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Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 456 message thread spans 16 pages: < < 456 ( 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 [12] 13 14 15 16 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2013
getcooking




msg:4569502
 1:20 am on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Sunday traffic sucked, Monday was the best Monday in months, now today traffic sucks again. I'm talking a difference of 25K pageviews a day.

What I don't get is that our keyword rankings have been quite stable. How can that be? I mean, ok, so maybe every keyword that I don't track suddenly tanked... but that doesn't seem likely. Are those DDOS attacks on Wordpress sites still going on? (my site isn't Wordpress nor have I noticed any access issues but I know webhosts and ISPs were experiencing bog downs). I just can't figure these fluctuations out. I'm seeing very unstable traffic patterns lately.

[edited by: tedster at 12:41 pm (utc) on May 1, 2013]

 

Wilburforce




msg:4576043
 8:12 am on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

They really do seem to have lost the plot completely now.

After you write good content and after you follow all the other guidelines


...they issue a random penalty for some unidentifiable misdemeanour, and fill all the places your own and other quality pages used to be with stuff that doesn't have good content or follow any of the guidelines.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4576049
 8:54 am on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

...they issue a random penalty for some unidentifiable misdemeanour, and fill all the places your own and other quality pages used to be with stuff that doesn't have good content or follow any of the guidelines.


Danny Sullivan equated it to a driving penalty. You get pulled over by the police and they fine you heavily for a committing a driving offence. They won't tell you what that offence is, but it also means your car is stuck on your driveway and not roadworthy til you fix the problem. So you try everything - you check your lights, brakes etc. You spend a fortune on mechanics and a lot of your time tracking down this problem the police have with your car. You keep going back to the police and saying "is my car OK now?" and they simply reply "Nope". In the end, you never do find out what was wrong with your car and so the car is crushed for scrap metal and you buy a brand new car. And all the time you're trying to find out what's wrong with your car, you notice and increase in erratic and drunk driving on the road, and the police do nothing to stop it.

chrisv1963




msg:4576058
 9:49 am on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

and the police do nothing to stop it


And Google is doing nothing to stop scrapers and copyright violators. Instead of focusing on that they punish good websites that have minor faults and maybe a number of thin pages next to the pages with superb content(Panda!).
They punish the good websites and give their traffic to scrapers and spammers.

If Google wants to be the police of the internet, then they should do things right.

lee_sufc




msg:4576059
 9:52 am on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ColourofSpring - that's the best comparison I've ever read (and so true!), excellent!

We spend so much time trying to second guess what Google want - time that we should be spending on customer service. In the meantime, Bing in particular seems to be playing much nicer!

viral




msg:4576062
 9:57 am on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

And Google is doing nothing to stop scrapers and copyright violators. Instead of focusing on that they punish good websites that have minor faults and maybe a number of thin pages next to the pages with superb content(Panda!).


Google is the biggest copyright violator in history. You really think they are going to punish companies that do what they do but on a smaller scale? They can't go after copyright infringers because then they have to explain why they are doing it themselves.

HuskyPup




msg:4576078
 10:22 am on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

If Google wants to be the police of the internet, then they should do things right.


And we all know just how squeaky clean and efficient the police are no matter in which country you are located!

rossell123




msg:4576141
 12:08 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

So nobody knows what the update was that took place on 16th May 2013 ?

HuskyPup




msg:4576183
 1:05 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Updates are happening on an almost daily basis these days, some see effects, some do not, however if you checked them over a 2-3 months period then you would notice the overall changes Google have made.

For instance I saw a big change on G.uk Sunday/Monday for my widgets yet no one else, so far, seems to have seen anything. They're constantly tinkering at the edges, and sometimes in the middle, it's very rare I see anything positive in my sector however this week I did.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4576192
 1:20 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Huskypup,

i saw changes for our widgets since friday. Changing on daily basis. I am tiered of Google. They are heading towards to become a Amazon/ebay/big brands affiliate. There is nothing left what made Google so faszinating. You even donīt know if you click on payed ads or on organic listing. Thats a pitty how a company with a neck changed towards a money making monster. In the end they build up a bank, i wouldnīt be astonished, cause they act like bank.

edit:

A propos create something not to find on other pages.
95% of first/second page results have descriptions from the manufacturer. Added value? Shops with own descriptions and Pictures are buried way down. I think Google should put the Panda results upside down, then it is OK.

scottsonline




msg:4576196
 1:47 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Monday we converted about 65% of our cart traffic. Industry average is 5% per the trades.

Traffic was low yesterday but laser refined. Searchers were rewarded with what they wanted based on the conversion numbers.

Today was much quieter. From best 24 hours to worst. It makes no sense.

The major suppliers in our vertical suffered the first declines in over three years in April. Either the economy is crashing or google has made it harder to do commerce online after changing shopping behavior the last ten years.

Bing traffic is through the roof and this time it doesn't appear to be slowing down and is converting. IMO bing is reaching a critical mass with the business 2 business shopper at least.

HuskyPup




msg:4576201
 2:00 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

@scottsonline

What traffic numbers do you have to confidently predict that Bing is on the up?

My traffic is too low to say such a thing however this past few weeks I have definitely been seeing more Bing/Yahoo/Ask/Yandex referrals and as for the volume of Google encrypted searches, they're sometimes taking up to 75% of G referrals.

gouri




msg:4576202
 2:06 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Updates are happening on an almost daily basis these days, some see effects, some do not, however if you checked them over a 2-3 months period then you would notice the overall changes Google have made.

It seems that Google has made some changes over the past 2-3 months, but I have not really been able to tell what those are.

Can you guys mention what you think? What factors does Google seem to be looking at now?

scottsonline




msg:4576217
 3:23 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

@husky

High 5 figure uniques as a base.

Starting in mid April bing made a small surge. By the end of April it was into double digit growth. Now it's shifted to triple digit.

1 in about 50 bing converting. 1 in 200 for google and 1 in 350 for google cpc. Google cpc is just a cash machine. They've placed product ads all over the page but there is no ability to filter by IP. The result for those we know trying is a new visitor rate sub 50% when average sites in our vertical are 80%. Competitor clicks and of course we hear the Invalid click algo does not detect so long as its only a click per product. You can exhaust a competitors budget by clicking on every item throughout the day and google cannot detect it. And as a Adwords buyer you cannot filter out IPs.

I think the recent changes are all about them making more money.

Bing is superior right now for product searches.

scottsonline




msg:4576227
 3:31 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not to get into the cpc thing but for those of you selling products that's where a lot of your clicks went. They don't police anything people post false prices that don't match the site, post
Prices you can't buy at and nothing is done.

We are close to a few old companies in our vertical and they are getting slaughtered in Adwords since they started bumping the product ads. The invalid click activity is impossible to control because you can't ban IPs yet apparently from seeing ads like the rest of google Adwords on their own property.

Google should be able to detect pages that say in big print "we are in beta" or "we no longer carry this product" and favoring amazon like they do hurts the rest of the economy. Amazon doesn't need googles help. All they talk about is branding your site. That's great but then why not apply that to amazon? Aren't they strong enough to stand on their own without ranking first or second for every item they carry whether its a used space shuttle, moon rock or tool? If NASA started selling shuttles and amazon had the same listing NASA would be on page two and amazon would have the first ten spots!

netmeg




msg:4576237
 3:45 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

(For what it's worth, my clients are killing it with product listing ads. Specially since Amazon isn't using them)

Panthro




msg:4576250
 4:29 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've seen a couple one-day drops on some sites last week, but they retured right back to normal. Fwiw.

Str82u




msg:4576251
 4:35 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here's a neat trick a competitor is successful with and G is promoting it: He makes an exact copy of his popular site on another domain and lets it run long enough that G lists it on page 1 of SERPs then he password protects that domain and activates another with the exact same website, waits long enough that G lists it on page 1 of SERPs then password protects that, activating another. One of the domains only included three letters different from the original domain name but so far it's been successful along with 3 other domains names, that I know of, and the original site/domain is doing better than ever.

If you are wondering, the duplicate sites he's adding are complete duplicates, every link links to the first site (no on site links, even sitelinks lead to the original domain), how he gets G to detect the entire new site (30K+ pages) is beyond me but he's probably got htaccess rules for googlebot that I can't see. The latest domain is up to nearly 9000 pages in the G index.

All the domains except one are all on the exact same IP, all are registered to the exact same person (not him) at the exact same address. When one of the clones reaches page one, the original site will be #1, #2 and sometimes #3 for that search.

Other webmasters that know the exact situation and have analyzed it themselves are shocked and only have one, conspiracy theory style answer. I've probably reported the situation with G spam reports too many times and the last time I submitted a report we took about a 17% loss on daily traffic overnight, which is probably algo related but very coincidental.

EDIT: to be clear, the 17% loss was on our site that competes, not every account.

[edited by: Str82u at 5:00 pm (utc) on May 21, 2013]

Sand




msg:4576252
 4:42 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've also noticed strange traffic patterns. Total search referrals for the day still come out where they normally do, but the hourly breakdown is flatter -- much different than the usual daily curve.

Str82u




msg:4576253
 4:58 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Sand
but the hourly breakdown is flatter
Agreed.
Sophronisba




msg:4576255
 5:17 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, I'm seeing the same changes in the hourly breakdowns.

rossell123




msg:4576271
 7:35 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is really puzzling me now. Since my masive drop in traffic I seem to be getting the pages that need to be sorted into category pages out ranking the actual intial landing page. This is where the new traffic has started coming in. Is this normal ?

nwelsh




msg:4576314
 8:59 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's an old data set, our site has over 500,000 pages and the URLs showing up in the index right now are pages we had removed from our site after first version of panda/penguin hit.

I believe this is the pattern:

Reset data to old
Reindex the web
Unleash the new algorithm on the new index

Could be 100% wrong, but believe this is what's happening.

Robert Charlton




msg:4576333
 9:43 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

an old data set

nwelsh - I'd made a similar guess on this thread, and just added the May 17th date to the title as significant...

May 17th - GWT Sudden Surge in Crawl Errors for Pages Removed 2 Years Ago?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4575982.htm [webmasterworld.com]

I think you're right that it's a total reindex. I was thinking that it might be a confirmation reindex, run on a portion of the web, to check results prior to a complete reindex.

diberry




msg:4576336
 9:57 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is the index shrinking?

A keyphrase I track just went from having over 800 results indexed to just about 250. Another went from over 800 to about 400.

Also the "ads" block at the top is more noticeably yellow than I've noticed it being in a long time.

Robert Charlton




msg:4576338
 10:04 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

diberry - Good catch on the ads block color. Compared to what we'd had for a while, it really pops out. When I get a chance, I'll run a color sample against some historical screen captures that I have.

Regarding index size, Google needs to keep the index from growing too large, as the growth rate over the past several years simply wasn't sustainable in terms of computational resources, power consumption, etc. So, I wouldn't be surprised to see it shrink.

silver4dracs




msg:4576361
 11:09 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sand, I am experiencing the same near flat line traffic throughout the day. We are still down considerably traffic wise, nearly 40% but we no longer have peaks and valleys during the day. Sure seems like a bad omen, heart monitor flat line, is this the end? This update is about to put 5 people out of work after 10 years. Hopefully Google returns to some quality.

diberry




msg:4576374
 12:30 am on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

So, I wouldn't be surprised to see it shrink.


Agreed, it just seemed like a sudden and dramatic change. I am seeing this on every keyphrase I monitor. Even the "duplicates" they've "omitted" at the end of each search have shrunk from an additional 7-900 in each case to around 250. Looks like a huge culling of the index - unless this is some temporary shift. If we assume it connects with the May 17th observations, it looks like a big change coming through.

scottsonline




msg:4576390
 3:59 am on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think the change is rolling to a stop in some segments. Indexing has picked back up again.

Traffic is down but seems more focused. At levels seen prior to the may 2012 update that added lots of unqualified traffic.

One random observation. We have had four orders in the last 24 hours from different people all with the same very unique characteristic. 3 were using gmail email. This is such a rare characteristic we had never seen this prior. The first came in secure (logged into google) and within 24 hours the next three followed.

Today and yesterday we have had multiple orders for the same rare product. More orders in these two days than in the last two months.

I think part of the "new" google will be detection of what's hot and odd profiling. Trend detection if you will.

Unique content seems to be irrelevant. We have run some tests lately. A is professionally written unique content. B is the same manufacturer feed 45,000 other sites use. B new products have outranked A every time. We are seeing this also on products we don't carry. We have come to the conclusion it's not worth the time to write unique descriptions as there's a better chance of triggering a filter.

unless you got away with buying thousands of links. Then you can use the name of a product 30 times on a page and still rank first. So much for the ole spam detection. From what I'm seeing this week the biggest link buyers are crushing everyone else. They've all come back up.

nomis5




msg:4576410
 6:25 am on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Also the "ads" block at the top is more noticeably yellow than I've noticed it being in a long time.


Not yellow here, but does appear to be a deeper shade of orangey / pink.

backdraft7




msg:4576492
 12:27 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Regarding index size, Google needs to keep the index from growing too large, as the growth rate over the past several years simply wasn't sustainable in terms of computational resources, power consumption, etc. So, I wouldn't be surprised to see it shrink.


From what Larry said in his recent three hour keynote speech, he was frustrated by the slow pace of technology and wanted more, more, MORE! I doubt they are shrinking the the index for lack or horsepower or trying to skinny the power bill (they make 153M USD/day after all). Follow the dollar and you'll find why it appears to be shrinking. If it makes them money, it stays...

Personal observation: seeing a major day parting in the last few weeks. Nothing in the morning, a trickle in the afternoon and opens up at night, especially after midnight, which is very odd and does not match my historical data at all. Nice weather might be a factor, but again, it doesn't jibe with the past.

gouri




msg:4576643
 6:33 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

The data set in the SERP seems to be from early December.

Would you guys say that it is from around then?

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