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Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2014
chalkywhite



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 1:18 pm on May 1, 2014 (gmt 0)


System: The following 17 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4659095.htm [webmasterworld.com] by brotherhood_of_lan - 11:06 am on May 1, 2014 (utc -5)


I know its Labour Day around the world but my god is quiet today, wouldnt be surprised if an update has rolled out also.

 

johnhh

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 11:57 pm on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

The update is still going on
seems like it is
Andem

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 1:01 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I believe the update we're all seeing is ongoing. A few sites that were affected by Panda that I'm watching saw almost double traffic for around 30 hours but have fallen back to normal levels. On the contrary, 1 site that has no reason to be affected by Panda or Penguin has regained some of the positions lost during that 30-hour-window.

This is nevertheless a huge shakeup but I believe it's premature to declare everybody affected by Panda noticing an uptick is 'cured'.

One of the most important observations on my side is that the sites not optimized for mobile devices are the ones on a roller coaster right now.

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 1:17 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

The update is still going on

Seems like it might be. I saw good traffic yesterday, then it seemed to stop earlier today. Uptick in the past couple of hours.

besnette

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 1:19 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I am noticing a lot of people outside today getting campers ready, packing etc already - lots of graduations, and other distractions happening in tandem.

For all the US folks, I think going forward through Monday it will be a little harder to diagnose with the holiday weekend on our doorstep.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 7:15 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Did someone notice taht refs from other sites have fallen significant? Is it due to the fact that links are removed or that this sites donīt show up in serps anymore?
Did google manage to fear up the internet community with penguin/panda so much that search engines/social media are the only traffic generators?

Serps:
We gained a lot of new good positions but traffic didnīt change a bit. Traffic is still very unrelated.
From what i can see is that for technical or deep niche searches, special searches amazon and ebay lost many positions. What is imo a good thing because in most cases the only have seeling info but no deep technical understatement.


ecom, germany

IamnotMattCutts



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:04 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

We also increased ranking positions for traffic generating keywords, but if anything our traffic is slightly lower and the new rankings are not reflecting the traffic we are seeing.

I'm aware that the rollout is probably still ongoing, however how is it possible to get less traffic for better rankings?

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:38 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm aware that the rollout is probably still ongoing, however how is it possible to get less traffic for better rankings?


yes whilst updates are rolling out and all the datacenters are catching up you can be seeing better rankings on the datacenter your are connected to but others are seeing the old results

give it a few days and then see

superclown2

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



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:45 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

how is it possible to get less traffic for better rankings?


I have sites that are doing more business now than the same time last year despite worse rankings. Why? Firstly the sites above them are junk brand pages. People are just not finding what they want there, easily and quickly so they keep searching. Secondly I improved my sites which had slipped in ranking and made them 100% relevant for the target search terms. I spend a lot of time and money getting independent people to look at them and comment on them; a lot of the time their comments hurt a bit but they are usually right. The result is that though I say it myself they are probably the best sites for particular search terms; fully compliant, mobile optimised, professional unique graphics which load quickly, clearly written and highly relevant text.

Add to that; I find that if a site is at no. 9 or no. 10 it can attract more eyeballs than at no. 6 or 7. Position 11 is not bad either, subconsciously people see '11' as being a surrogate '1'.

So yes, it really is possible to rise up in the SERPs and get less business.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:56 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

We gained a lot of new good positions but traffic didnīt change a bit.


and

the new rankings are not reflecting the traffic we are seeing.


So far, I am seeing a mixed picture: from Monday's WMT stats (the latest I have available), page 1 Impressions (Avg. position <=10) were up by ~20% on the previous Monday, and Google traffic (server log) was also up by ~20%.

However, the SERPs gains have been in shorter phrases (with a higher number of total impressions), and CTR on these - several of which have returned to page 1 from pages 2+ - has predictably improved.

On longer phrases, oddly, CTR seems to have got worse, with quite a few returning no Clicks for a highly relevant page 1 result with an obviously relevant description, which is difficult to explain.

In overall numbers, a ~20% increase in traffic has continued into Tuesday and Wednesday, and those terms I am monitoring are holding their new positions.

Bounce rate yesterday was lower than it has been for a long time, but that doesn't apply to Monday or Tuesday or - so far - today.

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:04 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

@superclown2 - some great points there!

I also think people are just generally 'better' at searching than 5-10 years ago. Whereas before people would only look to the first few results, people (in my experience) seem to look further, investigate company reviews, and compare much more than ever...resulting in the #1 spot not being so important.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:50 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing an uptick in impressions but not in clicks. Conversions seems about the same. Probably a bit too early to read into that too much, maybe.

besnette

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 2:33 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I really do care about the quality of the results, and intent behind the websites that do well in my particular niche - since, the users in my industry have a lot to lose, and are very vulnerable if they land on, and engage some of bad ones.

That said, with this update, there are certainly some good sites doing well - I know, through networking and being in our niche for 10 years many of the players, so I'm glad for those who are doing well that have earned it.

My niche-specific feedback:

There are, however a handful of sites in this update that are now doing quite well with this update that leave me with a furrowed brow - really questioning how they earned it?

- Sites that I know full well have barely been touched content-wise for ages
- Sites that promote other businesses, often using stock photos, but omit the businesses phone number, replacing it with a referral number, or making that information difficult or impossible to get (imagine if the phone book did this?)
- Sites that have very weak social support
- Sites that you can't 'contact' the site owner(s) - they try to keep anonymous
- 1000's of auto-generated pages
- a number of them are .org extentions but they are 100% commercial sites - which I think really causes confusion (I've talked about this before, and this is definitely a strategy for some, and it really bugs me)
- sites that get you 3 or 4 pages/clicks in before you realize you aren't going to get the information you wanted (or without sending in your personal information )
- no authorship/ownership of content
...among other things
Basically, questionable at best..

I know that the folks at google have said they want to do a 'softer' panda, getting getting smaller sites back in there that should be doing better, which is great -

But, to earn it by just showing up (for some sites) - essentially?

I/We work incredibly hard on our site's content every single day - making sure it's unique, useful, honest, full of video tutorials, interviews, original articles - I've earned the social support with my site (almost 2K +1's, more youtube subscribers than I think anyone else in my niche (and,my niche is not very 'socially active' so those numbers are really strong), the most active and highest membership 'community' on google+ for my industry, some of the best natural links (.gov, edu), no spam or link exchanges, and a 'natural growth' of our pages (not auto-generating 1000's at once), authorship, transparency...etc.

So, should I stop doing all of that? Is the effort going to be for naught?

My site's doing ok at the moment, I'm thankful for that, although I feel this update is far from over.

Just really wondering what's now being valued with some sites.


I'll grab some coffee, and get to work today just like always. Got an interview to do for my site :-)

Hopefully it will all turn out ok.

spreporter



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 2:49 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I remember the old days when they use to give a name to G's updates, remember florida, brandy etc. Well since it looks like a great upfate how about "The darling buds of May" ?

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 2:55 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

superclown2, I'm also doing more BUSINESS than I was last year, and that's what counts, not rankings. I'm probably a bit less visible in Google than last year, which strangely is an added bonus for me. If I'm less visible in Google but doing MORE business, I'm in a much stronger position. These recent updates were the first time that I haven't had my heart in my mouth wondering whether I would "win" or "lose" with Google.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 7:19 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Now looking a Tuesday's WMT, impressions are almost double Monday's (which is historically the busiest day).

Traffic is holding at about 20% up, week-on-week, but hopefully will catch up with the SERPs at some point in the next week or two.

Business is also picking up. I'd still like to know where it went in the meantime, as a couple of my direct local competitors have folded since 2012 (so it obviously didn't go to them).

Shai



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 7:37 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Anyone else notice that Author shots are missing from the SERPS?

Robert Charlton

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



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 7:41 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Anyone else notice that Author shots are missing from the SERPS?

Yes, now that you mention it. ;)

Good to have them gone. Let's hope that sticks.

Robert Charlton

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



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 7:47 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

PS to the above. Just did a test search where they're not all gone.

Shai



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 7:48 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Almost like a breath of fresh air. Still remember the good ol' days... :)

[edited by: Shai at 7:58 pm (utc) on May 22, 2014]

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 8:19 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

For all searches I monitor the pictures have gone. Although this is probably bad for me as I had a picture and believe it increased CTR, overall, I'm glad they're gone! The results page looks miles better without them!

besnette

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 8:23 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Have seen a few brief instances today and yesterday where the google local results were completely gone too.

mhansen



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 8:36 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I went looking for the images in the search-scape I watch... The Author images are definitely gone. However, the top-left Adsense is slightly larger (3 ads, with sitelinks), and now there is a knowledge-graph-box directly between top-left ads and serp-position #1.

On old serp's, the knowledge graph box replaced ads... or was off to the right. In this new layout:

Ad
Sitelinks
Ad
Ad
Knowledge Box
7 lines of text with link to source site

Organic 1
Organic 2
Organic 3
Organic 4
Organic 5
etc...

Definitely a new look/layout in the space. Might also explain why although we found ourselves ranking much better across terms, there has been no real increase in traffic from those terms. Knowledge graph to the rescue!

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 8:46 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Have seen a few brief instances today and yesterday where the google local results were completely gone too.


I've noticed that, too. I imagine it to be temporary, as well as intermittent, but hope it isn't. When I want to find a product or service in Narnia, I put Narnia in the search phrase.

Robert Charlton

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



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:52 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

In general, author images are gone... but I'll use mod's prerogative and indicate a search where I'm still seeing them. YMMV...

[eric enge matt cutts interview]

Since we've had threads here on the Matt/Eric interviews, I think it's OK to mention the query, and we're not going to be distorting search results. But please, let's not mention more specifics.

I should add that I'm seeing the images on two browsers, one signed in so search history can be turned off... and one not signed in but cookies flushed. It's very possible that, for testing purposes, Google might somewhere be displaying images in one set of serps and not displaying them in another.

Regarding local... I'm seeing all sorts of variations of local results... and I'm sure that Google is also using these variations to test performance of the algo changes. In the past day or so I think I've seen tests of a local 7-10 pack against the image carousel against no special local treatment at all... but I'm relying on memory only to tell me I'd seen different serp displays on these searches before.

I'm also seeing some very slight movement in new results as things adjust... nothing major. I'm sure after the results settle in, and after testing, that we will return to everflux adjustments.

JesterMagic

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 11:35 pm on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I still see Author images on Google.com. Maybe not as many but they are still there for me.

Shai



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 7:40 am on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

All author images are back now for me.

Bones

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:47 am on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing movement on Penguin affected sites? :-(

Shai



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:59 am on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Everything is a little volatile at the moment but nothing that would lead me to believe anything is happening on the Penguin side of things.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:03 am on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing movement on Penguin affected sites?


My site was badly affected by Penguin (and it didn't appear to be adversely affected by Panda), and has risen significantly in Google SERPs this week.

I am therefore surprised by the claim that this is Panda, not Penguin, but it is always possible that my site's rise is a result of others losing position, rather than its own recovery.

So far things seem to have stabilised in my sector (UK niche service), and traffic and business have also increased, so I hope it remains settled.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:03 am on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

nothing that would lead me to believe anything is happening on the Penguin side


+1

Bones

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:38 am on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hmmm... I'm not sure if that's good to hear or even worse news then.

This 434 message thread spans 15 pages: < < 434 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 13 14 15 > >
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