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Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2011
Shatner




msg:4333343
 11:14 pm on Jun 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

Here's what I am more interested in than anything...

How are all the cosmetic changes Google is making going to affect the traffic driven from Google search?

It definitely seems like Google is de-emphasizing the straight up search aspect of itself more and more and more. They're going out of their way to direct people AWAY from search with every cosmetic change they make.

That has to be having an impact on people who get a lot of traffic from search... I don't know I don't get any search traffic anymore since Panda took it all away.

If you do still get Google search traffic, how is this impacting you?

[edited by: tedster at 3:32 am (utc) on Jul 2, 2011]

 

Forbin001




msg:4345184
 8:59 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I had a slight burp for one of my keywords this morning. The panda 2.3 update was 2 weeks ago today. It appears that google does 2 updates per month, one big one, one minor one. I could be wrong but hey, it appears that way.

ScubaAddict




msg:4345201
 9:23 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Had a large recovery of traffic starting on July 23rd-24th area (Panda took 50-60%, recovered about 60% of lost traffic on July 24th). Weird things I am noticing about this date in google analytics:

1. Traffic Sources: Search Engine Traffic: Google - no increases (this is the area that showed the huge traffic drop when Panda 1 came around).
2. Direct Traffic is up over 300%
3. Average page views dropped noticeably (by about 25%)
4. Bounce rate increased noticeably (from 45% to 55%)
5. Daily new visitors is up 30%
6. Avg time on site dropped from 3:00 to 1:56.
and unfortunately:
7. No increase in adsense revenue at all (not even a tick) - still down over 60%.

Anyone else notice this? Any explanations?

Unfortunately, this is the same date I moved off 2 large sections of the site into subdomains - so I am unsure if this somehow has something to do with that...

disspy




msg:4345214
 9:42 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I had a slight burp for one of my keywords this morning. The panda 2.3 update was 2 weeks ago today. It appears that google does 2 updates per month, one big one, one minor one. I could be wrong but hey, it appears that way.


Yep, why not? Google Search Quality Team is obviously using agile development methodology, as we do. Probably they have short Sprints (iterations), with tendency to release new stuff in every 2 weeks. I guess they perform kind of A/B testings in monthly or quarterly cycles. The actual objective is to keep the search clean of spam, to provide reliable results and mainly to increase profits for their shareholders (read increase advertising revenue). Once they bring all these parameters to perfection and complete their mission, they will stop doing these ridiculous algo changes, in other words - never! ;)

Unfortunately, this is the same date I moved off 2 large sections of the site into subdomains - so I am unsure if this somehow has something to do with that...
Sure, it could be that. But if you properly used 301's, that shouldn't be the problem.
sean22




msg:4345256
 10:47 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Recovery is sustaining, going on 5 days straight. Main KW (Homepage) ranking in US/UK serps has also seen substantial improvements of late. Could do better, but not complaining as HP moved from page 10+ to page 2 in UK serps.

ohno




msg:4345331
 5:56 am on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

sean22 we also have had a good week, first week of the holidays here yet better than previous weeks? Crazy. What is nice to see is two domains(one which had virtually died) have had sales every day this week. Will it stick? Deep down I think I know the answer but all I can do is enjoy the ride. This basically reiterates to me all the people who say I did X Y & Z and my sites came back would probably have seen the same had they sat tight. Keeping sites up to date and written for users is good, constantly changing in the hope of beating Google is not.

indyank




msg:4345351
 7:46 am on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone else notice this? Any explanations?

Unfortunately, this is the same date I moved off 2 large sections of the site into subdomains - so I am unsure if this somehow has something to do with that...


I don't think it has got anything to do with the subdomain spin off.But AFAIK, you have the perfect data for a pandalized site and what you have described is how it looks in pandalized sited that I had come across. i have one question to you. Are these metrics from Google Analytics?

Some more facts:

I had noticed this increase in direct traffic in one pandalized site, way back in March (around 7-10).These visitors would just come in and bounce off.I had raised a question on it in this forum and some pointed me towards sabotage using mechanical trunk. The reason why people referred me to sabotage via mech. trunk is because the visits were from countries all around the world and not limited to any identifiable region.

However, the direct visits dropped off after two weeks but then DT as as a % of overall traffic increased by 10% while SE traffic % dropped by 10% and it remained that way until July.It didn't stop there.All other metrics like bounce, avg. time on page were terribly screwed and it remains bad to this date - Nothing seem to help in improving them or restoring these metrics to what it was pre-panda.

This month I am seeing another fresh sabotage like increase in Direct traffic. The only guess I can make out of this is some force is acting to screw something (may be user engagement metrics).

Panda is becoming one huge bad evil animal.

alika




msg:4345386
 10:19 am on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

7. No increase in adsense revenue at all (not even a tick) - still down over 60%.


We first noticed signs of recovery through our Adsense, where Friday (July 22) became the highest revenue for a Friday we've seen in a long time. That's when I started seeing green in my Google Analytics for our keywords, after months of continually seeing red.

My GA shows a gradual decline since Feb, but Quantcast shows our graph like someone has just scooped out March, April, May, June, July traffic. It looked horrible!

I think I'm one of those that did absolutely nothing to adjust for Panda. The only thing I did was to change the intro blurb for our most popular page because it was not well written and was too general of a description. I changed it around July 17, not because of Panda, but just to make it look generally better with on-target keywords for the page.

But other than that - we did not change the number of ads, we did not change the layout, we did not remove any content. We don't have thin content - our articles start at 400 words or so, with many in the 2,000-5,0000 range. We just continued doing what we always did, and continued adding content as per our schedule.

Hopefully, though, the recovery will stick.

ScubaAddict




msg:4345424
 1:06 pm on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Indyank, yes, my data is from GA.

What is sabotage via mechanical trunk?

100up




msg:4345455
 2:17 pm on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

I had noticed this increase in direct traffic in one pandalized site, way back in March (around 7-10).These visitors would just come in and bounce off.


I, too started noticing an increase in direct traffic, but it's limited to these very short bursts of visits that jump around the site, not spending any time on any particular page, but visiting 50+ pages in a row.

The strangest thing is that they come from particular US cities, like Temicula CA one day, and Sausalito a week later. When I look at the service provider, it's always Yahoo Inc., or Inktomi Corporation.

I'd assume it was a spider, but since when does Google Analytics show visits from spiders?

joetek




msg:4345480
 3:43 pm on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'd assume it was a spider, but since when does Google Analytics show visits from spiders?


Google Analytics excludes most spiders because very few of them execute javascript. Maybe its a new bot that is executing javascript?

ohno




msg:4345482
 3:51 pm on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

We had a stonking morning/last 48 hours. Tailed off at around 1pm, checked one of our domains and now 40% down. Oh well, it was a good 48 hours!

indyank




msg:4345499
 4:53 pm on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

@ScubaAddict, the suspicion was on some competitor using MT to send such useless short visits. It lasted for 2 week then.

But I didn't see any pattern like traffic from one service provider as 100up says.It al looked very natural. But the number of direct visits on all those days were almost the same.

Now, I don't even think it is the sabotage work of any competitor.

GA does not report any traffic from spiders unless you adopt some special techniques. I do have a separate profile set up to monitor bots through GA (with the help of some code on the site) but you may not see them through a normal profile.

Bewenched




msg:4345600
 10:21 pm on Jul 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

According to Analytics our site has gain a whopping 0.53%
bounce rate the same
average pages per visit is up an average of 1
but oddly the percent of visits for google organic search visitors is down to only 42% they're slipping as well as the average time on the website is down 2.5% which tells me they arent finding what they were looking for.

Forbin001




msg:4345625
 12:30 am on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google appears to be churning one of my keywords a bit, is anyone else getting a churn?

gehrlekrona




msg:4345636
 1:48 am on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just a thought... Pandas live in China, right? Why did Google use a Panda as a name of their new ranking/search system? Coincidence? I don't think so...
Anyway, is this Panda a beast that is connected to Google+, Google Coupons, local search results showing up in the search? I think Google has a more far distant goal for everything they do and the search is involved in all of it. The search engine is just a motor for making $$$, just as Google+ is a way for them to make even more money, even though I think Google+ will be something in the perifery for computer nerds and likes. It will never be anything for the masses.
Doing a search today for "state name widget" and what shows up? lots of links to images and links to some very strange domain names, links I didn't dare click on.
The last week my main site has been going up and down lika a yo-yo. One day up, the next down again and it's a swing by 40-50%. They seem to be testing different things but I wish they could do the testing on a test server somewhere and didn't use the Live server.....

indyank




msg:4345654
 3:43 am on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

lots of churn...different keywords popping up and going down almost every day...

alika




msg:4345710
 11:16 am on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

@gehrlekrona

Pandas live in China, right? Why did Google use a Panda as a name of their new ranking/search system? Coincidence? I don't think so...


Panda was not named after the pandas in China. A Google employee named Navneet Panda presented a better way to scale down some machine learning algorithm that are now a patent of Google. In his honor, they named the update after him

gehrlekrona




msg:4345809
 5:54 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

@alika, you are probably right but it was a nice idea ;)
Not sure if anybody else is seeing it but today seems to be the worst day in a long long time. If it wasn't for Yahoo and Bing the site would almost dead in the water. Getting hits from all over the world from google TLD's which I usually don't get. Not sure if Google "force" people to use google.it in Italy for example, instead of Google.com just to get more local results? Anyway, it is really, really slow today. I used to check what time it was during the day, and I could almost know how many hits I have had before looking at my stats. I can do that now too, but the result is about 25% of what it used to be before I got Pandalized.
The worst part of it is that I do not know what to change, if anything since I used to think my site was OK but the Quality Police have changed my understanding of how a site have be to be a quality site.
While doing a private search looking for something I found auto generated sites in top spots, so I guess the next step is to auto generate quality sites.

santapaws




msg:4345822
 7:16 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

yes ive noticed this too. Being allowed to auto generate content is going save me a lot of time. Great stuff.

dataguy




msg:4345849
 10:03 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok, I've studied Panda since my site was decimated in Panda 1.0. I've had some good results splitting user accounts into subdomains, but this week a new thought occurred to me that I don't recall being addressed.

We know that on-site linking patterns are supposed to be a factor in Panda. And we know that big brand names have benefitted from Panda. Has anyone seen a study on sites that use the latest technology in their primary design?

Specifically, I'm talking about AJAX and HTML5. Does anyone know of a site that uses AJAX heavily and HTML5 that has been hit by Panda? AJAX generally uses js onClick events where older technology use anchor tags. This could account for the on-site linking patterns.

Big brands have teams of programmers to make sure they are using the latest technology like AJAX and HTML5. Maybe it's the use of the latest technology which helps a website escape the death grip of Panda.

This week I've seen several examples that would support this theory. I admit, it seems like a pretty basic, simple theory, but I don't recall seeing any studies that explored this hypothesis.

Anyone?

Leosghost




msg:4345850
 10:23 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not sure if Google "force" people to use google.it in Italy for example, instead of Google.com just to get more local results?

Yes, they do..Bing do it also, even more aggressively so..
You host where your primary target audience is..and you use their tld ( fr or de for example for France or Germany ) and you make your content in the target country's language ..and your inbound links from other sites that are also in that country and that language etc..

ScubaAddict




msg:4345855
 10:55 pm on Jul 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Actually, i got pummeled by a couple sites that have older code, but static content, and HTML anchors. Some of my code includes Ajax, but my concepts are much more advanced and beneficial to the user then my competitors who are now beating me. No HTML5 from me or my competitors.

tangor




msg:4345862
 12:01 am on Jul 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

The number (said time and again) of folks with browsers opting for privacy (hence kill js and third party) is on the increase. Might be part of it?

Personally I fit in that category and ROUTINELY hit the back button when a site doesn't blossom in all glory...

indyank




msg:4345886
 3:56 am on Jul 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

It is interesting that you folks mentioned google.it as I too see a lot of referrals from it in my logs this week.Some time ago it was philipinnes (where the language is English) and many here had reports of unusual traffic from google.ph

Why the hell does Google show an English language website on google.it? I know they have a translator engine but still...and on top of it they are said to measure and weigh user and usage metrics post panda. If they are going to drive unnatural traffic like this, as I said earlier, your metrics are bound to be screwed.

All these metrics would make some sense if they are measured and weighted at the level of the building block (i.e.keywords) and not at the page or site level. They currently seem to be aggregating them at the site level.

petehall




msg:4345892
 7:55 am on Jul 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know of a site that uses AJAX heavily and HTML5 that has been hit by Panda?


I use ajax for user functionality but always make sure there is a linking structure which can be accessed by users / search engines.

So for example if i was generating a list of products the initial list would be non-ajax generated, then any further interactions of the list would be ajax eg changing sort order.

Have not had any sites suffer badly because of panda - some have lost a place or two, some have gained.

I have found longtail on one of the sectors i work in really quite random but other than that, no issues.

gehrlekrona




msg:4345908
 1:59 pm on Jul 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think I had one of the worst days yesterday since the inception, almost, of the site. Like I said before, if it wasn't for Yahoo and Bing there would be no traffic at all from Google.
Google seem to have been snowed in on one word for my site and it is not really a keyword for my widgets but I can see it on almost all the searches from Google.
I was going to say that I did not change anything but I did and the thing I did was to add a link to one page, a link that didn't have to do anything with my widgets. Could that be it? You wouldn't hink so, but who knows....

gehrlekrona




msg:4345931
 3:42 pm on Jul 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think I saw someting about timers here and this is what I get very freqquently no in my IE browser:
Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; AskTbWBV5/5.9.1.14019)
Timestamp: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 15:41:58 UTC


Message: 'google.timers.load' is null or not an object
Line: 51
Char: 458
Code: 0
URI: http://www.google.com/


Message: 'google.timers.load' is null or not an object
Line: 51
Char: 88
Code: 0
URI: http://www.google.com/

Very irritating!

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:18 pm (utc) on Jul 31, 2011]
[edit reason] delinked google.com urls [/edit]

indias next no1




msg:4346084
 4:35 am on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

From may 2010 , month on month my traffic getting worst. from today morning august 1st, i lost some more traffic compared to the average of july. worst. i don't know how to get back my G traffic

< continued here: [webmasterworld.com...] >

[edited by: tedster at 1:46 pm (utc) on Aug 2, 2011]

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