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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.

 

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.

CaptainSalad2



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:41 am on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Iím sceptical we will see another Penguin update other than to process the disavow tool or soften it, at least for a while!

The web spam team will have seen the negative seo services now available on the web and advertised through their own ad network, they will know the next time they run the thing it will hit A LOT of new sites that have been spammed since the last update. So its hard to believe they will pull the trigger without causing a PR disaster, which right now they don't need!

it would only take one bad headline like....

"Mother of 3 commits suicide after negative SEO attack purchased from google advertisers!"

and I can see google being split up in the EU under anti trust! You simple cant have Google allow its advertisers to sell services that attack the organic competition and then levy penalties against the victims while continuing to promote the attackers without a backlash! Just my opinion but I think the EU is looking for a reason at this point and Google needs to tread more carefully in Europe than it does in the US!

kameron



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 3:02 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

My site was badly hit by Penguin resulted by an SEO company (pretty big and reputable one too, at least at the time) building massive spammy backlinks. Since then, we were DESTROYED and lost about 85% google organic traffic. We have a very content rich site that is extremely relevant to the industry we're in. I don't think we were penalized by Panda since the degradation directly correlated with the last Penguin update (Oct. 2013). We have done a ton of link clean-up since along with some other content enrichment efforts. I am praying the next Penguin reprieves us of this death sentence.

Back to Panda 4.0, since its release earlier this week, our SERPS have gone down A LOT. I now see a lot of sites I haven't seen for a while (many of which are of lower quality and foreign based)which is possible the reason why we got pushed down. That being said, I don't believe (certainly hope not)the latest release included any Penguin components but sure hope it comes out soon. With Panda out and not Penguin, there seems to be a huge imbalance between previously Panda effected sites that are now freed and those still in the Penguin jail.

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this. And for those hit by Penguin, please let us know what you're seeing.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 3:41 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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


I too have a site hit by penguin which has been cleaned and penalty revoked since the start of the year, coincidently some of the old keywords that were spammed to death are risen 200 + Places, still on page 6 and 7 (that's how bad i was affected)

although some keywords are performing better now after the confirmed Panda update i don't think this is penguin or at least hope not.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 3:52 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Iím sceptical we will see another Penguin update other than to process the disavow tool or soften it, at least for a while!


@captainSalad2

I think it will be run but maybe not communicate it, they cant have a algo that is only run twice a year then just not do anything,

A LOT of new sites that have been spammed since the last update


There are also a lot of sites cleaned too so they need to be looked at too, I personally believe it will be a softer version than 2.1 but it has to be run as not doing can cause as much bad publicity actually running it

Awarn



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 7:14 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

This update actually looks like one where they accepted a higher keyword density factor. I am seeing sites that look either not updated in a long time or ones with high keyword density. Since I was trying to lower the density I seem to be dropping.

archer0830



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 3:54 am on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

I definitely agree with you Awarn. I have an old site I haven't updated in a year that is pretty keyword stuffed. Nothing excessive, but I'd say slightly over what would be considered "natural" and it took a huge gain.

Another site I have isn't all that keyword stuffed, with the exception of a few articles. Those pages have specifically seen higher rankings.

Very interesting.

SnowMan68



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 12:53 pm on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have an old site I haven't updated in a year that is pretty keyword stuffed. Nothing excessive, but I'd say slightly over what would be considered "natural" and it took a huge gain.


I don't know, we have an informational site that is decent size, it is definitely keyword stuffed. It took a huge hit during the first panda run, it hasn't moved up or down. It used to get about 1600-1700 visitors from Google a day and now it gets about 100-120.

c41lum

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 2:20 pm on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

There is a shift back to 16th/17th/18th May results for the terms I watch.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 2:30 pm on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

we have an informational site that is decent size, it is definitely keyword stuffed.


Sometimes there's a fine line between "normal" and "keyword-stuffed."

If your page is about Paris or love or doughnuts, you're probably going to use "Paris," "love," or "doughnuts" a lot without thinking about it. That's how people write they aren't thinking about SEO.

If, on the other hand, if you've got a page about the Widgetco WC-10000 Wi-Fi Router, it probably wouldn't be natural to use the full name and model number more than once or twice in the body text. You might use "Widgetco WC-1000" in the intro paragraph and maybe at the end, but most of the time you'd refer to it as "the WC-10000," "the router," and other shorthand variations--unless, of course, you were writing for search crawlers instead of for human beings.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:18 pm on May 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

If your page is about Paris or love or doughnuts, you're probably going to use "Paris," "love," or "doughnuts" a lot without thinking about it. That's how people write they aren't thinking about SEO.


I thought Google's stated aim was that we should write without thinking about SEO.

If your page is about widgets, trying to avoid the word widgets (so your h2 Blue Widgets/Red Widgets/Miscellaneous Widgets subheadings have to use different wording) might read well to Googlebot but it will certainly alienate humans and put up your bounce rate. If it reads like SEO, it is. Target your audience, not the marketing company.

If Google's strategy is to penalise good copy, in the long term they are doomed.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:38 pm on May 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

I thought Google's stated aim was that we should write without thinking about SEO.


There's a difference between using the word "widgets" naturally and stuffing your copy with "Widgetco WC-1000 Wi-Fi Router" in every paragraph. Some site owners and SEOs may not grasp that difference, but I'd imagine that the natural-language experts at Google do.

[edited by: EditorialGuy at 10:44 pm (utc) on May 25, 2014]

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 10:56 pm on May 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

If your page is about widgets, trying to avoid the word widgets...

That's bad advice. You actually do need to get your target terms on the page. You just don't want to get ridiculous about it. EditorialGuy describes it well.

Worth noting that I've seen Matt Cutts in site reviews at PubCon, SES, etc, be critical of pages that used indefinite antecedents too often and didn't mention the product.

It goes the other way too... how many times can you put "cheap red widgets" on a page before it begins to sound artificial? Ditto for "Widgetco WC-10000 Wi-Fi Router". One test I use is to read the copy out loud, and if it sounds keyword-stuffed, it probably is.

Note that Google does not reward excessive keyword density. Google does look for naturally co-occurring vocabulary. So, a page that's actually about a Widgetco WC-10000 Wi-Fi Router might naturally include headings including vocabulary like "wireless", "compatibility", "ports", "connectors", etc.

It would be unnatural, though, for the full phrase and model number to be repeated multiple times. Ditto for the word "router" or the model number to be repeated a lot.

But do get it on the page at least once. A lot of sites I see don't do that.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 7:07 am on May 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

But do get it on the page at least once. A lot of sites I see don't do that.


There was a period back in mid-2012 where quite a lot of the top 20 for various terms in my sector didn't do that. It looks like Google have now rolled back the keyword-density penalty threshold to a more natural level, which is clearly better for the results.

CaptainSalad2



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 8:09 am on May 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

It seems odd to me that anyone would avoid their main target keyphrase onsite!

lets take an example of say a "window cleaner in London". This is what I would do...

Title tag: Window Cleaner London - Business Name
H1 tag: Window Cleaner London - Business Name

text: 300 words minimum, opening paragraph contains "window cleaner in London", variations like "window cleaning" and the word "London" 3-4 more times on the home page worked into the text or H2 tags naturally.

Would anyone disagree with this?

jigneshgohel

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:29 am on May 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

@CaptainSalad2

I am not completely agree with your view as the same process will not work for all websites. I just searched with same keyword you provided in example and found few website enjoying listing at first page did not even contains this keyword in Title or content body.

Here i think there are other important factors plays an important role, that are:
- Domain age
- Link popularity

Keyword density is not that much important !

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 1:55 pm on May 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

Title tag: Window Cleaner London - Business Name
H1 tag: Window Cleaner London - Business Name

text: 300 words minimum, opening paragraph contains "window cleaner in London", variations like "window cleaning" and the word "London" 3-4 more times on the home page worked into the text or H2 tags naturally.

Would anyone disagree with this?


I mostly agree with your example, though (in my opinion), I'd only adjust the H1 to read more "smoothly" - such as "Professional Window Cleaning Services throughout London - Company Name" - I'd trust Google could see "cleaning" and "cleaner" as virtual "synonyms" in this context.

CaptainSalad2



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 4:02 pm on May 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

>>>Professional Window Cleaning Services throughout London - Company Name<<<

COS would that be purely from a human readable point of view (def agree) or do you think Google would also view it better, in other words any SEO benefits in your opinion?

@jigneshgohel agree on page stuff isnt as powerful as off page but getting onpage right might tip the balance in a position or so once the offsite is also inplace!

archer0830



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 6:59 pm on May 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts has answered this question several times.

What is the ideal keyword density of a page?
Aug 18, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk4qgQdp2UA [youtube.com]
.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 9:26 pm (utc) on May 26, 2014]
[edit reason] Added attribution and video date [/edit]

ColourOfSpring



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:41 am on May 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

COS would that be purely from a human readable point of view (def agree) or do you think Google would also view it better, in other words any SEO benefits in your opinion?


It would be 100% for humans - to communicate directly to them in a more "friendly" and smooth way. Even if Google didn't see such "smoother" headlines as being "friendly" to Google itself, so be it.

kokopoko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 4:50 pm on May 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

We got nailed by Penguin due to a negative SEO campaign. Our traffic didn't get better with this latest Panda update.

Panthro



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 6:27 pm on May 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

There was a lot of celebrating at the beginning of this Panda rollout - wondering if any of those that saw gains saw an equal and opposite loss yet?

RedBar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:05 pm on May 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

wondering if any of those that saw gains saw an equal and opposite loss yet?


Traffic improvement still holding for me and was surprisingly good on Monday considering UK and US holidays when I would normally expect to see a drop.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:32 pm on May 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

Traffic improvement still holding for me and was surprisingly good on Monday considering UK and US holidays


+1

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 8:48 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Redbar and Wilburforce, do you see traffic throtteling for our sites? Or normal/high traffic followed by nearly no traffic?

Pandacide



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:28 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think something is rolling out again. History:

1. Hit by Panda, 2011
2. Recovered almost a week back
3. Back to pre-recovery in the last couple of hours

Pandacide



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:29 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think something is rolling out again. History:

1. Hit by Panda, 2011
2. Recovered almost a week back
3. Back to pre-recovery in the last couple of hours

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:32 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Panacide

I'm not seeing anything here (UK). Where are you?

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 9:49 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

I can see that some of my KW's are affected negatively today. I also see eBay regaining some of their previous rankings. In my sector anyway.

RedBar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:20 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

do you see traffic throtteling for our sites?


Nope, fingers crossed but everything is looking remarkably stable.

It is of absolutely no coincidence that this last week I have had my best week this year for large project enquiries and from four different countries, "foreign" visitors are up substantially.

Pandacide



 
Msg#: 4667620 posted 10:29 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Wilburforce India. Mainly serving the US & the UK though

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