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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 Even the stupid "People also ask" widget just regurgitates these same articles with information that is either outdated or completely wrong regarding my query.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)
4:26 pm on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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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.


Is there a change in your rankings as well? We had a drop around the 10th of October, insurance niche. Semrush sensor didn't show anything unusual around that date or the last couple of days.
6:25 pm on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The problems with Google started when they went public. Before they went public they were a fun company that cared about their customers. Now, they have ruined the internet for the small website operator, so innovation and good content will be stunted. They have crammed more ads and more of their properties to tie up most of the search results, leaving little room for us. As Google is a practical monopoly, there should be some oversight of this industry.

I am hoping DuckDuckGo grabs a much larger portion of the market, as they have a better cleaner engine, without all the ad bloat.

Why is this not a 60 minutes story? It certainly should be.
6:38 pm on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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With Android and hence the mobile market under the control of Google; no one can challenge them. Something else needs to pop into existence. No current technology can beat Google.
7:15 pm on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am hoping DuckDuckGo grabs a much larger portion of the market, as they have a better cleaner engine, without all the ad bloat.

The problem is DDG is essentially a scraper. While they claim to have their own bot, I've never seen it at our website. Much of the traffic DDG sends to us is likely from them scraping Bing/Yahoo's search results. For DDG to become an actual search engine, they would have to do their own crawling and ranking which costs money. They would have to sell tons of ads to cover that expense and in the end they become an over-commercialized search engine like the rest. I don't see DDG expanding much beyond current privacy aware searchers. At least DDG uses a variety of sources, unlike places such as Start Page that just spit out Google's search results without all the tracking. But trust me, the minute something comes about that threatens Google then Google will open their wallet and buy it to protect their marketshare.
6:03 am on Oct 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Analytics is broken. I am sure now. A user joined our community and posted on several threads, answered a lot of questions, still no activity in analytics.
7:41 am on Oct 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@jeppa33

Rankings seem to be okay. No dramatic changes. Most important keywords still rank in top spots. So I think it is (partly) the result of all those crappy ads and other boxes that Google puts above the organic results.
8:20 am on Oct 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

they [ddg] claim to have their own bot, I've never seen it at our website.

The only DDG bot I see, is their favicons bot ...
1:23 pm on Oct 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@seomotionz - it might well be that they are blocking analytics in their browser or their workplace is at firewall level. More and more people/companies are doing that - I have it blocked
1:49 pm on Oct 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Well, maybe unfortunately, DDG's traffic (according to Alexa) seems to be dropping.

What I do notice about DDG is they DEFINITELY provide more accurate results when it comes to non-politically correct search queries.

For example, I searched for something as simple as "why men should not get married" (or similar) and Google just returned a bunch of rubbish like "why men don't want to get married" (uhh that's not what I asked) while DDG actually returned some results which answered my query.

I don't understand why Google thinks it's wrong to provide some possible scenarios as to why men should not get married. WTF Google? What are you afraid of? What's in it for you if some men believe they may not want to get married? LOL!
7:16 pm on Oct 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan - im not sure if in all the bad results cases it is them censoring the info so much but more a case of their "user intent" algorithm being garbage. It has been like that for quite some time now. Ever since they made a push on trying to guess what user intent was instead of just returning results related to the keywords the serps have been less and less accurate imho.

And also ive noticed google home getting less and less able to understand things when at first it was actually must better. Now its like talking deaf pensioner with Alzheimers.
9:25 pm on Oct 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I did a search on the Android phone with Chrome browser and got a page with five ads on top, followed by three organic results and four more ads at the bottom. This is crazy.
11:19 pm on Oct 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Ever since they made a push on trying to guess what user intent was instead of just returning results related to the keywords the serps have been less and less accurate imho.


Yes, I've noticed that too. You search for something and they assume you're wrong and give you a different result. I've also noticed even if I search for 'blue widget, widgetsitename', they still return WebMD. Doesn't matter that I"ve put in another site name, they just want me to go to WebMD.
12:33 am on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I did a search on the Android phone with Chrome browser and got a page with five ads on top, followed by three organic results and four more ads at the bottom. This is crazy.

In my widget industry for the most popular searches it's not only on mobile but also desktop, one is lucky to see 5 organics squashed in the middle ... It's a farce, everyone in the industry knows it's a farce, even legislators know it's a total and utter farce however they are constrained by so many things and TIME, time is never on their side to do anything about this continually fast-evolving "game".

There is a simplistic solutions IF you really believe what you are offering is better:

You, as a collective, have to educate Joe Public just how they are being manipulated and conned by Google and many of its advertisers.

Now the questions have to be is Joe Public being manipulated or conned?

IME I feel the SERPs are seemingly being manipulated for international enquiries yet for local searches they seem to be pretty damned good in the UK for my widgets.

Conned? Well, is that because someone is prepared to pay Google for having prime position for your search term placed above you / below you / all around you?

Everyone here knows I am not a Google-lover however they are a legitimate business with many employees and expenses and need income to survive and pay their way just like the rest of us do.

The fact is that the www has moved on in different ways in different countries. Only today in the UK we had a major fashion retailer telling people NOT to buy its products online since it does NOT SELL ONLINE!

[bbc.co.uk...]

Look, I know many out there have had sites decimated by G, the www has changed, not all countries are evolving like the USA with its vast distances involved with delivery costs etc, locally in my small county, I am seeing Hgh Street shops thriving because buyers are confused and annoyed by what they find online.

I can list on one hand the online companies I buy from and have been doing so for 20+ years, do I know the prices I should be paying, of course I do, and they know that since I tell them:-)

The www is now a difficult place to succeed when competing against so many look-a-like stores and products and especially so if one doesn't have a huge amount of venture capital backing-up the idea. Don't get me wrong, the market is still there, it just ain't anywhere as easy as it used to be and it is, without doubt, going to get more difficult for those trying to sell direct to Joe Public.
10:06 am on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Something is going on today - for the 1st time since June I am seeing some big movement in my niche (UK interior & manufacturing)
10:22 am on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So long SpeedTest.net - Google has now taken over that too.

[i.imgur.com...]

The days of OOKLA as a business are numbered.
10:23 am on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@RareBit - are you on the up or down?
10:39 am on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have lost my HP for 1 query but I am still holding 1st position (had 1st & 2nd with one site and 3rd & 4th with another) my HP does show for other queries so not too fussed right at the moment. Its below me that most of the movement is happening
11:11 am on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Massive crawl 10/11 thru 10/14 (last day of available data), largest 4 day crawl average we've ever seen.
11:14 am on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Itís down for us .. had uptick in sep update. Tweaks probably!
11:27 am on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes, there was a massive crawl on the 14th for one site and large crawls on the 13th for two other sites.
12:37 pm on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan are you suggesting that I should be looking into log files?
12:58 pm on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@stupidintel...
The days of ALL businesses are numbered on Google. They are like that annoying #*$! everyone knows who has to interrupt everyone's conversation with inane facts and knowledge...graph.
1:34 pm on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Just lost 1st position after a very good run - but it is to Sweden's biggest furniture manufacture so not like I can complain too much! Hopefully its just temporary whilst whatever is going on settles down. My home page is also back ranking for my main query so thats a +
2:47 pm on Oct 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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RareBit - how many years did your good run last for 1st position?
6:17 am on Oct 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Question For Youtubers | So being that google owns youtube which is also a search engine, is it the same for YouTubers? Has anyone seen traffic drop on youtube since the lastest algo change?
7:49 am on Oct 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Stupidintelligent - We held it from around 2014 but the Swedes are new players in my market. I am back at 1st & 2nd this morning with my other site holding 4th & 5th
10:28 am on Oct 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Good God Google! Traffic stopped all of a sudden after noon. Some of our site's main keywords just disappeared from the SERP's.
11:26 am on Oct 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Question For Youtubers | So being that google owns youtube which is also a search engine, is it the same for YouTubers? Has anyone seen traffic drop on youtube since the lastest algo change?


I don't personally publish on youtube but watch quite a bit and have heard a few saying that google has start to demonetise lots of people in recent months , which instantly led me to think that was another way for them to increase their own revenues at the expense of the content producers.
11:37 am on Oct 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Bill Lambert: Wait and see what happens Friday and over the weekend.
[seroundtable.com...]
1:59 pm on Oct 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Go on Bill make our day and say Google have given up on AI, smart bidding and trying to assume what searchers are looking for.

Roll it all back 5 years please!
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