Google Algorithm Updates - 2023 Ongoing Discussion

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
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The December Helpful Content Update and December Link Spam Update are now both done rolling out.
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
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Semrush smells something huge cooking. I checked a ton of these and nobody is quite picking it up other than SERPWoo:

7uFz9Xw.png


For SERPWoo below, it's the 2nd to last bar, since it's already ticked over to the 15th (it's a bit past midnight) in my time zone:

jr14z0q.png


Let's see what the word is by Monday. Perhaps they had a core update lined up and were waiting to get the HCU and LSU out of the way.
 
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My first site is hitting all time highs.
  • I stopped all content and links to it since late september.
  • Did add one static page earlier this month though.
I've actually been waiting to see when traffic would start dropping since I'm no longer working on it...

9mgcb9V.png
 
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I peeked at my ahrefs page by page for 2.5+ hours tonight (i lost 35% since the link spam update.

i observed this closely because i truly haven’t bought any links - however i do build them and none of the sites I built them from were hit - in fact… their traffic went up, but the posts they linked to down (some were exact match anchors)

i did notice something very interesting… with in each page on ahrefs I noticed the only keywords that actually dropped noticeably on a specific page were the exact same text associated with the anchors of the links. But, other similar leywords for that page of mine didnt budge, at all.

Note: Both links were naturally earned links due to a statistic piece i wrote.

My hypothesis: This brings me to a theory… perhaps google could be destroying links that provide exact match anchors in hopes to observe the reaction from the mass in some way? And that this isn’t a permanent reaction and an adjustment is near? Just a theory… i got destroyed and certainly got my links naturally in this case - it just happened they were exact matches by coincidence
 
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My hypothesis: This brings me to a theory… perhaps google could be destroying links that provide exact match anchors in hopes to observe the reaction from the mass in some way? And that this isn’t a permanent reaction and an adjustment is near? Just a theory… i got destroyed and certainly got my links naturally in this case - it just happened they were exact matches by coincidence
So this thread was posted by Grindstone in 2019 on Twitter:
That thread addresses Exact Match Anchors:

He also quote tweeted that thread in 2022:

The above is something I started telling Clients to do in 2018 when I adjusted my order documentation. Personally, I'm after sustained growth and typically Brand/generic/related-type anchors achieve that for me.

(I've extrapolated this into my internal linking practices too - because who knows what the future holds and the above future-proofs things for Me.)

You can agree/disagree with Grindstone but it's not a stretch of the imagination that what you're observing is what he outlined.

Also how long ago did you receive those specific links? Are they aged? When did they index?

I only say that because there are direct patents on Spam Manipulation that are "time based." This is an article from 2012 that goes over a singular patent: https://www.seobythesea.com/2012/08/google-rank-modifying-spammers-patent/

"The rank transition function provides confusing indications of the impact on rank in response to rank-modifying spamming activities. The systems and methods may also observe spammers’ reactions to rank changes caused by the rank transition function to identify documents that are actively being manipulated. This assists in the identification of rank-modifying spammers."

This is kind of the big reason people tell you not to "over-react" when you see down-trends after receiving a link, ie. not removing them.
 
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This is kind of the big reason people tell you not to "over-react" when you see down-trends after receiving a link, ie. not removing them.
Haven't been following specifically what is being discussed, but anecdotally, I went viral last year and picked up a TON of ultra HQ links that I would have never usually got. However, once the initial rush was over, traffic actually went down for a period. Now it is back up and higher than ever before.
 
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jstover77

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A bunch of my websites I haven't built links to in months mostly saw gains (some saw nothing at all). Websites I've been working on recently saw the biggest negative drop in rankings. Weirdly, their traffic hasn't suffered all that much. The anchor text theory would definitely make sense, as I build about 20% of my links with exact and partial anchors.

-----

OK, now a couple of the websites I've been working on recently shot way back up. Went from mostly negative rank movement to almost all positive movement. Some kind of rollback going on. The shit is all over the place.

I'm going to give it a few days and let the dust settle. This isn't the first time I've seen a mess like this with Google.
 
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Anything new?
I just recovered 100% from the last 2 updated but lost 50% traffic today :surprised:
 
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I got hit hard in October's update but have just noticed an uptick in traffic from around the end of the first week in January. I think i've increased traffic around 10-15% but across some very random keywords. So, something has definitely been cooking in the serps.

I'm yet to see the complete return of all of my rankings.
 
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I got hit hard in October's update but have just noticed an uptick in traffic from around the end of the first week in January. I think i've increased traffic around 10-15% but across some very random keywords. So, something has definitely been cooking in the serps.

I'm yet to see the complete return of all of my rankings.

Same here. I got hit in September; lost clicks, impressions, and got pages de-indexed but this month everything started getting re-indexed and shooting back up so something is stirring for sure.