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Google Florida Update 2 March 12, 2019

     
10:52 am on Mar 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 23 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4937425.htm [webmasterworld.com] by brett_tabke - 8:43 am on Mar 13, 2019 (cst -6)


Seeing some changes this morning. Anyone else. UK.
11:32 am on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We're not really seeing any changes to be honest. Some of our longtail stuff has started performing but it looks like it has returned back to where it was. Bizarre, given how many people are recording differences.
12:44 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am also seeing an extra full line of image ads in the results for some queries, making two lines of image ads plus all the regular ads ...

Another image block in the SERPS is another opportunity for Google to drive more traffic to paid images. Soon Google will begin showing Adwords shopping images as noted at: [webmasterworld.com...]
1:07 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if it's related or not but...

Youtube is showing me foreign language videos with English titles, I can't understand a word as they are mostly from Malaysia. The videos have english titles and the person says "Hello" then immediately goes into their language.

SERPS are showing me foreign .ltd which resolve to languages I can't read, about 2 in every 10 results.

It would seem the results are being globalized despite making them completely useless to anyone who can't read or speak those languages.
1:36 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Do you guys think this is bigger than the August 1 Medic Update? My gut so far says it is a bit smaller?
1:37 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Traffic on several sites that were abused by Penquin have rebounded significantly.
2:08 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Traffic on several sites that were abused by Penquin have rebounded significantly.

Yes, a Penguin hit site I had given up many years ago just went from 35 to 380 unique visitors.
2:08 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Traffic on several sites that were abused by Penquin have rebounded significantly.

How long have they been abused by Penguin?

The original Penguin rollout took place in April 2012. A few years later Google said that they "softened" Penguin and many sites escaped at that time.

If some more sites have just escaped now, Google must have softened it some more as part of this current update.
2:16 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else noticing the huge increase in Image PBNs lately? Those sites that scrape images from other sites and link back to the image which is now a PBNs link. They seem to be going crazy in the past year and even worse they're showing up in the Google index if you do the "site:". They seem to link to all websites in a niche to throw off the scent, must be giving Google a hard time?
2:17 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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it is a bit smaller

So far (and it is early) we have seen a smaller increase compared to the decrease from August 1st. Will probably get a better view next week.
2:20 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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>How long have they been abused by Penguin?

I'd given them up for dead. Then noticed affiliate earnings on them this morning for the first time in a year. Traffic was way up. (400 uniques a day to 2500)
3:12 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hmm. Could these penguin site recoveries be related to the big changes in backlinks me and someone else observed in GSC a couple of weeks ago?
3:27 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm noticing that post this update, alot of my AMP Pages are dropping out.
4:09 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Looking at what's going on right now (bearing in mind these core updates go on for a week or more), there is definitely an anchor text link element to the changes today. I have a huge amount of exact match links thanks to the copy & paste box I've had on my site since about 2002 that used to contain an exact match link. All my well established pages that have exact match links are getting trashed, but the new pages I put up a few months ago that have hardly any links yet are doing fine and even gaining. My brand name contains the exact match keywords plus another word. I think that technically means my site qualifies as an EMD even though I have a brand and get searched for by name more than anyone else. Link updates like this are absolute poison for white hats like me. I can't do anything about my backlinks, unlike black hats.
4:16 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Do you guys think this is bigger than the August 1 Medic Update? My gut so far says it is a bit smaller?


Smaller than August
4:25 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Video game niche. Saw 10% increase over same day last week yesterday. no other changes to site or new content that would make up that difference. Trending up again today hour by hour.
4:30 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ broccoli
Do you use a CDN for your images or host them directly on your site?
4:38 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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"Turns out that Google introduced a technology called Neural Matching"

@martinibuster in the article you wrote you "this algorithm may not be in use". Why so certain now?
5:06 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Still not seeing any signs of an update, which is fine with me. No news is good news.
5:09 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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after having gradual recovery during Feb and March since this update sales fell about by about 80% to 90%. Im not going into panic mode yet though as usually with these core updates things tend to have a couple of days of terribleness and then things might start to recover , then go through a pattern of going up and then down for a while.
So frustrating though that google can play with so many peoples livelihoods in this way.
5:11 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Do you guys think this is bigger than the August 1 Medic Update? My gut so far says it is a bit smaller?


My gut is smaller than in August because I can no longer afford food
5:44 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan Don't feel bad, you are not the only one, we have cut back on everything including my son suspending college for a semester. I hope I can recover economically soon these last several months these updates have become long and exhausting.
6:27 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It appears that my health/diet blog and my maybe my hair website have both recovered from April 18 and August 1st updates. My health blog is actually doing a little better than before the medic update. Things are still bouncing around a lot, though. so I'm cautiously optimistic. My hair website is showing signs of recovery, but I'm less sure.

I spent months working on updating the content by giving it a clear focus, correcting spelling, grammar and tightening things up a bit with the content. I also completely changed the menu structure to make it very easy to navigate to find relevant content. I merged many posts together which were similar and/or short in length. I also deleted over 130 blog posts which were embarrassingly awful (I used to use Blogspot from where I migrated, more like Twitter with a few pictures and few words). I mean, I cringe when I think about how bad they were...

By almost every measure, people are happier with my site. I am also way happier with my site today than before. In hindsight, my site was a bit of a mess aside from the 100+ new posts I made, which were infinitely better in quality. I just had a larger number of blog posts that were terrible but were from 2006-2014. I wondered if I was affected by Panda because of it.

And I made a mistake of relying too much on the free version of Grammarly to find mistakes. That was a bad idea! It missed plenty... so I had to go over my posts again and read them properly.

Google says there is 'no fix for your pages'. But didn't they say it's about your website in its entirety? Not just any one thing, but think of the bigger picture? That's how I approached it when I was working on my websites.

I also wrote quite a lot of new content, but those are only now starting to see traffic as well. You can see below in the image the spike in traffic.

90 Day Traffic - Health Site
[imgur.com...]
7:39 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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That's great news Whoah, I do think that it is easy to view your own site with blinkers. I know I have (and still do), but also admit that some of the older content needs some work...which is what I'm working on now.

I find Yoast is pretty good too. Sometimes can be a little annoying, say for example if you're creating a list like this...

New York
New Orleans
New Hampshire

It will get cranky at you using New three times in a row, which is unavoidable, but all in all, it's a useful tool.

I hope your site continues to climb. Mine is up by 25-50% from this time last week, but as somebody else said, things can still change. Fingers crossed it sticks.
9:05 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@martinibuster in the article you wrote you "this algorithm may not be in use". Why so certain now?


You are selectively quoting the sentence, which distorts the meaning. Here's the entire quote:

"While this algorithm may not be in use, or maybe used as part of a group of algorithms, it does serve as an example of how a “neural matching” algorithm could work."


That is a standard statement I use to head off Danny Sullivan who uses a similar statement to hide what is in use when someone asks them if a particular algo is in use. Bill Slawski's well acquainted with Google's standard response. I just put that in there to beat Google to it.

That whole statement is an acknowledgement that an algorithm can be used in any way, either partially, as part of another algorithm or in a way that's altered and improved from what's described in the research paper. The algorithms most likely to be a good candidate for use in information retrieval are the ones that report significant gains over previous methods, particularly without exorbitant processing costs (like an extreme amount of hardware at scale).

The studies that report modest advances are the ones I typically ignore as they are not likely to be used, particularly the ones that say there is a high processing cost to achieve a modest improvement. Those I ignore and don't ever talk about. This particular research is one of the papers that report a significant advance in the state of the art and an improvement over previous methods.

This part of my statement: "used as a part of a group of algorithms" means that the algorithm could be dropped in. The entire statement itself is an acknowledgement that nobody at Google has said that the algorithm is in use. Then I lay the case for why the algorithm is remarkable, why the algorithm is a perfect match for what Danny Sullivan described.

I dig through a lot of research papers, download them and do a bit of detective work to dig out which of the patents and research paper underlie the algorithms. Google does not tell us what the algorithms are.

As it happened, I had already discovered this paper and had jotted notes about it. When Danny Sullivan announced Neural Matching, the similarities were remarkable to be more than just a coincidence.

Google rarely if ever links to a specific research paper. In this case Google did not. For example, there are research papers for Caffeine, but the research papers have a different name for it, as I recall, and I'm pretty sure, from my recollection, that it is coffee related but not called caffeine.

I had discovered that algorithm previous to the announcement. When I read the announcement and the details, I noticed the extraordinary similarities between the algo and what Danny Sullivan had described. I'm fairly certain that the algo or an improved variant are what's powering Neural Matching.

As you can see, that 32 word boilerplate statement conveys everything I just wrote in over 300 words. It's necessary to do in 32 words because the full version would kill the flow of the article. ;)

Of further interest, I researched that phrase "neural matching" in relation to anything Google's published and, just like RankBrain, there is no matching patent or research paper. It's a brand name name Google slapped over a less "PR Sexy" algorithm name.

Now, lastly, after all of that digging around, reading the PRIOR RESEARCH that underlies this research and so on, I put it all together, omitting details of some of the prior research that this technology is built on (for brevity) it pissed me off to no end to see several plagiarists steal my content and others who stole my conclusions and linked to the same exact document which was never published or heralded on Google's official webmaster blog or by Danny, as if Google had stated "this is Neural Matching."

So all those articles you see on Neural Matching that cite that same paper without citing my original article, they are content spinners and plagiarists. ;)

P.S.
I did the same thing with the Penguin Algorithm, I discovered that there was a new way to score links, called something like Distance Ranking.

Some people speculated (meaning they were guessing) that it was a trust algorithm.

These link ranking algorithms were a new way to rank links, different than what's been done before, like statistical analysis. So I laid down the case for that. Here's the article https://www.searchenginejournal.com/googles-penguin-algorithm-really-research/185261/ [searchenginejournal.com]

That article is an exhaustive research through these new kinds of link ranking algorithms. I cite several and connect them to what we know about Penguin. Nobody had ever done that before for Penguin. There was speculation, but no citations and no credible research and like I published in that article.

Unfortunately, it's a long article. It's not difficult to read. But it's long, because I felt I really needed to hammer it home and be complete. I try to keep it shorter now.

[edited by: martinibuster at 9:36 pm (utc) on Mar 14, 2019]

9:10 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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As always, concise content will win the day!

tangor: comic relief and commonsense observer. :)
10:48 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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there is definitely an anchor text link element to the changes today


@broccoli - I have suspected this for a while, but I actually edited many links as a trial and converted them to naked url links, no anchor text. I'm worse off for it, not better. That was already maybe 6 weeks ago so I doubt that this update is related. I think that links are just being devalued in general. I also lost a huge number at the same time so my link profile changed drastically in a short time and my traffic became unstable after that.

I have literally held the hand of the person in charge of that site coding and coaxed them to fix their technical issues for months hoping that the pages and links would be indexed again. So far nothing and they do not seem to mind. They switched to Javascript pages that Google it cannot index and they don't seem to care that Google dropped their entire site. That's why link building is precarious... You are always dependent on other people's ineptitude and subject to their priorities.
11:43 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ichthyous I suppose it’s entirely possible that backlinks aren’t even in play during the middle of a core update. I have pages with almost no backlinks showing up randomly in the short tail for my niche at the moment. Sites are shuffling around all over the place. It’s complete chaos.
3:12 am on Mar 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've held a very nice #2 for a very competitive term that has seen the same online store at #1 for the past 8 years. For about 8 hours yesterday they were gone and I had the feedback box and #1 to myself and roughly 10x the traffic to that page. I also held #2 with a related page. It has since returned to what serps looked like for the past 8 years or so.

Note to self: get that #1, the traffic was nice.
3:19 am on Mar 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Lost all organic traffic today, not worried tho.
7:15 am on Mar 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Really frustrating to see pinterest page out ranking me for one of my top performing page... One of my other keyword that was on rank 1 is now at page 2 and 3... Looks like Hard work is all gone.. It's time to switch the traffic source to some other platform... 3/4 of traffic is gone feeling like crying at the moment...
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