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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]

 

networkliquidators




msg:4577130
 5:35 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think most SEOs forget that it's hard to recovery a loss of traffic you probably shouldn't have had in the first place.

diberry




msg:4577147
 5:58 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'd say Penguin tries to remove any ranking advantage that is generated by SEO mechanics alone.


I never understood what my ranking advantage had been for that particular page, so this makes sense. If it was SEO, it was accidental SEO. Whatever it is, it looks like I have yet to accidentally correct it. ;)

Heck, the number of sites and SEOs reporting recovery is pretty small.


I'm assuming my recovery on the 9th was Panda related and not Penguin, but I'm not sure how to tell. At least Penguin 2.0 has at least not reversed it. And my new content seems to rank just fine, about where I'd expect it to. If I assume the effects of Penguin on my site are the loss of a few particular keyphrases, then I haven't "recovered" - those phrases are still toast. But at least it looks like that's the extent of the damage, and the domain is totally worth continuing to build. It would be interesting to see what would happen if I actually deliberately targeted a big money keyphrase, though.*

*I built the site for social media, not Google. Instead of targeting money phrases, I just wrote about things that had a shot at going viral. Of course, it's not rare for the two to overlap.

HuskyPup




msg:4577154
 6:11 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

How in the world is Amazon a poor buyer experience?


Whilst I also buy from Amazon I do see too often products ranked well yet when going to their site nothing is available.

What's the point of Amazon or Google having them listed however I do realise that sometimes Google is definitely not as fast as Joe Good Value buyer!

tedster




msg:4577155
 6:17 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm assuming my recovery on the 9th was Panda related and not Penguin, but I'm not sure how to tell.

Since Panda is now integrated into the everyday algorithm and Penguin only changes with an update, such as we see this week, you can be sure that your recovery was not Penguin. Whether you recovery was Panda related or occurred through one of many other updates and changes Google did is not an easy question, however.

IanTurner




msg:4577178
 7:20 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

How in the world is Amazon a poor buyer experience?


It is difficult to find what you want on Amazon - you are better off going to Google to do a site: search, then buying it on Amazon.

Product descriptions are often poor

Product pages are filled with irrelevant garbage
- especially recommendations which are off the mark in many cases
- there are more distractions on product page than actual relevant product information

netmeg




msg:4577192
 7:40 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

My credit card wishes I found Amazon to be a poor buyer experience, but I don't. Not at all. Which is both a gift and a curse.

decaff




msg:4577197
 7:56 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google is getting better at pilfering SERPs traffic...
They have many different interfaces running concurrently now based on local, national, mobile...etc... all designed to move traffic through their properties (mostly on the social side - G+, YouTube...etc..)

What you need to be looking at in your analytics tool is the following:

Devices (what percentage of users is now mobile for your situation)
Direct (latest Apple IOS6 is not passing referrals from SERPs as well as Firefox)
Referrals (social indicators)

The kind of stuff we're looking at for our work...(may not apply to all here)

IanTurner




msg:4577201
 8:47 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Amazon has the product range and at good prices which is why I go there - the interface totally irritates me. And in Europe you can often get better deals on items by going to different countries Amazon sites - so you end up checking three or four to get the best price.

Wilburforce




msg:4577204
 8:57 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'd say Penguin tries to remove any ranking advantage that is generated by SEO mechanics alone. Instead, Google is looking to boost other (mostly mysterious to us) relevance factors.


That accords with what I see. Brands are not a major feature in my own - niche service - sector, so until Panda and Penguin the top positions were occupied by sites with good content and SEO. Google would be in a much better position than me to know that there is a positive correlation between good content and SEO: many of the people who take the trouble to promote their sites intelligently have something intelligent to say.

When you strip away the well-written pages with good SEO from a sector with no brands in it, all you have left is garbage. If there are other relevance factors than brand strength, they are failing to return relevance.

My own brand has suffered in the last couple of years from a competitor who infringed my trade mark, which doesn't make analysis of how Panda/Penguin has affected my site any easier. I finally reached an out-of-court settlement with the offending party (who is now trading under a different name) earlier this year, but Google has yet to reindex his pages. It isn't yet possible, therefore, to see what effect this might have had.

scottsonline




msg:4577268
 4:28 am on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

@netmeg my experiences with amazon are vastly different. I find the service to be archaic vs a place like new egg or buying direct from manufacturers or major retailers. Especially if its a third party. I can't even put amazon in the same universe as a place like zap pos. I've broken the words up deliberately.

And besides why should mom and pops with great unique content need to buy ads and yet amazon be given the first two positions on virtually everything they sell whether its still available or not? Amazon doesn't need googles help. It's a brand like Walmart or target. If I'm looking to buy a ford I don't need google to tell me to go to a ford dealer. Likewise I think everyone knows about amazon and at this point maybe they should back off on the dominance knob and slide them down the page some.

I say this from the position of this mainly being a good update. One of googles best to date. I just don't get the love affair with amazon. Spread the wealth. Amazon makes billions and can afford to run ads. Take it easy on the little company.

Again A+ update google!

taberstruths




msg:4577270
 5:03 am on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

The reason Amazon dominates?
7.39 page views per user
36.8% bounce rate
7.23 minutes on site avg.
1,148,899 sites linking in.

The user metrics and the links coincide.

Jez123




msg:4577301
 8:23 am on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I get that you aren't happy with their search dominance, but their site is great.


What? Just..... what?

Amazon is a garbled mess. They do say that ugly sites sell. Amazon is proof in the pudding.

I won't even start on what it's like trying to sell anything through it.

tedster




msg:4577350
 11:47 am on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can't even put amazon in the same universe as a place like zap pos.

Hmm... Amazon has owned Zappos since 2009 - see Amazon Acquires Zappos [webmasterworld.com]. It is true, however, that Zappos management remains the same and the company is run independently from Amazon itself.

Also, when it comes to service from either company, I've had nothing but excellence. This includes buying major appliances from Amazon.

Amazon is a garbled mess. They do say that ugly sites sell. Amazon is proof in the pudding.

Yes, proof is in the pudding. Amazon's interface is driven by ongoing testing, not beauty. There maybe no other interface on the web that is so highly tested, not even Google's.

Jez123




msg:4577354
 11:53 am on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

when it comes to service from


I guess I should probably say that too. I can't fault their service. Just the clunkiness and outdatedness of the site.

Str82u




msg:4577391
 12:24 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Jez123 You think the seller section is bad? I think it's just basic looking, more than this forum. Once I figured out what to list where it was simple, now it needs more controls. On the front end they shape the text to manipulate the user's eyes and the images to manipulate the mouse hand (brain). All that text is purposeful, they don't really mean for you to read much of what's above the fold.

Penguin 2.0 was done all at once right, we aren't going to see a week of changes before it settles?

Jez123




msg:4577393
 12:30 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Str82u I think the seller section is really bad! I am constantly raising help tickets. Just yesterday I had old images showing so I raised a ticket and they deleted the old images. Now I have no images! The new ones will not show. It's been constantly like that since I started with them a year ago. Look at eBay in comparison, I think the seller interface on that is so much better. Anyway, we have drifted OT somewhat! :)

SEchecker




msg:4577399
 12:44 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I will go a little "off topic" and will not participate in the AMAZONE topic :-)


Does any1 see major drops after the penguin 2.0?
We tanked badly, hope its just some sort of flux and we will come back soon...

Str82u




msg:4577420
 1:47 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

@SEchecker - nothing negative for us. In our research, SERPs we're seeing have a lot of authority sites that lost position though, that's a little disturbing and hope, like you, that it's just flux.

EDIT: This is a 3 day holiday weekend in the U.S.

IanTurner




msg:4577446
 3:00 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Same here in the UK - Monday is a public holiday and schools are off next week - so no one is going to see the full effect on their sites for at least two weeks.

diberry




msg:4577455
 3:25 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I recently did some testing and discovered something interesting about my Penguinized site:

--New content still ranks just fine - even better, sometimes, than I expected, given its quality

--Most of my old content can rise in rank if it gets new inbounds.

--But the pages I used to rank most highly for, before Penguin, just can't break into the top 100 no matter what I do. Some I left entirely alone, others I tried to improve... it's like these pages are cursed, but the rest of the site is fine, each page being judged on its own merit.

Is anyone else seeing anything similar?

Wilburforce




msg:4577458
 3:42 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing anything similar?


Yes, that pretty much summarises my own experience.

As I said in an earlier post, it seems page- and term-specific, so it looks like specific pages are forever cursed for specific terms. My home page is one page thus affected, but internal pages that are not directly linked from the home page are also affected for specific terms not found on the home page. What MC says about Penguin 1 and internal pages doesn't make much sense.

Wilburforce




msg:4577466
 4:00 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

In the meantime, I have just taken a call from someone looking for something I don't supply.

My site is on Google's first page for his three-word search-term however. The three words are in fact on my home page, but not all together.

So much for relevance...

Leosghost




msg:4577495
 5:01 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

three-word search-term however. The three words are in fact on my home page, but not all together.

Hasn't happened to any pages on any of my sites ( that I'm aware of )..but I have seen this happening for years on other sites, when G "cached" just about every page..one could search for something involving 3 or more words..and find their "cache" highlighting the words on a page..even though they were not connected in any way..used to see this a lot in "tech fora"..

Sometimes each word would have shown up in separate posts..but G thought the page was the best match..

At times even putting quotes around the phrase or group of words, makes no difference..

Keeps one on G though,( and exposed to the ads ) as one keeps searching ( probably a long standing "bug", rather than something deliberate, I wouldn't think that they'd deliberately degrade SERPs in that way )..but one that works a tiny bit in their favor.;)

petehall




msg:4577516
 5:41 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm curious... where do pages hit by Penguin actually rank? Is it just a slight demotion or do you end up really far away, like 20 pages?

diberry




msg:4577530
 6:20 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

where do pages hit by Penguin actually rank? Is it just a slight demotion or do you end up really far away, like 20 pages?


Mine started out a few positions down, and then later some of them fell down 20 pages or more. Not sure why.

Mac_Guy




msg:4577553
 8:15 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

@diberry,
What tool are you using to check your page rank?
Or are you just searching on G from your computer
with your key words to check it out?

diberry




msg:4577598
 9:35 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

What tool are you using to check your page rank?


My stats package pulls the ranking number from the URL each searcher found it at and averages them together. I run this against SEOBook's Rank Checker for Firefox - they almost always agree.

But the stats package average is generally more revealing. For example, I've recently noticed that a couple of times a week, one of my #1 keywords will start at #2 and over the course of the day work up to around 1.3. I'm pretty sure this means some other site, possibly popular in another time zone, is getting a boost over me during the wee hours (because no tool I've used EVER catches Google putting my page at #2, but clearly some users are seeing it there). Or else it's personalization.

Mac_Guy




msg:4577617
 11:28 pm on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

@diberry and board.

Thanks for this. I have an online store in Canada, since 3 weeks my conversion (sales) has been down 50% for no reasons. Seems like the same numbers of visitors and doing good with the new panda.
I am wondering if G is not re directing search to paying customers ... ?

Any toughs?

SEchecker




msg:4577696
 9:09 am on May 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ MAC_GUY

"ince 3 weeks my conversion (sales) has been down 50% for no reasons. Seems like the same numbers of visitors "

Dito! But started with penguin 2.0 (4) 22.05.2013

Martin Ice Web




msg:4577708
 10:43 am on May 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mac_Guy, we see this since 9. april. It is getting a little bit better.
I was looking for errors but found nothing. I beginn to think that through the omnipresence from amazon more and more poeple are going to buy there. Amazon seems to have rewired some brain cells in many poeple. They donīt search anymore but go direct to them. I almost beat amazon on every item we sell, but poeple pay more at amazon. Why?
Maybe its cool to buy from amazon, like it was to be in facebook.
The two s negative effect from the omnipresence are, that if you want to sell anything you have to do it with amazon and that amazon sellers do set up many of the same items with different names because of the pricing pressure and make some money out of this. This now blows up the pages google can show in serps. It the same item, but will be listed twice in serps.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4577709
 10:52 am on May 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Make great pages!

As i read we have webmasters saying amazon is a great place and webmasters saying amazon is a horrible UE.
I myself donīt like amazon from a user view. I see to many things that have nothing to do with the item. Site structure is a great mess. I need about 20 seconds to find information on a amazon site.
What i am on to, is, even a realy bad site can be succesful. It seems not UE is the point to keep poeple on page but advertising, pretend to be the cheapest and a easy checkout maybe the first place to put the eyes on.

Although i think amazon is a place where to buy only one item, buying a second item is going to be very expensive because of the shipping cost that are normaly integrated in item price.

Thoughts?

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