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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2012
xcoder



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 11:23 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Today has just been a miserable day.


For us this whole week has been miserable.

Traffic numbers more or less unchanged but hardly any sales, online enquiries or phone calls...(except for loads of spam emails). The only sales we did get came from paid ads.... organic visitors all seem to be dead beats.

It is like someone or something is cheery picking all the buyers and sending our way only the crap. I wounder who it is...

Off to reducing our ad spend again... the till is simply empty!

[edited by: tedster at 4:05 pm (utc) on Nov 2, 2012]

 

Broadway

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 6:48 pm on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lorel,
Congratulations on your recovery. While I've been enjoying my recent surge in traffic, I've been hesitant to say much about because I don't know how lasting it will be.

However, in hopes that it helps someone...

What I've worked toward these last several months is to finally look at my site and pages and ask myself, what's it going to take to satisfy the visitor's questions? What's it going to take to get a person to want to click onto the next page? (I have an informational website.) I can't image why I hadn't asked myself this before.

For my situation, it was:

A) Vastly improving my inter-topic navigation (I ended up with page-top tab navigation). This is the biggest change I've made to my site in the last few months.

Doing this noticeably increased "time on site", "pages per visit," and lowered the bounce rate.

B) To a lesser degree, I've also been de-optimizing keyword use in titles, H tags and text. Improve overall readability. And improving on-page organization and linking from the page top.

Historically, since Panda 2.0, I had been focused on paring (near) duplicate topics and thin content. I'm sure I made some improvements there, but now (these last 4 month) I've concluded that "sticky" content must be the solution I need.

Right now I subscribing to the theory (as mentioned here on WebmasterWorld) that google simply wants to send SERP's traffic to sites that satisfy searchers (as in a "long" click to a site, and no bounce back to the SERP's to click the next one).

I'll also say this. I benefited nicely from Panda 1.0. I got devastated by Panda 2.0. 2.0 was the update that spread Panda tactics to "the long tail."

Before Panda 2.0 something like 1/3 of my search traffic was generated by 20 of my pages or so (these were my big-traffic short-tail pages). The bounce rate on these pages was noticeably lower than my website as a whole.

That to me explains why I passed Panda 1.0 (it only looked at my high volume short-tail traffic pages) and why I flunked Panda 2.0 (that looked at all of the search traffic going to my site, long and short). My higher bounce rate (lack of "stickiness") for lesser, internal pages tipped the scales against me.

Just my impression, don't know that it's right.

By the way, I've do very little social.
It's an adsense site, but not over done. I do however, use a single page-top left-side skyscraper above the fold.
Google categorizes me as a slooow website.
Never really done a link-building campaign.

makin



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 7:00 pm on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I ask all those affected a little cooperation to make this experiment. Just 2 minutes of your life.

1) Check your keywords stats with this tool: (change example.com for your domain)
https://ahrefs.com/keywords/daily-changes/subdomains/[example.com]

2) Make an screenshot since 17th of november and post the link here.

This is my screenshot:
https://www.evernote.com/shard/s84/sh/20fb3201-c4e6-4a8b-9cd6-930cc829980d/a0fa6487d1fa174f6468136ed92896ea

As you can see I'm losing lot of keywords every day. My traffic has dropped 20% since 17th of November. Now my traffic seems stable, but with 20% less.

Do you have the same behavior? Are you losing keywords? Check it!

nomis5

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 7:33 pm on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

That post by Broadway is brilliant - even for those of us unaffected by Pandas or penguins. Thanks for that, well worth the membership cost alone.

Sand



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 9:14 pm on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Between Thanksgiving and New Years is normally my down season, but I'm seeing a nice lift today since about 10:00 AM EST. Since this site has a history of Panda, it makes me wonder if that forecasted refresh is either rolling out or getting ready to.

gehrlekrona

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 12:31 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I had an upswing this weekend but as always, it never lasts anymore, at least not for me. Today it seems to be back to it's normal which is crappy.
Not sure what happened there. Floating up to top to be skimmed away? Now I see Yelp as #7 with not even related page.... Oh Well....

backdraft7

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 2:55 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@gehrlekrona - same situation here...had a good run starting last Friday and it lasted until this morning. Traffic looks to be clamped again with no more than 4 or 5 on the site at any one time, mostly return visitors. I'd have to guess it's another "quality update".

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 3:24 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@makin - I'm not sure how accurate that seo service is but since you asked...

- Big loss in number of keywords starting on the 16th
- Big increase in daily number of "up" keywords.

So it would seem that my site no longer ranks for a lot of keywords it once did but ranks more highly in the remaining keywords. I did some digging and the lost keywords are 90% transactional or brand related which is what I'd expect to see if Google shortened the whitelist of sites it allows to be considered "transactional" in serps.

The site in question does offer a product but it is more informational in nature.

SEchecker



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 4:18 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I did some research today. I was simply searching for different kind of software products... and guess what, I almost couldn’t find the brands of the products ,while searching for related keywords... only INFO sites popped up up in G first and second page...

I searched more than 20 products like tool for xxx, xxx tool, xxx software, software for xxx... and s on...

Looks like G hides or ranked product related (money) keywords way back ...

I couldn’t believe it... hope its only temporary...

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 4:24 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@makin - I'm not sure how accurate that seo service is but since you asked...


I don't see how it possibly can be accurate. One minute google is showing my site for a product I stopped selling a year ago and the next day it's gone again.

backdraft7

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 4:25 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@makin: That site clearly demonstrates that organic keywords are slowly, but steadily declining, while at the same time, paid keywords are climbing dramatically, especially since around mid October. My daily organic and paid traffic levels have now met in between. It's clear that Google's real goal is not end user quality, it's pure monetization.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 4:42 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's clear that Google's real goal is not end user quality, it's pure monetization.


Yep. They are making us suffer, but more than that they are not giving the searcher what they want. They don't like paid ads. They like to feel like they have "found" something and not had it shoved in their face. For my business adwords simply don't work. Total double standards by google. Do as we say not as we do.

Mac_Guy



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 5:16 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is obvious for me that G manipulate all aspect of a search. Big brand and paid clients have priority over the small guys. It's like the stock market if you ask me.

backdraft7

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 7:43 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

organic or paid, neither seems to make a difference. When the switch is turned OFF, conversions stop dead. The last five days were double digit sales days, today nothing at all.

SEchecker



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 7:56 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@backdraft

"The last five days were double digit sales days, today nothing at all"

Dito!

SEchecker



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 8:03 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@backdraft

to mention something more:

1. we have 3 digs affiliates for our products and sales coming in the same ON/OFF periods we are in with our main site...

So if sales starts, sales comes from everywhere, if it stops, it stops everywhere...twilight zone :-)

makes me think

backdraft7

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 8:22 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@SE - I've tried to rule out all other possibilities, network issues, server issues, site issues, etc, etc...but the only common denominator left is Google. This hourly everflux is a small business killer. Right now, the usual name brand thin sites are back with more domain crowding. It's a really nice user experience when you are served an entire page containing one or two of the "same old same old" lame article or photo spam sites. How can 5 pages from the same site rank for the same keyphrase? Whatever happened to the anti spam and domain crowding "updates"?

Lorel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 2:14 am on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@sand




I've noticed those pages where I copied the title into the H1 tag also didn't recuperate until I changed the words around in the later.


Are you saying that your document title & H1 for a given page used to be the same, but the rankings recovered once you made them different?


Yes. I noticed pages where I repeated title and H1 didn't rank well and when I changed the words around ranking improved, all other factors being acceptable, of course.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 7:37 am on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

how about every post ends with

<b>site type, location, time of observation</b>

like
ecom, germany, 12 cet

That would give the opportunity to see if changes are spread worldwide at the same time or moving slow from country to country.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 2:05 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Full Google crawl of my trade widget site this morning from Mountain View including my Coppermine Gallery hit May 2011.

SnowMan68



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 3:32 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Huskypup

Do you think that means Panda update is underway? RustyBrick was quoted saying 7-10 days last week. Would be about that time.

blacks



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 4:13 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)


I've noticed those pages where I copied the title into the H1 tag also didn't recuperate until I changed the words around in the later.


Are you saying that your document title & H1 for a given page used to be the same, but the rankings recovered once you made them different?


Yes. I noticed pages where I repeated title and H1 didn't rank well and when I changed the words around ranking improved, all other factors being acceptable, of course.


are you change title too?

I think maybe I need change my title of homepage, and remove rich keywords

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 6:32 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

blacks - I wouldn't rush into changing titles too quickly. I think there are lots of people out there that say you should try and keep titles as stable as possible.

blacks



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 8:52 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

MHes, yep, I know.

chalkywhite



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 9:07 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Info Site - US Target - 17th - 29th Nov

I never really was a believer in this Zombie traffic theory, after Panda, I used to get around 10k Uniques per week ( I know not as large as your sites ), they didnt really interact much. Since the 17th, as earlier mentioned im up 25%, however the social interaction is throught the roof, users are commenting, using poles and sharing pages like never before. Something I cant explain is going on.

backdraft7

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 10:57 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@chalky - I'm seeing all the signs of an update underway, in fact, it looked like it started yesterday. My low maint. sites get a traffic bump, while my well maintained site get the same traffic but go all Z. (I'll spare using the term). I'll bet anyone a pork chop sandwich that's what's going on right now.

Splugged



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 11:14 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@chalky & @backdraft7

Me too.
Something is happening. I had a rise in SERPS the 17th, then a huge drop the 23rd/24th. Another rise in the 27th, today another huge drop.

My GA seems a rollercoaster!
Traffic today is near to "zero", no conversions no interaction, less pageviews (1 or 2 pages per visitor from G).

imgtony



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 11:48 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Image/info site, USA, 16th/17th

I also saw a rise late in the night on the 16th and into the 17th. Google traffic has increased by about 20% and has stayed consistent all week. No word on a specific update by Google, but something happened over the weekend. Which, I've been noticing they are have been shaking up the serps most Saturdays. Still expecting a Panda update sometime this week.

frankleeceo



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 12:48 am on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think Panda refresh may be happening now. I am seeing recovery for my pages after being hit by either Panda or Ads Above the Fold update. I had too many thin pages which I fixed and redirected and remove ads on page to improve my content to Ads ratio.

Hopefully the recovery lasts.

Lorel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 1:28 am on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)


I've noticed those pages where I copied the title into the H1 tag also didn't recuperate until I changed the words around in the later.

Are you saying that your document title & H1 for a given page used to be the same, but the rankings recovered once you made them different?


I only change the title when absolutely necessary as this can slow down ranking for the page while it's being reindexed. I change the H1 tag instead.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 9:07 am on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

It seems like a role back to september serps. Or one datacenter is not in the shuffle anymore. All the new gained keywords are lost. The few keywords that we can reach by referrer show us that google throws the wrong visitors to our site, informational/explanation searchers.
We added breadcrumps in the last 3 weeks. Don´t know if it has something to do with this.

This all started on 27/11 an get worse till today. Overall traffice seems to be the same ( +/- 15% ) but it is not converting. After 3 weeks of very good targeted traffic this is a realy bad step back for google.

ecom, germam

SEchecker



 
Msg#: 4515090 posted 10:53 am on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

DITO

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