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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2013
Panthro




msg:4620498
 3:20 am on Nov 1, 2013 (gmt 0)


System: The following 20 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4614058.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 1:36 am on Nov 4, 2013 (PST -8)


I'm seeing some interesting SERPs right now. Queries seeming to be matched to the most generic term available instead of the specified query. IE - a search for "type of something" returns a list of "somethings". These are geomodified queries.

No surprise, just interesting to see.

 

Martin Ice Web




msg:4625368
 10:56 am on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Jez, we saw this behaviour too. Both sites has been released in October, since wednesday we gained traffic every day. Now we are back to just pre october levels. It feels like a roll back/reverted serps.

carlos the jackal




msg:4625371
 11:01 am on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nothing has changed for us massively in the SERPs since we were hit on October 4th. Maybe a slight gradual decline in rankings.

Organic traffic is decreasing though.

Jez123




msg:4625373
 11:24 am on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

we saw this behaviour too. Both sites has been released in October, since wednesday we gained traffic every day. Now we are back to just pre october levels. It feels like a roll back/reverted serps.


I'm not seeing any reversal. I get days that are more quiet than others but that's always been the case. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are always busiest then dropping off as the week goes on.

What I am finding, once again, is that it's near impossible to NOT put all your eggs in the google basket as they send so much when you are in favour that it's hard to cope and stupid to try and get more work from other directions! Not sure what the answer to that is.

ohno




msg:4625374
 11:28 am on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Has that always been the pattern for you Jez? We used to know what sales/traffic we'd get, these days GA is like a saw tooth!

Jez123




msg:4625377
 11:49 am on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ohno. Yes pretty much - apart from the 16 months off while Penguin ate me alive. I think that the economy is also picking up which seems to be helping confidence etc as well.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4625398
 2:01 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

for everyone who sees a drop in traffic, do you have more 404s in WMT?
We see that Googlebot uses old links from pages that are deleted over a year ago. But it still says it is there and tries to fetch links from it.

ohno




msg:4625400
 2:06 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, we have 404's in WMT, keep checking them & marking as fixed. Google insists some are in our sitemap xml file yet they are 100% not.

tabish




msg:4625401
 2:08 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes @Martin Ice Web

More than 5000 Soft 404 errors reported in WMT, while most of these links are being redirected to some other pages with 301 redirection header

Forgot to add.. I don't think there is any decline because of that.. traffic seems ok.. it fluctuates sometime though

smithaa02




msg:4625417
 4:39 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Looks like a rollback today (somewhat) of the November 14th update?

Two sites that got hit, did recover to previous levels today. Other results are different...definitely something happened today.

aquanaut




msg:4625420
 4:50 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

@smithaa02 yep, can confirm that here, any traffic gains we saw since the 14th seem to have evaporated.

Ralph_Slate




msg:4625421
 4:53 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I too feel like the SERPs are in a state of flux. I have a pretty good handle as to what my traffic should look like based on the recent past, taking offline events into account.

This week, I can't explain the ups and downs in traffic, especially yesterday. My traffic correlates to a particular sport, and on a day when the top league in that sport has a lot of games scheduled, my traffic tends to be higher. Traffic tends to spike during the hours in which the game is being played. The spike has a very specific pattern in my logs, and the spike has been muted this week on Monday and Thursday. Sunday was hard to gauge. Tuesday and Wednesday were as expected.

I did receive a lot of traffic on Saturday due to offline happenings which caused people to come to my site, but then it was if Google said "you had a lot on Saturday, we're going to scale you back on Sunday and Monday".

I see some weirdness with US traffic (Canadian traffic doesn't show the same patterns). The US traffic is "spikier" whereas the Canadian traffic is smoother. The US traffic fluctuates quite a bit from hour to hour.

I also noticed, when using Analytics real-time monitors, that some minute periods were drastically different in traffic. For example, I was seeing something like 600 pages per minute, plus or minus 20, pretty smooth, but across the prior 30 minute window, a couple of the periods had dropped to 400 pages. They were clear outliers.

I feel like Google is running A/B tests right now.

I also can't explain a big spike in traffic from Wikipedia on Tuesday. I have a lot of references from Wikipedia to my site, but there was just a really weird spike on Tuesday, though not from a single page, the traffic increase was from a bunch of pages, as if Wikipedia's traffic spiked that day and I benefited from it slightly.

ohno




msg:4625449
 7:15 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I feel like Google is running A/B tests right now.

I've felt like that for some time. The question in my mind is what does The A & B tell THEM?!

Dymero




msg:4625461
 8:05 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Same as it tells any other site, I imagine. If someone is exiting the SERPs to a site more often in one version of an algo update, and revising their query more often in the other, then that should indicate which update is better.

ohno




msg:4625479
 10:16 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

So how long does that take to figure out? ! Because I've been riding the roller coaster for months!

EditorialGuy




msg:4625484
 11:05 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing more bounce than usual. Our overall traffic hasn't changed dramatically from day to day, compared to last week, but traffic for sections of the site--and for English-language searchers' countries--have been showing bigger peaks and dips than they normally do.

scottsonline




msg:4625485
 11:11 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

There's definitely something going on. Day to day spikes in organic are showing up most prominently in our ad spend. On the days organic are in flux we get pummeled in terribly converting ppc. Frustrated people clicking wherever they can. Happened today and also one other day.

Organic is now so far down the page on product searches google is pretty much the yahoo index circa 2004. 50% paid ads at the top of the page and then some organic "free" listings thrown in. Anyone notice how prominent product ads are at the top of the organic search and how poorly they are related to the actual search most times?

It's no wonder the average joe is confused. I find myself looking to make sure google didn't change my search term most days.

One other interesting tidbit. For years we ranked 1-2 on a key product in the industry. Other people selling it were around us. About three months ago google moved the manufacture to 1st and 2nd. Since then the manufacturer noted a 17% drop in sales. First time in the 15 year life cycle it wasn't up double digits. Googles branding gone bad.

Erku




msg:4625516
 5:49 am on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

This seems to be a large update. Google has not had a Panda update in the past 30 days and this may be it. We can expect things to start stabilize late Sunday evening, toward Monday. That has been the case usually on weekends.

ohno




msg:4625522
 8:55 am on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Erku I'm glad you see that too. I wonder how many see this pattern? SERP's are changing again this morning, seeing image results for some terms at the top of the page rather than under two organic results. Ads seems well off, products that are no where near the search term appearing. Gobble ad revenue update?!

Wilburforce




msg:4625523
 9:17 am on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

My sector actually has a different look and feel to it. As well as quite a bit of shuffling, the yellow Ad boxes mentioned in earlier posts have appeared (desktop, UK).

My own site has reappeared on p14 for key term. Missing since May, it has made a few random appearances in roughly the same position over the last couple of weeks, so it may be unrelated to the rest of what I am seeing.

ohno




msg:4625527
 9:36 am on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's interesting, are these the small yellow ad labels? I see those on mobile devices but for desktop nothing as yet...

johnny_joe




msg:4625528
 9:49 am on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have seen a small decline in visitors over the last 24 hours. But I as well changed hosting servers which wood be a short term decline anyway. Back on May 22 I lost about 80% of visitors/hits. I worked on everything I could think of with no progress at all. I finally realized that the problem was, Bet this, I was feeding my biggest competitor what my plans. Google.. YOu need to realize that google is your competitor.
Stop checking your keywords because google knows it is you and pushes you down for those words.
Stop using Google Analytics because it lets google know how many clicks you get so they know at what level to hold you at so you will buy pay per click.

Think about this guys.. STOP FEEDING GOOGLE with your business plans. Switch to Piwik or something.. But stop using feeding google..

Come on Think about it.

Wilburforce




msg:4625529
 9:49 am on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

are these the small yellow ad labels?


Yes. I hadn't seen them when everyone else was reporting them, but they are there in my results today.

wockawocka




msg:4625542
 2:29 pm on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have seen a small decline in visitors over the last 24 hours. But I as well changed hosting servers which wood be a short term decline anyway. Back on May 22 I lost about 80% of visitors/hits. I worked on everything I could think of with no progress at all. I finally realized that the problem was, Bet this, I was feeding my biggest competitor what my plans. Google.. YOu need to realize that google is your competitor.
Stop checking your keywords because google knows it is you and pushes you down for those words.
Stop using Google Analytics because it lets google know how many clicks you get so they know at what level to hold you at so you will buy pay per click.

Think about this guys.. STOP FEEDING GOOGLE with your business plans. Switch to Piwik or something.. But stop using feeding google..

Come on Think about it.


I've always wondered this. Anyone else with practical experience of it?

johnny_joe




msg:4625568
 9:13 pm on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

We should be smart enough to use googles greed to our advantage. We the are the ones controlling our cost per click and how the listings are laid out in google. Google just sets back watches what we do and makes adjustments.

I would think this would be easy to test. If this group of people on this blog decided on a low value word. And start checking that word daily it would go up in value in Adwords and would have a noticeable change in the organic listings. Plus everyone would notice this new high dollar word that no real customer uses and start adding it into their web pages and paying high dollar amounts for pay per click. The next thing you would see is the top 5 organic <wink wink> slots in Google change to show the following.

1. Google shopping
2. Amazon
3. Ebay
4. YouTube
5. Wiki
Followed by the highest bidder

This is just common sense stuff. I'm just saying the only way to change how google, or anyone for that matter is treating you, is to change how you relate to them.

The key is to stop helping google charge you more.

Nichita




msg:4625627
 12:01 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

It looks like an update was rolled out yesterday. I've seen a traffic increase of about 30-35% so far.

The website was improved in the latest weeks, some pages deleted, other pages redirected etc.

turbocharged




msg:4625642
 2:01 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

It looks like an update was rolled out yesterday. I've seen a traffic increase of about 30-35% so far.

The website was improved in the latest weeks, some pages deleted, other pages redirected etc.

This sounds more like Google found and interpreted the changes you made to your site instead of a broader algorithm update. After all, I can still see about 10% of the first page of the search results having small businesses. Google has more work to do to eradicate the few small businesses that remain. Expect updates in the near future to handle this task.

johnny_joe




msg:4625723
 11:05 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is anyone having problems with google understanding which country your website is in?

I am in the USA and my the hosting servers are on the east and west coast. Yet on all three websites show about 75% of visits are from outside the country?

I even double checked after 6 years that I am still listed as USA in webmaster tools.

I agree with whomever it was that said google has lost control of their algorithm.

Really strange stuff over the last couple of months.

ohno




msg:4625761
 7:27 am on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sometimes we get hits from just about every country in the world other than the one we target & are hosted in! Like are own country is switched off. Quick check of the SERP's this morning reveal more movement, nothing massive though. Dire weekend, zero sales for the first time in our recent (5 years at least-not checked any further back) history. Nice one, looks like the comment above re:catching those small businesses may have kicked in!

tabish




msg:4625762
 7:43 am on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Same here @ohno

Sometimes traffic are up / from other countries / from main site country and just another moment looks like dead..

This is called hummingbird I think :)

ohno




msg:4625791
 1:15 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Whatever hit last week has smashed us to #*$!! Traffic is well down & zero sales (3rd day in a row). SERP's don't look massively different so really at a loss. Whatever they are doing or how they are doing it is beyond me.

RedBar




msg:4625858
 5:06 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Traffic from Google has halved for me in the last few days, something's going disastrously wrong, this is across several sites some up to 19 years old.

This 236 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 236 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 > >
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