Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Khurram Aziz on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, October 11, 2018).

Recovery after latest Google update

Recovery after latest Google update

Hey all, I asked this same question in another post but its not getting any views so I thought I would post a new question.

Has anyone naturally recovered after late Sept early Oct Google update with out any optimizations to their site?

I`ve read online it might happen and I don`t want make any rush changes that may effect us later down the road.

Please share your experiences.

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Justin Mager: Without knowing what was changed in the algorithm hard to tell. I normally give it atleast 30days.
  • Michael Martinez: I manage over 100 sites. The only losses in traffic so far have been normal seasonal downturns. We therefore don`t have any recoveries to speak of.A small number of personal sites my partner and I set up through the years on whimsy, spur-of-the-moment "this might be a cool idea" projects that we never followed through on, have earned new Google traffic over the past 2 months. These are all blogs with a small number of articles.Earlier this year I replaced the themes on some sites in our portfolios. I don`t think the themes make that big a difference. I changed them for reasons unrelated to Google search.What I believe has happened is quite simple: Google no longer processes the Web as it did up until a few months ago.In Google`s 20th anniversary announcement they said they have been using a new Neural Matching algorithm for a few months. I suspect it went live at the end of July. I believe this explains the August 2 update (so really a late July update).Neural Matching is an old, old computer science concept. It`s a method for pattern matching. Based on what Googlers have said recently, and some research papers Googlers have published, I believe their system now translates Web documents into a sort of semantic tokenized format. This appears to be similar to what the RankBrain algorithm does with queries since late 2015.When you type a query into Google RankBrain compares it to older queries Google has recorded. RankBrain (sometimes) suggests a substitute (older) query to the main query resolver. In 2015 Google said RankBrain was affecting about 30% of queries.This new Neural Matching algorithm is also said to affect about 30% of queries. It does a much better job of matching the query to available documents, even documents that don`t use the keywords. Although I think keywords are still important, it may be that Google is now finally able to match CONCEPTS (expressed in queries) to CONCEPTS (expressed in Web documents).They still use many other signals, including link-based signals like PageRank and anchor text. But now the Web is probably more open to their algorithms than ever before. And as they recrawl the Web and reindex content they can respond to changes much more uniformly than in the past.For reasons too lengthy and complicated to go into here, I suspect there is now about a 10-day window for Google to see new things and make adjustments. I first became aware of this 10-day window in early 2017. Some recent SEO case studies have also suggested there may be a 10-day window for some things that happen "under the hood".MUCH OF THIS IS VERY SPECULATIVE.Take the above with a grain of salt. You asked us to share our experiences. I shared a little bit more but in reality I cannot prove anything to you. It`s not so easy to analyze Google`s algorithms as some people want it to be when they try to explain what is going on. We`re all seeing small pieces of a large incomprehensible picture.WHAT CAN YOU DO?Well, if any of the above is true, you can change your Website design, your content structure, even the way you write. That doesn`t guarantee you`ll see improvements but you should know within a few weeks if your changes matter. Whereas over the past few years I have advised people to wait as long as six months for changes to take full effect, I believe we`re now seeing much faster results when we fix Websites or add content.If you make a significant change, I think you`ll know within a month if it was necessary or adviseable. At the very least, don`t worry so much about matching all the keywords you want to rank for. Concentrate instead on creating exactly the content you would want to find for those queries.If you`re not happy with where things are now, then make a full backup and start making changes. Don`t be afraid to change your site. Embrace change. Change is the only constant in search engine optimization.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, October 11, 2018).

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