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Hope to recover from Google August Core Update

     
10:22 am on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I run a fitness blog . I am a nutritionist and certified personal trainer . Not a doctor .

The point is , I wrote 190 articles myself in 4 years . Didnt hire freelancers , copy or translate .

In 1 August , I found my main competitor , a content farm , outrank me for many keywords . I lost 30% of traffic .

The content farm posts are thin . Written by housewives and unemployed youth . They didnt understand a word from what they are translating .

Can you imagine a 500 words post about certain supplement , written by a female freelancer , full of scientific and medical mistakes , outrank my 3000 words post , full of scientific research ?

It is crazy .

But What I think is , I will slowly recover my losses automatically . And google already said that.

People will simply click on the content farm link . Read the trash and bounce back to my throughout article . Like it and learn from it .

And google AI will detect that . Is it called Rankbrain or something ?

So if you write a very good content , unique and helpful . You may automatically recover your lost positions in few weaks.

Or may not ? Diversify your business , make a youtube channel , be active on social media . Don't fall in the mercy of Google stupidity..
6:40 pm on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I will slowly recover my losses automatically

Doubtful

Why? If your content is so great that it will automatically generate the ranking signals Google wants, it would have already done that.

I suggest impacted webmasters be proactive and change their . Create new content that isn't already on 100 other websites. Your original content two years ago, has probably been spun by many other sites so you need to constantly produce original content. Mine your contact forms & industry forums for original content ideas. Then make sure your site provides a superior user experience (fast, secure, good usability, professional design). Just because you like your site, doesn't mean its a good site. Run real usability tests and make the right changes. Then engage & promote to your audience (Twitter, YouTube, email, etc). Think less about Google and think more about running a successful website. Google loves to rank popular sites so make your site popular without Google.

It is not easy or cheap and every year it does get harder. If you like challenges & can innovate new solutions to address the new SEO landscape, you can survive.

[edited by: goodroi at 8:39 pm (utc) on Aug 12, 2018]

7:16 pm on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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written by a female freelancer

I'm not sure what the relevance of a person's gender is with their ability to write a fitness blogs.
I understand that you may be frustrated by the recent algo update, many of us are but I don't see how being disrespectful to others is going to make things better for you.

The fact that you are certified at what ever you do is irrelevant to Google and it's algo. There is no mechanism to check your credentials. In so far as Google is concerned anybody could claim to be a doctor. Authoritativeness is determined by a host of other signals. Only Google really knows what those signals are. One signal that some have suggested carries a lot of weight is to gain links from authoritative sites in your niche, in other words links from the niche leaders. Build contact with other influential leaders in your niche and earn their trust and Google's will follow.

In this case I doubt that diversifying is going to be of much help. If you are unable to be perceived as an authority or expert for the current set of topics you cover, I fail to see how expanding this set will help that. It will only spread you even thinner. If anything, find your most successful area of knowledge and double-down on that.
11:02 am on Aug 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Can you imagine a 500 words post about certain supplement , written by a female freelancer , full of scientific and medical mistakes , outrank my 3000 words post , full of scientific research ?

If it appeals to the audience, yes. The same way that a reality TV woman, will be more popular and rich than a woman engineer from the NASA...

That being said, I do not think that Google can evaluate the accuracy of an article. Imagine the computing power required if Google has to run deep analysis of each single page and cross check data with other sources, to calculate an accuracy score?

Like NickMNS said, Google can't verify if you are legitimate for writing on a given subject. (I am sure that lot of "SEO-Experts" will start writting fake biography and resume to add at the bottom of article, to claim the author is authoritative in the domain). There are other signals , which is making Google "guesses" if a site "might" be authoritative in its domain. Bounce back, time on site, sharing on social networks, freshness (which can sometimes be reshuffling of all articles), etc... are all signals which are certainly taken in consideration.

Also, who knows, by the end of the year, there will certainly be more udpates, which might shuffle things up and down again, for any kind of reasons.
5:47 pm on Aug 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@egyfitness Welcome to Webmasterworld! Always nice to meet someone new!

Okay thoughts in OP, but I sincerely doubt g will do that kind of "magic". More likely, as has been seen over the years, niche venues related to health and suppliements, etc. have usually been hit pretty hard. Whether this is to stamp out snake oil salesfolks, avoid another DOJ judgement for pharma advertising/sites, or which side of the bed a g engineer woke ... I don't know. Empirically we have seen this before.

As for the content thin competitor out-ranking at the time, it does take time for g to index the web. Keep watching, and keep creating quality content. In the long run that is the best you can do.

Again, welcome to WW!
9:06 pm on Aug 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You're not ranked solely on the merits of your content. And some people might actually prefer reading 500 words over 3000, it's not always more detail they're after. If you're convinced the content is solid, make sure it's also presented in a way that does it justice, that it's well-structured and easy to skim for those in a hurry (especially with 3000 words), with headers, sub-headers, lists, relevant images (that you're allowed to use), and so forth. Make sure the site loads quickly, that you don't annoy users with intrusive advertising or modals. Maybe gather some feedback from your users on what they like and don't like. Certainly don't sit on your hands waiting for Google to recover from its "stupidity".
12:11 am on Aug 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Certainly don't sit on your hands waiting for Google to recover from its "stupidity".


Could this be the best advice ever?

If not, pretty close, I think!
6:36 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The point is , I wrote 190 articles myself in 4 years . Didnt hire freelancers , copy or translate .


@egyfitness If your post is any indication of the quality of your 190 articles then Google is doing what they intended with the August 1 update. I can count many grammar and spelling mistakes. You spelled weeks as weaks for christ sake. Could your blog be in another language targeting another county?
<snip>
I have no sympathy for you and your whopping loss of 30% traffic. I have lost 75% of my traffic twice in 2 years. Another point is that you haven't even replied in your own post..

Now to your AI point. I happen to agree. After every update there is a refresh. The refresh occurs after Google analyzes their data post update. All the metrics are used. Oversights are corrected thus shifting serps happen again but not as dramatically as the update itself.

<snip>

[edited by: goodroi at 9:15 pm (utc) on Aug 14, 2018]
[edit reason] Let's all remember to be professional & polite [/edit]

6:03 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Run real usability tests and make the right changes.

I've seen this suggested many times over the years.
When I looked into it the websites that offer this as a service are for large business able to pay huge amounts of money.

Has anyone found a way to do usability testing at a reasonable price? Was it worth the expense and effort? Did you get high quality actionable results?

Please share methods, what you found and fixed? i.e. Convince us to go and get it done. That it has high ROI.
10:26 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The is no magic bullet for the small to medium business that is cheap.

As for usability testing, bing it to see what is involved, what types of testing is possible, and decide if any of that is for you.

And no, there is no guarantee after going through all that your roi can grow. All you can do it make the site better for the people ... this will not make the search engines love you that much more.
1:02 pm on Aug 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@penitentman

My website is in Arabic , so you can't judge my spelling and grammar using this thread.

Anyways , my website has always been ranking #1 for highly competitive keywords . I use scientific research for writing articles . My competitors just hire freelancers to write quick cheap posts.

By the way , I regained #1 again for the keyword mentioned in OP . But my traffic overall has just improved slightly , like 3% more ? Can't really tell .

I feel pain everyday monitoring Google analytics . I feel it is unfair what is happening . Not just for me , but for search engine visitors.

I was ranking #1 for "lose belly fat" for 4 straight years . I tought people how to eat and exercise to build the body of their dreams . And that you can't spot reduce fat..etc

Now #1 goes to a content farm , and guess what they advise in their lose belly fat article ? Liposuction...

Yup , anyone who has a big belly , should go to lipo right away . Google ranked this article #1 because the content farm has financial resources to buy LINKS .

So since they bought lots of links , google consider them an authority .

There is nothing wrong with my article or my website . Through 4 years of Google Algorithm updates , I have always been #1 and they #2 ..but this Algorithm is different..
3:13 pm on Aug 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It seems Google has turned back the August 1 update? My pages are back to pre August update. The update was a complete disaster for my company and many other companies. You can't just delete pages that have years of link profiling, just like that. I had 40 percent loss of revenue between 1st and 16th of August. Now it's back. Google scared the hell out of me with this update. 10.000 dollars less revenue in 15 days because of this #*$! update. Glad it's back now. I will put more energy in SEO to stay in front of future updates.
12:48 pm on Aug 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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No one noticed any reversion except you Neveragain . The update is complete . Maybe your pages are so good , that users are pushing it to the top again ?
11:11 pm on Aug 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It seems Google has turned back the August 1 update? My pages are back to pre August update. The update was a complete disaster for my company and many other companies. You can't just delete pages that have years of link profiling, just like that. I had 40 percent loss of revenue between 1st and 16th of August. Now it's back. Google scared the hell out of me with this update. 10.000 dollars less revenue in 15 days because of this #*$! update. Glad it's back now. I will put more energy in SEO to stay in front of future updates.


Wow, I haven't heard of anything similar happening to anyone else yet. That's a massive recovery. Is anyone else hearing of anything similar happening?
8:15 am on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There is nothing wrong with my article or my website

Classic. You'll be #3 soon with that attitude ;-)
1:01 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My site isn't the best out there. There are some problems and I'm trying to address them before next update :)
2:18 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This last update seems to be targeting link-builders (THIS IS MY OPINION DON'T TAKE IT TO THE BANK!)

Under-rewarded seems to be a wash and rinse of the over-achievers at targets those who are more realistic/non-gamers. Where all this shakes out will be revealed in coming days.

Meanwhile, there is nothing to recover from and dang little one can do to "fix" it as g has ever intention of being non-fixable. Play the game for pennies, or figure out a better way to make dollars. Some made that decision 10 years back.
4:38 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It's not only about the content. It could be ad placement or other technical issues affecting the user interface.
7:08 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is there any solid strategy which we use for recovering from Google Medic?
7:24 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is there any solid strategy which we use for recovering from Google Medic?

First, stop referring to it as "Medic" anything. It's a core algorithm update. One of many they've done.
5:55 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What? No more barnyard? Egads!

@aAtomic, fully agree.
9:27 pm on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I use scientific research for writing articles . My competitors just hire freelancers to write quick cheap posts.


@egy I would sincerely like to hear you elaborate on the scientific research that you have conducted. Go ahead please, I'm all ears. I Googled "lose belly fat" and get healthline and other similar websites. Not sure what the results are in Arab countries.
9:30 pm on Sept 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I can imagine seeing some funky stuff. Stuff like using whiskey in a baby's milk to help them fall asleep faster, and this from a wall st listed content creator that was working with Google on a youtube content partnership. It happens, they don't hire cheap writers anymore and have solid quality checking practices now.

As for your problem, I did some simple investigating and I believe your site is a .com with a US server but is Arabic in language? I wonder if they tightened the language exposure for some reason. The site did not translate into English when I took a look but a lot of the product names are in English and you may have previously ranked for those. Just a guess.

A suggestion, translate the content and show that to US visitors or move the content to a host server nearer to where the language is primary. Many Arabic speaking people will also speak English in the US and if their browsers are set to english you may not be appearing to them in serps. All of this is just a hunch, I don't know if it was your site I saw.

[edited by: JS_Harris at 9:43 pm (utc) on Sep 18, 2018]

7:52 am on Sept 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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3000 words, sorry but TLDR
7:52 am on Sept 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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dp.

If an article doesn't look like it will reach a conclusion in 400 words or so I am out of there.
These are website articles, they are not novels.
8:48 am on Sept 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm a female housewife and I write articles, so I may not be qualified to offer my inferior opinion but I will wade in anyway. Mark A may have touched on something that I have noticed myself. I constantly update and improve my content in the belief it will help me to keep on top or improve my ranking, but key articles have dropped instead. So, I recently wrote two articles on topics I already have on the site, but greatly condensed. One article is 4,400 words long, the new article is 800 words, and it now has more traffic and a lower bounce rate than the original article. I am starting to wonder if 'improving' the articles (by adding more and more information) lead to their demise?
12:57 pm on Sept 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just checked two articles in a highly credible technical online magazine, one article was 350 words and the other was 600 words.
1:02 pm on Sept 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You're as qualified as any writer browndog, perhaps more so since writers write for people and SEOs write for Google.

As for your test, the Google search console will show you which pages received how many impressions for which keywords. It's not 100% accurate but is good enough for comparison. Number of keywords receiving impressions for each article? Average rank for said keywords? Are both linked from the index page or has the longer one slowly moved to page XX of an archive while the short one is fresh on the home page still?

I do know that, in my niche, the average top 3 pages across the board are 1250 words + with images. They also don't tell long stories, it's rapid fire headers + answers with some 15-20 H2 tags per page. I think Google just likes searched for questions with succinct answers and may not care how much or how little text is on the page, within reason.

I don't see any 400 word articles piercing the top 3 in my niche unless they have a tool on them. Subject probably plays a role.
1:35 pm on Sept 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am starting to wonder if 'improving' the articles (by adding more and more information) lead to their demise?


What has been a fact for years with Google has been its inability to recognise a re-spun article, either shorter or longer, and blatantly copied images, whether smaller, larger, mirrored or flipped, heck, I can recognise those immediately, G's AI/whatever they profess to use, evidently cannot.

It's a pity browndog, many quality sites are being hurt by Google ranking scrapers over the originals, fortunately for me 99% of the goons doing this in my industry know only how to scrape, they know absolutely zilch about my widget industry and would get found out rapidly when queried by qualified architects/specifiers.
8:28 pm on Sept 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I put a very transparent watermark on any of my images so there is no doubt (with Google or anybody else) that they belong to my site, although my 15 year old tells me it's not that hard to get rid of them if you know what you are doing.

My main competitor doesn't appear to spin content, but a lot of others do. If I am looking for stats and facts, I certainly don't look at those sites, instead search for actual research so I can back up my claim that 'unicorns can't see the colour blue'.

I do know that, in my niche, the average top 3 pages across the board are 1250 words + with images. They also don't tell long stories, it's rapid fire headers + answers with some 15-20 H2 tags per page. I think Google just likes searched for questions with succinct answers and may not care how much or how little text is on the page, within reason.



That's something I really focus on, making the information as easy to find as possible with lots of headers and links to each section at the top of the page. If I want to know the average summer temperature in Barcelona, I don't want to have to read through hundreds of words to find that answer. So, on longer articles, I typically provide an 'at a glance' right at the top of the page with one line answers. This of course could also bite me, because it means people may find the answer quickly and leave the page, but I assume Google tracks what they do next, so if they then go back and perform a completely different search not related to Barcelona, one would assume they were satisfied with the answer provided.

As for the new article on an old topic, yes, it's still fresh, so it may be over-rewarded right now, looking at Analytics, 83% of yesterday's visitors came from Google, but only time can really tell how the condensed version will go vs the really long version. To be honest, I was quite shocked that the original had become a 4,000+ words.
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