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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]

 

HuskyPup




msg:4444278
 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.

tigger




msg:4444281
 2:32 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Don't you rank well in Bing?


yes but 300 odd hits a day isn't going to pay the mortgage, where as the 1700 that G sends does.....I don't know which traffic coverts better, but its a numbers game so i'm guessing G

MLHmptn




msg:4444418
 10:34 pm on Apr 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has this affected anybody with only one keyword and if so is that keyword in your breadcrumb, site navigation, etc? I have one site affected by this update and its only affecting one keyword term that is in fact our root breadcrumb anchor.

brianp




msg:4444464
 1:06 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Have noticed another shift in the SERPS, with the results starting to look much better the past two days.

Traffic has increased to our E-commerce site, but conversions have been really bad. Looked into this further, and it looks like USPS's rate API for shipping is having some sort of DDOS against it.

So if you are seeing improvements without an increase in conversion, check your USPS results. Turned off USPS on our Magento store and sales and conversions are back to normal now.

seoN00B




msg:4444498
 3:17 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Me too my traffic increased since last Friday at least 10% per day.

gyppo




msg:4444502
 3:30 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here's a snapshot of my Analytics since mid March, we were travelling really well then suffered hugely in these last 2 updates (23/24th March & 20/21st April).

[dl.dropbox.com...]

Down about 70% in total. Good thing we're still working full time jobs whilst bootstrapping our startup, otherwise these dips would be pretty stressful. I always find that when things like this happen I end up wasting more time reading up on other experiences than actually working on my sites.

garyr_h




msg:4444524
 5:26 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Biggest day since mid-December for me.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4444551
 7:22 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@garyr_h

good to hear, we have lost another 30% from yesterday. Hope it will rise again. Maybe goomazon has ot repaired the german index?

Did you change something with regard to the Seo overoptimation filter?


Serps are loaded with big players versus non relevant sites. A shopping search for a widget brings up a dictionary site! Well done.

Whitey




msg:4444556
 7:31 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@gyppo - Do you think it's a Panda reversal or something else ?

garyr_h




msg:4444574
 8:18 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Martin Ice Web since the beginning of February I have made over 130 changes, but the most important is stuff for Panda and since this isn't a Panda update, that leads me to two other things:

Reduced ads and page speed.

Nonetheless, I don't think that has anything to do with anything. My main keywords are getting about the same if not less visits than before. It's deeper pages which are getting more traffic now which wasn't seeing much before (but that's also Panda related, isn't it?).

We'll see if this holds over, but I have my doubts.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4444577
 8:30 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@gyryr_h

thanx, 130 changes are a lot. There seems nearly no way to figure out witch one was the "one".

Do you have similar products, like
-widget xx1 red lenght 5m,
-widget xx1 blue lenght 5m
-widget xx1 black lenght 5m

with color and lenght are changing, but widget is almost the same? I wonder if this causes some SOE overoptimation filter ?

garyr_h




msg:4444588
 8:58 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Martin Ice Web I am education based, not product based.

This is a "medium" sized site with around 2,000 pages in the main section (the other section is a members section where users post content). There are some pages similar to what you describe and those are having problems still.

G sees it and can't decide which to serve. It also has problems with long-tail vs short-tail still.

As for the over-optimization filter, I haven't seen anything at all with it. No site seems to have been effected in my industry that I have monitored.

This update seems to be more than just over-optimization. I'm guessing another synonym change or simply something with giving more weight to deeper pages than before.

petehall




msg:4444590
 9:03 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not sure how accurate the larger data set is... I now see this served all the time where I am.

I'm seeing highly regarded sites with sitelinks ranking positions 6-8 and the sitelinks are still present.

Normally you only see these on the top few results (or please correct me?).

So I think this still has a long way to go...

Martin Ice Web




msg:4444596
 9:12 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@garyr_h,

thanx for giving short insight in our business.
Since a long time I think that there is a problem regarding the similar product pages, but i have not clue how to fix it.
Next problem is, was this mess intened by goomazon or is it a glitch. Should I wait a few days ( but maybe there will be the next update ).

-Next problem: goomazon says make sites for visitiors not for search engines. I did it and now I see waht i have got. E.g. product pages have to look similar. If I will present for each item a different looking page the visitor will think im nuts. Although this product pages are working for the big players and brands.

Shaddows




msg:4444597
 9:13 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

thanx, 130 changes are a lot. There seems nearly no way to figure out witch one was the "one".


Which "one" is precisely the wrong sort of thinking.

130 changes is the type of thing that dramatically changes your site "footprint" and might get it reprofiled, or reassessed in a fundamental way.

Your ranking score is not just a totting up of sub-scores, it is analysis of your relative score compared to sites matching your profile. Shifting your profile can result in dramatic ranking changes, for better or worse.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4444599
 9:22 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@shaddows,

is this score calculated for each pages or is it site-wide and affects it sitewide?

Shaddows




msg:4444604
 9:59 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Both, depending on each individual factor.

PageRank is clearly URL-specific. "Trust" and "authority" normally operates on a domain or subdomain level, but can equally be applied to page-groups.

Page-grouping is a concept that helps me think conceptually about ranking factors (and more recently, penalties). However, when I try to explain myself, it ends up sounding a bit nebulous. It's quite a lot like siloing, but a bit more granular.

garyr_h




msg:4444607
 10:28 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Martin Ice Web This isn't really the thread this type of thing should be discussed in, but maybe I can help just a little bit.

Without a lot of detail, it's hard to figure out what the problem might be, but here are some things you should check out:

* Don't interlink those pages. If they are that similar, you want to do whatever possible you can to tell search engines that the page is unique. Instead, link back to a directory which lists each page. On that directory page, be sure to have a description or at least a few words next to each link. Bread crumbs work well with this.

* If they truly are that similar to where only the color is different, you can combine them all onto one page. Have some setup where the user can then select the color. Throw in some jQuery and display the correct color after the user selects it. Just be sure to 301 all the pages and use the color names within the page.

* If they aren't this similar, be sure to write as much unique content as possible on each page--this will keep the duplicate content filter at bay and also help G decide which page best fits the algorithm.

* If you don't want to do any of that or it doesn't fit in your specific case, your only hope is to wait it out or get more links to each individual page you are having problems with, being descriptive (but not exact and different anchor text) about the product.

bsand715




msg:4444618
 11:17 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I always find that when things like this happen I end up wasting more time reading up on other experiences than actually working on my sites.


So true, But have never been affected like this in up dates. At this point I have no idea what to do.

Sites were set up with Brett Tabke successful site 12/26 methods and have been #1 since 2003/04. Now it seems google has taken those same steps to punish sites.

Or has google implemented a penalty for sites being #1 for to long?

By every thing I have learned from WebmasterWorld pros the sites now outranking mine (Not criticizing them) simply should not be there.

Have started de-optimizing de-contenting one site that is now beat by a no content site that has only keyword (which is the keyworddomain.com showing on page with an link index with adsense and 3 advertising links. In its source read I find NO CONTENT except for title tag And thats it.

Google sends no messages except to add more adsense. (which by the way is down 50% since I've added more)

That why I believe there may be a penalty for being #1 to long.

ON the otherhand I may just have awful sites.

I don't know.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4444620
 11:46 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Martin Ice Web This isn't really the thread this type of thing should be discussed in, but maybe I can help just a little bit.



thanx, anyway.

petehall




msg:4444621
 11:53 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@bsand715 did you get hit on the 23rd of March? Google is still crunching data, it's changing all the time. My instinct tells me that the results can't possibly be the intended result so I'm stopping worrying as much and concentrating on the site.

What exactly do you mean by de-contenting? Removal of thin pages I presume?

bsand715




msg:4444626
 12:15 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

What exactly do you mean by de-contenting? Removal of thin pages I presume?


Petehall what I was referring to in de-contenting since I am am getting beat by no content sites is removing what I believe to be good information on subject in order to bring page content down to keyworded, no h-tag, no bold, no-nothing short 10 to 20 word sentence. Those are what the sites running up the ranking have. I still am unsure what to do about linking, I have never asked for links, never been in a link farm, links to my site are natural, of course some are off content. The links to my sites as compared to sites outranking me are 10-1 20/1 in some cases.

Trying this with one site to see what happens. But how do take away links other people have added to your site?

Don't know what else to do.

Shaddows




msg:4444629
 12:22 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

bsand715, you really need to start your own thread. But I am 100% sure you are taking the wrong course.

Effectively, you are saying
"I don't know why those sites are ranking, but I'll pick the first thing that I notice and copy that"

That is illogical, counter-productive, analytically uncritical and just plain crazy.

But its not a valid question or observation about SERP activity, so should go elsewhere.

bsand715




msg:4444630
 12:24 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

One problem is sites that are running up the rankings are 4-6 page sites. The one I'm experimenting with is over a 100 pages of what I believed to be good original information.This may take a while. After all what is information worth if nobody can fine it. All this info is knowledge of the product my service provides.

It appears Google wants. "I provide this Service - call me - phone number"

I will save the info, so that maybe some day ----

bsand715




msg:4444631
 12:31 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Uh - OK were should it go?
This is valid information on the serp returns in my nich.

SnowMan68




msg:4444632
 12:33 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree with Shaddows....Don't be so quick to turn your site upside down. Especially with removing links and what not.

Ummon




msg:4444634
 12:48 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing the same thing as many of you. Got hit on apr 21. It looks like they banged 1 keyword which I was in the top 3 for many years. I got one site outranking me. widget.org which when you go to their site states "due to legal considerations we do not sell widget anymore"

I agree this cannot possibly be the final dataset.

bsand715




msg:4444635
 12:50 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks Snowman68 experimenting with one site based on serp return observations since panda started, had made no changes up till now.

gford




msg:4444651
 1:52 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

On the handful of sites (~10 were affected) of the 100 sites I track that did get hit on April 19/20, 3 of them showing some returns back to pre-April 20th.

I have been unable to identify a clear pattern of the problem but one hunch is too many links with same anchor text and some on-site algorithm changes specifcally domain name, url, title.

jbcobbs




msg:4444658
 2:04 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I went down 4/20 about 50% of my traffic, its coming back up a bit but not to pre-4/20 levels. Might be moving towards it though.

tarzan007




msg:4444674
 2:29 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I went down 4/20 about 50% of my traffic, its coming back up a bit but not to pre-4/20 levels. Might be moving towards it though.


Same here, though the recovery is very slow and minimal (4-5% each day)

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