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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]

9:42 pm on May 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Damn dirty Panda apes.
10:25 pm on May 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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My Google traffic dropped 50% on 2/25 compared to the same period last year, and has been varying between -50% and -57% since. On 4/24 it dropped to -67% over last year.

I've been making changes, experimenting with different types of content (history of widgets, photos and details showing how the widgets work, user reviews of widgets, my own performance reviews of widgets), beefing up some pages to as much as 1200 words of solid content.

Without seeing a change with Google, it's hard to know what, if anything, is working. I have a couple of thousand pages to rework. I'd certainly hate to go down one path only to find that a year's worth of reworking has made no difference.
10:59 pm on May 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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dickbaker

I wouldn't do a year's worth of work just to give a dirty panda ape a happy ending.

The ROI for that is a giant question mark right now.
11:13 pm on May 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't know about Panda 3.0, but it definitely deserves a 2.1
11:16 pm on May 2, 2011 (gmt 0)



I've just noticed that on some Google search datacenter(s) query site:mysite.com doesn't return my site's index page on #1 as usual. Instead, I get a random list of pages of my site and index page is nowhere to be found (at least nowhere in the first 15 results pages).

Last time this happened to me was in 2006 after one of theirs major algo updates. I was negatively affected then in the same way with - ~70% lost Google organic traffic.
11:49 pm on May 2, 2011 (gmt 0)



Google is still not taking account for content changes and/or pages removed. I'm 100% sure. Basically, still has the old 2/24 calculations.
11:23 am on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I wish Google would stop forwarding me to Google.co.uk as it is useless.

Most of last week, .co.za and .com.au were ranking in the top 10 ... useless ... and now this week it's .org/org.uk sites getting boost again.

It seems to go in cycles: Australian/New Zealand results, .org spam results, non-matching organic results with extra PPC results ... then, for 4-5 days of the month ... ACTUAL USABLE RESULTS!

So I've gone out and bought .org versions of all my tlds and am in the process of putting thin spam sites on them all to rank for at least another 4-5 days of the month with the other spam.
12:19 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I wish Google would stop forwarding me to Google.co.uk as it is useless.

Just break the country's specific redirect by invalidating the default url and use a bookmark or setup your browser's start page


www.google.com/?n
12:56 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've just noticed that on some Google search datacenter(s) query site:mysite.com doesn't return my site's index page on #1 as usual.


Same for me - because of Panda. And I've seen it for other sites that lost traffic due to Panda. It is a penalty marker from my point of view.

@danijelzi: How did you recover on 2006 ?
1:03 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)



How did you recover on 2006 ?

I did nothing special. Just continued to post unique posts and get natural backlinks here and there. The traffic suddenly got back to normal after about 2 months, I can't remember exactly.
1:11 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)



tranquilito, do you have any idea why we got penalized? I really can't figure that out. OK, before Panda, I had some old lower quality articles from a couple of years ago (not any blackhat technique used, just relied more on quotations from other sites), but they were buried deep in my site's structure and were hardly reachable. Really no idea why I got such a severe penalty if that's the case.
1:18 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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No idea, it is very difficult to find a certain pattern/cause - as everybody already said here.
4:17 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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(First post after a long time - hi brett, hi eveybody!)

I get weird results if i search using "inurl:www.blabla...". On the first serp google.com and .de says "268 results". After a reload it says 260, another reload 266, then 268 again and so on. On the second serp it says "12 results" and stops listing more than these 12 results. It's a old site where i changed the structure (using htaccess rules) and did some seo work - 85 pages. The new pages are online since the first days of april and already visited by googlebot. Google lists a mix of old and new pages since approx. two weeks. It's google dance, right?
5:32 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I get weird results if i search using "inurl:www.blabla...". On the first serp google.com and .de says "268 results". After a reload it says 260, another reload 266, then 268 again and so on.


Not just the numbers, but the entire results change with every search I perform. Has been that way for weeks. I can rank 4th, 9th, 12th and 350th in four consecutive searches.
5:45 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



@Yidaki I would guess the inurl: numbers are estimated much the same way site: numbers are and are Not 'accurate' to a high-degree, but are rather a 'quick guess' generated on-the-fly and take a relatively small amount of processing ... IOW: I wouldn't depend on either number to have much degree of accuracy or consistency.
5:46 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@internetheaven, if you block cookies and js from your browser for google, do you still see the results changing? (I assume your system is clean)

PS: actually ok, I see it too, the results change on refresh I would assume google pulls results from different servers. It doesn't happen on every refresh but it happens every so often.
6:07 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



It's actually different DataCenters they are pulling from, and to my understanding it depends on volume at any given DC at a given time, so even for a single Google IP Address your results can be pulled from more than one DC. Basically, their load balancing balances between DCs, not machines in the same DC.

I would guess when they are testing they have a way to send a % of queries to a test DC too, and who hits that when is probably a 'not quite random' number, meaning: my guess is they probably show it to N% of visitors from different locations and/or a set of 'queries / query types', where N% from each 'geographic' and/or a 'query related' metric is controlled, but who actually hits the DC is not.
6:25 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google.co.uk as it is useless.

Most of last week, .co.za and .com.au were ranking in the top 10 ... useless ... and now this week it's .org/org.uk sites getting boost again.


Just to update my post because a cracking one has just come up! A .org.uk is #2 now for a pretty important term. Shot up from no-where on Google.co.uk and the title and description are in Arabic with the only piece of english text being "This site has been hacked by ##### on 1st Oct 2010".

Please, please, please, please, please tell me this is another "let the crap rise to the top then skim" approach by Google?
7:18 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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internetheaven

This is another "let the crap rise to the top then skim" approach by Google.

Search results have never been better.
8:12 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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for me its like this : i have thousands of articles covering widget news with the titles depending on various factors. 'widget news' is one of the two main keywords for which i used to rank somewhere on page 3 before the Panda update.

Now the situation is different: when i search for widget news in the mourning i find myself anywhere between page 46 and 63 in the serps. If i perform the same search in the evening i am nowhere to be found. The last page that google allows me to see it #66

What i also find weird is that category pages that contain blue widget news and black widget news rank higher and are found on pages #28 and #43 when i search for 'widget news'.

If i search in a different day i will find other category pages like pink widget news and purple widget news again ranking higher that the homepage.

[edited by: alecs at 8:13 pm (utc) on May 3, 2011]

8:12 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"This site has been hacked by ##### on 1st Oct 2010"

Does at least say "this site may harm your computer"?
8:34 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"This site has been hacked by ##### on 1st Oct 2010"

Does at least say "this site may harm your computer"?


Nope.

Just to confirm to you that I'm not simply bitter about losing rankings. Mine have not really changed. This is a regular occurence with Google.co.uk -- Australian/New Zealand sites dominating the UK top 10 and sometimes .org.uk sites dominating the top 10. EVERY SINGLE .org.uk that I've checked today that is in the top 10 has ZERO backlinks (according to Yahoo/Google).

So, I'm crossing my fingers that this is another simple filter overhaul and not another push to get UK companies on Adwords. I had to spend thousands last month until the Google team finally reviewed my reconsideration request!
10:01 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Just noticed several of our previously buried (Buried on 04/28-04/30-ish) high volume phrases/pages coming back this afternoon.

Oddly enough - when I am logged into "The Services" (Sounds so... CIA-ish, I found it in their privacy policy somewhere) of Google, my personalized results do not show any of the phrase rankings being reflected. They are still 300-400 results into the serps.

Logging out of "The Services"... and the serp's seem to come alive with better results. Searching behind a proxy or in a Google cookie-blocked browser has the same effect now, and the phrases rank similar to pre-weekend levels.

We DID make one single change on the site - we removed an advertisement banner that was within the first 150 words of the content section on the page.
11:24 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)



mhansen, back and forth I see. Google has literally choked, can't figure out crap.
5:05 pm on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Since 3 May, the traffic was bigger than usual. As panda, my sites more or less not affected.
10:33 am on May 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 25 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4308668.htm [webmasterworld.com] by tedster - 6:26 pm on May 6, 2011 (EDT -4)


Hi guys,

Just some quick background info first...

Our site is a keyword rich url (bluewidgets.co.uk) and we generally rank 1-2 for this term, which is highly-competitive.

We've had some problems in the past with the site and fell foul of a Google penalty awhile back of some sort that seemed to just effect the homepage. Anyway, we recovered from that and saw some pretty stable rankings for quite a few months.

Anyway, soon after the Panda update was rolled out, our site seemed to do pretty well out of it. We're really focused on producing high-quality content and that mantra seemed to stand us in good stead.

We were ranking well for 'blue widgets' and pushing toward the first page for 'widgets blue'. Then about 2 weeks ago, we reached the 1st page for 'widgets blue' after slightly tinkering with our homepage title tag to be slightly more optimized for the term 'widgets blue'.

That ranking lasted about a week and then boom, the homepage disappeared from the Google SERPS (but only for the term 'widgets blue', we were still ranking well for 'blue widgets'). The only onsite change to the homepage was that title tag change. I would also say that we get some natural, good quality external links because of the content we put out.

Then, earlier this week, we then returned to the 1st page for 'widgets blue'. Then, check the results this morning and we've disappeared again for that term. As a side note, we are also not currently ranking for a unique phrase from our homepage.

Has anyone else seen such erratic rankings for their sites? Pulling my hair out with this - just cannot pin point what it is.

Any help/advice/thoughts greatly appreciated.

Cheers
2:41 pm on May 6, 2011 (gmt 0)



Results are a MESS RIGHT NOW. Totally MESS. My site which was exactmatch.com was there ranking#2 it is now gone to 3rd page and 1st page is by a site with 3 link units on the top followed by 3 leaderboards and then images(violating Adsense guidelines) plus stolen content.

The other 9 results are forum results.

I am almost going to cry out with what has happened to our major site. Just cannot believe the current results.

Is there a new update rolling out?
3:01 pm on May 6, 2011 (gmt 0)



Same erratic rankings here.. Perhaps we are in the midst of Panda V3?
3:31 pm on May 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Seeing lots of changes in the UK - sites jumping about and taking hits.
3:33 pm on May 6, 2011 (gmt 0)



Going by my observations so far, if your site keeps oscillating between a high ranking and being put back several pages, that's not a good sign and chances are you'll end up with the lower rank permanently after a couple of days. Well that's how it's gone for me anyway.
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