Anyone Else Having Issues with Google Rankings?

Last Update: July 30, 2019

First a couple of questions for you:

1. How have your Google Rankings been going since the core update in June? Have you notices any changes good or bad?

2. What is your niche?

3. What is your theme and do you use a theme builder?


I have been on a mission to figure out why Google has stopped ranking my pages, and I've been coming up with some new interesting things that could be the cause.

If you're having trouble, these may help you solve some of your problems. At least it will give you something to experiment with.


First, A Little Background Information

My site was bee-bopping along and doing pretty well. I was ranking in the top spots for a couple of my articles on Google. This was a few months ago.

Then, it just stopped.

I thought, "Well, I'll just write even better content."

I've been creating articles with a minimum of 1500 words, and most of them are over 2000 words.

I've been using these guys to add to my articles:

I kept thinking, "Now Google will rank me!"

But nothing.

I changed my theme.

I changed to the beta servers and now my site is super fast.

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/cld111/blog/oops-and-thank-y...

"NOW Google will rank me, for sure!"

NADA.

I asked for advice from Kyle.

He told me to make my homepage a blog roll because it will make it easier for Google to find my new posts.

I use Jay's ranking system - every. single. time.

NOTHING.

(Bing loves me though, so there's that...)

So what to do...?


I know There's Something That I'm Missing

Not to toot my own horn (toot toot), but I know my content is as good as what's currently ranking in many cases. So, I KNOW I'm missing something. Something's not connecting right with Google.

I've been on a search to figure it out.

Here are a couple of interesting things that I discovered that may be causing problems:

1. At some point my journey, I started using underscores in my images. For instance, easy_cash_4_ads_review.png. I JUST read that that's a big no-no. Oops! You are supposed to use your keyword in your image, but dashes instead of underscores.

From the css-tricks.com forum:

"Underscores are seen by search engines generally as “word combiners”, and hyphens are seen as “word separators.” Scott was right, never use underscores for anything. You can make a sure bet that this issue reflects one of the many, over 200 factors that Google takes into account when evaluating your website. They’ve inadvertently stated this in the past, even Matt Cutts has stated plenty of times himself not to use underscores."

Did you know that? I sure didn't.

2. The reason I asked what theme you use and if you use a theme builder is because I started suspecting that there's something about using Thrive Architect that is causing an issue. I'm reading conflicting reports on it, but some people say that it absolutely causes a problem in Google.

For those of you that use Thrive Architect, have your site rankings changed since the update? If you use another site builder, have your rankings changed?

3. I found a website where you can check your SEO, and I put my latest article through there. Some of the issues that are marked say "Link to a sitemap.html".

That came up a few different times. Does anyone know what that means or how to do that? It seems to be semi-important. I already add my sitemap.xml to Google and Bing, and this seems to be something different.


Today I created my blog post right in Wordpress using the new content builder (which is WAY better than what it was when it first came out), and we'll see if that helps.

Does anyone know if I can go back and re-name my photos, or should I just worry about it going forward? Also, thinking of completely removing Thrive Architect and see what that does, but that's daunting because I'll have to redo a LOT of my posts. UGH.

What do you think? Worth it or no?

Thanks for reading!

- Christina

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Recent messages
jofa Premium
Great information here. Thank you. It is important to know that Google will always update its algorithm (this is done on a daily basis). It is only when a full update is done that it affects a lot of people.

Ensure your article answers all relevant questions as regards your keyword, and let the focus of your content be to help and inform your audience.

You also need to wait for Google after you must have done all you know. Your ranking will come up again.

Don't do anything manipulatively that can help you rank aside great and informative content.

That is my take. . . .

John
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cld111 Premium
Thanks, John! I do try to follow Google's rules, but they change their rules a lot, so it's hard to keep up!

- Christina
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SnazzyIT Premium
I use free theme builders and I too noticed a drop around mid June till now in traffic, one of my niches ranked first page in Google has disappeared and is still page one on Bing and Yahoo. I too tried to see what was up, and that's when I found so many hacked copies of my site's contents. I thought it was due to this, where other sites were linking to my posts but using it as phishing scams, that Google punished me instead lol

I am exhausted now, almost ready to let go of that site. Not sure what else to do.
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cld111 Premium
I have some hacked copies of my content too. I'm not sure how much, but I get alerts about it sometimes. Do you think that's part of the issue?

- Christina
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kevin928 Premium
How do you get alerts of hacked copies? I get a bit paraniod writing good unique contenet that its going to be copied and affect my rankings.

Was only thinking of this yesteday as my new site had 25 direct visits yesterday but only 4 organic clicks and I wondered why as it seemed weird.

I did wonder about adding a plugin to stop dierct copy and paste so might look at that
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cld111 Premium
I have a Google Alert set up with my website name. So once it a while it'll send me an alert to a site that looks like it uses bots to scrape my content.


- Christina
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skmorrow Premium
I know you and I have kind of discussed this already, but my back pain site seemed to weather the June update just fine. Then two weeks ago, my traffic plummeted and I have no idea why. GSC shows my rankings dropping hard as well. I will let you know if anything changes. I have heard and read a lot of "stuff", but nobody has a definitive answer yet.
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sherlock77 Premium
I noticed a sudden drop in rankings on one of my MMO sites around mid July and it's stayed way down since then.

My first MMO site got hit hard by the August update last year and has never recovered, despite doing everything I could think of to improve it.

Sometimes there seems to be no answer or obvious solution.
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cld111 Premium
I wonder if Google is still making updates? Seems like July has been tough for people too. Hopefully it does all get straightened out and we can get rolling with traffic again.

- Christina
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cld111 Premium
Yikes! Do you think MMO is just too competitive, or it's just a Google update thing that's causing you issues? (Or both?) Do you notice a difference between your sites and sites that are ranking?

Backlinks were mentioned here. Do you think it has anything to do with those?

- Christina
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sherlock77 Premium
I'm not 100% sure, Christina. I know some people on here who have more recently started MMO sites and they're already getting 300-500 visitors a day.

It almost seems like luck of the draw in this niche.

Every time Google brings out an update, my MMO sites lose traffic and never recover. My first MMO site never had fantastic traffic anyway, and my new one has never really gotten off the ground.

I started my first MMO site in June 2015. It has about 830 posts on it, mostly product reviews, and its traffic these days averages about 120 visitors a day. the highest it got up to was 600 a day, but when Google released its August "Medic" update, I lost 2 thirds of my traffic instantly, and it's dropped a little with each major update since then.

My second MMO site, which I started last September, has about 220 posts on it, all over 2000 words and nearly all product reviews. The best that site has ever done is average about 30-40 visitors a day, and since some Google update in mid July, traffic is down into the teens.

So, between the 2 sites, with a grand total of well over 1000 posts, I get an average of maybe 140 visitors per day.

MMO is likely the most competitive niche out there, but it still works well for some people, just not everybody. I know a guy who recently quit WA after being here 3 years because he was so frustrated. He had a MMO site with about 400 quality posts and couldn't get his traffic above about 50 visitors per day.

I don't know what the answer is, why it works really well for people like Jerry, for example, while others who have been diligently following the training for way longer have basically failed to see any significant results.

I've given up on the MMO niche and am now focused on a niche site, which I hope doesn't suffer the same "no traffic" fate.
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sherlock77 Premium
I'm sure quality backlinks from high authority sites can help, but just mass low quality backlinks likely doesn't. I've never actively chased backlinks, but everyone out there, except WA, seems to think they are of the greatest importance to get high rankings.

Quality backlinks increases your domain authority, and Google pays a lot of attention to your DA score, apparently.
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cld111 Premium
I'm sure that's frustrating to put all that time and effort in and not get very far with it. Sorry to hear that!

It could be worth trying to build some good, quality backlinks.

It seems Jerry's traffic just took off like a rocket when he really got going. Even Grace had WAY more traffic on her site at the 10 month mark. (She's said that her traffic dropped a lot too after the update.)

Well, all we can do is try different things and try to adjust, or move to something new.

- Christina
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wiseo Premium
You told 400 post, 1000 post as badge of honor:
is not!

your articles cannibalize each other. there is not a simple and clear one that google can use

Reduce the number of your post, but not casually, you must do that knowing what you doing...

Happen that for 2 reason:
the first is related to seo-content.
The 2° is related to technical seo of google.

One blog with only 5 very good post can do 10 time better then one with 500!
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sherlock77 Premium
Huh???

How do you know? You haven't even seen my websites.

I don't even really understand your comment to be honest.
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Swangirl Premium
That is a great theory. It would make sense that Google is still making changes since my whole traffic/ranking world just turned around again.
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wiseo Premium
Hi sherlock77,
yes I don't see your website, but from the number of posts I can say that this is very likely to happen.
Of course I can be 100% sure only if I can see the website, even better from the back-end.

There are too many post which compete for the same keywords, so google don't know which is the better and you cant have good page specific for one or more keywords.

You MUST tell google what page has the best unique, fresh and deep content
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sherlock77 Premium
I understand what you're saying, but every post on each of my websites targets a different keyword, as per the WA training. Most of the posts are products reviews of make money online products, training, MLM, survey sites and so on. Each product is a different product.

It's what everyone who goes through the WA Bootcamp training does. Most of the veterans say you need at least 400 posts or more to start making a decent income promoting WA. Some of these people have 1000s of posts on their sites.

The thing is, even though everyone follows the same training, the search engines seem to favour a few sites, while many get no favour at all.
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Swangirl Premium
I have noticed my traffic and rankings went down after early June. Now they are starting to come back up.

I thought the downturn was due to my own lack of adding content (I have not added a new post on my cat site since May!). However, the ranking and traffic is going back up and I still have not added a new post! Then I realized it was not just my lack of activity, it was something to do with the Google update. I have requested comments lately on some of those posts but I can't imagine just the comments alone are doing this since it is affecting posts I have not requested comments on.

I was busy working on my other site but didn't do much with this one.

I have been ranking better on Bing and Yahoo than Google, just like many others here.

My organic traffic was at an all time high before it tanked. So the drop was discouraging. My sites are both blogroll based.

I don't use Thrive so I can't comment on that.

Yes, you can rename your photos but I don't know if that new name will be picked up the same as changes to your blog itself when your site is crawled. I think it is the same.

Have you requested comments on your posts? That always raises my post rank.

That must be frustrating. I hope it straightens out soon!

Jessica
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cld111 Premium
Thanks, Jessica! Good to hear that your traffic is starting to increase again. That's interesting that your cat site was affected.

I usually request comments on my posts. Sometimes I decide not to, mostly to see if there's a difference.

I haven't really noticed any difference.

Thanks for your thoughts!

- Christina
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Swangirl Premium
My cat site is about "Health and Behavior" of cats...I don't know if the word "health" means it gets dinged by Google!
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Swangirl Premium
I really hope your traffic picks back up soon. It probably will!
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nudge1969 Premium
Hi Christina
I’m using Divi Theme (Elegant Themes).
My traffic finally took off about 5 weeks ago from 10-20 visitors per day to 100-200. Had a record of 288 one day.
This didn’t last very long though, and I’m back down to 40-60 per day.
Maybe it’s the competition as many seem to suggest. I have no idea but I guess we keep plugging away.
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cld111 Premium
Interesting. Do you know why you got that surge?

My traffic was 28 the other day. 28. That's so low for where I should be now. UGH.

- Christina
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nudge1969 Premium
I did rank for one particular post in the top spot, or there abouts, which I put down to the surge. Even though most of my traffic still comes from this product review, it's nowhere near that early figure.
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Cirian Premium
Hi Christina,

Google is having a problem with reading sitemaps at the moment, while Bing and Yandex can both read them fine.

So for example, my Yoast SEO sitemap "sitemap_index.xml" gets read by the Google bot, but it discovers zero urls. Instead, for "post-sitemap.xml" and "page-sitemap.xml", which are both referenced inside the sitemap index, I get the error "Couldn't fetch". Uploading those two directly to Google results in the same error.

However, the exact same files are read by Bing and Yandex perfectly, and they both discover all of my site's urls.

Reading around, the problem doesn't seem to be with Yoast or my sitemap, but at Google. For some reason the problem has been around a while.

Also, I get extremely different search results between Google (which hates me) and Bing/Yandex (who both love me).

Let's say I look for "best everyday drinking glasses 2019" in Bing. I'm pocketmyriad.xyz, an internet mag, rank 3 on page 1. On Yandex, I am rank 1 on page 1. On Google? Yeah, I stopped looking after page 6. I don't exist.

Now let's look at something completely non-commercial that I wrote on a while back, Guild Wars 2 guides. Zero affiliate links, just free information.

I'll pick "bloodstone fen guide" from the top of my head. Bing? Rank 4, page 1. Yandex? Also rank 4, page 1. Google? I actually found a completely different guide from my site (A Guide to Lake Doric) on page 4, placed 5th... Google didn't even find the right one! (What ARE they doing?!)

Okay I'm going to stop there with my research and get back to writing css... anyway, you're not alone being frustrated with Google at the moment!
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cld111 Premium
Oh wow, another thing to look into. I haven't heard that they were having problems reading sitemaps.

Yea, I have no issues ranking in Bing at all. Just that Google beast.

- Christina
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Cirian Premium
A couple of other search engines I like to play with are Qwant.com and DuckDuckGo.com. They are both privacy oriented, which might be an emerging trend.

I like looking at where I rank in those engines compared to the likes of Google and Bing as a sanity check.

The more "exotic" search engines are the likes of Qwant (Europe) and Yandex (Russia), mentioned earlier, and then there's Baidu.com if you feel like searching for yourself in China!

Is it just me or are Google results like Baidu results? I'm in neither of those, but I am in Bing, Yandex, Qwant and DuckDuckGo. If nothing else the results are certainly interesting.
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cld111 Premium
I'll take a look at those. They sound interesting. :)

- Christina
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Brenda63 Premium
Do you remember Jay’s training last week about using WP plugin for product review stars? Google loves that. FYI, I am using a theme specifically for that, a review star theme called Splash and Schema. Both lightweight for SEO and Google loves seeing the review stars. Jay’s site has that. I removed Thrive Architect and now use the theme I have and so far its rolling. Not finished with the content but working on it.
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cld111 Premium
I do have All in One rich snippets plugin. I get stars on Bing, but Google doesn't really seem to give them to me on the things that DO rank.

- Christina
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Brenda63 Premium
Hmm 🤔 where is the dislike button. Im not talking about rich snippet plugin its a word press review star plugin WP Review Pro or Lite not sure which one need to go in and sent u a PM of what it looks like-do you have that plugin?
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cld111 Premium
I know which one you're referring to. I've seen Jay's trainings on it. I'm just saying I use a different plugin that does the same (similar) thing. :)

- Christina
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Brenda63 Premium
Maybe try that review plug in. And put those stars in your review content that is what mine shows. I don't know much about the rich snippet one, obviously it its isn't working. Could be the thrive architect or could be many factors, theme often big issue, that why I changed mine. Good luck to you, hope you figure it out, you need a whole lotta help with that. Hope site audit will help discover problems and fix it.
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texasprinces Premium
I use Yet Another Stars Rating but my stars do not show up in the SERPS yet. I read that it can take 2 to 12 weeks for them to show up. And, ultimately, Google decides whether or not to display them.

It is a learning process for me definitely... :)
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Brenda63 Premium
That could be it after its June’s Google core changes, bummer for most of us. Now noticed the SERPS mostly rank in the FAQ part or Ads. Seem must be really high authority sites get crawled to that page 1. Patel talked about that on his site, some arent a fan of him but I get a kick out of how he moves his body when he talks on YouTube, he should learn sign language then I would understand him. His videos are closed captioned so no problem there. You have a great point. Thanks.
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cld111 Premium
I don't think Yet Another Stars Rating will show up in SERPS. I used to use that one just to make my posts look pretty, but they don't use schema markup (I think that's what it's called), so Google can't read them.

I could be wrong, but that's how I understood it.

- Christina
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cld111 Premium
I do get the stars sometimes, it's just that Google doesn't usually feel like putting them in there. As I mentioned, Bing does add them.

If I do a Google search of my site by using site: christinapiccoli.com, I see all of my indexed posts, and they have the stars there, but not when a post is ranking.

I seriously have no idea what they're up to over there at Google... :)

- Christina
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Brenda63 Premium
Like everyone here says the update messed things up looks like the Google engineers need to fix their bugs or something because it doesn't really look good. I agree. I noticed the change on the layout with specific keywords. I use Keyword Everywhere on my firefox browser. I did look up the person that I signed up under, shes still ranking page 1 on Google for keyword reviews on “company name vs. wealthy affiliate,” she uses “Wellington” magazine theme, no stars there but those posts are from 2016 to 2017, last update last January. Her website been there long time.
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kevin928 Premium
Hi Christina

Can't help with my new site which is probably closer in terms of relevance, structure and content to your site. I'm using the paid theme Avada which has a page builder and I do use this rather than WP to build my posts. I follow all of Jays on page seo tips, site is fast BUT is less than 3 months old.

Now has almost 40 posts and already is ranking well with Bing but nothing really with Google although I do see almost daily improvments in my average postion according to search console (up from 102 2 months ago to 32 today) and impressions increasing.

What may be more of interest is my niche site (now 7 months old) which is on a free theme called Kale. I am only posting 1 new article per week but in the last month my organic traffic has almost doubled from around 50-60 visits per day up to 100-120 and that is pretty much all via google as I dont rank so well in Bing!

Do you really think the image naming will have that much of an effect? Can you not try and rename a few and resubmit and see if it has a difference? Be interesting to hear what other people say about Thrive but I'm pretty sure its the most popular theme certainly amongst some of the succesful members here so be good to see if they have noticed any differences.

Its interesting that Kyle says to make your homepage a blog roll as I recently changed mine on my new site because Jerry wrote an article saying it shoudln't be!

Either way good luck, afraid I haven't helped at all but will follow with interest to see what works. I know you'll get it sorted and will eventually find some Google love!!
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cld111 Premium
That was very helpful, and I appreciate it!

I know there are many schools of thoughts about many subjects on here, and it can be confusing. That's why I just try things and see what happens.

I had a static homepage and that didn't do much. Kyle said to change it to a blogroll, and well, he's definitely an authority on the matter, so I am trying it!

I'm going to work on my niche site and see what kind of results I get in Google and that also help me compare.

- Christina
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kevin928 Premium
Good idea

I've only just entered the mmo niche and as you say it is pretty saturated. Thing is I quite enjoy writing about it athough I can imagine after a year of it and hundreds of posts I probably wont feel the same if I dont see any results.

What age is your niche site? At least if you can do some comparisons it will help. I'm sure there is still a market out there!

You've had some good answers from members already by the look of it so I reckon your in the right place to make it work.

Keep us up to date with how you get on. Good luck
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cld111 Premium
Hm, I'd have to see when I started my niche site. I really haven't done much with it yet. It'll be fun to compare.

There is a lot of competition in the MMO space, but I feel like it was competitive last year and the year before too. But people here seem to work their way up the rankings?

What's the difference, you know?

- Christina
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kevin928 Premium
I still believe that perseverance and good content is key and that if you continue with that there will eventually be a breakthrough (at least I really hope so!!)

I must admit I did wonder if using the page builder on my new site would affect things as it would make the page "heavier" if that’s the best term. But although speeds seem to be mainly amber rather than green its loading super fast in the real world on both laptop and mobile and I already have some articles on p1 of Bing

No idea why Bing is so fond of me, seems like you have a similar thing!
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AndyCalvin Premium
The June update didn't affect me (that I know of), and because of it, I didn't pay too much attention to it. However, when I was reading the bits and pieces that I found scattered across the web, I thought it had something to do with website authority - i.e. making sure you give good reasons why you're an authority in the certain niche that you've chosen.

I also believe that I read that the best way to combat the June update was to make sure to change your 'About Me/Us/This Site' page to reflect what I mentioned above.

So, for example, if you are in the medical/health niche, provide sources (in some way) that show you have authority in that niche (whether it's links to where you graduated from, degrees, or articles that you've written on other sites).

I don't know exactly how to go around it with a MMO niche, but, by being creative, and giving relevant info on how you're an authority may help you rank better after the whole June update thingy.

Also, I know it's nearly 2 months after the update, and things should be ranking. But, this stuff does take time. I personally wouldn't worry about this too much. If you are following what the training has outlined (what Jay and Kyle have told you), as it seems like you are doing, then you should be ranking well in the future at some point, because Google always rewards those who follow proper SEO and write quality posts (which you have been doing).

Just my two cents...
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cld111 Premium
I didn't read that about the About page. That's interesting. I currently have my About linking to my WA profile, so that's something else I can change and experiment with to see if it helps.

Thanks for that!

I'm not exactly sure how I'll come off as an authority in this niche, but I'll see what I can do.

- Christian
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Gergelz Premium
Hi, I am sorry that you are having troubles ranking.
The June update did not affect me much, after a bit decrease in traffic my site has been producing a steady growth.

This may help: I have heard (can't remember where) that Google deems affiliate links (and pop-ups) advertisement. So there is a chance that if you have too many affiliate links / ads etc. on your site before it earns Google's trust, Google will put it in the 'spammy' bracket and literally ban yr site from the SERP.

Having said that, this does not explain the issue you experience fetching the pages.
On the theme - although way too many people use the theme you use - I had an issue with a free them once. Try fetch it as Bing, and see how it looks like. The header & meta of my posts were literally littered with irrelevant information, like 30000 words. The actual 2000 word post looked like a tiny paragraph at the end.
It was very early on, so I am not sure how it affected my ranking, but it's worth checking.
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cld111 Premium
I do feel I probably had too many links in my articles, so I've been toning that down. It's a good point for sure.

I'll have to try fetch as Bing to see what it looks like. Thanks!

- Christina
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Debs66 Premium
Christina you are an authority in you niche. Your website is impeccable and your writing is nothing short of brilliant.
I am in awe of what you do.

To be honest I wouldn't worry too much it will right itself without a doubt. If it helps any try a comparison review. I.E W.A. vs ??
One of my best pages was a W.A comparison.

I have not been able to write for nearly a month now as My Dad has been quite ill. I thought that my site may carry me through.

However I have gone from daily referrals to about 2 in the last few weeks. I am not worried as I will get back at it as soon as I can.

I am hoping to up the anti. Lol. Just keep your site as it is and if you make any changes I would just follow what Kyle tells you for sure. Resubmit your sitemap. Take it from there.

I think you will be amazed how well your site actually does run. :))

Debs :)
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cld111 Premium
Thanks so much Debs! Maybe some comparison posts would be good. I appreciate that suggestion.

I'm sorry to hear about your Dad. I hope he recovers quickly.

- Christina
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Debs66 Premium
Thank you Christina he is doing really well thank goodness :))
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danijel95 Premium
I completely understand you, Chris, those core updates ruined my traffic a couple of times and now again in June.

I was doing research and saw that some people were complaining that their hard work for over 10 YEARS was crushed with June update which is scary for me.

I am still recovering but pretty hard as it seems that Google pays attention only to those sites who are already an authority.

My site is in health niche so it is a little bit harder but I never give up although my site is 20 months old.

It is the best that you just continue to write and do the proper SEO, 10 months is still early and I think that only time will show.
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cld111 Premium
I know that the health sites really got hit hard.

I'll continue working on my site, but I may reduce the amount of time I spend on it and work more on my niche site.

Thanks for your comment, and sorry about your traffic!

- Christina
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TimMoto Premium
Hi Cld111, I use Salinger Pro and have a few issues from time to time. This morning on Google Console I had a problem getting two posts to rank. FYI..my niche is promoting WA.

1. one issue was an AMP problem..so I deleted the plugin and the issue went away.
2. the second problem was an issue with a Youtube Video that I linked to and Google kept saying it couldn't link to it, so I deleted it and that issue went away.

Other than that, I think things are okay. But I usually check my ranking and indexing about once a week to make sure that my posts can be found and are still indexed, etc.

I would be very interested in the site you found regarding checking your SEO for your posts..can you share? Thank you.
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cld111 Premium
Thanks for your insights, Tim! So your posts are ranking OK in Google?

I don't have issues called out by Google, except for some pages that I set to no index.

I'll have to see if I can find that site again with the SEO check. I closed the window down, so I hope I can find it again!

- Christina
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TimMoto Premium
Thanks..I find that I sleep better if I check my sites rankings via the console and google analytics at least weekly.

Performance is really key and I think you mentioned that you're quite diligent in writing 2000 word blogs..so a lot of work and google should be very interested in your content.

Rest assured that your issues are only temporary and you'll overcome them.
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cld111 Premium
I hope you're right. It seems I've been having this issues for a while though.

But we'll see!

- Christina
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ChadRoberge Premium
...still 15 days-ish new and havent launched a page yet [deep diving in training still] But I did end up doing a quick search on "theme" based on a few comments. "Divi Theme" seems to be a topic of discussion - how do I search a specific theme [ive tried the search but it still pulls up a variety/mix-mash of other themes]

I guess what im also trying to say is how do I avoid Thrive [if that truely is a possible concern]

Thanks for sharing - super curious about themes in general now.
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cld111 Premium
Thrive is a paid theme, so you won't find it on the the site here. I don't know if it's the issue. It's just a suspicion. Many successful bloggers use it, so...?

In any case, nothing for you to worry about yet. Just keep doing the training!

- Christina
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Hollshope Premium
Sounds like you're doing everything right. So sorry for your frustration. I haven't used Thrive Architect but I was using a page builder at one point and it slowed down my site significantly.

What is the beta server? Thanks for the info on underscores and hyphens. I had no idea!
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cld111 Premium
The beta servers are the new servers that everyone will eventually be moved to. They're really fast. :)

- Christina
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drmohfa91 Premium
Great post, I sure learned a lot from it. I currently use a free theme ( which I started to hate) and I don't like the results I am getting at this moment. There are so many problems and questions I have and I wish I have answers to them sooner better than later. I am hungry to learn everything so fast.

But since I believe I have problems because of my theme how to fix this problem, is it a "must" to buy a new theme? and if yes what is your recommendation?

I already posted around 12 posts on one site and 5 on the other site. both of them still not ranked (Yes they are new) but I want to make sure from now that I am doing fine not screwing things up! so my other question is. What are the plugins that will make my website looks professional and attractive and good at the same time?
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cld111 Premium
I just think your sites are too new to tell what's going on with them. I would give it more time.

As far as plugins, I don't think I have any that really make my site more attractive (except Thrive Architect).

I just bought a new theme that i really like fro StudioPress. It's nice and clean. But again, I don't know that you need to worry about that yet since you're still brand new.

Patience, my friend. :)

- Christina
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drmohfa91 Premium
Okay then, I will just continue my work and worry later about the techie stuff! haha.

Thank you for this helpful post I saved it too to always come back and refresh my memory!
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cld111 Premium
Great to hear it!

- Christina
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Cirian Premium
One plugin I will recommend immediately for that is Shortcodes Ultimate. It's awesome.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/shortcodes-ultimate/
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Swangirl Premium
I have always used a free theme and I do quite well. I do not think anyone starting out needs to buy a theme. You just have to search around to find a good free one.
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zidane786 Premium
Hi Christina

I actually blogged about this a few days back, my MMO site took a nosedive after the June update and hasn't recovered. Luckily I also run a niche website which is doing much better despite having fewer posts.

For my MMO site, I use the Extra theme from Elegant Themes, its very code-heavy but still load relatively fast. I use the same for my niche website.

I think the reason my site took a downward turn is because of backlinks.

I hardly build backlinks to any of my sites, however, the websites that have taken my place in the SERPS, have some high authority domains linking back to them.

I really cannot think of any other reason as to why these sites started to take over the positions I held on the SERPs.

I am going to try an experiment by purchasing backlinks for my MMO site, it took such a nosedive traffic-wise, that even if Google penalises me it won't make a difference. However, I don't believe I will be caught because the agencies I am looking to hire have a stellar reputation and they are not going to be cheap.

It took me a long time to get to where I was before June update, my weak point has always been content creation, I just cannot churn out content on a daily basis, if I could I probably would have carried on with my MMO site but its too difficult creating content for 1 site let alone two.

All the best with your situation.
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cld111 Premium
Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Good point about backlinks. I know I don't do enough to try to get some. Please let me know how your experiment goes with buying them. I'd love to hear...

- Christina
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texasprinces Premium
SiteSupport has looked at the back-end of my website before to see if there were any major issues. I kept getting messages from Google saying that I had issues. Don't we all!!

They SiteSupport guys are so super technical and smart. I love those guys. It is worth a try.

I also find the MMO niche to be so competitive and a bit discouraging. For this reason, I started a niche site and I have a lot of fun with it and my pages are always on the top 10 pages of Google.

I am also still doing SAC too. I have 50 posts on my MMO site so far. No results though. Surely one of them will take off with all of the work I am devoting to it... Praying...
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cld111 Premium
Well, I checked in Search Console and there aren't any major issues in there, so I don't think it's that.

I was really excited about this MMO niche, but now it's kind of bumming me out.

It's not worth it if you can't get anywhere with it. I have another niche site I'm going to concentrate on a bit more for now and see if I can drum anything up with that.

- Christina
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texasprinces Premium
I think that is a great plan. The MMO niche was bumming me out too. I am still pursuing it but I can't put all of my eggs in one basket so to speak. :) And, the whole idea is to be doing something that you enjoy that you can make money with!!
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cld111 Premium
Yes! Totally agree. I will certainly still work on my MMO site, but I've been wanting to work on my other site anyway. It's another passion of mine, and I'm going to have a lot of fun with it!

- Christina
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texasprinces Premium
you go girl... go for it and don't give up... :) neither will I!
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Cirian Premium
It's worth posting on Twitter and other social media as much as possible too, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest even, so you have exposure over a bunch of platforms people will search on.

And then of course you can also link back to your site from YouTube, should you fancy making videos. I wouldn't rely on Google alone right now, it's ever so unpredictable.
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sherlock77 Premium
Just focus on your niche site. MMO is so hard to rank these days. I have 2 MMO sites now with well over 1000 posts between them, and both sites get hammered every time Google rolls out a broad core update.

My first site I spent months improving after it got hit with last year's August update, but all those improvements did nothing.

Kyle suggested I start a brand new MMO site. I did, and diligently added over 200 posts to it with all posts being 2000+ words (nothing less). The only post with WA affiliate links is my WA review.

The new site has never got off the ground, and since mid July, traffic is less than half of the paltry amount of traffic is was getting.

Way too much work for no pay off.

I've since started a best of site following Dylan's training and see how it goes. I'm not going to bother with MMO anymore.
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cld111 Premium
Wow, interesting. I'm sorry to hear that your MMO sites aren't doing very well.

I'm definitely going to work on my other site much more. I'll still work on my MMO site, but not at the same level.

Thanks for your input!

- Christina
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jlclayton1 Premium
I have noticed on my bootcamp site that Bing and Yahoo love all of my information articles and Google loves all of my reviews. In fact, Google rarely ranks any of my information articles, but they have no problem putting a review on the front page.

Right before the algorithm change in June, I swapped to the Divi theme for a more professional look and did a major change to the look of my site. Around June 5th my organic search traffic doubled, but I don't know if it was the algorithm or more from all the changes I made to the appearance and function.

I know others who have very successful sites with Thrive Architect, so I don't know if you'd need to change that. I don't necessarily think that the Divi theme itself made a difference to Google with my traffic increase. I made a lot of changes with things like featured images, everything on my sidebar, my menus, etc. So I would say that those things probably made the difference more than just what theme I had.

But from what I see on my site, if you want Google to take notice--write plenty of reviews and get comments on them. That's the only way I finally got good rankings!

Hope that helps!

Janelle
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cld111 Premium
Thanks for that, Janelle. I do write lots of reviews and I usually request comments, so that's not the issue, I don't think. Bing and Yahoo rank my review posts, and usually almost immediately.

Funny how quirky they are.

- Christina
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Swangirl Premium
That is interesting to hear. I always wonder why so many give the advice to not start adding reviews (with links) until you have a lot of informational content first. I don't follow that path. I think you might as well take advantage of the opportunity to give information and have reviews in the same post. I have always done this and most all of my posts have links.

I started getting sales right away and am now getting sales every day from Amazon, so it works for me. I have gone through slow periods where I don't get a lot of sales but that is largely due to my own lack of time to work on my sites and recently due to the Google update. Now things have picked back up.

Jessica
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jlclayton1 Premium
I did the same thing, started putting my affiliate links in and writing reviews.

I've never really bought into the theory that you have to wait until you start getting a lot of traffic to put in affiliate links. If you have a niche that's not super competitive, it only makes sense to try and get sales as soon as possible.

My experience has been the same as yours as far as slow periods. I've had a few due to lack of time to keep up with adding a lot of content at times.

Congrats on getting Amazon sales every day!
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks. It is only 1 more day than last year so nothing earth shattering yet...I can hope though!

I see a lot of people spend 6 months writing before adding any links...I feel bad for them because they get discouraged in that time.
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cld111 Premium
People wait that long? But why???

- Christina
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wiseo Premium
The number of the post don't matter!
Frequently like I side this morning on my blog here, have too many post is very bad for your website.
Google don't like too many pages:
google like few page with fresh original, unique and deep researched topic.
Why is that is long story but maybe some day I'll write why you must publish not too much articles
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cld111 Premium
Interesting. I know that Brian Dean does very well with not many, but super well-written posts.

- Christina
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LauraFuller Premium
Christina, I have had to decrease my posting the last 4 weeks. From 3 a week to 1 a week. Since then I have seen a boost in my overall ranking.

This is interesting news to me.

Laura
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cld111 Premium
That is interesting, Laura!

- Christina
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wiseo Premium
Hi, is not easy find what your problem is, particularly without see the back-end of the website.
Last google update for what i Know penalized many website of the niche Heath and medication.
Yes you must have sitemap which link all yours webpage, even better if you have sitemap wich include videos and images
I have sitemap Of course, but .xml not .html
what someone told you is not true for many factor:
medium length domain on first page are 1890 words long.
2-4 only exact keywords is not true at all.
The first keyword go on the first paragraph if possible, but don't have the power of not ranking if you don't do.
I use classic editor and after the update I ranked few post on first and second place for keywords up to 22000 research month.
I f you send to me private message I can do 2-3 different audit for your website(of course free) and we'll see if there is something not so good.
SEO is complex field, but with patience you can find the problem (almost)always.
If you have daily back-up you can try another thing, but you must have some expertise or some good software for that.
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cld111 Premium
I would love an audit for my site. I'll PM you.

Thanks!

- Christina
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tmaltz Premium
Great post Christina, I've been facing these issues and I also use Thrive architect.

It's tough to say for me because several of my post still rank well but in general my traffic has gone way down. I personally think it's just because of all the competition within the make money online niche because wealthy affiliate promotes it's so hard. So my traffic actually was around 1000 to 1500 new users per day about a year ago and then it drops down to about 700 per day in Feb 2019 and then after the new update I was around 200 to 300 per day.

That totally sucks with almost 500 posts.

I figured it was because of all my alt tags were keyword stuffed and so that was maybe a penalty. I'm currently working on updating all my all tags to be just solid descriptions of the pictures. My hope Is that this would improve my overall rankings and traffic back to the plus 500/day level.

Like you, I see several post with a 10 spot ranking in Google and then a number one spot in Yahoo and Bing.

I actually took the private coaching with Jay and got great tips and some advice for my website, but the big suggestion was to add YouTube videos because of the increased competition in my niche. That helps a little bit but overall it just seems like a ton of work for some super average results. The other thing is that the MMO niche in general has gotten more competitive so even if I get 100 new invitations in a week or two, only like 5% are buying versus 12% - 15% like a couple years ago.

If it is Thrive architect then that would be pretty disheartening because I put in thousands of hours to update my website with this theme as well as all the additional updates.

I would love to hear what you find out because I'm not sure what more can be done.

Thanks for taking the time to write this post.

Todd
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cld111 Premium
Hey Todd, thanks so much for writing.

If it's just a matter of there being too much competition, then that really sucks. Because I don't know how to do any better at this point.

UGH.

Maybe it's time to move to another niche? I hate to give up on this one, but I can't sit here forever and go nowhere with it.

In any case, I'm going to test out not using Thrive Architect and updating my images and see how it goes. I'll keep you posted and let you know if anything happens with it.

I hope it's not Thrive Architect because I really like using it. But at least if that's an issue, it can be fixed.

- Christina
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tmaltz Premium
I’d love to hear what you find out Christina. If it is Thrive architect, I think that could be something that could be presented to them. In the past they have had issues with their architect Builder and had resolved several issues related to it. As a matter of fact I found that they have been one of the companies (like WA) that continues to strive to improve upon their products. So I'd like to know if it's Thrive architect as well since it took me three months to update my site last year to it.

I'm getting to that point as well though where it's just not worth it to produce more content. It's either produce more content that's perfect and do a YouTube video and then hope you can get the number one spot for a review that hopefully will bring people in and convert to sales.

Again, part of the blame is all the competition out there that's outside of wealthy affiliate but also wealthy affiliate as well. They're constantly try to get people hyped up to promote their product and Company rather than striving to focus on helping people build their own Niche websites within whatever Niche or passion they want. They have people give up too quickly when they don't know what niche to select.

Look forward to your findings.

Best,
Todd
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cld111 Premium
Very good point. I know almost all of the top 10 people in Google are WA people. Good for them. Bad for us. lol

- Christina
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skmorrow Premium
Wow, that is pretty deflating news. You have a ton of work into your site.
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tmaltz Premium
You ain't kidding... I know, it's downright depressing. We'll see how the alt tag update goes. Seems some pickup in traffic. I really think it's just the niche. But yeah, it sucks to be going backwards instead of launching forward.

Cheers
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BenjisDad Premium
Have you looked in search console?

Do you have keywords that were ranking high now on 2nd page of Google? What sites now out rank you that didn't before? Why? Is there content better? More authoratative?

Have you noticed a decline in rankings Or has just a couple of high performing pages no longer performing?

Has traffic bounced back at all? Remained steady? Continue to drop?

What about creating YouTube videos pointing to your most popular articles?

Just a warning, I wouldn't spend an insane amount of time on it. Unless it's a huge keyword, I'd focus more on creating or improving content.
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cld111 Premium
The keywords that were ranking high are still ranking pretty well. One of them isn't because it's not as relevant anymore (a review post of a bad product).

As I mentioned in my post, I have been concentrating on creating even higher quality content than I was before. Google isn't ranking anything new of mine that's significant.

It's like they're completely ignoring almost everything I put out there.

My traffic should be WAY higher than it is. It was almost 3k / month and now it's declining again. It should be much higher at this point. I'm 10 months into it, and I have over 200 posts on my site.

My traffic goes up when a Pinterest pin gets some traction or when Bing ranks me.

I'm telling you, there's an issue with my website speaking to Google. I just know something's off. I understand I won't rank for everything, but I am producing high-quality content and I should rank for some things...

I have to spend time on it because I'll never get enough traffic if I don't.

I appreciate your questions and ideas. I do have a YouTube channel, but I haven't been focused on it too much at this point.

- Christina
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