Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2012

7:21 pm on Sep 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

< 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]

7:57 pm on Sep 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

First time poster here too.
I have a very high profile site (top 10 most shared site on Pinterest this year). And one of my pages that was shared over 50,000 times that used to rank #1 for it's term is now gone. Nowhere to be found. I have about 50 pages that are very very highly researched, original content that people share like crazy, and they're also nailed by this update. I have no words to express my anger. We put over 40 hours of original research into our top stories.
8:18 pm on Sep 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Pinterest is probably outranking you for your own content..Google may have even "attributed" your content to Pinterest..which is something I have been warning might happen..for a long time..
8:54 pm on Sep 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Top Contributors Of The Month

OH no a pinterest hijack..........:)

Give it some time it will be back
4:49 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Same thing happened to 2 of my review sites! One of them is more of an affiliate site, but it is technologically much more sophisticated than 99% of other review sites out there.

I wish G would consider THAT in their quality scores, but they aren't sophisticated enough.

My main site got clobbered by both Panda and Penguin, but these past two days have totally killed it.
7:24 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

I donīt get this an EMD- Update? What is their silly panda algo about? Find all domains with keyword but now the algo is forced not to find them?
I donīt mind if some EMD are gone, because most of them where very scary and spammy.

But this algo update shows how they have fritter with this panda algo.

diberry: Again, I'm not talking about terms I track for my sites, which are doing okay; I'm talking about a huge variety of topics I search regularly for my own personal edification.

This has pushed me to Blekko, which is still able to get me what I want, more or less - it's not as good as the others were until this month, but it's better than they are right now.

I would like to add, that i rarely trust the new #1 - #10 site when i search for information. What google presents is far away from good, reliable, deep content. It seems like the algo makes it all upsite down and with every quality update the handfull survived sites from previous updates going to get a hit, too.

diberry: Google might *possibly* be trying to confuse government probes by making the algo super-inscrutable, if that's even possible let alone plausible. It's the only potential explanation I can't immediately dismiss... but it wouldn't explain why Bing's just as bad. Unless Bing is copying everything Google does? They're not that stupid, are they?

That is my guess too in the last time. goog was forced to change their ranking system by EU guidelines not to push their own services. But somehow they did find a way to show competitors on site #1 but they donīt get traffic or the traffic does not convert. Goog can say, look at the serps they are #1, our services are #2. Somehow, i donīt know how....

I foregot to add:
My main site with self written descriptions own pictures ... has taken a huge hit again since tuesday. But my affiliate site with copy text, pictures... is back again.
7:33 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Whatever you call that update which happened during the last couple days of September leading into October, it's adjusted the SERPS to not include a good number of my quality and long standing websites. Whoosh. Gone. That's my Google update right now. I'm not there in the results. Let's not get into who deserves or doesn't deserve to get tossed into the junk pile. I was a partner in all this, that's what I think.

Right now I see a lot of squidoo, especially in image search results right now. That's not good is it? I can't find my images from my site when doing a mysite.com image search. It can't find my own content? Yikes, I've been tossed out real bad. I get the sense that Google is saying to me that those images were never really mine in the first place and now the results are attempting to place the proper ownership of those images. Apparently even product images need to be rearranged also. I see a lot of brands with their urls all over those results now. Rich getting richer in a sense.

I've had bad over the years, but this by far takes the cake. I'm hoping to read encouraging posts! Surely to goodness what I have now isn't the result of something I've done wrong is it?

I'm out for now. Trying not to post to much here!
8:30 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Never really bothered tracking keywords because traffic wasn't a problem, until something hit me earlier this year.

For a really competitive keyword that I've been keeping an eye on, despite it not even being a money term for me:

Jumped from page 6 to 4. Out of 300,000,000 results.
10:48 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Today is a complete disaster, site seems dead...
What the hell is happening?
12:01 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think Google is jacking with our stats. For the first time google, Bing and Yahoo is about the same 33%. What's that all about?
12:33 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've had 4 sites completely wiped as far as Google Serps traffic goes. My main site has gone from 4,000 uniques a day a year ago to 6 uniques yesterday.

But seemingly going hand in hand with these changes is the drop in quality a lot of Google search results. Yesterday, I typed the keywords for one of my sites into Google and found multiple pages of the same sites appearing repeatedly on page one. Whilst on page 4 of the results, the same site (not mine) appeared 10 times filling the entire page.

Similarly, I saw a post on another forum this morning where someone gave the example of searching for the term [movie title] Stockists on Google.co.uk. The top two SERPS results returned were for Tripadviser! I checked it and he's correct.

As they say; what goes around comes around!

[edited by: tedster at 6:02 pm (utc) on Oct 2, 2012]
[edit reason] please - no specific searches [/edit]

1:13 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

/\ Just tried that search, great job Google! Two sites completely dead today too. One site not had a sale for a week now, safe to assume that one has gone to digital heaven.
1:20 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

After the best weekend in 5 months, today looks to be starting slow.
1:27 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

google goal: find unrelated low content - > show page #1
Status: mission accomplished
I canīt believe that google dares to show this results.
4:34 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a whole lot of mobile traffic lately (past couple weeks). I'm finding their news inserts to be pretty unrelated to my searches, both in terms of location and content.
4:18 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's just freshness, it'll drop within a day or so.
4:26 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Pinterest will be sued into oblivion sooner or later. Lawyers are lining up already if you Google the subject for a class action lawsuit.

I'm sure at least one company that loses rankings to Pinterest will get ticked off enough to fight it the same way with authors and Google.
4:40 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Pinterest will be sued into oblivion sooner or later. Lawyers are lining up already if you Google the subject for a class action lawsuit.

I'm sure at least one company that loses rankings to Pinterest will get ticked off enough to fight it the same way with authors and Google.

I doubt they will win, as long as Pinterest removes pictures when requested it can hide behind the usersubmitted proviso that youtube and Google hide behind.

I speculated in another thread that pinterest has been appearing google images much more after this update and I think it might because Google may be in buy out talks with Pinterest and that is why this is happening. If this is so and Pinterest does come under the Google umbrella, there is no class action that can succeed. Google are the masters of handling take down requests.
11:35 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I must be the only one that still is seeing really bad SERPs when it comes to my site(s). One site that was hit hard the other day isn't even a EMD and it went from 100+ unique a day to 3 unique over night. This is a years old site and has always had between 100-200 unique a day. Not a big site but no reason to devalue it.
My main site is tanking and today looks like one of the wors days since inception. Might as well pack my bags and get out of this business all together because this is just rediculous if you ask me.
11:52 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

My sites still haven't recovered, either. Normal traffic on one (which had steadily been declining since Panda and Penguin) was about 400/day. The last 3 days have been 120, 113, 138.
2:46 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm hoping a penguin update will happen this month so I can finally see whether my site has any hope in coming back to where it was ranking before the first penguin update in April. Anyone else waiting on this update so you can decide whether to close or keep your site?
2:58 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not waiting on an update but giving it until Christmas to see what happens. Simply can't live like this, better to close down a 10 year old business than get sick with worry. Some results are just shockingly bad but G seems to just plough on. IMO it's always bad when one company dominates any market, imagine how boring the world would be with only one car manufacturer.....
3:42 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Ty Google is non existing. Not sure WTH has happened.... Both bing ad yahoo is anon more traffic now.
4:10 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok, that's what I figured. Safari iOS6 searches are now on SSL = no more keyword referring data for those either. It's getting trickier.
4:54 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

The most devastating thing about the last update is that conversion has decreased! I don't know what the did in the last 2-3 weeks, but conversion what through the roof. I was getting the same traffic, yet the revenue skyrocketed. After this update, my traffic actually increased, but the revenue plummeted.

Does this make any sense?
5:02 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

ohno: which update was your site affected by? penguin 1.0?
5:33 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

However, it's been about three months since the last refresh of Penguin (1.1).
There were no other refresh and/or updates.
An implicit admission of a ... epic failure (IMHO).

Sites with no content, unrelated SERPS, link buyer etc... all on top.
Just take a look at SERPS.

However, obviously I'm wrong. All is working fine...
5:40 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

ohno: which update was your site affected by? penguin 1.0?

To be 100% honest I really do not know. We are still ticking over but can go days with zero sales then all of a sudden they come back. The instability first started way back with May Day. One site that hasn't had a sale in a week came back Monday yet another site that is normally OK has been down since the same time. I don't think we can pin it all on our sites, I think what we are seeing is the domino effect of others being affected. If I make no ĢĢĢ then I don't make stock orders, If I don't buy from my supplier they don't buy from theirs & so on.........
6:40 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

I'm hoping a penguin update will happen this month... ...Anyone else waiting on this update

Yes. I blocked 2,000+ backlinks, all with the same key 2-word term as anchor-text, that were almost certainly negative SEO in May. WMT still reports 41 of them - good evidence that Google doesn't spider suspect pages very often - and I would prefer the count to be zero before an update to be sure of an effect, but an update now would probably give an indication.
7:09 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes. I blocked 2,000+ backlinks

Please elaborate on this... Blocked, or contacted webmasters and had them removed? If you blocked them, what method did you use?

Also - good progress getting them out of WMT! We parsed our link profile to clean it up as well, but GWT still reports many of them as being there after several months.
This 336 message thread spans 12 pages: 336

Featured Threads

My Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month