ST. PETERSBURG, FL – In a surprising turn of events, Google has transformed it’s ranking algorithm seemingly overnight as new tests reveal a POWERFUL new ranking factor that is taking the industry by storm.
With this new ranking factor, Google is sending a big message that it cares much more about keeping users “happy” with search results and is turning up the dial on user experience versus traditional signals like links and content.
During recent psychographic testing with the search quality rating team, one particular website variant increased levels of serotonin, the “happiness” hormone, by a whopping 343%, leading search quality raters to grade a website much higher.
Google has taken these tests into account and now is heavily relying on the presence of this factor to skyrocket a website’s ranking.
What was the magical variant?
The studies prove that literally just integrating cat pictures into your website was the single differential that performed well across the board in all demographics.
“I thought it was ridiculous at first, but as an SEO and conversion rate optimization specialist, I’m a data-driven marketer – I had to test, and the results blew me away.” Says Allison Marrow, senior search director at Settle SEO.
“By simply incorporating pictures of kittens in our client’s websites, our dwell time shot up, our CTRs, our rankings, and most importantly, sales increased more than 90% in less than 30 days”
In fact, no other user-rating test scored anywhere near as high as placing cute kittens on pages.
Now the SEO game has shifted to rewarding those who can simply get the most natural, cutest, most engaging cat photos.
By placing pictures of cats on websites, webmasters are experiencing massive jumps in rankings and search traffic.
Data Behind The Algorithm Change
UX (or user experience) metrics are gaining momentum as a ranking factor in the search results, as the importance of traditional ranking signals like on page optimization and link based signals are declining over time.
Search Analyst Dean Mardaw of Engetix SEO explains “When users find something they like on a page, they tend to stay on the page longer. This is called dwell time and is becoming an important part of the ranking equation. Embedding cat video, or even crudely photoshopping a picture of a kitten onto your product pages has shown to keep people on your page 283% longer!”
This all makes sense, as the internet is just turning their love for cats. Looking at Google trends, people searching for cats is at an all time high.
The response from the industry has been mixed, with some SEO firms quickly embracing the change, and others paralyzed in shock and disbelief.
“It’s so simple, I can’t believe no one saw this coming. The trend line for people searching for cat pictures and videos is insane, why not hop on the train?” said Amanda Hunter, senior CRO specialist for Webnetics SEO.
“Most people have been very negative about the update, but I think it’s important to keep a good paw-sitive attitude about it all”
Julia Cieutat from The HOTH X Managed SEO team also provided an update, “We started picking up the trend months ago as a joke, but it turns out our pet care facilities were ranking unusually easily.”
“The reality is nobody really wants to hear about your products or service any more. They just want more cats, and now we have the data to prove it.”
Others weren’t so happy about the update:
“This is a complete cat-astrophe” says Lisa Dunning, senior SEO specialist at a local agency.
News Breaks, Overnight Millionaires Made
Bonnie Lyon, owner of www.purr-paws-stock-photography.com, became an overnight millionaire as thousands of users flocked to purchase stock photos of cats to incorporate on their own websites.
“I couldn’t believe it. People need these cat pictures, and now I’m RICH AS F!!!!”
However, SEO veterans are warning against using the same pictures as everyone else. “You definitely don’t want to get yourself into a situation of dupli-cat content.”
Shifting Algorithm, Shifting Jobs
As the news came out, many agencies quickly shifted entire teams from content strategy and link outreach to simply cat photography.
“I’ve been in this industry for 10 years, I have ranked some of the most competitive terms online with strategic link acquisition programs, and now I’m basically a glorified cat shit scooper just to keep my job”
The popular SEO tool Ahrefs is reportedly frantically working to create image detection software to crawl and analyze cat pictures. The rumored name for the tool is the “Catgap Analysis” and while it’s in beta, users attest the tool litter-ally scoops through pages to find the cat media.
Joe Cardelli from The Belford Agency warns that this change may not be as simple as it seems. “Google is really looking for a natural amount of cats on your website. If you over-do it, you may be penalized from over-optimization. You have to get your ratios purrfect.”
Further Demographic Testing
The news came as a blow to dog lovers across the SEO community as cats are getting so much attention. But all hope is not lost as further testing continues.
Jim Kurzweil, a director at a large SEO agency chimed in on how “man’s best friend” has been fairing in new tests:
“Cats perform well across the board, however dogs actually are crushing it in in certain verticals like motorcycles, chainsaws, and hair loss creams. The CTRs are through the woof!”
The Future Of SEO
What will come of the SEO industry as these radical shifts roll out?
“This isn’t the first Google animal update” said Kurzweil, “We’ve dealt with Penguins and Pandas before… but if you want to survive this, you have to get started… right MEOW.”
Happy April Fools!
I knew it was the April Fool’s gag when I saw the mail, but I just had to know what it was.
I hate freakin’ cats!
I’m with you Vignesh… It was obvious it was a gag, but just HAD to go thru the page to see just how corny or crazy the gag was going to end up being.
Hats off (or should I say Cats off?) to you HOTH team… funny as heck!
What really interesting is that cat pictures can do that. If it makes a lot of people go to your site, especially if you sell cat supplies, you can be a high ranked cat site.
Some kittens wait a lifetime,
For a mewment like this.
Great post!! And I would like to thank Hoth team for update.
OMG!!! THE BEST!!!!!
Love you guys!
This is so funny. Thanks!
What will the HOTH product be called to address this massive change in Google’s algorithm? 🙂
Yeah I wanna know meow.
OK, cat photos everywhere!
Lol. I have to be honest the whole way through I’m thinking you guys have lost your mind it’s time to Move on.
You just dared with this news. by the way, what are your new offers in April.
“I’M RICH AS F!” …. That made my day! LMAO
Now that the cat’s out of the bag, my secret to success is out of the bag!
Well ahead of you guys, I experimented with really cute images of snails randomly placed all over my pages.
The result was amazing, it blew my mind… Pages that I couldn’t position above 6th and 7th page of Google results are now ranking in top 3 positions.
Forget cats, go with snails.
Lol I just ned to have some pictures of cat on my website hahaha!!! Thanks Hoth!
I didn’t get it until I saw the tractors with cats in front of it.
Haha! Seo’s all got mini heart attacks just now. Good one! Meows!
Hahaha…I think it’s absolutely fabulous!
This is all kinds of awesomeness! Happy April Fool’s Day!!!!
Excelent post ! The HOTH!!! Seo killers!!
Oh I started to think how foolish Google has been this 2018…. leading Internet to cats and dogs…. lovely April Fool guys…
do i have to delete all the kittens now?
Wow… i was so shocked and confused…. i started my strategy plan on how to incorporate this
I though it was real until I read about Bonnie Lyon, haha nice one! This almost gave me a mini heart attack…
Had you said that it was cute little bunnies l may have believed you guys.
So much of a catscam! ROLF! :))
I forgot, it is April 1 today…great…
Reminds me of this infographic:
Thanks for the good laugh.
Yep that scared me then. I finally realised, god damn it. I’m too easy!
All cat picture added but now my demographics have changed to 99% cats!!!!
I prefer dogs & reptiles myself but google usually knows best so cats it is. Time to rebuild all of my client sites I guess. well played.
I’m ON IT! STAT! Haha
you did this last year. Knew it as soon as I saw it wa wa waaaa,
April fools 2018 “theHoth
Very good I got 1/5th the way down and realised lol
I might still try it out though 🙂
Nice one, almost got me going there.
Lol! This is so funny.
Happy april fools!
I actually clicked through… wasn’t until I got in a few sentences that I thought… “Wait a second, what’s today’s date?” AWESOME stuff, as always. Gonna start adding those kitten pics to all my affiliate marketing blogs. 🙂
Haha, dammit! You got me. At first.
Nice! That was pretty funny.
Had me going…lol!!!
Finally more reliable and simple SEO to improve the website’s ranking, go cats!
Awesome one HOTH. Now we’ll see cat pictures everywhere. Lol
Lol wow almost had me. Haha
All fools’ day algorhythm: So this is why algoroo got stuck, ehh? 🙂
Do I really need to add more than one pictures in a product page?
Puppies actually work better than kittens…
Try it…. It works wonders
I almost went to buy a cat to take some pictures!! Excellent post! And Excellent Video! Happy April Fools!
I saw this coming but missed the mark, my whole Seo campaign has focused on puppy’s!
Damn…… happy Easter everyone.
Now to find more Kitty pictures. 🙂
I guess every Seo agency should get an “AI” cat
What the Bleep! I was all ready to jump on this trend!
Just as good as The Onion.
Whomever came up with the original concept should have at least a free lunch on the owner.
Awesome one!!! Thanks for the laugh HOTH!
Its after noon here in the UK so the joke is on you….
Had me going for a bit though.
Almost purrr fect.
You have to be kitten me right now!!!
God d*mn it! I can’t believe I read through this believing this is real. I was already scratching my head for where to find cat pictures. LOL!
For a second, you had me ready to start searching for stock photos of kittens LOL happy April Fools
I dont understand this.
Do you mean i need put cats images on my site even if i have nothing to with cat on my website?
bravo ! could be scarily too close to the truth 🙂
Ha! I guess the website I built for my veterinarian client is going to get a huge boost! Packed with kitten pics!
Had me fooled and I was about to herald one more sign of the rapid decline of our civilization, until I realized what date it was. Of course, given the state of Google and current trends, it could indeed be true.
OMG I wet myself laughing! That was so funny! Well done team 😀
Hehe thats a god won.Well done this taime.
I first assumed that it was true then after reading the word cat for so many times…
I got it !!!
Well I guess this is the cat blog 🙂
Does a picture of a cat scan work as well.:-)
Do you have any case studies which cats that have the most converting? lol
Trusted sources like Hoth should NOT play practical jokes — April Fools, or not. Adding kittens to my web pages caused me to lose 11.5 million dollars in orders because my customers thought our website had been hacked.
You will be hearing from my attorney.
~ Kristi Kirk Trent
123( aPrIl FO0lS! ) <3
Now, that’s funny 😀
This was amazing.
This was CATegorically one of the funniest April fool’s articles I have read. On a side note, have you seen Pexel’s new AI cat?
Wrong again. We just added dog and puppy photos last week. Do you think we have to change them to cats now?
Best post ever.
It’s too funny. April fool haha…..
HEY QUICK! Package up the feline fotos as the Front End product. Couple that with publishing strategies (OTO1), DFY posts (OTO2), and DFY websites (OTO3) – and you’ve got your next killer LAUNCH on JVZOO! More millions to be made in April!! Who wants to be my marketing partner?
Post of the year!! You guys had me for a minute. Thanks for the laugh.
Oh you…you…YOU! Got my heart pumping because I have a website on CATS and I was thinking, what pics do they still need aside from all those already there???
Ha! I didn’t realize this was posted on 4/1 until reading the comments. I guess I’ll stop adding cat pics to blog posts hehe
Several days later and I still almost fell for it…
I am here trying to learn about SEO and BOOM late april fools.
Well played, amigos.
I Was requiere to my design team taking photos to all cats in the square and place in the eCommerce
thanks useful link
Thanks for the update
I just loved the way you have created the content. It’s good.
i couldn’t believe it…in the beginning, however i kept reading and then kids of you got me. and then boom in the end that sentence “happy April, fools” lol. It’s a good one 🙂
I already kinda knew what to expect when I saw that it was an April 1st update… but nonetheless a very interesing read.
I also liked the cat related puns hidden within the article.
I don’t think anyone of us, want to admit, we were fooled a little, why keep reading then…lol I was fooled, until I got to the end….LOOOOOOL!!!!!!
Gotcha Michael! 😀 Hope it was an enjoyable read.
Love it! Of course purrfect. Well done Hoth. Now if only…….
It’s worth testing 😉
Always love the way the Hoth team presents the information. Thanks for sharing the information with us.
Great post!! And I would like to thank Hoth team for update.
This article was really helpful. Now i have better knowledge about the new updates.
Very Interesting And Informative Article.
I have bookmarked your blog.
Thanks for share such type of precious information.
Great Blog! Thanks for sharing this awesome knowledge with us.
Thanks for your positive outlook and a great attitude, it’s very much appreciated!
Good information was shared, thanks for this.
You have shared really good information, Thanks