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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]

12:13 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a lot of movement now. For lots of keywords, one minute I'm on page 1, then page 3, and back again.


Yes im seeing jumping round also, not as severe as P1 to P3 but on page 1 Im seeing my results moving around both up and down.
12:51 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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No real changes here, I'm ranking better across the board according to SEMrush, but my actual traffic has been going down steadily. Google is killing off my non-USA traffic now. I've seem big drops in my UK traffic, Australia, Canada, Germany etc. It has not been replaced with higher USA traffic. I've had 10% of my traffic from the UK for fifteen years, suddenly now its 6.5%. At the beginning of this year my Australian traffic surged bigly and I was bombarded with inquiries from Australia. Now it's down to 3%.
1:23 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm afraid to look at my stats at this point, last year was depressing to me and very painful
1:29 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ichthyous It's summertime.
1:30 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google is killing off my non-USA traffic now

In spite of my traffic being up by 25%, indeed my EU traffic halved. I am not complaining, because my main target audience is North America, so I am more than pleased with it, ... at least as soon as it lasts.

I'm afraid to look at my stats at this point, last year was depressing to me and very painful

Take a break, walk outside, meet Friends, come back in September. It might not help with your traffic, but at least you would have spent a good summer.
1:35 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else seeing higher levels of desktop visitors? I have been deluged with mostly useless (for me) mobile visitors and now getting more desktops! Coincidence or anyone else noticing this?
1:44 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Indeed @Jez123. Since two years, I was at 50/50 , and since two days, my desktop users represent 65%. Traffic increased from both desktops and mobiles, but higher on desktops, yes.
2:21 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yeah seeing some significant changes in UK Financial Services on Google. Lots of big changes for some big websites on this topic actually.
2:35 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ichthyous It's summertime


@jdmorgan it's also summer in the USA, so traffic should be down everywhere. My UK traffic has been stable at 10% of my usa traffic for 15 years... No matter the season. Late last year and early this year suddenly UK, Canada, and Australia traffic surged while USA traffic dropped. Now it's the reverse... International traffic tanking.

It's going to hurt because those three countries provide a very nice source of sales for me, and my CTR in UK and AU are sky high compared to my currently dismal USA CTR. They also generally have money if they are making international inquiries and convert more easily than my USA customers.
2:37 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else seeing higher levels of desktop visitors? I have been deluged with mostly useless (for me) mobile visitors and now getting more desktops! Coincidence or anyone else noticing this?


Yes, but not a huge change. Maybe +5% difference so far. I agree that mobile traffic is finicky and doesn't convert as well as desktop. I'll take more desktop visitors any day for my niche.
2:50 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Everything is looking like a mess right now, not good! For example, I have an article about one specific food to help with something, and in the first 7 positions, that main keyword is not even mentioned once in the title. It's full of things like: "25 foods for..."

Mostly big brands ranking and non-relevant articles. Trust/Authority UP. Relevancy DOWN.
3:43 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Our organic traffic has taken a huge hit.. down about 20%.. but the competition is so fierce in our niche that our competitors (who have difficuty getting any organic results) are all advertising on G and so for the vast majority of our keywords, we have 6 competitors spending (wasting) on G ads. So even if we can get back the organic traffic that we have lost, G has stuffed so many ads above organic it makes it very difficult for small business. And my manager who doesn't understand all of this is very upset. He wants to compete and spend also on G ads which we have tried but the conversions are very low basically blowing most of the spend on any profit we make. Alot of the traffic from G appears to be not human but when I talk to G ads support and show them my proof, they dont have much to say.

What was a great search engine a decade ago has turned into a huge headache for small business.. pay or die.
3:55 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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For everyone that is down on traffic - someone must be up?
4:21 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@RareBit
For everyone that is down on traffic - someone must be up?


NO, nobody wins, google for years has been adding entropy to searches, so that if someone loses 1000 visits, those do not go to a single site, but are spread over a large number of sites.

With every google update... most lose and very few win.

Google will only send you organic traffic if you are popular or a brand.
4:24 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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For everyone that is down on traffic - someone must be up?


It's definitely not me, but I've been bleeding heavily since Friday afternoon so I don't know what to make of it. After two months of steady positive growth it was wiped out in a matter of 12 hours.
4:24 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Traffic drop 60% some keywords which were ranking on 1,2,3 position are now on 3rd page it seems like a penalty even though not made a single Blackhat thing.
But some which were ranking on position 40-70 are now on 10-20 so it seems like no penalty.
Kinda confused.
4:27 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Up to 50% drop. Semrush report says some keywords are now out of top 50 from 1, 2, 3rd positions.

Looks like the end of the road, it's not possible to recover from this damage :(
4:31 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a slight increase in traffic today. Nothing big, but still better than a decrease.
4:33 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@lostshootingstar

It appears to be the same here. All the slow but steady progress I've made since March has been wiped out.

Honestly, should I start building links? Because I've never done it.

This has been my roller coaster over the last 16 months:

Clicks from Google: [imgur.com...]

As you can see, steady growth, hit in August 2018, with a small increase after some updates but still trended downwards. It was after March 2019 that things started to trend upwards again.
5:13 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I dont seem to be seeing much difference in traffic levels but the traffic im getting seems to be less relevant as not a single conversion and also not even any people starting checkout (there are usually at least some checkout abandonments at least)
5:18 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Some very quick initial observations from my niche:

1. few new players are ranking high (sample backlink data from one of them, from majestic - [prntscr.com...] (hacked unrelated links, hence big number and big loss of links))
2. older (but not old) players that gained rankings with the same method are still there, not demoted by this new whatever update
3. backlinks are obviously still top notch ranking signal, stronger than ever before
4. youtube video found its way into top ten for my niche

So yeah.. from bad to worse, in just 24 hours :)

Can't wait for seo gurus to write analysis that "...after a lot of analysis of my 1000000 client sites, this update is obviously E-A-T related...."
5:27 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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this is the thing, google always making statements along the lines of blackhat backlinks dont work, will get you punished etc and it simply isnt true. My competitors win using these techniques , using PBNs, buying old domains and redirecting and setting up lots of doorway sites, adding lots of fake reviews across main review sites (especially google reviews) yet if you report them for any of this nothing is done about it . They have been doing it for the last couple of years and are continuing to use the same tactics more and more - they actually have a team of several people dedicated to doing this day in day out. It is impossible to compete with that when the playing field is so clearly unfair. I neither have the resources or the desire to compete in that fashion.
5:54 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan, that makes me so mad, as I have never implemented any blackhat tactics and I have continued to lose ground, month after month, year after year. I simply don't have the willpower to compete like this. It would, quite frankly, take the sheer joy out of it all.
6:14 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@seo2go - I agree - I could engage in lots of blackhat tactics, write lots of fake reviews for me and against competitors (as they do to me) but it goes against what I believe in. Some would say that these things are necessary in business, it is dog eat dog etc but like you say, there is no joy or sense of achievement in winning like that. The google slogan "dont be evil" seems more ironic day by day.
6:35 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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there is no joy or sense of achievement in winning like that


I do agree on that, but..
..think twice about importance of joy and sense of achievement if your sites are your livelihood.

I would bet anything that 2 out of 3 webmasters on this board are engaging in "backlink efforts" (term in quotation marks by goodroi ),
Those very same 2 out of 3 are the ones making money while the third one is watching his own cyber demise.

Sucks, I know.
6:41 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ichthyous

Google is killing off my non-USA traffic now.


Welcome to my club of the last few years with G manipulating the results in favour of their chosen ones. G has almost destroyed my USA traffic and replaced much of the USA SERPs with US sites deliberately plagiarising mine even though, I kid you not, some of which have only been created in the last 18 months whereas some of mine are 25 years old!

Supposedly this is all to do with "personalisation", sure yeah, the US consumer is being ripped-off by NOT being allowed to see who the actual OEM sources are.
6:55 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What was a great search engine a decade ago has turned into a huge headache for small business.. pay or die.


You've hit the nail on the head that several of us have been saying here for years.

Try explain to your manager that Google is now not a search engine, it is an APP ... APP?.?.?

Advertising
Placement
Platform

I bet your manager will understand that!

And the reason very few see extra traffic is that with every "improvement" they add more ads thereby pushing every site down even further!

If anyone is genuinely searching for an alternative DDG is waiting for you.
7:03 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've never seen this before - top result from the "answer box" has an image from.... a Youtube video screenshot. Clicking on it, you're taken directly to the video (not to the image). The video is not taken from the site in the answer box.

That could be game over for people who get traffic from images -- guess how many images can be created from a video. It could be also game over for the sites that managed to get into the answer box because clicking on the image is not taking the visitor to the site, but to a video not related to the site.
8:10 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Selen... google try to monetize youtube and this is ok... we need understand that youtube taking much resources... but of course we do not like that traffic to youtube is implemented in search is some unofficial way.. we feel like traffic is stolen from us...google accepting every video from users... and this is expensive to resources..so they try to monetize it...direction traffic to youtube somtimes looking really unbeliveable
8:58 pm on June 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Regarding youtube in search results...

IF a certain youtube video answers the QUERY - BY ALL MEANS - put it in, I have no problems with that. Put 10 vids in top 10 organics for all I care.
However, if a youtube video is ranking SOLELY because the title contains the search keyword... then the manipulation is obvious.

My opinion above is based on a youtube video in top 10 search results for main keyword of my niche, which is completely unrelated to the niche itself.
(video is a speeded up overview of an artist making a painting, and the "painting name" got my niche keyword in it - utterly unrelated to the niche and query itself)
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