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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Apr 2012

     
4:34 am on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Going, going, GONE!
After over 10 years of consistently ranking between position #1 and #3 on page one for a single four letter word search term, the month of March (starting on the 10th) has resulted in falling to below the fold, then to page 2, then page 3 and today I have been completely removed for that term.

In place is nothing but garbage. Branding obviously has lost traction. I'm thinking whatever they have done is meant to stick. I checked to see if I had been over optimized for the term, but with a mere 4 occurrences on my page and my need to use that term to describe my product, I really don't know what they want from us anymore...

The effect of lost traffic has set off all the "Big Traffic change for URL" warnings and the anayltics charts have nose dived. Anyone else seeing this type of situation on their long established sites?

Lost income from March updates is just about $1000 / week.

I'd almost guess that Google is just removing older authority sites in favor of nothing but news articles and blogs.

[edited by: tedster at 4:54 am (utc) on Apr 1, 2012]

10:59 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@petehall I can confirm that in the UK.

Strange SERPs...I own the top three spots on the SERPs on page 1 in the UK for a term that I have been completely removed for on .com.

I think this is a complete shake up going on one database at a time.
11:19 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@irishsolar
...I own the top three spots on the SERPs

nobody owns any positions
11:20 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Saw an interesting visit in my logs from this morning.

Visitor showing an IP from Qatar
Search was something like "specific type of real estate in belgium"
The page that was served had information relating to Belgium, WI in the U.S.

While it could be considered a foreign zombie type visitor, that page could be a very reasonable result for the query except for probable user location.
11:23 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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nobody owns any positions


@johnhh I concede that.

SERPs on different bowsers and different machines give different results.
12:10 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Ok people...I am seeing a very, very US-biased set of results for my widgets at the moment, some are ok, many are total garbage, however what is very noticeable is the removal of the best results.

It was bad now it's getting even worse, for my widgets.
12:27 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Looks like I'm getting a different database right now. I'm just seeing the same one from 2 weeks ago.

@onebyone That's not how all of the updates are happening. Yes, Panda 1.0 worked that way, but I have noticed tests on non-US getting changed first.

For example, one of the databases now showing in the US I have been seeing in what you are calling "third world" for a few weeks now. Of course, that's only one of the two or three different results showing up, but it is still happening.
1:12 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Looks like I'm getting a different database right now. I'm just seeing the same one from 2 weeks ago.

That's what I'm thinking too. Google messed up, needed to roll back two weeks and start reprocessing all over again. Back to the future...
1:27 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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3 steps

1. Work out what you've done.
2. Fix it.


Woah! That's assuming you did something wrong...
I think in 90% of the recent cases, nobody did anything at all with their site. Google just suddenly changed the rules. So, wouldn't it be wise to first determine what Google did and if it's intended to stick before rushing to making changes?

MayDay took months to sort out. I expect the same for this one.
7:05 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hissingsid: Thanks for your reply.

I have received a message in Webmaster Tools this morning regarding these two penalized websites... It says Quality issues. So I guess I'll have to make the content better and expand it a bit?
7:13 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@gary_h and BillyS I think you are right. I'm seeing (UK) what looks like the SERPs from around the time of the site links update, whenever that was. Long tail was poor then, which would explain my findings last night.

Shame as it was finally starting to look a bit better. Although, this must be around the corner... BTTF!
8:11 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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whats with google sending you a message telling you that you lost lots of traffic to your best page? its kinda rubbing your nose in it dont you think?
8:22 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Why does all this commentary remind me of years ago when there was an actual Google dance?
It seems now that Google is broken because the SERPS aren't returning what is obviously the proper order.

I've been up, I've been down, but sooner or later I'll always be found. Much easier to live that way.
8:35 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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did you mean that to sound like a song?
9:10 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@EmptyRoom - Could you expand on the message you got from Google. Would you be able to post the message they sent you (witout any mention of your site).

Interested to know what they actually said as this ties in with the Overoptimise Penalty and Panda
9:28 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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did you mean that to sound like a song?


Hehe

There's a particular search phrase I watch daily and it returns:
1 - 7: site1
8 - 9: site2
10: site3

In fact down to about position 15 there's only 4 different websites showing. Great stuff!
10:39 am on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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this isnt new, its been clearly tested over the past months, and its clearly how they intend to move forward. Some brand searches that involve a brand name (even if its generic) plus other words are showing the big brand site with listings 1-9 then 8 out of 10 on page 2.
12:11 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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this isnt new, its been clearly tested over the past months, and its clearly how they intend to move forward. Some brand searches that involve a brand name (even if its generic) plus other words are showing the big brand site with listings 1-9 then 8 out of 10 on page 2.


So whatever happened to this update from 12/1/11 straight out of the big G.

[insidesearch.blogspot.com ]

Top result selection code rewrite: This code handles extra processing on the top set of results. For example, it ensures that we don’t show too many results from one site (“host crowding”). We rewrote the code to make it easier to understand, simpler to maintain and more flexible for future extensions.
12:55 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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indeed!
1:43 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We rewrote the code


and as any programmer well knows, now it's time to debug the code.
2:01 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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i dont think theres anything wrong with it from their end, to me what they are doing by showing multiple results from single sites is continuing the push down of non brand sites. the 'chatter' or 'noise' as they probably see it from their end. Nothing has changed since Florida, its been the same direction, little bit by little bit. getting the user used to a different type of search over time, more suggestions (mostly their own products) and less variety (from noisy sites).
5:10 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The recent updates are so messed up and traffic so unstable that I find it's no longer worth reporting without sounding like a broken record. I give up. SERPs still look great but quality of traffic is terrible. Many of you will be happy to know I'm out of this topic for a while.
5:25 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I saw a few ecommerce sites in the two niches i look at using canonical to control all refinements, paging and sorts back to the main cat page. both of them lost big in this last update, anyone else seen anything like this?
7:15 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Another update/flux happened
8:35 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@backdraft7

Many of you will be happy to know I'm out of this topic for a while.


I find your posts very entertaining and look forward to your happy return to this thread :-)
8:38 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@backdraft7 - ditto, I like your posts as well.
8:52 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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me3 :)..some I agree with, some not..but they are coherent and not merely "railing"..( I don't normally do other than skim update and changes threads, they are like "the how is your adsense today" threads, IMO ..mostly pointless )..but you are worth reading, even when I may disagree with a particular post.. :)
8:58 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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why am i getting non-video results when making a video search?
12:56 am on Apr 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We are seeing wild fluctuations since Thursday night on our long tail keywords. Traffic off 25% today, Simply cannot see an discernible pattern. Just bizarre. We have made no changes this month other than freshening some content as we do each month. Has anybody seen a major flux starting Thursday night?

TIA,
Bill
1:16 am on Apr 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Bill_H, I've been seeing major flux all week. As I've stated before, it was almost as if they rolled back to 2 weeks ago and then restarted adding things back into the algorithm so there is a lot of movement and changes going on throughout the databases.
2:46 am on Apr 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Traffic down 50% from Thursday morning to Thursday night. All across the board. What in the hell are they doing to screw up the SERPS so bad?
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