Google Algorithm Updates - 2019 Ongoing Discussion

Ryuzaki

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June 19th Chatter:

SERPWoo:



Serpmetrics:



Mozcast:



SEMRush:



I'll report back in a few days with my own traffic. I don't have enough data to draw any conclusions or even confirm this is an update.
 
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I'm seeing some movement in my SERP trackers (down) but actual increase in traffic (up). Weird.
 

Sutra

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@Ryuzaki I'm in the process of cleaning everything up. One of my categories is set to redirect to a landing page with a different url. I use the landing page to display the posts in the format I want, plus have it optimized for search.

i.e.:
Category: Blue Widgets
URL: acme.com/blue-widgets

Users clicks on Blue Widgets in menu bar and gets redirected to a landing page (url: acme.com/guide-to-blue-widgets) with lots of info about blue widgets, how to use them, the benefits, etc, plus has a list of all the blue widgets sorted by various factors so it's easy to find the exact type of blue widget the person wants. This landing page links to all the individual articles on my site about blue widgets.

However, I just realized that in addition to the landing page, the category url acme.com/blue-widgets still exists - with about 100 posts in the archive list (Those 100 posts are all linked to within the landing page).

I don't want to rank the archive in search, I want to rank the landing page.

Should I no-index the Category Page, and keep the Landing Page indexed?

My thought is "yes", but I'm not completely sure, hah.
 

Ryuzaki

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@Sutra, are you using the word "redirected" correctly regarding Blue Widgets in your menu bar, or do you mean that you changed the menu to point to the acme.com/guide-to-blue-widgets/ page?

Because if you redirected the category archive to that page, then you should not be able to access the category archive at all. If you did not actually redirect it, that's what I would do here, since you probably have internal links built into your theme pointing to that category. It would push the juice to the page you built instead by having a redirect. And that would be better than noindex.
 

Ryuzaki

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June 27th:

SERPWoo:


SEMRush:


Mozcast:


Algoroo:
 

GarrettGraff

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A site of ours lost 50-60% of traffic around core update time - still haven't seen a bounce back. Based off SERP analysis it seems we were replaced (a medium authority site) by sites that have "mega" authority and not necessarily as-relevant content.
 
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I was 100% affected by the 3 June core update (downwards) and have been poking around my sites. Found something weird: I use the same theme on 2 sites. The sites are related in the same niche. Same design, layout, ad networks, even style and content of posts (ie length), number of images, etc.

The ONLY things different are: (1) the fonts. Same number of Google Fonts though. (2) one site has comments on, the other no comments. (3) one site has an author info box, the other not. (4) one site is hosted on Linode vs the other on a faster dedicated server.

The site hosted on Linode (which I thought would be slower) and without comments or an author box has Pagespeed stats 3x as fast as the other site. I really don't understand this...

I have just removed comments and author info box from the other (3 slower) site to test.

The only thing I can think of is that the comments took a long time to render (there is thousands in total but only 40 per page). Seriously can't think of anything else though... everything else is identical. Plugins, theme files, etc - all the same.

But yeah, I'd definitely run a crawl and find any internal links aimed at categories with no posts or pages that don't exist. I'd delete those categories and fix the 404 links. I'd do the same for external links and fix any 404's. I imagine this is harming your crawl budget and definitely affects any kind of quality score, especially internal 404's and wasted links. Externals probably get a bit more lenience.
What tool would you recommend for an internal linking crawl like this? After pruning so much of my site content I think I need to check that I didn't inadvertently create a ton of internal 404s too.
 
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Sutra

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@Darth

Are you saying that one of your sites is doing better than the others, even though the theme, etc., is almost identical?

What tool would you recommend for an internal linking crawl like this? After pruning so much of my site content I think I need to check that I didn't inadvertently create a ton of internal 404s too.
Screaming Frog is great.
 
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Are you saying that one of your sites is doing better than the others, even though the theme, etc., is almost identical?
I am talking about Pagespeed only... and yes they are more or less identical. In fact the site that performs worse in Pagespeed is on a much faster server.
 
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Been working with a friend's site that has been underperforming. June 1 brought about a massive increase in traffic (150%+). This began to decline around June 21, losing around half of that increase. By June 28 we were almost back to the same level as late May.
 

DD1

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What tool would you recommend for an internal linking crawl like this? After pruning so much of my site content I think I need to check that I didn't inadvertently create a ton of internal 404s too.
Not OP, but I used https://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/ on my site a few days ago. I don't know how big your site is (mine is just under 100 pages) but on my site it worked like a charm. It also gave me the line number where the 404 was, so finding it was slightly faster than Ctrl + F and typing the url to fix it.

Good luck fixing your site!
 

Ryuzaki

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What tool would you recommend for an internal linking crawl like this? After pruning so much of my site content I think I need to check that I didn't inadvertently create a ton of internal 404s too.
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider
  • Xenu Link Sleuth
  • Integrity (Mac)
Any of those will get the job done for you and much more. Some are free.
 

Ryuzaki

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July 13th Update:

SERPWoo:


Rank Ranger:


SEMRush:


Advanced Web Rankings:


Moz:



I just checked my traffic on my main site, the one where I can usually spot these updates but I've got nothing but an upward trend continuing with no spikes or dips. I see no aberrations. Anybody seeing anything?
 

GarrettGraff

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I just checked my traffic on my main site, the one where I can usually spot these updates but I've got nothing but an upward trend continuing with no spikes or dips. I see no aberrations. Anybody seeing anything?
Still flat on our sites.. Patiently waiting and still doing some back end work.
 
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Down a few more points (and was down around 10% from the core update).
 
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My main site isn't doing too good with these recent updates for rankings, but traffic holding strong, not much movement, but clearly not improving. Need to figure out some stuff here. Two never sites gained a bit.
 
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My main site isn't doing too good with these recent updates for rankings, but traffic holding strong, not much movement, but clearly not improving. Need to figure out some stuff here. Two never sites gained a bit.
You may be gaining/losing snippets or something like that.
 

CCarter

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Apparently a massive update rolling out.
No there wasn't an update. What happened on the 18th was Google changed their HTML code for mobile, so what you are seeing is people who were scraping the data getting "massive" errors cause they were incorrectly reading the scrapes. I know because:


Source: https://www.serpwoo.com/stats/volatility/

No update is that big. Never before within SERPWoo, Algoroo, SERPmetrics, or RankRanger. That's HTML code update for mobile devices. The way we separate the volatility by categories allows you to see what's really going on closer than the competition. This happened before as well.