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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Nov 2011

     
3:15 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

October 30/31 something happened - traffic to my canadian sites is down 15-20%. Traffic to US sites is only down slightly. In some cases traffic to some of my US sites was actually up yesterday - first time in months.

Not sure what happened. Still looking into it.

[edited by: tedster at 1:43 am (utc) on Nov 2, 2011]

9:23 am on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think just two days back i saw some amazing changes in the google results. i was toying with the ideas of getting better reviews on Google (all legit ways & means) next day the layout changed!
10:34 am on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Loads of Google crawling over the weekend & yesterday & this morning we have......junk foreign traffic again!


I'd agree... yesterday the busiest Google traffic for a while but enquiries down?!
10:37 am on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Fast turning into a joke this is, Indian traffic everywhere, AGAIN! FFS Google sort this bloody mess out once & for all. At this rate the normally busy festive season will be ruined thanks to their constant tweaking.
11:58 am on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We're getting referrals from;

.gr
.de
.fr
.co.in
.ca
.sk
.es
.ch
.nl

Yikes!
6:35 pm on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Checking my traffic for the past 3 days some sites up, some down. Sites that were affected the most by panda appear higher while ones that mostly sailed through the updates appear to have lost a bit.

But over the previous week i'm definitely up. Not sure what happened there but last week was one of the worst weeks traffic wise in recent memory.

It's almost as if there was a bug that caused a problem that has now been fixed?
6:41 pm on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The foreign traffic went around midday, we have some from the USA(normal) but most is now UK. Still unsure on quality as there was a lot of single page views. I'm beginning to think when this happens it simply MUST be a bug, I can see no reason why traffic from all around the world would start hitting us? Google can't think webmasters are stupid enough to not analise visitor data further than just page views!
7:07 pm on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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ohno

Take a look at the post by Web_Speed here.

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7:56 pm on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Just spotted local 7-pack again on 2-3 word product related phrases that are very generic and info centric. Looks like the net is being cast even wider in order to spawn local results.

Really starting to feel the squeeze getting tighter, and waiting for the day when it takes over the products we are invested into.
9:35 pm on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@ ohno

Check the referrer for the pages being hit with the junk traffic. Are these pages by any chance #1 on the SERPs for the keywords in Googl's referring string ?
12:39 am on Nov 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I thought the + operator was working, but I guess not. My bounce rate is abysmal.
7:18 am on Nov 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@ web_speed. Some are some aren't I'm afraid. Junk traffic showing already this morning. This happens in waves, it's almost like the darn algo is out of control, they then pull it back but it goes off on one again!
10:03 am on Nov 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Some are some aren't I'm afraid.


The problem with the SERPs is that they are in a constant state of flux and you can often get results from a different server to the one originally sending the junk traffic. In other words, i bet most pages are #1's for the keywords in the referring strings (on the original server).

Sites at the #1 position will come up in the "i'm feeling lucky" result.

Bad keyboard shortcuts + erratic search box code = erroneous "i'm feeling lucky" trigger = junk traffic.

My logs are full of this non converting crap.... no end in sight.
10:12 am on Nov 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The only other explanation for this "ghost traffic" phenomenon would be some sort of a new page prefetch mechanism somewhere along the way.

I'm thinking of installing a javascript "page exit" beckon to prompt for action before leaving the page. Want to test if these are human, as well as measure their precise on page time.
3:52 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Traffic is now mostly UK but we are dead. Anyone else the same? SERP's look normal as ever so either Google is sending us the "wrong" traffic or everyone has decided not to spend any at the same time. I wonder which it could be! Bounce rates are still way too high so obvious to me what has gone on..............
11:51 pm on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Traffic is now mostly UK

Still seeing a lot of foreign results. I was looking for something earlier. A simple seacrh for a widget followed by my UK region should get me what I am after, but I am seeing in position 1 and 3 diferent .it sites position 7 a .ru russian site complete with russian text and number 9 a .hr site. It so happens 3 of the sites were UK so gave me what I wanted, 3 out of 10, could be worse...

I thought at one time Google gave priority to .co.uk in the UK results. I suppose this could explain all the .me uk, .org uk etc keyworded domains appearing more in the results, Could it be becoming a case with Google of 'any domain will do'.
3:00 am on Nov 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I was checking for some general information in the serps regarding my niche and I will be completely honest I could only find references to it but not the source, don't get me wrong the references were good but there seems to be only the "want" type of sites dominating and not the "need". I was literally forced to browse the ads for 10 minutes. Most of the decent material is buried around the 4-6 pages.
7:36 am on Nov 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Human-Edited Google Suggestions has just started in my sector. It could also be a Suggestions algo change, but everything looks too neat to be not human edited. It may also be related to the other new big Freshness algo change.
7:55 am on Nov 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Over the weekend I've had vists from Google, not showing as GBOT but human visitors on Android & Windows XP! This morning we see a return of junk foreign traffic. Google has at last fixed the missing Google Checkout badges & feedback ratings in our product search results though, only took 4 months!
1:50 pm on Nov 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have more traffic coming in this morning from google.com.mx, and noticed a much different and cleaner index there. I don't know if it has been that way for a while or if it's a change coming.
1:37 am on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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it's a change coming.
Would be nice - I don't normally look at .com.mx , but your right - looks much better, seems smoother somehow.

Just about to re-write a really thin article on one of our pages - as it was just a few lines ... until I noticed it was at #4 LOL

edit - spelling
7:19 am on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday was bizzare, started off with junk foreign traffic yet this went by 9am, sales went through the roof, by midday we had nearly done the WEEKLY target. Yet in the afternoon no sales, same for the evening. Who knows what today will bring! Another domain (.com) remains dead though despite traffic looking better.
9:59 am on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday was bizzare, started off with junk foreign traffic yet this went by 9am, sales went through the roof, by midday we had nearly done the WEEKLY target. Yet in the afternoon no sales, same for the evening.


Ditto mate.... exactly the same thing yesterday
10:01 am on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Well I guess that is good to hear?! What are they upto that can affect sites in this way? No sales thus far today but plenty of decent looking visits.
11:50 am on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Again, ditto, lots of referrals today... and nothing.

I think the UK is having a bit of a wobble in terms of the economy, as to me the web stuff all looks fine - just isn't working through no fault of it's own.

Really quite scary times here, not at all helped by continuous bad press.

I actually don't think it's Google anymore, I think they are doing their job just fine.
12:02 pm on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hmm, not so sure TBH, as we can have a manic day then nothing. Looking at the logs ees Indian traffic again!
12:26 pm on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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No sales thus far today but plenty of decent looking visits.


You might be seeing this more as Europe is looking very gloomy today.
12:56 pm on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Europe has been looking gloomy for years. It didn't stop nearly a weeks sales in one day yesterday!
1:47 pm on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google.com.mx does look a heck of a lot better. It actually looks like some filters and penalties aren't applied though, which to me sounds like the current .com situation is over complicated. When I search for known panda hits, I see them showing in google.com.mx, so I wouldn't get my hopes up.
4:11 pm on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@Web_Speed
My logs are full of this non converting crap


ditto, our bounce rate is through the roof and we're a 14 year old ecommerce site. We're getting junk traffic and the keywords dont even come close to matching the pages on our site that people are landing on. Terrible, just terrible.
5:36 pm on Nov 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If the keywords don't come close... why are people clicking on them? Do you have meta description tags, or is Google rewriting the titles and snippets on these pages?
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