Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.198.187.30

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & andy langton & goodroi

Featured Home Page Discussion

Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2017

     
9:55 am on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Feb 3, 2017
posts:30
votes: 3



System: The following 3 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4834186.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 11:19 am on Mar 2, 2017 (PDT -8)


CTR and position going up on the 28th, not to the december and january levels, but slowly up. Was doing an average of 6000 clicks from search, and on the 28th it got past 1000 for the first time since early feb.
7:26 am on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 15, 2004
posts: 215
votes: 16


They do not serve more ads as only three spots are displayed, PLAs on the right are full of junk, organic long tail keywords convert near to 0.01% so for ecom sites own customers convert, email marketing if you like. New users sent over should not be trusted at all if you know what I mean cause the've become very rare in time and these are the main food for the big dogs
7:43 am on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 10, 2017
posts:44
votes: 7


With due respect, I actually said that up thread Mr Savage. It's not just that, I think people have changed how they look for info. If I want to know how to change the battery in my widget, I go to youtube to see a demo, if I want to know the best place to eat Chinese in my local area I ask on Facebook...that, combined with the ads Google display at the top of the page, along with 'people also ask' (which is annoying as hell), and the knowledge box, and you've scrolled halfway down the page before you've reached an organic result.
12:25 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 6, 2016
posts:44
votes: 1


Hey guys,

I noticed traffic increase around the end of February but on March 10 my traffic dropped on pre Feb 27 level and maybe even deeper. Yesterday I had 25% less traffic than on the same day last week.

My website is 6 months old, WP blog with 250+ posts, each 700-1300 words long. I had 3 adSense ads, now reduced to 2. It's better than most of spam sites, each article is well tailored, but still my site don't provide much value to users since all data in my articles are gathered from other sites.

I'm already doing some changes and want to do more, but first would like to hear from you if such changes are necessary. Right now I'm making title tags shorter. On average they are 95-135 characters long. I'll make them 50-80 characters long. I hope that's good change despite the recent Google update?

Other thing I want to improve - Article titles. Right now I'm using a template for my article titles, so all of them looks pretty similar. For example: PRODUCT NAME - Price and Review, PRODUCT NAME - Photos, Price, Overview, PRODUCT NAME - Changes, Update. Then I rotate these templates and change Product Name only. Before I ask my writers to come up with a better, natural looking title for each article please let me know your opinion - would such improvement make any sense? Thanks!
1:29 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts: 739
votes: 197


@MrSavage all what your are saying is true when looking at search over the past year or so, and yes I'm sure it has had a negative impact (to varying degree depending on the niche) to the amount of overall organic traffic. But these changes, with ads and knowledge graphs, did not suddenly appear on March 7th. So despite being a real concern they are not relevant when discussing the impact of the recent algo update.

@Sangi, the numbers reported by GSC are aggregated across all keywords. So it is entirely possible that avg. position and CTR remain constant while total clicks decline. Because, of the forth metric, "impressions". If you have a drop in total impressions with a constant CTR the result is a drop in total clicks. The interesting thing to determine then is whether the drop in impressions is even across your full spectrum of keywords or whether a specific subset of keywords has been impacted.

That said, you mentioned that your site was hacked recently. In that case I doubt that your experience is representative of others impacted by the recent update.
1:43 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

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


@NickMNS, my site was not hacked, it was (still is) a victim of a redirect spam attack or 'negative seo' or whatever.. But yeah, my case is not totally relevant in terms of this update, just bad timing. My site is still being crawled by Google (over 300 000 hits from G IPs from yesterday morning - never saw anything like this before). Today I'm getting a bit more users from Google too.

You're spot on on the GSC keywords, I haven't thought about it - so thanks.
2:21 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Sept 25, 2016
posts:29
votes: 2


Our site seemed to have avoided the mar 8 hit, but traffic has started plummeting the last couple of days. Yesterday was down 15% from last Monday. Seems like there were at least two major alg changes. We are a very large, very old site. Content based but not at all ad heavy.
2:25 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Oct 24, 2015
posts:41
votes: 14


Barry analyzed some pages and concluded that the update pushes down low-quality with lots of ads.

But then those kinds of sites with bad quality and lots of ads are also generally sh!t for users, have shady link profiles, high bounce rates, low user engagement and low conversions.

So essentially bad sites got demoted and it could be due to 100s of signals that indicate that they are bad.
2:35 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:May 6, 2016
posts: 20
votes: 3


@whitehattryhard, some of the sites Barry mentioned are not that ad heavy. It seems initial algo update is hitting all sites with ads.
2:37 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2004
posts: 231
votes: 5


I had a look at the sites listed and some of them didn't seem too bad, for example thetechterminus didn't have any more ads than any other site and the content seemed well written.
2:39 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 6, 2016
posts:44
votes: 1


@WhiteHatTryHard for some search terms I'm outranked now by spammy sites with gibberish articles and tons of ads, so I wouldn't say that the update is an improvement. What I also see is that 2-3 spots in the SERPs are now taken by the same site, so in the first 10 results there is no more than 6-7 different sites. It seems that the update is not completed yet.
2:43 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 6, 2016
posts:44
votes: 1


There are 250+ posts on my site and some of them dropped from position No. 5 to 75... But in the same time some posts improved their rankings and there are now 300% more traffic on them!

All posts are written by the same writters, according to the same rules/patterns. There's nothing very different, but yet some posts seems to be penalized (huge drop) and some are rewarded. All that on the same domain name. I can't figure out what is going on.
2:47 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

Top Contributors Of The Month

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


My website right now has a large flow of traffic. Via Google Real-Time.

Totally unusual for the time and day.

Someone else?

Tourism, USA
2:50 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Jan 24, 2016
posts: 5
votes: 1


Keep in mind there is a massive snowstorm in the Northeast USA today that is affecting more than 30 million people. Lots of people stuck home, not at their computers at work, maybe no power. I've seen big snowstorms in the northeast affect traffic patterns before in some niches.
2:56 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2004
posts: 231
votes: 5


the weather does have a big impact on traffic

traffic does seem slightly better today.... but nowhere near where it was
3:05 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2009
posts:1414
votes: 185


If anyone comes on here and says at most there are 3 ad blocks at most, simply doesn't use Google. I watch the SERPS. I use Google. On mobile search, I have seen probably 5+ ads stacked at the top. Maybe more than 5. Many examples of this. I guess the scroll aspect makes this excusable.

@Nick, how do you know that a new ad block wasn't rolled out? New ad format? New news boxes? Who says it's anything about actual rank? How about space invaded? It's 2017 now. The algo is not the enemy. The algo is the least of my concerns.
3:47 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from RO 

joined:Mar 11, 2017
posts: 25
votes: 4


@MrSavage, this update doesn't have nothing to do with ads. I have 10+ websites with no ads at all and all of them dropped 5-10 pages or more. Is something else.
4:09 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 6, 2016
posts:44
votes: 1


We used to hate Matt Cutts, but he was great in comparison to those G guys who're in charge now. Matt shared with us some information about updates so we had an idea what's going on. Google just made a big update, big change, call it what you want... and they don't care to share anything about that. They're terrible. I'll never understand people who worship Google.
4:10 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Dec 11, 2014
posts: 32
votes: 8


@andynicky89 how do your websites generate revenue? Are you blog, ecomm, affiliate, lead gen?

I'm curious because I doubt that this update is specifically about the amount of ads on a site. I think it has more to do with the purpose of the site and overall quality.
4:20 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 6, 2016
posts:44
votes: 1


@thejimster I had 3 adSense ads on my website. One above text, second and third ad after a few paragraphs. Not sure if 3 ads are too much, but I removed one of them to see what's going to happen.
4:57 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from RO 

joined:Mar 11, 2017
posts: 25
votes: 4


@thejimster and @Vanteli stop with this propaganda, is not about any ads. If you have Adsense on it, Google wants to rank your blog/site as high as possible to sell more clicks. This update can be about short content or specially links. In my case, i have on homepage about 500 words, all websites has 3 pages, Home, About and Contact, all of them has ranked with Pbn and also another type of links but separately. So there can be a problem as link diversity too because i use just 1 type of links on each website. I admit that i used blackhat links to get the rank. Those who tell me that they used no links and just content and rankings are dropping, they lie for sure. All my friends that used blackhat links was hit by this updated this week. Period!
5:07 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Dec 11, 2014
posts: 32
votes: 8


@andynicky89 I think you need to re-read my reply. In no way is my reply propaganda. In fact, I specifically said I don't think this update is about ads, so I was agreeing with you. I'm trying to read between the lines to fully understand this update, so therefore I was asking some simple questions.
6:02 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts: 739
votes: 197


@MrSavage here: [mozcast.com...]
and there would be a lot more chatter about changes to the serp layout, and there has been very little if any.

@andynicky89 just because your site doesn't have ads doesn't mean that this update wasn't targeting ads. Your competitors may have removed some or all of their ads and as result moved up the ranking. By the same logic @rustybrick's conclusion may be based on sample of sites that is not representative, other sites in those niche's may have moved up for some other reasons. The unfortunate reality is that there is no way to know for sure.
6:24 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Sept 29, 2012
posts:25
votes: 1


Anyone else experience a rollback? Not traffic, but in terms of keyword rankings. Most of our high traffic keywords went back to the same position/pages they were before this turbulent activity.
6:37 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from RO 

joined:Mar 11, 2017
posts: 25
votes: 4


@Vuffy i saw a little movement but nothing serious. I think they will recover in the same order that was hit. I've read on BHW that some guys saw a comeback, few even higher than before. Don't forget, SEO is an waiting game, so we must wait :)
6:45 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Sept 29, 2012
posts:25
votes: 1


@andynicky89 hmm It's possible our competitors are recovering then since we were one of the winners. Ha
7:10 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Apr 11, 2011
posts:75
votes: 6


Has there been a Fred #2 update specifically these past 2 days?
My large site actually saw a slight increase in traffic March 7-8, but the past 2 days March 12-13 I've seen a 7% drop in Google traffic. Anyone else seeing this?

I have been slightly more aggressive with ad placement these past few months to try to make up for massive YoY decreases in revenue.
7:31 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from RO 

joined:Mar 11, 2017
posts: 25
votes: 4


@Vuffy Google knows better :D
8:34 pm on Mar 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 10, 2017
posts:44
votes: 7


When I use google I typically see...

Five Google shopping ads (with images), or three ads, followed by a map, followed by 3 more businesses with stars,

One thing I did recently, which was in no way aimed at the search engines, it was because some of my articles can be up to 3,000 words and I realise that not all my visitors want to read the entire post. So, at the top I put a table of contents with links to each topic. So, say...what is a widget what do they look like where do you buy widgets how much are they etc etc. And then without me realising this would happen, Google indexed each link. So if you search for widgets on Google, you see a link to my site, with a brief description, then under that all of those links show.
12:22 am on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Sept 25, 2016
posts:29
votes: 2


"Has there been a Fred #2 update specifically these past 2 days?
My large site actually saw a slight increase in traffic March 7-8, but the past 2 days March 12-13 I've seen a 7% drop in Google traffic. Anyone else seeing this?

I have been slightly more aggressive with ad placement these past few months to try to make up for massive YoY decreases in revenue."

IDENTICAL problem. We too are a large, old site. March 7-8 was fine. Last couple of days has seen a 10-15% drop in Google traffic. Certainly something new kicked in a couple of days ago. We have no more than 2 ads on a page, and never more than one at the top of a page.
9:37 am on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2004
posts: 231
votes: 5


This post marks 1 week since the Google algorithm changed
This 372 message thread spans 13 pages: 372
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members