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Google Updates and SERP Changes - April 2011

     

zerillos

12:22 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



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

Here's another fail:
One of the major manufacturers in my field launched a new product today that generated quite a media frenzy. The name of the product is made up, but G treats it like a spelling error for some other word. When searching 'brand product' you get the 'did you mean' option. I know of more than 20 big media outlets that reported on this new product. Unfortunately, g has only 3 and a half pages of results on it, half of which are not related. All the other reports about this product, all legitimate, are nowhere to be found in the SERPs.
Big fail. I guess their machines are down at the pub, instead of learning...

[edited by: tedster at 4:42 pm (utc) on Apr 1, 2011]

hyperkik

5:56 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I see a modest (as compared to Panda) but unmistakable traffic shift as of April 6 and, presumably after full implementation, April 7. The pages affected by the shift appear to be the same pages previously affected by Panda.

MrWumpus

6:48 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We just lost the #1 spot we held for 8+ years for one of our top converting keywords. Google's engineers decided that a small, 0-PR affiliate site under 6 months old and written in $3-per-article-English was worthy of the #1 position. Perhaps it was the overwhelming quality signal the site sent by using the keyword 40+ times on their home page.

outland88

7:18 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Perhaps it was the overwhelming quality signal the site sent by using the keyword 40+ times on their home page.


I'm seeing more and more tightly woven sites that repeat the keyword 50+ times on all pages of a site ranking very highly. Its clearly keyword stuffing but Cutts now claims it is not if the keywords relate to the subject. Then again he was the one who brought up the word overoptimization. To me it’s also a signal they may have problems with manual reviewers and they’re trying to dumb it down for interpretation.

outland88

7:22 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



One of the things I’m finding exceedingly frustrating in Panda is Google seems to running down a list of preferred sites before they list the status quo. This is particularly irritating if you’re running a sale or setting up discount programs. Bing handles this perfectly whereas this is a disaster in Google.

crobb305

7:36 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



Google's engineers decided that a small, 0-PR affiliate site under 6 months old and written in $3-per-article-English was worthy of the #1 position. Perhaps it was the overwhelming quality signal the site sent by using the keyword 40+ times on their home page.


I've said it before, but it really seems like Google hired a bunch of interns to tweak the algorithms for a college capstone project. They have lost grasp of what made them great.

MrWumpus

8:24 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I've said it before, but it really seems like Google hired a bunch of interns to tweak the algorithms for a college capstone project. They have lost grasp of what made them great.
Agreed. While we lose sleep, money and jobs, I picture Google's veteran engineers playing Nerf darts or World of Warcraft while they let the new guys prove themselves with algorithm tweaks.

For Google the upside to worse organic SERPS is more relevant PPC ads.

alecs

2:54 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I keep going down and the google WMT search queries keep adding to my confusion and frustration. Also on Apr 6th it shows a massive drop, then on Apr 7th is right back at the same level it was on Apr 5th

SEOPTI

3:28 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Got a nice -50 on almost all domains today. Wow, the -50 box is still alive!

SEOPTI

5:10 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I did a few site wide 301 redirects and they punished the old trusted and the new domains with a -50. They moved 14 domains in the penalty box.

This was definitely done manual, they only missed one domain.
What a bunch of ....

They even punished domains where there was no 301 redirect in place. It seems the 301 redirects raised a flag and the manual demotion catched almost all domains. This was a damn lazy reviewer.

walkman

7:01 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)



SEOPTI,
too many links?
Can your content pass a manual review?

SEOPTI

7:57 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Nothing did change with links, the sites made nice revenue for almost three years. This is just to let everyone know massive sitewide 301 will lead to a manual inspection.

And if the reviewer has a bad day he will tank all of your sites within 5 minutes. Oh sorry, he forgot a site, yes a single site survived LOL

Two of them were even sites which improved with the panda algo, he just got a hammer and crashed them all. It's time to get some "I love Goog" sticker or better "I hate Goog".

crobb305

8:23 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



oh no SEOPTI that's not good news to hear.

Oddly enough, with Panda, some of my hardest hit phrases fell into the -550 to -600 range, but a handful fell exactly -50. It's not like the -50 I have seen before, when my domain didn't even rank for its own name. Do you see your domains ranking at all?

Also, do you see any indication of a human review in your logs? Can you clarify what it was you did? Did you 301 all domains to one? Or were these all intra-domain 301s?

SEOPTI

9:27 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yes, really bad news. They were not even ranking for their own domain name so it was the usual -50 box. I checked all of them and not a single site was ranking for their domain name.

I already blocked GBot and removed all content from Goog. so this is history for me.

Bing and Yahoo love this content so I will keep GBot out for now.

I've never seen a -50 where the domain still ranks so probably it is something different in your case crobb.

Bewenched

4:06 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Perhaps it was the overwhelming quality signal the site sent by using the keyword 40+ times on their home page.


I'm seeing the same thing. 2 sentence description, stuffed with the keyword 4-5 times, then a picture or two, then absolute garbage text stuffed with the keyword in different forms 20-30 times, then a bogus menu stuffed with it as well and those "menu" links link right back to the same page it is on.

mslina2002

4:10 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I am seeing some shifts happening at this hour in my keywords.

I am back at pre-Panda positions. Hopefully they stay this way. Keeping fingers, toes, legs, arms and eye balls crossed.

indyank

4:16 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I am back at pre-Panda positions


wow, u must be the no. 1 to genuinely recover from panda. Have you recovered for all your pages and keywords?

mslina2002

4:35 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



indy, this is only my main keywords which is mostly what I call my vanity keywords. They bring in traffic, advertisers but do not contribute much to sales.

Not all keywords recovered. Some have stayed the same and some have changed. Most movement for one set of main kw was +80 spots.

When I look closer at the SERPs seems the reason that I was bumped up (like all the sites below me) was because some sites have gone to -30 positions which made room for us to get a bump up.

browsee

4:43 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)



mslina is correct not all keywords recovered. Something changed on Friday morning( or Thursday night). Previously twitter used to rank for my site keyword, now my site is ranking on top. BTW, just checked mahalo, they are still in 2nd position(better than 3rd position).

Now I am ranking on top for some keywords, tanked for some other keywords. It is better than before, but nowhere near before panda level.

kd454

5:04 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Did anyone else just see a huge shift in U.S serps?

They are pushing big brands up even higher and pushing the little guys down further.

serenoo

7:25 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



mslina2002 it would be very useful for us to know what you made (exactly) to restore your positions.

Shatner

8:33 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)



>>They are pushing big brands up even higher and pushing the little guys down further.

Can you give us some keyword examples?

crobb305

8:57 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



Did anyone else just see a huge shift in U.S serps?


For some longtail phrases, I am #1 or in the top 5 with sitelinks. For shorter portions of those phrases (i.e., 1 to 3 words), I am either bottom of page 1 or beyond page 3 (depending on singular or plural). Very phrase specific, but I am encouraged to see some higher rankings with sitelinks showing up.

kd454

9:03 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Can you give us some keyword examples?


I don't think they allow k.w examples.. but it is going on in all my website niches.

I was doing keyword research the other day for a new site and and got sick to my stomach after a while, just go out and take a look a what is setting on first page now for any big keywords you will see what I am talking about..

You will see brand/big money sites there, Gorg is leaving the scrapes for the rest.

They are already working on taking the longtails and giving it to big brands..

from google blog..

"In some high-confidence situations, we are beginning to incorporate data about the sites that users block into our algorithms. In addition, this change also goes deeper into the “long tail” of low-quality websites to return higher-quality results where the algorithm might not have been able to make an assessment before."

What I read from this is they will push the big brands there as well..

ErnestHemingway

9:11 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)



I can only wait next few days to see what will happen. After 10 years being on top 3 now I am not even on 1-2 pages.

Everything aside the top 3 guys are doing PURE SPAM and have stolen our content. Jeez Google at times becomes a laughing stock.

@MrWumpus I can feel ya, I can really. I am shocked at the results that I see currently for some of my sites. Sites with junk content and blog comment spam as backlinks are on top and with double listing.

Our site which was online since early 2001 and ranking in top 3 for a decade is not to be found anywhere I was on page 2 now I am not to be found.

Amusing part is that we had only 40 backlinks to the site never did anything shady. All links were from sites like WSJ/LaTimes/Local newspapers around our area. Content was written by my cousin who holds a PhD in that market. But now we are gone as Google machines are not learning but they are dead.

@outland88

Guy ranking #1 for one of my terms where I was 2nd now on 8th position has over 80+ keywords stuffed across the homepage and he has double listing yes both pages are junk content written by someone without any knowledge of the electrical engineering.

@crobb305

I would second that for this update.

@seopti

I have gotten something very similar but what is shocking is a site done in "electrical engineering" by a PhD guy ranking on top for 10 years is not to be found on first 10 pages. I was 2nd page just hours ago.

Shatner

10:14 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)



I think it's safe to say that for everyone who has been Pandalized... it's only going to get even worse before it gets better.

If it gets better at all.

We can either live with it, give up, or sue.

mslina2002

10:46 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



mslina2002 it would be very useful for us to know what you made (exactly) to restore your positions.


As I mentioned earlier, the shift didn't just happen to my site (bump in SERPs) but to the whole block of sites. This coincidence with Panda hitting Europe makes me think that this algorithmic change caused some sites before me to be dropped in the US as well. One particular competitor was ranking well in Europe and US but is now Panda-wacked from both SERPs. So perhaps my restoration was not due to my "fixes" but due to others being bumped out of the way. However, if you want me to post my fixes, I'd be happy to post my madness.

dickbaker

11:44 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



OK, this is ridiculous.

I have a site I started about three or four years ago. It's in an extremely competitive niche. I figured I'd give it a try and see if I could make money off of Adsense. It's an MFA site.

I don't know much about the subject, so I wrote some articles, using other, more authoritative sites for research.

I tried to get links, but in this big, big-money niche, good links cost $$$.

So, I haven't written a word for that site in two or three years. I realized that I didn't know what I was talking about, and I was in way over my head trying to play in that niche.

Just for giggles, I just looked in Webmaster Tools, and saw that the site is ranking first page for all sorts of phrases that should be worth $$$. It even ranks #5 for "how to buy ____". I checked on Google using proxies to see if WMT was right, and it is. I don't know how long it's had those rankings.

This thin, small, MFA site--with an 80%+ bounce rate, 1.5 average pageviews and average time on site of about 45 seconds-- has picked up all sorts of first-page rankings.

As for my real site, the one that I've worked and worked on for seven years, the one with a 17% bounce rate, 4 pageviews on average, two minutes on site average, links like crazy, the one that lost hundreds or even thousands of first-page rankings? That site? It's toast.

I think I'm going to figure out how that MFA site got a boost and see if I can't boost it a bit more. Might as well take advantage of Google's stupidity and make up for lost earnings from my real site.

MelissaLB

4:16 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)



Anyone notice a shift today? I've been tracking about 30 keywords that are the top converting keywords for our 10 top selling products. It seems that for almost ALL 30 keywords our organic placement has moved up exactly 2 spots in every case!

Granted, most of the converting traffic we get for those products comes directly from the shopping results so we haven't seen any miraculous increase in traffic from this increase in position, but it is definitely something of note.

I read here yesterday that Panda is now live in Canada, but i don't believe that our industry would really be hit hard by this update as it's not an article/written content-centric industry.

maximillianos

5:02 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



MelissaLB- We have not noticed any changes today out of the ordinary. We did see a change last Thursday/Friday (April 7/8).

Did anyone here seeing improvements do any adjustments to your user-generated content (ie - comments, etc). We are wondering if our user comments are hurting us. Obviously it doesn't make sense that user comments would hurt us from a usability perspective, but unfortunately we cannot focus on that if Google doesn't like them.

SEOPTI

5:19 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



-50 for my last site today. Now all of my sites are -50. Congratulations Google!
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