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Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2012

     
10:34 am on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Today is very low. I donīt know if its weather or vacation related? From what I see is that most product related serps will show #1-#10 price compare sites, not one informational or ecom site.

[edited by: tedster at 6:04 pm (utc) on Aug 1, 2012]

12:24 am on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Check your SERPs from a number of locations in your country if you can - personalisation and location can affect what you see.
5:11 am on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@IanTurner
Even if you use a proxy it also passes the base IP address of where you are in the header X-Forwarded-For I'm sure Google uses that information, I know we track it.
You have to actually like Telnet into a remote computer to truely see different results.

We see the varied traffic from Google one day overly slow conversion wise yet traffic is the same, then the next conversions through the roof, phones ringing like crazy. It can't all be consumer flux..not in these mass waves.

Sadly I think we may have to run multiple sites selling the same things to keep a somewhat consistant ecommerce income. Our major competitors have been doing it since 2007-08 and we've chosen not to so we could create a stronger brand. I cringe at the thought of having to resort to that.
8:20 pm on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Bewenched, not this past week but the week before Mon-Friday (Aug 13-17) we got buried, then about Sunday, Aug 19th, all went to hell. Then again the end of this week, I forget which day, maybe Aug 23, we started getting buried again with calls and conversions. Google either sends the same amount of hits with S*&^ quality or turns something on (maybe data set 2 like someone mentioned just a bit before my post) and we get amazing conversions.

If I know my site is done right as far as what we say we do then the data set 2 that seems to pop up for 7 days should be what Google should want, as people search and they find what they need done; you satisfy your searcher and he satisfies you by paying for a service.

The ONLY other thing I can think of is Google is all about investors now (of course) they give good results 7 of 20 days a month so that we all freak out almost going broke and turn up PPC, it's s sham and many of us smell it.

No dumbo here. I hope the gov't jumps in, I never say this but it all smells VERY BAD, controls needed, it's bad business and bad for millions of web based business.

Hollywood
8:27 pm on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have used remote control for location based querying for a couple of years now - I know the limitations of proxies.
10:10 pm on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Hollywood, It has been my theory since Penguin first landed that G just screws with the SERPS so we all have to dump a bunch of $$ into AdWords to keep our companies afloat. All of my sites have been hit, my most important sites have dropped from #1 to 4-7 for most of our main keywords. Practically putting my small Doctor's office out of business since business is down 60% now.

What is worse is that the sites ranking above ours have little information on them and have mostly blog and junk links pointing to them.

I have also noticed a huge difference in our AdWords campaign results for the last 3 months or so. I am getting a TON of clicks for very obscure key phrases and conversions are down. Campaign hasn't changed but the conversions are much lower then before.

If something doesn't change soon I will have to let the Doctor go and the employees and close up shop.
2:05 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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backdraft7, I think it's more down to design unity rather than technological unity. If your design is radically different between the forum, gallery script, blog, and the rest of the site, I can see Google marking that down in a post-Panda world.

If your HTML is pre-CSS, that you'll want to change, if only to make your code easier for the bots to comb through.

I'd say unify the technology if it makes things easier for you to manage, but otherwise focus on things that will bring your site under one design brand. At the least, have some kind of unifying element between all the disparate parts (like a header). Of course, you may already have this done.
3:48 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Can anyone point out why Impressions would completely disapeared, while everything else has increased? Could someone please take the time to help me with this concern?
7:08 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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<snip> All of my sites have been hit, my most important sites have dropped from #1 to 4-7 for most of our main keywords. Practically putting my small Doctor's office out of business since business is down 60% now. <snip>
Do you mean you were in position 1 on page 1 and you are now in positions 4 through 7 on page 1, or do you mean you were on page 1 and are now on pages 4 through 7?
8:55 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I mean we were 1 on page 1 and now we are consistently still on page one(usually) but dropped to positions between 4 and 7 depending on the keyword phrase. Traffic is down 60%. And a lot of times there are local listings after the second search result so we are down even further.
11:02 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If you were on page 1 and are still on page 1 I doubt that dropping a few places on page 1 would cause a 60% drop in business. Just my opinion.
11:16 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I doubt that dropping a few places on page 1 would cause a 60% drop in business


For a key search term the difference between #1 and #7 can absolutely equal a 60% drop in traffic and ecommerce business for that keyword. I've seen it first hand.
11:29 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am sure that a small drop right now can make a big change and I think we see that all of us now. I can't figure out how it is done but it is done. Maybe even though you are on the first spot, clicking on the link doesn't take you there?
11:59 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have a listing on floridadirectory[dot]biz that I have had for at least 3 years. WMT shows that the directory has 199 pages pointing to my site. But, when I download a list of the links it only shows 4 pages and only one of them has a direct link to the domain? Any one know if that site would be considered a bad neighborhood or a link that I should eliminate? And why is WMT showing 199 pages? I can't really tell what are the bad links anymore.
Thanks.
12:40 am on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If you were on page 1 and are still on page 1 I doubt that dropping a few places on page 1 would cause a 60% drop in business. Just my opinion.


You'd be wrong :)

Like timwilliams, I've seen it too, once seen, never forgotten, see it multiple times, then watch non SEO/ webmaster folks searching and doing it, "clicking at or on the top of serps" without them knowing why..etc etc..

Look up.. Google Ranking Worth

Very detailed and well laid out article on SEObook..all about SERPS positioning, both organic and ads, other stuff too, IMO probably one of the most valuable pages on the web for anyone wanting a lot of relevant research and findings all in the one place..

Saves me explaining why IMO, "you'd be wrong"..when I read it the first time I thought , "he's giving it away"..then thought "nah, most people won't take the time to find it, or read it, so the competition isn't going to actually get much tougher in a hurry";-)..I enjoy reading his place..unusually insightful guy..

Despite the apparent age of some of the research*, very large percentage of what is in that article is still highly relevant today..

*One of the pubcon keynote speakers
[webmasterworld.com...]
[pubcon.com...]

Dr. Robert Cialdini author of "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" the book was published in late 2006 , many of his observations date back decades before the book was written ,and are still ultra relevant today..research you may have missed yesterday is worth studying today, it can be invaluable tomorrow..
1:54 am on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Leosghost

I'm sure many people click on the first, top most link on a search results page. It's basic psychology. That's why Google puts ads there on their search results pages (but complains about people putting ads "above the fold" on their sites).

I don't doubt you're correct. I guess I'm not that "with it". When I'm searching for something I look at the first page, look at which sites have links, and it is rare that I choose the first link. One of the first things I look for is if it has a date, as well. I don't care if it's #1, if it's a blog post from 2004 (and I see that stuff often) I'm not interested. And it is rare that I only check out 1 link on the first page. Sometimes I check out every link on the first page. As to what *most* people do, yes - I can see the role of psychology in picking the first link and that's it.

The role of consideration of psychological factors is (should be, in my opinion) a major part of page layout design and web site structure design, as well.

I'm sure glad that my web sites do not depend upon being #1 on page one. I guess I'm too easy - As long as I'm on somewhere on page one I'm a happy camper. I bet there are a lot of others reading this who would feel the same. Most of what I've been reading in the "tales of woe" department are from people who were on page 1 somewhere, but were knocked to page 2 or page 3 or page 50 (or whatever). Excuse my surprise that someone has lost 60% of their business because they dropped a few lines on page 1.

My main site is a bit different, though. It is a forum and while it is "focused" on technical subjects, there are lots of things from jokes to "controversial" discussion which have nothing to do with the site. It always amazes me to look and see what search terms are ranking where. For years my main site was #1 on page 1 for "bull#*$! bingo", a page I put up for laughs around 1997. Go figure. To this day I have no idea why that page was/is so highly ranked for so many years. It has nothing to do with my main web site "focus". It is just a short, simple html table. Never did a thing with it, and still haven't. I just looked and it's link #5 on page one. I may have updated the date on it several times over the years, which I tend to do with most of my static html pages from time to time, but other than that it hasn't changed since 1997.

I do thank you for your response. It does give me something to think about, one of which is don't start a business which will fail if it is not always in slot 1 on page 1 of Google's search results page.
4:25 am on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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That's why Google puts ads on their search results pages (but complains about people putting ads "above the fold" on their sites


AdSense actively encourages ATF advertising.

I too am seeing some very strange results since around 23 August. Reminds me of Yahoo a few years ago.
4:36 am on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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August 23 is when my Penguinized site plummeted in terms of Google traffic. There has to have been some kind of change on that day.
1:21 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Small drop today for keywords with 'firm' in the combination.

HUGE drop (a lot going outside the top 100) for keywords with 'firms' in the combination.

eg.

****** firm = position yesterday minus 4 places
****** firms = position yesterday minus at least 70 places

All pointing to the same home page, with no onsite changes or new links with this word in.

Firm is more relevant (in the title and body text) but the plural version has always had approx the same ranking. So I am thinking another botched google algo tweak!
1:23 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So nasty hit dates for me include:

July 20th
August 11th
August 28th

Big drops for specific phrases only on the same home page (some others went up a little).
2:30 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Today so far is a record low :'(
2:43 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Same here. Coffin lid is well & truly nailed shut. :(
3:44 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Never mind, wrong thread.
3:58 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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^ I assume you were directed here by Google ;)
4:38 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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20% google traffic improvement as of yesterday... Only about 500% left to go to get back to normal... But like the direction!
4:56 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@lenny2, longtail? Did the queries / search terms change? Positions?
5:22 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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^ I assume you were directed here by Google ;)


Post of the day!
6:03 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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^ I assume you were directed here by Google ;)


LOL, who else?
6:41 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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To those of you who are seeing traffic drops today: Were you impacted by any of the black and white animal updates in the past?
8:26 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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plenty of traffic - but today all non converting zombies again...the past two days were "normal".
11:10 am on Aug 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

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...and late in the day the doors opened again ... bounce rate has been like a yoyo with these on / off cycles.
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