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Digging Through the Noise Surrounding Caffeine and Mayday

Anyone who has a site or two that was affected by the new Mayday algorithm change is surely looking for answers. All the search changes were part of the reason I Almost Quit last month, to focus more on local business. I have a few busy sites of my own sites that are down slightly in traffic, and finding answers is important to me also! :-)

First… Matt Cutts Video. (I posted this link last week, but in case you missed)

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ6CtBmaIQM

And Now for Some of The Noise!

What I am finding in my daily scan of authority sites and recaps from SMX Advanced 2010:

Caffeine = The Way the Information is Stored, Retrieved and Displayed. (Nothing to do with ranking)

Mayday = A Search Quality (Not Spam team) Algorithm Change, Handling the way Sites are Ranked in Search Result Pages (Nothing to do with Caffeine)

Now for some Keynotes…

  • The Changes are 100% Algorithm – aka – Don’t fight it… Deal with it
  • Navigation Matters (Best content within 2 clicks of homepage)
  • URL Structure Matters (Think Hierarchy and clear to understand!)
  • Bounce Rate (Although Denied by Matt Cutts) is More Important than you think! Use Webmaster tools and Analytics to correct high bounce rates. (A high bounce rate is anything above 0%)
  • Sites like Mahalo, eHow, LiveStrong, etc… well… you try to find them in SERP’s! (Demand Media must be fuming!)
  • Matt Cutts says that Paid Links can now be found Automatically! (FUD?)
  • Speed… How Fast is Your Site? Make it Faster!
  • W3c Validation Not Factored into ┬áSite Ranking Better (But errors do slow down load time, see previous tip)

Small Changes May Have Big Effects!

(Disclaimer: I am using the word “May” in this because Google tells nobody what may have caused the issue… Everything I personally do is just a test!)

I have been testing on one particular site of my own that has dropped some the organic search traffic… and doing EVERYTHING I can do myself, to affect the change.

  • I moved to a different dedicated server to speed it up! Decreased page load time from ~4 seconds to ~1 second!
  • Going through Analytics from Last few Months to identify previous TOP Pages, and MAKING SURE they are easy to find ands within 2 clicks of any page!
  • Going through ALL of those popular pages, to reduce bounce rate!

More to come on whether it makes a difference or not, but as you can see… the changes I am making are focused on the USER, not the search engine!

What Have You Found? Anything?

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