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Google Updates and SERP Changes - April 2013
sunny_kat




msg:4560189
 6:07 am on Apr 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

I am seeing a lot of ranking drop. Lot of keywords ranking between 10-50 have disappeared from Google top 100.

Is anyone else also noticing changes?

[edited by: tedster at 11:54 am (utc) on Apr 1, 2013]

 

Martin Ice Web




msg:4567610
 3:49 pm on Apr 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

HuskyPup, I think you got me wrong. I was talking about mom/Pop/Hobby sites that do not have adsense on it or are for customers. If goog still scraps their content and no one will visit this sites.....

HuskyPup




msg:4567625
 5:49 pm on Apr 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

If goog still scraps their content and no one will visit this sites.....


Yep, I knew what you meant however I still believe sites should be constructed for users not search engines.

A local/regional site should continue to do ok so long as its content is up-to-date and relevant and the cost should be extremely minimal so long as one is not trying to compete head-on with supermarkets etc. with tens of thousands of products and pages.

</off topic>

backdraft7




msg:4567655
 6:54 pm on Apr 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ok guys, I'm still boiling mad, but I feel a little better after filing another DMCA. I suggest we all look closely at Googles current image results and if you find some other site happily displaying your photos, without permission, without even the courtesy of a back link credit and on a site that has no contact information whatsoever and hides their whois info behind a privacy registration, file a DMCA, but follow a few guidelines to prevent you from looking like a dork.

We all know that if approved, Google will slap up the Chilling Effects record of the complaint, like we're tattle tales and they are trying to shame us. Turn it around on them in your report. Throw some blame on Google for being a partner in crime with the scrapers, because clearly they ARE. Tell the facts of the story and that Google is inept and destroying our livelihoods by promoting the evil work of thieves.

It absolutely shameful that Google mistrusts our legit sites: I have a phone contact, email contact, ticket based support, live support chat, BBB record with my full name and contact info, a clear whois record, a G+ account link, FB link, a SSL cert all to verify who I am and how to contact me, yet some puke with a cloaked whois record and no contact information OUTRANKS me with a wordpress MFA site USING MY PHOTO CONTENT and no contact info whatsoever. Anyone one who thinks they can defend this, come on! give it a TRY! It's infuriating and Google should be Ashamed! Apologize or be prosecuted.

Wilburforce




msg:4567668
 8:01 pm on Apr 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I still believe sites should be constructed for users not search engines.


I think we all agree with that in principle, but how will the users find the sites?

garyr_h




msg:4567756
 3:46 am on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Wilbrforce, that's the problem: it's the old chicken (SERPs ranking) and the egg (search engine ranking).

IMO, Google is making it to where word of mouth is more important than ever. It's sad, but it is true. It's starting to make the web feel like a third world country. By that, I mean they are making it difficult to find information about specific widgets unless it's a large store's.

We are going to have to start running our sites exactly like how physical locations are ran. Word of mouth, local (or national, if you can afford it) advertising, and quality service. Actually, we all should have been doing that anyway.

The problem for us, though, is that Google is taking away free traffic. Many of us depend on it (rightfully or wrongly) and it will definitely hurt small shops.

The web is changing (for better or worse) and local is more important than ever. Get local links, local advertising, local word of mouth, hand out business cards, etc.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4567764
 4:09 am on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

IMO, Google is making it to where word of mouth is more important than ever.

Definitely. That's how Google (and FB and Dell and Nike and) started IRCC.

It's sad, but it is true.

Why is it sad? Because in that type of system people have to actually like a site enough to talk about it rather than clicking on it because it's there and it's way more difficult to build a site people actually like than it is to game a search engine or something along those lines?

We are going to have to start running our sites exactly like how physical locations are ran. Word of mouth, local (or national, if you can afford it) advertising, and quality service.

Do you mean build a business? Crazy, you might actually have to know what you're doing in business on the Internet?! Nooooo! lol

Actually, we all should have been doing that anyway.

Absolutely!

The "gold rush" is over, but not many people who know (or should know) seem to be willing to say it. Likely, imo, because there's no money in telling a truth like that.

It's way more profitable to "string people along" about "gold in them thar hills" while selling "panning information and supplies" than to tell people: it's better to not start mining; or telling people: if your mine is running out finding a new vein is going to be much more difficult than it was initially so it might be a good time to get out.

Why would those who do (or should) know "the rush is over" bother to tell people when they can talk about the aggregated keyword density percentage of 10,000+ or even 100,000+ sites and sound like they're telling people something important by simply saying what people want/expect to hear rather than bothering to tell people keyword density doesn't really count?

* If they tell people the truth selling a subscription to a keyword density analysis product becomes much more difficult (impossible?), because if they say something doesn't count they really can't follow up with a sales pitch for their product that tests it very well, can you?

So, there's no money in saying "keyword density should be forgotten" since it's actually keyphrase/related-phrase density based on the predictability of related (co-ocurring) phrases as used in natural writing on a per niche basis that matters now, so keyword density analysis, even on a per niche basis, isn't really helpful and you don't need a tool for it.

* Not many SEO companies are going to say that imo, because an algorithm that tests and answers "what the phrases should be based on predictability" is as detailed and complicated as Google's, so selling "keyword density analysis subscriptions" is much easier and more profitable. (Never mind that keyword density doesn't actually count any more, that's not the point.)

[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 5:24 am (utc) on Apr 25, 2013]

backdraft7




msg:4567771
 4:41 am on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think people forget that the internet is free, Google certainly did. They just became the biggest and now baddest bridge troll in existence. There's still Bing and they don't have a PPC program that I'm aware of. (oops, I just found yahoo/Bing ads, a combined effort) I'm hoping Bill is rich enough and smart enough to know that when it's free, and fair, and WORKS you get the most traffic. There's a paradigm shift afoot, I can see it already with the Bing ads. I for one am ready for a change if for no other reason than to get out from under the oppressive shadow of Goliath.
I used to love those guys in Mountain View, but that love affair is pretty much over. They dumped me.
I'll get over it.

diberry




msg:4567789
 5:58 am on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Because in that type of system people have to actually like a site enough to talk about it rather than clicking on it because it's there and it's way more difficult to build a site people actually like than it is to game a search engine or something along those lines?


I agree with you on the whole, but I'd add a caveat: just building a site people like is never enough - not to get you good rankings, not to get you good traffic, and not to get you word of mouth chatter.

We definitely need to think like businesses. For a while there, Google created - by accident or design - a level playing field in which someone with about $100/yr startup capital could start a business. IMO, this was a good thing, and business should be more like this (better for competition; ups everybody's game). There are a lot of great potential businesses that fail not because they deserve to fail, but simply because they can't afford to stay in the game. Google changed that, somewhat, temporarily.

And now that change is over. Believe me, I totally understand why people feel cheated. What we have to realize is, things are the way they are and we can't force Google to change anymore than we can force any of the other market factors to be more democratic. It would be better if they were, IMO, but they aren't, and that's that.

It's not so much that Google is the problem (they're not, at least not anymore than a lot of other huge companies). It's that for a while, Google seemed to be the solution, and now they don't. We have to find ways to work around them.

I keep wishing someone would start a thread on "how to succeed without Google".

Martin Ice Web




msg:4567839
 8:13 am on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think we all agree with that in principle, but how will the users find the sites?


Thanx Wilbur, thats in fact the boiling Point. Now, how will you generate traffic? By linking to your site from other sites? Payed links! You will suffer a Penalty! Make more and better content and UI? This is not what will be rewarded by Google or did someone escape from panda/penguin?
Fact is, that webmasters think more than twice before making any changes.


Fact is that they shut down all sideways to make money. Only way is to participate with their services and pay for it. This is tightend with every so called "quality update".

Thts they way business works! And Google could do it and they are doing it. But i would be nice not to claim that this is all due to quality! Make a open Statement and say yes, we are business, we do have shareholders, we want to make money. All the free traffic is something that f***ks us up.

Wilburforce




msg:4567840
 8:14 am on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I keep wishing someone would start a thread on "how to succeed without Google".


My coal merchant doesn't have a website.

chrisv1963




msg:4567850
 8:55 am on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I keep wishing someone would start a thread on "how to succeed without Google".


It's only a matter of time before we will be able to succeed without Google. Look at Alta Vista, Nokia, ... Sooner or later there comes an end to the power of industry "leaders". Quality is no longer important for Google because almost everyone is using their search engine anyway. It is exactly this that will harm their business in the long run. A new clean search engine heavily promoted through social media could make people's searching habits change rapidly.

backdraft7




msg:4567890
 11:36 am on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

My coal merchant doesn't have a website.



Neither does the mortician...

Unfortunately my site (and hopefully yours too) does not process dead bodies.

As far as Google's success, it's up to US to break the thumb sucking habit of gravitating to the Google teet. I'm switching my search to Bing and so far I like it. It's like the old Google. It feels liberating to step out from under the new evil Google.

I surprised G does not copy Bing's results, because people prefer their (Bing) results hands down, and Google is a notorious "follower". It'll happen sooner of later. All I can say is that Google is currently the biggest mess I've ever seen, at least in my vertical, and with the DC problem, totally useless.

The only reason I go back to Google search is out of morbid curiosity to see if my site will ever recover. But I've come to the realization that dead is dead.

Try the Bing it on challenge and you be the judge.

tedster




msg:4567958
 3:03 pm on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

This thread's intended focus is Updates and SERP changes, so let's take the rest of this particular side discussion to a different thread: Online Success without Google [webmasterworld.com]

Str82u




msg:4567968
 3:23 pm on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Anyone see that the Bing-ish "Cached/Share" arrow looks to be a regular feature for G SERPs now?

EDIT: as an opinion, I like those on B, but not on G

tedster




msg:4567971
 3:27 pm on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here's a new thread about the layout changes for the Google SERP: Google De-clutters Search Results [webmasterworld.com] It will be interesting to see if this interface change makes any traffic changes.

Str82u




msg:4567995
 4:55 pm on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Rewriting titles has taken a new turn for us. Now they are not only adding the title of a site to titles of some pages but also "- FTP Directory Listing" to some. I know for a fact they didn't get that from our site.

HuskyPup




msg:4568034
 7:39 pm on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing a massive update to their SERPs with the new layout?

I honestly didn't think they could make them any worse however they've achieved it in my sector with flying colours ... congratulations G, I'm astounded!

Str82u




msg:4568045
 8:10 pm on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing a massive update to their SERPs with the new layout?
I'm noticing what would be a return to high-normal but I was predicting it. We have keywords on one site that "breath" through the month; one list gives me a positive feeling and the other negative. I've had the "negative" list of keywords on the screen for about 8 days and the lists are starting to swap out so it's hard to tell if there's a higher than normal CTR from SERPs or not but the bounce rate is up slightly.

EDIT: "high-normal" can be explained as the overlap period.

[edited by: Str82u at 8:14 pm (utc) on Apr 25, 2013]

Wilburforce




msg:4568046
 8:13 pm on Apr 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing a massive update to their SERPs


Not massive, no, but the last stalwart on page 1 - the site displaced my 5-year tenure of the #1 position for Key Term two years ago - has just dropped to page 2.

None of the current page 1 results was in the top 10 a year ago, and I really do wonder why most of them are there. I'm still on page 47, with two other former page 1 sites. For all the world it looks like a "used-to-be-on page-1" penalty.

Fors




msg:4568142
 6:21 am on Apr 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is anybody seeing a traffic drop on Apr 25 like me? Lost about 11% traffic. PPC, organic and referral traffics are all decreasing.

When I use the chartelligence plugin, it tells me there is an EMD update on 24, is it true?

Martin Ice Web




msg:4568186
 8:31 am on Apr 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I see a massive gain of brands. More of them swapping in with multiple positions in serps ( Domainspamming ). Small sites are now way back down. I should be lucky to be within the 1 and 2 resultpage but traffic is still -50%. I wonder if the big brands also have a lost in traffic.
Keys swapping from minute to minute. Google is way inconsistent in ist serps.

SEchecker




msg:4568236
 11:42 am on Apr 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Traffic dropped 10% on 24 and 20% on 25.04.2013.

Side-note: Adwords brought tons of worthless clicks in the last 7 days

Martin Ice Web




msg:4568253
 12:42 pm on Apr 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

SEchecker,

Did you see a traffic growth before?
Did you fall back to a November Panda Level?

diberry




msg:4568276
 4:46 pm on Apr 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Do sitelinks mean anything anymore? Because my Penguinized site, which lost them weeks before Penguin, has just gotten them back.

Fors




msg:4568409
 2:47 am on Apr 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Martin Ice Web,

My traffic of this week looks like the traffic between Panda 20 - Panda 21, Oct. - Nov. 2012.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4568631
 3:48 am on Apr 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing a massive update to their SERPs with the new layout?

I honestly didn't think they could make them any worse however they've achieved it in my sector with flying colours ... congratulations G, I'm astounded!

Uh, well, yeah Husky I did happen to see 4 results from different domains with essentially the same content in the top 10 today, so I can't argue much, but can say I started using Bing a couple years ago and really don't have anywhere near the headaches people who use Google seem to have.

If I hadn't then I certainly would now, because I think the domain crowding (if that's what we're calling it) and duplication/near duplication of content in the results from Google is horrible.

I would have thought they would be well past there by now, but I did some searches today and I'm seeing ridiculously obvious spam in Google that's not present in Bing.

So much for Bing copying Google. Bing's way ahead in the searches I've been looking at recently and Google's claims of being able to find the originator are ridiculous imo based on what I'm seeing.

It seems Google can't even identify near duplication without a spam report based on what I found today. To me it's like Google took 3 steps back. Or, maybe there just wasn't anything better to compare them to? I think Google has their work cut out for themselves to hold their market share unless it's from people searching over and over trying to find what they're looking for, because imo Bing's results are hands down better right now.

BTW: I'm an Apple user and have been for over 2 decades, so touting a Microsoft product isn't something I normally do, but I tend to call things like I see 'em and Bing is the First Thing (ever) M$ has done I really really like and I'm definitely impressed with how they're doing things.

guggi2000




msg:4568653
 8:37 am on Apr 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Fors My traffic started to decline on April 15 (the night after the Boston attack) and stopped declining April 23. The traffic is now 15% lower and did not climb up again.
The drop happened to US and Intl. traffic, and throughout the entire site.

2 things I do not understand:
1. Referral and direct traffic went down as well...
2. Google Analytics says that my average ranking went up (closer to the top).

How is that possible?
@Fors Did you ask yourself why the referral traffic went down too?

tigger




msg:4568659
 9:33 am on Apr 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

@TheOptimizationIdiot

yep seeing the same here - somethings updated and all its done is pulling junk pages / sites to the top - I've seen one site thats using automated doorways for UK counties / towns where the only text changed is the town name and its ranking inside the top 3 for all terms!

I can't understand why G would put this crap up

HuskyPup




msg:4568664
 10:39 am on Apr 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

@TOI - Yep, I use Bing mostly these days however I have to check the Google SERPs when I see a sudden rise or loss in traffic to find out what's happened.

The "domain crowding" thing at G has definitely gotten out of hand especially so for my widgets and specifically two sites but what I do not comprehend is how fast some Blogger and WordPress sites enter the SERPs so high with crap pages and images and many of them are not even MFAs nor carry any type of advertisement. Some just scrape an image and wham, they're at #1-10 in the image results seemingly ranking solely on the image name, nothing else.

I don't really like the presentation of Bing's image results but at least they do seem to have a handle on who was the image originator.

I could have saved myself all these problems if I'd only just watermarked from the beginning:-( Nothing goes up these days without one.

turbocharged




msg:4568671
 12:03 pm on Apr 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ HuskyPup

Do you know and/or have you looked into the benefits of posting digitally signed images? I'm curious if Google reads image metadata in such a way that respects the original creator. If Google did, that would make it much harder for scrapers to rip our images, post them and rank with our work.

JesterMagic




msg:4568680
 1:10 pm on Apr 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

What a great Sunday morning... I see traffic dropped 7% yesterday (Information site USA). I really don't understand Google. It's one thing when your competition has better content but when it is mostly pure garbage.

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