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This 170 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 170 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2010

 11:06 am on Aug 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

For the last 10 days or so I am not seeing any "fresh bump". It's almost like the days of old where sites just stick in their current positions. This is radically different from what I have been seeing for 2 years and across many sites.

[edited by: tedster at 3:26 pm (utc) on Sep 1, 2010]



 9:36 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi Jez123, defo not seasonal for us, site one died a week ago today, our much bigger site 2 died when instant went live. Deader than dead here today which, for a Monday, has NEVER happened, even post May Day we had enquiries/sales first thing Monday.

I fear it is gong to be a long day/week.

Just when we were recovering from May Day...arrrggghhhhh!


 10:01 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Let's hope that google tweaks whatver the problem is. They often seem to water these changes down. It's obviously not JUST instant causing the problems is it. I'd like to know who IS getting the traffic that was once mine! Is it the adwords advertisers? Is it the top 2 sites (that are both gaming G)?

I wish i could find a way out of this. Every time something changes at google it's always for the worst as far as my business is concerned. Unfortunately my enquiries need to come via my site and the SERPs are the best way to achieve that (barring Adwords which I don't think is suatainable long term for me).

Fingers are so crossed that I am getting cramp and blisters :)


 10:14 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ha Ha Ha ... I've just sent an irrelavent information feedback to Google for a search that I perform regularly. This time the number 1 spot was a broken / empty page and the 9th spot was a link page advertising cami-knickers ! (not the search phrase I was using).

I'd say there's something afoot for today ;-)


 10:37 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just had a nother look at our stats, today shows a VERY interesting trend-referals from BING are well UP! Is Joe Public giving up on Google too? All the Bing (& Yahoo) referals show multiple page views, all the Google ones are single page views. Still dead mind with zero converstions.


 10:49 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

@ ohno

Are you sure that Bing is up or is it just showing up more because google is down?


 10:50 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is still there-just useless referals. I've never seen Bing so much in our logs.


 11:06 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google cannot be providing a good search exprerience for either searcher or recipient of the search can it?


 11:14 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not at the moment, no. Monday afternoon now & still zero conversions, this is terrible. Google does it again!


 1:27 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

At the bottom of the page it said "Results were for "keyword1 keyword3", click here if you want to see results for "keyword1 keyword2".

I typed "keyword1 keyword2" because that is what I was searching for.

Yeah, G's been changing more and more of my searches. It's becoming quite annoying, especially if you don't notice it at first and wonder why the "results" are so poor.

And with Schmidt's "never underestimate the importance of fast" quote, well, that extra click to get what you first asked for makes no sense at all.


 1:31 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing that instant is helping my search at all. It gives me suggestions but rarely do those returned results have anything at all to do with the suggested term. It's as if they rolled out instant and another algo update at the same time.

The best results I had in my personal searches occured at the end of August and then they blew that away with whatever change they made a week or so ago. I just dont understand it, the fluctuations are infuriating as it makes it hard to find something the next day or week and takes it to the point that you need to bookmark everything now.

If I wanted Google instant I'd use the toolbar.


 2:02 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)


I saw a massive rankings improvement on Thursday (UK) for a wide range of competitive keyword terms - the terms we were ranking for pre-May day (Since then I've seen a drastic decline with many spammy websites ranking highly for these terms). Got in this morning to find all positions had returned to where they previously were on Wednesday. So frustrating when you get given a glimmer of hope like that.

Anyone else in the UK noticed such an improvement, which then dropped?

My original quote is above.

On the Wednesday we got some great PR from a very well established website that generated over 100k referrals. We managed to get a link from there but their policy is to nofollow everything. As the traffic grew, so did the rankings and as the traffic dropped so did the rankings. Coincidence? BTW - vast SMO presence on this website also.

Thoughts on traffic being a major rankings booster?


 2:12 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

"The best results I had in my personal searches occured at the end of August and then they blew that away with whatever change they made a week or so ago. I just dont understand it, the fluctuations are infuriating as it makes it hard to find something the next day or week and takes it to the point that you need to bookmark everything now."

Exactly what I have found, I'm book marking loads of sited when looking for info/products as i'll not find it again otherwise! Funnily enough when my personal searches were really good (& easy) our sales were also good, now it's dire again and i find the same with personal searches. As for the toolbar idea...trouble is then Google can't force what it wants, I noticed in another thread someone mentioned the page 1 bid prices for many search terms has already started going up, yes I too can see where this is going.........

On a typical Monday we sell around 400-600 (we sell cheap low end items), today we have done 20, yet I check two lots of stats data(GA and another) and both say traffic is well up up the last 4 Mondays!


 2:14 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

@ohno I'd be willing to bet they tweaked something around the time of the instant rollout plus/minus a few days. A month ago I could search on a medical condition or medication and get results, now I get nothing but redirects to offshore pharmacy sites. Their ability to filter spam seems to be really diminished.

I applaud that they keep trying to make things better but they have to get these things tested outside of the koolaid crowd which is I think the problem. Project workers telling project managers it's great when joe public would tell it like it is. They really need to do more public testing.


 3:30 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing pretty much all that has been reported. Bing is up, Google visitors are mainly bouncing off and buying traffic is certainly down. Also, there is a huge amount of empty sites in the listings, either old data or just link pages. I can't believe that this is IT ... there has to be more tweaking and a data calibration soon. It's the old saying "Crap in, crap out", all we need is higher quality data.


 5:27 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Today was the day for us that the hammer came down. Traffic is actually up but it's terrible traffic.

The main crux of the problem is this:

Users searching for Brand XYZ Line BCA Product Name Name Name would have given users a bunch of pages for that specific product.

What seems to be happening is that specific targeted traffic is gone and is replaced with:
Brand XYZ at your favorite web or offline store.

I think the instant search is sending that 10% of users who specifically knew what they wanted and dumping them at the big box type sites. It's like yesterday when I used Google to search on a celebrity in a movie I was watching and I was given the option of Celebrity XYZ Divorce...which I clicked on and there was no divorce information at all....the one site I did click on that had those words was a doorway to a po** site.


 6:22 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Am I correct in assuming those of you who have experienced a large traffic drop are all affiliates of larger Brand Name stores? T

hat would explain the drop if Google is pushing Brand Names.

None of my clients are affiliates and I haven't seen a large drop in any of their sites so I'm wondering if there is a connection here.


 9:08 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

My business is almost 100% reliant on my website but it is all phone calls. Noone can buy on the site, they must call or email. I don't track as well as many of you do but I have witnessed the traffic/call fluctuations as I read about here.

I could swear that G turns off my site from about the 10th to the 20th every month since the phones stop ringing. I look in Analytics and GWT and it is all consistant but if I didnt know better I would think that the power to the phone system went out. The rankings are all steady for 162 Keyword combo's I follow.

Anyone see the mid month pattern since May as well?


 10:30 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's definitely garbage traffic. For example and just a fictitious example. For "Generator model [whatever] for sale", I'm getting "How do I fix a gen" or "why this gen model ... quit" type of traffic from Google. I used to get traffic ready to buy like "Generator Model this or that for sale" from Google; not any longer. Bing traffic is up and targeted.


 11:18 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing the normal seasonal increase in traffic from all search engines - including Google.

August is our low point and we see a steady rise until around the May timeframe. YoY traffic from Google looks to be up around 50%.


 4:00 am on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

So far this month of Sept I lost 5-10% daily traffic. :(

Some that i link build 3 months ago went skyrocket to #2. When last month it was just at #12.

The one i recently build links dropped slowly.


 7:55 am on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've lost also a 5-10%. And we are not even having the Google Instant running here. If i look at the fluctuations in the search engine traffic i hope it will level out over time.


 11:14 am on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

So, do we have any ideas on how to get good traffic back? Adwords never made any difference to our sales in the past so I fail to see how it would help now(other than play into Google hands as i feel this is their aim all along). Looking at the stats today gives dismal reading, I may as well shut up shop & go away for a month. Things are tough enough without this happening all over again........


 11:38 am on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

No idea ohno. I am hoping that the situation will improve with google tweaking it. They rarely seem to roll anything out without some future revisions so lets hope that they do with this (and that it helps and not makes it even worse!)


 11:48 am on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

If it gets worse we are out of business, plain & simple! I guess it's sit tight time again just like May Day, trouble is even that didn't feel this bad :(


 12:09 pm on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google are definitely messing something major up behind the scenes. Have you seen the 'new' SERPs for the following keywords?

search engine
web based email
adverts for publishers
traffic analytics

Seems Google have removed Google from their own SERPs. Epic Fail. Pretty funny though.

(Doing this in Google UK DC. Tried both logged in and logged out. Happens both times. Will probably be 'fixed' soon, so I've taken screenshots.)

[edited by: tristanperry at 1:05 pm (utc) on Sep 14, 2010]


 12:29 pm on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well, google is officially mental. I have gone from 3rd to 4th to 9th to 8th to 6th to 5th to 4th to 5 to 3rd to 2nd in one week for my main SERP.

I know the the SERPs have been shifting around but seem to have gone even more crazed since instant went live. I hope this means that they are still tweaking stuff and my traffic (as well as yours - unless you are a competitor that is :-) )is going to return


 2:30 pm on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Even more mental, when I search for a term and 2 other people in the office search exactly the same term within a few seconds of each other, one person sees us appearing 3rd, another sees as in 7th and the last person sees us half way down page 2.

Has anyone else seen this sort of activity?


 2:37 pm on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

emmab21. Yes, sign out of google and try again and then clear all search cache/history etc and try after that too.


 3:56 pm on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

2nd day of traffic resulting in sales in the afternoon, dead prior to around 2/3pm, anyone else seen this? Prior to this latest update/Instant sales were consistant throughout the day.


 4:15 pm on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Has anyone else seen this sort of activity?

Yeah, whether you're signed in or not it's personalized search for everyone.

Not sure if it really still works with the new interface, but you can try turning personalized search off by including a &pws=0 parameter.


 4:49 pm on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

You can clear your entire search history from within your Google Account - and then pause search history. Voila, there's no information left to personalize with.

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