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Google Updates and SERP Changes - January 2014
Panthro




msg:4634982
 2:46 am on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)


System: The following message was cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4627107.htm [webmasterworld.com] by aakk9999 - 4:37 am on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)


I think we had a Penguin or some EMD update. I have an informational site that's been around for a while - 1 word EMD - and it's nowhere to be found.

 

adder




msg:4635469
 10:34 am on Jan 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

There are no official reports of a new update and I haven't seen any evidence suggesting there might be one.

What do you mean by "nowhere to be found" - when you search for site:mydomain.com does it say it's been deindexed?

Have you checked the webmaster tools? Any chance you might have a manual penalty?

Panthro




msg:4635597
 9:14 pm on Jan 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Whoops, yep, that may be a manual penalty. No results with the site: search. Thanks for the reminder.

Btw - not sure we've been getting any comments lately from corporate about anything.

White_Dove




msg:4635685
 3:02 am on Jan 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've seen an increase of crawling activity, including pages that don't exist anymore.

bsand715




msg:4635734
 12:47 pm on Jan 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

"including pages that don't exist anymore"

Yes I am seeing a lot of these.
Also old stale, never updated sites, showing up on top.
Did a search for current fishing reports on a lake - a site showing 2004 was #1.
Does freshness not count any more?

superclown2




msg:4635736
 1:05 pm on Jan 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

An abnormal number of sites with a lot of obvious paid links bubbling up to the top.

Jez123




msg:4635887
 9:39 am on Jan 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Is something brewing? I am getting a lot of foreign visitors hitting my site. Usually a sign of something in my recent experience. We are probably due a Penguin refresh perhaps.

rayan012




msg:4635912
 12:31 pm on Jan 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google change the way of looking for website. I've got page about documents examples. I was on 1 site for main phrase, but after update i fall down very painfully. And on 1 site of search results are almost only real documents examples like files .pdf, or .doc. unfortunately all my examples of files.. was on another server.. with different url.

ohno




msg:4635957
 4:44 pm on Jan 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Jez, something without doubt is happening. We've seen all the tell tale signs.

Shai




msg:4635969
 5:20 pm on Jan 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Although no major changes in rankings, I can see some strange crawling occurring on around 30 sites. Not found anything in common between any of them yet. Pre-Penguin 2.2 maybe? Will keep digging. Hope it is though as I have 3 penalty recovery clients with penguin affected sites which we hope will recover on the next update after the clean-up.

stgeorge




msg:4636126
 8:19 am on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

Spammy link manipulators are killing it in multiple industries we watch and more really good sites keep disappearing every day.

Way to go Google.

Wilburforce




msg:4636136
 9:13 am on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

It looks as if something has been going on this week. On checking one referral term from my server log, my site was the only one in the first two pages that addressed the search term (most of the other results used an alternative - wrong, and hugely irrelevant - meaning for one of the terms).

Generally, referrals this week are higher than pre-Christmas levels, in spite of January being a quiet month in my sector.

However, my site has dropped back 10 pages for main key term, and (I'm not sure what to make of it) so has another site in the same sector than has been on the same results page as mine for some months. There is no cross-linking or other direct connection between the sites, and theirs is in a different locality, so it is difficult to figure out what is going on. I have also noticed this phenomenon with other sites in my sector from time to time. Why would two sites, related only by sector (with different names, backlink profiles, content, design, you name it...) track each other in this way? It may well point to an element in the algorithm, but I can't see it.

Shepherd




msg:4636144
 11:01 am on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

Wilburforce, I've seen something similar with related sites but not so much with unrelated sites, but here's the thing, I don't trust anything I see in the serps these day. Your saying you dropped 10 spots but referrals are up, does that make sense? How are you determining that you dropped? WMT? actual search? Rank checking software?

You know the more I think about it, WebmasterWorld could probably do away with this monthly featured thread, search results are like snowflakes these days, they all have the same basic composition but no two are the same. Trying to analyze changes that may or may not be real and if they are real may only be seen by one out of a million searchers is probably going to drive us mad... if it hasn't already.

Wilburforce




msg:4636150
 11:57 am on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

Your saying you dropped 10 spots but referrals are up, does that make sense?


I have dropped 10 pages for one key term. Overall, the position is mixed, but for some complex searches (and a few random - sometimes irrelevant - one- or two-word terms) my site is back at first-page/first-position.

In context, my site was #1 for main key term for more than 5 years, and two years ago was on page 1 for several hundred terms. Currently, Google referrals are at about 10% of 2011 referrals, but this week looks like a 25-50% increase on early December. It is too early to say much more about this, but it looks like a shift might be happening.

The update to WMT on 31 December muddies the water a bit (there may have been some background change to how the stats are collected and read), but I am seeing an increase in server logs too.

scottsonline




msg:4636199
 5:04 pm on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

Post holiday data set.

Still seeing paid amazon ads rank first in google organic search. No conflict of interest there! I can't believe that's even legal but apparently google and amazon are now in bed together. Whatever paid clicks google doesn't get by ranking amazon paid ads as organic results they're generating huge revenue for their partner.

Another niche company in our industry that is not ecommerce enabled is again ranking in the top 3. IE you can't buy from their site at all but google still ranks them first because they are big in a totally different sector.

I will say this. I find it harder and harder to find unique information on google. Their penchant for ranking the same big outfits as first is really killing what google was all about which was quality information. Do a health search and you will get the same few health sites ranking first.

Ask a question and get askville despite a horrible quality of answers in yet another nod to amazon from google.

I guess the question is at what point is google just serving as a doorway for amazon? Don't most people just go to amazon to search? Why not rank Walmart or best buy first for all those items? Why does amazon rank first for basically everything they sell or for doorway ad pages?

tigger




msg:4636201
 5:18 pm on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

one of my terms that was 4th is now 11th - the top 10 places are all YouTube - What a joke search is now, bring back the good old days of AV & Hotbot

robert76




msg:4636220
 6:43 pm on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

@scottsonline

Still seeing paid amazon ads rank first in google organic search.


Can you explain what you are seeing? I'm not seeing this or just don't know what I should be looking for.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4636243
 8:47 pm on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

@scottline, itīs eeasy to eplain. Give poeple only the biggest known ecoms in organic serps, they know anyway. If you want want unique and compelling ecoms please visit google shopping ads.
google is killing the ecoms very slowly to get user slowly used to this new low quality feature.
If I compare bing to google then i am astonished that in germany bing has not the 95% market share.

Liane




msg:4636245
 9:05 pm on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

Today I was trying to find a specific website after reading a news article on MSN. I don't know the URL so kept trying different searches. I wasted half an hour on Google and still couldn't find it.

I did one search on Bing and it was the number one result.

I really think there is something very, very wrong at Google. Perhaps they have gone so far overboard in trying to achieve whatever goals they are trying to achieve … that they have shot themselves in the foot and ruined their own search engine?

I have been away from WebmasterWorld for several years, but I think it is really sad what is happening to Google. The old "content is king" mantra doesn't seem to hold water anymore.

cj2600




msg:4636251
 9:27 pm on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

I was searching for snowboard boots for my son yesterday.
Typed in Google: snowboard boots size 12 rival
And... first 8 listings for eBay and 2 more for Amazon.
No one selling this boots anymore?
Or Google signed up for eBay Partner Network? :)

Mentat




msg:4636257
 10:16 pm on Jan 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

no update.
Folks back to work after a loooong holiday...

BillyS




msg:4636272
 12:06 am on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

The last official update notification I saw was this one. Perhaps it's still rolling out.
An improvement to our top search queries data was applied retroactively on 12/31/13


Maybe those that know about this aren't saying anything. I don't see much chatter and I'm surprised. I'm definitely seeing some kind of update over the last several days. It's not people back to work.

ohno




msg:4636333
 7:11 am on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

no update.
Folks back to work after a loooong holiday...

No chance! All the signs we ALWAYS see when an update happens are there.

(1) Big traffic boost & sales
(2) Drop off of sales & massive boost in foreign traffic
(3) All traffic dies & sales with it

Maybe the auto learning algo got somewhere while the folks at Google were on holiday but now they are back messing with it yet again we are back to square one. I seriously never thought I would ditch them myself as a search engine but the results are so useless these days I only use them to see what is happening!

Martin Ice Web




msg:4636340
 7:41 am on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

data was applied retroactively on 12/31/13


What does that mean. Did they change my queries prior to 12/31 retroactively and i now have to look in my browser cache because Google found out how to change browser cached pages?

Wilburforce




msg:4636353
 8:35 am on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

What does that mean.


They are talking about what you see in WMT (e.g. instead of 12,000 you now see 12,473). The displayed changes apply to data collected before the update, as well as after it.

Clearly detailed information is retained for at least several months, and some of this is almost certainly incorporated in the current SERPS.

petehall




msg:4636358
 8:51 am on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I see an update this morning in the UK. Does not look good, lots of low quality sites ranking highly.... so hoping it's far from over.

adder




msg:4636432
 12:06 pm on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Longtail keywords hit on 7th December 2013

This really should've gone into this thread:
[webmasterworld.com...]
but since the thread's been locked already and since I only recently discovered this, I'll post it here.

I've been asked to look at a few "problem" sites this week and two of them have been hit on 7th December last year.

Site ownership and topics totally unrelated. The first site has had a manual action, the second one hasn't but I suspect backlink manipulation. On the other hand, many similar "problem" sites I've got access to, haven't reported any changes around those dates.

Both sites are 50-60% down organically (compared to a similar previous period), branded terms and general terms virtually unaffected, longtails 80-100% down.

This has happened a day after the PR update
[webmasterworld.com...]
which may or may not be related.

This is just a report for report's sake. I haven't seen it reported anywhere else on the web and I haven't pinpointed the real cause yet. Anybody else seen any unusual activity around those dates?

BlueDanube




msg:4636438
 12:29 pm on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

It looks to me like there is definitely some kind of update rolling through.

A site of mine has just lost ranking of around 10-20 places on most hi ranking keywords (formerly 1-3 page #1)

Information niche

superclown2




msg:4636513
 5:21 pm on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)


I see an update this morning in the UK. Does not look good, lots of low quality sites ranking highly.... so hoping it's far from over.


I'll echo that. I'm in the UK too and I haven't seen such irrelevant results in years. I've needed to do a lot of research today on a number of subjects and I found Google a complete waste of time. Mind you a few days ago I watched some really poor sites bubble to near the top for major terms but some of them disappeared completely a few days later so perhaps things will improve. They'll have to, looking at the current SERPs.

kumar89




msg:4636535
 6:24 pm on Jan 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I can see my Traffic is down by 30% since Jan 8/9-2013

This 184 message thread spans 7 pages: 184 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >
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