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Google Updates and SERP Changes - April 2017

     
12:21 am on Apr 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 5 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4838449.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 12:55 pm on Apr 2, 2017 (PDT -8)


We had a noticeable improvement in average Google rankings on the 29th (the most recent date in Google Search Console). Google organic traffic has also been up 6.0 to 9.7 percent for each of the last five days, compared to the same days last week. Another mini-update, maybe? (The changes definitely fall outside our normal week-to-week variations.)
9:28 am on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Has anybody else noticed massive domain clustering? I just searched for another phrase and the same site had the answer box and the first FOUR results. I am just so frustrated at this.
9:52 am on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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All my websites go hit. Really don't understand where the hack is the problem. No one has the same pattern, no one has the same type of links, and still loosing positions every few days. Now i'm NA for some keywords, page 5 for few and page 2 fore another keywords but no one gives traffic. And i was top 3 for all of them. Google, soon or later i will call a lawyer because i want an explanation for anything that i lose and everything that is happen with our websites, times and money.
10:15 am on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My friend just emailed me, her site is older than mine, in fact mine (started in 2002) is a spin off of hers. Here is her direct quote.

Well, we mulled over a few things. I told her about Google's 'Answer Box' and we discussed that for a while. Then I told her about your situation and how hard you have worked and how things are going with you. She especially liked your comment that you feel like part of the orchestra on the Titanic. I think it was at that moment we both decided that we were doomed and we weren't going to invest any more time into our websites. So that's where we stand.


Awesome effort. People are walking away from their sites but domain clustering is rampant.
5:29 pm on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am glad that this update has benefited many also
8:24 pm on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Has anybody else noticed massive domain clustering? I just searched for another phrase and the same site had the answer box and the first FOUR results. I am just so frustrated at this.
browndog, how many results per page are you showing when you see this? Is it the default 10, or is it a larger number?

8:34 pm on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Has anybody find any solution to recover the rank? Any fix? All my websites are going down slowly but surely, even those who in 10 March received a boost. I'm so frustrated. Can't understand what's happen and where can be the problem! I've made some test also in that period and the rank after links placement is the same, no improvement at all, even few positions. Everything is frozen.
8:38 pm on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Robert. I see one answer box and nine results.
8:42 pm on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@andy

Are you really going to call a lawyer?

How many of us have the guilty feeling trying to create the best ranking sites and think that we are trying to game Google? But we are not we create sites for the user and would like a fair play and get some quality traffic as well
9:01 pm on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu On which side you are? On google (The System) or simple people that want to offer something for the searcher? I'm not trying to game Google because i don't use blackhat seo. This is the main reason that i don't like what happened. Every year they change the things at 360 degree and destroy millions of business online. They talk about content every time you ask him how to rank, but now doesn't have any value and nobody knows what the hack this update si targeting. Who can explain me that this things is normal? Shouldn't be transparent? All of us must know what the hack is this update and for what. We need explanations because Google raised on our backs.
9:11 pm on Apr 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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That's what I said a week or so ago. It feels like Google assume we're all out to game the system (we all want good results naturally, but I'm assuming most of us don't actually cheat to get that way). They bring out updates, but they won't say what they targeted. So we may well be inadvertently breaking some Google guideline, but all they won't say what they did. We are fighting blind.

As with my previous post, likening it to getting a traffic fine but not being told what you've done. We don't speed or drink, we wear our seatbelt and think we are being responsible drivers. They can't and shouldn't say 'we were targeting people who don't come to a complete stop at a stop sign', but they could say 'we are targeting people who don't follow street signs'. We can't fix what we don't know is broken.

I have performed 5 or so searches this morning. The same site had the answer box every single time, followed by a minimum of two links in the search results. Some as high as four. It's not a bad site, but no better than the other sites in our niche, but Google absolutely loves them.
3:31 am on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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They bring out updates, but they won't say what they targeted.

Why assume that everything Google does is punitive? Any change to the algorithm is likely to benefit some sites while hurting others, even if the change is made for reasons that have nothing to do with "targeting."
5:15 am on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Then Gary said he will say one thing, that the sites impacted by this update should have been because what they are doing are specifically against Google's webmaster guidelines.


Source: [seroundtable.com...]

Well, if we are talking about Fred.
7:42 am on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@andy

Not that only they constant make changes to remove the comfort of certain webmasters they also send a lot of traffic that is questionable

Problem we have we do not know to how many of us is this happening, this certainly is not happening to high street stores

Greater fool theory applies
8:02 am on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu is happening to all my friends with white, grey or blackhat niches. Google cut on every possible website. The biggest problem is that we get replaced but non sense results. Google now is a tornado/mix of good and stupid results. How they can told us that was a related content update? They replaced old websites with super content with websites that has 1 line of content Wtf Gogole, are you fried?
8:52 am on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@andy

Matt Cutts said that adwards advertisers produce good enough shopping experience and there is no need for any great content sites to rank to make the user happy.

The only exception are high street stores who are going to completely take over the rankings

Only way to survive if you are an online shop is if you have already a great number of subcribers
3:25 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu, maybe i don't have something to sell. Maybe i offer something to download, or maybe i teach people how to cut their heads, or maybe i want to offer free tickets to Ultra Music Festival this year, or ,or ,or, or... :))
4:05 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Noticed huge drop in Bing too. Seems that after this Google update, Bing copy pasted the answer box and other things. It looks like Bing is noe hand in hand with Google.
4:07 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google, soon or later i will call a lawyer because i want an explanation for anything that i lose and everything that is happen with our websites, times and money.

its going to be a nice show where david fights goliath; id like to see that; good luck! seriously!
4:09 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ionguy somebody should start that. And trust me, i'm not the first who started and not the latest who will won. In Europe things is moving against Google, in USA not.
4:14 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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yeah;maybe collective lawsuit; unless u have more than 1 lawyer; army of lawyers!?
thats why i told ya 'good luck!'
4:27 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@andynicky89 I think you be far more successful by investing the money it would take to go after Google in the courts in developing a better website.
5:33 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Something very, very strange.

For the same query:
Chrome logged in - the last position on the first page of results
Chrome incognito - the second position on the first page of results
Safari normal - the second position on the first page of results
Firefox normal - not present on the first page of results

It's like is experimenting again on Chrome users.

Also, big drop on site name -> autocomplete modifications.
5:51 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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rdbseo +
...
I see the identical things on both of my websites. They are both up with new keywords (which I was never ranking before), my Semrush visability increased for +103%, my traffic started increasing day-by-day after last weekend (right now I have +8% Google traffic and it keeps increasing - at least I hope so! :).

What I did:
- Deleted all auto affiliate links (Amazon) which were autogenerated for 3 pcs per post.
- Decreased number of ads per post.
- Added a pretty good amount of texts and newest info on topic for the posts that decreased after "Fred" update.
- Deleted a lot of outbound links on those posts too.

Hope that this means that the terrible things ended and that`s some signs of the search stabilizing. All this time (since 7-th February) my websites were "jumping" in traffic from day to day and now they started increasing.
6:14 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Then Gary said he will say one thing, that the sites impacted by this update should have been because what they are doing are specifically against Google's webmaster guidelines.

That doesn't necessarily mean it's punitive. Take Google's warning against thin affiliate pages that don't add value for the user. Such pages may be (and should be) defined as "low-quality," but that doesn't mean site owners who specialize in low-quality thin affiliate pages are being targeted for punishment. They're simply victims of an algorithm that does a better job of recognizing the difference between "low value" and "high value."

As search algorithms evolve and improve, the need for punishment should decline.
6:41 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@nick

Still to hear a pro webmaster comment

Andy can go to court and can easily prove that his website is better than competitor's who may loose a few more dollars in Adwords

Webmaster alone had little or no will to go to court cause they will have to pay google lawyers as well if they loose but if they go together costs will be small

Collecting evidence is the key to success
7:37 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I love it...
Mentat reports that he is seeing different results for the same keyword depending on the browser
Cyril says according to Semrush shows he's up +103%.

What browser is semrush reporting figures for?

Can semrush or any other similar tool really be trusted when we see serp results like Mentat reports? The relationship between Keyword and serp position seems to be "one to many".
9:08 pm on Apr 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I love it too,

While Mentat still sees something I wonder what real buyers see ?
1:49 pm on Apr 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A few of my primary keywords have dropped dramatically in their Google rankings

Since Saturday (1 of April) my site primary keywords suddenly dropped of the first page while the longtail keyword phrases were not affected at all. I must say though that just some primary keywords weren’t affected. But the fact is I use to consistently rank on page 1 for the keywords below and all of a sudden they went down on page 3 or worst some on page 4 & 5! I've checked all our crawl reports and webmaster tools and nothing has been flagged up. Has there been a Google update on the 1st of april? Anyway, a few days latter (on the 5th of April) my most important keywords were back to page 1! Then again on the 8th of April the same important keywords dropped again so dramatically (some not so dramatically like cam model and cam models that only slipped to page 2 & 3) for no apparent reason. I have checked out Mozcast but nothing that shows any high SERP movement and no official algorithm change has taken place. By the way I published a new article after the drop and added keyword-rich (not keyword stuffing) and relevant content. Could my dropped rankings be related to a Google Flux that might have been interpreted incorrectly as a negative seo attack? Well this is what I believed it was because my rankings were back up in a few days (4 days). But could the last drop be interpretated as another Flux? I know that a Flux could trigger either a slight or big drop and that is normal for any site. Please advise what I need to do or is there any rule of thumb on how to handle these kind of situations or if it is indeed a Flux do I just have to hold tight? Or has my keywords experienced a drop in rankings due to reasons other than those listed above?


[edited by: not2easy at 2:58 pm (utc) on Apr 9, 2017]
[edit reason] Compliance [/edit]

2:45 pm on Apr 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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probably not caused by a general algorithmic update.

Google's algorithm may have detected one or more suspicious characteristics about your site, reducing trust.
5:01 pm on Apr 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I haven't seen any changes in search results, in fact some have gotten better, but the traffic is zombie stuff mostly through all these algo changes. It always is. By the way, I was checking GWT and going to do a fetch and render, I rarely do that. This time it said it had a problem rendering something on our website, and what do you know? It was a google product that was having the problem. I removed it and anything left from them. No problems after that. They can't even make products that work right let alone deliver reasonable search results. Even their own bots trip over their own products. The ads don't work (but should according to them), zombies, bots, and organic results crowded by high street that don't even have the product! It's not a real search engine anymore. It's no better that than those directories from long ago.
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