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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]
8:50 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've lost 30% traffic in the last couple of days. I installed Google XML sitemap a few months ago and I thought there might some duplicate content issues within my site related to that. My indexed pages have halved over the last few weeks and the links (from other sites) have gone down by about 60%.

Maybe these Google updates have caused the drop in traffic. Should I reinstall the sitemap? I read somewhere the sitemap may be unnecessary. Google should be able to find all content anyway provided the site has a decent structure and age behind it (mine is a good few years old).

PS: I haven't done anything besides adding occasional pieces of content. So can I expect the traffic to come back?
9:07 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have too lost a great deal of traffic and this is in spite of maintaining the good content policy. I am waiting for the recovery after the dust settles. Because what Google is ranking above me is ton loads of shallow articles.

Sitting tight for a while.
10:36 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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guys im done... I working like a donkey for 6 years i lost 95% of traffic on my health blog with the best great content, users leave over 200 comments x article, so google decide to kick me out from one day to another. What do I say to my wife? And to my children? the big companies that have taken a cue from my articles laugh at it..

Awesome work google keep going, you are a devil.
10:43 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to hear about your misfortune skynet84. But wasn't it a gambling from your part too ?
I mean, okay, you have a health related blog, how are you related to health questions? Didn't you choose a niche, in which you are not involved at all, just because this was the kind of niche with high paying advertisers? Do you have some kind of background and are legitimate in this domain? Health and financial related sites are popping by millions each month, so the market is totally crowded. Apparently, you based your business exclusively on the idea that Google will deliver you free traffic forever. At some point it can work, at some point it no longer works. So we all know that developing sites involves a part of gambling, so you can't base your whole life and the one of your family on a such thin assumption that it's going to be stable and profitable forever.
10:47 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The tremors are over. SEMrush reports normal activity.
@skynet84+! Yes, it does not make sense at all. The same thing has happened across the sites. It should not continue like this. Google cannot promote shallow content over in-depth original content. Its detrimental to its credibility.

Now the volatility is stopped, let us see if genuine sites recover or not.

Fingers crossed.
10:50 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google cannot promote shallow content over in-depth original content. Its detrimental to its credibility.

Do you really believe that it will change anything? Will people start to massively switch to other search engines? Most of people, especially the Y2K generation doesn't even know there are other search engines, they might not even know what a search engine is. They type their query in the address bar, and believe this is how it works. They believe the Internet is Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instargram, Snapchat.
10:50 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A correction please. Only US database is silent. Everywhere else it is still volatile. So it is not over yet.
11:07 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Do you really believe that it will change anything? Will people start to massively switch to other search engines?


I did not mean that. But if a search engine cannot afford to show less informed articles above better ones. and if it continues like that, it is not that reliable anymore and reliability has made Google number 1.

It is just my thought.

Because this update has decimated those very sites which followed good practice.

The time will tell if the good sites recover.
11:17 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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it is not that reliable anymore and reliability has made Google number 1.

i am not sure that the quality of Google's results has ever mattered to the general public. I was there, when Google appeared, and to me, but I can be wrong, it became popular because it was simple, it was the small guy, and it was the search engine which quickly get the bigger index, which blasted definitively web directories. The bigger the better.
Adding to that, that the name was funny, colorful, and the communication around the brand was also well done. Google also appeared at a key moment, where there was a rejection of Microsoft, and its billions and supremacy (even if Microsoft was not in search engine, or even internet business). Also, Altavista shot itself in the foot.

(I point that I am in a bad mood period)
11:35 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Dmitri,

I have a health website and I am duly qualified for E-A and there is enough T reflected by user interaction. The articles are informative, in-depth [not as in-depth as the scholar articles but enough]. I follow good SEO including fresh content regularly.

I tried to find fault with my site again and again but nothing explains the loss of 50-60% visitors. And nothing explains why the sites which have lesser information are suddenly placed above my site. had it been some other competitor with good content, it would have been a different issue. Some random page being promoted to top from unknown depths of SERPs. That too with minimal content.

Its not making sense at all. Except for the thought that may be, may be, the G has erred. You can call it denial. Let us see.

Take care.
11:49 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Dimitri the reply you gave to @skynet84 wasn't cool & was just filled with negativity. People like you who take their "bad mood" to others need to stay away from forums like this, we don't need that type of energy here sir.
12:11 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Okay understood, farewell
12:46 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This update is crazy. And not because my site has also lost 40% of the traffic. As it happens with skynet84, my website also deals with health issues, the articles are extensive and of quality. Now they have gone over sites full of publicity, and with low quality items that are seen to have been created to make money.

I am also desperate. My life depends on this. I have a wife, a daughter and a baby on the way.

Now only websites with money can be positioned, can buy links and gain authority? Because except for those who have uploaded and published junk, the only ones that have remained stable are strong Web pages that have a lot of funding behind them.

I think this update is wrong, and it would be good for Google to consider the results.
2:49 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My traffic on Wednesday was up 5% week over week, 10% on Thursday and 15% on Friday. Today is continuing the upward trend. A very welcome surprise in the middle of a typically slow summer.
3:47 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The update is not yet over it seems.

My SERPs do not make sense at all, some sites out rank me that are unrelated and basically have term "long term kw" for content as a sold link in their footer to the external site. What kind of google content guidelines are these?

I have spent at least 4-5 hours per article (sometimes 2-3 days) for a year while all competitors do in 30 mins or less, throwing copy pasted images and few lines of text. I do research, using my own generated gifs explaining the process for example on how that technique works, etc. and I get nothing. From 10 sales / day to 2 in 3 days. I will not be able to afford rent soon.

Last 3 updates all benefited the site and pushed those cheap clones out, now it's reversed. So it's like google cant make up their mind on what is right and what is wrong. Now it's more related to paid links than ever.
6:50 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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for those that have been negatively effected so far (includes me but today ive seen some improvements) there is still hope and it looks like we just need to be patient with this still (hard i know).
Google has confirmed that the update is still rolling out and that it make take until some time into the next week to be fully rolled out.

[searchengineland.com ]
6:51 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Semrush relaxed so I guess the rollout is somewhat over.
6:55 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Update started well for me but the last 3 days full of zombies

I need to to live the day to see these zombies go
9:52 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just looked at some of my keywords that the website hasn't shown for several years due to a very bad move by another person. Took it back over after the disaster did all the 301's from his build to the one I originally had done and just tried to do a better job in a very tight nitch. Back on 1st page under the big guns Amazon, ebay but on the 1st page. :)
11:25 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@arunpalsingh Is your health website in English and catered for the English-speaking market?

Just asking, because while your English is proficient, native English speakers can almost always detect when an article has been written by a non-native English speaker, unless the author has had a broad and extensive exposure to the English-speaking world (e.g. living abroad). There are some subtle nuances that stand out, even if just on a subconscious level.

This could perhaps have an effect on the overall quality rating for your website.
1:30 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Sorry if this has already been discussed I didn't have time to read the entire thread (too busy doing damage control!)
I noticed that ALL of my sites that got hit depended heavily on 301 redirects for the majority of their back-links. Anyone else seeing this?

Some of the 301 sites were dropped expired domains I bought and redirected to main domain for the link juice - but a couple were legit - where I just was able to procure a better domain so I changed the URL.

Thoughts?
5:45 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Guys. I'm really sick today about this update, i want to mention something. @Dimitri i work on health platform for more then 6 years and yes im legit because im nutritionist.

Guys i can't find word to describe this disaster, working on the article 2-3 days take look at screenshot: [dropbox.com...]
95% traffic lost, i was hit by september 2017 update, december 2017 update, recover a little bit on march and now -95%.
I can say i lost my job today. I can not afford anymore hosting, all my 6 year job will go to the trash, with the unique content. No one will never find more information like mine, the web will be poorer from next month, and people will never know again that you existed. I do not know what to do and where to start again. My family tells me that I am incapable.
6:29 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@arunpalsingh Is your health website in English and catered for the English-speaking market?

Just asking, because while your English is proficient, native English speakers can almost always detect when an article has been written by a non-native English speaker, unless the author has had a broad and extensive exposure to the English-speaking world (e.g. living abroad). There are some subtle nuances that stand out, even if just on a subconscious level.

This could perhaps have an effect on the overall quality rating for your website.


While I understand I am not sure if the nativeness of a language is such a major factor that a user considers while looking for knowledge in science or if search engines even factor that. Even if it is a factor, it must be too small, for both.

That said, I have noticed another thing. Even for the keywords that my website still ranks 1 in SERPs the amount of traffic is too small. Could not make anything of that.
6:47 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@skynet84 Are your competitor's sites like Dr Axe, Livestrong, Healthline?

People with huge resources are pumping out a lot of articles targeting big keywords, small long tail keywords... They're literally gobbling everything (or so it seems). Their resources and teams are huge, and they have all the credentials with a huge number of backlinks.

The health and nutrition niche is getting tougher all the time. I'm going to start moving towards branding and developing a following. My initial strategy was to build an income for myself and then focus on branding and personalizing the site more, doing YT etc.

My traffic was pretty low yesterday. I thought I saw signs of recovery, but it was very temporary. The update is not over though, things are still moving about. Content disappearing and reappearing in SERPs for me.

Here's the drop I experienced. [imgur.com...]

Traffic is looking a little better this morning... Some keywords are moving back up, but I have articles I put literally hours into (4-5 hours) with 3000+ words and it's moved down in the SERPs to the bottom of the first page. Yet the content ranked above is generic and in no way answers the specific question the user is looking for. Whenever I write an article, I always keep in mind user intent.

It's absurd to see an article by a major site with just 300-500 words rank above you and you have far better content. For example, I don't even know why "livestrong" is ever on the first page. I could write those articles in 10 minutes!

My hope is that because they are long tails keywords, it shouldn't be too hard to get back up there.

My content rose to the top before, so as Google does its testing, maybe they will again. That's my hope anyway.

As others have said, wait a few days until the update is fully rolled out and things settle.

I was literally thinking about quitting my job and focusing full time on this. I think I'm gonna hold onto my day job a bit longer!

[edited by: whoa182 at 7:42 am (utc) on Aug 5, 2018]

6:56 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@arunpalsingh

I'm noticing the same. I've retained number 1 ranking for quite a lot of articles (the main keyword phrase), but I'm guessing that I've lost a lot of the long tail traffic, synonyms, plural or singular rankings.
7:16 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think @EditorialGuy and myself are in a similar kind of niche and with similar kind of sites.(long-term informational sites with individual expertise and USP, worldwide visitors) and, like him, I haven't really noticed any big changes to visitors, CTR or income or upheavals in the SERPs with this search update.

(Nonetheless, for those who have been affected and those who are unaffected, diversifying from Google as a sole traffic source is something that is ever more pressing if you have not yet started.)
7:39 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It is a surprising behavior. For certain keywords, Google is placing Elsevier journal article page above the other sites. And when a user goes to that article, it is just an abstract page asking to purchase the article.

So much for user convenience.

For a keyword, Google ranks the equipment distributor as number one. All the info sites lie below, humbled.
9:37 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It looks like google is shifting its stance on in-depth articles. From this looks for me and posts by other users it looks like google wants short articles with as much quality content as possible, This is my impression but I dont think the update has ended yet. Once its over for sure then I can start doing something.

After some recovery I got knocked down again to page god-knows what. Google is working on the mobile first index, I saw some wacky stuff on mobile search and voice search on Saturday which were gone in a few hours. I am going to start paying more attention to bing now.
9:47 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@skynet84 Again, I have to ask. Is your blog in English and are you the person writing the articles?

I don't mean to be harsh, but if you used the same standard of grammar in your blog posts as you do on this forum, it certainly wouldn't inspire a great deal of confidence in your visitors, particularly if it is giving out health advice.
9:51 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google said a few months ago that grammar and spelling won't affect your rank. If they revised it in the latest algo update or not no one will figure out.
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