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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]

11:01 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@martiniceweb

Similar things are happening with my site.

Yo-yo-ing like crazy. After initial core update, traffic steadily and sharply declined. Then late last week we saw recovery. Today, however, there's another downturn.

Fro WMT discover data is jumping up and down from being virtually non existent to having hundreds or thousands of impressions then back to non existent. Same with clicks/impressions.
11:02 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@vlexo please.... dont tease me!
12:16 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What happening with my site:

- Visibility Improved
- Rankings on Keywords that convert to sales (or used to) Improved
- Bounce rate all of a sudden increased

Site is about 10 years old, an authority and has in the passed generated income close to 6 figures yearly. Its is mobile optimised, fastest in its niche with 100/100 and best scores on all page speed tests.

Yet click throughs have declined despite ranking improvement and leads generating income are down about 80%.

I am seriously at a loss as to what to do.

Im guessing that they have tweaked the algorithm so that any search where there is an intent to buy is optimised so that users click on ads rather than organic so that google get paid.

I would bet every penny in my bank account that the revenue google makes from ads via search will skyrocket since this core update in June.
12:21 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My niche is news and entertainment btw. 10yr+ domain... Similar stats with income (high six figures yearly, consistently good traffic). Something really stinks with this new update that goes above and beyond improving the user search experience.
1:16 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@paranoid

have you fetch one or more sites with the new google console? Live view?
When ever we fetch a site it turns back saying all resources couldnīt be loaded- Except the html site itself.

If google realy sees it like this, then our site is realy beyond all good and evil.

It seems to be two sets of the new update right now. One that converts with plenty of traffic and the other one cuts us down to -90% with only robots left.


@shadowlight,

how dare you say something like that? Every update from google is a quality update only for presenting users the best experience. Making money from this updates is only a side effect!
Even the micro data the google wants for every ecom pages are only to organize the web. Not for routing the users to ads.
google acts more and more like amazon. Gathering data from websites only to push its own entities into serps and kill all competitors out of serps.

[edited by: Martin_Ice_Web at 1:21 pm (utc) on Jun 17, 2019]

1:21 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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HARD DATA

I lost 30% of my traffic without losing rankings for any of my top 1000 keywords so I did lots of digging in my stats. Here's what I found.

- According to search console I lost 36% of impressions and 30% of clicks on one site
- At the same time I slightly improved my avg CTR and avg position slightly (2%)

Obviously those would seem to be contradictory, but it's not. It also signals that I cannot expect to restore this traffic by improving the pages, they didn't lose rank. So how does a #1 keyword NOT lose rank but lose traffic? I think I found the answer, and I can only speak for my site in my niche here but....

- Multiple pages: I have some pages that are similar in subject though different enough that each is valuable for different reasons on their own. I've often been able to land a #1 keyword and had Google send traffic to the one most relevant to the user. ie: 1 keyword, two page options for Google. Often a double entry as well, ie: #1 and #2 in serps with those two pages.

That has changed!

As of June 6th I retain the #1 rank for said keyword but only get traffic for it from ONE of the two pages, on the other page this keyword flatlined to zero. Google has assigned one page to the keyword and, for that page, the metrics didn't change but page B is no longer being returned, ever.

This is true for all my keywords. Most weren't affected since I always took care not to create a lot of pages with essentially the same value(duplicates) but where I previously had multiple entries I don't now, or rather the keywords have been heavily restricted to specific pages.

This is opportunity: In some cases I believe that I can tighten things up further and regain the lost traffic by analyzing what was lost completely instead of redirected. I can already see that in some cases the page title is not entirely suitable for Google's choice, though the other page which no longer ranks had the good CTR/title.

This is going to take time: To regain the traffic it appears my site needs some sorting out on an important keyword by keyword basis... page by page by page. Thankfully the search console is set up to do the heavy lifting.

- Sort console for your site by queries
- Select a keyword
- Switch to the pages tab
- You will see which pages google results has assigned to your site for that query

So if you see 2-3 pages being returned for one query open each page up in console and look at their change in early June. If your site is like mine you will see that on one page the results for that query are UNCHANGED but on the 2nd, 3rd etc the page is simply no longer ever returned.

I can probably quickly recover this 30% loss if I better align my pages to said keywords. I can see that Google hasn't perfectly guessed which pages should be returned for which keywords and where I feel they guessed wrong I can see traffic loss. Perhaps new content is the answer in some cases but in most it's just a matter of identifying Google's prefered keywords for any given page and to see if the title and content align with that.

This update restricted how many pages can be returned for a keyword, which Google also discussed, but the algo update further reinforced that by snipping the ability of some pages for ranking for a keyword at all if you had a "better offering" for that keyword. I think Google missed the ball a bit in that targeting, at least for my site.

Hope this helps, sorry if it's confusing but I have work to do now....
2:03 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@JS_Harris

I do this quite a bit. Good tips!
2:05 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@martiniceweb - I have similar pattern. I saw an initial drop after June 3rd/4th update but with strange surges late afternoon that gave me conversions so overall it was not good but at least had some sales. Saw a slight recovery then Friday 14th traffic plummeted and conversions stopped. Over the weekend pretty much the same. Either something happened Friday or it was just the update catching up but there was a definite change of some kind if there are several of us here reporting it.
2:48 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Up and down all the time to the extent that's ridiculous. We are on Google, we are not, the we are back again. One day earnings zero, the next next we are all over the place, earnings still zero. It says the position is relatively stable, no errors and there never were, but cut is drastic. 10 years old business news website. There is absolutely no point you can stick on and say OK let's move on from this point. The situation is so ridiculous that one day we have the first snippet ahead of CNN, Reuters, name it, the next day we don't exist.
2:55 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google isn't going to admit that they copied the lyrics, just like they copy other contents.

Full Google statement below.

"The lyrics displayed in the information boxes and in Knowledge Panels on Google Search are licensed from a variety of sources and are not scraped from sites on the web. We take data quality and creator rights very seriously, and hold our licensing partners accountable to the terms of our agreement. We're investigating this issue with our data partners and if we find that partners are not upholding good practices we will end our agreements."

[engadget.com...]
3:10 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yet click throughs have declined despite ranking improvement and leads generating income are down about 80%.


@shadowlight I am seeing something similar. My visibility and impressions are heading higher and higher but my CTR is very low now and traffic is 37% lower than this time last year. It was an across the board reduction in both landing pages and content pages. Even though I am recovering #1 and #2 position on the terms that always brought in the most traffic, my traffic is still slightly down from several weeks ago before I started to recover. There are no inquiries coming in at all for the last week or so.

This is absolutely Google's assault on the organic SERPs...they will make sure none of us make a cent and the click throughs all get shifted to ads now. Just like Facebook and Instagram, that became pay to play several years ago...Google is now effectively almost entirely pay to play.
3:21 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google isn't going to admit that they copied the lyrics, just like they copy other contents.


I read in an article that they encoded something that can be used to prove that google did scrape it from them without permission . Something along the lines of using a mix of double quotes and single quotes in a certain order that were then displayed in the exact same way on google.
4:01 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I read in an article that they encoded something that can be used to prove that google did scrape it from them without permission

You are missing the point... Google didn't scrape the data, they hired someone else to do it for them.

Google: "But officer I had no idea the widget was stollen!"
Police: "Where did you get the widget?"
Google: "I bought it from that guy over there, from the back of a truck"
Police: "Well since your Google that is fine keep going"
4:10 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@JS Harris
- According to search console I lost 36% of impressions and 30% of clicks on one site
- At the same time I slightly improved my avg CTR and avg position slightly (2%)

Obviously those would seem to be contradictory, but it's not.


It used to be that there was a one to one relation ship between keyword and search result. But the no longer holds true. Now there is a one to many relationship. A single keyword can return a wide variety of search results, as a function of geo-location, browsing history, and many other factors.

Moreover GSC only shows you data from when your website appears in search for a given keyword. They do not show you the total number of impressions for that specific keyword.

Basically what GSC is showing you is that when your site appears in search it retains the same rank, but for many impressions for which you appeared in the past you no longer appear at all.

The result same ranking, lower impression and lower traffic.
5:08 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS My impressions have been heading upward for more than three weeks along with my ranking. My CTR has dropped drastically though and the number of clicks is lower than in a long long time...about 37% lower overall than this time last year and up to 57% lower for some landing pages.

Google is measuring how many times my site appears for the search results and that has increased a lot... But there are so many more options now that people are clicking on any number of other things. I just checked one term that I rank well on mobile...

1- a block of four huge paid ads taking entire screen
2 - a product carousel from huge corporate e-commerce sites
3 - recent articles
4 - a huge Wikipedia definition box
5 - YouTube videos
6 - local search (I'm #1)
7 - first organic result
8 - another paid ad
9 - remaining organic results (I'm #3 and #4)

This is not rocket science, we all know from heat map that people click a lot less on things as they fall down the page so they are loading the page with all kinds of results now.
5:31 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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5:56 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I was just looked at an 18 month timeline of impressions v clicks in Google Search console. Clearly shows how google has effectively reduced the amount of clicks / traffic we get compared to impressions in the serps.
[imgur.com ] Blue = Clicks and Teal = Impressions . First part clearly shows I got much higher click through rates with the impressions I got then that they fall considerably in comparison even though im managing to increase impressions.

I spent large part of 2018 working on recovering from a failed platform switch and technical issues that occurred due to that. I started to recover from that later in the year but that also coincided with google starting to change things that resulted in less clicks for everyone.

This suggests to me that the work I did on my site was actually moving me in the right direction but ultimately it doesnt matter when google decides to change the game in the way it has
8:06 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Regarding what JM said recently about author photos/bio

If you're the only author on the blog, having your photo and short bio under it on the sidebar is enough, right? I don't need to put an author section under every post?
8:20 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@whoa182 - I would think so (but who knows since this is Google we are talking about). I have several authors, I list the author's name with the article (along with the date the article was published, etc...), the Author's name links to his/her profile/bio page.
8:46 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan, what does your average position graph look like? An impression in position #8 is still an impression, but is going to have a much lower CTR than the #1 spot. Your graph is not a complete story.
9:23 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ichthyous
You are correct but you are confounding two different issues. If for the same impressions and rank the CTR drops, then what you describe applies (that is one issue). This is shown clearly in Milchan's screen cap. However, if impressions fall, traffic falls and rank remains the same, that is another issue. But these issues are not mutually exclusive (you can be impacted by both), in which case it becomes difficult to know what is wrong, a side from the obvious double whammy traffic drop.
9:28 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@JesterMagic I do same.

Anyone is smart enough to click on the author name to read their expertise. Regular readers may not like to see the author's face and bio below every article, so I don't put a box.
9:41 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@JesterMagic / whoa182
I don't think simply showing an author bio is going to achieve much of anything. John Mueller in the last hangout addressed this issue and in his typical fashion responded that there is no specifc way for linking to authors bio's and that one should do this in such a away that is specific to one's niche/needs. See 13:12 mark in the video below for the exact answer (if one can call it that):

[youtube.com...]
12:12 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan, what does your average position graph look like? An impression in position #8 is still an impression, but is going to have a much lower CTR than the #1 spot. Your graph is not a complete story.


[imgur.com ] ive updated the graph with average position in Purple and Click through rate in Green

You can see that the average position actually increases whilst the CTR goes down
12:29 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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7:30 pm CST. I currently have one visitor from some remote island in the pacific...and that's it.
7.7 billion people and all I can get with #1 listings is one guy on a remote island.
That figures. F you Google.
3:58 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS Neither of those scenarios is what I am seeing. I am seeing impressions steadily going up, and ranking. At the same time CTR is declining and so are clicks. The gap between impressions and actual clicks is becoming wider and wider as the CTR goes down. The only explanation for an improving rank and lower CTR is that there are many more items on the page to click on now.
6:40 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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When you go to G.W.F for help about the June update negative impact and you get punched to the curb: [bit.ly...] (check the recommended answer).

They've little technical fault to blame so they blame the content instead. Isn't it funny why site with problems no longer go there? Are they insinuating that all sites affected by the update have garbage spun contents?
7:20 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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When I see a terrible pinterest image take number 1 spot for an article which used to bring in quite a lot of revenue... it makes me want to give up lol. I had the spot for the main keyword and variations for over a year. 2500 words (yah ya, length doesn't matter, but it is a very helpful article), plenty of great user feedback, excellent user metrics, 20% conversion for it on Amazon. Then a pinterest image comes out of nowhere this month, take 1st spot, and I end up on the 2nd page below pages that are not even relevant at all.

I really don't even want to look anymore... I never had massive amounts of traffic, but around 20-40 people per hour from Google. Now I'm lucky if I get 3 per hour. No sales in days.

Really hoping they make some adjustments by the end of the month. August 2018 hit me, but never took out all my revenue. This one took out all my traffic and all my revenue.
8:06 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My long articles, with proper steps and screenshots, positive feedback from readers have been outranked by Reddit posts with no comments, new sites that have broken English and even usability errors.

Competitors haven't gained traffic, but the new sites with garbage content did.

Counting days for next update :(
8:11 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone actually think they are going to revert this update? I genuinely don't think I have ever seen anything like this and the more I google around, the more difficult I find it to understand.
This 910 message thread spans 31 pages: 910