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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Apr 2012

 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]



 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)

Martin Ice Web

 2:34 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.

confirmed - ecom germany


 2:36 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've been tracking traffic patterns, views of hourly visits, for about six years now. I've never seeing the day-to-day / week-over-week fluctuations that I've seen starting last fall.

I cannot imagine this is a good experience for the user. One day you're in the top 5, the next you're on page 2.

Keyword in domain name is tweaked way too high.
Looks to me like PR is all but eliminated with Panda.

Results completely destabilized, it's amazing no one in the media has picked up what appears to be a very real problem getting this search engine under control over at the 'plex.


 3:14 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I gotta say, in the 18 or 20 niches that I deal with, some of which are pretty competitive and some which are not, we just don't see that much change from day to day; not even from month to month.


 3:20 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Go easy on me guys as first post
and have had to come out of practical retirement due to this update causing mayhem

I have shed a few links especially one which was from a dynamic link directory with about 3000 links
Site bounced back for a day now sits back with a - 30 to - 40 penalty


 3:22 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Should have said as well but haven't got nerve to post as a new thread as so new

I don't think there is one penalty
I think there are two separate penalties that just happen to have been introduced at the same time


 3:59 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I had a cull of sites early this year to concentrate on a few I'm really in, and what I've seen over the last few days is encouraging.

Some big stores have lost number one positions for research/topic based keywords with information/magazine sites taking their places.

Definitely looking better from what I can see.


 4:14 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've got a client that sells sports apparel, like baseball pants, etc. They just got hit hard for related product areas. It seems baseball pants, youth baseball pants, women's basebell pants links directing to pages with similar, thin content (>20 words) is enough to get filtered.


 5:53 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Valleyc did you have 3000 links from the same dynamic link directory or one link on a single dynamic directory which had 3000 links (to sites other than your own!).


 8:55 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Across the board today carts way off, conversion percentage through the roof.

Serps now contain ridiculous YouTube videos for transactional searches or years old blog posts. Search something like the future of widgets and you'll get posts from 5 years ago.

There was a serp change today. Our site saw a huge shift to more but less refined traffic. A totally unrelated site that has never paid for a link went from 100 sales yesterday to 9 today yet traffic is good. His is also on the east coast. I cannot pin down what happened in the SERPS just that things aren't right.


 9:59 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure if I'm slow to catch on here but I've just seen this official announcement of an "important algorithm change" affecting 3% of searches and basically targeting black hat SEO:


 10:01 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just saw a huge shift in results, in the past 30 minutes or so. I am speechless really.


 10:20 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

You have to laugh @SmallP
Posted by Matt Cutts, Distinguished Engineer

but nice link .. more changes :(

[edited by: johnhh at 10:31 pm (utc) on Apr 24, 2012]


 10:30 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lol...I saw that as well.

In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam.

Fingers crossed it's better than the current mess.


 10:32 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

In the last two hours we have gotten slammed. I also dont see almost all of my competition, the white hat and the black hat. In our place is total junk! Surely this can not stick.


 10:34 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

now got a complaint from a friend of mine who owns a small ( under 1,000 visitors a day ) website .. says why do I have 70% less traffic ...


 10:35 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I cannot believe current results. I hope they will fix it. Youtube is dominating and some results make no sense whatsoever. Anyone else seeing big shift in Google US?

I know there was an update but this looks more like massive damage than anything good.

"how to get widgets" is dominated by 5 youtube videos.


 6:09 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

In the last 5 days, one of my sites' traffic has dropped significantly (20-30%). This site of mine is relying heavily on google! I have about 80% of my traffic coming from google. I have other sites on this same server, and none of them were affected. Whatsmore i haven't changed a thing in the last two weeks, which i could point as the casue of the drop.

What is worrying me, is that in the last couple of months i made several changes to this site, i worked a lot with it to keep the best user experience. A year ago my site had a lot of duplicate content, and a lot of junk pages. Now i have none.

I implemented a lot of things to abide by the rules of google. i don't have ANY errors in WMT, and do note that my site if HUGE! I have about 2-3 million uniqe content pages, nearly all of them listed on google. Before the cleaning of the duplicate pages, there were time when i had 10-12 million pages listed in google.

I worked A LOT on making these changed, finding out that my site is only loosing traffic. It is driving me crazy...

Has anyone experienced any trafic loss in the last 4-5 days? The worse day was yesterday (23th April)

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:42 pm (utc) on Apr 24, 2012]


 10:44 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't post often but I have to say the search results look insane right now. I am truly shocked by what I'm seeing when I do random searches. If this stays like this... wow.


 10:48 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)


I am blown away, I was quiet for long time now since Panda updates but this new update is baffling. I hope Google will re-run and fix the mess. South African domains are all over for my random searches.

I must say there is no SPAM on top for niches I monitor but collateral damage is SEVERE.

[edited by: ErnestHemingway at 10:51 pm (utc) on Apr 24, 2012]


 10:51 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm 100% white hat, running a small affiliate program.

Wiped off the face of the map, replaced by various sites that let you post paid advertisements and the spammy blogs.

It's gotten from bad to completely worse.


 10:52 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@johnhh, yes I noticed that and chuckled a little.

Maybe we should cheer ourselves up in these post-panda times by coming up with wonderful job titles for ourselves along the same lines.

Smallp, Harried Webmaster


 10:53 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)


I need a reality check if I am in 2006 or 2012, this update makes no sense on current results that I see not only my sites but top 10 results make no sense.

I will say again there is NO SPAM but collateral damage is SERIOUSLY SEVERE. My site which was on top 7 since 2006 is now not even on first 20 pages.

And I have only 5 backlinks to that site LOL.


 11:02 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)


I need a reality check if I am in 2006 or 2012, this update makes no sense on current results that I see not only my sites but top 10 results make no sense.

Some of the spammy "tricks" that were used back in 2006, are ranking #1 now. For example, there is a website that allows you to place advertisements for pay. It's ranking in the top 3.

Funny you should mention 2006....because I concur fully with you. The SERPS right now look like 2006.

I agree, collateral damage is very severe. The nazi's got me and they got me bad.


 11:02 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm in what would be likely one of the targeted areas, and I'm seeing absurd results right now. Sites spamming rich snippets, major over emphasis on exact match domains. A site with little to no text, but just a login. The algo is on shuffle again.


 11:03 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is crazy! There is no way this can be done. Reminds me of altavista black Monday. And we all know what happened to altavista.


 11:06 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is not real life!

I guess we should wait 1-2 days as this is far from over. No way the current results are what would stick. And if it does - Up Yours Google! My blackhat testers are doing 100 better than my white hats right now. LOL


 11:06 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)


This is worst given it is coming from LEADER Google. I am hoping something will be done.


 11:07 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Excellent stuff...scraper at #1 and the original's gone!


 11:23 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

If these results stick I will have to look for another job.

In one of my niches that I have a white hat site, no1 is a site that the owner has 50+ related microsites all linking to his money site. None of the sites has private domain registration and they are all (including the money site) on the same IP. Makes you wonder.

Also pages referencing my content and linking to me are outranking me.

Please make this stop.

[edited by: dimmk at 11:25 pm (utc) on Apr 24, 2012]


 11:23 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Guys, keep in mind that they said "within the next few days". That means that the results are far, far, far from being settled.

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