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Google September 2019 Core Update

     
12:32 pm on Sep 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 22 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4962430.htm [webmasterworld.com] by brett_tabke - 9:39 am on Sep 24, 2019 (cst -5)


Holy #*$!, official core update will be rolling out later today!

[twitter.com...]
2:59 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing very low sales compared to last year, a crazy high bounce rate and watching literally nothing happening.

Same here. Google cut our pageviews in half and a bounce rate that matches (doubled) as compared to the pre September update.

Hypothetically, if someone is ranking for their important keywords at the top, where they always have, how would Google “regulate” the type of traffic that comes to you for the right intention? If you're ranking, you have an audience and there's a search volume, help me understand, how does google regulate zombie vs. good buyers that enter your site for the intended key phrase, which you're ranking for?

Some call it personalization while others call it manipulation. There are no static organic ranks. You may rank #1 for a keyword but someone a hundred miles may not even find you on the first page. Google uses smart bidding strategies for Adwords, which rely on machine learning. There are a variety of signals Google uses to detect a likely buyer and diverts that buyer to whomever they want by displaying specific ads from what one would assume to be the highest bidder. This same technology is believed by some to power the "personalization" features in the organic search results too. Some believe Google does this to funnel people into Google owned/invested properties or to sites with Adsense ads. Yet others believe Google is simply rotating traffic to various pages because there are so many competing for traffic.
3:15 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Okay, now I'm seeing huge fluctuations. Some of my pages have gone from page 10+ to pages 2 - 5. Hasn't really resulted in any change in traffic, but seeing ranking improvements across multiple keywords that I'm looking at. Even if I gained a little back from what I lost in June, it would be nice.
4:11 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@whoa182
Okay, now I'm seeing huge fluctuations


Now that's what I'm talking about. What niches are you monitoring?

After some big volatility yesterday evening, it was a bit quieter today throughout the day. But the volatility began once again a couple of hours ago. We saw a nice uptick in positions yesterday and they stuck ever since. Almost seems as if Google dials in closer in the evenings while people are unwinding so that people aren't obsessing over the volatility during normal working hours (That's me).

@glakes - Thanks for that. Appreciate it. I can see how that makes sense with the AdWords. In terms of organic, trying to wrap my head around. I can definitely see how results aren't static and can be different throughout various locations, but again, depends what niche, KW, etc. I guess this particular aspect is new to me. Is there any evidence or data to back this up?
5:56 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting my lost traffic back bit by bit. This is rather slow unlike the last update that went wild within 2 days. I'm gaining daily traffic boost since Monday, I'd say 10% increase day by day since Monday. Some of my lost keywords are back to page one.

@Whoa182 I hope you get your traffic back. We've all being in the same shoes (although I operate a tech informational site) since June, including MayankParmar, I hope things get better for us.
6:37 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Overall it looks like a good update until now but you never know ..
7:27 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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For me this is another bad update:

Got hit in August 2018 (- 70%)
Recoverd half in March 2019 (+35%)
Got hit again in June 2019 (-20%)
and now arround (-15%)

that mean the 35% recovering from march 2019 is gone again.

I am in the medical sector with user generated content (seems to be evil for G). Some hospital, goverment and pharmacy pages rank me out for keywords they dont have on the site.
7:27 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I really hope this is June reversal.... I suspect it wont be though. I've been scorned too often... lol
8:25 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have had around 60% jump in traffic from Yesterday, I was hit by the June core update and changed nothing to my site since then. I actually gave up.

These updates just go to show that when an update is rolled out, Google itself doesn't know if it will make search better or worse.
9:13 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Whatever happens during updates affects the conversions from ads as well which should not be the case.
9:42 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yeap. Adsense is dead, traffic pattern changing again: the update is rolling out. Hope that these are final tweaks of the last update. And I'm pretty happy with it.

[imgur.com...]

Thanks, big G! Someday you'll make me trully rich!))
10:01 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@glakes

You are correct if you do go 100 miles away and your phone is not tracked you see different results but only if your site has not been visited before from the device you searched.

So technically any new buyer only if has not visited your site before will eventually find you on the second page.

AI is picking winners here but also if you are on second page for fresh buyer searches what is the traffic you are getting and plenty of?
10:51 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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AI is picking winners here but also if you are on second page for fresh buyer searches what is the traffic you are getting and plenty of?

In my previous post I did not dive into the signals that Google publicly uses for smart bidding/targeting or the creepy signals they likely use and don't disclose (data obtained from Chrome browser history, Gmail, etc.) or how retargeting may play out in organics as well. That's alone is worthy of its own thread. My guess is the same technology/features Google uses for paid ads is also to some degree applied to organics as well. This may be why conversions from paid ads drop substantially during major updates when filtering rules may be off which allows ads to be displayed on very low performing queries.

I rarely visit the second page of any search result, whether it be Bing (my preferred search engine) or Google. Mostly tire kickers/info seekers are visiting page two or bots. They don't buy anything, though being on the top of page two has its benefits with far less clutter.

We'll see how this plays out today. It's very quiet on Amazon, and few orders are coming in. Could it be Google finally squashed some of the massive Amazon crowded SERPS in my industry? Still too early to tell IMO.
11:55 am on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@glakes

And yet not all the websites are subject to revenue personalisation. Some players have steady results/ads everywhere you search from.

Maybe our social scores are not high enough.
2:02 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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DailyMail not only got a boost but increased its traffic double digits after this update. The myth of user experience being a ranking factor should only be believed by authentic retards.
2:21 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I suspect for anyone who is a Howard Stern listener that it is the cause for DailyMail traffic increase.
2:21 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I was away and not paying attention to the vagaries of Google...I see a big traffic bump from Sept. 7th or so and it has remained higher since then. I suspect regular back to school traffic pattern...if there is an update underway now I am not see increased traffic but my visibility is increasing rapidly in SEMrush while other top competitors are either rising sharply or dropping sharply...like some kind of rotation. I did absolutely nothing...in fact was on vaca for three weeks and didn't even look at Google, SEMrush or my website.
2:29 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Those who have been negatively impacted by the March / June updates and experience recovery on this update - did you change anything substantial?
3:25 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Recovered completely from June diaster.

In June, July and August - I worked on:

EAT improvements (rewrite author bios, about us page).
Nuked thin pages (not all, but some).
Removed above header ad unit on mobile.

I lost all hope in mid-August and gave up late last month.
3:29 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I did absolutely nothing...didn't even look at my site all of September, but it's zooming up. Let's face reality, Goole has us all on a merry-go-round now. Some months we will go up for no reason and other months down for no reason.
3:34 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Beginning the evening of 24, we saw an uptick in many KWs across the board, those positions continued to sustain themselves, and now are too. From a SERP perspective, we see a significant improvement, the complete opposite of what happened on the morning of March 13, as I woke up to the news of a broad core update. We also see an uptick in SEMRush search visibility. However, that has not translated into significant traffic gains. Maybe it will later, maybe it won't. But traffic is subtly on the uptick, but nothing that would resemble a HUGE win from that perspective.

[edited by: HereWeGo123 at 3:41 pm (utc) on Sep 26, 2019]

3:39 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing a big drop in the last two days.....20-30%, and I already was hit by March and June updates. It just never ends. And I have put up more content inbetween. Very discouraging, as I never seem to make progress, only sliding down into the abyss. I guess quality content does not matter anymore. Is this algorithm still jumping around? Any chance of recovery in the next couple of days?
3:44 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google has us all on a merry-go-round now. Some months we will go up for no reason and other months down for no reason.

For the people sharing positive gains or recovery…means others have lost. And, as said, the cycle continues without knowing when, where, and how.

EAT improvements (rewrite author bios, about us page).
Nuked thin pages (not all, but some).
Removed above header ad unit on mobile.

I wouldn't put any stock in these helping with the recent recovery. Pure coincidence.
3:49 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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For bets, I'd put money on removed ads (= decreased bounced rate).

About us / bios can be easily gamed or "rewritten"; they are probably ignored by Google now.

[edited by: Selen at 3:50 pm (utc) on Sep 26, 2019]

3:49 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Selen Yep.

1. Nodex/Nofollow all category and search pages.

2. Completely remove AdSense and Analytics on the site.

3. Re-edited/updated deep rusted old articles with typo and bad formatting on the site.

4. Remove over 1000 old articles about discontinued products (specs/price sort of pages) that are no longer use or available in the market.

5. Add "about author" bio snippet at the bottom of all articles with a link to our "about us" page included.

6. Removed/updated broken internal and outgoing links on the site.

7. Used " Google URL Parameters" to remove indexed url parameters (over 900 navigation/search parameters) that I cannot "noindex" from search.

Its been work since my site was penalized in June. The recovery is slow and is no where near my pre-june traffic volume, but I'm glad am seeing some improvement.

[edited by: cabsco at 3:54 pm (utc) on Sep 26, 2019]

3:52 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yep, #2 seems strong to me (especially removing above the fold ads which decrease bouncing rate).

#1 - now Google says long-term noindex meta becomes like a 404 page, so it may be risky.

[edited by: Selen at 3:59 pm (utc) on Sep 26, 2019]

3:55 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi Cabsco, do you feel that noindex the category and search pages helps a lot?

Why remove analytics from site?

When you remove old articles, they may have valuable incoming links to them, which is why I am reluctant to remove them. How do you address that?

Does bio snippet at bottom of page help a lot?
4:05 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar Congrats man! My rankings are also recovering but at a very slow rate..
4:13 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@vphoner A lot of these pages were indexed in search (search/category) and these pages contains little to no information (just product images with 50 character snippets). Google may regard them as thin pages that's why I noindex them.

I remove analytics and adsense to increase site speed. Moreover, adsense earned me nothing since June so why keep it if by removing it I can increase my users engagement and lessen pageload.

The old articles I removed (mainly specs/price pages) do not receive traffic anymore. They were stagnant. Most of them are also thin pages. I cross-checked to make sure that I do not remove the ones with tangible backlinks.

Adding bio/author snippet may help in the overall user experience depending on the site/niche, as Google briefly mentioned in August. But I also think a strong proving "about us" and "privacy policy" pages are also now very important since EAT was introduced.

[edited by: cabsco at 4:25 pm (utc) on Sep 26, 2019]

4:13 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar

Nice to hear! :)

I pretty much abandoned my site after June update (almost) because I had made a lot of improvements after getting hit the first time in August 18. I did also make some changes to bio, more contact information, and improved a few pages, but nothing major.

While I've not seen a complete recovery like you, many of the pages are that got thrown to page 10+ are now 2nd page.

I guess this is a good sign, even if it's not translating into a huge increase in traffic just yet. It makes me want to work on my site again... Or maybe I should have continued despite what happened. :/
4:16 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@whoa182 same here! I hope when all the rolling is done, it is going to be better.
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