Google May Day Update: The Death Of Long Tail Search?

Gino Carpio

Google May Day update has been officially confirmed by Google’s Matt Cutts.  [editor: we are slightly slow in publishing this article…it is my fault.]

Here is the detailed video from Google’s Matt Cutts:

Here is the detailed video from Google:

What happened?

It is not a rumor anymore. Anyway, Google made 350 – 500 tweaks in its search algorithms in 2009. Between April 28 to May 3rd 2010 many websites have been affected or had experienced a sudden loss of their normal long tail traffic, around 5 – 15% difference. Matt Cutts just released a video and noted that the change has nothing to do with “Caffeine Update” (A Search Engine structure that is not yet fully rolled out). It is a algorithmic change which impacts the long tail searches and this change is not temporary.  I repeat “This change was fully tested and is not temporary”.

How to check if you are affected?

Check your Google Analytics search referral traffic between April 28 and May 3rd.  If you see a drop in traffic from your head keywords, it will not be due to the May Day update by Google. But a drop in pages getting search referrals (long tail traffic) could be (Source: seoMOZ).

What’s next?

If you are doing SEO the organic and natural way, this update should not have much of an impact.  If you are fixated on your long tail keywords, a change in strategy could be

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