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Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2018

     
11:34 am on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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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)

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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]
8:51 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Im not sure i I see any big movements in the rankings but I can say that one website (scam) decided to give me a bad review was pushed down by google. I complained to google about them so I dont know if its related to that or not.
9:40 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else seeing any movement again this morning. Not good for us again :(


yes, all the buyers are gone from google to amazon right now.
i canīt belief that users are lucky when 9 out of 10 results are rubbish and have nothing to do with the search.
10:13 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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guys i need to have 2 or 3 bigger sites that have suffered with thiis update for proofing my theory. Maybe u can PM me.
11:36 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure why I declined 10% in one (English-speaking) market and only 2% in another according to semrush. This is an informational website on a subject that should be of equal interest to both markets.
11:38 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Are there many people here who got a positive from the update? People who gained are being very quiet. I am interested to hear from gainers please.
11:42 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In my niche, a tech how-to site i am seeing forums taking over, video carousels and related question snippets. Keyword seems to be more relevant then ever, Google is filtering out content that exactly matches with the user query.
12:03 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Are there many people here who got a positive from the update? People who gained are being very quiet. I am interested to hear from gainers please.

I mentioned it earlier this month, i am seeing an improvement of my traffic +15% roughly (up to 30% on some sites). My sites are mostly forums, on several subjects , especially entertainment, hobbies. I have no evidences, this is just a "feeling", that Google might like, when a page, is frequently "updated". This is typical of a forum where a topic get new messages added once in a while. May be it works as a positive signal for Google, when the content of the page is constantly enriched. I see some topics, which for a couple of years, had just one message, made of a couple of sentences, and ranking barely nowhere, then, someone will come by and post a reply, and within a matter of days, such topic will start ranking high on some keywords, which were already present into the page. (it might also be a transition from a "thin" content to a better one)

Just sharing "feelings".
12:24 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Are there many people here who got a positive from the update? People who gained are being very quiet. I am interested to hear from gainers please.

My site improved a little, but it usually has a gradual increase in traffic at this time of the year anyway. So I would just say I was mostly unaffected, or maybe just marginally better.
12:37 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Are there many people here who got a positive from the update? People who gained are being very quiet. I am interested to hear from gainers please.


We've had some nice gains overall, however we've seen our positions bouncing around quite a bit from day to day... still. My business/clients/etc are a mix of manufacturers and ecommerce. No adsense. I almost never focus on links. I don't do any affiliate work.

Like with all updates, it seems as though the losers are those that depend on adsense and complaints tend to mention article word count and the amount of posts written per day.
12:42 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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< Are there many people here who got a positive from the update? People who gained are being very quiet. I am interested to hear from gainers please.

Jeff Bezos is too busy to visit WebmasterWorldorld
2:01 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Like with all updates, it seems as though the losers are those that depend on adsense

That's not true at all, and comments like that are why this thread is as useless as it is. My site relies mainly on AdSense for income and my traffic has increased after this latest update. Just because a site uses AdSense does not mean it's "made for AdSense". Many great sites with great content use AdSense.

Someone commented earlier that the people who gained from this update tend to remain silent. Of course they do. On this thread, sites that benefit from updates are automatically labelled as low quality garbage. Who needs that?
2:34 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else seeing any movement again this morning. Not good for us again :(


Two days in a row now of over 20% increase in organic traffic for us! Obviously there's some tweaking going on.
7:11 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@HammerDown

I'm also noticing the same thing. My keywords are moving up the SERPs... slowly.

I'll update with some stats at the end of August.
9:53 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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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.

An article should be the length that it needs to be to cover the subject adequately for the target audience.

It's like anything else: Someone who wants to know "What's a beignet?" might be happy with a one-line definition from a pocket dictionary, but someone with an abiding interest in beignets (or in etymology) might prefer a 300-word definition in the OED.

FWIW, our editorial site's most popular article is more than 1,300 words long, even though we have many articles that are shorter and that rank just as well or better in Google and other search engines.
9:57 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Two days in a row now of over 20% increase in organic traffic for us! Obviously there's some tweaking going on.

I've been seeing some upward movement in average rankings, as reported in Google Search Console, over the last week or so. Traffic seems to be creeping up, too, which is a pleasant surprise during the dog days of summer.
10:06 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Check the keywords, The upmove in rankings could also be google has removed certain keywords that ranked you at the bottom so you get the illusion your ranking improves where really its not moving. I check every page individually and then the keywords.
10:06 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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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?


So the content was there only for the keywods, not users? :)
10:13 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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No. The content is for the users and its been like this for 4 years. Google for some reason decided to remove the keywords for that page, sending it to position 130. It was less than 40 the other day, now it doubled but the ranking position is still the same. This page meant to be ranked has it has been for 4 years, I survived many updates but not this one. I am coming to the point where content should not be over 900 words based on this quality algo.

Another interesting thing I noticed is that google is now factoring the ranking for all pages and not each page individually. So if you have a few poor quality pages you will get hit. Thats why I think they said to go broad. I am in the middle of attempting to add more content to old posts. It will take time but im no a hurry.

When I say hit I mean the update went after certain keywords. When these keywords are removed the page is not getting traffic. My overall ranking has not changed, its only specific pages and my main keywords that were gone. As a result impressions and traffic is down.
10:58 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ok, this is the last time I'm making my point as it seems I'm not getting through.

I am coming to the point where content should not be over 900 words based on this quality algo.

You are deciding how long content should be based on what you think is Google's algorithms, while you should be including as much (or as little) content as is required to help satisfy the user's intent REGARDLESS of Google's algorithms.

Another interesting thing I noticed is that google is now factoring the ranking for all pages and not each page individually. So if you have a few poor quality pages you will get hit. Thats why I think they said to go broad. I am in the middle of attempting to add more content to old posts. It will take time but im no a hurry.

When I say hit I mean the update went after certain keywords. When these keywords are removed the page is not getting traffic. My overall ranking has not changed, its only specific pages and my main keywords that were gone. As a result impressions and traffic is down.

Who cares, dude? Just focus on the user and not Google.

Your page lost its rankings, which sucks I know (I've been there), but instead of asking yourself, "How can I better give my users what they want?", you are asking yourself, "What should I do so Google's algorithms will rank me higher?"

Again, this is the last time I'm making my point as I've already said it too many times already.
11:33 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am coming to the point where content should not be over 900 words based on this quality algo.

Lol... the "Too Many Words" update. Just when I think I've heard it all.
12:52 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Some users like 400 words, some users like 900 words, some users like 1 sentence, and some users like video, and some like audio, and some like pictures.

The overall trend is that content will be more and more ranked by user centric behaviors and preferences. Device, time, and location dependent. I believe we are seeing signs of this happening across Google's properties.
6:45 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Who cares, dude? Just focus on the user and not Google.

Your page lost its rankings, which sucks I know (I've been there), but instead of asking yourself, "How can I better give my users what they want?", you are asking yourself, "What should I do so Google's algorithms will rank me higher?"


@jmorgan

But why should I not to take into consideration such a GREAT possibility as Google traffic? In case I can get XXX$ a day instead of XX$ why should I say "Just focus on the user and not Google" and lose all extra revenue I can get?

I'm pretty sure that webmaster needs to focus on the user because it's the greatest guarantee to keep your traffic stable or increasing during the Google updates, not just because of the idea to focus on user. It won't keep your websites on safe side for 100% (your website still can be hit by the next update), but at least it's the only known safe option to keep gaining a stable traffic from Google, it makes your chances bigger.

I think you just SHOULDN'T RELY on Google's traffic and Google as a stable revenue source, but why shouldn't you take all the money it can give you? I'm making all I can (not hurting the main idea of quality content) to make my organic traffic increasing.
7:23 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Well, the idea is by focusing on the user, that will in turn mean you focus on creating a better quality website, which should, in theory, mean your rankings will increase as a result of the quality of your website improving. And with Google actually using human Quality Raters now, this should be evident if one of them happens to look at your website.

In my opinion, this is a better approach than, "Google's algorithm wants me to write XXX words ... and I need to make sure I have these keywords in ... but now these keywords don't rank for that content ... so I'll remove the content ... it's useless anyway ... even though it's not bad content ... but I'll remove it because I think that's what Google wants ... and now Google likes shorter articles ..."

I mean, seriously, if a Google Quality Rater happens upon the above, do you think they are going to say, "Gee, this guy really knows what the Google algorithm wants. Keywords, word count, etc. everything on point. 10/10 E-A-T!"
7:54 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan

In my opinion, this is a better approach than, "Google's algorithm wants me to write XXX words ... and now Google likes shorter articles ..." I mean, seriously.


I think Google's algo now ranks the URL not just because of XXX or XXXX words. A lot of times I've seen how 2000-words post was driven less traffic than a short 200-words how-to guide and vice versa. It depends on the situation, keyword, niche etc.

but I'll remove it because I think that's what Google wants ...


But it's against the things you've mentioned above that the goal is to focus on the users? :) I'm pretty sure that the absence of the dinosaurs' era URLs and fresh updated E-A-T content in overall - isn't it's a good sign for users that this is a great quality website? It's better to perform periodical content pruning not because Google needs it - actually your users need it.
8:20 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have seen many low quality sites are on good position in SERP.

I have heard the word "E-A-T" so many times. Request you please share the step-by-step or implementation guide with use cases of E-A-T.
9:08 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My best ranking article (by far) is over 2,000 words long. I enabled comments about 16 weeks ago and have over 200 comments thanking me, and asking questions. It was around that time (that I enabled comments) that it started to skyrocket. None of the other articles did, but none of the other articles really generate much conversation. There is a 180 word summary at the top for people who don't want to read 2,000 words.

I've battled with rankings since about 2013, I'm flavour of the month then I'm not. You have to get to the point where you stop trying to appease the moving target. You can't look at word count because what Google likes this month isn't necessarily what Google will like in December. So are we all going to run around in circles changing word count to make them happy? No...do the best you can for the people reading the article so that they will like it, and share it.

I come here (because for me I get the relevant info I need) for info on Google guidelines relating to things like https, responsive sites, you know...that kind of thing. But for content, I just do my absolute best to create great content by putting the user first, not Google.
9:16 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There is a 180 word summary at the top for people who don't want to read 2,000 words.

Good idea!
9:42 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There was a rumor I read somewhere that google turned off rankbrain for this update and that it will be turned on again soon. Anyone agrees with it or noticed it happened in the past?
9:55 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I found two interesting problems.

#1: fetching our site with google mobil test shows that it coulnd read all resources
Sometimes it canīt get 20 recources sometimes 6 .....

#2: google site speed test shows an very low site speed for the mobile site
This has something to do with the EU cookie consent, As we implemented it, site speed was OK though but now this confirmation displayed as an overlay need roundtrips and mobile googlebot thinks the site is not fully loaded until it is displayed. google must have changed something here. Removing the consent site speed is back to over 90.

We will remove the consent and implement a own one, with no overlay.
10:02 am on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have the same issue also I managed to get around it somehow. It is important of course but for my website it is not relevant to the latest update. Neither is page speed because my site is fast, 150 ttfb and page speed is between 1 - 3 seconds for all pages and I have many.
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