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Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2016

     
1:18 pm on Sep 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 4 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4814310.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 3:01 pm on Sep 1, 2016 (PDT -8)


I agree with you that features such keyword, location, browser type and so on (not set) may well be someone blocking the info for privacy reasons.But @ionguy my understanding is that whenever the hostname is set to anything other than your domain name then it must be a bot, this includes (not set). In so far as hostname specifically is concerned (not set) is always a bot and not a privacy issue. Filtering out the hostname (not set)s and other foreign domain from your data is essential to getting accurate stats.

This is applies to piwik and other analytics tools as much as it does to GA.
9:16 pm on Sept 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I hope this would helps somehow. There were rumours of:

Penguin roll-outs (affecting Personal Blog Networks [PBNís])


Not rumors, we can confirm. We lost a small percentage of our pbn's, maybe 35-40 sites around Aug 27th. Did not affect money sites, they actually rose and continue a slight rise in rankings. So yes, the penguin made an appearance after a very long layoff in late Aug. It was NOT a manual intervention as many more would have been hit if so.
3:34 pm on Sept 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Hey all.

To me the latest update looks definately like a penalization ( maybe without any warnings in GSC ) on PBN's

Based on what I have seen over the last couple of weeks, that is what it looks like to me.
7:53 pm on Sept 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@Kelowna may I ask what exactly you mean by losing 35-40 sites? Did they get de-indexed? Did they have GSC and you were notified through the manual action section? Just interested as I never used a PBN before.
2:07 am on Sept 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Actually, in my own opinion, the recent update is not an algorithmic penalty. There are two classification of algorithm, first one a favorable algorithm (this is for original content, no spam structure, links are natural to look at and etc.) while the second one is a algorithmic penalty which is penguin and panda. The recent update is just a favorable algorithm, which tackles that quality of your on-page elements.

Guys, have you noticed that most results in SERP's are more on:

1. Results that have the exact match keyword in the content, meta-data, H1 and URL.
2. Higher percentage of EMAT in content has a higher possibility to rank in the SERPís.
3. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) were not as in effect as before.
4. Search results became more tailored to fit the keyword intent.
5. Majority results in SERP's are mostly information results rather than commercial results.
9:59 am on Sept 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google seems to be updating/testing Hacked Sites Algorithm.
11:46 am on Sept 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I can't seem find an authoritative source but it seems G removed the link to website (icon) within the local snack pack results? Or it's just tests?
12:12 pm on Sept 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So there must be a whole bunch of updates happening or looming or "pre-launching" or being rolled-back all at the same time :)
12:41 pm on Sept 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I haven't personally seen anything useful come out of this "update"... most of my SERPs have remained the same, still have huge on/off days of converting traffic.
1:51 pm on Sept 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So there must be a whole bunch of updates happening or looming or "pre-launching" or being rolled-back all at the same time :)


Seems to be, so much flux going on, serps changing with almost every search (not new, just more frequent lately). Not to mention the constant layout testing.
7:05 pm on Sept 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I still see a fluctuation in rankings, as well.
7:45 pm on Sept 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Seems to be, so much flux going on, serps changing with almost every search (not new, just more frequent lately). Not to mention the constant layout testing.


Yep, same here in the UK too. Longest spell of turbulence I can remember, and I was here before Google.
12:25 am on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Agreed, tons of flux. Hasn't stopped since the end of August. Something pretty big must be brewing. Just curious when it will be done rolling out or being tested.
1:20 am on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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google's AI must be crazy good to be able to glean enough information to form any sort of coherent picture given all the things they seem to be changing at the same time.

Must be why they changed to Alphabet, they don't do A/B testing, they do A/B/C/D/E/F/G..../Z testing.
2:58 am on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone! I also still see Google "dancing" in the US and all major Europe countries. Wanted to share the following. 3 home pages of our 3 separate sites lost their rankings the same day at the beginning of September. I mean they just disappeared from search results completely. Now, other (inner) pages are still there and the sites are still indexed. Some of those pages are now ranking for the keywords the home pages were ranking for. But 20-50 positions down. The only common thing between them is that all 3 sites are new (2-4 months old). Everything else is different. Content, hosting, design etc. Checked for manual actions and other obvious things - everything is fine...

Penguin is already here?... :) But to be honest, I don't see any reason for that happening on our sites... So, hopefully everything will get back to normal soon.
7:16 am on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Hello Guys,

Thanks for the great interaction on the latest movement in Google algorithm. I believe that SEO is an opinion game.
You're observations part of the recent changes. It is elusive to define the update but for me. As I observed, the changes mostly tackles the on-page element updates.
I have been doing link disavow for more than 2 years and as I noticed there are no manual actions tag on my campaigns. If the update is about pre-launching of penguin update, it might but maybe sooner. One more thing that I observed, Google is pinning local businesses with spam business citations or listings maybe, some of the SEO practitioners might noticed this but it is rolling out.
8:11 am on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I am having an "on" day for conversions - very little zombie activity, conversions are up over 4% to 7% across several websites.
8:39 am on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@wadsman - I noticed the same about exact matches & LSI, seems the SERPs are "less smart" about the content. SEE area.
9:34 am on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@sench, I partial conclude that the algorithm for LSI has been partially off, while the old metrics for EMAT's became strong in SERP's.
Most of exact match domains (EMD) increases rankings. I remember wayback 2014, LSI became strong in SERP's and after pigeon update was released.
Now, if your website have with brand name & EMAT in meta-data or content your website would likely to rank higher.
12:41 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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what can i say

a Disappointment for my 8 years job


after many standard linkbuldings and hard workings my websites dropped hard

and someone who cheating or buying backlinks is in his first position in top 10
12:42 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@makera - Nothing abnormal. This is happening since the beginning of the year for me. Exactly the same thing happens to you. The trend is back to normal.

Tourism, USA.
2:02 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Instead of punishing websites with Panda and other "quality" crap, maybe Google should do something about its own "quality".

Isn't increasing its own "quality" the point of using "'quality' crap"? Just because the batter isn't batting a thousand doesn't mean he should stop swinging his bat.
2:47 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@renatovieira, do you mean you have your home pages back on the same positions they were before disappearing?
2:51 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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In the past hour, we've just seen a massive drop in all generic. Like the rug was ripped from underneath our feet.
3:01 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Are we saying that whatever rolled out last week was new and being tested - so essentially what we can expect going forward, or the visa versa?
3:47 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Massive fluctuations. One black hat site that ranked number two in our field for over a year now is now number 8. They used crappy expired domains for pretty much 80% of their links. Ours is going up slowly to where it should be. Currently at number 2 (.co.uk) and 4 (London)

@BushieTop I would say that what you are seeing is in the most part is the overall direction you are going to see overall but with fine-tuned/amended severity.

@javadth - May I ask what sort of links you worked hard at gaining? Without linking here, can you be a little more specific on how these were achieved? Are they freely / editorially given?
3:54 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Well, if thats the case, we're not seeing the same patterns as you @shai - current #1 is loaded with EMAT - very disappointing if this is the direction we're heading in.
3:56 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm hoping we're behind whatever is rolling out, because what you are describing there @Shai is vaguely what we saw 10 days ago.
4:19 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Seeing phrases come back into the top 5 that had dropped 5-10 spots on 9/3/16. Some pages completely disappeared for singular versions of a phrase, but still ranked well on the plural version. It was bizarre. We lost about 30% organic on that day. We'll see if this sticks. I'm not holding my breath considering the amount of flux we've seen over the past 10 days.
4:23 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@SnowMan this is what we saw, but we were one of the winners from the 9th - be interested to find out how we differ. Have you suffered with any penalties, seen any indexation problems, or had legacy 404 flag in WMT?
4:38 pm on Sept 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@BushieTop Did you 301 those 404s? Or is your site pretty much untouched since the beginning of the month?
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