This Week In SEO 95
Search Volume, Old Content, KW Cannibalization, and More!


A Recent Core Algorithm Update

Did your site’s organic traffic get its ass kicked or start kicking ass lately? It may be due to a recent Google algorithm update. SE Roundtable posted about a bunch of chatter they started seeing on various SEO and webmaster forums about a possible update.

Shortly thereafter, Google actually confirmed the update (which they don’t always do).

So, as this was a core algorithm update, I haven’t seen much in the way of “these sites took a hit because of this reason” type of info, but it also seems to surface a few weeks after the fact, so I’ll keep my eyes open and post an update in a future This Week in SEO post to let you know.


Real Talk: Keyword Search Volume

Nice article from Ahrefs on what searches per month actually means with keyword research.

Obviously no one gets close to the amount of data Google has with regards to keyword traffic, but as these things go, Ahrefs has access to more info than most of us ever will. So when they put out an article on something like the realities of search volume, it’s a good idea to listen up.

I’m sure every professional SEO has noticed that ranking a page for a high-volume keyword doesn’t always result in a huge amount of traffic. And the opposite is true, too—pages that rank for seemingly “unpopular” keywords can often exceed our traffic expectations.

This is something that not everyone realizes, so I wanted to highlight it here as something to keep in mind/something one should be reminded of often.

Just because you rank for a keyword doesn’t mean you will get some high percentage of click throughs/traffic from ranking for that term. There are a number of reasons they identified that could be the cause, from obvious ones like ads taking away clicks from the top spot, to less obvious one like long tail keyword variations that have never been searched before.

It’s an interesting article–definitely recommend you taking a look.


How to Reclaim Omitted Search Engine Results

You build a website or a page, only to find that your website only shows up in the omitted results.

Well, it might just be that your content is either very similar to the other ones that are already ranking, or that it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

“But if the content is very similar, why is this happening to me? Why aren’t other websites shown in the omitted results and mine in the real results?”

Well, this has probably something to do with the domain age. Being a pioneer has always been hard, but when you make it, you succeed big time.

I don’t want to be dull, but the truth is you’ll have to provide a lot more value in order to get out of the omitted results.

That’s the heart of the problem.

Google’s advice on the subject essentially boils down to “just have unique meta tags on pages that are related, but omitted.”

Surprisingly, it’s more complicated than that.

This post goes on to give some suggestions on how to actually fix the problem. I can’t personally attest that they work, but it seems a better strategy than just trying to do what Google suggests.

Click on through to see how they suggest fixing this issue.


Identify and Fix Keyword Cannibalization Issues

Keyword cannibilization is when your site dunks on itself in the SERPs. You have two pages ranking for the same keyword. It’s a good strategy to try and own as many SERP spots as you can, but if you’re getting half-as-good rankings by competing instead of going hard on just one page, well… that’s obviously not the best strategy.

So what can you do to ensure you don’t do this to your site?

This post is a great resource. You’ll get five ways to identify keyword cannibalization situations, and three ways to fix them. As Matt says:

not every cannibalization issue is caused by the same problem and not every website will benefit from the same solution


Making Old Content Work For You

This is a pretty interesting case study where Spencer Haws edits some old content with some pretty amazing results:

That’s a 120% increase in traffic.

He saw similar results across several different pieces of content.

There’s nothing ground-breaking here, but if you’ve got a lot of old content and you’re looking for some easy-ish wins, you’ll probably have good luck going through this post and following along.

One thing to note: a big portion of these fixes happen when using a content-optimization tool called Marketing Muse. I’ve never used this tool, but have used a similar one from

Why updating content works (probably):

  • Adding depth to content SHOULD be what ranks better in the first place. If you are giving people what they really want (better content) Google is smart enough to rank that content higher.
  • Improving time on site and reducing bounce rate. These are strong signals to Google that you are doing something right.
  • Better keyword targeting. If you didn’t probably target keywords your first time around, an update can really improve what Google is ranking your content for.
  • More links. By adding additional internal links, this is boosts the authority of that particular page. Yes, even if those links are coming from the same site.
  • Fresh Publish Date. Google tends to give a boost to newer content. So, by updating the publish date when you’ve actually updated your content can help improve your rankings.

So if you’re looking for a project to help improve your site’s SEO, and you’ve got link building already taken care of with our RankBOSS service, then using this case study on your own site will probably be a worth your time.

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Sean Markey

Sean Markey

Obsessive consumer of SEO news and strategies, writes the This Week in SEO column. Loves playing drums and writing fiction. Bets you he can throw a football over them mountains.
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