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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]

8:37 am on June 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Odd things have beem happening this week. Looks like two algo changes have had a material effect on us.

First one on 28th May massively reduced our zombie traffic while leaving normal traffic intact.

Then on 30th May, we've had a very significant change in conversions. Our best performers are producing more sales, while the lower performers have stopped completely. To illustrate with fictional numbers...

Say our top-performing 5% of products brought in 45% of our sales, now its more like 60%.

The underlying mechanism (traffic quantity Vs quality) is complicated. The top performers are converting better while the duds are getting less traffic.

We haven't got a good handle on it yet, and now we've got a double bank-holiday leading into school half term, to completely distort our traffic for at least 10 days. Bad times.
2:25 pm on June 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The underlying mechanism (traffic quantity Vs quality) is complicated. The top performers are converting better while the duds are getting less traffic.

Thanks for sharing that much - no doubt it is complicated! I'm still stuck between thinking it's something Google does intentionally and thinking it's an accidental artifact of the machine learning that their statisticians use so much.
6:33 pm on June 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just a few examples of how the Penguin eclipsed MayDay (at least for us)...

MayDay's Impact...
May 2009 - total searched key phrases 10,000+
May 2010 - post mayday, total key phrases searched 9,000.
loss - 1,000 phrases, financial hit, substantial.

Penguin's Impact...
May 2011 - total searched key phrases 13,500+
May 2012 - post penguin, total key phrases searched 7,300
loss - 6,200 phrases, financial hit, devastating.

While we were not manually penalized in any way (according to Google's reply to our re-inclusion request)
the "quality" update has simply moved us down in almost half our keyphrases. Long tail is pretty much non-existent or makes no sense. As we've all observed, the thin ehow, about, voices, answers and MFA's have matriculated up while deep content has sunk. Seems like all that advice to build rich content for your users has backfired in our faces once again.

I'm tempted to keep chopping my content down to single sentences or shoot for a Flesch-Kincaid score of 120. That would be something like "See Bob Run". My current Flesch score is 68. That's very readable.

I have a feeling some of this drop is adsense / adwords motivated. There's no other logical explanation as to why Google would be happy with the current results. It's not a better user experience, unless your part of the Adwords team.

Oh, and the content aging that Mutt's has discussed seems to be out the window too. Much of what usurped our sites is scraped from much later than the original author date. [youtube.com ] (there's another MC video that better explains it, but I couldn't find it)
7:40 pm on June 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Garyr_H,Tedster:
We are seeing something close to Shadows. Our traffic is now consistently off 50% since mid March having descended step by step with each Thursday night roll out, but our conversions are only off about 5% and we cannot find any discernible consistent changes to our serps. Our serps have only seen the usual minor fluxes with an occasional disruption in long tail, but usually with a recovery. The only conclusion we can draw is we are getting less traffic, but better quality traffic. Nonetheless, such a massive drop in overall traffic is worrying, to say the least.

Best,
Bill
7:49 pm on June 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I know many talks about sites with a lot of the same anchor text links pointing to it is a no go, hmm if I look at a category, MANY sites asks for link exchange and they then have a html text you then have to place on your site, which is ALWAYS the same anchor text, so here we have linkexchange about 100 and the same anchor text pointing to them, those site are placed no.1-10 of 96mill. so what do you Penguin/Panda talkers say to that.
10:24 am on June 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing huge shifts... I think perhpas Panda has now arrived =)
4:11 pm on June 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Nobody else see any changes? Or am I the only person sad enough to be checking this on a Sunday.
5:23 pm on June 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not seeing anything today Pete. What types of shifts are you noticing?
5:35 pm on June 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Pete:
We saw a sudden drop in traffic again starting Thursday night. Have been recovering a little earlier in the week.

Cheers,
Bill
6:19 pm on June 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've seen a couple of panda'd sites rise 5+ places (new content added) and another drop significantly. Quite a lot of the verticals I monitor have changed slightly.

I'm guessing you'll notice some activity soon.. unless this is Thursdays update just hitting the UK?
6:30 pm on June 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@petehall I think you could be right about this being for UK serps. I am seeing very decent traffic rises.
6:37 pm on June 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I notice heavy crawling. I think Google is preparing something for us in the next 2 weeks.
6:43 pm on June 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I saw my largest clients site move up in Google SERPs from #9 to #6 for their primary keyword on Friday only to be down to #12 today with no changes made at all. This is the first time in three years it's been on the 2nd page in Google.

[edited by: engine at 10:44 am (utc) on Jun 6, 2012]

12:12 am on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone first time poster. I am seeing a site that hasn't changed serp in 8 years suddenly lose traffic. It survived all the evil little animals google has thrown at it including that heinous creature the penguin but in the last few days keywords are slowly dropping all over the place. Seems google is certainly up to something.
12:47 am on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Ripples from Penguin may still be spreading through the web. Huge numbers of links were devalued, and the effects of this may need many iterations to fully propagate throughout the internet. (just some idle speculation on my part)
1:44 am on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing any changes in traffic since around Tuesday. Traffic is at its lowest point since 2004.
4:29 am on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Crawl stats have shot up over the past day. Let's hope something good comes of it. I just want my longtail keyword rankings back! :(

[dl.dropbox.com...]
4:34 am on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@ibeau I'm not seeing it. Crawl rates have dropped drastically for me since the beginning of May.
7:01 am on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Has there been another update?

We are seeing 50% less traffic. Although we do have serveral #1 spots for normaly good converting keys.

edit: I did a lot of work,e.g. have a lot of backlinks beeing removed by other sites, but this seems to make it worse.

I think there will be no way out of this mess, since there is no movement, except the way down.

ecom: germany
9:03 am on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@gary_h are you in the US? I think the only people seeing changes this weekend are UK/Europe webmasters. Saw very little change on Thursday and until yesterday I couldn't see any differences.
11:09 am on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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edit: I did a lot of work,e.g. have a lot of backlinks beeing removed by other sites, but this seems to make it worse.


Links are Google's ranking mess, let them sort it out. I'm seeing links being discounted daily in GWT though my best links aren't touched, yet. Something is propagating right now, best wait until it settles down to see where things are.
11:34 am on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@petehall I'm not in the US but I monitor US results.
2:34 pm on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am in the US but the site I am working with is hosted in Europe. We were doing fine until over the weekend when we dropped off the first page for no reason that I can determine. The sites that moved up ahead of ours are in China, India, South Africa and Egypt. Is Google merging international sites into one Global index or something?

[edited by: engine at 10:43 am (utc) on Jun 6, 2012]

5:29 pm on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Our traffic was strong yesterday, climbing a bit above the usual pace for a Sunday all day and then dropped off sharply late last night. Today now, it's our worst Monday in over 2 months. This is a Pandalized site that's been hit every update. I've been seeing odd fluctuations the past few days but didn't see the big Googlebot crawl before a Panda update that I've seen with all the others (about 5-7 days before an update). Anyone else seeing any changes today?
6:06 pm on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@aschobey I have noticed alot of .uk .au websites challenging the top spots in the verticals I follow, started happening 2 weeks ago.
6:09 pm on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a 20% drop in organic today across all keywords. Stinks of when the site was first hit with panda. US targeted site.
6:11 pm on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing the same thing as you, getcooking. Saturday and Sunday were great days when compared to the last several months. Today, however, is not looking very good. Something did seem to happen last night.

As far crawling goes, I have never seen such high crawling counts. Since April, the crawl count has been creeping up. It is up over 100% when compared to the highest crawl rates observed since starting my site 4 years ago. It's something like 46 pages per second sustained for days on end. It's silly.
6:41 pm on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@manny123 Exact same observations here too.
8:27 pm on June 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've had a few hours of really strong traffic today on my Pandalized site, though most have been normal. Maybe a shuffle is happening, but it is too early to say in my case. Could be coincidental.

Edit: crawl rate looks normal.
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