Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Message Too Old, No Replies

Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2010

5:50 am on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

Here is alexa's take on the the oct 21-22 debacle..they do see a significant shift...


but wait, there seems to be one more tweak that happened this friday, oct 29. This could either be a reversal or yet another tweak...google is enjoying the tweak game and one thing for sure, they are trying to achieve something for themselves via the tweaks...

[edited by: tedster at 2:18 pm (utc) on Nov 1, 2010]

9:46 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Pontifex are you b2b or 2c? How was today?

I haven't looked at the logs but adwords was off by a large amount both in clicks and impressions which tells me not to worry much about this yet.

Link building seems to be part of your key. Probably a huge part based on what I'm seeing elsewhere.

Any noted changes in the SERPS or traffic today? Ohno, backdraft?
10:14 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Well, it's the first of the month and I guess we're looking at a similar pattern to last month. This morning we had a few sales the POOF - traffic and sales just went down around 10am and nothing since. A competitor site seems to be picking up above normal sales when we go down (don;t ask me how I know that, but I do), yet my serp positions appear unchanged, tried many different locations and we are still in the top 1 and 2 positions.
10:33 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Backdraft You state you searched using many different locations but can you clarify you actually searched using different IP addresses for different locations?
11:36 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

@Mal_Jones - I have friends & partners around the world who do the checking for me. I also use the "location" setting in Google search, which from what I can tell, does virtually the same thing.
12:11 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't think your searches are proof that your rankings are static as many are reporting changes in traffic on an hourly basis. What your reporting depends on what time of day your friends are searching. I do believe that serps are no longer static and depends on the searchers IP address. I will elaborate further tomorrow as my daughter is about to arrive at my UK home from Australia, sorry for my brief reply.
12:22 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

one of my folks, great site, perfect construction saw 20% traffic decrease yesterday. hope it was just halloween. he (not others) have has fared pretty well in this google debacle. his conversions are steady though.
12:38 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

traffic is always down on Halloween. Adults are taking their kids trick or treating. There has always been a slight decrease in traffic on halloween in most industries.
12:52 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Google traffic to ALL sites I own has been down 20% since the 29th but Yahoo/Bing traffic stayed the same (Bing even, Yahoo up 1%).

I get the distinct feeling I'm being processed. As my traffic is evaluated with whatever google is doing I am losing conversions and seeing my visitors from google get younger (under 16 years of age, the comments SuXx0rz).

I think google forgot to mention that along with better targeting ads they would pinch the most likely to convert.
1:10 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@mal jones totally agree. Today during our spike I searched on terms that were dumping traffic and could not find our site in the SERPS. Some dcs had us at the top most didnt.

General notes: google traffic will be flat compared to the later part of last week. Bing and yahoo are about flat. Adwords is down 40%. IMHO this drop may be more to do with the holiday, elections and rapidly failing economy.

Let's see how it looks Wednesday. Tuesday may be erratic traffic wise too. This is a big election Tuesday and a lot of people are running around.

One point. Even in unrelated industries there was a drop mid month. The economy is stalling fast and as Tedster always says before making wild changes don't forget that.
2:15 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

@scottsonline: site is b2c mainly, around 150k uniques a day, lower on the weekends.

today is coming along almost exactly like last monday... BUT I see results shifting faster and stronger since yesterday for the keys I monitor.

something is moving faster than before. maybe a last clean up for Christmas season?

3:57 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Ponti general question roughly how many pages is the site?

Traffic is up, google flat, adwords down 35% which I don't get.
Bing yahoo are solidly up. Bing is really gaining and each day it becomes a bigger share of traffic. They're coming from way behind but deep down I wonder if google knew this time ms was serious so they're trying to develop serving we can't do without.

SERPS have not moved much.
8:40 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

@brinked & Sgt Kick_AXE
I hope so - we shall see
signed Cpl_USMC (so many stinkin years ago!)
9:53 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi all, Everything looking better for us today. Google traffic is up over the past 24 hrs and bounce rate is down to around 25% (good for us). I'm seeing a more settled feel to the local results in our sector and a more current feeling to the data (i.e. the 2 sites that went bust earlier this year have slipped away down the serps).
10:29 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@pontifex, exactly the same scenario - hit hard on mayday but then yesterday trafic didnt increase but conversions were through the roof nearly 10x what they have been over the past few months! I didnt see any change on 21st Oct.

The quailty of traffic seems to have increased substantially.
10:39 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Traffic was up for me yesrterday too. Much closer to a normal day traffic and conversion wise for November. More pages looked at and more time spent on the site. This is is the oddest thing that I have ever gone through with google.
11:12 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Traffic was up for me too but conversions were cut in half or more. 1st day of the month, 2356 unique visitors searching on about 750 key phrases. Last months total key phrases was 8,568. @Jez - you're not alone!
11:26 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

backdraft. Now thats interesting stats and i bet this is due to google drop down suggested keyphrases wiping out the long tail search phrases.
11:48 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Jez is saying everything is normal for him - both traffic and conversions. Andylew is seeing the same.

Mal_Jones, I don't see it that way.Rather backdraft may be getting the traffic for the most appropriate key phrases now, rather than for a wide array of phrases. That might explain the traffic increase.

But what is puzzling is he is reporting the conversions to be low.

backdraft, Are you having the wrong products on the right pages?
12:00 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi Indybank, Only normal for yesterday. Today is too early to tell. And what I am seeing is that at least one day a week I get "normal" converable traffic. The rest of the week I get a lower traffic and all the crazies that do not convert! This started for me at the beginning of September so maybe I am seeing more of a pattern?

I did feel that yesterdays traffic "felt" back to normal and that maybe I had turned the corner and today seems to be looking promising conversions, calls, email, traffic and activity wise (so far).
12:01 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

My post was not referring to Jez or Andylew it was specific to backdraft stats. What keyphrases convert better , long tail or generic? If long tail searches have dropped considerably as in backdraft case then conversions would drop as well. However backdraft has not confirmed that long tail searches are down but I suspect this is the case as he states "about 750 key phrases. Last months total key phrases was 8,568"
1:16 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sales went back up to " Normal"* levels early yesterday and are still coming in this am.

* "Normal" -A Minimum daily sales rate average for the last five years.
1:21 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I think you are misinterpreting my statement...the 750 key phrases I mentioned is for the FIRST DAY of the month...this number continues to grow all month and will usually hit about 8,500 TOTAL by month end.
It did NOT drop to 750. My point being, 750 key phrases in one day is pretty good for my niche market as is 2356 unique visits in one day. What confounds me is the drops in sales conversions when those number appear good. It makes no sense! Unless of course the traffic is from non targeted or from foreign sources.

BTW, I have 10 years of sales data to use as my reference and this year, starting in May (18th to be exact) has exhibited wild fluctuations in sales conversions over that of the past ten years, while traffic levels and serp positions have improved, or should I say increased. This was not a gradual change either...it was very sudden. I also experience periods of sales "returning to normal" for several days, then complete shut downs, with no correlation in traffic. It Zombie Traffic.

WebmasterWorld member "OHNO" who is located in the UK (I am in the US) has been seeing almost identical patterns until recently...but maybe his absence from reporting to the forum has more to do with being busy changing poopy pants...(new baby) lol.

@Lovejoy - can I ask, what is your geographical location? I have noticed that when the UK reports sales improving, I can (usually) expect the same about 6 to 12 hours later.

One final note that I have mentioned many times before, I have audio cues set up on key pages, and those cues will get quite active when sales are good. I can tell you without even looking at my PC whether or not traffic is flowing properly. Right now I'm hearing nothing and my MUNIN server graphs are showing only a trickle of Apache activity.
2:23 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Funny backdraft as you and I always seem to be in the same boat. Our traffic is strong carts good sales bad. But this is normal and all our vendors are slow. Now is it google slowing everything down? Maybe but not likely.

An unusually big election will possibly have it slow today.
2:26 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member


That is interesting. But i feel that increase in number of key phrases may not always positively correlate to conversion. It might result in a higher traffic but not better conversion, as a large number of key phrases may not really convert.

It may help if you find out the key phrases that lead to good conversion, and monitor them for fluctuations in ranking and traffic to your site.If you could also monitor the origin(location) for traffic via those key phrases, it would help further.
2:45 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

@indy - again, my point is simply that 750 key phrases in one day is very good. All of the key phrases are our normal bunch of related stuff, nothing non-related, so hence you would normally think good targeting and good sales conversions. But, in spite of decent traffic yesterday, conversions were way off. I suspect more foreign traffic sources. How exactly do you suggest monitoring the key phrases for location?

@scotts - yes, we sure are in the same boat! I didn't understand the "carts good sales bad" part though. Do you mean you are getting more abandoned carts? and sales are bad?
3:13 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Google analytics does that easily and automatically. For every landing page, it tells me what are the key phrases through which visitors are hitting that page.

You could then use any of the following filters to drill it down - Continent, Subcontinent, Country/territory, Region or city.

Most other analytics tools should have that report.

[edited by: indyank at 3:19 pm (utc) on Nov 2, 2010]

3:17 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@backdraft seasonal sales start next week. Going back ten years this is always a snooping week. It's next week that gets busy.
3:41 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

@scotts - yeah, after looking at my weekly number over the years, this week is historically slow, but this year slower than usual.

@indy - I looked at analytics but it doesn't reveal anything out of the ordinary or unexpected. People might just be tightening their belts.
3:53 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Ok. does that mean that your suspicion on foreign traffic sources is now resolved and you do get the traffic from locations that you target?

All of the key phrases are our normal bunch of related stuff

They may be related but it may stun you, when you discover how some of them convert better than the the others.I do monitor that too and it has helped me focus my optimization efforts. I have benefitted a lot by doing that.
4:33 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

@indy - what makes no sense is that a particular keyword or phrase can perform great one day and not the next, so I while I find keyword tracking helpful, it's not the complete answer for the problem at hand. I think it may have more to do with throttling, but again, you can drive yourself mad chasing your tail trying to figure it one out.
Here's the bottom line: My site performed very nicely and consistently for 10 years, then last May conversions go completely wacky from week to week while serps and traffic seem to be improving and increasing. That just makes no sense at all. I still rank on the same keywords and same volume of keywords.

Finally, while we may know the "what" and "where" of traffic sources, we do not know the "who" on the other end. It seems the traffic I am seeing may not be from buying humans, but rather from machines.
This 502 message thread spans 17 pages: 502

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month