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Easter rollout or holiday effect?

     
11:02 pm on Apr 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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have u guys observing drastic drop in traffic since thursday?...... is it because of easter?

few other webmasters are also observing 30-40% drop in traffic which is a lot more compared to previous year during easter, also easter doesnt start till friday,... so a drop in traffic from thursday is quite strange and worrisome

is this a new update? or its just due to easter?... what do u guys suggest?
1:03 am on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Does the traffic drop correlate with specific ranking changes? Is it a keyword-related drop or more across the board?
1:20 am on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I would say, based on my experience out in the world today, that it is Easter-related. The stores were packed, way more than usual, families are going out to eat - it's beautiful out in many areas, so who wants to or has time to be at the computer....that's my quess...
8:05 am on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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i am observing some shift... but 40% change in traffic is too much to digest without an update.... so thts why i was curious if other webmasters are also observing similar drop
8:45 am on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yep, I we just noticed the biggest change since 2000 something.. 30-40% on my 10 year old authority site. Earnings down, traffic down, we're going to have to start firing people.

My guess is Google's new CEO wants as all to do something, and we're now going to have to do it. -1 Google.

I'm seeing social results well above everything else.
9:34 am on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The 30% traffic hit wave is still crashing it's way through their index I see.

One of my sites was hit on the 23rd.. others (ww members) the 30th... now you guys on the 6th. This update is hitting people in waves on a Thursday / Friday but it doesn't affect everyone at once. The update appears to be isolated to a selected group each time.

Wonder how long it takes for a Panda refresh to complete, as this seems to be the main connection with the 23rd of March.
10:40 am on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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For me it's been awful since 1st April and yesterday I discovered my biggest URL channel has gone from the first page to nowhere, it can't be found for its two keyword search. Fortunately its pages are still in the index therefore people are still finding the thousands of pages but for how long?

This URL is the only one of its kind on The Net, what Google has against it after millions of impressions I have absolutely no idea!

It's an unholy mess at Easter:-)
10:51 am on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@petehall I don't think they are connected as others, like me, saw different shifts on those dates. My site went up on the 23rd, down March 30, down April 3. Getting completely different traffic (different keywords) each shift.

If that's Panda, it's a funny way to go about it. No, I think it's one of the other 50 or so changes they'll make this month like they have been since November.
11:53 am on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Can we get an idea of the size of people's site here? I think this is affecting authorities. I'm 160k unique visitors per day last week, everything is now disappearing. 120k this morning..

No black hat, very little crappy content, no heavy seo - my site is naturally full of decent content, clean (80% vetted) links, honest as a saint.

No panda update has affected me badly till now, afaik they all increased my traffic.

I'm now replaced by guys who've used micro html / author tags all the way across their site, and are full of +1 buttons. Clue? Currently I'm refitting all my sites to have ugly banners with +1 buttons everywhere, a horrible day.

IMHO Google has sacrificed integrity to force us to implement their G+ apis / buttons and widgets. I'm shocked. We take G+ seriously now, or pack up and go home.
12:13 pm on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@garyr_h are you referring to a drop in traffic or positions? As most terms on my site are unaffected, in fact a lot have increased slightly.

I am still seeing fluctuations in rankings but no significant traffic losses or gains since the 23rd.
1:04 pm on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@petehall both, sort of. I'm talking about change in positions across the board. For example, was ranking top 3 for [keyword A], [keyword B], [keyword C] early March.

March 23 comes:

[keyword A], [keyword B], [keyword C] stay roughly the same.

[keyword D], [keyword E], [keyword F] move up to top 5 or 10. Before this date they were page 3 or lower. pre-Panda rankings occur.

[keyword G], [keyword H], [keyword I] move into rankings previously held pre-Panda 1.0 (top 10). Since then, they were page 3 or lower.

March 30 comes:

[keyword A], [keyword B], [keyword C] move around within the top 10 depending on which database G decides to barf up.

[keyword D], [keyword H], [keyword I] stay the same.

[keyword E], [keyword F], [keyword G] start moving downward.

April 3:

[keyword A], [keyword B], [keyword C] move downward.

[keyword D], [keyword H], [keyword I] stay roughly the same as March 30.

[keyword E], [keyword F], [keyword G] move downward farther.

Result: reduction in traffic.

Analysis: Something to do with Panda shift? No idea. I have been making a ton of changes, so my hope is that this has something to do with Panda recovery, but I'm not holding my breath for anything. Just weird that when Panda initially came March 23, the site traffic improved but since then it has went down. It's as if all improvements were nullified. Either this was due to Panda not settling down fully or some other new algorithm change is hitting it simply days after Panda improvement.
1:20 pm on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This is some update, some sites got hit, some didn't and as usual it's site wide traffic reduction, I am unable to find any pattern. I also think that AdWords and G.Images results take more space in SERPS.
7:54 pm on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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yes it is affecting authority sites..... my site also went from 150 k down to 70k - 80 k ... pathetic, ..... so this is an update?
7:55 pm on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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all of the gains i made during 23rd march update are gone
8:22 pm on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@epmaniac - thanks, and I'm sorry to hear that.. Hopefully we'll recover, It's reasonable to assume G will run into trouble with this update(eg: the current case of 'the amazing micro rating stars')
10:25 pm on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What I'm seeing is, some of my sites that I haven't done anything to seem to be losing traffic over the last few days, those that I'm working on and are gaining backlinks are up slightly. So if the drop off is due to Easter then hopefully those will see bigger gains next week.
11:01 pm on Apr 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It better be a holiday thing or we are all scre**d. Today I have 30% of what I had a week ago. Thursday-Saturday it went down 30% and today is rediculously low. Never been so low since I started logging my visits 12 years ago. WTF?
I see visits from UK and other places and I see new sites that has never been displayed before on first page, way above authority sites and sites that has been around forever. I know there might be time for a change but it doesn't make any sense with a lot of the new sites. Some one mentioned that they had tio lay off people and that is what it is coming to.
12:09 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think the thing to do is to not panic until Easter is over and done with.

Then panic.
2:59 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yep, and I'd wait until Wednesday as well since Easter Monday seems to be more popular than ever now, as far as total traffic is concerned.

Nonetheless, the total shift in keywords I mentioned before is what is worrying.
7:34 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@gehrlekrona - Exactly the same dates as me, same percentage drop, my domain age is around 10 years. I'm dropping bricks here.

I also noticed some weirdness re: my sitemaps. I'm not sure if that was a personal issue with my url capitalisation methods.

Did anyone else noticed a massive drop in index presence shown in WBMTools? (it's recovering now, 1000 urls an hour)
7:45 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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(Good) Friday traffic was a bit lower than average on one international site, but over the weekend it's up by about 20-30%, (Easter) Sunday ending as the best day of the week, oddly enough. On another, a regional site, I do see a decrease in traffic since Thursday, but that's most certainly Easter-related.

I think the thing to do is to not panic until Easter is over and done with.

Then panic.

Amen :-)
8:48 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday and today I have been doing some searches myself - yikes - Google is very unwell. I can't find products at all, instead they are returning are forums and blogs.

Quite how they are coping with this extra bandwidth I do not know - many will be non profit!

Can't say I have seen even a glimpse of a reverse of the 23rd, but I'm on the lookout now that someone has mentioned it. I'll be keeping close watch over the next couple of days....
8:59 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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yes, its reversal of whatever happened on 23rd.... how many are seeing this reversal?
9:25 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Now you mention it, I do see *some* older looking results. Perhaps it's still propagating round the data centers.

What IP is your Google resolving to?
11:39 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@epmaniac, as I stated before, all the positive that came out of the 23rd completely disappeared for me.
12:13 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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In over 10 years of traffic and sales records, I have NEVER seen a year where traffic drops off in volume or most importantly "quality" as it has this year. I say it's still part of the March 10th update.

Now, on Monday the 9th or April, a month later I see Google is still unable to detect black hatters.

I just saw one site that is using a new tactic of keyword loading his meta title tag, separating each of five phrases with pipes. Guess what...he's on TOP! Amazing!
12:32 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Now the question really is..

Can google survive without many of us 'authorities' in the SERPS - is it better for the users or not? Or is this all just temporary.

Re: don't panic:

I'm guessing most of the people here know, have known, and are aware of 'panic-mode' (as we've all built up heavy sites over 10 years, and this isn't our first dance). This is extremely dangerous for some of our businesses, even if it's for a week.
1:53 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Seeing the same thing on Thursday for one of our sites. A drop of 30% in G referrals. Not ecomm though, it is a content site. Is everyone seeing this on Ecomm or Content/Resource sites?
2:00 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Anyone have a site affected by this that was already pandalized heavily over the past year, or are all the folks in here only recently seeing ups and downs, including this easter update?
2:58 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Our content site was heavily pandalized last April. Recovered from panda about 80-90% and then was smacked again over the last two panda updates.
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