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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Apr 2012
backdraft7

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 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]

 

stgeorge

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 12:14 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Would people here generally be in agreement that one should submit a request immediately once bad links have been removed? Or is it better to wait and see first if google "removes" the links from their index?

We are getting some mixed messages. Some people seem to suggest submitting a reinclusion request is a negative thing ie you are admitting being at fault and could permanently damage your site?

Logic would suggest that it makes sense to submit the request once links have been deleted?

bsand715

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 12:42 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

The new SEO is reduced SEO


Agreed but in what amounts and what areas?
Used to be, with Google, good original content properly presented was king.

I do not see that anymore.

Do we turn our authority sites into "Hi I Love Google,I sell blue widgets. Call me sites?

petehall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 1:06 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Agreed but in what amounts and what areas?


Pay attention to on page factors within your control. Especially length of titles, h1 tags, anchor text etc. I'm ignoring all external links as I don't buy this latest scare.

Used to be, with Google, good original content properly presented was king.


It still is a big factor on larger sites but these micro sites can be very thin in content as typically they rely on the home page ranking for that term. Don't let these small sites put you off. They aren't very diverse and whilst they will receive traffic their reach is limited.

jbcobbs

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 1:42 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

We experienced a huge traffic loss on our national real estate search and local/regional search sites. All are on separate hosts and do not link together. 50-60% loss in traffic on 4/20 and getting lower every day since. Regional sites have 0 ads/National has minimal ads.

gford

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 3:05 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else noticing multiple results for the same TLD in the top 10 and especially top 20? My highest count for same TLD in top 20 so far for me is 8 out of the 20! 40% !

turbocharged



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 3:08 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, Google Search is severely broken. So much for diversity! :)

tigger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 3:50 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else noticing multiple results for the same TLD in the top 10 and especially top 20? My highest count for same TLD in top 20 so far for me is 8 out of the 20! 40% !



yep and its crap ! and it seems to be getting worse one of my sites takes the top 5 which is fine for that term but other terms I've got a couple of sites that take the top 10 with my site coming in 11 - 16 ! this is joke

Put it back to ONE site per search ...its really not that hard

BillyS

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 4:27 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else noticing multiple results for the same TLD in the top 10 and especially top 20?
This has been mentioned before... this is what I see:

threewordphrase dot com, throw away domains taking three of the top five spots at times. It's really amazing because they're able to avoid the above-the-fold penalty too. The examples I've looked at don't seems to have a strong link base either. They also don't need the phrase on the page or even many words on the page.

It's really kind of whacky.

Ranking right now:

1 - Big brand with actual "answer" to the query
2 - Phrase in domain name sites
3 - Big brand with an answer that is "close" to the query
4 - Everyone else

The phrase in the domain name group is pretty interesting because they seem to be able to avoid all penalties and are given a great deal of authority. They are able to grab multiple spots just by pointing to the page that Google is ranking the highest in their domain for that query.

It seems there is some combination of factors that are providing these sites with an extraordinary amount of authority.

petehall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 4:27 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've never understood multiple listings, unless it's their lack of confidence for actually serving the most relevant page.

I'm not seeing so much of this now, I think my results (UK) are ahead of what you are all reporting.

I now see really quite nice results! The larger dataset has taken over and it does look better. However, stats on our site are absolutely terrible, which indicates most people are still being served the other dataset.

I've pulled stats from years ago and randomly checked searches. We're still ranking for all the searches that we used to. Either other people are seeing something completely different to me or Google's user base is declining... fast.

BillyS

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 4:27 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Double post for some reason.

gford

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 4:42 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

@petehall - when, if ever, were the results horrible (date it started) and when did it get good?

Seems odd to me that .co.uk would get updated before .com for big G?

petehall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 5:02 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

@gford for me the results went 'horrible' mid-late March, although someone new reports a 30% drop each Thursday / Friday. The results started to look better a week or so ago, but then the data rolled back due to lost sites (an error).

onebuyone



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 5:52 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

petehall: changes in search box auto complete are the reason for decreasing traffic

jbcobbs

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 6:26 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

One thing I am noticing is that using the site:www.domainname vs. the site:domainname operators produce very big differences on my sites now. Not that this is an accurate metric but numbers use to match much closer than they are now.

petehall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 7:02 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

@onebuyone that makes sense to me, especilly on historic data, however our target terms 'seem' to match these well.

It just very quiet at the moment. People are looking but nobody is buying.

Conversion rate a few weeks ago was 1 per 15, where as today it's 1 per 200. That's crazy!

Edit: And furthermore the traffic looks great. All UK referrals with on target search terms.

slinky101

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 7:32 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Re the mulitiple listings I'm seeing them too. For one of our main three word keywords which form a question. There's us, then a quiz asking the question, 2 facebook pages, a youtube vid, then exactly same quiz, albeit appearing on a different site. Has the same title though !

Same for another keyword phrase. Theres a load of country specific Yahoo answers, followed by another load from the .com. One after the other at no2 and no3 spots.

Certainly there doesn't seem to be much in the way of diversity in the results I'm following, and very little in the way of smalled informational based sites as opposed to throwaway fun quizzes and barely relevant 'answers' and discussion results from much larger sites.

Our traffic took a bit of a nose dive also on the 20th. Yet our serps seem ok strangely.

denisl

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 7:56 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Zero effort, non seo sites that seem to be glued together as they came up the rankings.

Is the New SEO, No SEO?


I am the only one here ( apart from perhaps Google) who would like content and functionality to be the main and possibly only criteria.
Why should SOE come into it at all?

bsand715

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 10:27 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why should SOE come into it at all?


I guess SEO means different things to different people.

IMHO: Search Engines are not human. SE need to find revelant on topic Information for a query entered. Search engines crawl by a piece of software, called a crawler,spider or Googlebot "Google".

This software looks for specfic text in specfic places within specific code.

If there were not an order it would be like a human body without bones. We would call the internet "Globualnet". A senseless return of words.

There has to be a "white hat right way" to build your site for the SE to find and rank your site or you would be mired in the Glob.

The right way in this case is what does google want, I believe that is what we are trying to find.

To me this is SEO.

Different for every SE, Even though Google is dropping as King, Google is still the King.

garyr_h

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 10:58 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Our traffic took a bit of a nose dive also on the 20th. Yet our serps seem ok strangely.


That's because of the different databases being served up. Since the 20th I've seen two completely different databases being served up.

Strange thing is that doesn't even make complete sense, because it seems that I'm getting some traffic from database A while other traffic from database B, but it depends on the keywords.

So I have no idea what's going on, but just know that there are different databases being served up and that is the reason why your traffic is so different even though that you see the same results.

Aoe2913



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 11:07 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

This update makes me kind of sick to my stomach.

Best SEO tip I can give is if you haven't already, I highly suggest de-googlfying your site immediately (especially analytics). Essentially delete anything that goes back to Google. You just give them way too much data for free to rank you by and make these Panda decisions that really only benefit a few. There are so many good free alternatives now.

Exact keyword Anchor text is still the best, if you got enough of it across a vast amount of sites. What I see is a site that essentially makes free templates/copies them etc. and puts exact keyword anchor text that alternates via php about 6 different combinations. So its thousands of different URL's with anchor text in the exact same place, homepage only.

Best sites that I've seen in this last few updates are with no google code in them at all and a lot of pages of "scrapped" content ;(.

Embrace interactive content and social media! Diversify away from Google.

[edited by: Aoe2913 at 11:16 pm (utc) on Apr 22, 2012]

jmccormac

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 11:13 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Different for every SE, Even though Google is dropping as King, Google is still the King.
Then in that case: Up the Republic. :)

Regards...jmcc

bsand715

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 11:34 pm on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Best sites that I've seen in this last few updates are with no google code in them at all and a lot of pages of "scrapped" content ;(.


Yes-sir thats what I am seeing

garyr_h

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 1:06 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

The smaller index seems to be even smaller now. Saw a difference of 1 million+ on one database with the other showing 64,000.

petehall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 1:13 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

@garyr_h you're not kidding... a search that was returning over 1 million results is now returning just 3,000. Although I seem to be getting the smaller one here now (I am in a different location today though).

irishsolar



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 1:23 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

FWIW I put a redirect on a page and now both the old page & new page are showing on the SERPs one under the other. This is a mess.

jmccormac

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 1:25 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has this screw-up affected Google's share price yet?

Regards...jmcc

tigger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 1:33 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has this screw-up affected Google's share price yet?

Regards...jmcc


Problem is jmcc its only webmasters that monitor the serps that see these joke results - the vast amount of surfers will just do what they are getting used to with G and thats scrolling to find relevant sites.....why oh why they don't use Bing (UK surfers) amazes me

jmccormac

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 1:54 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's bad, Tigger,
Bing has always been in a second-place position in search but now it is beating Google in terms of quality. (The amazing thing is that Google apparently has search quality panels that should have picked up this mess quickly.) The problem is that Google has around 90% of the UK market from what I remember reading. The next few months of market share stats should be interesting.

Regards...jmcc

tigger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 2:07 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm considering targeting US traffic so that I'm not so dependent on G traffic as I can't see things changing in the UK - the lemmings Oops surfers in the UK think G is the internet

Looking at one of my sites that ranks well on both

82.8 G
17.3 B

If that site lost its G traffic I mite as well shut it down !

And ...for its main keyword ranking it takes the top 5 places..REALLY whats the point of that..

garyr_h

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 2:13 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hah, having the biggest traffic morning in months. Since the smaller data set seems to be good for me, I wonder what that will bring....good or bad?

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4435785 posted 2:27 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

If that site lost its G traffic I mite as well shut it down !


Don't you rank well in Bing?

I would far rather have Bing results at 82.8% rather than G any day.

Insofar as my sites and widgets in general are concerned Bing delivers superb results. Bing actually delivers the quality that MC harps on about.

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