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Google Updates and SERP Changes - June 2017

     
3:35 pm on Jun 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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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Most of the people that are coming to me for help are using outdated SEO tactics that Google has devalued.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.
2:59 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NYCTech

I suggest to put forward your findings to John Muller,
4:32 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Snowman, thanx for the reply. So, if you hired an expert in SEO it sounds like you installed excessive seo technics?
So did you reworked your site to please google or to please the user?
5:32 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I suggest to put forward your findings to John Muller,


:D that's a good one! lol
I'm sure he'll get right on it.
6:35 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@sam

John Muller will get nothing right there is a quota system based on illegal reporting of every company card processing...
7:56 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yup and thanks to their sneaky algorithmic SERP methods I have my first binary sales week in a 17 year history...all zeros and ones.
8:10 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@sam

you must understand that there is nowhere you can hide plus that your business has to feed the system to get a decent quota (obviously your company is processing quite a few credit cards at the moment)

the more external traffic, the more you are expected to spend

you have got the free traffic in the past now it is your turn to bring the traffic

try some TV ads or something
8:26 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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One quick question : looking at your landing pages, what is the % of visits on your homepage ?
Mine is very low, and it always have been like that. Maybe my penalty is for not having a strong homepage ?
10:13 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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One quick question : looking at your landing pages, what is the % of visits on your homepage ?
Mine is very low, and it always have been like that.

That's perfectly normal if you get a lot of traffic from search, because queries tend to be specific. For every person who searches on "laptops" or "diseases," there probably are a lot more who search on "Widgetco LT-1" or " bronchitis" (which are likely to bring up inside pages, not home pages, in search results).
4:57 am on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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try some TV ads or something


sorry, don't have the required 100k+
These days seems you spend 100k just to make 50k.
The rest goes to someone else...YKW, just for the privilege to show.
5:30 am on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Traffic quality seems to have slipped tremendously the last few weeks. It's a sad day when things couldn't get any tighter yet Google still manages to squeeze every last penny with the same amount of traffic. I've reduced my adwords budget from $100 a day to $1 (once again) and I got a call from an Adwords rep today trying to get me to increase my bids when I told him the traffic wasn't converting.

Yeah, nah mate... (classic Aussie way of saying NO!)

After some persistence, he finally hung up and claimed he would ask about any issues they were having. But I doubt I'll hear back until they decide to try and drain my account again.
8:03 am on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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EditorialGuy : yes indeed, but when you had 4000 sessions/day and only 15 sessions on your homepage as a landing page, it means that you don't have any kind of "brand". This is a bad signal for Google in terms of expertise - authority - trust, I think.
12:30 pm on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Traffic quality seems to have slipped tremendously the last few weeks.

I couldn't agree more.
7:54 pm on June 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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but when you had 4000 sessions/day and only 15 sessions on your homepage as a landing page, it means that you don't have any kind of "brand". This is a bad signal for Google in terms of expertise - authority - trust, I think.

I'd guess that Google determines things like expertise/authority/trust with other signals, such as links. If you've got the leading site about three-toed sloths that covers all aspects of those creatures (what they are, where they live, what they eat, how they give birth, how to raise them in a zoo, etc.), you should acquire links to a variety of inside pages that will attract traffic via a range of queries. That's a better sign of authority, IMO, than how much traffic you get on your home page.
12:15 am on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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you should acquire links to a variety of inside pages that will attract traffic via a range of queries. That's a better sign of authority, IMO, than how much traffic you get on your home page.


I think the dynamics of linking has completely changed, most people when they share a link now do it on social media, be it facebook, twitter, linkedin etc normally the link is some sort of redirect and not followed by Google. Where any natural linking does occur it will have a 90% chance of being a rel=nofollow link that Google will discount. Today's internet is very different than the one that pagerank was designed for.
4:26 am on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Last time someone freely shared an open link on a personal or business website in my vertical was around 2006, right before Matt Cutt's mentioned rel="nofollow" on Aug 29 2007. lol

From what I'm looking at right now with dozens of top 3 SERP listings and even a few answer box positions, my site in question has been at virtually zero traffic and zero conversions all weekend. These are medium volume key phrases. How is that even mathematically possible with an A/B gtmx speed rating and 2 second page load time? I guess people really aren't using Google anymore...at least 90% less than in the past in my neck of the woods Must all be sharing instagram photos or snapchats cause even facebook is dead.
9:28 am on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I see a very nice increase of traffic since June 1st (10-15 %*) from Google's organic search. This increase profits to all kind of pages of my site, and from all kind of platforms (desktop,mobile, tablets).

I can't tell if there is a particular reason, or if it 's coincidence, but for example:

- it's been exactly one year, since I switched my site to HTTP/2 . The switch had no significant impact (positive or negative), but may be after a year, it's starting to help.

- two weeks ago, I finally succeeded to switch to PHP 7, which reduced again more my TTFB. (it was already low, bellow 300ms, but now it's closer to 200ms). But I guess it's too recent to see the effect on ranking/indexing (if even it has an impact).

- 3 weeks ago, I switched my 300x600 ad bloc to 300x250. I don't know if it can have an impact to have smaller ad "surface". My motivation to switch was because I found that 300x250 creatives were more interesting than 300x600 ones.

As a reminder, I operate only one site, on a dedicated server using nginx and PHP.

* for me this is nice, for others it might not be enough.
1:10 pm on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Samwest I've had absolutely no conversions this weekend either. My traffic numbers are dipped slightly which is standard on the weekend, but to not have a single conversion is unbelievable. My newsletter has historically converted at somewhere around 3-4% but on zombie days it is a big fat zero, which also means I won't be making any money that day either.

I also see that they have added a space between the first adwords list, and the ones that follow just to try and get advertisers to bid a little higher I assume. They've also added a shopping widget on the right, and increased the "knowledge" boxes (aka fake news boxes) worldwide which is probably not helping.

The only thing left to do is scrape everyone's entire websites and plug ads all over them for improved "user experience" I guess.
1:14 pm on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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From what I'm looking at right now with dozens of top 3 SERP listings and even a few answer box positions, my site in question has been at virtually zero traffic and zero conversions all weekend.

This weekend has been terrible for me as well. I'm thinking it has a lot to do with the weather - few storms across the USA and a heat wave gripping a large part of the country. Many people are outdoors doing yard work, out on their boats, etc. Total traffic, across all marketplaces and my website, are substantially lower. To put it in perspective, what Google normally sends for traffic was a full 40% lower for me yesterday (Saturday).
6:53 pm on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@glakes

where are you standing with the international traffic is it that bizarre users waiting and doing nothing in the browser?

System

7:21 pm on June 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This thread is about Google updates & serp changes.

Off topic discussions like Influence of Google stock price on their business decisions [webmasterworld.com] will be deleted or moved. Members that keep posting off topic comments risk losing their posting privileges. Let's work together to stay on topic and keep this thread as productive as possible :)

[edited by: goodroi at 12:36 am (utc) on Jun 12, 2017]

4:53 am on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Search for the same keyword using Private Mode in Safari/Firefox/Chome, I get totally different results.

This is crazy!
My traffic is slowly dipping after each Fre/Phantom/Panda!
9:58 am on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Mentat+ : personnalization of results are quite old by now (years).

What I'm discovering : It seems that I've been a victim of negative seo. Me... and others in similar niches (finance, french). Many PBNs created in order to impact us negatively, pirated websites linking to us and so on...

Ok, I don't know how many are targeted by this, but it seems pretty big, at least in my niche. I remember seeing also english websites beeing targeted by this PBN.

All of these websites from the PBN were linking to me at profound pages, targetting my long tail.

[edited by: Jori at 10:54 am (utc) on Jun 12, 2017]

10:17 am on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NYCTech

I wonder if your site started to recover, did you get anything to work against the negative seo you have described ?
1:40 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu

No, we haven't started to recover, yet. We implemented something to try to captcha suspicious traffic, but that wasn't working well. We then tried tracking page onload times so we could spot "users" who were being very slow. As it turns out, the attacker seems to be injecting their own JavaScript, so that did not report back to us. Our JavaScript didn't even run. Yet, they're reporting times back to Google and Google Analytics.

At best, that gives us a slightly better idea regarding how they're doing this, but I haven't yet come up with a good way to stop them. The next step is to probably blacklist any IPs that refuse to run the JavaScript on the page, which has some potential given the fact they do reuse IP addresses to some extent.
1:51 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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personnalization of results are quite old by now (years).

But how personalized results are generated has changed with AI. Years ago, personalized results better matched a users query whereas now AI tosses anything out at users in a willy nilly fashion. With 9 or 10 results on the page, something is bound to appeal to the user these days. Google can throw enough poo at the wall and some is bound to stick...
4:10 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NYCTech

"the attacker seems to be injecting their own JavaScript, so that did not report back to us. Our JavaScript didn't even run. Yet, they're reporting times back to Google and Google Analytics."


if you could use something, not sure cloudfare does it to prompt captcha to all international traffic, prevent the site even to load to these malicious bots from international traffic at least?

Also I wonder if your site is https
4:39 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu

We run on Azure, so it would be difficult to set up Cloudflare, and we'd probably have the same issues with too many false positives if trying to screen international traffic. The attacker also does attack from within the US, so they might just shift to mostly attacking from within the country.

Yes, we're https and have been for years.
5:06 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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"the attacker seems to be injecting their own JavaScript, so that did not report back to us. Our JavaScript didn't even run. Yet, they're reporting times back to Google and Google Analytics."

Kaspersky anti-virus also injects javascript into the page to block ads/banners and for it's web anti-virus functionality. The injection has been known to interfere with the functionality of some websites, and to overcome this the site in question must be added to the trusted sites list.
8:07 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What I just don't understand is people say you have to pay for traffic with Google. My Adwords are a total waste and they are lucky to break even. So why use Adwords? My rankings don't improve at all no matter how much you spend. I know for a fact that the company in my niche that is all over page 1 is not paying anything. The content is a lot of words but is not accurate. Many of the products are not even in stock. Prices look cheap but thats because the out of stock prices are not updated. I read these posts and know that some of the posters have been penalized and many have not. If you have not that is great but expect your day to come and you will be in for a huge shock. It is just a matter of time. I personally believe the Google system is hacked. Do you remember that Matt Cutts payday loans site a few years ago? Google has all this AI but yet can't tell churn and burn and PBNs from established sites? Really? Is it Google can't or doesn't want to?
8:30 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So why use Adwords? My rankings don't improve at all no matter how much you spend

May be I misunderstood your sentence, but Adwords has nothing to do with your ranking.
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