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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!
2:16 pm on May 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samwest Believe me Bing, is converting better these days for me not sure about DDG, I make it a point to not use Google at all, not even my kids (it's blacklisted in my house) It's gotta start somewhere.

In the meantime we gotta hang in there with other promo methods until Google dies or people smarten up which who knows, that may never happen. I'm still a wishful thinker.
2:33 pm on May 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This morning I am watching my GA display go on and off line...anyone else noticing that?

Do you mean the real-time visits display?
6:47 pm on May 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Of course real time...
8:38 pm on May 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This morning I am watching my GA display go on and off line...anyone else noticing that?


I saw it happen a little bit earlier. I would go to the tab and it had the message about not being able to connect, id refresh and it would work but I also noticed that there was a delay between updating the number of current live users V the list of pages currently being viewed (I could see this as I only had about 4 or 5 people at the time). Seems ok though now

Also, today I have been seeing some recovery with traffic and conversions up. Not holding my breath though but its better than not experiencing it at all.
10:11 pm on May 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan - same here, 2 sales today...which after last week is a freakin miracle. Amazing how these observations seem to go in lockstep. Points to either some serious manipulation or major malfunction system wide.
I have noticed horrible latency on my Spectrum connection lately which could be affecting the GART display as well as site connectivity. Maybe this is all just a huge network issue? Who knows...who cares at this point.
10:56 pm on May 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed horrible latency on my Spectrum connection


time to upgrade your computer I think ! (UK user will understand this :-)

Seriously though, yes it is clear that it is google that causes these issues either by design or disaster (I suspect combination of both recently) and when John Mueller says, as he has many times, that there is nothing we can do about it he isn't kidding it seems.

For GA issues , what I was seeing looked like it might be a server load issue the way it was behaving, so might have been under some kind of update but of course it could have been a multitude of different things - I imagine google uses kubernetes for the server containers anyway and takes them offline or replaces when upgrading/rolling out to avoid such things, so im probably wrong.
1:59 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I can confirm to you guys that on May 22nd I saw a major change (400 hits less from organic).

I have been working my ass off since the big update in March.
Since March, all 3 updates have been penalizing me.

No black hat technique ever used.

[screencast.com...]
2:11 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Since May 22 algorithm update/index bug/whatever one of my largest sites lost more than 30% organic traffic. Today it seems to have recovered almost 100% but it is still too early to know for sure.

[edited by: jxlarrea at 2:12 pm (utc) on May 28, 2019]

2:11 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@lux7 - yes, there are certainly a few of us that would agree with the May 22nd date and there being a change. Google denied there was any algo change and lots of people including myself said that was nonsense. It seems now that maybe it wasnt the case there was an algo change but that google had some major problems and that there were some problems caused by a dev causing problems so google froze the indexes until they could work it out (something along those lines - there are some links above in this thread that explain it better).
Basically the only thing you can do currently is wait to see how this turns out - that said, for me I have seen some recovery since yesterday and it is continuing today. Nothing is reliable anymore though so whilst im glad of a couple of days of some conversions I expect traffic to fall again any day or week.
2:37 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In the UK we have half term holidays this week, I expect business web traffic to be down.
4:25 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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G has been running a 24hrs on and off test for some days now.

Example: I'll get a 60% boost in organic traffic at say; 11am, then get a 60% drop at exactly 11am the next day. The boost will last for 24hrs, the drop will last for 24hrs.

This has been happening for some days now, has anyone noticed this same pattern?
6:16 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Same. Saw an insane traffic surge from Google for a few hours and then it just turned off.
7:35 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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yes, there are certainly a few of us that would agree with the May 22nd date and there being a change. Google denied there was any algo change and lots of people including myself said that was nonsense


I stopped giving credit to such rumors a long time ago. There is only one algo change for Google these days. my friends:

to keep people within Google as long as we can and avoid them leaving our cloistered ecosystem as much as possible => to progressively (and subtly) penalize links to external websites by pushing them as down as possible in our SERP and replace them with stuff we have control upon, such as ADs, YouTube videos, Knowledge Graph units, and the like

That's all. Everything else is just chit-chatting...
10:35 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi
To keep people within Google as long as we can and avoid them leaving our cloistered ecosystem as much as possible.

That's all. Everything else is just chit-chatting...

This.
.
10:29 am on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Seeing huge changes again today. Looks like G is up to something again at our end........ _
12:16 pm on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@BushyTop Agreed. Some huge fluctuations indeed. There was huge traffic surge at the beginning today then all of a sudden traffic didn't drop just became zero in some cases.
12:58 pm on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Seeing the same thing both yesterday and today big surge then nothing WTH?
3:19 pm on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Mon / Tues saw some recovery for me but someone at google has turned the tap off again today. That is the frustrating thing, it is clear it is not my site because when google allows it plenty of people visit and buy from me , are happy with everything etc but google simply choose to throttle how much and what traffic I get. It clearly is not fair practice and they shouldn't be allowed such power.
4:11 pm on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Looks like we're all in the same situation
4:42 pm on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Seeing the same thing both yesterday and today big surge then nothing WTH?


In the early hours of today I've had a German ISP I've never had before heavily spidering several sites.
5:09 pm on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I can also affirm that I believe that Google was definitely testing in various data centers. Being negatively affected by the core update on March 12, and having to get used to lower end RT stats, yesterday evening, I would sporadically see real-time traffic on the higher end of the spectrum. There were these unusual surges (unusual in a good way). All this followed by chatter here plus an article from Search Engine Roundtable. Same patterns (only negatively) followed prior to the March 12 update.
6:10 pm on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a continuation of the abysmally low traffic I've been seeing since March, no increase at all. I am seeing an increase in my site's positioning and visibility according to SEMrush. It was ticking upwards every day until the 28th when it dropped back to where it was, then started back up today. This supposed uptick in visibility has not resulted in higher traffic or inquiries at all. In my case one new site has climbed sharply and thrown my site and one other competing site out of the top three for many terms. So while I am gaining top ten ranking for many more terms than I am losing top three ranking for, the net result is no traffic and no inquiries. If you aren't top three you get nothing, and even top three is much reduced now. Caveat... This time of year is usually rather slow for me so it's not all Google, but mostly Google.
6:47 pm on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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"Same old, same old" for our long-established information site. Traffic has been up a bit lately, but I ascribe that to seasonal demand.
1:35 am on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I noticed a drop yesterday, don't know why. Will not change anything and see if one of the next updates does me any better.
4:47 am on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am also facing the same issue, site's main keywords and traffic have down 50%. I have a health industry website. please help me how can I recover both ranking and traffic.
6:18 am on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing around 25% drop in organic traffic this week and it's going down further.
Any suggestion on what kind of google update is this.
8:53 am on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The new mobile design is the lead cause of this. It was probably spread to all data centers around the world, and is now impacting a vast majority of websites.

I would be surprised if webmasters get any commercial traffic at all.

Your only course of action is 2nd or third tier keyword traffic, that do not have ads on top.
9:12 am on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Any suggestion on what kind of google update is this.

Like all Google updates since 2010, a punitive one.
10:36 am on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Like all Google updates since 2010, a punitive one.


Yep, every update since Panda April 2011 has cut my traffic in half. I suppose I should have given up years ago, but I actually like my sight and I have a small community that follows it. Despite every effort on my part, I can never recover. My site's articles have been copied, blah, blah, blah just like everyone else' but you would think G would know who the original publisher was and you would think G would know if someone was attacking your site with negative backlinks.

I just want to write content and interact with my community. I don't have the resources to combat spammers. I was hanging in there, finally accepting my dismal rankings until the latest core update slashed my traffic by 50 percent yet again. I have decided I will give one last push for the remainder of this year and re-double my efforts to improve our rankings. If I do not succeed, I will be removing my site of sixteen years and all of its original, well written content from the Internet--but don't worry, all of my articles are out there, copied in some form or other on some site (probably ranking number 1) for my keywords.
1:36 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing flux in traffic as well, a small part of it is due to memorial day in the United States which happened on May 27th (which increases traffic for me and tends to shift traffic patterns by a day).

For those who say Bing is better... From a UI perspective they are very similar to Google. It's more difficult to determine what is an Ad, they have video widgets, and People Also Asked boxes. As a whole they have slightly less widgets cluttering the page IMO though. One thing they do have which Google doesn't is I have seen a result have tabs, for Pros, Cons, and Summary which means the user is less likely to visit the target page.

Bing is taking a very similar path to Google in terms of keeping users on their site which is a troubling trend.
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