Google Algorithm Updates - 2019 Ongoing Discussion

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Looks like a rollback is in play, the gap with the white space (highlighted pink) represents URLs that were ranking those days yet are not ranking now, if you noticed the old URLs ranking before the update are now almost back 90-100% of their old positions, some slight variations.
Not for me. Still climbing every day and now I'm up 60% since 13.03.
 
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Seem to be a rollback of some sort.

My sites got hit my medic update. The march update finally gave me back a lot of the rankings, but a few days later they all dropped again.

It was a short-lived happiness :-)
 

CCarter

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Not for me. Still climbing every day and now I'm up 60% since 13.03.
There are a lot of people seeing mixed results. I'm starting to see that low volatility keywords are being rolled back, yet high volatility terms seem to be still on the upward movement. I was in a twitter conversation with tehseowner about this: https://twitter.com/MercenaryCarter/status/1110016873733808129

There is still a ton of data to be dug into. Currently I'm researching the volatility angle to see where the rollback occurs cause it's definitely not a complete roll back.
 
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Lot of my sites that were propped up with semi relevant moderately strong 301s and hyper relevant low authority links got hit pretty good. Bouncing around but not recovered.

Discussing with some big brands + two client audits I'm doing that are both heavily relying on 301s leads me to believe that's one of the areas of focus for this update. Anybody seeing similar?
 

Ryuzaki

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Lot of my sites that were propped up with semi relevant moderately strong 301s and hyper relevant low authority links got hit pretty good. Bouncing around but not recovered.

Discussing with some big brands + two client audits I'm doing that are both heavily relying on 301s leads me to believe that's one of the areas of focus for this update. Anybody seeing similar?
This is my current main concern on a project. I can't say that I noticed these updates directly related to 301's, but I had 4, with 2 big ones that, like yours, were semi-related (one actually unrelated). If you want some background on that, I wrote about it here. I've been getting -10% on every update for the past 2 years and making it up, then losing it again.

My site is pretty cutting edge regarding everything. I've recently fixed an indexation problem though, haven't seen any recovery from that. I also have a big crawl budget improvement I'll be rolling out within a month I hope.

Other than that, all I can see is that it's a 301 problem. I've already removed all 4 and intend to report back if I see any movement from it. They're moving pretty slowly on it. Those domains are still indexed at my main domain. I've tried pinging one to see if that helps. It's gonna take them recrawling most of the old links, I think, before it swaps over. One of them I'm going to toss up a new site on, which should quicken that one detaching.

Beyond that, I'm at a complete loss and will start dripping content regularly and focusing on something else unless it recovers eventually.
 
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Social bookmarks are the fastest "safe" indexing method in the west these days, I usually drop 10 at all new 301s and they index next day (maybe same day but I don't check?) typically. I'm guessing a reversed 301 would respond similar.

I've got a couple I'm going to remove this week if I don't see some rollback, will test the bookmarks for quick re-indexing and report back.
 

Ryuzaki

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March 26th, 2019
Was out of state for the week, came back and could clearly see the update in my analytics (unfortunately another 5-10% loss for my site with some problems I'm fixing up. I don't have much more to offer since I'm still playing catch up, but here's some general confirmation all gathered in one spot.

SERPWoo & Moz both picked it up:


SERPWoo


Moz
 
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I'm back to where I was before 12 March (or even a few % below). I like this quote from the above article

Google does not like websites that sit at the end of the value chain & extract profits without having to bear far greater risk & expense earlier into the cycle.
 
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Almost a month has passed. Things should have stabilized by now. How's everyone doing/recovering?

I'm up 116% in clicks, and up 136% in impressions since 12.03. From what I can gather from the Search Console, the main gains come from pages that were not ranking well before but suddenly started performing better after the update.

Before the update, around 60% of my content was ranking on the second or third page. Now, it looks like 2/3 of those pages have jumped to the first page, and started ranking for a lot of long tails.

For me, it looks like this was a domain-level update. Suddenly Google decided that most of my posts are pretty good. Even ones that were published last month are starting to gain some traction, when before it would take at least three months to even appear on the second page.

It's like suddenly I was removed from the sandbox (It actually may be true, because my site is nine months old,) or suddenly gained a bunch of high-quality links.

 
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Ok, so I'm not the only one seeing these results. I keep hearing it has settled but my one site is exploding.

 

GarrettGraff

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Nice to see some positive trends! Our sites have remained pretty much perfectly flat in Q1 2019 after a year of consistent growth, so not much to report here. Hoping we get a boost soon!
 
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This is my current personal project.

On the 11th 12k impressions by the 16th down below 4k impressions. Slight recovery but mostly just in total fringe rankings that don't drive clicks. Looks like some people here gained where I lost.

This site has extremely thin content and lack of compliance with normal web standards so previous visibility was entirely traffic analysis and backlink driven.

My site is stupid low quality from an on page signaling perspective. I think I was getting a pass because we have massive type in from chrome user agents and tend to have high click through when we get presented in specialized serps due to the aggressive branding.
Unrelated but possibly a confounding factor.
They started really censoring us in auto complete and google trends over the last year. Since then, rankings and brand searches are trailing off. (this is pre search console largely) I think I might have to 301 but I might end up just penalty spreading. I also really like the brand name.

Looks like a lot of my march losses on this site align with gains from other members. My guess is they all have more content than me and less links from link round up circle jerk sites.

Here's my blow harding on the update.

I think they did a full node reranking to build a new labels database.
Some trusted exception, classification tricks have been closed off and some link nodes re-weighted. I think they've devalued links from sites that link out a lot again as a whole.
Some nodes that were rather valuable are no longer as valuable. Devaluing link round up pyramids that utilized older links appears have happened as the common theme for the devalued nodes.
 
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GarrettGraff

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Here's my blow harding on the update.

I think they did a full node reranking to build a new labels database.
Some trusted exception, classification tricks have been closed off and some link nodes re-weighted. I think they've devalued links from sites that link out a lot again as a whole.
Some nodes that were rather valuable are no longer as valuable. Devaluing link round up pyramids that utilized older links appears have happened as the common theme for the devalued nodes.
I am pleasantly surprised to read somebody discussing the concept of nodes in 2019 =)
 

Ryuzaki

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May 22nd, 2019

Looks like there was an update. I must admit, I've been too busy to even look at my stats, let alone investigate. I hope some others have some info they can share. I'm just pointing out the update:

SERPWoo



RankRanger



Moz



SEMRush

 
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I'm moving up, but not going to celebrate, since I've been moving up then down back, for the last several updates.
 
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What do you make of this?
There are hardly any backlinks to this page:
 
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TBH I think I preferred it when they didn't pre-announce. Now we get to freak out for the next 24 hours. I think if they are gonna do this, just announce as it is live.
Yeah, SEO's be like...

 

Ryuzaki

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Seeing about a 15% - 20% boost in users and pageviews starting yesterday! That's Monday to previous Monday.
 

Ryuzaki

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So my Monday-to-Previous-Monday was a ~20% gain.

Today, the Tuesday-to-Previous-Tuesday was a 40% gain!



How are you guys faring? Any other boosts? Any catastrophes? Anyone seeing nothing?

If you saw a boost, do you think there was anything in particular you did to help usher in the boost? Were you impacted negatively from the "medic" updates before? I was, glad to see myself getting some gains back.

As far as what I did since last August when this all started going downhill for me:
  • Content Pruning - deleted about 150 posts, which was about 40% of the total content
  • Indexation Cleanup - stopped indexing "paged" pages of archives and fixed like 800 robots.txt blocked pages that should have been noindexed.
  • Speed Optimization - got even faster, now scoring a 100 on the lighthouse test.
  • Design Stuff - Made my Desktop and Mobile menus way better. Cleaned up Sidebars.
  • Crawl Budget - Working on this more now that I have the robots.txt changed, need to add nofollow to a ton of stuff. In process.
  • 301'd Domains - I doubt this is related but I'm including it. I killed off three 301'd domains. One wasn't niche-relevant at all though, so maybe it did play a part.
There were things I was going to do that haven't left the staging server yet, like reducing the number of display ads, updating every post (I'm converting what's left after pruning to gutenberg blocks), etc. I'm still going to push all this out so we'll see how that plays out.

I'm about 90% sure this includes a Panda data refresh.
 
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Hi, how do you get a 100% lighthouse test with display ads? What ad network can provide that?

I am not really seeing any massive changes, maybe slightly down if you had to ask me. I saw massive increases in April/May though.

Content pruning and noindex paged are things that I have done/do regularly and my menus are clean also.
 

Ryuzaki

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Hi, how do you get a 100% lighthouse test with display ads? What ad network can provide that?
I used a page without ads that was still similar to all of the other content (my big About page).

There's definitely no point in measuring with ad networks because you can't control them. I wanted feed back on what I can control, and drove that all the way to the 100 score.

What you can do though is look at Pagespeed Insights. It gives you more than just the Lighthouse score, showing you metrics like First Contentful Paint, First Meaningful Paint, etc. Display Ads that are asynchronous will have no effect on these, and these are definitely the ones the Google algorithm uses as opposed to some coagulated metric that includes a full download time, which isn't relevant to users at all. All that matters is when stuff appears on the page and when it's usable.