Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.224.121.67

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Featured Home Page Discussion

Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2017

     
7:27 pm on Oct 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Sept 25, 2016
posts:48
votes: 9


The following message was cut out of thread at:
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4866125.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 2:26 pm on Oct 1, 2017 (PDT -8)

---

My site is plummeting in rankings today under most keywords. Anyone else seeing this?


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:42 pm (utc) on Oct 1, 2017]
[edit reason] Splitting off from September thread [/edit]

8:03 pm on Oct 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:923
votes: 97


the concept of "the keyword" is dead or dying.The issue I have is grasping what is replacing it.


The keyword is alive and well but the concept of longtail keywords is being killed off. The search results are being dumbed down. Now the real difference between 2017 and 2007 is longtail traffic. 80% of visitors came to your site via longtail search back in 2007 and that was converting traffic. Now they get auto corrected and results showing them the same pages they previously rejected. There are several stages to converting traffic and usually longtail is the final stage, by removing this Google are cheating their users and showing preferential treatment to select few sites.
8:04 pm on Oct 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 3, 2017
posts:53
votes: 6


I am seeing our site appear number 1 then number 2 then number 3 or 4 in incognito. Google is now shuffling the serps!
8:05 pm on Oct 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 3, 2017
posts:53
votes: 6


SEMrush reporting number 1 but were only there for a short space of time, Google is rotating is this new?
9:11 pm on Oct 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 24, 2012
posts:59
votes: 10


answers.

You have to be the guy who is giving answers. Remember : Google is not a search engine anymore. It's a solution for getting answers.

And in fact, "a lot" of searches today are based on queries like "how to", "who", "when" etc.
9:45 pm on Oct 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 15, 2004
posts:336
votes: 40


@Jori
You are so right, a lot of Google searches are based on how to, when, who and 'most of commercial searches are conducted at Amazon.

More than 50% of buyers go direct to Amazon not even bother with reasearch.

I would buy Amazon stock right now.
9:57 pm on Oct 7, 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:3050
votes: 581


I believe that over the past few years (2 or 3) that there has been a paradigm shift in Google's rankings, the concept of "the keyword" is dead or dying.The issue I have is grasping what is replacing it.

Hasn't "natural-language search" been the search engines' Holy Grail for years (since the Ask Jeeves era, if not before)?
11:36 pm on Oct 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 17, 2015
posts: 107
votes: 31


This keyword is dying talk is rubbish. Over a word count of 1500 to 2500 words, is it not possible to meet your synonym keyword count and write in a normal fashion? The thing I don't get is insurance websites that rank with so little text. They must bang the hell out of backlinks, whereas with content, you don't need links at all. Yes, you don't need backlinks!

As for datacentres, there has always been numerous servers running. The difference today to fifteen years ago is that they weren't live back then but now there are three or four. couple that with browser specific results, mobile results and personalised results, it is conceivable to sit in a room with seven devices and get seven different results.

What I have found however, is the cleaner your website is in G's eyes, the more normalised those results will be across those numerous live datacentres which it switches results between and gathers data.

The thing I most dislike about G right now is keyword linking. It is natural to put a link on a keyword or phrase. G penalises it. So much so that if I have two pages; A about 'blue widgets' and B about red widgets, if I put a link on red to blue with blue phrase, the red page will rank because of the phrase link. It's absurd. There is simply no explanation for it.

Regarding less people using G, I think that would be a widely reported issue to the boardroom and to shareholders. But you have to remember, once a shopping portal - not necessarily Amazon, has a user, then it is that mobile app that they will open to find a discount or cashback, they don't need search of the 'traditional' kind. Which is a bit perplexing, evolve or die, I am trying to evolve but not easy when faced with millions of users on these apps that have retreated from search.

Also I would advise you never to change how you do things on your website. I still write in keyword metas manually, G can revert and change its mind whenever and I'd rather have keyword phrases in place across 4000 articles, rather than having to rewrite them 4000 times if G changes overnight to look at keywords.
9:26 am on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 3, 2017
posts:53
votes: 6


"Also I would advise you never to change how you do things on your website."

Yes I agree now I have gone https with car crash results. The http is ahead of me now, Ive lost 30% of traffic, I put in "keyword and keyword" which is the title of my page and I am number 4. No-one has my keyword in their title and some obscure results are displayed ahead of me, plus one http. I wish I was never got too scared into going https its seen my site plummet and its just a content site. For the first time I am going to have to do SEO as I thought my content was good enough not too.
11:56 am on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:558
votes: 249


Yes I agree now I have gone https with car crash results. The http is ahead of me now, Ive lost 30% of traffic, I put in "keyword and keyword" which is the title of my page and I am number 4. No-one has my keyword in their title and some obscure results are displayed ahead of me, plus one http.

For my many complaints about Google, moving http to https is not one of them. Sure, I have seen minor issues that resolved themselves rather quickly within a couple weeks then the sites were stable.

If I recall correctly, not even two weeks ago you moved your site to https. But it was not a typical move as you were blocking SSL requests from Google in the firewall and have since corrected it. Can't blame that one on Google, though I'm sure with that corrected your site will shortly return to where it was ranking before. Especially after a snafu like the block, one can't expect a seamless transition to https. Be patient and it will work itself out.
2:59 pm on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 3, 2017
posts:53
votes: 6


Thanks yes your right Glakes :-) thanks for the reasurrance as well. I bet it will take me a month to get back up.
3:02 pm on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:1238
votes: 367


@Seoskunk
...but the concept of longtail keywords is being killed off.


I don't know how you interpret the "longtail" keyword, if you mean a long search phrase that may be one thing, but if you mean a search terms that appears in the long tail of distribution, in English, terms that occur infrequently,then I can assure you the long tail is alive and well. My site targets the long tail and I have seen significant traffic growth over the past year.

In regards to long search phrase, these types phrase would be most subject to NLP interpretation. So if you think that because your site has an exact match in its content to long key-phrase, then it would not surprise me in the least that you are unable to rank for that. A long phrase provides a good amount of information on user intent, much more than a simple keyword. It is no stretch to think that Google is matching intent in place of lexically matching words. Again paradigm shift.
4:19 pm on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:923
votes: 97



I don't know how you interpret the "longtail" keyword, if you mean a long search phrase that may be one thing, but if you mean a search terms that appears in the long tail of distribution, in English, terms that occur infrequently,then I can assure you the long tail is alive and well. My site targets the long tail and I have seen significant traffic growth over the past year.

In regards to long search phrase, these types phrase would be most subject to NLP interpretation. So if you think that because your site has an exact match in its content to long key-phrase, then it would not surprise me in the least that you are unable to rank for that. A long phrase provides a good amount of information on user intent, much more than a simple keyword. It is no stretch to think that Google is matching intent in place of lexically matching words. Again paradigm shift.


You know what I can't argue with that, infact its a excellent explanation and in examining some search terms, I think you are right about matching user intent with NLP interpretation.

Here is an example search anyone can replicate, I searched UK for the following ;

"Cars"

Among the top results you will find a Car Trading Magazine and a wikipedia piece about the movie Cars and a youtube video, Now the Car Magazine uses the word "official" prominently in their site as does the movie, so I searched next;

"Cars Official"

Guess what no Car magazine all stuff about Cars the movie. Google had matched user intent with the movie and not the Car Trading Magazine site

I'm sure their are better tests but this quick one illustrates that NickMNS is correct.
4:31 pm on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from AE 

joined:June 8, 2013
posts:2
votes: 0



mozcast.com
108 SATURDAY
October 7
7:52 pm on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:923
votes: 97


A forum when it works best is about shared information and expanding our understanding, happy to say I was wrong about longtail keywords being killed off and NickNMS is correct, to often we find ourselves online in polarised positions and debate makes no difference on either side. I work hard these days in not polarising my position, it's better to always be learning and listen to other peoples opinions. So thanks for the post, I have learned something.
9:18 pm on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:923
votes: 97


I am seeing now some massive changes on search the Friday 13th update may have been brought forward.... if I'm right I brag naming rights as the "Sunday B|oody Sunday Update" :)
9:27 pm on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:923
votes: 97


This looks to be a massive shake up - who said Google didn't dance anymore?
10:23 pm on Oct 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 24, 2012
posts:59
votes: 10


Huge improvments on my side. +65% comparing this sunday with last sunday.
12:45 am on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 9, 2004
posts:1179
votes: 19


Update Columbus?
1:56 am on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:558
votes: 249


@samsam1978

I think we've all been where you are right now, having made a mistake that cost us in the search engines. I personally have pulled some major blunders since I've been online and would have traded for your problem any day of the week. If I were you, I would not do any SEO as it has worked well for you prior to the https change. My guess is you will bounce back sooner than a month, but that largely depends on how many pages Google found that were blocked and how quickly they are crawled again. From past experience, Google tends to aggressively recrawl recently blocked pages. I hope the same applies to you.

Today, 10/8/2017, I am seeing an increase in traffic from Google and page views as well. That's a positive, but usually it is just temporary. And yes, some of this traffic from Google has converted.
3:16 am on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:June 4, 2017
posts:5
votes: 1


Looks like my organic traffic is now back to normal and I'm seeing slight increase.
4:44 am on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from IN 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 30, 2017
posts:483
votes: 67


As per the Statcounter, I'm getting traffic from below referrer
[googleapis.com...]

And it is counted in organic on Analytics. Is this organic traffic?
3:42 pm on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:May 6, 2016
posts: 29
votes: 5


So anyone have any guesses as to what the update was on Sept. 20?
4:09 pm on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

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

joined:Aug 11, 2008
posts:1531
votes: 190


Maybe SEL can get an inside line! Rustybrick?
4:15 pm on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from IN 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 30, 2017
posts:483
votes: 67


My views are up by a good margin, thanks to the new Google update!

But I am seeing different rank for specific keyword. On my working PC, it is 3rd. Checked on pingdom, it is 1st. Asked my friends, they said something else.
4:43 pm on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:923
votes: 97


@Atomic & @Rustybrick Columbus is a great name - I don't know what I was thinking :)
5:01 pm on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 19, 2017
posts: 154
votes: 47


No sign of any updates here. Traffic is down a bit due to Columbus Day in the US. Other than that, it's a pretty typical Monday.
6:20 pm on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:June 12, 2003
posts:738
votes: 32


Google won't comment, what else is new....
7:08 pm on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from US 

5+ Year Member

joined:June 14, 2010
posts: 606
votes: 4


Re: Longtail and Keywords being dead (Paraphrasing)

I don't think the longtail or any keywords are dead at all. I think it's just much harder for the average search user to get to the organic results. We've ranked very well for a 4-word phrase that has brought many conversions to us for several years, and still do. Right now, if I hit an incognito window, Startpage, or check some of the serp monitoring tools we make use of, I can see our site in the 1 or 2 position, where its always been.

Traffic to that page is way down however, because it seems that the longer the keyphrase, the more Google injects more detailed instant answers, ecom, ads, people-also-asked, etc above it. 5-7 years ago, even a P2 or P3 serp placement was worthy of a good bit of traffic. Now, the user has to scroll very far down the desktop page, or endlessly on a mobile device to even get to the organic, or non-google property results.

Also - no different on any search engine.
9:55 pm on Oct 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts:1063
votes: 243


Over the past few days, I have been observing marginally higher traffic across a variety of totally unrelated sites, all FNGR. It's a rare positive move, but is only translating into improved conversions on a handful of those sites.
6:19 am on Oct 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:May 17, 2016
posts: 1
votes: 0


My keyword rankings have a huge fluctuation! Dropped down from 2# to 9#
This 219 message thread spans 8 pages: 219
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members