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This 317 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 317 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2012

 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:

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...

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

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



 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!


 6:29 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hit by panda 1 lost 6000 visits (not page views....) per day... Been flat or slightly less since with every panda iteration. Panda 3.5 lost 500 visitors per day. Penguin no affect. Panda 3.6 gained 500 to 700 visitors per day. Friday at 3pm traffic dropped off 50% from google... With bounces the rest of the day... Anybody else seeing this sporadic behavior? Any advise?


 6:30 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hit by panda 1 lost 6000 visits (not page views....) per day... Been flat or slightly less since with every panda iteration. Panda 3.5 lost 500 visitors per day. Penguin no affect. Panda 3.6 gained 500 to 700 visitors per day. Friday at 3pm traffic dropped off 50% from google... With bounces the rest of the day... Anybody else seeing this sporadic behavior? Any advise?


 6:32 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I went to my Webmaster Tools and Google was nice enough to tell me:
"http://domainname.com/: Big traffic change for top URL""
No s*** and we all know who did it, don't we? It would be nice if they could tell me why but there is nothing in the WT that tells me what to do. I think today has been the worst day since 1999 when the site was launched. Just friggin bad. People are saying that Bing has better result and they might, but are we prepared for it if people DO change to Bing instead?
One thing I think is also happening and that is since people are lazy, they are using the suggestions from Google more now than they did before. I have seen changes in their suggestion quite a bit lately. One thing I noticed is that if I put in "widget" I get "Widget in city state", "Widget in state", "widget" so at least for this search they try to direct me to a local business that sells what I want.....


 8:24 pm on May 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lenny2 - I'm possibly seeing this too but wanted to know if you're 3.5 loss and 3.6 gain were immediate or a couple days after. The couple days after is more the pattern I see.


 2:39 am on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lenny2, we saw it starting Thursday night. We are seeing the same wild flux starting on Thursday nights, recovering on Mondays that we saw in April. Long tail in the wind. Anyone else seeing the same as we saw in April?



 3:23 am on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

@robert we saw the changes immediately...

Robert what if you aren't being hit by panda... But your linking in websites are? Wouldn't that cause a couple day delay?


 5:50 am on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

SERPS continue to change. eBay dominates the b2c results. Sometimes 3 or 4 listings are 1-4 in google. Our vertical sees some cookie cutter XML sites popping to the top. No unique content. Search quality seems low. Transactional and research are muddled when it should be clear in the results.

Weekend traffic running 2-3x above normal but it is zombies making up the gain. Guess is informational searches ending up on our transactional site. The sites I see rising are clean. No spam. Just not very good sites.


 8:52 am on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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.

Even though some of our sites are screwed by recent updates. We took it in a positive manner similar to what you are thinking. And surely this will help us in cleaning some left overs. :)


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:11 pm (utc) on May 6, 2012]
[edit reason] fixed formatting [/edit]


 6:23 pm on May 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've been working with several pages that received some significant links over the past few years. The problem is the pages are informational and effectively in a different but similar vertical. I could easily see an algorithm not being able to determine whether the site was appropriate for a transactional user.

One way to determine that would be to send probable transactional users for a given time period, then measure that user reaction against similar users on similar sites. I fairly frequently see signups in short timeframe bursts, followed by periods of no signups. This has also been reported by others. When I look at my logs, those users have widely variant patterns. Some will have spent an hour on-site, some just a few minutes. I don't see how a search engine could schedule that, so it's probable transactional users are sent for a period of time, the signup bursts are just a reflection of that time period, not a minute by minute correlation.

I "noindexed" my pages that I saw as potentially problematic, the queries from search engines gradually became more focused with my intent. I then removed the "noindex" and am gradually seeing an increase in less desired query phrases. They'll go back to "noindex" and the watching will continue.


 8:02 pm on May 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Every once in a while I see a completely different index, that looks very similar to pre-Penguin. In that index, my Pengunized site returns back to #1 with sitelinks. I also see sporadic traffic from that index. So it's clear that there are multiple indexes for testing purposes, or changes in the works (I think it's the former since I have been seeing this off/on for a week now).


 1:47 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I went to my Webmaster Tools and Google was nice enough to tell me:
"http://domainname.com/: Big traffic change for top URL""
No s*** and we all know who did it, don't we?

@gehrlekrona. I'm sorry for your situation, but I couldn't stop laughing when I read that.


 4:31 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Interesting angle. I would tend to agree actually.

The name doesn't hold any power, and the "Decision maker" stance isn't working.

People don't always make creative decisions. They choose from available decisions.

Like top 40, they are given options, then choose from what's available.


 9:37 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

For the first time ever Bing traffic to one of my sites has over taken Google traffic. My Google rankings have remained constant on page 2 for several weeks now and nothing has changed for this site in the SERPs.

Is this an indication of frustrated Google users switching to Bing? Anyone else noticing anything similar?


 10:27 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

@irishsolar welcome to the exclusive Bing club.

One site I have has had the majority of its traffic from Bing for more than a year after a G penality.

I have seen a little increase in Bing since April 15th, but I have seen a greater increase in Yahoo over the past few days. The combined Bing / Yahoo traffic on days since the 15th has had days where traffic has been up by as much as 20%.


 12:33 pm on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know if WMT's Content Keywords section includes a count of keywords present in the meta-tags?


 2:39 pm on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

If anyone wants to watch a site coping with large numbers of high PR links but suffering from negative sentiment analysis, there's a thread in Foo [webmasterworld.com] to look at.


 6:20 pm on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Looks to me like some more shifting around today (at least in my niche). SERPs look to make a little more sense in terms of matching sites to the query, imo.


 8:21 pm on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

SERPS I watch suck. Filled with Facebook spam, youtube videos, sites that are years old and press release spam.


 11:16 pm on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Worst day ever for me. One search I did was for a dog breed. First place was for a place selling FUR!


 11:38 pm on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

SERPS I watch suck. Filled with Facebook spam, youtube videos, sites that are years old and press release spam.

It's horrible. I am seeing so much Facebook spam (landing pages that seem to be scams -- not good for consumers). I'm seeing an uptick in traffic from visitors finding my pages in position 70+, and an uptick in Bing/Yahoo traffic. This tells me that searchers are not finding what they want in the top 3 pages of Google serps.


 12:03 am on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yep, the SERPs have been horrible for a while, but basically ever since March it has been unusable for me. I was doing simple research on something medical last night from a certain kind of bug bite my fiance has and I could't find anything about it in Google. Went to bing, the top 3 results all had something relevant.

Google didn't even serve up relevant pages. Instead, it took the last word of my query and only served pages with that. Nothing medical whatsoever, but instead something completely irrelevant. Basically math related!


 1:23 am on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

SERPS I watch suck. Filled with Facebook spam, youtube videos, sites that are years old and press release spam.

LOL - I was looking for some MS Project information earlier today and the SERPs were full of Facebook spam. Really sad state of affairs for Google right now, those guys at the plex must be going crazy trying to figure out what happened.

BTW - I heard there was a run on tin foil hats in Mountain View earlier this week.


 2:01 am on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bing has better result

Just did a search on bing. Domainname alone brings the folowing:

4.privacy policy page!
5-.. other sites

Search results for domainname.com on the other hand brings other websites homepage (their domain name has one letter difference with my domain name) followed by my homepage followed by junk (typos)

I think people want to give more credit to Bing because they hate G results not because B is better... I'm not saying that every search term on Bing brings worse results than G. I'm saying that those who see B rank their websites higher than G say B is better...


 3:38 am on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

@matrix_jan I completely disagree with that. Perhaps there are some people who think that, but I use Bing basically whenever I can't find what I'm looking for on Google. When I'm searching for something, as I mentioned in the above statement about the bug bite, that is definitely not for my website. Google didn't return *anything* related to the bug bite in question. It only spit out math related queries, because at the end of the long-tail I put "circle" because of the looks of the bug bite.

FWIW, Bing does rank my website better, but they give very little traffic so I couldn't really care less about it in monetization. But when it comes to actually finding what I'm looking for, Bing does a very good job.

As for your query, if you are searching for [Domainname], Bing wants to serve up what they think you are searching for. If you are searching for [Domainname.com], then likely you are either 1) mistakenly searched for it instead of entered it into your address bar 2) Looking for information about the domain. 3) Looking for the correct URL since you think you misspelled it.

I see nothing wrong with your example.


 6:12 am on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I totally agree with garyr_h. Bing is giving much more relevant results than Google. It isn't that Bing has suddenly become a better search engine it's just that these latest updates have damaged Google search results IMO. Google is returning irrelevant and very low quality results for many search terms.

Reviewing Matt Cutts blog examples of what these updates were suppose to target it seems that the exact opposite has happened. I am seeing keyword stuffing ranking sites number 1 and sites with heavily spun content (that makes no sense at all when you read it) also ranking in the top 3.

I initially thought this was a sign that Google was allowing the trash to rise to the top before zapping it but these sites are holding fast throughout all the flux. No matter what Google say I personally feel that something has went terribly wrong with these latest updates.

Any good programmer knows that when you make changes to a system in one area it often affects another area that, on the face of it, seems unconnected. When you make several changes to a system it can have adverse affects and be extremely difficult to find the problem(s).

Releasing several different updates designed to target different areas of the Google algorithm has caused problems that Google are finding difficult to find IMO.

Something is not right.


 4:21 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't personally think bing is any better but our customers do. Bing visitors spend far more time on the site and convert much higher on average day to day. Google? We got through 1-2 day periods with 25% conversions then it drops to .5% for days with a spike in traffic. Overall the conversion percentage is dropping as traffic increases. Less targeted wrong traffic. Every 2-3 weeks we get blasted by another 2 word keyword combo that is totally irrelevant.


 5:30 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe they should have call this the Bing update because now that's where people are searching.


 7:09 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

@scotts - still seeing that exact same thing. Higher traffic no longer means more conversions. I haven't posted for a a while and it's not because sales have improved...it's because I'm sick of beating this dead horse. I still say this Penguin update will take many months for good / valuable content sites to recover.


 7:24 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

At least from what I have seen from my experience is that G has the ability to treat websites individually. It's like G can think. I think Bing treats websites by puting them in a list where every website has it's pagerank, backlink count and other general factors written on the side. And Bing ranks them all the same.

I can't say the same for G. I have few websites for which I have done almost no off-page SEO. Everything I have done was withing the website and for the users. Those websites have either 0 or 1 pagerank. But after some time G started to send nice traffic, nnnnn, just because pages per visit are high and people share my pages on the social media.

I want you to know that I rank really good for some keyphrases on Bing too. But I see one or two visits from Bing compared to five digit G referrals. And one more thing, I see Bing rank my pages right after G ranks them high.

After all I would love to see Bing (or any other search engine) presenting real competition to Google. I don't like and approve monopolies. But it looks more as Bing is a G filter to me than a real search engine.

I would also like to see webmasters from WW sharing their monthly statistics of SE referrals. Would be nice to see a big picture of what is going on.


 9:41 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe we should establish a baseline. What is the consensus on a 1000 profit page website in terms of visits per day from the engines?

My perception is that it would be about 250 visits a day from google, 50 from bing and less from all others. When I hear people talk of 5 figure visits from google surely that's not spread out over only a 1000 product pages, these are larger sites?

When we say bad conversion rates? My perception of good:
100 visitors. 3 carts. 10 carts 1.5 orders.

There are times in the last month where it will go to 100 carts per 30 orders. A few days later 100 carts per 1 order.

What ratios do you all expect? Somewhat OT but it migh help us define a baseline and help us to determine how the economy may be influencing things.

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