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My site hit 27 November - Google Update?

 8:04 am on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here is the drop of one of my subdomain since 27 November.


Site since 2002, no link building, but a lot of bots are scrapping my site :(
A lot of sites are using my RSS to create content.

Other subdomains got hit on 4th of September.
One is back, the only one left alone (no content cleaning, only links disavowed).

So the question still remains... what is this?
Panda, Penguin or a nasty bird?



 2:43 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

The screenshot of the impressions and clicks you posted is definitely very interesting, with the "off the cliff" type of drop. I am wondering if you could provide a bit more details, specifically what happened with your rankings since 27th.

I am asking this because there have been some reports of the traffic drop with ranking unchanged in this thread: [webmasterworld.com...]

I am wondering whether you could go to WMT Queries section and select four days from 27th Nov to 30 Nov, and below the chart select option "With Change" and then tell us what happened to your rankings - are they roughly the same or did they drop?

Another piece of information that would be very useful is the number of queries - to see if you have lost "long tail". So it would be good if you could check the number of queries WMT reports in the period 27-30 of November comparing to the period 23-26 November and post this detail.


 5:24 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

From what I see, I've lost a lot of very high ranking pages (-80%) and I only rank (yet) for long tail...

As I said, is not the first time when I see this.

In about 2 weeks all my pages will be in sandbox, but my PR will still be high...

Looking my older high ranking pages, I only see the great spammer <snip>.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:17 pm (utc) on Dec 2, 2013]
[edit reason] Removed specific site name, per forum Charter. [/edit]


 11:04 am on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Graph exactly like mine..I was hit on 30 sept.. my site is few years old and reputable biz, and it was just started to rank on first three positions for top keywords.
I stil rank no1 for main keyword and brand name,all pages are indexed, no manual message,

I thought that dupe content may be the issue because there was lots of errors in wmt title section - google was confused with some parameters.
I also noticed that that happend few days after I expanded site on other language with very similar content. But i understood that if site is localy connecetd with only one area there will be no problems.

I fixed that, placed few canonical tags and those errors are slowly dissapearing but still not totaly cleansed.
I have few signs of recovery however for those main keyords google is now showing tag pages but not main content page.


 4:14 pm on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was also hit nov26th/27th on 2 sites.

With me, complete sub directories were removed from the index, yet others stayed with their rankings.
It all smelt of old Panda days.

All pages are, 100% unique etc, so do not get the extreme removal rather than just losing rankings.

So I would ask, have you lost pages, directories?

I am guessing a very small tweak has been made that affects a small amount of us to the extreme, leaving others untouched.

I had changed some internal anchor text on one site, after watching Matt Cutts explaining that anchor text in moderation within a site is OK.

But the second, I have not touched for months, if anyhing way more under-optimised than the competition with a better link profile.

The only common action was a bit of social media shares, on google plus, facebook and twitter the day before I was hit, sharing new content added.

Otherwise, I an completly unsure.

Check to see if any subdirectories have gone, it will be interesting to see in there are any similarities.

Martin Ice Web

 7:55 am on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

It all smelt of old Panda days.

I think this too. It has the same pattern, many "compelling" brand sites got a boost again.
-lost all the keys that we are good in and whats our Business. only some very obscure keys are left. Bounce rate is more than 90% again ( went up from less than 20% ).
Its Panda and his son now.

According to sourroundtablenews, Google said they didnīt change anything. HA!


 4:11 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

My site have subdomains, not subdirectories...
This google silence is nuts :(

I've checked my link profile and is a mes...
Since 2011 very few links and in the last year everybody is giving nofollow links.

Google made a mess...


 4:23 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google said they didnīt change anything. HA!

Hmm, yeah OK!


 8:30 pm on Dec 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm back in business with this domain after cleaning the link profile (-1000 domains)
So... it was Penguin.


No news on domains affected by the 4th of September bomb.
It must be Panda :(


 10:08 pm on Dec 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm back in business with this domain after cleaning the link profile (-1000 domains)

This is really interesting - because as far as I was aware, for the site to be hit by Penguin, or recover by Penguin, the Penguin update must run, and the latest Penguin run was on 4th October (Penguin 2.1).

So I guess it must be some other link based filter that you were hit with and from which you have recovered from by cleaning up your link profile.

I am wondering whether you could tell us more on what you did, for example, have you used Disavow file, have you submit reconsideration request, have you had any warning in WMT and how long did it take between cleaning your link profile and your recovery?

I think it would also be interesting to know what percentage of linking domains in your whole profile these 1000 domains make and whether these 1000 domains were linking to you for a while or was there a surge of new domains in your link profile that caused the fall on 27th November.


 10:57 pm on Dec 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have "the honor" to be guinea pig for Google updates.
I'm almost untouched by the big algo changes! In the last year I had problems ONLY on "strange google updates"...

No manual penalty, no reconsideration req.

So what I did is to get all the links reported in WebmasterTools and Majestic SEO by hand and check them until I've reached 100 links to my site, this was very time consuming.

A lot of sites with RSS from me, a lot of spam, a lot of parked domains, a lot of sites with search results (+links to my site), a lot of clones and stupid redirects (I have the classic iframe protection js).

It's a "mature" site (2002) and the links where majority OLD links. I belive I've blocked 75% of the sites :(

I've trashed (disavow file):
- NO PR sites
- clone sites
- sites with no results in google for command mysitename site:xxxx
- spam search sites (with results from google inside)
- parked domains
- not working domains
- sites with site-wide links to my url
- a lot of boards that where using my RSS in order to create threads...
- a lot of wiki type sites
- a lot of .gov hacked sites
- a lot of Chinese boards
- a lot of directories
- aggregators
- "shady" social networks

I found 200+ .info domains with the same favicon and same content: link directory.

What I ca see is that I could find very few 2011+ links!
I think that google has just created a new problem... with this link paranoia!


 11:38 pm on Dec 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mentat, great reply. Glad to see you were able to get back on track. I just posted a thread about this very topic. I am having a hard time determining exactly which links we should be focusing on removing. I am very new to SEO and I can tell you know what you are doing. :)

[edited by: aakk9999 at 12:01 am (utc) on Dec 24, 2013]


 3:32 pm on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mentat, I had a few questions I am hoping you can answer.

1) So you submitted a disavow file even though you were under no penalty? I had heard it would not help if you were under the algo updates and no penalty.
2) What did you do with your dead links and 404 links?

I'm in the same exact boat you were in and I would love to get out of it! :)


 9:01 pm on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

1. I did not have any manual actions.
You can use the tool for cleaning your link profile anytime.
2. I fixed some scripts problems on my site and I used robots.txt in order to block some not very informative areas of my site.


 9:15 pm on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Would you mind sharing what kind of issues you had with your scripts? I have often wondered if some of the scripts we have on our site is causing concern.

Thanks for all the information. This is a great post that I am sure will help someone else along the way.


 8:01 am on Dec 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I also recovered around same date but.. two days later visits scourged again..


i have no clue.. again no manual message, i also disavowed bunch of domains, fixed few duplicate content issues, changed site wide anchors..


 3:02 pm on Dec 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

My websites (5 of them) was hit on 20th dec. No erros in WMT, no any kind of warnings, everything was just fine over the whole year and now: pufff!
The secret reason is known only to Google, we can just guess and I think that is nothing to do with tech, no proof at all.


 3:37 pm on Dec 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I do not think that it was any action taken by you brought back into ranking. For past few months i have been experiencing same ups and downs in google ranking. My site disappears all of sudden for few days and i can see clear re-indexing by google and then it comes back to business again. Sometimes it took even more than 20 days to regain the ranking.

As far as I can notice, it is happening with the dynamic pages or the pages that are user generated. Google keeps re-indexing dynamic pages/ user generated pages and results after a certain interval.


 6:24 pm on Dec 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

No dynamic pages or UGC here...

Pure HTML, few simple js and some CSS.
CDN for static content (js, css, images), CDN for DNS, score 90+ on Google Page Speed Test for Mobile and Desktop...

Now, the only problem is quality of the content... and this is not a quick fix :(

@Tabish, I had 100+ employees on 4th of September, now I have 50...
I really hope that Google is not playing hide & seek with ppl lives...

As a personal observation, an OLD competitor was sandboxed ~ 5 years ago. Now he created a subdomain for each product/page and is back in business!
Subdomain Exact Match + URL Keywords is the new deal!

I'm still having problems with the 4th of September.(Night of the Long Knives)
I cannot find any example of a recovery from this mess.

@Prasawet - domains affected on 4th of September got another hit on 20th of December, but there are so low now, that is easy to miss...

Merry Christmas!


 6:46 pm on Dec 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

My site is all dynamic, but I have Varnish Cache on the frontend to serve pages. Sites are within normal page load speeds. Using CDN, etc. Still got hammered.
Setting up a sub-domain for each product would be a pain in the ass.
Mentat, since your site recovered, how has your traffic been since? Any fluctuation?


 8:39 pm on Dec 25, 2013 (gmt 0)


There is one common thing with our sites I can tell: all of them worked well and with commonly, not important mistakes.
It seams to me that Google have some secret policy related to traffic volumes and that is not bound to our understanding of site design or a tech behind, their plan is totally different and based on something that they hide from the public.


 11:25 pm on Dec 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Prasawet - from examples that I read searching for 4th September event, I saw that many "old" sites got busted.

It seems to me like they removed the "authority" flag and immediately a part of the algo penalised those sites!

My main problem is now scrapped content by bots + sites hosted in Vietam, Russia etc.
All those sites have Protected Whois.

@DansSitesRScrewed - for the moment the recovery sticks.
I hope my link profile cleaning did the job, 'cause I'm running out of ideas.


 3:11 pm on Dec 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Now, the only problem is quality of the content... and this is not a quick fix :(

What does this mean?


 8:24 pm on Dec 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Panda ;)


 3:41 pm on Dec 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

I also came across the same issue on 27 November!But i have no idea now!


 12:58 am on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)


is your traffic still holding?


 12:44 pm on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I see "Panda humpbacks" each week, so lower and lower on the recovered subdomain.

The others are down since 4th of September. (+ another hit on ~ 17.12.2013)

I'm still cleaning... now using Bing reports. (stupid reporting)

It's a mess.

I had a manual penalty on one product page.
I searched and searched and I found a lot of .ru domains linking.
The problem was that the site is huge and I have a tens of thousands pages! It's a needle in a haystack, so I've removed the page 410 gone error.

I give up! :@

btw, that to do with *.blogspot.com/ru/fr/br/etc domains?
The same blog has automaticly/infinite TLDs! :@


 1:24 pm on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Mentat, how were you able to determine that your manual penalty was on one of your product pages? I have a manual penalty on one of our sites, but it does not show any details.

Also, our sites have a huge about of .ru domain linking back to it like yours. Do you know how you got all those .ru links?


 1:35 pm on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

The page was mentioned on the Penalty Message, but this is the only case.
Someone was very active, as I saw new spam links in pages created in December, so I suspect it's an attack.


 1:44 pm on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Well then I maybe able to assume the same thing. A huge amount of .ru sites within a certain amount of time.

This 41 message thread spans 2 pages: 41 ( [1] 2 > >
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