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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...]
12:40 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar - I am eating my Bill Lambert words as we speak
12:41 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar I was wondering why did the traffic stopped all of a sudden this afternoon. Yes it is #*$! indeed.

[edited by: seomotionz at 12:44 pm (utc) on Sep 24, 2019]

12:44 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@RareBit - Bon Appetit
12:54 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Frankleeceo
Your whole argument hinges on keyword data. The problem is that there is no reliable keyword on which you can base yourself. Keyword data in GSC is terribly biased and very little value and third party keyword stats are spurious at best. This may not have been the case in 2005 when there was a one to one relationship between keyword and search result, but in 2019 the relation ship is one to many. Not to mention the fact that the relevance of position 1 is even questionable.

Case in point, @samwest describes the situation clearly here:
I have the #1 organic position yet there are 18 various content choices above me. That's the problem, might as well be on page 2.


How does that figure into the throttling theory. I'm not arguing about the end result, I agree it's hard to increase your traffic and certain actions that one logically assume would achieve it doesn't. For example actions such as broadening your reach in terms of keywords. What I am saying is that nobody at Google has devised a devious algorithm that counts the impressions and redistributes them to other sites. All Google does is shove its own content and ads in front, in between, beside and all over the organic content in an attempt to skim the converting clicks off for itself. Will this result in patterns that may appear to be throttling traffic, possible. Will this result in patterns that may appear to be zombie traffic, almost certainly.

Is there an evil conspiracy at play, no. It is just Google's business as usual. Google built the sandbox, Google makes the rules, one is always welcome to play in one's own sandbox. Of course, nobody wants to because not only are the cool kids playing in Google's sandbox, almost all the kids are there and nobody wants to play alone.
12:54 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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nom nom - I still think the advice to block Google bot from your site and start a fresh domain is ridiculous no matter how much the guy knows about Google updates
12:57 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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They should call this September 2019 update the "Smother Update" because that is exactly what is happening to organic listings.
The smothering effect is exactly why you can be ranked number one and yet not see a drop of traffic. It's different in every vertical, but in mine, it's absolutely outrageous. 18+ content choices before you hit the first organic listing. To make matters worse, even if you click an image, it just gives you MORE choices or requires another click in the funnel to reach your site...except if you click one of their ads where the funnel completes in one click. A total maze of content suggestions. Lots of avaricious work went into designing this one.
12:59 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Core Update is supposed to start in the next few hours, will be rolled out to all data centres in the next few days...

Hold on tight. I have a feeling this could be one of the biggest ones yet.
1:01 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@For any given relative rank one can expect a given amount of traffic.

Except this is not true in "real world" of search :). Any random and not so deep look at the webmaster search tool can easily debunk that. Pick a keyword, any keyword, and if you have a dataset of more than 1 year or 2, it's pretty obvious. Traffic is heavily "managed".

A rank of "1.0" can have wildly different amount of traffic.

@NickNMS

My observation is not on "keyword" data in itself, I know it's unreliable so I do not look at it in isolation. I focus on the relationship of keyword data combined with real traffic numbers. Keyword dataset through history is fixed and done, traffic volume through history is fixed and done. I draw my conclusions from these two fixed sets and go from there.

[edited by: frankleeceo at 1:06 pm (utc) on Sep 24, 2019]

1:01 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Sam: I think the effect of the update will first be visible within a few days.

Hopefully we can recover a little bit from the June Core Update...
1:01 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm really curious to see what happens today. Because this is the second update were I'm impacted a week in advance nearly to the day. I must be in some test-set or something. I hope that I'm wrong and that the this "September" update reverts the pain afflicted on me last week. But I'm guessing not.
1:02 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have a very simple example, I have a widget that is related to people who have passed away, this widget is very difficult to get in my country and I have a large affordable range of them.

Usually I would sell at least one if not a lot more every day, if you search for the keyword (plus country) I am always at position no 1 as I am the only person to sell this widget. If you search without the country or city I am still no 1 but after images, ads amazon etc.

Since June I have sold none, not 1 single piece but I am getting sales and enquiries through social media.

So why am I getting zero from search? mortality rates have not changed, my pages have not changed, my meta has not changed so it stands to reason that something outside my control has changed in search
1:19 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@TeresaD
Data should be going up because more people should be dying every day :). That's my logical assumption. Time to make an Amazon store to complement your site, someone must be eating your market share somehow somewhere, and it's hard to see where and how. Rank "1.0" can offer wildly different traffic volume and searcher intent.
------
About the update announcement, I believe I started to see early limited change starting on Monday evening. I don't know if it's the same thing. If my changes stick through the week maybe so. Sad to say I got hit negatively.
-----
And on my final thoughts / reflection on this whole "throttle", "management", "just rank" idea, I am not complaining that it exists. I am stating that it exists for whatever reason or purpose, I am accepting it, and I am choosing to work with the designed system / mechanism drawn from my observation and conclusion. It's my blindman's understanding of the elephant.

At the end, I agree it's the rules of the playground, the rule of the greater sandbox, it's how it works.

I believe some of us just have to accept that this is what we signed up for in the industry. And continue fighting for another day of survival in the market.

I am glad as more time goes by, more people are understanding it and observing it, old and new players. I was one of the first ones to note the phenomenon. I believe particularly because I was new to the industry and continuously building out new content at the time when the mechanism was first introduced. People also called it #*$! at the time, at least now more people are agreeing with it after they experience it :).

[edited by: frankleeceo at 2:12 pm (utc) on Sep 24, 2019]

1:24 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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webmasters feel some sense of security in a digital world


lol - when was that last even remotely possible
1:26 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Bill Lambert, the Oracle was right :( . Brace yourself boys .. Core updates were never good for us but eventually things get back on track more better .
1:41 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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June update took away my traffic. Hoping that September update will at least restore 1/3rd of the traffic.
1:50 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar are you seeing any positive changes yet? The amount of traffic i have lost since June is sickening
1:59 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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One more thing that needs debating:

Why does the traffic drop down to near zero during core updates. Do people around the globe suddenly stop searching.

Something is not right and I'm very stupid.
2:15 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@stupidIntelligent - I used to see this when i had low back links, I would drop 5 or 6 places on the SERPs whilst the update was in progress and traffic would just trickle in - I always assumed it was the link profile that was getting updated but don't know for sure. I now have more BL's and this no longer happens. Have your positions dropped?
2:16 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So why am I getting zero from search?

Like my own site, it's because of the "Smother Effect". I'll bet you have the ubiquitous "See [search term]" carousel ads, image blocks that require multiple clicks to reach your site and the highly annoying "Interesting Finds" block which in my niche is alternating with the "Suggested Results" block all ABOVE all the organic results. What they stack above you is all monetized for Gorg. Some intern is getting a pat on their back a new lambo.

Chances of a user navigating that minefield of "related content" and finding your great focused content is very low. Google wants you to find useful content that will fill it's pockets best. I find that a conflict...but hey, it's their SE and the only way to make it irrelevant is to stop using it.

Google has essentially "smothered" the organics, so your best bet these days is to start posting the daylights out of social media, otherwise nobody will ever find your great site in Google.
2:25 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Three days ago I make a 301 of the entire site to a new domain, today the traffic is zero, now I do not know if it is the fault of 301 or the update
2:59 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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or a fault in the tracking code?
3:09 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar Good luck to you. I know you were waiting for this since June.

I hope that our traffic comes back when this is all rolled out. Today traffic almost stopped after afternoon.
3:11 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@RareBit - I don't have the traffic numbers to answer your question. So, I'm going avoid a BS made-up reply.
3:23 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@BushyTop Not seeing any movements yet. Guess it hasn't started rolling out...
3:38 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Danny Sullivan did say he will tweet once they begin rolling it out. I don't think it would've been too difficult for this “Bill Lampert” to predict this update because we were all due for a broad core update at some point this month, historically speaking as well. And since no “confirmed” update has rolled out this month, it would've been easy to assume that we're due for one on the 26-27. He must've thought that even if he gets it vaguely correct, he would've been the oracle. Just my opinion, maybe I'm wrong, who knows. But all I am trying to say, someone pragmatic, experienced, analytical, and calculated enough can guess an update.
4:33 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I find this Bill Lambert thing very interesting.

Is he truly an oracle (Google deep-insider)? Or is he a really just a great guesser?
Does he post elsewhere besides Barry's Search Engine Roundtable?
A lot of folks are going to be giving him the heavy eyeball, in the next few days. Are YOU a believer?
I WANT to believe!

I think we all crave inside info. ANY advantage, to help stem the tide. Or, at least understand it.
.

[edited by: Sally_Stitts at 4:37 pm (utc) on Sep 24, 2019]

4:36 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It would be nice to think we had someone on the inside fighting our corner, breaking the geo algo made sense for my site and has been dialled down to the odd strange country, I want to believe too but......
4:54 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I was hit by core update in June. It's only been the past 2 weeks that my traffic has been steadily increasing. I've been seeing Google traffic to pages that got bit badly. This was a test prior to the core update?

I'm scared.

Good luck everyone!
5:17 pm on Sept 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

Since noon GMT (exactly), one of my site, which was impacted by the last core update, is back to its previous level (roughly). Before the last core update, this site had 1000 unique visitors per hour from Google search engines, after the last core update this was 100 only! At 11am GMT, it was still in the 100 visitors per hour from Google range, and at noon, it jumped to 800, and since, it's in the range 800-900. I hope it remains like that. I did nothing special to my site, I just continued to same way, adding new content as I used to.

Niche = Sciences & high-tech
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