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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Apr 2012

     
4:34 am on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



< 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]

9:24 pm on Apr 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yes but is it any good or just complete c**p with 100% bounce?


The latter... been looking at less traffic with higher conversions the last couple of weeks. Now am back to more traffic less conversions! Some really strange referrals coming in right now....
9:43 pm on Apr 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Now am back to more traffic less conversions! Some really strange referrals coming in right now....


The name is "Zombie Traffic" :-)
1:04 am on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



tedster opened a new topic to address Zombie Traffic - [webmasterworld.com...]

I have not seen many periods of Zombies in the past 3 days...still getting consistent conversions. One every 1 to 2 hours. (knock on wood) Zombies seems to come in sets of 6 hours our more.
1:28 am on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



There is definitely an update in progress as of 9:20pm EST on 4/10/2012.

Monitor multiple rankings for various keywords in our e-commerce industry that is very specific.

I'm seeing a lot of crap in the results. Not to give any specifics, but a lot of the goods our industry sells is sold via its country of origin, so keyword would be like "polish widget"

Tonight using all various ways of accessing Google (logged in, logged out, goosh.org, etc.) I'm seeing lots of stuff like 4/10 results being translation websites to translate the term "polish widget" from english to polish, etc.

Same can be seen on other keywords, where it looks like a ton of web spam creeping way up to the top. None of it is "local" type results, it is all blog spam and adwords type sites that I've never seen before.

As much as it pains me to say this, results from Bing and Yahoo contain no spam and results are very relevant.

Anyone seeing anything similar?
2:39 am on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



@brianp - I am seeing the same type junk rise to the top again tonight, it usually stays until tomorrow mid morning (CST) then drops off again. Doesn't seem to be affecting us negatively though. Sales continue.
3:08 am on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



@backdraft7,

Same here, sales are really good. However...this is not something I've seen since right before the first run of Panda.

Monitoring things carefully...hope this isn't a sign of another huge update.
3:16 am on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



My long tail keywords have completely dropped off the past couple of days. And I agree with @brianp, the results look horrible right now.
4:42 am on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



ET zone US ecommerce site.

Traffic erratic as were the SERPS. I got a lot of weird results in my searches today. Look at your time on site for google organic visitors. Ours dropped to 40% of normal for a couple of 3-4 hour periods today. Why? Because google was sending us traffic for terms like "how to use a widget while sleeping" and dumping users on random product pages where none of those terms were mentioned. We don't offer any how to type of products or information. We got clicks today on how to use a feminine product from google? Really bizarre stuff that is unrelated in every way. But striking is the enormous drop in time on site for specifically google visitors only and no wonder with just some of the keywords we saw.

I'm seeing the same errors on my own personal searches. Whenever we see these oddities like we did about 15 days ago we get a boost of bing coversions and today was no different. Normally this corrects during the next day but it is really frustrating to users. I found a great article this morning on a major magazine site via google. Tonight it was gone from Google entirely and I had to find it through Facebook with tens of thousands of likes. Searching for the page itself yielded no results. This absolute authority article had maybe 5 links out to other sites. I can't help but wonder if this constant flux we see is the result of major pages coming and going?

I love the rapid pickup of new content on google. What seems to be very poor right now is their ability to ingest it without creating massive serp hiccups as the data feeds into the index.
12:49 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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More precise detection of old pages. [launch codename "oldn23", project codename “Freshness"] This change improves detection of stale pages in our index by relying on more relevant signals. As a result, fewer stale pages are shown to users.


This seems to be the most significant point of the 50 updates in March. I can see websites with fast changing content doing really well now.

One in particular has overtaken every website, right to the top on almost all searches when it was previously struggling to make any ground.
1:33 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



petehall wrote:
This seems to be the most significant point of the 50 updates in March. I can see websites with fast changing content doing really well now.

Careful, though. The inverse of a statement isn't always true. Just because stale content gets less exposure doesn't mean that rapidly changing content will get more exposure. There are plenty of shades in between.

--
Ryan
1:38 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@rlange how about rapidly changing content across fixed / static / aged URLs? No doubt page creation would have it's eventual downfall...
1:57 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@brianp
As much as it pains me to say this, results from Bing and Yahoo contain no spam and results are very relevant.


You may wish to use Google Hong kong [google.com.hk...] which shows very nice SERPs (IMO) as your default Google :-)
4:11 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



Anyone seeing a spike in G referrals today? One of our US based ecomm sites that was taking a beating the last few weeks is up 20% from Mon-Tues, and up over 30% from last weeks numbers. More updates?
6:39 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



WMT shows big decrease in number of indexed pages
7:28 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



WMT shows big decrease in number of indexed pages


Indexed pages remain the same however I am seeing a huge jump in the backlink count in WMT.

Don't know if this is related to what's happening or not.
7:43 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



No spikes in G referrals for either of you though?
7:44 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)





Indexed pages remain the same however I am seeing a huge jump in the backlink count in WMT.

Don't know if this is related to what's happening or not.


Could that perhaps be related to all the talk about "negative SEO" going on in all of the other forums/sites? Seems like every site I visit, there's a thread about negative SEO and how they advise people to do it, based on real world experiences.
8:24 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



no spikes for me snowman.

baseballguy if this is negative seo & it works then google will have put a final nail in their own coffin because the SERPs will end up a bigger mess than they are now.

The backlinks that i checked seem to be directories. i didn't even realise there could be so many. Could this be a re-indexing of the directory links lost in the last update? Although we never relied that much on directory links anyway so i have no idea why there are so many. I will check more thouroughly tomorrow from a comp (on phone now)
8:55 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Today time on site went back to normal for google referrals and of course the bounce rate dropped 10%. Qualified customers all over the site.

For us the two key metric is time on site which goes hand in hand with the bounce rate. When we see the bad data those two numbers spike in google in opposing directions.
9:18 pm on Apr 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I need to update as I just dug deeper. On this 10+ year old site:

This week vs the last two years. Bing has accounted for 35% of the sales this week, 0% last year. Bing visit duration is way up on average, the bounce rate is down 14%. Google the bounce rate is down 4%, visit duration down. It recovered some today.

It appears we saw a statistically relevant shift towards Bing this week. These fluctuations are hurting google. Our cpc clicks are down during the flux days too.
12:04 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@reseller do you see better results in other non-English engines? Try .com.mx for example.

Pretty sure the better results are simply a lack of synonyms being put in or some other English-only filter.
12:44 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)



I just don't get it. Had a site on a steady rise, since the beginning of the year. With the last panda update it spiked. Hey I must be doing something right. Then bang, today I am back to where I began. WTF do they want?

This there today gone tomorrow crap has to stop. No one can consistently plan for anything. To tell you the truth I did a job for a client the other week, and almost solely relied on bing since their results were much better.
1:40 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)



@ Ummon

Back to where you were in Jan?
2:17 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Since there seems to be several reports of a spike in traffic, I'm wondering something (especially since I saw the same spike).

How many of you were hit by a previous Panda and then saw a traffic spike around March 23 and then fell down around April 1 and are back to pre-March 23 traffic levels?
5:18 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)



It appears we saw a statistically relevant shift towards Bing this week. These fluctuations are hurting google. Our cpc clicks are down during the flux days too.


We can only hope!

My site currently sits at position 1 in Bing and position 2 in Yahoo. However, Google has decided that even though my site was good enough to hold position 1 for over a year (through Panda and the other c**p) it is no longer even good enough to be in the SERPs at all.

I concur with everyone who says Bing results are better....I am seeing this even in my own personal searches.
6:50 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)



Could that perhaps be related to all the talk about "negative SEO" going on in all of the other forums/sites? Seems like every site I visit, there's a thread about negative SEO and how they advise people to do it, based on real world experiences.


@BaseballGuy I think you're right :(
10:24 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@garyr_h
@reseller do you see better results in other non-English engines? Try .com.mx for example.


Have tested several non-English Googles including com.mx and found their SERPs not as good as those of Google Hong Kong . As such we might assume:

Google Hong Kong [google.com.hk...] is The Mother Of ALL Search Engines :-)
11:56 am on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)



Lol...the mother of all search engines
12:38 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)



Yes back to where I was in Jan
8:17 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I am seeing significant shifts again... but then it's Thursday evening, so what else would one expect. This time with lots of site link updates.

Not looking forward to tomorrow. Good luck!
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