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Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2019

     
8:38 am on Sep 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2019
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4957935.htm [webmasterworld.com]
by robert_charlton - 1:31 am on Sep 2, 2019



I've seen a comparable drop to the first of June. Like alot of people on here (I'm becoming increasingly frustrated) I feel like alot of the drops are down to the size of our brand and not the state of our SEO. Conversations internally in the business mean that i am going to have to lean away from some of the principles that i have leaned on and tweaked for maybe 10 years. I'm going to redesign the site.

We have a high proportion of non indexable pages. Whilst these obviously dont rank, I'm starting to wonder whether the high numbers of these pages proportionally across the site are maybe having an impact on our indexable pages. I know that might sound crazy. In my head, I dont understand how that would be an issue, but maybe Google thinks i'm trying to hide something?

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 1:56 pm (utc) on Sep 2, 2019]
[edit reason] cleanup after splitting & combining threads [/edit]

7:11 am on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It seems like a lot of people don't know or care, but the largest corporations in the world are the state / system branch.

There is something called Generation or Generation Cycle that the System uses. In each generation he alternates things.

For example, in this current generation that has begun, the Private Sector and Biggest Leaders will be favored.
In the next generation, the Public Sector, People and smaller Leaders will be favored again.

It seems to me that many are now experiencing declines in their business because of this Generation Cycle.
This is something that few people care to understand.

Keep fighting for your business, trying to improve it.
But try to understand that.
When you make money, don't spend it all ... because in the next generation things can change.
8:30 am on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, same here. We have a lot of good positions but that didn't translate into higher traffic. For example, we rank very well for some competitive KWs, but on mobile there's so much going on before we get to our organic position.


I see the same. And I checked positions on Computers that realy never used for any searches related to our niche. Even in other towns and in different regions of germany ( while on vacation ).

This means:

conclusions with no good reason to be true

-the poeple do not search for our items anymore
-the poeple suddenly use different than before
-google does know that i am in front off the Computer

conclusions with maybe good reasons
-google re-orders keywords priority
-google changed synonyms

conclusion with best reason
-google removed the site from similar pool
-> my guess is that google generates a "pool" of similar sites that have allmost same strenght because of positiv signals.
When it comes to searches to searches like
widget color xyz amazon ( or different )
then sites within this pool will show up.
This is why we see every time the same big players even if the site lack of knowledge. And it seems like the edge to be inside or outside the pool is very sharp.
10:06 am on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Martin

“-google does know that i am in front off the Computer“

We all remember Sergey definition of the perfect search engine.
12:39 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samwest How come you are at the top first or second position of the SERP's but still not getting traffic?

As I said in my post and others have noted, because of everying going on above us, which is all designed to grab visitor attention before even getting to the first organic result. Search is dead for business. Social media is the last resort...but algos adapt to stop that too.
1:47 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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because of everying going on above us

Precisely and for how many years have we been saying this?

The EU supposedly reined-back the proliferation of G ads and properties and it did for a few months however it is worse now than it has ever been.

Quite often on mobile there is no organic on the first screen, it's nothing but ads and G properties.

Heavens knows who uses this ad engine, it must be the totally gullible and naive 90+% of the world's population!
2:05 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It's so interesting to see an actual human on my site. With barely a trickle of traffic, I just watched what it looks like to have an actual human visit, browse and then buy from my site. Happily every few days one manages to sneak through the gate. Then, watch them log in as a new user and access the content. All the while, not a single other visitor came by...or if "they" did, it was a zombie.
Once the customer left, traffic dropped right back to zero.
Now, if I can convert on 1 visitor every hour, imaging if we all had natural, un-throttled traffic again!
It's gut wrenching and so frustrating, like running an expensive hotel in the middle of a desert.
2:19 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samwest - Do the Google owned properties that sit above your site satisfy the searchers intent? In that I mean if they are looking to buy something then how is PAA box or whatever drawing them away from your site? Just trying to understand your situation as I don't believe in zombie traffic (maybe because I have never experienced it)
2:28 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samwest

Did you try to search on some other people devices who are not in your “phone book” ?

VPN and other sort of IPs have no personalisation so you will probably see no difference.
2:36 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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like running an expensive hotel in the middle of a desert.

Dubai? :-)
2:39 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@RB - well, yes, but it's not really what the search should produce, it's what Google THINKS the user might like instead and what they have pre-monentized...a redirection of intent perhaps and it works.

@mos - yes, of course. I started doing that years ago with incognito searches and asking friends to do searches from around the country and around the world. I also use a small army of different logged out devices, desktop, laptop, tablets in different sizes and mobile connected via a cell account and just dumb logged out wifi. Naturally they can still track by IP location. Remember when they said they'd get so good it would be scary? Well it's not downright frightening.
2:42 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have zombie traffic from e.g Mexico and other places who are not going to buy anything from my site or pay worldwide postage that costs more than the product, most of my hits are from far far away not from my country.

Today has hit a new low I had 275 hits on the 15th September and 68 today with 3 of them being from Ireland (that I saw I might have missed a couple when I made tea), 2 added products to the cart so might come back when they get paid at the end of the month.

I have had to find an alternative source of income so my site now looks like it will be a hobby instead of a full time job after all of the blood sweat tears and certification it took to get it where it is.
3:19 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samwest are you getting traffic from social media now? I am not having much luck there. Used to get some fb traffic but its long gone since the last couple of months.
3:56 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I need likes for this please. Sorry for being greedy!

Bill Lambert update:

What you are seeing is a test gone wrong. Some suits wanted to see how much ad revenue could be milked from people so it was decided this would be specifically geo targetted to certain demographics in certain countries. The update to the core algo link to geo target systems went very wrong. People will be getting traffic from all over the place even if geo target is set in search console. The bad news is even though the update went wrong the results were great. The amount of revenue was through the roof while webmasters ploughed thousands into ads, trying to get traffic back. They will now no doubt make the mistake the norm. My advise would be to block your site from gbot and start a fresh domain. Hold on to you hats because next week something much bigger will be hitting! Around the 26th-27th.


----

[seroundtable.com...]
3:59 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@stupidintelligent - That sounds like a croc of s*it to me
4:29 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Having read some of Bill Lambert's posts, the statement doesn't sound consistent with his style. Unfortunately, Bill Lambert posts as an unregistered user on SER and anyone can post with the same name. That's what I think is going on. I would ignore that post, though others may have a different take.
4:40 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@glakes - I have followed him for years. I know his (could be her) writing style. Its' real.
4:41 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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But don't go on doing anything drastic like changing the domain name. Wait it out, as they'll be making lots of tweaks.
4:51 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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"My advise would be to block your site" ?

*advice*

Does he usually make mistakes like that?
5:01 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@glakes - I have followed him for years. I know his (could be her) writing style. Its' real.

I liked your post as I did the last time about Bill Lambert. The real Bill Lambert has been spot on with his posts, and that is the type of info all of us like to see discussed in a forum. But on this post I am inclined to believe it is not the real deal.

Does he usually make mistakes like that?

Bad advice to block Google from our sites and the improper use of words does not sound like the real Bill Lambert to me. There are other characteristics that are different as well, but I'm not going to dig into details that may otherwise train a potential imposter.
5:10 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone noticed that Google Search Console data has become very unreliable and is not getting better? For example, it shows that I have a drop in clicks of more than 10% this week vs. previous, but Analytics shows a drop of less than 0.5%.
5:10 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@whoa182 - Yup. Even more so grammatically.

He says 26th and 27th. We'll all know when the time comes.
5:28 pm on Sept 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Patiently waiting for 26th/27th now :)
7:38 am on Sept 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I reanalyzed this one. It does seem to be not the real deal. There are certain subtleties that the real Bill uses which weren't used. This could be some pissed off Indian or Pakistani spammer; either way we'll know by the end of the month.
3:28 pm on Sept 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Organic search is dead not only for business, but also for informational queries. Millions of people have the "smart" devices that can answer 80% of their questions. More and more start using voice-search.

In the past, those people had to go to Google, type-in the query, and visit a site (clicking on Adsense ads). Now they skip the visit-the-site step, and they like it.
4:11 pm on Sept 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

Organic search is dead not only for business, but also for informational queries. Millions of people have the "smart" devices that can answer 80% of their questions. More and more start using voice-search

What kind of information/answer are you talking about? If an information/answer can be answered by personal assistant devices, it means that the information fits in one or two sentences. Same as the answer box of Search engines. If so, you should wonder about the pertinence of a site, which is loosing traffic because of this.
4:18 pm on Sept 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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the information fits in one or two sentences

Your response suggests you last visited google a couple of years ago. Today, answer boxes contain much more information than "1-2 sentences"; some have menu-like navigational tabs with rich media content. I'm not here to explain how Google search works today.
6:24 pm on Sept 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What are some thoughts in terms of starting a brand new site from scratch? In our case, we had a very good run for quite a few years. However, we felt that a negative effect from a core update was in the making. We escaped the updates for several years and finally got caught up in one this past March. Even though we didn't get hit before, but gained at times, we still felt that there was something off and that we were in Google's grey area. Why? We knew we had A LOT of old, outdated, VERY THIN, dead content pile up. We did not have a systematic approach in pruning or upkeeping existing content. We've upped our editorial game in the past couple of years, but still felt that on a ratio scale, the bad content would outweigh the good.

What I mean by dead content is that the informational pieces were for products that no longer exist after a certain period of time. We were in a market of writing reviews for many products, including some that just die off over time, so it was our responsibility to remove those pages as they essentially get no traffic since there's no search volume. We did not upkeep our content. We have about 2,000 URLs to comb through and deal with. That entails either pruning or rewriting/updating those URLs. As everyone knows here, that may take a substantial amount of time, resources and money to address so many URLs. We have a lot of new great content, which ranks well. Even some old content ranks well.

I was wondering if it almost makes sense to build from the ground up with a clean slate and continue channeling resources and energy into something new instead of channeling times and resources into addressing the old.

Bottom line – We'll do what needs to be done. Just trying to explore some creative solutions here.

Does anyone have any experience and thoughts on this? Thanks!
6:46 pm on Sept 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Build from the ground up so Google can tear it down again?
7:15 pm on Sept 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samwest
Build from the ground up so Google can tear it down again?


FWIW, and maybe this is just naive of me to say - we felt it coming and knew our weak areas, old crap content. To give google the slightest benefit of the doubt (even though, yes, it's hard to do), they do explicitly say that too much of thin content can drag a site down. We fell it's the case with us.
7:56 pm on Sept 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@HereWeGo123 - just do a haircut of the current website. Give it a few months and then see, because a new website will take its own time - a year or more before you can start paying the bills with it.
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