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Saturday, July 16th Google Search Algorithm Update Or Related To July 15th Indexing Issue

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As many of you know, there was a pretty massive indexing issue impacting new content in Google Search most of Friday, July 15th, but that was pretty much isolated to that Friday. Now, I am seeing signals of a Google search ranking algorithm update on Saturday, July 16th.

Are the two related? It is possible but hard to say for sure, like with any of these updates. If you have a ton of new content not being indexed all day, can that cause large volatility once the indexing bug is resolved the following day? Imagine there is this backlog of new content waiting to be indexed and then all of a sudden, Google opens the blockage and lets all that new content be indexed the following day. Does that cause volatility the following day? Sounds feasible? So keep that in mind when I share the rest below.

As a reminder, the last unconfirmed was on July 10th and then the July 7th and 5th updates and before that June 28th, June 23rd, June 19th and 20th, also the Google May 2022 core update began rolling out on May 25, 2022 and was officially pronounced complete on June 9th but we saw big tremors before and after the start and end date of that update.

So what are we seeing now?

SEO Community Chatter

The folks in the ongoing WebmasterWorld forums are saying this since Saturday:

Here we go again…drops in traffic to my home page of 70+%. Big drops in all English language traffic…Canada and Australia are almost zero some days, the UK is up one day down the next, and the USA is perpetually mediocre and just trying to reach stasis. This is while my ranking is stable and even higher most days.

Anyone noticing again huge drop in Organic traffic? (-70/80%) from 16/07/2022 5PM GTM (KWs wiped out again)

Personally I do watch these ups and downs with incredulity as traffic seems to be switched on and off. My overall traffic is down since several of my top keywords have been obliterated meanwhile others are fine.

Daily PVs are varying from 100% of average to 49.3% yesterday and after 13 hours of today at 12%, yes, twelve.

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Traffic is lower this weekend…my UK traffic has been following the weather trend @RedBar mentioned. Drops off a cliff all day on weekends, then suddenly makes it up in the late afternoon, early eve. Today UK traffic is down 71% though, and I hear it’s a heat wave. Let’s see if they show up later. We should all keep in mind that people are traveling a lot this year.

Also, there are a lot of recent comments on this site:

My site just brought back to pre-core update levels this morning after hitting twice.

I have no idea why this is happening, and I have no clue how long it will last.

Yes, my sites that disappeared totally and aren’t ranking for a single keyword in the top 100s have returned.

Very poor sales and conversions here too, whatever they do, whatever the changes, whatever the time cycles.

On my side the traffic is so low since Friday. Did you do anything after the core update such as updating your old content or creating new content?

Google Trackers

Now let’s take a look at the Google tracker tools:

Semrush:

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Mozcast:

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RankRanger:

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SERP Metrics:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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SERPwoo:

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Accuranker:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Algoroo:

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So I would be cautious about calling this even an unconfirmed Google search ranking update because we had that massive indexing issue the day prior to this. But I figured I’d document this and mention the indexing issue, so that if you do see weird things from the weekend, at least you know you are not alone.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Again Says Ignore Link Spam Especially To 404 Pages

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Google Robot Blindfolds

I am not sure how many times Google has said that you do not need to disavow spammy links, that you can ignore link spam attacks and that links pointing to pages that 404/410 are links that do not count – but John Mueller from Google said it again.

In a thread on X, John Mueller from Google wrote, “if the links are going to URLs that 404 on your site, they’re already dropped.” “They do nothing,” he added, “If there’s no indexable destination URL, there’s no link.”

John then added, “I’d generally ignore link-spam, and definitely ignore link-spam to 404s.”

Asking if it would hurt to disavow, after responding with the messages above, John wrote:

It will do absolutely nothing. I would take the time to rework a holistic & forward-looking strategy for the site overall instead of working on incremental tweaks (other tweaks might do something, but you probably need real change, not tweaks).

Earlier this year we had tons of SEOs notice spammy links to 404 error pages, John said ignore them. In 2021, Google said links to 404 pages do not count, Google also said that in 2012 and many other times.

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Plus, outside of links to 404 pages, Google has said to ignore spammy links, time and time again – even the toxic links – ignore them. The messaging around this changed in 2016 when Penguin 4.0 was released and Google began devaluing links over demoting them.

Here are those new posts in context:

And in general, Google says it ignores spammy links, so you should too (not new) but this post from John Mueller is:

And then also on Mastodon wrote about a similar situation, “Google has 2 decades of practice of ignoring spammy links. There’s no need to do anything for those links.”

Forum discussion at X.

Note: This was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today, I am currently offline for Passover.

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Google Needs Very Few Links To Rank Pages; Links Are Less Important

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Gary Illyes Serp Conf

Gary Illyes from Google spoke at the SERP Conf on Friday and he said what he said numerous times before, that Google values links a lot less today than it did in the past. He added that Google Search “needs very few links to rank pages.”

Gary reportedly said, “We need very few links to rank pages… Over the years we’ve made links less important.”

I am quoting Patrick Stox who is quoting what he heard Gary say on stage at the event. Here is Patrick’s post where Gary did a rare reply:

Gary said this a year ago, also in 2022 and other times as well. We previously covered that Google said links would likely become even less important in the future. And even Matt Cutts, the former Googler, said something similar about eight years ago and the truth is, links are weighted a lot less than it was eight years ago and that trend continues. A couple of years ago, Google said links are not the most important Google search ranking factor.

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Of course, many SEOs think Google lies about this.

Judith Lewis interviewed Gary Illyes at the SERP Conf this past Friday.

Forum discussion at X and image credit to @n_minkov.



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Google Core Update Flux, AdSense Ad Intent, California Link Tax & More

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Google Core Update Flux, AdSense Ad Intent, California Link Tax & More


For the original iTunes version, click here.

The Google March 2024 core update is still rolling out, almost 6 weeks now, and we saw two shifts of ranking volatility, both mid-week and the weekend before. Google’s Danny Sullivan went on the defensive on search quality and forum listings in the search results. Google’s site reputation abuse spam policy will be fought both algorithmically and through manual actions. Google responded to The Verge mocking its search rankings over best printer. Google Search Console has a new unused ownership tokens page. Some sites may see the Google Indexing API work for a limited time on unsupported content types. And having two sites won’t result in your sites search ranking decline. BingBot now fully supports Brotli compression and will test Zstd compression soon. Google Search is testing thumbs-up and down buttons for product carousels. Google is testing new sitelinks designs. Google Notes on Search may not go away in May. Google Maps no longer supports draft reviews. Google Maps released a bunch of new maps, directions, travel and EV features. Google Ads Demand Gen campaigns now support AI image generation. Google Ads is testing a similar product carousel. Google Ads reminds advertisers that ad customizers are going away. Google Ads is testing a new horizontal ad card format. Google AdSense has these new ad intent formats. Google AdSense publishers are reporting lower RPM earnings since mid-February. Google threatens to drop links to California news publishers amongst link tax bill. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

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