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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]

6:43 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Domain crowding still alive and well. I also notice more results from Facebook business pages.
7:07 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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SEMRush is completely screwed up in the last 10 days. I wouldnt rely on them until they finish finalizing whatever it is they are doing with the keyword database (which directly impacts what kind of traffic and ranking numbers they are showing). When I spoke to them earlier this month they said it would take 2 weeks so its still rolling out.

I look at my competitor organic traffic both in ahrefs and semrush and Ahrefs seems like the much more reasonable one and its more inline with my own site data.

The common thing I'm seeing after 10 days is faster sites on first page that were never ranking before. They look #*$!ty and outdated but they are blazing fast. 90+ mobile scores on GPSI and they are right up there on P1 for big money keywords with sites that have millions of monthly visitors.

This is also in YMYL niche.
7:28 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Is it necessary to display an author box below every article or is byline with a link to the author page with their bio is enough to prove expertise?
8:21 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I added a bio to the bottom of my articles with a picture and my credentials--because, you know, THAT can't be faked, right?
8:43 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Is it necessary to display an author box below every article or is byline with a link to the author page with their bio is enough to prove expertise?

Whatever, from the moment that visitors can be able to identifying easily who wrote what.
I added a bio to the bottom of my articles with a picture and my credentials--because, you know, THAT can't be faked, right?

I am sure that Google has enough data about everybody to, at some point, be able to identify fake profiles, and ban sites for doing it.
9:21 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%

@Redbar thanks for this information. Now I'm 100% sure Google's algorithm isn't as smart as they claim it to be.

By the information provided i think this update is a mobile usability update because i lost 90% of my traffic... but that doesn't mean my site isn't responsive... it's 100% responsive by the use of two templates... one for mobile and one for desktop, with the exact same contents on both templates.

Looks like their algorithm doesn't like sites using different templates for desktop and mobile even if content is the same on both platforms because in Google search console my mobile usability is 100% ok with no errors.

If you we're hit by this update, is your site 100% responsive by using different templates?
9:57 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Halaspike


By the information provided i think this update is a mobile usability update because i lost 90% of my traffic... but that doesn't mean my site isn't responsive... it's 100% responsive by the use of two templates... one for mobile and one for desktop, with the exact same contents on both templates.


Are you sure that Googlebot is seeing the mobile version? Have you checked your logs? The mobile usability test will be carried out by a mobile-user agent, but it is not necessarily (not likely) the same as Googlebot. But since your serving two versions you could score a perfect score for mobile usability while still serving the desktop page to Googlebot (which is now mobile)
10:26 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS which logs are you referring to? I used the Mobile-Friendly Test Tool provided by Google and it returned a Page is mobile friendly message with no errors.

I've decided to use the mobile version for desktop too, just to make sure Googlebot sees exactly the same thing on both mobile and desktop.
11:34 pm on June 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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which logs are you referring to?

Your raw server logs.

I used the Mobile-Friendly Test Tool provided by Google and it returned a Page is mobile friendly message with no errors.

This is my point, the mobile-friendly test bot is not googlebot, it is a different bot that renders the page. Googlebot does not render the page.

I've decided to use the mobile version for desktop too, just to make sure Googlebot sees exactly the same thing on both mobile and desktop.

I'm not saying there is problem for certain, you would need to look at your logs to see if there is in fact a problem. It is entirely possible that your server is serving Googlebot the correct version. But it is worth taking the time to be sure. What you describe should solve the issue if there is one, but it is not ideal as Googlebot may (I am not sure about this) still present itself in a desktop version, in which case you would be causing the opposite issue.
2:16 am on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Checked my raw server logs no one single error.
2:33 am on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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similar happened in 2015..

[businessinsider.com ]
4:17 am on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Most of webmasters here are suffering from recent algorithm update. It seems we do not have much control in search engine ranking even if we follow strict SEO guidelines and recommendations.
However, please share your experience how you managed to overcome similar situations in the past. Let's move on, we will survive this!
7:39 am on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm wondering if small updates can also recover traffic or we have to wait for the next core update.
8:37 am on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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IMHO, there is nothing SEO can do to increase organic traffic, these days. The only thing you can do is to avoid blatant SEO mistakes with a view to escaping some kind of penalization. This is not a problem with SEO professionals, it's a problem with Google and the web of today. Google is managing to make organic traffic no longer a relevant source of traffic for websites because they want to keep the users stuck into their own web ecosystem; furthermore, algorithm updates have become so frequent and undocumented that you can't elaborate an effective and complete SEO strategy for the mid-term.

That said, I think the only feasible strategy is to understand who your readers are and what they want, create good content and a satisfying experience for them, and look for alternative sources of traffic (some of which - such as e-mail newsletter, guest posting and links from educational sites - are as old as the hills but still very effective, maybe even more effective than before due to the current organic traffic crisis). Yet, we can still call that SEO?
11:36 am on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am 100% agree with the second paragraph of @riccarbi.

Also, as I said , or suggested numerous times, SEO != Natural . If someone "optimizes" a page for search engine ranking, then it means the page is no longer made "naturally" and you end with stereotyped pages, built on the same model that SEO is dictating, until the wind turns.

they want to keep the users stuck into their own web ecosystem

Indeed, but it's also what most of web publishers are trying to achieve too. Most of web publishers are trying to "optimize" their sites, to make visitors to stay the longer as possible, limit the number of outbound links, etc...
2:33 pm on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Semrush's latest report shows more gain in traffic and visibility, while ranking remains down. It has really become unreliable this month.
3:42 pm on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Halaspike
Checked my raw server logs no one single error.

That's great, but I don't know that serving a desktop page to a mobile user-agent would cause an error. What you want to check for specifically, is that Googlebot is being served the correct page (mobile version when mobile user-agent).
4:39 pm on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Semrush's latest report shows more gain in traffic and visibility, while ranking remains down. It has really become unreliable this month.


I'm showing daily increases in visibility, ranking, and traffic in SEMrush. I've recovered almost all the top three terms on my site but my traffic according to GA and GSC is lower than before. Thats because the pages are now stuffed with more and more options. Top three organic serps are not bringing in nearly as much traffic... Especially anything with a place name in it. Much of my traffic revolved around placenames and those terms have become much harder to rank well on. In many cases entirely new sites with single articles relating to the topic and place have taken over #1 and #2.
4:48 pm on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google is managing to make organic traffic no longer a relevant source of traffic for websites because they want to keep the users stuck into their own web ecosystem; furthermore, algorithm updates have become so frequent and undocumented that you can't elaborate an effective and complete SEO strategy for the mid-term.


Yes that's right, Google is a monopoly now and the entire world is finally waking up to the fact that they aren't showing you the best ranked content, but what makes them a profit. We are living in a time when a few behemoths have been permitted to grow to such a scale that they control everything. Government policy lagged because they saw this as limited to the internet, which was only a part of the economy. Internet and personal data is becoming much more important in every way now so the power of these monopolies has suddenly become a threat to the common good and to government itself. We are living in interesting times and I don't see how the situation can continue as is.
7:32 pm on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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DuckDuckGo.com needs to rebrand. The current name is a joke; it's never going to go mainstream / be a serious competitor of Google unless they change the name.
7:40 pm on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The problem with DDG (and with Bing as well) is that they are just less-powerful clones of Google. The logic behind is the same. As long as you mix organic results with paid ones in your SERP, you can't be a honest and trustworthy search engine, period.
11:21 pm on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Zero traffic today, yet #1 "organic" listings galore, it's ridiculous. Organic is useless when it's this top heavy. GART blank for hours.

Let's all pool our resources and start our own open source search engine.
11:42 pm on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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DuckDuckGo.com needs to rebrand. The current name is a joke; it's never going to go mainstream / be a serious competitor of Google unless they change the name.


For me, it's not so much the name. I don't mind the name, though I can see how other's may not take them seriously.

The main issue is that Google isn't so much just a search engine that directs you to other websites anymore. It's also become a Q&A service. Ask Google a question and they give you an answer, thereby removing the necessity for you to visit another website. This is something DDG doesn't quite feature yet.

Add to that integration with all of Google's other services like maps, businesses, weather, translations, etc. and DDG has a lot of ground to make up.

The only advantage DDG has now is that their selling point of privacy.
12:34 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samwest - same for me , yesterday and today a disaster. Very little traffic , hardly any conversions. Looking very bad
12:35 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Zero traffic today, yet #1 "organic" listings galore, it's ridiculous. Organic is useless when it's this top heavy. GART blank for hours.


I also noticed almost no real time traffic today, despite my site having recaptured 96 top three ranking terms. This week I had one inquiry the entire week. It appears that Google is doing its best to kill off organic serps as quickly as possible.
12:49 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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SEMRush is the quietest it's been all year! Maybe all the big brands and corporations have solidified their rankings now :)
2:17 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am new to the forum. Prompted to join because I suffered a near fatal blow from the June core update. The week before I had the highest traffic ever (confirmed by the highest revenue ever from Mediavine). Despite being a health website, I did very well after the Medic update. I recently got accepted into Google News. It felt like we were doing everything right. High quality evidence based content, a lot written by physician experts in the topic.

Then, I lost 50% of my traffic and revenue starting end of day June 4. Articles that had been doing well for years (we kept them updated) have disappeared from my organic search results. We feel invisible.

My site is 14 years old. Not sure what to do. Do I wait it out? Intensify my efforts? Quit wasting time and money on SEO? Or hang it up? How do I even decide?
2:19 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I added a bio to the bottom of my articles with a picture and my credentials--because, you know, THAT can't be faked, right?

I doubt if it's that simple. (If it were, every SEO would be rushing out to create bylines with "Ph.D.", "M.D.", J.D.", or "Professor of Economics.") Links from "seed sites" with established reputations could easily be another factor in gauging authority/expertise/credibility.
8:14 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Getting tired of John Mueller asking webmasters to seek advice from webmaster forums. There's a lot of bad advice out there (yes, including from me potentially).
8:24 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've been asking Mr. Mueller is amp a ranking factor, he insisted twice it is not. But, we made an experiment on several occasions and the conclusion is clear: no amp, no our site on G. When we get it back, we're back on G. However, now there are 2 articles from our site in the last day out of 50 or something we publish every day. A few days ago G showed all of our articles. Something is very broken, that fluctuation is not normal and every programmer who wrote "Hello world" and has half a brain can see that. I believe G can't go back, they can't return to the old software.
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