Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 34.228.115.216

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2018

     
11:34 am on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 1, 2018
posts:89
votes: 15


System: The following 2 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4909313.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 3:47 am on Aug 1, 2018 (PDT -8)

-----

HERE WE GO! Get your sit belts on:

Google Search Algorithm August 1st Update Rolling Out Now; Might Be A Big One
Aug 1, 2018
https://www.seroundtable.com/google-search-algorithm-update-26141.html [seroundtable.com]




[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 11:57 am (utc) on Aug 1, 2018]
1:23 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from GB 

10+ Year Member

joined:July 12, 2006
posts:74
votes: 10


UK widget price comparison site got hit big in the August 1st update. It appears they tweaked something today to finally finish it off. It is now dead. And of course it is a very good, completely accurate and well researched website that adds a lot of value. It's previous positions have been replaced with a load of old rubbish. I guess they just want everyone to use their inferior product price comparison service.
1:43 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 5, 2004
posts: 517
votes: 48


@HammerDown

I did quite a bit of research and there is not one single reason you should use internal nofollow.


I can think of several. To prevent a search engine from visiting form pages like for new comments or forum posts. To prevent a search engine from visiting a link that performs a certain action like pressing a like or Thank you button.
1:50 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 5, 2004
posts: 517
votes: 48


BTW any one notice "Google Fixes Video Carousels To Show Them Less Often" [seroundtable.com...]

I haven't really seen a difference in our niche all the ones that appeared in the March update are unfortunately still there.
2:10 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 8, 2018
posts:31
votes: 6


Anyone has the guts to de-index thin pages and see if the ranking improves? I dont.


@yollo03 It's admittedly very difficult. The site I bought recently was in just that situation. The "iceberg" if you will. Glen Gabe (I think) first described it as an iceberg where the 10% above water that you see is what Google values and sends traffic to. You have an area near the surface that with work can be brought to surface and then you have almost 90% below the surface that's a total liability.

It took someone to convince me to do it but it was a great idea and I finally got the nerve and looked at Analytics and ended either taking the content from those pages and moving to other pages, then using a 301 to point to the new page and finally removing the old URL in GSC, or deleting the page altogether or simply moving its status back to Draft to work on at a later time.

I can't recommend it highly enough. Just don't forget to either 301 the URL to a new page or at the very least the homepage. Doing this is more critical than new content. Once completed you've pruned a bunch of dead limbs and now Google sees a much more tight, compact footprint and your PageRank is nice and contained.
2:12 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 8, 2018
posts:31
votes: 6


I can think of several. To prevent a search engine from visiting form pages like for new comments or forum posts. To prevent a search engine from visiting a link that performs a certain action like pressing a like or Thank you button.


@JesterMagic The meta "nofollow" tag would accomplish none of those things. If you're using internal "nofollow" for that purpose you're hurting yourself. You need to do some basic research on what the tag is for in 2018. If you don't want to do the research, trust me when I tell you do NOT use internal "nofollow."
2:15 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 8, 2018
posts:31
votes: 6


Just now looking at my GSC data for landing pages on August 12. Did any of you in YMYL who got significantly impacted on the core update see a very nice uptick in overall position on the 12th? I'm talking 25%.
2:44 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:3365
votes: 707


@HammerDown: Why not just use "noindex" on those pages?
2:59 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 8, 2018
posts:31
votes: 6


@HammerDown: Why not just use "noindex" on those pages?


I thought about that but for a few different reasons I chose not to just noindex them. First, I had internal links pointing to them which made no sense to send juice to them. Also, many had good content but the articles were sometimes 300-400 words and I had very similar articles on the topic elsewhere that were ranking so I merged the two and 301'ed the old URL to the new while removing the old in GSC.

However, I was only dealing with less than 100 articles. If I had 1,000 or even several hundred, right now I'd "noindex" them all, get googlebot crawling the site and then deal with them on a one-on-one basis.

One thing is for sure, I wouldn't spend one minute on new content until the rest of the "iceberg" was dealt with. Once you have a nice, tight, compact PR container, then work on the new or refreshing the existing.

There's a real great article on this somewhere I read.
3:15 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2354
votes: 625


Do you know why the tip of an iceberg sticks out of the water? It is due to the difference in density between the water and ice.
What's the point?
If you trim off the 90% of an iceberg and place the top 10% back in the water it will sink to the point where only 10% (of the 10%) will remain afloat.
And the point?...
IMO trimming content is risky. It should be obvious that not all content is "tip of the iceberg" quality, but not all "less than perfect" content needs or should be de-indexed. Granted, some very low quality content, if it exists can and probable should be removed. (One must then ask the question, why was it there in the first place? But that is another topic of discussion.)

What I'm saying is the content quality is not discrete, good, okay, bad. It varies from great to horrible and every website has content that is spread along that spectrum (except mine of course, my content is all great, LOL).The fundamental problem is that the determination of what constitutes great vs horrible is subjective and what you find great may not meet that same standards as Google. Just look at the SERPs, would you expect to see some of the stuff one see ranking above your site. So where does one draw the line?

Being too critical will cause good content to be removed from the index. The value and ranking signals provided will be lost. Think back to the iceberg analogy, the particular page may have been below water but it provided the material, the density to keep the tip afloat. At the opposite end, leaving too much poor quality content in the index could send signals that reflect poorly on the whole site (unlike the iceberg this will cause less of the tip to float).

The one safe solution, the one recommended by Google is instead of deleting or no-indexing content, improve the content. Re-write the content fix the issues. Obviously on a big site this is a lot of work. By fixing the existing content one maintains the same volume of but reduces its density thus allowing more of the tip to rise above the water.

As a side note, my first reaction with respect to the discussion about "How to Geek" that occurred earlier in this thread was that they had mentioned that previous to all their problems they had trimmed a lot of content and continued to see a gradual decline in rankings until this latest update were the gradual drop become sudden. My thought is that they probably trimmed a bunch of content that was likely not great but still provided value.

And remember, just because I sneezed this morning at the moment that it started to rain does not me that my sneeze caused the rain. (or maybe it did hmm.... I always thought I had special powers)
3:26 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 8, 2018
posts:31
votes: 6


I wasn't talking about a radical pruning based on arbitrary opinion.

What I did was repurpose content on pages that had rec'd 0-5 organic visits over the last 120 days. Absolutely zero doubt that Google placed little or no value on the content and one look at most pages left little doubt why. If/when there was good, unique content I moved it to similar pages or put the status of the page back to Draft so I could potentially use it later.

My point is, if there's a site with thousands of pages of low-quality content getting little or no organic traffic, there's no harm in doing something about it. Status quo is pulling the entire iceberg down.
3:46 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 8, 2018
posts:31
votes: 6


Without getting too off-topic here, I found the original article about pruning content here: [oncrawl.com...]
3:52 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2354
votes: 625


What I did was repurpose content on pages that had rec'd 0-5 organic visits over the last 120 days. Absolutely zero doubt that Google placed little or no value on the content and one look at most pages left little doubt why.


Respectfully your are making a big assumption. You are equating the content's ability to drive traffic to your site as the same as the content's ability to send ranking signals. No traffic simply means that there has been little search interest for the topic covered by the content. If tomorrow some news story breaks about that topic and there is renewed interest you may begin to see traffic. But traffic or no traffic, if the content is good and it is indexed it is most likely providing valuable ranking signals.

My site relies almost exclusively on long tail searches (those are search that occur infrequently, not search terms that a comprised of many words). 99% of my site sees no traffic for month if not years at a time. But I am unable to predict which page will receive traffic on any given day. If I followed your logic, I would delete 99% of my site and only keep the most frequently visited pages. This would be great, 100% of my site would be indexed, I could have a smaller server and on and on... But I would eliminate 90% of my landing pages and in the process decimate my traffic. My situation is not common but the underlying logic applies even to a typical blog like pattern. Traffic and ranking signals are two different things.
4:29 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2354
votes: 625


@HammerDown
The author of the article you link to above clearly has no understanding about the physics of icebergs:
Removing the bottom half of this iceberg will cause the rest to “rise up,” making more of it visible above the surface.


I would be cautious when taking advice from someone that is not astute enough to realize that their own analogy does not hold.
5:54 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 18, 2005
posts:1842
votes: 78


So if you have a site with articles and a forum section (with varying degree of post quality, which is normal), the forum section will penalize the article section? It should be no-indexed or blocked with robots.txt?

I encountered similar problems back in the Panda days, but after no-indexing all the user profile pages (usually just a bunch of links to their posts), that seemed to do the trick with the next updates. However, there's no way for me to be 100% sure that's what solved it.
6:22 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 5, 2004
posts: 517
votes: 48


@HammerDown nofollow works as I want it. I have the noindex tag on my forum editor page for new posts. The problem was Google was still visiting the page for every single forum topic because the topic id gets appended to the url. Sure Google did not indexing the forum editor page but they still visit the page for every new topic. Adding nofollow for the new posts url solved this problem. This way Google doesn't waste my resources for serving the content and I don't waste theirs having them visit a page that doesn't belong in the search results.
6:23 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 8, 2018
posts:31
votes: 6


The author of the article you link to above clearly has no understanding about the physics of icebergs:


@NickMNS I don't care.
6:25 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 8, 2018
posts:31
votes: 6


@HammerDown nofollow works as I want it. I have the noindex tag on my forum editor page for new posts. The problem was Google was still visiting the page for every single forum topic because the topic id gets appended to the url. Sure Google did not indexing the forum editor page but they still visit the page for every new topic. Adding nofollow for the new posts url solved this problem. This way Google doesn't waste my resources for serving the content and I don't waste theirs having them visit a page that doesn't belong in the search results.


The "nofollow" meta tag has nothing to do with Google "visiting" your page.
6:55 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2354
votes: 625


@HammerDown
@NickMNS I don't care.

That is the problem, you should care...
7:16 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 13, 2016
posts:596
votes: 90


I hope I am not going to embarrass NickMNS, but I am agree with him.
7:20 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 8, 2018
posts:31
votes: 6


Note to self: before accepting SEO advice, determine author's understanding of iceberg physics. Some guy on the internet called NickMNS says I should care. Another guy on the internet called Dimitri agrees with him.
8:24 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 13, 2016
posts:596
votes: 90


This is not it. If you base a demonstration, on an argument which is wrong, then you can't assume that the demonstration is right. What's the point of taking the example of an iceberg, and make it sounds "oh look how smart example this is" , if at the end the iceberg "physics" is totally wrong ? It's juts making the demonstration stupid and to make the buzz. This is like saying, a plane if flying , so it means the metal is less heavy than the air...
8:24 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 6, 2016
posts:140
votes: 15


I also agree with the iceberg theory, pruning thing.
8:40 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2354
votes: 625


The issue is a fundamental issue of quality. Given the ongoing discussion about the quality of posts. I feel this is very relevant, as relevant a signal as spelling week as weak when one means to use the word that describes a span of time and not strength. (week vs weak is a reference to a post in another thread [webmasterworld.com...]

Removing ice from the underside of an iceberg will make the tip of the iceberg smaller (volume of ice above water). There are only two ways to make the tip stick out more, one is to reduce the density of the ice that makes up the iceberg and two is to add more material to the underside of the iceberg. The second method is exactly the opposite of what the author of the post is suggesting.

An analogy is supposed to be used to frame a complex issue in simple and understandable terms, if the logic of the analogy is flawed how can you trust that the author fully grasps the more complex underlying concept that is being described.

A flawed analogy is a sign of poor quality, the analogy used in the article was flawed. Feel free to follow the author's recommendations if you feel it is the right thing to do.
8:59 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 1, 2018
posts: 89
votes: 15


A page that has 1.6k words got hit after the update, was well positioned in google before. When I say hit I mean besides the ranking the number of keywords google actually allows for that page is less than 40, was over 1k before the update. I see no reason why not to cut content from it, its pretty useless now.
10:04 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 25, 2005
posts:3589
votes: 45


yollo03 not to be a smart ass but an article with 1.6k words give me an internet break, and now since this was hit cut it. IMO should have been cut a looooong time ago. Problem with the new and coming group stuff it with all BS keywords picts, ads and what ever and expect not to get demoted, please give me a break. Your all looking for a quick buck the internet, algo and REAL PEOPLE feel differently.

Your money train just crashed.
10:21 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 1, 2018
posts: 89
votes: 15


Not really. If I was relying on ads then yeah but I dont have any ads. This particular page was up for 4 years so this is not the type of pages you are talking about, also invalidates your claim that I was after a quick buck.
10:26 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 7, 2005
posts:295
votes: 47


Can I ask what niche you are in @NickMNS?
11:11 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 7, 2005
posts:295
votes: 47


I see no reason why not to cut content from it, its pretty useless now.

Are you basically admitting you have/had bad content?

Not to sound like a broken record, but I think you're spending too much time trying to figure out how to game Google, rather than helping the users who land on that page.
7:42 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Sept 25, 2017
posts:93
votes: 12


Anyone else seeing any movement again this morning. Not good for us again :(
8:37 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 1, 2018
posts: 89
votes: 15


Its not bad content. Like I said, it served me well for 4 years. But google decided other sites were under rewarded so I got pushed down the chain. Cutting content wont help from that angle but if not getting keywords anymore then whats the point of keeping it until the next algorithm update?
This 734 message thread spans 25 pages: 734
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members