Google Updates - September 2016
I'll leave the first reply. As of 9/9/2016, traffic is at a standstill across several sites. Many Zombie visits. Of course by Zombie, I mean they hit the page but zero time was recorded on page. A bounce to be exact. Bounce rate is 60%. A Mozcast heat wave on September 1st indicates a shake up. Pintrest is ranking above the fold on an almost limitless variety of searches. Definitely Google's the flavor of the month.
Sunday 9/11 2016. A moment of silence please....ok. SERP flux is crazy right now. I am watching terms fluctuate more than ever before.
Mobile rank is much higher than desktop. Zombie traffic is at about 90%. Almost all one and done visits.
As observed by other members of WMW, spam volume seems to drop when zombie traffic is high. During normal conversion periods, spam volume seems to increase. Logically that can not be due to Google alone. What I have noticed is that if I do a few searches, a small percentage of the searches do not resolve to my site when the SERP link is clicked. It just pulls up a white page and goes nowhere. This might explain the zero time visits. I have seen the same effect on Pintrest when clicking on my own images.
How is YOUR site doing? Feel free to share your comments.
Monday 9/12 - suddenly back to more robust, multi page traffic pattern. Still plenty of "one and done" zombie visits. Conversion quality was high in the morning, but then non existent after noon and for the rest of the day. Highest traffic peak on several weeks. Too bad it wasn't all converting.
Count me in. I'm not really into reporting zombies. I may...all I can say this is one big waste of time. Reporting and telling stories to one another. The main reason I post to webmasterworld and seroundtable is to get the word out to let the World know our story.
Everyone should be contacting class action attorneys. Now I can say what I really feel. webmasterworld is a little too strict. I don't care about politics but this administration did not take FTC advice to go after Google - Google is biggest lobbyist out there - Google has been shown to manipulate search results for politics...just saying that an administration change might fix this.
Without admin change the only remedy is class action. After that nothing will save us other than competition...a new search engine or a new paradigm...but that will take years.
Dsiclaimer: I cannot prove the admin or Google are doing anything wrong - just my opinion.
I have to agree, it's almost criminal what they APPEAR to be are doing. Are they (Google) the real cause though? With no changes on my site, I had nearly on the hour conversions on Sunday (9/19/2016), then on Monday with even higher traffic volumes, zero conversions.
They are clearly messing with traffic quality.
Looks like they are making changes to mobile results by adding a thumbnail. I suspect this is a test for a desktop results release.
Seems like every time they turn a knob, the whole system falls apart for a few days, then it gets back to normal for a few hours before they start turning knobs again. Been seeing that pattern since 2010. Coincidentally, my sales declines have followed the current administrations economic destruction policies. See attached image.
One other odd observation is my Alexa rank...it goes up and down like a roller coaster in a regular cycle that does not match changes made to the site. There is some invisible "everflux" mechanism that appears to be throttling both traffic and quality. With this kind of uncertainty, I hope Google understands why nobody wants to buy ads.
My policy on this forum is to never criticize or censor any ideas or observations. Maybe if we can get a few others discussing this we can find some solutions rather than just arguing venting about conversions like WMW...but conversions are a very important and telling metric.
Figured I'd post this observation on a newly registered domain to glimpse SERP behavior in October 2016. You've probably seen it yourself if you regularly build new sites.
I registered a new domain the other day (took all of 72 hours to propagate which I found odd)
I created the first pages and with MINUTES, all were showing up in page one results.
Within 24 hours it was whittled down to one result. The rest only found using the site command.
This is direct evidence of Google uptake speed. They are incredibly fast.
It also indicates how Google takes a group of pages then quickly distills the aggregate topic down to one page.
It's an interesting behavior that should be considered when creating your content.
In my niche I have noticed a growing trend of authors piggy backing articles on the same page.
I guess the idea is to use what I call "article spam" to place more content on the most likely ranking page. The resulting page is VERY long and a poor UE IMHO. On the other hand it offers more content choices from a single page, eliminating the need to initiate a new search. Seems this would be bad for G's ad exposure and bottom line.
Many of the top sites in my niche are using this somewhat questionable method to great success. Works for them but I'd probably sink if I tried it, which reveals some other unknown metric that gives their sites a free pass and mine a penalty. I digress.
The next day the ranking mechanism kicked in and the single page result is now either out of the SERPs entirely or it's further back than I cared to manually investigate.
Just like the old sandbox effect.
Since it is a very unique brand name, over the next few weeks I predict this site will very slowly creep back up the ranks to page one, but still be pounded down by the established results..like pinterest...the site that proves that lots of thin photo content outweighs specific authoritative content all day....at least from my reference point on the web.
More sandboxing evidence...
So I decided to check the above mentioned domain for the keyword rank on it's unique name. I used http://smallseotools.com/keyword-position/ to check the rank.
On first search, I got position number 4 as the rank. On a second search a few minutes later, I got N/A. All subsequent searches produced N/A. Funny stuff.
Incognito mode does not show the domain for it's brand name key phrase yet, but it's there, hidden invisibly at position 4 I'm quite sure.