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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]
3:40 am on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In my 20+ years experience, if you got hit you are gone, and it will likely keep diminishing. But each time you learn, and start it up again, and work out where you went wrong this time.
4:37 am on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My search traffic dropped 40% from last two days. Used to have 100K daily unique users back in 2013-15, now dropped to 30K post this update while my pathetic competitors laughing at me .. My days are are counting i guess.
7:22 am on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think before evaluating the impact on your site, you should at least give it a few days for things to settle down. The positions on the SERPs are still jumping all over the place.

I've been hit for a day or two, even a week, and then things bounced back even stronger.

Doesn't mean I'm not scared right now though! lol :) I'm also down about 40% from what I should be at by this time of day.
10:22 am on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Good news for me, I really hope this trend will stick. After being bumped all over the place I am now in page 4. I studied my webmaster, only major keywords got hit and are now beginning to recover. I strongly suggest anyone that got hit and is now recovering to implement google;s quality guidelines even if you come out stronger.

The story behind those guidelines is interesting. The official data was leaked on the internet, it was confidential at first. Google then realized everyone had it and said, "what the hell, let everyone have it." It was taken offline last week and then the updated version came back online.
12:41 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Traffic just tripled over here :) I'm so happy right now.
12:49 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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[semrush.com...]

Today is even higher than last two days
12:51 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@whoa182

Did this happen AFTER or DURING the semrush report? Like post update, 1 week later was emrush flat or still showing high spikes? Wondering when to lose hope, in two days or a week
1:04 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have checked last 2 days traffic and nothing happened. Hope it will be fine.
1:11 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I just checked semrush, I confirm, today volatility is higher than the last 2 days. My ranking has improved since yesterday but this is not over guys, once its over it will be easier to assess the damage or the gains. My competitors gained over me but not by much. I saw the drop I had yesterday, 70% drop in key keywords. It reversed today but I cant tell by how much.

This is a huge update, every topic is affected.

[edited by: yollo03 at 1:13 pm (utc) on Aug 3, 2018]

1:11 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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im confused with this update really. Yesterday traffic down probably 20% and conversions down , in the evening when i usually get most conversions nothing at all. I usually wake up to find at least 1 or 2 conversions in the morning. Today nothing and traffic is down to a trickle. Yes looking in the serps , I am still ok for my main keywords and just see some minor movements on others - seems strange. I am literally getting period were there are zero people on my site for mike 15 to 20 mins at a time. I have never known that ever. Im going to keep working on content etc and see how the coming days pan out but if I have a week of this im done.
1:14 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My site still largely stable and unaffected while everyone is freaking out around me. Having said that, things are apparently still shaking up quite a bit so who knows where I'll be at the end of this.
1:21 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I briefly analyzed semrush data. Only one keyword was affected for and it was the major one that drove the most traffic and conversions. Keywords with smaller volume (at least in my niche) were unaffected or gained. It looks to me like google targeted the major keywords in numerous topics but again, the update is not over guys. I reckon this will keep going for another week.

My conclusion for now is that the quality algorithm update is targeting keywords with significant volume that is used for conversions. If you have been targeting keywords with low volume you will probably unaffected yet. Whether google decides to do the same in low-volume keywords, time will tell.
1:36 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Another quick update, the major shifts in my niche are currently in desktops. My ranking is still down on mobile. I dont know if this is related to the new mobile index but I have no performance issues on mobiles, everything loads fast. Either google didnt get to update the mobile rankings yet or I have a lot of work to do on mobile rankings.

UPDATE! I was just pushed down a few pages, this is just WOW. I dont recall such an update in a while.
1:51 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How to determine the YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages for B2B service provider?
1:53 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hey I'm new here, glad to have found this forum. I run a health blog and I've seen a 25% decrease in my traffic the past couple of days. I checked Google Search Console and it says my average position and average clickthrough rate are the same, but the total number of impressions and therefore the total number of clicks have gone down. Is this a good sign then? Will it likely bounce back since my position hasn't appeared to change? Let me know what you guys think, I'd appreciate it.
2:23 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@yollo03 - i do think think this has something to do with mobile first search, at least in some way. My traffic has fallen but since yesterday it seems like im getting more traffic from tablets than usual. I noticed it yesterday and it is continuing today. I tried some comparision searches on my ipad and desktop earlier but they seemed to give the same results though
2:30 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm no moderator, but I think some users need to cut back on the frequency of their posts. Posting every couple hours as a site moves from one deep search result page to the next really seems insignificant to me. That being said...

I'm mostly seeing small fluctuations for our money keywords (basically a reshuffling of the prior top 10 results). Some authoritative sites in our niche have multiple results on the same page, sometimes up to three.

One search term we've ranked #1 for for about 2 years was replaced with Wayfair (previously #2). We are now #2.

In another client's niche I'm seeing Amazon replacing a result that's historically been #1 or #2 for as long as they've been a client. The Amazon result is the exact same product as our client's site, so we're reaching out to the Amazon store owner to take the product listing off Amazon (this distributor is not allowed to sell on Amazon). We'll see how that affects the SERPS when that Amazon listing is removed. Despite a 20% traffic decline on this client's site, time on site, pages/session, session duration have all improved dramatically. We'll see how it affects conversions over the next month.

Rankings are shuffling quite a bit today. More-so than the prior two days.

Site types: Ecommerce, Manufacturer
Conversion type: Purchases, Phone Calls, Contact Forms

Things I don't do:
- Write XXXX word articles every day.
- Link Building
- AdSense

[edited by: thejimster at 3:02 pm (utc) on Aug 3, 2018]

3:01 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@jroc66 you want to see clicks, impressions, and position go up. So in short no, it's not a good sign.

CTR will only go up or down if you change your site name, description, titles, meta tags in any way or competitors around you change. Sometimes google changes that on their end too no matter what you set up your metadata as. Your metadata is what entices users to click on your listing opposed to the competitors around you in the serps.

But users need to see you in the serps first. That's where impressions come in. More impressions are good. That means more users see you in the serps which indicates A. you are ranking for more kw's B. you are ranking in a higher position for kw's, or both. Since your clicks and impressions are down then you are ranking for less kw's than you used to rank for... Would be my guess for the minimal information you provided.

Clicks and impressions can go up or down dramatically after an update. Avg Position usually is just 1 or 2 at a time. That does not mean a single kw cannot change 20+ positions or disappear altogether.. It can but avg position change is usually low. But can still affect your traffic. Depends on your site and how many kw's you rank for.
3:14 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The update hasn't had any significant effect on us as yet. In comparing August 2 (yesterday) with the previous Thursday, I see a 1.07% increase in users, a 0.48% decrease in sessions, and a 3.25% increase in pageviews for our 17-year-old information site. Today looks a little less promising than yesterday, but if nothing changes, it should end up being a pretty normal day.
3:24 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This update is still rolling out. Into day 3 now. On day 1 traffic and conversion rate spiked. Had my best day in 3 months. Conversion rate declined day 2 and continues into day 3. Amount of traffic is the same but my keyword positions are changing. Wacky few days with the highest prolonged volatility I have seen in years.
3:43 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am reporting my position so everyone here will know that this is not over, Im sure most know that but not all. What I can say is that at least my comments in this forum are being appreciated: [searchenginejournal.com...]
3:55 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@EG and Pentitentman I concur, this update seems to still be rolling out. I have been largely unaffected by this update thus far. Wednesday I seemed to be up a bit, yesterday down but nothing significant. Today, it's still early, I am seeing a 20% drop as compared to same day last week.
4:06 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Possibly the biggest flaw in the Quality Raters Guidelines is strong emphasis and reliance on "independent" reviews of the rated businesses. In some industries there are business that have created dozens of related websites AND their own "independent" review websites (that "review" their own businesses, without disclosing conflict of interest). Google ranks those "customer review" websites on top, so raters may assume the "ratings" and "reviews" are independent and legitimate (they are not).

Not to mention the fact that I've seen businesses rated A+ on the, seemingly, legitimate and "independent" customer watch website - BBB (Better Business Bureau) where over 80% of customer reviews associated with the business (and published on BBB) were Negative. When enough "membership" money is paid, an F-rating can become A+ rating overnight.
5:23 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This is the best Google update that has ever happened to me. I'm now getting like 30 - 50 users at a time, traffic is so high, i just added more RAM to my hosting account so it doesn't crash. I hope this will last forever! I doubt so tho.
9:56 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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At the risk of upsetting thejimste by posting too much ;)

My site is bouncing back from this even stronger, just as it did in previous updates. I guess I should just relax and have some confidence in my work lol.

My other site which got hit back in March and didn't recover is now showing major improvements in rankings as well.
10:31 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Down a bit but I'm counting other factors for the moment.
12:48 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm no moderator, but I think some users need to cut back on the frequency of their posts. Posting every couple hours as a site moves from one deep search result page to the next really seems insignificant to me....
thejimster... I am a moderator, and I thank you for posting that. Mods have sent messages to a few posters asking them to please cool it a little... in one case to cool it a lot, and in a couple of cases we've had to edit or remove posts and explain that specifics that identify sites are not allowed. The volunteer mods here would rather not have to do that.

Worth adding that this is a very long roll-out kind of update. On the thread I've set up about the likely implications of the update [webmasterworld.com...] I've posted a comment from Danny Sullivan to the effect that the rollout may well continue until the middle of next week.

There are things to be learned from watching updates... but some of it is like watching paint dry. A lot is going to be individual to your site. Some results are likely to be taken too far in a particular direction before they become visible enough to be adjusted. YMMV. Good luck.

2:02 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Been reading the post and it has been a task to understand the serps due to the new kids posting every 20 minutes their positions just funny to me. The best thing they can do is frigging chill out give this update at least a month and then come back with their smrush and let us know. Not trying to be an arse but man give it some time and don't freak out. If you lose some stuff work to get it back (everybody else is spamming) Been there still there. Work nothing is a given especially the serps.

Sales Ecommerce- I will say last month I had a 50% increase over the same time frame last year. Traffic same. What did I do? I made my product more attractive to the buyer. AdSense boys I can't say cuz your living a different world, ecommerce you might need to learn to survive.
6:55 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@selen

Great point, but also you have equally negativity created about a company so a certain rater can make an unfair decision.

Problem is that we never know what really happens all these invisible judges do not take appeals.
7:50 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Semrush got updated again and rank has dropped, for all keywords.
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