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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.
12:32 pm on Aug 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have seen many scrapped articles that look exactly similar to the original article including the word count and sub headings. The only changes they make is in rephrasing the content. So even though they have copied the original article a 100%, technically you cannot report them.

You can only sit here in hopes that Google will update it's algo so one day it has the ability to recognize original content and the copycats. But I doubt if this will ever be on their priority list.

Google COULD do this simply by comparing the publish date or better yet, the date that the SE picked up the content. Unfortunately they are more interest in how the well the content churns ad revenue...so perhaps just load your pages with up to TEN ads, because that's exsctly what the top ranking scrapers/aggregators are doing in my niche to beat my 20+ year old evergreen content site.
1:30 pm on Aug 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@pupidu

There is only one thing why google updates occur and occur very often. it is to make state of emergency for us, to make feel fear, to continue questioning ourselves.


Whilst I'm not disagreeing with your sentiments they've obviously achieved instilling paranoia insofar as you and many others are concerned.

Like many other Google watchers I realised many, many years ago what their game was when they effectively wiped-out an exclusive site of mine and stole everything I had created. I immediately played them at their own game and removed the entire site so there was nothing for them to scrape. No one in my global widget industry has ever tried to create such a site since I informed everyone what had happened.

I, too, use Windows phones since they are far superior to Android, likewise I do not use any Google services but do you know what, there are still people who do not realise that their "free apps" are simply data collection points?

Joe Public's naivety is astonishing at times!
2:38 pm on Aug 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@MP be optimistic. You might get your traffic back if it stays like today.
3:31 pm on Aug 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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...their "free apps" are simply data collection points?

Not true! They are also potentially trust-busting defensive positions to stop rivals getting off the ground.

Why pay for simple productivity / collaboration apps, when "trustworthy" G does them for free?
Why pay loads for enterprise apps for the same, when the G paid version is basically peanuts?

That said, we've sailed through most Google updates. We tend to go up when the chorus is loudest about how there are never any winners. And Google-derived revenue increases year-on-year from both Organic and Paid. I don't shout about it because you do indeed get called a shill. Or a liar. And ironically, people are less likely to take your advice, preferring to follow the advice of other members who are also trying (often unsuccessfully) to recover from the latest ding.

But I was Google-sceptic before it was cool, man! Which is one reason why we have never, ever done anything in response to Google's proclamations. Except the HTTPS on non-forms- we only did that because of Google, but that makes sense in it's own right anyway. For example, a random WiFi provider (or a nosey sysadmin) has no right to know which page I visit, even if they know the domain.

We are SEO-aware, but not SEO-focussed. While we take inspiration from SEO blogs, all our insights are data-driven from our own empirical research. Test, test, test, as the mantra once was here. (Yes, I realise that testing is harder and much, much less conclusive than it used to be. I am glad I'm not starting now)

Anyway, be aware that the reason that there are few "winners" on these threads is because
a) People naturally don't want to seem to gloat, when others are losing their livelihoods. "I recovered" is not the same as "I got yet another traffic boost".
b) Many posters are downright hostile to anyone relating success. No one wants to court hostility.
4:24 pm on Aug 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not true!


Of course they are used for other purposes however the overall implementation of these apps by JP is for one of data collection, snooping, spying, delving into one's life, and if you don't believe that I am very surprised.

I pay for the programmes I use because they are better and suit my purpose more than some of the garbage ones around and certainly, for serious business purposes, I would never rely upon anyone's free email service.

As a generalisation most SME websites do not have increasing traffic simply because of the increased amount of competition and, personally I believe, with the awful and overt ad-laden SERPs G presents to everyone. I only use G when, not very often, I cannot find what I am searching for on DDG and Bing.

Winners? I'm a winner in the sense that I rank extremely well for many of my widget products YET overall traffic compared to a few years ago is substantially down BUT at the same time realworld business is considerably up.

One thing as an OEM producer that has changed considerably over the past 10 years is that we very, very rarely get enquiries from Joe Public asking where they can purchase our products. Now how much that is because of G's advertisers OR JP realising that we do not supply the public I have no idea but overall trade enquiries have increased.
8:23 pm on Aug 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Indexing remains broken!
12:40 am on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Cant quote messages, probably due not enough posts:

All google services are rubbish. Many of them are closed and personal data was compromised. their services are complete mess and fail. remember google plus, google buzz? what was that buzz... they compromised private data in a days after release it and that had a big social impact. I have gmail since invitation period. 6 letters. When I used it last time? Maybe in 2008. even email is mess. even on android marked they had apps with malware. who knows maybe it is their invention so now they have play and protect service, or something like that, so it scans whole device and even non market apps so we can be "secure"... l m a o...who believe in that... they do not care.

Forgot to add number one spying software - Chrome. Do not touch it. Delete windows registry entries with google services. Firefox up to 59 is good, while automatically adds google cookie

For 15 years I am in it and following what is happening. Never saw more updates and all of them are made in that way that there is no winner. Maybe it is a paranoia, but, ok, it is paranoia. I just shared my hard working experience. It is up to anyone to choose what will and with what will do.
12:59 am on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I wouldnt say all google services are rubbish as they have clearly made some impressive things like google maps, pushing things like voice search etc and many more but I do share the privacy concerns especially with chrome and android (and the voice search).

I dont think you are being paranoid either, as there are clearly plenty of issues, but to say all google services are rubbish is being blinkered really. Im no fan of google what so ever but I wouldnt say that at all.
3:02 am on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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For example, a random WiFi provider (or a nosey sysadmin) has no right to know which page I visit, even if they know the domain.


Not 100% sure here but I think https do not prevent nosey admins from seeing the urls that your request, it only encrypts their content (along with cookies, POST request content, etc). It's a good thing to use all around and with Let's Encrypt, it's not an expensive burden to setup anymore.
4:09 am on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Good traffic improvements here, on all fronts - is this a mirage or what?

.
7:48 am on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Is anyone else noticing that the SERPs tracking tools don't seem to pick up the volatility like they used to? I'm seeing huge changes daily and when i look at Semrush of Moz for example it shows everything calm. We havent kept a consistent position since June for no longer than an hour... is this what organic is now?
8:45 am on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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SERPs is relatively calm after the June update, as per the tracking tools. I am also not seeing any major movements in my niche since June. There were some movements in July, but position changes were reverted.

Desperately waiting for a core update.
10:38 am on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Totally quota'ed again this week. Week can start or end with a spike of conversions, but every week the same total. Completely artificial traffic pattern...natural traffic pattern is long dead...but you know that already.
11:05 am on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Traffic is #*$! but conversion are here. Fine for me. But doesn’t make sens ...
2:07 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing huge changes daily and when i look at Semrush of Moz for example it shows everything calm. We havent kept a consistent position since June for no longer than an hour... is this what organic is now?

It appears that Google is rotating webpages in and out of the top spots to "spread the wealth" so to speak. The recent indexing problems reported may also be an indicator that Google is having problems reinstating pages involved in this rotation and is leaving them out of the index.

As far as the SERP tools go, I'm sure Google has identified most of the IP addresses these tools run on and is serving them a static/non-rotating set of results. When big/core updates occur, the static index likely changes as well. Maverick seemed to be the change point where rotation was kicked into high gear within my sector. But I'm sure this may vary based on industry.
2:28 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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As a news site, yesterday wiped us out :(
2:51 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Kasey - you saw rank changes yesterday?!
3:07 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@KaseyM Any news traffic drop yesterday could have been because of the indexing issues.
4:49 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It appears that Google is rotating webpages in and out of the top spots to "spread the wealth" so to speak.


Seems to be the case. It appears like they are doing some kind of A/B testing on the live results.
5:20 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar - exactly that. Saw maybe a 10-20% drop.
5:37 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It should go back to normal levels by tomorrow if not already :)
6:18 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Seems to be the case. It appears like they are doing some kind of A/B testing on the live results.

My organic traffic is way down today. Adwords is getting more non-productive clicks, causing the ROI to plummet. Not good at all...
7:20 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I tried to search with Google for a certain product to buy for myself.

It is a huge mess whatever AI is fixing as results is a joke. Could not find anything.

I am still confused and need to go back to “research work”

I came to the conclusion that AI only focuses on researchers or time wasters and already said good bye to buyers going direct to Amazon.
10:07 pm on Aug 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I came to the conclusion that AI only focuses on researchers or time wasters and already said good bye to buyers going direct to Amazon.


Google's mission statement has always been " to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." So why wouldn't Google "focus on researchers"?

Ads are available to serve active shoppers. What's more, if those active shoppers prefer organic results, they can easily refine their queries from, say, "widgets" to "buy widgets."
7:17 am on Aug 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes Please , anyone can tell in brief about this latest update .
12:32 pm on Aug 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Maybe its the indexing issue or not! I saw huge drop in traffic today. Its almost weekend so drop is normal but today it was like whooaa!
1:13 pm on Aug 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Holiday in some parts of the world on Monday.
3:35 pm on Aug 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It is a huge mess whatever AI is fixing as results is a joke. Could not find anything.

This pretty much sums up Google lots of ads, videos and now podcast carousels, throw in suggestion boxes it really doesn't matter its a bunch of clutter now (especially mobile). Search for "buy widgets" or "widgets" you still get the same results.

It seems that Google knows their customer base well, I say this in place of (making a derogatory comment) Want better results there are better search alternatives out there.
5:13 pm on Aug 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Search for "buy widgets" or "widgets" you still get the same results.


It looks like Google's new algo is focused on showing results based on 'searcher intent' as opposed to the keyword used for making the search.

So irrespective of the keyword used, Google shows results that it thinks fulfills the searcher's intent. In other words, the searcher is already assumed to be someone who lacks intellect, someone who cannot make their own decisions and needs to be spoon-fed.

But this is definitely not the right approach and hopefully they will stop advancing toward this path.
6:11 pm on Aug 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Search for "buy widgets" or "widgets" you still get the same results.

I tested that phrase yesterday for a number of queries (substituting other terms for "widgets"), and the results were quite different. YMMV.

One thing I've noticed is that, for some of the ambiguous queries that I watch (i.e., queries that could be either "informational" or "transactional"), more informational than e-commerce results are currently being shown on page 1 than used to be the case--at least when I'm the searcher. That makes sense to me, in light of Google's mission statement and studies that have shown most people research purchases before they buy. People who just want to buy or book something right now can easily click an ad or go directly to a vendor.
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