July was OK, but now (Friday) has seen a sudden drop in Google traffic. SERPS look fine, but traffic volume is very low today...did I miss a big news story? It would seem that another Panda or Penguin iteration is being currently being digested.
[edited by: backdraft7 at 7:24 pm (utc) on Aug 3, 2012]
Does the difference in the number of cut marks mean something?
gouri - Complete conjecture... this might mean that you've got optimized chunks in several places on your page and Google is trying to sort out which of these is meaningful to searchers. Or... it conceivably could mean that Google is getting more granular in how it's looking at sections of pages in general.
I'd watch it over time and see whether the number of sections you see changes. One problem in making such observations, though, is that repeated observation might affect what Google shows.
The SERPs thread is a good place to compare observations, and see if others are noting more sections of pages returned. If we get enough observations, then we can discuss reasons why in a dedicated thread.
OK, so apparently nobody else is noticing another major shakeup. After running another keyword check today on 900 of our most popular phrases (took all day), I see nothing but downward movement. Man, I've barely survived through every singe major algo update, usually a big hit followed by a slow recovery (after doing very little in the way of changes to the site). Google really seems to want all us small guys out. The movement is rarely positive, probably because we're not as well funded and the big scraper houses.
I'm hoping this is another temporary flux. The only "good" news is that I've moved down several tax brackets this year.
@backdraft7, the only thing I can see is that I have had unique visitors every day this week that only varies with +-5 people every day. Isn't that weird? 2 days with the exact same visitors? There was a little "spike" on Wednedsday and yesteray started out really bad but picked up so I could get me "even numbers" again. It seems like when it is slow that the page loads is low, i.e. when there are not many visitors then they don't view a lot of pages so they either were misdirected or found what they wanted. In WMT my impressions have went up from being negative to +122% and the click anre not negative anymore but not positive either so it seems like it doesn matter in my case that they show more of my pages in the SERP. Before we could dance with Google, now we are just bystanders.
Upon after riding out a few the presumed storms that were Florida, Brandy, Jagger, Vince, and May Day, on our end, I'm finding Panda/Penguin to be somewhat of a challenge over this past year. Clawing and grabbing upwards in the SERP's are not quite as old hat as it once was.
Still hanging on tho' ... Maybe in a few years I'll be able to sit back and talk of the good old days with Panda .. sort of like how I do now with Florida
I hate to break out the "Z" word again, but it sure looks like they are back. The entire month of July was a gradual recovery. The last week started out great on Sunday, Monday, double digit sales on Tuesday and Wednesday, slow late in the day on Thursday and then the rug pulled out on Friday with semi-normal traffic levels (according to GWMT, my server logs differ) and then dead on Saturday even though there are a dozen or more Zom...I mean visitors, on the site at any one time. This is usually a sure fire indication that another major algo is propagating.
Also, anyone else notice that Adsense is slow to load on your pages? Even search is occasionally sluggish. Sometimes it seems Google's own powerhouse data center is on it's knees. Cross checked with similar speed issues on 2 XP boxes, one Win 7 box, one iMac and one Samsung Galaxy tab 10.1 mobile device.
@backdraft7 : I'm seeing exact same pattern here, it's uncanny. Great conversion rates all through end of July and Aug 1st, then zombies appeared en-masse on Thursday (Aug 2nd) and haven't go home yet.
Do you have any data on where your non-converting visitors are from? I'm still trying to wrap my head around this phenomenon but it looks like they are probably from a wrong geographic region, although I'm not sure if it's as simple as that.
@1script - I've been watching GA Real-Time for the past few days and I'm seeing no foreign traffic, so this time it's all US based Zombies. I did remove my geotargeting preference of "USA only" over two months ago.
At the moment, only two visitors on the site and both are returning customers. It also seems to go in definite "spurts"...like all on, or all off.
Good to see at least one other person is seeing what I'm seeing.
I do seem to have lost a handful of longtail positions in the past few days too...another sign of an update digesting.
Since it is Saturday, I think I'll go digest some beer, because there is nothing else I can do about this.
It definitely felt like something happened on Friday. We always seem to have a little lull in traffic right before an update. Then after the update (as of late) we see an increase. The other thing I have been noticing is that Google rewrites our titles on certain pages, for certain phrases. After the update rolls through our own titles start to appear again for the phrases they had previously been changed on. This is exactly the sequence I have been noticing for about a month now. Has anyone else seen something similar?
Mozcast is showing something similar for Friday, [mozcast.com ]
There's been at least 2-3 huge SERP movements with no confirmations of anything by them. They stopped doing their monthly search highlights. And as far as we know, it's been 2 1/2 months since they ran Penguin.
Seems to me that they've become less transparent, while at same time saying they're trying to be more transparent.
Another algo update on the way? I've had enough. Organic traffic has dropped from 500 per day to 50 during this year. Imagine what it has done to the budget for site development. How can the small guy compete in the travel sector where competitors are big brands who buy links?
Yep, today's going to be a rainy day... and [p34r8up <==== cat typing just like with the weather, there is nothing you can do about it. Google does what Google this is best for their users. It doesn't look like it is best for my users. I check my stats like evry 2 hours starting at 6AM and you can see pretty much how the day is going to be. There is not much variation during the days and like I have said before, some day have exactly the same unique visitor numbers. Isn't that amazing?
@spreporter, we did before Google starting messing with us. Now we can't afford it anymore :) It's looking to be a slow day today too :( Sundays used to be good but now you don't know anymore how it will turn out. What I still find weird is that other SE's can pull out a lot more from the pages and send people to what they are looking for but Google can't? In my case Google send them to the front page except for long tail searches. If someone search for " small blue widget in madison OH" then Bing for example find the page where all of thins might be in the page, but Google doesn't seem to be able to do that.