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Google "broad core" algorithm update now confirmed

     
2:17 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google's search algorithm update, discussed widely today, has been confirmed as a "broad core" update by Google.

Barry Schwartz posted about the update on seroundtable early in the day, and later about Google's confirmation. Members here were posting in our July and August Updates threads... spread over two monthly threads because of time-zone differences as the months changed. The "official" date of the update is Aug 1, 2018

July - [webmasterworld.com...]
Aug - [webmasterworld.com...]

SERP movements and Barry's announcement were noted among others by our new member yollo03, who was watching activity closely and first posted about Barry's announcement.

seroundtable also noted Google's Twitter confirmation from Danny Sullivan, posting as Google SearchLiaison, later in the day....

Twitter thread here...
[twitter.com...]

Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year....

Google had posted additional explanation in Twitter in March to explain what these broad core updates might mean to webmasters....
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.

Barry's SER article, updated to include the official announcement, also contains some interesting screen captures from the various update tools....

Google Search Algorithm August 1st Update Rolling Out Now; Might Be A Big One
Aug 1, 2018 - 7:31am - by Barry Schwartz
[seroundtable.com...]

3:53 am on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A PS to follow the above:... To me, the wording of "no 'fix'" suggests that the core algo change included many factors, so you can't use changes from this algo to isolate what your problems might be. I tend to read this as "no one fix", but that's conjecture.

Additionally, in many cases, I believe that Google is saying that there might be no problems with your material... but rather that Google is up-rating other sites based on new ways Google has of perceiving or rewarding value and relevance, or of interpreting queries.

That said, if you're new to this game, or old and jaded, I think a study of prior quality factors and Raters' Guidelines might well suggest how existing content can be improved, though there's disagreement about that, with different Google reps and engineers having different feelings about different factors.

I would never be complacent about how "great" your site might be. It is a horse-race, and some of your competitors are always likely to get better.

3:29 pm on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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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

That's pretty much a meaningless explanation. Basically it just says that the new algorithmic changes caused some pages to move above other pages, pushing them down. So it basically says nothing.

At any rate, this update will probably only have a small OVERALL effect. A very small percentage of sites could get hit hard, but there shouldn't be much effect on most sites. Google has been working on its algorithm for 20 years, and should have reached a stage where it doesn't need to make any radical new changes to its algorithm.
3:42 pm on Aug 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Does this update include populating more SERPS pages with content from the web?
6:20 am on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We got slammed by the original March and April updates, not seeing any drops for this latest one.

1. Has anyone recovered from the March updates?

2. The Raters Guidelines have been recommended over and over. E-A-T is huge in the Google Rater Guidelines and E-A-T seems to be the core difference I'm seeing between the sites that have increased rankings and my site.
How does one go about increasing Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness for a website with high quality content?
Can it be outsourced, to what type of company?
6:34 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That's pretty much a meaningless explanation.


It just sounds like a diplomatic way to deflate the situation. "No need to swamp our support department, you're not punished, it's just others who are being rewarded"
8:39 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google is poking a stick into the ants nest and stirring it ( doing so helps their bottom line 3 months down the road ), so, to avoid being too affected by the "stick stirring"*...

Buy Adwords.<=subliminal message from Google..

Every so often, Google applies "rinse and repeat" to this action ( webmasters , and Google, and Google's "explainers" , call these actions "updates" )...

Beware of Maya..
10:22 pm on Aug 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Wonder if the broad core change is more about the type of content? I suspect, if we do not see much change for the ecom sites but do for info, edu and news, g might be playing word games. The "under-rewarded" phrase spooks me. Why was that content under rewarded in the first place and why is it now elevated over existing content? Inquiring minds want to know.
12:17 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Via Barry Schwartz again... a Twitter comment by Danny Sullivan on the expected time-frame of rolling out the update...
A few days. Say by middle of next week, should be fully rolled out.
Danny Sullivan - 8:46 AM - 3 Aug 2018

1:22 am on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That is good to know. Given the current state of affairs it will be a nerve wracking few days...
12:54 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@thedonald123. Same as you. Suffered 30% loss of traffic thanks to March and April. Wondering how similar people have done with this current update rollout.
3:05 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google is poking a stick into the ants nest and stirring it

Why make things complicated? IMO, Google is just making incremental improvements and bug fixes to the Google Search software. It's like anything else: Most of the applications that I use (everything from FTP clients to image editors to operating systems) do updates at least a few times a year, so I'd expect the same from a search engine.
3:09 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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To be precise these updates are nothing but appending more if else statments onto their code :D
3:44 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Nothing complicated at all..stirring ant nests with a stick is a simple exercise, as any kid knows..coding for stirring is also a simple exercise as sk7411 pointed out..seeing how high the people will jump when one says "frog" is also a simple exercise, pretending that "the algo"* is mysterious and is for the benefit of anyone other than Google's bottom line is also simple..
Pretending that Google are not merely "stick stirring" is good for the stock price, ( and those who own Google stock ) and for those who have become professional Google explainers / interpreters ( the SEO industry )..very much like the priests and hawkers of trinkets and charms , potions etc at the oracle of Delphi..or Lourdes**..

Remember all the things down the years that "the algo" was supposed to have been tweaked to catch? and which are still there..like hidden text,..Google has got webmasters convinced that they can spot anything that Google no longer needs to do much at all other than occasionally "stir"..and it isn't going to be an SEO snake oil salesperson or a stockholder who is going to say differently.

**Funny how amputees are never miraculously cured at Lourdes or any other "shrine" or priest or shaman or hawkers of potions, charms and special knowledge filled venue.
4:51 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The interesting thing about these updates is that this causes sudden jumps in rankings, positive or negative. After the March update I lost close to 60% of my traffic in the span of a few days. The growth of traffic to pre-March update levels had taken month and if not years of steady growth. Since that update my traffic has seemed to recover and the overall trend was positive. Now with this latest update it appears that a good part of this positive increase has been wiped out again in the span of a day or two.

The way I perceive these updates is that Google takes its ranking factors and changes the weighting of each. For example it might increase the value that links play in ranking and reduce the value for speed. This is a kind tweaking of the knobs. They may also add new factors or remove obsolete ranking factors.

Considering my experience described above and my perception of mechanics of the update, I wonder, if after an update one immediately begins to improve on the important ranking factors, then will one improve rankings or are inter-update ranking changes simply noise and of no significance? Can one only recover once the next update rolls out?

In the days of Penguin and Panda the later appeared to be the case. Now in the age the "Real-Time" update is that still the case? And, if that is the case how does a positive trend become a negative jump at the update? Was the update a roll-back?

I realize that all these questions are unanswerable...
5:02 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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One more unrelated point/question. In the past, people here have claimed that Google tends increase the crawl rates leading up to the update roll-out. I'm seeing steep increase in crawling starting around July 8 or 9. Anyone else seeing this?
6:19 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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NickMNS -- Did you keep making changes to your website in the meantime?
9:02 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In my case the March update coincided with a full 100% relaunch of my website. I went from a static site to dynamic web-app model (Also an AMP version and switch to https). But 99% of all url's remained in place. So it was unclear at first whether my issues were caused by Google's update or my own. With time it became clear that the sudden drop could only be caused by the Google update. This "certainty" is due to suddenness of the traffic drop and the size of my site (tens of millions of pages).

Also a month ago I added a new-feature to my site, that is new pages that didn't exist previously. These pages tend not be landing pages but get a good amount of traffic and usage coming from the existing pages. They have added to my page views and time on site metrics. Which had already improved as result of my March update.
9:32 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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NickMNS -- I asked the question because I've seen many reports here from people who kept making changes to their sites to try to improve their rankings, but the opposite kept happening.

Also, I'm not convinced that google really does adjust its rankings in "real time". I think these occasional "broad core" updates may in part be "purges" of sites that keep being changed by their owners.
9:47 pm on Aug 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think these occasional "broad core" updates may in part be "purges" of sites that keep being changed by their owners.

Remember what I used to refer ( back in tedsters day ) as the "zig zag" part of "the algo" ? That Google were only really interested in catching those who tried to manipulate their SERPs..that only those involved in SEO would make changes very often in response to what they thought G were doing..so if a webmasters kept "zig zaging" to "dodge the algo"..that would bring them to Google's attention..and they'd get a mild slap from G..?

webmasters are supposed to sit where Google tells them..or buy adwords and get to sit nearer the top, the more you buy, the closer to the top you get..try to "sneak there" ( using "sneak" in the way the Google appears to think of SEO, remember they have said they really do not like SEO)..and Google will knock you back if they catch you..doing too many things, too fast , looks unnatural..and Google notices you..

SEO ( getting a better place in SERPs without paying Google adwords for it ) takes money out of Google's pocket..and they do not like that..no matter what they might now say publicly..
12:00 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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< moved from another location >

Hi so my google search traffic has been going down steadily. Exactly which factors I should check and fix?
Thanks!


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 12:39 am (utc) on Aug 5, 2018]
[edit reason] Moved post to this discussion [/edit]

12:31 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Exactly which factors I should check and fix?

born2run, leave it alone for a while. The update is by no means over, and after that results are likely to take some time settling.

Note previous posts with comment from Danny Sullivan that the update is still rolling out, perhaps continuing to middle of next week.

Also, see notes posted at the start of this thread, regarding Google's advice that a broad core update is not a demotion of your site, but rather due to overall algorithm changes intended to boost sites that Google feels have been previously under-rewarded.

Clearly, Google does not want webmasters to chase particulars of an algo that hasn't changed, or make unnecessary changes to their sites.

My guess is that there may well be some overall changes in the way Google is valuing links, and it's going to be something over which we have no individual control. I suspect that many members will have to change how they acquire links. Google has long indicated their desire to have freely given editorial links based on content, and I think this algo may signal a major step in that direction.

I would continue to work on improving your content, as that's an ongoing task. That said, I'd give it a rest and wait until the dust settles before applying changes you make.



4:51 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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2 of my 3 sites are seeing significant traffic gain; upwards of 20%. This is a big deal for these sites. No changes except for normal currency updates.

My 3rd site has been going downhill in the SERP for 3 years and continues to do so. However local search has steadily increased due to recently added voice friendliness on mobile.

Al 3 sites are in the same relative niche, so while 'making room for sites that have been previously ignored' may have pushed down some sites, there must have been a few algo ranking changes as well.
11:23 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google has long indicated their desire to have freely given editorial links based on content

I don't know if that really works that well any more especially for smaller sites. A lot of websites use nofollow on all outbound links.
4:17 pm on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't know if that really works that well any more especially for smaller sites. A lot of websites use nofollow on all outbound links.

Google may not follow "nofollow" links or use them to calculate PageRank, but do we know for a fact that Google simply ignores such links? I find it difficult to believe that Google Search hasn't adapted to the times.

System

5:20 pm on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The following 3 messages were cut out to new thread by robert_charlton. New thread at: google/4914495.htm [webmasterworld.com]
1:57 pm on Aug 5, 2018 (PDT -8)


Mod's note: Off-topic posts about Google business practices were split off to a new thread. Please continue with algorithm discussions here.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:43 pm (utc) on Aug 5, 2018]

8:18 am on Aug 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've seen a drop on the 1st of Aug, mostly for mobile visibility. Haven't been hit earlier in the year so this is frustrating to hear that others are better when we've been doing the right things & been doing well because of it also. Looking forward to going mobile-first also as still waiting.
8:27 am on Aug 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A lot of websites use nofollow on all outbound links.
Unfortunately so. When nofollow was originally announced, many of us, myself included, felt that it would ultimately distort the link ecosystem, and it has.

But that ecosystem was already distorted by link spam, and, at the time, nofollow was probably the lesser of a various combination of evils. It's not clear, with the apparent resolution of Penguin, whether nofollow is necessary any longer.

Though I can imagine partial algorithmic solutions with the elimination of nofollow, I'm having a hard time imagining a satisfactory workaround for nofollow in cases like Wikipedia.

Definitely see discussion in this thread, which I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned....

Google Updates PageRank Patent
Apr 25, 2018
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4897980.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Though the current core update is still not fully rolled out, I can see how some of the ranking changes mentioned in our August Updates and SERPs thread could be implemented by an algorithm seeded by a "reduced link graph" as martinibuster has mentioned in that PageRank Patent discussion.

What Google is doing now could well be similar to what Google did in the major "Florida" update, with much more complicated exclusion filters and math... and perhaps also with multiple conditions of inclusion more complicated simply than ranking.

These conditions may well go beyond query vocabulary, to include, eg, searcher intention. Query rewriting, I'm thinking, would also need to be coordinated with the link graph reduction.

9:23 am on Aug 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I still want to know what g meant about under rewarded sites now getting love. If those sites (whatever they are) are going up, that means all the rest are going down).

What sites were under rewarded and why do they now need the help? Perhaps too many were dropping off -- eschewing g ads -- because they had no income? (one of about 10 questions which might be asked).

Not a bash, just reality. g never does anything against their interests.
11:03 am on Aug 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If those sites (whatever they are) are going up, that means all the rest are going down).

But some posters have reported very big rankings drops for particular sites. When one site has a big drop, then other sites will float upward to fill in the gap. This is a more likely explanation than contending that numerous sites rose on their own, thereby pushing one particular site down.
This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48