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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Jan 2012

     
7:36 pm on Dec 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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< 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]

8:14 pm on Dec 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It was my observation too that pages with more variated phrases in content tend to rank higher. Maybe they look to be more made by human? Lack of variations is typical for autogenerated content, which seems to be penalized by new algos.
10:40 am on Jan 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Happy New Year. May all your high rankings in Google wishes come true :-)

I wonder whether the first week of 2012 is the time where we would notice the launch of the first 2012 Panda update.

We better keep our eyes open watching Google serps very closely ;-)
11:30 pm on Jan 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I wonder whether the first week of 2012 is the time where we would notice the launch of the first 2012 Panda update.

I'm betting 19th Jan approx. 2nd week. A week to recover from NY hols , a week to talk about it and a week to pull the lever.

Feb will have a surprise update and everyone will stop talking of Panda with something far greater.
4:21 am on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Happy New Year everyone.

Just wondering if anyone noticed a drop in Google traffic around the 25th of December. One of my sites, according to WMT, has flatlined in terms of Google SERPS impressions since the 25th. Google Analytics claims a few organic referrals for the last week, yet the figure is 70% down on the previous week.

I can't find any reference to a Panda update on that date. Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.

Rather ironically the only thing I did to the site on that date was link my WMT to my Analytics account for the site.
2:27 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We noticed UK activity around 8pm on xmas day where we dropped significantly back to previous traffic levels...
2:58 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@johnblack

What does your analytics from previous years show? Many of my sites typically lose traffic around Dec. 25th (Christmas) and do not rebound till after Jan. 1 (New Years). This is not because my sites are penalized but more because people are out enjoying the holidays and are not online as much.
3:14 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Our drop looks like the turn of a dial in the algo - the same dial that was turned around nov 29 where we enjoyed a healthy boost until Xmas day
3:23 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Christmas/New Year period is unique. I see changes every year at this time and I'd be amazed if it didn't happen. Relax, enjoy another mince pie, it'll be the second week in January before things get back to normal.
4:50 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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"Back to normal". I guess that should be defined but I wonder if anyone has noticed how the # of search results from page 1 and/or page 2 are different from when you get to page 5 or 6?

We certainly have. I wonder if there's anything to that.
6:09 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Nothing "normal" about our traffic this year...way down and basically back to 2005/2006 conversion rates, yet no major changes to site design, so my assumption is traffic quality. It's odd when a competitor who "normally" does one tenth or less of our daily sales is suddenly getting 10 x our sales...for a day or two, then BOOM, it goes back in our favor. I'm also to the point where my data collected over the years indicates some type of throttling. We were showing annual improvements up until about 2009. Daily traffic and conversions were predictably even and smooth. Now we see more "spikedness" (kurtosis for you stats freaks) in our traffic data...a few days up and smooth, followed by complete dead days, as if the spigot is turned off. This is making me wonder if what we're seeing is a result of the economy, and overloaded internet, panda updates or G throttling....or a combination of all and more!

Happy New Year!
6:27 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Feb will have a surprise update and everyone will stop talking of Panda with something far greater.


Im thinking along those same lines.
7:03 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@goodroi

Apologies I should have mentioned my site has disappeared from the SERPS for its usual keywords.

The site is still indexed according to WMT and the 'site' command, still ranks for its domain name i.e. www.example.com ranks for 'example', plus it ranks very low down (50th to 70th) for a small number of long tail keywords, yet has disappeared off the radar (out of the top 100) for keywords it used to rank in the top 10 for.

All this happened on the 25th.

I also checked other SE stats for the same time period

Bing down 30%
Yahoo down 9%

But both showed a significant drop on the 25th which is slowly creeping back up. Google has flatlined since the 25th.
7:18 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It's best to ignore XMAS, a couple of my sites are cookery related and they spike upwards massively up till XMAS and then plummet afterwards. Nothing returns to normal until 4 / 5th January.
1:03 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm noticing movements and good rankings on Pandalized sites with newly introduced content and URL's, on all pages since the last iteration on Nov 19. Is anyone else experiencing this?

I'm wondering if Panda has an element of "dynamic" in it now, or, if this is the same as it's always been since Panda hit 10 months ago.
1:33 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Whitey, noticing that my pandalized site which was having a hard time ranking on anything... is now starting to rank for NEWLY CREATED pages... albeit few get to the top of the first page... many seem to be at the top of the 2nd page in google serps for selected medium competitive key terms.

Not sure when this change started happening but it's recent. This site is definitely NOT OUT of Panda... but, nonetheless it's something...

Is this in-line with what you are seeing? Or are you talking about OLD URLS now ranking again in pre-panda positions?
2:02 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Is this in-line with what you are seeing? Or are you talking about OLD URLS now ranking again in pre-panda positions?

@ Lenny2 - Actually both. Thanks for the quick feedback

Newly added pages with new content and usability modifications, that were previously blocked, once released and reindexed mostly ranked straight away. Highly competitive core terms and old URL's are definitely still Pandalized, yet rank higher than before.

I'm surprised there's not more reaction, because if we are going up, it must be creating greater movement. Hopefully more Panda input will come in - I've no idea if this is a recent thing or not and it would be good to strengthen the knowledgebase for recoveries.
5:37 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I wonder whether a new minor Panda update is underway since today Jan 5, 2012 ;-)

[edited by: reseller at 6:15 am (utc) on Jan 5, 2012]

5:43 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Some panda update taking place right now.
8:11 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm currently going through something different since January 4th.

My entire network of sites (10 sites in 10 different countries/languages, on different TLDs, all with excellent content) dropped at the exact same time.
All keywords are gone to +50, classic Google penalty. Never experienced such a thing before.

But it's not the typical Panda drop, so my issue might not be related to what you guys are experiencing right now, but I figured it was worth mentioning it in case someone else is seeing the same movements.
8:56 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing any significant movement, but the drop in adsense revenue since two days ago could suggest something is happening
8:57 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not seeing anything on all the sites I monitor.
9:10 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I wish to hear about sites which have lost organic traffic by previous Panda updates. Have you noticed (since Jan 5, 2012) any boost or drop in the organic traffic to such sites?

Thanks a bunch :-)
11:05 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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small changes in positions, but no change in traffic
11:24 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Nothing major going on with my portfolio of health sites. SEO traffic is similar to last year. January is always our best traffic month.

Sales are not record breaking (we blame it on the poor economy). I hope the sales thing is not the result of bad webmaster direction. Management says that we should be able to “move the dial” even in bad times. From Panda 2 (with October traffic recovery), not an easy task. Traffic back. Sales not?

Google = Bad Egg.
Me = Stupid for relying so heavily on Google for $.
2011 = Sucks.
2012 = Hope.
3:41 pm on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We might be looking at Panda Update 3.3 ;-)
5:47 pm on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Are there specific reasons to think these recent ranking changes are a Panda iteration, rather than one of the regular algorithm tweaks Google rolls out all the time?
5:52 pm on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm currently working with several pandalized sites in different verticals that I'm trying to fix since February, past days have been "ranking as usual", no noticeable movements in the SERPs (except the network penalty I mentioned above that took place February 4th)
5:53 pm on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not seeing any shifts beyond the normal for January...
6:37 pm on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Same rankings on 5 sites over the last 2 weeks, just checked. No Panda iterations here. Also haven't seen any google bot surge, i.e. Panda recalculation.
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