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Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2018

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5:43 pm on Jun 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 22 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4904681.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 10:35 am on Jul 3, 2018 (PDT -8)


On a year like this with the 4th of July mid week, many Americans will take their week summer vacation that week. I expect unusual traffic patterns for the next 8-9 days.


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:40 pm (utc) on Jul 3, 2018]
[edit reason] Split off to new monthly thread... [/edit]

3:59 pm on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NYCTech
I think I see that kind of attack on one of my websites. Table showing speed from different countries from Google Analytics:
[oi65.tinypic.com...]

My website is targeted only to users in US, and for sure not Venezuela. Tried to block this traffic by Cloudflare challenge (Google recaptcha 2) but they are passing it through.
6:01 pm on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My website is targeted only to users in US, and for sure not Venezuela. Tried to block this traffic by Cloudflare challenge (Google recaptcha 2) but they are passing it through.


it is quite easy to block access to a site from an entire country using geoip module for nginx or apache - might be something you want to look at
6:16 pm on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan Cloudflare has function of blocking entire country, but I didn't want to block normal users (for example Americans in Venezuela). I thought traffic from Venezuela were bots, that can render javascript and thought that captcha will stop them.
8:19 pm on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What if this speed issue is just a diversion from the real problem. How is it possible that only small businesses are affected and who is replacing the real traffic with zombie traffic?
8:39 pm on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How is it possible that only small businesses are affected and who is replacing the real traffic with zombie traffic?

How do you know that only small businesses are affected, or that anyone is replacing real traffic with zombie traffic? Assumptions and limited anecdotal evidence aren't facts.
8:59 pm on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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something im confused about it that my conversions have all but disappeared now. Weeks ago , even though traffic had fallen I still at least had some conversions but now it is next to none (for about the same amount of traffic). The landing pages im getting traffic for are the same and I have even (by improving content) improved on bounce rate and session time but Im getting next to no orders. It is not even that im getting cart abandonment - people arent even trying to checkout any more for the same products they used to (the products have not changed in any way at all).
The only thing I can think of is that the traffic i am getting someone is not the same traffic I used to - i.e. it is now traffic without buyer intent when it was before , but I cant think why that would be.
Today has been terrible , with no sales at all. If the rest of the week is like this im finished so if anyone has any suggestions or ideas im all ears.
10:15 pm on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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something im confused about it that my conversions have all but disappeared now. Weeks ago , even though traffic had fallen I still at least had some conversions but now it is next to none (for about the same amount of traffic). The landing pages im getting traffic for are the same and I have even (by improving content) improved on bounce rate and session time but Im getting next to no orders. It is not even that im getting cart abandonment - people arent even trying to checkout any more for the same products they used to (the products have not changed in any way at all).
The only thing I can think of is that the traffic i am getting someone is not the same traffic I used to - i.e. it is now traffic without buyer intent when it was before , but I cant think why that would be.
Today has been terrible , with no sales at all. If the rest of the week is like this im finished so if anyone has any suggestions or ideas im all ears.


This happened to me between around May 20 and June 20. For exactly 30 days I had not one affiliate conversion while still having a decent traffic from the US and other countries. My rankings for converting keywords and traffic to the best converting pages didn't drop during that period. I couldn't think what's wrong and even asked if there were any changes to the product or its price, but there was none. Then after June 20, it was like a switch and had several conversions that pretty much ensured my bills will be paid next month. It is slow but kind of normal now.
10:29 pm on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@EG

Do not remember anyone here reporting zombies being a webmaster of a high street store online business.

Since they never seem to advertise not sure they care what traffic they get zombies or not.

But FBI could knock on people’s door and ask “Madam you are using this Ip ... and really like to know if you really have been on EG’s website that day and time and red the article “How to manipulate people’s opinion...”
10:56 pm on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What if this speed issue is just a diversion from the real problem.


Exactly!
3:59 am on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Two questions,
1. How can you detect a slow loading DDOS, or whatever is slowing your website to google.
2. I heard mention of disavowing hacked sites....how can you tell if they are hacked?
6:54 am on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@vphoner

1. It is not a slowloris attack your website works everytime you like to test. What they do is pretending that your site is slow by delaying web requests. Mainly abusing chrome.

2. Chrome will flag the site that has been hacked and you get a webmaster tools message.
8:10 am on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan

Where are you and what's your niche? Holidays etc, weather, world cup etc can all have an effect I guess...
10:55 am on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Anyone seeing any ranking changes now that this speed update has rolled out?
12:40 pm on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Anyone seeing any ranking changes now that this speed update has rolled out?

I don't see any changes, and the serp tools really are not reporting much either. Since the speed update only impacts very slow sites, I don't expect we will hear much about this update's impact.
1:00 pm on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@glakes we've seen alot of movement in our sector. I think this will particular hit ecom verticals alot more, given that some of them can be heavy with functionality, causing them to slow down. As ever, some do it alot better than others, which is causing some shake up.
1:55 pm on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@jez123

Where are you and what's your niche? Holidays etc, weather, world cup etc can all have an effect I guess.


Im in online travel, south america based. Yes of course in this area holidays and world cup have an effect and I do take that into account. Weather I guess like in the UK being very sunny at the moment can have an effect but my customer base is distributed enough to mitigate that really - roughly speaking i have about 40 to 50% customers from US , then the remainder are UK, Europe, Aus, Korea / Asia but quite a few are actually on the road in South America already so things like weather in Europe has less of an effect. World cup does have an effect (ive been doing this for a few world cups now so am aware of the fluctuations).
The differences Ive been seeing and cannot just be explained by those factors.

Strangely enough yesterday after posting there were no conversions, things took an upturn in the afternoon and I saw an increase in traffic and got a few conversions - not amazing but was very welcome sign. Today also seems to be a reasonable amount of traffic coming in so far and a few conversions over night. It is at least a bit of hope.

Im wondering if the reported update yesterday has helped or it is just the content improvements im making beginning to improve things. Hopefully both - im going to keep going on the content as that is likely to one have positive effects anyway.
2:41 pm on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Milchan, I'm in the same sector (different continent, though), also with an international audience. Oddly enough, our daily traffic has increased during the World Cup, despite the fact that many of our readers live in countries where soccer is the No.1 sport.

I can remember past years when, on Super Bowl Sunday in the U.S., our traffic was up rather than down. The only explanation I can think of is that people who don't like sports (wives of male football fans, for example) retreat to their computers when the sports fans are shouting at the TV in the living room.
5:33 pm on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@editorialGuy

Yeah , the female aspect could explain it. In general though I notice a dip in actual travelers to the the area during the world cup, but it doesnt effect internet visitors too much really so i cant contribute the problems ive had to it really.
7:50 pm on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Android Police, one of the largest tech site is also experiencing a massive traffic drop. Nobody's safe :(

I hope they will bounce back soon.
8:04 pm on July 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Im definitely seeing a pickup again since late yesterday and throughout today. Im doing a bit better in the serps and traffic is coming in a bit more steadily than it has for weeks (prob because of better serp placement) and a few conversions.Wish I knew why for sure but if it keeps going along that trend line it will at least delay my nervous breakdown a bit longer!
11:51 am on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Oops conversions disappeared again,

It looks like quotas are kiking in I really wonder how can a website still get traffic and still be allowed to spend in adwords when the quota was met?
11:55 am on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Once again, despite ample #1 and #2 listings on page one (for long time key terms AND all suggested terms at the bottom of the page), traffic is right back to a trickle this week. two conversions since Sunday. Long zero runs. It's pretty clear either nobody is using Google or their top page Ads are effectively diverting all buying traffic.

Almost ready to "call it" on my test site that once did six figures/yr, but now does low four figures/yr.
12:21 pm on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar interesting that Andriod Police's performance is horrendous...

FCP 5.430m/s
FMP 8.420m/s

looks like they have an huge issue with image optimisation...
2:07 pm on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@sam

I am on top with ads and hardly look at rankings it looks like I have been slapped with a low quota that applies to both ads and rankings.

Spending like crazy with no conversions
2:36 pm on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@mos - that pretty much verifies it, nobody is using Google. Direct to Amazon or social media.
4:19 pm on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Summer vacation both in EU too, give it ten to fifteen days to pass and things will start shaping back to somewhat usual patterns.
5:07 pm on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@branko97

Are you suggesting that people go on holiday and their computer still clicks on ads?

If they are on holiday there are no sales and no clicks on ads either or I am missing something.
9:15 pm on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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FCP 5.430m/s
FMP 8.420m/s

Oh my gosh, another silly metric with which Google tries to convince us about the reasons why a crappy, scraped content site outperforms one with all original content by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize's winners...
After mobilegeddon, Amp, a gazillion panda and content quality fake updates, I don't trust their suggestions any more. My worst year, in terms of organic traffic, was 2016. Incidentally, it was the one I made my website responsive, I implemented Amp, I added Google Speed Module to Apache, and I upgraded my server's hardware so to successfully achieve a website speed higher than 98% of my competitors'. Reality vs dreams? You can be slow, not user friendly, not responsive, you can base your websites on stolen images and scraped low quality texts. It doesn't matter at all, believe me. As long as you pay Google, you'll remain in their exclusive, private digital slave heaven...as long as you pay..
Do you really think that Larry and Sergey still have some kind of control over "Google" any more? Shareholders have the control, and every department has its own goals, different from one another. The most important slowing factor for a website, these days, it's not your server speed, your bad coding, or your images' size.. it's Google's AdSense, indeed...
10:30 pm on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The most important slowing factor for a website, these days, it's not your server speed, your bad coding, or your images' size.. it's Google's AdSense, indeed...

That's one true statement right there. Dumping any/all of Google's code makes sites load much faster.
11:09 pm on July 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The most important slowing factor for a website, these days, it's not your server speed, your bad coding, or your images' size.. it's Google's AdSense, indeed...

And ads are, in 90% of times, degrading the user's experience, which is one of the key factor of the Google search's guidelines. So, less ads = faster site = better user experience = better ranking. Google search is coherent.
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