Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 34.204.194.190

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2017

     
7:14 am on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2009
posts:1730
votes: 387



System: The following 12 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4856114.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 8:21 am on Aug 2, 2017 (utc -5)


Google is, or should I say has, just become or is closely becoming an actual website. You know. The place you go to get what you need and not go somewhere else. It's almost officially the era of the Google tax. They got a piece of everything that comes through the web.
4:44 pm on Aug 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 9, 2017
posts:135
votes: 15


I also have 4k+ links from Pinterest. Not sure what to make out of it. :)
6:44 pm on Aug 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 24, 2003
posts: 757
votes: 83


@NYCTech

I would venture to say that a reduction of links from 3,000,000 down to 2750 might have some affect. I have seen a downward tick in positioning recently, but my SERPs were going up for a long time while the Pinterest backlink count kept going down during that time. It seems that perhaps Google devalued these links long ago, or never valued them highly or we would be seeing a much bigger drop. I'm worried that if the count keeps dropping that it will have a major effect on my traffic. Has anyone else seen this happen?
4:18 am on Aug 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 29, 2007
posts:957
votes: 169


In my niche, culinary, The top search positions go to major food companies and well-known magazines. The little guys are pushed way down in search results. There is no way to compete with the big guys.
5:32 am on Aug 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 18, 2005
posts:1867
votes: 88


azlinda, I hear you, I had a culinary site a long time ago but organic traffic completely dried up in the past years, now it's barely paying its hosting. I decided to invest my time in other niches as it was a low CPC anyway.
6:45 am on Aug 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 3, 2015
posts:291
votes: 125


2 days ago I had 2x my normal conversion rate on a GOOD day. Today, traffic the same but not a single interaction from any visitors. No conversions, sign ups, sognificantly higher bounce rate.

Zombies are back, I would venture to say there was some update happening around this time as I had some serious rank improvement according to my tracking, but it is still somehow useless fruitless traffic.
8:02 am on Aug 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 10, 2017
posts:322
votes: 138


In my niche, culinary, The top search positions go to major food companies and well-known magazines. The little guys are pushed way down in search results. There is no way to compete with the big guys.


I agree, it's always the same sites for recipes (something I search for probably daily). I wouldn't want to be in that niche.

I'm finding a lot of what you say is happening in my niche too. Mostly a media company and 'widget' manufacturers who write thin articles, but because they're known globally, they rank well despite the content.

I still rank okay, but get pushed down a lot by brands.
3:45 pm on Aug 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:3467
votes: 778


In my niche, culinary, The top search positions go to major food companies and well-known magazines. The little guys are pushed way down in search results. There is no way to compete with the big guys.

In my niche (which has many well-funded corporate publishers), mom-and-pop publishers can do quite well. As always, YMMV.

In any case, when all other things are equal, it stands to reason that popular sites are going to do better in search engines than no-name sites do, just as best-selling authors or name-brand magazines are going to get more attention than authors or magazines that you've never heard of. That's the way of the world. The good news is that, on the Web, anyone can get into the bookstore or onto the newsstand. You aren't vulnerable to the whims of a chain's buyer in New York or a local distributor. But if you want to outrank the big guys, you've got to offer something they aren't offering.
4:47 am on Aug 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 10, 2017
posts:322
votes: 138


But if you want to outrank the big guys, you've got to offer something they aren't offering.


What, like better content, because that ain't working.
11:51 am on Aug 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 3, 2015
posts:291
votes: 125


Almost another 24 hours. Traffic is up, conversions are still zero. Zero interaction, completely useless traffic. This might not be bizarre if you dont make much money from your site, but when you can make hundreds in a single day then make absolutely nothing, there is manipulation happening.
3:06 pm on Aug 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

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

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts:1422
votes: 518


@MJ - again, I am seeing the exact same thing as you. I have no idea what niche you're in or your location, yet we seem to always see the very same effects which I find very curious. Yesterday after four days of zero conversions I hit the first 9 conversion day in 8 months. 5 conversions within 1 hour! Come on! That's how the site USED to convert, so again, my only assumption is that there is a throttle in place and yesterday it was in the shop undergoing maintenance. Today it's right back to zip again with page sitters and no interaction. Yesterday is was full page to page interaction, like live humans do.
During this surge, my SERPs did not move at all. It's gotta be some kind of AI manipulation. Of course not across all sites. We must have a lot in common.
2:31 pm on Aug 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

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

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts:1422
votes: 518


Pretty quiet around here....
Just reporting another SERP anomaly that I have never noticed happening much, until today. In the past, SERP results would typically be static, changing only in months, or weeks time. Now it's by the second. In doing mobile searches this morning, I've seen no less than three different layouts for the same query. Ads in, ads out, images in, images out and the results for the target site varying from #2 to # 6 or worse. Now I understand why results and conversion can vary so wildly. Static results are gone. It's now a game of Russian Roulette.
7:59 pm on Aug 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 24, 2012
posts:89
votes: 27


It's machine test and learn in real time.

Someday it will hopefully understand what is the best result for the serps...
11:51 am on Aug 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 3, 2015
posts:291
votes: 125


Past 24 hours I have had converting traffic. Curious if SamWest is seeing the same (yet again)?
1:55 pm on Aug 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from GB 

10+ Year Member

joined:July 12, 2006
posts:74
votes: 10


Past 24 hours I have had converting traffic. Curious if SamWest is seeing the same (yet again)?


And it will probably last a day or two at most, and then back to non converting traffic.. It's the same for me and I bet it is the same for a multitude of small webmasters. This game is over.
With all the data Google have, they know 100% which traffic converts and which doesn't, and you can bet they send all the converting traffic to properties that they know they will get their cut. A blind man can see it. The only time we see converting traffic is probably when they are learning.

IMO it is a waste of time trying to get back to past glories. I have a website that used to generate 15k profit every month from organic traffic. I have followed trends and constantly improved it yet it now makes 500 if I am lucky.
But fortunately for us skilled webmasters there are now a lot more ways to make a good living without the need of traffic from Google. You just need to figure it out.......
3:58 pm on Aug 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 27, 2016
posts:68
votes: 22


Still suffering since FEB update. No changes.... still drop each month of around 1-3%. Big players and companies google have shares in rise. google is not a good place
7:35 pm on Aug 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 3, 2015
posts:291
votes: 125


You are right - as expected, since I made my post I have not had a single conversion or interaction on my site after a small period of actual decent traffic. Google and its brazen thievery is beyond me at this point.
5:51 am on Aug 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 15, 2001
posts:1830
votes: 65


I don't have enough traffic to be sure about what I see but we do seem to have periods of decent human traffic which does interact and other times of traffic that does not. And I am paying for about 1/3 of that traffic.
11:28 am on Aug 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 7, 2003
posts:804
votes: 121


Noticing a lot more "Things to do in..." Google Travel Guide excerpts in the search results.

Surely this breaks the exact same rules that earned Google a 2.4 Billion euro fine?
12:16 pm on Aug 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

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

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts:1422
votes: 518


After being gone for a few days, Pinterest in back in the spotlight taking up two consecutive positions pushing me below the fold. That small move makes a big difference. During it's short absence, conversions were up. Back to long zero runs.
12:59 pm on Aug 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:726
votes: 392


Surely this breaks the exact same rules that earned Google a 2.4 Billion euro fine?

I always wondered in these cases if Google displays personalized/cloaked results to politicians and regulators while everyone else sees something different. In the end the fines are just part of doing business.

My USA based site's traffic is stable and conversions are spotty. But with many kids going back to school, and some recently started, conversions in mid to late August are expected to be a bit dicey as parents focus their spending on school supplies.
1:39 pm on Aug 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 7, 2003
posts:804
votes: 121


I always wondered in these cases if Google displays personalized/cloaked results to politicians and regulators while everyone else sees something different. In the end the fines are just part of doing business.


A few years ago, I would have dismissed that notion, but after the revelations about Uber, I guess it's possible.

Maybe I should start taking screenshots to send to the European Commission?
7:39 pm on Aug 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 3, 2015
posts:291
votes: 125


Same here SW. Conversions are back down to straight zeros. Not ones or 2's every day. Not a single interaction for the last 2 days. Traffic numbers are up, conversions down... useless tyre kicker traffic.
9:05 pm on Aug 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 10, 2017
posts:322
votes: 138


I've noticed Quora all over the place the last 24 hours. Pinterest coming a close second.
9:07 pm on Aug 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from US 

5+ Year Member

joined:June 14, 2010
posts: 618
votes: 8


We're in an informational market, lead gen, primarily US traffic. Several well established, +7 year old websites that are continually updated with very detailed market-relevant info. We don't have any affiliate links, banners etc... everything is stored then run through a decision tree ourselves, with php and API.

For the last many weeks, we've watched our search position remain fairly static and aside from the single place shift now and then, nothing much has changed on high volume targets. We have several #1 answer box listings for Q&A, etc. We did lose a good bit of longtail phrases over the last 2 months, but the primary terms are delivering as strong as ever. Overall traffic is only off by 8-10%, YOY, which is also within the margin of other YOY data, based on market conditions.

Conversions from Google traffic on the other hand are way down since around mid July. Not just on one site, but across several in the same market. I've also got visibility to several others in the lead-gen market, and they are down significantly as well. Overall, we're down 65-70% on conversions since mid July... traffic only off 10% at most.

Like others have mentioned, it seems that conversions come through in very short spurts, then nothing for the next 4-5 hours. Rinse and repeat.

I do notice MANY more ads as well as MANY more answer boxes in our market. Fair use is starting to sound old when G is taking the well-written and researched info and answering everything within the confines of itself or its advertisers. It seems the visitors escaping without clicking an ad, are those who couldn't find the right info the first time, and got confused with the myriad of Q/A boxes.
4:49 am on Aug 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from IN 

joined:Dec 7, 2014
posts:18
votes: 0


Has anyone viewing any sudden SERP changes in old keywords?
5:35 am on Aug 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 15, 2001
posts:1830
votes: 65


There seems to be something going on or appearing to be going on to make some webmasters unhappy with Google search. However from a search users perspective 80% of Google search users profess themselves happy with Google's search results.
7:07 am on Aug 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 7, 2003
posts:804
votes: 121


There seems to be something going on or appearing to be going on to make some webmasters unhappy with Google search. However from a search users perspective 80% of Google search users profess themselves happy with Google's search results.


Where is that 80% figure from?
7:31 am on Aug 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 15, 2001
posts:1830
votes: 65


I did a poll on an internet forum.
10:54 am on Aug 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 11, 2008
posts:1717
votes: 263


Conversions from Google traffic on the other hand are way down since around mid July.
We've seen a ~20% drop-off in Google conversion rate since late July.

We're a UK ecom, and it could just be school holidays, but we are down on the YoY trend. Non-G traffic is on trend.
11:43 am on Aug 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:726
votes: 392


However from a search users perspective 80% of Google search users profess themselves happy with Google's search results.

Replace the word happy with oblivious, and I think that would explain things a little better. The average user has no idea how search results are constructed or the degree of manipulation going on. Webmasters have more data to work with, which gives them a much clearer picture.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index measures user satisfaction across search engines, social media, etc. All search engines slipped in satisfaction, except for AOL. Ads, stale/old search results are largely to blame for the drop while social media continues to gain ground in being viewed as a news source. ACSI allows downloads of the report, but requires registration first. The link is [theacsi.org...] for anyone that is interested.
This 215 message thread spans 8 pages: 215
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members