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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]

12:48 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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25 BEST.......! With literally one or two sentences below each product. Yup... That is "quality" now. Amazing how little work these big magazine and brands have to put out to rank high.
12:54 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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

I heard that from a guy in 2008 who insisted I was FoS when I said I lived 100% off web income and organic listings.
Although my main keyword rank is still pretty much the same as in 2008 (minus the longtail), which is on most days is #1, but below the growing mountain of crap that now fills everything above the fold, my income is down 95%. Why?
1. Mobile proliferation.
2. iGen, GenZ, Gen Alpha users who want everything for free.
3. Top heavy, Google-centric, ad filled crap SERPs.
4. AI, traffic quota's, shaping.
5. New interpretation of "quality" based on a total paradigm shift in sociological mores.
and last but not least...militarization of G and FB and probably the entire web....just follow the career of Ragina Dugan.
Because we all live off the web, we can all be considered asymmetrical threats. Read up on DARPA, Google's initial benefactor.
That's not TFH my friend, that's fact. This should not be a surprise to anyone here.

Solution? Be Known.
Get a brick and mortar, next will be fingerprints and iris scan and legal documents, just like PayPal has demanded recently.
Once known, they might trust you as a person, not just the site (trust rank ring a bell?) and perhaps that is where this is all going...but so far it's a mess.
Yeah, I don't like it either, but with 7.7 billion monkeys out there, you gotta have some controls in place and controlling the web monkeys is the best place to start. Embrace the new digital core....or collective if you like.
1:14 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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25 BEST.......! With literally one or two sentences below each product. Yup... That is "quality" now.

You got THAT right!
For one variation of my keywords, the listings contain page after page of insipid "XX Best" aggregations. All ad ridden results, most by big names like Houzz and their ilk who employ armies of kiddies producing SEO tuned garbage to churn ad revenue.
Real quality.
1:45 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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most by big names like Houzz and their ilk


Yep, I was actually outranked the other day, top 3 for a search, by my own company FB page that has not been used/updated for almost 2 years and its backlink removed from all my sites ... simply awesome results!
2:01 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm being outranked by Reddit shares of my own blog post.

Things are messed up.
2:14 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Steven29 - With Uber not only will the drivers be short changed eventually, Uber is actively working on autonomous vehicles to replace them.

@whoa182 - My niche is filled with those 10 best type articles. Big media brands churn out these filling the SERPs and ranking for all sorts of keywords.
2:42 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm being outranked by Reddit shares of my own blog post.

Is there comments at Reedit? Because if so, and as I mentioned several times before, Google might value the comments about an article, more than the article itself. The comments being from several individuals, might be more representative... who knows.
4:15 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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All the "just make good content" comments from google is absolute bs. We all know , they know it but dont want to admit and it is clear that short content, list type content etc created just to please google in conjunction with lots of BH linking wins the serps.
4:21 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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25 BEST.......!


At the risk of hurting ranking, I refuse to use "BEST" in any of my article titles.

I see value in "Buying Guides" and "X number of ways to …", but I've yet to see a "BEST" article show any evidence to back up the title.
4:44 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Solution? Be Known.
Get a brick and mortar, next will be fingerprints and iris scan and legal documents, just like PayPal has demanded recently.
Once known, they might trust you as a person, not just the site (trust rank ring a bell?) and perhaps that is where this is all going...but so far it's a mess.


While I agree with this statement in general, it can't hurt to have a solid real world presence...My personal experience doesn't really back it up. I have a bricks and mortar location now since January and my results still kept declining. I have a high number of five star Google reviews and I do come up in local search, but my traffic has declined steadily since last year. Compared to last June I'm down 37% and actual sales inquiries are down much more than that. This June new inquiries are so low as to almost be negligible.

I have declined much more dramatically on all the short tail, high volume terms, sometimes up to 75% drop.

It's pay to play now, but smaller businesses cannot compete with large corporate ad budgets, especially on these very high volume competitive searches. So basically Google will continue to squeeze out small players across the board because they will never be able to outspend corporate sites. Some of my competitors have dropped so dramatically since last year that I wonder how are they even still in business. Now that reality is hitting me as well. This level of inquiries is not sustainable and it costs a fortune to maintain a bricks and mortar location AND a large ad budget.
8:09 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Ichthyuous - of course what I'm saying is just speculation, but backed up by the evidence built into the devices we already know and love, *cough*....and the apparent push to verify identities. After 20 years, PayP:al is now demanding DL or passport photos, SSN docs and address verification from all US and Canadian customers. Why now? who knows...anybody else getting hit with this verification process, years (decades) after the fact?
8:54 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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anybody else getting hit with this verification process


UK - Not that I am aware of however I did receive this recently from them, do note that it specifies UK in the url:

[paypal.com...]

There's also a .pdf if one is that desperate to read it:

[paypalobjects.com...]
12:25 am on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ichthyous - brick and mortar doesnt make any difference at all. Ive had offices for years (started off as B & M business) and as things moved more and more online I closed some. In the last year I finally reduced it down to 1 single location (and had to move to a cheaper office). My business is clearly a long established one with a physical presence that is verified by google and also by third party authorities for extended SSL, PCI DSS etc. None of these obvious signs of "trust" seem to matter.

Ironically , what your saying about not being able to compete with the ad budgets of the big corporations will mean that lots of small businesses will go under and in my niche (and I believe yours is the same) the big corporations are actually just portals that resell the small businesses services so they will actually end up with no suppliers if they put them all out of business.
12:49 am on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Is there comments at Reedit? Because if so, and as I mentioned several times before, Google might value the comments about an article, more than the article itself. The comments being from several individuals might be more representative... who knows.


The article itself is about 1500 words and it's the first text-based interview with the guy in 10 years and about 6 years for TV. The comments on the Reddit thread are mostly "wow he looks amazing for his age" and "it's obviously working for him."

There are 6 comments in the Reddit post, about 200 words in total between all of them.
6:54 am on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Going back to [siliconvalley.com...] article this is not about privacy issues the fact that chrome profiles your buying habits around the web and after displaying ads / organic results to drive conversions to their favourite players is illegal .

Moreover it seems to be done in a sneaky way cause your ads may never get displayed to high potential buyers regardless how high you bid.

What we see as ads and rankings is not what buyers see in their buying process.
7:14 am on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The last update from 19 hit us very strong this time. Traffic is only 15%, sales down to 5%.
And this while we are ranking even better then ever before.
We tracked the ranking with new windows / linux /MacOS and all are looking good.
Is it localization?

BTW:
A lot (most of them ) of my competitors moved to amazon. Never been seen them there before.
8:34 am on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The level of censorship that is going on right now is really making me feel uncomfortable. I'm the left, very liberal in fact, but I don't like the way conservative voices are being shut down.

You know it's funny because if the algorithm were to look at what I watch and read, they'd think I was on the right politically lol. Because I follow JP, RR, JR and occasionally watch content from people I almost totally disagree with on many issues like crowder and others. But I do it because I find the debates interesting, and it's how I learn to counter their points when trying to argue for lgbt rights, free healthcare, etc.

I saw an interesting discussion on how Google, Facebook, and others may have created a huge problem for themselves and are now trying to reverse it. You can check it out here... It's with an ex google employee [youtube.com...]

Mercola, someone I don't necessarily agree with on many topics, is also making quite a bit of noise on his Youtube channel about this update. And also has a big article up on it.
9:16 am on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I logged into the Play Store today and it asked me by default if I wanted to also download other search engines and browsers alongside Google. I believe this is because of the power that be are pushing on them, here's the screenshot: [imgur.com...]
9:20 am on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I take it people are still seeing insane amounts of ranking fluctuations?
11:05 am on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@skaterpunk - When I said 10 best type articles I also include Buying Guides and any article that allows the author to rehash summaries of products/services. Large media brands produce these like crazy and they appear for all sorts of keywords. The reduction of domain crowding has helped a little bit with this though.
1:38 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@skaterpunk - When I said 10 best type articles I also include Buying Guides…


Let me expand.

I may write a "Buying Guide" article to create product awareness and options. But, "Best…"? Based on what? From what I can tell those authors base "Best" on the number of downloads or product (amazon) ratings. I rarely see a hint of testing or expertise. Too many individuals passing their "Best of" articles along as something equal to Consumer Reports, which has a lot of experts and resources to do proper testing, although I don't agree with all their results.

Back to your main point. Yes, regurgitated content with a 10% change should not be allowed to rank high. A teacher would give an "F" for such work, yet search engines reward these types of writing.

The problem…in my opinion…search engines are bombarded with so much content, the amount of human eyes needed to fact check is not feasible, and the AI still has a lot of work to do to aid in sorting through the garbage.

For some perspective, I suggest reading this article, which seems like it could apply to google moderating. [theverge.com...]
2:16 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I artificially boosted my traffic by sending out a newsletter to my 60k users...good to see the server get some much needed exercise.
2:17 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Have noticed something very interesting, which may help explain a lot more about what this update has been looking at, or involved. This is specific to queries of products that we sell, ecommerce, and what is now showing up in Google's results.

There are a few sites that do nothing but present a different interface to eBay. You probably have heard of one that starts with a "P" and says it is an easier way to search eBay Faster. For an exact match keyword term (not a common one, either) it has now jumped ahead of our ecommerce site. We are using the same term for an ebay listing using the same product that is also on our ecommerce site.

According to SEMrush, this Googleupdate has given this site that provides ZERO unique content, merely just an interface to eBay a 165% increase in organic traffic.

The other site just came out of nowhere, yet it is doing the same thing as the first site. Its different in than the first site, yet is the same in many ways. They are using the same eBay API interface to however build a really bare-bones view of a single category on eBay. It is a very "niche" category, has zero content outside of what they are pulling from eBay's API, and it not only ranks higher than our ecommerce website...but it also ranks higher than the manufacturer of the item that brought this to our attention.

According to SEMrush, this Googleupdate has given this site an increase of 411% in google organic traffic.

Key Points--

1) The site that has the 411% uplift in organic traffic has less than 500 backlinks, with all of them being links to images from completely unrelated websites from a content perspective.

2) The only links with anchor text are the domains URL, which has nothing to do with the keyword that was searched to show this website.

3) There is no contact information, the about section consists of a single sentence that says "<site name> was created to help you find what you are looking for using an easy to use visual search. We hope you find it useful. Bookmark & share us with friends!"

4) The website does not run under https

5) The only content outside of what they scrape from eBay's API is a privacy policy, which is poorly formatted, and clearly something that was pulled from some other place.

6) There is no structured data markup on the website

7) There is a Facebook like button showing 130 likes, and an AddThis share button showing 377 - hardly indicative of social signals being strong as the (C) in the footer shows this site has been around since 2012.

8) If one wanted an example of a "thin" page, this site would meet every definition of thin. If one wanted an example of a site that might pose questions as to the trust value of the data, it would be questionable to any disinterested third party. There is a tiny graphic on the right that has the eBay logo and the phrase "right now on" yet it isn't a link to anywhere, etc.

9) This page looks like something someone was just experimenting with. Like they wanted to see what was possible with the eBay API for creating a website and lost interest in it, and it has just sat as is. It may be passing details as part of eBay's affiliate network though? I'm not entirely sure, and haven't looked that hard.

These are two examples that increased by triple digits from this update who are doing the same thing. Neither has strong backlinks, neither has unique content, one has zero information that would build trust or produce any feelings of safety/security from the page.

There is clearly something to be learned from examining these two pages, which will likely tell you lots about this update. Will update when appropriate.
2:41 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I logged into the Play Store today and it asked me by default if I wanted to also download other search engines and browsers alongside Google. I believe this is because of the power that be are pushing on them,


Yes I saw that yesterday also and I agree - I think google has got wind of the some of the cases coming against them and are putting things in place to help support their defense
5:30 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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whoa182 wrote:
I'm being outranked by Reddit shares of my own blog post.

When that kind of thing happens, it could mean that the site is under an algorithmic penalty.
8:55 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google has crushed another (?good) site: <snip>

[edited by: MayankParmar at 9:46 pm (utc) on Jun 24, 2019]

[edited by: not2easy at 4:50 am (utc) on Jun 26, 2019]


Mod's note: URL that's been snipped was a link to an article by the operator of a controversial alternative medicine site, claiming censorship by Google for loss of rank. The views of the "Dr" are widely considered dangerous in the medical and scientific communities. I'm taking the unusual step of posting my mod's note here, because there are several comments regarding the "Dr" and the site in posts that follow, which will allow you to draw your own conclusions about why Google has algorithmically demoted it. We'll refer to him as "snip" so we don't publish his real name. I'm sure you can find it easily, but it's against our TOS to further publicize such sites.


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:37 am (utc) on Jun 26, 2019]
[edit reason] following a TOS edit with my comments [/edit]

9:18 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I just did two searches (one I know [snip] had the no. 1 spot for), and they're still there but down the bottom.

What I see is brands everywhere, especially insurance of food brands writing short articles in my niche. The articles are thin, but because a brand has published it, it will outrank a considerably more detailed and thorough article. Everything is so dumbed down now.

[edited by: phranque at 6:15 am (utc) on Jun 26, 2019]
[edit reason] TOS [/edit]

9:23 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Mayank I don't know it looks to me like that site is really spinning a thin line between real medical advice and quackery.

In my view it is really spurious when a site that is supposed to be experts in health and wellness suddenly starts becoming experts in SEO and Google updates. The common thread in all of it is that the narrative that "system" is out to get them, be it big pharma, and now big bad Google.
9:36 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Mayank, this website professes to be the nr 1 natural medicine website, writing about life threatening diseases such as cancer. I think it's pretty obvious why this guy tanked. And should be tanking.
9:37 pm on June 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Working as intended. +1 Google.
This 910 message thread spans 31 pages: 910