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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]

1:09 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing two sets of results in my niche, where "trusted authority / brand" medical sites are 50% of the time at the top of the page and 50% of the time they are just below my sites.
I guess some user testing is going on. What better reason to build a compelling site!
1:25 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Is Google floating the CR@P to the top so they can scrape it off?


I would suggest that is unlikely and not a very good policy if true - there are people out there who can generate low quality content very, very quickly.
2:38 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I would suggest that is unlikely and not a very good policy if true - there are people out there who can generate low quality content very, very quickly


Although I agree with the creating low quality quickly. Google in the past has done this type of thing in the past just before an update. Almost as if they flip-flop results to see what comes up.
2:42 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Ecommerce site, I made many many changes, all made sense. Last 3 days 120% increase in conversions, not sure if it is due to fixing stuff or if it's due to all the other factors like press releases and such, but I am very happy, got my ^&& fed to me on Penguin and Panda.

Wooo!
1:55 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else seeing the number of different search queries in GWT going down in the last month or so?

Ours were going up and up but now are going down and down.

Also search query rankings in GWT dont seem to relate to actual SERPs at all. For example GWT say we are on page one for a (hard to rank for) single keyword (this only popped up in the last 3 weeks) but if I do a (non-personalized) search in google.co.uk (primary) or google.com then we are not even in the top 100. So I have no idea what google search engines bringing in these impressions/clicks.

Still no SERPs improvements (even minor) from the hit last Friday either.
2:02 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm definitely seeing a decrease in the "social" results in my health-related niche - meaning fewer forum results, with more substantial sites showing up ...also as of now (pray it lasts!) many fewer videos.
2:33 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've seen a significant drop in a certain phrase I was attempting to get #1 (I was almost there!) with and have just noticed something...

Before this update the top 10 sites had titles that included the keyword/phrase I was chasing however now the top 8 or so have more general titles. They such have titles that start with their company name or just have their company name. None of them include the phrase which they rank so well for.

The annoying thing is that some of the sites aren't as relevant as they should be and some of them are just terrible compared to my site which has better quality of content and layout.

Just can't figure out what has gone on here. My site was climbing with, what I thought, just quality content, use of titles, and general on-page SEO but it suddenly it has took a big drop.

Anyone notice the change in titles for top ranking websites or is it just happened in the area I'm looking at?
3:22 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am working on a site and the frequency of updates to the pages on it is around the same, but some of the pages' cache dates change a couple of times a week while other pages' cache dates change every couple of weeks.

What might be the reason(s) that this is happening? Could this be indicative of anything?

I am seeing a similar pattern for these pages in the SERP index.
6:54 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Before this update the top 10 sites had titles that included the keyword/phrase I was chasing however now the top 8 or so have more general titles.


Are you referring to the actual page titles on the site, or the titles that Google is showing in the SERPs?
8:46 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a new level of host crowding (top 10-15 results from the ame parent host) in the serps I follow. Where we used to hold a solid 3-5th position, its now on page 2-3 after 10-15 results from brand1, then 4-7 results from brand2, then our brand3.

Note - crowding is only when signed into Google services or using Chrome.

MH
2:36 am on Aug 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There seem to have been another black Friday update. My hits were down yesterday and seems to even lower today. Not sure what's going on but I don't see anything posted here so maybe it's just me.
7:41 am on Aug 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My SERPs were equally as bad Thu, Fri, Sat. So no update as far as I saw on Fri.

Google crawl rate of my site is still massive though compared to usual - and we are only adding a handful of new/updated pages per week. So 'something' is going on.

I have noticed my mozRank has gone significantly down recently, my page and domain authority each gone down by 1 also. So my (ever growing number of) inbound links have definitey lost some value ie. been Penguinized
1:31 am on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I saw traffic up on Friday, then the traffic went back to normal on Saturday and Sunday.
2:31 am on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing no reduction in host crowding, it just keeps getting worse. In Google.com, one spammy photo site is ranking seven positions on page one, in Google.jp that same site, for the same keyphrase soaks up the first 25 positions. Yes, the first 25.
For all the algo updates focusing on keyword spam, you'd think this just couldn't fly, yet it does.
FYI to Google, you're broken and no joy for most users.
7:46 am on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There must have been an update last week. We took again a hughe hit and got - #3 on different terms only to make space for non targetet/contentless sites that have amazon affiliates on it and again one price compare engine.
I think it time to promote bing a little bit more...
7:52 am on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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the same keyphrase soaks up the first 25 positions. Yes, the first 25.
For all the algo updates focusing on keyword spam, you'd think this just couldn't fly, yet it does.

I think eventually it will sink in to a lot of people that the 'organic' serps really don't matter much. And they matter less every day.
1:15 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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backdraft - have you tried limiting google to 10 results in you preferences. if you do that you will see fairer results i think. for some reason when set to say; 100 results you get 25 results from one site first quite often (these days) i find.
4:21 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@theskunk - it doesn't matter, mine is set to 10 per page, the domain crowding just spills over to page two. If I set it to 100, same result. This is for Google.jp only. The US result is only 7 consecutive.

Another observation for August: although my visits are up (according to GA), my conversions are still way down. I think this is in part due to the dramatic loss of long tail. Since May of this year, Google has continually been painting the site into a smaller and smaller corner. Semantic results are gone, plurals are gone. What we are left with in the serps are one page, keyword stuffed articles from the usual big brand sources, and a few obscure blogs that are key wording their way into the niche.
Real great user experience.

While we still "own" several keywords, those highly related suggestions at the bottom of the page rarely include our site anymore. It used to be I could go all day following those suggestions and it would be included for nearly every result.

One common denominator I see is that any obscure sites climbing in the niche are cms driven. hand crafted html never seems to make it. Thinking about switching to cms myself, but the implications are mind boggling.
4:52 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a pretty big traffic jump on a pandalized site today. Keywords have jumped way up across the board, and traffic is up about 100% so far today.

I wonder if there's a Panda refresh / update going on, or if they're just throwing my content in front of more users to measure quality metrics.
5:00 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Sand I have noticed movements in my niche too starting today, sites who came on top about 3-4 weeks ago are moving down and the previous winners are coming back. Still a lot of news sites cluttering affiliated niches remaining untouched .
5:07 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing nothing but zombie traffic and abandoned carts. Started about noon yesterday.
5:32 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Very low traffic weekend continuing into today with my trade directory site, B&M sites looking normal, now what do they think is wrong?
5:35 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Do Google updates happen in all countries simultaneously? If not then it would be very useful if people posting observations would state what search engine (eg .co.uk, .com) they are using and what country they are in.

I have not seen any uk traffic improvements since the big drop the other week.
1:33 am on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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my pandalized site is also seeing a 25% jump, started sometime last night
3:38 am on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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At the end of the day, I'm looking at a 123% increase over last Monday, and my best day since May 1. I'm anxiously waiting to hear if there was a refresh.
9:51 am on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There's been something since my Coppermine gallery has been smashed by another 50%, almost pointless having it now,,,fantastic, the ONLY image gallery of its kind on the Net and Google's annihilated it.
10:29 am on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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HuskyPup - is this the site with PageRank=7, mozRank=8, DomainAuthority=93, and 16 million links?!

I will swop you my stats!

With that kind of ranking power I assume if you aren't getting top in every target keyword you want, then the Panda and the Penguin don't like it?!
10:44 am on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I can say there is some gain in traffic, may be 5 to 10 %. But it is too early to confirm any thing now.
11:50 am on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm too seeing about 5-10% traffic increase since 20th. Fingers crossed.
12:18 pm on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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then the Panda and the Penguin don't like it?!


Well, either the Panduin twins don't like it or someone has a very close friend at the Plex and I'm being manually screwed-over!

It smells and it doesn't smell very nice.
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