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Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2013
spreporter



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 6:32 am on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)


System: The following 3 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4580257.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 9:35 am on Jul 1, 2013 (utc -5)


RIP Tedster, though I never knew you personally for 8 years now I've learned a lot from your great contributions

 

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 10:15 pm on Jul 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

For our site, the most promising change that I've seen in the last couple of days has been a substantial boost in pageviews, pages per visit, and time on site, with a modest decline in bounce rate. This seems to be the result of Google's sending more traffic to areas of the site where we have a lot of in-depth content. I'm guessing this reflects what Matt Cutts said back in May:

"We’re doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space, could be medical or could be travel or whatever, and trying to make sure that those rank a little more highly if you’re some sort of authority or a site that according to the algorithms we think might be a little more appropriate for users."

MikeNoLastName

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 2:14 am on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

mromero: just that we link to our direct sale paid advertising clients via an intermediary page with a link back frame at the top and an iframe below containing the landing page on their site such that we do not pass PR as G prefers it. Low tech way to count clickthrus, increase return traffic and been 'accidentally' doing it right that way since 1996, before G.

Definitely a slow, but steady roll-out. Since last post, actually watched a page with VERY highly competitive search term, which was around #8 two years ago and had plummeted to #1000+ (i.e. completely out of the rankings for THAT term, but still in for long-tail results) for the last 2 years, return to #38, just in the last 12-14 hours. If this keeps up and sticks I may actually put G back in my will :).

Not really seeing a LOT of increase in traffic though (weekend?) despite some new top 3 ranks. G toolbar PR for key pages has remained constant over the entire period.

category: tourist destination travel info. 18 year old site.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 2:47 am on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

From the lack of chatter about this, it would appear that the update isn't affecting a lot of people yet (either that, or everyone is off fishing).

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 3:23 am on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

From the lack of chatter about this, it would appear that the update isn't affecting a lot of people yet


I'm not seeing any significant changes in the terms I track (UK), although position-shuffling continues as it has for the last year or so.

Saffron



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 5:58 am on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nope, no changes here.

And I'm still frustrated that Google are placing videos at the top of the search for a lot of things when they have the "video" tab. Surely you'd go to that if you wanted to look at a video? It's just pushing web results further down.

Savanadry



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 9:23 am on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've just had a site recover from Panda (Dec 21st 2012), I think it started around the 9th. I've not been well but so not investigated fully yet but I'm hearing positive things from other webmasters too. I think this is quite a big shake up in my niche, not as in many sites moving around, but the right sites starting to rank again.

MikeNoLastName

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 9:44 am on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just found another keyword that we had been tracking for >2 years, which has been below #1000 as recently as yesterday and is now at #75. Other pages that jumped into the top 50 this week are climbing about 5-10% per day.
I guess you'd have to have been there for 2 years to appreciate it. Like the song says: "Well, I've been down so very ---- long, That it looks like up to me".

Some other applicable? facts.
1. We never lost our rankings on B/Y over the last years, in fact they tended to rise a bit.
2. Most of our very few (<10) remaining highly ranked internal pages dropped from top 4 to #5-20 this past two weeks (prompting us to start buying ads) and are now back at least as high as they were previously.
3. We tried to do clean-up of duplicate titles/descriptions and adding H1s as indicated by G/B SEO help, but maybe got through only 1/3 as there are just too many since we had thousands of weekly 'blog' type columns archived over the years with the column title and description the same and no H1. Maybe G realized this is not as big a factor when the content is all different?

Overall, this COULD be a huge leap for G if they truly have finally added adequate storage space and processor power to where they ARE truly beginning to take into full account more than just the title/description/H1 of pages.

mhansen



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 1:37 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

(Thinking out loud)

With several people talking about how their site is coming back to previous ranking positions that were lost during previous updates... This almost sounds sounds like a timed filter/penalty has been lifted or timed out.

We're search traffic down again, but the phrases that have delivered our highest quality traffic are still there in the top 3 positions we see them during high referral streams.

To me, the lack of traffic on those common phrases suggests that "Search Suggest" or "Auto Suggest" (not sure what they call it) was refreshed again as well.

Edit: After spending a few minutes longer looking at the auto-suggest, the terms we often have delivering steady traffic, are suggested with brands and ecommerce websites, as well.

MH

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 2:32 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing any changes in my niches. West Coast US, informational sites.

Not really seeing a LOT of increase in traffic though (weekend?) despite some new top 3 ranks.

Maybe, maybe not. I have a site that's been #1 for several phrases consistently for years. Despite this, a decrease in Google traffic of around 85-90%. No ads above it, nothing like that. It's like people just aren't searching the term.

And ironically, none of THOSE URLs are the ones I got sent a "big drop in traffic" notice for in WMT. No, that was one was a term that had actually shifted in rankings and seen maybe a 30% decrease in clicks.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 3:04 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

For us, it's early in day 3 of the update, and I'm seeing what I did yesterday: A boost for two of our site's strongest subtopics (which go back to 1997, when the content was hosted at another domain) and for a third, small, newer subtopic that has always done pretty well.

Our site is an information site that has been at its current domain since 2001, has unsolicited links from the likes of the BBC and an EU government site, has only professionally-written (usually in-depth) content, has never done anything remotely shady in terms of SEO, and has been slugged or slapped by nearly every Panda update since February, 2011.

Again, it's early days yet, and I can only hope that Google gets things right this time.

breeks



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 4:04 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Traffic from Google still way up day three. Seeing some shuffling of results but overall big improvement in position for many pages.

Several pages was always top three for years, got booted back to page six and beyond for at least a year, now back to top three.

Bing/Yahoo and other traffic sources remain steady

Will it last who knows. Here today gone tomorrow :)

purplekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 4:38 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm still seeing the same results as yesterday and just did some analysis of google organic source using the timeframes of 6/13/13-7/13/13 and 6/13/12-7/13/12.

Site 1:

Traffic recovery on 7/13/13 is up approximately 69% over daily average for time period 6/13/13-7/11/13. I excluded 7/12/13 because that is when I first noticed movement and didn't want to include partial recovery data to skew analysis.

Traffic on 7/13/13 as compared to daily average same time last year (2012 data), still down approximately 25%.

Site 2:

Traffic recovery on 7/13/13 is up approximately 72% over daily average for time period 6/13/13-7/11/13.

Traffic on 7/13/13 as compared to daily average same time last year (2012 data), still down approximately 53%.

I was actually surprised to see the huge difference as compared to last year. I'm thinking this is consistent with previous theories that people are moving away from Google search to find certain things. Maybe another search engine? Maybe social media?

Awarn



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 5:41 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I saw an increase the other day. I was starting to get some of my foreign sales back. I haven't seen that in a year. I seem to have more traffic but I can't say it is caused by Google. I have been using some test methods and all the sites are up but I think that may from some of the moves I made. Im close to page one but still not back. Too much host crowding on page one. I have noticed that Google doesn't seem to be registering the structured data.

The foreign traffic was the most notable. 20% of my sales used to be from outside the US. That went dead last year. Then the other day most the orders were foreign. So noticeable that all the staff mentioned it. First truly positive sign I have seen in a LONG time. Just hope they fix the US side so I get back to running the business like I should.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 5:43 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

From the lack of chatter about this, it would appear that the update isn't affecting a lot of people yet (either that, or everyone is off fishing).


I'm not seeing anything good in my niche. My site has dropped from page 3/4 to page 7 despite getting great links from some top UK and worldwide press. Seeing a spammer that has dogged me for the last 2 years getting a good boost though. Same old google #*$! as far as I can see.

robster124

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 6:26 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

One observation: desktop results for my UK niche have changed a lot - so definitely agree that something is rolling out but on mobile searches (using my android) results are still as they were a week ago. Perhaps an irrelevant observation for many but one of my sites gets 40% of its traffic now from mobile - so if there's more rolling out to come then my traffic has more to move.

ltifwwc

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 9:01 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

More observations:
1. Taking a bit longer to index new pages.
2. Auto suggest not suggesting 'popular' keywords

SerpsGuy



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 2:12 am on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Something else I noticed that I never mentioned before, is that on sites that lost rank previously, their images will never show up in google images. I have taken the exact same pictures, posted them on a free blog and then rank in google images. But my website that google says has no penalty, but lost all its rank for (apparently) no reason at all- no google image links.

I think thats odd since I previously was ranked at the top for google images. Even if my content wont rank now for whatever hidden reason they refuse to share, you would think the images would still be relevant. They are the same pictures ya know. Weird.

Jane_Doe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 7:15 am on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just had an older site that had been beaten down over the years in the SERPs just triple in Google traffic.

Anyone else see any changes like this? I am not sure what caused it. I hope it sticks.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 7:40 am on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

This was the worst Weekend ever. Start to see more traffic on 11/12 thorugh 13 but reverted back on 14. Since then it gets worse every minute. I thought Google would come to old threnght but it was just a thought. I noticed that since they Change something on sunday we get losts of referal spam from russia and my personal Change indicator seach for "bing" shows only 96.000.000 results from 416.000.000 on friday!


I was actually surprised to see the huge difference as compared to last year. I'm thinking this is consistent with previous theories that people are moving away from Google search to find certain things. Maybe another search engine? Maybe social media?


I think there has been a shift to certain niche sites like
-Shopping amaz*,
-Price compare we have three major engines in germany
-informational wiki

And this is not to wonder, cause g* learns poeple to use this sites by showing them on spot one for everything. And i know it from friends, when i talk to them 2 out of 3 times are this three choices.
I notice that the Google it is not a universal search anymore, only for search for poeple or places.
Poeple going different ways today.





ecom, Germany

rhyd



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 11:42 am on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seeing a slight improvement for one keyword - now climbed from the middle of page 3 to the top. Was ranking 1st at the start of the year, and on page 1 until recently. Organic traffic is at an all time low.

Another monitored term has improved its relevance slightly - there are now *only* 5 US sites on the first page of google.co.uk

UK, ecom

getcooking

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 1:19 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

It was looking like we weren't seeing any improvement from this update, nor any loss, so I was pleased. Then yesterday (Sunday) mid-day the traffic started dropping and continued through the day until it ended up being probably our worst Sunday in years (and Sunday is our best traffic day of the week). Today is looking grim as well. We've also lost keyword positions for 3 days in a row now. Nothing overly dramatic but it's been a consistent small decline across the board. My site is still being very heavily spidered though so maybe this isn't over yet. We're going on a full week now of HEAVY spidering. Highly unusual - since I've been tracking it I haven't seen this level of Googlebot activity for this long a stretch.

US, content site

Errioxa

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 2:08 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I see an increase in two sites, but in all sources... I find extremely strange. From Spain

smithaa02

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 2:13 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Something major happened. I track about 10 major keywords, and we're up for most...significantly in some cases. We've been losing ranks on a number of terms over time...with a big drop in early April. With this change we've recovered some decent ground (but still are a long way from a complete recovery).

Wonder if this is the grey-zone panda update referenced earlier?

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 2:20 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

For our site, there were a couple of minor upticks a few days ago (as mentioned earlier), but at this point the update would appear to be rolling out very slowly or not having much impact on us.

Webmaster Tools are reporting massive crawling on July 11 (a larger number of pages than we have on the site, which would imply repeat visits), but the "search queries (with change)" numbers are pretty much "same old, same old": up a little for some queries, down a little for others.

The fact that we still aren't seeing much in the way of forum chatter, fresh news coverage at the major search sites, comments by Matt Cutts, or stormy weather at Mozcast would suggest that (to use a euphemism that I once heard from my mother-in-law) the spit hasn't yet hit the fan.

breeks



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 3:53 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Still enjoying the "July Google Surge." Referrals from G are way up since the 12th. Most SERPs are back to where they were a year ago.

Keywords I had given up on are now back.

Traffic was running 25% less than previous year up until the 12th, now its ahead of last year by a few points.

Will see if this holds or get a beat down :)

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 4:08 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

A site of mine that is offline 1 year now is back in serps! And is ranking very well. This isn´t over yet. I don´t know what singals the new spammy sites are sending to Google, but they are sending a single to me only by reading title and domain Name: DON`T OPEN IT!

ecom, germany

bsterz

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 5:45 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

My GWT account has been showing Clicks -17%. The weird thing is that I have been seeing this exact same number for 3 months no matter what my traffic looks like. Anyone else seeing anything similar?

Also, Over the last few days my impressions have been falling, but my Google referral visits has increased.

robster124

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 12:28 am on Jul 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing more movement on UK serps. From what I've seen so far, if I'd have to guess I think they're turning up the trust dial for older pages. My strongest showings are pages I've had from the start of my site.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 12:32 am on Jul 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

From what I've seen so far, if I'd have to guess I think they're turning up the trust dial for older pages. My strongest showings are pages I've had from the start of my site.


That's what I was seeing in the U.S. on Friday and Saturday. Two sections of our site that date back to 1997 were showing big improvements compared to the other sections of the site. Today, things are pretty much the same as they were a week or two ago. (Hour-by-hour graphs in Google Analytics today and one or two weeks ago look almost identical.)

MikeNoLastName

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 8:14 am on Jul 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Regarding domain age. We have 3 domains dating back to the late 90's. The oldest, ~1996 is recently totally down and out of the rankings (1 keyword hanging on in the top 10, a number of good top 3 rank's obliterated) compared to just a month ago (we're going to start redirecting the pages to a new domain tomorrow to see if they come back). The second oldest, from around 1997-8 has stayed about the mediocre same (2 mundane top-3 keywords). The latest ~1999, is going bonkers-ballistic in rebounding from Panda 1.0/2.0 death. It's almost like the old days: pick any keyword and combine it with our main niche keyword and via one of our internal pages or home page, we ARE BACK THERE in the top 1-30 (compared to 300-1000 the last two years)!

Noticing a couple of the keywords on the latest domain which jumped into the top 5-30 the last few days are now softening and dropping 5-20%, but some additional OLD keywords still jumping up from 1000+ to top 20-100 today. Nothing like Xmas in July!

As someone mentioned, it IS like a great gray penalty, that we've been trying to allude for the last 2 years, has been lifted. Now at least we can dedicate more time back to creating NEW content and competing fairly with our competitors to optimize our pages like normal sites.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 9:11 pm (utc) on Jul 16, 2013]
[edit reason] removed overly specific market area [/edit]

Jane_Doe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4589243 posted 3:32 pm on Jul 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

As someone mentioned, it IS like a great gray penalty,


Yes, it seems like my site had a penalty lifted as well. I haven't worked on it much, so I think it is more of an algo change that no longer deemed my site penalty inducing rather than anything I did to resurrect it.

Anyway, it is cool to have a good little workhorse site back in the serps.

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