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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]

10:31 pm on May 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I'm seeing big brands moving into the top spots on some niches where they hadn't ranked before... but the results don't yet seem stable. I'd always (ie, for the last 8 or 9 years) felt that some niches were vulnerable to major brand competition if the major brands intelligently targeted them. In some cases, that now appears to be happening.

The targeting, though, is more than just SEO... the brands are actually paying attention to those niche areas. Sort of like specialized food shops being replaced by expanded deli counters in some savvy supermarkets, or chains created to cover those niches.
11:22 pm on May 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What is up with google.co.id? This looks to be pre-panda? Many of our terms rank the same on here. Could this be a test? Or is just that Panda has not been applied?
Thanks.
11:32 pm on May 22, 2011 (gmt 0)



My affected website ranked first page (recovery) on several keywords yesterday but is tossed to hell today. This is such a crazy fluctuation. Animal behavior (Panda) is unpredictable and wild.
11:33 pm on May 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Are you checking rankings manually or with an automated checker? I'm curious because some suspect Google sends bogus data when it identifies an automated rank checker.


Tedster, I thought Google approved the Firefox rank checking tool.

When I'm really interested in a result given by the Firefox tool, I'll check manually. The results are usually pretty close or exact.
11:38 pm on May 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google has Walmartized the internet, and is now leaving a few of the scrapes to the pheasants.

Google used them a while then it's over the shoulder :)
11:38 pm on May 22, 2011 (gmt 0)



@ wiseapple, IMHO That's definitely Pre-Panda result, my affected site is on the first/2nd page in several keywords.
12:50 am on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



Robert,
even if Amazon post junk pages for a medium size niche their "trust" could most likely overdo any of 'us,' that's one major Panda flaw. I see it with AOL, Yahoo and other portals now. Google likes them even though we've been in that niche for 10 years before and content is more or less the same and what the users expect /what it is in the title. (People need to remember that no every site has articles ;))
2:04 am on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



Backlinks have also lost their value? If back brands are now ranking higher than sites with much more unique content and strong backlinks, Google is now doing BIG BIG partiality. I just wish Google Shares keep going down and down so they know they have done something wrong! So angry!
2:59 am on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Sort of like specialized food shops being replaced by expanded deli counters in some savvy supermarkets, or chains created to cover those niches.


Though I am with you on this observation, there are a few who believe that splitting up sites to become specialized food shops will help them.
3:01 am on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



i was seeing a huge increase in FB likes from Indonesia and I now know why.It is still pre-panda on google.co.id
3:11 am on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



Did Indonesia even get Pandalized? I thought it was English speaking sites only?
10:05 am on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



For a couple of key phrases I observe, I've noticed that Google currently makes mistakes in displaying relevant results.

For example, if you search for small widgets, on the 1st SERP page you have 5 results (including #1) that are about widgets for small business (these results are from major brands in the widget industry). Another one result is about a widget with small dots. All of these pages don't have "small widgets" mentioned anywhere. Only remaining 4 results actually are about small widgets.

From a point of view of a small widget seeker, more than 60% of the 1st page results are useless (on Bing it's 20% for the same phrase).

Similarly, another search for blue widget Xs model displays results containing blue widget's X, although on the Net there are a lot of quality pages about blue widget Xs.
10:44 am on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



I'm just so much frustrated with all this that I can't describe. I usually don't visit forums much but this is the first time I've seen a SITEWIDE ranking drop in the last 5 years of working online.

I've concluded that Google is testing some "specific niches" at the moment. I'm monitoring some other terms as well and there is LITERALLY no serp movment. The front page is showing a fix set of results since last 10 days.

I'm asking this to seasoned guys

Is it possible that Google is doing something only to CERTAIN queries or CERTAIN sites? It all seem very weird and my site just bouncing back and fourth from page 5 to page 7. It just sounds like there is some big hurdle on page 5 and site can't rise beyond that page.
1:00 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



@learnseo81
want the truth? Google sees small web people now as free loaders, they see the clicks as 'theirs' and hate to give them to people making 'easy money.' Their former CEO called it a cesspool when he met with the print media in 2008 and said that brands will clean it up. Meaning, eventually no clicks for you or me, just big brands.

As long as the top sites keep their rankings so Google is not embarrassed they can experiment drastically and take away 70% of the traffic in a heartbeat and even call your site bad.

So, serps now make no normal sense, it's a whole new world and Google is being more honest lately.

But when there's a major update, serps do fluctuate a lot more. And yes Goog can penalize one keyword and not touch the rest, I know it for a fact.
6:25 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



Scratches head, looks skywards and wonders?

How come my B&M sites are blowing my trade portal site into the weeds so far today? This has never happened in 16 years.

Even with the Panda's decimation of my Coppermine gallery this is not normal. My biggest site by a long, long way, seems to be being shred into thinner and thinner bamboo stems.

Is this yet another bite out of the directories a$$e$ by Google?
8:01 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



To those who are pandalized by the latest update. What is your bounce rate as determined in Google analytics? One of my sites which get pandalized has a bounce rate of 76%! I'm starting to suspect that bounce rate is a very important metric in post panda world. What's your thought ?
8:12 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have a site with 80% bounce that doubled in traffic with panda. I have many with less that got slaughtered. It's complicated and I can't figure it out.
8:13 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



@ken: could be but i don't think It's the major factor: I have been penalized and my bouce rate is 30%.

Sure maybe I am not penalized and my new competitors may have steal some of my traffic. God knows
8:25 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



My bounce rate is 14.25%. However, my tracking script has been modified with a line that counts only page views under 10 seconds as bounces. Without that script modification, the bounce rate is about 40%.
8:25 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



My bounce is below 50% on my pandalized site but on my 75% bounce rate sites traffic went way up, in 2 it tripled.
8:25 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Most of my site have bounce rates around 70% - something that has worried me for sometime - but I have not been affected by panda.
I have one site at around 50% and it has not seen a boost.
9:19 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hmm. Maybe I should add high-bounce pages. ;)
9:36 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I was wondering what would happen to bounce rate when I removed adsense. I haven't gotten rid of 100% of the ads yet but about 80%. As of the last analytics update the bounce rate went from 73% down to 66% (all time low).
9:49 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



Hmm. Maybe I should add high-bounce pages. ;)


I am starting to thing that too.

An high bounce website means users click on the website close it and come back to Google serp this means more click to their adwords

But I hope this isn't the way taken by google
9:51 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



I have seen sites with similar niche as mine ranked favorably with a large 300x250 ad (very high CTR) above fold.

Other things that I'm looking into.

1) Cross linking between my sites with Nofollow alt. (removed after reading an article about SERP demotion even with nofollow alt)

2) # of links per main page > 100 ( Site redesign on planning stage )


Another sleepless night ...
1:02 am on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



An high bounce website means users click on the website close it and come back to Google serp

No treally, you're describing a high "click-back" rate. Bounce rate measures a lot more than clicks back to the SERP.
4:19 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)



Any updates guys? Anyone came back in SERPs?

I've was reading another forum where two guys reported their sites hit on 27 march came back magically in May. Not sure what is happening as entire thing is so confusing and hard to conclude anything.
5:53 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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No treally, you're describing a high "click-back" rate. Bounce rate measures a lot more than clicks back to the SERP.


I guess that is why I'm seeing so many of our competitors using javascript to prevent click backs....

I'd actually thought it was a blackhat technique, but ?
7:48 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)



No treally, you're describing a high "click-back" rate. Bounce rate measures a lot more than clicks back to the SERP.


What can mean bounce rate?

- User opens a page of a website and then instantly closes the browser
- User clicks back (in this case 90% comes back to google)
- User follows a link to a new website (from the current page)

I think out of this 3 factors an high bounce rate website on top of serps is going to sends lot of more traffic to google. (But still I repeat: I don't think google will ever think to reward high bounce website)

[edited by: asabbia at 8:13 pm (utc) on May 24, 2011]

8:06 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)



Here is my problem, When I looked at my bounce rates for a few several pages of my pandalized site, my top level domain has a bounce rate of 76%, my category pages have an average bounce rate of 45%. When I searched for one of my main keywords for top level domain, one of my category page showed up on page 5 but my top level domain was nowhere to be found. This issue occurs in pandalized google domains ( .com, co.uk, .aus, my ). Strange huh ?

One of my best ranked sites has a bounce rate of 18%.
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