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Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2014

 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.



 4:30 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I have heard of that increase in traffic right before an update here: [searchenginewatch.com...]

But improved rankings AND less traffic than usual right before an update? Weird.

Netmeg, how is your site doing?


 4:38 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

High ranking, low traffic here (UK) it's odd.


 4:46 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

It's possible that this update is only affecting certain verticals and certain countries. I've seen it happen many times before. It's too soon for euphoria or despair yet.


 4:50 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Re improved ranking but no traffic increases --

I noticed that GWT is showing extra high ranking for multiple keywords but they are mostly for Google images which of course produce very few clicks.

Have I just not noticed this before or is this a new trend?


 5:14 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I just returned from a trip to discover a traffic increase of roughly 1/3rd.

I can only hope it will last.

What I wanted to post is this:
1)This website was hit hard by Panda 2.0 (April 11, 2010) and then at least two other Panda refreshes over the next few years.

2)Possibly this site was impacted by Penguin, but I was never sure and if so, the damage was relatively minor.

That would make me think that whatever is going on is a Panda issue.


 5:22 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

My view: Penguin was for bad boys and Panda was for innocents. I'm on standy for confirmation that the softer, gentler, and kinder Panda has arrived. For me, that's where pessimism creeped into my conscious.


 6:13 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I note that the MozCast Weather Report is now showing high change for Monday:

[mozcast.com ]

Penguin was for bad boys

I hope you mean that ironically, MrSavage.

My site was trashed by Penguin 1, apparently from a combination of organic backlinks Google didn't like and a big batch of unnatural-looking links that were probably negative SEO posted by a competitor.

It had not been affected by Panda to any noticeable extent.

The fact of my site's SERPs recovery for some key terms today suggests to me that the changes in the last 24 hours have had a strong Penguin element, probably either removing or substantially reducing some penalty factors (probably also removing or reducing any historical element of the penalties). There may well be other elements involved, but for my site it has always been Penguin.


 6:42 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think the SERPS behavior I am seeing (great rankings improvement but no more traffic than usual) is because of different data centers. I just travelled to the closest big city which is two hours away, and am doing the same searches and seeing old results.

So maybe they just haven't released these new and better results (for this particular site) to most of the datacenters yet, so good rankings seen by only a few thus no real traffic increase, ...yet

Or they're testing something that they could roll back.


 7:41 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Same here: Some keywords are up a few spots, but overall traffic is a little lower than last week, which might have something to so with the nice weather... lets wait and see.


 7:47 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have 6 websites in all different niche topics and they are all seeing huge gains. One or even 2 sites seeing shifts would be a coincidence, but SIX?!

About 2 weeks ago, one of my sites began to experience a 2,000% increase in UK traffic (I hardly ever got UK traffic before). And then, over the past weekend, my other sites began showing U.S. search increases.

...Hoping this trend continues.

I have never sent a single paid link to any of my websites, ever, even though my competition has been slowly outranking me over the past 12 months doing so. Really hoping this is my reward for showing constraint. We shall see.


 7:48 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think the SERPS behavior I am seeing (great rankings improvement but no more traffic than usual) is because of different data centers.

It is likely that DCs will update over a period (so are not all working on the same data). Allowing for that I would still expect to see some upward movement in traffic, however.


 7:54 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Another interesting note I forgot to add. The biggest problem I had for my main money niche is Yelp taking the first 3 to 5 spots in the SERPS. I've noticed Yelp has seen several drops in the rankings for many search phrases. That is LONG overdue.

Also, has anyone heard the news about ChaCha laying off half their workforce over the weekend due to significant changes in their search rankings?

Something is definitely happening.


 8:04 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Happy for all you guys seeing huge gains. I feel like throwing up over here. Here's my organic Google traffic for today compared to last Tuesday.

I did have some Panda issues a couple years ago, but since recovered and haven't (or hadn't) had any problems since. Ugh.


Edit: pretty confident this isn't Penguin, as my link profile is squeaky clean.

[edited by: Sand at 8:25 pm (utc) on May 20, 2014]


 8:12 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

On my niche I see:
- authority sites are now intangible (not e-commerce)
- a lot of EMD's

It's a disaster for me :(

I do not think is Penguin, because my disavow file is 14 000 lines (all domain:).
Full of spam links - once a top 500 Alexa site, now close to death.


 8:34 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

One simple possibility is that Google has adjusted their algorithm to give more weight to relevance and quality. These used to be two of the most important ranking factors, but Google had to reduce their weighting because they were preventing big brands and big organizations from getting to the top of the results. Maybe Google finally realized that that had ruined their results, so now they're moving back toward what they had before.


 9:48 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm happy that many of you have seen a boost in traffic, but for the sites I'm looking at that have increased traffic (which have a graph similar to the one chalkywhite posted [postimg.org...] ), the corresponding bounce rates are pretty bad compared to the same day last week.

For anybody comparing today to other days, how do the bounce rates look at an hourly level?


 10:02 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Something is rolling out, had a penguin hit site which cannot rank for anything, in the last few hours just seen a couple of keywords jump up 100+ spots to the highest positions since Oct 4th still not where they should be but at least they are moving, hoping it is the start of penguin

UK based

Not seeing nothing significant in my Niche as dominated by some big brands still


 10:10 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

On all but one of my sites, the bounce rate has stayed relatively the same, if not a slight decrease. On one of my sites, I have averaged a 64.92% bounce rate over the last 30 days and the past 2 days have been 69.3% and 72.4% respectively. I've seen a 20% increase in traffic on that site.

Too early to tell if that's a trend or not, but it's something I'll keep watching.

Another factor leading to increased bounce rates might be due to the search results themselves. People may be searching for a specific phrase trying to find a website they were on a few days ago, but can't find it. So, they are simply guessing by clicking on links, noticing it's not the site they are looking for, hitting the back button and trying again. Just a theory. I'd imagine big changes in search results would lead to higher bounce rates naturally for the first several days.


 11:02 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing some incredible ranking changes. I have jumped up many places and have regained the top spot for keywords I used to rank #1 for years ago. Some generic keywords with high search volumes I was on page 5 for now have me back on page one.

Traffic was up 300% YoY yesterday. Today should be about +250%.

However, Google's percentage is slightly lower than this day last year despite the jump in rankings. Not really what I would expect but it could be that I am ranking really well for some new content on Bing because sessions from Google are nearly double.


 11:04 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Andem: Our Google referrals were up 129 percent today compared to the same day last week, and our bounce rate today was a couple of percentage points better (not much different in the overall scheme of things).


 11:08 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Official: Google Payday Loan Algorithm 2.0 Launched: Targets "Very Spammy Queries"



 11:30 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Apparently there's also a Panda 4 rolling out.



 11:49 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

God bless us, everyone.

Now all we need is Penguin 3.0

And we can all rejoice.


 11:51 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Update confirmed: https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/468891756982185985


 11:52 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

tired, long few days. :-/


 11:53 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thank you netmeg. Now I have reason for optimism. It has been a very dark time and this Panda must be the softer one right? I can't imagine Cutts saying they were working on it and then roll out a similar beast as before. It has been a very dismal situation and fingers crossed that hope for small time webmasters like myself can still exist with some success.

I will say on May 18th I saw a hit, a major one which was one day event across various sites and servers that I'm watching over. It was significant, odd and was just for that day. I thought it might have been my server, but I see this elsewhere. Rarely do I see something that substantial in the stats. I was very afraid to be honest.

Okay, might be time to get drunk tonight, let's see!


 11:54 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I am actually seeing a drop from top of page 2 to page 3. I still think they are majorly screwed up. I am getting real tired of this.


 1:01 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I am actually seeing a drop from top of page 2 to page 3. I still think they are majorly screwed up. I am getting real tired of this.

What I'm tired of is working hard to 'recover,' getting all my traffic back, and then getting hit by the same thing again.

I understand SERPs are ever-changing, but damn is it frustrating to get affirmation that you've done the right thing (by getting out of Panda and staying out of it for years) only to get slammed by it again.


 1:11 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I guess I'm a lucky one in the sense that I've been so pounded out over the past 2 years or so that nothing at this point can be worse. It's all S and giggles from here on out. I'm not saying I'm without fear right now, but I pretty much wrote of Google organic traffic over the past couple of years. A bonus, but certainly an exhaustible resource.


 1:22 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder how far behind the Penguin is?


 2:10 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I was pounded by panda 1. It was my main income source, let me quit the day job. Then I looked for work and built more sites.

Now with a site I totally dropped, it's back. Traffic back to jan 2011 levels.

I learned my lesson, new sites that serve my users first will continue on. I consider the old sites boost an inheritance of sorts.

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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