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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Jan 2012

     

londrum

7:36 pm on Dec 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



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

i tried to sprinkle different variations of one phrase onto each page

if the target phrase was "big red widgets" then the page might have a couple mentions of each of these

big widgets
big red widget things
big widget things
big red things
red widgets

plus an exact match in the <title> and <h1>

[edited by: tedster at 12:31 am (utc) on Jan 2, 2012]

ErnestHemingway

4:31 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)



Certainly some movement..

ScubaAddict

4:55 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Just looking over my stats - I think the drop in traffic I'm seeing yesterday is something to do with the "social search" integration.

My traffic dropped on one subdomain significantly yesterday (and dropped slightly on a couple others), but my ranking software shows no change in ranking on hundreds of terms across several subdomains.

So I think they are shoving in more crap into the results from users "social world". In fact, I notice when I search that the stuff that I have +1'd is now higher in ranking then it used to be... that is it used to rank 8 to 10 now it is up to 3-5.

This continues to get worse, because the +1 integrated results aren't even targeted that closely to the search term, just the general topic, and therefore they are off-topic results taking up at least 2-3 spots in the results, starting at position #3.

jmorgan

7:22 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Big drop for one of my sites.

tedster

7:46 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



jmorgan, what's the date of the drop? Also, are you thinking it's a penalty or a change in the algorithm?

DirigoDev

8:16 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Any clues what we have here on the 24th?

Googlebot activity has been untypically high for 72 hours now. Monday sales down. Tuesday sales were off the charts high. Today is tracking below normal for this time of day. Traffic in SEO and PPC is on the high side of normal. Panda seems to be in hibernation.

Yo Google, it is difficult to run a business with so much uncertainty (up and down). I bet you're making a killing in advertising as businesses spend more to stabilize. The more instability the more money... Don't push too hard, we webmasters bite.

On another note, alternative media (you know, TV, Radio and Print) is starting to look attractive.

Whitey

9:43 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



I think the different factors of Panda is already integrated in the main scoring algorithms.

My sense is that we're not there fully yet, some more steps ahead - but this is a massive delay that must be hurting a lot of folks who are waiting to assess their Panda remedial works.

I thought the week of the 19th would have revealed the iteration, but the Panda hibernation seems to be taking for ever.

reseller

10:32 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@Whitey

- but this is a massive delay that must be hurting a lot of folks who are waiting to assess their Panda remedial works.

Of course only Google knows for sure whether Panda updates are dead, long live next Google updates :-)

However, lets take a look again at the 3 Google Algorithm Updates which has taken place during this month, January 2012:

- Google Algorithm Update 4th-5th January 2012

- Google Algorithm Update 14th-15th January 2012

- Google Algorithm Update 24th January 2012

We have noticed that Pandalized sites have already been affected (according to feedback on this thread) by above mentioned 3 updates:

- Partial recovery of some Pandalized sites

- Some other Pandalized sites being hit again

- Some Non-Pandalized sites being hit

- Drop in organic traffic to some blogs

I think the "folks who are waiting to assess their Panda remedial works" don't need to wait anymore. I suggest the folks to start assessing their Panda remedial works based on the current results of the above mentioned 3 updates.

jqwan

10:55 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)



I seem to be effect by whatever happened on the 24, was having a great jan until yesterday, now todays traffic looks slightly down but sales are really down, should know more when i can compare tomorrow and will report back

DirigoDev

12:43 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I suggest the folks to start assessing their Panda remedial works based on the current results of the above mentioned 3 updates.


@reseller Folks should assess their site after each and every update. When I was hit by Panda2 it was like a light switch - 60% gone instantly. Lights out! When I escaped Panda in 10/2011 the lights instantly went on. Nothing that I did for almost 6 months made any difference. I did a massive amount of work - more than 10 people full time for 6 months. We're talking 8-10k hours of I.T. time. And nothing moved the dial.

So I need to ask, will assessing a Panda'd site on 3 updates in 1/2012 make a bit of difference? In my experience, nope.

At the end of the day, do what you think is best for the end users + follow all the good practices talked about here on WebmasterWorld and you've got a good shot at killing the black and white beast.

Whitey

1:18 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



I suggest the folks to start assessing their Panda remedial works based on the current results of the above mentioned 3 updates

There's this "grey" area of quality related updates. But for the sake of Panda let's say we're only talking about " on page " factors.

So for this i only count the "Ads above the fold " change -

What i accept very much, is that distinguishing between components of quality and an iteration is going to get harder as time marches on.

Still, isolating those changes is essential, but I'm still a sceptic that they can be classified as Panda updates , until we hear otherwise from Google or from a lot more folks. There's still not enough reaction on the threads and I've seen nothing over the sites that we monitor which have all been in remedial works for many months to convinces me that we have had a Panda update recently.

Happy to hear otherwise, not so happy to accept as sites we're relying on for improvements haven't moved.

scottsonline

1:38 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Been gone for ages working back in Ecom now.

The google changes this month have returned load of garbage into the serps. I'm seeing informational sites with Adsense showing up in ecommerce transactional results for the first time since 2008.

If you go back and look at the infamous example I posted long ago;

What you will see is that companies running multiple sites with different derivations of keywords are ranking again sometimes 3-4 in a row at the top. These are clearly the same business, same products same prices same chat, just different product keywords. Google pushed everyone else down in favor of the duplicates.

I also now see unique content is mostly worthless. Ecommerce sites in B2b can all have the exact same duplicate content and it doesn't matter. So in shot everything Matt told us about writing good content and playing by the rules got blasted in the last week or two.

I'm finding personal searches are terrible right now when logged in. Useless social results are being bumped up that have about as much meaning as the ads run in gmail above my emails.

Also google appears to be confused between on page offers and ads. Ie if you are advertising specials on your own site google penalizes those like they would junk on a portal. They seemed to have missed the understanding that offers for a particular day or week are customary at the top of pages.

jmorgan

2:35 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



tedster, seems to have happened at around midnight last night. Mine is an Australian based site and there's a public holiday here so I expected a drop in traffic but not a drop of this magnitude.

No idea if it's penalty of algorithm. Not sure how to tell.

Whitey

2:43 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Mine is an Australian based site and there's a public holiday

@jmorgan - Let's hope it's coincidental and your site is OK. Very strange visitor patterns in some sections of the World.

How are your rankings and referal sources looking?

jmorgan

2:57 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Whitey, I rely mostly on long tail searches. The few I have checked (that feature most prominently in my logs) looked ok but there may be others that have dropped. It's impossible for me to go through all of them.

Regardless, there's no way it's just due to the public holiday. I've lost more than 50% of traffic. I doubt Australia Day would have caused that much of a drop.

No issues reported on webmaster tools. If my site was penalized would they tell me?

jbcobbs

3:06 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Just to throw my data in. We have a fairly new site, 6 months old. Huge (3x) traffic jump on 1-6. On 1-24, considerable drop, and today, 25th, closer to pre- 1-6 level. We did coincidentally ad new ad spots on the site on the 24th as well. Changed them up a bit to see if it does anything but I think its too early to tell overall.

Whitey

3:07 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



I doubt Australia Day would have caused that much of a drop.

@jmorgan - You mentioned midnight was the start.... wait 24-48 hours then see what patterns are emerging. Maybe compare the drop to last years Public Holiday. Let's hope it's nothing serious.

snickles121

6:52 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Im happy to report that we are seeing pre October traffic today. Hopefully "Knock on wood" this continues.

ohno

7:27 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



As per usual logs are full of junk foreign traffic. As previously mentioned I'd suggest watching GA live beta for a day, it's rather "funny" how a site can be dead for an hour only for 10+ organic visitors to show up within 60 SECONDS. Whatever happened on the 24th has followed previous patterns for us, massive traffic spike prior, sales off the chart, followed by 100% opposite & then foreign junk until it blows over. Google really need to sort this interim issue out as it must cost the economy big time.

reseller

8:49 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@snickles121

I assume your site is Pandalized. Has the recent Algorithm update of 24th January 2012 brought your site partial/total traffic recovery?

Thanks.

reseller

9:20 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@Whitey

until we hear otherwise from Google

Though there have been 3 Algorithm Updates during January 2012, Google (including Matt Cutts) hasn't mentioned or indicated that we might/should expect a Panda update during 2012!

So the owners of Pandalized sites have two choices:

- either sit back and watch the grass grow and wait for a Panda update to suddenly fall down from heaven.

Or

- start assessing their Panda remedial works and taking actions based on the assumption that there hasn't been a Panda update in January 2012 and would not be a Panda update in future.

Life of webmasters/publishers must go on without Panda updates :-)

snickles121

9:45 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



reseller, yes we were in Panda and the update on January 24th helped to recover traffic back to pre October levels. Still being effected by first Panda update.

suggy

9:58 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Surely there cannot not be another Panda update? I guess we should be clear about what's meant by update though:-

1) Tweak of Panda part of algo

2) Re calculation of Panda scores for sites

The general consensus was that updates to the Panda score were happening roughly monthly and were not being done with normal indexing?

At the same time as these effective recalculations, Google was tweaking the algo part, such that new sites were falling into Panda with each 'update'.

As far as I can see, the Panda scores don't seem to have been recalculated for quite a while and there don't seem to have been any tweaks to the Panda part of the algo either (not enough folks crying foul)?

If Panda is machine learning and assessing websites, neither of these two situations can remain. Otherwise, the machine stops learning and Panda stops including new domains and pages. That would see it drowned by article spam and obsolete within months. It has to keep running to avoid being a brief and pointless exercise in webmaster persecution?

rustybrick

12:21 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



FYI, Google confirmed the update. They said they pushed out a data refresh of Panda a week or so ago. There were no new signals added to the Panda algo, but just a data refresh.

speedshopping

1:03 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



so they released a Panda refresh at the same time as page layout algo or some time before - a concrete date on this Panda refresh would be useful? Would this be a wise thing to do from a tracking perspective?

jmorgan

1:10 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Where was this Panda update confirmed? Any official blog or news release?

snickles121

1:15 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Im curious too to know if this panda refresh was confirmed in a news or blog release. Please provide a link. Thanks

Whitey

1:20 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



@rustybrick - thanks for the update

Hopefully some more data will emerge around this from webmasters.

SnowMan68

1:22 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



RustyBrick has been one of the few people to get direct answers from Google on the subject. He posted on this forum a few posts up and here. Thanks RustyBrick!

[seroundtable.com ]

onebuyone

2:21 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



Im seeing traffic increase every day since last few days. Panda updates or "refreshes" usually were frozing up my traffic at some level until next update/"refresh", this time it's different.

petehall

2:41 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



As per usual logs are full of junk foreign traffic. As previously mentioned I'd suggest watching GA live beta for a day, it's rather "funny" how a site can be dead for an hour only for 10+ organic visitors to show up within 60 SECONDS. Whatever happened on the 24th has followed previous patterns for us, massive traffic spike prior, sales off the chart, followed by 100% opposite & then foreign junk until it blows over. Google really need to sort this interim issue out as it must cost the economy big time.


Exactly the same has happened to me. Huge volumes of converting traffic up until 24th.

January was looking really positive!

Weird thing is, as usual the traffic is still coming in but not converting now.
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