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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]

8:32 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Today, I noticed that, randomly, Google is displaying a much longer snippet for sites. Like 2 or 3 times longer than normal.
9:08 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The expert replies in Google forum is meme-worthy.
9:24 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.


What I noticed is that to have AMPs in the "Top Stories" carousel doesn't seem to bring me much traffic, if any. Maybe it's niche-related or maybe the "Top Stories" thing is not as effective as one may think.
Yet, AMPs are very, very effective in advertising revenue terms. I know that some others are having a different experience but, in my case, AMPs have an RPM much, much higher than ordinary mobile/desktop pages. Perhaps, Google is using a "carrot and stick" approach to AMP and different reward strategies depending on the website type and niche.
I've often criticized the AMP technology, recently; yet, despite its currently quite limited impact on traffic, my opinion is that Google is steadily pushing it and that it will be a (sort of) mandatory feature for all webmasters soon.
9:29 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not just Top Stories, but AMP also helps in Google Discover. The sites on Discover are mostly using AMP, non-AMP sites are rarely visible.
9:32 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I recently got accepted into Google News

Few Qs:

- How recently?
- How many articles do you have indexed in news?
- How many news articles have you written since being accepted?
11:29 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Today, I noticed that, randomly, Google is displaying a much longer snippet for sites. Like 2 or 3 times longer than normal.


I'm not falling for this flip flopping of snippet character count again. I updated meta descriptions in the past to show more information, only for google to go back to the standard 160 characters, which then truncated all that work.
3:39 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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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?


@Psalber I wish I could offer solid advice but just my personal experience is that I had a couple of authority sites one with about 1000 pages another smaller one with 200 both got hit in August, others lost rankings in June, I have tried just about everything on those to recover and nothing has worked and if I did see a traffic boost it was only temporary.

There is no obvious reason why sites are tanking and no matter how popular they are, they are being affected. Those claiming not to have been affected just haven't been hit yet. The ranking factors are hitting sites like a slow disease and every day there are more sites with duplicate or scraped content showing up in search, it seems pretty much like churn and burn scenario right now so it's fairly easy to game the system.

As a side note it will be interesting to see how long Google remains number one, I know they have the market, I'm just wondering if when Microsoft releases their chromium browser if they will gain some steam, I know there are a lot of naysayers but for the most part I am getting better results from Bing and DDG, no neither is perfect but it says a lot when results are better with those search engines than with Google.

Another observation is that I have noticed on a personal level people switching from Google to other search engines, in the past 20 years I was self-employed as an IT and started doing SEO full time 5 years ago. I have been slowly soliciting old clients back because my income has dropped to almost nothing from SEO.

The other day I had a service call from a prominent local real estate company who wanted me to do some software updates on about 20 computers in their office, the first thing I noticed is that more than half of them had their default home page set to Bing, the other few had Yahoo. I had to ask the receptionist why the switch? She answered no one could find anything on Google any more so they switched most of the machines over to Bing, the other few were switched to Yahoo because apparently a few of the sales agents are in their 60's and for some reason prefer Yahoo (Go figure).

I'm sure these are just small milestones but the truth is, no matter how objective you are Google is just not delivering good results. I also realize people are lazy and may be happy with what they are getting but it does not justify the results.

One more observation I noticed which I had mentioned in a post several months ago I have a domain that has been expired for well OVER A YEAR just this morning I noticed that the domain is currently still showing up in the index ranking first position on page 2 so yes Google is broken.
4:17 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not just Top Stories, but AMP also helps in Google Discover. The sites on Discover are mostly using AMP, non-AMP sites are rarely visible.


Every time I post something positive about AMP, Google does something that makes me change my mind...
I've just realized that ALL my AMP pages do not meet the 1200px image requirement Google introduced in Feb 2018.
For the time being, this is not an error but only a warning; yet, my experience tells me that this situation won't last long and that all my AMP pages could be delisted soon, possibly.
Since I can't (and don't want either) to rework 3K pages and about 60K images one by one to comply with such a stupid and dictatorial imposition, this means that I have to plan a future strategy without AMP; which also means without Google's carousels, Top Stories, Discover and so on.
Yet, every cloud has a silver lining and this, again and again, strongly suggests me to stop caring about Google, definitely, and start building content with only my users' satisfaction in mind. Que sera, sera.
5:07 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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a few of the sales agents are in their 60's and for some reason prefer Yahoo (Go figure).

Hey! You'll understand when you'll be in your 60's...
5:58 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Happy Father's Day!
Historically this should be one of the busiest weekends of the year for my home improvement DIY niche, but like a buzzard, Google's AI and top heavy (SEE [SEARCH TERM] ads, now bigger than ever!) SERPs are pickling the traffic clean. Not a single visitor in hours....yet, as my past reports state ad nauseam, still holding useless #1 organic positions that used to pull down 6 figures. What a joke.
7:07 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Lyrics Site Accuses Google of Lifting Its Content

[wsj.com...]
7:12 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hey! You'll understand when you'll be in your 60's

Yep, a few years to go yet, but my generation. the first to experience the consumer computer age, are not be be discounted. We have much more buying power and gorg should recognize that...but millenials run the show these days and have little respect for their elders....now get off my lawn! Lol.
8:17 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Lyrics Site Accuses Google of Lifting Its Content


need a subscription to access the article but I can guess the gist of it and im surprised this doesnt happen a lot more.
8:27 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Basically google created this awesome feat that COPY your site content and adds it to theirs, so the user doesn't need to go to your site to read it.
If anyone else does this is considered a scrapper, the lowest of the lowest but if google does it, it's alright.

[edited by: SweetPotato at 9:04 pm (utc) on Jun 16, 2019]

8:45 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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(The tweet sums up the WSJ article)
[twitter.com...]
10:23 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The tweet sums up the WSJ article

Not quite, but it does garner retweets.

google is pretty well insulated on this one. google licenses the information from a third party, that party would be the one responsible for "scraping" the content. The party making the complaint does not own the rights to the underlying content.

While the story itself is a nothing burger, the bigger picture here is another poor business model relying on google for free visitors. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you are in business online you must get your visitors before google (or any other competitor) does.
11:59 pm on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In March, 62% of mobile searches on Google didnít result in a user clicking through to another website, according to the web-analytics firm Jumpshot Inc. Google previously has disrupted companiesí business models by switching from referring traffic via search to providing services directly on Google websites.

From WSJ
.
2:02 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In March, 62% of mobile searches on Google didnít result in a user clicking through to another website, according to the web-analytics firm Jumpshot Inc. Google previously has disrupted companiesí business models by switching from referring traffic via search to providing services directly on Google websites.

From WSJ


and we are surprised what happened with search....
4:33 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Observation via Search Console for one site

- Same average position
- Same CTR
- Lower impressions (-30%)
- Lower total clicks (typical with fewer impressions)

What's interesting is that the average position and CTR did not change. This means that the site simply does not return for some queries. If it was a rankings drop causing the lower impressions the average position would have changed. If new competitors would have crept up the CTR would have changed, but these didn't.

I suspect the site is simply no longer allowed to return for a good number of queries. From experience this is caused by tweaks in the information vs buying intent query handling.
6:31 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I usually checked my adsense balance thrice a day, now I hardly check once in four days. The June update does cure my adsense addiction you see. That's the only positive thing about the update :D at least to me.
7:41 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@JS_Harris Any one of your theories could be true. Or it could be that during the summer less people are on their computers and search trends inevitably change.
8:14 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It seems that last friday another update rolled out. After gaining traffic all week we saw a much more big hit than on 4 juni roll out.
The thing that really is incrompehansible, is that we gained so many top #1 - #3 spots. Beating amazon and big resellers. But traffic took a deep dive.

By the way: google adwords send us an email. We could get more traffic by adjusting our budget!
WTF Payment makes our site more trustfully?
8:19 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Morning @MartinIceWeb - So you are saying that on Friday you saw gains, where previously you had seen drops from the june update? Or visa-versa?
8:28 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Our site (health/pharma ecomm UK) dropped significantly this update. Do not believe a Pagespeed issue - we score 82, some above us score 29-43 (some big brands, some relative small newcomers) The last time we ranked this badly (pre Penguin 4 Sept 2016) was due to some poor/negative backlinks, so am wondering if negative backlinks are now being included again in algo, to some degree. Organic traffic down 50% - revenue 20% (we have large returning customer base, thankfully).
Medic update impacted us, addressed the E-A-T issues as recommended, and bounced back after G partial rollback. Prior to this update we were #1 or #2 for most major KWs
Will be reviewing disavow file again ...
9:07 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Bushytop,

no we saw traffic gains with update starting (03 Juni)
On 6 Juni ( end oll out ) we got hit very bad.
Starting the new week monday/thursday ( 10/11 Juni ) we constantly gained traffic back.
Last friday (14 Jun ) we got hit again.

We are an ecom shop with lots of unique items. All items from other manufacturers have a well written descriptions ( in our eyes ). So no dup content. All close items have a canonical link to main item page.

When i look at current serps, i see two things that are same with every query:
1. brands have a lower treshold what deems to be keyword stuffing
2. all pages that are ranking well are very small niche sites ( e.g. you want to by something, then u reach this site where someone used the item you like to buy for repairing something , mainly useless )
9:09 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@SweetPotato.... It's more like this: [youtu.be...]
We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.
9:12 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@martiniceweb thanks, that's some pattern....
9:23 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I find it very hard to give specific traffic trends like -20% or something like that. However I have seen some fluctuation in G Organic traffic in the last 8 weeks. However our site is not aggressively SEO'ed.

I wonder if people have aggressively SEO'ed their sites, whether such sites are more fragile to changes in the algo?

We get about the same number of sessions from G organic as we do from G Ads.
Recently I cut G Ads considerably, G organic seemed to continue as before.
Since then I have largely restated G ads because conversions had been down.
9:51 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi We're just turning off AMP on several domains after seeing our conversionrates plummet on AMP. Also CTR isn't any higher with AMP + our normal website is actually faster than AMP (go figure). We're not a news website but e-commerce. Not too fond of AMP tbh. If you aren't indexxed without AMP there's an issue with your "normal" site for sure.
10:57 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Seeing big changes over the weekend in UK Finance - some very big players seemingly coming back from the dead who dropped in positions in July 2018 and have now seen the recovery back to prior positions.
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