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Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2011



5:17 pm on May 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

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

I am still seeing VERY wild fluctuations in my WMT data. Despite a 70% traffic recovery, I am still seeing pages drop 300 to 400 positions, then rise. In the past 72 hours, another page just fell about 400. Clearly there is significant instability right now. There is no guarantee that my ranking improvement will stick, although the trend continues upward. This continuous cycle of pages drop 400 then rise 400 is ridiculous.

[edited by: tedster at 8:06 pm (utc) on May 1, 2011]


5:47 pm on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When it's all said and done from this Panda update what will matter in the end is how satisfied or dissatisfied the average searcher is with the search results they receive from a given search engine. When a user searches for a sports event and gets back results from AT&T, then obviously there is a problem somewhere with relevancy. Google can deny there is a problem from now until the end of time, and their engineers can congratulate each other on how "successful" Panda has been, but in the end it is the user base that will decide how "successful" Panda was--not Google Ph.d's. No matter how much a company thinks something works it is always, always the customer base that has the final vote. When you take the one, core product that a company like Google was known for and adjust it so much so that users can not find what they are looking for without scrolling through pages and pages of results--users are fickle and will find another option. Maybe the days of just using one search engine are gone. Hopefully they will come back but if not, users always adapt. Obviously there is some kind of trend going on right now with Google financially as there does seem to be a trend downward --anyone else find the dates of the declines interesting? The stock may tell the story better than any of us may hope to do.

P.S. Some of the sites I work with have rebounded a bit after Panda, and others continue to be rewarded although the ones in my areas that gained the most are smaller sites that I'm not sure should in fact hold the top 3 results on the front page for some results. My message above is simply to say that although every day I remain hopeful that search results will improve, I think the side effect of the Panda update has been that the one thing I could always count on Google to deliver--relevant search results is gone. Many of you have voiced similar concerns. That's the part of Panda that I wish would get more acknowledgement from Google in terms of "it's broken" and relevancy needs improvement. Wish Google would acknowledge and then fix that first. Give the searcher relevant search results. It worked back when they started and you'd think they could make it work now. Then see how the stock looks in 6 months, and then everyone can debate whether the sites on the front page are the most deserving or not. Just give us back our relevancy! Somehow I can't help but wonder if tweaking the relevancy aspect of Panda has contributed to the false positives like Cult of Mac, etc. From the financial charts I'm not sure Panda was a "win" either.


7:58 pm on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

The value of this thread is that people share real observations about concrete changes in the SERPs as they are observed. This often has value months and years in the future, not only in the immediate moments.

We have at least 50 active threads where general Panda comments and editorializing run rampant. As our forum charter says, "The noise level editorializing creates makes it difficult to filter through threads for information of real value."

So please help keep this thread on-topic. Otherwise we are generating duplicate, redundant or overlapping [webmasterworld.com] content. If we don't want that on our own websites, then we shouldn't do it here either.


7:54 am on May 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tedster Just a suggestion... is it possible for mods to grab threads that skew too far into Panda and maybe just split them off and put them in one mega-thread to avoid derailing threads like this one?

Some of the discussion here on the subject is good but you're right it does sidetrack too much. Maybe that's a way to allow the discussion but keep it from getting us sidetracked? Just a thought.

Also I think part of the problem people are having in the SERP thread is that everything is just so crazy and in fluctuation right now, partly because of Panda, it's hard to really put our finger on what changes are really happening.


9:03 am on May 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What is wrong with Google? I just did some searches about a computer problem I'm having and all Google can find is spam. To be more precise: 1 related forum post and 9 scraped nonsense pages.

Nice update! Let's see if Bing works better...


8:54 pm on May 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

@dirkji: it's called the panda effect


10:53 pm on May 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

@dirkji - just try searching Google for Panda 2.1 - you get several duplicate snippets!
I'll let you be the judge of how much copied content there is in there. Somewhat ironic when your searching for information about an algo change connected with duplicate content!


10:54 pm on May 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What is wrong with Google? I just did some searches about a computer problem I'm having and all Google can find is spam. To be more precise: 1 related forum post and 9 scraped nonsense pages.

Did you do this same search before Panda and you are saying that those results are different now than they were then?

Martin Ice Web

7:15 am on May 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

Located in Germany, since Monday your site was hit by -50%.
In the late afternoon ( is it 8 am in US ? ) google seems to switch to an old ( or new ) set of data, witch sends us frequently users like before panda. We didnīt change an thing and after getting hit by panda 1 to x we constantly got more users a day up to Monday.
Seems like big goomazon put on the belt once again and run their panda algo.
We see lots of results from the same site. It looks like panda 1 again.


11:10 am on May 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

UK site and results, SERPS checked using UK Proxy.

Moved from 4/5 to 1/2 on main targeted key phrase 'our products', starting to see upward movement on secondary e.g. phrases 'our product' 'used our product' etc from p2+ to 4-6. Google traffic up 20% MoM, slight decrease in new visits.

We have done no off site SEO since March (got us to 9 for our key phase); all our focus has been on engagement/conversions.


11:21 am on May 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

@Atomic No, never did this search before, but did similar searches which produced normal results before. Bing gave me good sites which solved the problem, no spam there...

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

[edited by: tedster at 3:32 pm (utc) on Jun 1, 2011]

This 340 message thread spans 12 pages: 340

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