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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]


3:51 pm on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

@GreenDog, that sounds like what I have heard reported by some when they used a Fiverr gig for Facebook likes or other social signals. Not saying you bought a Fiverr gig. It could be negative SEO being done on your site.

menntarra 34

10:17 pm on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I got severly hit by something since Friday evening. Please if others discovered a sudden BIG drop or increase on Friday, do post it, cause now i'm speechless, i'm down by another 1/3 of traffic, and i want to know what kind of update happened now. I've been hit by the latest confirmed panda, and i don't think they do another panda update 2 weeks later.
I checked and it is clear that the traffic drop is caused by google unfortunately.


11:39 pm on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

@menntarra 34 I can confirm something did happen Friday. My keywords have changed since then.


11:50 pm on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have seen a tick upwards over the weekend in search compared to the last few weeks on the same days. Nothing to write home about, a couple of percentage points overall. No update seems to have happened in my neck of the woods.


11:54 pm on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

No update I agree


1:06 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm seeing 3 sites down at least 30% each since Fri/Sat.


1:21 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Same here. Increased of nearly 20% traffic since the last Panda refresh and went down again since Fri/Sat.


2:03 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Same here Raymond. Up since the panda down on Friday.

menntarra 34

2:19 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Two of my other small sites have about 10% uptick since Friday, unfortunately they are rather small comparing to my other site which is down by 30%.


6:55 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Did you notice any change in traffic from 14 Nov.?
Awesome hike is there.. :)
Something changed in Panda again.

hurricane sh

8:44 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Our main site has seen 30% drop since Fri/Sat. This is a clean and active forum, it survived all major updates as I can remember. This drop is a shock!


9:17 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ garyr_h

Same here (some keywords changed)and traffic is up +30% since friday (but in our case just non coverting traffic - read here: [webmasterworld.com...]


10:45 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Big drop on our forum too - about 30-40%. It's well established and clean... this is the lowest traffic we've seen in years!


11:22 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Small increase in traffic over the weekend 10% - conversions up significantly.


6:10 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We also run a large forum with over 500,000 posts that has been affected since Friday. Traffic is down approximately 30%. Would be curious what sort of update happened this week as that is the biggest change in traffic I have seen in years.


6:38 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I also have been affected by this update. Is the first time that an update drop traffic of my website.

Since friday my traffic starts dropping 25%. I lost almost all my long tails without link building.

And my keywords drop down at saturday night, between 2am and 3am GMT +1.

Google is penalizing the fair people because of sinners


6:39 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Based on what my analytics are telling me Google did a refresh, dropping or reducing ranking on a handful of older rankings while increasing rankings on newer articles. My main search phrases dropped off the first page of Google last week but over the weekend most came back.

Interestingly I was getting a lot of searches for terms with quotes - ie "search engines" "yellow pages" those searches with quotes disappeared from last week compared to the week before.

My traffic is only down about 5% last week compared to the week before despite my main phrases disappearing.

I've been watching this last week pretty closely as my rankings started to drop the week before. Now everyone is saying their rankings dropped and mine came back on 2 sites that were hit. Interesting.

Also interesting is how my GWT impressions continue to rise, even through last week when my main rankings dropped.


7:00 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

What a total crap day for google.

I searched for a particular product like
manufacturer part number (a us brand and us made product and i'm in the US)

first listing was of course amazon and every site after it on the first page were
sites.google.com bs affiliate pages
facebook notes page
facebook notes page
some bs blog affiliate
sites.google.com affiliate bs page
blogspot affiliate
a wordpress crap blog page affiliate

second page


(suprising the next two were actual stores that had the item)


two international stores one new zealand and another in japan!

bing-shop.com (surprized bing hasn't sued this site)
soficeli.com bs affiliate site


7:31 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

What a total crap day for google.

these were the types of results i was seeing last week during my rankings drop. still lots of these there but not as bad as it was last monday


7:44 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

My server location is in spain, and I lost only 5% in google.es and 30% in google.com.ar Maybe google is geolocalizing the websites more than before?

Also, some long tails without any update of content have been removed.

Anyone have been reduced from secondary google engines?


9:54 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm not seeing any update, but do anticipate one before the end of the month (around the 27th) !


10:26 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Can confirm drop in traffic by 10-20% since Friday on my most Panda-vulnerable site. Such a frustrating site to work on while all my other sites are flourishing.


11:51 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have seen the exact opposite this weekend and today. Traffic and search up close to 20%. To me that would indicate either it was a certain type of site i.e. (forums) that was targeted or effected, certain niches were effected, or there are sites that are in a gray area that get effected with every update because they are on some type of watch list. Since I have focused on Social Networking, I have seen less and less effect of updates on my site and a slow steady climb out of Google hell.


12:34 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

can anyone share what sorts of things they are doing in terms of using social media to generate traffic?


12:56 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have targeted 3 social netorks. FB, Twitter, and Pinterest. With Facebook I use niche related pictures, quotes, and articles. With twitter I use quotes and links to articles, with Pinterest obviously pictures. Each picture is linked to an article or page. You can link pictures that are not embedded on your page to the page by uploading them direct. To give you an example. I have one picture linked to a page that has been repinned over 2000 times. That means 2000 links pointing to that page. All of them valid and natural.
When I started focusing on FB, I had around 2000 fans that had liked my FB fan page. I now have 21,000 fans. This took about 5 months. Each time I post a picture, quote or article it gets liked and shared. Each like and share gives me a link. Some pictures have over 1000 likes and shares. You just put your link in the comment section for the picture or quote.
With twitter, I keep track of the retweets. Everytime someone retweets or tweets and article or quote, I retweet it. This builds community and clout.


1:09 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

^ but at the end of the day, does it bring better SE rank, or any direct sales/registrations/interaction with your website?


1:29 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

xcoder, although my evidence is anecdotal, I would have to say yes. besides traffic, which social is about 1/3 of my total traffic now, it causes better SE ranking. SEOmoz has a couple of articles showing the effect of FB, and Twitter social signals in SE ranking. Google has admitted they use social signals as a ranking signal. Social traffic is more likely to sign up for your mailing list, click your ads, or buy your self published books. It also gives you an authority in your niche which then opens doors for you to have your content syndicated on other higher authority sites which once again gives you natural and niche related backlinks which we all know is what Google wants.
I think that this is the natural progression of backlinks that Google wants to see. Publish Page ---> Social buzz and signals ----> backlinks from other sites = quality content.
Just this weekend I saw this process in action. I published a niche related article. It received 416 social signals between FB, Twitter, Pinterest, and G+. Within a couple of days it received backlinks from 2 Paper.li papers, 3 forums, 1 niche related bookmarking site, and 1 blog. The reason I know this is because I received traffic from all of those places. Not one of these links were built by me. They were all 100% natural and came all of a result of focusing on social networking.


3:04 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)


Thanks! i have a couple of clients asking about facbook/twitter lately, but i was kind of skeptical.

I guess i am going to recommend them to give it a try...


3:12 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

xcoder. I think you will see it helps. Not a total fix for problem sites, but if you have a good site, then it will help. Just don't use the fake like/share/tweet offers out there. Those social signals have no power. A social signal from a profile that has no friends, is easy to discern.


3:16 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

We do some on facebook, photos of projects mainly, we don't spam those that subscribe with posts of products and such.
I cannot say that being active on facebook helps sales, but it does help with brand recognition and customer relations.
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