2017 Recap & 2018 Plans - Google's AMP?

challenges

(Patrick Curtis) #1

So given the breakout year in 2017 for WallStreetOasis.com on organic search traffic (after 5 years of treading water), we turn to 2018 looking to see where we can improve more.

Some of you were of great help in my other thread where we discussed our SEO and thin content issue (basically, being a large online community with a lot of thin / low quality content dragging down some great content).

2017 we made a lot of improvements and have been hovering now at about a ~35-40% YOY growth on organic search (big deal since that is 80%+ of our traffic). partial list is:

  • More aggressive no indexing thin content

  • Merging similar threads

  • Jumping to SSL/httpS

  • Upgrading to PHP 7/Mysql5, etc

  • Releasing industry reports and hiring professional writers to help develop more unique high quality content

SOOOOOOOOOOO, this brings us to 2018. I am thinking that since mobile has now crept up to ~40% of our traffic/sessions, it’s time to get some speed.

That brings me to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)…basically stripped down versions of the site cached on Google’s side to serve lightening fast (paired, eventually with a “PWA” or progressive web app that is also faster mobile app like version of your site but with a service worker to help speed up subsequent loads).

I was wondering, I’ve seen results talking about how this is great for news sites, but has anyone seen any data or online forums/communities switch to AMP successfully? I know it comes with a significant investment in developer hrs to get it looking half decent, so I wanted to make sure we don’t put in 2-3 weeks of work only to shoot ourselves in the foot :frowning:

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Patrick


(Gear Buzz) #2

Would like to hear more about communities and AMP.


(Richard Millington) #3

Thanks Patrick, this is really interesting. I don’t have enough expertise to answer your question, but I’m curious if there was any one thing which really moved the needle from the above? If people could only do, say, one of the above what would you recommend?


(Patrick Curtis) #4

I would say in the case of online communities with large swaths of thin content, making sure you are “cleaning the cruft” and/or at least letting Google what to ignore vs what to index is probably #1 (especially if you ignored that for years like me).

See Rand’s Whiteboard Friday titled, cleaning the cruft of your site on how to do this. https://moz.com/blog/clean-site-cruft-before-it-causes-ranking-problems-whiteboard-friday

Then I’d focus on speed – usually the ROI is good if a large % of your traffic is from organic search.

Then I’d focus on your top pages…if you are a blog with ~1,000 total pages, this is easy. Look at your top ~100 pages (probably 80% of your traffic) and make those AMAZING resources with targeted KWs. Invest time and $ there, just start from the top landing pages and work your way down.

If you’re a large forum like us, you can still move the needle…We’ve now touched our top ~500 URLs and increased the “unexplained” organic traffic to those key pages by an avg of 32% with the following changes:

  1. Better h1/titles (targeted to higher volume related KWs) with relevant h2/h3 variations
  2. including relevant images
  3. including relevant videos
  4. lengthening and improving the content…

that has bumped us another ~5-8% overall and maintained our growth (so far) in 2018 at ~35-40% YOY…

Good luck everyone!
Patrick