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Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2013

 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]



 10:05 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Today (5-12-2013) I saw a drop of 5-6 positions for single word KWs, as well as 1-2 spots for two word KWs. In their place are thin sites, I could 6 pages on the best one and 1 page on the most thin.

Not sure what the cause is, but we shall see if this is temporary or not by tomorrow. I notice movement mostly on weekends, so it could be temp. Ill update tomorrow if I drop more. Google UK shows me dropping drastically for all terms, and its usually a good predictor of future US sersps for me.


 10:22 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

@SerpsGuy - I usually see that for 7-8 days before the SERPs reposition "properly".

@taberstruths @backdraft7 guggi2000 @Pandacide - I've not had or heard of until now, that authorship harmed a page or site, or the Publisher markup for that matter.

Thin Content - I'm seeing a lot of that this past week starting Wednesday, it's always been in our site's SERPs but the research that we do is usually more brandname results or the query was really on the target page. Along that line, an MC video on April 29th [youtube.com...] mentions using the query you think the user will type ON YOUR PAGE (that's old school but it's still applicable obviously). In half of my personal searches, the correct result is that way but I'm looking for the page that will ... (what's that other snappy piece of advice?) ... "Solve a problem".

EDIT: I'm being fair to the new sites that I don't recognize for the queries I use to see if they are good or not but have been working harder than normal to get the right, or complete, answer most of this week.


 5:33 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Regarding the Author Rank and traffic drop issue I brought up above, I opened a new thread.



 11:26 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

My traffic is going down 60% low from 1st May 2013, i am worried about this.
anyone get the same problem?

[edited by: tedster at 12:20 pm (utc) on May 13, 2013]
[edit reason] from another location [/edit]


 3:40 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am seeing the same thing as nb123, is this the arrival of Penguin?


 4:09 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hopefully they are just testing. To see no official word after a few days, it tells me they are working on the kinks.


 4:16 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I hope they're reading this and get rid of the kinks - what they have showing now is just spammy in some cases.

I just did a search for how to do something. (ie, "How to do X"). The first two organic search results were both from the same site. The title tags were: "How to do X" and "How to do use the Internet to do X." Both were on the same site.


 4:18 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

@sam222 @nb123 johnmoose - can each of you say when you noticed your numbers make this drastic change?

ALSO, did you see any traffic increases last week or over the weekend.
Notice any change in SERPs for searches you do personally?


 5:38 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am experiencing the same 60% drop as well. I am also seeing a vast decline in conversions with adwords traffic, anyone else see this too?


 11:41 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am seeing some very unusual flux in some verticals I observe tonight. What's interesting for me is that these are much more chaotic than I have seen in quite some time, but (so far) are only seeming to apply to particular verticals.


 1:56 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

My information niche has not changed much. I receive more or less the same traffic.


 4:37 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

It would appear from our end that some update rolled out around 5/5 or 5/6. Traffic is down about 20% from Google, oddly a 12-14% bump up from Bing in number of uniques per day.

Will say this, tonight the SERPS from our industry are absolutely horrible. Using variety of methods (logged in, logged out, different browsers, VPN to other network) I'm seeing the following:

1) Host crowding on many many keywords. This may be the worst I've ever seen it in our industry. This is not even from the big sites (ebay, amazon, etc.) but is from a tier-two or tier-three company with a PMD for the keyword.

2) Adwords targetting is extremely poor right now. Ads being displayed are barely related to the query. We are talking six degrees of separation here.

There is no way this is "done" yet. Hang tight, I have a feeling it will get far worse before it gets back to normal.


 5:44 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

There is no way this is "done" yet. Hang tight, I have a feeling it will get far worse before it gets back to normal.

I am suddenly (started today)getting a lot of visitors from Japan (10x the usual volume). There is not 1 Japanese word on the entire website.

US traffic dropped by 25%. Probably because there is a lot of English on the site ...


 7:39 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

For me the traffic dropped after May 5, although today (May 14) it looks quite normal again. Will have to wait at least a week to see if there's any recovery.

Martin Ice Web

 8:04 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is getting more worse then everything before. Traffic is absolute unrelated. Bounce rate went up to 90% ( from less then 30%). Alhtough we have many Rankings and keywords back we donīt see any improvment.
Annoying that Google does not give any hints!

ecom, germany


 6:07 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing changes in a vertical that I monitor, with brands coming back a slot or two, replaced by greater diversity of sites with deeper, more detailed pages. Very limited at this stage and only for the last 24 hours.

Martin Ice Web

 9:02 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

By the lack of post in this Topic, i guess that everyone is just fine with the current serps and the again -80% loss till yesterday from what has left after last week is only within my site?

ecom, germany


 9:04 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Martin Ice Web, My site's traffic is still down and keeps going down. It is scary to see every day it is less and less. I dont know what is going on.


 9:14 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

It really is bizarre looking at my stats and seeing every day lower than that day a week before for the last few months. this week is no different. it's a slow spiral death

Martin Ice Web

 9:35 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@virtual, dethfire,

thanx for your replys. Then I know that it is not my site alone.
The one thing i see is, that many manufacture and distributors are in front. Sites with login to get to the information and you canīt buy from them as a user. Useless for users!


 10:25 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

By the lack of post in this Topic, i guess that everyone is just fine with the current serps and the again

Nope, not happy whatsoever however what can one do? When one knows that nothing is wrong with a site yet Google penalises it for whatever reason and promotes scrapers and MFAs above it, one just has to ask "When will Joe Public notice this garbage and search elsewhere?"

The answer in Europe is probably never, well not very soon, since from what I see so many are entrenched with their habits, whether it's eBay, Amazon, Google, Facebook etc, that for many sites maybe it is time to walk away from all this manipulated BS.

My brochure sites are staying however when other widget companies ask me these days how to rank their proposed new site I tell them I haven't a clue other than to contact the sites at the top and ask for the scammers who built their sites since quality sure as heck doesn't reign supreme!


 11:11 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Martin Ice Web
Bounce rate went up to 90%

@Martin Ice Web I do not know how many visitors you have daily (so stats will be representing), but please check whether that happens only to traffic from search engine and which search engines, direct traffic and referrals. Please share it.

If it is only from Google, then yes, they messed with keywords and bring "bad traffic". That would be a clear sign for negative changes. If it is from other referrals too, check your log files, connect by proxy, etc... cause it might be on your end.


 11:24 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think more than punishing any site, G has lifted a few worthless (in terms of content, diversity of pages, etc) sites up. I saw a start-up competitor's PR jump up from 0 to 4 in a week! May be G's trying a few things.

Let's hope for the best.

Martin Ice Web

 11:38 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)


it began mid april. Sudden loss of traffic ( it was a friday ). With the loss the bounce went up for the traffic that has left.
Direct referrals are quiet normal with normal conversions and phone calls ( i can see this in real time ).
When datacenters are changed we get 5 minutes of normal traffic with very low bounce. But this good times are very, very less in the last days. It seems like there is a max. visitor/referral threshold now established not only for the max. daily visitors but for every minute.
From monday to tuesday i was working on my site and had to fetch a lot of pages. Next morning it was the worst morning since panda july. Truly google counted my pagesviews and did not get the usuall amount of visitors on the site.

I will proof this and if this is true then we have a new way of harm our competitors.


 12:02 pm on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Martin Ice Web: Are you talking Organic or AdWords? What do you mean by "datacenters changed"?

What do you mean by "Truly google counted my pagesviews and did not get the usuall amount of visitors on the site."

Google Analytics?

Martin Ice Web

 12:15 pm on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)


1. organic
2. I mean datasets or maby different algos, testing states, something like that.
3. lets say we have every night 1000 page views from 7 pm to 8 am next morgning. When I fetch 300 pages at night. I will only get 700 from users through google search. And believe me, itīs looking like a line, drawn with a ruler.
If there is a threshold ( and there is one ) than you can harm your competitor by fetching a lot of pages in a row. IPs seem not to be filtered.
So once u are pandared u get a certain amount of traffic not more not less.


 12:40 pm on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Martin Ice Web: So by fetching you mean, going to Google 300 times and clicking 300 times on your page in the search result in the SERPs? Is that per page of per site?

and all that is left: 700 times that others can reach this page through Google?

Martin Ice Web

 12:45 pm on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)


not even in serps but i seems to work if you are on the site itself ( i think ist only working if ga is installed). I will proof it tonight.


 1:00 pm on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Martin Ice Web
Then it must be something on your site, maybe the hosting company, the ISP, etc...


 1:21 pm on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Noticing something RIGHT NOW in traffic. Anyone else?


 1:25 pm on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm noticing a nice uptick in organic referrals this week across two sites. It could be seasonal, but could also be reflective of an algo shift.

This 456 message thread spans 16 pages: < < 456 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 > >
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