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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]

 

rk1708




msg:4445148
 10:13 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am also seeing fluctuations in may of my websites keywords, also for the keywords which were ranking on the first page for atleast last one year, now these are on of 2-3 page

jkdt0077




msg:4445149
 10:15 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Are you guys seeing all these changes in the US, UK or both? I honestly haven't seen any change so far - both in terms of traffic and SERPs. Is it just moving through industry by industry again or what?

Jez123




msg:4445150
 10:16 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Same here rk1708 - or gone totally. Mine is a clean site, recently totally revamped and cleaned up. Hopefully it will bounce back

BillyS




msg:4445151
 10:20 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Big change two hours ago 4:00 am Eastern time. Traffic just doubled.

irishsolar




msg:4445154
 10:27 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@rk1708 the pattern seems to be a site at the top drops several places then drops several pages then disappears.

At least this is what happened to backdraft7 and myself and a few others.

tigger




msg:4445155
 10:30 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@irishsolar

yes thats what happened to my main sites ...question is did they recover ?

Northstar




msg:4445157
 10:33 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mine have disappeared from the results today. These were good sites that never engaged in seo and have been steady for years. Not sure what I'm going to do now! thanks google for destroying peoples lives.

irishsolar




msg:4445159
 10:40 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@tigger Mine never.

However, an internal page in the form of a video result is now on page 2 for the main keyword of that site - the one the main landing page is optimized for.

The main page ranked number 1 for over a year and then ranked between numbers 2 and 3 after the first update around Sept last year. Now its gone!

tigger




msg:4445161
 10:44 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@irishsolar

cheers....I'm not ready to admit defeat just yet as one of my dropped terms that has move from 2nd to 8th has been replaced by a blog with a last posting date 2/2009 ....current or what G ...

JamieMattison




msg:4445162
 10:45 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Northstar, If it's any consolation one of my sites disappeared for 3 days then reappeared stronger than ever so I would just wait a few days for things to settle.

That being said, several of my site rankings have moved over night so will have to see what happens over the next few days...

irishsolar




msg:4445163
 10:49 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@tigger that's what a lot of people are seeing. On page 1 of the UK results for one of my terms a 1980s style pixelated image holds the number 2 spot...it is on the first page on .com as well.

This is in conjunction with outdated news stories and spammy sites full of heavily spun (gibberish) content.

I think everyone is agreed that these results are not permanent but unfortunately they seem to be hanging around for quite awhile which is making some people (including myself) rather nervous.

It could take a fair bit of time for all this to get sorted out but there is nothing we can really do at the minute as no-one knows for sure what exactly is going on.

platnumcn




msg:4445164
 10:51 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Same problem here, site category serp all disappear, product page still ranking. Interesting is other 2 same niche sites i only built little backlink got better serp than before. These 2 site i did not manage them about 1 month.

JamieMattison




msg:4445166
 10:54 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@irishsolar, My thoughts exactly! - there is no point speculating anything at this moment in time.

Today is the first day however that I've seen a huge shift for a number of my sites, still within the top 10 but in totally different positions.

Strange indeed!.

tigger




msg:4445167
 10:57 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think everyone is agreed that these results are not permanent but unfortunately they seem to be hanging around for quite awhile which is making some people (including myself) rather nervous.


tell me about it - at current traffic levels I'm going to see 50% drop in income and whilst I have savings that can boost that for a good couple of years if needed its NOT a nice position to be in

Whats hard as well is knowing you've done nothing wrong and keeping the work level up knowing / hoping that it will recover

irishsolar




msg:4445176
 11:06 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Whats hard as well is knowing you've done nothing wrong


@tigger I concur.

Your lucky you have a few years worth of savings to tap into most of us don't and some of us have wages to pay as well. If this doesn't make some headway soon I fear people may start losing their jobs in several different sectors.

Northstar




msg:4445182
 11:22 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I working online for 15 years and this is the larges hit my site have ever taken. My site only comes up if I type in the exact words from the domain. I can't see how my sites where targeted as spam because they is nothing spam about them.

tigger




msg:4445183
 11:25 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

All change .......I've pulled right back..

fred9989




msg:4445184
 11:30 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Absolutely same here - years old authority sites, regularly updated, non spammy in every way - all gone. Of course over the years there have been the odd drops (-950s and other penalties on one or two sites) - but never such a massacre.
My new blogs have generally gone too, even though (I judge) they were non spammy and contained useful information.
I'm not playing the "I'm special and my sites really were different" card; I'm just reflecting, as objectively as I can, that what I see on all my searches looks like an attack on spam that has gone horribly wrong.
Old blogs, spammy blogs relying on the old buying backlinks techiques, way out of date articles, ranking for inaccurate search terms, and so on. This is non vintage Google of the lowest order.
And now I need to find something else to do to earn a living!
Ah well. What an interesting 14 years it's been!

irishsolar




msg:4445185
 11:32 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's good news tigger. I hope it stays like for you. Pleas let us know of any future developments mate.

jkdt0077




msg:4445188
 11:38 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else getting broken results pages? I don't mean just bad results I mean I'm getting links that have no URL in them, and no description underneath, just single line results. I've even had the first page of results that had 17 "normal" results! It's gone insane.

menntarra 34




msg:4445189
 11:39 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

OH i forgot to mention: i also checked the crawl stats in WMT, and very strange thing is that crawling of my site went down from 100% to 5% !
And also the graph is showing that the time spent downloading a page went up to 20 times usual...

MY server is in fine condition, i'm monitoring it all day long, i check my site load time from several countries accross the globe, but it is just fine. I really don't know what is going on.
This crawling decrease started at the same time: about 5 days ago...

textex




msg:4445193
 11:41 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

What does that mean tigger? You've got your rankings back?

tigger




msg:4445205
 11:53 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@textex

yes, looks like they dropped around 1am today - and returned fully...but I'm still seeing lots of poor sites still ranking so this movement is still going on

Is it too early to open the wine yet....stressss

textex




msg:4445206
 11:54 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Tigger, are you us or uk?

n00b1




msg:4445207
 11:56 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

He is based in the UK like me (I think).

tigger




msg:4445213
 12:01 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

yep UK, but this is far from over - I've just been checking and I've probably pulled back 80% of my rankings but the sites that are still holding are so spammy its unreal & neglected, one site has not been touched for over 4 years as the webmaster is dead

garyr_h




msg:4445215
 12:07 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

The new database still isn't showing up every time. Only about 50% for me.

The new results are showing brand-name sites everywhere. Still a large emphasis on domain name. Traffic is the exact same as the past few days, but different keywords (strange... really makes me think of the throttling...)

JamieMattison




msg:4445216
 12:08 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

lol maybe the serps are being controlled from heaven :D

irishsolar




msg:4445217
 12:08 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

one site has not been touched for over 4 years as the webmaster is dead.


I laughed. I shouldn't have but I did. Irish sense of humour. My bad ;)

BillyS




msg:4445218
 12:09 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Big change two hours ago 4:00 am Eastern time. Traffic just doubled.


False alarm, referrals were from all three search engines (Google sending the most traffic). Looks like a news story caused a spike in a keyword. Traffic back to normal.

mhansen




msg:4445220
 12:13 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Misery loves company... Count us in to having one of the sites we manage completely buried in rankings. Kinda makes you sick to your stomach when you think of the downside to relying on Gorgle.

- Several years old.
- Old style link building, Niche directories, BOTW, DMOZ, asking Webmasters for links, link out to quality sites only. Linked in from manufacturers, niche professional associations, etc.
- Specific pages hit, not entire site, but the main pages, in the main menus were hit the hardest, which leads us to feel its an over optimization, anchor text thing.
- Business name (same as domain) still ranks #1, shows sitelinks, etc.

Spending the next few days looking at why the sites who have replaced us are there. Most of the players in the top 5 are the same, however the obviously spam sites, are gone.

Chilling reminder that we need to have better diversification... might switch from steak to beanie weenies for a few weeks until we figure it out.

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