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Google Updates and SERP Changes - April 2014

 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...



 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.


 7:07 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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.

Adwords = Forced web cencorship.


 8:19 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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.

This is something never emphasised enough, the human impact (not everyone cares about profit but everyone has to make a living), the social implications on real families.

When the propaganda words “black hatter” or “spammer” are mentioned I immediately envision a gangster, gold teeth, pimping a ride on a bed of money and laughing at Matt Cutts. Reality? People who can barely pay rent on a social housing estate or previously respected people like doc Sheldon...

[edited by: CaptainSalad2 at 8:35 am (utc) on Apr 23, 2014]

Martin Ice Web

 8:34 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

In my niche i see haevy domain crowding again. 4x times ebay, Amazon or a big brand at #1-#4 are usuall now.
What makes me wonder is, that this are all deep smilar pages. In most cases only have a sllight differenz in one or two words int the title.
e.g. cable red 2m, cable green 2m
They have a canonical tag only set to itself not to a summary page.
As for my site, Google removed all my canonical sites from index and has only the summary page in index. For long tail searches Google is not able to extract the Information out of the Information site.
Is it now better to remove or set the canonical tag to the page itself?

For the first timei saw, with the Easter update, a big brand got a deep hit. Certainly replaced by another big brand.

@CS, i Support you in every single word and like to add that big comnpanies will not spend any money it´s the small Business that keeps social facilities running.
Or do you think Google/Amazon/ebay will spend money to the kindergaden in my town?

@EG i know that you now say, it is not in Googles responsibility to make sure social facilities get Money out of local Business. FALSE. The bigger a company the more they have to look for social fairness. Unfortunatelly we live in a time where this guts have been lost. It is all about the Money.

ecom, germany


 10:31 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

EG is just trying to bring balance to a predominantly anti-Google conversation where nobody seems to have positive suggestions to improve the lot of hard-pushed small companies. Trying to steer the convo to what might work (buy traffic rather than win it for free) might just be seen as trying to help.

Talking about what Google could do to rank your site better will not help.

Talking about what Google is ranking might help, but only if you can identify actionable information you can implement.

We're an ecom. We're up well over 50% over the last 24 months.

We're well over $10m turnover, and employ about 20 people.

Not everyone is struggling in Google. Those who are doing ok no longer post here.

I can only speak for myself, but I gave up when every attempt to suggest Webmasters should consider what THEY could do differently was met my a combination of diatribe about what GOOGLE should do differently, and that I was a Google apologist / fanboi.

I'm no fan of Google. I object to their assault on privacy. I dislike their business practices in general. I don't like the way they over-promote their own properties, I get annoyed when carefully crafted queries return generic junk.

But we treat Google like a farmer treats weather. It's just there. You can get annoyed about it, or you can try and understand and work with it. But never trust it, never take it for granted, and never think its on your side.

I don't post much. For those unfamiliar with me, I was among the first to recognise Traffic Shaping / Zombie Traffic [webmasterworld.com], and am utterly clear about the purpose and intention of FUD [webmasterworld.com]


 11:10 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

buy traffic rather than win it for free

I think the problem here is we are now advising buying traffic on an organic forum which is off topic. No offense to EG but he is the first person to point this is an organic forum when discussing PPC.

Those who are doing ok no longer post here

Disagree, if someone stops posting on say, a cancer forum... would you assume that means they are doing okay!

I agree with your overall points!

[edited by: CaptainSalad2 at 11:15 am (utc) on Apr 23, 2014]


 11:15 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yeah, that's kind of my point. This has become a support group, not a forum for the free exchange of ideas.

I'm sure it serves well as a support group, but moral support doesn't usually provide a cure.


 2:32 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Mods note:

Interesting discussion developed, but it did not belong to this thread. I have cut them out to a new thread:

Ranking and traffic - Informational vs Ecommerce sites
url=http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4665467.htm [webmasterworld.com].

The following 8 messages were cut out to new thread by aakk9999. New thread at: google/4665467.htm [webmasterworld.com]
10:59 am on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

[edited by: aakk9999 at 11:05 am (utc) on Apr 24, 2014]


 1:19 am on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just out of curiosity, does anyone have any useful observations about the more immediate topic of of "Google Updates and SERP Changes - April 2014"?

Six days ago, our main site had its deepest Googlebot crawl since January. Usually we see a change in Google traffic within five days of a really deep crawl. Not this time--at least, not yet.


 2:49 am on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've noticed the same deep crawl. It happened six days ago and yes, I've been expecting something. But nothing's happened yet.


 12:31 pm on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

I saw a deep crawl. Now I see most host crowding. Same cycle over and over.


 12:50 pm on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

The good news is traffic on all my sites is way up this year, even the really old one that I thought was maxed out. Even my one site that somehow got Panda'd is up a bit, although nowhere where it should be.

The bad news is, the KG is starting to infringe upon my territory. Sometimes I'm the result in the KG. More times (at least so far) someone else is in the KG, and with *wrong or old* information.

I can't decide if that's actually good news or bad news, actually. If the user is looking for an event for 2014, and the KG shows him an event from an "authority" site from 2013, maybe that ends up being better for me.

At any rate, I'm beefing up titles and meta descriptions like crazy.


 1:49 pm on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

One of sites I am looking after has traffic up this year 12% but conversions are up 50%

I guess we are getting better traffic.

@netmeg, for us not in USA, what/who is KG?


 1:52 pm on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

what/who is KG?

Knowledge graph, took me a minute to...


 2:01 pm on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sorry. Yes, the info box or knowledge graph - it shows up in different places.

Example - "when is easter 2015" in the search box gives you this:


In my case, the box (so far) is only generated when someone types in a real world full sentence, like "when is the event" or "where is the event" and not just keywords. But tomorrow, who knows.

Martin Ice Web

 5:17 pm on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

@netmeg, when you say "beefing up" you mean make it longer more informational, adding words?


 5:33 pm on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Not necessarily adding words, but also changing them, reordering them, whatever it takes. I want to make sure that a user who finds a short (or incorrect) answer in the box sees MY snippet and is reasonably confident I have the better (and more correct) answer. Quality, not quantity. That's the only way to compete with the box, as far as I can tell.

And one hopes that if enough people pick my link, eventually it will end up in the box.


 7:43 am on Apr 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

Results FUBAR on my niche...

Big changes (nice changes) on 18, back to the pit on 21..

Martin Ice Web

 10:08 am on Apr 25, 2014 (gmt 0)


Quality, not quantity. I am with you. In most cases a short title/snippet is all the best but then the page Shows up in WMT with error to short title/snippet!
Sometimes you have to add "rubbish" only to get rid of these errors.
That is something that is not going right with g.


 1:01 pm on Apr 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't worry about those notices of short titles or snippets so much. More concerned if the information is sufficient for the user to make a choice.


 2:54 pm on Apr 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing much change on page 1 at the moment but I am seeing big and constant changes on page 2 and 3. It's constantly churning. Any ideas why?

Martin Ice Web

 5:31 pm on Apr 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

@netmag, so you say that WMT html suggestions ( shot description/title) in a high number does not effect rankings?

I would like to cut down many titles but thought this would direct effect the ranking.


 5:35 pm on Apr 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

It's constantly churning. Any ideas why?

Sure as heck Google's no idea why, their UK SERPs for my widgets are a total mess with so many US results in them it's ridiculous.

It wouldn't be so bad IF the US were the original source for my trade widgets however it is not, the US is an overwhelming importer for my trade widgets, well into 90+%.

Further evidence that G simply hasn't a clue about some industries yet it lets US sites dominate another country's SERPs.


 8:36 pm on Apr 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

@netmag, so you say that WMT html suggestions ( shot description/title) in a high number does not effect rankings?


I don't know, I just am not worrying about that. If you are, cut down a few first and see what happens.


 5:35 am on Apr 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

I see huge changes on 25th for the two sites I monitor, one of which has doubled in traffic. on 27th March my main site dropped from 33k uniques a day to 24k uniques, traffic levels stood pretty much same for rest of the whole month, but it seems traffic doubled with in a day on 25th of April and peaked at 43k uniques.

The other site which I am monitoring, has dropped in traffic on same day, it was at 8k uniques a day and dropped down to 3k on 25th april. So I am guessing something happened at Google yesterday on 25th!

Anyone else?


 12:24 am on Apr 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing some big crawl stats on the 25th - [i.imgur.com...]

Looks like the monthly refresh. Let's see what comes of it.


 10:05 am on Apr 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

Great, I'm in a roller coaster now

-90% -> 3 days normal ->3 days -90% -> again normal (great traffic).

I got to take a break!
I cannot resist the "excitement". :(

Google Analytics is at least one day delayed!


 7:46 pm on Apr 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

10 hours and front page content not indexed on a very busy site. A scrapper site that uses our content gets indexed immediately. Not sure why we also keep losing indexed pages daily (note that we only use http://www. of the domain). No shady tactics, no black/grey hat SEO ... nothing. We lost about 1/3 of our traffic in the past week.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:11 am (utc) on Apr 28, 2014]
[edit reason] removed auto-link in http://www example [/edit]


 1:30 pm on Apr 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

It's a total ghost town out there! We've dropped off as the authority across several sites. One of our sites is for a manufacturer of blue widgets.

If I search for blue widget manufacturers (someone who actually invests the finances, time and resources into actually BUILDING something REAL), all I find is page after page or thin articles and those now sickening "30 Photos of Awesome Red Widgets" MFA pages.

It's very clear that Gorg is more focused on converting ads than providing a good user experience...unless thumbing through 30 (and in one case 87) pages of ad ridden photos is g's idea of fun.

I did finally find blue widget manufacturers...after page 15.

@netmeg - from reading some of your posts I assume you use WP as your platform. If using WP, are you using any of the KG plugin's and if so are they working for you? Event sites seem to do well with KG.


 2:12 pm on Apr 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

I never heard of any Knowledge Graph plugins (and would be very skeptical of them) so, no.


 4:46 pm on Apr 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

It's very clear that Gorg is more focused on converting ads than providing a good user experience


This 178 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 178 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 > >
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