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Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2017

     
8:21 am on May 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 5 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4842918.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 4:18 am on May 2, 2017 (PDT -8)


Last month April 2017 hasn't been a nice month to webmasters as far as Google Algorithm Updates and SERPs fluctuations are concerned. There are several WebmasterWorld friends who have lost big portions of their organic traffic. If you just take a look at RankRanger's Google SERP Fluctuations chart you would notice dates of medium to high levels of fluctuations on April 17th, April 20th, April 25th, April 29th and April 30th. Those are just indications of the "volatile SERPs environment" of April 2017.

I'm just wondering what would the current month brings us of Google Algorithm Updates surprises :)

Personally I wish to see on this thread happy posts reporting recoveries and the return of at least parts of what have been lost of Google organic traffic during the latest few months. Let's hope so :)
9:57 am on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Content needs to be 3-4 times better if you manage an EDM, a nonsense brand piece of content will out rank easy an article put out by an exact match domain

@NickMNS

Wonder if you manage a brand or an EDM?
11:51 am on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Big mess with goog again. This stupid search engine completly ignores search keywords. Searching for X Widget will show Y widget and Z widget while x is completly ignored. Y and Z widgets are on big brands like apple, amazon and ebay.

I realy can´t think that this is something that this stupid AI has learned. Are poeple realy that stupid that they search for a powercord when looking für an Iphone usb cable or a network cable?
12:00 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I forgot to mention that the first 3 entries are matching the search and all 3 entries are from amazon. It is like google gets payed for showing wrong results.
12:52 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu
Wonder if you manage a brand or an EDM?

No and No

The fact that brands have the "power" to get thin-content to rank doesn't surprise me. If you have a large site with billions of pages, each with many links pointing to it then you have so much juice you could rank anything. As long as the thin content remain a small portion of the total content. And remember that one tenth of one percent of one billion equals a million. So the small portion may appear to surface in the rankings a lot but it still remains a small fraction of the total.

As far EDM, to me this is an aberration. I don't see the relevance of how a domain name can be an indicator of site quality.
1:12 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Saw a massive drop Tuesday in traffic.. some 20% off normal. Anyone else see unusual drops?

UPDATE: appears to be an analytics data error. We have no data for several hours late yesterday, which was throwing yesterday's stats off. Our traffic HAS been softer than usual since Sunday, but accounting for the data error no worse than the usual day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade drip drip lower. [22 year old site]

[edited by: westcoast at 2:05 pm (utc) on May 10, 2017]

1:32 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi Guys,

I don't understand how is it possible that my traffic is now less than before, but getting lots of sign ups and conversions than before. So strange but at the end very happy for the results. ;) Oh and I forgot to mention that some of my primary keywords dropped a week ago for the upteenth time from 1st page of google and they haven't recovered yet. Again traffic is less but signups and conversions are super. How could this be?
1:35 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS

so you do run an EDM and also recently moved to https, hope that will work out well for you
1:54 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yes one of my sites that has no traffic was switched to https ahead of a big upgrade.

Did you mean EMD exact match domain or are you referring to something else with EDM? No EMD, for the record.
2:39 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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EDM = exact match domain
3:10 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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MED = exact match domain
3:27 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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MED = forgot to take dyslexia meds ;)

That's OK, I think google is off it's meds too.
3:30 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu how does the exact matched domain work (DME). You purchase the domain buybluewidgets.com and then create a site that sells only blue widgets. Then if someone wants a red widget they need to go to another website. I'm exaggerating to some extent, but when you get traffic from a rich variety of keywords, how is EMD even still relevant. More so now, when even a single keyword can return different results depending various factors such as geo-location, history and intent.
4:11 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Nick

Would blue-widgets.com work? If you do not have an EMD how will your xyz.com beat amazon, Walmart or even blue-widgets.com based on intent ? History will take time and location may not even relate to the product/service.
6:06 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I got hammered by this update.

Got a question for you guys/gals,

I just ran a semrush report on our domain, I have a couple domains that have been identified as a blog network linking back to me:

"54 backlinks from other domains appear to be associated by the same Google Analytics ID (UAxxxx) Potential link network is detected."

I got a feeling that is the source of my misery.

Any advice? I contact the webmaster, and hopefully get the links removed, or disavow file? or both?
8:01 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I was just listening to a googler give an hour long presentation on SEM and SEO.

In the presentation, free SERPs on the page were a little blip way at the bottom, probably not visible on a lot of screens.

And they conveniently forgot Google Answers. With "answers" there's no longer any free SERPs above the fold.

How convenient.

The presentation was nothing but "buy more PPC from us".

There was literally nothing about SEO. With bad math supporting it such as combing percentages - "43% free SEPRs and 54% paid make total paid+free reach 98%" - you can't full even a 3rd grader with that logi because clearly there's NO intersection and NO interference whatsoever, you know....The other "great" argument was "if you a position #1 and get 100 visitors a day, buy PPC from us , so that adds you another 50" - except that if a PPC above you makes your ad not #1 but effectively #2 and instead of 100 now brings half, 50, and 50 via PPC - effectively making half of your organic traffic paid. Great for G, bankruptcy for small business.
8:08 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mboydnv , only 54? You are lucky. Do both.

You know how easy it is to create 5400 and even 54000 links? $5. Your business and thousands of hours of your work are hanging by the thread of some ONE competitor not liking you. Or being lazy enough and instead of promoting themselves (hard) just killing your site/page via negative SEO.

Google is nuts to allow that.
11:39 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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sounds like "30k a Month" wants to start a new Text Link Ads business or is still trying to hold on to his :)
2:24 am on May 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@pauly66 same thing is happening to me. My organic traffic is about 40% lower than before but my conversions about 50% higher than before.

System

3:41 am on May 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Let's be careful to stay on topic.

If you want to discuss changes to the Google serps post here,
or go here to discuss Google's non converting zombie traffic [webmasterworld.com]
or go here to discuss competing with Amazon [webmasterworld.com]

If you want to talk about something other than serp changes PLEASE START A NEW THREAD :)

[edited by: goodroi at 2:31 pm (utc) on May 11, 2017]

3:57 pm on May 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@westcoast same here; posted about this at previous page; drop in traffic since sunday
till today my traffic is very low but no changes for main keywords so, i think something with longtail
8:23 pm on May 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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No obvious changes here. Google traffic is up his week (compared to last week), but only by a little.
5:35 pm on May 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ionguy the same here. I have the same positions, but i've lost traffic. Long tail for sure.
11:45 am on May 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>> Personally I wish to see on this thread happy posts reporting recoveries and the return of at least parts of what have been lost of Google organic traffic during the latest few months. Let's hope so :)

Nope. 25% down since February, we've been working hard on it, and results are still grizzly. Our Dev team should be working on new features - instead, they're sweating away on trivial changes to the website to address really pernickety Search Console quibbles.

We're recognized in our industry for having amazing, really useful content. Google should be focused on this, not the b****y silly stuff they're trying to address with Fred and Phantom.

This is so frustrating. We'll get there eventually with this, but it's going to put people without reasonable-sized Dev teams out of business.
2:12 pm on May 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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know your pain leonidas
2:28 pm on May 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Leonidas - Have you tried trendy link bait titles leading to spammy, keyword loaded paginated content or briefcases of cash? Those all seem to work well these days. ;)
You are not alone.
2:08 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This month's SERP change topic = [youtube.com...]
Probably not because nothing is happening but rather everyone has given up.
2:42 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@samwest :))
4:03 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Rlilly sounds like "30k a Month" wants to start a new Text Link Ads business or is still trying to hold on to his :)

Sounds like after 10 years of being on this forum you know nothing and make assumptions. Time well spent mate, keep learning
7:47 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am lost. I have been focusing on content. Worked on hundreds of pages. The result? I now have 1300 less pages indexed according to the sitemap info on WMT. I have noticed this game before. The more I add, the more structured data goes up and then at a certain point Google just starts to take things away. Kind of like saying - Oh you can't rank that high so we will devalue you. This is becoming very obvious Google.
8:49 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My rank started again to drop....again.................... [prnt.sc...]
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