Black Friday 2023 SEO Results & Top News Ranking Sites in Google

In 2023, Black Friday saw a 7.5% increase in online sales from the previous year, reaching $9.8 billion. This was a record amount. Google Trends reports 4 points increase in search interest year over year as well. The 2023 Black Friday landscape was a battleground for publishers, showcasing intense competition. Previously, we delved into SEO best practices for Black Friday. Now, let's shift our focus to evaluating the performance of leading websites in Google Search's Top Stories. 

Research Approach: We monitored the Top Stories for the most buzzed-about Black Friday trends in the United States. This was done every 15 minutes across various locations for three days, from November 23 to 25, 2023.

Tracked Keywords:  Our study encompassed 100s of the most popular and emerging trends across various categories:

  • General Terms: Examples include "Black Friday", "Black Friday Deals", etc.

  • Retail Sector: Keywords such as "Walmart Black Friday 2023", "Target Black Friday", "Amazon Black Friday", "Best Buy Black Friday deals", etc.

  • Products/Brands: Terms like "Nintendo Switch Black Friday", "Apple Watch Black Friday", "PS5 Black Friday deals", "iPhone Black Friday", etc.

  • Categories: Keywords like "Black Friday TV deals", "Black Friday laptop deals", "Black Friday phone deals", etc.

Note: While our study focused on the most trending keywords, it's important to acknowledge that there are numerous long-tail keywords that were not included. Our analysis concentrates on the top-tier keywords.

 

Black Friday 2023 Findings:

  • Advanced SEO Techniques:
    • The top 10 sites frequently refreshed their headlines, with some changing over 20% of their article headlines. For example, Mashable altered some headlines up to 14 times.
    • Leading sites, such as CNN, employed a strategy of redirecting their daily URLs to the next day's URL, enhancing their visibility. Example redirecting amazon-black-friday-deals-2023-11-22 to amazon-black-friday-deals-2023-11-23 to /amazon-black-friday-deals-2023-11-24
    • LIVE articles from outlets like CNN, People, USA Today, and CNET dominated the Top Stories.
    • ​All strategies above were highlighted and discussed in our Black Friday SEO Recommendations for News Publishers post ahead of the event 
  • Dominance of Major News Outlets: Major news outlets like CNN, ZDNet, CNET, and The New York Times had a strong presence in Google Mobile Search's top stories.
  • Content Production and Visibility: A correlation between Search Visibility and Ranked Unique URLs was evident, though not strictly linear, as seen with sites like nytimes.com and Yahoo.
  • Top Domains' Market Share: The Top 10 domains accounted for 59% of the total search visibility.
  • Diverse Content Providers: The list featured a wide range of content providers,  from general news (CNN, NBC News) to technology-focused (ZDNet, CNET), and even business news (Forbes), reflecting the varied interests in Black Friday content.

 

​SERP Features

  • for generic terms, Top Stories was the leading module on the SERP

  • For "Black Friday Deals", Google provided suggestions for the top categories

  • for product terms, shopping sponsored links were the leading module in many searches

  • for retailer terms, the main retailer site was the leading result above top stories

  • Perspective SERP feature almost appeared in all Black Friday searches and was mainly dominated by Publishers

LIVE Results​

Perspectives Results

Product Terms
​ 
Deals 

 

 

Top Ranking Domains in Top Stories 

Based on NewzDash calculated Search Visibility. Google Search Visibility for Top Stories (News Box) carousel is the estimated share of traffic that a website receives from its rankings in the Google search results. We calculate our Search Visibility based on the performance of all your ranked content rankings, ranking duration, number of ranked URLs and our estimates for CTRs (click-through rates).

  • CNN's 10% visibility even around Black Friday speaks to their content production and highlight optimized content for SEO, and their popularity for news regardless of season or specific event. 
  • Deal/shopping-related sites like CNET, ZDNet and Mashable have much higher visibility (6-7%). This indicates users turn to tech/deal review sites during Black Friday mobile shopping.
  • Other interest-specific sites related to entertainment (IGN), style (People), tech (MacRumors) also see traffic bumps over the Black Friday window.
  • Generally lower optimization from sites (lower title change rates) may suggest short-term nature of visibility gains.

Top Ranking Articles

  • Yahoo's Original Content: A significant portion of Yahoo's content was original.
  • LIVE Articles' Performance: LIVE articles showed strong rankings in Top Stories.
  • Continued Best Practice: Redirecting articles from one day to the next continues to be an effective SEO strategy.

 

 

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