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Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2019

     
10:07 am on Aug 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 12 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4951811.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 10:33 am on Aug 1, 2019 (utc -5)


Can someone please write in few words, what we have learned from this latest update and what are the thigns that are now important?


1. Don't rely on Google for your income and 2. "They moved your cheese". What's important? quality time with friends and family.
3:52 pm on Aug 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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All in all it is another step Google has taken to keep users on their site by displaying more of our content in the serps.


I don't expect users to come to my site if a single sentence that is under, what…160 characters, can answer their question. Just like I don't feel the need to visit a site for a quick weather overview…I get that from a widget or app. But, when I want to get hourly and 5-day details, I will go to a site.

I don't blame any SE for making the web more efficient.
4:46 pm on Aug 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Looking back on late July and the first three weeks of August, we had an uptick in Google traffic of about 15% on August 3, and the increase has held. Otherwise, "same old, same old," with our top-performing pages being the same ones that have been doing well along.
8:25 pm on Aug 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I don't expect users to come to my site if a single sentence that is under, what…160 characters, can answer their question

@skaterpunk This was coming up for a brand name keyword. You have a listing with a summary along with 10 faq questions and answers the user can get a pretty good feel for the product without visiting the actual page and stay on Google.

Regarding the weather, sure you get it from a widget or app but that is different, that is coded by some company and not a search result.
1:58 am on Aug 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm familiar with what you are talking about, but in my user experience I have always clicked to a page when researching or looking for detailed information. I don't recall this truncated FAQ section being able to fully answer my inquiries.

Maybe I'm being thickheaded, but I'm not seeing how an article worth writing - not an article that is wrapped up in one paragraph and can be fully summarized in a FAQ block - is getting hurt by this?
2:07 am on Aug 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I'm being thickheaded, but I'm not seeing how an article worth writing - not an article that is wrapped up in one paragraph and can be fully summarized in a FAQ block - is getting hurt by this?

Well, some queries are from people who just want simple answers ("34 degrees F in C," "current temperature in Widgetville," or "capital of North Dakota." But even people looking for simple answers may click through if they're offered more information. (The "bus fare in Widgetville" may be a dollar, but if the blurb promises information on children's and senior fares, how to buy tickets, and what passes are available, the searcher may very well be tempted to visit the Web site.)

For what it's worth, our most popular page--and the one that draws the most traffic from Google--is for a queries that can be answered in a word or a sentence. It's featured in a Google's answer box, and plenty of searchers come to our site for more information.
7:51 am on Aug 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What I actually see is that new content is crawled within a hour but is not visible within the index. Even the Search Console says that the site is online and that there are no problems. Does anybody else have issues with indexing at the moment?

Beside that traffic did not really improved since the June Update - Still a loss of about 90%.....
12:58 pm on Aug 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Significant increase in crawl rate for all my sites over the last 2 days. Big update incoming me thinks.
2:30 pm on Aug 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing something similar. Seems like a big update is coming soon.
2:34 pm on Aug 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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All of my six sites have had small traffic increases (about 5% -15%, depending on the site) over the past week or so. I'm pretty sure that it's mostly due to students in the U.S. returning to school.

Every year traffic on my sites tends to drop in May (school year ends) and then recovers in August (new school year starts). Different U.S. school districts vary somewhat in their school year schedules, so the gains and losses are spread out over a few weeks.
8:25 pm on Aug 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What I actually see is that new content is crawled within a hour but is not visible within the index.

Recently, I've been noticing that our pages which have been linked from the home page are indexed quickly. (Ditto for images that were featured on the home page.)

I'd assume that's because the home page is crawled more frequently than lower-tier pages are, but it's always possible that other factors come into play.
12:32 am on Aug 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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August : Marginal but constant improvement here (traffic/conversions).
Not only seasonal.

Short lived?
Who knows.

.
1:23 pm on Aug 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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About crawling spikes, looking at 3 sites on same niche. The spike only happened on a site under algorithm penalty, the other 2 sites saw no spike on same dates.

Screen: [i.imgur.com...]

So questions: Did you see crawl spikes on 8-13 and 8-20? Was it on sites hit by penalty only or all sites?
1:40 pm on Aug 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing any changes, but a small decline this month. I suspect that one of my competitors is using black hat techniques to knock the rest out of the box. As soon as I disavow one spammy site sending hundreds of toxic backlinks to my site another one takes its place. It takes Google almost a year to remove backlinks from my profile for these toxic domains, or they just vanish on their own. Most are links from pages with redirects to unrelated sites. They seem to be hacked or not sure what the purpose is.

I am also seeing a pattern that when new links are obtained my rank actually goes down at first, then slowly increases over time. It's as if Google first places the links in a sandbox (perhaps if they are overly optimized with target keywords?), then slowly the penalty fades if the links remain stable in place. I have seen this pattern for a couple of years now. In any case, the overall effect of gaining new links seems to be strongest with the first links from a new domain. Any additional links from the same domain seem to count for less, even if they link to/from a whole different range of pages. Anyone else seeing that?
2:03 pm on Aug 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am also seeing a pattern that when new links are obtained my rank actually goes down at first, then slowly increases over time.

There's an old theory that google's algorithm gives hardly any credit for a newly-discovered backlink, but then slowly increases the credit until it reaches a plateau after a year or so, but then after a few more years the credit begins a long slow decline. This is just an old theory.

Possibly in some cases the algorithm could be suspicious of a new backlink and give it negative value initially, but then later gradually start giving it positive value
2:29 pm on Aug 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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ive seen a decline since Thursday 15th with conversions from, that point being very low
3:43 pm on Aug 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing very few inquiries coming in at all...perhaps 1/3 of what I used to see coming it. It's pay to play now with Google, and I am still refusing to pay to place ads. I would rather find new ways to market myself than waste money on Google ads...been there, done that and it didnt result in sales at all
7:09 pm on Aug 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure who posted about domain crowding in Google being resolved; this is an example of a result I've just experienced on some general term - first 6 results from only two domains, like:

1. example-1.com

People also ask

2. example-1.com/category/a/
3. example-1.com/category/b/
4. example-2.com/category/c/
5. example-2.com/category/d/
6. example-2.com/category/e/

I noticed that example-1.com also advertised (on 2nd page) in Adwords; perhaps that's why domain crowding is allowed in organic search for them.
7:52 pm on Aug 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing very few inquiries coming in at all...perhaps 1/3 of what I used to see coming it. It's pay to play now with Google, and I am still refusing to pay to place ads. I would rather find new ways to market myself than waste money on Google ads...been there, done that and it didnt result in sales at all


Exactly the same for me. Ive tried adds before and it simply doesnt work for me so its pointless spending money on it. I see google as a lost cause now really.
8:46 pm on Aug 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've notice a large spike in crawling in the last few days as well by Google.
6:50 pm on Aug 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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There seems to be a recurring pattern for me...very low traffic and no inquiries, followed by a burst of low quality inquiries from far off countries I do not serve. Maldives? Ecuador? Then perhaps a bit better traffic and a few real inquiries from relevant customers for a week, then back down again. Most of the solid inquiries from USA/UK/AU/Canada gone since June.
7:15 pm on Aug 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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there is definitely some form of throttling/control going , or at least something google does that effects levels and quality of traffic. Sometimes as well I see traffic from places Ive never heard of that seems unlikely to be legit - yesterday for example I had 3 concurrent visitors from 'Swakopmund' , which I had to look up as Id never heard of it.
I think UK traffic is effected a bit by the whole Brexit debacle for my niche at any rate. At any rate though, traffic patterns are not natural any more and are effected by google more than any other traditional influences.
11:10 pm on Aug 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ Milchan Yes, all the normal traffic patterns that held for years are gone. Strange, clipped weekly traffic that makes no sense, big drops from one weekday to the next, etc.

I'm actually thinking about removing Google Analytics code from my site...why should I give Google any info about my site anymore if they aren't going to refer any traffic? I don't glean anything useful from it except to show me which bots from Amazon, Relativity, or MS are hammering my site night and day.
12:52 am on Aug 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm actually thinking about removing Google Analytics code from my site...why should I give Google any info about my site anymore if they aren't going to refer any traffic? I don't glean anything useful from it except to show me which bots from Amazon, Relativity, or MS are hammering my site night and day.


Was planning on doing the same. Im going to be moving / setting up a new server setup and want to implement an analytics solution on that directly rather than utilizing GA for the same reason. It will also mean one less .js file for the site to load also.
10:02 am on Aug 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm actually thinking about removing Google Analytics code from my site...why should I give Google any info about my site anymore if they aren't going to refer any traffic?


I'm thinking the same. G were great 10 years ago, but not so much now. I'm looking at bypassing them altogether.
10:53 am on Aug 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I used Google analytics and their search console years ago, I had 5 sites one got penalized and then ranking began to fall on the other sites (could have been a coincidence). Yes, the site that was penalized was not pure whitehat but I felt it just made it easier for Google to track them. I now avoid all their tools like the plague and have not used them for over 5 years and no issues.

While some say that Google has the data anyway, they may have, but why make it easier on them.
12:49 pm on Aug 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Over the last few days, my average time on page has gone from 4 minutes to 8 minutes. Average session time from 1 minute to 2 minutes. Bounce rate is significantly down, among other improvements. Noticing little spikes in traffic.

No spike in Googlebot activity yet, but maybe it'll come...

[edited by: whoa182 at 12:50 pm (utc) on Aug 26, 2019]

12:49 pm on Aug 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan UK traffic is very uneven that's true. I don't know if its because of Brexit or something else!

Anyway slow rise in traffic today during the early hours. But then it fell rock bottom. What I am seeing that fluctuations never last for days now it last for hours.
12:52 pm on Aug 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Seomotionz

We're in the middle of a heatwave here in the UK and it's a bank holiday weekend. Lots of events are happening around this time as well... So that could be why.
12:56 pm on Aug 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@whoa182 I hope that it would get fixed for you when these events are over.
7:22 pm on Aug 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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i have a question.
why google in first months ranked website and in other month decrease rank?
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