Google Algorithm Updates - 2022 Ongoing Discussion

Politico

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Interesting one; could also be part of another split test of their algo. Here's a really interesting take from an ai engineer I saved a few months ago about short-term bursts shortly after algo updates

"From my experience working with AI developers running on large amounts of data and complex multi-variant models, my thought is this has very little to do with your content.

When Google indexes sites they have a dynamic scoring system that continuously takes into account user response data along with the categorizations Google has already done on each piece of content on your site. Every time they update their algorithms and sub-algorithms they need to re-run all the pages on all the sites that fall within the category of sites they were trying to improve the search
results for.

For example if they add another factor to one of their algo models - like how many scrolls and clicks somebody does, or how many internal links a page has, or whether the page uses specific code pattern - then all the pages on all the sites this applies to need to be re-run through the new algorithm. The reason is you can’t compare outputs from 2 different ranking models. So they basically wipe the old post-process data used to rank your pages previously and rerun those pages over time with the new algorithm. If you had good content scores before, that gets wiped and they rebuild it from new user experience data generated by the new algorithm. It takes time and ideally you get the same or better ranking afterward.

The pattern you are describing where irrelevant / bad content sites and large high-authority sites (eg Home Depot) are outranking you now seems to be an artifact of the historical ranking data wipe. When Google wipes and has to reconstruct a portion of the ranking data, what’s left is the data that hasn’t changed. In this case it’s probably the historical backlink ranking data that was left which is now inordinately more important in the rankings because the relevance ranking data got wiped and hasn’t been rebuilt yet. So the guys with tons of backlinks are winning temporarily.

Google also takes time to split test. So they will apply the new algo to one population of sites, and keep the old algo for the other group of sites. Then compare results to see which version of the algo “wins”. Your site might be in the “new algo” rather than the control group. They’re probably using AI to design and run these tests on the fly, too.

Google has been doing a massive development push on relevance and NLP in the last 3-4 years. Relevance-based algorithms are dramatically different than old data-value based algos. Now when they do an algo update they’re not just shifting the value they place on one or more known discrete ranking factors. They are transforming the entire ranking model in novel ways they don’t even understand completely.
in a nutshell:

1) it’s probably not your fault
2) Google is probably not singling out a particular site or post model (unless they are explicit about it)
3) you probably lost rankings because a chunk of your historical data got wiped and needs to be rebuilt by Google over time
4) You (and other good sites) should recover after a few months once Google has a chance to rebuild your user response data
5) You cannot prevent these things - you can only mitigate the damage by “doing all the things” on each site, and diversifying across sites, revenue models and niches."
This honestly makes a lot of sense. I know you gotta take everything from the horses mouth with a grain of salt, but this really makes sense when you think about what we see happen almost every update
 
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I've been hit massively and had a site with almost 100 articles drop most completely out of the top 100. Not spammy at all and almost no links etc...so there is definitely something going on.

Hopefully, as mentioned in one of the messages above, my user response data is rebuilt and it comes back in a month or so. This is all pure expert written, white hat content so it seems strange to penalize/de-rank it in some way.
 
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I've been hit massively and had a site with almost 100 articles drop most completely out of the top 100. Not spammy at all and almost no links etc...so there is definitely something going on.

Hopefully, as mentioned in one of the messages above, my user response data is rebuilt and it comes back in a month or so. This is all pure expert written, white hat content so it seems strange to penalize/de-rank it in some way.
I know it sucks but I wouldn't worry just yet and keep on keeping. There's been plenty of examples of sites that have been hit only to regain their momentum (and then some) over upcoming updates..
 

harrytwatter

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Yeah this happened to me during the July PRU rollout, my 70/30 info/commercial site was utterly destroyed. When I say destroyed I mean most of the site dropping from the top 100, info/review pages alike, it was carnage. Came back to 70% it's former glory during the last Sept PRU/Core dual rollout.

Every day I log in now and see hundreds of keywords return to pretty much where they were before the hit, pages 1 through 10. It does feel like Google goofed as I didn't do much during that down time because I couldn't find anything flagrantly obvious needing fixing. Sent a dozen or so brand/generic links that's about it..
 
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Thanks guys!

Yeah i'm trying not to panic and digesting the evidence of what posts stuck and which ones didn't. It's very strange and it seems like there is no real rhyme or reason for what's occurred in this update. In fact, the serp results look bloody awful at the moment with lots of AI and spam sites ranking again. I suspect Goggle might roll out a mini-fix in the near future.

Anyway, i'll just keep hanging in there at the moment and wait and see what happens before taking any radical actions etc.

Cheers
 
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Was up quite a bit last week and now down 5-10% literally after the spam update began rolling out.

My site is not spammy at all and has tons of quality links pointing to it. Hoping it returns to normal levels once the rollout finishes. Frustrating nonetheless...
I luckily rebounded! Didn't do anything, traffic just came back.
 
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Regarding the Helpful Content Update - has anyone been able to decipher if this update applies to individual pages, or is a slap on the entire website?

Many of my pages have disappeared from SERPs, but there are a few that seem to be ranking still.

Content is more or less the same type on both of them.

I tried kind of A/B testing by working on one of the affected pages - almost rewriting everything so it seems more "helpful" - but it's been a couple of weeks and that page has shown no improvement.

Wondering if it's a case of 'wait till the next update', or 'you have to work on all the affected pages to see improvement' kind of a thing.
 

contract

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Dropping, climbing, dropping..

No change yet, just losing traffic still even with growth. As if all rankings have been put on pause while G catches up or something.
 
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Regarding the Helpful Content Update - has anyone been able to decipher if this update applies to individual pages, or is a slap on the entire website?

Many of my pages have disappeared from SERPs, but there are a few that seem to be ranking still.

Content is more or less the same type on both of them.

I tried kind of A/B testing by working on one of the affected pages - almost rewriting everything so it seems more "helpful" - but it's been a couple of weeks and that page has shown no improvement.

Wondering if it's a case of 'wait till the next update', or 'you have to work on all the affected pages to see improvement' kind of a thing.

For me, it seems to be page by page. I've had most pages nuked but some stuck in their 1st positions. Content was of a similar quality level to other pages that were nuked so i'm left scratching my head.
 

Ryuzaki

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Small Update: October 28th

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We didn't call it out, but there was a small update on the 28th of October that definitely caused some movement. Word on the street is that it might have had more to do with fixing some errors with the October Spam Update. Some sites that were tagged with that bounced back, and others that were rightfully hit by it were hurt even more. It didn't register that big on any of these "weather charts" but I saw some movement on my own projects enough to warrant a mention for future reference.

I'm not sure that I'm seeing much on these November 2nd-5th raises in volatility yet. Others may be seeing it, but with it being the weekend much talk and investigation won't be happening till the coming week, I'm sure.

Regarding the Helpful Content Update - has anyone been able to decipher if this update applies to individual pages, or is a slap on the entire website?
Google was very clear in that the HCU (Helpful Content Update) is weighted (meaning variable in power) for each individual page, until you cross some threshold where they deem the entire site to be low quality, and then it'll be more like a sitewide penalty, the kind you have to wait on a refresh for to get out of it after improving your site.
 
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I'm seeing some recovery over the past few days. 15% increase in traffic. Anyone else?
 
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I'm seeing some recovery over the past few days. 15% increase in traffic. Anyone else
I had a few weeks of ~20% increase (WoW comparison), but yesterday was the first day in weeks where I had a -15% day (compared to the same day last week). So not siginificant, but see some changes. Could be caused by a lot of things though.
 
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I'm seeing some recovery over the past few days. 15% increase in traffic. Anyone else?
I'm up 8% WoW. But it's not a recovery from the algorithm penalties I'm facing. It's due to one country having a holiday last week, their traffic going to 0, and bouncing back to normal this week.

I usually don't monitor the stats on a weekly basis, because there's a lot of noise. I usually look at the stats once a month. Looking at that, no recovery, and I probably won't see one for several months since I fixed a lot of real issues.
 

tyealia

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Big jumps in traffic on all affiliate sites since yesterday.

Site 1 is up 131% since 7 days ago at 700+ visits a day.
Site 2 is up 86%
Site 3 +23%,
site 4 +20%
site 5 +20%.

Site 6 (my info site experiment) hit -25% with the October update - stagnant at 1400 visits a day most of the month.

Is anyone else seeing this? Maybe some rollback of affiliate review updates?
 

contract

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Added over 1,000,000 words of USA, college educated content. ZERO change, still continues to decline a tiny bit from the huge dip. Literally no movement at all on anything.
 
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Added over 1,000,000 words of USA, college educated content. ZERO change, still continues to decline a tiny bit from the huge dip. Literally no movement at all on anything.
This is my situation as well and exactly what i've experienced. Bloody strange!
 
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I think well gone are the days when you can just publish a crap-tonne of words (that make sense, are all correct, with good images, yadda, yadda) that are rewritten from various sources and hope to get some hits on keyword ranks.

Unless it's original content and ideally original images, I think Google isn't really interested. ESPECIALLY on a new/low DA domain.

Not that I'm saying you guys did this, but it's what I've observed.