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Google update again?!

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by fb3003, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. mtj85

    mtj85 Regular Member

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    Thank you for your input. Appreciated.
    While I do realize that there must be a "real" person/business behind each website (and I'm sure that google can look at the info) I still do not believe that only by adding an address and an author one can fix the site. Not to get your hopes down, but your ranks are probably fluxing due to volatility that we are observing for the past 2 months? Just my guess though. Would you care to report in few day to see if it stabilized?
    If that's true then as of now authorship and "who is behind the website" is a ranking factor? Wow, I though it's content and votes (backlinks). Google always says "content is king".
    Might as well add "Elon Musk" as "rel=author" to my sites then. What I'm getting at here is that ranking a site by authorship is nonsense. That means that now google, apart from "websites database" WILL have to keep another database and that is "authors database" and then at the end of the day merging the two databases for ranking purposes? Too easily manipulated. I can already see thousands of new "Medical Doctors" from 3rd world countries willing to sell their credentials for few bucks.

    I'm beginning to think that SERP updates have a lot to do with luck. Sometimes you win, sometime you loose and there isn't much you can do, but to wait for another major update - maybe you get lucky next time.
     
  2. Carpacchio

    Carpacchio Newbie

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    It doesn't get my hopes down, I have been working on it for 2 months now, without a single ounce of movement. I am not easily swayed lol. That said, I don't think it's fluxing like it has in the last two months. My ranks have been fluxing but the traffic hasn't. Until 2 days ago, when it went up. Which is around the time of the last update. So I think it's fluxing because of updates (the 'luck' of updates, as you said in your last sentence), not just random variation.

    Then again, when google killed 80% of my traffic on August 1, it was the same thing. Google algorithm updates. No apparent rhyme or reason. Google thought an article was worth the top number 1 spot one day and wasn't even on page 10 the next. Week later, it was back to spot 3.

    In reference to your question about authorship, i really have no idea how important that is. But there are ways to make it less 'fakeable', on Google's side. For example, if you had a link from Elon Musk's actual Google profile to a site that claims Elon Musk authorship, it might weigh differently than just sticking his name up there.

    A doctor who has published medical journals on peer reviewed websites for the last 10 years might weigh differently than a brand new 3rd world doctor.

    On the other hand, from what I read on the interwebs, it sounded like the whole concept of EAT being important in the August update is based on circumstantial evidence (eg. they updated EAT guidelines right before the update).

    So yeah, I don't know shit. Just sharing in the hopes of getting some good discussion going.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  3. mtj85

    mtj85 Regular Member

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    Sure, there are ways to verify that Elon Musk is in fact not contributing to my website, but it takes effort and quite a lot of processing power (if you scale this to all the billions of websites there are out there). Basically, for google to determine if the author is credible or not they have to rank authors now as well. And all this only to rank a website with this parameter (because author must in fact publish content on a website). Seems redundant. If a website has links from credible websites isn't that the same as having a credible author to write the article (because author needs to have "backlinks" and mentions from credible websites as well for google to determine his or hers credibility).

    Like you said - and that's actually a good point - it might be a coincidence that google updated their ranking guidelines with this EAT thing just before the update itself. Either that, or they did it deliberately so that all SEO prophets out there start leading people in wrong direction.

    Sure, I hope your traffic is back for good, I was pointing out that for the "little" you did in regards to authority of your website this can't just magically fix the traffic as it would be too easy.

    At the end of the day I still think that update is about links. It always was, in some way. Links are votes, they value the most. At least they will until the day the AI takes over...
     
  4. Carpacchio

    Carpacchio Newbie

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    I agree that it likely wasn't much from what I did. I think I started with that.

    But I also don't think it's variance. I think Google's algorithm change a few days ago is what brought me back (well, partially so far, not all the way back but it's still improving).
     
  5. Zbigniew

    Zbigniew BANNED BANNED

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    Google said that nobody has been penalized and that under-valued sites got better rankings - but I don't believe that for a second. If a site wasn't penalized it wouldn't drop to n/a while non-relevant sites are ranking higher. It's just not logical that a non-penalized site would go from page 1 to no page at all. Especially when the sites on page 10-20 have nothing to do at all with the keyword topic.

    Anyhow, the last 1-2 days I've seen some minor improvements. This morning my average position went from 107 to 92 (around 42 keywords). My traffic has slightly gone up the last 5 days as well. I hope this will continue.

    I've read on other forums where large amount of people have lost traffic and income. Usually there would be a common pattern, but the websites, niches and domains has come at such a high variation that it's almost impossible to identify one variable. Most of the "fixes" that I have seen seem to be guru stuff. Add reputable authors and stuff like that.

    Rather I would believe that we can't do anything to save our websites. The only solution would be for Google to update their algorithm so that it functions properly again, because it feels like something went wrong in August update.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  6. mtj85

    mtj85 Regular Member

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    Good for you. I hope you're not selling "miracle herpes cures" though.

    Deranking continues today - keywords from top 10 disappearing from search completely (to page 10+). It's just unbelievable to see what google thinks should rank before my website now. This is what bugs me. Not the losing of rank itself - I understand that it is a part of algo alternation - but losing keywords in whole so they disappear from search?
    Will wait for a week more or so and then launch a big outreach campaign and try to obtain some quality links to see if it improves. If it doesn't then I'm afraid that there's not much that can be done. My site is already optimized On-site for the particular keywords. The only thing that then remains is to wait for next update and maybe get lucky then, or to sell the site itself and start in some other niche.
     
  7. MoshaD

    MoshaD Newbie

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    I've actually been approached by 2 ecommerce retailers today.

    Both established websites, but not big brands, both hyperfocused in different niches, both authoritative.

    Interestingly, both of the websites did well in the August update, a nice but not huge improvement in rankings and organic traffic.

    Around September 27th, both saw a big hit in organic traffic and rankings. Interestingly, they both have decent sized AdWords spends. But what seems to have happened is that for various keywords, bigger national brands are now ranking above them, despite their stores being less-focused, with poorer quality products and worse content.

    Honestly, this seems to be Google favouring big brands, regardless of how good the small/medium businesses websites' are.

    Is anyone else seeing something similar?
     
  8. joek07

    joek07 Newbie

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    I run a home decor website and we've been hit last week. Whereas we were ranking 7-12 or so for our main KWs, the big brands have now 3 URLs each all above us pushing us down to 18+.
    I was worried that it was down to our ranking pages being informative blog posts with 800-1500 words covering many different but on topic and relevant Q's while the rest of the first page being vanilla product sales pages but I think its just down to the big brands getting all the attention with this update.
    A few KWs have moved up one position today but like everyone else, I've no idea where next, up or down.
     
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  9. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP

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  10. Kuz32

    Kuz32 Power Member

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  11. mqsss

    mqsss Regular Member

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    I'm checking out a healthcare niche I used to dominate and I'm trying to get back in. The main KW ("best + kw") has about 50k monthly searches and a lot of competition. I've analyzed hundreds of niches for physical products sold at Amazon and this one became one of the hardest in the past few years.

    The first page in SERP is filled with authority sites as expected. 2 years ago it was 5 authority sites and 5 niche sites. But that doesn't matter.

    The thing that bothers me is that the first result that's been here from the August 1 is a page of an authority website that has... *drumroll* ... 502 damn words of content while the rest of the results on page 1 have about 4k words of content on average.

    ( H1 title ) Best + KW - Revealed by doctors

    ( Subtitle ) Doctors love these products

    100 words of an intro

    (h2) 1. This one (/h2)
    56 words of description
    BUY HERE (affiliate link)

    (h2) 2. This one (/h2)
    50 words of description
    BUY HERE (affiliate link)
    ... And so on. A list of 5 damn products. No real intro, no conclusion, no help. Just "buy this because doctors love it".

    I always imagined that Google will give more power to stuff like average session duration, bounce rate, and shit like that. Boy I was wrong.

    "Content is king" my ass.
     
  12. mcshammer

    mcshammer Newbie

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    That sums my company up, August was fine but towards the end of Sept it was chaos. I've lost 800 keywords in the span of a few weeks. I also spend a good sum on Google ads.
    And same again, the larger brands/competition haven't dropped a beat.
     
  13. Samurai-champloo

    Samurai-champloo Regular Member

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    i got hit again. double slap in a month lol
     
  14. LeanLow

    LeanLow Senior Member

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    Trying to reverse engineer the sep27th update, if anyone wants to share sites in health niche ether their own or their competitors that lost a ton of traffic PM ME, will share my results via PM. Thanks.
     
  15. luc1fer

    luc1fer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Content is important, but the thing is these days google give huge advantage to authority websites, big brands.. you can try writing bigger and better content, getting guest post links but i think it wont help. This situation is same in every niche.. Sometimes i rank post for many good keywords, suddenly competition big brand website mention my keywords in some of their news or posts, it just outrank my site..
     
  16. djs87

    djs87 Registered Member

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    I think the guru stuff is all horse. Impossible for Google to check 2 billion sites for proper credentials and research the validity of them individually. Garbage theory.

    I remember reading a patent from SEO by the Sea that discussed an update to PageRank talking about how many "hops" a link is from the authority on that topic or in that niche. It's highly likely Google manually selects a few cornerstone websites in a niche to set the standard of quality and the fewer hops your site is from the niche leader, the more authority your site is perceived to have. So if you plan to do some link building during these updates, pick a few authorities in your niche (websites that haven't tanked), export their outbound links, and see if any of those sites that they've linked to are accepting guest posts.

    Another theory is borderline guru but check your mobile site speed. Make sure above the fold content loads properly. And really pay attention to pagespeed insights. It may not be a coincidence that shortly after my site (health niche) received the mobile first indexing notice through WMT that it tanked. My mobile speeds were trash. Scored a 45 maybe. Fixed it to 92 today. Will report back if that helps recover our site.
     
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  17. rocket pil

    rocket pil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I saw a huge drop in my website ranking.
     
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  18. Jeff Moriarty

    Jeff Moriarty Newbie

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    First post on this forum. Looking for advice on next steps here. Sorry for the long post, but here is goes.

    We have been online for about 15 years, and now we are at our lowest amount of traffic in about 10 years. Our sites are Best Price Nutrition and My Supplement Store. We sell commodity items, but I have focused on unique product descriptions, tons of UGC, blog posts and guides for awhile now and it has always done us well. Until as of late.

    This is what I feel led up to this, but I am hoping there is something I missed.

    May 1st, 2018: Migrated Best Price Nutrition and My Supplement Store from Shopify. Similar sites, but almost all unique content. We purchased My Supplement Store about 8 years ago. A ton of traffic and sales, which is why we didn't just redirect it.

    Around May 25th: My Supplement Store took a big hit and lost almost 40% of its traffic. Nothing happened to Best Price Nutrition, we actually increased traffic.

    Aug 1st Update: My Supplement Store lost another 25% of its traffic. Best Price Nutrition lost about 40% of it's traffic.

    Sept 28th: Nothing happened to My Supplement Store, but Best Price Nutrition lost another 30% of it's traffic.

    So I have been trying to figure out if there is anything technically wrong, but doesn't seem so. These are issues we discovered in August.
    • During the migration, the reviews from each site were syndicated to both websites. There were 1000's. This was resolved in mid August.
    • During the migration, the company doing the migration pushed our blog posts to both websites. 100's of blog posts duplicated to each website. This was resolved mid August.
    • We found that a disgruntled employee instead writing unique content for our product pages, she was copying them one from another. This was about 100 product pages, which we have since resolved.
    Does Google think our sites are too similar still?

    What's Left
    • I noticed on Best Price Nutrition that we have 100's of blog posts that are getting hardly any traffic. I had trimmed My Supplement Store of this low traffic content. I am working on Best Price Nutrition still.
    • I am changing the theme on My Supplement Store to make it look more different.
    I have been in this industry since 2003, survived 2012, but have exhausted everything I know to figure this out. It's another sob story I know, but trying to keep everyone's job alive here, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  19. Unreliable Witness

    Unreliable Witness Power Member

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    Duplicate content might not hurt, and if its sorted now, it shouldn't be an issue now.

    You probably haven't lost 40% on every keyword. Some higher volume ones will be down more. So work out which ones have dropped, and who has replaced you. There might be some clue there.

    With this update though, it all seems to be speculation as to what has changed. There might not be a lot you can do until it becomes clearer what happened in the algo.
     
  20. Jeff Moriarty

    Jeff Moriarty Newbie

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    You are right, it's not for everything, but for all our high volume products/keywords. They have been replaced by the same sites we used to dominate. I have been doing some comparisons, but nothing big stands out. Two companies that normally placed bottom of page 1 are now the top for almost everything. Ugly site (not that it matters), not as much unique content as us, not as much ugc as us etc. We have also noticed sites that have stolen our content sometimes rank higher than us, which is a hurter.