A few months ago I wrote a post about how easy it is to confuse the different search engine news sites (Moz not withstanding). Is it possible that the lack of distinct brand identities is costing these sites traffic, or is the problem down to our favourite search engine giant instead?
Using data from Compete.com, here’s a look inside the pageviews and web traffic reaching SEO news sites today.
1. Search Engine Land ↓
Indexed Pages: 23,000
As you can see from the chart, SearchEngineLand.com peaked in August 2014, around 1 million pageviews per month. By October, it’s way down to just 400,000 hits a month. That’s a major shift which coincides with the removal of Google authorship on 28th August.
Interestingly, MarketingLand.com suffered the same issue, dropping from 500,ooo to 200,000 a month:
2. Moz ↓
Indexed Pages: 94,000
Mirroring Search Engine Land but on a larger scale, Moz.com saw a traffic plateau in August 2014 before it dropped severely after September. Again, the death of Google Authorship links may have affected these numbers. The only recorded Google update in September was Panda 4.1 on 23rd September, which went after thin or duplicate content (not something Moz really does).
3. Search Engine Journal ↑
Indexed Pages: 20,400
On the flipside, SearchEngineJournal.com has soared since August 2014 with the biggest jump coming after the authorship change. Potentially, SEJ is picking up some of MOZ and SEL’s lost traffic.
4. Search Engine News ↓↑
Indexed Pages: 2,960
Clearly a much smaller fish in the SEO news pond, Search Engine News nonetheless saw a drop in traffic in August, but recovered quicker than Moz and Search Engine Land appear to be doing.
5. Search Engine Watch ↑
Indexed Pages: 95,200
SearchEngineWatch.com has rocketed to over 1 million unique visitors in October 14, despite a small dip in September. On October 1st, Google made changes to the ‘In The News’ box which resulted in a lot more news results in the SERPs. Looks like SEW got the good end of that deal. With the most indexed pages on Google.com (just ahead of Moz), SEW clearly qualifies as an authoritative news source in the eyes of Google.
Why Is Any Of This Important?
A lot of us in the SEO/Marketing space get our news from one or several of these 5 sites. Similarly, a lot of us purchase advertising, products, conference tickets or other services from these providers. It’s important to understand that even major search engine news sources are not impervious to Google fluctuations. We can learn as much from analysing the sites we visit each day as we can from reading them.
What’s SearchEngineWatch doing that SearchEngineNews is not? How can we extrapolate these techniques and use them in our own projects?
The 100% guarantee in SEO: everything changes. The only way to stay ahead of the game is to keep on testing and researching what’s working today, not 6 weeks ago. Sadly, a lot of the how-to guides and tutorial making the rounds contain a lot of outdated and over-used techniques. You can carve out a more successful path for you own sites/clients by being original.
I hope this post is inspiring to at least one person – get analysing and see what you can learn about SEO today.