Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.80.38.5

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Featured Home Page Discussion

Google Updates and SERP Changes - January 2019

     
3:01 pm on Jan 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 19, 2017
posts:635
votes: 235


The following 3 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4929562.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 7:58 pm on Jan 1, 2019 - (PDT -8)


@MayankParmar, it's just New Years. Same thing happens every year. My traffic won't start to really pick up until next week.


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:04 am (utc) on Jan 2, 2019]
[edit reason] Splitting thread to new month and new year. [/edit]

1:08 am on Jan 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2018
posts: 130
votes: 25


@closedforlunch - lol , that is the winner. Funny because its true. Probably a similar code block for Fridays also.
3:06 pm on Jan 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Nov 2, 2018
posts:35
votes: 8


@jmorgan

That is the question. Even if you reach the number one position, your traffic will never be as high as it was because Google steals it.
Advertisers and Google know this and then cpc goes down as well. You get the left overs of the ad industry. Those types of ads with low ctr.

Because the number of ads in the SERPS has increased the maximum bid price in the auctions has decreased.

I used Ublock Origin to remove all the widgets from the search results page and I ended up with only three websites in that page. Then I realized that it's the end. It is no use explaining what is evident.
4:56 pm on Jan 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 24, 2003
posts: 662
votes: 17


@jmorgan I find it interesting that Google seemed to lift demotions on some sites while placing wide ranging demotions on other in August and September. I had never had my site penalized or demoted in 16 years, and there was no reason for it this past summer either. None of us can relax, because it's clear that traffic will always be under some sort of assault by Google now...they want it all and until search becomes diversified and competitive (not likely) they are in control.

I was looking at the past year of metrics and January to early August the CTR and impressions were stable. Starting early August CTR has been on a rollercoaster ride, sometimes very high number of impressions with low CTR...then reverting to lower impressions with higher CTR and all combinations. This has nothing to do with us, it's purely Google experimenting. Bottom line is, The good old days are gone forever and are not coming back. That's why I have opened a physical location for my customers in addition to my website...depending on my site like I have for the last 16 years is just too risky now.
5:16 pm on Jan 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Jan 19, 2019
posts: 2
votes: 0


My wesbite had a sudden drop in traffic since Dec 20. I also have read some of the posts in this topic but still can't find a way to figure it out how it just happened and how to fix this?
5:45 pm on Jan 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3524
votes: 324


400 backlinks from the same domain don't really count as 400 separate independent backlinks. Their combined effect might not be much more than one backlink from that domain.

It's better to have backlinks from a lot of different domains, with a mixture of anchor texts, dofollow, nofollow etc. This makes a site less vulnerable to the effects of losing the backlinks from one domain.
11:15 pm on Jan 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 24, 2003
posts: 662
votes: 17


@aristotle I had three sites with about 200-500 links each to different pages on my site and it drove my ranking upward strongly. I don't think that 500 links from a trusted site to separate pages on your site is counted the same as one link from that domain.
12:43 am on Jan 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3524
votes: 324


ichthyous --usually when a site has 100's of backlinks from the same domain, they come from a blogroll or something similar and point to the same page.

The type of linking that you describe is unusual, and makes it look like there might be some kind of connection between the sites. Anyway, I still think that google's algorithm may consolidate all of those backlinks to some degree.
1:20 pm on Jan 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 10, 2017
posts:7
votes: 0


Just a general thought.

I own about 10 websites on various coutry on the same niche. Some with high traffic, some with low traffic. I've seen everything with Google these past years from "to the moon" to "you don't exist" and this is not encouraging at all:

1) Random Google Updates giving me 10/50 times more traffic without any change on the website for YEARS. The opposite is true. This randomness is bad for quality content as it doesn't give some incentive to creators.
2) Seems Google wants to get it all as some previous user on this forum said. Snippets that literlly steal content from publishers. I can feed that Google won't be a search engine anymore but an assistant.
3) I've been a supporter for Google products since the beginning. Now I feel like I'm in an ecosystem that is more and more closed. Freedom is gone.
4) I've seen so many bad competitors taking top 3 positions. When I say bad competitors it means without any doubt spammy/erroneous content/bot generated websites. Saying that I thought they would disapear quickly but no.. (?)

That said, I'm still working to improve my main website with *fanatical* accurate content that is actually *useful* for people but I'm feeling that I'm just losing my time. We'll see..

I remember a better Google 10 years ago when I was seeing slow but improving traffic related to better content and actual work.
2:25 pm on Jan 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 24, 2003
posts: 662
votes: 17


@aristotle I am fortunate that the type of site I have lends itself to linking from creative portfolio sites, and they are plentiful. I suspect that starting in August Google's algo started to devalue the links somewhat, and/or is getting better at differentiating between link types.

As an aside...I have noticed that new pages on these sites are not getting indexed at all these days, or if it is, it's very slow to index them (weeks, not days). I've seen this with two separate high rank/trust sites where new user generated content isn't being indexed at all. Previously it would be grabbed immediately. With the latest updates Google seems to be prioritizing which content gets indexed. Has anyone else seen this?
9:07 am on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Sept 25, 2017
posts: 94
votes: 13


Since the 15th, I've seen a downturn in traffic quality. I'm getting the same number (a little more non geo targeted traffic) but conversions are waaay down!
9:55 am on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Jan 19, 2019
posts:2
votes: 0


@BushyTop I have the sample problem. I was wondering if other guys could help us out.
12:34 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 24, 2003
posts: 662
votes: 17


@BushyTop Here is what I am seeing. After 12/17 I saw another big drop in ranking and traffic. The ranking recovered somewhat but traffic has remained low. Impressions have remained the same but CTR has dropped considerably. So while SEMrush is showing my ranking improving, my actual traffic is very low. That is the product of pure manipulation on the part of Google. In the last year I am seeing huge fluctuations in CTR on my site...they are constantly adjusting it. Is that because the number of Google properties on the page is being constantly adjusted? Others might have better insight into that as I do not run adwords. But it's becoming more and more evident that Google intends to make ranking well pointless, because you won't get the traffic anyway.
2:11 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 10, 2018
posts: 161
votes: 24


@ichthyous Thereís a theory that mobile connection speed adds a filter that hides slower websites from the serps. Your ranking stays the same when you check it but your CTR goes down because youíre not getting shown to everyone. Could that be an issue?
2:17 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 10, 2018
posts: 161
votes: 24


Has anyone noticed any changes in traffic the last couple of days, starting on the 21st? Google finally processed a bunch of urls I redirected on that day and I saw a sharp rise in short tail ranking followed by a drop, then a drop of almost 1k traffic. Trying to figure out if there was an update or if it was specific to me and Iíve been put back in the anti-seo sandbox for a while.
2:23 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Sept 25, 2017
posts: 94
votes: 13


@broccoli that theory wouldnt work for us. Our site is super quick and scores high on lighthouse and page insights.

Our SERPs have improved though too, but our traffic has only marginally increased. I just find it a very peculiar pattern, given at the start of the year our traffic was super lucrative.

Again though it seems totally binary - either on or off...
2:26 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 24, 2016
posts: 77
votes: 19


@Broccoli, I think there may have been a small update as well but nothing worth writing about. We made a lot of gains in the Jan 9th update that have been slowly backing down the last few days.
2:32 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 24, 2003
posts: 662
votes: 17


@broccoli No that's not an issue for me either...my site loads quickly and I'm on a global CDN. In fact my traffic from very far away locations like Australia and Hong Kong has increased dramatically and so I am increasing sales to these areas. I think a holistic approach is necessary, I made changes to my site that make it seem more high-end, impressive and trustworthy to the high spending clients I am after...I may have sacrificed some traffic, but probably low end traffic that was never going to buy anyway. Sales this month of January are through the roof simply because the inquiries I am getting are converting better and spending a lot more. It probably helps that I opened a physical location at the same time, which sends a signal that I am a 'real' business. That remains to be determined.
3:11 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 5, 2004
posts: 517
votes: 48


It was a holiday on Monday in the USA (Martin Luther King Jr.) so that is maybe why some people are seeing a small bump.

That being said I did notice a small change in the serps...
3:50 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 5, 2004
posts: 517
votes: 48


So I see for some keywords for our niche like "brand_name review" Google has changed things. The actual search results are now even pushed further down the page. The layout now is:

1. ad
2. ad
3. ad
4. Large Feature Snippet
5. Large Feature Snippet
6. People also asked
7. Organic search results
...

One of the problems I have with these results is while the feature snippets and "People also asked" are about the brand name it is not about what the person searched for. Google is trying to guess future questions the searcher may have even before they show the results of what the person actually searched for.
4:02 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 10, 2018
posts: 161
votes: 24


@jestermagic Now I see it. There is a lot more clutter in the serps. Looks like it could be another land grab. *sigh* Just as I was starting to make real progress.
4:50 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 5, 2012
posts:911
votes: 171


6. People also asked


Noticed a lot of that lately, find it funny that google shows people "other" queries before they show organic results for the query they did make.
5:12 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 5, 2004
posts: 517
votes: 48


You can also throw the Videos Carousel in there as well for some keywords (lets be honest they are all YouTube videos). Why include the video in the carousel AND then have like 3 separate youtube results right below the carousel, that are in the carousel.
6:10 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2018
posts: 130
votes: 25


@ichthyous

@aristotle I had three sites with about 200-500 links each to different pages on my site and it drove my ranking upward strongly. I don't think that 500 links from a trusted site to separate pages on your site is counted the same as one link from that domain.


From what Ive seen I believe this is the case. I have competitors that have bought aged blogs, changed all the content to be promotional for them and added 100s and in some cases 1000s of links to their money sites. It works , they dominate the serps whilst before they did not (you can see a clear correlation using ahefs of when the links appeared over a period of weeks/months and rankings). Google and the algos do nothing about it at all apart from reward them.
8:57 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Nov 2, 2018
posts:35
votes: 8


People can be discussing endlessly how to improve position in Google SERPS, but that will not change the fact that everyone will loose traffic with the actual scenario. And, if you loose traffic then your value to advertisers drops too. I think that we should start promoting other search engines. The sooner the better.

Google fails in Google webmaster guidelines and is not demoted by us?
9:21 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 26, 2003
posts: 1363
votes: 17


I'm seeing a major shift in travel niche now. Traffic is down just a tiny bit, but my overall serp position and times in serp page is down. My graph which is usually top heavy with times in search has inverted with the overall clicks graph - anyone else seeing this in webmaster tools? I guess it shows on my strong pages my clicks are up but weak pages seem to have gone from little to absolutely NOTHING. Going to optimize a few of the pages falling out and see what I can do!
10:03 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 25, 2018
posts:68
votes: 5


Traffic has been erratic today. Maybe another big update coming?
11:46 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 7, 2005
posts:296
votes: 47


I hate public holidays. Even if it's just the one Monday (MLK Day), I pretty much have to write off a whole week's worth of traffic (from the Thursday prior through to about Wednesday) for comparison with previous periods.
2:18 am on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 24, 2003
posts: 662
votes: 17


@Malanje Google is a monopoly and the returns are diminishing quickly. Bing sends 8 visitors a day to my site, so it's not a real alternative. There is simply no competitor to Google, so making a living from search is going to get harder and harder. These days the only real path to prosperity is growing your brand so that people just go direct to your site and not through searches.
12:11 pm on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Nov 2, 2018
posts:35
votes: 8


Last year Google updates were a fun maneuver to hinder our perception of what was really happening. I think the changes in SERPS came about the same time as March update.
This is the true meaning of Google words: "There is nothing wrong with your site. It has less relevance to users (Google)''.

Furthermore, everything came out after big advertisers withdraw from Youtube. It sounds like a revenge of the genre "Now you have nowhere to advertise your products as we will completely ruin the SERPS and make them a portal for our products.
1:52 pm on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 15, 2001
posts:1732
votes: 36


Very low G organic visitors so far today. No idea why yet either.

UK Technical B2B and niche.
This 224 message thread spans 8 pages: 224
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members