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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Oct 2011



10:26 pm on Sep 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

I just found this little nugget whilst search for something completely unrelated.

#2 Post from Google employee.


That's pretty clear admission they are hitting sites they don't mean to imo.

[edited by: tedster at 10:42 pm (utc) on Oct 2, 2011]


5:52 pm on Oct 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Question. Has anyone tried removing all webmaster tools files to see if there was any impact positive or negative. I've been debating doing this for some time now.


1:31 pm on Oct 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I recieved the following email from Burstmedia.

"The Google Panda updates have impacted our publishers in many ways - some positive, some negative. We appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey below to provide insight into how Panda has affected your site(s) in particular.

We will summarize the survey results and publish them to you as a reference. Our hope is to find some commonalities among the responses that can help publishers who were negatively impacted restore traffic and revenue to levels sustained prior to Panda."

I took the survey which asked things like the type of site I have and the number of ads on each page.


2:54 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Regarding the new Oct 13 - Oct 14 updates:

hmmm...finance related niche here and seeing all my SERPS -30. I seem to remember this happening almost the exact same time last year.

Last year, if memory serves was a push of all e-commerce sites between now and Black Friday.

My site is monetized by Adsense and one affiliate link on an inner page. Mostly informational and almost completely hand-coded (yes I like it), totally clean from broken links, with almost no link-outs.


3:28 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

What on earth is the Panda doing to the UK SERPs?

I have a trademarked, keyword domain, the entire site is solely about my widget and it has suddenly gone from #1 to page 9.!.! the old joke about eats, shoots and leaves comes to mind:-)


3:31 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Im down 66% so far today, this is not looking good, hope they tun the dials back. Ive did nothing to the site in 6 months bar add fresh content, no design changes etc.

I dont target keywords at all ive over 600 different keywords that bring people to the site in small chunks, im not top for any and suddenly ive lost traffic for everything. This is a hobby site so I feel for you guys who make a living from this.


6:24 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Some of my page have totally disappeared from the index after this update. Has anybody else had this happen.

The pages were quite new only a month or so old.


6:26 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

To those concerned that you were hit last night or today - you don't have much data to go on yet, don't make crazy changes until you are sure this is not just a ranking anomaly.

Look at your organic search over the next few days, is it way down? Is traffic referred by google way down? If so, might be panda, but scrutinize your data first.


7:20 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

There was definitely another iteration of Panda released/applied in the last day or so. My Pandalized e-commerce site that was hit by Panda 1.0 and has since improved a good bit (due to a complete redesign/rewrite/etc. of our site) was hit again across the board. It's classic Panda, where every phrase you rank for drops. I've got 21 terms in an Advanced Web Ranking project and we lost for nearly all of them with only a couple holding steady...none gaining. It's horribly depressing. This will cost us 10's of thousands of dollars or more, and we probably have the best site in our industry.


7:41 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

and we probably have the best site in our industry

And a quick guess says that you're at #1 in BingHoo and there are no spammy, scrapers to be seen?

Why are you spending money when it's outside of everyone's control, well, unless one happens to be one of the chosen high profile few? Just wondering.


7:52 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

We are still #1 for a number of our terms at "BingHoo", but they bring us very little traffic. And no, we have no issue with scrapers.

Spending money? I didn't say anything about spending money and are not sure what you're talking about.


7:53 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

There was definitely another iteration of Panda released/applied in the last day or so.

From the lack of widespread posts about this, I'm assuming it was more of a tweak or - as Matt Cutts called it - "Panda flux".

A new, full blown iteration would be very early (the most recent was Sep 27 with some flux following if for more than a week afterward.


There are other "modules" or parts of the full ranking algorithm that only iterate about once a month or even less frequently. These can account for some of the update jiggling we see from time to time. These other modules would include things like automated taxonomy creation, taxonomy assignment of pages and query terms, or the re-calculation of semantic n-grams.

This stuff is all very intensive on the processing end (though probably not so intensive as Panda) and the effects of fully new iterations tend to land in a big bunch.


7:58 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Judging by comments I have read elsewhere today - certainly more than just a tweak in the UK. I note it is almost exactly 6 months since we were hit on April 12.


8:07 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tedster: It may be a tweak and not a full blown iteration...probably shouldn't have used that word. But in any case it was a site wide devaluation on the scale of Panda I for us...in the sense that it was across the board.


8:15 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

Well, something Panda-related definitely happened. My guess right now is that it only affected a subset of all the Pandalyzed websites, but we'll know more as the next day or two unfold.


8:17 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have had a site that was never affect that was juse hit this morning.....

I havent changed anything within the site in the last 6 months besides going from one picture ad above the fold to two picture ads above the fold.



8:24 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just to add to GreenDog18's:

My site was also never affected by Panda, totally unique content to a specialized niche.....



8:30 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Something has definitely happened. My site got hit on the 27th Sept and lost 90% of the traffic until 4th October when it started to recover quickly to pre panda levels. This morning I noticed at about 11am UK time (my site is UK focussed) that Google traffic is down by about 50% and been that way all day until now. I don't know what to think.....


8:30 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I was never affected by Panda...until this afternoon...uh-oh... :(


8:35 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you're living off your sites...welcome to hell. You've just been raped by Panda, and there's nothing you can do to stop it from ramming you over and over again.


8:37 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some keynotes about my site that was just hit for the first time:

1. 100% unique cotent...
2. About 8 months old....
3. Maybe 5 or so IB sitewide links... 1 OB sitewide link
4. 30-40 articles max
5. Went from 1 to 2 ads above the fold about 1 week ago.
6. Most articles are similar in structure and topics.
For example:

Red Widget Coupons
Blue Widget Coupons
Black Widget Coupons

and so on...


8:46 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

well i've got a UK site and i seem to have picked up a bit of traffic, so im not complaining. but with some of the other pandas i lost a bit, dont know why. dont know why i gained either. site is more or less the same, with a few tweaks. there's no rhyme or reason to it. its like they change their mind every month.

the only thing i can think of is it goes with the seasons. my site is quite seasonal, so when the users come presumably google likes my stats better, and bumps me up the next month when they rerun this panda thing.


8:50 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Nice, I have a site I don't care about too much, 700 pages, not touched in 2 years, almost all Gooble traffic gone today.

I would like to ask what the hell this company is doing. If you can't decide what to rank, you really shouldn't be in the search engine business.

Decide where you would like my sites to appear in the serps, make an executive decision, and stick to it. Right now you are flopping around like a monkey child. Thanks man.


8:54 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Like: supercyberbob...

Sorry....just had to day....


8:59 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



9:07 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I was never affected by Panda...until this afternoon...uh-oh...

Me too. :(


9:27 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Dear Google,

Please undo what you did last week !




9:30 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

My never pandalized sites have suffered a serious drop from what I can tell so far.


9:33 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Very interesting update! My non-pandalized site has now been pandalized to the tune of a 50% cut. I have always wondered why this site was spared, as in my mind, it did not deserve to be "up" while my main site got clobbered in February. The interesting thing is that my main site has now survived the last 2 tweaks and even gained a little in late September.

I wonder if Panda is finally catching up to all other sites that used to be untouched?


9:39 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@walkman: Same. My main site (it's only ~13 months old but was getting more and more popular) seen traffic rise with every panda iteration, but something's happened today: traffic is nowhere near where it has been in recent days and weeks.

It's weird since yesterday seen a near-record traffic day (perhaps 35-40% higher than the Sept 2011 average), and now today's dead (will be lucky to be at 25% of the recent daily average).

The site's all unique and quality content, and until now it's seen traffic rise with each panda update (one or two of the updates seen the site get ~30% rises in traffic; rises which never went away). If this is somewhat permanent/panda related, I'll probably just look to change my business model since I took no shortcuts with this site and it's got great content (some expert level content etc).. I can't think how I can improve on it (or the business model from a quality perspective).

More info on the site:
* 100% unique content
* ~70 pages
* Words per page varies (anything from around 400 to 1,300)
* Does sometimes get scraped/its content stolen, but I tend to DMCA quickly and it's under control
* I don't think I've had any set SERP penalty. A keyword which I ranked #1-#2 at, I'm now at #6 for. A keyword which I ranked on #6-7 for, I'm now at #13-#14. Seems to be a general deranking but nothing set like -30/-50.
* I have 1 Google ad on article pages (i.e. not on category pages which contain ~300-400 words of content, nor the homepage).

Ah well. Que sera sera. If this is permanent/panda related (and not just the panda flux Matt Cutts warned about), it just means I'm late to the conclusion which many webmasters have reached: Relying on Google is stupid.

In-fact I think I'll stick to that conclusion even if things recover.


9:55 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've got a 4 year old site which has steadily been climbing in rankings and traffic due to addition of new content, links from trusted sources etc.

Today, traffic has dropped by 50%. I checked ranking for a wide range of keywords which all used to be on the first page and they've all dropped to at least page 3.

Right before Christmas - I could weep.
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