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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]
5:01 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We're seeing a substantial increase in traffic today. Compared with a normal Wednesday, traffic is up about 15%. I'm hoping we benefited from this update, though it's possible the site hasn't yet been evaluated and we're just benefiting from other sites being penalized until the algorithm gets around to reprocessing ours.

If the improved traffic sticks, I'll be quite pleased with this update.
5:02 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google confirmed the update. :) [twitter.com...]
5:07 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Everyone knew it was an update but does anyone have a clue yet what was changed exactly?
5:16 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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semrush is broken or what? It is showing wrong position. Sigh.
5:22 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Mine is showing the wrong position too, the update is still rolling so you wont get accurate figures at least until tomorrow.
5:24 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Rank dropped here :(

My DA is 62 on Ahrefs.
5:32 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Give it more time, the ranking is still unstable. The good news for me is that my affiliates are up on this update so far so I am getting more traffic from them but I also care for the organic traffic, we'll see tomorrow.
7:26 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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yesterday and today have been very low conversions, today especially so far and traffic seems to have lots of "blank windows" with no visitors when I usually have at least someone on the site at any one time. NO i seem to be getting nothing for 5 to 10 mins then a bunch come in at once. Bounce rates are up and conversions are down.

Im just going to get on with all the things I planned on doing anyway as things be abnormal seems to be the new normal.
8:07 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google now pushed me from page 5 to page 31. its insane. I was on page 3, went to page 9, then to page 5 and now page 31. It must be a monstrous update.
8:22 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This is what google said in past similar updates:

"As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.

There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages."
8:43 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The tweets aren't helpful anymore. They are not transparent about anything, not even AdSense clawbacks. They don't tell us how top story works, how do we rank there. It's just sad.
9:09 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So far I am seeing a slight uptick in rankings during this update on my large affiliate site. This site saw a 57% increase in traffic in July over June. Mainly due to posting 125 articles targeting low competition keywords for low volume searches.

Initial correlation studies show that this update targeted the use of keywords in the meta description, Open graph metadata, and specifically twitter metadata. Take it for what it's worth. Correlation is not causation and whether or not your paradigm allows Google to say one thing and do another.
9:44 pm on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm noticing big improvements in some posts, while others have slipped a few positions. Nothing major with regards to traffic, and conversions seem in line with what I've had for the past week.

Some of the articles which have lost their positions were quite lengthy (around 3000 words) and converted well. Hopefully, it'll be temporary... I can't figure out exactly what's the problem since I try to keep quality pretty consistent.

That being said, even with the drop in rankings for some of my main keywords, yesterday was another record traffic day for me. Like Pontificus, I mainly target low competition keywords / search volume.
3:22 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Don't doubt there was an update. But my site pretty much just remained stable.

I suppose it's an improvement on getting hit with each update in the past.
3:52 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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None of the 10 posts I've posted in the last 24 hrs on my blog has gotten a single visitor from Google search. Many of my old posts are just dancing about on serps & posts that were ranking very well are no where to be found on serps again. Don't know if I'm hit because my traffic numbers is the same so this is more like Google just throttling my traffic.
4:12 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've posted a thread for discussing the nature of the update itself... about what's meant by a "broad core" update, and about what Google might be meaning by those two paragraphs it originally posted in March (which I'm seeing that yollo03 and I have noted and cited independently). Link to that thread here...

Google "broad core" algorithm update now confirmed
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4913754.htm [webmasterworld.com]

... Or continue in this "August Updates and SERP changes" thread for discussion about ongoing ranking changes and movement.

4:14 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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People sometimes have to wait months for their blog posts to rank. Unless your site is a solid authority on the subject, I'm not sure you can expect your posts to rank within 24 hours, particularly if you're churning out 10 of them per day which would suggest there wasn't much thought given the quality of the content being published.
4:47 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan don't conclude that there's no quality in the content of the posts published. Just because you can't come up with quality multiple posts daily doesn't mean other people can't, keep that negative energy to yourself. And my site is a solid authority site with new posts always ranking well as soon as they get indexed.
5:49 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Halaspike How do you determine authority of the site? Ahrefs?
6:40 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ok fine @Halaspike. You know your site better than I do, so I'll take your word for it.
7:35 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Everyone who's mentioning that their site is down I'd love to know what type of site you are and if you are adding any value to the web or a user? Or is your website only active for affiliate or adsense revenue purposes?

I've mentioned on this forum before, last year we got absolutely smashed by the 'Fred' update but we turned our whole content strategy and we've been on an upward trend ever since. I'm not sure if this latest update is a content or links update but i really recommend REALLY looking at the content on your site.

One thing I have noticed, is one of our main competitors who have been ranking well for key terms for the last 2 years have been dropping massively over the past few weeks. Their backlink profile has always been spammy from what I can see in Ahrefs (I don't know whats been disavowed), but they did have some really old links (15 years +) from top tier UK press which may have been helping them out.

Looking forward to some expert analysis which I'm sure we'll see over the next few days.
7:49 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I got hit and I can tell you its not about links at all. Sites that had spammy links and got punished are suddenly up again and they are complete trash. My best guess is that pages/posts length are no longer a factor. I think those that got hit (like me) might be related lengthy posts/pages that google now sees as keyword stuffing or spamming. I hope they will revise this update because this is just pathetic.

I want to add that its not speed related either nor is it https or mobile indexing. If google doesnt see your content as quality you will get hit hard and I mean hard. I am going to come up with a new strategy as soon as I am convinced this update is over.
7:53 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This latest update seems a step back for me.

We're seeing more non geo targeted traffic and some of the big players in our sector have fallen back.

Meanwhile, small businesses without any sort of infrastructure or regulation are starting to appear - essentially cowboys.

I'm hoping that this is the shake up before normal results return again. That typically does seem to be the trend, but when i see results like this morning it pisses me off.
7:57 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I completely agree with you. I got pushed back because google resurrected spammy sites and I went down the chain. I am going to keep an eye for more fluctuations but this is just WOW. The odd part is that only my homepage got it, all other pages are fine. I am going to start cutting text from the homepage and see if it helps.

Semrush showed that the ranking sites in my niche have on average 800 words and I have 1.6k. I dont want to start doing it until this update is over. Google should have the decency to make an exception and provide more details on what was changed exactly.

UPDATE! My ranking keeps fluctuating, this means the update is not over guys. After being in page 3, then to page 31, then page 10 I am now on page 4. Looks like they are trying to fix the mess they created.

[edited by: yollo03 at 8:33 am (utc) on Aug 2, 2018]

8:29 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NYCTech

Good news considering what you have been through.

In terms of speed and not only biggest mistake is for Google to use chrome data as user experience satisfaction measurement instead of referencing speed back to their own tool.
10:07 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hi Guys,
I lost have my website organic ranking due to google update, anybody let me know the exact reason behind this
10:49 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google performs an update every 1 to 3 months and some unlucky webmasters suffer the brunt.

I mentioned before that my site is unaffected from initial observations, but I don't think I'm over the hump yet. I actually have a bad feeling about this.
11:20 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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traffic is down -40% for main site, from 50k users to half of that, all posts affected still, damn
1:49 pm on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Found a strange result that may account for the slight recent increase; big brand Ho*zz was displaying an Adsense ad using my brand name as the title which pointed to my page on Ho*zz..which then points back to me. Thanks for the free ad! What is their logic in placing an ad to promote my page? They must be hurting for traffic and need my content. Too bad Google doesn't do that. Hope that trend increases in the future. LOL
2:04 pm on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just updating that I am now on page 5 (was on page 3, went to down to 10, then page 4, then page 31). Semrush is showing a lot of volatility in the rankings. According to semrush there is more volatility today than yesterday so Im guessing those that werent hit yesterday are being hunted down by the algorithm.
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