In a worrying development for the UK fashion sector, it seems that “fashion businesses have experienced one of the biggest drops in visibility on Google following its last two algorithm updates”.
That’s according to Digital PR agency Tank, which analysed the impact Google’s updates had on the visibility of the largest businesses’ websites across 15 sectors and the websites of a selection of each industry’s 50 largest UK brands. And the chances are that the visibility has been reduced for brands around the world too.
And it found that the impact was worst for the fashion business, which ranked for -0.31% fewer keywords after Google rolled out the Helpful Content Update and the Spam Link Update. That may seem like a relatively small figure but in terms of driving eventual sales, it can have a big impact.
Tank racked how many keywords for each company appeared in the top 10 results (page one of Google’s search results) for before the changes began, then compared this to how they performed after the updates were implemented.
While industries like building, homewares, food and drink, architecture and cars all saw gains, fashion was among the overall losers.
The two December changes by Google were both intended to concentrate its focus on prioritising helpful content, as well as further penalising websites the search engine thinks are trying to cheat the system by including content that has only been created to try to rank higher in search results.
But the situation for fashion isn’t irredeemable. Tank’s head of digital, Martin Harris, said: “It’s down to the natural way the landscape of Google shifts about, as all it wants to do is provide people with useful and accurate answers for questions they’re searching for. For brands that have lost out, it’s important not to panic and do anything rash. Instead, remember that the most important thing is unchanged: your website should give in-depth and informative information that’s of a better quality than your competitors.
“Every update allows Google to distinguish content created just to increase a site’s rankings more easily. To put a brand in the best position, businesses should ensure that the expertise of their workforce appears on their website, that they explain and discuss issues — and that people can find it.”
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