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5:43 pm on Aug 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Mod's note: The following 37 messages were cut out of...
Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2019
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4957935.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 4:00 am on Sep 2, 2019 - (PDT -8)


See notes at the end of the August updates thread and near the beginning of the new Sept updates thread, about the clean-up in progress on several threads at once.

Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2019
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4962430.htm [webmasterworld.com]

This discussion is about "Google, big tech, disruption, and the international marketplace".

The "Aug - Sept Updates" material will eventually be removed from this discussion, and most of this mod's note will then be dropped...
</end mod's note>



------- post by Milchan ------

Google are only going to make people stay on google properties more and more meaning everyone logically gets less traffic and they are hoping people revert to paid ads with them and increased revenues.

It is the clear path they have been following these last years and the only way that will change is if they are forced to do so by legislation or one possibility is they might revert things slightly themselves at some point in order to try to placate the judges in any upcoming anti trust cases - that would only be a temporary change though and they would find another way to follow the same route in a more disguised fashion.

The only way google will be stopped at this point (and others like Amazon, facebook etc) is :

1. If there is serious changes in the law - unlikely as those in charge dont understand these things enough.

2. If there is a big backlash from the public and they move away from using such services in protest - unlikely as most people don't understand the impact or care.

3. If someone comes up with a new tech/service that disrupts things to the point where it destroys the models these companies work on - this is probably the best hope and is in fact probably quite likely. I don't know what it is (if I did I'd be doing it!) but I think it is inevitable that the next big evolution is the 'disrupting of the disrupters' when there are less and less old things to disrupt. It will be satisfying ironic if google is brought down by such a disruption, although who knows what the replacement will be like.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 2:33 pm (utc) on Sep 2, 2019]
[edit reason] Cleanup after thread split to new threads [/edit]

6:23 pm on Aug 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My observations so far:
- US traffic is down today. US mobile has dropped much more than US desktop, which hasn't moved much.
- Non-US traffic is the same.
- A huge jump in direct traffic (which is mostly mislabeled Google traffic) at the expense of Google traffic - I think this happens when Google is tinkering with something, don't know if it's intentional on their part.
- Can't find a reason for the drop in US traffic - my main keyword positions are pretty much the same.
- Semrush Sensor and Mozcast show a jump in shopping ads on Google in the past two days - consistent with observations of previous updates. This can have an effect on traffic, especially mobile.
- Google has again picked for its update a time right before a holiday, likely to make it harder to figure out which movement in traffic is due to which factor. The jump in shopping ads could be for the same reason, or not.
- Some states in the US are expected to be hit by a storm in the next few days, so this is an additional factor that would cause local traffic fluctuations.
8:50 pm on Aug 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Webmasters can hear more and more about "dangerous content" which could directly impact rankings - but how is it defined?
9:11 pm on Aug 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This is a major holiday weekend in the US and Canada (Labor day). Expect traffic patterns to shift because of it for some niches.

@Milchan regarding #3 - The internet has been around for a while now and has matured to the point, while we are always going to see change, we will not see huge leaps forward in a short period of time. I doubt a new model for doing business will happen any time soon. The best we can hope for is either government intervention (which will come with its own problems) or another player entering the market (more competition) where Google starts to loose enough market share where it forces them to change their ways.
12:43 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@jesterMagic - I wouldnt be so sure that something wont come along that disrupts things big time. Now that might not be a new model for doing business for example but something like a new tech that disrupts googles core business (or facebook, amazon etc). We dont know what that is yet of course but for example something like a highly distributed tech could evolve wereby the datasets & algos that google has collected are not required to produce better search results and also mean that no single entity has control of the data. Im just vaguely theorising here so obviously I cant be clear, but think something like a high speed blockchain system that is constantly adapting to keep an index of content on the internet working with an AI system to return relevent results. All sounds far fetch now but think back 10 years ago and driverless cars, the ability to control things via neural links and mass consumer digital voice assistants were all far fetch ideas. The rate of innovation is increasing exponentially year on year .. some incredible things will be appearing sooner than most of us realise.
6:23 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Labor day holiday coming up. Expect your US traffic to drop unless you got a big, big boost by the recent update.

I would probably wait until after the holiday to gauge how much your rankings/traffic was really affected.
7:23 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In my case, I have to search the keyword in Google News and if the site is on the last past, the last position - I have not recovered. As of now, the site ranks last.

I am not seeing any movements here. It could have been a normal update that benefited/affected some sites in some niche, but definitely not a core update like the one we had in June.
8:07 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Herewego If there is one thing I've noticed about Google, it is that they don't want to be predictable. If you go through their recent article about the core update (https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2019/08/core-updates.html) they mentioned "each day" at the very beginning of the post, the past 2 - 3 few days may be just some of those days.
9:38 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan : excellent observations about future potential. The EU is currently initiating a Euro 100 billion fund to support such "far fetched" global digital initiatives that shortly may not appear so far fetched. The likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and other vicious US abusive monopolies are strictly excluded from such funding.

I would not be much surprised if this fund is largely expanded by a 3% turnover tax on the current tech monsters. While some EU countries have recently individually initiated such policies (ex. France), I foresee shortly a coordinated EU directive to tax tech monsters and use the proceeds to support the currently stifled innovation. Great fun to watch.

It's never too late for chocolate.


.

[edited by: heisje at 9:50 am (utc) on Aug 31, 2019]

9:42 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Turns out it was a slight tremor that mainly impacted sites that were already under the radar i.e., med, coupons on newspapers etc. Nothing major elsewhere and it's already Saturday. But the who knows; I'm just bricklayer.
10:22 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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[semrush.com...]

All looks normal today. Probably there was a small update or something else that trigged trackers.
10:22 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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[semrush.com...]

All looks normal today. Probably there was a small update or something else that trigged trackers.
10:55 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So, Bill Lambert turned out to be a phony. Or, is it too early to use that word.
10:56 am on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar

<maybe a bit offtopic>

As a regular visitor to your site I'm going to write something that may seem stupid to some however it is very relevant to my businesses.

Mostly we run Windows mobile phones, 650s, 930s, 950s, 950xls and even still some 1520s. All of them as phones and, especially cameras, still operate perfectly however tomorrow, 1st September, we have at least 50 transitioning to various model Apple phones because of FB's decision to stop supporting WhatsApp at the end of the year.

Already I have been having problems with WhatsApp, especially sending videos, and as a company we send a huge amount of photos and videos to clients around the world direct from the field and the factory floor.

MS itself has already advised Win mobile users to move to Apple or Android (never, never never) therefore my question to you, at long last, is do you feel that this transitioning to different phones may be having an effect on your traffic. After all there are millions of Win mobile users worldwide, at one point they had something like 13% of the UK market alone, therefore this must be bound to have some kind of relevancy?

Maybe G has downgraded Win user sites?

I have no idea, how are your genuine competitors fairing, not the scrapers?

I appreciate that your site is for all Win users however is the average Win user as geeky as the average Apple user?
1:26 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I would not be much surprised if this fund is largely expanded by a 3% turnover tax on the current tech monsters. While some EU countries have recently individually initiated such policies (ex. France), I foresee shortly a coordinated EU directive to tax tech monsters and use the proceeds to support the currently stifled innovation. Great fun to watch.


Yes I agree, I think the EU will follow the lead of France also as you say although im unsure what the UK will do seeing that Brexit seems likely to be executed end of Oct and they will be looking to the US to get a trade deal asap.
Whilst the US clearly leads the way with the big tech companies there are still plenty of places outside of the US that are home to very good tech talent. The likes of Russia and Estonia for example. So many people are focusing on tech now and cutting edge things like AI, distributed algorithms, robots, nano tech, bio tech, quantum computing it is inevitable that there will be some game changers sooner or later.
1:30 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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yesterday my traffic was super low, the second lowest ever with the lowest ever being this month also. Today looks like I am going to break the record again if things continue along the levels I am seeing. Dont know if it is a new algo having an effect or just the time of year - it is normal for traffic to drop for me end of August and during september anyway.
2:03 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@RedBar No to 'G has downgraded Win user sites'. Others are doing well, including the low-quality sites.

I was probably caught in the crossfire of June update and I guess the site will recover a part of its traffic when a new core update is out.
2:05 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan The three days long holiday might be the reason.
2:15 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The three days long holiday might be the reason


It could have some effect but I have a very dispersed customer base so not just US , so holidays there do not have as much an impact as they would on a US focused site. For me , this time of year coincides with a lot of young people returning or starting collage/uni and that can have an effect.
3:15 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Turns out that nothing really significant happened here either.

On another note, you know that Google is broken when you search for something like: "widget comparison with widget2 forum"

I'm indicating to google that I am looking for forum results... but nope! Google gives me Healthline, MedicalNews, NHS. Not a forum in sight! :)

DuckDuckGo gave me what I was after on the first page.
3:34 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Whilst the US clearly leads the way with the big tech companies there are still plenty of places outside of the US that are home to very good tech talent. The likes of Russia and Estonia for example


Why does everyone always forget the two biggest markets and where there is so much talent, China and India?

That's from where the disrupter will most probably emanate, someone with no preconceived western ideas / notions, someone who will look at stuff completely differently instead of the "same old, same old" that is taught in the west.
6:16 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If it is indeed true that this update was looking at dwell time or something similar, then it was always going to have a low impact in my opinion especially considering how Google has previously said this is a "spammable" signal. They are probably looking for outliers similar to the speed and layout algos.

Also, I don't think such an algo can override link based algos. Links are still a big component in how Google determines quality, Matt Cutts has said in the past that they've tried results without using links as a signal and they were garbage. Therefore, an algo that's doesn't involve links has a big chance of resurfacing spam.
6:43 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Entertainment niche site that saw a 15% drop on August 29th
8:46 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Let's talk about AI.
I had this song on my head, but it was to vague to know what was the song. For search, I had some words from the lyrics, a melody, nothing more.

With that few, I search Google. I pray google. I summon Google. Nothing.

I knew some of the words weren't good. But some were good. Google gave me rubbish.

It try hard to know what I wanted, but it failed.

I went to DDG. Second result HA!

It was "come undone" from Duran Duran BTW.
9:03 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Why does everyone always forget the two biggest markets and where there is so much talent, China and India?

Because little truly innovative (disruptive) has yet been generated there - it is still copy/paste. Society structures (China/totalitarian, India/sectarian) are not exactly conductive to true innovation. Liberty is the essential ingredient to disruptive innovation. They both have a looooong way to go.

Compare Israel to China / India and see what I mean.


P.S.: Remember we are a bit (!) out of thread topic here :) - Google Updates and SERP Changes

.
9:19 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'd bet on Israel over India and China any day. Far more tech innovation comes out of that country than the former two combined. Even Russia is way ahead of them both.
10:12 pm on Aug 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Our editorial travel-planning site had a really good day today (in terms of both traffic and revenue), but I don't think it had anything to do with Google updates. It's more likely that people (especially Europeans) are back from the beach and are planning their fall vacations.
1:20 am on Sept 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Why does everyone always forget the two biggest markets and where there is so much talent, China and India?


I didnt forget , I just put a couple of countries as examples (which is why I put example)
4:39 am on Sept 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Despite the limited discussions on the update and the SEO metric tools calming down today - there is still (or was) something going on. Noticing fluctuations on many KWs. One moment I'll see a certain set of positions in SERPs, a few moments later something different. Maybe it's just for the keywords I'm checking. If it's not a broad core update, then what may seem larger from my standpoint may seem like nothing to others. All really depends.
11:48 am on Sept 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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That's from where the disrupter will most probably emanate.

@RedBar : did you mean Chinese and Indian talent studying and migrating to North America & the EU? If so, true. It's already happening.

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