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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]
12:18 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing yet another drop in traffic over the weekend. I was down 9% on Saturday, and 17% on Sunday (compared to same day last week).

The very odd thing is that I am seeing a big boost in traffic, on percentage basis, on my second site. Up to last week I thought the site was as good as dead. I'm up 85% week over week. Now 85% of nearly nothing is a very small increase in users, but still. What makes this odd is that some of the landing pages are really not that great. The quality of my main site is far better than these pages.
12:20 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Another proof that it's good to diversify a portfolio of sites, and avoid making plenty of sites, on the same subject, or building them the same way.
12:50 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Well the new algorithm is all wrong. There are now numerous crappy websites outperforming our site, which was in the top 3 for many years. Putting someone out of business in one day is just awfull without giving any reasons.


Yes, there were some massive changes on this update. Here;s what I'm finding almost a month after the update started...
1. The home page is now gone for almost all keyword searches expect the top volume search. Sub pages are now ranking for target keywords wheres the home page used to. That always bothered me, so it looks like now it's time to refocus on focus keyphrases........or not.
2. Pinterset just got another boost.
3. One page articles are now outranking long time authority site with many pages of congruent information. Google seems to now prefer the "[TOPIC] for Dummies" version.
4. We have disappeared from the images index...wait no, our images are there, but once again the results have reverted to our images on SCRAPER sites. And here Google was doing so well on that front. They have since this update reverted back to displaying our copyrighted work on scraper sites.
5. I've never seen so many goofy disposable domain names in the serps. It seems that all the EMD update panic has finally paid off for them.
6. If your site has one paragraph followed by a numbered list like this, you probably will rank well.
7. Long tail has all but evaporated.
8. Thin, easy to read in 30 seconds or less content is now dominating in my niche.
9. Traffic patterns totally toppled. Whatever traffic and conversions patterns we have observed in the recent past are now totally gone.
10 All zombies, 24/7.

This is hands down the last nail in the coffin for this site. This is worse than MayDay 2010.
Traffic at zero most of the day. This site used to consistently make 4 figures per week. It's now down to less than pizza money, but watch Google's quarterly earns skyrocket....again. PFM.
1:14 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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1. The home page is now gone for almost all keyword searches expect the top volume search. Sub pages are now ranking for target keywords wheres the home page used to.

If the sub pages are featuring article/content related to the keywords, it might sounds normal that they outrank the homepage, which is more generic within the niche. As longs as you are outranked by your own page, this is not bad :)

3. One page articles are now outranking long time authority site with many pages of congruent information. Google seems to now prefer the "[TOPIC] for Dummies" version.

It might follow a trend about the profile of Internet users. May be nowadays, a lot more people are interested by simple and short content, than long and complex one. Especially with the development of mobile use. I can't imagine myself reading a too long article on a smartphone.

4. We have disappeared from the images index...wait no, our images are there, but once again the results have reverted to our images on SCRAPER sites. And here Google was doing so well on that front. They have since this update reverted back to displaying our copyrighted work on scraper sites.

Yeah! It's been years this is like that, scrappers or even hot linkers (!) are outranking the pages from where the original images are coming from!

6. If your site has one paragraph followed by a numbered list like this, you probably will rank well.

Isn't it Google itself, which, some years were encouraging pages listing things, like "10 best xxx" , "20 unbelievalbe yyy" ...

8. Thin, easy to read in 30 seconds or less content is now dominating in my niche.

To me , it's the consequence of mobile's usage. For mobile users, you need fast, simple, and short text. Also, people often wants immediate answer, without the explanations. They want the value of Pi, not how it was established.

10 All zombies, 24/7.

Zombies or bots?
1:21 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Zombies or bots?]

If they are bots, then Google is displaying them as visitors.
In this case, it's more likely just very poorly targeted traffic.
Google gets the wheat, we get the chaff.
Been that way since 2010.

Just ONCE, I'd like to see an update that produces positive results for webmasters.
As it is, the only positive results we will see is to Alphabets bottom line.
Sorry, just a tad disgusted today.
1:32 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That guy is right on most things but he missed one point. Google changed the algorithm to probably lift some websites they wanted and what some are experiencing is the collateral damage. The only way to truly measure it is only from newly created posts and see how they rank.

I wrote a while ago that according to this update 'less is more' but I was mocked by some people here. I am happy others are realizing this is how it is now. I did notice newly created websites are unaffected by the quality update, which means those that lost traffic and keywords like me were penalized by the algo for whatever reason.

The only way forward under the assumption google will not change the algo again (which is highly unlikely) is to start a new website from scratch in the same niche.

With my current website that got hit (i dont use any ads) all I am working on is reducing the bounce rate and increasing the user duration on the website. So far it is working, I hope that I will score some points on it. So far nothing but it will take time.
1:50 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I just want to add that one of my competitors that got boosted in my niche from the update just lost 50% of its traffic. I am also seeing volatility in European countries (google) so something is happening. It looks like they tweaked the algo a bit but not enough to really improve my website.
2:07 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As of right now in one of our biggest cities (Miami, FL) there is an exact match domain with ONE SENTENCE on it and a phone number out ranking our well written, informative content. That's literally all that's on it - one sentence and a phone number.

I can't even deal with Google's obsession with these low quality exact match domain microsites right now. UGGGh!
2:49 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I agree with @yollo03 to an extent. At first this looked like it was almost entirely about E-A-T; that Google now had an algorithm or process to effectively measure E-A-T. Apparently they don't. If everything Google is saying is true (could it actually be?) then it seems that, at least in health...

1.) the algorithm rec'd some massive tweaks, and
2.) some major sites received massive rewards, thus siphoning traffic from almost everyone else.

I'm dying to get GSC data for yesterday. I already have Analytics data, and week-over-week I'm up almost 60% for Google Organic. Seeing the data tomorrow morning for today is going to be extremely interesting.

Is anyone else seeing massive fluctuation yesterday?
3:17 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is anyone else seeing massive fluctuation yesterday?


Without a doubt yes, plus yesterday I also had my lowest-ever PVs however this could be a lot to do with my sites being bombed out of G.com results and it being the last holiday weekend before Xmas in the UK.

The fluctuation I saw yesterday specifically was of one of my sites which has a registered trademark and exact domain name match which, for whatever G reason, disappeared from the SERPs completely a couple of months ago after being #1 for years, the entire site is solely about this one specific product, nothing else.

Yesterday afternoon for a few hours it suddenly re-appeared in the G.co.uk SERPs, today it is nowhere to be found again other than a couple of pages inside the G.co.in SERPs from where the actual product originates.

I have seen this sort of thing in the past with sites going awol for a couple of months therefore I have not touched it whatsoever.

Whilst the site was fluctuating yesterday almost all the other sites for this keyword1/2/3 phrase were also moving up and down the .com/uk/in SERPs plus most others with English as the primary language.

With all this messing about, I am going to make an assumption that this site will return during this week to where it used to be ... oh, that should just about kill it off altogether!
4:27 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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At first this looked like it was almost entirely about E-A-T

Only to some "experts"..
5:11 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is anyone else seeing massive fluctuation yesterday?

It was a normal day for us. I haven't seen any changes of note since the beginning of August.
5:28 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is anyone else seeing massive fluctuation yesterday?

See my post above
6:04 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately after the change my way of high rank page has been lost. Now I see that articles and goog backlinks have good influance. And you?
6:12 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Only to some "experts"..


But not you, of course!
6:18 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Correct..I never said it was about EAT at all.. :)

But then I'm not selling myself as an expert SEO whose services are for hire..unlike those who said it was "all about" EAT,

You'd expect an expert SEO to be on page one for a search of SEO..if they are not, perhaps that should tell you something about their "SEO skills"..
6:39 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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All the fast, half baked BS about EAT, medic crap etc is

for
one
only
reason

be first so others quote you and link back to you as "the" source
6:51 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You'd expect an expert SEO to be on page one for a search of SEO..if they are not, perhaps that should tell you something about their "SEO skills"..

I noticed that everybody is "expert" and "leading"... but there are only 10 (free) spots on the first pages of the SERP :)
9:22 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am not implying I am an expert. I did do some research over the years but I cannot label myself as an expert. All I do is share my observations.

There was recently a big shakeup in my niche, I wasnt affected much though. From what I can tell some of the changes google made in that infamous 'quality update' are being reversed. We will probably know more in the next 7 days.
10:27 pm on Aug 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Zombies or bots?

All are Amazon prime users running scared from Amazon prices and being driven by a desire of research clicking on a lot of ads to save an extra dollar.
12:50 am on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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i had some recovery last week conversions wise, then over the weekend it fell but i had an issue with the server on friday night and google tried to index at that time so I got some server unreachable errors so I was presuming it was down to that. Today , things are back to the same as last week and we have had the 2nd highest number of conversions this month.

My current tactics are to be working my UX for getting my site incredibly user friendly , especially for mobile and I am also going to reduce and condense the long form content , separate some of it out etc. Still want to work on performance tweaks but its not urgent as I get greens in google speed tests anyway and its quite fast in general but I can see areas to improve.
8:37 am on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My biggest issue with the SERPs is that it's almost impossible to unseat some authority (and admittedly high-quality sites from the top position).

For example, for any generic topic, wikipedia would be #1, and probably rightly so in most cases. However, even if you were to produce a much better quality article on that generic topic than wikipedia's page, you'd like still find it near-impossible to beat wikipedia even with your superior article.
9:24 am on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hi yollo03, i would like to ask you if your site shows as sandboxed in searchenginegenie checker for the keywords you mention.
I am not sure if it is trustworthy with the latest update but i have reasons to believe this update also passed some of such algorithm changes as well!
10:45 am on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For example, for any generic topic, wikipedia would be #1, and probably rightly so in most cases. However, even if you were to produce a much better quality article on that generic topic than wikipedia's page, you'd like still find it near-impossible to beat wikipedia even with your superior article.

if you "outranked" wikipedia like that, no doubt the last "editor" to work on that wikipedia page, would visit your page, read the content "re-spin" it, and add it to "their" wikipedia page ( some of them do regard the pages that they work on as "theirs", and take great pride in their SERP position ) at which point it would outrank you again..

The would probably not give you credit, nor link to you in the page "footnotes"..
10:58 am on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It is just about the quality content update but will affect the ranking as well.
11:50 am on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It seems that Donald is not reading this forum it is not about being a conservative it is all about quality content more here [foxnews.com...]
12:17 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Fluctuation on Sunday and Monday, anyone?
12:33 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@moxu..This attempt by DT to tell Google and other influential sites what to show, and how, and in what proportions, could be seen coming along time ago..I wonder what temperatures Google and other search engines , new sites and social media sites burn at ? Fahrenheit 911 maybe..
12:58 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@leo

The raters have been very busy probably
12:58 pm on Aug 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am not implying I am an expert.

Well, there ya go. You admitted it online where Google's "all knowing and all powerful" AI can find it and tie you to the admission.
In the future, I'd hold my cards closer to the chest.

Of course I'm just pokin at your funny bone.
...or am i?
;)
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