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This 301 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 301 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 [10] 11 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2012

 12:27 pm on Dec 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

I had been experiencing gradual recovery since Penguin, with my key term page back at the bottom of page 1, and home page (in top three positions before penguin) up to page 5 for key term.

Today the key term page has dropped back to page 2, but the home page has dropped below page 50 (Startpage finds it on p 47) for key term.

I has all the hallmarks of Penguin 1: exact term and page (e.g. <key term location> is OK).

It might be just a temporary glitch (I hope so!): I can't see what on earth would cause that kind of penalty now.

[edited by: tedster at 2:51 am (utc) on Dec 3, 2012]



 7:02 pm on Dec 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have several dating sites.

I can see since 10 of December very huge changes. Somes sites are in position 10 and 24hs later in position 600, or in position 300 and 48hs later in position 120. Not only my sites, several sites that I follow.

Anyone in this area saw the same?


 10:36 pm on Dec 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Don't give up. I had to wait for a few Panda refreshes after the grunt work was done before I recovered. I finished rewriting at the end of June, and saw no positive signs until September. It will come.


 1:22 am on Dec 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

This just goes to show you that this whole Panda scheme is just a smokescreen.

I have been thinking about Google's stated objectives and the observable results, and I think Google's use of the word "quality" is misleading.

What Google's algorithm changes are based on is quantity. Quantity and quality are not synonymous. More people clicking on my page doesn't mean it is a better page: more people may visit adult bookstores than libraries, but it doesn't mean the literature is of a higher standard.

More people staying on my site doesn't mean it is a better site: it might mean Google has served them the wrong landing page (so they have to click through to the right one), or that my site has misleading content and links, so it takes them longer to find out what they seek isn't actually there.

More identical anchor-text doesn't mean there is some kind of scam going on: it might mean that the anchor text describes my content exactly (so anyone linking to it uses the same or similar anchor text). My extremely well-written page is about lions. As a result, I get a whole load of almost identical links which say: for a definitive statement on the subject, see mysites page on <a href="http://www.mysite.com/lions.htm">Lions</a>.

Even "personalisation" gets it wrong. Everthing I will ever want to do is not in Manchester. In fact, I live nowhere near Manchester anyway, but my ISP's server is there, so if I search for restaurants I get Manchester restaurants.

The problem, I think, is that Google have selected several arbitrary measures as indicators of "quality", but have failed to see that this makes those measures an operational definition of quality which is not consistent with the way the rest of us see it.

The outcome is to drive me to Manchester, and mankind to adult bookshops (or wherever it is that most of us go). How soon enough of us will jump off to turn our problem into Google's problem is anyone's guess, but my guess is that it will not be soon enough for quite a few businesses like mine to stay in business.


 2:00 am on Dec 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks Sand, Maybe it takes a few panda refreshes like you said. I just cant imagine that nothing at all would change.


 2:11 am on Dec 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't be quick to judge whether or not this Panda refresh or update has effected you positively or negatively yet. It usually takes a week for the flux to iron out. So sit back and enjoy the ride folks.


 2:47 pm on Dec 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

You use to have to turn off your web history even if you were not logged in as it defaulted to enabled. I would check this like once a week because it would always switch back on for me. Now this feature is only available for logged in users. Good for Google (I have been cursing them a lot lately).

Well it looks like I can take this statement back. I notice yesterday my keywords were doing better which had me excited for about a minute until I realize $#@%# Google now defaults personalized searching based on web history to enabled AND you don't have to be logged in anymore.


 3:24 pm on Dec 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

~1.3% of English queries noticeably affected.

Try about 90% of my two biggest niche widget sites!

What an almighty mess, China and a couple of US sites have been outright winners for my products, garbage, utter garbage now rules, a totally unusable set of SERPs, now I know why I use Bing.


 6:48 pm on Dec 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

there was some update in the way how geo targetting works, I was aligned to nearest bigger city in my region, now I get geotargetted to my city and obviously it affects rankings


 3:53 am on Dec 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

It'll soon be Christmas eve, and I'd just like to say thanks to all those on WebmasterWorld who have been kind and helpful over the years. Our business has been virtually wiped out for countless, unkonwn "black box" reasons in 2012 and from the looks of recent changes, 2013 will be the year we lose everything. Google can take our business away, but they can't take our lives, and that's all that matters now. To all those who have not been wiped out, count your blessings and Merry Christmas.


 5:38 am on Dec 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Merry Christmas to you too, Backdraft7. I sure hope your business catches a break soon.


 7:48 am on Dec 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

backdraft7 - I feel your pain. What is ironic is this is the first year in quite awhile I have not received a xmas present from Google haha. Cut me down AND don't send a present haha... and before someone says it, yes, I stopped supplying AdWords this year as I ended the side business I was using it for. Just thought it was funny.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and everyone else on the forum... here is to a better 2013 for some of us!


 1:45 pm on Dec 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ mihomes & diberry - thanks, I also turned off Adwords last night. In another desperate move (from the zombie thread), I figured I'd go all in and up my bids. All it did was allow them to max out my daily budget. No improvement in traffic whatsoever. For those who are ready to say "it's you site then", let me add that I am still seeing the obvious, now VERY occasional ON periods (conversions within minutes), followed by 24 hours+ of OFF. I'll leave it at that.


 9:42 pm on Dec 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

I've watched the XMAS serps on G with amazement. My sites don't sell anything but in a few areas they could be construed by G as taking away viewers who may may possibly buy things if they had gone to a G site or one of their favourites.

And those pages which indirectly compete in the "purchase" arena have been decimated over the last 20 days or so. Even the least informed could see the drop in the SERPS for pages of this type.

I await with fascination to see if the pages recover after the Christmas buying spree period passes.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 3:08 am (utc) on Dec 25, 2012]


 6:31 am on Dec 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Don't give up. I had to wait for a few Panda refreshes after the grunt work was done before I recovered. I finished rewriting at the end of June, and saw no positive signs until September. It will come."

For many in sell areas and Google make money, maybe never come recovery. Google want money to send traffic, my sites with commerce destroyed this season.

Ronald Barrett

 7:12 am on Dec 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

With Google SEO changes in December from the first week end of December i am loosing Ranking for my Keywords gradually and the keywords which i am expecting in Top 10 SERPs now all of sudden those keywords i am not even getting in Top 100.

I guess Google updated the algorithm and i have checked and read with the Search Engine Roundtable and they confirms as well.

Ref : [seroundtable.com...]

Mod's note: This is the same Dec 21 update that rustybrick confirmed earlier in this thread and we are discussing here... [webmasterworld.com...] ...It isn't another new update.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:54 am (utc) on Dec 26, 2012]


 12:20 am on Dec 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

This just goes to show you that this whole Panda scheme is just a smokescreen. I cant believe that all that work did absolutely nothing

@snickles121 - unique content alone might get you out, based on others reports here and above, but it's no guarantee alone. The more competitive your vertical the harder it is - and many other factors may play into it.

We strongly recommend using unique, compelling, and high-quality content, not content which was copied, rewritten, spun, synonimized, auto-translated or otherwise recreated based on existing content. When our algorithms have choice between these pages, which one do you think users would appreciate to find more in our search results?

"Although alcohol is a sedative that makes it easier to fall asleep, it prevents deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, allowing only the lighter stages of sleep. People who drink alcohol also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of an alcoholic “nightcap” wear off."


"Even though alcohol is actually a sedative that tends to make it less complicated to fall asleep, it prevents deep sleep and REM sleep,allowing only the lighter stages of sleep. People who drink alcohol also tend to wake up inside the middle of the night when the effects of an alcoholic “nightcap” put on off."

Personally, it looks like your site is trying to offer medical advice, and from the looks of it, the content appears to be scraped / spun from other sites. If your site is the original source of this content, then I'd recommend contacting the other sites. To me, this is not a matter of tweaking the wording to make it appear more natural.

Done well, it can only help, but .....

.... In the context of John Mueller's post on Google, is your content up to the standard he recommends ?

... and what other aspects of Panda have you considered working on to improve your chances?


 2:42 am on Dec 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else noticing the Google Shopping results aren't in the Google SERPS today? They used to show up inline with the SERPS and/or in the top right corner.


 3:35 am on Dec 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just found out that my exact-domain-match has been recovered back to top 3 on serp.

previously it was hit and was sent to the bottom.


 3:49 am on Dec 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

previously it was hit and was sent to the bottom.

You need to wait some time to see if it's not simply going through some algo change churn.

I've seen sites reappear for several weeks, even months and then go permanently south. Confidence can only be restored if you impliment improvements that you know can counteract your previous fall.


 12:55 pm on Dec 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

For my information/hobby site I saw a boost in organic (40%)traffic yesterday as well as a lot of new keywords showing up. Most of the keywords were variations on my traditional keywords.


 4:50 pm on Dec 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Personally, it looks like your site is trying to offer medical advice...

Wait, that didn't read like medical advice to me. Disabusing people of an old folk notion (that a nightcap helps you sleep better) is not my idea of medical advice. To me, medical advice is, "It sounds like you have X and should take Z for it."

If this is how Google is looking at things, then even a simple fitness site might be construed as "medical information." An article about how to select a lawyer, written from a client's perspective, might be construed as legal advice. Or am I reading way too much into this?

BTW, I'm not "whining" or trying to stir up any ire at Google here. I'm just trying to understand this so I can avoid writing something that might cause a problem.


 5:21 pm on Dec 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well, it's almost the end of the usual week long "algo update cycle" for us. Not a lot of changes for though two EMD sites show opposite changes; one is pulling more short phrases (fewer long-tails) while the other is pulling more long-tails (and fewer short terms). Overall traffic looks to be down about 6% average but Christmas is getting in the way of accuracy. There are others sites in the SERPs with those sites that rose fell or were replaced by other sites.

One of those EMDs took a big hit when the EMD algo/mod was introduced but the other benefited; the one hit is showing recovered numbers again just with different terms. The other EMD I'm holding my breath on because it went to number one at the begining of the month when SERPs appear to have had an update, a week later it was back down. With this most recent update (#23?) it's back at number one and hopfully it'll stick this time.

Personally I think there was an introduction of this update around the second week of December and this is a reintroduction with tweaks. What we saw then is what we see now with the exception of a holiday in the middle.


 5:51 pm on Dec 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anyone else watch this Dinosaur impression from Matt the other day? I really didn't think much of it, speechless actually, but could there be any significance to it? Panda... dinosaur... maybe a new name/set of updates from now on? Certainly a stretch, but you never know anymore with Google lol.

On a side note... I have been trying to figure this one out and perhaps it can add to the discussion. Site in question was first page for over 10 years... earlier this year I did a major site redesign and overhaul conincidentally about the same time we saw major changes with the SERPS and Google. I could not be found at all for the KW's I always ranked for. A few months back I started to see gradual recovery up until the end of Nov where I was back on page 1 (not for all keywords, but some). Prior to this I made a few site-wide changes with one in particular : I had a category type drop down menu with widgets -> blue wigets, red widgets, yellow widgets. I decided since these pages were somewhat similar and even had some of the same 'results' in them to combine the pages into widgets -> widgets#blue, widgets#red, widgets#yellow. Each is the same page, but the anchor determines what shows. Seems like a better practice since the pages were very similar in nature to combine them. I did use a 301 for the old pages to the combination page.

The first week of December, before the so-called Panda update I was completely gone from the results again.

Thoughts : this happened before the so-called Panda update so it could have been the above change. Could it be due to the site-wide navigation page? Was having separate pages of similar content actually good (could be construed as dupe content or keyword stuffing in page names)... anything else.

The problem I am having and I'm sure most everyone else is I am scared to do anything. I am actually redesigning another old site right now and constantly second guessing myself on things I would never think about before. I think everyone can safely say that everything can be construed one way or another as 'not good' based on Google recommendations.

Take the example above with the medical terms. This is somewhat ridiculous to me. Two identical sites other than wording is presented - one in a formal, professional, tone... the other is laid back like you are talking to your best friend. Depending on the 'content' of the site which would you prefer? If you were in a meeting and two people pitched to you would you prefer the 'business' tone or the guy who walked in with flip flops and shorts to sell you on a multi-million contract with crayon colored slides?

If this is really true then once again Google is trying to dumb-down the web. I think this is heading in the wrong direction. We are going to see non-professional sites in all facets ranking... from grammar and speech used, design aspects, coding use, etc

menntarra 34

 5:12 pm on Dec 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

HUGE changes to my site which was affected by latest Panda, and nov16th update as well. Yesterday something happend: +20% traffic

informational site,USA


 4:00 pm on Dec 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

My youngest site got a 35% traffic boost from Google on Dec. 25 and it has stuck. Looks like a steep incline in my graphs. Don't know if this is the Panda update of the 21st working for me, or something else in the algo.


 8:14 pm on Dec 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a pretty steep incline on one of my websites as well. It may have started right after the last panda update but since the holidays occurred around the same time I can't validate it.


 4:58 pm on Dec 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Boost here too, hope it sticks!


 8:10 am on Dec 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

Since yesterday I'm seeing that all big/known sites dominates local serps even the results are not relevant I think Big G is giving holidays gift ....

There isn't any local tlds on many keywords while searching on G Local.

Happay New Year - 2013

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:24 pm (utc) on Dec 31, 2012]


 6:31 pm on Dec 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Im seeing some improvement in our site last 24 hours for our rankings for pages affected initally on 24th April 2012


 1:08 am on Jan 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Anyone else been seeing non-underlined page titles in the SERPs today/yesterday?


 6:53 am on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

The following 13 messages were cut out to new thread by engine. New thread at: google/4532950.htm [webmasterworld.com]
7:04 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (utc 0)

This 301 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 301 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 [10] 11 > >
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