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This 389 message thread spans 13 pages: < < 389 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10 11 12 13 > >     
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]

 

taberstruths




msg:4565122
 3:54 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Up 30% over same day last week. Most pages starting to recover search traffic. It has been 1 year since the rolling decline suffered last year. Now it looks like a rolling recovery. Recovery started the end of March.

backdraft7




msg:4565128
 4:24 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Kewlowna - seriously? and what kind of "speculation" are you expecting to see? because that's all it is, speculation. There is NO such thing as news about Google updates, in case you haven't heard, no more information will be released regarding updates. All you'll find here is reports of what we are observing from our individual reference points. Goody for you that nothing has changed in your site in many months, count your blessings - and regarding these 8 pages, one man's garbage is another man's gold. I suggest you go back to Facebook now for those really important status updates.

Str82u




msg:4565130
 4:48 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is off topic but:
Running searches for the bomb in Boston today, the top of the page has emergency numbers and links for citizens. Very Cool to us. +1 to G

brokaddr




msg:4565138
 5:16 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Interesting find:

A backlink check of a competing (poor quality/spammy-type site, btw with visible keyword stuffing, etc) has only 800+ backlinks, whereas mine ranks well below it, off the 1st page (and other more quality competitors of this site) have upwards of 2000+
The age of this domain is about the same age as one of the quality competitors it currently trumps.

How are sites like this ranking above ANYONE?!
It almost feels as though those intentionally breaking the rules are winning the game.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4565150
 6:49 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

How are sites like this ranking above ANYONE?!

I might have said once before, but I'll go ahead and say it again. Domain age doesn't matter and visitor behavior (completely in my opinion) is becoming, or has become, the "new links" in rankings.

Gotta read the fine print sometimes, but if you go back 3 to 5 years and see the same or similar SEO information given on a site(s), e.g. keyword density % being an important factor, discount it and the site you're reading. In fact, leave the site is my personal opinion and reaction.

The search engines, especially Google and Bing have moved well beyond what most "SEO" sites (the ones I've seen anyway) are touting as important. The "SEO" sites need the traffic to keep making a living, so (based on what I've seen) they "promote" and publish what people are known to search for and looking for way more than what is actually influencing rankings today. (That's my .02 and I could be totally mistaken. I mean maybe there is some magical keyword density formula that works for every page on every site in every niche and I'm just missing it, but I've been in this business a while and I'm not seeing it. There could be, but natural writing on a topic seems to be doing better than standardized keyword density checks, to me anyway.)

Martin Ice Web




msg:4565154
 7:22 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

What I see from my old Google refferers from last week, our rankings did not get worse but stays same or is better or lost only -1.

A second unattended site, same niche, different IP, pics, title, desciption has gained a lot of places. This is a very low quality site, with a lot of DC, bubblegum sites, realy NO SEO.

This shows a lot of Domain spamming, i found even 6 positions in a row from page #1 to #2. It is outranking my quality site, with much more information.

It seems like average content rules. High theme targeted site suffer.
My guess is that this was a panda push/updated, with all the reported googlebot activity last week.

frankleeceo




msg:4565157
 7:33 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I second TOI. Although I think basic SEO is important to get the site ranked for a certain query in the beginning, then the traffic volume is all based upon user behaviors after the site receives visitors from those certain queries.

brokaddr




msg:4565192
 10:16 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

TheOptimizationIdiot - In my example, domain age is evidently not a factor in the results. Though I question why a spam-esque site of equal age is trumping decent/superior sites for the same keywords (both of which do not partake in 'keyword stuffing').

The search engines, especially Google and Bing have moved well beyond what most "SEO" sites (the ones I've seen anyway) are touting as important.

I've read on this site (and many others) these drastic shifts in algorithm art to combat SEO firms/those profiting from their algorithms.
I'm sure it's been answered at point: But, why? If the high-ranking sites are quality, why does Google care so much that they combat these SEO firms?

Are they essentially "criminalizing" bettering your site? Judging by the results I see, I'd suspect the answer is 'Yes' - unless you've got a low quality site, you simply can't rank well anymore.

Certainly there's only so many sites that can fill the organic spots on the results, but when the vast majority (if not all) of the entries partake in spammy activities, it's safe to say quality is now a deterrent for ranking well.

MHes




msg:4565196
 10:56 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

brokaddr - I think TheOptimizationIdiot is correct in a lot of what he says. I also suspect that Google just ignores spammy activities (e.g. keyword stuffing etc) and relies more on visitor behaviour.

Therefore, a site can have spammy stuff on the page but rank well because of good visitor behaviour. Perhaps the site you are looking at looks spammy, but it still provides the information required and your average surfer likes it. As someone who knows a lot about the subject of the website, you may think it is terrible, but many thousands of less informed people may accept it as good. Also, maybe there are a few very high quality back links which could make a big difference.

I think when you are looking at the possibility of Visitor Behaviour being a ranking factor, then I think it is only applied in relation to other sites in the specific serp. So, if Site A would normally rank just above Site B but the bounce rate is very high for site A then it will, in this specific keyword search, be demoted below site B.


Shocking Thought - If webmasters spend too much time clicking through and examining competitors sites, they just help that sites ranking!

Martin Ice Web




msg:4565228
 12:31 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think user behaviour is not the main ranking factor. Easy, old forums that had been a great user metric suffered a lot from panda/penguin. If user metric would be a big ranking factor they should have been back to top. But instead of giving us deep content , pa-pe-goo gives us shallow blogs and spammy sites.
Sample two: sometimes whne pa-pe-goo has it good times, user metric on our sites are great, poeple fetching more than 6 sites in a row. But most time pa-pe-goo sends one-fetch-visitors, bounce is up.
If user metric would be a ranking factor than this should not be happening!

backdraft7




msg:4565241
 1:50 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Therefore, a site can have spammy stuff on the page but rank well because of good visitor behaviour.


That's quite the counter intuitive assumption...if you have a spammy site, logic dictates that user's will bail, UNLESS users PREFER spammy sites or just down know or care what constitutes spammy. If they are bailing (I do) then user behavior should be in the dumper.

People eat micky d's trash and it doesn't bother them, so go figure. Google knows it's visitor more than they know themselves, right?

I think if you examine the sites at the top, for the most part they have one thing in common...well funded, large staff, massive volume of mostly thin pages - but nevertheless the proverbial 900lb Gorilla. For the most part, M&P's are instantly filed as "low quality" and are pushed out.

Oh, and of course I can't leave out the daily traffic report...
Still seeing spiky traffic, down to zero, then it pops back up , followed by a matching spike in threats, which takes the server down again, rinse & repeat all day. I can only assume is the ongoing WP BFA.

Everyone best read this article: [zdnet.com...]

Str82u




msg:4565245
 2:16 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was popping around twitter last night and saw Brett Tabke had retweeted this, don't know if anyone will enjoy the read as much but here it is, Ex-Googlers talk [siliconbeachtraining.co.uk...] Brett may have posted it here somewhere but I didn't see it, might stop some of the speculation in this or other threads (not likely).

EDIT: Slow start on high traffic sites, normal start for smaller, low traffic sites. Nothing freaky yet.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4565249
 2:38 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm sure it's been answered at point: But, why? If the high-ranking sites are quality, why does Google care so much that they combat these SEO firms?

It's not about combating SEO firms specifically. (I think that's a bit over-played by SEO firms) It's more about combating manipulation of the results, because if you can manipulate them for a high-quality site, then you could manipulate them to spam, so they kind of have to try and block it for any type of manipulation.

Therefore, a site can have spammy stuff on the page but rank well because of good visitor behaviour. Perhaps the site you are looking at looks spammy, but it still provides the information required and your average surfer likes it. As someone who knows a lot about the subject of the website, you may think it is terrible, but many thousands of less informed people may accept it as good. Also, maybe there are a few very high quality back links which could make a big difference.

It sounds like you've seen eHow! lol

JesterMagic




msg:4565256
 2:51 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

visitor behavior (completely in my opinion) is becoming, or has become, the "new links" in rankings.


What really is good visitor behavior though? Say a person only visits one page of your site and leaves. This could be a good thing if he found the information they was looking for, or a bad thing if he didn't.

Google would have to keep track of what the visitor continues to do (ie if he goes back to search from your page and searches for the same thing again) to even start to figure out if the visitor behavior is positive or negative for the site.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4565260
 2:58 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google would have to keep track of what the visitor continues to do (ie if he goes back to search from your page and searches for the same thing again) to even start to figure out if the visitor behavior is positive or negative for the site.

Oh, rest assured they do. You can't have personalization without that type of tracking, but results are becoming much more personalized even for those not logged in.

They definitely know if a visitor went back to the SERPs or searched for something related again. And what % of people who find your page do the same thing. And how that compares to what those same people do after visiting other pages in the same results. And probably a bunch more I'm not thinking to list off the top of my head.

Wilburforce




msg:4565265
 3:26 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

They definitely know if a visitor went back to the SERPs or searched for something related again.


What, like I have to every time I search for anything on Google lateley?

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4565268
 3:36 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

What, like I have to every time I search for anything on Google lateley?

Yuppers.

I'm almost starting to think they have "the reward for randomness" setting in the learning system a bit too high right now and maybe they should start giving it AlgoSnacks when it gets consistently increasingly positive behavior and only randomizes (tries new things) for a result or two on the page, instead of WETF they have it doing for the full pages of results right now.

indyank




msg:4565294
 4:50 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

A backlink check of a competing (poor quality/spammy-type site, btw with visible keyword stuffing, etc) has only 800+ backlinks, whereas mine ranks well below it, off the 1st page (and other more quality competitors of this site) have upwards of 2000+


1) I am not sure what tool you are using to find the link counts but none are as accurate as Google themselves.
2) Do you know how many domains redirect to your competitor's domain and how many links do those redirecting domains have?

Garya




msg:4565367
 7:21 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Lately I see my sites moving all over the place, sometimes on first page sometimes 4th or 2nd page. It keeps changing constantly through out the day. Aol seems to have the only consistent google results. Whats going on with google?

petehall




msg:4565379
 8:02 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)


Lately I see my sites moving all over the place, sometimes on first page sometimes 4th or 2nd page. It keeps changing constantly through out the day. Aol seems to have the only consistent google results. Whats going on with google?


Personalisation. I run two operating systems (Windows 8 & OSX) and multiple browsers on a Mac, and the results are often different on all of them. Then there's the iPad or iPhone - different again.

In fact recently I've been wondering if different screen sizes return different result sets. Example; if your on a 1000 pixel wide browser you get served the best site for that screen resolution.

I've seen this behaviour for a long time now and just recently I've noticed a trend of people reporting similar activity.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4565384
 8:14 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

petehall, when garya sees his site changing places over the day and he uses the same browser how could this be personalisation? Then his personality must change and google knows it...

diberry




msg:4565390
 8:40 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

...and Google's next algo update will be called "Sybil." ;)

tedster




msg:4565401
 9:18 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

just recently I've noticed a trend of people reporting similar activity

I've only noticed this kind of shifting through the day on somewhat low competition search terms - not big money terms. Does this line up with what others see?

brokaddr




msg:4565406
 9:30 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Are any of you experiencing this (regarding the bounce rate affecting our rankings)? [webmasterworld.com...] I firmly believe this could be a potential source of my woes, but there doesn't appear to be any fix! :(

1) I am not sure what tool you are using to find the link counts but none are as accurate as Google themselves.

It is my understanding Google doesn't report them all. I use backlinkwatch.


2) Do you know how many domains redirect to your competitor's domain and how many links do those redirecting domains have?

They have a few different url's that are made specifically for keyword stuffing, duplicating their content to make it appear as though they're separate companies. However, the page images, descriptions, etc are all 100% identical, and the domain whois is private. None of these domains link to eachother. I'm not certain if they have any redirected URLs pointing at their primary site, though.
Yes, I did report these domains to Google, Bing etc - yet they still rank highly (the primary site, that is). Occasionally, I see the stuffing websites appear in the results, but nowhere near as frequent as their primary site.

Another site that bounces around the main page for most lucrative keywords, spams on forums (sometimes using their business name, sometimes pretending to be a "visitor" of the site) - these are easy to spot because they use their real names when they are pretending to be visitors.

Are these really "quality" backlinks to Google? If I can spot this stuff as fake, surely the eggheads at Google can.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4565555
 9:21 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

This threat is very quiet about serps changes on thursday last week?

Did no one else see big drops from this last pa-pen-google quality update?

We lost about 47% on traffic but gained a lot of positions on page #1?
This makes no sense.

ecom, germany

HuskyPup




msg:4565585
 10:45 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've totally given up with trying to analyse Google's SERPs, and images, since they're such a mess in my widget sector it's pointless even attempting to wonder what they're doing other than drive everyone to AdWords.

robert76




msg:4565586
 11:02 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here's an interesting piece of news pertaining to what's to some seen as low quality affiliate sites. Google is shutting down GAN.
[googleaffiliatenetwork-blog.blogspot.com ]

martaay




msg:4565592
 11:28 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

seeing a repeating pattern of gradually decreasing traffic week on week lately, seeing our sites slightly higher as a result of less domain crowding on the other hand, go figure

martaay




msg:4565595
 11:38 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

to add also, big spike in googlebot crawling 14th april recorded in webmaster tools

Bones




msg:4565597
 11:45 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Has anyone experienced a slow downward trend in SERP positions? Some terms remain strong, whilst others slowly slip away. Then one by one, the others slide downwards too, bit by bit.

I suspect it may be caused by a backlink profile that shows signs of manipulation. As more links are discovered, it's like a slow rot seems to set in.

Thoughts, anyone?

taberstruths




msg:4565615
 1:00 pm on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I had that happen from March to August of last year. It wasn't until I broke all the links heading to certain pages that I started to see recovery over the last month. Went from 2500 visitors a day down to 600. Now I am back up to 1200 per day.

This 389 message thread spans 13 pages: < < 389 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10 11 12 13 > >
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