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Google Updates and SERP Changes - June 2019

     
4:35 pm on Jun 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The following message was cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4944194.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 11:00 am on Jun 1, 2019 - (PDT -8)


Also, with the ad model a majority of people know that you are trying to get something out of them - a purchase, a signup etc - so there is a lesser level of trust there but if they find you through organic whilst they are in the research stage and you provide good info and value, then there is trust built and you get more sales.

On the other hand, people who are actively shopping for a product or service may regard ads as useful information. That was the concept behind Yellow Pages directories and magazines like Computer Shopper.



[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:07 pm (utc) on Jun 1, 2019]
[edit reason] Cleanup after thread split to new thread [/edit]

2:29 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google shouldn't really make changes that can cut off 50% or more traffic overnight for any normal site, even Dailymail.

20-30% drop can be handled, but such a massive overnight drop impacts the lives of so many people. EU slaps small fines and they don't take away 50% of Google's revenue.

The same site had no drops in 4 years, but the algorithm suddenly terms it terrible and decides to cut traffic by 70%.

Imho, this practice is unfair and should be stopped, it really should.
3:14 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Regardless of what's fair and ethical, what does it say about the algorithm that they have to make gigantic wholesale changes to it every few months? If they had any confidence in their algorithm the changes should be incremental at best with major updates coming far less frequently. If what you see in the results this month is "better" and substantially different, then it's an admission from Google that their results last month were really bad.
3:15 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google shouldn't really make changes that can cut off 50% or more traffic overnight for any normal site, even Dailymail.


They may have a right to organize the search results any way they want but I don't see where they have a right to the secrecy surrounding their algo. I know the arguments--spammers, blackhatters etc--but I don't buy it. They comb the world for the sharpest engineers but they can't outwit spammers?( Not that they're doing such a bang-up job of it anyway.)

What other business has the right to torpedo livelihoods around the world without giving a clue as to why?

Of course they don't want to give up their "secret sauce" but this is not a soft drink. They claim to organize the world's information. In which case, it's a public utility and it should be regulated as such.

This latest update has provoked grumblings that certain political viewpoints have been pushed down in the SERPs. I don't believe that to be true but the point is that they could take political sides and no one would know because the workings of the algo are shrouded in mystery.

Regulators in the US and EU could and should appoint an independent commission to oversee any and all the ways they rank websites and scrutinize them for conflicts of interest and fundamental fairness.
3:47 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Regardless of what's fair and ethical, what does it say about the algorithm that they have to make gigantic wholesale changes to it every few months?

If Google had made "gigantic wholesale changes," we'd be reading about it in the mainstream press, not just on forums like this one.

Even a minor change obviously can have a major effect on some sites (even though it may have little or no effect on many other sites).
4:19 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Unless Pravda confirms it, nothing really happened.
4:22 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Just to understand what traffic may be that doesn’t convert [thisismoney.co.uk...]
4:27 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Regardless of what's fair and ethical, what does it say about the algorithm that they have to make gigantic wholesale changes to it every few months? If they had any confidence in their algorithm the changes should be incremental at best with major updates coming far less frequently.


It strikes me that many of you complaining about the algorithm haven't grasped the main point of all these changes and wild swings...to make us all feel less confident in our incomes, our future organic traffic, and to dissuade us all from continuing without spending any money on paid ads.

Google is going to grab us, turn us upside down and shake us hard now on a regular basis until all the money falls out of our pockets. Is this not obvious to you all yet? It's not going to 'calm down' and return to predictability ever again. Some will recover, only to go back down again. If they make it too difficult for us they know that many of us will have to pay to make up for all the lost business.
4:33 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@EditorialGuy 100% agreed. This place turned into a toxic echo chamber a long time ago and it's just getting worse. I left only to return to the same old commentary. A lot of people have convinced themselves that their ranking woes are a result of Google being broken ...then others join in agreement, thus creating a never ending cycle.
4:47 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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A Quick question for everyone here:

What's the point of this thread other than to read each others' sob stories?

I write this in all sincerity considering that I've been on the receiving end of Big G's blows for many years. There's no point of continuing this abusive spouse relationship. We all like some sort of 'freebie' that Google gives us- traffic, visibility or even Adsense cheques. But it takes a huge physical toll and makes our lives enormously stressful. Here comes another update, here's another change, there goes 25% traffic in an instant....That's a part of the bargain we have struck with the devil. But the devil won't keep
its promise (hence the name) and will try to take everything for itself and starve us.

Look at the situation- the Government is asleep or showing very small signs of life. If anti-trust actions take hold, it would take many years and still we wouldn't know which form they would take.

Till then, Google's monopoly and ability to 'reorder' the web will continue. The questions is this- are we ready to be a part of the shuffle or do we want to move on to something else?

If there's too much risk and uncertainty, we should choose some other career. That's what being responsible. Or be prepared to accept that what we have are high risk ventures and could be bled to death at any given time by a small algorithmic shuffle.

Merely wailing and crying here is not going to do anything.
5:07 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What's the point of this thread other than to read each others' sob stories?

To give insight on how most webmasters feel about the recent updates?
6:39 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Regarding the "Related searches" links (that sometimes take up to 33% of the screen) - I think their real goal is to teach Google Assistant on what to ask next, ie. based on what people click, Google Assistant is going to prompt a related question to the user. They don't have much to do with actual Google search.
6:56 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What's the point of this thread other than to read each others' sob stories?


Haha, these update threads do have the similarities of an abusive relationship.

Google will treat me better the next time…Google will see the error of their ways, say sorry, and give me back my traffic.

Yeah, at some point, maybe it's time to accept the relationship / business model isn't working anymore. Time to move on, even as hard and scary as that may seem.
8:18 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If Google is doing such a bad job, how come no one else seem capable of creating a decent search engine for the current state of the internet, warts and all? It takes one of the largest software company in the world, Microsoft, just to compete at a very distant second place. I understand the frustration (the recent years have not been kind to me) but I'm annoyed with the implications here that Google isn't any good at what they do, that's some real Dunning-Kruger effect nonsense.
8:24 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Funny people.
google.com is a website.
They don't owe you anything.
If you get 1 visitor from them be happy, because without them you would have 1 less visitor.

Getting mad that another website doesn't send you the traffic you think you deserve is ludicrous.
If you go bankrupt because google didn't send you traffic it's your fault not google's.
Stop blaming them for your own stupidity. They are doing great, it's you who is **cked.
8:42 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Why did you bother joining the conversation SweetPotato?

What's the point of this thread other than to read each others' sob stories?


Now days it's more about just confirming updates and to compare how badly you are hit/gain compared to others and the type of niche they are in. It's near impossible to break down the algo anymore.

Sure there is a lot of complaining now days but Google doesn't give you much to go on about what the update was about so beyond talking about our losses/gains what more can most say. Misery loves company. Besides where else can we bitch about Google :-)
9:12 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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A random question, those who have taken a big hit, do you have any 'non-mainstream' content on your site?
For example - alternative health articles, or anti-banking financial articles or even anti-govt articles?

I know this may be a little out there, but with all the recent Youtube changes, and the pinterest leak, it does make you wonder?

I know I have some content that is 'against the grain', and my political views may not align with googles.

I am seeing a lot of 'conventional' health websites outranking well researched unconventional health websites after this june update.
10:54 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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google.com is a website.

No its not. Its a registered domain name if you want to play at being pedantic. But beyond that the website you go to is just a doorway to a vast area of complex digital services and you cannot accurately refer to Google the business as just a website.

I find the "google doesnt owe you anything" argument to be such a blinkered way of looking at things - like it is as simple as google set up set up search engine, gave free service to us and it ends right there. If you want to look at things that way then you are fooling yourself. It is the kind of statement you could apply to the local corner shop that offered a free advertising board but then stopped the free service or starting charging for it. The digitalization of global society is infinitely more complex than that.

Google has embarked on a multifaceted long term approach to get themselves a monopoly on digital attention. It has been very successful in doing so.
Does it owe us anything? No of course not. Should it be allowed to have a majority world wide control over one of the most critical services/utilities with such a lack of transparency and limitations? Anyone answering yes to that second question simply doesn't fathom the implications that can have.
11:31 pm on June 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@wondering
The questions is this- are we ready to be a part of the shuffle or do we want to move on to something else?

What else? Like what?
.
12:18 am on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The posts in this thread mostly concern a few dozen websites that were hit by penalties with this or other recent google algorithmic updates. But there are millions of websites, and the vast majority of them most likely aren't under a penalty. So the overall effect of these updates, for the web as a whole, is much smaller than what this thread suggests.

None of my six websites have had big traffic losses in any recent google updates, and I just checked some rankings in their various niches and still see the same competing sites in mostly the same positions us usual. So there haven't been any noticeable effects in any of those niches.

So the point is that these updates have a much smaller overall effect than this thread suggests.
1:30 am on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What's the point of this thread other than to read each others' sob stories?

Let's not forget the rants. There's at least as much ranting here as there is "wailing and cryling."

It would be helpful if more of the forum's participants would share information beyond "I have a site with great content that's being squashed by Google because Larry Page has a man-crush on Jeff Bezos that makes him want to crush small businesses."

What are the commonalities among site owners who have taken a hit in the recent update, besides anger and frustration? What kinds of sites are suffering, and what kinds of sites are gaining or holding steady? "Google hates me" or "The government needs to regulate search engines" doesn't answer those questions.
6:11 am on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@aristotle If you go to Google forums and other forums, may find more people whining about this update. Many who were impacted may not open a forum to share their story.

The update definitely affected more than a few dozen sites. Otherwise, Google would have not announced it :)
7:26 am on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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guys, stop yelling at each other.

I think we all have taken some hits in traffic and one person gained traffic from this update.
But i think WebmasterWorld is big enought for google to read it and see reactions.

I think it would be better to find ways to find out what went wrong. Personaly I would like to have some feedback about the new searchconsole. It should give the WM a insight into his site. But it seems to have so many bugs.

-Live view - all resources coulnd`t be loaded ( is the site we are seeing the site google uses for ranking ? )
-google says site is in index but not found in sitemap ( false )
-links to pages that have never been there ( google where are the links from ? )

Maybe it is not only the site that has problems and lost traffic but google has wrong data?
7:40 am on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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G manage traffic for their ads, e.g. they manage how many impressions and clicks you get to comply with your budgets.

They may now be treating all urls as ads, and managing how many impressions and clicks everyone gets, in a similar way.

I mean in actively managing traffic flows.
7:49 am on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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"The government needs to regulate search engines"

Yes it does, and by patriotism, Google US should return only US sites and businesses !

By the way :) I don't know if it can add water to the mill, but from my "feeling", sites which lost a lot of traffic share something in common, yes, they have prominent ads , and "see also/related articles" all over the place, making the "content" hard to see/distinguish. I don't mean abusive or excessive ads, I just mean ad placements which are taking too much the attention away from the content. I believe that, when you arrive on a page, and you see first, ads, then related links, and only thirdly the content of the page, this is not a good. Ads and related content should be an addition to the content, and not the inverse. (in other words, don't make your page looks like Google SERP :))

Also, about those who are reporting being outranked by less well written content, or even forum posts. My theory is that Google adapts its results to the profile of its users. Most people, including the Millennials have short attention, they won't mind or even notice spelling mistakes, they want short texts, or a video or an image. Well written and long articles are good for a given kind of visitors, but may be not for the average visitors. If you write about how much is 1+1 in binary, most people will just want the answer, and eventually a loose explanation of the base 2, but that's all, only a fraction of visitors will be interested to know about what is binary, from where it comes from, who invented the transistors and so on.

Also, "may be" Google is looking for more natural content. A forum will present posts which are written the way people are speaking to each others, and so will be more natural, than an article written with SEO in mind, (you know, the number of words, the keywords density, and all the arithmetics which are taking over the content itself).

These are just thoughts,
10:21 am on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Aristotle If you think only a couple of site were affected by this update, you are wrong. And don't feel too comfortable because all of your sites are were not affected, I also thought likewise during the medic update when my traffic shoot up by 35%, not knowing that am gonna pay back by 75% :)
10:53 am on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This was a quite massive update gauging from the widespread reactions. What wonders me that SEMrush failed to catch SERP changes. How Google could manage to be subtle yet explosive?

or Sensor is not sensitive enough now!
11:56 am on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google On Why You Can't Fix Core Update Issues Or Can You

[seroundtable.com...]
12:56 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This was a quite massive update gauging from the widespread reactions.

The widespread reactions on this and other forums are mostly from people whose sites were hit. That's a long way from being a random sample. It doesn't take account of the millions of website owners who haven't made any forum posts about this update, and most of whom probably didn't notice any effects from it.
2:29 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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+6.59% jump in visibility on Semrush and a percent increase in ranking.

Could be Semrush glitch as traffic remains.
5:11 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've got enough data in now to see how some of my sites have been hit or not and they make interesting reading, these are just a few observations:

1. co.uk hotel/pub site, fully responsive, 86% UK traffic, 66+% mobile views, PVs unchanged

2. co.uk niche retail site, fully responsive, 93.6% UK traffic, desktop 42.6% views, mobile 37.6% views, tablet 19.2% views, PVs unchanged

3. co.uk niche widget site, NOT responsive, mixed traffic, desktop 86.6% views, PVs -54%

4. com global widget site, fully responsive, mixed traffic, desktop 79.8% views, PVs unchanged, US traffic -53%, India traffic +100%

5. com global widget site, fully responsive, mixed traffic, desktop 58.0% views, PVs unchanged, US traffic unchanged

6. com global widget site, NOT responsive, mixed traffic, desktop 61.6% views, PVs -70%

All sites are https

The interesting ones for me are 3 and 6, both have been hit hard and both are non-responsive with mobile views way down.

Why 4 has lost 53% of its US traffic? This seems to be an on-going Google purge of specific non-US business sites I have been experiencing for several years. Its products are all from 1 country.

5 has a much broader range of widget products than 4, its products are from 30 countries.

All these sites have been around for ages, between 19 - 25 years.
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