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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 :)
10:07 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Maybe this info can be useful for someone - I have one main site and work on it most of the time. I'm also building some backlinks for it. Nice looking backlinks on good sites, nothing spammy.

I also have two sites where my writers just trow content, another guy add some pictures in posts and publish it. I consider these sites very young and for now I'm not doing anything on them.

The result since the Fred update: my main site lost 35% of its traffic and two new sites are 200% up. So maybe it is the best just to publish your content without much fine tuning, SEO, backlinks and other stuff we guys think are important.
1:22 am on May 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@vantelli - in the past, that was always a sure sign of a major algo update. The garbage would rise, the cream would fall, but then it would slowly correct itself...rinse and repeat on every new update. I thought we were over that and onto bump-less algo updates. This one is a major bump in my vertical...again. SERPs have remained pretty much the same, yet GA showing positive moves. Traffic very spotty (on and off) and conversions at zero for the past three days. Just when you think you are back in, you're out again....kind the opposite of Costanza.
I hate to break out the Z word, but they are back!

Correction, after further review, GA is showing positive moves while WMT is showing a large decline in sessions, go figure...the declining metric fits with what's happening.
2:51 am on May 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yes, zombies are definitely back and just as worse as ever. The last time I got conversions they happened within the space of 2-3 hours on Monday, but the last 2 days I havent had anything. Very obvious manipulation by Google once again. Like stealing content and personal information from everyone for the google home device wasn't enough, they now have to squeeze every last cent from the rest of us.

Years of giving amazon preferential treatment in the serps has completely and utterly backfired on them. Now they have to scrape the bottom the barrel for converting traffic.
2:40 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Been dead for days, all of sudden today there is some life, traffic quality is still low but it converted today.
6:19 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I had a google fred recovery yesterday and I'm seeing movement on other sites today. Looks like an update to me.
6:36 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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mozcast going crazy last couple of days
great to hear that some of us recovered
6:43 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ionguy did you tried to see Algoroo? I tried yesterday to take a look but it does not load, the same today.
6:46 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Algoroo is down currently for me also, it's down a lot recently. but the others are working fine, accuranker is showing furious status [accuranker.com...]
6:50 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@spunkle, interesting movements. I saw the first moves last 3 days when again the sites that was penalized in 7-10 March have lost again few pages. I did't see any improvements. I'm curious what the hack Google works on. Seems like a doctor in a laboratory who fail on experiments :)
6:54 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Something weird happened to our traffic at 16:00-21:00 UTC (12:00-17:00 EDT; 18:00-23:00 CEST) on Wednesday. Seems to be back to normal.
6:57 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Shaddows. How much pages did it recovered? We must talk in pages because on all my websites was 5+ pages penalty :)
7:18 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I wasn't penalised. Generally business is good (although most business is repeat, most acquisition is Google Organic - though paid converts substantially better).

But the demographics and landing pages during that window were very strange. If I were a betting man, I would hazard there was a change to personalisation cohorts, not actual ranking. But since I am instead data-led, and the window was too narrow (and I was not watching live), I am in fact clueless.
7:34 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My kingdom for a recovery story :) Please keep those sunshine posts coming!
12:35 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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traffic is very low for 3 days now
2:33 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@andynicky89 algoroo is fine here; try proxy
4:19 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone, has anyone else noticed a significant drop in traffic today? I'm trying to figure out if it's a Google thing or if it's just my normal, seasonal drop due to the school year ending. Seems to be a month earlier than normal this year. My traffic is already down from the March Google update, but now today, it's suddenly down more than 10%.
4:33 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Cralamarre, same here. My drops started 3 days ago.
4:54 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just wish to mention that Rank Risk Index, AccuRanker, SERPmetrics and Algoroo are showing high level of SERP fluctuations today May 18th 2017.

What does all that mean? Maybe possible Algorithm Update :)
5:03 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@reseller for sure is not a rollback.
5:39 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My site is over 10 years old and I have lots of pages ranking at or near the top of Google for their search terms. In fact, Google is really where I get most of my traffic, which is why every time Google does one of these recent updates, my traffic is affected big time. Even a bump from first place to second place results a significant drop in visitors for me.

What seems to be hurting me the most these days, though, is these darn Featured snippets where they take a site from further down the list and bump it ahead of me, even though my page was ranked first in the organic search. And as if to rub salt in the wound, Google includes an image from my article in the snippet from the other site! Like, what the what?

Anyway, today my traffic is down significantly, yet I'm not seeing anything different when I search Google for the terms where I rank high. If I was number 1 yesterday, I'm still number 1 today. Yet my traffic is down by at least 10%. I can't explain it.
5:57 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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There is definitely a big update rolling out today in the UK. The semrush sensor is at 7.1 and traffic is way way down for my favourite website....for the last few hours non existent from G.
6:13 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Any chance the traffic drop is only temporary, or is this another slap in the face from G for following the rules?
6:51 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Any chance the traffic drop is only temporary, or is this another slap in the face from G for following the rules?

There's always a chance, but it is probably just a continuation of their project to destroy small business.
8:32 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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slow trade means hungry dogs, personally in my industry I do not see any quality updates just trying to drive conversions to certain sites
8:40 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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On 17 may I notice a severe drop in traffic up to 30%. I have a blog with almost 300 article products/info etc (amazon affiliate). I don't build links just focus on long tail keywords.

Semrush shows an update from Google. Is anyone having the same kind of drop in organic traffic?

Thanks,
9:34 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yep, I'm seeing a 15% or more drop in traffic today.
9:38 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I check 10 of my competitors with SEMrush and all have a drop in organic search. Seems to be a big update
10:26 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I just checked my site with SEMrush. Never used it before so maybe I'm not using it properly, but up until yesterday (the 17th), my organic traffic seems to have remained the same. It dropped on May 4 but seems to have remained solid right up to, and including, yesterday.

Is there a way to see today's report on SEMrush, or do have to wait till tomorrow?
10:48 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I guess I'm also starting to wonder, if there was a major Google update today, why is no one else here talking about it?
1:57 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What seems to be hurting me the most these days, though, is these darn Featured snippets where they take a site from further down the list and bump it ahead of me, even though my page was ranked first in the organic search. And as if to rub salt in the wound, Google includes an image from my article in the snippet from the other site! Like, what the what?


I don't like that they do that either. When they've used my image with somebody else's article, it hasn't given me a traffic boost. I pay to have images custom made to stand out from the crowd, and the crowd then gets the benefit of my original images next to their content. It is pretty frustrating. I did start reading a news article about how this is hurting sites yesterday but had to go out and now I can't find it.

As for traffic, I won't know the numbers until 5pm when the Analytics day ticks over (in Australia), but looking at my live traffic, the numbers seem to be higher than they usually are on a Friday...which is my worst day of the week. Fingers crossed Google is giving me some love :)
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