Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.227.249.234

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Featured Home Page Discussion

Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2019

     
8:38 am on Sep 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 25, 2017
posts: 161
votes: 38


- Split out of...
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]

12:26 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member redbar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:3329
votes: 546


I mean a post carousel at the bottom of a page that changes on each refresh.


Do you get a carousel for the majority of your queries since I very rarely see one?

Does it generally show local, national or international results or something else?

I do assume that this is always checked with a clean browser?

Do all browsers show similar or just Chrome? I ask that because I saw the weirdest Google results and layout the other day on a Windows phone that had never had it's history nor cache ever cleaned.
12:30 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2711
votes: 822


@samwest
the #1, 2 and 3 positions across my main term

This is the statistic to which I was referring.
12:31 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Nov 22, 2018
posts:23
votes: 9


@samwest are you seeing impressions for these pages?
2:02 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 11, 2013
posts:383
votes: 110


There's a consolidation of power of big players. For example, if a searcher wants information about a specific country, big corporation-owned websites appear on top even though their sites cover multiple countries without any original / insightful information. Niche sites that only discuss (in much more detail) one specific country that the searcher wants hardly ever get top rankings any more.

[edited by: Selen at 2:32 pm (utc) on Sep 17, 2019]

2:29 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2018
posts: 363
votes: 204


Niche sites that only discuss (in much more detail) one specific country that the searcher wants hardly ever get top rankings any more.


and the irony is that there will OBVIOUSLY be niche sites that know their subject matter a lot better than the generic big corp sites that just use staff writers that have mostly never even been to that country - yet google likes to profess it is trying to provide the best info to searchers yet this is a glaringly obviously mistake.
3:11 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2018
posts: 363
votes: 204


literally just had a period of an hour when nobody came to my site according to GA - that is unheard of for me. I thought my site was down but I checked and it was fine. I checked SERPs for some of my common keywords and seemed the same as the last days. I think this shows that no matter what we see ourselves in google search, no matter what the serps are , what we do etc there is something that googles does/controls that can completely stop other people from finding you. People can say that it was just that noone was searching for my keywords or that the sun came out so the world stopped using the internet but I know my search patterns and 1 hour without a visitor historically simply doesnt happen especially at the time/hour it just did.
This stinks of traffic throttling, control etc what ever you want to call it and can in no way be considered a fair system. Google Raters guidelines, Good content and seo advice , blah blah blah - it is all nonsense and google is a rigged , closed system that favours those who line its pockets.
3:17 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 7, 2005
posts:366
votes: 81


@Milchan, are you saying 100% of your visitors are from search traffic? Do you not have any direct traffic or traffic from email, social networks, etc.?
3:24 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 18, 2018
posts:89
votes: 75


@Milchan are you the same individual who gets 5 million visits per month? That traffic loss wouldn't make any sense with that high count.
3:27 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User from MX 

joined:Sept 11, 2019
posts:2
votes: 1


Hello everyone.

Like you, I am also a Webmaster and I am sad to see how punished several colleagues have been with the latest Google settings.

If we could predict based on the new trends in user behaviors, technologies and devices we can say where everything is going, which path to choose, how to prepare for changes?
3:47 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2018
posts: 363
votes: 204


@Milchan, are you saying 100% of your visitors are from search traffic? Do you not have any direct traffic or traffic from email, social networks, etc.?


I get a good 90 to 95% from google organic,next to nothing from social (currently dont bother with social any more as in the past put lots of effort into it and got very little traffic and virtually none of it converting/customers). I do get direct traffic but far and away I get most visitors from google.

@Milchan are you the same individual who gets 5 million visits per month? That traffic loss wouldn't make any sense with that high count.

yes , thats the one :-)
4:17 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 27, 2019
posts:25
votes: 17


I have disabled Google shopping, 1 conversion in 7 days. No settings have been changed (by me anyway) I used to get 3-7 conversions a day.

The traffic I am getting is from google.com not google.mycountry, a lot from countries on the other side of the world, my country converts as they search "buy widget city"

Practically no sales in 7 days apart from 1 day when I got 8 sales in the space of a couple of hours, thankfully those sales will put some bread on the table as long as it is not a luxury brand.
5:23 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2018
posts: 363
votes: 204


Practically no sales in 7 days apart from 1 day when I got 8 sales in the space of a couple of hours, thankfully those sales will put some bread on the table as long as it is not a luxury brand.


This is another example of google throttling traffic in some way. I get the same thing, no conversions for lengthy periods then all of a sudden you get a burst of sales within a short space of time. That is good evidence that you product and site are good enough for customers, yet google has decided to stop customers from finding us accept when they allow it for what ever reason.
6:24 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 24, 2018
posts:85
votes: 36


@ TeresaD This seems to be a trend among many I have several sites in different niches. I have seen a similar pattern where I will have several sales in one day and then it just stops, sometimes for days or even weeks. I'm sure people will say it's seasonal but I have one particular site that has been consistent for over 5 years, sure there are fluctuations but nothing like what I have seen over the last several months.

The only way I am surviving right now is by throwing up churn and burn sites which is a lot of work but at the moment it seems to be what Google likes. I'm just glad I kept all my BH software.
7:10 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 18, 2018
posts:89
votes: 75


Google is forcing white hat webmasters to the dark side.
9:55 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 27, 2019
posts:25
votes: 17


@southernguy Ireland is a very small market which we are years behind the USA and UK. Internet shopping has not fully hit here.

I have spent years getting a Bsc degree, google qualifications and literally spent the last 10 months day after day after day fixing the technical SEO , image size and compression etc, my figures are tiny compared to some of you but I have niche widgets in a small country that people need for occasions, so small figures add up

I was up 36.65% for sales compared to last year for the first 5 months of the year, I thought after 6 years I was finally an overnight success, then it died/throttled/ghost/

I am still in "season" for debs and days without sales online including google shopping, my stats say I am way ahead of the competition on auction insights but no conversions, I am the only Irish business that is not a multiple chain with that widget so should be very searchable, GSC has my widget at 1 or 1.1 so why no conversions?

I think google broke itself and are trying to find a way to roll it back but they also broke google shopping so the we want you to pay reasoning does not work either because I was happy to pay, some numpty who is probably very young and has no idea about online business or income because he has a big fat salary for his skills....broke it
11:19 pm on Sept 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts: 1484
votes: 599


Yeah' my positions bumped up to hold #1 and #2 knocking the farmer out' yet traffic is still drip and conversions zip. Totally throttled.

How is stating that I'm at 1 an2 position considered "stats"?
12:13 am on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2711
votes: 822


How is stating that I'm at 1 an2 position considered "stats"?

Ultimately how you call is irrelevant. What are you basing your statement on? Is it simple casual checking of results by typing a some keyword in, or are you basing it on some ranking tool like semrush or whatever others may be out there?
12:41 am on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts: 1484
votes: 599


No' I'm just guessing...smh
6:52 am on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Sept 18, 2019
posts:3
votes: 5


"Practically no sales in 7 days apart from 1 day when I got 8 sales in the space of a couple of hours, thankfully those sales will put some bread on the table as long as it is not a luxury brand."



This is certainly my experience over the last few months as well. This is after running a very successful online shop in a niche for the last 14 years.
I rank very well for many keywords but the last few days although no change in ranking.. traffic is down and certainly buying traffic has disappeared.
However for a few hours a day it sort of returns to normal... it is very very odd
10:20 am on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 25, 2017
posts: 161
votes: 38


We've been hit again too....
11:14 am on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts: 1484
votes: 599


However for a few hours a day it sort of returns to normal... it is very very odd

Same pattern here. Also, either very early or very late in the day...but during what was previously the busy hours of the day, nothing. Weekly totals always an ever declining quota...while rank remains unchanged.
11:36 am on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 19, 2008
posts:1337
votes: 121


Our niche is now completly dominated by 8 big resellers. You can change the keywords in the search but the serps are mainly the same.
The organics are mostly orderd in 2 entries for every reseller. That meens you have only 4-5 organic results on the first page.
Then google insists of showing complete nonsens results. Asking for apples the serps show entries for pears. And that mostly for amazon results.

since two days sales are complete off with google. bing, ebay still converting.
11:49 am on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Sept 18, 2019
posts:2
votes: 1


I observed that in our niche we didn't lose positions or the number of impressions but the number of clicks went down. After searching on google the queries that I lost traffic to and in other 3rd party tools, they didn't tell me much, just that the results now contained an image pack.

The problem is that I searched on Google Mobile the queries and there are some featured snippets that other 3rd parties don't fetch and that on Google Desktop there are no such featured snippets. For example in my niche now on the mobile version, there is a "Interesting finds" section where you will find only AMP pages with different articles from domains that are not even in the first 10 results.

This "interesting finds" is killing my traffic.
11:56 am on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Sept 18, 2019
posts:3
votes: 5


Also, either very early or very late in the day...but during what was previously the busy hours of the day, nothing.


exactly
12:23 pm on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2018
posts: 363
votes: 204


I know of course people that have been hit or are being effected are more likely to post / complain etc and some try to defend google to some degree saying it is just those effected that complain and there are plenty that are quiet BUT it is clear as day that a lot more people are now complaining about google than in year past. Not just on here but in other forums / platforms. Also the fact that there are quite a number of us reporting similar experiences of no traffic/conversions for long periods then sudden bursts is pretty good evidence that google is doing something that basically equates to traffic throttling/ control in some way - that clearly cannot be an acceptable thing to do for a search engine service as it is controlling what the ends users can and do see. It is censorship, it is absolute bias. Regardless of the reasons google has for doing it (my suspicion is just pure profit) it needs to be stopped fast by lawmakers around the world.
1:01 pm on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 24, 2018
posts:85
votes: 36


I must admit I did in a way see this coming, it seems Google is doing the same thing to organic search that they did with YouTube where they pretty much killed off most money-making channels, there are still people making money but it does not compare to a couple of years ago.

These algorithm changes are not about EAT, technical issues, or links it's about Google killing their search for their own benefit, they have the market share and now they can do as they like. The whole search is pretty much garbage and forget page two because it's filled with web 2.0 and other irrelevant search.

Organic search is the same, there are people still making money, I think a lot depends on the niche. My Niche is full of churn and burn sites where expired domains with strong link profiles are used to sell just about anything, they rank for a few months and the die and are replaced by more of the same, some of them even using the same content from the previous ranking domains.

I feel for those with (authoritative) sites who have spent years building them and now are seeing them die a slow death, I have a couple myself, after seeing the same thing going on for over a year now I have pretty much come to the conclusion that nothing is going to change or at least in the near future.
1:03 pm on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2711
votes: 822


@TeresaD
GSC has my widget at 1 or 1.1 so why no conversions?

It is important to understand exactly what GSC is reporting in terms of ranking. In GSC it referred to as "position" and I find it very misleading. The position in GSC refers to the "average position" that you website appeared in the SERPs for the specific keyword, given that your website appeared, or stated differently your position for each impression that your website received. It does not show the position for each impression that the keyword received.

What this means is that let say users search the keyword "Widget" 100 times, out of those 100 times your website appears 10 times, 5 times in position 1, and 5 times in position 3. The position reported by GSC will be 2. Now lets say the volume of searches increase to 1000 times, but your website only appears 10 times as before and with the same ratio (5x1 and 5x3). GSC will report the same value 2. In fact there is no way for you to know whether the change in state occurred as GSC doesn't report search volumes on keywords.

By the same logic, if for say 100 searches instead of appearing 10 times your site now appears 20 times but you keep the same ratio (10x1 and 10x3) again GSC will report position 2. But in this case one will a least see a change in the number of impressions. This is exactly what was reported by @moishaha
I observed that in our niche we didn't lose positions or the number of impressions but the number of clicks went down.


Now to answer the question
... so why no conversions?

The good news is when your site appears for the keyword, it appears in the first or close to first position. The bad news is, your website is appearing in only a small fraction of the total number of searches for that keyword. This is a frustrating situation, because users are even given the opportunity to see your website snippet and then judge for themselves, you are not even invited to play.

The key metric to watch is impressions. Clicks, CTR, and Positions are all refinements without impressions you have nothing. When impressions are dropping one needs to worry.
1:37 pm on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:741
votes: 424


IMO, there's too much hype surrounding Google as it relates to ecommerce and my own stats confirm this. Google organic is dead last for sending us converting traffic and has been for a long time. Mind you we are ranked well in Google as verified locally and by different IP addresses across the nation.

https://i.ibb.co/wRMPpwp/ga-ecommerce.jpg

As many of us have witnessed over the years, Google is making every effort to keep visitors on Google owned and/or financially backed properties in their portfolio of hundreds of websites. This leaves very little traffic for websites not directly affiliated with Google. Fortunately we get repeat orders by fax, email and telephone which has become a larger percentage of our business as conversions from Google withered away over the years. Regardless, I don't expect Google to change their aggressive goal in keeping visitors on Google owned and/or financially backed properties. If anything, Google will acquire more businesses and update the algo to retain more traffic to monetize.

My advice is to build a brand that reaches beyond search. And by all means toss Google in the garbage like they have done to many small businesses...
1:54 pm on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 18, 2018
posts:89
votes: 75


A small tremor happened today. Not sure if this is going to start an search earthquake.
2:22 pm on Sept 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2711
votes: 822


I'm also seeing a drop. It started yesterday.
This 384 message thread spans 13 pages: 384