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Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2012
Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 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]

 

backdraft7

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 5:29 pm on Dec 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

So...keywords still ranking, users stopped clicking ?


Better check out the Zombie thread... [webmasterworld.com...]
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:21 pm (utc) on Dec 1, 2012]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 2:22 am on Dec 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am not sure this will help anyone but part of what we are struggling with is Google's LSI algorithm as well. For example, I have the #1 spot for "home widgets" (obviously not anywhere close to the real keyword) I have the #2 spot for "home widget" and the #3 spot for "widget for home". What I find interesting is that if you add the plural "Widgets for home" I move up 1 spot, if you remove the "for" I move up 1 spot. It makes it pretty tough to target exact keywords.

backdraft7

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 5:26 am on Dec 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well, November is over and we've logged another first, another low. The first time in a dozen years, our November number are LOWER than October by a solid 15%. We always had BEAT October as the seasonal upswing begins. Just as a check across the board, is anyone seeing the seasonal upswing?

There are a LOT of reasons for the decline, not all are due to Google, but their not off the hook. The global economy is struggling, thanks to the the Mayans and the Discovery channel, a good portion of the population thinks the world will end in 20 days from now, the fiscal cliff looms, but does this all explain why our long tail is almost completely gone? No.

November also pulled in with the lowest number of search key phrases of any month yet with 6459 phrases. Even our slowest month of June had 7545. November 2011 was twice 2012 at 11,651. Nov 2010 was 10,773 and Nov 2009 was 11,539. So while the world seems to be circling the drain, we definitely know where our traffic went, it went to be better monetized by the corporation.

I could understand it if a superior competitor came out of nowhere and took over our niche, but that has not happened. It's the non stop "quality" updates. Has anyone seen continued improvement this year?

Now, whatever hit a few days ago is showing all the signs of a major update. My unmaintained sites are showing huge spikes of traffic, while my bread & butter sites are dying off. I expect this to be another yoyo event where the junk sites drop off and we rise up again....a little less than before though.
Ya ever notice, it always seems less than more.

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 7:13 am on Dec 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am sorry to say backdraft7 that I was just the opposite. I was up 25% total with search being up 29% I also get a seasonal upswing even though I have an informational site.

getcooking

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 2:25 pm on Dec 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure if it was the Panda refresh on the 21st or whatever update occurred around the 27th but there is something wonky in my niche.

There is a hot one word term in my niche that practically every Fortune 500 company has edged in on over the last few years. Even when it's not related directly to their business - because it's a huge draw and it's rather easy content to get.

Google shows "About 469,000,000 results" for this one word term and typically only the big players are on page one.

But after one of the recent updates above the #2 spot is held by an EMD domain squatter for that one word term. There is no actual content on this site, just the continual link traps that don't get you anywhere except to more domain squatting sites. This site hasn't been in the top SERPS for a long time but an update brought it back. And not just "back" but rather front and center. Nice job, Google!

mhansen



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 4:51 pm on Dec 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

This isn't the first time you and I have noticed identical patterns between our Penguinized sites! Very interesting - glad you noted it.


We dipped from the 21-24th, but assumed it was just holiday related. Came back strong for the full week after, but yesterday (Saturday) we saw another big drop. Today... the site may as well be shut off.

Oddly, traffic from "Other than Google" search engines is steady. The drops are in referrals from Google only.

MH

Splugged



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 7:57 pm on Dec 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

We dipped from the 21-24th... but yesterday (Saturday) we saw another big drop.


Same here.

What I see (for my niche) in top positions (switched IP, cleaned cache, cookies etc): sites from the same networks extremely interlinked, big links buyers, scrapers, "link schemers", sites with thin content (2 or 4 pages), new very thin sites, sites with redirect to other sites...

What I have to do?
I give up? Or not? Getting crazy... months and months of work...

[edited by: tedster at 3:24 am (utc) on Dec 3, 2012]

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 3:16 am on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Now, whatever hit a few days ago is showing all the signs of a major update.

Are you talking here about the November 27 changes? Or the Panda Update that began rolling out on November 21?

mrguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 3:25 am on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can remember a time when Google would hold off doing updates until the Holidays were over so they wouldn't cause undue stress on Webmasters.

Those were the days.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 5:53 am on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I had some weird fluctuations this morning - visitors were finding my site at all sorts of odd positions, and I was getting nothing but rather odd long tail searches. Later, it all went back to normal, and I ended up strong for the day, ranking for some exciting new phrases.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 9:49 am on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

My unmaintained sites are showing huge spikes of traffic, while my bread & butter sites are dying off.


I see the same thing. The stie we put lots of hours in got a hard hit again. My second/third site gained a lot of keys. One site is affiliate only and gives no extra content nor high user expirience.

Maybe on 27th was the annual Christmas shift? We have seen this every year now.

ecom, germany

themaninthejar



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 11:01 am on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Huge crawling spike over the last two days. Higher than anything in previous three months.

UK - Business

johnhh

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 11:03 am on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Main site was slowly recovering back to last year figures, Panda 21/11 gave slight boost, then....disaster

Compared with same day previous week uniques
Thur 29/11 -24%
Fri 30/11 -30%
Sat 01/12 -25%
Sun 2/12 -16%

No technical reasons found. Sun & Mon normally our best days.

info site in uk

Sgt_Kickaxe

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



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 12:31 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just as a check across the board, is anyone seeing the seasonal upswing?


Nov 16/17th = 22% less traffic from Google
Nov 19/20th = huge spike in traffic from Google, +44%
Nov 21st = settled back to pre Nov 16th levels again in traffic but stayed -15% in conversions.

Also of interest is that the index page is still receiving 155% more traffic since Nov 17th while internal pages are receiving an equivalent aggregate amount less.

No changes were made to the site in the 30 days leading up to Nov 16th. The swings in traffic mentioned above are above and below expected levels using the previous 30 days and the same period in previous years as a baseline.

SEchecker



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 1:39 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Traffic is same as usuall (including zombies), CTR increased 50% based on GWMT.

Also long tails increased 50% in last couple of days... what results in +15% sales as the visitors are more targed...

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 2:20 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just as a check across the board, is anyone seeing the seasonal upswing?


I got hit like many of you on the 22nd although I had 4 seasonal articles on Thanksgiving that would offset the hit somewhat on the 22nd.

I was down approximately 25% on the 23rd through the 25th.

Started to see an upswing on the 26th that kept increasing until the 29th then saw a drop I attributed to Thursday flux.

I have seen a big upswing this weekend starting on Friday the 30th and now have returned to pre-22nd levels.

Possible causes for this.
A. Rollback of the 22nd update
B. New update countering old update.
C. Social signals counter panda penalties
D. Extra long period of panda flux. (10 days)
E. Google's dementia is becoming more acute.

I have an informational site with approximately 40k uniques per month. The only slight change I made was a page speed tweak from approximately 4 seconds load time to 2.8 seconds load time.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 6:15 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm still seeing a different set of keyphrases in early morning than I'm seeing later in the day. The early morning keyphrases aren't great, but the ones later are potentially good. And my traffic is still up from both the 11/21 and 11/6 updates.

peego

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 8:07 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

@taberstruths:

"E. Google's dementia is becoming more acute. "

LOL! that's one of the best quotes I've read recently on here! Thanks for putting a smile on a monday!

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 8:48 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Your welcome Peego

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 8:48 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

They may be calling it Mega Monday however for me it's Massacre Monday ... Traffic way, way down across many sites from 50% to 80% ... If this continues into tomorrow then something serious has happened to my sites but heavens knows what!

Oh ... Scrapers are still doing well by the way.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 9:35 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Traffic way, way down across many sites from 50% to 80%


I only have a single site, so my own experience is obviously not widely representative.

My traffic is marginally up from last Monday, and from the same week a year ago (UK service sector). Google referrals are not much different either, even though this time a year ago my Home page was #3 for key two-word search term and it is now on page 72 (having crawled back to page 5 since last April, and then dropped 67 pages on Friday night).

What I don't get is why my Home page is getting penalised for that term and only that term (it is fine for e.g. <Industry Subsection Key Term> when it obviously isn't over-optimised, doesn't have a single backlink for only that term and only 5, all from reputable sources, that include it at all (I did a major clean-up earlier in the year).

I thought its gradual recovery for that term would continue. This sudden massive drop - exactly what happened in April - is unfathomable. The current #1 site - with a mass of self-placed backlinks that include pretty much everything from from air-conditioning forums to zoo-lover blogs - has not moved in 12 months (I can only think that such an eclectic and irrelevant set of backlink sources somehow gets under G's radar).

As rational explanations go, increasing dementia is about the best of them. I'm stuck for anything better.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 9:48 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can only think that such an eclectic and irrelevant set of backlink sources somehow gets under G's radar


In fact, thinking about it, it does smack of very much of AI: computers are often very bad at things humans do very easily, and spotting the unnatural part of:

Jim Jones (http://www.linktomybicyclerepairshop.com) prefers poodles to Irish wolfhounds

Jim Jones (http://www.linktomybicyclerepairshop.com) suggests parboiling potatoes for only four minutes

Jim Jones (http://www.linktomybicyclerepairshop.com) has a tip for unwanted hair removal

(...repeat this pattern a few hundred times...)

is obviously not very easy for Google.

Splugged



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 10:36 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I bet: Penguin refresh rolled out. I'm pretty sure.

I see, in my niche, at first spots all (pass me the term, please) the garbage I saw in all previous refreshes.

If I'm looking in the right direction (if... I hope NOT!), it's the case to close my 7 years old site even if disawoved, deleted, deoptimized, improved for users, merged etc., etc., etc...

I hope not... finger crossed...

garyr_h

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 11:29 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't doubt it if Penguin did roll out. Seems like there's a refresh in Penguin shortly after Panda the past few months. After a great last week and weekend, today has slowed down quite a bit.

Sand



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 11:45 pm on Dec 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

For whatever it's worth, I had a crappy weekend until about 5:00 EST last night, when suddenly my traffic nearly doubled at the hourly level. It's held so far today as well, so we'll see what happens.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 3:00 am on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seems like there's a refresh in Penguin shortly after Panda the past few months.

According to our Update records [webmasterworld.com] Penguin has only been updated 2 times all year, whereas Panda has seen 9 updates. In fact, the gap between the last two Penguin updates was 6 months, but Panda saw 6 updates in that same period. So I have trouble seeing a connection between the two.

Panthro



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 7:27 am on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I was thinking I was noticing some kind of Penguin-type movement the past week or so. Can't put my finger on it, but that's what it "feels" like, fwiw.

I do seem to be noticing a lot more EMDs back in the mix, though. Could just be me.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 9:38 am on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

@tedster - I don't see (and don't claim) any connection either, but what just happened to my Home page, especially the fact that it is page and term specific, looks the same from here as the first Penguin rollout.

The main difference in the current situation is that in my own case it applies only to one page and one term (albeit the principal business term).

Sgt_Kickaxe

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



 
Msg#: 4524403 posted 2:07 pm on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

No Aaron99, unless you have a major crawlability issue there is nothing fast about gaining rankings. Even the best page in the world, if posted today, would take time to float to the top. Google has a patent for transitioning pages from one rank to another over time when change in rank is needed - down is fast, up is slow.

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