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Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2016

     
9:53 am on Oct 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 2 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4817284.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 3:06 am on Oct 1, 2016 (PDT -8)


Starting to get a bit concerned now. Saw very good improvement in serps on 1st September, then fell back to previous levels/slightly worse on 15th September. Seen slight improvement in one keyword and that's it. GSC shows big spike in pages crawled over last couple of days.

I'm starting to think this is how things are going to remain for me now; and after 2 1/2 years of seriously hard work! I really did expect this Penguin update to be good for us!
10:12 am on Oct 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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there are good days and bad days here in Asia. Ranked on 2nd - 4th for half a day, and fell on the 10th for server hours, up and down everyday
11:48 am on Oct 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Ukonline1... I doubt that they're finished rolling out the "recovery" phase, so I hope there's still some good news waiting for you. In this phase, bad links simply remain "devalued", and the overall site "demotion" that Penguin previously placed on the site will be removed.

Whether you move up will depend on how much linking credit you lost from those bad links that have been devalued, along with how may natural inbounds your site received in the interim. I think this may yet take some time.

See more detailed discussion on the update here...

Penguin: Core, realtime and updated today
Sep 23, 2016
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4819521.htm [webmasterworld.com]

12:25 pm on Oct 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@hopepro - Here same. Tourism, USA
1:21 pm on Oct 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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October 1st marks the 78th consecutive month of losses on the subject website. If this was just one occurrence, I'd say it's site related, but I manage over 50 sites across different hosting solutions and market verticals and most are seeing similar losses. Only one site I manage is doing small improvements month to month but that site is boosted by an HGTV reality series in which the client is involved, so that one has an offline leg up and is not a victim of Googleitis.

Regardless of widespread losses, I'm sure G will show another 20%+ gain for the next quarter.
2:00 pm on Oct 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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From the Sept thread:

What causes the same amount of traffic, improved rankings, yet conversions are now terrible. Could someone please explain why the customer is not buying from our site even though we have moved up to #11 (2nd page under ads). We've had worse rankings, but better conversions in the past.


Google says they now "devalue spam" in a "more granular way", but "you should still use disavow files".

It is my very strong suspicion that the new Penguin leaves your rankings alone (position as reported by a ranking tracker), but drops you out when the specific query is likely to convert, if hit by Penguin. Google doesn't care about anything but their own profits, but negative SEO is bad for their profits because it's bad publicity.

So with the new Penguin, no one can say their rankings were hit or prove that Penguin or NSEO affects them. It's just a drop in conversions, which comes with plausible deniability for Google. "your site just doesn't convert well".... "It's a seasonal change in traffic".... "the markets are slow lately". I suspect we will soon see a new round of NSEO denials again like we did when Google Bowling "didn't exist" back in the day. Only this time, it will be nearly impossible to prove, because New Penguin hits conversions, not rank, which is why rank trackers are showing minimal impact.
2:43 pm on Oct 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Not to be Captain Obvious, but If you really look closely at the places where you are losing, you'll likely find that it is for higher volume, high bid keywords and phrases. It's not personal and it's not so much the algo, it's that there are some very savvy big brand webmaster teams targeting and expertly exploiting those money makers. It's no match for M&P's. However, the algo is currently allowing way too much crowding from these outlets. Most of us haven't been dropped for no reason, it's that we've been out classed by growing corporate efforts from mostly informational sites that want a bite of your niche. My old apples to apples competition is gone. Now the oranges dominate across all long tail and semantic searches. Depending upon your niche, mileage may vary.

Additional note: Just like I used to be able to predict conversions with almost perfect accuracy, I can now predict when my website will be at zero visitors. Morning started out OK, but then I decided to check and thought to myself, I bet it's back to zero...and sure enough Google can read minds. lol
4:37 pm on Oct 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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seeing serps jumping all over the place. up 5 down 5 every 45 minutes or so - uk leisure
9:48 am on Oct 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It is my very strong suspicion that the new Penguin leaves your rankings alone (position as reported by a ranking tracker), but drops you out when the specific query is likely to convert, if hit by Penguin. Google doesn't care about anything but their own profits, but negative SEO is bad for their profits because it's bad publicity.


That's interesting. There has to be some reason behind the Zombie phenomenon and this fits IMO.
12:55 pm on Oct 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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That's interesting. There has to be some reason behind the Zombie phenomenon and this fits IMO.

While it is possible that modern Google penalties could impact buyer traffic, I doubt it is related to penguin. I have a lot of Google zombie traffic too and my site is squeaky clean. Nobody in my industry (I can count the competition on one hand) has many links to their site. Outside of the few domain whois data links pointing to my site (every established site has these I'm sure), nothing is abnormal. In my industry one would be extremely lucky to pickup one natural link a month, if that. And nobody in my industry is buying links or trying to game Google's system in any other way that I can tell. Plus the zombie traffic is also present in Adwords too, which is as far as I know outside of Penguins reach.
5:32 pm on Oct 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Not to be Captain Obvious, but If you really look closely at the places where you are losing, you'll likely find that it is for higher volume, high bid keywords and phrases. It's not personal and it's not so much the algo, it's that there are some very savvy big brand webmaster teams targeting and expertly exploiting those money makers. It's no match for M&P's. However, the algo is currently allowing way too much crowding from these outlets.


Hit the nail right on the head
9:42 pm on Oct 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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See massive re-writing of titles

UK info site
11:55 pm on Oct 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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See massive re-writing of titles


A crazy re-writing of titles from both G and Bing with absolutely ridiculous, inapt, descriptions.
8:54 am on Oct 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Over the weekend, we've seen a massive improvement to Generics, which leaves me feeling alot better, but we're still some way off where we were back in June.
11:14 am on Oct 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Good to hear BushieTop. Fingers crossed it will improve.
2:26 pm on Oct 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Anybody else notice that "new subdomains" (http://word.site.com/) are not getting indexed for the last 2 weeks? New pages index right away but any new subdomains not indexing with the latest update.

We have tested this on old sites and new sites alike and subdomains have now got some sort of filter on them. Was working perfectly at the start of Sept, then nothing. All other pages of the site index, just not the subdomains... kinda odd? USA and Canada sites tested, anyone else finding this?
2:31 pm on Oct 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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We were dead for several days straight. Then, Sunday afternoon, the orders turned on and were steady for eight hours straight... before turning off again.
2:37 pm on Oct 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Actually disreguard the last message, there is a definate "lag" of a couple weeks in new subdomains indexing, but just found one case that finally did so business as usual, carry on spamming and making money folks...
2:45 pm on Oct 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@glakes

Outside of the few domain whois data links pointing to my site (every established site has these I'm sure), nothing is abnormal. In my industry one would be extremely lucky to pickup one natural link a month, if that. And nobody in my industry is buying links or trying to game Google's system in any other way that I can tell.


You have to be careful with your thinking. We put 100's of links to our money sites but they are all hidden from any trackers so "it appears" they have very few links to them. Most do this now.
2:47 pm on Oct 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@Kelowna - Google's uptake is within minutes of submitting a new domain. However it then applies all the filters and will likely disappear for weeks until it slowly rises, I am working with just such a project now. Check both desktop and mobile and you'll likely see a big difference in results.
4:30 pm on Oct 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Today my Search Console "Pages Crawled" is insane!

I did a screenshot for you to analyze. It is the Portuguese version:

[i.snag.gy ]

Anyone else noticed this?

Tourism, USA
4:59 pm on Oct 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@renatovieira

Yes, we saw the same thing 2 days ago. Massive increase.

Tourism U.K.
8:48 am on Oct 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing some really weird results. SERPs are still bouncing all over the place. One day I'm ranking on the first page for monitored keywords, the next I'm not. My site definitely shouldn't be hit be Penguin - no dodgy link profile. One thing I'm noticing is that for keywords affected, they don't show top on an site search using the main keyword. It's like Google are filtering certain pages from my site. All happening from the 23rd. Makes me wonder whether they rolled out some other algorithmic factors on the 23rd
11:26 am on Oct 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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You have to be careful with your thinking. We put 100's of links to our money sites but they are all hidden from any trackers so "it appears" they have very few links to them. Most do this now.

I use WSC to keep an eye on links, which we have very few. If what few competitors I have are hiding purchased links, the links are not working for them because they are well below me in the SERPS.

For what its worth, yesterday I had the highest traffic I've seen from Google organic in a very long time. Conversions were okay. Still a lot of volatility in the SERPS as Uber SEO noted.
12:50 am on Oct 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Amazing the bouncing around going on. For a keyword we watch, the results have minor movement constantly with the exception of our site/page, keeps bouncing from page 2 to page 6 to page 2 to page 7 and so on. Constantly. What could possibly be going on with an algo to affect rankings like that?
1:30 am on Oct 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Is any of this bouncing around translating into changes in traffic, or is just resulting in volatility?
9:19 am on Oct 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Seeing changes this morning. Those positive results that we saw initially seem to be sliding back to near where we were pre-penguin 'launch' date.

Fingers crossed that its just some noise, but since late june, I've lost a lot of faith in Google as a whole (hate to be that guy).
9:25 am on Oct 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Those positive results that we saw initially seem to be sliding back to near where we were pre-penguin 'launch' date.


It's odd as this is what I have seen too but a week or 2 ago. In fact the only changes I have had that have seemed to stick were BEFORE Penguin was announced. Actually, all of the changes that I have seen were before it was announced though most of them have sunk back as yours have. Just on a completely different time line.
10:01 am on Oct 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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We've just seen some massive improvements across most keywords. Doesn't stick for too long (probably just different data centres). Hope it's a sign of things to come. UK Travel sector.
10:13 am on Oct 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@UKonline1 Did you see a lull before a rise? Can you describe your pattern of movement?
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