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Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2013
JS_Harris




msg:4598284
 1:44 am on Aug 1, 2013 (gmt 0)


System: The following 16 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4589243.htm [webmasterworld.com] by engine - 4:03 pm on Aug 1, 2013 (utc +1)


There is certainly a disconnect/time lag between Google spidering site changes and those changes taking effect, and with the "rolling Panda" and Penguin (in which remote changes may impact your site) it really is getting impossible to get a clear idea of what is going on.


The results are fluid but not as much as we would believe.

When updates are rolled out they change the value of pages/links. The change in values makes the current rollout instantly obsolete which will impact the next rollout, and the next. While the changes are current they impact page rank which sends ripples out that won't be accounted for until a future update.

The trick is to not add more flux to the ripples hitting your own site by making too many dramatic changes. Reduce spam pointing at your site, create great content and acquire solid backlinks where possible... but don't turn the puzzle upside down too often with dramatic changes or you keep starting over.

 

mromero




msg:4599517
 4:39 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Js_Harris has hit the nail on the head:

----
As I wrote this I was visualizing a Google rater looking at new pages while they were being created. "Oh look, Jeff is doing a Google search for wonderful widgets so he's about to write an article about exactly what's out there already, *yawn*".

moments later

"oh snap - Cindy just posted a youtube video about some of her experiments and she's probably going to do a writeup on her blog now, I can't wait, that was cool!"
------

Looking at the chatter on this topic over several months I cannot but think that the best quality is not from some webmaster somewhere searching the web for information on a topic and then tapping out an article and expecting it to be worth anybody's time. Not!

This is why in my opinion the web is so full of the chaff that Google needs to sift through to find the authoritative information from experts ON THE GROUND.

As an example look at the latest job postings Apple has for Ground Truth Local Experts and a couple of the requirements:

* At least five years experience living in the area of interest.

* Detailed knowledge of the unique features of your local area including preferred place names, prominent businesses, public services, seasonal events, driving routes, landmarks....

* Deep regional knowledge.

This is what the Web should be all about and I think this is what Google is trying to do in organizing the world's information.

Wilburforce




msg:4599519
 4:47 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

My site has now even lost position for my business my town. The #1 result, would you believe, is a directory listing for my business, while my own site (the only exclusive supplier in my town) is third.

How, by any yardstick, would a directory listing be more relevant than the thing itself? I'm a stranger here, could you tell me where I can find the one Indian Restaurant in town? Yes, if you walk straight past the restaurant you will find a map.

Dymero




msg:4599528
 5:05 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Big jump in the week after whatever happened the weekend of the 27/28. We have typically risen throughout the month of August as more people are buying again, but never this quickly. Still trying to determine if there's an associated rankings jump or not.

EditorialGuy




msg:4599529
 5:06 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

As an example look at the latest job postings Apple has for Ground Truth Local Experts and a couple of the requirements...

This is what the Web should be all about and I think this is what Google is trying to do in organizing the world's information.


The Web is about far more than Local. (Or Maps, which are the focus of Apple's Ground Truth project.)

ColourOfSpring




msg:4599532
 5:15 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

As an example look at the latest job postings Apple has for Ground Truth Local Experts and a couple of the requirements:

* At least five years experience living in the area of interest.

* Detailed knowledge of the unique features of your local area including preferred place names, prominent businesses, public services, seasonal events, driving routes, landmarks....

* Deep regional knowledge.

This is what the Web should be all about and I think this is what Google is trying to do in organizing the world's information.


There is a very big world that exists outside of the top 10 organic results of Google. Businesses provide services, they provide products. Remember Google's original way to rank sites? Citations. People recommend and link to businesses too, not just "websites". When someone says Acme Services did a great landscaping job for their garden, and they link to their website - they're not linking to their website because the site's content contains fantastic articles on landscaping - they're linking because they think their services are great and they recommend the COMPANY to others. Not saying some great articles on landscaping ideas wouldn't win them MORE links, but citations go way beyond website content when you're linking to business sites. And at the end of the day, if that recommendation link brings even a few targeted clicks, then the link's already worth its weight in gold.

In my opinion, Google is killing off the business model that can only survive on huge volumes of free traffic that doesn't provide DIRECTLY a service or product (usually such sites can only survive on large volumes of free traffic).

netmeg




msg:4599540
 5:47 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

In my opinion, Google is killing off the business model that can only survive on huge volumes of free traffic that doesn't provide DIRECTLY a service or product (usually such sites can only survive on large volumes of free traffic).


Hunh?

EditorialGuy




msg:4599554
 7:17 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

ColourOfSpring:

Google's PageRank formula wasn't designed for the commercial Web, and ranking factors that rely on site or page content aren't a great fit for e-commerce businesses, either. In some ways, it would make a lot of sense for Google to split off "transactional" search into an entirely different product with its own metrics, expectations, and (conceivably) user interface.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4599556
 7:37 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

In my opinion, Google is killing off the business model that can only survive on huge volumes of free traffic that doesn't provide DIRECTLY a service or product (usually such sites can only survive on large volumes of free traffic).



Hunh?


I meant inadvertently killing it off, not killing off this business model on purpose.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4599560
 7:43 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

ColourOfSpring:

Google's PageRank formula wasn't designed for the commercial Web, and ranking factors that rely on site or page content aren't a great fit for e-commerce businesses, either. In some ways, it would make a lot of sense for Google to split off "transactional" search into an entirely different product with its own metrics, expectations, and (conceivably) user interface.


A citation is a citation. Just because I link to a site, it doesn't mean I link to it because I think their content is great. If your site is purely an "information site" (e.g. review site / people go there for user generated content), then perhaps links are more geared toward content. However, there are huge business areas of the web that are there to promote services and products (straight-up business sites) - citations of these sites are far more likely to be regarding the services and products they provide. Why does that citation have to only concern the content to be a good thing? Google see a citation from a trustworthy, authorative site as a good thing regardless of the intent, no? And when you search for a specific service or product, you're more likely to want the most recommended / reputable suppliers (in theory, anyway).

EditorialGuy




msg:4599569
 8:27 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

ColourOfSpring: My point was simply that Google isn't very good at rating businesses. It's much better (though certainly not perfect) at ranking Web sites.

Sand




msg:4599591
 10:09 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Anyone else seeing a lift in search referrals today and yesterday? I normally see a seasonal lift in mid-August, so it could be that it's coming early. Or it could be a Google adjustment. Curious if others are seeing swings in either direction.

linkbuildr




msg:4599595
 10:33 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Last week was great for my b2b consulting company Google wise and so far the last few days I seem to be getting zombie traffic...no major ranking shifts for me Can/US.

bubba1986




msg:4599627
 4:37 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

In some ways, it would make a lot of sense for Google to split off "transactional" search into an entirely different product with its own metrics, expectations, and (conceivably) user interface.


They have essentially done that. If you relied on Google you would know that they are doing everything in their power to move sites to Adwords and people to clicking on ads. All ads above fold

Wilburforce




msg:4599653
 8:50 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Anyone else seeing a lift in search referrals today and yesterday?


WMT shows 2,000 referrals for 470 queries (about 10% of 2011). What Google traffic I do get now is for long non-commercial phrases, much of it poorly matched to content.

While most new business comes from internet searches, most of my actual business is arranged by phone.

I generally ask new customers how they heard of us, and my query sheets from two years ago read Google Google Google Google....

I had the first Google enquiry in over a month last week (for a service I don't provide!). If I didn't get a lot of repeat business and a fair amount from word-of-mouth I would be in a very bad position indeed.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4599655
 8:54 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

While most new business comes from internet searches, most of my actual business is arranged by phone.


Also my experience in regards to winning new business: word of mouth, more work from existing customers, phone, project-posting sites (I'm a web developer), business forums. If you run a service, there's many other ways to get business.

Wilburforce




msg:4599676
 9:30 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I had the first Google enquiry in over a month last week (for a service I don't provide!)...


...and two calls in the last half-hour from Google searchers for exactly what I provide. I'm not expecting a return to the Good Old Days, but this morning suddenly feels more like it.

backdraft7




msg:4599726
 2:11 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

This received in WMT's this morning...


Big traffic change for top URL
August 2, 2013

Search results clicks for XYZ have increased significantly.

This message is not indicative of any problem in your site. It is simply to inform you that the number of clicks that one of your pages receives has increased recently. If you have just added new content, this may indicate that it has become more popular on Google. The number of clicks that your site receives from Google can change from day to day for a variety of factors, including automatic algorithm updates.


Now watch the traffic governor kick in and knock me back down.

SnowMan68




msg:4599752
 3:50 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@backdraft

That's awesome! Have you seen a nice increase in traffic from Google? Usually WMT's is a day or two behind for me.

EditorialGuy




msg:4599754
 3:58 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

When I get those messages in WMT, it's usually because of an extraneous factor (e.g., something happening somewhere) that results in a short-lived burst of traffic.

backdraft7




msg:4599854
 10:18 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@snowman - EG is correct, it probably won't last, as I said, the governor will kick in soon. The "additional" traffic is not converting, so I'm not believing it.

EditorialGuy




msg:4599859
 10:37 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Backdraft7, I don't think it's a matter of the "governor kicking in," it's just the nature of event-driven traffic. If there's a flood on the way and you've got an article on "How to inflate your rubber ark," you may get a flood of traffic for a few days, but it will recede when the water does. Google's alleged "traffic throttling" has nothing to do with it.

spreporter




msg:4599876
 11:38 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just a quick advise... lost rankings/traffic with old websites? solution: start a new one with fresh unique content, perfect design, user friendly, some social networking, G+ authorship, DMCA protection, a couple of good links, follow Google's guidelines and be patient. That is the whole panda/penguin all about....IMHO.

bsterz




msg:4599898
 2:55 am on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)


Anyone else seeing a lift in search referrals today and yesterday? I normally see a seasonal lift in mid-August, so it could be that it's coming early. Or it could be a Google adjustment. Curious if others are seeing swings in either direction.]


My referrals have been up about 40% since August as well as an increase in my GWMT queries. The weirdest part is that I am not showing a negative number in queries with change in about 8 months. GWMT is showing no change at all at the moment. Something happened, not sure what.The site is informational, a hobby site, and has no ads (sorry to mods if any info violates rules).

ColourOfSpring




msg:4599904
 5:59 am on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just a quick advise... lost rankings/traffic with old websites? solution: start a new one with fresh unique content, perfect design, user friendly, some social networking, G+ authorship, DMCA protection, a couple of good links, follow Google's guidelines and be patient. That is the whole panda/penguin all about....IMHO.


Sounds like a mellow version of churn and burn to be honest. What happens when your new site (that has no following, no brand name, no repeat business, no word of mouth) gets hit with a new Penguin update? Rinse and repeat?

I have 2 sites that were hit by Penguin in April 2012. Never recovered since then (in terms of Google). They still make me good money today. Other non-Google things like word of mouth and repeat business helps both sites. You might even say that word of mouth + repeat business = brand. Google is not the internet.

rj87uk




msg:4599928
 9:15 am on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Who's to say a link from a page with negative words on them say a negative review of a product from a company counts as a positive citation it could be that Google is using more metrics from the page where the link out is in their algorithm. It's easy to do and might be overlooked thus far.

vcr330




msg:4599934
 10:27 am on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

hello. I often come in here to see what' up with the www and timely topics.

So a thank you to all of those who post and from whom I learn a lot...which is essentially all of you.

Google is not the internet.


This is so easily forgotten. I run a business that I've spent 4 or 5 years trying to use the internet exclusively to market it. Most of my traffic is free, although I've started to use ppc.

The thing is that some of my sites are EMDs but still get ranking for what I do locally.

Since G started rolling out their zoo changes, my traffic has not really been affected; if anything it's been improved.

I think that has to do with what a poster already mentioned: word of mouth about a service.

It is easy to forget that G is not the internet, and drive ourselves crazy with all of these changes they make without more info.

Vivian

ColourOfSpring




msg:4599944
 11:27 am on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is easy to forget that G is not the internet, and drive ourselves crazy with all of these changes they make without more info.


Vivian, absolutely. If you run a service or even sell a retail product, there are creative ways to get business that don't involve Google. If anyone is strictly B2B, don't even spend a moment worrying about Google - treat them as an added bonus. If you are strictly an information site (not selling a service or product), then you'll likely need HUGE volumes of traffic that absolutely require free search engine traffic - a risky business model. For all the rest of us, spend your marketing efforts outside of Google and if you have change left over, throw it at PPC.

spreporter




msg:4600000
 2:35 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

@colourofspring
1) I believe the *brand* is another ghost/myth made by several SEO/webmasters I've seen many good informational websites made as I mention above, ranking over many so called brands.
2) your new website will move down someday not because of another update but because someone else made a better one.
3)then you start all over again.
After all nothing stays forever....
And finally if you doing well without Google why bother posting in this thread.

spreporter




msg:4600002
 2:50 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I believe brand names are Amazon, Booking, Lufthansa, Pepsi, Ford, Tesco, M&S. And if I want to buy something online I'll go straight there.
There is no way a in the near future for small ecom outlets/websites to rank in Google and sooner or later Yahoo and Bing.
The internet is a reflection of the global market.
On the other hand there are thousands of other sectors out there where a webmaster can do well.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4600008
 3:09 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

@colourofspring
1) I believe the *brand* is another ghost/myth made by several SEO/webmasters I've seen many good informational websites made as I mention above, ranking over many so called brands.
2) your new website will move down someday not because of another update but because someone else made a better one.
3)then you start all over again.
After all nothing stays forever....
And finally if you doing well without Google why bother posting in this thread.


1. I meant brand as in : reputation, word of mouth, repeat business. Anyone can create a brand. Being a brand isn't necessarily about being big. Word of mouth and repeat business require zero "traditional" marketing, but require you provide a quality, reliable service / product.

2 + 3. I agree. Rankings change all the time, and if you rely soley on Google, then I think it's wise to follow your advice and start over again and again.

Why do I post here? Because when I started posting here a while back, I was a lot more reliant on Google - after all, they were giving me a steady stream of business. Then they started sending me a lot LESS traffic, which started me on my new direction to find new ways to find business.


I believe brand names are Amazon, Booking, Lufthansa, Pepsi, Ford, Tesco, M&S. And if I want to buy something online I'll go straight there.


If somebody wants to make their life difficult, they should try to sell commodity products. SMEs that are smarter survive in niches. Niche services / products are hard to scale up. Should I setup a site that sells generic clothing and compete with Tesco and M&S? Or should I setup a boutique fashion store that sells bespoke / unique designs? The latter doesn't need to rely on Google and doesn't care about what Tesco or M&S sell.

spreporter




msg:4600080
 7:01 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I totally agree with your last paragraph, try to sell something that the big brands don't have in stock.

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