Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.198.106.21

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & andy langton & goodroi

Featured Home Page Discussion

Google Updates and SERP Changes - June 2017

     
3:35 pm on Jun 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 21, 2004
posts:3254
votes: 210



System: The following message was cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4847200.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 10:37 am on Jun 1, 2017 (utc -5)


Happy June! I'm seeing an increased correlation with technical SEO and improved rankings. Improving page speed and site crawl ability makes Google happier with the sites I am working on.

Most of the people that are coming to me for help are using outdated SEO tactics that Google has devalued. The good news is I've been able to recover many rankings for these sites using the old strategies just updating the tactics to 2017. The bad news is Google keeps taking away organic real estate in the serps so even top rankings are generating less traffic for me.


Please remember that off topic comments aka any comment that isn't focused on Google Updates and SERP changes will be split off to its own thread to make it easier for the community to follow the different Google SEO topics.
12:47 am on June 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3158
votes: 220


NYCTech -- Those visits you see with Firefox 41 in the UA are coming from a botnet. Those "visitors" aren't real humans but instead are bots from the botnet.

I'm been seeing activity from this same botnet on several of my sites for at least six months, and believe that it's hitting a lot of sites on the web. You can block it in your .htaccess via the UA.
6:59 am on June 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 11, 2008
posts:1434
votes: 154


RE: Bots.

For those who do not usually wander off the Google SERP reservation, please see Lucy's guide to Robots 2017 (no FF41 in there though- 40.1, but not 41)

At Home with the Robots: 2017 edition [webmasterworld.com]
8:39 am on June 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 15, 2004
posts:305
votes: 36


@NYCTech

can you check the logs if those bots are loading all the site elements maybe that's what it is, misleading google that your site is not loading and if there are so many of them goodbye
12:56 pm on June 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts: 983
votes: 202


I think everyone here who keeps waiting for SERP improvement might want to read the very short yet insightful book "Who Moved My Cheese" by Spencer Johnson MD.

[edited by: not2easy at 2:09 pm (utc) on Jun 6, 2017]
[edit reason] Go read the ToS [/edit]

8:07 pm on June 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 23, 2015
posts:241
votes: 72



@westcoast: It's almost as if these new sites aren't getting a boost, but rather that all of the really old sites like ours are getting extreme penalties levied against them in some extreme, unspecified manner


The older the site, the worse your backlink profile. According to current flavor-of-the-week Google algo.

Because 20-15 years ago people used to do link exchanges, forum posts, comments posts etc. All of which is now "bad links".

And as sites try to get from the rut, webmasters modify them, the old links become "new" links - new URLs, for instance, even if slightly changed. All this is carrying negative link weights pointing at your current domain.

As I mentioned many times, with 80% of the web right now being scrapers, and with Google assuming too much "to fight spam", old domains become a liability. Not because you are a spammer, but because how web worked 10-15+ years ago, and hence, mathematically.
8:10 pm on June 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 23, 2015
posts:241
votes: 72


Guys, watch this:


>>@SnowMan68:
I feel bad for the folks that are getting slammed right now. I know that feeling, we've been there post panda. It sucked to the tune of 80% of our organic traffic. We made a lot of improvements and recovered from that hell. Then we were back there again post domain migration, losing 60% of our traffic. This is the first time in almost 9 months we've seen a positive impact


@SnowMan68, how long ago did you migrate to a new domain?
8:34 pm on June 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 23, 2015
posts:241
votes: 72



@RedBar:
a friend's site I run has a keyword1keyword2 domain, it has reigned supreme for 15 years, his image for this keywords has likewise been the #1 result for the same amount of time. It's not a money keyword thing, it's humourous, nothing to get excited about.

His image has completely disappeared from Google's results, no matter how far down one searches it is gone, his index page has gone and now his "about.html" page is ranked #1.


Sounds like Penguin penalty. Check backlinks.

With 80% of all backlinks being scrapers and junk and G negative link weights, it is mathematics and not "if" but "when" everyone other than Too Bigs To Fails are going to get hit via a Penguin.
9:16 pm on June 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 10, 2017
posts:116
votes: 28


My traffic is slowly rising. It is really weird as I expected a big slap from Google, last week I changed approximately 500 url's from...

mysite.com/Widget-Care/how-to-clean-a-widget

to...

mysite.com/how-to-clean-a-widget

Since then, traffic has started to go up.

I've said it before and I will say it again, I hate how Google pay attention to links, period. As somebody above said, SEO methods 10 years ago may have included submitting to link directories, posting a link in a forum signature etc., and now that's frowned upon by Google. My only blessing is I was pretty much too lazy to do much chasing up for links.

I have people contact me almost daily to offer to write a 'blog post' for my site, all they want back is to have a link to their site at the end. I thank them but decline the offer every time. It would be nice for me and for them, but I'm not risking it with Google.
12:08 am on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 10, 2012
posts:450
votes: 17


Hope everyone is watching....

@SnowMan68, how long ago did you migrate to a new domain?


A little over a year ago. The domain we switched to is 16 years old.
12:15 am on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 10, 2017
posts:116
votes: 28


Wow, a friend in Canada just asked me to do a search to see how her site ranks in Australia. This is how the order went...

Top three listings were ads >
Four organic >
Three additional ads >
Six organic >
Three ads >

I've never seen that many ads before although it was a commercial search (to do with immigration).
7:53 am on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2008
posts:1221
votes: 61


Yesterday has been a big change in serps in our niche. And it was a positive change. Not looking like a role back but a new set of serps. It looks like a good mix from different domains. Authority has been degraded and even smaller sites with good content moved up (including us). And it is the first time that we see amazon got hit big time. From #1 on first page to #1 on second page ( i realy like this, as amazon donīt even gives any "compelling" information but manufacturer description )
I hope the changes we did are now pay out.

ecom, germany
10:55 am on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 15, 2004
posts:305
votes: 36


what if for love of speed Google lets open the door to negative seo, using chrome data modified by hacked computers
2:04 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:2611
votes: 237


So far Monday, Tuesday and into today my traffic is back to normal other than it is currently averaging 60.6% mobile which is usually my desktop average and, strangely, Google at Mountain View plus Amazon keep showing up as single page views on Android.

What's that about?
2:17 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 20, 2017
posts:18
votes: 4


@mosxu - The requests look pretty normal. Either they're bots that manage to look very real, actual browsers that are automated, or they're a click farm with real people actually visiting pages using browsers that have been modified to be very slow.

There are a lot of them, and they've been increasing their attacks. Yesterday was the worst we've seen, and while the firewall stops a lot of them, it doesn't stop them all, and it's created some bottlenecks for regular users (false positives). I suspect they're increasing in intensity because it's working - in our case, traffic from search is down about 85%.

If you're in a niche where you get a lot of valuable traffic from search, you have a good ranking, and you haven't been attacked, yet, you should start planning. Whoever is doing this is very, very clever, and what they're doing works well, so I'm sure they'll expand to other niches. Based on their pattern of attacks, they are probably doing it based on keywords - as specific pages on our site started getting traffic, those pages were attacked. Maybe they're using SEMRush or some other tool to identify sites outranking them for specific keywords, then attacking those sites broadly and the specific URLs in a more targeted fashion, using a lot of browser variations and routing traffic through lots of IPs in lots of countries so it's hard to identify. The only really obvious pattern is that it happens in bursts - suddenly there's lots of very slow traffic, mostly international, and all of it slowly loads pages fully prior to bouncing.
3:01 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 15, 2004
posts:305
votes: 36


@NYCTech

great work,

similar patterns here pages ranking well are under attack and analytics reports them as slow loading in a given day but no these pages load instant
4:26 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 3, 2015
posts:278
votes: 114


Zero conversions the last few days while traffic numbers remain relatively stable.... adwords is also failing to convert on once again, PROVEN terms that have always been consistent (atleast they were from 2012 until the last 1.5-2 years). I only use them to test whether G will still drain my account and to keep a closer eye on zombie patterns. Budget gets reduced significantly but not paused.
6:15 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 23, 2015
posts:241
votes: 72


Here's a reason @SnowMan68 's old website recovered, while your other old domains are tanking. He changed a domain less than 1 year ago. Because it was nearly , and mathematically (I am guessing), impossible to drag his old domain out of current Penguin's hell via negative link weights on all the old links.

Google should be proud of itself. Do make those normal small businesses churn-n-burn like the spammers do! Or pay us ransom via Adwords/PLA!


@SnowMan68, how long ago did you migrate to a new domain?

A little over a year ago. The domain we switched to is 16 years old.
6:49 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 10, 2012
posts:450
votes: 17


Here's a reason @SnowMan68 's old website recovered, while your other old domains are tanking. He changed a domain less than 1 year ago. Because it was nearly , and mathematically (I am guessing), impossible to drag his old domain out of current Penguin's hell via negative link weights on all the old links.


I don't remember the part where I said I switched domains because of Penguin? I said that we dealt with Panda issues and recovered from them.

I know that feeling, we've been there post panda. It sucked to the tune of 80% of our organic traffic. We made a lot of improvements and recovered from that hell.


It wasn't for another two years that we decided to migrate to a new domain. It was the acronym of our brand, much shorter and easier to remember. It had been 301'd to our homepage for a few years prior to that point.

Then we were back there again post domain migration, losing 60% of our traffic.


During our migration, we switched to HTTPS at the same time. Probably a mistake to have that many moving parts.

We could never really get much going on the new domain, just slow growth and then get kicked back down. That's when we did the following....

We killed off a bunch of useless pages. Some of the pages have probably been on the site for close to 8 years. They once helped bring in traffic, but over time became dated.
Made changes to some paginated sequence issues we had, using improper canonicals back to the first pages of the sequence.
We have been adding a ton of content. Resources that aren't found anywhere in our niche. Word count isn't the end all be all, i get that. But about 80% of our content is anywhere from 2000 to 3500 with all photos shot in house. The rest is 1300+. Nothing thin, but not because short is bad. Just because it doesn't answer the question properly.


Which led to a recovery on May 18th.

You really don't know a lot about my site. To be making claims like you did is dangerous, especially if people on WW believe what you say.

I get it, you have a negative attitude towards Google. They could care less about you, me, or the next person. It is what it is.

IMO, you have a couple options. Do nothing or work to fix your issues with Google. Either one you decide on is fine with me. Just don't be spreading false information.
7:57 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2008
posts:1221
votes: 61


@sowman68, one question. Do you have a top or side menubar on our detail pages?
8:38 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:May 22, 2017
posts:10
votes: 2


@SnowMan68
if I'm reading you correctly.. you believe you improved your site to be more "up to panda update standards", thin content issue?

I'm asking because I'm going crazy these days. On May 17th, I lost roughly 60% of my organic google traffic. I would gladly fix whatever is needed if I could point my finger at it.
My latest theory is that "thin content" could be my issue, so to say. My effected sites have some category indexes that could be tweaked (lets say, unnecessary repetitive stuff), still unique stuff though.

I'm just afraid to touch anything so I don't push my sites further in the trash.... bleh
12:58 am on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 10, 2012
posts:450
votes: 17


@sowman68, one question. Do you have a top or side menubar on our detail pages?


We have a menu system that is similar to Amazon, albeit a lot smaller! We have a top bar menu that allows you to get into our main categories and one level of sub category. We also use a menu on the side of the website that changes as your drill down into the site, only showing relevant categories for the page you are currently on. This helped us to reduce the amount of links per page and created better relevancy for the links on the side bar.

if I'm reading you correctly.. you believe you improved your site to be more "up to panda update standards", thin content issue?


We tackled thin content issues, fixed technical issues, and improved UX with in depth content that keeps people on the site.

We are providing real value to the visitor, which is apparent by the improved metrics. Specifically time on site, page views per visit and a large reduction in bounce rate (all of these things together, I don't think any individually provide the bigger picture). We are using HotJar to monitor the visitors. Creating heatmaps and visitor recordings to completely understand what is going on.

Our content is more technical in nature than our competitors, whereas they are a little more fluff. We do our best to keep it easy to read, include a ton of pictures to help explain the content and include videos where necessary. We are making sure to answer their questions completely and providing links to other highly relevant content we have written on the subject. This is helping keep them on the site.

I'll be a hundred percent honest. We paid a well known technical SEO person to go through our site with a fine tooth comb and provide a technical audit. Let's face it, we all stare at our sites day after day. Some things you will naturally overlook. Having a fresh pair of eyes, someone who looks at 100's or 1000's of sites and has real experience fixing algo issues is worth it IMO. The most important thing is that they have to be a real expert. Someone with access to a lot of data. Why will they help? They don't care about the same things you do with your site, only that you fix the underlying issues and recover.

Naturally someone will challenge this, say that there is zero chance you can recover. There is nothing wrong with their site. Their site has been great for years and so on. I think we have all been at this long enough to know stuff changes quick online and especially with Google. If you don't do anything and get lucky enough to recover, there is a good chance you'll get hit again. Something about your site Google doesn't like. If you need Google traffic to survive, then you have to figure out what it is.
7:57 am on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 10, 2017
posts:116
votes: 28


Naturally someone will challenge this, say that there is zero chance you can recover. There is nothing wrong with their site. Their site has been great for years and so on. I think we have all been at this long enough to know stuff changes quick online and especially with Google. If you don't do anything and get lucky enough to recover, there is a good chance you'll get hit again. Something about your site Google doesn't like. If you need Google traffic to survive, then you have to figure out what it is.


I agree with this. I think we look at our sites with rose coloured glasses. We put so much work into it and it's sometimes hard to be objective. Somebody on here said to me something along the lines that if my content isn't the problem, maybe the site is. It was a bit of a bitter pill to swallow but I took it on board and have started to take the appropriate steps. Just like you with your SEO expert, it is actually nice to have an honest opinion, even if it may sting a little to hear it.

I was talking to my 14 year old daughter about upgrading and modernising the site and she said 'yeah, your site does look a bit old'. Gotta love her honesty.
1:59 pm on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts: 983
votes: 202


Great positive outlook, however it doesn't explain the other clear issue of ON/OFF traffic patterns and sudden conversion death. When you have page one SERP results that pull in traffic and conversions one day and not the next, or for mornings only then there is something else completely at play. And no, it's not a speed issue. Site is monitored hourly by GTMtrx.

The specific site I am monitoring (and over a dozen others with similar patterns) sees non converting jumps to over 100 visits instantly, then drops back to zero runs for hours, or even days. Based on historical evidence, page one results should not deliver zero or drip traffic patterns. Of course every situation is different and I am probably comparing your apples to my oranges.
6:47 pm on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2945
votes: 508


I was talking to my 14 year old daughter about upgrading and modernising the site and she said 'yeah, your site does look a bit old'. Gotta love her honesty.

Then again, her demographic may not be your target audience. It's like anything else: If Foreign Policy decided to hire the art director from J-14, its circulation might take quite a hit.
7:24 pm on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 15, 2004
posts:305
votes: 36


@samwest

NYCTech idea seem to apply here we do see international Ips doing noting in the browser pretending page is not loading and then maybe click farms take over.

How is your international traffic behaving ?
7:38 pm on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts: 983
votes: 202


@mosxu - I don't get any international "bot" traffic because I use CF CDN to set a page challenge and because I prefer to do business with the US, Canada, UK and Australia. Since putting this is place, my garbage traffic has really gone down. Any visits from other countries are qualified as human. My traffic has always been 90% US.
7:42 pm on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 20, 2017
posts:18
votes: 4


@mosxu
Our international traffic is mostly these bots/clickfarms trying to load very slowly. We've had, supposedly, 441 users on the site from Romania over the last few days, 100% of whom were new users, and all of whom came directly to pages deep within the site. 98.64% of them bounced, after having load times averaging over 15 seconds. By contrast, the average US visitor loaded in a couple seconds and had a 25% bounce rate. Other countries they're using had similarly terrible stats (and they do hit us from within the US sometimes, too).

It did occur to me that maybe they're doing this with Fiddler, which would make it pretty easy to insert latency and probably let them use real Chrome browsers to maximize the odds that Google accepts their bogus page speed data. I'm not sure how to test that hypothesis or whether that might help us figure out a way to stop them, but so far our efforts to thwart them are not working very well.
9:10 pm on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 15, 2004
posts:305
votes: 36


Problem is that analytics is only using 1% sample for speed test, we get some mixed messages from pages that load extremely fast and rank well

I can take one day to load a page in chrome, one user may not trigger filters but many of them as NYCTech put it can have serious consequences
2:30 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 8, 2017
posts: 11
votes: 1


What I am seeing is a continuos decline in page views from start of may to june.
By example, my site recovered 90% from Fred. But it is slowing losing page views. From 14K daily (may) to 10K (june).
(Brazil, old domain)
2:43 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:May 22, 2017
posts:10
votes: 2


I've stated it a few times, and I'll say it again - google May 17 update made zero common sense, at least in my niche.

Top results for my strongest keywords are filled with scraped content, redirects, multiple popups.... etc.

Like someone reverted google algos to what they were... 5 or even more years ago.
This 276 message thread spans 10 pages: 276
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members