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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2012



11:23 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Today has just been a miserable day.

For us this whole week has been miserable.

Traffic numbers more or less unchanged but hardly any sales, online enquiries or phone calls...(except for loads of spam emails). The only sales we did get came from paid ads.... organic visitors all seem to be dead beats.

It is like someone or something is cheery picking all the buyers and sending our way only the crap. I wounder who it is...

Off to reducing our ad spend again... the till is simply empty!

[edited by: tedster at 4:05 pm (utc) on Nov 2, 2012]


10:53 am on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)


Martin Ice Web

11:33 am on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

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


did you notice that since 27/11 it is change to even worse?
Everyday till 12am we get zombies after 12am we get very low traffic the whole day. Sometimes no traffic for 10-20 minutes, then 1 or two visitors, 5 minutes normal traffic, 10-20 minutes no traffic.....
At night it seems top settle down.
We saw this pattern in late septemer after the panda 27 update. I think we stuck in a deep panda update which is rolling out since 3 days.

From Cutts statements to have more conversation between webamsters and google is nothing left.

ecom, germany


12:11 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Panda confirmed on the 22nd.

Martin Ice Web

12:25 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

22nd? There must have been another update on the 27?


12:25 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ Martin Ice Web

sitting in the same boat.... similar behaviour


12:26 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Huge drop in uniques Thurs 29/11, -24% compared with Thursday last week 22/11



12:33 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

We was skyrocking till 26. and then suddenly on 27. boom and down... well back to normal tho :-)


12:54 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Panda occured on the 21st, but it was #22.

[seroundtable.com ]


12:57 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I noticed a nice lift on the 27th (on a pandalized site), so I'm surprised to hear this 21st date being confirmed.

As I think about it, it makes sense I guess. It could have rolled out on the 21st, but I didn't notice because Thanksgiving weekend is dead for my site. Monday may have also been a wash on account of Cyber Monday (people spending their internet time on sites other than mine).

So there's a good chance I wouldn't have noticed until the 27th anyway.


12:58 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Panda update on 21st - as I predicted in this thread on 22nd. My traffic has halved on that site ever since.


1:10 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is weird. Got a 50% bump on the 26th on a Panda hit site and it's holding. No movement around 21st... What happened on the 26th/27th ?


1:33 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ klark0

where you located?


2:10 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

It seems to have taken a few days for the effect to be noticed, at least for us. Possibly a result of the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend? The big boost in traffic came on Monday.

menntarra 34

2:35 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ klark0
@ Dymero
I too sensed the hit on 26th/27th , nothing around 22th ...


3:31 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It seems like we are obsessed with Pandas and Penguin updates, but what about all other updates that they don't even tell us about? We get "verification" from Google since they are asked about specific updates. So, has anybody "recovered" for more than a couple of days? Referring to another thread, has all of you more than one web site that have been hit by updates? See the other web sites also hit and are they ""crappy"? I have said before, the penalties now are per web master and not per web site.....


3:34 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I saw the official Panda 22 anouncement on SERoundtable. (Had been checking for days.)

As posted previously here, I benefited. On the order of 40%, which puts me at half the traffic I had before hit by Panda 2.0.

As others have discussed here on WebmasterWorld, I think Panda measures searcher satisfaction with your site via
metrics like "long clicks" from the SERP's, and few bounce backs to the SERP's to click the next listing.
I think you beat Panda by making your website better meet your visitor's needs.

Anyway, here's what I have have to say. For the last 4 months or so I have basically been making one type
of change on my site. I have about 20 related topics. I have simply been providing better navigation between
the pages within each topic. I ended up using page-top tabs navigation.

When improved navigation was implemented in a section, its bounce rate dropped (instantly) about 20%.
Pages-per-visit and time-on-site improved too. To me, that meant my website was better meeting the
needs of my visitors.

Adding this navigation has been difficult for me and has taken a lot of time (4 months so far). Of course, I started with my most-trafficed topics. (I wanted the biggest bang for my efforts up front, these first topics accounted for probably 75% of my traffic.)

Slowly I continued on with each successive topic.
Right now I've completed this task on 90% of my total pages.

Here's my point. I started this task 4 months ago, and created an immediate improvement in user stats for the VAST MAJORITY of my TRAFFIC (visitors), yet 4 or 5 Panda updates passed me by without effect.

But now that I've completed work (and improved user metrics) on the VAST MAJORITY of my TOTAL PAGES (about 90% of pages have been improved), finally I get a partial Panda release.

To me (as mentioned in my previous post here), this explains why I benefited from Panda 1.0 and got nailed by Panda 2.0 (the first Panda update to evaluate the "long tail" more closely).

When Panda 1.0 evaluated just my core, high-traffic pages (money-keyword pages) I evidently had good enough user stats (see my previous post in this thread).

When my long-tail pages were included in the Panda 2.0 evaluation I got Pandalized. I had too many total website pages that demonstrated poor user experience.

Just my opinion. Hope it can help someone.


4:01 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I just watched an interesting video on panda/penguin and something stood out to me.

We are all messing about trying to work out what's wrong with our pages right, but what if some of our drops are simply due to the sites that link to us being hit and their juice devalued.

We can mess around all we like but we will never recover, it then becomes about links and nothing about on-page (directly) as Google would have you think when it comes to these two algorithms.

menntarra 34

4:03 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)


Well i do hope the best for you, but i feel you might just had a happy panda and maybe the next one will be angry!

I worked to raise user metrics on my site since a year, and my hard work resulted in double "time-on-site", halving "bounce-back-rate".
In 3 pandas (in August till November) i've been rewarded, i've been given total of 30% boost, i was like hapy as ever, only to lose 50% of my traffic on the 17th of November and i'm down since... So now i'm just clueless. My visitors like my site, no doubt, but google does not.

After 3 happy pandas, came the angry one taking away more than all 3 had given me before.


4:48 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm sorry for your recent change. In June I had a Panda gain that was later taken away. This whole thing is simply no fun.

And I'd be the first to agree that a few days of better traffic doesn't mean it will be lasting.

I noticed you state a date Nov. 17th. The reported Panda date (seroundtable) was the 21st. The three big effects I've had from Panda exactly correlated with the date others reported.

SeRoundtable, on Nov 20th states they contacted Google and were told that there had been no Panda update over that previous weekend.

I'm no expert on Panda "flux," nor the veracity of what Google says, etc... but when looking for your solution, you might keep an open eye on what might have caused it. Best of luck.


5:10 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Possible Penguin?

Noticed rankings drop on a few keywords in the last week. No noticeable drop in traffic but definite keyword slips. Down about 20 spots.


5:11 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well - that's it. I give up. I've been well and truely goosed by a panda (we've been dropping since Nov 6th, then hit again 21st and today has been just horrid).

I've tried pretty much everything I can think of including a full redesign/content purge and merge.

The only thing I'm clinging on to now is that during our redesign (launched early Sept) I noticed that we had an enormous amount of "pages not selected" in GWC - likely caused by dodgy url rewriting script - which is now fixed - although all these urls will now give 404 errors...

If anyone can think what I'm doing wrong then I'd love to hear from you.


5:19 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

Looking back, I see a big dip in Google traffic on 11/21-22 on my Penguinized/Pandalyzed site, but then the traffic shoots up on 11/23 to a modest increase which has been holding ever since. But I don't see any shifts around the 27th. My site is informational - are those of you who saw shifts on the 27th all ecommerce? If so, maybe there was a separate algo update that affected ecommerce sites?

It also occurred to me that the 27th was the day after Cyber Monday, so there probably was a huge drop in online shopping that day. But (a) that doesn't affect every ecommerce site, such as B2B which buys according to fiscal events rather than holidays and (b) if that's all it was, you'd be seeing a drop in ALL search traffic, and I'm assuming you all checked into that and found it was just Google.


5:26 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

but what if some of our drops are simply due to the sites that link to us being hit and their juice devalued.

This is what these updates are to me as well - my site hasn't been hit, it's the some of the sites linking to me that were devalued.

Martin Ice Web

6:35 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

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


hope it sticks for you. I had the same observation, gained a lot of traffic and keys back´. The last 2 updates were good to my site only to loose all on 27th. Panda is just the axe in the woods. Its cutting sometimes on the right left or in the middle. But it can´t decide which way to go.

The next problem is, that german serps are coruppted in such a way that searching is no fun. If u look for a bike u will find cars? How do you satisfy a user who is looking for bikes and comes to your site an sees cars? A better navigation is not the solution. Not to mention that amazon is allways on target.

ecom, germany

menntarra 34

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


The first reason i neglected the confirmed panda date is because google always delaying the announcment of the update by some days.
The second reason is: i ONLY have been affected by PANDA (amongst bigalgorithmic changes in google in the last 2 years.
The third reason: i've been affected by all the pandas since May.
And the forth reason is: A lot of us have reported big big changes around the 17th of November.
So all in all i think that was the beginning of this panda update. They were the little panda children :)
Here let the facts talk :



7:43 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I notice today a hugh difference between long tail vs. short keywords

long tails are way up today...


7:53 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Today long tail completely gone.
Traffic from G[dot]com is "zero", remaining traffic is "z": no interaction, 1 or 2 pageview and coming (as Analytics shows) from "not provided"... mha...

Informational (Gaming), hosted in USA


9:05 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I have a blog located in Belgium (Europe)
Traffic is going down by 25% since the last 2 days but, when I search for my target keywords, I'm still on top and my ranking tools teel me the same.

You would think that people have other things to do than surfing the web these days, but, no, there's no thanksgiving here or anything like that.

So...keywords still ranking, users stopped clicking ?

You would than think: so many people have read these pages that they just skip them now. But the traffic would than decrease on a longer timeframe, right ?

I'm totally clueless about this.

A second point i'd like to make is:

I'm very happy for those of you who recovered from any kind of animal the were hit by, and I hope it will last for them, but it seems to me that now, Google decides what is good and what is not on our wesites ?

Really, I don't need Google to tell me how I should build my navigation or if my content is interesting enough.

I'm seeing so much junk in the SERP's these days (websites with lots of content(=lost of links and keywords in anchor texts ) but very poor quality articles are ranking good.

Google is just not qualified to decide.

Interestingly, I'm quite happy to sse that my visitors are sharing and tweeting my content in such a way that at some point, I won't have to care about what Google thinks of my blog.


9:13 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It seems to have taken a few days for the effect to be noticed, at least for us. Possibly a result of the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend? The big boost in traffic came on Monday.

I noticed this in the reports here myself, and another theory I have for the lag is:

We know they only run Panda on occasion, because it's 'too big' to be an 'every day thing', so maybe the report of the date is when it was started rather than completed and the noticed effects of the run take time to 'push' completely into the live results, and, in my opinion, changes could quite possibly be (likely are for something that big) pushed in 'segments' so some those in a 'result segment' where the run is completed first might notice a change sooner than those in a later 'result segment'.

* I haven't bothered to look for a definitive answer, because I figure I'll see the changes when I see 'em and why there's a lag between the announced date and seeing changes isn't something I think of as critical. It really doesn't make much difference to me, so it's more curiosity than anything.


9:26 pm on Nov 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Good point Gandhalf,

The King G will fade slowly as many marketers and SEO people will uses other means to attract visitors on a website. G is a manipulator and is driven by cash ! Look how youtube has change since G as bought it, Publicity everytime you click on something.

G will become #2 search engine soon, I can't wait for this to happen !
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