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Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2012

     
7:21 pm on Sep 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Hi All - First time poster long time lurker.

The sites I run have been decimated by this last change (or changes). All affiliate sites, many with good articles, great product browsing, responsive design etc. Traffic is down 90% overnight - conversions on whats left are terrible! Never ever seen it this bad. If Google are trying to eliminate affiliate sites they did a pretty good job on mine.

I have lots of EMDs which were hit hard, but also many non EMD sites that were also hit hard.

Almost seems like Google is trying to confuse us by giving us a Panda update 10 or so days ago, closely followed by EMD destruction and Image update... Now its really getting tricky to figure out what actually caused the drop in traffic, let alone recover.

I'm still sorting through the debris trying to figure out why some sites survived and the majority didn't.

[edited by: tedster at 4:37 am (utc) on Oct 1, 2012]

12:43 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a lot of flux late lastnight through this morning in the US serps. Anyone else noticing the same?


I saw this last night but this morn it's back to normal.
1:28 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Seems like something is rolling through. Lots of activity.
3:29 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Woah, an unexpected 40% increase in traffic on a Panda hit site today. Looks like something is rolling out for sure!

Edit: ATF update has just rolled out. The website was hit Jan 19th, which coincided with ATF and Panda update.

Interesting.
4:49 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Pjman/financialhost RE:DNS warnings

I just logged into my google webmaster tools account and had messages too. Now I know for a fact our site wasn't down because I use services that notify me of any issue. There have been no DNS warnings.

Sounds like Google has a bug.
10:05 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Did someone notice the return of domain spamming, mostly amazon and ebay?
10:44 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Minor weather report (don't you just love those reports), back to dead Thursdays. Can't say I'm surprised, said yesterday they were up to something. Foreign traffic gone along aith all other traffic. Replaced by the occasional burst of zombies. Groundhog day.
11:01 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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ohno, I love them ;)
Also u donīt have good news.
1:58 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Well, you haven't heard from me in nearly two weeks, simply because the past two weeks were delivering a steady stream of "natural" unfettered traffic that was converting quite well. Of course as 'Ohno' observes, it's Thursday and that usually means poor traffic. It's early, but all indications are that this is going to be a slow day...hope it's only temporary. In checking the serps, I see a lot of garbage in there again. I'd have to guess that another medium 'quality' update just rolled through.
2:43 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing really bad results for me this morning and bad SERPs. I thought it was because I got got a span can report that my site "did not have a manual spam applied....".
As usual it went up after the email and then down again. My guess us that they removed something that made it open to other penalties. Go figure..
2:49 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Some of my main keywords had a huge jump, some from "nowhere" to page 20 and some from page 40 to spot #7/#10.

But no traffic... today I received only 20 hits by Google. This is a mistery...
2:57 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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just tried a search for google portugal on google.ro well did not see google.pt on first page, only on google.com. I just tried it be cause I was sick of searching what I was looking for and did not get any good results what so ever, so i tried this test, well also suck. I would say that google has gone 5-6 years back in time regarding search quality, also this domain stuffing gets on my nerves.
3:07 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Has the webmasterworld forum also been hit to some extent? For some reason, I never bookmark or note the domain, so usually ran the generic google.com search 'webmaster forum google'. The webmasterworld forum would always appear around the 1st and 2nd results on page one, but now appears down on page two.
3:19 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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backdraft, nice to hear from you. As we are 8 hours in front of you ;) i can tell you, the day was one of the worsest the last 10 days :o

As i stated before amzon and ebay rule again within the first 30 positions. Even if the keywords do not match they are on first page.
3:41 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing the exact opposite. Our referrals have been slowing rising from Monday. They dropped off about 10% three to four weeks ago and look like today for the first time to be back to where they were. Best traffic we've seen in weeks. Hopefully it holds.
3:45 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Snowman, were are you located?
3:46 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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USA...It is our main ecom site.
3:48 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We are in Germany, we saw the very same till point 10.30 am MEST. The switch off, bad serps on. Maybe u are 8 hours later?!
3:54 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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PM was deffo better than AM for us (UK). Traffic improved around 2pm. SERP's look unchanged to me.
4:05 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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my foreign traffic was through the roof this morning, 200% of normal (US-based site). I notice my rankings are much, much higher on some phrases on google.com.au and google.co.uk. I don't understand how something can be considered "spam" in the U.S., and not spam in other English-speaking countries. Google clearly has no idea what they are doing. Linguistically, statistically, or otherwise. It's time they wrap up what seems to be a college capstone project, give each unpaid intern a grade of "C" for their college credit, and let the experienced engineers get back to working on the real Google that we loved a few years ago (if there are any experienced engineers left).
5:40 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Our traffic seems to be holding steady.
6:21 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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<<Has the webmasterworld forum also been hit to some extent?>>

Well, I also come here not by using a bookmark (I am bad at bookmarking and just search) but by simply googling my username because then it brings me to my profile page from where I can simply go to the threads that I have been interested in.

Since this update, my username is not to be found until page 5. It used to be on page one.
7:38 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Traffic from Google today is almost non existing..... WTF? SERPs looks ok but where is the traffic?
7:41 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Getting a way a bit from traffic up and downs ...

Anyone else see this ?

With horizontal breadcrumbs at top of page ( our new design )SERPS show

Title blue widget
homepage link > widget link >blue widget
Description snippet for blue widget

rather like a mini menu, compared with

Left hand menu only, no horizontal menu ( our old design) SERPS show

Title blue widget
http://www.example.com/bluewidget.html
Description snippet for blue widget

We just happen not to have 100% roll out of our new design.

Is this new ? or is it a sign of something else and fits in with above the fold updates ?
9:15 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Strange day....very low percentage of mobile visitors (17%), yet conversions are lower than normal. Recently, on our best converting days, the mobile percentage in more like the 30% range. That's the opposite as to what we'd expect.
9:35 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Since this update, my username is not to be found until page 5. It used to be on page one.


Hmmmmmmmm. So do you take the scenic route to get here like clicking through to page 5 then your profile or have you bookmarked your page now? Also, have you noticed if eBay and Amazon type sites on page 1 have you in stock for good prices?
1:03 am on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I had increased traffic since the Penguin update, then more increase traffic during the EMD update, and traffic remained the same the morning of the ATF update, but that afternoon traffic went down to almost the exact same levels as before the Penguin update. So everything reverted for me.
5:13 am on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Nevermind. Traffic from Google is actually up from last week still, despite the fact that some pages somehow went down 4 pages. Traffic is down from other sources, including direct hits for some reason. That's all.
7:14 am on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Can't help but note that two members use Google to find WebmasterWorld. One has reached "senior" status, the other has been a member for 5 years.

To me, this shows that it is pure fantasy to suggest Google does not need to promote brands in SERPs on the basis that "people go there directly".
7:56 am on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Also, have you noticed if eBay and Amazon type sites on page 1 have you in stock for good prices?


Uaah, i like this one. ++1

Google acts now like someone who has no clue and just give amazon and ebay as answer.
With the latest update german serps are totaly useless. This now moved me complete to bing and this is what i tell everyone, go to bing.
9:06 am on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Very little change for my sites, although I have seen some nasty looking search queries as I use G for personal searches.

What's interesting is when a site seems to go "quiet" it's the mobile traffic seems to be going AWOL.

Also the G traffic has not been converting as well as normal, yesterday certainly.
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