OK Google, What Happened on November 8th?

Losing 50% of organic traffic

There is something wrong with my blog visitor statistics since November 8. I didn’t know what it is until yesterday. I could not recall any change in my writing habits or in any WordPress settings. Google Search console did show a clear drop on that day.

Google Search console

Twitter could not help me with a credible answer. Someone told me it could be related to the long weekend in the US. This could have been a reason as most of my readers come from this country but it is a counter-intuitive reason. While I’m on vacation, I tend to spend more time online than normal.

My blog has not recovered since November 8th

Yesterday, I found out that I’m not alone while browsing Reddit, I got a push notification pointing to this thread:

Many were hit on November 8th by an apparent Google’s algorithm change

Voilà! According to this thread, a lot of web site, big and small, were hit by Google seemingly changing their search results. That is not cool because I don’t have any control over this. Even the best SEO tools or tactics won’t really help here. How much should I care? A lot actually. Here is why.

Facebook, Google, the devils?

We often talk about Facebook and its effect on our democratic society. But what about Google behaviours with their search results “tweaking”? They have as much power if not more than Facebook to alter the course of things in our numeric world. And I find this to be dramatically bad because we don’t have any mean against them to ask for reversal on their actions. It does not only affect people’s lives in big ways, but it does also affect them in smaller ways as the following blog post from Shawn Blanc explains:

You see, I wanted to get some real life, normal-person, story-based reviews of the camera — as opposed to the sterile, press-release regurgitation articles that are on so many of the high-ranking websites that appear on page 1 of Google results.

And so, in order to get to the good stuff — the articles that were written by normal folks with normal blogs who had been using the camera for a while before they wrote their review — I had to skip past the first page.

Shawn Blanc

Google seems to push the big corporations in front of smaller ones. This means that normal people like me who create content on small blogs are being pushed down. Why? Because I don’t have Google Ads on my blog. I don’t pay for advertising my blog to others either. This is why and is bad. Google is not a search engine, it is a paid search engine. If you have the money, you get the results.

2 thoughts on “OK Google, What Happened on November 8th?

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  1. Hi there. My main site wasn’t hit on the 8th, no. But 2 smaller ones were. I’ve been looking for a fix for days. Boosting site speed hasn’t helped the two that went down, but has helped the one that’s still good. I’m starting to think that this ” update” wasn’t an update at all. I’m thinking this is related to a tech problem originating outside Google.

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