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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]

11:31 am on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It's getting worse by the minute and it's not worth the 80 bucks a month I pay for hosting. I have several sites and all of them have been hit, mostly by the last so called update.
The thing, as I have reported before, is that the serps for my sites seem OK but no hits. WMT reports a huge drop in search termes so something is totally wrong. Can they put a penalty on a server? Bad neighborhood (to yourself)?
11:40 am on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday was bad today even worse. So obvious when they have been turning the knobs.
12:49 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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the serps for my sites seem OK but no hits


So either people are finding but not selecting your sites or

WMT reports a huge drop in search termes


there are less searches for those terms on Google.

IF - someone searches for a term on Google
AND - your site is well-placed in the results

THEN - lack of traffic cannot be attributed to Google.
12:59 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@wilburforce, I understand your reasoning but if you have a term that is common and that people use get frequently and it shows up from time to time in my stats, how come it goes in spurts? To me its hard to believe that suddenly there are people using the same keywords for about 10 minutes and then nobody for an hour?
To me the huge drop in wmt means that when people are searching for something, it doesn't match the words on my site anymore.
1:12 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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A few things. Traffic throttling, zombies & personalised search. How can anyone tell how their site performs in the SERP's? & as above, how come you can go days with zero traffic/sales then all of a sudden the flood gates open. A fair few people see this happening (over completely different sectors & countries). Take today (& yesterday), why have two of our sites suddenly died again? Has everyone decided they no longer require our products? ALL on the same day/time? Why does this always happen post foreign junk traffic? (although funnily enough the foreign junk traffic has stuck around for much longer than I can ever remember, possibly because Google's updates are getting more frequent with bigger impact-daily?) The SERP's look the same to me, as to what they look like to a potential customer I have no idea...........
1:17 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@gehrlekrona

What do your own logs show? What are the numbers (is a spurt 10 searches or 200)? Could a 10-minute spurt in fact be a single user (or a couple of users on the phone to each other)?

To me the huge drop in wmt means that when people are searching for something, it doesn't match the words on my site anymore


I broadly agree with that. I have been looking into various factors in my own main two-word search term, and (e.g.) the on-page count of that term in the top 40 results is generally very low (with several sites having a zero count, and one with a zero count of either word.

Clearly Google is giving other factors greater weight than phrase-match for overall relevance (whether or not this improves the results for the end-user), which could result in a shift in WMT reports for some terms on some site.
2:27 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Ohno - as usual, I am seeing the exact same pattern as you are. Prior to 9/29, traffic was all zombie...on 9/29, the flood gates opened and stayed that way for a dozen days. Suddenly on 10/11, the pattern changed again and conversions have now slowed to a crawl....again. It may be due to loss of referrals from highly targeted sites. That's what my logs are indicating.
2:33 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Here's my best guess. In the midst of all updates, or as a result of it, they are removing all link juice from any site and is now just using their own new scoring mechanism. All updates have led up to this point and now they are trying to figure out the SERPs....
4:00 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It may be due to loss of referrals from highly targeted sites. That's what my logs are indicating.

Then it's not Google traffic?
6:46 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have been reading these posts since my money site was victim on the 29th when i lost 65 percent of all organic search, google got their way and i activated adwords which i have always refused to used.

Anyway, i dont need to say whats happened to my sites as its the same as you all, what i want to know is?

Is this an error by google and will is be fixed?

If not what can we do to fix it, i have re wrote our entire site with new content and removed all potential spam problems?

Removed all duplicate content

Submited to google for a reconsideration request, who replied saying manual spam is not the issue for my lost serps.

Built many more links

What else can i do? im at the point where i cant see what else can i do other than sit and wait and pray that i take my normal place, oh and set bing as my default search engine cos im sick of looking at the stupid colours of the google logo every time i refresh my serps
6:54 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@ kevmark

Was your site an EMD?

What type of links had you built in the past? Blog posts, social commenting and article submission stuff?
7:01 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My money site is an emd for 1 keyword, but this keyword is still number one so it cant be the emd update.

A mix of all links really, i buy advertising banners and links but not really focused too much as links have seemed to grow on their own, i must admit though i built several emd websites with loads of links to my main websites, when i found out this was wrong i have removed them, but again, this cant be the problem as googles reply to my reconsideration request says no manualy spamming detacted.

Thanks for responding
7:07 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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i must admit though i built several emd websites with loads of links to my main websites, when i found out this was wrong i have removed them


Was this before or after the drop in rankings?
7:09 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Kevmark:

Welcome to the new Google everflux...changes daily for your pleasure. Seriously though, if you just watch these posts, you can see the ebb and flow or the serps as updates are released. I hope they one day find a cure for what ails the serps, but for now there's not much to due but wait out the storms. Today seems like of of those days.
7:09 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Kevmark the timing of seems to tie in with the EMD update, did it fall at all further from subsequent updates?
7:14 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This was before the drop and they have all been online for a few years during my early years of learning what to do in terms of seo

Since the drop they were all removed as i suspected this might be the problem.

Although all my serps seem to have gone done google seem to have dropped mainly one page, my main sub page, i suspected this might be for too much of the same anchor text to this page from within my main site and my other websites, so i removed everything. But still googles reply says no maunal spamming detacted, so by what there saying my actions did not effect my serps,
7:20 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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No other previous updates effected us, i thought it might be the emd update as my usa version of the website has dropped for the emd keyword, but the uk websire is still number one for this emd

If it is the emd update, then what can i do.

There are quality sites out there who use emd domains, just because its a emd domain does not mean it should be dropped if you have quality content (in my opinion of course, everyone says there website is quality)
9:04 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Are your uk and USA versions duplicate?
10:00 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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All of the interlinking from your own properties could definitely get caught up in the penguin algo. Especially if you are using the same anchor text over and over. Was it site wide stuff too? It just seems odd that it happened on the day or day after the EMD update happened.
9:35 pm on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Our site isnt even an EMD and we were apparently hit by the october 5 update. :(
9:41 pm on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Bewenched I think that was Penguin, but they all came so quickly its a blur
9:46 pm on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yes, October 5 was a Penguin Refresh so it might have impacted anyone, and not just an EMD. The EMD change was on September 28.

However, since it was only a Data Refresh and not an Update (a change to the Penguin Algorithm) it seems to me that it would only impact a site that was previously unaffected if it made significant changers since the last Penguin Data Refresh on May 26.

All these dates and different updates can get confusing I know. That's one reason why we're keeping a master lists for all the big changes we know about - see Monthly Reference - Google Updates and SERP Changes [webmasterworld.com]
2:13 am on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Anyone noticing an increase in long tail referrals today? US Based ecom site seeing a gain of about 10% in long tail referrals and phrases found by.
5:06 am on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I noticed that on the 12th, according to Webmaster Tools, all 5 of the sites I have registered with WMT lost impressions, and more again the next day, yet click through (according to WMT) was the about same. One of my sites did bounce back up a notch on the 14th (with even stronger click numbers). Was there any known update that rolled out on the 12th, or did the ATF update take this long to completely roll out? There was for sure a noticeable dip in the traffic graph for all of my sites.
6:27 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My spidey sense tells me something rolled through at some point yesterday(16th). SERP's have remained static for terms I check for some time now mind....
10:24 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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US results in UK SERPs, dates are right... Panda is on his way. I'm guessing noticeable effect by Friday.
10:28 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Have you seen anything yet Pete? We had a great start to the week then a switch was flicked yesterday. However we had nearly hit out WEEKLY target by the end of Monday. I've seen this many times before, it really is like G know how much $$$ we have taken then rein us back in over the rest of the week. Spooky.
10:39 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure there was a Panda refresh yesterday(16th), i have 5% traffic increase.
10:40 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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SERPs are moving for me
12:09 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@ohno nothing as yet but I've made significant changes to two sites, so I am expecting fireworks as soon as they are run through Panada... no sparks as yet!
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