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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...
9:18 am on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps a drop because of Halloween and not Google update? People may be on a small vacation.
9:19 am on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Seems like something is happening again. Many of my keywords have dropped like it did on the 25th. :( Hopefully, things will return to normal after a day or two like it did last time. A bunch of non-relevant articles in front again.

Edit: It looks as if my keywords have gone back to where they were on the 25th (after they dropped). Maybe Google is doing some a/b testing. But if this sticks, then I'm done. To the job center I go! :'/


Yes. Exactly the same then 25th. Made me again an upset stomach in the morning. I hope so much that this not sticks :(
This is so depressive...
9:58 am on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Look like testing something on the old database.
10:34 am on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar +

Hey, Mayank! Please, can you tell me - is it a mass holiday in India right now (today)? I have a pretty strange traffic pattern and want to know if it's holiday related.
12:15 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Maybe when the google employees do their walkout today they turn the dial on the serps to "results promote ad clicks < results promote quality sites" on their way out... just saying.
12:53 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Maybe google is testing where more people stays on google self instead of click on a website, therefore they prefer websites where its possible to grep the Q&A snippets.
1:03 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Lift in rankings yesterday, drop in rankings today.
1:59 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For those still confused as to why the SERPs are the way they are: google's 2018 third quarter report shows they had a 62% YOY increase in paid clicks on google properties.
2:02 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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...and rankings up again. Like a yoyo. (or a split test...?)
2:12 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm also seeing the yo-yo in my traffic patterns. I'm seeing a saw-toothed shaped traffic curve in analytics.
2:20 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I signed up for thinkwithgoogle last week. Website had been trending up until the day after I did this. I got blasted with emails from thinkwithgoogle about how to increase visitors through their various advertising platforms and the website started eating #*$! immediately after. Paints a pretty clear picture to me...

I also add about 6yrs ago I had a Google rep from Adsense contact me to be a premium publisher. I was running zero Adsense ads. I politely denied the offer after hearing them out. The website was deindexed from Google, yes deindexed a couple days late. I called the rep back and was told she was looking into it. I never heard back and from that point on my emails and phone calls went unanswered. That website was just reindexed last month but doesn't even rank for it's brand.

Edit: It was actually much longer than 6yrs ago now . I still have the emails it was 9/23/11. Last response I received was "I am in in talks with Ads quality team to try and see if there is anything I can do. I understand your frustration and will do what I can. I will be in touch once I hear back."
2:33 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a lot of movement in our industry today. Things had been pretty stable for a couple of weeks. Or at least as stable as they can be in 2018.
4:10 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have ~ -28%. It's the biggest drop for last 2 years for me. Guys, what figures you have? Is there is someone who get boost?
4:56 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is there is someone who get boost?

Yeah, google, they got a boost in the form of a 62% YOY increase in paid clicks on google properties.
5:03 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As usual, people are paying too much attention to short-term fluctuations in their traffic. Some of it might be due to google's testing, but there are often also other temporary circumstances and factors involved as well. My suggestion is to ignore temporary effects and look at the longer-term trend.
6:08 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, google, they got a boost in the form of a 62% YOY increase in paid clicks on google properties.


Hm... Never heard about them. What's their strategy? Are they using some scrapping of the content techniques and then adding their ads around this content?

As usual, people are paying too much attention to short-term fluctuations in their traffic. Some of it might be due to google's testing, but there are often also other temporary circumstances and factors involved as well. My suggestion is to ignore temporary effects and look at the longer-term trend.


Do we have another option? :)
7:40 pm on Nov 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We've had a big jump in both average rankings and traffic over the past few days, but it has nothing to do with Google algorithm changes. It's simply because people are searching on a topic that's been in the news (and for which we rank or near at the top of Google's SERPs year in and year out).
12:32 am on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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All the position changes I saw today have now reverted back to exactly what they were yesterday.
8:24 am on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Not for me. On the 25th the positions came back one day later. This time it seems to be sticky. (Medical Niche)
unbelievable... 6 years daily work on a website, completly gone.

- 100% clean link profile (Links from Universities, Hospitals, Doctors, Newspapers)
- Community with 1,5 Million Posts and 50.000 Users (arround 1000 heavy Users)
- Thin content with less chars are always being set to noindex (automaticly)
- never had any panda problems. Never react to any update before.

An now Google is saying: Its nothing wrong with your site, we just dont like it anymore. Without giving a hint what we do wrong. In my niche the serps are worse since 1. August. Only hospitals and pharma firms with less informations. I am pretty sure, there is something wrong. The parameters and the indicators for EAT are wrong...
8:41 am on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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6 years daily work on a website, completly gone.

What about those clean links, 50.000 users, they are not generating traffic (and earnings)?

- Thin content with less chars are always being set to noindex (automaticly)

Only hospitals and pharma firms with less informations.

May be it's a mistake to noindex pages, based on the number of characters. There is nothing wrong in having "short" pages (from a words count point of view) as long as the content is pertinent.
9:02 am on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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50.000 users, they are not generating traffic (and earnings)?


they do, but members see less ads and the donations are as always not that much. Compared to before august, we lost 95% of our earnings.

May be it's a mistake to noindex pages, based on the number of characters. There is nothing wrong in having "short" pages (from a words count point of view) as long as the content is pertinent.


I know that noindex on chars are maybe wrong, but when you have a community, where everday thousands of posts and topics are written, its not possible to check them each day how usefull they are for google. Even if I think its usefull, you can see, that google dont think so ;) - so we decided to work with noindex for years and of course we change the titles, when they are very bad.

I think the problem has nothing to do with our noindexed pages, because they were never indexed, so we cant loose them and they dont count.

I am not complety hopeless. I have a few ideas what we can do. We will see, if that works in a year or so...
9:07 am on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I haven't noticed a reversal yet.

I'm looking at one of my long tail keywords which dropped to 3rd page from position #1 on Google, and there are just a bunch of low-quality forum and Reddit posts in the top 5. Barely any content and no citations. Total word count for these pages is probably around 300-500 words.

The piece of content which got thrown to page 3 is 1500 words + and contains for 4 citations to answer the specific question (links to pubmed). I can't see what is wrong with the page. It's written well, contains images, a video, citations and the main keyword phrase (5 words) is mentioned in the title and once (partially) in the content. When I initially published back in September the content went to position 2 after fetching. So it's not as if it was a competitive keyword.

That's just one example, but there are a handful of others that are similar.

I also think that Google's use of super synonyms might be returning poorer search results in some cases and rewarding big authority sites with more long tail keywords (not leaving room for smaller sites to grow). That's just my feeling, I don't have anything concrete to back that up.

I look at my keyword positions on search engines like Bing and they look more similar to Google before August 1st update. I do very, very well on other search engines, it's just Google that seems to hate me these last few months.
11:31 am on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We are seeing a very big drop since last sunday it is getting worse each day.
Sales from google users are down by 90% ( bing, ebay, amazon still up ).

Since sunday google keeps sending me email how to get more customers with campaings.
We do have campaings on amazon but not on google anymore. U have to go where the customers are and that is not google.
But i am not astonished after I saw the earnings last quqter that google made. My fiorst thought was that they have to oush ads more to keep this earnings high. And google didnīt disappoint me in this case.
12:41 pm on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My G Insights shows pages markedly slower in October.
So the question is: Is the problem with Google's own measurement method or with services like GTMetrix, which show no major speed issues.
One thing I have noticed is that recapture is slowing pages. That's all I added in the past 60 days.

BTW, ,many must be getting bad speed reports because this morning, GTM is showing cues of over 70-100 jobs.
12:44 pm on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@sofie77
May be it's a mistake to noindex pages,

Not maybe, it is a mistake. When one removes a page from the index any signals passed to that page are removed. Therefore noindexing a bunch of pages can have significant negative effect on your overall ability to rank.

@whoa182
I'm looking at one of my long tail keywords which dropped to 3rd page from position #1 on Google,

If you are really looking at a "long tail" keyword, that is a keyword that appears infrequently in search, not a keyword that is long in terms of characters, then getting any ranking information would be impossible or completely unreliable. As opposed to regular keyword where getting ranking information becomes potentially possible and only sometimes reliable.

The piece of content which got thrown to page 3 is 1500 words + and contains for 4.... I can't see what is wrong with the page.

There is nothing wrong with the page, the problem is that your description fits many other pages published by many other sites. So you checked all the boxes, necessary but not sufficient.
12:55 pm on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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When one removes a page from the index any signals passed to that page are removed


thats no problem, because there are no signals to the topics with thin content. We have checked all inbound links and off course, we wouldnt noindex or 404 a page, when there a links or any signals to them.

Which kind of signals do you mean?
What do you suggest for a forum with a community? Keep all topics indexed and just remove the ads when there are only a few chars? We noindexd everything < 150 words. But only if there are no traffic from google since the last month (4 I think).
1:16 pm on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Which kind of signals do you mean?

I don't know what signals specifically as Google doesn't disclose them, but there are other signals than links that are used by Google.

We have checked all inbound links

Despite the fact that there are some pretty good tools for this they are not 100% accurate. Many tools give many results, but none are perfect. For a single page this wouldn't be an issue as the probability of missing an inbound link is relatively low. But when as you apply this to more pages the probabilities are summed and thus can grow to significant levels. I don't know how many pages you have noindexed but the larger the number the bigger the impact. This applies to all signals.
3:26 pm on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Traffic is very inconsistent, up and down real time analytics shows a lot since the core up date in August.
6:05 pm on Nov 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Cyril TechWebsites + No. The mass holiday is on Wednesday, 7 November (Diwali) and it's likely that traffic will be half or even worse. But the CPC is likely to be better as there are some sales and people tend to buy new things on this day.

Google's tweet [pbs.twimg.com...]
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