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Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2013
gyppo




msg:4550034
 5:18 am on Mar 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...]

I'm seeing daily switching between 2-3 datasets across around 600 keywords. Seeing roughly 10-20 keywords swapping in & out of positions.

[edited by: tedster at 2:47 pm (utc) on Mar 1, 2013]

 

backdraft7




msg:4552392
 2:48 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

The problem with TOI's observation is that he is assuming that EVERYONE is watching the serps. In reality very few do and even fewer comment on their observations. Add to that the diversity of these niche markets and you're obviously going to see very few people posting. What is strange in that so many from diverse markets are seeing similar patterns, and this is what we look for, patterns in the chaos.

So - TOI, if you're bashing on our observations and don't like them, well, we'll just politely say "don't let the door hit ya in the fanny on the way out". Back on topic ok?

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4552399
 3:12 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

LOL at bashing on your observations.

I'm not. I was simply pointing out drawing a conclusion that "every result set is full of spam" from them is likely less than accurate in my opinion, due to the very reasons you mention, especially when you factor in people are much less likely to share/report a "good event/compliment" than they are to "complain about a bad experience".

I wouldn't have said anything about what I'm seeing, because I don't usually report "when things are good", mainly to keep from getting into the "no, they suck everywhere" type discussions that at times seem so prevalent here.

And I'm not sure if your "polite" suggestion is personal or not, but either way if you're turning around and bashing on my observations, then, right back at ya about the door part, because last I checked, this was a public forum for discussion and if we always agreed on everything we would likely get much less thinking done, which I believe is really one of the main reasons for discussing. Fair enough?

We were discussing differences in ideas surrounding the SERPs and how we gauge overall SERP quality earlier. We didn't totally agree, which made us discuss more and share more opinions and thoughts surrounding our positions. Personally I think that's a good thing.



As far as what I've seen every time I've checked today: Slight flux. Some 'questionable' stuff a search visitor might be happy with, but I would personally call spam simply because I know who owns the sites and how many they have and how they were created, but, that's my "biased opinion" and when I think about a visitor landing on one of them and if they would be happy then I have to think "they probably would." so I can't say it's "technically spam" even knowing what I know about some of them.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4552402
 3:35 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

One of the spammiest looking things about the SERPs right now to me personally is the stupid multiple results from one site all through most pages I've seen.

If I hadn't switched to Bing a couple years ago for most personal searches I would now because of the silliness of showing so many results from the same site rather than a diversity of results I might be interested in.

epmaniac




msg:4552404
 3:46 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

My website has lost majority traffic yesterday.

Should i stick with it or should I start a new website?

tedster




msg:4552405
 4:05 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

epmaniac, if you've invested much energy/time into the site, I'd always give repair work a good try first. If you give repair work a bit of a try, the experience might shine a light on something new that you can take forward, even if you can't fix it all the way.

SevenCubed




msg:4552411
 4:34 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you give repair work a bit of a try, the experience might shine a light on something new that you can take forward, even if you can't fix it all the way.

Very good advice. I was considering that for my own site yesterday. It'll be a very good chance to find out if I know google's algo as well as I think I do. If I can recover it then I'll know I can proceed with confidence in development of future sites. If not, then I have a whole lot more studying to do. So far I've only had to recover 1 site from page 2 back to page 1. That wasn't a big enough challenge to test my understanding.

Lenny2




msg:4552445
 5:57 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Im not seeing any shifts one way or the other... Outside of the normal 5 to 10 percent fluctuations.

For those people noticing daily to weekly drops in serps... Consider your inbound linking...

backdraft7




msg:4552446
 6:21 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just had the worst day of the year, which was preceded by the best day earlier this week. Funny how what used to be spaced 6 months apart can now happen at any time. The day started fine, but went all Zombie after 10 am CST. Something substantial appears to have rolled through my niche today, big drop in decent referrals.

Oh wait! It was Thursday, the day they turn off the internet for cleaning.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4552451
 6:32 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh wait! It was Thursday, the day they turn off the internet for cleaning.

LMAO! That's one of the funniest things I've read!

Something substantial appears to have rolled through my niche today, big drop in decent referrals.

Everything I've been seeing says "something big is coming" so I'm not totally surprised by this. It almost seems like it's rolling out in stages from what I've read here compared with the stability and lack of new page indexing I've been seeing.

The only place I've seen any "real instability" is in a site: search and it's been +/- 10% every day like clock work for about 4 days now.

I added pages two or two and a half weeks ago exactly the same way as last week and within 2 days they were being indexed and starting to rank. The ones added last weekend are at 5 days now without a single one even indexed.

[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 6:39 am (utc) on Mar 8, 2013]

epmaniac




msg:4552452
 6:34 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

How can inventor of a niche be gone? Someone please tell me its temporary and we will be back

Martin Ice Web




msg:4552466
 7:58 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@claaaaaaarky, i think you a right. panda seems to be "online". We did not hear of any panda update since then and that is not normal to after every month panda updates.

@backdraft, i canīt see you but i must see you, because we are sitting in the same boat! They finally cut of all the buyers.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4552471
 8:09 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

One more note of Google strangeness before I call it a day.

I've heard of people talking about the cached/preview page being different than the title/snippet meaning the cache/preview is out of date, but I'm seeing really odd stuff when I compare the preview with the title/snippet and even the preview page template to the one that should be in place.

Some examples are:
Result title from two weeks ago with the snippet from two weeks ago and the breadcrumb under the result from two weeks ago, but the preview is showing the most recent version of the page. (So title, snippet, breadcrumb are two weeks out of date but the cache/preview isn't.)

Then there are some that are the other way, with the result title, snippet and bread crumb being the newest version and the cache being two (or more) weeks out of date.

Then there's one where the title, snippet and bread crumb are from the most recent version of the page, but the preview page is over 5 weeks out of date.

Then there's one where the result title, snippet and bread crumb are the most recent. The information on the page in the preview is from the most recent version, but somehow the template of the page is 5 weeks out of date. (So, the result title is from within the last two weeks, the snippet is from within the last two weeks, the bread crumb is from within the last two weeks, the content of the page in the preview is even from within the last two weeks, but the template of the page in the preview (with the current information on it) hasn't been on the site for five weeks, meaning so somehow they're wrapping the new page information that was only available about 2 weeks ago in an old template. HUH?)

Martin Ice Web




msg:4552472
 8:22 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@TOI, and which conclusion do you draw out of it? ( IMO they donīt have their system under control anymore! )

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4552474
 8:27 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been around a long time, and it feels like things used to right before a big update back in the day when we had a "Google Dance".

It's not necessarily saying to me they "don't have their system under control" as much as it's saying "something big is running in the background" (which does make the system "go out of control" or "haywire" for a bit sometimes), so in some ways, yes, I agree it's out of control right now, but I don't think it's "out of control for good" or that it won't be back under control before too long.

When they run something really big they have to take a large number of machines "off line" as far as running their regular tasks goes and use them to process the data and perform the update and when they do things get "goofy" for a while, sometimes in really odd ways, then when they put those machines back online for their normal operation things are "caught up" to where they should be and that's what it looks like is happening to me.

I don't know if you were around for the "Dance Days" but this is pretty similar to what I remember seeing back then right before a major update would take place.

[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 8:37 am (utc) on Mar 8, 2013]

Martin Ice Web




msg:4552475
 8:36 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

TOI, i am aorund since 16 years now, so i know google dance days. But i am familiar in database engineering and coding. So i know if you change a system then a lot of unexpected things happen even if you are the best coder ever. And what we see looks very similar to errors while changing the system.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4552476
 8:39 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

And what we see looks very similar to errors while changing the system.

Yeah, and imagine how "crazy" things could get even for "normally sound processes" if you had to take a number of your machines away from their normal routine to process the system changes.

I think that's what we're seeing and you and I seem to be saying the same thing with different words again.

The short version of what I think we're both saying is: They're processing some type of a big update and it's sending things a bit crazy and out of control right now.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4552479
 8:51 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

There's actually more oddness I'm seeing the more I think about it, like I don't remember seeing as many images or youtube results for the searches I normally see them on the last few days, and the reports I'm reading here about large movement and fluctuation in the SERPs make the "silence" I'm seeing the SERPs and indexing almost eery, like there's something on the way to the results I'm watching, but it hasn't gotten there yet.

epmaniac




msg:4552491
 9:12 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

So its temporary, right? Thank God

Martin Ice Web




msg:4552493
 9:20 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

So its temporary, right?


Who says that? Its now till 2 years! And we thought it would settle down after 6 month!

@TOI, do you remember the site i mentioned yesterday ( with the php-login and nothing on it )? Guess what, it climbed 2 positions from 10 to 8! But a page from me that was on page one got a -30 position hit!

Wilburforce




msg:4552495
 9:41 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hmmm.

Back up to page 6. Not as though it will bring any new business, but getting back 41 of the 47 pages I have lost since last year is better than a poke in the eye with a pointed stick.

Will it last? I think not.

rj87uk




msg:4552535
 12:09 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

My first reaction to this update so far has been negative however I have realised that it has made me renew my focus on improving my websites and my skills as a webmaster, silver lining and all that.

Wilburforce




msg:4552537
 12:14 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

renew my focus on improving my websites and my skills as a webmaster


I'm right with you there. On the case this minute.

epmaniac




msg:4552548
 12:47 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

our focus gets renewed every month almost, this current update is really pathetic

chalkywhite




msg:4552574
 1:36 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Traffic i so slow today, im hoping im not back in pandas grip. Sporadic bursts of traffic as if im up the serps for 10 minutes then off the map the next

Martin Ice Web




msg:4552577
 1:42 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@chalkywhite, we see the same. 2 Datacenters. Zero Conversions. Good job.

ecom, germany.

rish3




msg:4552581
 1:57 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Regarding 404 errors, you might try converting them to 410 "Gone" errors. I believe Google may find that more convincing evidence that the page is really "gone", since it generally requires a more deliberate effort.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4552583
 2:02 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@rish, no way. We do it since month and they still show up. Its because they crawl all pages they ever find without cleaning their crawling queue.

backdraft7




msg:4552603
 2:37 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ - epmaniac
How can inventor of a niche be gone?

Simply because Google doesn't care who pioneered a niche. They know if you were there first, but they could care less. Alexa can prove who was where & when.
How can you be gone? One word: scrapers. Once they find your niche, they'll exploit it with wordpress MFA sites and dilute you out of existence. Your only hope is that they steal your images or other content so you have grounds for a DMCA filing.

One area to be very vigilant is finding evil competitors. I have one jerk competitor who posts bad links from bad neighborhood sites back to my site. He also uses an alias to post negative reviews on my site. So it's not always Google, it's evil SOB's who manipulate links and false reviews to cut you down in the serps.

@ - TOI & MIW - definitely seeing some very odd movement and even "Day Parting" (see, I'm not using the Zombie word anymore) or throttling periods where G must be diverting traffic through more paid channels. I believe if they had their way, they'd eliminate organic results overnite for a 100% paid system. The Wild West days are over my friends!

Just one positive move, that's all we ask.
Most of us can agree that every move since May 2010 has been downward for veteran sites. The new surge of easy to set up WP sites makes any 5 year old a webmaster again and Google seems to like their non sense and stolen content.


BTW - If you enter a store and put a pack of chewing gum in your pocket without paying, you'd get ticketed, fined and have a record that would follow you for the rest of your life, making it hard to even find a job if they search your criminal past.
So, why doesn't Google take DMCA violators as serious? Stealing content is theft, and theft is a crime.
You want to use my content ? ASK! and provide a back link and you'll usually be OK, Doing otherwise and you're just an untrustworthy, sneaky criminal. I've seen scraper pages removed, yet Google still trusts them enough top place even more of their ill gotten content on page 1. What happened to the "Trust" metric?

AlyssaS




msg:4552619
 3:07 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

tedster wrote:

The pattern that I struggle with is little-by-little ranking drops that just keep going. After a couple months, it's as much of a traffic hit as a fat penalty or a major algo change, but it's almost impossible to pin this little-by-little "traffic erosion" down to any one date.

I'm now involved with two sites that have been showing this pattern over the past 3 months. Any ideas what this kind of thing represents?


For what it's worth I'm pretty sure they reset personalisation of the SERPs back in Nov. Don't have data to back this up, just one anecdote involving one site.

Go to your November 2012 analytics and compare new visits to returning visits. On the anecdote site, there was a drop in return visits starting Nov 17th. What I think happened was the site got an algo hit much earlier, but thanks to personalisation it was still getting plenty of visits from those who had visited and stayed long enough before, and it had gotten set in their personalised serps. Once they reset it, those people went, and total traffic settled at a lower level.

Have to stress this is just my theory. Have been scouring the web for info on whether they ever reset personalisation and how and why, but came up with nothing. Seems like the SEO community isn't interested in it even though it plays a part in sending traffic. Anyone who has info to chip in, please do!

Bones




msg:4552639
 3:38 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Go to your November 2012 analytics and compare new visits to returning visits.


I'm not seeing anything unusual. Are you sure the Analytics code wasn't updated/edited on that date?

Panthro




msg:4552644
 3:44 pm on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Interesting thought AlyssaS!


(and this is about a page late, but..)

I, for one, enjoy reading the back-and-forth even when it does get slightly off-topic. Somewhere in the midst of it all are always great arguments and information worth thinking about.

A thread full of "I see this. I see that" reporting would not be as helpful imo. So, thank you TOI and Wilburforce for making us think a little bit more about statistics while webmasterin.

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