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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Feb 2012



7:50 am on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Any help would be greatly appreciated, is it possible that this lastest update woull dump the SEO of my sites because I had link to them within the footer of one of my other sites? Also Google shown within its webmaster tools that there were some 2,000,000 + pages linked from the footer to my site.. is this a reason for google to penalize me? Any input wouldbe greatly appreciates..

I own all the sites involved...


[edited by: tedster at 5:41 pm (utc) on Feb 1, 2012]


7:31 am on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My traffic is 10% down from a few days. Was Panda refresh or algo update?


7:45 am on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Pretty safe to say something happened for us yesterday. Sales on our one site shot up & our other site that hadn't had a single sale since last Sunday had two last night. Unlike previous updates where we sat tight this time we have done lots of changes, things like improving product images, meta descriptions, text on page & checking the fonts etc look OK in ALL browsers. Have also noticed a search term that is very popular for a new product just launched change, the Product Search one box results have gone up from the bottom of the page to just below no. 2 in the SERP's. Our product page is no. 1 & our forum page relating to the product is no. 2. The one box results were at this position, then moved to the bottom of the page & then disappeared completely. They've also updated the image we use at last(changed in the feed ages ago). OT, did anyone have issues with Google Chat yesterday? We were getting server 500 errors when trying to open the window from a chat back request.

[edited by: ohno at 8:28 am (utc) on Feb 17, 2012]


7:56 am on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@rowtc me too guess it wasn't just valentines day :(

Martin Ice Web

8:49 am on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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


we do have the same problem high traffic with good conversion change to high traffic with less to zero conversion to change to zombi traffic and that in cicles.
I think we do have the same issue with our websides.
If u like u can pm me and we have a look at each other sides, maybe we can find something similar? ( Located in Germany )


10:54 am on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

im searching for travel sites and all im getting is news sites? (plus tripadvisor of course)


4:51 am on Feb 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm searching for travel sites and all I'm getting is news sites? (plus tripadvisor of course)

Targeting is super Willi Nilly. Broad as broad can be.

I had a good example today of just how bad google search has become. I had a viewer searching for "metal widgets for suitcases" and google sending them to a page about "electronic widgets bistable ICs". The only thing these two topics have in common is the word "widgets", otherwise two completely unrelated topics.........FAIL!

Adwords ads spot on offcourse...


9:59 am on Feb 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Well, gotta admit 2/15-2/17 have literally been our best days in over 6 months. Been heavily pandalized since last Feb, 2011. Now back up to about 60% of Feb 2011. Rose 50% in the SERPS in one day on 2/14 (i.e. #100 -> #50).
I know no one believes me (since G can NOT possibly make mistakes. Duh-oh, check today's news for the "ADMITTED mistakes" they INSIST they made in the Safari cookie exploit issue) but things turned around as soon as my phantomed 301 redirects (search for my former posts about "301 redirect phantoms" on this website) started disappearing en-mass and our resultant duplication penalties are almost gone.
Just my 2-cents.


9:11 am on Feb 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Hi Folks!

I think a Google algorithm update is underway on Feb 19, 2012. I guess some of you would feel the impact of the current update. Wish you good luck :-)


9:28 am on Feb 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think you are right reseller, I am seeing 2 sets of search results in a lot of keywords we are working on. It has been like this for more than 24 hours now, ranking fluctuation. Can anyone else see the same pattern?


11:44 am on Feb 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

reseller, care to elaborate and be more specific why you think so?


12:27 pm on Feb 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm definitely seeing a change in the results unless I've had a manual review or some sort of penalty.

But, we definitely haven't done any bad linking etc etc

My big keywords like 'ink cartridges' 'printer cartridges' 'printer ink' have all moved down around 10 places onto page 2 of google.co.uk

Still showing on page 1 for long tail keywords... and still got over 10,000 pages indexed.

Anyone else having anything like this happening to them?


3:52 pm on Feb 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Definitely more changes: last week -- down 10% along with all those who reported this back then. Now up 20%. See-sawing. Overall, time on site down but conversions see-sawing also. I've come to expect and ignore these fluctuations as there's nothing ever stable anymore.


1:01 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yeah, seeing changes again. Visitors down (again). Seems like no changes I make are doing any good. Just been on a free fall since Feb. 2011 despite many positive changes (at least, what I consider positive changes).

Currently at about 25% the traffic from Feb. 2011.

I hope things improve. Seriously no idea what is going on. I could have sworn the changes over the past two weeks would be positive.


7:48 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seeing huge movements here, one of our sites that used to page 1 that had disappeared is now back to page 1! Also had loads of foreign traffic Saturday.


7:59 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Infact looking more deeply I see sites that are really old (who I thought had gone out of business!) making a come back to page 1! Biggest movements I've seen in months, nervous!


8:15 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

For me, I'm thinking I've had some sort of penalty applied to the site.

It's as if they have looked through GA picked out all the keywords that bring the site traffic and pushed them onto page 2 or worse.

I've done all the tests for a penalty, but none come through as a positive.

If it's a major algorithm update, I'd have expected more people to be reporting big fluctuations in rankings.

Been making my living off this site for the last 8 years and seems like this is coming to an end soon.

Made a reinclusion request yesterday, but not holding my breath.


8:40 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

wokka, exactly the situation we were in. Be careful with reinclusion requests as we did that once & could see human visits from Google all over the place. 2 weeks later we all but disappeared but then came back! (following another request).


9:59 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

wokka - this sounds like Pandalisation to me. Do you have lots of pages clustered around those keyphrases written for longer tail searches - ie silos of pages targeting pretty similar keyphrases (allowing for synonyms, brands, etc)?


10:25 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Slash and burn for me on Google.co.uk.

My .coms have taken a hammering at the hands of .co.uk sites, even trademarked, keyword, fact-filled domains, one has gone from first place to 165th overnight.

All still ranking well on Google.com, US version.

My opinion of UK geotargeting by Google engineers is now at an all-time low, it's about time they got out into the real world!


10:39 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

/\ Sure I read somewhere recently that they are associating .com with US searches. If so what's the point of the geo target setting?! In the early days lots of sites in the UK were .com.


11:25 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well, I can only see if Matt Cutts et al are correct and there is no duplicate content penalty if I make a 100% copy of my example.com on example.co.uk

Seemingly I have no choice but to try it since my UK traffic this past 3-4 months on this specific site has fallen dramatically since end November.

The UK used to be #2 for this site however it is now #4 considerably a long way behind the US at #1, Canada at #2 and India at #3.

Any other suggestions?


3:33 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm also seeing some large movements since 18th Feb across multiple, non-related, websites. On my own site, the drop in visibility initially looks like a penalty or link devaluation of sorts.

Performed multiple tests to identify penalty, nothing identified other than large scale content duplication caused by dodgy Chinese scrapers (mainly Chinese anyway!) but this is always an issue with my website (and others in my industry!) therefore I'm not convinced this is the reason for drop in visibility all of a sudden - although I am not ruling it out!


3:39 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

No movements but very deep crawl in progress last 2 days. Last time a crawl was this deep was 11/19 Panda.


6:19 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

no significant changes over here... USA Based .com site... Pandalized Feb. 2011 (1 Year Ago...)


9:28 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

no significant changes for Feb. 11 pandalized site...
I dont know how many times I read this. I've heard of and saw stats of sites pandalized in April recovered in summer or pandalized in summer recovered last fall, but I don't remember that anyone hit in February saw any kind of significant recovery to date. I've checked recently Alexa for varios tech sites. a lot of them hitted in Feb. with no recovery to date. Two of my sites not recovered since Feb. except a short period in end Oct. - first part of Nov. one with many changes, the other with no changes at all. i can now only hope we have some 1 year penalty expiring this month.


1:18 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I know of a few Feb 2011 panda'd sites that fully recovered late last year. Many don't talk about for obvious reasons.


1:49 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

guys dont worry, the current drop is due to president day holiday


2:30 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)


Have those recovered by changes on Pandalized domains or by moving content to subdomains? Thanks.


4:40 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Last night/this morning we saw the usual (bad!) pattern of traffic from India. Today we have been dead, yet again. Honestly I give up, it seems any form of stability with Google these days is gone. Long gone.


4:52 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

@ohno, we're seeing that same bad traffic pattern today.
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