Google Algorithm Updates - 2022 Ongoing Discussion

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This is exactly why people end up spamming the SERPS.

You spend years building something up, following their rules then you still get slapped.

Maybe that’s the problem….following their rules!?

if things don’t recover for me…

look out
 
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Not good at all.

Surely in this example he has to bounce back once this update is tweaked - it just seems too extreme to be the final result.

Who replaced him in those positions?

I've had a closer look at the keywords of my competitor that dropped into oblivion, and what pages are now ranking in their place.

For keywords that mention a product, it appears that big brand eCommerce stores have replaced his pages.

For example, a keyword he ranked #1 for was "Cheap [product type] for Under $100"

His page was optimised for this keyword - an exact match in title, H1, URL, and well-written article addressing the query.

Now ranking #1 is a product category page on ao.com - a big brand eCommerce store.

Ranking #2 is Amazon

And the rest of the first page is local or national eCommerce stores.

Not a single result answers the most important part of the searcher's query "under $100".

For his information keywords, the results are strange.

He ranked #1 for "how to clean [type of product]". Again, his page is well optimised and answers the query perfectly. In this case, his page is replaced by websites offering professional cleaning services - they do not answer the query, only offer paid solutions.

A lot of his information keywords are now answered directly in the snippet, not by pages that are optimised for the keywords, but by large authority sites that happen to mention the answer within an article.


This update seems like a mix of Bert and the Passage Ranking update, but really, who knows?

What is completely insane is going from #1 to not even in top 100 for a perfectly written relevant article that answers a search query, and to be replaced with partially relevant eCommerce category pages. I can understand being dropped a few spots, but this complete obliteration is wild, it's like being punished for trying to answer the query.

I'm seeing a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook groups who were ranking 1#, to not showing up inside the top 100 for many keywords, it's madness.
 
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bernard

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Is this an "intent" update?

I feel like I'm rising for broad keywords, but declining in review type keywords.

Edit: I checked and I do see some HUGE jumps up for broad keywords that have been down since May 2021.

How about that huh?
 
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Very weird update!

One site suddenly dropped about 60% a week to update announcement, recovered a bit before announcement & remained the same after they announced roll out. Still down roughly 25%.

Another site is down roughly 50% since rollout.

The weird part: Many pages have dropped out of top 100, New published articles are getting crawled & indexed but not ranking for anything at all.

This is no longer a case of publishing more content to close the gap. Looks like the update messed up something in the algo that stops new content from ranking at all.

btw, I’m observing this update seems to only been affecting Info heavy sites… Our affiliate site brothers aren't really complaining which is leading me to believe they gave some level of significance to User Experience/Metrics, since Info sites are primarily monetized by Display ads. I suspect they tweaked the quality threshold for number ads per page, and punished pages that exceeds this threshold.

Noticed I said Pages; this update looks like page specific penalty, not sitewide. Explains why certain pages are untouched/minimal fropswhile others completely dropped out of top 100 (at least what I’m noticing on my site).

Also, if you look at how display ads are shown per page (more word count, images = more ads), you kinda understand why certain pages may have crossed the threshold while others didn’t. However, if you have a very high AD density setting, then it’s likely for all pages to cross the mark regardless of word count. Probably why some are experiencing 80%, 90% drops..

I see this pattern across 3 sites I monitor but I can only talk about one: Owntheyard.com (a public case study) getting absolutely slaughtered. SUPER AD heavy site, terrible user experience. The other 2 sites are my direct competitors so can’t reveal them but same story as Owntheyard.

There’s definitely some content/intent adjustments going on as well but this ad stuff stands out the most to me.

Fingers crossed for the coming weeks. I still believe there’ll be some sort of rollback. Something is broken. But if it doesn’t change then this ad, user experience stuff is worth further investigation.
 

Ryuzaki

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@Encrypted, OwnTheYard is one of many public case study sites I've seen suffer this fate (go to zero overnight during a large update). The one exception was HealthAmbition which got hit by YMYL, but it did go to zero.

The reason I feel I've seen all these sites drop like that is because of two reasons. In the past it was because someone would copy the site for themselves and then negative SEO the original.

The main reason it usually happens is because that person's followers and many who don't follow but want the easy path all copy the site's topics. Like one-to-one publish everything they published. These copycats are coming along behind the original, but eventually an update comes that "recalculates" all these new articles on the same topics and a big shuffle occurs.

So say each of the 50 copycats all get 1/50th of the wins each, spread across the group. That still adds up to 50/50th's of losses for the original site. It doesn't take much, maybe 1 or 2 SERP positions across the board, to nearly completely cut off the original site's organic traffic flow.

Of course this is testable by looking at their SERPs and seeing how many copycats have arisen.

The idea that they got hit due to having ads isn't likely in my opinion. Google and the Internet Advertising Bureau created the Better Ad Standards of how many ads of each type and what size are acceptable (based on user satisfaction metrics), and all the big networks won't let you exceed those thresholds.

And since Google is in on the initiative and signed off and announced what was an okay amount of ads, for them to pull the rug out from everyone without announcing a change (and there's been no change announced at all), would be grounds for a class action lawsuit, I think. I really don't think this is the case that this happened, partially because we'd be hearing pure pandemonium. I'd be in the gutter too, and I'm not. I'm down maybe 10% and my posts are long and load many, many ads. I could be a survivor and having survivor's bias, but I think we'd be hearing a pattern by now.
 

LinkPlate

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The idea that they got hit due to having ads isn't likely in my opinion.

I agree that this is not about ad heavy pages, but from all the discussions and posts I am reading - there seems to be a pattern. There are A LOT of sites that went from #3 or #1 to >100 in less than a week.

I looked at a few sites in ahrefs that took a hit and they had quality content but I guess what I mean by "quality" might not be what Google is looking for.

Even in their announcement they said.
"the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better."
 
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Noticed I said Pages; this update looks like page specific penalty, not sitewide. Explains why certain pages are untouched/minimal fropswhile others completely dropped out of top 100 (at least what I’m noticing on my site).
One of our sites seems this happened also, some pages untouched, some pages lost rank
 
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One of our sites seems this happened also, some pages untouched, some pages lost rank
Not sure I agree, my entire site was affected.

Some pages not as much but overall every page and query that was ranking went down.

My site is 9 years old, clean site, well optimized etc… and the thing I can’t get past is terms I ranked well for years, are gone, like not even in the top 100.

I would understand if I dropped to a lower rank or maybe page two because I was surpassed by fresh better content.

just seems so wrong that something that was considered good enough for page one, literally for years, is just not even in the top 100.

I have another smaller site that was also affected but not as much.

I noticed in GSC under the page experience section, as traffic declined so do the total impressions of good URLS. This same decline happened on both my sites.

When you dig into how Google denotes good page experience/performance they note:
  1. Core Web Vitals
  2. Mobile friendly
  3. HTTPS
  4. intrusive interstitial guidelines.
My sites pass top 3 easily but I had pop ups and interstitial ads, so I’ve removed those from both sites.

But on my small site I also turned off Ezoic ads, but left one video ad from another vendor. I Was thinking all the ads might be considered a poor page experience.

anyways see what happens I guess.
 
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One thing I noticed when I dig into the data is that my US traffic is down about 1-2% but my tier three countries are down about 16%. Makes the semrush data look a bit scary but my RPM has shot up 10%.

I may have been dinged by the update but only on trash tier country rankings which I don’t care about anyway
 
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Not sure I agree, my entire site was affected.

Some pages not as much but overall every page and query that was ranking went down.

My site is 9 years old, clean site, well optimized etc… and the thing I can’t get past is terms I ranked well for years, are gone, like not even in the top 100.

I would understand if I dropped to a lower rank or maybe page two because I was surpassed by fresh better content.

just seems so wrong that something that was considered good enough for page one, literally for years, is just not even in the top 100.

I have another smaller site that was also affected but not as much.

I noticed in GSC under the page experience section, as traffic declined so do the total impressions of good URLS. This same decline happened on both my sites.

When you dig into how Google denotes good page experience/performance they note:
  1. Core Web Vitals
  2. Mobile friendly
  3. HTTPS
  4. intrusive interstitial guidelines.
My sites pass top 3 easily but I had pop ups and interstitial ads, so I’ve removed those from both sites.

But on my small site I also turned off Ezoic ads, but left one video ad from another vendor. I Was thinking all the ads might be considered a poor page experience.

anyways see what happens I guess.

This update doesn't appear to be targeting sites with poor page speed scores, web vitals, or heavy ads.

My site has perfect scores and was wiped out. The site has no display ads, it's super clean, and here's the result of the update;

fhjgfhjgfjhg.png


Run a few of those ad-heavy big brand magazines and news sites that dominate page one through Page Speed Insights and you'll see how little this matters to ranking. I'm seeing lots of ad heavy sites ranking well after this update.

This site dominates the UK for all the "Best" keyword phrases, made huge gains with this update - and has terrible page scores.

ghjgfjgfjg.png



I'm also baffled by the severity of the drops, it almost feels like a bug - not natural.

For the pages that ranked #1 and dropped to outside top 100, I discovered that they don't rank anywhere. Like, they do not exist ANYWHERE in the Google search results.

The pages are indexed - confirmed with "site:", also "keyword + brand" ranks the page #1, and Search Console shows the page as indexed. The page is fully indexed, but is not findable anywhere in the results for the target keyword - it's very strange.

I keyword searched the dropped URL with different rank trackers and manually searched every page on Google using F command, even with omitted search results - I'm talking more than 400 results checked. The pages that show as "Lost" on Ahrefs, are truly lost, but they are indexed.

Going to test some things and see what I find over the next few weeks.
 
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For the pages that ranked #1 and dropped to outside top 100, I discovered that they don't rank anywhere. Like, they do not exist ANYWHERE in the Google search results.

exactly what I’m seeing on my site. My chart looks almost identical.

Run a few of those ad-heavy big brand magazines and news sites that dominate page one through Page Speed Insights and you'll see how little this matters to ranking. I'm seeing lots of ad heavy sites ranking well after this update.

your prolly correct I just figured try something on my small site to see what happens.

Going to test some things and see what I find over the next few weeks.

if you find anything useful please share. I know I’ll share anything I can find. This is people’s income.

think all that have been affected should share anything they find out to support the greater community.

I'm also baffled by the severity of the drops, it almost feels like a bug - not natural.
I really hope so!
 

Ryuzaki

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I'm also baffled by the severity of the drops, it almost feels like a bug - not natural.

I reckon this is a safe bet and some boo-boo’s will be undone on Google’s side of things. I’d say we all hang on and be patient. A month from now or less we’ll probably be discussing what we think is some form of rollback.

BUT if in your panic you see things you can improve… definitely do it! It’s a good opportunity to look over everything from a kitchen sink perspective.
 

mj22

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I think something is going on, I am seeing odd movement like before this thing was announced, im watching multiple niches, ecom sites, a few affiliate/content sites ect. it could be from competitors being active ect, but i have a few sites in niches isolated with no activity going on link wise or content wise(both ecom and affiliate). For example, this one niche im handling for a client im seeing a forbes review page go from pos 1, to NA, to page 2, then pos 4 then back to pos 1... over and over again. They may be trying to dial shit back. I have no idea, i am just not used to seeing big sites like that swing around all over the place. This has been for the last couple days i have been seeing this.

I hope this rolls out and you guys get your rankings back.

Edit: I DO think you guys are right about it being something to do with on page/ on site, another client has his on page dialed in perfect, but there are some massive offsite/offpage issues going on and out of all of the sites, i would have thought that one would tank the next core update, but it didnt, its seen a slight bump across the board for all but one page.
 
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Ryuzaki

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Did you originate "the kitchen sink" in regards to SEO niche sites? Because I'm seeing everyone using it now on Twitter.
No, Glenn Gabe of GSQI came up with the idea but never set down a method publicly. I gave him the nod at the top of my thread and then set down an actual action plan, which was missing from all other discussion about it. But yeah it’s his idea and concept, which is why I kept his nomenclature intact.
 

tyealia

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Semsensor at 9.0, my tech blog that lost 90% of traffic vs previous month clawing back to down 45% vs previous month so a slight rollback.
 

bernard

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Yes seems like there was a partial rollback for sure.
 
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Yep seeing small roll back here too but wasn’t really hit hard to start with. Minus ten to minus six points over the last few days
 
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Seeing a bounce back to regular levels (was down around 15 percent). Hoping it stays that way.
 

Taq

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One of my sites grew about 15% during the start of the update it's now back to pre-update numbers. No more no less.

The sites that got hit clawed back maybe 10% what they lost.

But it's still not over yet and things have been changing from one day to the next. I'll wait for Google to give the word from reading too much into this.
 
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hahaha, my website has gone to shit!

Great content, no shady stuff. I was just starting to get some decent traffic. I suddenly went from 1k+ visits per day to <500.

Well, I tried.

I will not be doing anything for the next two months.
 
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I gained my first 50 featured snippets and had them for about a week before the update hit. All were lost and the traffic tanked by around 30%.

I'm also starting to see a gradual increase again.
 

Taq

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Previous updates we had a general idea of what they were about, but this update has no rhyme or reason, will we ever know what it was about?
 

bernard

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Previous updates we had a general idea of what they were about, but this update has no rhyme or reason, will we ever know what it was about?

Authority Hackers had a good podcast about this yesterday.

What you want to do is approach it scientifically, make a list of say 10 search results where you declined. Then for each of them decide which ranking factors to look at, be specific, word count, DA, ref domains, EAT (author box), H2/H3 keyword, outgoing affiliate links, ads on pages etc.

Then write down each of your metrics vs the top 10 site metrics.

Essentially do a manual Surfer SEO.

This would be something you could outsource as well or we could crowdsource it!