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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2019

     
9:54 am on Nov 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 8 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4966830.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 4:01 pm on Nov 1, 2019 (PDT -8)


Not what i'd seen, it wasn't even that.
I'd class myself as an experienced searcher, and, sometimes, when I look at Google's serps it's trying to pre-empt my intent. More often than not, it's presenting either highly-optimised sites, or, in this case, it was all wrong. Something's broke.

It works that way these days.


I don't ever use "best" as that is spammed out.
7:14 pm on Nov 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The question has to be, how come DDG, Bing, Ecosia etc seemingly do not have this problem?

Bing doesn't index every domain that resolves. They are picky and rightfully so.
DDG is Bing. And I can prove it.

One domain of mine was banned from Bing. So I emailed them and they lift it.
Same day I start getting Bing traffic I get DDG traffic.
My referral traffic for both are exactly the same day by day ever since. Which means my site is on the same position in both sites, for all queries, always.
7:28 pm on Nov 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@glakes... how you are tracking ? A fair bit of my Google traffic appears as direct in analytics.

We analyze from raw logs though have GA installed. Still no conversions from Google at all - not even one...
1:52 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Has anybody taken a significant hit in the past day? My site seems to have lost a lot of traffic.
4:18 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Has anybody taken a significant hit in the past day? My site seems to have lost a lot of traffic.


@browndog Getting hit is pretty usual these days. Can you be more specific? Was it this week or month?
4:46 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@browndog, same here! Never been hit by an algo update or anything before. I have a totally white hat, quality site. Checked, there's no manual penalty, lost of links or anything that would explain this. But yesterday, many keywords got hit and traffic sunk 50% overnight. It doesn't seem like a BERT rollback - with BERT came a boots in impressions, but KW rankings stayed about the same, but now, it hit KW rankings.
5:33 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I was hoping it was Thanksgiving, but that's not until later in the month. I hope it's a glitch for both of us. Traffic has been awful. I'm 100% white hat too.
8:31 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This Bull Lambert character might be part of the spamming network that DDOSes Google or something. Tons of referral spam in the past 24 hours. He can predict such traffic with accuracy; which leads me to this idea.
8:34 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My latest hit of referral spam came from France. Anyone else with the same data?
8:39 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I also lost a lot of traffic since last night. I also saw a drop in keyword ranking on my pages. I'm not sure if this has something to do with my site not yet secured (https) but I've been through years without my site migrating to https and my ranking is good. @pokwerpok and @browndog are your sites already https?
8:44 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@filbiz, yes, been using https all the time.
9:00 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Pokwerpok, I guess it has to do with something else. But there is no info regarding algo update today. Hope this is just a glitch.
10:08 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Browndog:

Yep something is going on, got hit yesterday. -16% down comapred to last week....
10:27 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes, here too. Main 2 sites, different niches, different geos, have been slightly loosing traffic for the last 2 weeks. But yesterday one was 25% down vs same day last week and the other 15%. Today it seems it's going to be worst.
10:32 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It started at 5:00 am PST
10:38 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We where doing well when the BERT algorithm rolled out, however we can hit by something yesterday.
Lost 50% of our traffic overnight.
10:55 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I concur...the week started out ok' but the bottom fell out yesterday. Seeing a lot of churn in the SERPs. Really looks like a rollback to a few weeks ago for my niche. It's a mess.

All images lost (again), as well as the home page...yet a sub page is still at #1.

Lots of foreign traffic and odd queries to deep pages. Zero conversions.

This new "fake traffic" is no different than the long standing Zombie observation. Maybe some are just now experiencing it for the first time. My sincerest sympathies.

[edited by: samwest at 11:10 am (utc) on Nov 9, 2019]

11:05 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We saw an increase of 24% with G organic yesterday vs. the average of the last 8 Fridays. We'll see if it holds through the weekend and into next week.
11:34 am on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Just looking at my adsense numbers for yesterday...up 203% and a record day....but no conversions on my product. That may indicate a filter effect designed to churn ads is being rolled out or tested. Not surprising and fully expected from the worlds best ad engine.
2:21 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Add me to the Rollback list. 12 year old site, built into a massive authority using only white-hat techniques and staying on top of everything. I had a massive upswing in September, a slight increase with BERT, and now massive devastation Thursday evening/Friday morning. Looks like a 30% decrease.
3:14 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The same thing as for many of you: 13 years big old IT blog (with updated content, regular posts, totally white, never had any serious problems with updates) was hit hard and the decrease goes on. Another one of my websites is not so big and trusted, but it also catch a 60% decrease after Thursday and till now. Fingers crossed it's something temporary...
3:21 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Has anybody taken a significant hit in the past day? My site seems to have lost a lot of traffic.

We always see a decline in November and early December (that's been true for 20+ years), but the last couple of days have shown a slight improvement, both in real numbers and year-over-year comparisons. That may not have anything to do with Google's algorithms, though (external factors can easily come into play), and in any case, the change hasn't been significant.
4:28 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a slight rollback in our niche which means a slight boost. With Bert we lost some traffic. and 2 weeks ago we went down 10% but seem to have gain that back in the last few days.
5:45 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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One of my sites that has suffered from that drop is 9 years old, I never did any seo to it more than technical on site seo. Domain authority is 50+ and content is original, all articles 2500 words up. The 30% drop is still here today in all geos and hourly constant.
6:11 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It looks like our increase in google traffic is coming from long tail. I don't really see much movement with the short tail for us.
7:45 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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But week ago he received notification from Adsense team that diplaying ads was limited and that they can't verify the quality of the traffic.

Possibly google detected an upsurge in click fraud?
8:06 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm down 10% from the previous week, and there is no sign of improvement. After adding up the outgoings for my site yesterday, I realised I'm now making absolutely no money from it, but working a full 4 days a week, as well as mornings and evenings on the days I work out of the home. Which makes me a fool.
8:27 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I cant figure why image search is so screwed up. I have over a thousand original and compelling images and yet Google only indexes two. Now those two are gone and the only remaining images of mine being indexed are those that were scraped and posted on really poor quality, spammy foreign sites.

When I see this, it's either a rollback or a re-sort of the image index. Google dance used to act like this...but now it's a weekly polka. Same bubble sort behavior on my home page for certain keyphrases.

It really is a mess.
10:46 pm on Nov 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I don't know what's happening on one of my sites tonight (UK time), supposedly loads of single visits from Google yet all with different IPs, locations, devices, screen sizes, operating systems etc.

They've each been visiting a valid but a different url for a milli-second.
12:16 am on Nov 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google is encouraging visitors to click on the ads as if they were search results. When will advertisers realize this? I can't believe that kind of clicks bring customers.
1:46 am on Nov 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The only folks doing good are black hat dudes and huge sites. Google is lost.
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