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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]

 

Lab_Rat




msg:4449058
 7:49 pm on May 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

We removed over half of the URLs on our site and 301'd them on Thursday the 26th. These URLs had mostly thin and/or very old content.

Our Google organic traffic started climbing at 3:00pm on Friday the 27th, and has been between 30% and 40% up every day since. I was assuming the lift was related to the Penguin update on the 24th (assumed it just took a few days to fully roll out). No totally ruling that out, but now knowing that Panda 3.6 hit on the 27th, it seems that may be the cause. The only thing I wondering is what % of the changes we made on the 26th Google would recognize by the 27th?

wingslevel




msg:4449084
 8:38 pm on May 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

US ecom - saw improving quality in long tail SERPS the 30th , 1st and 2nd - stickier better converting traffic

But as of midnight east coast time we have seen a big shift - not too much movement on the 2 and 3 word SERPS , but the long tails have fallen off of a cliff today - very low quality stuff

HuskyPup




msg:4449094
 9:05 pm on May 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

What on earth have they done to g.co.uk?

I've two niche widget sites with traffic down 80% today! They've almost disappeared from the SERPs altogether and I'm also seeing other quality sites gone as well.

It just gets messier and messier.

universetoday




msg:4449160
 3:55 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I saw something very strange today. The traffic was building up as normal and then went off a cliff around Noon. And then it recovered about 3 hours later and built up higher than normal towards the end of the day. I didn't see any change from Penguin or Panda, but today was really unusual.

garyr_h




msg:4449164
 4:24 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

@universetoday I see the buildup to noon and then a drop off, the buildup wasn't until around 7 (usual), but then drop off at 8 (unusual), big gain at 10 (unusual), and then normal traffic at 11.

The exact same thing happened the past 3 weeks on Thursdays. So we are in for another wild weekend is my guess.

Josuah




msg:4449234
 8:18 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lately some pages from our site have been deindexed and decached by Google with apparently no reason, anyone have seen the same?

Pages with <index,follow> meta robots, not in robots.txt or anything like it.

pelizden




msg:4449236
 8:36 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

My site negatively affected with penguin update just got higher PR update, now that's irony...

Shaddows




msg:4449248
 8:49 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

now that's irony

Er, no. It shows Penguine (webspam) is not mitigated by PR (obvious, given webspam specifically seeks to artificially increase its PR

affiliation




msg:4449279
 10:04 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Penguin is proving to be a poorer user experience, I was looking to purchase some software yesterday, so I gave the keyword that software of this type would do.

I resisted clicking the perfect match ads, so after spending several hours searching diferent keywords I kept getting one example at the top of the results, the other results were irrelevant. I decided to go with this and paid my $49 for the software, only to find out it did not work in the way I wanted.

In a fit of desperation I switched to Bing, and behold first attempt at #1 was a free download of the type of software I needed. If Bing can get results accurate why can the industry leader not?

Martin Ice Web




msg:4449314
 11:24 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

If Bing can get results accurate why can the industry leader not?


Cause they do not want to. Fac**** is about to get more traffic and advertisers cause they know more about the poeple and can serve relevant ads. Not so goomazon. But in order to make the big soap bubble bigger and bigger they force poeple to run into adwords.

But to watch the serps. Today is the worst day since a long time. I switched to bing a long time ago and im confident with it.

Rockyou




msg:4449315
 11:27 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

In a fit of desperation I switched to Bing, and behold first attempt at #1 was a free download of the type of software I needed. If Bing can get results accurate why can the industry leader not?


I did a very local very specific search on a Doctor, Google doesn't understand the query, Bing bang on target. I am very happy with Bing results.

affiliation




msg:4449332
 11:48 am on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I switched to bing a long time ago and im confident with it.
I am very happy with Bing results.
Perhaps the future for Bing looks good. At the end of the day word travels, I use G for work, although my home PC is set for Bing.
HuskyPup




msg:4449368
 12:43 pm on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

At the end of the day word travels,


It's already happening where I live, only last night I heard half a dozen non-techie people complaining about G. When I said "Why not try Bing?", one girl turned to me and said "Bing it? That just doesn't sound right!"

Bing needs a good tagline then they could take-off.

Whitey




msg:4449647
 9:21 pm on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Panda 3.5 refresh and Penguin slap us all in a very short time span and then 8 days after the Panda 3.5, we had a Panda 3.6 refresh.

Why so soon? Why only 8 days between 3.5 and 3.6 when we typically see 6 weeks or more between Panda refreshes? Google has not told me why. [seroundtable.com...]

Two Panda updates in 8 days. Did anyone notice?

seoskunk




msg:4449653
 9:33 pm on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Its simple Panda's get frisky this time of year

klark0




msg:4449683
 11:41 pm on May 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

List of 53 changes last month. Penguin seems not included in these 53, but as a side note at the end. This keyword stuffing improvement looks separate from penguin.

[insidesearch.blogspot.com...]

Keyword stuffing classifier improvement. [project codename "Spam"] We have classifiers designed to detect when a website is keyword stuffing. This change made the keyword stuffing classifier better.

Whitey




msg:4449702
 1:14 am on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe they re run Panda on the back of the new Pengiun calibrations

flatfile




msg:4449711
 2:11 am on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

No freshness boost for low quality sites

I think this sheds more light onto the Panda grip which some sites can't seem to escape. Although the above quote is about freshness, Google probably has some other exclusions for "low quality sites"(i.e pandalized).

gehrlekrona




msg:4449715
 2:25 am on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since we can't post anything "real" about our web sites it is hard to know what all web masters here have so it is hard to comapre to other sites. People who say they lost 80%, how many hits is that? 8? 8,000? 800,000 hits?
From what I can see then we all seem to have been hit with Panda and Penguin and whatever else they have come up with that we don't even know about, so are we really this bad? Did we have spammy sites? Spammy links? Keyword stuffed sites? If I did, I didn't even know about it. I read SEO sites and things like that and have tried to keep it "white-hat" so is it just plain SEO that Google are hitting? To me it seems like it. They don't want us to trick their algo.
I haven't changed anything since this all started because I don't know what to change to "fix" it, but I think that a lot of people go in and change and then hope it'll be fixed. I haven't read anything about a site that has fully recovered after a change. But what happens on Googles site when sites changes? Maybe we all should "de-seo" our sites. Remove everything and just let Google decide what we've got on the pages. But then again, Bing and Yahoo and other sites is not so picky as Google because Google is just plain paranoid and have to fight everyone, good as well as bad sites.
'Nuff of rambling....

Scurramunga




msg:4449734
 3:05 am on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I did a very local very specific search on a Doctor, Google doesn't understand the query, Bing bang on target. I am very happy with Bing results.


EXACTLY!
I have had many similar experiences with Google of late and Google is just too unreliable to be of much use to me. Once upon a time, I could virtually form any thought in my head, type a proper query or a long tailed query into Google and find a matching scenario or topic somewhere on the big wide internet. Results once satisfied the most obscure of my searches. Now it's almost as if they have shrunk the internet.

It was never like this with Google at the beginning, even in the days of scraped results, you could find the real results somewhere. Now I still find the superfluous content along with the big brands and little of substance.

Bing is better if you want to conduct a search the way they used to be, that is on the money and without any B.S. I rarely use Google now, most of the time it's just to check my own position in the SERPS.

irishsolar




msg:4449766
 7:31 am on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing much improvement in the SERPs for relevance. My sites have recovered slightly but it is still alarming that so many poor quality sites are ranking high when these updates were specifically released to remove low quality. Google has definitely not reached that goal and IMO has created the exact opposite effect.

johnmoose




msg:4449771
 7:49 am on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree with Scurramunga and some of the other posters. I am using Bing now more and more on a daily basis, at work and at home. G is changing from a true search engine for its users to an ad delivery system for its paying customers.

williamfor




msg:4449778
 8:23 am on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

The past few updates have not really affect us too badly.... However, what's interesting to point out is that we had a healthy boost last sunday (nearly our best day of the year so far). Ever since then our rankings have gone down as the SERP's alter (dance). Yesterday was the worst day of the year (friday is often poor). Hoping for a brighter weekend

webindia123




msg:4449800
 9:53 am on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Having personally experienced huge drop of SEO traffic in one of our bigger sites; which was authority in that domain. Also one of the leader from the market's point of view. NO BLACK HAT ever done. Mostly optimized with updated on-page content. Still age factor didn't saved it. I cannot shorten more than this :p

And seeing above scenarios; one WONDERS what Naveen Panda was smoking when he lead his team to make recent updates.



LK




.

courier




msg:4449834
 2:28 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Traffic on one of my sites is so bad that virtually all Google traffic is for my images.

This has me thinking, I am doing Google a favour allowing them to allow their users to look and in many cases download my images for free, that I have paid over $20.000 for. This does not get me sales, as a user looking for a picture is not looking at what I can sell them, but it helps Google satisfy users with the appropiate image.

If Google thinks enough of my site to have many images at #1, but at the same time burring our pages in the results stinks. Is it time to block G from displaying our images? If I block images now will I they give me another penality?

superclown2




msg:4449839
 2:49 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing much improvement in the SERPs for relevance. My sites have recovered slightly but it is still alarming that so many poor quality sites are ranking high when these updates were specifically released to remove low quality. Google has definitely not reached that goal and IMO has created the exact opposite effect.


As I understand it the update was designed to penalise over-optimised sites rather than to remove low quality ones; I rather think that Google assumed that low quality and over-optimised were the same thing. The problem is that a lot of highly optimised ones are valuable web resources rather than just spam junk. Google has thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

Personally my earnings have stayed pretty much the same because I have a good mix of sites, some very good, some not so good, some bad. The bad ones are now bringing home the bacon. Why? Because they turned out to be so poor that I never optimised them; in some cases never even finished them. Meanwhile well written sites (both mine and competitors') which were a real help to visitors have disappeared because the link building efforts of the webmasters concerned were too successful. This is how logic works in Googleland .........

HuskyPup




msg:4449845
 3:08 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Traffic on one of my sites is so bad that virtually all Google traffic is for my images.


My sites all have widget images simply becasue they're my products however I'm considering blocking them as well because Google has promoted an Italian scraper, as in a total copy, images, on-page, titlebars etc. to many positions in both the SERPs and images to #1.

Lovely stuff, I've known about this site for years, I "assumed" that Google knew it was a scraper after I advised them several years ago therefore they never ranked it however I now have many pages blown out of both sets of results.

And what's even worse is that this company can only supply maybe 5% of the products plus it has no advertising running on the site...double whammy there Google.

Please don't mention DMCAs, this is Europe, this is a .eu on Italian servers, no one gives a damn, and obviously these days not even Google.

It's too late now to watermark all my original scans however the lastest sites all have them but at the end of the day why is it that Bing can recognise this scraper but Google cannot?

n00b1




msg:4449846
 3:15 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have just been doing some spring cleaning on my website to cut off some old or outdated articles and the like. Having searched on Google to check the current state of ranking and what have you I have found a number of these articles being outranked by blatant scrapers. In many cases they are blogspot blogs (which makes matters more simple) and sometimes the morons even left my original links in (to other articles on my website). One person tried to add some additional links out to authority to make it look like this is what he was doing but then he also copied one of my affiliate links directly. Just makes my blood boil.

scottsonline




msg:4449858
 5:04 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

The google results are improving it seems through yesterday. I do not see than bing is any better. And worse bing is months behind on new content.

AndyA




msg:4449863
 5:30 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

n00b1 wrote:
I have just been doing some spring cleaning on my website to cut off some old or outdated articles and the like.

The one good thing I can say about Google's algo updates is that it does motivate me to take another look at my site. Each time, it seems I find small problems that need to be fixed. For instance, links to images using www in my domain, when I have the server and Webmaster Tools set to redirect to non-www. A minor issue, but is it enough to cause a problem?

I also found the a href= part of old links on a few pages, with no anchor text. I probably removed the link years ago, but my html editor failed to remove it completely. Again, it might seem like a minor issue, but is it enough to create a problem with search engines?

I've always believed Google and the other SE's are willing to look the other way up to a limit. But once that limit is passed, every mistake you've made counts against you and could cause a problem. If you keep your site under that threshold, you're OK. I have nothing specific to back that statement up, it's just a belief I have. We're all human, and html editors aren't perfect, but I do feel better every time I discover something and fix it. When I upload the corrected page, I wonder if that one change will help.

n00b1




msg:4449869
 5:51 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well that is a positive spin to put on things. Google's Panda updates in particular really did make me strive to up the quality game. I have just done some 'spring cleaning' as well to really tighten things up - again something poor results in Google prompted me to do. My biggest issue is that the on-site things are now very tight but the off-site things are hammering me down. These are things I fear I may not be able to fully rectify (belive me, I've been trying) but I am prepared to 'start again' (as per a recent post I made) if I have to. I have been making sure to notify Googers of any known scrapers of my best content because the last thing I want to do is relocate everything only to have it look like I am the one doing the scraping!

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