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Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2018

     
3:13 pm on Dec 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 7 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4926691.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 4:47 pm on Dec 1, 2018 (PDT -8)


It just keeps getting worse and worse... I was seeing a slow daily uptick from November 4th until day before yesterday and hoping I would finally start to recover from September's massacre. Now I've lost all the ground I made up in two days and back to where I started. No calls, no emails, no inquiries. Meanwhile the huge corporate competitors keep ascending. Google is just determined to kill us all off.
6:34 am on Dec 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@broccoli
Thanks for the reply. Actually, I have filed several DMCA's in the past on sites that copied and pasted pages or the whole site without changing a thing. The two sites that are now in question have grown quickly in the past year and heavily advertise with Adwords. Since they have become large health sites, and I am a small niche I don't know if anything would be done. Plus I am afraid that they have changed the content just enough to slide by. They do have additional info that I do not have on their pages.

@Cralamarre, it has been years since I filed and I know that the process has changed but I never had to prove that I was the first publisher. But since you updated your pages, broccoli suggestion would likely work.
3:43 pm on Dec 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Derbie,
Google didn't ask you to prove that you were the original publisher? So anyone can file a DMCA against you without needing proof?

That archive.org site is pretty awesome. Makes it very easy to see which site an article appeared on first.
5:11 pm on Dec 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@derbie @Cralamarre Archive.org is a one of a kind resource on the internet and should be supported. It's helped me to establish past infringements when infringers were lying about past use of my images. I contribute a donation every year, and so should you if you find it useful. If it vanishes there is nothing else like it that I know of
5:33 pm on Dec 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I doubt Google needs Archive.org. It's probably safe to assume Google keeps their own private internal "Archive.org" history.
5:51 pm on Dec 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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About the authority / trust factor. In a niche where I have a website, for some keywords the site in position 1 has as reference to the author the name Admistrador with no link to follow. No name or title, just like that Author: Administrator

The position in the search results seems to be due only to backlinks. It has been through the last months' updates without losing it's position and is always in an answer box for a particular popular quest. It is a site with Medical content.

The owner is continually getting backlinks. Some come from comments on sites and blogs, like the blog of El País newspaper. The links also come from real small business websites more or less related to the same industry. I suspect he was doing the sites and putting a little text with a link for his own.

When I visited that site, I found three ads, contextual related. Not ads for credit cards or cars or clothes or loans, or pdf converter, no. There were very contextual and interesting ads.
6:06 pm on Dec 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Malanje Are the small business websites definitely real? Can you find information on the businesses in government registries? They could be PBN sites, or links they have paid for.
12:17 am on Dec 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@broccoli
I thought about it but they seem legitimate. They have addresses and telephone numbers. That's why I think they are clients or have some sort of relation.

This site has 49 dofollow backlinks but hundreds of nofollow. By commenting on other sites, he uses his main keywords as the record user with a link to his site. Another detail is the presentation from Google results' page. includes the sentence "Publicada 7 septiembre, 2013 · Actualizado 2 enero, 2018".

It is a wp website and have the Yoast Seo plugin. The referenced page hasn't change since December 2013 (checked in Internetarchive.org)

By the way, in Google he is first and I am second but in Bing I am first for that particular short tail keyword.
4:47 pm on Dec 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You can file a DMCA takedown request with Google to remove your copied content from the web.

From my understanding when you are Removing Content From Google you are not filing a DMCA. You are just asking Google to remove the content from their search results.

You need to provide a link to the original content (yours) and then a link to one or more of the offending content along with a quote from the content being stolen.

For a few pages it is fine to use but the process really falls apart if the content appears in multiple pages (like different categories) and/or if they have stolen many pages of content as then you can be looking at many hours trying to file these requests.

For DMCA takedown requests you need to send those to the owner of the website or the company they are hosting the content on.
5:48 pm on Dec 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if there is something similar to a DMCA request for a YouTube video. The same site that published my article on their site without permission also made a YouTube video of the topic and used my written article as the script for their video, word for word. The person who made the video does not speak English (or at least, not very well) so they used one of those robot voices to speak the words in my article for them.

I'm actually in the process of making my own video, based on my article, to publish on my own YouTube channel. But since this other site already has their video on YouTube, featuring my stolen article as the script, my video will be competing against my own work.

I wish I could say this is the first time I've found one of my articles being used as the script for someone else's video, but it's not. It's actually the reason I started making videos. I got tired of seeing other people making money off my work.
11:06 pm on Dec 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My christmas website were ranking on targeted keyword i saw on #4 of the 2nd page but for last couple of days even it's not in SERP. what is the reason?
12:06 am on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There could have been another update over the weekend, possibly links based, I’ve seen a bit of chatter.

My christmas pages have lost some traffic. I did think if I was under some kind of penalty that perhaps as I went viral before christmas they would do something to choke me back down as the search volume got bigger.

It sucks because I was counting on earning a bit extra this month to cover me for Jan and Feb while I try to figure out what they’ve done to me and fix it.

Tired of fighting, having a big autoimmune pain flare right now and feeling pretty depressed.

Inventor of the niche, 100% white hat, 100K organic backlinks, average dwell time on page of 8 mins (many pages 15 or 20 mins), low bounce rate, good social shares, keywords in line with the serp average, and they still won’t rank me where I belong according to every other search engine.
12:14 am on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Tired of fighting, having a big autoimmune pain flare right now and feeling pretty depressed.

Don't let your work kill you. That said it is most likely weather/seasonal related, force yourself to get out and move, a change of scenery and some fresh air (very fresh in my part of the world right now) will do you good.
1:41 am on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is anyone else experiencing a significant increase in traffic from other search engines than Google?

I've looked back at my stats and the first noticeable increase in duckduckgo traffic came around April. The 2nd jump and steady increase began in August.

Now, more recently, I'm noticing significant increases in referrals from Yahoo (.com, UK, ES etc..), and Bing.

I'm not sure if it's related to the big changes I made on the site in improving quality and user experience ( so my rankings improved) or if more people are turning to other search engines.
8:17 am on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Saw an huge drop off in conversions yesterday. Wondering whether it was the Christmas break or the lead up to more roll outs. Normal Traffic and SERPs positions.
12:16 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Something very fishy is going on now. Today we have experienced a fall in good amount of traffic.
12:22 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS Thanks Nick.
12:40 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Our G organic traffic is a bit up this week compared to a year ago.
Direct traffic is the star at the moment, but I don't know why.
2:06 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Today we have experienced a fall in good amount of traffic.


Me too, after 12 hours I was only at 15% of average but at this time of year this is normal for me however I wasn't expecting it to happen until this weekend ... People's Xmas works holidays seem to be getting longer!

Very few people in my niche industry buy anything in December, instead they prefer to panic in January and February for Easter demand.
3:32 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Me too, after 12 hours I was only at 15% of average but at this time of year this is normal for me however I wasn't expecting it to happen until this weekend ... People's Xmas works holidays seem to be getting longer!

Very few people in my niche industry buy anything in December, instead they prefer to panic in January and February for Easter demand.


I hope that it will clear soon. Maybe not tomorrow but atleast within this week.
4:35 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am witnessing a 15-20% drop across all my sites since Friday. Still continuing. There goes December too.
5:16 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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HAPPENING NOW - Google CEO is getting grilled by the House Judiciary Committee, and look, even the MONOPOLY guy attended! Funny stuff. [imgur.com...]
5:20 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Required watching for webmasters. The live video link > [youtube.com...]
6:36 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Monopoly Man for the WIN...

Now, which WebmasterWorld user is it? My guess, CNVI
6:56 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I must agree Monopoly Man for the Win as he was the least absurd person in the room. Listening to the degree ignorance with which the politicians ask their questions is beyond absurd it is just overwhelmingly frightening.
10:35 pm on Dec 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I like the part where politicians who did negative things complained about those things appearing in the search results. Maybe they should worry about not doing negative things instead of crying about it being reported.
2:37 am on Dec 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Now, which WebmasterWorld user is it?

[youtu.be...]
:D
3:55 am on Dec 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS The average U.S. Congressman is just not that bright, and you're right they ask frighteningly dimwitted questions. I recently watched the same committee discuss changes to the copyright law and the questions were equally inane.
4:16 am on Dec 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am witnessing a 15-20% drop across all my sites since Friday. Still continuing. There goes December too.


In my case, its from Monday.

Anyway, I saw some zombie like traffic in my analytics. They are saying its 'direct' and its from an African country I haven't heard of. The BR is above 90% and pages per session is very low then my usual.
11:04 am on Dec 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I figured out some more stuff about what has gone wrong in my niche and I'm so angry with the web spam team for being so reckless and expansive with their algorithms. It's stuff that's going to be really hard for me to get out of. It must have affected so many entertainment, games, quiz, information lookup, and tools sites. Unfortunately every time I try to put together a post about it, it turns into a massive rant/essay. They've completely destroyed the quality of the serps in my niche with a series of algorithms meant to tackle spam, without taking into account the legitimate reasons why non-content sites could have those features. It's also a pretty clear demonstration of Google's war against directory and information services that aren't Google. I'll post a separate thread about it once I've calmed down.
2:24 pm on Dec 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I figured out some more stuff about what has gone wrong in my niche and I'm so angry with the web spam team for being so reckless and expansive with their algorithms. It's stuff that's going to be really hard for me to get out of. It must have affected so many entertainment, games, quiz, information lookup, and tools sites. Unfortunately every time I try to put together a post about it, it turns into a massive rant/essay. They've completely destroyed the quality of the serps in my niche with a series of algorithms meant to tackle spam, without taking into account the legitimate reasons why non-content sites could have those features. It's also a pretty clear demonstration of Google's war against directory and information services that aren't Google. I'll post a separate thread about it once I've calmed down.


You are angry now. That I get it but can you explain?
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