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Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2017

     
9:55 am on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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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.
11:18 am on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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rdbseo, have you found out something?

I'm living a seemed situation. Organic traffic has dropped 60% on the 27th. I'm trying to figure out it, but I don't understand anything. All pages from mobile are being de-indexing, and all of them are dissapearing from index.

I'm suspecting, two things:

Firstly, I have some texts in the mobile version, and a part of them is hidden (I show them with a click user action". Also in some of them we have some link (follow).
On the other hand, we have small layout on bottom, maybe it could be a "intrusive interstitial" penalization?

Analyzing the current situacion, I try to manually index one of them (top keyword), from GWT, the url mobile version, automatically appears in the SERP, but it doesn't recover its traffic. And if I add the desktop version (re-index), it doesn't appear in the SERP.
Moreover, when i check the logs, i can see some trace from Googlebot (but just see desktop version, not mobile).
And every day my traffic is dropping and indexation as well.

Any ideas? Is there some update?
3:29 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Old websites and strong for the keyword category have gained positions.

I do not know if it is connected with the change of the snippet.
7:39 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A big improvement to result quality in some of the verticals I follow over the past 24 hours or so. A lot of the trash listings seem to have been dropped.
8:33 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My site has a Mobile Penalty as per notice in WMT. As of last week, we have been seeing our historical results on the desktop SERPS returning to normal (slowly) and the results on mobile remaining in penalty.
8:29 am on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Quick update for you guys...

Traffic hasn't recovered but conversions we're up almost 40% yesterday compared to the previous day but this was mainly from our homepage.

It's seems that our biggest losses have been on deeper pages. We're now looking into keyword cannibalisation issues, and looking to no-index any older blog posts that could be dragging the site down.

One thing we have noticed the SERPs aren't as varied as they used to be. One of our competitors now has 3 pages ranking for the same keyword. Interesting to see this:

Old websites and strong for the keyword category have gained positions.


As that appears to be true across a lot of the SERPs we track. I am wondering if there will be a rollback eventually like we've seen with previous updates.
6:11 pm on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Ever since 2010 the first week in March has repeatably been a zero conversion stretch. This year is no different.
10:06 pm on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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there is no will to allow every soul to compete for the productive traffic, nothing changed in 2017
1:06 pm on Mar 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Internet sites that have been affected to treat many different topics?
8:27 pm on Mar 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My main keyword term:

1º place: Competitor 1
2º place: Competitor 2
3º place: Competitor 2 with another url
4º place: Competitor 3
5º place: Competitor 4
6º place: Competitor 4 with another url
7º place: Competitor 4 with another url
8º place: Competitor 4 with another url
9º place: Competitor 4 with another url
10º place: Competitor 4 with another url

Google, where's the quality in your results?

Things are getting worse. :-(
11:28 pm on Mar 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Reading with interest and hello to everyone :)

My site's traffic has been relatively steady since it started (Jan 2013) - surprisingly since I left it alone after 6 months of devoting my time to it back then. I just got back to monitoring it again and building it up, getting way too obsessed yet again.

Anyhow, an unusual high jump on Feb 22, then back to normal, then over the last 3 days, traffic did not drop the way it usually does on Fridays and Saturdays. It stayed high - so strange.

That said, this may have happened in the past but I wouldn't have known...
11:14 am on Mar 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Conversions are getting better but nowhere near what we were getting at the start of Feb. We're still down on traffic and money making keywords are down (some are not even in top 100).

About to put our recovery plan into full swing, starting by cleaning up some old blog posts that aren't doing much. Just wondering if it would be better to noindex nofollow or 301 Redirect them all? From what I've read I'm thinking noindex?

Anyone have any thoughts?
12:04 pm on Mar 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@rdbseo

just a personal opinion if many blog posts treat similar subjects do 301 in the one with the most traffic

blog posts aren't doing much... should do upgrade to content once a month or so
12:45 pm on Mar 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@rdbseo yeah it will be better to "noindex, follow" those pages. On 27th Feb i did a noindex, follow to about 50 thousand pages on my blog and since then my blog traffic has been increasing. When Google is done removing those pages my traffic and authority will be rock solid i think.
9:19 am on Mar 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Did someone notice movement of keyword in domain name shift starting Sunday? On the properties I monitor I saw a big bump for these sites starting January but now I see a reverse trend where lost positions by my sites as well as the competition going back to their original positions. This is good news for me but I was wondering whether this is something I am seeing in a vacuum or it is a more broad shift in the SERPs?
5:00 pm on Mar 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Nothing particular on my side.
6:15 pm on Mar 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Nutterum I've seen some changes out of the norm on a few sites I monitor. Haven't had time to see if it was a result of domains with/without keywords in the domain. None of the sites I'm looking at have keyword rich domains, and they all have improved rankings today versus what I have reported for Sunday.

So, I'm seeing changes, but don't have anything to backup what you're seeing exactly.
10:48 pm on Mar 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Whatever happened on ~Feb 7th appears to have been accelerated for me. I took about a 20% hit across the board around the 7th. Since Saturday I have been down ANOTHER 20% on top of that. I just wish the madness would end already. It's incredibly difficult not knowing what is going on.
10:12 am on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A MASSIVE drop in traffic happened on my site on the 7th of March at 8pm and has continued today (8th March). I have no idea why.

I have also suffered from the 20%-40% drops in traffic in Feb

traffic was going up at the start of March but has now taken a massive hit

everything in WMT looks normal, google crawling more than ever, more pages indexed, natural links increasing
12:36 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hello,
I am the webmaster of 3 websites with wishes related articles about birthdays, Christmas, Valentine Wishes, Wedding Wishes etc.

For almost 3-4 years now these 3 websites where ranking very well. Especially one of them was in the first page for many keywords, and many of them in the first 1-3 positions for more than a year. These Keywords are birthday wishes, birthday quotes, birthday wishes for friends, Christmas wishes and many more.

All the content is original and we have never placed any backlinks. Also a few times we have checked for harmfully backlinks to disavow. My search console isn't showing any manual actions, or errors anywhere.

Suddenly before a few hours almost all of our keywords dropped significantly.
Just to name a few examples
Birthday Wishes from 1 to 70
Birthday Quotes from 3 to 52
Christmas Wishes from 4 to 80

I checked also a few competitors’ sites with similar content and also noticed such changes in rankings for many keywords.

Any help what is going on? Is any new Google search update running and why so dramatic changes?
2:04 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Heya there,

Iam also having some serious issues. My Websites dropped out of the Index around 9 hours ago. Im still trying to find out whats going on. None of them has used Black hat Methods or some other stuff. They just disappeared from the normal search index. Still the site: command shows that they are. On the upper hand some serious spam in my niche just came up from feed-scrappers and stuff. Maybe someone has an Explanation.
2:27 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi,
I am having the same issue. It started around 18:00 from yesterday. My traffic from google almost stopped.
At that time, I was getting 70-100 users at same time and now I am getting 5-12.
My small site had aprox 5500-7000 uniques day and around 13000-16000 page views/day .
No black hat seo, but I have some spam links, probably from competitors. My site have almost 10 years.
I disavowed sites like blogarama and others feeds months ago.
It is very strange some users are getting this issues almost at same time.
And by the way, my site is in pt-BR ( I am from Brazil).
2:28 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Heya again,

Well my sites are in Germany. Much Spam has come up and it looks like that the only sites of me ranking are the ones who havent switched to https:// yet. All https:// Pages are gone from the Search Index. I really hope that is a bug somehow.
2:36 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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serp trackers, as unreliable as they may be for individual keyword terms, show volatility from 5/2/17 increasing almost everyday. And today it looks like the most volatile day since. With Google's traffic being garbage, I can only hope that they can do a better job of living up to the hype about them being the best search engine.
4:11 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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How many of us, "penalized" websites are https ?
Let's try to figure what's happening with our common features...

My websites are https, http2, an average of 4000 sessions day prior february, now 1600 sessions day.
But, after a huge drop in adsense following this "penalty", my revenues are coming back, much due to really good CPC.

It seems that I'm getting fewer traffic, but much more qualified for adsense.

Beside this, it's the same pageviews per session than before, the same distribution in visits (no particular page penalized), the same country (France)...
4:22 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Jori did you see a drop in the last 12 hours?

my site is http, mostly Germany, USA, UK

last 12 hours:

average 50,000 sessions a day, now i'm looking at 25,000

the drop is all organic and across all devices

early Feb I was getting 75,000 a day.
4:30 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My site is https, http2 enabled, both from many months ago.
I was having 7K-10K sessions daily from january to yesterday. Last week I had a day with 11K sessions and 17K page views. Today, at 13:30, I have only 1200 sessions.
All my traffic is from my own country.
4:34 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hello together,

I have a site located in germany. The Site never had any bad issues related to Spam or SEO.
It is 18 Months old and was still growing up till start of the new year.

Since January, google`s organic traffic dropped constantly but today a total meltdown happened.

First, traffic dropped about 70% from december to january.
In february, it dropped again about more than 50%, almost all visitors from google-images has been gone.

Today the organic search traffic jumped to almost Zero.

As described by SantaCruze, we are also running our site with https in germany.
Our visibility is totally gone today but all pages seems to be still in Index, WMT says noting.
4:38 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

are your sites mobile friendly?
4:46 pm on Mar 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it is mobile friendly. 60% of traffic came from mobile devices and had a good conversion.
In WMT also no problems in mobile section are showing up... I have absolute no idea what could be the reason for such a drop.
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