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Google Updates and SERP Changes - April 2014
Mentat

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 9:06 am on Apr 1, 2014 (gmt 0)


System: The following 2 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4650302.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 1:45 am on Apr 1, 2014 (PST -8)


For me, since this Saturday, google reverted the changes they did last week.
Going down, again...

 

Atomic

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 6:56 am on Apr 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes, I am experiencing a big traffic change.

Monday and Tuesday traffic was up (Unique Visitors) 50% YoY. Wednesday was up 81%.

Nothing unusual about visitor locations. Acquisition from Google was up (65% vs. 50%) but from Bing was nearly identical to last year.

And it's great traffic, too. Earnings are way up. Time on site is up 100%, Bounce Rate is -22%, Page Views up 156% etc. It's crazy.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 6:59 am on Apr 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Atomic,

location?
have you ever been Panda hit?

Atomic

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 7:10 am on Apr 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

USA.

No, I don't think I've been hit by Panda before. I've never seen anything this dramatic up or down.

I have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort the last few months working on my disavow file. This is the sort of result I would like to see after putting in so much work. But I didn't begin this because of any notification from Google. I just didn't see how tens of thousands of links with Ugg Boot and payday loan anchor text could be helping me.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 7:45 am on Apr 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

OK, i don´t think that links is my problem. I think we are allmost clear with it. We have lots of links from Forums, this should be ok.
As i had a severe Problem with my sitemap and a bunch of undeliberated deleted files, i think Panda or some other algo hit my page. I think that there is a time threshold this "Penalty" is not lifted before.
But if i sniff it smells like panda beeing release more angry than before.


ecom, germany

seodayal



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 12:08 pm on Apr 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Still UK location not hit by recent updates.

Ralph_Slate

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 5:27 pm on Apr 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

I am seeing a difference in domain authority too. When I search for an obscure two-word term that I should be #1 for (since I have the only page on the topic) - without quotes - I am being outranked by Wikipedia for a page that has the two words on it, but not near each other.

That is something I haven't seen before - Google has pushed domain authority to mean more than proximity of words in the search term.

The term in question is a name.

engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 5:55 pm on Apr 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've seen some interesting changes going on.

Two examples: Not sure exactly what's happened, but a site which was languishing on page four has now bounced back to page one and directly under wikipedia. It's been on page four for many, many months, and used to sit on page one, position one, for quite a few years. It was hit by Penguin.

Additionally, I have noticed a site in a competitive area dropping to page 2. No surprise on that one as it needs some work.

I'm not quite sure what to make of it just yet as I like to see things settle and run for a while.

menntarra 34



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 12:36 pm on Apr 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Wondering if there is an update one of my site was hit yesterday. i had 12000 uniques/day, now it is down to 3000/day.
Terrible :/
Mozcast also show signs of "bad weather"...

getcooking

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 2:19 pm on Apr 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Wondering if there is an update one of my site was hit yesterday.


Something definitely happened yesterday. Semrush shows two of my competitors taking a hit - one I know was hit by Panda updates and the other I suspect was (not as hard though). We had a major keyword shakeup (lots of position changes both up and down), but oddly Semrush isn't showing my site as taking a hit (we've also been hit by previous Panda updates). We get tons of traffic around holidays so it's too hard to tell yet if we've been affected by whatever this was. I had a feeling that Google was going to run an update around Easter. They love to mess with my holiday traffic!

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 2:23 pm on Apr 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google claims to update its algorithm 500 times a year, more or less, so it stands to reason that somebody is going to see changes to rankings and/or Google Search referrals on any given day.

As for me, it's been "same old, same old" for quite a while now, with any given day's traffic graph being almost an exact overlay of the traffic graph a week earlier.

IMHO, something big is brewing (things have been too quiet for too long), but when it will occur is anyone's guess.

Mentat

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 8:03 pm on Apr 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yuppie !

One of my important &old subdomain got hit on 4th of September 2013.
It's finally back on 18 of April 2014!

I still have one last domain down.
[i.imgur.com...]

I've checked also Google Analytics and Adsense. I'm back!

A lot of thin page cleaning, nofollow links and disavowed domains...

P.S. Last year on Catholic Easter, Google integrated panda into the Algo.

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 8:00 am on Apr 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

One of my domains which vanished completely six months ago has suddenly re-appeared in a top ten position for a useful keyphrase. Dunno why it went in the first place, it's no better and no worse than many others I've got that just kept chugging along. I've seen this kind of thing several times before and usually there are multiple domains affected at the same time so some knob controlling site blocking has been turned somewhere IMO.

igyulev



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 10:54 am on Apr 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

This update is total BS. A very popular site will not get its content indexed for 12 hours, and after that will be placed under its competitors who have just posted the same content. I think google have stuck their heads up their ... with this one.

menntarra 34



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 6:01 pm on Apr 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I do agree : this update is strange.
I admit i used and still use some obvious spam techniques to spread the words about some of my sites. And after April 18th update, my spammy sites receive 15% more traffic. However those sites where i have not used ANY spam tricks, lost about 50-80% of their traffic.
Now i need to spam them as well i guess :)
Go home google you're drunk!

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 7:48 pm on Apr 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Go home google you're drunk!

I have a site about red widgets which has been at the bottom of page one for the search term blue widgets, a completely different product, for a couple of months now. It gets lots of clicks but produces no business, naturally. It's so irrelevant that it has moved up to no.7 over the last few days. Still, it's more relevant than the brandspam above it.

For 'red widgets' it's nowhere.

I keep thinking; do I help Google by making sites relevant to the search terms it gives them good positions for? Or will that same relevance cause a penalty? What a crazy world we live in.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 7:57 pm on Apr 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

It gets lots of clicks but produces no business,

That sounds like mis-matched traffic. Maybe Google has penalized all the sites that have that product, but they have to send people somewhere, even if it's not what they're looking for, so they end up on your site..

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 8:48 pm on Apr 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

That sounds like mis-matched traffic. Maybe Google has penalized all the sites that have that product, but they have to send people somewhere, even if it's not what they're looking for, so they end up on your site..


Thanks for the compliment <BWG>

JesterMagic

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 12:31 am on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Congrats Mentat. What type of site is it and what country?

I would still give it a week or two just to make sure things stick.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 8:23 am on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I keep thinking; do I help Google by making sites relevant to the search terms it gives them good positions for? Or will that same relevance cause a penalty? What a crazy world we live in.


Yes, i think that hit the nail. Remember Google´s Profit gained again 20% last year. To obtain this growth they have either to find new ways of seeling ads or to push poeple to click more ads. What is the easier way?

Have a look at bing. Whitout all this brands BS they serve relevant sites without going to page 3 on serps.

mrengine



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 2:51 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think google have stuck their heads up their ... with this one.

For this to happen, they first would have needed to remove it. I don't think they ever did, and it has been lodged in the same spot for a good couple of years.

We are still holding strong. The key is to sell something nobody else sells and never offer the product on Amazon or have any other affiliates to compete against. This helps to avoid the struggles that so many other related businesses in our industry now find themselves up against. It's not a case of big brand bias but rather big brand dominance. To survive in an anti-competitive environment, one must keep the competition to a minimum. As a manufacturer we can do this, but I see the small businesses on the retail side of our industry all getting slaughtered.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 2:53 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

do I help Google by making sites relevant to the search terms it gives them good positions for?


I doubt if Google is looking for that kind of "help." (What you're talking about is SEO, not organic search.)

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 5:36 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I doubt if Google is looking for that kind of "help." (What you're talking about is SEO, not organic search.)


The domain name is an EMD for red widgets.
The Tile is 'Red Widgets'.
The Copy is all about red widgets.
The word 'blue' doesn't appear in the copy.
The word 'blue' doesn't appear in any links pointing to the site.
The word 'blue' doesn't appear in any copy on any of the sites that link to this site.

If you can explain how SEO accounts for this I'd be grateful.

The paid ads are, of course, highly relevant for the search term.

Fuzzy organics + relevant ads = more clicks on ads and fewer on organics. QED.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 5:59 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Superclown2, I can understand your frustration, but the solution isn't to "make sites relevant to the search terms it [Google] gives them good positions for." That's a short-term tactic, and it involves chasing a moving target.

Fuzzy organics + relevant ads = more clicks on ads and fewer on organics. QED.


If that were Google's strategy, wouldn't it make sense to spend more money on ads and less on SEO? That would be a more rational response than hoping to de-fuzz intentionally fuzzy search results.

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 8:11 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I always understood that it's the job of a search engine to produce results that were relevant to a searcher's query, not for a site owner to change sites to match search results. However if said search engine fails to do it's job then we must do whatever is necessary to continue to earn a living.

Frankly I am wondering whether the current search results are the result of someone's ego problem. Perhaps Google cannot change their system because the person who decided upon it is too far up in the pecking order. Either that or the conspiracy theories have merit.

wouldn't it make sense to spend more money on ads and less on SEO?


This was meant as a joke, of course? We are all to accept that their results are so poor that the only way to get business is to buy it? Wow.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 8:21 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

We are all to accept that their results are so poor that the only way to get business is to buy it?


If you believe that Google's results are poor by choice (as you've suggested), then it's probably more realistic to buy advertising than to think you can trick Google into sharpening its intentionally fuzzy search results.

Media buying is a good skill to develop in any case, because (a) advertising can generate revenue, and (b) relying on Google traffic for commercial queries will become increasingly risky as "advertising creep" leaves less room for organic results above the fold.

Awarn



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 8:37 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Great post EG - what amount of spending would you suggest?

turbocharged



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 1:12 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Great post EG - what amount of spending would you suggest?

I hope you are just being sarcastic. That poster is known to operate an informational site. The differences between information and commercial query results are substantial, considering the biggest competitor webmasters have in most commercial queries is Google itself - either through Google's paid ads, verticals, investments and/or partnerships.

Basically what I'm saying is that someone operating solely informational website(s) lacks the qualifications/understanding to provide advice to those maintaining a digital presence for the purpose of actual commerce.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 1:48 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

OK, Turbocharged, what do you suggest that owners of e-commerce sites do when Google's organic results are awful (whether those results are awful by accident or by design)?

Telling them to complain about conspiracies isn't a solution.

goodoldweb



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 2:37 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Telling them to complain about conspiracies isn't a solution.


Telling them to feed the monster that has been killing so many small businesses for far too long is no great solution either.

turbocharged



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 3:11 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

OK, Turbocharged, what do you suggest that owners of e-commerce sites do when Google's organic results are awful (whether those results are awful by accident or by design)?

It's not a matter of what I would suggest but instead why are you continually commenting on topics that are in areas you do not operate in. The difference between your Adsense monetized informational website and ecommerce websites is huge. As I said previously, Google is competing heavily for ecommerce queries to get a cut of any money changing hands. You just don't see the same competition in "information" as we see in ecommerce.

Unlike some, I'm not here to make lame attempts to simply change the conversation to some pro-Google point of view. Those of us with physical businesses and fellow employees see the pain caused by what has occurred and what inevitably is happening now. We don't see our Adsense earnings drop a little. We see men and women, who are supporting families, losing their jobs because the work we once had is being diverted by Google to the big corporations. That's the hardship many have when so much of the search market is controlled by one company.

I don't pretend to have all the answers. But I do know that I am not going to keep handing food to the mouth that is chewing off my fingers with each bite they take. Sooner or later I will run out of hands and arms. Because of this, Adwords is not for me. Anyway, the CPC in my industry is around $12 per click and would leave us with a LOI (loss on investment) as we can't convert/upsell into profitability.

Instead of complaining, people can write their representatives and file complaints with their respective regulatory agencies. Google is continuing to expand into many industries through acquisitions, investments and partnerships. If people think it's bad now, just give it five more years when Google has financial interests in a few hundred more companies that will occupy organic search. That's assuming organic search will even deliver traffic for anything product or service related (non-informational).

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4659095 posted 6:14 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Telling them to feed the monster that has been killing so many small businesses for far too long is no great solution either.


So advertise on Bing, then or somewhere else. Google isn't the only advertising game in town.

And no, it won't be easy. Change seldom is. But the alternatives that some people are suggesting ("People can write their representatives and file complaints with their respective regulatory agencies") aren't going to put food on the table.

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