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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]


3:37 pm on May 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

On the Cache issue, I checked my cache on the 7th and it was dated the 6th, I checked it again on the 11th and the cache date was a day earlier, the 5th. I checked yesterday the 11th and the cache was the 11th.

just checked again, cache date the 9th....

[edited by: Yippee2 at 4:20 pm (utc) on May 13, 2011]


4:15 pm on May 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wow, even Twitter cache date is the 10th.


7:28 am on May 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

One thing i can say with certainty - it's becoming much harder to actually find what i need on google.

I used to be able to pull up things in seconds. Years of trial & error have refined this 'sense' of what search terms i need to enter to find stuff.

Now... not so much. I'm scrolling through pages or seemingly endless unrelated nonsense to find what i need.


2:16 pm on May 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Antek, I'm finding that I'm bouncing back and forth between Google and Bing to try to find things. Sometimes I find what I want on Bing, other times on Google. Before Panda I would just use Google.

One of the oddities of Bing is that it doesn't always display the manufacturer's site first, so searching for a maker of a product can be frustrating. OTOH, Google gives the first three to five results (or worse) to the manufacturer, so finding a site other than the manufacturer or Wiki or Ehow or About.com takes time.


4:17 pm on May 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

I see conflicting cache information also. One of my sites uses a javascript date stamp to display today's date. In the Google preview tool, Google shows my most recent changes from the past 24 hours, but the date displayed from my javascript is from a cache several weeks ago. If I view Google's cache, it is a more recent date. So the preview tool is mixing cached elements.


4:58 pm on May 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I am not seeing cache beyond May 11.For many sites the cache dates of its pages are between May 9 and May 11.

From May 12, I am seeing an increase in the % of Direct Traffic (DT). This is something I experienced in the period March 7 - 12. Though the number of visitors are less DT% is almost the same as I saw in the period March 7 - 12.

Are these the manual testers? Who knows!


11:17 pm on May 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

today +10%. (still lower than pre-panda traffic)

I don't know what causes this hard yoyo effect


4:25 pm on May 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Update around May 10?

We had some quality academic content that was listed in Google Scholar. It seems for a long time, just being in Google Scholar helped us in the organic serps.

On may 10th, our traffic to our pages listed in Google Scholar dropped by 50%. Typically, most of the traffic to the Google Scholar pages came from Google.com, not scholar.google.com

The May time frame is a time of seasonal decline for scholarly traffic, but, this is far more than usual.

Of course, the nut of it is, this is by definition, high quality scholarly stuff. . . perhaps the issue is originality.


3:41 am on May 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

A couple of other threads here are reporting an odd grouping of events. The first thing is that Sitelink get added or expanded. At the same time, Google traffic takes a huge nosedive, and at least in some cases, rankings begin a rapid cycling up, down, down, back up, etc. A kind ot rapid wave, as if Google is doing some kind of statistical sampling.

That's some odd (and painful) SERPs behavior.


4:48 am on May 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is odd, Google is not obeying the nocache, noarchive on some of the sites I work. Have checked server headers and they are showing correctly. Also some sites are not showing home page in web preview. Cache date of today on pages which should not have been cached.


4:51 am on May 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just a quick question, so is Google obeying the noindex or no follow tags or could this be an issue as well with Panda?


7:06 am on May 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

From the little I read, I am sure some here will correct me, but seems that there is a greater impact placed in social mediums.


8:38 am on May 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's a rollercoaster.
I posted earlier about my sites being affected by Panda2.1.
Suddenly yesterday total traffic and adsense up to the level of a pre-panda 2.1 above average day. Whoo-hoo I thought. Looked at SERPS and little had changed (one or two sites had crept back up a little but not much). Careful analysis showed it was just one site (my main site)that was getting more traffic, but SERPS were still the same (most pages 3 to 9 positions below pre-panda2.1.)
Then I found it - suddenly loads of traffic (over 50% of the total) from Yahoo search for just one keyword. I love you Yahoo! Still waiting to see what todays roller coaster will bring, but lesson for me from yesterday - "Don't forget your friends at Yahoo/Bing!"


9:06 am on May 18, 2011 (gmt 0)


When did you lost serps (date) and when you gained them back? Just wanted to know coz I'm in the same boat.


10:17 am on May 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

learnseo81, you better read what he says carefully..


11:53 pm on May 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just checked HubPages in Quantcast. They are actually up this week(compared to last month). Looks like TechCrunch post really worked.


1:34 am on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)


I read it carefully yesterday after making the post :) I understood what he is saying.


3:37 am on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>They are actually up this week(compared to last month). Looks like TechCrunch post really worked.

That's the best way to recover from Panda. Get media coverage. Otherwise forget it.


12:40 am on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Short note that is relevant to this thread---

Impacted by Panda 1.0 (25~% google traffic drop) and have been watching daily traffic from Googlebot.

Since Panda 1.0, Googlebot has been averaging 700-800 visits per day. Today it's hit over 4,000 pages...the first deep crawl we've seen since Panda.

As we're coming up on the 90 day mark, anyone else impacted by Panda 1.0 see this level of crawling?

Also, we're an e-commerce site, no ads, most product descriptions are written in house, and we have large brand recognition in our industry.

What say you Webmasters, is another update underway?


12:05 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I think indyank is pointing to the fact that rankings did not come back - rather I had a surge of traffic from Yahoo.
Rankings fell across a number of sites, to differing extents around 5/6 May.


1:49 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have no idea what has happened to me overnight however I'm calling it Panda 3.0...I've virtually been wiped out of the SERPs for 90+% of my terms, gone or buried so far down they're not worth finding.

I hesitate to ask...anyone else seen a massive overnight shift?


1:51 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)


Yes, I misunderstood that first but realized my fault later.


1:56 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)


This is EXACTLY what happened to me on May 13. When did this happen to your sites?

My all terms are buried in deep pages like page 4, page 5, page 6 and my SERPs are bouncing like a yo-you. Rank for my pages get +25 and -27. I was #1 for all those terms. Top 10 results are changing every minute I refresh the page.

95% of my terms have dropped or say 100%. Overnight. I've 70 pages of unique 1000 words content targeting several long tails and all SERPs are nowhere to be found.

It is not happening with you alone. Can you check If your SERPs are also bouncing wildly? Also monitor the top 10 results and let me know If those results are changing.



2:21 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

When did this happen to your sites?

Overnight Thursday to Friday. It was about an hour or so ago I was checking my logs and saw very little activity.

This seems to be for all my company global sites, not just one site, even for products that we are the SOLE global source for have disappeared and replaced by the utmost garbage.

Yep, and stuff is bouncing all over the place...it's gonna be a long, hard-drinking weekend sussing this one out...and that's if I can even be bothered because without access to that master dial and the deletion of some rogue code, I really can't see any point in doing anything.

As I just said to one of my guys "That's it, we're back to 1995!"


2:26 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

My gut feeling :

This is not Panda and nor your sites ( as well as mine) have been penalized for anything. Google is testing out something and SERPs should settle back pretty soon.

Let's see. Atleast, we both are having the same issue. I'll keep you posted If anything comes back.


2:26 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm also seeing a huge traffic drop. Most of my rankings took a dive on May 9, returned May 18 and dropped again yesterday evening.

This happened to me on January as well, so I guess I'll just keep on doing what I was already doing and hope that I still have enough traffic to maintain some income.



2:27 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

And for the record, My sites went down last Friday on May 13.


2:30 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)


This happened to you on SITEWIDE basis and do you target terms to more than 1 page?


2:33 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)


Yes, it's sitewide. I'm targeting terms to many pages.



2:38 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

and the SERPs must be bouncing as well? I mean your pages must be bouncing in the results in Google?

Something is up. I'm also having SITEWIDE ranking drop. Keep me posted about how things shape. I'm glad to hear that things atleast came back for you for a day....

When your rankings came back, It was for a few pages or EXACTLY same as before?
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