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Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2018

     
12:14 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 7 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4885490.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 1:35 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (PDT -8)


Biggest drop ever. Much bigger than every panda or penguin.
All the work does not pay off. The only winner in this game is google itself.
12:51 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@martiniceweb same here. great conclusion btw!
@sam still good conversions? or is it dead for you too?
1:32 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Down for me too.. I've lost 50% + traffic in November update, but I didn't give give, I've recovered traffic to some extent. Since then I'm trying to build my own reader base not dependent on any third party service.

@Martin Good luck, mate. I'm sure you will be back with a bang!
5:15 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ion, as usual, it's up, it's down, and keeps trending sideways and lower no matter how much you clean up code, improve UE, do social posts or wash behind your ears...by now, we all know the drill. Since MayDay 2010, there has not been one upwards trend, except for that short lived viral episode on a client site a few months back. That has since totally decayed. The "apparent" anti competitive equations in the algo are working very well.
7:16 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Martin Ice Web
Biggest drop ever. Much bigger than every panda or penguin.

Would you be kind to explain the drop in term of % . Thanks a bunch.
8:57 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Seen a bit of a drop on March 1st. Nothing dramatic just yet.
9:17 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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No drop here. Traffic has been good this week. Even AdSense has shown a huge improvement over the past few days.
9:45 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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btw - I wasn't attempting to be snarky, rather admiring. My audience is down 12% last week. bounce up only 0.05
10:43 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am I the only one really bored by "My sites Up" - well done OR "My sites down" - oh bad luck ? This used to be a good thread where people would post there theories on Google algo changes and try to reverse engineer them. Today its just full of bad luck stories with the occasional upbeat post.
11:32 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This used to be a good thread where people would post there theories on Google algo changes and try to reverse engineer them.

The monthly Google "dances" provided more grist for discussion than the current system does, I suspect. Today's "updates" (when they aren't imagined) usually go unannounced and don't have the broad impact of the old monthly updates.

Also, "reverse engineering" is likely to be a synonym for "wishful thinking" in today's Google environment.
11:39 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Really! EG I can see a ton of stuff everytime I look, I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I'll tell you one observation, hierarchy determined by breadcrumb navigation devalued in current algo
11:42 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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....and another - internal links reevaluated, quality and relevance above quantity.
11:44 pm on Mar 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am sure others can make observations too and it would be a damn site more interesting than my site just lost traffic comments
12:21 am on Mar 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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seoskunk -- The problem that you've called attention to has been discussed here before. Its basic cause is that some people spend too much time watching what's happening on their sites. Instead of worrying about meaningless short-term fluctuations, they should be looking at long-term trends.
12:54 am on Mar 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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reverse engineering = wishful thinking

Very true I wish I could reverse all the bots behaviour on my sites
10:33 am on Mar 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am I the only one really bored by "My sites Up" - well done OR "My sites down" - oh bad luck ? This used to be a good thread where people would post there theories on Google algo changes and try to reverse engineer them. Today its just full of bad luck stories with the occasional upbeat post.


1. I think this is because poeple are bugged by all the google silly updates. They donīt want to change things every day (less than ever when they are bad in two month ).

2. in most cases when you think you are on the way to "figuere out" something and post it, no one will care in this forum

3, if there are only a few bad stories and my site got a hit, i can assume that my site has a problem and there is no updated in progress

4. i donīt know how many webmasters are realy digging that deep or have the knowledge to do so (i am sure limited in certain areas, too )

5. most webmasters go into google console and see "no errors", that for sure is in most cases not the trueth. google console is realy bad and will not show you the real internal erros. It is good for getting some hints on it but not more.
1:39 pm on Mar 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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1. I think this is because poeple are bugged by all the google silly updates. They donīt want to change things every day (less than ever when they are bad in two month ).

The problems occur most for those who think they need to "change things every day."


I am I the only one really bored by "My sites Up" - well done OR "My sites down"

Did it really take you this long? ;)
1:49 pm on Mar 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Long time lurker, first-time poster.

Unless you're doing something that might be against Google's guidelines, it's like watching your 401k or other investment every day and getting all excited/nervous about any changes. As aristotle said "Instead of worrying about meaningless short-term fluctuations, they should be looking at long-term trends." 100% this.
1:53 pm on Mar 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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. As aristotle said "Instead of worrying about meaningless short-term fluctuations, they should be looking at long-term trends."


I think it was actually Thomas Hobbes who said that.
3:04 pm on Mar 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am I the only one really bored by "My sites Up" - well done OR "My sites down" - oh bad luck ? This used to be a good thread where people would post there theories on Google algo changes and try to reverse engineer them. Today its just full of bad luck stories with the occasional upbeat post.


Man, I don't even know where to start on that one. Besides being insulting, it makes absolutely zero sense, other than to say "I hate hearing other people's site issues". Riddle me this: How do you expect to "reverse engineer" Google's black box without feedback? That's the point of community. Yeah, it's too bad that feedback is mostly negative, but them's the facts (sic). Read EG's posts, he's always a ray of sunshine. ;)

You are clearly frustrated, as is just about everyone here. That doesn't warrant taking it out on those who are providing free feedback which just might help shed some light on the cause of these unnatural SERP trends. The topic is titled "Google Updates and SERP changes" , not "Reverse Engineering Google", which is an exercise in futility I guarantee. Go elsewhere if that's what you are looking to do and if we are upsetting you. We already know that over-optimization is a path to penalty. Like watching a bad car wreck, we're simply observing the decay of natural traffic flow.

I think most of us have given up long ago on trying to figure it out because we've been through every troubleshooting exercise dozens of times already, followed the webmaster guidelines to the letter and have read every "expert" book of SEO "advice". Most of us practice non stop site maintenance and tweaks to keep up to standard. It's simply a game of diminishing returns. Resistance is futile. I do have one solution that I guarantee will work...get a briefcase full of money so you can buy your way to the top. That or find the shiny trending object, which will help you for about 6 weeks.

BTW - if you want to reverse engineer, where are your bright insights? In the future, try to refrain from complaints and attacks until you have a solution. You can all relax because my traffic reports end here. If anything, these years of reports may be of future evidentiary value.

Instead of worrying about meaningless short-term fluctuations, they should be looking at long-term trends.

Really? After 20+ years that 's just hilarious advice. This has been a 8 year run of downward trend following a 12 year non stop upward trend. Do the math. A lot of people are also seeing the same 8 year downward trend. Is that "long-term" enough for you? And no, it's not the economy alone. It's a galaxy of factors. Nobody is going to troubleshoot or reverse engineer their way to success in this environment. If they do, post it here. You'll be a hero.

[edited by: samwest at 4:19 pm (utc) on Mar 2, 2018]

5:10 pm on Mar 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Since SEO isn't getting any easier, let's get back to observing & discussing insights to boost profits.
2:52 am on Mar 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Traffic up 30% in last 2 days - conversions up 50%.

We are back to Dec 17 levels in both conversions and traffic.

After losing traffic in Dec, we realised we had lost some major backlinks through 2017 so spent a lot of effort building some strong links through January and February and got rewarded.

I really think most Google updates are just page rank updates. You get a higher page rank, you gain traffic and vice versa.
7:06 pm on Mar 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Still Today Google is Crazy semrush sensor 7.8 Desktop and Mobile 9.2
10:28 pm on Mar 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If CNN links to us - few days traffic goes up but not necessary the conversions. Why?
1:18 pm on Mar 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hello everyone,
When a bot scans a site and for example it shows 50 hits. How is that converted to unique visitors ? Is it fair to say that it’s one unique visit ?
4:12 pm on Mar 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Definite saw an update this weekend hit one of my blogs hard. Thin/syndicated content along with other Fred and Maccabbes signals. This is the one blog I didn't have a chance to work on since Fred. I also didn't remove the pages with webmaster guideline violations from my sitemap so the site was flagged and hit. Once I fix the issues and resubmit the sitemap I'm confident it will recover.
8:42 pm on Mar 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If CNN links to us - few days traffic goes up but not necessary the conversions. Why?

Maybe because most of the CNN visitors aren't actively researching purchases, as searchers are more likely to be doing? That would be my best guess.
8:44 pm on Mar 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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When a bot scans a site and for example it shows 50 hits. How is that converted to unique visitors ? Is it fair to say that it’s one unique visit ?

You didn't say which stats program you're using. A good stats program should filter out the bots and only count human visitors. Although some of the newer bots can mimic human behavior so well that they might be hard to filter out.
9:18 pm on Mar 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@aristotle. Thank you for the clarification.
3:28 pm on Mar 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ED

Of course no one is expecting readers from CNN to convert but the money terms go up because of the CNN exposure and there is no increase in conversions.

Basically there is nothing I can do to beat the quota...
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