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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.)
9:54 pm on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Am I the only person experiencing domain clustering? I've mentioned it before but haven't seen anybody else bring it up.

I've also noticed the past day that they are now placing Youtube videos in the 'image' portion of the answer box. Guess that makes sense, they own youtube.
10:02 pm on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I got the same at the same time.

17th the best day over a month.
18th 50% less.

My traffic is almost from Europe (French , German, Swiss and Spanish).


The same s@%t.
But in the evening of 17th (9PM PCT)

Traffic dropped for 40% (worldwide, mostly US)
10:14 pm on Apr 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Interesting, I just searched for a topic...'blue widgets', I'm in the answer box but they've used a photo of a green widget beside it, even though I have five images of blue widgets in the article. Funny.
3:43 am on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Saw the huge drop in my site starting at 10am of Apr 19. It's 35% drop comparing with the previous day. T_T. We deleted the low quality content pages at beginning of Mar, and keep eyes on the content quality and update frequency, everything goes well until last night. I don't know what happened but Google did something now.
9:32 am on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We saw half of our tracked keywords plummet between 80-100 places on Tuesday 18th, some were previously on page 1 in solid positions now on page 10+.

The strange is, the pages that are now being returned in these new positions aren't relevant at all to the keyword. The only link is that the new page being ranked contains some anchor text for the keyword, which points to the correct page!

A "site:example.com keyword" search returns the correct page on position #1 as expected. The new page is on page 2 - which suggests nothing wrong with the content, no penalty etc right?

Anybody have any idea what's going on here?
3:59 pm on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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RankRisk showing high level of Google Desktop SERP Fluctuations today April 20th 2017.

Of course it could be the start of algorithm Update, who knows :)

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5:26 pm on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The following 1 message(s) were cut out to new thread by engine. New thread at: google/4845462.htm [webmasterworld.com]
4:43 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (utc +1)
9:43 pm on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Imagine a contractor can work for a SEO agency as well that manages a competitor site, quotas and unfair reviews can be applied but you will never know about it.

To eliminate abuse google should send a review result to the webmaster who should be able appeal against any unfair measures.

In the meantime let's keep guessing
10:54 pm on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just to say that since 1 week, the traffic to my site increased by 20%, which surprised me, since it was Easter. In fact, it returned to what it used to be until last January.
11:24 am on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Starting this morning we see a drop of 80% of all our sites.
The remaining traffic is from all over the world but from germany.
All sites did see a gain in serps positions though.

ecom:germany
2:28 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@browndog
Interesting, I just searched for a topic...'blue widgets', I'm in the answer box but they've used a photo of a green widget beside it, even though I have five images of blue widgets in the article. Funny.

Funny, a little....
But if you really want funny check this one out.
[seroundtable.com...]
3:21 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Martin Ice Web

Starting this morning we see a drop of 80% of all our sites.

That's very sad indeed.
Assuming there is a Google Algorithm Update in progress. Do you think its an update of Panda or Penguin type?
5:14 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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SERPmetrics is showing very high level of SERP Fluctuation on April 20th 2017. The same is the case with Rank Risk Index (as I have posted previously) . So it seems that April 20th 2017 might be the date of Google Algorithm Update X :)
5:25 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@reseller things have been fluctuating for month now. It's as if high variability in the serps is the new norm.
5:28 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Martin Ice Web

Today I also see an 80% drop in my traffic. Or even more.

It's pathetic! So far the worst day ever of my site.

Tourism, USA
7:13 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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oops!

More "quality updates" site A replaced by site B when just last month site B has been replaced by site A, signs of a dying business model - real people (not bots) are going direct to amazon or brand sites. If not an email offer will get them there, no need for a search.
7:48 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu did you see some comebacks on some niches?
8:12 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@andy

no comebacks of real users, just zombies
9:15 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Q: What would Google Search Quality Team members do when they are really bored?

A: Roll out a Google Algorithm Update :)
9:20 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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update A to B then B to A then again A to B

amazing algorithm update while real users spend time at amazon
10:10 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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More "quality updates" site A replaced by site B when just last month site B has been replaced by site A, signs of a dying business model - real people (not bots) are going direct to amazon or brand sites. If not an email offer will get them there, no need for a search.

Google's ad revenues suggest otherwise. If there's a dying business model, it's likely to be building a commerce business around organic search without investing heavily in informational content. Just read Google's mission statement if you have any doubts on that score.
11:05 pm on Apr 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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things have been fluctuating for month now. It's as if high variability in the serps is the new norm.

Maybe something is happening beneath the surface.
2:42 am on Apr 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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More "quality updates" site A replaced by site B when just last month site B has been replaced by site A, signs of a dying business model - real people (not bots) are going direct to amazon or brand sites. If not an email offer will get them there, no need for a search.

It always shocked me how a page can rank #1 in Google one day and an algorithm change later that same page can't be found anywhere. Penalized? Sure, some sites get penalized but for the most part the sites that go from the top of the mountain to nowhere don't have any problems I would consider out of the ordinary. If nothing else, it simply shows that either Google has no idea what sites are deserving to be at the top or they are shaking up the search results for other purposes (ie. to generate more money).

You are dead right about people going straight to Amazon. I think buyers are finally learning, thanks to Google, that using a search engine to search for products is a waste of time when all the big ecommerce players have their own site search functions that are better dialed into what buyers are looking for and the inventory to back it up. A product search on Google will yield less results, with some info sites mixed in as well, while Amazon will spit out 20+ product only results (sometimes more depending on the ads Amazon shows). Google just is not efficient for product searches. I still get some sales from Google, but most of the traffic they send is useless. In fact if Google disappeared I don't think it would impact my bottom line too much. But when you think about it, how Google went from being great for ecommerce to almost useless is sad. But they did it to themselves. When a search engine ranks 2, 3 or 4+ Amazon pages from one site at the top of the search results people are eventually going to realize they should have just gone to Amazon in the first place.
3:01 am on Apr 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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But when you think about it, how Google went from being great for ecommerce to almost useless is sad.

As a user, I'd have to say that Amazon is an excellent shopping tool for some things but not for others. If you're looking to compare toasters, Amazon is just fine, but if you need a new gaucho-style saddle for your Argentinian pony, you're probably going to use Google to find a specialized vendor.

Also, repeated studies have shown that many people research products or services extensively before actually buying. That's one reason why ads are such a good fit for search-engine results pages: They provide a way for advertisers to reach prospects early in the buying cycle, before those prospects have headed off to Amazon, Walmart, Zappos, etc.
5:30 am on Apr 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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One of my sites has been slapped down to page 5-6, I have no idea why. Even after Penguin 3 hit it wasn't pathetically ranked as it is at the moment. In fact, its been online for 3 years now and never been hit with any other penalty, although I haven't updated it for more than a year. However, the information on it is still more relevant than the bottom of page 1 results for a good chunk of queries. Google is becoming a cesspool.

Also, another thing that I have noticed is that after I added a FAQ section to one of my pages, Google decided to scrape my questions that I curated, and then link to my sources... NOT my own website. This is for a somewhat commercial term. I am livid.
7:27 am on Apr 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@editorialguy

Let me guess your business model. You must be writing content and revenue is from Adsense ?

If you write great content it will end up in the answer box but I do not see how you will generate the revenue cause Adsense ads will not display in the answer box?

I foresee a great future for smartphones full of answer boxes and I wish you all the best to fit in those small "boxes"
8:13 am on Apr 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've said before that at a guess, I probably don't proceed to an actual page around 20% of the time now they have the answer box.

My site alone is down by 30% on this time last year, despite having spent the past 12 months adding new and unique content and going through old pages, greatly improving them.

Despite having recovered from Fred (which is weird because they said sites hit deserved to be hit, and I've made no changes since Fred came out), it's just no longer viable for me to earn my living this way. I do think it will only get worse.

I hate coming here and whinging. It's just so frustrating when you look at the figures. I do agree with mosxu.
8:52 am on Apr 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I forgot to add that I've noticed today a very large company owned by Nestle dominating my niche. They are writing about topics in my niche, but just your usual generic cookie cutter type content. I've never seen them rank for information type content before, but today they are everywhere.
11:10 am on Apr 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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i dont still understand how my websites with no links ranks in 1st position but after an update....its gone. I cant understand how my websites have quality enough to be 1 but not later. Or google is stupid or they dont know how to interpret the information.
I can understand that i can move to position 5, 10 or 12 but 50 positions?
11:22 am on Apr 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@lefrontal, i have 3 websites that was on top 1-5 and on 10 March all of them are now on page 5-10 or NA.
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