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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2012

     

xcoder

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]

SnowMan68

12:48 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Chalky are you in the USA? I looked at my logs based on region and city and US traffic in the Northeast were down As much as 50% in areas hit by the hurricane. Curious what it will look like when the 5 millions plus that still are without power are back up and running.

ohno

12:54 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



The last 30 of your 35 posts are completely useless.

Then read the 5 you feel aren't useless. It really isn't that hard.

chalkywhite

12:55 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Im uk based however the site gets 90%+ of its traffic from the USA, if it is the hurricane I didnt notice any issues the last two days, seems a definate backlash today. Normally get I huge traffic surge 2pm GMT when the east coast awakes.

Claaarky, one of these sites is a multi Panda victim, so if you are seeing improvement maybes ( hope not ) im getting bit again.

garyr_h

1:04 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You must remember that 31 was Halloween (family day/movie day) and Nov 1 is a huge holiday for hispanic catholics.

nabeez

1:08 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



@claaarky: Congrats! what niche your website in?

"chalkywhite, traffic on my Panda hit site is 40% up today so far, long tail traffic massively improved, conversion yesterday from Google traffic very, very good. "

klark0

1:12 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Get over myself? You don't think I have sites that aren't performing well and that haven't been pegged by an update? The last 30 of your 35 posts are completely useless. All you do is complain on here and are part of the reason why people continue to leave the forums. Look in the mirror and get over yourself.


Finally! Am glad somebody said it.

IanTurner

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

WebmasterWorld Administrator ianturner is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



claarky - what did you do to the site to improve it? - as it does look like you are recovering from Panda.

Wilburforce

1:15 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



You don't have to read it


No, but it distracts us from more intelligent lines of inquiry.

In this thread the original poster's task ("trying to figure out why some sites survived and the majority didn't") isn't helped by jumping at imaginary shadows.

In my sector it looks like high keyword count/density/emphasis (both on-site and in backlink profile) are now counter-productive for Google, but still carry weight for Bing/Yahoo.

Similarly, outward links to other authority sites now seem to be harmful (or at best worthless) for Google, but still add authority for Bing/Yahoo.

These conclusions are suggested by what the pages in current results contain (i.e. very low keyword count), by on-site changes I have made (e.g. lowering keyword count/emphasis, removing outward links, rewording).

If anyone else has reached similar - or different - conclusions, adding them might help us remain focused.

However, I am confident that Google are far more interested in factors like click-through and bounce-rate than in how big my business is or what I last bought (unlike Amazon, who have emailed me repeatedly about everything that might possibly be related to the christmas present I got for my nephew two years ago).

Wilburforce

1:16 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



...and if there are Christians among you, I apologies: I meant Christmas present.

xcoder

1:17 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



The last 30 of your 35 posts are completely useless.


On the contrary, those posts are very usfull because they are a true reflection of what is really going on.

I have a number of ecom sites myself and what i found is that almost always when i experience them "going quite" i see reports here of other members experiencing the exact same problem within same time frames.... a clear pattern.

What I find "useless" are posts about random hourly changes in traffic numbers...

[edited by: xcoder at 1:30 pm (utc) on Nov 1, 2012]

claaarky

1:21 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



IanTurner, has there been a Panda announcement then?

Probably need to see how the rest of the day goes and for an official announcement before I can even start to believe it could be a Panda recovery.

I will share the details if it's confirmed though.

IanTurner

1:28 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ianturner is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I am seeing my Panda hit site suffering again over the last couple of days (though I haven't seen an announcement) - it looks very much like another Panda update is filtering through.

SnowMan68

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



That's perfect xcoder, you and ohno can start up a new thread about conspiracy theories with google stealing the converting traffic.

Somehow I highly doubt Google is able to pick out converting traffic and direct it towards other sites (besides yours), when they can't even serve good results or purge the index of all the spam. At some point you have to sit back and think, maybe it is actually something about my site that isn't converting....Just because your site converted well 1-10 years ago, doesn't mean that it is going to convert forever at the same rate. The web is very fluid and what people like (trust) changes. By sitting here complaining that it's Googles fault and not your own is ridiculous. Instead of wasting everyones time and making us filter through all of the useless posts, start a new thread and complain there. OR....try making changes to your site to convert the traffic you are currently getting OR go after new traffic.

ohno

1:41 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Just because your site converted well 1-10 years ago, doesn't mean that it is going to convert forever at the same rate

What if multiple sites in different countries convert well one day yet fall off a cliff the next? What if these wild fluctuations coincide with Matt Cutts' stupid "weather reports"? ie, Google updates? Oh, & I won't be making changes to our sites to pick up the traffic we do get, we sell UK specific products so I doubt anyone from the countries we are getting traffic from would be interested in them. You carry on burying your head in the sand making changes to please Google. Like a dog chasing its tail........

TypicalSurfer

1:53 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



conspiracy theories with google stealing the converting traffic.


Don't confuse theories with the facts, if you read the transcript from googles last earnings conference call they plainly stated that monetizing user intent was a big part of their direction. Mis-characterizing the business entity known as google helps no one, they are no longer interested in delivering 10 blue links but are highly focused on monetizing queries.

Understanding their intent will help you understand the algorithm.

Some things to consider:

Dial down your "commercial intent" on page, kill some of the signals that scream "buy now".

Bolt on additional content to compliment/dilute your commercial content.

Stop the magical thinking and the promotion of google as a search engine, they are interested in monetizing the worlds information, putting an ad overlay on anything they can.

You won't defeat the lion by pretending it is a rabbit.

xcoder

2:03 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Just because your site converted well 1-10 years ago


Crap. My main ecom sites are about two years old and are converting just fine with bing/yahoo or paid google traffic thank you very much. They convert just fine with google organic tarffic until some penguin/panda junk is being declared. Good luck remodeling your own website and chasing the wind (googles wind that is) with every 24 hours update. Not everyone is capable of seeing the obvious, so i don't blame you.

Don't confuse theories with the facts, if you read the transcript from googles last earnings conference call they plainly stated that monetizing user intent was a big part of their direction. Mis-characterizing the business entity known as google helps no one, they are no longer interested in delivering 10 blue links but are highly focused on monetizing queries.


BINGO!

[edited by: xcoder at 2:17 pm (utc) on Nov 1, 2012]

ohno

2:04 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



@ TypicalSurfer, the sites that seem to be dominating our niche (eBay & Amazon) couldn't shout "buy now" any louder if they tried! Can you elaborate on your thinking?

TypicalSurfer

2:16 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



@ TypicalSurfer, the sites that seem to be dominating our niche (eBay & Amazon) couldn't shout "buy now" any louder if they tried! Can you elaborate on your thinking?


I'm sure they are white-listed. I wouldn't look at them as something to defeat but as perma-links similar to wikipedia, their advertising partnerships are too strong to ignore. Don't focus on them.

ohno

2:21 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Those were exactly my thoughts so I'm glad someone else concluded the same. The only others I've noticed in my niche are heavy Adwords advertisers. Maybe that tells me all I need to know?! Foreign traffic has tonned down throughout the day. I'd guarantee an update has (still is) rolling through.

TypicalSurfer

2:27 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The only others I've noticed in my niche are heavy Adwords advertisers.


I don't see that connect but stand by the amazon/ebay thing, they are white listed so don't try to analyze their ranking factors. They rank because they are. :)

xcoder

2:31 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Dial down your "commercial intent" on page, kill some of the signals that scream "buy now".


Removing the "shopping cart" or "Buy now" button are definitely NOT going to improve sales. :-)

Which brings us all back to the starting point. Massive abuse of monopolistic power and illegal obstruction of trade to small businesses. They have the entire market cornered and they now squeeze it dry. Are we spouse to go down quiet or continuously change our websites every 24 hours and fall into their traps. Hell no i say.

No it is not rain! It is what it is... no point to tone it down really. Exactly the opposite if we want things to change back to normal...

[edited by: xcoder at 2:34 pm (utc) on Nov 1, 2012]

SnowMan68

2:33 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Good luck remodeling your own website and chasing the wind (googles wind that is) with every 24 hours update. Not everyone is capable of seeing the obvious, so i don't blame you.


Never said I chase anything. I just don't blame my problems on someone or something else.

SnowMan68

2:36 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Thank you Typicalsurfer for actually providing useful insight. The problem is that others are on here daily complaining about the same stuff, over and over. I bet I speak for a lot of people when I say I am sick of having to weed through their useless comments.

I am done filling the thread with my own complaints about these certain individuals. I have been holding it back for months now and finally had to let it go.

xcoder

2:38 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



I just don't blame my problems on someone or something else.


Yes, good for you.

Lets see what the FTC has to say about this whole thing very soon. I wounder who are they going to blame...

ohno

2:38 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



Never said I chase anything. I just don't blame my problems on someone or something else.

So you delude yourself that your site is the problem?! If that were true sites wouldn't come back like the flick of a switch with ZERO CHANGES made. That is the fact I'm afraid. Indeed one site has suddenly come back to life today after being in the dark for 7 days. Will it last? No chance I'd say.....
It isn't the buying public that has radically changed over the past 12-18 months.

1script

2:39 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



From what I can see in the SERPs I watch, Google has actually cranked the commercial intent dial all the way up, not down! It's Amazon all over the first pages again just as during the late Summer 2012 host crowding debacle.

I think they (and the rest of the world, at least on the retail side) have happily entered the Christmas sales season when anything you do seems to have commercial intent by default.

ak_web

2:42 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)




Get over myself? You don't think I have sites that aren't performing well and that haven't been pegged by an update? The last 30 of your 35 posts are completely useless. All you do is complain on here and are part of the reason why people continue to leave the forums. Look in the mirror and get over yourself.



Finally! Am glad somebody said it.


It was said many times before. Mods just don't want to do anything. They prefer to see sales reports and conspiracy theories posted rather than nothing.

And here we go : 4 mods + 10 complaining losers + 2 real webmasters = modern Webmaster World

Oh, and awarded Tedster !

ohno

2:43 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



The problem is that others are on here daily complaining about the same stuff, over and over. I bet I speak for a lot of people when I say I am sick of having to weed through their useless comments.

& others post that they have recovered from X Y Z only to find days/weeks later they are back to square one. Can ANY SINGLE person on here post that they have recovered to pre May Day levels (when this crap first started) and stayed there? To be honest I don't give two shits what you think about me or xcoder or anyone for that matter. If the mods don't like it then delete my account. I'm not self important & will keep my thinking & thoughts to myself. You can then all pat yourselves on the back & carry on chasing the tail.

ohno

2:46 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)



In fact mods/Tedster please do delete my account & all posts associated with it. The real web hero's can then get down to business and tell us all how to have a stable ecom business with modern Google. Good day.

TypicalSurfer

2:53 pm on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



No it is not rain! It is what it is... no point to tone it down really. Exactly the opposite if we want things to change back to normal...


You are definitely trying to thread the needle with google now so if you can dial back and maintain conversion you found the sweet spot. If you have a sales page, create another page that is only info with no commerce signal, link to it from the sales page and watch the zombies show up, they will come looking to buy (commercial query) but will leave. The sweet spot is somewhere in between the two pages.

As far as getting back to "normal", I hear you on that. I look at result pages now and wonder aloud "where did the internet go?". It's still there but you won't find it on google. Try Yandex if you want a look at what should be in play.
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