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Google Updates and SERP Changes - January 2018

     
6:30 pm on Jan 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4879278.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 2:37 pm on Jan 1, 2018 (PDT -8)


In the past few days I am seeing more search focus on my home page and less on landing pages. Also, the binary or drip traffic pattern seems to have improved to a more natural looking "multi visit" pattern...encouraging, but not converting to help the bottom line. I'll say this, if the bottom line numbers would improve, I'd kick the adwords campaign back in. Google raked a cool 100k + from me in ad fees back when natural, unfettered traffic patterns were the norm. With their odd traffic patterns and poor ROI the past few years, they haven't received scratch from this camp...or many others for that matter.
10:02 pm on Jan 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My comment was really more to do with this comment:
>>>If they let us block Youtube, then they would go broke.
1:34 am on Jan 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed a gradual drop in CTR in their Google Search Console analytics despite little change in the average position?
12:23 pm on Jan 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For those who lost visitors in December and January:

is the site in https?

is the site in html5?

do you have separate css that handle the different screen sizes?


thanks
1:11 pm on Jan 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan - this is exactly us. Impressions are wildly down too. My guess is there's a disconnect or the average is wildly off.
4:25 pm on Jan 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@aristotle you are no aristotle that's for sure.
I am observing SERPs since 2011 but only last year I started seeing major shifts. Previously where Youtube would take 2 or 4 spots now entire first page of Google is flooded with Youtube videos. I even provided a search term in my post above yours which you could check yourself where all results on first page are from Youtube but people just like to speak too much and do less research themselves.
6:26 pm on Jan 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Re YouTube: I'm an older guy who reads (and writes) "long-form content," and I find YouTube useful for many things, such as product reviews and how-to stuff. I'm happy when Google shows me YouTube results in, say, a search on "widget wc-1 product review," and I suspect that I'm not alone.

As Martinibuster pointed out, Google gives searchers what they want. The Web of 1993 is no longer with us, and it makes perfect sense for search engines to keep up with the times.
1:56 pm on Jan 22, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan - I was actively trying to find where the issue may come from, but you just said it all in one sentence. Still doesn't explain what caused it though.
4:30 pm on Jan 23, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan - Maybe it's due to images?
6:10 pm on Jan 23, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Anyone seeing another bump or drop in traffic yesterday / today?

We are up 15% today. Yesterday ended 12% up.
8:47 pm on Jan 23, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"Anyone seeing another bump or drop in traffic yesterday / today?"

Hmmm yes, a small bump both days. It appears to be attributed to long-tail pages getting a little more exposure on our site. Here's hoping this is a new trend, because we have been decimated long-tail wise over the past year.
10:00 pm on Jan 23, 2018 (gmt 0)

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See the same...all in the tail.
8:50 am on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We're not dropping anymore, don't really see a bump though. At least not yet.
8:55 am on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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January has been very stable here.
9:08 am on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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See the same...all in the tail.


@SnowMan68 - Are you seeing your KW count drop in SEMrush? Mine has been steadily declining since last week or the week before. So far I am down about 155 longtail phrases according to SEMrush.

I have no idea why.
9:38 am on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yes seen a nice bump yesterday, hopefully it will get stable now. January was weird.
1:25 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Did it settle down today?
1:53 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ rustybrick, I see better traffic today. It's been pretty dire and Weds are usually pretty slow in my niche so hopefully it's a bit better.
2:51 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Jez123 - I think SEMRush changes are from their Jan. 15 KW update. I imagine it will take 1-2 weeks for numbers to settle back into place.
3:05 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Slightly better this week but nowhere near levels pre-December 12th.
3:25 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Jhurwith Ok, thanks for that. That's a bit of weight off my mind I guess!
3:51 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Jhurwith @Jez123 - I didn't see a big change in SEMrush on the 15th, my KW ranking started ahooting upward on the 10th, peaked on the 17th and then plummeted back down 17th-24th. This is a pattern I see over and over, yet my actual traffic doesn't seem to correlate with my KW rankings very much.
6:35 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This week I've seen my highest traffic levels since December 11. I have been working to improve any doorway page issues but I think this slight recovery is algo related. Google must be tweaking the signals for the Maccabees update after seeing some sites improving rankings that should not have. The Google dance is never ending.
6:48 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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January was weird.


Was? I make it another 7 days to go, anything could still happen!
11:07 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Our Google traffic has been running a couple of percentage points ahead of last January, but the increase jumped to 7.73 percent last Friday and has been 13 to 15 percent in the last couple of days. Could be a fluke, of course.
10:39 am on Jan 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Traffic and headline conversion rate has been normal, but our revenue has taken a massive hit since yesterday morning. Traffic is currently arriving to low-value items (we sell things from sub-10 to multi-1000). Very frustrating.
1:21 pm on Jan 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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On the last 2 days we've finally gone back to stats similar to pre-December 12th. Let's see how it evolves.
8:48 pm on Jan 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Mozcast reporting 104 yesterday. Makes sense as our traffic is one the decline again.
8:57 pm on Jan 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Any chance some of the decline, if around the 3-5% range, can be attributed to the flu outbreak?

[cdc.gov...]
10:52 pm on Jan 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The flu outbreak has been going on for a while. (My wife and I got slammed by the flu on Christmas Eve and were laid up for two weeks.)
11:21 pm on Jan 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There were two different flu outbreaks in New England. One around Christmas and the second on the second week of January. Some people caught both. The first wasn't as strong as the second.
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