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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2018

     
9:14 am on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 18 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4922186.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 3:04 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (PDT -8)


Facing with big changes. Something is happening again? I'm pretty tired of Google updates for the last few months... Niche: IT how-to's, technology...
7:49 pm on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've experience a solid 20% increase in traffic starting Saturday. No ranking changes I can see. But traffic and earnings are both doing well.
Also, Nov. 6 in USA, traffic will surely be down due to voting

Naw. Both voters submitted their ballots early.
7:56 pm on Nov 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Gregorich SEO Semrush is good. I use it for tracking keywords and dealing with spam links.

It's a festive week in India, expect the traffic to drop on 6th/7th :)
12:19 am on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@hurwith2 Ė I agree, Tuesday (USA) will be down for at least most of the day due to voting. Even those who may have voted, will be glued to the TV and news websites watching every granular update as the results start coming in. I think historically, these will be the biggest mid-terms elections in a while due to the whole Trump thing (not to get political here).

Today was much higher for us, probably because advertisers are dumping more money into advertising today since most of Tuesday and part of Wednesday will be quiet since consumers' attention are elsewhere. Same pattern happened with us during 2016 presidential elections.
12:38 am on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have lost 90% of traffic with no improvement.12k daily users to 4k.

Our backlink profile is fine. Even better than sites that outrank us. So must be EAT.

We added Trust Pilot widgets to all our pages last week, since we're ecomm. Noticed that the main winner of the update has that.

Added author names/bios to blogs, too.

Reducing word count and keeping things tighter with more trust signals.

Perhaps since our site (vaporizers) falls under YMYL we need to hire doctors who study vaping to write our articles. Sheesh.
12:43 am on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We seem to have just taken a big hit around 3pm EST today. Things absolutely feel off (another) cliff. [i.imgur.com...]

This is ludacris.

[edited by: lostshootingstar at 1:26 am (utc) on Nov 6, 2018]

12:43 am on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have lost 90% of traffic with no improvement.12k daily users to 4k.

12k to 4k is not 90% of loss ...

By the way, the changes you made to your site, may take a while before having an impact on your ranking.
11:29 am on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Sth. is brewing today.

SERPs differ substantially by the hour.
12:03 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've noticed something really odd - running my usual check for our main keyword, our site wasn't visible (using 4g connection). I then noticed that for some strange reason Google was geolocating me to the South of France (I'm in the UK). So, I reenabled WiFi and repeated the search, and there we were, and i was located to the correct geographical location.
2:20 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I was in the twenties in the search engine, and in a week my ranks went down after fifties. I was very confused with what I ignore these days, then I searched for a backlinko tutorial and I saw that Google updated the strategy of online marketing and now I execute the google strategies in SEO.

[edited by: engine at 4:06 pm (utc) on Nov 6, 2018]
[edit reason] Please see WebmasterWorld TOS [/edit]

2:30 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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now I execute the google strategies in SEO

You mean that Google recommends to post spam links in forum ?
3:17 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Serps have been very still for the last 24hrs here. Iím suspicious. The last couple of times that happened they did an update.
3:46 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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justpassing +

"12k to 4k is not 90% of loss ... "

Feels like it lol
4:02 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Organic traffic is doing fine today for me but direct traffic is down considerably. Must be the US election. If it's not Google affecting my traffic, it's something happening in the US. But at least today, it's for a positive reason.
5:21 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Serps have been very still for the last 24hrs here. Iím suspicious. The last couple of times that happened they did an update.

I've seen this pattern also. Before, after and during updates. Traffic levels practically even over the course of 2-3 days. This is probably Google gathering data and running analysis.
Organic traffic is doing fine today for me but direct traffic is down considerably. Must be the US election.

I am not one that believes Election day will affect your traffic. Only 40% of registered voters will go to the polls today. In the grand scheme of population numbers that isn't many. And they stop at the polls on the way home from work. Maybe even watch the news at home with a laptop on their laps. This is not something that I believe will affect online buying habits and stand out in your stats.
6:06 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@penitentman Ė I agree and disagree. Regardless of who goes to vote and when, many are glued to the media today to watch as results unfold, given how hectic everything's been from the moment Trump announced his presidency in June 2015. Today is a big deal and our users' attention will be diverted elsewhere. I suspect traffic may begin slightly declining second part of the day throughout evening and then recuperating throughout tomorrow.
7:02 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@HWG123 I guess we will have to wait to look at the stats. Pinpointing the cause of traffic fluctuations is always tricky regardless of national news, holidays, etc. Looking at the semrush sensor [semrush.com...] and my google analytics things are very much in flux today. There is a significant algorithm update going on right now which will add to the complexity of today's traffic pattern. Traffic to virtually all my blogs is up almost 45% over the same period last week!
8:22 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@penitentman Ė Agree again, because now with updates rolling out all the time on a large scale, definitely does make it difficult to pinpoint causes of traffic fluctuations. A couple of years ago, it was more clearcut. I specifically remember during the 2016 presidential elections: traffic was good and steady for the past few weeks, including on election day, and then toward the second part of that election day as results began pouring in, traffic took a 20-30% dip, and then began replenishing to normal the following day. The same pattern occurred on Inauguration day January 2017.
11:05 pm on Nov 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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SEMRush Sensor at 7.9 today. High volatility on several client sites with predominately positive increases. Just FYI.
12:16 pm on Nov 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Potential drop on Monday but yesterday's elections certainly won't have helped our numbers.

Also analytics real time is not working properly!
12:20 pm on Nov 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Also analytics real time is not working properly!


Good. Our conversion rate always improves when ga real-time is malfunctioning. I'm sure it's just a coincidence...
2:05 pm on Nov 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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One of my biggest competitors just dropped off the first page of serps for the short tail keyword. Quite shocking. Brands with single offerings from outside the niche and a less good but okay niche site have replaced them. But their site is very bloated and they keep creating pages no one would search for, and I think theyíre implementing foreign language translations incorrectly.

Terrible competitor with no backlinks still dominating. Annoyingly they keep copying stuff off me, however, theyíre getting very greedy and just added a massive sticky ad to the bottom of their pages, and are now well into spammy adsense policy violation territory, so Iím rubbing my hands with glee. If they donít sort themselves out itís just a matter of time.

No changes to my own rankings, but Iím probably still in the naughty kid sandbox.
4:06 pm on Nov 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Actually, come to think of it, I ran a speed test on my competitors a few days ago and noticed that the site that just dropped has a 4MB homepage. Could be something to do with it.
4:17 pm on Nov 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My traffic is back on track today after yesterday's slump, so I'm chalking yesterday up to the US election. It's the obvious answer.
10:47 am on Nov 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing some volatility and shuffling this morning in the UK. Anyone else?
10:58 am on Nov 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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oddnumber, things look stable to me I don't normally look as closely as "this morning!".
(UK technical B2B Niche)
1:31 pm on Nov 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just to add what I am seeing. I am monitoring four of our main medical/health related sites. Three were hit on Aug 1st/Sept 27th.

1) Site #1 increased traffic about 50% on Nov 4th. Holding steady. Still below Medic update positioning. Have done nothing since update, as we don't use it that much.
2) Site #2 increased traffic about 35% from Nov 4th-Nov 6th. Yesterday it dropped slightly. Still below Medic update positioning. Worked on it a ton since Medic.
3) Site #3 no change whatsoever this week. This one wasn't hit during Medic, but was during the Sept 27th update. This is the site I am still working on cleaning up. Worked on it a ton since Medic/Sept 27th, but still cleaning up old, thin content.

Our 4th site, which got a big boost during Medic, saw a 15% boost starting on 5th/6th. Nothing has been done to this one since Medic.
8:23 pm on Nov 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm still seeing quite a bit of volatility from the Oct 31-Nov 1 update. It's been pretty crazy all week.
9:01 pm on Nov 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is it still worth creating sites in this day and age of 'Your Money or Your Life' quality standards that will be imposed by Google from now on? It seems to me that the type of sites that are going to take all Google traffic in various fields are big sites owned by companies or startups backed by professional capital. What happens to all the great little sites that were done out of passion by people with a lot of knowledge but who are not necessarily 'experts' (since they don't have the necessary professional qualifications). Example, let's say someone is an excellent stock trader who is self-taught, trades out of the home, and who doesn't have the professional trader qualifications, will content written by them deemed trustworthy, possess expertise?
9:10 pm on Nov 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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One of the keywords we are trying to rank for is "<snip> for sale" although our industry is not health we do see that pages with really bad link profiles and spammy links tend to rank higher than us due to UX. As it seems many of these pages go directly to a list of products with thin content while we have a great link profile, relevant copy, products and great engagement with a custom search on the homepage and we still dropped. Ebay actually took first spot ( knowing the authority they currently have ) I dont understand what other factors can Ebay or the 2 competitors under them have that can help them get better results.

Cheers,

Jon

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:42 pm (utc) on Nov 8, 2018]
[edit reason] Specific keywords not allowed. Please read forum charter. [/edit]

11:42 pm on Nov 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@tryingtogrowsite I'm starting to wonder if it's worth putting most of my time into my health site anymore. I think I'm going to publish another 100 or so articles by January sometime and then let it sit. I'll move onto something else and just post on the health site a less frequently (maybe a couple times a week).

Before it was easier to gauge whether or not you'd have a good chance of ranking by looking at several factors, one of them being keywords in the title. Now it seems like it barely matters anymore.

Sites like Healthline are taking almost everything. It's super annoying when you have an article about a subject, and then a site like Healthline posts some very general article with a very brief mention of the food (in this case) for a specific problem and ranks almost top. My entire article is about this topic/subject matter... and they two lines on it.

It wasn't like this before. And as I mentioned with the super synonyms... I think it plays heavily into favor of huge brands/sites. They will just gobble up more of the pie and smaller sites are gonna struggle even more to gain any traction.

Just looking at the SERPs these days, there are so many articles that are not relevant. Looks like they dialed down the relevancy in favor of other factors.

My site hasn't grown at all since August. It was on a nice steady increase in traffic before that. All I did was publish good content (and it was working). Now every few weeks I start to recover a little, and there's another update and I lose everything again. This pattern has been repeating for months now.
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