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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]

7:22 pm on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan

We do not mind ads problem is not a lot of the traffic is real. We do not know what we are paying for...

AI will turn around and say no more free listings sooner or later. Problem is there is no transparency to whom the personalised buyer traffic goes to. I am paying for a robot or for a genuine buyer!

We are all in the dark because of lack of regulations.
8:11 pm on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google is being very helpful to me by shoving promotional emails into the gmail promotions tab. I wonder when it will do the same with the ads in the search results pages. A separate tab for ads. Anyone else think that would be helpful?

On the June update: more traffic without an increase in conversions.
8:57 pm on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The mobile SERP is a mess, there are ads, then 1 organic result, then people asked, then video carousel, the a few more organic results, then see more, then ads on and on... Some of those items scroll horizontally, some are accordians, some have images, some have logos, some is text. I doubt that this is an accident, this is by design. There is so much content jammed into to the small screen it makes it impossible for any user to focus or pay attention to the smaller details.


That's exactly what I said in my previous post too Nick. My rankings have zoomed higher and higher but traffic isn't increasing at all and there have been two new inquiries in two weeks, so it's about as bad as it can get. It does seem that the mobile serps are worse than desktop in terms of clutter but the overall effect is that CTR and number of clicks are both very low. People aren't searching for the organic serp through the clutter, they're just clicking ads.
9:51 pm on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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something definitely changed June 19th for me. Since then things have gone from very bad to unpostably bad. Had the worst days traffic in the sites over 10 year history yesterday and looks worse today.
10:21 pm on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know how to close down a webmaster account with Google?
11:03 pm on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@mosxu - you can do it by unverifying an owner so in new GSC Settings > Users and permissions then click on the 3 dot menu and go to manage property owners where you can unverify owners which will remove them
11:49 pm on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan - same here. Not a single conversion in the past three days. It just keep getting worse and worse. SERPS are a total mess with 3/4 of the page all Google and even Ads for Pinterest. WTF? The few visitors we do get are all Zombies or return customers from years ago.
12:51 am on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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ive had a handful of low value conversions but I get those from direct traffic anyway as about 20% of my traffic is direct as brand is known or people return. It looks like today is going to beat yesterday as an all time low also.Yesterday was around a level of 60% of the pre june update levels and today looks like I might get as low as 40%. So if this sticks then I might be looking at 60% traffic loses on levels that have already fallen about 50% in the last year to 18 months.
Im not searching for how to tie a noose yet (will probably just give me ads for industrial rope anyway) though as Im hoping what ever changed on June 18/19th will settled again and some traffic return in the coming days. If it doesnt recover in the next weeks at all though then its over for me. Certainly not the best timing when my wife has just lost her job also.
2:15 am on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan - I think by now we can all forget about any hopes of recovery. Save your money, when I'm done with my rope, it's all yours. Pay it forward.
2:18 am on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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are you sure - that would be money for old rope :-)
5:28 am on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm down by approximately 40%. I had the answer box for a particular phrase, I've been demoted and in its place is an incorrect answer which could cause an embolism. Nice one Google.
9:08 am on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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US Suicide Rates Are The Highest They've Been Since World War II, According To The CDC - [buzzfeednews.com...]

Could Google be causing this?
9:09 am on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I mean Google updates that kills traffic and hence livelihood of family men.
10:30 am on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I genuinely think Google has killed the livelihood of a huge percentage of webmasters. You Google 'blue unicorn', and it will give you a summary, then suggestions under, and you click on those 'are blue unicorns friendly' and you get a summary of that. There's almost no need to visit the actual sites that have put in the time, research and in my case, money to get that information. They have taken the information along with our traffic.

I'm at the point now where I love writing, but G has taken so much away, I am paying to run my site. I will give it a year until my current subscriptions (hosting, Shutterstock etc) expire, and I will walk away. There is so much valuable information, but the answer box is often wrong (ie; a lot of the time). Right now I am enjoying trolling G to prove how wrong they are with their answer boxes. The most recent one was today, and within 1 minute I'd found three reputable sources that showed the answer box was, in fact, incorrect and dangerous. I know I've lost the game, but I will go out of my way to show them up every time they provide misleading or inaccurate information.
11:58 am on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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They've to make changes and improve the algorithm but taking away 50-70% traffic is brutal. Gain and drop should be not more than 20%
1:26 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Mayank
Gain and drop should be not more than 20%

I disagree. I was "fortunate" I was largely unaffected by this last update. But I have had my traffic halved in the past, once in March 2018 and then again October 2018. But the worst has been since October because my traffic has been decaying, slowly and consistently dropping over time. I have made many changes and not seen any end in the drop. Now with the most recent update, I thought great I'll get sunk, or I'll rise but the trend will change direction. But no the decay continues.

In the end loosing traffic sucks not matter whether it is slowly over time or in a single jump.
1:45 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The more the ratio of ads / organic is skewed towards serving ads then the less of a "Search engine" google becomes.


@Milchan It will probably take some time but people will get tired of ads, one of the main reason a lot of people switched from conventional network TV to things like Netflix was because of crappy programming and lots of advertisements. The minute Netflix begins doing the same thing people will move on to something else.

I believe Google has begun to set the new standard for a crappy search engine we have Yahoo now and Google is not far behind. People will eventually realize that Google is nothing but ads and will move on, it may take time for people to become more aware but is happening.

I believe the DOJ will step in and it will muddle things up and just send more bad press Googles way, every day I see new articles such as this one [siliconvalley.com...] popping up, read the comments below and you will see that a lot of people have woken to what Google is doing, its just a matter of time before the company gets nailed. In the meantime, thousands of webmasters suffer through Googles armageddon on SEO to further their profits, the thing is to hang tough and hope there is a solution soon.
1:48 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Look, there's no doubt in my mind that Google has caused great anguish to a great many people (myself included at times) by removing their traffic.

But, if it wasn't for Google, those websites would never have received the traffic that was taken away from them in the first place.

Either be thankful you managed make hay while the sun shined and do something else, or work on ways to increase your hay production while you wait for better days..
2:09 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@southernguy We would hope but Google with their Chrome books and especially Android phones and all of Google's installed products, Google Play, search widgets, Google Assistant, etc.., makes this impossible. Most people do not know how to change this stuff out and a lot of it can not be uninstalled but only disabled. This means most people will continue to use google products because that is what is installed and they cannot figure out how to change or even know they can.

One way to maybe help fix this problem is on new phone is forcing phone manufactures and networks (Apple, Samsung, Google, Verizon, etc) to allow the user to select what they want installed on first boot and to give viable options.
2:34 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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But, if it wasn't for Google, those websites would never have received the traffic that was taken away from them in the first place.


I dont agree and would assert that there is no way you could know this.

I get the point though, that google has innovated and there are probably several aspects of the internet that would not exist (at least not yet) if google had not created them. Google maps might be one example, their creation of Android has a huge effect and there are probably lots of others. But innovation was happening before google ever came along, there were search engines already and they would most definitely have improved. evolved etc.
We could suggest that if it wasn't for googles domination then more people would have been looking at the search area and that there would be a far better product that most people use now invented by someone else. Equally though we have no way of knowing this but that is entirely feasible.

The key issue though is not that google has created the things they have - I actually like many of them and used to be a google "fan" - I was an early invited beta tester for gmail, use Android phones, have google homes, use Google play music etc. Im more bought into googles ecosystem than any other - the problem is that they have been allowed to get to where they are and that is to have a monopoly on digital attention (I use that phrase rather than the internet because they control far more than the internet) to an extremely dangerous level.
That is the fault of the governments and international organisations of this world. If a business is allowed to keep grabbing bigger and bigger pieces of the pie of course it will. When they find they can take the whole shelf of pies they will. When they see that they they are able to then own all the pie shops they will.
Someone should have stopped them before this point but it is not surprising that they didn't. We have all seen how much those in charge know about this stuff. They are clueless, sometimes to astounding levels.
The only hope is that there is now more media coverage and that the collateral damage is starting to have very real consequences for people. This will snowball and hopefully things will be reigned in, Google and other huge tech will be allowed to innovate but not dominate, fair competition will become possible again.
Im quite sure it will be too late for me and probably many of us here if that actually happens though. Im not sure it will happen as much as it should either but most likely is that there will be some partial action that will have limited effect.

[edited by: Milchan at 2:48 pm (utc) on Jun 22, 2019]

2:47 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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One way to maybe help fix this problem is on new phone is forcing phone manufactures and networks (Apple, Samsung, Google, Verizon, etc) to allow the user to select what they want installed on first boot and to give viable options.


It would be a step in the right direction but it wouldn't fix it though. Google is so embedded now in so many of the services people use day in day out that people would choose to use many of them anyway. How many people already use gmail, everyone uses google maps, google chrome is the most used browser and now the new MS edge browser is chronium based.
The fact that google is the verb used for searching the internet , much more so than "search it" speaks volumes.
3:07 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes I agree it is only a step (one of many) and most users would probably continue to use Google products as they don't care/understand. It would take time to see any changes that would result from this.
3:22 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I dont agree and would assert that there is no way you could know this.

I don't believe this for a second. You need to be really naive to not see this coming. Did you really think that Google would allow random people to print money on its platform indefinitely.

They get a minority of people to make good money, just enough needed to con enough people in participating. Once they all become dependent on the system with no alternative, they then progressively shut them out. I doubt that Google is the first to apply this strategy. They are likely the first to do it on this scale but they are definitely not the last.

Look at Uber, nothing more than a taxi company. It continues to subsidize drivers and deflate price while skirting regulation in attempt to over throw the regulated taxi companies. Once the regulation is gone, and competition is gone, the drivers will be short changed and the customer gouged. The gouging is already built into the model, it is being sold as feature. In the future it will become impossible or exorbitantly expensive to get a taxi (Uber or otherwise) unless you are in a city center and the drivers will make no money, only Uber will cash in from the gouge.

Walmart is likely the first company to apply this strategy. They opened countless stores in small town across the US, dropped prices. Customers all raved and flocked to the stores, causing millions of small local business to fail. Once gone, the prices came up and quality fell, but without any real competition Walmart persists.

Adsense
Youtube
Facebook
Amazon
Ebay
Affiliate Marketing
Shopify/Drop-shipping
Uber/Lyft
and the list goes on....
Rinse and repeat.
It is essentially the business model of the gig economy.
3:40 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@nickmns - Im slightly confused by the quoted section of my post you choose / your follow up to it.

I agree with everything you say in the post but the part of my post you quoted I dont see being related to what I was getting at. To clarify

my "I dont agree and would assert that there is no way you could know this" statement was in response to "But, if it wasn't for Google, those websites would never have received the traffic that was taken away from them in the first place." - and my point was that whilst I agree that google sends us that traffic if google never existed then some other search engine or engines (or some other mechanism we haven't thought of) would send us traffic. I.e. traffic doesn't exist because google exists, traffic exists because people exist. Google didnt invent the internet, they hijacked it. There were and are many other companies innovating in that space before google existed and after. I.e. We do not owe google thanks for "traffic" . The internet and the world might well be different if google had never existed but we do not know that it wouldn't be better or worse and Im quite sure that the internet , eccommerce and most everything else that has been created would have evolved regardless of google.
4:55 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In the last two weeks, I have done the following things:

- Updated author profiles to show expertise and their background. Also updated about us page.
- Removed mobile header ad. Only two ads on mobile.
- Nuked hundreds of thin articles.
- Updated hundreds of thin articles.

But traffic has remained same, no sight of recovery.
6:04 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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"I don't believe this for a second. You need to be really naive to not see this coming. Did you really think that Google would allow random people to print money on its platform indefinitely.

They get a minority of people to make good money, just enough needed to con enough people in participating. Once they all become dependent on the system with no alternative, they then progressively shut them out. I doubt that Google is the first to apply this strategy. They are likely the first to do it on this scale but they are definitely not the last.

Look at Uber, nothing more than a taxi company. It continues to subsidize drivers and deflate price while skirting regulation in attempt to over throw the regulated taxi companies. Once the regulation is gone, and competition is gone, the drivers will be short changed and the customer gouged. The gouging is already built into the model, it is being sold as feature. In the future it will become impossible or exorbitantly expensive to get a taxi (Uber or otherwise) unless you are in a city center and the drivers will make no money, only Uber will cash in from the gouge.

Walmart is likely the first company to apply this strategy. They opened countless stores in small town across the US, dropped prices. Customers all raved and flocked to the stores, causing millions of small local business to fail. Once gone, the prices came up and quality fell, but without any real competition Walmart persists.

Adsense
Youtube
Facebook
Amazon
Ebay
Affiliate Marketing
Shopify/Drop-shipping
Uber/Lyft
and the list goes on....
Rinse and repeat.
It is essentially the business model of the gig economy."

It's good to see people waking up... don't forget the rest of the strategy to hurd the people to their goal with suggestive though:

"It's pay to play, you have to pay to rank".

This concept only works after enough people fall into the trap from what everyone is spewing.
6:06 pm on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In the last two weeks, I have done the following things:

- Updated author profiles to show expertise and their background. Also updated about us page.
- Removed mobile header ad. Only two ads on mobile.
- Nuked hundreds of thin articles.
- Updated hundreds of thin articles.

But traffic has remained same, no sight of recovery.


You can expect change of traffic with next google update.... and traffic no change depends of you improved something on your website or you no improved... traffic just changing unexpected... it is no rules of some quality.. if your website is too quality so even you can be competition to google products and you kbow what can happening if that is case
12:51 am on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Steven, great discussion point. Wish that was a thread unto itself. Maybe in Google business section? I 100% agree that the model is to give stuff for free or next to it, have you buy in, then suffer the consequences as a consumer. It's laughable how gullible the general public is. I never thought of the Wal Mart example but that's very interesting.
9:20 am on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Giving livelihoods into the hands of early 20s college grads is madness to begin with. Other than online affiliates, who have no other choice (they have if they start their own brand); all businesses should find clients other than Google.
12:40 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Who said they did something about domain crowding and quality? My niche has now been overtaken by one thin, poor quality, ad ridden (10 no less) aggregation type "9 best blah, blah, blah" type article that has been re-cycled by the same company (and now one other) using multiple domains over time. They own the answer box along with a very lengthy blurb, AND the #1 mobile listing with the SAME lengthy blurb. What a mess. Every time they loose position, they change the domain name, rinse and repeat. thesprucecraft /lemonslide. Notice the obscure / random dn which is just words, not the actual company name. BH/BS SEO still works wonders. SMH
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