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Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2017

     
9:00 pm on Nov 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 4 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4874973.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 10:29 pm on Dec 1, 2017 (PDT -8)


Now I am seeing some light at the end of the tunnel I have a ton things that need doing, writing content, social media, more backlinks but can't seem to get focussed... I end up on some wikipedia journey or writing cr@p in forums, I saw a video on youtube called "How to stop Procrastinating", I clicked Watch it Later
9:06 am on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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One thing I have noticed on my site is that most of the pages with Schema added (I'm still in the process of adding it) are up, but the pages without are down by around 30%.
3:53 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You can add a widget that allows your reader to rate the article, if configured properly, Google should show the rating schema.
5:23 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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jmorgan my numbers are the same. 7.4 to 8.4 on over 1000 long tail keywords. traffic down and conversion rates are down with the traffic I have left. What vertical are you in or what kind of sites are ranking above you now?
5:38 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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[seroundtable.com...]

Anyone try this? Are down sites likely to be in the new untested mobile index?
6:17 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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where is this "log file" ?
6:46 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It depends on your server. For example, I use Nginx and the log is /var/log/nginx/access.log. Apache is probably something like /var/log/apache2/access.log. Specifically I did the following to see how many mobile Googlebot crawls have happened in the last few days compared to desktop Googlebot:

$> grep Googlebot /var/log/nginx/access.log | wc -l
4369

And then compare to how many were by Googlebot using the "Mobile Safari" user agent:

$> grep Googlebot /var/log/nginx/access.log | grep Mobile | wc -l
299

So as you can see, only 299 of the 4369 total crawls were from the Mobile Googlebot which would indicate to me my site hasn't yet been fully moved to Mobile first.
7:21 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Googlebot: 4700
Mobile: 1800

But indeed: 50% more crawling activity than 2 weeks ago (up from 3000)
9:18 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@penitentman Education/reference site. Mostly the same competitors juggling around, although I'm guessing on average they are doing better now overall, seeing as I'm doing worse.

Did notice one extremely spammy site (albeit with lots of content) in particular seeming to kill it, and consistently ranking over my site, despite having a horrible user experience littered with ads and a clunky interface. Wonder how long they can keep going with such a horrible attitude to their site design. I guess if Google keeps rewarding them, they'll keep doing what they're doing.
11:28 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Biggest dropped pages were landing pages where you'd expect users to navigate to another page. Anyone notice something similar?
11:37 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We had a slight uptick yesterday (compared to the week before) and a bigger one today. It's hard to know if that's significant (it could be related to our recent switch to https:), but it's a step in the right direction.
1:01 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I wasnt affected by the Dec 12th change that much but since the last 2 months traffic is decreasing daily.
After I read what @billygg + said, I checked my WMT. My domain is key-word.com. For that search (key word), I have totally disappeared from serps, from one day to the next. Say that search had 6K impressions a day on monday, tuesday it had nearly 0. Most of the searches are long tail, so that keyword is not that important but maybe for someone it is.

Site is not https, it has AMP enabled for around a year, its a multilanguage site, pretty good content.

I also checked the mobile vs desktop version of Google bot activity and in January 2017, Google bot for mobile is crawling the site (90% of the crawler hits are for mobile)
1:38 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Site is not https, it has AMP enabled for around a year,

How does that work? Valid AMP must be served from https.
2:20 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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AMP cache is served from https, but your site doesn't need to.
3:30 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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but your site doesn't need to

True, but not exactly true. Yes there are some basic AMP features that can be served without https. See snippet:
USE HTTPS When creating AMP pages and content, you should strongly consider using the HTTPS protocol (vs. HTTP). Although, HTTPS is not required for the AMP document itself or for images and fonts, there are many AMP features that require HTTPS (e.g., video, iframes, and more). To ensure your AMP pages take full advantage of all AMP features, use the HTTPS protocol. You can learn more about HTTPS in "Why HTTPS Matters".

from: [ampproject.org...]

It seems strange that one would go through the effort of converting ones site to AMP but not take the time to convert to https. Just sayin'

And a site without, videos, forms, and other common functionalities may make you vulnerable to competitors providing sites with more dynamic and interactive AMP content. This would largely depend on your niche.
3:33 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So schema affecting it?
4:19 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS Maybe mirror.co.uk with around 100M P/V Month, the telegraph.co.uk with more than 150M P/V month or even foxnews.com with 300M P/V are wrong also.
Anyway there are several validation methods, where you can check if you code is OK.
5:07 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google said in google first index you have to serve pages with the same url in desktop and mobile, but with AMP this is not happening, you serve pages with different url into devices.
I have seen mobile google bot is crawling AMP pages... so can this be hurting my seo?
6:16 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Looking at my live view over the past 12 hours or so, my traffic is down by 80%, I have absolutely no idea why.
7:26 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@dani566
Google said in google first index you have to serve pages with the same url in desktop and mobile

No this is not what Google says. They say that in the very near future they will begin to use the content displayed on your mobile page as the basis for indexing and ranking. So, if you have separate m dot page, it is this mobile page that will be used, whereas if you have a responsive page where the same content is being served to both desktop and mobile users then there will be no issue.

Now in regards to AMP pages, these should have the same content on them as the non-amp canonical pages. That is assuming that you have an amp and a non-amp page, the content on the AMP should match relatively closely to the content on the Non-AMP. That is the page to which you point the canonical tag. Google has mentioned recently that it will penalize sites that have AMP pages that for example only show a small portion of the content with a click here to read more button.

Again if you have only one version, an AMP version that is served to both mobile and desktop then there is no issue here either.

In summary, if your mobile page are not he same as the desktop pages, this could cause you problems in the very near future. I recommend reading this post:
[webmasterworld.com...]
9:50 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Relying from page 1....about there being no seasonal changes...
I can't agree with that. My major site is most definitely seasonal both in page views and earnings. The lowest compared to the highest season must be a factor of 8 or more.

@nomis - that is no surprise...imagine if every website were affected in the same way...it just does not happen. I'm just giving my observation, that's all.
In the past, it was VERY seasonal, like a roller coaster...not anymore....other than today when traffic was 0,1,0,1,0,1,2,0,1,0, then suddenly 65+ for 5 minutes then back to 0,1,0,2,0,1,0,1,0,1.... a pattern I call "binary traffic". What's with the surges?...they happen randomly every few days / weeks.
10:23 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Is anybody else seeing weird stats in their live view? My Adsense is down, but not by the 80% drop my live view is showing (maybe down 10%) and my Adsense page views reflect the 10% not 80% drop.
10:35 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan Are all your competitors including the spamming junky sites monetized for profit? Are any of the educational sites you speak of real EDU's?
10:56 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My travel website has fallen. I have been overtaken by inferior sites. I can not find the reason Fallen since December 12

The average descent is 7 positions
1:12 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Strange algo targeting content providers, I guess the knowledge block fulfills that need for Google users so the rest of the sites are no longer necessary. And as EG pointed out those content sites never advertise so Google is getting rid.
5:05 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@penitentman No, they're all for profit. In fairness, most of them are fairly decent sites, except for the spammy site. I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before Google wises up and demotes it, but who knows.
9:17 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Searched for a keyword and there were; top stories and wiki. That's it. No other results :/
10:09 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So it's a lot worse for me than I first thought. Just checked my search console again and I've dropped down yet another full position in the rankings from 8.4 to 9.3.
10:39 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yep continued poor results, a slight uptick over the weekend but I'm seeing duplicate serps all over the place on desktop and mobile doesn't even resemble a google search anymore.
11:56 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Houston, we have a problem!

[imgur.com...]
[imgur.com...]

We are online store. keyword positioned in the first three positions go to position 18 and down.
Whithout ads
without bad practices
Original content

what's going on?
8:42 pm on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Do you have any other redirection from another web to yours?
This 200 message thread spans 7 pages: 200