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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
8:24 am on Dec 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@seoskunk good for you!
i don't see any light nor tunnel -- 4 days no conversions; traffic 10% up but this didnt helped; wth is goin on?
2:09 pm on Dec 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I saw a video on youtube called "How to stop Procrastinating", I clicked Watch it Later

Love it! that's me all day....not sure what happened, but focusing is almost impossible these days, cause really, what do you focus on that works? FUD, It's all by design methinks.
3:47 pm on Dec 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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not sure what happened, but focusing is almost impossible these days


Absolutely, if it were not for my realworld businesses I'd have walked away after the great Google image theft, fortunately I have genuine customers who do appreciate our brochure information.
3:14 pm on Dec 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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after yet another very flat November, December is starting out with minuscule traffic levels and zero conversions. SERPs have not moved. Happy Holidays - the ISH is dead.
1:10 pm on Dec 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have finally enabled AMP... As I'm in Google News and it is a authority site, any idea how long it would take for the site to appear on the top stories?
2:24 pm on Dec 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I just checked 2016 and 2015 and there is a definite December slowing of traffic levels.
This / last week is a touch early but I cant discount that it is a Christmas effect.
We should probably shift production into tinsel till then! :-)
2:49 pm on Dec 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@MayankPramar for AMP I found that best way to get your AMP-page indexed as "AMP" is to use the Google's "Validate AMP" tool that appears at the top of the serp when search for "Validate AMP". You enter the URL Submit, then you can preview the serp, and submit to Google.

I had a couple of pages that I had submitted to index using only GSC fetch tool. and after about two weeks, there was no sign of the page being considered as "AMP" by Google. The pages were indexed, but not as AMP. They never appeared in the GSC - Search Appearance - AMP report. After submitting the pages with SERP tool the pages appeared in the report after the next update.
8:12 pm on Dec 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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These must be magical words

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc sed est cursus, gravida dui vel, condimentum ligula. Vestibulum lectus elit, dictum vel placerat a, molestie sit amet ipsum. Sed hendrerit, ligula nec imperdiet consequat, dolor ante venenatis nulla, at maximus elit neque at erat. Curabitur quis justo ut quam dapibus congue id eget nisl. Suspendisse tristique et risus eu varius. Duis a ex ac nibh tempor efficitur vestibulum vel risus. Cras vestibulum, est et interdum aliquam, diam erat cursus tellus, quis tempus nisi eros a ex.


Google just ranked a page top 10 for competitive keyword, content is king
11:44 am on Dec 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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These must be magical words

You should see what google translate does to them :-)
4:13 pm on Dec 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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content is king

apparently the black briefcase of cash is "king-ier" - ;)
9:47 pm on Dec 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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FAceBook: 958
Goog:9
Bing:198
Yahoo: Yes Yahoo, 168.
+ 420+ from other sources excluding bots.

TODAY.

That is what I got on 14 year old small ECom site as of now.
2:03 am on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I must say I am encouraged, you see someone is playing with user metrics, apparently my page load time is 65 minutes and I have a 93% bounce rate, hehe you know you're getting somewhere when they start throwing that stuff at you. Fingers crossed Google has this one covered as its beyond my control and so not going to loose sleep over it. I think black hat tactics against a site should be considered a quality signal :)
9:41 am on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We actually have the problem that google disregards our robots="nofollow, noindex" rules. Pages with low content and not refurbished quality are in serps right now ( they are noindexed ).. And i guess that this sites count into all over panda ranking.
How bad has google become?
10:44 am on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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google disregards our robots="nofollow, noindex" rules
Martin, are you also by any chance using robots.txt? If so, that's likely your problem.

The robots meta tag doesn't work well with robots.txt... since, if a page is excluded by robots.txt, Googlebot won't crawl it and therefore won't see the robots meta tag.

More info available if you need it. It's sometimes counterintuitive.

11:31 am on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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And, ummm, have you actually marked up the page (as opposed to loosely posting in forums) with
robots="nofollow, noindex"
12:02 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@robert,

there is no robots.txt that includes this pages. I took primal attention not to have this pages in robots.text

@shaddows, if you allude to robots="..." then for sure not.
We use the official
<META NAME="robots" Content="noindex, nofollow">
tag.
This phenomenon occured the first time last week.

And this are not shopping refs from google shopping,
6:32 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@seoskunk

There is no way for google to have it covered if your page is loading in 65 minutes or a script is slowloading it to cause damage.

Read what happened to NYCTech
[webmasterworld.com...]
9:21 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I get the noindex part to avoid quality penalties but is there any reason for the nofollow one if you're linking to internal pages on your own site? Doesn't that only obstruct crawling and block possible link juice from flowing? I always use the "noindex, follow" instruction.
9:29 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I found that leaving nofollow off of funnel pages, for example, with it's infinite session ID's would result in a lot of food for crawlers. And we apply this rule to sections we want on the site, but do not want indexed.
9:38 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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There is no way for google to have it covered if your page is loading in 65 minutes or a script is slowloading it to cause damage


Thanks for reminding me of that thread mosxu, I was actually looking for it before I posted. The fun really has gonna out of this now, if its not enough fighting an animal algo's you also should you see any light have neg seo to contend with as well. But I'm not going down that rabbit hole, just going to ignore this, as should Google.
10:29 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@seoskunk

Normally the server needs to drop slow connections, there is no way for chrome to understand who is doing what... and guess who will be the collateral victim here !
2:38 pm on Dec 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@atomic,
And we apply this rule to sections we want on the site, but do not want indexed.


that is what noindex is supposed to do?! We hide low content pages that still have value for customers but not for crawlers.
Big problem if google ignores this tag or if google takes noindex pages into count for overallranking.
4:51 pm on Dec 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just as a point of clarity, noindex just stops the page appearing in SERPs. It is meant to keep things like carts out of SERPs. It was not designed as a SEO directive. The main SEO use-cases (near or actual duplication, pagination) have been superseded with canonical tags.

There is speculation that it does one or more of the following:
  • Excludes the page from old-paradigm site-wide ranking factors
  • Allows other pages from the site that would normally rank below the excluded page to rank higher than otherwise
  • Stops spammy-looking pages counting against a site when considered for manual action

It emphatically does not change the behaviour of crawlers. I doubt it does anything for "overall" ranking. If you do intend a ranking benefit, I would expect this to stink of SEO and be treated accordingly.
1:58 pm on Dec 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Try leaving your funnel pages out of the sitemap that you submit in search console. That's what I have done and they seem to stay out of the index.
6:32 pm on Dec 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Anyone seen a rash of zombie traffic yesterday and today?
4:40 pm on Dec 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Anyone seen a rash of zombie traffic yesterday and today?

Yes, [youtu.be...]

My observation of the season is that there IS no season. For the past two years, seasonal fluctuation has been virtually eliminated.
Each month amounts to the same level of traffic and the same level of conversions, almost EXACTLY. The GAN AI is fine tuning at every iteration making natural variation a thing of the past...at least in my niche.
11:12 pm on Dec 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Boy its slow around here, reminds me of the end of that movie Titanic when all the voices die out....
5:35 pm on Dec 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Boy its slow around here, reminds me of the end of that movie Titanic when all the voices die out....

Isn't that typical for this time of year?
6:04 pm on Dec 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My observation of the season is that there IS no season. For the past two years, seasonal fluctuation has been virtually eliminated.


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.

I think seasonality depends hugely on what market you are in. Some markets are relatively stable, some, like mine, have huge seasonal variations.
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