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Google Updates, anyone affected?

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Anyone been affected by google the last few months?

SEL google article about the update
https://searchengineland.com/how-googles-march-april-and-august-updates-might-fit-together-305975

I have seen a 25% drop in the last few months. Its devastating. Has anyone else seen a drop around early august?

My communities have 18 years of posts, so not lacking in the content dept.

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i've experienced the opposite, a steady rise since August.  Not entirely sure what to attribute it to though.  My monthly visitor numbers dropped from 90,000 to 30,000 when I switched to IPS, this bottomed out in December.  Since around February time I have steadily been recovering but August saw the recovery pick up page.  Perhaps I benefitted from the algorythm change or its just part of the natural recovery of my site, who knows

Sorry to hear you've taken a hit though, I know how stressful that is!!!

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I was going to pose a similar question to this community because yes, I have seen a drop in google organic traffic over the summer and now into September. Here's one of my IPS forum sites from June 1st through October 16th with the last few weeks having dropped the most noticeably.

image.thumb.png.330deb5f163d8e1903defe9a7adc58a5.png

Here's another one of my IPS forum sites where the drop was earlier in July and is slowly creeping back up but yet to get back to where we were.

image.thumb.png.d04bd6bf3c2c4c117e4c0db75f0ecdbb.png

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@AlexWebsites have you managed to find out why at all? I have signed up to semrush and trying to understand it all. Seems their is an organic keyword drop, wonter if they are purging all the old threads?

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I have about 25 websites that I have built and host for clients, several seem to have been considerably affected by this.  Forums still going fine though

1 hour ago, loccom said:

@AlexWebsites have you managed to find out why at all? I have signed up to semrush and trying to understand it all. Seems their is an organic keyword drop, wonter if they are purging all the old threads?

let me know how you get on with semrush.  I have ahrefs and am not convinced.  When I questioned them why their stats seemed to show more traffic coming to my site than google analytics does they more or less admitted their stats were guestimates.  

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14 minutes ago, Steve Bullman said:

I have about 25 websites that I have built and host for clients, several seem to have been considerably affected by this.  Forums still going fine though

let me know how you get on with semrush.  I have ahrefs and am not convinced.  When I questioned them why their stats seemed to show more traffic coming to my site than google analytics does they more or less admitted their stats were guestimates.  

I wouldn't consider them reliable. We've actually had to block the ahrefs bot on Community in the Cloud because of how aggressive it is.

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Just now, Ryan Ashbrook said:

I wouldn't consider them reliable. We've actually had to block the ahrefs bot on Community in the Cloud because of how aggressive it is.

Yep I might cancel it and save myself £160 a month

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How fast is your website for mobile devices? With each algorithm update slow pages are losing positions in Google's search. I changed the theme of my blog to a faster [Generatepress] and almost doubled access (In the blog), including Facebook.  When I share content on my Facebook page now they are viralizing, before they were stagnant. So, Facebook is also punishing slow pages. I'm trying to make what the forum has the same speed as the blog, but still need to improve a lot.  But the small adjustments in this direction already gave small improvements in the forum too. The installation of REDIS and PHP 7.2 was one of these improvements and it helped a lot.

Today's news on this subject. They will start to warn you about the slower pages:

https://www.seroundtable.com/google-search-console-fix-slow-page-loading-26572.html

Edited by Silnei L Andrade

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31 minutes ago, Silnei L Andrade said:

 

How fast is your website for mobile devices? With each algorithm update slow pages are losing positions in Google's search. I changed the theme of my blog to a faster [Generatepress] and almost doubled access (In the blog), including Facebook.  When I share content on my Facebook page now they are viralizing, before they were stagnant. So, Facebook is also punishing slow pages. I'm trying to make what the forum has the same speed as the blog, but still need to improve a lot.  But the small adjustments in this direction already gave small improvements in the forum too. The installation of REDIS and PHP 7.2 was one of these improvements and it helped a lot.

Your site will load faster if you loading a JavaScript  before closing a body tag.
This is activated in the Custom menu on your theme.
Open this menu and select for "Javascript include location " -> Just before </body> tag

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2 hours ago, Steve Bullman said:

Yep I might cancel it and save myself £160 a month

Good Lord @Steve BullmanBullman, if you're paying 160 / mo  just to be told unreliable forecasting, you can pay me 160 to have the same unreliable forecasting too! I promise to be reliably unreliable! 

Ive had a 30% increase my Google traffic in the past couple of months.  I've done nothing in particular since Google will do whatever Google wants to do.  

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@Adlago I ran the test and started loading the pages in 11 seconds.  With the javascript on the "head" it loads 6s, sometimes 5.5s. The problem is the avatar photos and the photos of the topics. I have not figured out the best way to optimize old images in IPB.

Edited by Silnei L Andrade

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1 hour ago, Silnei L Andrade said:

@Adlago I ran the test and started loading the pages in 11 seconds.  With the javascript on the "head" it loads 6s, sometimes 5.5s. The problem is the avatar photos and the photos of the topics. I have not figured out the best way to optimize old images in IPB.

This is because you use Rocket loader, and this changes the initiator loading java script.

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My users are in Brazil and most use Mobile. So I configured GTMetrix to run the test on a server in São Paulo. I re-run the test now with AD block and without Rocket load and with the Javascript in the body, gave 5s!  The test with the previous configuration had reached 5.5. Already improved, I'll leave like this. Thank you!

TESTE_GMETRIX.thumb.png.d10b303fff33d2fe2516f0fc3b1f4c31.png

 

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On 10/25/2018 at 10:47 AM, loccom said:

@AlexWebsites have you managed to find out why at all? I have signed up to semrush and trying to understand it all. Seems their is an organic keyword drop, wonter if they are purging all the old threads?

I haven’t but one thing I will say is that lately I’m getting messages from google that show mobile usability issues within forum pages. I have to look into it more. Seems to correlate with traffic decrease. 

Edited by AlexWebsites

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On 10/25/2018 at 5:57 PM, Ryan Ashbrook said:

I wouldn't consider them reliable. We've actually had to block the ahrefs bot on Community in the Cloud because of how aggressive it is.

Our community had to do the same with them, Yandex and a couple of other bad bad bots. Our monthly bandwidth since May had been around 250gig, since we blocked these bots it as dropped down to around 40gig.

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On 10/25/2018 at 8:19 PM, Joel R said:

Good Lord @Steve BullmanBullman, if you're paying 160 / mo  just to be told unreliable forecasting, you can pay me 160 to have the same unreliable forecasting too! I promise to be reliably unreliable! 

Ive had a 30% increase my Google traffic in the past couple of months.  I've done nothing in particular since Google will do whatever Google wants to do.  

That's  interesting. How's the bounce rate with the new traffic? Do they stick around for more than a page or so?

 

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On 10/25/2018 at 2:30 PM, Silnei L Andrade said:

 

How fast is your website for mobile devices? With each algorithm update slow pages are losing positions in Google's search. I changed the theme of my blog to a faster [Generatepress] and almost doubled access (In the blog), including Facebook.  When I share content on my Facebook page now they are viralizing, before they were stagnant. So, Facebook is also punishing slow pages. I'm trying to make what the forum has the same speed as the blog, but still need to improve a lot.  But the small adjustments in this direction already gave small improvements in the forum too. The installation of REDIS and PHP 7.2 was one of these improvements and it helped a lot.

Today's news on this subject. They will start to warn you about the slower pages:

https://www.seroundtable.com/google-search-console-fix-slow-page-loading-26572.html

I think this has something to do with it as well as mobile usability, because I did get notifications for my sites like "New Mobile Usability issues detected" and in the email it shows:

image.png.1802c775a0f5967b967634a81d786ec1.png

When I go to the link to fix the pages, there aren't any issues displayed. As soon as I started receiving these types of emails, I noticed my traffic starting to decline. 

 

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Is it safe these days to use - "Javascript include location " -> Just before </body> tag  now?

In the past we had several apps / plugins break when we selected that as the option but haven't retested that for I suppose a year plus now

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5 minutes ago, Unlucky said:

Is it safe these days to use - "Javascript include location " -> Just before </body> tag  now?

In the past we had several apps / plugins break when we selected that as the option but haven't retested that for I suppose a year plus now

Yes - in fact, that's the default on new installs. If a third party application breaks because of that, then that would be a bug in that application.

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I think a lot of BIG BOARDs got hit hard - even smaller ones. This is especially true for any sites that niche on health, education, or finance.

A lot of this is due to having many old pages DROPPED from Google index. Score ranking factors are drastically changing ... something could favor your site today and tomorrow (poof) it's gone.  Expect this to happen to you ... prepare for it. 

Technology is changing drastically year-by-year. Nowadays, we have walls that talk back to us. We can ask a question and get answers back. Yes, it's fascinating but it's also dangerous. Google is diversifying their services ... they are now offering their Home services/products. To make this a success, they need to make sure that their search index provide accurate, safe, and trustworthy answers.

With that said...

Google is now Mobile First. Which means that Google will index your mobile pages for use on mobile and desktop usage. They say that every site will be notified (via Google Webmaster/Search Console) when site is moved to Google mobile first index. If you haven't recieved one that could be one of the reasons why your site is not getting much traffic these days.

Desktop indexing will still occur for sites not moved to mobile indexing but expect that to happen less frequently (less favored).

Other factors you should be aware of...

Google Manual Raters (check out  their General Guidelines) ... pay close attention to Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (E-A-T)

Page Speed

SSL is now a factor. Moving forward security (in general) will be a big issue.

Anonymity is one reason why forums are successful but it can also hurt us. These days TRUST is very important to many people. The more fake news, scams, hacks, and security breaches reported the more inhibited our users will become.

More frequently, Web users are starting to learn that they need to surf the Web 'cautiously'. It's getting very hard to "trust" posted content as easily as before. .... Knowing this, you should come up with ways to build trust in your brand, members, and content. ie. About Us page, clear Privacy Policy, enable tools where members can share more about themselves, start a 'Verified Account' program, etc.

TIPS from John Mueller (Google's Senior Wemaster Trends Analyst)

Pruning old content is not recommended. Instead make it better, archive, or NoIndex.

NoIndex thin content or make it better.

More content doesn't always mean better.

Focus on the end-users and how thy react to your pages. eg. Is page slow? Is brand trustworthey? Is content trustworthy? Is contributor trustworthy? Too many ads?

(Sorry I don't have direct links to John's tips but if you want more subscribe to Youtube > Google Webmaster Central hangout.)

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