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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]
9:15 pm on Aug 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Let's say that you want to create a travel site about Widgetland. There may be plenty of general travel sites about Widgetland, but how many are there that cater specifically to Millennials, Baby Boomers, skiers, disabled people, naturists, art and history buffs, or train travelers? For every popular topic, there may well be subtopics that have yet to be exploited.


Public toilet facilities in Widgetland (heck, that's one I would need to know). Best restaurants for families, best romantic restaurants, disabled access restaurants, emergency help (hospitals, police, embassies)...the possibilities go on and on. That's where I ping my competitors on topics like that.

I still don't necessarily think Google always show the best result, but what is best? This thread has already demonstrated that some people want short articles, others prefer longer ones. I'm a bit of both, but my pet peeve is long articles for the sake of including as many words as possible. I was looking up a recipe the other week and went to a blog...I'm sure the author put her heart and soul into it, it had paragraphs and paragraphs about the recipe, how she found it, tweaked it etc. All I wanted to know was the ingredients and preparation. I hit the back button and found a site that just gave me the recipe, without the story.
2:30 am on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Current Zombie index is high. Conversions terrible the last few days. Algo seems to have gotten better at delivering junk traffic and tire kickers..
8:02 am on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@samwest

"You ever been driving down a highway. cruising along at 72, when some car pulls up on you at 74, so you step it up to match him and he steps it up to 76...pretty soon you're both tearing along at 90mph....that's called competition and it's how people actually win and lose in the serps and life. Never forget that someone is always waiting to eat your lunch."

Until the cops come and take your lunch and your car and your both left with nothing.
12:35 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Current Zombie index is high. Conversions terrible the last few days. Algo seems to have gotten better at delivering junk traffic and tire kickers.

I will second that. It would seem Google is forwarding what little buyer traffic they have to Amazon and not our site. That's fine by me if Google wants their users to pay on average 20% more for the same products. That being said, it's just another reason to not use Google for product searches as their preference to ship all buyer traffic to Amazon ultimately results in consumers paying more. Someone has to pay Amazon's 15% per sale commission, and it's definitely not the sellers.
1:24 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@BT, funny rehash, but traffic level is not the issue, traffic quality suddenly is, and that is odd. I'm actually seeing the same conversion drops on my Amazon interests. Looks like a waxing moon issue. I'm just kidding......or am I?

On another note, I see one content farm has now changed their domain three times as they flop like a fish out of water trying to regain relevance in the serps. No balance at "thebalance". They dominated my niche for two years with a mindless, ad filled, link aggregation "article", but have since vanished, but trying to claw back their losses through domain manipulation..
2:06 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Current Zombie index is high

I'm not sure how zombies multiply. I did read somewhere that you can't kill them because they're already dead.
2:37 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The web variety multiply via Google algorithm...or moon phase. ;)
3:53 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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On another note, I see one content farm has now changed their domain three times as they flop like a fish out of water trying to regain relevance in the serps.

I get pitches for links or "partnerships" from new content farms on a regular basis. One recent pitch was from an outfit that must have spent 75 percent of its startup funds on the domain. (The domain name was a single, memorable word and must have cost a fortune to acquire. Unfortunately, the site's content wasn't very good--it obviously had been written by freelancers or interns who knew nothing about their topics.)
10:37 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Any ideas how zombies multiply?

We need to deconect the brain computer interface and start thinking
5:01 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Year after year the Terminator's story has all the chances to become true, but the main difference will be that Sarah Connor is an angry webmaster with a big gun and a miserable printed Google Analytics report in her ruthless hands...:)
8:43 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Rumours of a roll back... anyone seeing this?
9:04 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Party at my house if there will be a roll back...
9:07 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm hopeful too.

I saw this [seroundtable.com...]
10:09 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Mostly zombie traffic here.
.
10:20 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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After every update we loose a share of the pie and we hope will get it back.

Buyers quotas seem to only get smaller
11:16 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"You ever been driving down a highway. cruising along at 72, when some car pulls up on you at 74, so you step it up to match him and he steps it up to 76...pretty soon you're both tearing along at 90mph....that's called competition and it's how people actually win and lose in the serps and life. Never forget that someone is always waiting to eat your lunch."

Until the cops come and take your lunch and your car and your both left with nothing.

To continue this analogy... no one is exactly sure how to make the car go really fast as it does not come with an instruction manual. Some people hit the brake by accident and slow a bit, others put in the wrong type of gas and/or fiddle with the air to fuel mixture resulting in very little increased speed. A few use the wrong gear and never seem to go faster than 50. Every now and then someone gets all the variables right and zooms ahead but then the car gets upgraded and they find themselves stuck at the side of the road again.
12:13 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think that the car owners are all supposed to pay a "road toll" to Google ( adwords ), if they want to be able to drive ( somewhat ) consistently ;)
12:23 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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One of my keywords recovered but I cannot say this is due to a rollback. It will take more time to see whether they are reversing that core update.
12:43 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Rumours of a roll back... anyone seeing this?
Well, I've seen one poster who kind of went way overboard posting in every thread we had on the topic that Google was ruining him, and then an hour or so later posted that a keyword of his reappeared and he thinks Google has realized how bad their first results were and rolled it back.

From what I read, no other posters on any of those threads appear to have seen a rollback... so I'd take this as premature and consider the report anecdotal.

It is normal on some kinds of updates that Google will go too far in one direction and then recalibrate. Keep in mind that this affected a huge number of sites, so whether up or down, chances are there's always going to be someone else who also went in that direction. I'd wait for a larger trend.

12:46 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Robert Charlton :(
12:53 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I also wanted to share something I discovered. A brand new website, ranked at 17 million (alexa) is ranked way above me by over 8 pages. It does seem that the core update did de-rank websites by domain. If in theory you launch a new website with similar content you will outrank many websites just because you are new. Is anyone else seeing new websites that were just created in the past 3 months with little pages outrank them? It also confirms my theory that this is an algorithm penalty, which cannot be recovered until it is lifted. Any opinions?
1:09 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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bushytop... Sorry if you're disappointed. I see you cited Barry's post at SER. Keep in mind that Barry based the upward movement he reported, along with the quote, from this forum: "It seems Google has turned back the August 1 update? My pages are back to pre August update."

I should add, also, in this particular case, that while I'm always sympathetic to legit webmasters losing traffic, I'm not sympathetic to the barrage of shoot from the hip posts this poster flooded the forum with.

1:22 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Penalty algorithm?
In Italy almost all medical website lose since 50 to 90%.
This is a bug!
1:24 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hey @Robert Charlton.... its not your fault...

I am frustrated though. I want to get over that i am being as objective as possible - but this update really has returned the worst results I have ever seen. (and i've been around a bit)

It really surprised me that G Liaison asked for examples where 'webmasters were disappointed with the results'. That isnt normal. They must be aware of the general feeling around this update.
1:28 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@massimodefilippo It cant be a bug if new websites in the same niche outrank older websites with a lot more content. To me this means the algorithm penalized older websites for whatever reason so you cannot recover until the penalty is lifted. This also goes in line with what google said that there is no fix for it. The decision to de-rank websites while newer websties with less content get the upper hand is truly pathetic. This is not just in the med niche, its in multiple niches.

Moving forward, the only way to do something is to publish new content and see how it is ranked in google after a few weeks. I am doing it right now, too early to conclude anything.
1:36 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I understand, but I see even old website very bad overperform now.
1:55 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It really surprised me that G Liaison asked for examples where 'webmasters were disappointed with the results'. That isnt normal. They must be aware of the general feeling around this update.

I wonder when they ask what webmasters "think about a particular update" like this ( or when they have asked for any feedback, anywhere, in the past ) if Google are not merely wishing confirmation that they "hit the targets" that their tweaks were aiming for.."Targets" in that sense being increased revenue ( which takes them a while to notice ) and also the types of sites that they wished to either lift up in SERPs , or let fall lower in SERPs...Similar to webmasters using "dissallow" on their links...saves G the effort of looking themselves ..
2:38 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Today my traffic is bizarre. In 30 minutes I had 18 clicks.

WTF ?

Since 2013 I've never seen this.

Game over for me too?

Tourism, USA
3:41 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am currently searching specialist financial services, as a private consumer not as a webmaster -my properties have no connection to finance- and it is impossible to get the exact information I need, even through ads. Tried Bing, even worse, as expected. I do recall the times when it was comparatively easy to get what was required - these times are long gone.

Shortcut to marketplaces for e-commerce and niche directories for everything else. Where they do exist anything else is little more than a waste of time. Search engines are becoming increasingly irrelevant. They have brought it to themselves by degrading their core product, search. Yahoo, anyone?


.
4:43 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Shortcut to marketplaces for e-commerce and niche directories for everything else.

And yet..I would have said that the sort of site that massimodephilippo describes was a "niche directory" ( with presumably affiliate revenue from the doctors in his "listings" from "the click throughs" to the doctors pages or phone calls to their offices ) but he has had large falls, as have many other sites in various verticals that have "a directory model"..

Ecom traffic sent to "market places" ..yes..for those whose sites are selling what is also available elsewhere..sites selling unique items with their own "brands"..and who do not sell elsewhere ( other than their own site(s) , and who do not use "affiliates"..have not dropped IME..They have stayed steady..But ..many ( not all of them ) also buy adwords..
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