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This 340 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 340 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2011
crobb305




msg:4306561
 5:17 pm on May 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

I am still seeing VERY wild fluctuations in my WMT data. Despite a 70% traffic recovery, I am still seeing pages drop 300 to 400 positions, then rise. In the past 72 hours, another page just fell about 400. Clearly there is significant instability right now. There is no guarantee that my ranking improvement will stick, although the trend continues upward. This continuous cycle of pages drop 400 then rise 400 is ridiculous.

[edited by: tedster at 8:06 pm (utc) on May 1, 2011]

 

indyank




msg:4310405
 4:57 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

it could even be months before it stabilizes or it might never stabilize at all.

anyway, I am no longer using google these days except for checking whether anything has changed for my sites.

asabbia




msg:4310416
 5:23 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

what are you using bing?

lol

indyank




msg:4310418
 5:23 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

nope, duckduckgo...

Asia_Expat




msg:4310436
 5:40 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

it could even be months before it stabilizes or it might never stabilize at all.

I don't know if anyone's mentioned this already, but before all these changes started happening, my logs showed a very disctinct visitor pattern throughout the day... i.e. the lows were always sometime around 6 a.m. Singapore time, and the highs in the evenings. Looking at the bar chart for the times, it made a nice wave shape that was the same, day in, day out...

For the last few weeks, that clearly defined wave just dissapeared, and it was all over the place. One hour, loads, the next, hardly any, and the high/low points became random...

Starting Monday this week, the nice, clearly defined wave is back again.

BenFox




msg:4310686
 9:01 am on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've noticed a change in a SERP I monitor. Previously you could search for "widgets" and the top 5 positions would all be pages optimised for "expensive widgets".

I'd always assumed that the reason for this was because the margin on "expensive widgets" was a lot higher so people have done more work on getting those pages to rank for the term "expensive widgets" and the "widgets" traffic was just a side effect.

Well sometime over the last two days all of those "expensive widgets" pages have been replaced by more relevant "widgets" pages.

Anyone else seen something similar?

Jessica97




msg:4310769
 2:01 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm searching this morning for specific info for my technical project I'm working on and have never seen so many "This site may harm your computer" results on the first and 2nd pages of results. Guess that's the "new" quality type sites Google is targeting. Going to Bing to actually get what I am looking for.

HuskyPup




msg:4310811
 3:38 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm just amazed at what I have just seen in my sector when typing into Google.co.uk - new keyword1 keyword2

The first 4 results from the same company +Show more results from example.co.uk = 5 more links...what? 9 links on the first page!

supercyberbob




msg:4310821
 4:04 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

ok, I'll ask the question.

Why are there so many reports of junk in the serps if the giant Panda update was supposed to be focused on quality?

Are all these folks reporting nonsense in the search results on crack?

tedster




msg:4310849
 5:08 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

That is definitely the question. It's possible that we're mostly getting reports from those who were unfairly impacted, and that some problem with Panda is causing both their loss of ranking and the bad SERPs.

I do a lot of searching every day, both for SEO research and looking for information for my own private purposes. Most of the results I get are really good quality, and since Bing doesn't currently have nearly the depth in their index that Google does, I'm glad for that.

At the same time, I do hear from people saying "look at this search" and indeed, there is some crazy SERP that I'm sure no Google engineer would actually want to see.

So the question for me is are we seeing just the edge cases but the core of Panda really is sound? Or is there some serious flaw that means the whole venture is badly off kilter? With something at the scale of web search, this is not an easy call from our position.

Certainly it's bad news when Panda demotes a URL only to replace it with a scraped version of that very content (or even worse, malware.) If anything, it's this complaint that we hear the most.

nickreynolds




msg:4310874
 5:49 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Advice please - do you think I've been hit by Panda 2.1? or is it something else? I've never in 6 years been affected adversely by a penalty or algo change.

People are saying there was a Panda 2.1 on or around May 6th. I was unaffected by previous Pandas.
My stats are:
4th and 5th May best traffic ever, has been consistently and steadily growing.
6th and 7th May low but it's the weekend which is always low
8th May onwards traffic down considerably. (Adsense cpm down too)
This has affected nearly all my sites (around 50) - I'm not sure why. Most are on the same ip and there is some moderate interlinking where it is relevant.
Sites that are not interlinked and on a completely separate niche are also affected.
Sites that I run for other people and are registered in their name seem to be less affected generally even though on the same ip.
Most sites registerd in my name but on other ip's are unaffected, some have even gained a little although one is down by about 75%.
I don't have any copied or scraped content on my sites. Most of my sites are a combination of information, affiliate links and adsense. I do keep carefully to adsense guidelines. My aim is that sites give genuinely useful information, not regarbled rubbish. Most are in a niche that i have professional expertise in. All pages have a decent chunk of text.
I don't have a massive number of inlinks.
I do have inlinks from some decent general directories which link to most of my sites.

Most of what i do, I do cautiously to avoid tangling with Google.
In serps, on the whole it's not that I've disappeared, just that sites have slid down the rankings eg position 1 down to position 6, position 3 down to 9, although for some keywords some sites have disappeared.

It's like there's some consistancy, but some randomness. Any thoughts peeps?

supercyberbob




msg:4310898
 6:11 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

nickreynolds

I seem to remember someone posting something similar in another thread a couple of days ago. I can't find the post now, was it you?

If not, looks like a bunch of sites got smacked by Panda 2.1.

Similar whacking, but to fewer sites overall.

Advice? I wouldn't make any big knee jerk type changes unless it's a correction to something obviously wrong.

I think it's really important to realize just because some sites have recovered traffic since Panda 2.1, it does not mean that it was a result of changes made to the site(s).

Correlation is not causation and all that jazz.

indyank




msg:4310906
 6:17 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

4th and 5th May best traffic ever...


that is the most popular panda signal.

Were all your sites affected only by the so called panda 2.1? if yes, it is definitely interesting as there seem to be some evidence of panda taking on sites by webmaster profiles.

Are all these sites using a common google account like GWT, analytics etc.?

walkman




msg:4310914
 6:22 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

I do a lot of searching every day, both for SEO research and looking for information for my own private purposes. Most of the results I get are really good quality, and since Bing doesn't currently have nearly the depth in their index that Google does, I'm glad for that.

Large sample can account for that. Let's assume that Google bans WebmasterWorld from search or sends its pages to page 7: People that never heard of webmasterworld.com wouldn't miss it at all and would find pretty good answers on other pages. Of course it makes no sense for WebmasterWorld to be on page 7 or one day be on page 1 and the next on page 7 without changing a thing.

Would people say that Google is working correctly then? Is it understandable that after 10-13 years in page one to be called 'junk' and sent to page 7 ?

[edited by: walkman at 6:25 pm (utc) on May 11, 2011]

HuskyPup




msg:4310915
 6:23 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's like there's some consistancy, but some randomness. Any thoughts peeps?


Excellent description and I've been seeing the same with 2.1, never, ever been hit other than some duplicate titlebar descriptions several years ago.

For those who don't go to the AdSense forum several more have seen this PLUS, again for those who've been hit, a serious reduction in traffic and earnings, ~50% it would seem.

HuskyPup




msg:4310918
 6:28 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

I forgot to mention, my traffic was up on 4/5th and nearly all the pages I am having problems with have a Google cache of 4/5th May...Coincidence? Very doubtful.

derivative




msg:4310981
 8:31 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've seen the apparent 'sever-wide' hit as well. All of my properties seem to have taken a hit in completely unrelated niches, though hosted on the same dedicated server (IP) and linked together through GWT and GA.

tedster




msg:4310986
 8:42 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

walkman: People that never heard of webmasterworld.com wouldn't miss it at all and would find pretty good answers on other pages.

I am also saying that I don't run into SERPs with lots of junk results: scrapers, MFA, malware etc such as others are reporting. Guess I'm just not searching in those niches.

walkman




msg:4311017
 9:30 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Tedster:
I am also saying that I don't run into SERPs with lots of junk results: scrapers, MFA, malware etc such as others are reporting. Guess I'm just not searching in those niches.

Probably in dating, medical 'advice' etc you will find plenty.

Google has gone too radical IMO, giving to a few sites even long tails leaving others with next to nothing. Because is site is 'better' in general using Google's metrics doesn't that mean 100% of its pages are the best. Soon we will also see them add spam, like many with high PR in the old days did (wordpress was caught back then with tens of thousands of MFA 'articles').

The site of the probably best know medical clinic /hospital in USA has now split its articles in 250-500 words with > next and has added Google adsense. (I am not in the medical niche)

nickreynolds




msg:4311028
 9:49 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies to my questions - sets me slightly at ease that the symptoms my sites are suffering are similar to those seen by others. If my scenario was different to other peoples' I'd be looking to make changes. Think I'll wait a bit.

@indyank - most are using the same Analytics account. That's a scary thought! Maybe I'll remove analytics from some (horse, stable door, bolted!). The one site that is on a different server but which took a major hit does use the same Analytics account.

If there is a server-wide element I wonder about moving one site to a different server to see if it helps it come back quicker

Any thoughts

trakkerguy




msg:4311044
 10:31 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

@nickreynolds - Same thing happened to me about 18 months ago.

12 sites with same owner, adsense and analytics accounts, and moderate interlinking all took a big hit. Other sites I own didn't have a problem.

Never could tell what combination of factors they used to determine which to demote.

I now use adsense and analytics sparingly, register sites with different owners, different IPS, etc. Interlink more than ever, but no problems since.

nickreynolds




msg:4311046
 10:37 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

@trakkerguy - did those sites gradually come back over time? still in the doldrums? or did they come back all of a sudden?

wingslevel




msg:4311092
 12:48 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

Call it panda 2.1, but I am seeing lots of instability since Saturday. Specifically, I am seeing 2 things - unusual surges and lulls in traffic, and a big shift in conversion rates.

Fortunately the conversion shift is positive. Whatever the driver of the surges, the effect is in the longtail serps. For me the 2.1 tweak (or is it a fresh batch of data) is driving higher quality longtail traffic that is converting.

mrguy




msg:4311093
 12:52 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing scraper sites with unreadable spun content ranking very well for long tails.

If this is Panda's idea of quality, they just took a major step backwards.

crobb305




msg:4311097
 1:00 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing scraper sites with unreadable spun content ranking very well for long tails.

If this is Panda's idea of quality, they just took a major step backwards.


Unfortunately, this is how it is now. Scrapers win. We have been citing examples for months, and it isn't going to change. We all know Panda was a step backwards. Panda seems to be a senior capstone project for some college kids...a capstone project that deserves a grade of "C" at best. We have to live with it at this point.

trakkerguy




msg:4311103
 1:19 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

@trakkerguy - did those sites gradually come back over time? still in the doldrums? or did they come back all of a sudden?


The most important one came back after reinclusion request. Others did not, and I kinda gave up on them. About a year later, I noticed most of them came back to life, but not all of them.

Broadway




msg:4311114
 2:11 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I hope this data helps someone.

I have two sites on the same server.
Each uses different GA and Adsense accounts.
My larger site was unaffected by Panda 1 and hit hard by Panda 2.
My smaller site was unaffected by Panda 1 and benefited from Panda 2.

liman




msg:4311116
 2:15 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

Facts:

Hit on 5/5/11, no penalties before this date
Sites on same dedicated sever
Sites on other servers not affected
Old sites
Keyword domains hit hardest for search term
Ranked on first page for keywords for years
Sites used Adsense
Sites had good PR and still do
Sites fell back 1 to 3 pages in results

Before reading this I started to shut down and consolidate sites, while using Adsense less.

@indyank seems to be similar results to me

@trakkerguy looks to be good advice

dickbaker




msg:4311119
 2:38 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I swore I wasn't going to do any more complaining about Google's results, as there's nothing that can be done.

However, today I found something that really infuriated me. As I'm re-writing pages, I'm taking the first sentence or two, and searching for it in quotes, just to see if: a)it was something I took from the manufacturers site; or b) if it's been duplicated elsewhere.

I found many, many sites that copied original content written by me. That's not a surprise. What surprised me was that most of my Pandalized pages didn't even show up in the results. The scraper sites did, but I didn't even show for my own content.

That's low.

Shatner




msg:4311123
 3:10 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

@dickbaker Welcome to my hell.

tedster




msg:4311132
 3:56 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

The scraper sites did, but I didn't even show for my own content.

We're hearing a lot of that around here, aren't we. Even though only the content publishers are likely to search full sentences, it seems to point at a significant flaw at Google. It's bound to happen once in a while in a data-set this large, but it seems like it happens too danged often.

Broadway




msg:4311134
 4:00 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I tend to agree that possibly there is some inability for Google to accurately attribute the original source, and thus it mis-applies the Panda penalty.

I have two sites, different content, same topic. I personally wrote all of the content (so it must be similar in style, etc...).

The older site has always ranked well (for about a decade) and, because of its rankings, has been scraped to the extreme.

The younger site has never ranked all that well, and I anticipated not scraped as much.

The older site was hit hard by Panda II whereas the younger site has not been affected (and has benefited slightly) by Panda.

Just like everyone else, I'm cleaning up the damaged website in regards to Google's quality guidelines. But really, the site just isn't all that dirty.

I fear that it is the duplicated content aspect that is my problem. But how could I possibly afford to repair this? How, without some enlightenment from Google, could I dedicate the time and energy needed to rewrite a few hundred pages (without knowing that that was really the problem) vs putting the same effort into creating new content for the undamaged site.

I fear, at least from a cost-effective standpoint, that my ten-year-old site will have to be toast.

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