SEO is an ongoing, always-changing business that can, understandably, be tough to keep up with. Every few days, Google makes necessary updates to the SERP algorithm, effectively changing the way that keywords may be interpreted, how pages are indexed, and more — all of which directly affect the SEO of your CBD company.
So, let’s take a quick look at the latest Google update for CBD businesses and how this may affect the industry. We can also walk you through some ways of restoring things back to where they used to be.
But first, what was the latest broad core algorithm update for CBD?
Latest Google Update for The CBD Industry - April 2023
It’s important to note that Google undergoes updates constantly. However, the search console also produces core vital updates that create much more significant changes than others.
The latest Google search update for CBD happened back in April of 2023, when Google made adjustments to its “product reviews system,” changing it just to the “reviews” system.
By switching the nomenclature here, this allowed product reviews to encompass a much wider selection of review types — not just product reviews anymore.
To give you some insight into how Google explains these changes, here is the language used for the former product review system: “The product reviews system aims to better reward high-quality product reviews, content that provides insightful analysis and original research, and is written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well.”
And here is the new language: “The reviews system aims to better reward high-quality reviews, content that provides insightful analysis and original research, and is written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well.”
In Google’s updated list on how to write a good review, they explicitly state that these reviews should be sufficient enough to “stand on their own, even if you choose to write separate in-depth single reviews.”
This switch of focus from products to a broader range of review types means that companies beyond those selling a tangible product may have a better chance of ranking higher on SERPs than before.
In the event that your CBD brand has a focus on review-based content, and you’ve seen some changes happening to your traffic or search rankings over the past few weeks, this may explain why.
How the Google Algorithm Update May Affect The CBD Market
So, how is all of this affecting CBD, then?
The latest Google SEO update focuses primarily on the review system and how it's going to prioritize high-quality reviews over low-quality ones. To clarify, Google’s team explains, “The reviews system works to ensure that people see reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.”
That being said, if you’ve spent a lot of time in the past pushing out top ten lists for the best CBD tincture or CBD edibles, it may be time to re-evaluate in light of the latest broad core algorithm update.
Five Ways to Restore Your Search Rankings and Traffic
If you’ve seen a direct hit in your traffic or search rankings after Google’s latest update, you’re not the only one. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can work to restore your ranking, traffic, and overall visibility.
1. Conduct Thorough Competitor Analysis
First things first: what are your competitors doing that you aren’t? If you have a competitor that’s recently overtaken you on search position, it’s important to take a look at this page and analyze it for its content and structure.
Does this new page offer information or language that you’re missing? Is the page targeting long-form or short-form content? More importantly, what are the top five pages doing that you may not be?
Conducting a bit of competitor analysis can help you see where the gaps are for your content, helping you create better pages to compete with.
2. Check the Relevance of Your Lost Pages
If you have a page that used to perform well on Google but isn’t anymore, it’s good to re-evaulate the relevance of the page.
Using tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics, you can see firsthand what kind of queries people were making to get to your page; are these queries still applicable? Or, does the content need a bit of updating? After all, the world of CBD moves pretty fast around here.
3. Ensure Your SEO Basics Are Up-to-Par
It may sound simple, but sometimes, your lost pages all come down to some header tags, meta-descriptions, or alt text.
Take the time to ensure that your SEO basics are where they should be, and that every page and blog post is structured and functioning as effectively as possible. A poor meta-title may seem small, but it can have a huge impact on your traffic when you’re surrounded by better, more engaging titles.
4. Publish New, High-Quality Content
One of the best ways to restore your numbers after a Google update is to continue curating new, high-quality pieces of content.
When you slow down your content production, Google notices this! And while updating old pieces is very helpful, it’s integral to ensure that you have a steady flow of new content for Google to pick up and start evaluating.
5. See if Your Reviews Align With Google’s Latest Update
Finally, in the event that your brand has seen a particular impact on your review pages, it would be worthwhile to go over Google’s new review standards in-depth to guarantee that your content aligns with what they’re looking for.
You read all about Google’s latest review update and its nitty-gritty details by clicking here.
Staying On Top of the Latest Google Search Updates
Google makes thousands of algorithm updates per year, making it difficult to stay on top of when major changes happen — and understand how these changes may affect your CBD brand. Thankfully, once we’re aware of these updates and their implications, it becomes easier to work with them, figuring out how to better mold our SEO practices to what Google’s looking for.
If you’ve found that the latest Google update for CBD has had a direct impact on your cannabidiol brand, it’s integral to take the time to familiarize yourself with the nitty-gritty changes that have been made.
Then, CBD Local SEO can help you bounce your CBD business back, preparing for the next Google algorithm update when it comes.
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