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Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2012
Web_speed




msg:4447760
 1:50 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

"TRADE_PERSON Knoxfielld"

Google *insisted* on presenting me with nothing but results for:
"TRADE_PERSON KnoxVILLE" .... WTF!


I've tried the same search 12 hours later and now i do get what i was actually trying to search for, "TRADE_PERSON Knoxfielld". Obviously different servers, constant flux...

Zombie traffic anyone? ....well heres one of the main reasons. Google trying unsuccessfully to second guess its users and present them with wrong results. User ("used to" getting the best results from Google) automatically click the link but oopes...it is not what he/she was looking for. Click back.

On both occasions Adwords ads for "TRADE_PERSON Knoxfielld" was spot on. Coincidence?... ya right!...

I wish they'll get it over and done with already and move to "paid only" results. Maybe the broadening of exact match and phrase match (Adwords) are the first signs of them heading down that route...


p.s.
TRADE_PERSON = insert "doctor", "painter"...etc

[edited by: tedster at 3:43 am (utc) on May 9, 2012]

 

fred9989




msg:4456911
 12:08 pm on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

From a searchengineland interview report:
[searchengineland.com ]
What About Panda and Penguin?
Singhal said that Googleís algorithms arenít perfect (hence the 20,000 experiments a year). He looks at bad queries every day (and encouraged the audience to let him know about them! So, add them to comments to this post and weíll forward them along). But when asked specifically about Panda and Penguin, two of the latest high profile algorithm changes, he said that data has shown they significantly improved the number of high quality sites being returned in results. They are not only refining what signals they use in ranking, but are improving how they gather and tune the signals themselves (so signal quality is higher). They are constantly looking for aberrations in signals.

At the end of the day, he said, site owners need to take a hard look at what value their sites are providing. What is the additional value the visitor gets from that site beyond just a skeleton answer? Ultimately, itís those sites that provide that something extra that Google wants to showcase on the first page of search results.


How come our perception is so different?!

timwilliams




msg:4456922
 12:29 pm on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

significantly improved the number of high quality sites being returned in results.


I guess he didn't say where they were being returned at, just in the results... page 4 though 20 in the results have some pretty high quality sites, searchers can drill down to find them OR they can click on our high quality ads on the first page of the results (the MFA page).

Pjman




msg:4456924
 12:33 pm on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

@fred9989

"How come our perception is so different?!"

There just throwing PR propaganda at us. Ask yourself this, Compare your ability to find info with Google now versus 3-4 years ago.

My answer is simple. 3-4 years ago I could do a search and find mostly everything I ever needed on Page 1. Yeah, there would be a few crap pages in the mix, but I would be happy with page 1. Now a days I go 3-4 pages deep to be similarly satisfied.

Rasputin




msg:4456928
 12:45 pm on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

How come our perception is so different?!


Because google are looking at the overall picture which is a statistical landscape of 1 000 000's of sites - so they are unconcerned when, say, 10% of sites are unfairly demoted.

But we are individuals looking at one or a few sites, and it matters very much if our site is among the % that have been treated 'unfairly', even if globally the search results have improved (however that may be defined or measured by G).

np2003




msg:4456971
 2:55 pm on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

worst results i've seen in a long time. 60% of page 1/2s a filled with sites with hardly any content.

crobb305




msg:4456975
 3:03 pm on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

worst results i've seen in a long time. 60% of page 1/2s a filled with sites with hardly any content.

Yep it's bad. And some kind of survey sites that redirect to more spam showing up in the financial serps. Many, many pages with just a few words on them.

SnowMan68




msg:4457031
 5:21 pm on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Pretty crazy...I see everyone talking about how they have been using Bing when Google comes up short. Today for the first time I gave it a shot. Searching outside of my business for technical information I was unable to find on oogle. I looked through 3-4 pages of the Google Serps. Went to Bing and it was number 1. LOL.

fred9989




msg:4457319
 10:59 am on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Looking at the serps in my area, what I perceive is a kind of dumbing down of the results. Big brands, rather than being authoritative, cover hundreds of subjects, with a superficial answer and no access to the kind of resources for which people may be searching...i.e. answers to problems.
The internet seems to be more tabloidesque than it actually is from the results google is showing me.
Makes Singh's comment above rather funny:

At the end of the day, he said, site owners need to take a hard look at what value their sites are providing. What is the additional value the visitor gets from that site beyond just a skeleton answer? Ultimately, itís those sites that provide that something extra that Google wants to showcase on the first page of search results.

fred9989




msg:4457322
 11:02 am on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

There just throwing PR propaganda at us. Ask yourself this, Compare your ability to find info with Google now versus 3-4 years ago.

My answer is simple. 3-4 years ago I could do a search and find mostly everything I ever needed on Page 1. Yeah, there would be a few crap pages in the mix, but I would be happy with page 1. Now a days I go 3-4 pages deep to be similarly satisfied.


Yes, I do agree with this. But I can't believe most searchers go 3 - 4 pages deep. So that leaves an interesting question: what will people make of these new results, which evidently are worse in some ways?
And how, if in any way, will their behaviour change?

MS seems to be missing a chance to get the word out about its search engine and encourage people to at least try it.

fred9989




msg:4457367
 1:28 pm on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

For those who aren't familiar with google's quality rating system, a bit of research about it will soon throw you some fascinating facts and stories.
It seems to me that this might be one of the most important areas of Google's operations - usability testing - and one of the worst organised.
(Looks like high dissatisfaction, low pay, high targets which are not achievable in the time available, such as 1 or 2 minutes per URL, testers not being given clear guidelines about what is expected of them, confusion, overwork and exploitation.)

And yet it's all somehow both sad and unsurprising.

backdraft7




msg:4457681
 5:41 am on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well, it's almost month end and this ranks as the absolute worst month since 2005. Total search keyphrases in May 2011 were over 13,000. May 2012 has been slashed to just over 6,000. For the main keyphrases we lost ground on, the new results are atrocious, thin and ad ridden.

For some phrases, we were untouched. For other very similar phrases, we're -100. There seems to be no semantic search function whatsoever. The plural issue remains. For other terms, one day our positions rise +1, the next they fall -2. I long for the days of the dance. At least we knew where we stood back then, sort of...

For the life of me I can not understand what Google means by a "quality user experience". Like many other here have stated, I'm now switching over to Bing when I need to find a useful result.

It's almost as if we're dealing with an AI system that is in the 1st grade of learning. That or they just missed the mark so bad on this yet insist on claiming a victory for Penguin. The Google 'user love meter' moves more negative every passing day.

peego




msg:4458511
 3:17 am on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anyone notice traffic down this weekend? Just wondering if it's due to penguin refresh or long weekend?

crobb305




msg:4458514
 3:56 am on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anyone notice traffic down this weekend? Just wondering if it's due to penguin refresh or long weekend?

Where are you located peego? In the States, it's one of the biggest holiday weekends of the year, so could be due to the long weekend.

Sand




msg:4458711
 6:42 pm on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I was hit by the latest Panda refresh. Obviously, traffic is down today on account of the Memorial Day holiday, but my rankings are showing big signs of improvement over previous weeks. Makes me wonder if an update is rolling out.

Anyone else seeing any movements?

plaflai




msg:4458715
 6:50 pm on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, one of our sites had a complete wipe-out over the weekend but has made a bit of a recovery today, still no-where as good as b4 and another site seems to be slipping. Most sites still firm though.

martaay




msg:4458947
 10:33 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing 5 organic result page in google today? architects+{location} is one I'm seeing, hopefully this is not a sign of things to come

screenshot proof: [bit.ly...]

[edited by: tedster at 4:53 am (utc) on May 30, 2012]
[edit reason] avoid specific search terms, please [/edit]

petehall




msg:4458956
 10:50 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing 5 organic result page in google today?


Isn't that normal for a map listing?

martaay




msg:4458957
 10:51 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

For another query in the form [{location} architects] and many others I am seeing 10 organic results

[edited by: tedster at 4:54 am (utc) on May 30, 2012]
[edit reason] avoid specific query terms, thanks [/edit]

mhansen




msg:4458973
 11:50 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Isn't that normal for a map listing?


The map 7-pack is exactly what I would expect for a [trade] + [location] search. It's been that way for quite some time, maybe 2 years or more?

Hissingsid




msg:4458978
 12:31 pm on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@fred9989
Looking at the serps in my area, what I perceive is a kind of dumbing down of the results. Big brands, rather than being authoritative, cover hundreds of subjects


I'm seeing something similar in my niche. For a two word term, massive sites that are generally about the second word that have a page or a few pages on the two word term are dominating. Highly focused micro sites have been decimated which means that the real specialists, the real experts in the niche are being hidden from Google users. I find it very difficult to believe that this is what the engineers were aiming for.

I'm also seeing sites with significant HTML errors that introduce text that is not visible in the browser within the body tags and sites with no meta tags doing really well.

backdraft7




msg:4459270
 2:54 am on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Highly focused micro sites

Google is now calling these sites 'web spam'.

This is the worst work I've seen from Google in the past decade.

anteck




msg:4459290
 4:46 am on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

The fact of the matter is that Google' Penguin and Panda updates are so broad spread in what they 'catch', that they take out thousands of sites and completely change the landscape of a lot of 'money terms'.

With every update Google tighten the knobs. There's no way this game is going to get any easier. G make it harder and harder as more people try to game the system.

It's not about 'quality user experience' as Google can't measure it with any definite level of accuracy. It's about making algo's that 'guess' what's quality and what's not, and dropping anything that isn't a 'super safe bet'.

Four years ago i left unemployment benefits behind, and put all my energy into creating sites that people loved and used. Loads of direct traffic, loads of return visitors.

Over the past year, every update and reduced my ability to sustain myself to the point now where i'm basically unemployed again, and looking for work. It sucks, it makes me mad, i'm going through depression, on medication, and not in a good way.

But it's the way of the world, and now, the way on the internet. I know i'm not alone, and i'm trying not to complain (anymore), but man, it sucks big time.

courier




msg:4459322
 7:54 am on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

My answer is simple. 3-4 years ago I could do a search and find mostly everything I ever needed on Page 1

I seen a few more referrals than usual from yandex, so I decided to give it a try. Provided me the results I was looking, could this one day be a rival to Google?

bikedorkseattle




msg:4459528
 4:45 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

Has anyone noticed a traffic change today? One part of my site has completely dropped of the face of the earth in terms of search traffic. I know there was a Penguin update 5 days ago.

[edited by: tedster at 8:56 pm (utc) on May 30, 2012]

bsterz




msg:4459603
 8:06 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

A site that I monitor only had 10 search visits as of right now. Generally it would have around 50. Weird.

crobb305




msg:4459611
 8:31 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I do see some changes today. One odd one is in the financial sector, shortly after Penguin was released, many observed the website about mold/fungus ranking top 10 because it had hidden links in the footer. The website was removed from ranking. The owner has since removed the links and now that website has absolutely nothing to do with anything financial -- but it's ranking again on those terms. Another site I monitor has dropped further on key phrases (over 200 spots).

reseller




msg:4459615
 8:46 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe there is a Panda algo data refresh underway.

crobb305




msg:4459621
 9:26 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google is now calling these sites 'web spam'.

This is the worst work I've seen from Google in the past decade.


I couldn't agree more. Like I said above, a website about fungus is ranking well in the financial sector. I also see websites that do an immediate redirect. I thought they eliminated that back in 2005/2006 after the 302 fiasco.

robert76




msg:4459648
 10:53 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

To me it looks like a refresh. See changes in positions with big box brands and shopping comparison engines rising.

Sand




msg:4459653
 10:58 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm noticing strange patterns in my analytics since about 3:00 EST. Could be a Panda refresh that's not working in my favor...

crobb305




msg:4459655
 11:08 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I got a brand new link today and my site fell 300 positions on a couple of important terms.

This 317 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 317 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 [10] 11 > >
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