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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Most of the people that are coming to me for help are using outdated SEO tactics that Google has devalued.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.
4:37 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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May was a record month despite the holiday weekend.

June 1st is starting off very strong and could be our all time best day.

We've improved slightly in rankings but the overall traffic quality is outstanding.
4:47 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Atomic

Very happy post. Thanks :)

I assume your website is eCommerce, right?
4:57 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, after 23 years of constructing sites, in one night, the 17th May, I have obviously incurred some kind of Google penalty across multiple sites and am now seeing my lowest-ever traffic, and I mean seriously low traffic.

This is utterly bizarre, WTF is going on, I know I'm not the only one in this position?
5:04 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Reseller

Nope. It's a comparison site with a lot of long form informational content.
5:31 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@RedBar
- absolutely same with my network, all sites got effected, drastic loses (initial 30% followed with 20-30% more decline over the next few days)

Yet to discover any common sense about it.
5:47 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yet to discover any common sense about it.


Me neither, what I have to assume is that it's nothing to do with templates. I have one site, a .uk, that has been completely unaffected whereas other sites using the same template have lost, on average 50+%.

Checking the SERPs my keyword phrases also seem to be mostly ok therefore why this massive reduction in traffic across most of my sites?

Also, knowing a lot of sites have been affected, why hasn't there been much more of a furore about it?

Ok, some/many sites have not been hit, but for those that have a 50% loss of traffic it is massive and especially so when one hasn't a clue what is wrong with squeaky clean 10 to 20 year old company brochure sites which until 17th May were deemed by the Google Gods to be perfectly worthy of their blessings.

System

6:35 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

redhat

 
 


The following message was cut out to a new thread about: Influence of Page Speed and Rankings [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: goodroi at 7:39 pm (utc) on Jun 1, 2017]

6:47 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We have been cruising since the update on May 18th. Up close to 40%.

Today seems like it has slowed a bit. Wonder if we are about to feel the weekly update tonight/tomorrow. They appear to be getting more consistent the last few weeks.
7:19 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We have been cruising since the update on May 18th. Up close to 40%


So, you've been a beneficiary of the "whatever" update, any idea why?

For me it's just as concerting getting an overnight 40% boost as it is a 50% loss since it's plainly obvious that Google is manipulating the results therefore at the next "whatever" update you may be a casualty and and have absolutely no idea why.

It clearly has nothing to do with quality, expertise, uniqueness and site speed, is it niche related?

Sector, global leader in niche construction products.
7:21 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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"We have been cruising since the update on May 18th. Up close to 40%."

Let me guess, your site is relatively new.

The old sites I've been following (15+ years) are continuing to get crushed.
7:49 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We are an ecommerce site and have been online for 12 years.

Not sure if I can 100% link it to any one thing. Just improvements across the board.

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.

We've seen a massive improvement in our metrics across the board after adding this content.

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 from an update. Just know, you can actually fix your sites. It just takes a lot of work to make improvements and then a lot of time to prove to google you're not in it for the short haul.
8:03 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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For me it's just as concerting getting an overnight 40% boost


I agree. Again, i've been there for that too. With panda we saw the big test before it dropped us.

We have seen consistent gains through our content. We've also seen consistent improvement in our metrics from that content. This tells me that we are headed in the right direction. I've seen the metrics from bad content, average content and great content. The bump from the core update is deserved IMO, but you're right...I'd be naive to think it can't all go away. We just keep doing what is working and making sure that the visitors are reacting positively. If we are providing good value it should benefits us with organic referrals and it is.
8:03 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just know, you can actually fix your sites.


The question is though, what needs fixing?

My sites are globally-known throughout my industry as being the most informative for everything in my niche. Insofar as I am concerned there isn't anything that needs fixing and after 23 years I hardly call this the short haul.

I'm touching nothing, on the 16th May Google was quite happy with all my sites but overnight they became irrelevant because some little dipstick tweaked the algo incorrectly yet no one at The Plex, so far, has realised and are probably wondering why so many people across many forum boards are questioning and are completely perplexed about what has happened.

Site alterations at this moment would be pointless since no one, and I seriously mean no one, knows what the heck they have done and for what reason, if any.

Yeah, try telling that to your customers!
8:33 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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unfortunately same old thing unusual traffic patterns
8:34 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My sites are globally-known throughout my industry as being the most informative for everything in my niche. Insofar as I am concerned there isn't anything that needs fixing and after 23 years I hardly call this the short haul.


Then leave it and see what happens. I hope it gets better for you.
8:34 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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"My sites are globally-known throughout my industry as being the most informative for everything in my niche. Insofar as I am concerned there isn't anything that needs fixing and after 23 years I hardly call this the short haul."

Same here. We are the dominant site in our space, and have been since 1995 -- 22 years.

Suddenly all of these trash sites created in the past year or so are flying up the SERPs in our vertical. All of them have close to ZERO backlinks. Almost all of them are single page AJAX sites with a tiny bit of content. It's beyond ridiculous. 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.

AGE of site / domain is the only commonality I see in the most recent turbulence. It's got to be unintentional, and it's got to be a bug. I hope they're doing some code reviews out there in Mountain View.
8:42 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Search Analytics shows an upswing in traffic, but it looks like mostly mobile, so if you have an ecomm of any type, that's usually not a good sign. Zero conversions and lots of zero run drop out periods...some as long as 30 min, then suddenly it's all back again, but not converting.
Only had a handful of "normal" days in May: 1st, 6th, 8th, 23rd and everything else was on / off days. Very odd. This first day of June is not ending good. Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug.
9:28 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@samwest

same here the traffic you have described is not...
1:45 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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just to illustrate, this is the google only traffic graph from analytics of the youngest affected site on my network
few facts:
- no shady backlinks
- tons of quality unique and original content
- mobile friendly / responsive
or to sum it up.. all google guidelines are well followed and obeyed

[image.prntscr.com ]

https://image.prntscr.com/image/d7254292738b4c498a7f66759e2c6fcb.png
2:23 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@sik - One would think that a drastic case like this would be caused by a faulty CAT5 cable. I've called my hosting company to have them check mine too.;) I have some sites seeing similar drops.This is very unusual. Makes you wonder what they are making room for? probably more ads.
2:28 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My traffic is up which is unexpected as right now I'm setting up a heap of redirects so that the current urls match the urls on the new version of Joomla I have sitting in a different folder. I expected with all these changes I'd be losing a bit of traffic.

siko, the problem is, they won't tell you what they're targeting/or penalising. At least Matt Cutts would give us the information. I believe I follow the guidelines too, but have been hit in the past. No idea why. You can't fix it if you don't know what's broken.

I wish they'd start targeting sites with an article over multiple pages, news sites which autoplay video just as you've scrolled below it, so you have to scroll back up and stop it, and I'm still seeing a ridiculous number of pop ups.

I searched for a phrase today, and no surprises, my main competitor had the top FOUR results.
2:38 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@samwest @browndog

Know what troubles me the most..
I never even had top spots. I had mediocre, page 2 placements and really really lots of long tail queries across network.

Since day one of checking top google results for my niche.. I'm seeing pure rubbish, like 90% of it.
Scraped content, thin content, popups, redirects... you name it. Those very same sites are pretty much all there, top spots.
3:04 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My traffic is up which is unexpected as right now I'm setting up a heap of redirects


Just up today, or for a longer period of time?
6:31 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Siko - Running a finance website by any chance? My graph looks somewhat similar.
We weathered the Feb content update and the Fred update in March. However, we took a massive hit post May 19th update.
Our traffic fell by almost 80% which is insane. Mine is a finance website in India which has good quality content and links from major publications. I'm also seeing similar trends for our competition on semrush.

Just can't understand what the latest update was all about.
6:50 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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WOW!

Just one ip adding to basket in the last 12 hours. Is it not amazing how personalisation works? Rankings are higher but buyers are just pretenting to be buyers.
7:25 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@SnowMan68, it's been up for the past few days, not by much, but heading in the right direction. I'm about to switch to the new version of Joomla though, so expect it to drop.

Regarding the domain clustering, what peeves me about the search today is they were returning results not directly linked to my query.

So let's say I searched for the following:
Broken dongle on widget...

Answer box: Broken dongle on widget. Domain A
First result: Broken dongle on widget. Domain A (same article as answer box)
Second result: Dongle care. Domain A
Third result: Dongleitis (loosely related). Domain A
Fourth result: Broken dongle on widget. My website

So sure, answer box and first result relate directly to the search. The next two results relate to dongles, but not the actual search. My result (fifth spot down, if you include the answer box) relates to the search.

Google's love of this site knows no bounds, where they routinely get the first 2, 3 and four results. It's crazy.
8:23 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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But about 80% of our content is anywhere from 2000 to 3500 with all photos shot in house.


@Snowman, it is great that this worked out for you.
Unfortunatelly in my niche sites with nearly no content rules.
Sites with all Title , Meta and H1 or H2 Tags are the same pushed to the top. No extra informatino, no EAT, lousy weblayout ( 1995 ? ).
We added a ton of material ( researched ), own pictures and backgorund information. When available we have calculators, filters .....

But why should we add a ton of information when plain sites with just copied manufacutrer description or amazon affiliates dominate the serps?
Even pdf docs are on page one in our niche.
Pages with long <table> listings where the user switch back directly.
Domaind crowding is extrem high. Pages from big resellers are 4-5 times in a row ( and point to the same page )
If i look at my niche, it looks like panda has been turned upside down.

Traffic pattern are short runs in early evening and in the late evening. Point 12pm traffic is switched off completly till 6am. Traffic sometimes stops for 20 minutes to come back in surges.
And yes we pushed our adsense efforts and put some money into it. No results. Ahh, that is not true. google is now richer and we are poorer. -> Switched off adsense completly.

And we see this pattern on many other sites ( no owned by us ).

And what annoys me is, that google does not give a sh*t. Why donīt they give a hint. Yes its Fred ! What ? If it is a lack of quality, links ... why donīt they tell it? Is it at least nothing of it? But selling ads?

8:46 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hey all,

i'm new to this forum but been following the google algo update threads for a few weeks now, i work for an automotive company and we've been hit bad by this update mostly on the google ranking position, we've been up and down since the start of April, but the May update hit us harshly, we went from 26 position to 50 over night, it's been a week since that and we're yet to recover.

We're really scratching our heads on this one, we're updating the site with new content all the time, follow all the google guidelines, no shady links, no errors on webmaster... It's like Google is just not playing fair anymore, just wish someone could find out what the real problem is. Very frustrating!
9:58 am on June 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld flopro!

Ok, I have tried to make an analysis of my two most closely related sites with the hope it may give me an indicator as to whatever's happened/going on.

Site 1 - Niche B&M, site 18 years old, business 180 years old, .co.uk
Site 2 - Local hotel/bar, site 13 years old, business 250+ years old, .co.uk

Both sites use the same responsive template design and SEO techniques, they both went responsive 3+ years ago.

Surprisingly for years they have had very similar visitor and page view numbers until 17th May. Site 1 has lost 50% of its traffic however it has been consistent, no peaks and troughs, Site 2 has cruised through.

Site 1 does carry one AdSense ad at the end of each page, Site 2, nothing.

Site 1 has little local competition whereas Site 2 has loads.

Site 1 has lots of good relevant backlinks.

Site 2 has even more and excellent relevant backlinks.

Site 1 is evergreen with maybe one update a month if that.

Site 2 is updated at least twice a week since it has an active music scene, for example last weekend it was updated four times.

Site 1 posts to Facebook a couple of times a month.

Site 2 posts to both Facebook and Twitter eight to ten times a month.

Surely it's not all about social and more regular updates?

Any other thoughts?
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