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Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2019

     
10:41 am on May 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 12 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4940766.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 12:25 pm on May 1, 2019 (utc -5)


For my main current site, Google Organic accounts for 28% of sessions.

I swear it takes up 80% of the effort though!
4:24 pm on May 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes, "you", (and most of "us") , but the average joe, this is unsure. Look at how average people, and especially young people (millennials) are consuming the Internet. They like videos,and images, which are easier than having to read a text, and when they read text, they scan a page, and don't really read


You are right, all my three nieces (who are from 14 to 18 years old) used to act like that.
Yet, I wouldn't bet they'll do the same when they grow older. It looks like they are starting to get bored of consuming the Internet this way, the older is even beginning to read texts. Unfortunately (for me as a web publisher), those texts are not on the Internet, they are....books!
Another interesting thing is that two of them have abandoned "traditional" social networks (especially Facebook) long ago to focus on more "cloistered" channels, such as Telegram groups.
The situation is still very fluid, who knows what the future holds...
7:31 pm on May 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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No I don't have any statistical proof, but why would they be shoving youtube videos at the top of each search query?


As I said , to keep people on the serp page is one obvious reason but I would guess there is probably others.
Im quite sure that youtube use is not falling though - the rate at which they are obtaining new users is slowing but that is only because they have already grabbed such a massive piece of the attention market already being the 2nd most viewed site in the world after facebook - that doesnt mean usage is falling though , that is growing as youtube positions to dominate in video media across a number of areas, challanging netflix, cable TV and others.

I personally want to see text


Yeah me too, mostly - Im sure there would be the odd occasion video would be better (i.e. trailer for <movie name> ). But as Dimitri mentions , the young generation consume things in a much different way that most of us wont understand. They are super impatient and really difficult to satisfy, often dont see the need for "reading things" if they can avoid it. My nephew once said he doesnt see the point of learning most of the things in school when he can find out the answers on his phone instantly - language translation, math, facts and figures - and im sure that isnt an uncommon statement by his age group. From my own experience on my site I KNOW that people are mostly too lazy to read things as every day I get sent products questions from enquiry forms directly on the product pages that ask the exact questions that are clearly answered in the product page - often even in a Question + Answer format. It gets worse year on year.

In regards to youngsters not using facebook, that has been the case for some years now. I think they kind of see it as something their parents use, same with twitter.Instagram is much more popular with the younger generations, also snapchat and probably a number of things Ive never heard of also


Or may be there is no such thing as AI involved ...


Whilst I dont believe everything google says (or any where close to everything) google has stated that search now uses deep learning AI and that AI is integrated across many of its products and the fact that the Head of AI became Head of Search at google says alot.
7:11 am on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Semrush is Bleeding today after much quietness &#128578;

Anyone seeing anything?
9:29 am on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Seeing an incredible traffic increase on both of my websites. I was doing a lot of things last months, so I just want to know if someone else seeing some changes? Is it update for all of us or just for my websites after implementing changes? Will be appreciate.
9:42 am on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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No I don't have any statistical proof, but why would they be shoving youtube videos at the top of each search query?

Who owns Youtube?
Asked and answered.
9:52 am on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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the young generation consume things in a much different way ..

This is true.
youngsters not using facebook, that has been the case for some years now. I think they kind of see it as something their parents

Indeed when parents started using fb the youth quickly moved out, after it can't be cool if mum and dad are using it? they still use fb messenger if my teenager is anything to go by, moved on from skype also .. old school ..
9:58 am on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@cyril_tec

Nope! What did you do? Are you also getting higher conversions with that increase of traffic or is is just rubbish traffic?
10:49 am on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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A lot of work with updating content. Higher conversions? Right now it's hard to say, I want to see the real changes in revenue when US traffic will start to roll out. I think it will be more accurate to say about these changes in a couple of days. Right now it's just what's happening on my websites and my experience tells me that it also could be short time event. But fingers crossed.
5:54 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Seems like there was a big algo change last night, started ranking for a lot of net new keywords
6:50 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, the change only lasted for 24hrs. They might just be testing something or are going to roll out whatever they did very soon.

[edited by: Halaspike at 7:27 pm (utc) on May 22, 2019]

7:11 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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i noticed some big spikes last night for a few hours also and the previous 2 days have seen me have a bit better traffic than since the last update (that google says didnt happen but I don't believe!). So something might be happening but no idea what
7:12 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google on Twitter.

[twitter.com ]

We're currently experiencing indexing issues that may cause stale search results in some cases. We'll update this thread when we can provide more information.
8:42 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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[blog.google ]
ad label masking in search results...
10:00 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've recently discovered an illicit method to gain first, second, third and otherwise top results in Google SERPs and it's not difficult. This might be the reason why some have experienced rankings drop over the past 6 months - 1 year. I wish I could share more details but we're talking big money and big hacking.

I think Google has taken their eyes off of the ball recently with regards to spammers and many of us are experiencing that.
10:58 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@m_dog I have thousands of spammy links pointing to my site from one spammy scraper site. The number has grown steadily for months despite submitting several disavow files to Google. It sure seems suspicious to me...could this be what you are referring to?
11:21 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ichthyous Absolutely not what I'm not referring to. It's more to do with hacking and some very clever code and manipulation.
11:36 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ichthyous "scrapers gonna scrap", and that isn't it what he is talking about, even though I'm not sure why he speaks so mystically about it as if he discovered something new and original.

In my niche and all related to it, I see an insane influx of "churn and burn" sites that rank super high, some even with with domain crowding (wildest example is a very (very very) popular keyword, and same site of that kind got 4 results in top 10 for it - I never seen such a thing before).

The "method" is hacked links from wordpress sites, usually through simple brute force method.
This time the hackers (and software they use) is more advanced, and they put in "spun" articles with "original text" and contextual backlinks within (leading to the above mentioned churn and burn sites).

The difference this time is that somewhere along the road google messed up. The "dial" is still turned up high and backlinks are stronger ranking signals than ever, and the "churn and burn" sites with hacked backlinks that I'm monitoring are up for months, with no signs of weakening.

Now combine all I said above (backlinks are even BIGGER ranking signal) with the fact that original content is now a much LESSER ranking signal...
...and you get perfectly fine backlinks in unoriginal (spun) articles, leading to insane boosts of ranking.

I already shared this alexa screenshot, I believe it speaks a lot (it is for a certain site that has such backlinks):
[prntscr.com...]
(screenshot taken a minute ago)

So yeah, that is that :)
11:54 pm on May 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@StoneSolid thanks for the insight. So these links are being inserted into WordPress articles via SQL injection? That is fairly easy prevent so there must be a lot of webmasters not paying attention to their site's security out there.

I'm can say that about 9 months ago I lost 550 links from a high authority site all at once. My site dropped like a stone after that and never recovered. Now that site fixed its code and is getting fully indexed again and suddenly those links are getting indexed too... Its the first sustained climb I've had in months, although nothing near where I was last year this time. Overall I'm down about 33% YOY, but my most important landing pages are down 50%+. I'm hoping the recovery of the links helps my site over time but it's been a relatively small boost thus far.
12:14 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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WP is easy to hack - usually they make a page say about best casinos on hundreds of sites with a URL format that looks like thisisrandomsite.com/sdhwsh - and since it cannot be discovered easily by the owner, these pages start to rank and populate search results within 6 months to 1 year.
But, Google does eventually catch on and removes them from the system. Apparently, it does dole out serious traffic to the these Russian and Ukrainian networks, which is why it's been on for while.
1:10 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So these links are being inserted into WordPress articles via SQL injection? That is fairly easy prevent so there must be a lot of webmasters not paying attention to their site's security out there.


My bet would be the simplest brute force method is being used (mostly), as in automatic guessing of passwords and usernames.

Just some days ago, I had a problem with one small wordpress site, and host support needed to check within wp admin. I opened another admin username with "hostname / hostname" credentials. They fixed what they needed and I forgot to delete that additional admin user.

In just 24 hours the site got hacked and articles were added with that username (with backlinks, as mentioned before).
1:28 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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my sites seem to be under constant brute forcing scripts for the last few days and I have also had a ddos during the night that (which has happened recently also) - most of the scripts are trying to brute the typical wordpress, magento and other cms urls but the ips are changing every 5 to 10 attempts so I cant just ban as that doesnt work. Im working on setting up some scripts with redirection and honeypots to mitigate it. They arent going to get in like that as the site is quite well hardened but it can always be better.
4:14 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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you can see from where are IPs, mostly are from china
5:38 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google Indexing Issue Resolved.


[twitter.com...]
6:37 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The activity on SEO sensors, is this an algo update or was it due to the Google indexing issue?
9:04 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not seeing any changes as of yet, but over the past week i have seen a softening of the last update. Seems some results are returning back to where they were... but it seems that everyone else isn't seeing that?
10:42 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Wow, Jez is back! Long time no see!
11:15 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We're currently experiencing indexing issues that may cause stale search results in some cases. We'll update this thread when we can provide more information.

So many bugs in Google lately...
11:54 am on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So many bugs in Google lately...


Yes, never seen a time like it where there have been so many (publicly visible) bugs. I would guess it is because they are making changes that effect the core of many things by moving towards AI
2:25 pm on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Something big going on. My 3 sites have plummeted since yesterday. Traffic with less than half the clicks I normally have.

Semrush also with great fall.

Has anyone else noticed anything big?

Look at [algoroo.com...]
3:07 pm on May 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I believe I'm seeing some improvements in my rankings, although I'll need to monitor the traffic over the next couple of days to be sure.
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