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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]
12:58 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Martin Ice Web for #2 I was asking the exact same question yesterday. I had just updated the javascript social share widgets with my own css buttons to speed up page load and was questioning keeping the EU cookie consent (95% of our traffic is from North America). Desktop speed is fine with it enabled but mobile is not. This was the case as well when I first added it in May.

The overlay is our best option and is a popular script used by many sites on the web... you would think Google would be smart enough to realize what the overlay is about and not penalize a site for being a little slower in rendering a page... but then again probably not.
1:52 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@JesterMagic, reducing the text from the cookie consent helps a lot but i s not realy the final consens. I think they treat the overlay as something like ads or mobile app suggestion. Stupid.
We are using a script that is official suggest by google. So this is complete nonsens.

I already saw some websites removing the Cookie Consent completly..

My guess is that there was more than one update rolling out at the same time. Maybe an update for panda.
I examined some site that got hit and all have the very same issues. I fix our issues and we will see.
1:57 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan
I fully agree with your position, but:
And with Google actually using human Quality Raters now, this should be evident if one of them happens to look at your website.

Let's keeps things in perspective. Google has always used human Quality Raters, but these raters have never, do not today, and most likely will never, directly set ratings for websites. The role of the quality rater is to evaluate the output of changes to the algo. When Google makes changes they use a test set of websites, apply the changes and then evaluate the outcome. The raters do the evaluating.

The raters guide is a great document at it set the guidelines as to what Google's interpretation of what quality should be but it is not a recipe book.
3:02 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just a comment about the Cookie Consent banner. I took mine down a few weeks ago to see if it was impacting my AdSense earnings (it wasn't), but then forgot to put it back. So my site has been without a consent banner for a few weeks now. No one has contacted me about it, no one has complained, traffic is doing well, and in fact my traffic increased after this latest Google update.

I'm not suggesting that removing the consent banner had anything to do with my traffic increasing. I'm sure it didn't. I just remember how scared I was back when the GDPR was coming out, and yet here I am without a consent banner and absolutely no one seems to care.
3:28 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have a consent banner. You want to tell me that this is one of the reasons I got hit? If anyone is removing their cookie consent an it actually helped you rank better please update us here.
3:40 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have a consent banner. You want to tell me that this is one of the reasons I got hit?

Nope, I specifically stated I am not suggesting that the cookie consent banner (or lack of one) had anything to do with the update. I was only responding to a few comments about the consent banner and how some sites have removed it, and sharing my own experience.
3:46 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@yollo03 I apologize if you've already done so and i missed it, but if you really want help with your site, and you're willing to accept honest criticism if needed, you should post a link to it. Otherwise, no one here can help and you're just wasting time grasping at straws.

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Mod's note: No, do NOT post a link to your own site for review. Public reviews are forbidden both by our Terms of Service and by the Google Forum Charter. Please see my more detailed comments below.


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 11:23 pm (utc) on Aug 16, 2018]

4:45 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I appreciate the help but I would rather not link my site. I appreciate criticism just not in the manner of 'your money has crashed.' The only issue I have is with this update, nothing else. As google said nothing can be fixed I am following the thread in case someone comes with a workable solution. I can tell you that I did nothing since the update and my ranking has improved today. I dont know what it means but im just keeping an eye on it. I did notice a big spike in crawled pages by google on 13 August so im assuming it must be related to it.
5:06 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@yollo03 I'm glad to hear you haven't made any changes to your site since the update. I can tell you that I have spent way too much time in the past desperately changing anything and everything I could think of after an update, and to this day I have no idea if any of it made any difference. Traffic is improving these days, especially after this recent update, but is it because of anything I've done? Who knows. I certainly don't.

Ultimately, all Google cares about is content. People on this thread love to focus on SEO and technical issues because it's easier to focus on those things, but content is king. Don't listen to people who say it isn't. I gave up worrying about Google. All I care about these days is creating content that is useful to my visitors, and making sure it's better than what my competitors are offering. That's how you get people to your site and keep them coming back. Focus on your visitors. Give them what they need. Be better than your competition, and be honest about it. If your competition is better, you need to improve. Ignore Google.
5:59 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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People on this thread love to focus on SEO and technical issues because it's easier to focus on those things

@Cralamarre what you said up there is false. Most people on this thread focus more on content & the user.

The people on this thread who focus more on SEO & technical issues are people who check their rankings 200 times a day, folks like @yollo03.

If folks like yollo03 were focused on content & the user, i guarantee you they won't even have the time to be all over this thread.
6:16 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Most people on this thread focus more on content & the user.

Do they? I would never guess that from reading the majority of the comments. Every time there's a new update, people start saying it's because of https, or schema, or the server, or AdSense, or page speed, or back links, or the GDPR and EU regulations. Even word count has been mentioned as a cause. I don't see "content" mentioned nearly as much. It's almost viewed as a slap in the face if you have the nerve to suggest to someone that the problem is with their content.
6:35 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Content isn't mentioned that much here because by default a good blogger puts content first & most people here are good bloggers, except for maybe some new comers who put google first, blowing up the thread with their ranking positions & funny theories.

That said, when you already have good content (which most of us do) & you get hit by an update, all the stuffs you mentioned above is what comes to mind.
6:39 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As google said nothing can be fixed I am following the thread in case someone comes with a workable solution.


That's doubtful, Google has made an almighty fubar with this "update" across several/many industries. I am in specialised construction products and I can assure you my inbox has been going crazy with global trade friends and competitors alike asking WTF has happened.

I'm talking about many sites either disappearing altogether or sliding so far down that it really does not matter where they are, and most of them are quality sites of the E-A-T variety and what have they been replaced by:

A Chinese trade directory site with multiple links
An Indian generic directory site with multiple links
An Indian trade directory site with multiple links
Multiple Houzz links
Multiple Pinterest links

Where there are genuine trade sites, one which has been promoted very close to #1 has the most erroneous product facts I have ever, ever seen and to make things worse it's not even responsive!

This is a mess yollo03, a complete and utter mess for some of us and one that it is very unlikely we can do anything about.

Me?

I'm walking away from this for the rest of the month, after 25 years of doing this it is the first time I actually do not know the way forward and that includes IF there is a way forward at the moment.
6:52 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Content isn't mentioned that much here because by default a good blogger puts content first & most people here are good bloggers


I have absolutely no idea of the ratio of bloggers to ecommerce to corporate to whatever type of site it is who post here.

I have my own factories producing for a global market, our website are, quite simply, corporate brochureware. Most of the global trade people I am in daily contact with also have brochureware sites. We have high quality images and in-depth product descriptions, our factory production facilities run into multi millions of Dollars, we're not copy and paste scrapers!

I like making predictions and being the devil's advocate:-)

This could easily be a significant watershed moment for G.
9:49 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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when you already have good content (which most of us do)

Well "good" content isn't good enough. You've got to have an expert knowledge of the subject and exceptionally good writing skills.
11:18 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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...but if you really want help with your site, and you're willing to accept honest criticism if needed, you should post a link to it.
Mod's note: No, do not post a link to your own site for review. As stated explicitly in WebmasterWorld's Terms of Service [webmasterworld.com...]

We do not allow review my site posts in the Public Forums.

Additionally, the Google SEO News forum charter states [webmasterworld.com...]

Requests or offers for site reviews are not allowed, including "the site in my profile", "can you PM me the url" etc.
Members are free to communicate by private sticky mail, but we ask that you keep that privileged informed out of the public thread.

We do offer a site review forum in the paid Supporters area.

Additionally, it's always a bad idea to publish your domain name in ANY public SEO forum because it might open you up to competitive sabotage. Competitors don't always play fair.

8:43 am on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Most people on this thread focus more on content & the user.

Indeed, this is the purpose of debates like, how many words an article should be, what is a good keywords density, removing old articles (no matter is they are still useful to some users), etc....

Joke apart, everybody will claim they have good content, and focusing on user. Even scrappers can make this claim! They can argue that they provide all the information users are looking for in one place, and that they develop technologies to collect and display this information, etc...

This is like, when some say that they are writing quality article, because they did researches and so on. What does it mean? In most cases (of course there are always exceptions), it means they read articles from other sites, and recompiled/rehashed the information, to produce another article. This is how you find hundred or thousands of articles, on the same theme, which can all be the result of a significant work from their authors, but at the end, all include the same information, and same added value.
9:27 am on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think the key is to finding the source of the information (which in many cases is in a scientific publication and Joe Public isn't interested in reading). In my niche a statistic will be quoted on multiple sites, but very few actually do the necessary digging to find the original source. I do believe that Google will (if not already) start to place more emphasis on sites who do quote sources. You can't just say '90% of unicorns are right handed'...but that is what I see all the time, without reference to where that data came from. Sure, I'm saying that too, but I'm also proving information on where that data came from.

But it's not just about regurgitating what other sites produce, I find my really quirky articles are the ones that do best. Every competitor has covered 'unicornitis', so why is my article on it going to perform well? You have to find the stuff your competition isn't writing about. And there's so much that they haven't covered.
9:42 am on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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90% of unicorns are right handed

I need to remember this :)
10:22 am on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In my niche a statistic will be quoted on multiple sites, but very few actually do the necessary digging to find the original source.


Yep, that really annoys me too, we spend thousands of Dollars having to perform scientific tests on our products to assist architects, specifiers and even governments plus:

it means they read articles from other sites, and recompiled/rehashed the information, to produce another article.


Absolutely, and Google gives no acknowledgement to the original article presumably because, despite what they say, they can't. Likewise with images, after the Google theft I removed tens of thousands of exclusive images since I was no longer the beneficiary of our work, only Google was, why bother visiting my sites when Google let you have it all for free?
11:44 am on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Well "good" content isn't good enough. You've got to have an expert knowledge of the subject and exceptionally good writing skills.

Then Pinterest must be the exceptionally well written expert because my vertical is full of consecutive Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest results.
A few weeks back, page one for my main term included four Pinterest listings.
I will admit tho, that this last update eliminated half of those.
It was getting ridunculous.
12:21 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If you have any issues with the core update that you think has messed up the serps you can forward it to google [seroundtable.com...]

Some are also saying recovering from the update is linked to Panda from 2011.
12:35 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@yollo03 I've just seen this myself.

This never happens, so they must be listening to the blow back. They cant be happy with the results.
12:43 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@BushyTop, I dont remember it either. He also admitted that he already sent some websites for review. I am not sending my site for review yet but if they will only 'fix' websites individually then I sure will.

[edited by: yollo03 at 12:44 pm (utc) on Aug 17, 2018]

12:43 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If you have any issues with the core update that you think has messed up the serps you can forward it to google

I don't really like the idea to post this kind of thing publicly on Twitter... Also, I bet you'll get guy posting "carefully selected SERP" with the goal to nuke their concurrents.
12:48 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I dont like it either but Im not going to have much choice at some point. Maybe I will just tell him the keyword in a specific niche that got messed up and hopefully he will forward it. Better than nothing if you ask me.
1:29 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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All the feedback in the world won't motivate G to make changes that will bring your sites back. They'll just file it as humorous bathroom reading in every john at the plex.
1:59 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I do think it's practically impossible these days to come up with an idea for a topic that has never been done before. And if you do come up with one, if it's really that original, chances are no one's searching for it.

For me, in the education field, it's not about coming up with new information, or new topics. Instead, I take information that's already out there and try to present it in a better way, one that makes it easier to understand. It's like when someone says they had that one teacher in high school that made learning the subject so much fun. The teacher didn't invent the subject, but they were better at teaching it than anyone else. These days, that's really all you can do. Take something that's already out there, but somehow make it better. At its core, the content you're providing may not be original, but the way you present it should be.
2:13 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@cralamarre - while I somewhat disagree on your first point, your second point is spot on. I specialize in finding "vacuums" in the serps, and many remain...but like you say, low volume traffic. The trick then is to MAKE them high volume. In one case last summer, I took an obscure topic and blew it into 50k visits per day. It made my client a rich man. Those are tough nuts to crack though. Get crazy creative and it pays off, and remember, "stupid sells"...(sadly) it's the seed for most things viral.
2:35 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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after this update my website ranked on 1st position on some weight loss related supplements keywords but today my website goes to 3rd page of google. Can any one guide me now how to do?
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