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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2012

   
11:23 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)



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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]

12:39 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We had a good morning +25% till 12 a clock, then switch back to low, non converting traffic, high bounce rate.

I see a least two different sets of serps. The "good" one shows the search strings the bad one does not have the search string included.

Maybe its two different algos instead of data sets?
12:43 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)



@chrisv1963

I am seeing the dictionary sites popping up as well in the top 10 on some fairly competitive two word phrases. I am also seeing more Edu's in the same space. Neither of these were showing up for these commercial terms before.
1:58 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)



As for now I see very bizarre results for my niche.
Sites with almost "no-content", 1 or 2 pages in total are dominating SERPS for a lot of competitive keywords.

I'm not understanding anything more, I am totally confused. I spent the last 6 months to make better my website to receive a maximum of 30 visits per day from G.

I give up ... exhausted...
2:30 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It's wise, IMO, to keep an eye on how the competitors who are in it for the long haul are doing, because that would be a better indication of what Google's trying to do with its core algo

At the moment many of these guys 'in it for the long haul' are getting hammered in my niches. The SERPs are, today, even more full of brandspam and Xrumer'd junk.
2:54 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I had a HUGE drop the other day

Bits of th Internet seemed to have got disconnected for a short while last week. Some countries just not connecting to others. This could be a source of some traffic loss.
3:38 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



There seemed to be some big shifts on Sunday night/Monday morning. Mostly up for me, but a few down. Also, a couple of URLs that all redirected to the same affiliate site.
3:56 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Martin Ice Web
The "good" one shows the search strings the bad one does not have the search string included.

Watching my logs on ecom site:

Referrer is exactly:
"www.google.tld/search" = 0 conversions for the past several month - MAX 2 page views - very rare the person continues to explore the site. UA in this case is "Google Web Preview".

Referrer start with:
"www.google.tld/search?" and contains Q variable where Q=keyword phrase. These have upto 10 page views per visit and most likely convert to a sale.

"www.google.tld/m?q=keyword phrase" = several conversions - max 5 page views - very often the person continues to explore the site.

"www.google.tld/imgres?" or "www.google.com/url?" = useless zombie traffic.
5:22 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

redhat



The following 9 messages were cut out to new thread by tedster. New thread at: google/4516520.htm [webmasterworld.com]
5:15 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (EDT -4)
8:59 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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As for now I see very bizarre results for my niche.
Sites with almost "no-content", 1 or 2 pages in total are dominating SERPS for a lot of competitive keywords.

Yes I'm seeing some incredible junk as well. Don't worry too much, leave your sites alone, have a beer, it should all settle down soon.
5:04 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)



Anyone else think the SERPs are matching exact queries a little more than they have been the past few months?
11:24 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)



Pagerank update today...
12:08 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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klark0

Your right, my green bar went up a bit, wow remember when this was a big deal. How quickly things change (")>
2:15 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)



Yeah it doesn't mean alot, but it's nice to look at I guess :D
2:19 pm on Nov 9, 2012 (gmt 0)



Steady traffic here (no changes), but conversions dropped quite significantly.
11:51 pm on Nov 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member zeus is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Just did a search like this: remove web page "?cat" and only got results how I can remove cat urine, nothing related to websites, database... but thats what I mean I CAN NOT SEARCH FOR ANYTHING SPECIFIC ON GOOGLE SINCE PANDA.
12:53 am on Nov 10, 2012 (gmt 0)



Surprised no YouTube results
8:59 pm on Nov 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Things are still in churn in my niche in the UK. Garbage sites with mega xrumer links which arrived with the last update slipping into top spots, out to nowhere then back to top spots again.
1:04 am on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm not an E-comm and I don't run any MFA sites. But I recently found out about a medical issue with a family member and when Google didn't direct me to a reasonable answer, I was mad.

No sh1t, the first 5 pages about this medical condition were eHow-type sites with absolutely NO information; while Wikipedia was on the 6th page, I literally spent 20 minutes trying to find answers to the most basic questions.

Info, e-comm, research, news, whatever... This company is evil and this is the first time I actually see it as a person and not as a webmaster.
9:52 am on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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No sh1t, the first 5 pages about this medical condition were eHow-type sites with absolutely NO information; while Wikipedia was on the 6th page, I literally spent 20 minutes trying to find answers to the most basic questions.


You did well. I did a Google search for a medical problem yesterday and about 25% of the sites I visited tried to drop a viral attachment on my computer. They were full of junk text which included the search term and presumably got away with it because it's not a very commonly searched one. Leaving aside the ethics of the site owners targeting people with serious health problems I didn't have the same problem a couple of years ago and needless to say I haven't had the same problem with Bing. Meanwhile for high money terms in my niche about a third of the first page results are new sites with thousands of junk links and the rest are the usual mega sites with no real information that don't even sell the products themselves. What on earth is going on at the Plex?
9:52 am on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Duplicate post, sorry
12:03 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



Gentlemen,
I have a theory. After watching my own site and what happens with serps, and then listening to all of you and your observations over the last few months, I have found some correlations.
Thursday/Friday has seemed to become the day that Google does something with their algo that gets mentioned a lot. Thursday - Sunday seems to be when there are more complaints about the quality of the serps being really bad.
On my own site which is not e-com but informational, I have noticed that at least 3 out of 4 weeks per month search drops significantly on Thursday, only to pick back up at previous levels either Saturday night or Sunday. The only exception to this is when they run some other large algo change earlier in the week like Panda.
My theory is this. We know that Google has been testing/implementing/has implemented an AI component to their algo. I believe that this component runs on Thursday through Sunday during the days they have less traffic. Each time it runs, it tests or targets a certain type of linking pattern by temporarily giving those types of links or pattern of linking more juice than would be normally given. This causes the crap sites "dross" to rise to the top. This results in the crappy serps we all see on these days. It then "learns" what type of linking patterns or other targeted metrics are associated with crappy sites.
This is an age old method of purifying other substances, I think they have applied it to their index. Cause the dross to rise to the top, then skim off the impurities.
At least that is my current theory.
Search was down from Thursday afternoon until Saturday late evening approximately 30% This is a regular occurrence.
3:12 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



@taberstruths

Love the theory.

I always noticed for the last two years that my CPC value on Adsense skyrockets Fri.-Sun. (almost 30% higher than Mon.-Thurs.) I always chalked it up to people working and staying away from ads, but there might be more to quality of the traffic or maybe G is just throwing me a bone.
3:20 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It's also a fairly decent sized holiday weekend with many, many people off work on Monday. So it's a long weekend to analyze everything. Plus, less searches on Goog since people are traveling is a perfect time to do it.
5:45 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



taberstruths, is it only your google traffic that follows this pattern (which would support your theory about google testing)?

I have always had a definite weekly pattern (low friday-saturday, high sunday-monday) but it is the same for all search engines so I assume it is simply due to user behaviour.
7:34 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



for the first time since long time I see 5-10 minutes delay in analytics data updates,

can be a sign of search index update coming?
8:27 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



Rasputin, It is Google traffic. Before March, Google traffic was strong until Friday afternoon and would pick up Sunday afternoon/evening. It was a gradual decline and a gradual increase. Now it is like a light switch is flipped. Usually happens right after noon Pacific Time on Thursday and varies on when it comes back. Bing/Yahoo is 20% compared to Google.co and it stays relative constant with a slight drop over the weekend on Friday through Sunday.
9:05 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@taberstruths

I have the same similar issue. What's more interesting is that when they "flip the switch" our bounce rate goes up. It's as if Google is sending us the wrong traffic.
11:20 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Same issue here, @Bewenched and @taberstruths. Bounce rate usually goes up but so does pages viewed for me.
11:45 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)



Since I have an informational site, I have my bounce metrics set differently than the default GA setting. I measure bounce by whether they stay 90 seconds. If less than 90 second, then it is a bounce. Or if they click through to something else before 90 seconds then it is not a bounce. That being said, I have a very low bounce rate that ranges between 22% and 27% and an average time on site of just under 4 minutes. During this time I do see an increase of my bounce rate of a couple of percentage points.
8:20 am on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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taberstruths, we talked about this pattern before, backdraft and ohno see the same pattern. I saw it, too, but since 3 weeks we got a steady stream, also on thursdays. IMO it is something like a reset of weekly-counter for sharp edge panda sites where the algo is not sure where to put it.


andem, superclown thats the reason why I only search on bing. Google is out of my sight. I do like the cleaner layout of bing. On google every day changes something, ads inline with results, next second on right site....
If we would set up websites like this, we wouldn´t have only one visitor!

We are outranked by silly, non content or low content or non targeted sites on google, in bing we are in line with competitors.
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