Customer photos • Extensive product Q&As • Expected shipping date • Solid structured data • “Shop the look” and product videos • Related search widgets • Everything you could possibly want to know about a throw pillow
  56. 56. | @lilyraynyc#DMOSummit Real Estate Category:
  57. 57. Real Estate Winners
  58. 58. #DMOSummit | @lilyraynyc • High-quality images • Great usability • Fast page load times • Links to top markets on homepage (basically mini HTML sitemaps – highly crawlable) • Robust neighborhood guides • Extensive attributes about every property, building and neighborhood • Content is targeted to searcher’s location • Thoughtful website architecture • Dedicated agent pages with amazing E-A-T
  59. 59. | @lilyraynyc What have we learned: • E-A-T matters more than ever, especially for YMYL/controversial/crisis topics • Pay attention to changes in search intent to make sure your page is eligible to rank • Leverage the latest Google features i.e. FAQ Schema, Web Stories, and optimizing for Google Discover • The biggest sites can get away with breaking the rules, but that doesn’t mean you should copy them. #DMOSummit |
  60. 60. | @lilyraynyc Lily Ray @lilyraynyc

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