Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.162.4.139

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & andy langton & goodroi

Featured Home Page Discussion

Google Updates and SERP Changes - February 2017

     
11:07 am on Jan 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Sept 16, 2015
posts:26
votes: 1



System: The following 8 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4830556.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 4:05 am on Feb 1, 2017 (PDT -8)


Here's something I found happened at the start of January across smaller, medium and massive websites, across verticals, within my GSC account.

I will write down the exact steps you can take to check if this happened with your properties as well.

1.) Timespan last 90 days, select all metrics, group by countries (there is no possibility to write in a country you're looking for so you need to find it manually in the next step)
2.) Sort by impressions descending
3.) If I'm right, most likely you'll see "Unknown Region" within the first 30 results for larger sites (in terms of organic traffic), first 10 for smaller ones
4.) Click on the Unknown Region to filter by that, what you should see is a 10x drop in impressions and a 2x spike in avg. position at around January 4th-5th -> clicks actually remained the same (so CTR rose also through the roof)
5.) This change is maintained and steady for the data I have so far (last day for which I have data is January 29th, because of the GSC delay of course)

Just sharing this 'cause it looks like a wide-spread phenomena, so hoping to get confirmations from others, feel free to report if you found something similar.

One of the questions arising from this observation is: could this be related to the general observation about country of origin traffic shifts that other members noticed (at a later date though, January 24th if I'm not mistaken)?

Another hypothesis that leaped to mind is maybe a SERP tracker or some other major bot that Google started counting out of the equation since this date. I based this on the fact that most of those impressions were evenly spread across queries and the number of impressions per specific query was the same each week.

But let's see if others see this same pattern in GSC
7:54 am on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 6, 2005
posts:1804
votes: 82


Wish to share this relevant post with you:

Google: No Comment On The Google Search Ranking Update [seroundtable.com...]
8:29 am on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Oct 11, 2013
posts: 39
votes: 5


Long time ago I quit using Google Analytics, few days ago I dropped AdSense. For quite some time my main search engine is DuckDuckGo. Now I'm thinking about blocking Google's Image bot, because I have minuscule traffic from image search, but G's Image bot is very aggressive on my website (hosting thousands of pictures). Oh yes, Google Chrome is ONLY for Google Services (Webmasters Tools/GSC and other G services).

What we all have to remember that Google is business. Just like you, just a bit bigger :) It's not to help you, it's not to serve you, it's to make money. Google doesn't have to explain us anything. What is the most important - Google's making business directly from us, from our daily work. I don't suggest anyone to drop/block Google completely, no. Just take from Google what you can and at the same time give them as little as possible - exactly like Google does to you.

/happy rant :)
8:37 am on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 6, 2005
posts:1804
votes: 82


I don't think that the current SERPs, as they look now, are the final results of the 7th February Google Algorithm Update. Looking forwards to more SERPs changes :)
9:18 am on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from DE 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 11, 2014
posts:512
votes: 154


@reseller

Was just about to say the same thing. The SERPs are far away from being settled in their new meta state. I envision at least 2 or 3 more SERP tremors before we call it a day.
9:30 am on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 15, 2004
posts: 221
votes: 16


Guys!

May I share the fact our rankings gone up through the roof after this update however the number of real humans coming to the site did not increase.

Moreover all transactions are small that we suspect it is because of ecommerce tracking in analytics profiling users.

Also I see that this update has hit content farms really bad and it has been suggested in the past that somehow creating great content is not good enough and somehow they need to pay
10:10 am on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

joined:Aug 11, 2008
posts:1349
votes: 123


I'm either seeing some sort of roll-back, or a new phase of update. Geo-filters are back (US sites no longer dominating UK SERPs, Amazon.co.uk back to beating .com in most instances.

My morning traffic is well above the recent trend, but it's only 10:00. Sample set way too low, but ave value seems to have rebounded.
10:36 am on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member from ES 

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 20, 2004
posts:342
votes: 23


A competitor of mine has just been whacked with a manual penalty for thin content - across all his sites.

By no previous definition of thin content is his content thin. These are detailed pages of maybe 2000+ words, all unique. Links out to sources and authorities. You could say "no added value" because the information is available elsewhere, but all information is. I can see deficiencies in the sites, but nothing out of the ordinary. Solid, natural link profiles. Biggest sin seems to be being a successful affiliate. Like being tailed by a traffic cop, sooner or later you're going to get a ticket.
10:45 am on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Feb 15, 2017
posts:1
votes: 0


The bigger site the bigger traffic drop. Well has anyone noticed major changes in images ranking? previously I got about 2k visitors per day purely from google images. after 8th of febuary it's gone to the level of 150 per day. Hell, it's mindboggling.
12:23 pm on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Oct 11, 2013
posts: 39
votes: 5


At the moment my site is down at #5 on very important keyword, #1 was mine for 10 years. Curenty SERP's looking like this:

#1 https:// competitor_1 .com/ search/main_keyword
#2 https:// competitor_1 .com/ search/main_keyword-important_word
#3 https:// facebook/ groups /main_keyword-blabla
#4 https:// facebook/groups /lalala-main_keyword
#5 https:// my-site.com

Dunno, maybe its good for Google users. Or there's other explanation?
1:11 pm on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 2, 2016
posts: 71
votes: 6


@sangi - I exemplified just like you in my last post. I'm glad it's not just me in this mud.

My site disappears from the searches one day, the other back in the first positions. From the 7/feb.

This new update is a new filter.

They can only be making adjustments to the core.
1:18 pm on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 19, 2012
posts: 323
votes: 2


- For us it is a SITE WIDE drop of 15%.
- All GEO.
- Desktop slightly bigger drop than mobile.
- Started Sat/Sun, February 11/12
- February 8th had actually a slight increase.

(+10 year old site, a lot of edu links, no black-hat, old quality content, not updated regularly, >50,000 unique pages)
6:33 pm on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 18, 2012
posts:340
votes: 1


Hell All,

Does this update have a name yet? My ranking has dropped by more than -80 places starting from Feb11 and it still continues. Curious whether the update has something to do with links or the content.

Thanks!
6:41 pm on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:June 2, 2014
posts:15
votes: 4


Big recovery yesterday for one of our medium-sized news sites, after being hit around Jan 26.
10:24 pm on Feb 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Feb 15, 2017
posts: 4
votes: 0


Hi Lake and you did any change on your website for that? or just recover without doing anything?
2:43 am on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 4, 2004
posts: 151
votes: 13


Sales are awful. Rankings are the same. Stats are showing visitors going through pages quickly, no engagement so I am thinking zombies, adwords not converting at all. Russia showing up in stats, when I am paying for USA traffic opnly in adwords.. Competition that sits #1 has less links, bad seo, etc. this sucks
12:43 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 15, 2015
posts:97
votes: 39


Very recently moved to https, moved host, optimized my website to the max and made the website 10x faster and now is super fast on mobile devices also gained a very relevant and good link from an authority site all about what I sell, the result? nothing. (atleast I get traffic now from the new link iv gained).

Maybe just automated gibberish and mass spam is the way to go now got nothing to loose and a lot less hassle and stress.
1:44 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 13, 2016
posts: 348
votes: 49


>> Very recently <<

May be be patient. From my observations, each time people are succeeding to get a huge increase of trafic "fast", it doesn't last long, and they are the first to come to complain that their traffic collapsed all of a sudden for "no reason". I still believe in building a site with a long term perspective. What you did in optimizing your site, and speeding it up, might not have an impact right now on your income / trafic, but I am sure it's contributing to make your site robust over the time.
1:47 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

joined:July 29, 2012
posts:229
votes: 8


Have many of you seen a huge increase of the .xyz and .top links?
4:21 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2875
votes: 473


Also I see that this update has hit content farms really bad and it has been suggested in the past that somehow creating great content is not good enough and somehow they need to pay.

By definition, "content farms" aren't about "great content," they're about content that was cranked out in quantity to generate traffic from search engines (e.g., short, shallow articles written around specific keywords).

If such sites are being hurt by a Google update, that's a good thing, not a bad thing--at least for users and for publishers who aren't content farmers.
4:27 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3104
votes: 210


People should be swarming over your site, actively exploring it. If they leave without doing anything, that tells google that there's nothing there to interest them.
4:59 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 6, 2005
posts:1804
votes: 82


I really miss the good old days where Matt Cutts of Google Search Quality Team used to keep the webmasters/SEOs communities informed about Google Algorithm Updates and more. At present the communications of Google Search Quality Team is limited to useless comments and jokes on twitter!

The following major Google Algorithm Updates have been noticed by some of the webmstaers/SEOs communities including WebmasterWorld:

- 15th December 2016

- 24th January 2017

- 7th February 2017
5:02 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 2, 2016
posts: 71
votes: 6


@reseller - Jokes and cynicism and arrogance.

I miss Matt's sympathy!
6:34 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:467
votes: 194


People should be swarming over your site, actively exploring it. If they leave without doing anything, that tells google that there's nothing there to interest them.

Either that or Google is sending the wrong type of visitors to the website. Especially when Bing and Yahoo can send traffic that views plenty of pages, buys products, etc., it tells me that it is Google who is getting it wrong. Thanks to the search engine competition we can and do compare/benchmark Google's traffic quality and from my point of view it is greatly under-performing. But what we see as wrong to us may not have anything to do with Google's reasoning for what they do.
8:32 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 15, 2004
posts: 221
votes: 16


Matt Cutts might have been on webmasters side, such a nice guy we will definitely miss him
8:38 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from DE 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:May 25, 2002
posts:928
votes: 3


So, I am back in the game... anyone missed me :-)? I have not done real SEO work for about 2 years, just had my (few small) sites nice and cleanly setup. Now I am starting back with a larger German site and tried to do everything right (mobile first - no, not just responsive - beyond that, schema, growing pages, unique content and good keywords all around), which makes that (when fully blown) a roughly 30k pages site to start. It will reach that size in June, roughly... For now, I thought I start with roughly 1,000 pages and a handful of good links. That happened on the 12th of February. Google came and ate it... in like 30 minutes... but they are just not appearing in the SERPs. There are currently around 170 pages in there - it jumps up to 400 twice a day and then back to 170 pages... that goes on since the 14th (so basically for 48-56 hours) - it feels like the old dance...
10:56 pm on Feb 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 1, 2008
posts: 74
votes: 5


Been hit quite badly - and not seeing improvements. Ticking all the traditional metrics. It's odd - because we have seen impact on some of the bigger terms, but remained strong on the smaller terms .
3:45 am on Feb 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 4, 2004
posts: 151
votes: 13


Well Google turned on the juice today. Lots of sales, same rankings. Better conversion. For example the other day when I checked had 350 visitors with 3 repeats and no sales of course, then check this morning when it was 80 visitors had 13 repeats and a few sales... If every day was like this it would be great.

And if you are thinking the traffic is low it is. We are capped permanently at this level, have been for 2 years, no matter what we do, new blog posts, new links updates, we never bust out in our niche. it sucks. Any tips are appreciated.
11:17 am on Feb 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Nov 3, 2015
posts:55
votes: 5


@mboydnv
we had the same few days ago; good valuable/convertable traffic for last 12 days. mon+tue sales 300% up ; even though google finally resolved "z" problem; yeah! sure! sweet dreams!
since wednesday evening all dead again

positions quite stable since jan 24. only very small fluctuations +/- 1 for very few keywords
11:31 am on Feb 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from DE 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:May 25, 2002
posts:928
votes: 3


Well, my new site is now in and the numbers are stable. It was, however, interesting to see, how the new pages showed up and how long it took after a full spider run. 5 days from eating to spitting. I have seen that faster in the past.
11:50 am on Feb 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member from GB 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 26, 2013
posts:254
votes: 32


Just an observation that may help point some people in the right direction. Specifically regarding the recent 7th of Feb update

A new high value domain (4 months old). Very valuable EMD in a competitive market.
Good clean design
Homepage content is not terrible can could be written better. Slight grammatical errors and not much of it.

The domain has never had any SEO on it previously so we had a clean slate with regards to links. I.e there are no dodgy link to it at all.

We have been workingon the site for 1 month and content marketing 100% kosher only.

We carried out a study (about burglaries in universities) which gained very decent exposure and links from places like:

A powerful student body site
Powerful insurance site
several powerful regional newspaper sites
A governmental body which relates to the subject of the site.

All in all around 10 link. Probably 15 wit the ones that we have not even seen yet. Each and every one of them is pure quality. No spammy links at all or even any normal low quality stuff you get (siteinfo etc). In short, a very clean start.

The site came in very strongly for its main keywords. Straight to the second page of google which, if you consider the fact that all of the links are branded with no anchor text at all, was very promising indeed.

however, on the 7th the site disappeared from the rankings and has not returned since.

The above would lead me to believe that the 7th update, did not have much to do with links and may well possibly be Panda/content related.

I only mention this as its a really clear-cut example of a site with no bad links whatsoever, in fact the complete opposite, which had been effected by the 7th update. Yes, it could be lots of other things like age and other signals but interesting nevertheless.

Hope this helps someone.
This 234 message thread spans 8 pages: 234
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members