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Google Updates and SERP Changes - June 2012

     
3:40 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Traffic from G is down by 30% over this month. 20% from Knowledge Graph day and 10% from Panda.

I changed the site from being static width to fluid width (CSS changes only). I did that around Mid-May. Also moved the members section to a subdomain last week.

Other than that, I've just been adding content to pages which needed it.

Is it even possible that the fluid width change (was originally 990 width) would cause a Panda smack?

My main terms are still the same (although, none are #1 since they lost that ranking in January). It's the terms which usually get 1 or 2 hits which completely disappeared. That made up a big chunk of traffic.

[edited by: tedster at 1:48 pm (utc) on Jun 1, 2012]

4:08 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am not a fanboi of Goog... but... from a user standpoint, if I searched for that phrase: "brandname + product", I would EXPECT to see the brandname listed several times on the first page.

If you had typed in the "product" only, and it listed that specific brand over and over without any others, THAT would be an issue.

When you add in triggers to the end like prices, reviews, troubleshooting, configuration, etc (brand + product + reviews) the results change to what I might expect as well. (price comparison sites, shopping results, review sites etc)

Not sure I completely understand the issue with these types of results. Our own branded business enjoys the same kind of results when someone searches for our brand. Did I miss the <sarc> tag?
4:12 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I agree, the first page should be predominantly HP, as it's their brandname and product. I don't think the top 10 PAGES of results should be 95% held by the brand owner though.

Do you?

That was my point is all.
4:23 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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lol, that "english person" one is great. As ridiculous as the HP results are, they're a good insight into what's going on imo - the branded results are turned wayyy up.
4:26 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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if I searched for that phrase: "brandname + product", I would EXPECT to see the brandname listed several times on the first page.


I just did that with my own B&M and, low and behold, I'm solid all the way through to the bottom of the 7th page.

I don't think I've ever seen that before especially since the "product" is a generic trade keyword.
4:39 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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top 10 PAGES of results


I missed that part of your earlier post. I read it as the "top 10" on one page.

Agree... Even more than 1 page )10 links) is too much. If the user hasn't found what they want on p-1, they probably weren't looking for the brand itself.
5:35 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Given the current SERPs, how do you search for commentary ABOUT a branded product? Do you always need to include words like "review" - and is that intuitive for the average user?
6:01 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Given the current SERPs, how do you search for commentary ABOUT a branded product? Do you always need to include words like "review" - and is that intuitive for the average user?

I have been adding "forum" or "blog" or "review". Even those aren't giving me what I need. It's not only branded products where I have to append those words. Sometimes I want to read about personal experiences (for example, medical, surgery, etc).
6:47 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google referals have died today and I also cannot select google.com

Thats me done. Bing it is
9:02 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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seeing Quite a few of Google+ links in results
10:26 am on June 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I too cannot select Google.com, and even if I click on the link to google.com in the bottom RH corner of the search screen, the system defaults back to google.co.uk
I assume this is a bug?
If "Google" think they need to stop me looking at google.com just because I am currently in the UK, then things really have taken a bizarre turn.
10:40 am on June 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The "google fail" mentioned a few posts ago (search for define english person brings up 4 letter word) is not a new thing - so has it just reappeared? (The original reference to this was in an searchengineland post back in 2011.

[searchengineland.com...]

Is there any conclusion to be drawn from the fact that this has apparently resurfaced 6 months later?
2:53 pm on June 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think the point is that Google bombs (which go back quite a few years, with various terms) keep happening no matter what Google does to the algo. At the end of the day, if you can just get enough people to make enough links with the right anchor text, you can reshape the SERPs. And none of Google's changes have managed to stop it.

And they won't, until Google gets wise and dumps links as a factor.
9:54 pm on June 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Something changed on the 14th, very clearly.

Example...

I was #1 for a search term.

Now I'm not even on the first page and in my place is a link that wasn't there before. This link is to a Content farm page... which contains no actual content but basically links to a social bookmarking site thread about some other marginally related post.

Very weird.
10:56 pm on June 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WOW must be a record 19 results from the same site in a row, from page 2-4, damn even a buddy of mine says what has happen the last years time with google and the results and he has no clue about the net.
11:09 pm on June 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I guess this is a win win situation for identity protection
2:49 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not sure what has happened but Google hits are almost gone. I see a lot of changes in my niche with a lot of craigslist like sites with a lot of location pages. I also see pages where some of the search words are not even on the page.
2:59 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have seen unprecedentedly low conversion rates on google organic referrals since the 15th. Something has gone wrong with the lower tier indexes. The long tails are broken.
3:10 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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After Panda hit in April, my crawl rate has gone down (by 50%), now it is back to "normal" since the 16th of June, i really hope it means something good will happen...
4:15 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I was wondering if you have pages on a website where the content can be improved (keyword stuffing issues, thin content) and some of the sentences that you add (sometimes in a row) to improve the content do not have keywords or related keywords in them, can this help your website traffic and rankings?

These sentences do help to tell a story and/or help the writing to flow better.

I would appreciate if you can tell me what your experience has been after Panda started running.
6:01 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Interesting today Bing begin to mimic some of current Google results. I've always known they scavenge from one another but when I saw the multiple results from one domain in Bing it wasn't a good sign. IMO though it was present in Bing well before Google but on a limited basis.
6:50 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I know we saw some changes on the 14th - was there any confirmation of an algo update? Two days before we rolled out an extensive cosmetic update. When rankings change it's good to pin down algo or yourself:)
7:41 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have been seeing changes most every thursday.
9:14 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I saw some strangeness for awhile this afternoon / evening. From about 4:00 - 7:00 EST, I saw intermittent results that looked like pre-April Panda (at least in my verticals). There were major shifts everywhere I looked.

It will be interesting to see if that was a bug or a sign of big changes to come.


I'm not keeping my fingers crossed, but I am seeing this again. Started around 2:45 p.m. MST. It will probably revert back again, but I'm enjoying it for now. :-)
10:19 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@ digiseo

I am seeing a lot of movement in the multiple niches our US based ecomm sites are in. I like what I see thus far!
2:29 am on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a ton of movement tonight on the short tail in the Google US results....anyone else seeing this?
2:44 am on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@SnowMan68, yes I can see a lot of movements in Google US results, almost every 30 mins or maybe less.
6:06 am on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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< moved from another location >

This google dance has happened previously too when they changed their algo dramatically. I have seen for several keywords that google favors particular set of sites to such an extent, that in most of the cases, you find these sites enjoying 6 to 8 positions within top 30 ranks.I have seen this happening on India data center, would love to know your views on the same in your datacenters.

thanks
Lalit Kumar

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:22 am (utc) on Jun 19, 2012]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

6:43 am on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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...sites enjoying 6 to 8 positions within top 30 ranks

webindia123 - What you're observing has been discussed for the past week in another thread...

Host Crowding vs Brand Authority
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4464096.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Note that we're often seeing as many as 16 or 17 positions over the top 30 results. I'll post further discussion on that thread, but I am seeing a shift in those positions, at first glance anyway toward fewer results.

It might be helpful for people posting shifts to note where they are, as apparently this isn't appearing everywhere at once.
2:14 pm on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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UK non-ecommerce - I'm waiting for Google to fully re-cache my site to discover if my onsite changes will improve my seriously compromised rankings. Just in case it doesn't, I'm thinking ahead to my next move and find myself a bit confused about reinclusion requests.

Does reinclusion only apply to completely excluded sites? Mine dropped 20-odd pages, but surely this is a demotion rather than an exclusion.

Also, is it possible to have been penalised for links that Google doesn't like and not have received the infamous badlinks email? And if so, is the only way to discover you've got "dodgy" links to send in a reinclusion request?

I'm a bit nervous about a reinclusion request pointing my site out to someone at Google. Not because I have anything to hide, but simply because these people have the potential to wield such arbitary and devastating power without the need to explain the reasons.
3:27 pm on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just saw something I never noticed before at Google, when using the Firefox search toolbar box. (The search box that floats to the top-right of the main address bar)

1 - Type a search string into the search box, press enter or click on the magnifying glass. The results appear quickly as expected, as do the top and sidebar ads.

2 - Click on the same magnifying glass again or just press enter. (Don't change the query at all) The organic results flux the top 2-5 results, and the Google ads all refresh to different ads. Completely different ads... almost like they are being cycled. Top 5 organics flushing around as well.

This must be some kind of test to measure CTR of both ads and organics.

Edited to add: I just ran through several commercial queries. Some of the ads are cycling through different versions of the same ad. Others are jumping around to sidebar, etc. A complete jumble of the ad listings.

Also note that shopping results and sitelinks are jumping in and out on refresh of the organics.
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