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This 174 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 174 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2013
Martin Ice Web




msg:4627027
 1:31 pm on Dec 1, 2013 (gmt 0)


System: The following 3 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4620994.htm [webmasterworld.com] by aakk9999 - 3:08 am on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)


@wilburforce, google says the the 404s are linked from a page that has been deleted two years ago. The links on this page are not up to date. google keeps this links in their robots database even if you 410 them.
Very big problem here.

 

Wilburforce




msg:4628182
 9:08 pm on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

In my sector:

1. Most of the first-page results are small sites/businesses, and
2. Most of them, large or small, are poor-quality pages/sites.

scottsonline




msg:4628212
 11:44 pm on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

30 billion dollar industry number one product search:

Ad 1
Ad 2
Product ads that are not enforced. All sorts of wrong prices/misleading etc

#1 organic amazon "product ads from external websites" google is still serving ads for amazon. It's happening too much now to be a coincidence and smacks of collusion. Each shipping "click" generates revenue for each company. Is it best for google to rank external product ads as #1 when there are thousands of other options?

#2 3 4 manufacturer. Domain crowding to the max. There is no contact information at all. No email, chat, phone or contact form it's a closed industry.

#5 first seller #6 seller etc

The shading was back late today for ads. I think that's where a lot of traffic went yesterday for any of you selling products.

First off I like the product ads. Although this is off topic it is relevant. Google is doing nothing to enforce their policies. Big retailers can violate every part of the policy and get a free pass. It corrupts the PLAs and because they are top and center it distorts the organic results.

With an average high res laptop screen the entire fold is taken up with paid ads making google no longer a search engine but instead a paid product directory. As I look at the page now there are 14 ads available above the fold. There is ONE organic result and that is the manufacturer where nobody can buy it or get information anyway.

The same search on bing shows 8 ads but 4 organic results above the cold and images. Bing is no better though they too serve amazon paid ads as organic results

goodoldweb




msg:4628225
 12:57 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was spending most of today and yesterday hunting Google for proper wording to go into our divorce consent orders. The darn thing insisted on second guessing what "i may want" instead of providing me with proper results... what a mess.

I got so frustrated this morning that i decided to give Bing a go. I simply could not find that info on Google. And low and behold, Bing's 1st page was full of links to *exactly* what I was looking for, great serps with links to proper websites which contain the exact information sought. I simply can not believe how bad Google has become.

IMO, whatever is left out of this once great search engine, is just a known brand name and some ads around it. Absolute crap. Google today is an absolute mess. Abounding links and penalizing websites left right and center is bringing them down and it now clearly shows.

[edited by: goodoldweb at 1:01 am (utc) on Dec 6, 2013]

RedBar




msg:4628226
 1:00 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

SERPs are a total mess in my widget sector, basically all I am seeing in the top 1-20 results are crappy, pseudo, trade directory sites with the occasionally bizarre, & totally random, retail/wholesale/original manufacturers' sites delivered.

For me these diabolical SERPs are across many Google tlds, not just .com, and I am globally one of the biggest brands in my widget sector. Therefore do not believe it when peope write "it's all about brands" since they, Google, haven't a clue who I am and, honestly, I do not give a stuff about Google, they lost my "like" on 05.05.05, even though they are indirectly spending millions with ME at the moment with their new UK HQ!

Meanwhile search Bing and their SERPs look fantastic, unfortunately their image results are now as bad as the Gorgs!

ohno




msg:4628270
 7:13 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing crappy pages rise to the top in our niche now. Where once there were good sites with info & products to buy there are now home made one page results with poor info. Whatever they are doing is getting worse, it's almost a joke. I can only guess they are seeing just how bad they can make organic to increase click revenue. Either that ot they haven't got a clue how to fix the mess(in which case role back to 2010 prior May Day Matt ;) )

jokarl




msg:4628281
 8:57 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

In a very competetive niche im starting to see new sites (1-2 months old) rise to the top beating well established sites. Its always the same, they have like 10-15 pages of crappy content and mostly the text makes no sense but keywords are there.

Checking the backlink profile on these sites its full of russian and india backlinks. Sometimes like 10-20k links.

These sites seems to stay 1-3 months in the top before Google figure it out. Problem is that there are tons of these, just convering the top and its all automated.

It seems like Google taken a step backwards because blackhat spam site has never been this easy. Maybe its because they removed age trust and reduced backlink power for established sites? I have no idea but im very suprised to see how easy it is to game now.

ohno




msg:4628286
 9:17 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

You really have to question their motives for having so many changes at what is a busy time of year for many. As for Bing it's far from perfect but compared to the crap that is now Google it's a breath of fresh air.

Nick_D




msg:4628291
 9:31 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is it me or am I seeing a TBPR update in .co.uk?

Wilburforce




msg:4628295
 9:43 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is it me or am I seeing a TBPR update in .co.uk?


What is showing you this?

ohno




msg:4628296
 9:54 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hmm, one dead domain has improved PR, I can't honestly recall when I last checked it, our main domain remains on the same PR.

Nick_D




msg:4628297
 10:02 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

What is showing you this?

The TBPR indicator on the Google Toolbar

Wilburforce




msg:4628302
 10:22 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Nick_D

Since I last looked, all my second-level pages have dropped from PR3 to PR2, but I last looked at least a couple of months ago.

It isn't clear what PR is now used for (there are several PR1 and PR2 pages in the current top 10 for one of my key terms), so I don't attach much weight to it.

Incidentally, I just did a search for Brandname Model of a specific product in my sector, and the first eight results are pages from the manufacturer's site, the ninth is their Facebook page, and the first supplier is at #10. Every time I think the results couldn't get any worse, they do. Why on earth is anyone still using Google?

ohno




msg:4628305
 10:30 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Why on earth is anyone still using Google?

(1)Habbit
(2)People think Google IS the internet

Both of which will take a long tiem to change no matter how bad the results get. Although I feel the ads are getting plain silly now. I used to use Gmail as my junk email account, now it is full of junk ads too!

aakk9999




msg:4628308
 10:35 am on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is it me or am I seeing a TBPR update in .co.uk?


Yes, it seems there has been a Toolbar Page Rank update. If still interested in TBPR, new thread is here:

Page Rank Updated 6th Dec 2013
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4628292.htm [webmasterworld.com]
.

tigger




msg:4628316
 12:25 pm on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

you would think after all these years G could get an update right!

I've just been checking some terms and saw a very odd page from my site ranking ...it was only when I clicked on it I realised why it looked odd - its a folder !

This is painful, I'd like to say thank frig we have Bing but as my traffic is all UK thats not going to help seeing the way the idiot brits think G is the internet ! and YES I'm British

ohno




msg:4628317
 12:32 pm on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is painful, I'd like to say thank frig we have Bing but as my traffic is all UK thats not going to help seeing the way the idiot brits think G is the internet ! and YES I'm British

+1 Infuriating isn't it.

EditorialGuy




msg:4628356
 3:25 pm on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thats what i am seeing to. Most bad brand site are complete unrelated to the query, whereas the small sites seem to be stuffed with all black hat technics you could imagine. Thatīs what i am seeing.


Some of the high-ranking "small site" pages that I see appear to have found their way to the top (or near the top) of the SERPs by accident. If their owners were black-hat types, they'd be doing more to create revenue opportunities on the sites.

scottsonline




msg:4628385
 4:24 pm on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google really is a mess. Their penchant for promoting manufacturers even in closed industries where no end user contact is possible is alarming. Wouldn't a quality signal be no phone number email, address or contact information available and no Ecom ability? Wouldn't that tell you that for ecommerce searches that's not a great site?

We are seeing the hugest link buyers continue to thrive and dominate. It got worse with this update this week.

Dymero




msg:4628478
 9:29 pm on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Didn't know what Amazon's product ads were, so I looked. If those pages are only showing product ads, how does that not fall under the 'thin affiliate' guidelines? I guess it just shows the power of a powerful brand + some brand bias.

scottsonline




msg:4628533
 4:11 am on Dec 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Amazon product ads rank first for tens of thousand of products. Would smack of collusion otherwise. One has paid ads dominating 70% of the screen and "free" results that are paid ads on the affiliate/amazon site.

This page rank update the most blatant link buyers. There was a direct change in qualifying traffick around the time of this update. I think the algo updates are now a monster they barely understand. They minimize the impact.

The bottom line is blatant paid links are still number one. Everything else about quality content and user experience is nonsense. Have the highest ranking back links and you'll rank highly.

Wilburforce




msg:4628565
 9:04 am on Dec 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

After getting back into the SERPS for main key term and edging slowly back up the pages, whatever happened in this latest round has dropped my site another 12 pages. Some of the competitors I track have also shifted substantially (most of them downwards, but a couple have gained).

Obviously one can comment about the merit or otherwise of sites that are doing well or badly, but this constant and long-term instability is like having Google play Russian Roulette with our livelihoods.

It seems to me that the only people who can benefit are exactly those - the quick-buck spammers and black-hatters - that Google claims these measures are intended to weed out. Nobody who is in it for the long-term can afford to watch their site behaving like a yo-yo for the length of time this has now gone on.

ohno




msg:4628566
 9:13 am on Dec 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

but this constant and long-term instability is like having Google play Russian Roulette with our livelihoods.


Nobody who is in it for the long-term can afford to watch their site behaving like a yo-yo for the length of time this has now gone on.

Exactly, its been going on far too long. The silence from Google suggest they are happy & don't care. Quick check this morning sees us dropped further in favour of eBay this time.

RedBar




msg:4628622
 2:17 pm on Dec 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

The silence from Google suggest they are happy & don't care.


More like that they haven't a clue what to do since it's evidently out of any semblance of control therefore keep a smiley face, tell everyone that all is perfect in the world meanwhile draw as much salary out of the company one can before it implodes ... hopefully.

Unbelievably we are now getting more traffic from direct email campaigns and Twitter, no one, absolutely no one, in our company ever expected that and the biggest doubter was myself.

Now it looks as though we'll have to try Facebook which I find incredulous.

EditorialGuy




msg:4628629
 3:39 pm on Dec 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Didn't know what Amazon's product ads were, so I looked. If those pages are only showing product ads, how does that not fall under the 'thin affiliate' guidelines?


It's no different from encountering stub pages from Wikipedia, CNet, ZDNet, etc. in results for informational searches. Big brands do seem to get a pass. Is that intentional? Maybe--but not necessarily.

I'd imagine that big brands like Amazon, Wikipedia, CNet, Tripadvisor, etc. do well with user testers and Google's contract quality evaluators, simply because people tend to prefer the familiar. The average person may be more likely to point at Amazon or Wikipedia and say "I like that one better" in an flashcard-speed comparison against Yoursite or Mysite. And even if such comparisons are used only to train a machine-learning process, they're going to have an influence on Google's search rankings.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4628630
 4:03 pm on Dec 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

E.guy, then where is a need of a SE anymore?

MrSavage




msg:4628631
 4:11 pm on Dec 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Real life example of search. I spent a long while looking for a S3 accessory in Google this week. I wanted to buy it and sadly nobody seemed to have it. Then I decided to use my brain and looked directly on 2 of the biggest retail sites online. Guess what? In stock and shipping. Case in point. This is the biggest example I've seen in my life where a search engine can't find what I'm looking for. I could understand if this was an obscure product or website. If a search can't tell me where to find a product and it's listed on one of the top 3 online retailers? Using brain and not search, I found a second site selling the item. That second site is a top authority site also regarding those accessories. This was to me, my biggest eye opener. I didn't do one search and then give up. I spent some good amount of time using various terms trying to find this damn item. So when a search engine can't spare me having to manually check every site, the trust really really really really goes out the window. I'm not suggesting a different search engine could have done it better. I wasn't doing an A/B test.

ohno




msg:4628632
 4:17 pm on Dec 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

MrSavage, did any search engine do better? I'd be interested to know. I know my own experience this week mirrors yours & another search engine found me what I wanted just like Google used to.........

EditorialGuy




msg:4628638
 4:59 pm on Dec 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

E.guy, then where is a need of a SE anymore?


Because people want to search. Just because a search engine favors certain types of results ("big brands," for example) doesn't mean search engines have no value to users.

Also, never underestimate the value of a familiar user interface. People who are in the habit of using Google as their "search portal" may not even think of using internal site search on a site like Amazon or Wikipedia. (During my 17+ years in Web publishing, I've noticed that non-technical users often have a reluctance to use internal search even if it's powered by Google. They'll use Google.com, Google.de, or whatever to find their way to a site, but once they're on that site, they'll ignore any search window that's shoved in their faces and use menus instead. User habits and preconceptions can be hard to break.)

turbocharged




msg:4628731
 1:42 pm on Dec 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Unbelievably we are now getting more traffic from direct email campaigns and Twitter, no one, absolutely no one, in our company ever expected that and the biggest doubter was myself.

This is precisely why we are seeing more clients shun Google entirely. No longer seen as a partner in the online world, more small business owners are realizing that Google is treating them as a competitor and favoring the very same large corporations that Google has *special* relationships with. At least with a handful of small businesses I know, Google has already lost its relevance to traditional marketing channels. I suspect that this trend will continue as Google finds it increasingly difficult to mask why some companies that Google has close relationships with have 2, 3 and up to 5 listings in a row while small businesses are nowhere to be found in Google's search results. It a slow but gradual awakening process, but it is indeed happening.

EditorialGuy




msg:4628756
 4:15 pm on Dec 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

No longer seen as a partner in the online world


Google Search has never been your partner, any more than Bing, Yandex, Baidu, or DuckGoGo are your partners. Why pretend otherwise? And if a few businesses decide to "shun" search engines that don't send them enough free traffic, so what? Google Search and its competitors aren't likely to go belly up if there are only 1,000,000 businesses competing for the keyphrase "fuzzy blue widgets" instead of 1,000,010.

Shepherd




msg:4628770
 6:15 pm on Dec 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

if there are only 1,000,000 businesses competing for the keyphrase "fuzzy blue widgets" instead of 1,000,010.


I wonder if those 1,000,000 pages are really "competing" for spots in the google results, I doubt it. I've dug pretty deep into google's results and they pull some pretty obscure stuff to come up with those 1,000,000 results and in my opinion 99.999% of it is useless to the average searcher.

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