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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Most of the people that are coming to me for help are using outdated SEO tactics that Google has devalued.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.
9:20 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi NYCTech, sorry your having this problem, I had an idea - why not wrap google analytic code in cross browser on ready javascript so GA only kicks in after page has loaded.

if (document.readyState === 'complete') {
// The page is fully loaded GA goes here
}
11:37 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?

@Awarn

Google does not have the buyer traffic it once had. At best 25% of shoppers go to Google first to look for a product, while the lion's share (55%) of buyer traffic goes to Amazon. Google has lost a lot of ground in ecommerce and is losing more relevance in ecommerce every year. This does help to explain why both organic and paid ads in Google are not generating results (conversions) for many online stores. I'm all over page 1 for organic serps too, and sales from Google are few and far between. Meanwhile, Amazon keeps sending order emails all day and night. My guess is Google is trying to milk it as long as they can, but there are many reports/studies that back up everything I said. If only a fraction of total buyers use Google, it does not matter where one ranks or how much they pay when the traffic just is not there. If you want a boost in sales, follow the buyers and look beyond Google.
12:38 am on June 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Interesting statistics glakes. I think in the last few years Google have been attacking their own publishers and Amazon have sailed through, Independent retailers had little choice but to advertise to stay afloat as the SERPS shifted towards large retailers. The strategy was always a risky one, to effectively ditch Independents and chase Corporates but for a while at least it has succeeded and Google profits have year on year increased. However, consumers increasingly do now go direct to companies such as Amazon and Ebay that offer a range of products that include the niche companies. Google once a diverse range of products and services ate their own ecosystem and people have moved on. Google Shopping is not the place to find a bargain for the consumer and ROI for the advertiser is increasingly difficult. The same could be said for Text Ads. I recently posted a thread called "Does Google Work" because after a fair amount of time away from advertising I was shocked at how low conversions are now. I switched to social advertising and although I'm still getting my head round it and my conversion rate is 9-14%. I was getting below 4% on Search
2:46 am on June 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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They moved the cheese...the new generation hardly knows what Google is used for, maybe how to spell a word or look up facts, but not shopping. They get everything they need and desire from social media and Amazon.
SERP engagement is dying fast. Even old school me rarely uses google to buy anymore. It's straight to Amazon....unless it's some obscure item (like a H**ley starter clutch) that you would not expect to find on Amazon...a situation that is becoming very rare indeed. BTW, the clutch IS available on Amazon...right model too..and cheaper than the moco....with free shipping. You can't beat that offer with a stick.

Been saying it for years; Google's SERP engineers better put on their thinking caps and create something useful, graphic and sticky otherwise they will go the way of the dodo (BTW - I have some great ideas about what they SHOULD do). Plastering Adwords / Amazon ads all over the SERP's is not the answer when people can directly use Amazon's own search to find the product variety they desire.

IMHO, Google SERP's look more like an affiliate site with every algo iteration. To prove my point, I just did a random query for an item to buy. There were no less that 10 ads (many more if you use the top "Shop for [search term] on Google" slider) to 10 organic results. That's a solid 50/50 ratio. If we put ads on our sites at that rate, we would surely be penalized and rank on page 100+
4:12 am on June 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I remember when it was a major point geeks back in the day used to sell Google to their friends over Yahoo Search and others, Google showed you relevant web sites with clearly separated ads on the side, while competitors were greedy and mixing it all with little concerns to user experience.
4:36 pm on June 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I sell on Amazon too and Amazon doesn't drive much traffic either. Then you pay Amazon 15% of everything. What I see is one company on 5 to 6 of the first page slots. They do not advertise on Google at all. I know they are selling the product because they have a low inventory and so when they run out they purchase from me. This actually raises prices because everyone is taking a cut. It is very obvious too. We can tell exactly when the page 1 store runs out of a product. Amazon and Ebay are just small sellers in many niches. Prices fluctuate based on the page 1 Google sites. I used to spend 10K a month on Adwords because they had value and we ranked well too so we brought in a lot. Today I probably spend less than 100 a month because they just don't generate sales. Now I can't be alone. I would think this has to affect Googles revenue.
5:41 pm on June 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I would think this has to affect Googles revenue.


If that is true, google is doing a heck of a job hiding the decline in revenue...

Total ad sales from all sources rose almost 19 percent over last year to $21.4 billion. (from CNBC March 2017)
6:19 pm on June 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@3zero

Loading Google Analytics later would just mean we wouldn't see the attackers in Google Analytics, but it wouldn't solve the problem. Google has shared that they crowdsource information about a site's speed through Google Toolbar, which runs in Chrome and is an option in Internet Explorer (old Toolbars may still work, too, in Firefox/Safari). The attack we're seeing is based on intentionally sending erroneous data back to Google so it thinks our site is very slow.

We finally managed to trick some of the attacks to report speed back to us, and we're getting speeds of over 79,000 seconds, which is 54 days... Obviously that's not even possible, but I could definitely see how that could cause Google to flag us as providing a poor user experience.
7:10 pm on June 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NYCTech

You see Larry Page love for speed did leave the door open to most sophisticated negative seo technique...
9:31 pm on June 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>> @SnowMan68: 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.

K, let's separate the two. Panda is on-page factors. There's almost never a need to change a domain name with Panda, as one can modify on page factors on the old domain to recover.

Penguin is, however, external factors like negative links. There's only one obvious and clean way to recover an old domain from Penguin (other than dubious cover-up in GWT disavow tool, which is hard to confirm if it works or not) - to change domain name.

So, what was the reason you changed domain? Maybe I misunderstood.

>> 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.

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.


This is a lot of really good work. Congrats on this part.

I am still not clear whether you recovered from Panda only, or both Penguin and Panda.

Don't get offensive, pls, I'm just asking the tough questions because someone has to ask them. Otherwise nobody in this forum will. And if nobody will, nobody will learn, and at today's tough environment for small sites it means people would either die off or go to the dark side (where profits are quicker).
4:16 am on June 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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And just like clockwork, once again this morning I had a string of sales which went from absolute zero since the weekend, to approximately 2.5x the "normal" number of sales I'd get with regular (or even slightly below average) quality traffic. Tuesday is my non-zombie period of the week, for a few hours before it shuts off again.
11:09 am on June 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Don't get offensive, pls, I'm just asking the tough questions because someone has to ask them. Otherwise nobody in this forum will. And if nobody will, nobody will learn, and at today's tough environment for small sites it means people would either die off or go to the dark side (where profits are quicker).


Asking questions? Or just making assumptions. When you start your question with "Guys Watch This", then quickly make an assumption based on zero facts....offense will be taken. Mostly because, again, you aren't helping anyone by saying:

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.


Here is your answer for why we switched domains. I have already posted it, but I will clarify. This is why we switched domains.

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.


We switched to a shortened version of our domain so that it would be easier to remember. That's it.

And to be quite honest. I wouldn't recommend switching to a new domain. It's been a hellish post migration. We were in a great spot pre migration. Live and learn.
12:43 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NYCTech

Any signs of improvement? You said you have managed to trick the attackers and analytics shows correct speed now, not sure how you can prevent the fake data by chrome or toolbar to report back to google
4:47 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@masterjoe
is there any google update right now? i see our website jumping like kangaroo; no conversions since tuesday; all totally dead again;
5:17 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I saw huge changes yesterday in the SERPs I monitor. I big brand that was nowhere to be seen on many local searches is now #1 to #3.

I also watched a site move from page 2 to page one and slowly ascended page one until it reached the top and is now locked there for many big money keywords. This site loads in over 8 seconds and has very thin content compared to the rest of the sites on the page. It's backlink profile is also lackluster compare to other sites on page one. It's also interesting to note that this site was a Google partner a year ago.

It's also interesting that we watched another site do this last year at this time. It moved from page 2 until it was #1 for big money terms. Now, it's down near #5 or #7 for these same terms. This was a better site than the one that moved up this year. So it was easier to accept. But the site now in the #1 spot is just not as good as every other site on page one. I can't make sense of it.
5:23 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Mozcast has reported a value above 100 for a full 30 consecutive days. And this is the first month this year where I haven't seen a change in traffic from Google.
5:49 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@nicknms thats the issue; traffic seems to be stable however conversions not;
2-3 days per week are completly dead [zombies only) then conversions appears back;
masterjoe sit in one bag with me so, thats why i wanted to know what he get .....
5:55 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Ionguy, are you saying that Mozcast measures Zombies?
6:13 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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They moved the cheese...


Reality check.

Google are chasing the mobile market as desktop and tablet remain stagnant at best but conversion on mobile is extremely poor for its advertisers.

Conversion rates per device:
4.14% - Desktop
3.56% - Tablet
1.55% - Mobile

55% of shoppers go straight to Amazon, When you factor in the traffic acquired by Amazon from search I would say this would hit 65% market share. Leaving a paltry 35% for the rest of us to fight over

Conversion rates via Channel
Bing, Yahoo Aol 3.4%
Google 1.7%
Facebook 1%


Based on current trends with mobile use increasing at the expense of desktop and tablet, e-commerce sites could be 11% worse off by the end of 2017. The cheese has indeed moved.

Source: Adobe, BloomReach
6:35 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Interesting stats. Can you post a link to the source?

The conversion rates from Bing Yahoo Aol appear high compared to Google and Facebook. But they do not factor out mobile traffic. I would guess that Google's desktop only conversion rate is much higher. Or in other words, the Bing Yahoo and AOL figures are biased by the fact that those channels see far viewer mobile users. It would also stand to reason that FB is lower than Google given that FB sees the most mobile users.
7:00 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Interesting stats. Can you post a link to the source?


I'll try:

[bloomreach.com...]
[slideshare.net...]
7:15 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu,

I meant that we managed to trick the attackers into giving us the data that they're reporting back to Google Analytics, not to get them to report the correct speed. I think they're artificially introducing latency, which shows up in Google Analytics and is reported back to Google, which is the main thing hurting our ranking. I suppose it's "correct" in a sense, as I think they're inserting this latency via a proxy server (client is running a browser, sends traffic through a proxy, it hits our server and we send a response, that gets to the proxy server and is held there for an additional amount of time before being passed back to the client who then reports a slow load time back to Google).

We are seeing a slight improvement, as we've managed to blacklist some IPs in an automated fashion, and this has kept things from getting too far out of hand for at least the last week or so. We're going to step that up further, and hopefully we'll see further improvement. I'm assuming Google won't respond instantly - as far as the algorithm is concerned, site performance has been terrible for three months straight, so improving it for a couple weeks might not make a huge difference, but hopefully the trend line will start to move back towards where it was previously.
7:26 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@nickmns - no, definitly not; what im saying is im getting zombies 3-4 days a week;
btw its something strange where mozcast reporting so bad weather so long where the others (ie alogroo) reporting calm weather; mozcast bug? i dont know; my website dancing for a part of a key words im monitoring, traffic looks quite stable and conversions are dead over half of the week; that's what i know;
7:34 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@seoskunk
The slideshare presentation sums it all up, mobile is eating desktop traffic but this "new" traffic is reluctant to convert.

I think the focus for any e-commerce site is to design it in such a way as to make purchase on mobile as easy and painless as possible. Saving users payment details, such that a user can purchase without needing re-enter their information is one such design idea.
7:58 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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think the focus for any e-commerce site is to design it in such a way as to make purchase on mobile as easy and painless as possible. Saving users payment details, such that a user can purchase without needing re-enter their information is one such design idea.


The best way to convert mobile is via an app. Unfortunately most retail apps get deleted, unless you are Amazon of course.

I can't help thinking Google created the monster -

They ignored webmasters whilst they said Amazon was dominating search for thin content that they were being penalized for...
They actively penalized webmasters for what were considered normal seo practice, that they previously rewarded...
They created Draconian punishments that saw webmasters suffer years of penalty while Amazon thrived...

Its almost like they had shares in Amazon...
9:01 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NYCTech

Nice to hear things are improving. Since there is not much you can do on your side it would be wise to forward your findings to Google.
9:10 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@nickmns

on mobile the genuine buyers are even less in numbers, the screen is too small and not even 3 advertisers are getting exposure, the one click checkout which a lot of websites offer is a great suggestion but that is not the reason why bing traffic is converting at double rate
9:56 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@seoskunk

I also like the Slice Intelligence report at [intelligence.slice.com...] as they rely on concrete data from 4 million shopper's receipts. However, their data suggests 43% of all online sales in the USA went to Amazon. And Amazon accounted for 53% of the ecommerce growth in 2016. Amazon is definitely eating Google's lunch, and the changing game should alter how ecommerce site owners approach search traffic and the rapidly falling ROI on SEO efforts.
10:18 pm on June 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Amazon is definitely eating Google's lunch, and the changing game should alter how ecommerce site owners approach search traffic and the rapidly falling ROI on SEO efforts.


Very true glakes,

B2B Google still performs but B2C and you be queuing up at the food bank once you paid your Google AdWords bill.

But does Google perform better than a targeted campaign in Social Media in B2B? Or is social media eating that market.

Or Does Google perform better locally as compared to a company that depends on local referrals on Facebook?

In e-commerce today there is no easy solution anymore so diversify and pay attention of social networks, Google you build an advert, social you build a network
1:41 am on June 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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that is not the reason why bing traffic is converting at double rate

The reason Bing converts at double the rate is that bing sends mobile traffic at 1/6th the rate of Google. Check your conversion rate for Bing Mobile users, I bet that it will be similar to Google's Mobile users.

Amazon is definitely eating Google's lunch,

I doubt it, Google wouldn't let that happen, I think what is happening is that Google and Amazon are eating from the same pie, but each from different ends. So far, they each have been well fed. The little guy on the other hand is doing the hurting. But at some point in the not too distant future, there will be no more pie between them. What happens then?
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