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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Apr 2012
backdraft7




msg:4435783
 4:34 am on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Going, going, GONE!
After over 10 years of consistently ranking between position #1 and #3 on page one for a single four letter word search term, the month of March (starting on the 10th) has resulted in falling to below the fold, then to page 2, then page 3 and today I have been completely removed for that term.

In place is nothing but garbage. Branding obviously has lost traction. I'm thinking whatever they have done is meant to stick. I checked to see if I had been over optimized for the term, but with a mere 4 occurrences on my page and my need to use that term to describe my product, I really don't know what they want from us anymore...

The effect of lost traffic has set off all the "Big Traffic change for URL" warnings and the anayltics charts have nose dived. Anyone else seeing this type of situation on their long established sites?

Lost income from March updates is just about $1000 / week.

I'd almost guess that Google is just removing older authority sites in favor of nothing but news articles and blogs.

[edited by: tedster at 4:54 am (utc) on Apr 1, 2012]

 

irishsolar




msg:4441875
 9:59 am on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am now seeing competitor's who were buried from page 1 to the low 100s coming back into the SERPs and climbing fast - not all of them though. Only those ones who have now put adsense on their sites are regaining their rankings....coincidence?

Not only that but the ones that rank best have adsense above the fold...some of it is taking up almost all the page....the panda must be sleeping or too busy eating and s***ting bamboo shoots to notice!

I have tried a few tweaks to my site and added fresh content. I will see what that does to my rankings before I stick some adsense on to see what that does.

Anyone noticing the same thing or any other trends?

jkdt0077




msg:4441889
 10:58 am on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

@irishsolar is this a genuine trend you're noticing or are you just focussing on this particular point too much? I know I'm guilty of that kind of tunnel vision when it comes to analysing Google results - but I only ask because my own sites seem to all rank exactly the same whether they have adsense on them or not.

I honestly can't believe G would be that blatent in giving Adsense sites more preference in the SERPs.

Is there anything else in common with these sites you are seeing returning to the forefront?

irishsolar




msg:4441917
 12:16 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

@jkdt0077 This is a genuine trend. I kid you not.

As for Google being blatant all I can say is....look at the SERPs.

Page 1 results:

*Google places.
*Youtube (owned by Google & full of adverts now).
*Sites with Google Profile picture & Google Circle information.
*ABOVE the fold adverts on their own search results (isn't that a panda penalty issue for websites?)

Google are totally blatant because they are getting away with it.

However, we can only hope something good comes from the 2 European Regulator complaints standing against them from Trip Advisor and Expedia for uncompetitive behaviour. Its time more big companies stood up and pointed the finger at Google's behaviour.

The several sites that I was referring to are in two different niches and have severe black hat linking profiles. They seem to always know the tricks that work and this just looks like another one. There is nothing else different on their sites that I can see.

I asked previously if anyone had tried sticking some adsense above the fold to see if it would help because I had started noticing this trend. Its getting worse.

YES I am angry at Google and YES I think they are biased and completely anti-competitive in their algo but I am making a genuine point about this adsense.

backdraft7




msg:4441925
 12:36 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

@irish - don't feel bad, it appears many on WebmasterWorld think I'm crazy too and hallucinating my observations.

I threw some fresh meat out yesterday at about 5 pm. After no sales all day, things opened up at 6 pm.
So again, I suggest others try this with your blogs or tweak some minor text, republish and test.

Later in the evening I decided to do some shopping for myself and started searching for " x widget". The first result was a list of related keywords surrounded with Adsense ads. I had to dig to page 2 and 3 to find any decent results. No wonder people are not finding us.

One good thing, at least Google has finally revealed the exact Rube Goldberg mechanisms they employ to generate their results: [youtube.com...]

Now someone just needs to edit this to have a truck load of manure drop on the screen at the end of each search.

irishsolar




msg:4441935
 12:43 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

One good thing, at least Google has finally revealed the exact Rube Goldberg mechanisms for how they generate their results: [youtube.com...]


Too funny! :)

[edited by: irishsolar at 1:07 pm (utc) on Apr 17, 2012]

irishsolar




msg:4441936
 12:44 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)


Now someone just needs to edit this to have a truck load of manure drop on the screen at the end of each search.


Even funnier!

Hissingsid




msg:4441938
 12:45 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

FWIW The site I mentioned that went in at #1 on Monday is now at 6,7 and 8.

davedm




msg:4441946
 1:09 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

However, we can only hope something good comes from the 2 European Regulator complaints standing against them from Trip Advisor and Expedia for uncompetitive behaviour. Its time more big companies stood up and pointed the finger at Google's behaviour.


Totally agree with this; but not just large companies - small companies and individuals can send information to the EU competition commissioner too.

irishsolar




msg:4441948
 1:15 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

@davedm maybe we should start a campaign. Does anyone know how to go about doing this?

bsand715




msg:4441951
 1:26 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

In my nich of the web - thin very little content low page sites (8 pages or less)that have taken keyword strings from my sites are leading the pack.

My sites are 10 year old sites that have been at the top for years in multiple keyword and has a 100x more original content researched over the years on the subject spred over 100s of pages.

The new top ranking sites have no adsense, no common seo principles. I know these guys, they are in the same business. They saw my sucess on the web, got free site building programs adding some copied content. One of them sits around clicking on his site 100s of times a day and believes that is the reason.

I simply have no clue anymore. My 10 year work seems headed to the dust.

Maybe we should all get the free sites add 10 words and start over.

mhansen




msg:4442002
 2:57 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just an observation, but I feel something significant is going on with personalized search results, that's causing serp's to show real-crap when you aren't logged into Google.

I noticed over the weekend that results were really starting to look personalized on my Firefox browser, that's set to block a myriad of Google related domain cookies. Up until now, the results were never really personalized except for location, which is hard to change or set without a cookie.

Today, I continued to notice several places I regularly visit in places they shouldn't be... like "99% unrelated" queries still showing in the top 5. (Ex: a "designer blue widgets" site popping into top serps for "cool blue water", etc)

After hitting the "verbatim" result tab a few times, I am convinced that Goog is ignoring my settings and still personalizing the results.

When I use FF in the incognito mode, the results are absolutely garbage for me. Full of answer sites, sourceforge results for single string queries that aren't really related, etc.

I blindly predict we are going to see an announcement soon, that if your search results are poor, you need to login to Google (and get your free G+ account) and allow them to personalize your search, which will guarantee better results.

If that's not the case... Google is seriously broken right now.

Hissingsid




msg:4442010
 3:15 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just noticed that on Safari (Mac OSX) Google is not using https. Anyone else see this?

backdraft7




msg:4442044
 4:24 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I blindly predict we are going to see an announcement soon, that if your search results are poor, you need to login to Google (and get your free G+ account) and allow them to personalize your search, which will guarantee better results.


I agree...but a very, VERY, VEEEEERY bad move on Google's part if they try to herd us to G+. People are not using facebook like they used to, yet we are being force fed all these social apps and junk we're supposed to add to our sites in order to "fit in" and rank high from our "social interaction". That model doesn't fit every business.

Larry Page made it clear, Google wants user love, but as Bruce Almighty found out the hard way, you can't mess with free will.

Zivush




msg:4442054
 4:38 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I blindly predict we are going to see an announcement soon, that if your search results are poor, you need to login to Google (and get your free G+ account) and allow them to personalize your search, which will guarantee better results.

It is reasonable, if the future of the Internet is personalized results based on browsers' history.
It is not ethical, if it requires registering to G+.

mslina2002




msg:4442059
 4:48 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Keeping my fingers crossed these couple of days and did see some reshuffling on Sunday 2am. SERPs are looking good so far, a competitor was knocked from page 1 to page 4. However the weeks before there was lots of shuffling throughout the day, every day. So I am not holding my breath.

Recent changes - no ads above fold, and posting more regular quality posts.

jkdt0077




msg:4442060
 4:49 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree that at some point Google will have to try and force the whole +1 issue or, failing that, will have to buy out a third party successful social media network. Either way, they look fairly set on going down that route :(

jstover77




msg:4442063
 4:54 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

My brothers local landscaping site disappeared from Google today. Four year old site, great content, backlinks only from his business network. The only thing it shows for is when you search the domain.com now. It doesn't even show when you search his company name. I mean this is just getting ridiculous.

Google....ruining people's livelihood one day at a time.

bhartzer




msg:4442065
 4:57 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google....ruining people's livelihood one day at a time.

It's not Google's fault. A lot of people learned way way back during the Google "Florida" update that relying on Google search traffic is not a very good business plan.

jkdt0077




msg:4442067
 5:01 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is partially Google's fault. They have a monopoly of the organic search engine market which, for a lot of websites, is their only reasonable source of traffic. With their domination comes the moral responsibility to be fair to all - and it seems they're not doing this right now.

jstover77




msg:4442073
 5:13 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

@bhartzer - When you own almost 70% of the search market, it is hard to not rely on Google. Especially if you are a local business. Not that I don't agree with you, and my business is very diverse as far as traffic sources.

BaseballGuy




msg:4442080
 5:29 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)


My brothers local landscaping site disappeared from Google today. Four year old site, great content, backlinks only from his business network. The only thing it shows for is when you search the domain.com now. It doesn't even show when you search his company name. I mean this is just getting ridiculous.

Google....ruining people's livelihood one day at a time.



Yes, however, if your brother were to purchase Google Adwords Advertising, everything would be back to the way it was!

backdraft7




msg:4442104
 6:20 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Either way, they look fairly set on going down that route :(

That is until they change their mind and decide to make having social links a black hat issue.
Once people game the daylights out of this social craze, they'll be forced to change their course...they've done it before.

if your brother were to purchase Google Adwords Advertising, everything would be back to the way it was!

Not necessarily...I have spent over $50,000 on Adwords and it never seemed to give me a "leg up".

[edited by: backdraft7 at 6:23 pm (utc) on Apr 17, 2012]

netmeg




msg:4442105
 6:22 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

With their domination comes the moral responsibility to be fair to all


Which is absolutely, positively and forever impossible. So don't even go down that road because it's a dead end.

backdraft7




msg:4442108
 6:25 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

@jkdt0077 - "moral" and "Google" ...thanks for the laugh jk, I needed that!

[edited by: backdraft7 at 6:26 pm (utc) on Apr 17, 2012]

BaseballGuy




msg:4442109
 6:26 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)


Not necessarily...I have spent over $50,000 on Adwords and it never seemed to give me a "leg up".


Sorry, I forgot to include the sarcasm tag </s> in my original post!

ibmethatswhoib2




msg:4442128
 7:31 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Once again, we in SEO have to use Google but try and get away from them as much as possible. The only thing they will notice is if they have a drop in users. Stop using them to search, tell your family and friends to stop using them and get the meme out there. That's the only way they will notice.

zeus




msg:4442132
 7:48 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

they have to be carefull to push the webmasters to far with all there new rules how a website has to look, just so they have a easier job to rank sites, be cause this is SURE not better for the users, there could come a time where the webmasters will oppose google with million of sites blocking google from spidering there content, lets see what they say to that.

SnowMan68




msg:4442148
 8:21 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

there could come a time where the webmasters will oppose google with million of sites blocking google from spidering there content, lets see what they say to that.


By that time no one would care if they indexed a site or not...

davedm




msg:4442151
 8:27 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

For @irishsolar and others, here is how to complain to the EU competition commissioner.

[ec.europa.eu...]

jstover77




msg:4442153
 8:27 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seems that there was another update yesterday that really hit a lot of sites. Reading about it on a few other forums.

Anyone else see some major changes yesterday?

Also, seeing something weird with one client with Places listings. With keywords that they are ranking in Places they are nowhere to be found in organic, and with other target terms they are not in Places they are showing in organic. Only seeing this with one client, so I don't know if this is Internet wide. Anyone else seeing this?

mhansen




msg:4442217
 11:46 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anyone else see some major changes yesterday?


One of my sons (he's 25 years old) has a popular hobby site he has run for more than seven years. Throughout his site he shows an adsense block in the sidebar, along with a few links to ebay products on pages about various hobby related products. In a nutshell, its a hobby blog.

He doesn't follow ANY webmaster forums and as far as I know, he has never worked on things like backlinks, or any of the other things us SEo's do. He's kinda clueless to web design, seo, marketing, etc... he just likes his hobby. If I had to find anyone building a site strictly for its users without worrying about search engines, it would have been him.

He took a significant slap-down over the past 2 days. From 25k uniques/day to 5k/day from search. 100% of his loss was from Google search.

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