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Update Maverick : Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2019

     
3:09 pm on Jul 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4947706.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 1:17 pm on Jul 1, 2019 (utc -5)


Many advocate that to combat reliance on visits through Google Search you need to build a brand. Obviously it is not enough.
12:02 am on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Most of the sites hit at the beginning of this month have recovered. Some have recovered what was lost in the June update. Still a ways to go with a few websites. Most of the EU sites I manage are down significantly though. Not sure why.
1:47 am on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have a few pages with built-in ranking history, with an index page pointing to them.
Google is ALWAYS slow to index new pages, and they ALWAYS rank lower.
I did this to prove to myself that Google is "losing their touch".

Our new pages are indexed quickly by Google, but they sometimes take a while to rank near or at the top of the search results. (I published a new article on topic X a few days ago, and while it was indexed quickly, it ranks 12th at the moment for "topic x." I'd expect that number to improve over time, as Google gets around to recrawling pages that link to the article, recalculating links and rankings, etc.)

FWIW, "instant indexing" has been around since at least 1996. Here's a blast from the past:

[adage.com...]

Is "instant indexing" a good idea? Site owners obviously love it, and it makes sense for news, but for less time-sensitive content, it has the obvious disadvantage of making life easier for "churn and burn" spammers.
2:16 am on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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InfoSeek Corp. unveiled a new automated search engine that automatically indexes new sites as they hit the Web.

It refers to indexing new sites / domains, not new web pages.
7:12 am on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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No change for me from the June Update - still banged
3:15 pm on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Can someone please write in few words, what we have learned from this latest update and what are the thigns that are now important?
3:39 pm on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Things are slowing down. Is another core update expect in the first week of August?
5:57 pm on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Most of the EU sites I manage are down significantly though. Not sure why.


Two possible reasons and the third obvious one:

1. Much of Europe is on holiday, I have seen this trend for 20+ years and it doesn't recover until the end of August / beginning of September.

2. Are those EU sites directed towards EU traffic or USA etc traffic?

If they rely on US traffic then this is Google's continued purge of non-US business sites from their US .com SERP meanwhile they have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in promoting US businesses in EVERY other G.tld even when, usually, they are totally useless.

3. Of course the layout of G's SERPs doesn't help any website that is not paying to be their #1 ad and only expect this to get even worse. If it's not checked back soon the first page of their SERPs will only contain ads and NOTHING else which, I believe, completely and utterly contravenes the "agreement" made with the EU a few years ago.
6:00 pm on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It refers to indexing new sites / domains, not new web pages.

Actually, it did both. (I remember using a service that automatically submitted new pages to InfoSeek and a bunch of other search engines of that era. And yes, InfoSeek's indexing was very, very fast.)
6:24 pm on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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1. Much of Europe is on holiday, I have seen this trend for 20+ years and it doesn't recover until the end of August / beginning of September.


Not traffic, organic.
7:09 pm on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not traffic, organic.


Huh?

There are two types of traffic:

1. Paid for through ads or links from other sites.

2. Organic is through search referrals.

Combined both are traffic and both can easily be affected by holidays or other unkown factors such as outages.
10:19 pm on July 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@redbar - Don't forget about return traffic as well as referral spam, bots and that special fake "Zombie traffic" Google generates. ;)
12:09 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Sometimes a poster here will say that their site's rankings are much higher in bing than in google.

But google probably penalizes more sites than bing does. So if a site is penalized by google, but not by bing, it will likely rank much higher overall in bing. There probably wouldn't have been much difference except for the google penalty.
4:05 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Are you guys getting huge referral traffic? I am getting but they are not all zombie like.
5:12 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@seomotionz
I have an increase for 4 days with a huge up and down of direct. Can'"t tell if it's spammy or not.
But still tanked a lot since June.

@RedBar
Not sure if it's a good move to ban all non-US business from US database, Unless if it shows a pizzeria from Shanghai if you look for something in NY :D
8:16 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone noticed a massive drop in click through rates starting approximately last March and really getting much worse in June and July? Clicks to my home page dropped by almost half in the last two weeks although the impressions were the same. The CTR went from 1.8 to 1.1%. The click through rates for almost all of my pages are dropping like a stone, even though the number of impressions is relatively steady and so is the position according to GSC. This is spreading like a cancer slowly across all keywords. The only explanation is that Google is loading the pages with more and more crap and it's slowly being rolled out over time.


@ichthyous

Yes, I noticed the same, and have no explanation for that...

It's almost August. Anyone recovered from the June update yet?


@MayankParmar

Nope...

Other than not recovering, I still experience the same old weird behavior: no conversions for a couple of days, and then suddenly 2-3 conversion in one or two hours.
8:20 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Treud I haven't been tanked but the ups and downs in referral are constant. And today a huge surge of direct traffic as well.
8:31 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@seomotionz This direct traffic looks like bots or garbage. My bounce rate raised up from 45% to 60%. Session duration as well lowered (normal with higher bounce rate).
9:06 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Treud My bounce rate of direct traffic is not that high. Its around 30%. 3 visitors out of 20 say only have 100% bounce rate.
9:15 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Guess it's spam or botting then. Never been that high anyway.

Or Google shown my website on unrelated keywords. \_(ツ)_/
9:37 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone noticed a massive drop in click through rates starting approximately last March and really getting much worse in June and July?

I've come across several articles over the past year discussing the fragmentation of results, looking at the many possibilities beyond the ten plain vanilla links on a serp. One article recently struck me with its thoroughness, and it's too late at night now for me to rummage through my bookmarks... but the author noted that many of these results, which actually do get clicked, don't show up as stats in your page analytics. Eventually, we can hope, Google will provide more thorough attribution. I'll see if I can dig it up when I have some time, as it's probably worth a discussion on its own.

That said, it's hard to say whether the drops that many here are seeing relate significantly enough to these "auxiliary" results that the math adds up. Someone really has to analyze the numbers.

Another bit of conjecture... I see a great many poster mentions of things like "long tail pages no longer performing well"... and I think that this concept of optimization, of dedicated pages for minute variations in long and highly specific phrases, is incredibly outmoded. Stemming, or the almost distinctions you can make in phrasing... "what to do" vs "how to do it", eg... are not the main thrust of what people are looking for... and recognizing this would go a long way to solving many problems.

11:03 am on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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but the author noted that many of these results, which actually do get clicked, don't show up as stats in your page analytics. Eventually, we can hope, Google will provide more thorough attribution.


@RobertCharlton - If people were actually clicking through we wouldnt all have lost half our traffic. And assuming that these hidden clicks are somehow just not being counted by GA, what about my own server analytics which also shows a massive drop in steps from last Sept, March and June. Finally, my inquiries have totally stopped since the beginning of June and are maybe 25% of what they should be. A simpler and more accurate assessment... The massive drops in CTR I'm seeing correlates with people actually not clicking. All you have to do is take one look at the results to see that the organic serps are pushed down further and the many more options on the page now. That's exactly Google's plan, so that they squeeze us to death to force us to pay for advertising now.
12:18 pm on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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That's exactly Google's plan, so that they squeeze us to death to force us to pay for advertising now.


I honestly don't think that they care if you pay or disappear into obscurity.
12:22 pm on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've seen throttled traffic this morning, despite a busy evening. On and off like a tap.
2:16 pm on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Question: To bloggers/aff marketers who got negatively affected by this update, what options are you considering going forward?

1. Start new sites/blogs where EAT is not such a major factor.
2. Work toward building EAT for your existing blog.
3. Work for someone else or offer a service of some sort.
4. Wait patiently for Google just might roll back this update.
3:07 pm on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Treud

Not sure if it's a good move to ban all non-US business from US database, Unless if it shows a pizzeria from Shanghai if you look for something in NY :D


The thing is though this is precisely what Google has been doing the past few years and especially so in my industry of specialised construction products.

In fact very recerntly an architect / specifier was on here complaining that G's SERPs were so bad that they couldn't find the original manufacturer for specific products, all they could find were cheap rip-offs or local suppliers neither of which is of any use whatsoever when guaranteed product specifications and standards have to be met.

For instance I am the largest raw supplier and one of the biggest producers in India for one of my industry's top five worldwide widgets. For years I have had a totally dedicated site to this product together with its registered trademarked domain name. A couple of year ago the regular and consistent traffic to this domain started to fall and I soon found out why. Two American companies basically copied the most important information from this site, re-hashed it and presented it as their own.

Anyone reading either site can easily see it as being a copy of mine but would G do anything, of course not, they're both US based and selling direct to the US trade and public whereas I am merely their "supplier" ... BUT ... No I am not, they are both buying from alternative competing producers.

That's just one specific widget I have however I could show you hundreds more and it astonishes me as to how the hell G is ranking them since many of these pages are simply worthless and often with incorrect information BUT they're American, that's all they seem to care about, there is undeniably, in my industry, a heavy Google bias towards US companies and in most of their tlds.

I see in my industry US retail companies ranking #1 with extremely poor product information and images YET they're from the US and seemingly get an automatic boost no matter what.

Believe me when I say this is a huge talking point at major trade fairs with even US importing buyers complaining that original exporting producers cannot be found. One of my Indian sites from the 90s, on a .com, used to get 95% non-Indian traffic, these days 90+% of its traffic is from India and this despite the fact it is a 100% EOU (Export Oriented Unit) and has been for 50 years.

Furthermore using DDG, and quite often Bing, and their results are much more representativ for my industry.

I am absolutely sure that someone in the US will now post saying that all they can see are non-US sites for their industry therefore the question has to be just how is Google getting it all so wrong for some / many queries?
3:09 pm on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We had a weak G organic month of July.

Compared to previous months it was down, and compared to last year it was also down.
4:24 pm on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ReBar

Im supplier myself, I live close to factories do easier to do Quality Inspection, but yes Im outrun by other websites selling same products in drop shipping. More expensive but in the US. (US and Germany are major markets for these products)
6:52 pm on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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1. Start new sites/blogs where EAT is not such a major factor.


Yes. I'm seeing people have good success with creating several blogs outside of YMYL and they're not experiencing this Google craziness. Just a smooth upward trend. No link building, just writing content and leaving it and then moving onto the next site. Some of these blogs which only have around 30-50 posts are earning $1000-2000 a month just from Amazon Affiliate sales. And then some reach enough traffic for premium ads.

I personally would have rathered commit to one niche (at least for a while) before branching out. I think by staying in the health niche I'm making things 10x harder for myself. Plus I learned a lot and won't be making the same kind of mistakes as before...

2. Work toward building EAT for your existing blog.

I'm going to continue to write content here and there but focus more on building relationships and networking. In the long run, I think I will succeed, but it's probably going to take a while.

3. Work for someone else or offer a service of some sort.

Hmm, good idea. :)

4. Wait patiently for Google just might roll back this update

I have a bad feeling that they've largely achieved what they set out to achieve, especially in the health/diet/fitness niches. I think they've raised the bar way too high for A & T in E-A-T that Web MD, Healthline and other massive sites will keep dominating if Google continues this direction. You can have the experience, you can show expertise, but if you don't have the other two, it doesn't seem to matter anymore.
7:29 pm on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The biggest problem with EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is that only established / mainstream thoughts qualify. There must be "experts" in a given field to confirm "expertise" of other "experts." 40+ years ago, people who said that smoking can cause cancer were right, but by today's standards their voices would be oppressed because the mainstream "experts" (typically corporations that benefit from lack of true knowledge) don't agree with them.
8:21 pm on July 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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After seeing a few up days, followed by few down days it looks like the net effect of Maverick and other updates (if any at all) were essentially, nothing. The only thing that continues in my case is the slow bleed trend, loosing less than 5% of traffic over the month. This long run trend seemed to have started in December 2018 and has continued without interruption. There was even a slight correction in March where traffic stepped up, but the trend continued. I have lost about 40% of my traffic since the start.

Oddly over this same period CTR has risen. Far fewer impressions, higher CTR, resulted in a marginal but cumulative loss in the clicks.
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