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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]

2:10 pm on Sept 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Could some of you with heavily penalized sites check to make sure you don't also have a version of the -950 penalty? I have a "for sure" October 11 Panda victim that was also hit by Penguin. I'm positive on both because the exact dates coincide.

This site is also currently suffering a -950 penalty site-wide. I didn't check the 950 angle for a long time after the penalties hit, so I can't be sure when the 950 started. I'm trying to figure out whether the 950 is somewhat common to panda/penguin sites, or if I'm dealing with a third layer of penalty at this point.
3:56 pm on Sept 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@bloard
I was hit by 4 Pandas:
- 2011,october
- 2012,march
- 2012,april
- 2012,june

But i'm not suffering from such penalty.
4:01 pm on Sept 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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every update feels like watching the polar ice cap melt lol... a slow but deadly melt. Making fixes only seems to speed up the melt. Good thing bing still likes us, we're up about 10% from binghoo around the same time we lost 15-20% from goo. And good thing we have a small ecomm op that depends on affiliate traffic for sales and not SE's!
5:01 pm on Sept 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing more Pinterest pages the last couple of days. One of them is outranking me (3rd search result) since yesterday for a keyword I'm following. I used to be on the 3rd position and now dropped to the 4th place. I don't remember seeing Pinterest pages on the first page of the SERPS for this keyword, thus this is new.

I am also seeing one of my competitors who set up a Pinterest account with loads of photos pinned from his own website (and of course directing visitors back to his website). He is now, for certain keywords, ranking twice within the first 10 search results: with his website and with his Pinterest page. It looks like Pinterest can be used as a new sort of spam to drive visitors to your website. The purpose of Pinterest was collecting images of things you like and not making an images-only copy of your own site to generate traffic.

System

4:04 am on Sept 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

redhat

 
 


Mod's note: Report of a new image slider interface reported by matrix_jan split out into it's own thread, then ultimately combined with another thread already in progress here...

[webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:22 pm (utc) on Sep 9, 2012]

8:28 am on Sept 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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bloard - I notice that my frontpage is also at -950 and the the site is hit by panda april 2011
12:21 pm on Sept 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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zeus - Can you make any page on your site appear in the top 40 results using any query? What I'm seeing out of this version of -950 is that any page of the site that would have ranked in the top 40 for a given query is sent to -950. If a query would have ranked a page somewhere south of roughly the 40th position, it will keep that position. Basically an if($rank<40)=>{end of results} type of filter. It applies site wide.

And yes, I'm really familiar with the old -950 threads here. Just not sure if this is a new use of an old penalty, or the same old penalty being trotted out again.
1:13 pm on Sept 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Can someone explain this -950 with a way to test it?, ... man I can't tell if I have a penalty or what, nothing makes sense anymore. Anyone interested in checking my site out let me know. It's still a mess but doing my best to get it right slowly.

I see so much garbage and at the same time I got someone attacking the site, so much fun!
2:37 pm on Sept 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Under settings in google, set the preferences slider to show 100 results per page. Then go to the very last page of results and see if you are there.
6:14 pm on Sept 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am also seeing very odd things in the product listings - many, many listings don't show, but it also seems to be browser and machine dependent. Image product listings moving from right hand to top of results, pretty significant traffic drop for me with this move - or with the procduct listings vanishing (very erratic, btw).
6:40 am on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We had the worst weekend ever. Down 71%. Donīt know if it was weather related. Serps did shuffel in my niche and it looks not good.
I must think of Cutts statement:
Sometimes it is better to start a new site.
Maybe the penguin/panda burned down my domain and there will be no way back.
9:53 am on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Awful weekend here too Martin, in fact awful for a Monday thus far too. I really can't live like this. Right now I feel physically sick with worry.
10:55 am on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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After doing some research:
-we lost more longtails
-most of our deep pages are gone
-replaced by domains with "low html" pages ( i mean that are simplest html pages with very short but matching content - no extra conten like Cutts is saying )
-ebay is dominating again
-alibaba shows up for germany results
-our titles are heavily rewritten
-WMT shows errors from 2 weeks ago
-google crawls pages that are gone till month
11:46 am on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WOW! the below comments show the SAD STATE OF GOOGLE SERPS.
I am reading these type of comments all over the the Internet.
Maybe the question is not if our sites can recover but can Google recover.


"Authority in all it's complexity means little these days. Thin is in."

"Financial serps filling up with press releases. LOL. That's the best Google can find? It's sad."

"It is a scammer's haven now. Fly-by-night sites and press releases."

"Negative SEO is rampant in this niche right now and it's working"

"I feel sorry for the consumers."

"How about them YouTube videos dominating the finance SERPS"

"The serps are getting worse by the day"

"These days it doesn't stick for more than 4 days with Google
4 days? i wish... try 48 hours..."

"If on the other hand the update is over - Google has made a huge error of judgement in the aglo this time round."

"Every day i think google can't get 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."

"especially when you see sites that really shoudln't be in the results at all. I don't mind 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!"

"seems like whatever we do, it gets worse"
11:52 am on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I was just checking one of my money terms as traffic seemed a little down - 1-35 all the same site! how can G think this offers anything other than making people click the ads
12:39 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Awful weekend here too Martin, in fact awful for a Monday thus far too. I really can't live like this. Right now I feel physically sick with worry.


Take it easy mate, i feel your pain. We often go for days now with no sales (and we have a number of ecom websites on a range of topics as well as web stores over popular third party platforms). Adwords is no great help either, it is fast becoming extremely expensive, rigged and the conversions simply suck. Sales are way too far and in-between this year.... and getting worse.

Google are messing way too much with the secret sauce. It is virtually killing the web as we know it and will eventually turn back and bite them .... but until such time i think it is safe to assume that any business model relying on Google paid or free traffic is doomed to fail... i think webmasters need to start adjusting to the fact that Google is no longer a friend and try and build a business model that has no Google factor built into it... hard but very much possible.

[edited by: xcoder at 1:10 pm (utc) on Sep 10, 2012]

1:06 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Iīm seeing lots of changes and position movement going on Google Spain. Have anyone noticed this today? By the way... not good.
1:29 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Saw changes from Google Spain - wednesday - thursday last week, early indications are that some changes happened Sunday too, but not enough info to really see yet.
1:41 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@xcoder,

you are on it. I am going for it. It is not easy, but with a lot of work I will make that challenge.
2:17 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Weekend so and so. A little bit better than earlier in the week. Today is another story :'(
2:21 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WOW! the below comments show the SAD STATE OF GOOGLE SERPS.
I am reading these type of comments all over the the Internet.
Maybe the question is not if our sites can recover but can Google recover.


"Authority in all it's complexity means little these days. Thin is in."

"Financial serps filling up with press releases. LOL. That's the best Google can find? It's sad."

"It is a scammer's haven now. Fly-by-night sites and press releases."

"Negative SEO is rampant in this niche right now and it's working"

"I feel sorry for the consumers."

"How about them YouTube videos dominating the finance SERPS"

"The serps are getting worse by the day"

"These days it doesn't stick for more than 4 days with Google
4 days? i wish... try 48 hours..."

"If on the other hand the update is over - Google has made a huge error of judgement in the aglo this time round."

"Every day i think google can't get 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."

"especially when you see sites that really shoudln't be in the results at all. I don't mind 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!"

"seems like whatever we do, it gets worse"

bsand715,

Thank you for pulling those member observations into one spot. I have just checked some of the key phrases that I watch in the financial sector, and 2 new press releases have entered the top 10. It looks like 25% of the top 100 are press releases or youtube videos now (especially page 5+). The real financial websites are gone. Those that have been around 5 to 12 years. I said it before: I feel sorry for the consumers. Any consumer who lands on a site registered 3 months ago with a fake 5-star rating and foreign backlinks may be in for a big let down, if not worse.

[edited by: crobb305 at 2:25 pm (utc) on Sep 10, 2012]

2:24 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@crobb305

What is the monthly search volume for the keywords you monitor? Are they low, medium or high volume?
2:28 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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For the phrases I am referring to, I'd say medium volume. I sent you a sticky mail to show you what I'm seeing.
2:31 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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crobb I know the exact website you're talking about. Many of those websites are in fact owned by the same person. Nothing but links from unrelated website on .ru domains and others.

In my opinion no way things will stay like this. It's not just the finance niche I'm seein this in several other competitive niches.
2:43 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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crobb I know the exact website you're talking about. Many of those websites are in fact owned by the same person. Nothing but links from unrelated website on .ru domains and others.


It's really bad. But, Google could have done an update two months ago. Rather, they want to string webmasters along for over 4 months and leave consumers with these dangerous results. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a big motivation to improve/change the current index. The quality sites that I have seen tank will probably not come back. What will come back are more newly-registered domains, with fake ratings, and .ru backlinks, along with more press releases.

Google hasn't successfully attacked spam. What they did was catch the easy stuff that might deserve a slap on the wrist and nothing more... legitimate websites that have been around for years that have attracted a large and diverse backlink profile, too much of which is being tagged as "unnatural". Google needs to let age, trust, and reputation count for something...and go after the REAL spammers. That's what will deserve fist pumping and high fives. Not the easy stuff that was all a waste of everyone's time.

[edited by: crobb305 at 2:54 pm (utc) on Sep 10, 2012]

2:45 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@imbckagn and crobb305

It is an insane amount of back links over the last 2 months. If Google doesn't catch it, then the Penguin update is for not.
2:57 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It is an insane amount of back links over the last 2 months. If Google doesn't catch it, then the Penguin update is for not.

Yeah, like you said, even the press releases that are ranking have been gaining thousands of backlinks targeting the phrase, hundreds of links in one day in some cases. Now, 25% of the top 100 on a particular high-volume query are press releases. Google: THOSE are your spammers!
4:33 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I just checked WMT for the first time in a while, and I had an enormous spike in spidering just a couple of days ago, the largest since pre-Penguin back in April. I haven't been watching my logs very closely, but I will take a look when I get a chance.
5:23 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google hasn't successfully attacked spam.


BINGO!

Just a casual check yesterday produced two sites that are blatantly using my trade name and copyrighted images from my site in an attempt to "duplicate" pages off my site. Guess what? They OUTRANK ME!

I filed DMCA's against both, but will probably wind up on the "dirty" end of the stick in the end just for filing the reports. Hitting true spammers is fine, but this whole idea of being penalized for undoing what was "standard practice" a few years ago is earning G no love from this cat.
5:59 pm on Sept 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Backdraft, WOW! That's total bull &&&&, Really. I'm sorry mate, I suffer all sorts of other similar issues that really tick me off.I conclude that Google is a bit busted. And I think they are over the line as far as investors go putting pressure on them. Rome fell! :)~

I think my site has no reported penalties but I can't figure out why two of my sites went down 50-70% fast during the Penguin Panda episodes, I never received a report I had any penalties. Driving me nuts!
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