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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]
8:07 am on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar! Hi

Its Health and Medicine. <snip> to be precise.



Mod's note: We try not to get that precise regarding site niche. Please read Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:53 am (utc) on Aug 7, 2018]

8:32 am on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So from what I gather, websites providing health-related information have been targeted heavily. Maybe someone in Google or one of their family members got some bad advice from a health website and decided to retaliate.
8:39 am on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Accurate.
9:04 am on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Mixing business with personal matters is never good. :-)
10:19 am on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing another big shakeup in my niche, one of my competitors jumped from page 10 to page 4 and the other was shoved from page 2 to page 6. We might be in front of another huge shuffle but I still cannot tell if its limited to my niche.

UPDATE! Something is going on. My conclusion so far, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.
11:51 am on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Post update or vertical is seeing more multiple listings from the same domain



and yes I noticed that AMP pages are getting a lot less higher page results than they used to in general but that is something I noticed a few months ago so I don't think it is a result of this update. the only exception it seems is news that still does well for amp.

Im seeing that a lot also in my niche - I in fact have places 1 and 2 for one target keyword (previously just had 1 spot) and the number 2 result certainly shouldn't be there in my opinion, it is related but there should be other results from other pages above it for sure.

I agree , this update really is a mess. thankfully im beginning to get better conversions these last few days and im less stressed about it but that doesnt change my opinion. Im just going to keep working on content
1:14 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@yollo03 i think you are really wasting so much time, energy & resources on checking you & your competitors page positions everytime. My advice is that you start creating new contents, the earlier the better. Make sure your new contents are more than the number of times you use to check you & your competitors page positions.

[edited by: Halaspike at 1:55 pm (utc) on Aug 7, 2018]

1:26 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Luckily have not seen much of a change.
1:36 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This update really is a mess. Seeing more and more multiple listings from one domain in the same search vertical... Some of our compeitors who are much bigger than us and who i have admiration for in terms of the SEO tactics have dropped by 20%. Others that have redirected unrelated lapsed domains (essentially inheriting their backlink profile) have flown to the top.

Its bizarre, disappointing and frustrating...
1:57 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am not adding new content yet, I have to come up with a new strategy for content. This is no longer about providing quality content as we know. You need to adjust to these changes whether you like it or not.
2:13 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I will rather wait for the update to settle and let a pattern emerge before making changes to the website.
Otherwise, I might end up breaking things.

@yollo03 I am not doubting your conclusions. But it needs more time period and a larger sample to study to deduce something.

I just wanted to suggest to wait and let the studies come out. All in all, it seems a bizarre update. There could be a readjustment of the matrix, you know.

But its still your call.
2:28 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Anyone interested in conducting an analysis of sites in a group jointly?
2:33 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am going to make big changes once this is over, got nothing to lose after being tanked to page 11. The way this is at the moment, 'less is more.' Google wants short answers to queries. My only hope is that I was pushed down because the algo needs to re-evaluate my website before deciding where to rank me. I see loads of complains online about this update.

I will wait until the weekend. If nothing happens by then I am going to begin slashing content from my homepage.
2:40 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I see loads of complains online about this update.

Be cautious about drawing conclusions from these observations. There is a big bias at play in situations like this, those that have benefited from the update are not complaining, and tend not to brag, so you are seeing many more complaints than positive observations.
2:50 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You are absolutely right, I am not telling anyone to slash content. I will do it because I have nothing to lose and I will tell you if it actually improved my rankings. I see posts with less than 300 words from other websites ranking way above my homepage and they are not the only one.

I managed to get myself to guest-post in a high authority website in my niche (DA over 70) but google has yet to acknowledge it.
3:05 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A sickening amount of zombies after this update both mobile and tablet. It used to be more the desktop the zombies were coming from.

Profiling a persona buying behaviour on mobile is probably at the heart of this update for ecommerce sites obviously
3:18 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There is seriously a flaw in this algorithm, sites mentioned as "Positive and High" ratings in the raters guidelines have dropped as well
4:16 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The How-To Geek post on the Google Webmaster Central help forum is an interesting read and shows just how broken certain parts of the Google algorithm are (which a lot of us already knew). Hopefully How-Too Geek and their popularity will shine a bigger light on the issue though I am sure Google already knows of the problem.

You would think by now Google would be able to determine copied content and who most likely owns it (ie whatever site Google found it on first).

It also shows that Google AI is not really an AI that truly understands content but just a bunch of if statements looking for certain signals. Some signals make sense to base the algorithm on like speed of page or number of ads on a page but when you use signals to determine the quality and relevancy of content their will always be problems for some sites since there is no true understanding of what the content is about. Until that happens their will always be sites unfairly pushed down in the serps.

I think it also shows Google needs to offer more information about what they see as problems with a site. I can't see how this is a bad thing as it would only help the internet as a whole. They already tell us of html issues like buttons too close together or font is too small... why can't they expand this for more signals like too many ads, duplicate content and other broad signals they use.
4:48 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I will rather wait for the update to settle and let a pattern emerge before making changes to the website.


Absolutely, do not change anything ... and if, perchance, you do understand what craziness Google has introduced, ensure you make back-ups of everything should you decide to make any changes just in case you need to reverese it.

Me? I'm not changing a darned thing since my professional and trade users value the information and images I post, I honestly do not care if Google does not, it simply demonstrates how really poor their algo is of understanding quality websites.

For newbies, I do not operate ecommerce sites, purely corporate brochureware with accurate product data and images much of it of exclusive production.
5:27 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Very good to not make any changes to good contents already published prior a Google update.

Thing is, do not let a Google update stop you from creating new contents & doing other good things to your site.
5:33 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This update I guess it killed many site, and even Google is considering some traffic from some countries as spam like different dimensions for the valid visitors in Adsense, after this update, my revenue is down 80% ( Adsense is constantly deducting clicks and revenue every few minutes)

anyone is suffering from the same thing?
5:39 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I dont use adsense but it did kill many websites, some will eventually buckle under the pressure. About adsense, google said they are aware of it but claim its not related to the core update [searchenginejournal.com...]
6:04 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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About adsense, google said they are aware of it but claim its not related to the core update


Rubbish!

If a site loses 20-50% of its traffic and then loses 20-50% of its AdSense income it is directly related, it's a symbiotic relationship going up and down with each other.

Granted that the update may not have anything to do with AdSense per se however the relationship for those using it is extremely close therefore those losing traffic will inevitably lose AdSense earnings.

This is as true now as it was in 2003!
6:13 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@redbar It's not only about the traffic, but Google is deducting revenue and clicks every few minutes, and also of the traffic from certain countries.

This update is really affecting Adsense in terms of traffic as you said, and other ways as well.
6:57 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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but Google is deducting revenue and clicks every few minutes,


I am going to presume that these are realtime deductions by Google for invalid clicks and traffic. I am not experiencing any increase in deductions however I don't get many clicks anyway.

From which country do you get the majority of your clicks?

Is it a relatively "new" AdSense market as a matter of interest?
7:07 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@redbar I am using Adsense for years and never faced such issue, I get around 60k-70k visitors a day and I used to make on average around 80$/day. Now barely making 20$ if I work so hard, only since last Friday.

Most of my traffic ( around 75%) is from Africa, mostly Kenya and Nigeria, but since last Friday most of the revenue from these countries is being deducted within hours or minutes.

BTW, I am not the only one suffering from this issue, I know a couple of other people who have sites like mine and suffering from the same issue, since last Friday as well.
8:12 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We initially saw an uptick in traffic as this update began rolling out. A couple of days later, traffic decreased, somewhat substantially. When I drilled into the data, impressions were up and position was pretty stable.

I can't be sure, but, in our case, I suspect competitors began buying ads to offset traffic loss. An ad doesn't move the "position" as reported by Google, but it does move it from the user's perspective, and I've noticed this happening after previous updates. Most of the ads being purchased violate Google's TOS in some way, so these bursts usually drop.

Based on that, it's entirely possible to not be penalized at all and still lose traffic due to an increase in ad spend by other sites. It wouldn't surprise me to find that Google does this on purpose, from time to time, to get companies to spend a bit extra when their traffic declines. At any rate, it's worth digging into the data if you've seen a drop. It's always better to make decisions based on empirical data.
8:37 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NYCTech

Same here update started well than all trash. You are right about the fake traffic for a period of time will make the webmaster think competition put bid up which no one can find out.

You are probably already in the zombie land there is traffic but probably not conversions and especially in a mobile zombieland after this update.
11:15 pm on Aug 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In Search Console, thousands of links to my site vanished & i did not submit a disavow file.

Does this mean that a competitor tried bringing me down by spamming my backlink profile with thousands of bad links but google is now able to ignore bad links & not use them as a ranking factor?
12:51 am on Aug 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Even if you did submit a disavow file, the links would still show up in search console.

I've had links disappear from there before (a lot of them) after an update, only for most of them to return later on.
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