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Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2012

     
12:27 pm on Dec 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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< continued from: [webmasterworld.com...] >

I had been experiencing gradual recovery since Penguin, with my key term page back at the bottom of page 1, and home page (in top three positions before penguin) up to page 5 for key term.

Today the key term page has dropped back to page 2, but the home page has dropped below page 50 (Startpage finds it on p 47) for key term.

I has all the hallmarks of Penguin 1: exact term and page (e.g. <key term location> is OK).

It might be just a temporary glitch (I hope so!): I can't see what on earth would cause that kind of penalty now.

[edited by: tedster at 2:51 am (utc) on Dec 3, 2012]

2:38 pm on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Traffic way, way down across many sites from 50% to 80%


Update - It must have just been reporting delays, all looked normal with AdSense above average this morning.
3:10 pm on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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HuskyPup,

Adsense earnings are above avarage?

One week after big changes ( 27/11 ) and it gets worse every day.
-Domain stuffing is back ( amazon, what else ?)
-most small ecom are gone for high and low converting keywords
-price compare engines took over the places from ecom
-amazon got high, high rankings back
-incoming traffic is converting at a very low rate, bounce rate is up

This last shift was definitive as shift to christmas shopping and towards big adwords players.

ecom, germany

( Is Cutts still working for g$$gle? Our did he get a muzzle? )

-
3:20 pm on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Anything happen recently? Just had a very stable respectable site go from page 2.5 to 5.8 for a key money phrase between today and yesterday...I've been tracking this site from September and this is unprecedented. Nothing was changed onsite for the past month really at all...
4:54 pm on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I feel like something definitely happened yesterday. My traffic was up 70% compared to the day before (that's 70% higher than the day before's paltry amount, not a 70% recovery) and it's holding so far today.

Also, I'm seeing a daily movement in the SERPs, even from one point in the day to another. It does feel like an update.
5:00 pm on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yes im also seeing another change,, got another boost this morning and the site seems to have peeked earlier than it does normally (2pm ) has been pretty quiet since 3.
5:02 pm on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing an uptick in places for some of my terms hit on 21/11 Panda refresh.
5:23 pm on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My hourly Analytics are dragging a lot today (reporting 15 to 30 min later than usual).

I thought I too could confirm some algorithm change going on. Now, not so sure. The last hour seems quite back to normal.

Watching this stuff isn't much of a way to live a life.
6:10 pm on Dec 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Adsense earnings are above avarage?


Hi MIW - Tuesday was 150% of this last month owing to quite a few USD 2/3/4 clicks, this is also happening today with more clicks of the same value and most of them coming from AdLinks!

I always have the suspicion that it is someone who has made a mistake with their bidding and instead of being 20/30/40 Cents they didn't notice where their "." was.

Why do I think that? Because I nearly made the same mistake a few years ago when I was bidding:-)
2:53 am on Dec 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Today was very odd... I track 100 random keywords daily for my site. 75% of my keyword saw a significant increase today but yet traffic was less than half. Something wrong with analytics?
8:42 am on Dec 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Huskypup, then this has nothing to do with google serp changes? But a failure in adwords setup from adwords users?

@Greendog18, we see the same, we gained so many new keywords and raised in serps. But it is like no body uses google anymore.

Next step bing vs google.

[scroogled.com ]

mods hope link is ok?!


ecom, germany
10:05 am on Dec 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Next step bing vs google.

http://www.scroogled.com [scroogled.com]

Bing has recently been pushing the negative ads in a big way... unusual, it seems, for big search engines. They've been using Infolinks recently too... wish I could remember the irrelevant word they pop up for. ;)

If we go into this topic in a big way, we ought to split off the discussion, as it will surely derail observations of serps changes during the month of December, which is the topic of this thread.

< note: we are covering the Bing/Scroogled story here - [webmasterworld.com...] >

Until then, here's Danny Sullivan's thoughtful take on this, from back in May...

Google Product Search To Become Google Shopping, Use Pay-To-Play Model
May 31, 2012
[searchengineland.com...]

[edited by: tedster at 2:02 pm (utc) on Dec 5, 2012]

10:30 am on Dec 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Huskypup, then this has nothing to do with google serp changes? But a failure in adwords setup from adwords users?


Seemingly so, Tuesday saw AdSense stats stuck again and even though my three independent logs showed Monday and Tuesday as almost identical traffic days AdSense reported 25% fewer page views!

Keeping up with all this lot and trying to stay sane is enough to send anyone crazy:-)
12:01 pm on Dec 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Next step bing vs google.

[scroogled.com...] [scroogled.com]


I do apologise for wondering off topic but I found it interesting that although scroogled.com has about 4,500 backinks, some from very high PR sites, it is PR0. No bias there, obviously!
12:35 pm on Dec 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, but when did scroogled launch? TBPR is not exactly zippy (or accurate) in keeping updated.
2:50 pm on Dec 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I just had a second site drop 15 pages today...this is unprecedented for that site and it didn't link build. Wonder if we are witnessing another Panda update...
4:28 pm on Dec 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My Google traffic on my Penguin/Panda site continues to be up since 11/21, but it's from such long tail phrases that I rarely see more than one visitor coming in on the same search phrase! Which I don't mind, since they're pretty targeted and all that, but it's odd and something I've not encountered before.
10:21 pm on Dec 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There is a ton of flux in our industry, in places I typically don't see it. Some sort of bigger update is rolling through over the past couple days for sure.

I have noticed a jump on the Seomoz and Serpmetrics sites as well. It's got to be about time for another penguin rollout.
2:43 am on Dec 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Guys & Gals,

This may be the rum and guava juice speaking... but, I've got to tell you... webmastering from Hawaii is a way different experience from webmastering anywhere else! I highly recommend it. There is nothing quite like reading about all of our webmastering woes while listening to the rumbling of the waves along the shoreline.

On another note, I haven't noticed any new changes since the last panda update! Don't get me wrong, today's numbers came in a little softer than last week but a quick look at where the traffic came from and we are looking at the same Google numbers as last week. I don't think anything has rolled out lately...
3:12 am on Dec 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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something's up, my site is up on most keywords some of my competitors I know who do heavy link building are down some spots. I was doing some spot checking right now on several keywords. It could be penguin.
3:43 am on Dec 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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First time I've seen this for me -- a domain that I mentioned in another thread recently as de-optimized and moved from one region to another less than 2 weeks ago -- it is crowding page one positions #4, #5, #6, #7 of 10 for one of its targeted terms. Good recovery from -50. For those following along this is not the domain that had a -10 from middle of page one to middle of page two. I was okay with this -50 one because it owned spot #1 in local Google Places for it's targeted term but not organic. Looks like it has now climbed out of the -50 filter and in addition is crowding page one.

I've mentioned that term quite a bit lately (de-optimized) without going into any explanation as to what I'm doing but I want to have something concrete to report and I'm going to need to try at least one more domain (my own) to be sure it's not a flash in the pan. I don't want to add more confusion to the situation if it's just a temporary spike. I want it to be stable and tonight is the first I've seen of this but it certainly is encouraging.
3:55 pm on Dec 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Bing has recently been pushing the negative ads in a big way


It may be free at bing shopping, but they are slower than molasses at crawling for it and you cannot tell them how often to fetch the feed. That's only for the paid service I assume.
5:19 pm on Dec 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Greendog18 I also track about 120 keywords daily and more than 65% had significantly increased in their positions, but I was down over 100 visitors according to analytics. I did however see an increase in lead volume generated from the website that day so I would have to agree something is off with analytics. Anyone else seeing this?
6:31 pm on Dec 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@SnowMan I am seeing flux too, some result sets look almost back in time from the recent Panda update, but I think that must just be coincidence.

Something is definitely crunching...
3:14 am on Dec 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, my no maintenance sites are exploding with traffic! An all affiliate emd site that got a whoppin' 20 uniques a day is suddenly getting triple that traffic per day, and affiliate conversions! Be warned, this is a flux fluke and "normal" traffic will return soon enough.
5:40 am on Dec 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm still seeing what I reported last - a traffic boost that's holding, but all based on such long tail phrases that I rarely see the same ones twice.

However, I've noticed a pattern: exact keyphrases may not be repeating, but the concepts are. I'm getting repeat visitors for keyphrases that are differently worded, but mean the same thing. And I don't just mean rearranging the words, but synonyms and... well, just VERY different phrases to express the same query.

It's almost like they're using my site as a test to see if their machine learning understands the concepts behind words - and it does. I'm getting very few non-targeted searches where it's obvious to me that the visitor won't be satisfied with the page Google sent them to, and I used to get a lot of those.

I'm not sure what this means, or maybe it's just some odd fluke on my end, but it strikes me as very interesting.
6:47 am on Dec 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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long tail phrases

With regard to long tail... I've been postulating for a while that Google's artificial intelligence would be working its way through short tail and into long tail as it gathers more data. As I posted in mid-September 2012 in the Zombie/Traffic Shaping/Throttling thread...

Basically, I think Google is doing what it's done on every algo I've seen it test... it's started with the short, competitive phrases and then gets into longer and more specific phrases. This is also consistent with how artificial intelligence learns. It needs lots of data, and data on long-tail takes longer to gather.

Additionally, I've felt I've been seeing the auto-complete suggestions getting more specific. (Perhaps this is even what's directly or indirectly causing the effect).

All of the above is conjecture, but it's consistent with what I think I've been seeing for a bunch of years now.

This may be Google feeding long tail queries to certain sites, bumping up traffic, to see how searchers react. I should add that rate of learning with AI increases exponentially, so the observation that Google is testing very long tail could be a sign that critical masses of data are beginning to accumulate and things will begin to move faster.
9:16 am on Dec 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Does nobody else took a huge hit on 27/11?

Since, we are off -30%. Sales are off. Bounce rate went up.
We gained a lot of traffic with 21/11 panda, but 27/11 took more away, so we are back to september traffic, which is very worse.
I also canīt see the mentioned targeted long tail serps. Its a big mix of pages that have mostly nothing to do with the query.

ecom, germany
9:21 am on Dec 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I also canīt see the mentioned targeted long tail serps.

Isn't a single compound German word long tail all by itself? ;) But would you call that long tail or just a single-word query?
9:28 am on Dec 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Robert,

even we are in germany using more than one word to search ;)
Long tail: > 3 word search !?
google just ignores one or exchanges one with a not similar word
Maybe its only english queries that are better targeted?
1:16 pm on Dec 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Martin Ice Web
Same here except the hit was 29th Nov. Now marked on my stats chart as possible unannounced Pands update. See msg:4524483 in this thread.

UK-info
This 301 message thread spans 11 pages: 301