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Google Updates and SERP Changes - February 2014
samwest




msg:4642091
 1:45 pm on Feb 3, 2014 (gmt 0)


System: The following 8 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4634995.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 1:01 am on Feb 4, 2014 (PST -8)


On February 2nd, our site experienced a huge drop in traffic. Anyone else see this? My first suspicion is that G figured out a way to collect as much Superbowl related traffic as possible. Our 10 years of traffic and sales records show no drops on previous Superbowl Sunday's. Looks like a big update was unleashed.

 

goodoldweb




msg:4644417
 9:48 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

That's interesting as over here eBay features big in Google Shopping. Infact since Shopping went paid it is around 99% eBay! 


Apparently google shopping is not enough. Good SERPS exposure is a must inorder to get good consistent shoppers traffic.

I'm getting some sparodic sales now from the wrong countries and loads of window shoppers, obviously getting the wrong SERP results.

Check the ebay store owners msg boards and you'll see what i mean. These BS "updates" are killing a lot of businesses around the world.

theskunk




msg:4644418
 9:56 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

UK based ECOM online since 1998, no ads, no affiliate products, just our own unique lines we manufacture and product from data feed.

Over the last 3 years I have experienced the slow death brought on by the new google that seems intent on being driven by the dollar.

I suspect that the US Govt / fed sees google as a very powerful tool that could through the flick of the switch have an effect on the USA GDP.

My search results in the last weeks have been largely full of USA ecom sites (after amazon and ebay) for the products that we sell - even though I focus my search on the UK. When I reset through search options to UK I get some more typical results whereby my site ranks well.

Certainly by presenting USA based and taxed companies to the rest of the world there would be a significant boost in exports with sterling be fairly strong against the dollar.

There could almost be a metric they use whereby due to exchange rate variation the price in the USA plus shipping is LOW enough to convert this visitor.

There is very little you can do other than downsize your INTERNET RETAIL business and focus on unique products if you do wish to sell online. Products of course that are seeing growth in searches.

I haven't looked at my visitor stats, because I prefer instincts ... and at the end of the day I can read it on the bottom line. This FEB has been my worst period of trading days since 1997.

I expect to see some spikes and maybe a periods of increased traffic to soothe the pain. But is it really organic?

Perhaps the best advice is to, list your product on Amazon and Ebay (factor in their costs) - and don't give up.

ohno




msg:4644419
 10:09 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Perhaps the best advice is to, list your product on Amazon and Ebay (factor in their costs) - and don't give up.


That is a way to make sure you rank top for sure but seriously those sites are just a race to the bottom. Cheapest seller gets the sale.

disspy




msg:4644427
 10:37 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

@theskunk
Over the last 3 years I have experienced the slow death brought on by the new google that seems intent on being driven by the dollar.

I suspect that the US Govt / fed sees google as a very powerful tool that could through the flick of the switch have an effect on the USA GDP.


So true!

Well, I've been watching (mainly lurking) these SEO discussions on WebmasterWorld for more then a decade, and I see a few folks still contributing here, but most of them are either out of business or sick-of-it-all. So am I. However, here are my $0.02 on global Google strategy.

Google is driven by shareholders - no doubt. They are an international corporation having powerful tools & power to destroy anything they face on their way to achieve their goals. Webmasters are just another collateral damage on their way to their goals. The garage days of innovation are long time over. I wouldn't wonder if they have a kind of tax-deduction deal with US Gov to keep as much money on US grounds, since Google has the power to enormously boost US GDP. Additionally, they easily suffocate small business and crowd-sourcing communities (wikipedia, some mighty forums, except stackoverflow) with SEO bs and white-list public corporations who are prone to their algo updates.

What's the future of Google SEO you ask? Well, the future has already arrived :) That's white-listing or pay to be at the top! Similar to Facebook or any other online giant. Everything else is useless and waste of money and time, except you have some viral thing and can make some quick $$$.

Bottom line, Google has no competitors neither in online search unfortunately nor in online advertising or mobile business. FTC or any other US or World institutions obviously doesn't have the power and/or resources for proper investigations to prove and block their monopolistic/unethical business moves/intentions.

You can stay and fight with SEO magic, or save your energy and creativity for another track of your business/life.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4644433
 11:02 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

disspy id agree with that!

Most of us who aren't a brand are having to work harder, longer for less returns with every passing update, the few who aren't (only 1-2 here spring to mind) and who consider themselves immune because informational searches haven't been "add attacked" yet have a shock coming to them when G has rung all the money out of the commercial searches it can and has no choice but to turns its focus to informational queries...

All sites are a means to an end, commercial now, informational in the future, we have already seen this with images and are starting to see it with information.

As a publically traded company G needs to keep more and more traffic on its own platform to click on adds for higher quarterly profits, when G starts to flat line they will **need** to seek new ways to increase the next quarter profits or the people at the top start to get replaced, so the informational searches and providers of content will experience what many in commercial searches are going through now, G will most likely either scrap their content making click through irrelevant or produce the content themselves, whatever it takes to keep them adds in view, its not if but when....

Some_Bloke




msg:4644450
 12:07 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Searching on google through Firefox's built in search box I've just started getting a pop-up asking "how satisfied are you with these search results" with five choices from "very satisfied" to "very dissatisfied"

I'm in the UK and it only happens through Firefox, not from google.uk

It's actually quite irritating and seems to happen on every search at the moment.

ohno




msg:4644451
 12:12 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Not seeing that here, what version of FF are you using?

Some_Bloke




msg:4644452
 12:18 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi ohno,

version 26.0

I just checked again straight after posting and it's stopped now. It's the first time I've ever seen that happen and it was about 6 or 7 times in a row with various different searches.

It was quite a large box, bottom right of the screen with a column of smileys beside the choices and google logo underneath.

[edited by: Some_Bloke at 12:25 pm (utc) on Feb 12, 2014]

ohno




msg:4644453
 12:23 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks anyway, I tested with my current version (didn't check what version-doh!) & updated to the latest version (27.0) & still got nothing :( I guess they know not to ask me :)

Some_Bloke




msg:4644458
 12:49 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

I hope I've done this correctly - I found a tab still open and grabbed a screen shot.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/diigo/7758905_199164203_12835203?AWSAccessKeyId=0R7FMW7AXRVCYMAPTPR2&Expires=1392224972&Signature=2%2FCeQBBACyE62cLAclNC03sVJ2E%3D

[edited by: brotherhood_of_LAN at 4:57 pm (utc) on Feb 12, 2014]
[edit reason] changed link [/edit]

Wilburforce




msg:4644462
 12:57 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Some_Bloke

Thanks for the screen shot. I haven't seen it either (FF 27.0, UK), but it might be a sign that Google are seeing evidence of user dissatisfaction with the current SERPs. I hope so.

ohno




msg:4644463
 12:58 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yep I see your image, thanks for taking the time to do that. Be interesting to see if anyone else gets to see it. I've not in any browser today. What did you click? :D

Some_Bloke




msg:4644464
 1:10 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Apart from my own keywords it showed for terms such as "cooking" and "widgets"


Oops - just realised what you meant. I didn't click anything.

Actually the SERPs I see are relatively good and hardly change. Even so, like everybody else here, we have days on end with barely any traffic - then a few short bursts and back to nothing again. It's hard to understand how they manage that.

It's absolutely dead for us today.

tigger




msg:4644473
 2:14 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

anyone else seeing these report sites thats "supposed" to show a site value ranking higher than them? My site that was 1st has dropped to 15th but above that two valuation appraisal sites!

This update is a joke but when you have people like Stephen Fry telling people to go "googleit" on QI what chance do we have.

ohno




msg:4644474
 2:18 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Indeed, Im almost cry when I hear "Google it". Tell them to BING IT :) It sounds so #*$! that most people try it :) Not to mention the home page images are nice. Seeing on/off periods today. SERP layout has been pretty stable, only seen two changes today!

Wilburforce




msg:4644476
 2:29 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Presumably it isn't just me, and WMT is still stuck on 6 Feb.

travelin cat




msg:4644495
 3:14 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm following about 25 client sites and all but 3 had a huge jump in traffic on the 11th. Some doubled their traffic. Hoping this is a trend going forward.

Also, these are all in the U.S., on the West Coast.

Dymero




msg:4644502
 3:19 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Somewhat of a reversal of a slow drop that had been going on for the past couple weeks. Visible ranking increases in a few keywords I manually track.

USA, ecom

ohno




msg:4644520
 4:57 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Strange day, traffic blips at 9am, 11am & 4pm. Then traffic literally switched off. Upon checking the SERP's all I can see that has changed is Google Shopping is back at the top (rather than right hand side). Seems they are testing that today? Massive storm today though, 12500 homes without power so far, floods, trains cancelled, trees down etc etc. Not what you would call a normal day!

One thing I did see, when image results were in the SERP's one picture had a tag on it, forget the phrase but something like "added in last 3 days" (it was our image, oh the irony!). Not seen that one before?

ETA, it's back in Chrome but not IE, picture has "3 days ago" in small dark grey box. Seems different layouts in different broswer are being tested? (not like that is anyhting new mind).

ohno




msg:4644721
 9:06 am on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

This morning I'm seeing the same SERP layout across all browsers. Big Google Shopping block followed by images, not one organic result without scrolling down. (UK)

ohno




msg:4644735
 10:32 am on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

I give up, we're back to image results at the top & Shopping to the right. Can they not leave the #*$! layout alone for even a few hours!

Martin Ice Web




msg:4644742
 11:11 am on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

ohno, we are seeing Domain crowding is back.2 times Amazon followed by 3 times ebay in a row. And two of the 6 results are way off topic!
I think they donīt get their system right. too many penalties too many whitelists. Too many off this and that.


ecom, germany

featurex




msg:4644856
 4:30 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

After a nice increase of around 400% around jan 21 we are back to the level we had before the 21 st. drop occurred on feb 12

ibeau




msg:4644964
 11:03 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Again a 49% drop in traffic over night. Many pages dissapeared from page one to nowhere. Many new silly Kids pages with no trust signals, layout or information are coming to the top. This smells like a panda update.


I'm seeing similar drops also.

Several key search terms have had a major drop. I was ranking position 2-4 on page 1 for terms like

blue widgets australia
male blue widgets

and now I'm several pages back. It's not just me either, my competition are nowhere to be found. I'm also seeing some domain crowding. Google better sort this out.. quickly.

Mentat




msg:4645022
 5:59 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yuk, for me, this looks like the good old nasty Panda => -10% = slow death...

ohno




msg:4645035
 7:34 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

It's not just me either, my competition are nowhere to be found. I'm also seeing some domain crowding. Google better sort this out.. quickly.


Replaced by what though? That is the key. Over here it's Wikipedia, eBay & Amazon.

tigger




msg:4645044
 7:50 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Replaced by what though? That is the key. Over here it's Wikipedia, eBay & Amazon.


what happened to the good old days of seeing links "click here for more results from his site"

I'm also seeing google.books showing a lot now for very competitive terms that many have struggled or try to rank for years - with one update suddenly all I see is .books ...when are the idiot public going to wake up to goog

tigger




msg:4645045
 7:50 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Replaced by what though? That is the key. Over here it's Wikipedia, eBay & Amazon.


what happened to the good old days of seeing links "click here for more results from his site"

I'm also seeing google.books showing a lot now for very competitive terms that many have struggled or try to rank for years - with one update suddenly all I see is .books ...when are the idiot public going to wake up to goog

matrix_jan




msg:4645046
 7:51 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've searched for a song on google, and an embeded youtube video (full size!) appeared on top of all results. This is something new.

Search for "nirvana teen spirit" for example.

ohno




msg:4645047
 7:58 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

yep, same. Zero Organic results above the fold on some screen resolutions. Just one big embeded video.

Wilburforce




msg:4645054
 8:30 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Search for "nirvana teen spirit" for example.


I tried a random selection of band/track searches that I thought would probably have a video, and an embedded video came up in every case.

Yahoo isn't actually that dissimilar: the video isn't full-sized, but if you click on it you get it in a pop-up window. The top two results - YouTube then Wikipedia - are the same for Google and Bing/Yahoo.

Google are obviously trying different display options (but then they always have). The SERPs in that type of search don't look out of place, however.

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