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Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2012



2:06 am on Sep 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

< 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]


6:49 am on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seeing a tweak this morning, ranking seems the same but the star ratings in URL links has gone again.


9:58 am on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

SERP's are flipping again! Seeing two datasets at the moment. Anyone else?


10:36 am on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seeing some fluctuations this morning (US), not a lot more than normal.

Yesterday was scary, seems like google really nailed what they are looking for, conversions from organic traffic at all time low, conversions from adwords traffic up considerably.

Martin Ice Web

10:42 am on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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^ confirmed, big drops till yesterday. one of the 2 sets are ok, second is realy bad ( id donīt know if its different datasets or just different alogrithms )
The good one only comes up once in a hour and just for 20 minutes.
Every day i think google can go any worse but I am learned by google : Oh they truly can go worse. I think in half a year they will have killed theirself.


11:39 am on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It's like a game of "How low can you go?" Man, one more update/screw-up and there is nothing left and nothing you can do about it. This is really hurtfule, especially when you see sites that really shoudln't be in the results at all. I don't mine better sites being ahead of me but when you have a one page site or a keyword domain ahead of you? That's when it gets scary! It seems like there was a change late last night in the SERP. It seemed better but not aymore. Not a lot of people posts so I guess it is ony hurting a few here. ... Are we the 1% then?


11:51 am on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Wednesday was the highest traffic volume of the summer so far. Even higher than my Sunday's. GA reports 16% increase. Conversions were surprisingly good yesterday and at a regular pace all day. Kudos to Google if that was intentional...probably not though.

It's Thursday however, and I'm sure some engineer at Google just put on their safety glasses, lab coat and with clipboard in hand, will begin turning the knobs again.


12:12 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

G: You are close to this location. According to G+ it is a prime location for entertainment. We have some ads for items you might need.

From what I could gather: many queries will return local results and it seems to happen in the following priority:

- if your query includes location, results will be for that location
- if there is no location indicated in the query, results default to your location based on IP
- but if you search maps, results seem to change as you change map focus and this seem to override the original map location or your IP - unless you refine query and append/change location in the query and repeat the map search

It also seems that Google has increased number of queries where it decided that user would 'go to location' rather than buying remotely, so more searches seem to respond with local results.


3:10 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Since August 31st, my Panda hit site has had a 25% increase in traffic from Google. Yet no Panda update around that period, so it's obviously something else being tweaked.


8:19 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wonder if something went through this afternoon. Our traffic was average all day...and then like a light switch it has been turned up significantly.


8:48 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a lot of weirdness here. 3:00 EST was an absolutely crazy hour. Google referrals more than double normal. The 4:00 hour seems to have settled down. Definitely makes me think something big is in the works, but honestly, who can tell these days.

Only thing I know for sure is that I clearly watch analytics too much.


9:08 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

That is crazy that you saw the same thing. Wonder what is going on.


10:00 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

We had the same, nice converting organic traffic over the last couple of hours.


10:07 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Looking back, I see the same thing at 3:00 AM and 5:00 AM this morning (EST). Big spikes of Google referrals. So that's 3 spikes today at the hourly level. Definitely strange.


4:47 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Another 30% traffic drop on most sites beginning on the labor day of US.


6:16 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Worst user engagement specs I've seen for many months today. Traffic is actually up a bit, but they just fetch one page and leave. Adwords also in the tank. Fortunately other sources picked up the slack.

I've never seen such a huge change overnight. The everflux is amped up.

US. EComm.

Martin Ice Web

10:26 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month


"Delete * From _table_goog_ WHERE Content like 'match 100%'"

Delete * FROM _table_goog_ WHERE site_type='ecom'


10:41 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Still seing two data sets today, traffic & conversions both awful. UK Ecom.

Martin Ice Web

11:03 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

ohne, did you change something on your website?


11:13 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Nope. Not changed anything for quite some time. We can have great weeks then poor. Of what I've seen no one has made changes that they can prove stick and/or made a difference?


11:23 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google page has changed its layout. Left column moved to top tab, so that all results are shifted to the left and Adwords is more towards the center, closer to the hotspot.

Also number of SERPs results are gone. Unless it is also hidden and I can't find it!


3:59 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

yep, lot of weird SERP resuts today. Penguin 2?


6:36 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


It is just as you said. Its currently brewing and it is not completely rolled out yet. I do not think google has ever announced any update while it was not completely rolled out.

Announcing something that has not settled yet would not make a lot of sense. I am sure they will give you word when it is 100% rolled out across all data centers and they feel comfortable with the results.

If they announce it prematurely, and then they see something that needs to be fixed, wont make them look very good.


7:17 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seeing any strange spikes today?

I've seen spikes at 11:00, 12:00, and so far in the 3:00 hour (all times EST).

Interestingly, it isn't one keyword or even a handful of keywords that seem to be driving it. It's just a full on hose of traffic for every relevant keyword.

Sorry if me posting hourly shifts seems obsessive. It's just interesting, given how steady my traffic patterns normally are -- with the exception of the last couple days.


7:26 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)


I haven't been able to keep as close an eye on the hourly stuff today. I do know that our G traffic is the highest it has been all week, which is really strange for a Friday. Something has definitely rolled through since yesterday. Typically our most traffic will fall on a Tuesday or Wednesday, unless an update rolls.


4:54 am on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"something" happened during the day Thursday US time. Maybe starting later Wednesday. Seems to have cycled through as Friday went along.

Not only did our traffic get really odd with the normal international flux of useless clicks but the telltale bumping of a new test site in between position 1 and 4 started. Over the next week or four this site will fall from 2 to 10 as user data shows its not what people want.

Example that fits with US news of the day: you are a customer that wants to buy a really cool scarf that is in all the fashion magazines. You want it for the upcoming winter. You search and suddenly this week in the #2 spot is a store selling this scarf but with some political candidates slogan on it. Not what you wanted at all. Google knows the site is a good one just doesn't know where it fits. In these updates it gets bumped everyone else gets bumped down but slowly it filters down the page. Happens like clockwork in the days prior to and during updates and changes and it's happening now.


5:52 am on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

looks like we're done another 15-20% since yesterday....

seems like whatever we do, it gets worse... /giveup


6:50 am on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

peego, I feel your pain. However we seem to have this constantly now, some weeks good others awful. Stable Google RIP :(


7:47 am on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Whatever that happened since Tuesday was the nail in the coffin of my 6 years SOHO


8:49 am on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Nothing major seems to be happening in my (UK-based) sector, although a sudden 20% rise in Google traffic last week - it is as if a cap has been lifted - has persisted.

I'm STILL waiting for Google to de-index the backlinks I removed in May (still showing 164 of the 2,000+ negative SEO links in WMT), and still on page 5 for main term.


1:57 pm on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@kenneth2, Same here. On Tuesday I lost another 25% of my traffic and it seems like I hit another traffic limit where it onlt varies +-10 visitors a day. I was at another lever before that with almost the same result for a week or so. I can't say that I lost 25% of Google traffic, probably more than that, but the overall traffic so what's up with that? The email spam has more than tripled over the last few days so is the email spam clogging up the system?
@peego, I agree. It doesn't seems to matter what you do and you don't get any help from Google. I know that they can't tell you if you are right or wrong but if you fix things that they say they have targeted, wouldn't you think that it would help your site and not go the other way?
I finally filed a re-inclusion/lift penalty request because this is just rediculous if you ask me. It will probably take a while before I hear anything.
One thing that is weird and that is before I used to get lots of visitors within a minute and a lot of them had different search termes they used to find my site. Not anymore. There is no real variation anymore.
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