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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Oct 2011



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

5+ Year Member

< 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]


10:02 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Was this update limited to the UK or are other regions seeing it.


10:06 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

US here.....


10:08 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Canada too...

8 years old site, 90% traffic dropped this afternoon.
Not sure what to do, no major changes done in a long long time.

Where is a good place to contact google?


10:11 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

We had 3 sites hit yesterday, big ranking drops and traffic drops. Looks like about 60 - 70% down in the worst case. Can't see any obvious reasons, how can you tell if this is Panda or some other tweak? We've had an exact match 2 word domain 6 years old drop off the first page for its "exact name" search.


10:13 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Please undo what you did last week !



Right before Christmas - I could weep.

I feel your pain, since February been penalized. Tried doing everything but the only positive results have been on Google's side, my earnings are shot. Reading Google support forums they have destroyed many, many small sites and that's even worst with today's economy.

I wonder if Panda is finally catching up to all other sites that used to be untouched?
Probably. Who knows. I think Mhansen said it best: don't expect any visitors from the new Google.


10:22 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

My Feb. Pandalized site was up about 5% G. Traffic until yesterday.

Here are some stats:

1. Based in the USA
2. Pandalized in Feb (lost 70% traffic)
3. No real change in each iteration since if anything going slightly/slowly up.
4. Ecom site


10:42 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


main site hit 12th april. minor sites hit now, if your are not a major brand, check your googlebot stats on WMT for increase in crawl = about to be hit. Especially if UK.


11:26 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Not just UK...my 10 year old US site just saw it's traffic drop 80%. Not on page one for any of my keywords anymore...this is a hobby site for me - just some extra cash...but it's still irritating. For those of you who make your living with your site - I feel 'ya. This stinks. Perhaps in a few days things will be back to what they were...


11:39 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

and I've got to second the Like: supercyberbob LOL


1:49 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Same story, 3yrs old site never pandalized, lost about 60-70% of the terms which used to rank for(main page). All long tails are gone for the main page, HOWEVER, my blog long tails and keywords have hit 1-3 spot on alot of results.


3:13 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

So much for the user experience, our main site has over 1 million products and gets a lot of page views.... This can't last can it?


3:43 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have been hit badly, this could be the beginning of the end unless I do something radical!

Perhaps after doing this #*$! 6 years full time it might be a good thing and I should reinvest my profits in a more steady business.


3:56 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Unless your a big name site and can get some online attention like Daniweb or Cult of Mac and get put on the "white list" don't expect for the Panda to fully ever let go.

The Panda helped them make record profits expect much more of the same its all about $. User experience lol ... Gotta luv the googlaide..

[edited by: kd454 at 4:04 am (utc) on Oct 15, 2011]


4:00 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Panda should have really been named AmaBay to better reflect the preference given to Amazon and eBay organic listings. These two companies alone spend many millions with Google, and it is no shock that towards the major holiday shopping season Google gives them preference. Call it Panda, domain authority or anything you like. The bottom line is that Google will not bite the hand that feeds them.


4:19 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is literally killing me. I have poured my life into my website. How can google reward us for our efforts one day, then stab us in the back and leave us dying the next?

Do No Evil?


4:55 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I hate to be cynical but I imagine google employees look at the businesses they ruined as nothing more than collateral damage in their quest for a better "something".


4:41 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >]

I too was hit last night and I'm talking about a major hit! My site was ranked number one for its main keyword and in between number 1 and 2 for several products for years now, then all sudden my my pages dropped 10 to 30 spots (some completely disappeared) and my traffic is down 90%, and quess what, the "spammy" sites that scraped my site's content are now on the first page.. WHat the he**! Not only did they steal my content, they got rewarded for it by Google's recent update and penalized me "sitewide".. Right before the holidays too, I can't believe Google would do this to reputable sites! I've spents months upon months writing all thise content myself, yet the spammy and scrapers outrank me for my own content?

[edited by: tedster at 4:59 am (utc) on Oct 15, 2011]


5:01 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


Google employees why would they care they are high fiveing each other on the way to the bank to deposit there Panda boneses check life is good.


5:08 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This sure doesn't seem like a minor update. Know what I'm sayin.

Quite a few "my traffic is down 90%" and similar. Nice timing on a Friday as well.


6:30 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well I've just checked my overnight stats and it's even worse than I thought. And I'm also seeing that the sites that are ranking above me are either big brands or spammy sites.

Funny that Wikipedia, the BBC, the Guardian etc etc think my content is worthwhile and useful to their readers but Google doesn't ...


6:39 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I suppose I should formally welcome myself to the panda club, they caught up with me this time.

I am not sure if this has been hit upon, I am seeing long tail keywords that my sites were ranking well for now gone. Is a metter of Panda doing away with the long tail keywords?


6:40 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Funny that Wikipedia, the BBC, the Guardian etc etc think my content is worthwhile and useful to their readers but Google doesn't

Google is superior to anyone else ...
Actually, they used to be superior. That was before panda though.


7:09 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

Awful day for me on multiple sites. To the extent that I hoped it was a server outage. Not that lucky. Wow. I expect this but I didn't really expect it already. Anybody who wants to sit and defend Google, especially based on recent traffic hits can seriously (fill in the blanks).


7:42 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

So I take it the below is a similar picture being seen on here then..


Thats site with steady growth since launch then overnight boom...google liked it for 9 months.

Action took so far

Adsene and Analytics gone, they are getting no Information off me anymore.


7:52 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't think it has to do anything with Panda. I am waiting for members who are exposed to some big players' traffic stats to weigh in and share their observations.

At the first sight, it looks like a usual pre-holidays shopping season shake-up that favors e-commerce sites over content sites. Just may be a bit more aggressive than in the previous years. Few observations support this hypothesis

- I see large content sites in commercial niches down. I have a large content site which has been a leader in the niche (tech niche, but has many consumer electronics retailers) for years. It has never been hit by any penalty, including all Pandas, yet it is down 20% overnight and overranked for many keywords by Radioshack and alike

- Out of the 4-5 e-commerce sites that I have and that are leaders in their niche, the only one which has been affected is the one that has adsense blocks, i.e sells advertising in addition to having a shopping cart. Now that's interesting, lol. Coincidence?

- The exact match domains sites in commercial niches are all down (a long due), replaced by large retailers. I am not sure if it was a penalty to EMD sites, or a boost to large retailers. Most probably, the latter.

- Ebay is everywhere (gosh, was fed up with this junk before, now it looks even worse), walmart is up, all these huge e-commerce brands buying links on mega scale are up

So far about the holidays SERPs. Members with content sites who think it's another Panda wave, please look around, were you pushed down by e-commerce sites? any new ebay junk ranking above you?

Yet I also see some changes within non-commercial niches. I am not sure, but these look like some more "authority" boost, which still can be a side effect of pushing the mega retailers up the SERPs.


8:08 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is my traffic over the last year [imageshack.us...]

I didn't have the same thing happen this time last year so don't see how it can have anything to do with pre-Christmas.

(The dip in June is an annual occurrence due to seasonality)


8:09 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Aww crap! Add me to the list, same story as many of you; 5+ year sites never affected by previous updates (Florida, panda etc.).
Always trying to increase the quality over the years, and just been stung bigtime.

This may well be a game changer for me :(


8:18 am on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yep, something happened. Yesterday seen a 81.1% drop in traffic compared to the day before, or a 75.8% drop compared to the month's daily average.

It isn't a UK only drop either. The % of traffic from each country (including the UK) is the same - there's just (much) less of it.

Ah well, que sera sera. I guess after reading these forums post-panda I was half expecting something to happen. It does go to show that - even if my site's traffic recovers - you can't rely on Google. Anything which can click your fingers and take away 75-80% of your traffic can't be relied on.

I hate to be cynical but I imagine google employees look at the businesses they ruined as nothing more than collateral damage in their quest for a better "something".

I know what you're saying and I do sort of agree - but at the level Google play at (by that I mean, with hundreds of millions of websites, billions of web pages), they sort of have to deal in the abstract.

It's like a Government can't meet every worker who loses their job. They have to deal in the abstract; with just numbers.

So despite Google acting like they're close to webmasters etc, they're just like most huge companies - they deal in the abstract and with numbers, not with personal stories, 99% of the time.

I know what you're saying though.


12:40 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Those saying this was not part of the Panda Fever epidemic, I must remind people to look at the other threads on this form. Matt Cutts confirmed this was Panda in a recent Tweet.

"Mahesh Makvana
maheshhari Mahesh Makvana
@mattcutts Was that a minor Panda Update today?
19 hours ago

in reply to &#8593;
Matt Cutts
@mattcutts Matt Cutts
@maheshhari late last night, yes.
18 hours ago via web"

Lessons I'm learning from this is that it is OK to monetize your site with Adsense only.

Keep in mind that there is a reason why Google beat its recent earnings targets, and that is because they control 65% of the search traffic. What Google is telling many small players is that if they want Google Search traffic, they had better pony up some Adwords money.

Thankfully my primary site receives only about 25% of its traffic from Google. While I agree with Google that quality matters, it is time for all webmasters to realize Google is not the only traffic source. If your site quality is good enough, return visitors will continue to grow over time and leave you less dependent on the next animal that Google releases.

Good luck to all that have been impacted by this. It takes on average 3-5 weeks for Panda to be run, so use that as your timeline to fix what must be corrected. But be warned, once the Panda sits on you, many find that with all their efforts that they still can't recover.


1:15 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Lessons I'm learning from this is that it is OK to monetize your site with Adsense only.

Insofar as what has happened to me, incorrect, yesterday's AdSense for me was 50% of post-Panda 2.1 and to put that into context 20% of pre-Panda 2.1

I'm seriously considering the removal of Adsense off all my sites and FWIW my traffic yesterday was the same as all this week yet AdSense is down 50%...and some people reckon Panda has nothing to do with AdSense!

My earnings' graph clearly shows a huge drop with two Panda iterations. It's very obvious to me from where Google's extra profits have derived.
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