There are few situations as frustrating when working in an SEO agency as losing visibility when we are in a good moment of traffic.
If you are the owner of the website that suffers from it, you are shocked.
But if you are the SEO responsible for the project, more than a shiver runs through your body.
It’s a very unpleasant feeling.
The plummeting of any graph is always a warning sign that puts pressure on all our senses and wears out all the members of the team.
At these times, it is key, keep a cool head and analyze, yes:
- Well, we have suffered some kind of manual or algorithmic penalization
- or if we have been affected by a Google Update.
The latter can be very disconcerting.
Well, this is exactly what happened to us:
This is exactly what happened to us in the case of ObjetivoBienestar.com.
An iSocialWeb client that after several months with good organic traffic results, was strongly affected by the Google Update of September 2022, which affected the visibility of major market players such as Wallapop (-19.8%); FNAC (-8.2%) or AliExpress (-4.7%).
Although the Update affected websites as powerful as the ones mentioned above, it is hardly a consolation when you look at your client’s face and tell them what has just happened.
Believe me, in those moments you just want to disappear, even if you end up getting 20% more organic traffic a few months later.
Before I go on to tell you what we did to fix it, let us put you in the picture and go through this project from start to finish.
Starting point: Who is ObjetivoBienestar and what are its objectives?
ObjetivoBienestar.com is a website within the Health/Wellness industry, which offers its readers’ information about:
- fashion and beauty,
- healthy living (body and mind)
- and advice on love and sex.
Everything we call mindfulness, healthy lifestyle and personal development.
Its mission is to offer healthy lifestyle advice to all users who access its news, through a wide section of healthy recipes or dishes to make in a few minutes or exercise routines to lose weight.
In this sense, it is a website that has a strong relationship with the EEAT, and with the concept of YMYL (Your Money Your Life).
Concepts that became closer in August 2018 with the so-called “Medical Update”.
And which on that occasion served Google to clean from the results all those websites that did not meet its minimum quality standards.
But what exactly happened with the ObjetivoBienestar.com project?
Traffic and visibility drop
After some good organic traffic data, the ObjetivoBienestar.com website suffered a crash in mid-September 2022, parallel with the last Google Update of the same date.
This was the second Core Update of 2022, after a first update dated May 2022.
But what exactly did Google’s September 2022 algorithm update consist of?
Basically, this update, announced by the official Google Search Central Twitter account, that the “helpful content” update of August continued.
The intent behind it, was sought to clean the SERPs of content that is not useful to the user and which largely targeted websites with product reviews.
It affected, therefore, a large number of websites and affiliate niches that took a brutal impact in terms of traffic and visibility variations.
The ObjetivoBienestar website was affected by these changes and its traffic began to fall steadily.
Analysing the main variations in clicks via Google Search Console, we could see that there was a pattern in topics related to health, weight loss and personal wellness advice that had been affected.
How we reversed the traffic drop at Objetivobienestar.com
Facing such a drop was hard to take.
Especially after a 20% increase in traffic in the previous quarter to September 2022 and a cumulative +44.7% increase in the organic channel alone.
The first step was to find out what was going on:
It was essential for us to dig up the circumstances and confirm if we were another victim of the September 2022 Update. So we spot the pieces of content where we had lost the bulk of organic clicks along to the whole process
Once we had identified these cluster contents and the percentage of lost clicks during this time interval, we also needed to know the keywords from which we had disappeared and identify the keys to press to overcome this regression.
As we have already mentioned, they mainly came from clusters such as healthy lifestyle good habits for mental health, related to EAT and YMYL.
It was important for the team to take control of the situation again, so – once we detected these contents – we proceeded to optimize them and link them from the ObjetivoBienestar homepage itself. This way, we were able to indicate to Google that they were relevant topics for the project.
We also decided to promote another resource that could be a potential source of traffic to the website and that in many cases goes unnoticed by many SEOs: Google Discover.
A turning point: Powering Discover to break into the newsfeed
Although this is a great unknown for some SEOs, Google Discover is a great ally for websites or blogs that publish current affairs content on a daily and weekly basis,
According to official data from Digital News Reports 2021, one in four Internet users access news through Discover in Spain. This can represent up to 50% or 60% of the total organic traffic of a multitude of projects (especially press media or specialized websites).
Therefore, the Discover channel is a powerful ally that can boost the traffic of a given site.
Let’s remember that Discover has its origins in 2019, when Google decided to offer a more “personalized” content oriented to the tastes and interests of each user through mobile devices.
In the case of ObjetivoBienestar, boosting the Discover channel represented a turning point for the project to begin to resume an upward trend in terms of traffic.
So, we decided to strengthen our focus on content with the potential to make it into the feed.
And thus make up for lost ground.
Let’s see how we did it:
News, topical and always up-to-date content
At this point, we began to create a content schedule specifically aimed at promoting the aforementioned Google Discover channel.
To do this, we used certain free tools that are available to any SEO specialist, such as the real-time trends of Google Trends, the trends offered by Twitter or the trends shown in the Google search engine bar.
We also assessed the content that could be working for the competition through their feeds in order to have a quick and visual list that would offer us clues for the creation of texts.
Remember that content remains in the feed for 24 to 48 hours, so it is difficult to monitor if it is not done at the time.
Similarly, we reviewed the ObjetivoBienestar contents in Google Search Console with the highest CTR to establish those that exceeded 10%, as these are more likely to appear in Discover as they show greater interest for the user.
This set of actions helped us to identify the contents that are trending and may be of interest to audiences who follow similar sites on wellness, health, and relationships.
Once we had identified the contents that worked in Google Discover for ObjetivoBienestar and that may be of interest to our readers, it was possible to rely on traffic signals from social networks and push an injection of traffic.
So we could show Google that we were talking about optimized, interesting and, above all, topical contents relevant for our audience.
Final considerations regarding the Objetivo Bienestar Success Story
As marketing and SEO experts, we must be aware of possible traffic losses due to any Google penalization or update in order to act quickly and propose alternative solutions.
You can never be complacent.
In the case of “Objetivo Bienestar”, we were fortunate to have numerous professionals who supported these changes accurately and quickly.
Thus, they have been refining and implementing improvements that we have found in the process.
As of today, despite the improvement in the Discover channel trend, this represents a small amount of the organic traffic that the project generates.
Therefore, the mission for the coming months is to consolidate this content among the favorites of many of the users who look to Objetivo Bienestar to respond to their interests in wellness/health.
Some of the achievements we have made so far in the last quarter thanks to the implementation of these changes are:
- Improvement of +20.33% in organic traffic since the beginning of the year, supported by Discover feed.
- Reversing the decline in keywords since last September to return to positive metrics as of January 2023 with 10,910 keywords positioned.
- Increase visibility and domain authority
- Boost clusters that are of interest to the user and discover competitor trends.
- Explore new opportunities such as Google News.
In addition to the technical factors, we must also add the human talent of the editors and project managers.
The foundations are in place to continue growing in this direction.
Do you want to leverage Google Discover potential for your own domain and boost your results?