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Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2012

     
2:06 am on Sep 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Historically we never saw drastic drops due to holidays...except this year, when the now daily everflux drops just happen to coincide with a holiday.

[edited by: tedster at 5:33 am (utc) on Sep 1, 2012]

3:01 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've noticed we're reaching our quota of visits later in the day than usual. This started happening a couple/few days ago.
3:19 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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No improvements here, but glad to see some of you got a reprieve on Thursday...I did not. In fact, Thursday turned out to be the LOWEST traffic day (uniques) in 10 years.

So far today I have been unable to exceed 4 or 5 visitors on the site at any one time. I checked my keyword run from over nite and still holding 83 key #1 positions, but the overall trend is still down on #2 or greater positions. In the serps but out of the traffic...go figure.

The Zombies are gone, but now so is ALL traffic.

It's pretty clear to me that last Friday an update went through and it's not digesting well.

If it's another one of those 1% affected updates, it looks like it's my turn in the barrel, again.
3:52 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I messed up big time! Last year I changed my URLs to a more friendly ones and did a 301 redirect using a plugin. Today, I figured out that I deactivated the plugin (why did I do that? I don't know). So all the users hitting my older URLs were shown 404 error. I hope Google Bots will understand this... I have, of course, reactivated the plugin! Gotta be more careful these days!

[edited by: sid786 at 3:53 pm (utc) on Sep 14, 2012]

3:52 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Weird day so far. No hits at all from Google until minute 33 or so every hour.... I checked sites and SERP and it al looks good.... Just friggin weird
7:27 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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SERPS up but no traffic... ?
9:04 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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As suspected Matt Cutts announces an update

[twitter.com...]

Domain crowding gone?
9:12 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My site too had a recovery from Panda on 8/20. Yesterday was the best day since the recovery, normally my site peaks on Monday. I experienced the same like some of you here... I really hope it is a panda update, if yes, then my site recovered again so i might be getting out of the "fog".
10:22 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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[twitter.com...]

Just fyi, we rolled out a small algo change this week that improves the diversity of search results in terms of different domains returned.

In other words, as aleady posted, returns domain names/urls that include obscure synonyms of tems in the search phrase.
10:39 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Well, by golly... Diversity! What next?

I wonder what the patent number for this one is.... ;)
10:52 pm on Sept 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Diversity: no matter how focussed your query, we'll scramble the results.

The perpetual self-righteous smugness of MC is probably the most irritating part of all this.
12:46 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Wilburforce - I think that last statement is disingenuous - Matt Cutts statement is very likely the truth as he sees it and there are definitely the signs of a climbdown by Google in terms of listening to the feedback they have received on domain crowding.
1:50 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm all for diversity if reduces domain crowding, which went way over the top

Might have been different if the crowding was result of trying to show the best pages in order, but instead seemed that if a site had one or two pages appearing strongly relevant for a search term, a whole lot of other pages came along for the ride - so I'd find myself scrolling down down down to find results from more domains.
3:27 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm all for diversity too, but I'll guarantee you this...their algo update is NOT working. I still see the same domain crowding as before...seven houzzes in a row. I also fail to see how non relevant results constitute diversity.
4:59 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I was right there is some update in Google and Matt Cutts confirmed it:
[twitter.com ]
7:50 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I was right there is some update in Google and Matt Cutts confirmed it:


I fail to see how these "updates" are any news anymore.... since April 2012 there seems to be a major update going almost every 12-48 hours. Do we relay need to continue calling them updates.

Maybe we should start calling them by their real name.. mindless, irresponsible, random index shuffles clearly designed to keep everyone in the dark...guessing and spending.

The perpetual self-righteous smugness of MC is probably the most irritating part of all this.


I share the same feeling. I wounder sometimes how it must feel to destroy the lives and livelihoods of so many small businesses with just a few clicks... ha MC...
8:08 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I fail to see how these "updates" are any news anymore.... since April 2012 there seems to be a major update going almost every 12-48 hours. Do we realy need to continue calling them updates.

Good point. New Google means constant change & if you believe it only affects 1% of search...well.....

The SERP's have changed at last, we are back to No1 for some terms. The paradox is though we had no evening sales last night, a switch was flicked around 4pm when we saw sales within minutes from the same city! It soon calmed down though, I guess our quota for the day was done :)
8:41 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Going back to what Martin mentioned earlier in the thread, 4pm traffic suddenly starts, sales @ 16:08, 16:13, 16:30, 17:20 & 17:38.


FOUR of those were from LONDON!

Of course it stopped as quickly as it started but it certainly makes you wonder...
8:59 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Matt Cutts statement is very likely the truth as he sees it

I agree (and apologise): I didn't mean to question his sincerity.

I also agree that domain crowding had become an issue which Google properly needed to address (albeit the result of earlier "improvements").

I just find it frustrating that whie my site has suffered collateral damage and the stated targets are unscathed, MC keeps telling what a great job they are doing.
9:49 am on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I share the same feeling. I wounder sometimes how it must feel to destroy the lives and livelihoods of so many small businesses with just a few clicks... ha MC...


Yes, but it's OK as he has a lot of people (some here included, naming no names!) believing that anyone adversely affected by any updates is therefore a filthy black hat spammer. Clever really. If you are prone to gullibility.
2:14 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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9 visits from G, today... 4th month without traffic...
I have exhausted all resources. Another month like this and I will close my activities... :(
2:41 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Been busy with a "real" that MC has no power over so I haven't posted except for small comments on my phone :)
It seems that whatever change they make, my sites are affected ad I didn't think I was a blachatter at all.
I have seen a lot of longtail coming and going. Sometimes it is just longtail hits and sometimes it is just the "ordinary" 2,3,4 phrases that gets hits. When I run my script to check the position the 2,3,4 phrases are all there all the time but for some reason I don't get any traffic from them. I have also had, see above, times when Google didn't even send any traffic for abour hald an hour which is really really bizarre after 12-15 years in the business.
Someone here said that the time when Google had a result set that they showed for a while is gone and I agree. There are constant changes going one and the time between "updates" gets less and less. They are most likely done in real time and all they need to do is to update their cache of pages. I can't believe that they scan through the entire collection of pages every time someone is searching. I know they have a lot of computing power but not that much.
It's too early to tell if MC's smugness affected me yet, There seems to be a little bit of upswing but that can change from minute to minute.
2:47 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This domain diversity update is interesting to note and certainly needed - but it still doesn't go far enough to my eye.

Although the recent domain jamming was good news for the domains who are being packed into the SERPs, it really has hurt the businesses whose domains were displaced. And that economic impact does not seem to be related to any attempt on their part to break Google's guidelines.

Also note, this is NOT a Panda Update or Data Refresh, so I'd say any recoveries should be analyzed closely to understand exactly what happened. There are probably some helpful insights to be had there. It would be good to hear from anyone who has been squeezed out of the SERPs just now recovered.

How is Google choosing which domains get squeezed out by domain jamming? It doesn't seem to be just pushing them down - some vanish from their original part of the SERPs altogether.
3:40 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This domain diversity update appears to be algo change that attempts to correct problems created by an earlier algo change.

Google has been working on its algorithm for more than 12 years. By now they should have reached a point where frequent major algo changes shouldn't be necessary. Actually, I think they reached that point about 5 years ago, when for a time the SERPs were much better and much more stable than they are now. But then, starting with "universal search", they began making changes for the worse, and since then one bad change has usually led to another bad change or over-correction later, so that the downward spiral in SERP quality has continually gotten worse and worse.
3:46 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There's also the fact that the whole system [websites + search engines] is dynamic, not static. Each side affects and is dependent on the the other. So there can never be one final algorithm for information retrieval. I think updates are with us for the foreseeable future.

And yes, we get updates to fix problems created by earlier updates, too. Too much of that can create a very nasty decline in quality, but in this case the low quality was there right from the start - and the new update fix doesn't seem to go far enough, IMO.
3:55 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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the new update fix doesn't seem to go far enough, IMO.

I agree. Actually, I don't see any changes or improvements whatsoever. In my industry, I see about 30% of the top 100 are press releases (many from the same domain). Also, just since Thursday, more Youtube videos have crept in. There has been zero improvement to "diversity of search results in terms of different domains".
4:03 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've just heard some complaints from sites who lost their multiple positions on page one. This knife cuts both ways!
5:47 pm on Sept 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yea, I'm on that end of the knife in a couple of spots.
12:23 am on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My Penguinized site is suddenly up 87% for the day. I'll have to wait and see if this holds true through this evening, though (it's 5:23 Pacific time - if the searches slow dramatically, the overall gain will fall sharply, and it wouldn't be the first time that's happened).
12:54 am on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We must accept that things are getting harder. I just hope they GET TONS OF FTC complaints, their search engine is a joke right now. I just finished filing one myself...

Sales completely stopped for us on all channels and for almost two weeks now. It is like someone or something is sucking up all the buyers (traffic numbers and SERPS positions +/- unchanged... traffic quality and bounce rate in the gutters).

[edited by: xcoder at 1:22 am (utc) on Sep 16, 2012]

5:19 am on Sept 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Mmmn. Watching this with considerable interest, because it is the first algo shift that has made a perceptible difference on one of those previous-authority sites that was knocked down the drain.
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