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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Mar 2012

 3:39 pm on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Something very odd just happened. I searched for my top keyword term. We have been at #3 since Panda, previously #1. My listing had disappeared completely, nowhere down to page 10 (in 10s). I did the same search on a different browser with no history on it, same result. Other terms were where I expected them.

Then 2 minutes later I'm back at #3.

What's going on?

Sid (In UK)

[edited by: tedster at 3:28 am (utc) on Mar 2, 2012]



 5:30 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ bewenched

had you made big gains recently, or steadily from the initial panda hit?


 5:33 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing some big changes in the SERP's this morning for some search terms. The data set looks like one from a few months ago to my eyes!

I see the same thing...weird...are they rolling back for good or is this temporary because a big change is happening? I guess nothing is really for good anymore, 12-24 hours is the best you get.


 6:02 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

A similar under current running through lots of threads these days: how challenging it is to monitor changes and then think about ways to tweak your site for ranking gains (or recovery).

IncrediBill made a point over in AdSense; daily fluctuations happen. Worrying about it is just wasted energy (and posting it even more so).

It's trends that matter, both in terms of your own site, and what is coming and going in the key SERPs you monitor.

Everything else is noise.


 7:50 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ shaddows

I feel like a lot of people have become overly involved with their daily/weekly traffic as of late because of the whole panda issue. I know that's the case with myself. It's an on or off switch and we are all afraid of what it can do to our websites. I am either monitoring the progress of sites hit by panda (in recovery) or watching sites not hit by the beast.


 8:24 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I had a drop in traffic starting around 3/10. I posted about it in another thread on affiliate links because I wondered if that was the cause in my particular case (which I think is unlikely but possible). My traffic had been pretty steadily increasing for many months. I had a number 2 result for a competitive phrase for many months which dropped to number 3 on Saturday along with some other slight drops.

Today I am seeing some flux in this category. I can't tell if it is reverting to an older list, but I see some distinctly different results throughout the day.

Because my category had been fairly stable for many months, I suspect something unique is going on today. Whatever hit me Saturday could be a part of this - or not.


 9:28 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I thought a year ago that Google will fix the problem of scraper and spam sites quickly, but 3 days ago a couple of my pages (original and unique texts) which ranked #1-#3 got replaced by a parked domain (with same title and desc. in SERPS like my removed pages). Another page is outranked by a single sentence taken from the page. I've posted the problem on Google's webmaster forum, but haven't got any help or answer. They have really big problems if they have a parked domain on #1-#3 for three or more days.


 10:48 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can also confirm that I have seen parked domains on 1st page results on several occasions recently.


 11:29 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

OT - came across the following interesting article by an ex-Googler on why they left Google:


It's not quite as exciting as that article by that guy who left Goldman Sachs, but gives an interesting picture of the change in culture as they moved from Schmidt to Page.


 11:40 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

A humorous one is Im getting outranked by "Chilling Effects" for my own content I filed DMCAs for. The offender and Chilling Effects remain but Im ousted. If Google does me any more favors Im really in trouble.

As a heads up it might be wise to limit the amount of content submitted in a Google DMCA that becomes available to the mentioned.


 1:20 am on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can also confirm that I have seen parked domains on 1st page results on several occasions recently.

I mentioned the same in this thread back on March 2nd
Add parked domains to that list. Google is broken, wish they would fix it. I've never seen the results as bad as they are right now.

Originally I thought it was because I was a looking for tough to find information around PHP, Apache, and MySQL. I wound up using Bing just for yucks and they nailed these queries.

If the folks over at Google, especially Larry, think they're making improvements then the emperor has no clothes.


 9:27 am on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

SERP's have changed again for me! I'm now getting lots more image results in the top 3 & Product Search results are gone for a lot of terms that convert for us.


 10:11 am on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Changed again, shopping results back & images gone!


 10:41 am on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seeing a fairly big change in the SERPS in the last 24 hours, however even though positions are down for us traffic is up 30%.


 10:53 am on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

@gyppo - maybe you have another Panda improvement with more of your remedies kicking in. What do you think?


 11:07 am on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not so sure, I'm seeing strange cycles at the moment. Ranking really well for a set of terms for ~1 week, then next week those terms disappear to be replaced be something different. Rinse & repeat.


 12:38 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Despite the SERP's looking great for us we are well down (traffic wise) on yesterday. 40% down on previous 4 Thursdays. I'd swear the server was unplugged! Our friend good old Indian traffic is back with a vengence so no surprises we are dead.


 1:56 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ditto on Ohno's observation - the serps "look" fine, but looks can be deceiving. The level of flux seems higher than ever for some of my search terms, especially single word terms. Using GA, my site is getting nearly normal levels of traffic, but it's all coming in from the side doors (sub pages).
Sales conversion went from "very good", to "very poor " in the last two days.


 2:08 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe its time for me to sell out my top sites after reading this [online.wsj.com...]

This could be much worse then Panda for the small publisher.

At least then I could work on my smaller more manageable sites and still have money in the bank to operate and not have to worry about Google messing serps up.

I also want to add this could mark the end of free search results. Seems like Google wants all their stuff on the front page and to bury everything else.

Martin Ice Web

 2:49 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)


thanxs for sharing it.

In short:

they steal content from webpages and will present it at the top of searches as their very own result only to present ads next by. The webmaster that had the work with the informational website will get no visitors any more...


 2:57 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thats exactly what I was thinking


 3:02 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lovely. Sounds about right for new Google. They steal snippets for product search results now from merchants feed data! (so your nicely written content gets diluted by Google as "their" take on the product being searched).


 3:15 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

HUGE changes here in the UK and the US results too. I had a long time number one site (over 8 years, both US & UK) that suffered due to Panda last year, to be fair it was probably the fact I took it for granted and rarely updated the site too.

I changed it over from static to wordpress recently which I am finding much easier to keep updated and fresh. It was a bit of a gamble as I was still getting ok traffic from Google but nothing like I got before panda.

Just checked and the site is now back on the top half of page one in the US and number one in the UK so looks like something I did has paid off.


 3:15 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hopefully they'll have a clever name for the new update, so we'll have an easy means of discussing it with the scores of webmasters who are going to show up here shortly as their businesses go up in flames. I vote for 'Google-'.

Martin Ice Web

 3:23 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Isnt this SCRAPING ? So goolge has to fight itself and panda virus will eleminate goolge ... so no worry.


 3:33 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

They could even have a new badge for it :) Then change it again a few months later like they have with this silly +1 thing.


 3:38 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

They may think this sounds good on paper but if they kill publishers earnings then the writers just wont write any new or useful content anymore which will eventually lead to a negative experience on the internet.

In a way it almost looks like Google is moving away from search results.

Remember, when yahoo and msn could not provide good search results, people started using Google. Are we gonna see the trend that will lead to more bing users.

Also remember what happened to AOL. No one even thinks about using them anymore.

One fact for sure - The market will react if they screw up and it could lead to their downfall.


 5:33 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

These were steady gains then monday of this week we saw a large spike of traffic, and now it seems we're down a bit. Of course this is an odd week with spring break for many schools etc.. not surprised our ecomm site is a bit slow now, but monday it was gangbusters.


 6:34 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

An interesting article [webmasterworld.com ]

[edited by: tedster at 6:45 pm (utc) on Mar 15, 2012]
[edit reason] change from WSJ link - it required a subscription [/edit]


 6:52 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is a big pill to swallow for us Webmasters...

As people spend more time on Google's search site looking through its extensive "entity" database, there would also be more pages, or inventory, on which to place ads, said a person with knowledge of the initiative.

(bold by myself)

Google is coming right out and saying... We are going to use your content and wrap our ads around it.

The time to block Googlebot may be here.


 9:32 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ mhansen

I'm sure they would still steal your content even if you block the G bot. If they want it, they take it.


 1:17 am on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ Bewenched

I never thought of this weeks decline in traffic being related to spring break. Hopefully that's what happened to our money maker site. That's good to hear you have seen improvement though since being hit by Panda!

We've seen a drop of about 10-15% this week and had experienced mostly gains from Feb 2011 through early March 2012 on this particular site. A little bit up and down between, but the trend has been significantly upward overall. I need patience I suppose, hopefully next week it will jump back 20-25% :)

This 391 message thread spans 14 pages: < < 391 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 ... 14 > >
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