Unveiling the Winning Formula: Insights from Google Algorithm Updates

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In a recent correlation study conducted by Zyppy SEO, the significance of first-person pronouns, first hand experience, and a visible cookie consent banner in achieving positive visibility gains during Google updates was revealed. Concurrently, cautionary flags were raised regarding fixed footer ads and fixed video ads, which were identified as potential reasons for negative impacts on websites.

Why Prioritize Credibility and Experience in SEO?

The realm of SEO is evolving, with credibility and experience emerging as pivotal elements. As per Cyrus Shepherd’s insightful analysis, “everything in SEO connects to everything else.” While success in every keyword pursuit is not guaranteed, cultivating trust significantly enhances the odds of favorable outcomes.

Key Findings from Google Update Winners

Five website features exhibited a “strong” correlation among winners during Google algorithm updates:

  1. Usage of First-Person Pronouns: Analyzing the initial 1,000 words of text revealed a positive correlation.
  1. Demonstrated First-Hand Experience: Conveyed through descriptive text or unique visual content.
  1. Display of a Cookie Consent Banner: Demonstrates compliance with privacy standards.
  1. Footer Contact Information: Providing accessible contact details.
  1. Contact Information on Page (excluding Footer): Further emphasizing accessibility.

Identifying Google Update Losers

Twelve features displayed a “very strong” or “strong” correlation among websites experiencing setbacks during Google updates:

  1. Fixed Footer Ads Scrolling with the User: A potential detractor for user experience.
  1. Fixed (Auto-Play) Video Ads: Not well-received during updates.
  1. Usage of Stock Imagery: Although correlation is not causation, it hinted at negative impacts.
  1. High Number of Image and Video Ads: Excessive ads, with one site having 38, correlated with negative outcomes.
  1. Push Notification Usage: Associated with decreased visibility.
  1. Large Navigational Menu at the Top: Especially if containing numerous links.
  1. Missing or Hidden Logo: An unexpected negative factor.
  1. Footer Search Function: Proved to be a disadvantage.
  1. No Contact Information on Page: Emphasizing the importance of accessibility.
  1. Mega Menu Usage: Found anywhere on the page.
  1. Presence of Affiliate Links: Linked to decreased visibility.
  1. Link to a Privacy Page: Showed a correlation with negative outcomes.

The Common Thread: Experience and Credibility

The commonality among these features points back to the pivotal aspects of experience and credibility. Websites excelling in user experience and showcasing expertise were more likely to emerge as winners during Google updates.

About the Data

Based on a small sample size of 50 websites during the volatile period of August to December 2023, the study acknowledges its limitations and the principle that correlation does not imply causation.

Features, Not Factors

It’s essential to clarify that this report does not label these website features as direct “ranking factors” or “ranking signals.” While the insights are intriguing, they do not conclusively prove the attribution of visibility gains or losses to individual website features in Google Search.

By understanding and implementing these insights, website creators can navigate the dynamic landscape of SEO and enhance their online visibility during Google updates.

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