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Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2019

     
12:04 pm on Oct 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 5 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4962430.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 5:42 pm on Oct 2, 2019 (utc -5)


Dealing with Google as a business is tough and dealing with Google as a normal user is becoming a huge headache as well. I was trying to find some info about some software on the latest Smartphone I just bought and it was insane how stupid the search engine is now. It blatantly ignores keywords and uses synonyms for others which was not my intent and important for the search. It just returns articles of general information that are 5 or 6 years old. Even the stupid "People also ask" widget just regurgitates these same articles with information that is either outdated or completely wrong regarding my query. My whole mobile screen seems to be filled with either ads or search widgets.

I disagree with the use of all these widgets, and see a lot of it as content theft (people work hard to provide this information). It would be one thing if Google actually returned the correct information but in a large percentage of queries it does not making these widgets and the AI behind a huge failure.

Google please become a real search engine again instead of trying to be an information provider on the backs of other peoples businesses. (I know this will never happen unfortunately unless the government steps in)
12:09 am on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This has absolutely destroyed my site, it's been the worst update I've experienced in 17 years. Feeling devastated.

Edit: It's mostly from one article, which accounted for so much traffic (and always worried me for this very reason). Comparing the same period last year, most of my other articles are way up. But my top article brought in so much traffic and it's been hit by a 90% drop.
5:07 am on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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For the last two days I completely confused. SERP's are a roller coaster. And the SEMrush and the other similar services are noticing nothing.
8:30 am on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I found that I was hit with the September update and then had a recovery and then was hit again about 2-3 days ago.
8:37 am on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Is internet off today?

As of Clicky which compares day-day traffic so far search -37%, referrals -61%

referrals are from an article on a massive site which I checked and nothing changed. I also checked my main kws and nothing changed.
8:39 am on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Actually Direct is -61%, the referrals -88%
8:58 am on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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As a matter of interest how does this page rank v the main website on Bing / DDG / Ecosia / etc?


@RedBar

On Bing, DDG, Ecosia etc. the main page is the Top 5 for every keyword they provide. The landingpage is not in the Top 100. Before the EAT change it was the same on google as it should be.
10:43 am on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Zero ROI on ad buys.. poor ROI on organic. Can't reciprocal link without getting a warning. We did far better on Bing last month in terms of ROI however obviously not as much volume as we used to be able to get through Google say 3-5 years ago..

This is our experience running an ecommerce website as well. Google has become an insignificant player in our industry and their value to us, outside of branding, is next to nil. Google sends us no buyers, therefore Google is not worth much to us anymore.

But this tide is turning.. at some point a few VC's will get together and create the next new search engine that obeys by laws and treats people like people and not numbers to be monetized.

Unfortunately the minute Google would see such a company as a threat, they would buy the company. Google, like Amazon who also dupes consumers using shady practices, is the cancer of the internet and will not stop until the host has been consumed.
11:09 am on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google, like Amazon who also dupes consumers using shady practices, is the cancer of the internet and will not stop until the host has been consumed.

Absolutely the perfect description and the reason why many users are turning their backs on specific sectors and protagonists on the www, I could go on however it would inevitably turn into a rant!
11:10 am on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday I had an incredible surge in real traffic to two of my sites, after having no conversions for over a month to either I had several conversions within a 3 hour period, after that it's like someone just turned off the traffic switch and of course no more sales since then.

This is the third time I have experienced this over the last six months, definitely some sort of manipulation that happens.

Very frustrating.
12:33 pm on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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But this tide is turning.. at some point a few VC's will get together and create the next new search engine that obeys by laws and treats people like people and not numbers to be monetized.

I don't ever see that day coming in the business world. How do you think the VC's made their money? By obeying laws and caring about people!
12:41 pm on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@southernguy Yesterday for me it was like that too.

Today again at the morning traffic was good and then after noon just like yesterday traffic stopped. Although I scored some referral traffic today so overall traffic has not fallen to dust. But still its nothing compared to Google. I wonder everyday what happens at that time!
9:20 pm on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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today looks like someone turned the internet off again for me. Fridays are usually slow anyway, but im hoping someone reboots it a bit later so I can covers costs at least.
1:30 am on Oct 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ all - same here and my weekly prediction came true. First few days of the week were great, almost as good as the "old days", but as quickly as it turned on, it turned right back off and I'm again quota-ed for the week. How is it that we all simultaneously experience the very same effect? One word: filters.
3:12 am on Oct 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My site exactly the same. Conversions nearly as good as the "old days". Then a few days ago, all dissapears, coversions back to nearly non existant, bounce rate increases and things back to crap.

Thing is traffic and rankings have increased compared to the same period last year, but conversions have suddenly decreased. Its like zombie traffic.

Its been like a roller coaster for months now. With converting traffic and traffic over all up and down, up and down, up and down.

Traffic and conversions have been decent for a few weeks now up until a few days ago. Just as you think things could be looking up...

It definitely feels like google just flips a switch and takes all converting traffic away from you whenever they feel like it.
3:34 am on Oct 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samwest - I hope even with all this crap, you're still able to support your family. That's the most important thing for people who make a living off the internet.
1:34 am on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@SI..thanks for the kind words, but as they say, it's a dog eat dog world, and right now I'm wearing milkbone flavored underwear. We all spend years pouring our best into providing useful content but the powers that be continually move the cheese. This is no business for the weak of will. Hope it all passes soon. Cheers!
7:53 am on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@samwest Kudos to you. That is one hell of a job, supporting the family.
8:50 am on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Time to wake up

IT never leave the chance for a business model to survive more than a limited time.
Save if you belong to the elite unfortunately.

Between tolerating a bad boss to feed a family and relying on Google, I choose the first one.
Google helped thousands of people in the past, but now any young publisher want to do the same.
We are victims of ourselves.

Good luck
6:36 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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my business does and has supported my family for over a decade and also the families of all my employees, often also I have supported extended family that have been in trouble with thing like medical bills etc. In the last 18 months I have had to downsize, let staff go, can no longer offer help to relatives and friends in need and cannot even now afford to visit my family any more (I am an expat). My mother is old and I do not know how long she will have left and it fills me with dread the possibility of not being able to see her again. She often asks when I can visit but I dont want to burden her with my financial issues so have to make excuses. If she passed I wouldn't even be able to make it to the funeral. The throttling of traffic / sales by google has got me living on the edge now and I do everything I can to try to keep things going but I know the final nail in the coffin will be soon and I will have to let all the staff go.
Im sure my story is just one of countless others that have been effected like this by google. Real humans, , real lives - not just "web masters" . I hope there is at least one google employee that reads this forum sees this, reads about others livelihoods being destroyed and goes to bed tonight in the knowledge they are contributing to causing misery for millions.
8:23 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the same boat Milchan, my mum is in very poor health but I am in no position to go and see her. Google made my life comfortable for a long time with years of soaring traffic, but the past 4 years have been horrendous, with me working non-stop to create and improve content and the site, and continual drops. This most recent one has been the worst by far.

I hope things pick up for you, I don't think Google cares about small site owners, they have a bigger picture than that unfortunately.
8:30 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Non of us started as "web masters" we have all had to research, learn, get industry certificates, learn to do technical SEO, read code, write code, write meta (increase, decrease, pick a number between 55 and 310) we have put the work in to follow the rules.
9:08 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Non of us started as "web masters" we have all had to research, learn, get industry certificates, learn to do technical SEO, read code, write code, write meta (increase, decrease, pick a number between 55 and 310) we have put the work in to follow the rules.


That is kind of one of the points im making (although I did actually work in IT support very high traffic web sites before starting my own business so I actually did kind of start as one - thats aside the point though). What im getting at is that google does not take into account one jot the human damage it is causing, the webmasters and websites to them are just numbers, entries in an index database, pieces of data to be manipulated for their own ends and profit. All the work we have done, the research, study, time, passion and hopes we have thrown into our sites and businesses does not register with them in the slightest. They have such enormous control over our livelihoods and they do not take the lives they are destroying in the slightest. It is dehumanising.


@browndog - thanks, but I dont hold any hope that things will improve much. Best I can currently hope for is to have a few more good runs enough to keep me going whilst I try to fix my house up and sell it so I can get enough money to move my family to a country were I am able to get a job.I live in a place with no social systems, so If im not earning money Im not eating or paying the bills, so selling up everything is pretty much my only way out now.
2:04 am on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Great Corporations are part of the Government / System.

With each generation things change.
In this generation that began the greatest leaders will be favored. The people, the medium and small entrepreneurs are further down. This is why many websites have lost traffic, sales and ROI. This is all over the world. Everything is being blatantly cut off. Money doesn't matter much to who's up there. So it's not about money, it's about control. I'm from Brazil and the same thing happens here.

In the next generation, the scenario is reversed. A generation changes every 7, 10, 15 years ... basically.

This is an invisible rule that few people know about.
Every generation goes through it. It's all combined, nothing happens at random!

The system we live in operates on duality. He lifts you up and then knocks you down .... then lifts you up again ... and knocks you down again. And this cycle goes on forever. Stay aware of this in your business!

You will all face these cycles.
Sometimes Google can work again or not. Sometimes it can take years ... maybe it will only change in the next generation.
Sometimes a new tool may appear in place of Google.
Sometimes new ways of selling will be implemented and the system can let you know how to do that.

The way is to test or look for new alternatives.

(If there are any errors in writing, sorry ... I used the translator)
3:47 am on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@TeresaD Everything that we learned and achieved for all those years. Are just destroyed like toys! This is the worst update ever.
7:32 am on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What im getting at is that google does not take into account one jot the human damage it is causing, the webmasters and websites to them are just numbers, entries in an index database, pieces of data to be manipulated for their own ends and profit.


I do think that Google, along with other corporate giants, started out with good intent. I guess that's what makes it hard, they were a progressive and fair company and a lot of people (myself included) made good money from Google. But it seems that the bigger a company gets, and especially once they list on the stock market...the more the care factor drops.

I made the mistake of hoping Google would see the right of their wrongs, but they won't. I'm not here to Google bash, but until or unless they get some real competition, they will continue to do what they do, and seek profit above everything else. It's devastating to have had them build us up, and then drop us, it's really scary times. We're not the only family facing financial crisis, but time changes, and Google 2019 isn't Google 2008.

Where do we go from here? For me, it's looking to return back to full-time work, as much as that will suck. Even then, we're still in a huge hole because of this. Google aren't our friend, and they won't one day open their eyes and see the damage that's been caused. They just won't.
10:35 am on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I was also hit hard this month, precisely between 6 and 8 October, do you have any news about it? those of you who have been penalized on this date let me know, or if you have discovered the reason please share with me, let's help each other to try to defeat today's google...
12:17 pm on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Funny...I woke up this morning to zero traffic on my Google analytics page...yet my sale alert on my cell phone fired off indicating a completed conversion, so now we have ghost traffic and those ghosts are REAL! I confirmed the sale and customer login yet Google didn't pick it up at all. Either the customer is cloaked or GA is broken. Not complaining though...even a blind squirrel finds an occasional nut.
12:28 pm on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Where all the traffic is gone today? Very strange because its a usual Monday. Traffic is cut to half. Even after the update the traffic was fine.
12:37 pm on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

New member, but have been reading along quite some time.
My fitness / health website (based in the Netherlands) was hit by the Medic update. Saw some recovery past months and especially after the September update. But now traffic seems to be lower again (after the first week of June). Not dramatically low, but wondering what they did in October.
3:23 pm on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Where all the traffic is gone today? Very strange because its a usual Monday.

Columbus day in The U.S.

Some government, schools, and depending on a companies holiday pay schedule, people are off today.
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