Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Message Too Old, No Replies

Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2012



12:27 pm on Dec 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

< 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]


2:14 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Has anyone else seen an intensely deep crawl on their site from Googlebot over the past few days. It started on Dec 15th for me, but I attributed it to some new URLs I had fed to our sitemap for some changes I made to our category pages (the panda-hit portion of our site). It slowed back down on the 16th. However, yesterday Googlebot was back spidering the REST of the site in full force, and seemed to especially be looking at things I've "fixed" over the past few months (canonical issues, pages that were merged, etc).

If it's just crawling my site heavily I'll be happy - I'm nervous about the next Panda update. I want gbot to suck up ALL my changes before running it. I've given the site a last ditch effort to get out of Panda. If this doesn't help, I'm out of ideas.

(U.S-based, 17-yr old content site)


3:02 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

There isn't anything "wrong" with the page or the backlinks, but in May it fell from the top of Google's page 1 (where it had been for years) to nowhere. I'm not going to change content that makes obvious sense on the page (and e.g. SI units don't have synonyms), or contact a lot of third parties to tell them to change the "water" anchor-text on their page about water to "H2O". Consequently, that page (still at the top of page 1 on Bing) will probably never return to Google's page 1

I have had similar experience as well with a number of pages


7:51 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

Heavy keyword use may cross some threshold and incur a penalty, but changing internal links and/or on-page keyword count and density is only really appropriate if the keyword use was inapproriate in the first place.

YES. I have a theory that Google is in a testing phase with the synonyms, so they're actually intentionally ranking pages more for phrases that don't appear on them than phrases that do, in order to test the machine learning. So, if you used to rank for a phrase on your page, "red water sponges" you might now instead rank for "maroon h20 absorption". I'm seeing a lot of this, particularly on my Penguinized site.

And it sucks for us right now, because there's really nothing we can do. But the future might get interesting. If your sites do well, you could rank for a million more variations on your keyphrases than you ever did before.


9:34 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm pretty much seeing the opposite... I looked at the logs of a few sites and there is literally only about 15-20 queries (not click throughs) it is even showing for in Google. Mind you these same sites had vast amounts of related queries before and of course traffic/click-throughs as well to go with them.

On a side note... I have yet to see one particular site return yet... first page for 10+ years to nowhere a few months ago, then slowly climbed back from to page 15, 10, 7, 5, 3, and back to 1, but only for a few days. Earlier this month it cannot be found again. When it was actually ranking again the same as above happened... the queries dropped drastically (basically across the board on all our sites).

In the niches I am in I am noticing the following :

- older sites that have not been touched in ages are now showing up.

- many folder and page results showing up that are keyword related/stuffed - /keyword-keyword/ or keyword-keyword-keyword.html for example.

- I am still seeing sites who cross link amongst themselves ranking (link network). I thought this was a no-no they were finally taking care of? Also, explains some of the older sites ranking now.

- Lots of doorway pages in results... keyword-keyword.html with a few paragraphs linking to another page or location on the site and even duplicate content on them.


10:07 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

about three months


12:53 am on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Chawk, did you do anything the week before it happened? Any on page updates? Meta description, titles or anything?


2:38 am on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not that I can think of. I'm pretty sure I have just been put in the Google Sandbox. basically they felt I was a thin content site and probably did not deserve some of the long tail keywords they had previously granted me.

Martin Ice Web

10:03 am on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Does someone else see that german serps are mixed with CH, AT, com-Domains. I see lots of Amazon Stuff that is for US only.
It seems that low html sites are ruling now.

ecom, germany


10:16 am on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Does someone else see that german serps are mixed with CH, AT, com-Domains.

No, but (UK) every time I clear cookies (irrespective of searches/locations/sites clicked) I now find google.de among them. It has been that way for months.


12:48 pm on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

definitely something happened 3 hours ago. Traffic from India jumped by 30%. Waiting for US traffic numbers at the evening (I'm EU based)


8:48 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

There has been some shuffling overnight (in which my main key term page has gone from page 2 to page 4).

Back at number 1 (I posted on this a few days ago) is a the home page of a site without any exact matches for key term on it. If the key term was on the page once, the density would probably trigger a penalty: there are hardly any words on it but - hey - at least the pictures are all above the fold.


9:22 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There has been some shuffling overnight

Looked like something got rolled back to me. My positions have all reverted to where they were last week.


1:41 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes I am also seeing a rollback for pages that dropped on Dec 11th.


1:44 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

We have a kind of big site with huge long tail traffic. We noticed a ~10% down from oct-nov and it started sometime around thanksgiving at the same time as the Panda 21 update.

Then it has continued kind of stable but yesterday the traffic went down about the same time as the US wakes up and that down turn seems to continue today as well. Right now we are about 18% down compared to last friday.

I suspect it can have something do to with Christmas and everything but not entirely.

Our site has gone from about ~70.000 unique vistors each day to about ~50.000 and that kind of sucks.

I'l been investigating loads of diffrent problems and we have had a big problems with loads of internal 404 pages and i read somwhere that google may have started to give penalties from that. We have also noticed that the "time spent to download a page" went up around thanksgiving som that is also something i look into.

Well, ask me more if you guys want to exchanges ideas. Also i'm looking for other people with similar sites so we could discuss google changes.

Our site is alternativeto.net btw .. as i said. Huge long tail traffic which makes it incredibly hard to look into specific keywords and so on.


2:31 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ olaj

As far I see G is re-ranking download sites at least for around 4 month now... What I hear is that many downloads sites tanked in last quarter 2012 and only few "brands" like cnet, softonic, softpedia so on keep positions or even gain positions..

How are your impression in GWMT or Analytics, are they lower as well or just the clicks?

Did you see new keywords popping up or re-ranking of existing ones?

Regarding referrals form your site to OURS: Seems all stable...but not coming much daily ... so hard to give you some real feedback! You might want to place our products better to support observations :-)


3:40 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

SEChecker: Yeah, impressions are down and so on.

But now our traffic really went down thre last 3-4 hours. Damn .. this doesn't look good at all. Anyone else notice any major loss in traffic today?


3:52 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


We had a huge drop in keyword positions overnight.

Unfortunately I can't tell what sort of traffic loss we've had from it because we get a surge of traffic leading up to Christmas. Our traffic is up over this time last week, but it should be. Hard to say if it should be higher or not though. But the keyword drop was significant enough that it set off my Panda alarms.


3:58 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

I suspect it can have something do to with Christmas and everything but not entirely

What we've been seeing on US based sites since Dec 7th is an increase in unique visitors for shorter phrases. Starting Thursday 13th we notice the daytime traffic is still getting heavier than previous week(s) but around 5pm EST it's like someone put the brakes on and we don't meet the previous weeks numbers - and that % steadily gets worse as Christmas approaches. Another confimation to us is that advertisers are paying more per click each day which is how it's been every year except we didn't see higher traffic in the daytime; it remains steady until people get off work and go shopping (mobile traffic IN THE EVENING HOURS is almost as much as non-mobile).

2 EMDs are coming back a little - they were spammy if you consider you HAVE to use a certain term where there isn't a synnonym. Other EMDs still in toilet or ranking at Bing/Yahoo.


4:03 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ Olaj

Our traffic yesterday/today is down as well (20%)but its to early to ring the bells here by us....special in that crazy G times...


4:03 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I'm trying to limit my involvement in these forums, but I'd like to make one observation...
This morning I was doing some casual keyword searches on Google in my nich and was shocked at what I'm finding...a new rash of MY PHOTOS on other MFA sites. I filled out three DMCA's to stop these blatant, shameless scrapers. But you know what's worse than these thieves? A high & mighty search engine who constantly spouts "quality" this and that, yet allows stolen content to promoted ABOVE the original author. It's hopeless. Google is beyond broken...it's insane.


4:07 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I see a full reversal this morning of all recoveries made on Dec 13th; the recoveries were on head terms that were probably nicked in the first place for being a bit too aggressive on anchors...


4:10 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

We have been seeing a steady decline in traffic all week. Today is the lowest day, but it is to be expected with the holiday next week. Looking at previous years the week before christmas has always experienced this steady decline. After new years we see a big spike back up to normal traffic and a lot of times higher than before xmas/new years. If you are in the USA and don't have a seasonal business (xmas related) I wouldn't worry about it until after New years....unless you see big drops in your actual keywords you know bring in a lot of referrals. Those keyword drops are definitely bad, otherwise traffic declines can be expected around this time.


5:33 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

We are seeing significant drops in traffic and in turn conversions in the last week or so, especially the last few days (50%+ drops). I am hoping it is just the few days before xmas and hope / assume it will pick up after new years again.

The strange thing is for the last week or so from roughly about 9pm to 6am (Australian time) traffic and conversions seem okay then after about 6am conversions die until about 9pm again the next day. Seeing this for UK, AUS, US and NZ websites so don't think time of day is the issue - traditionally we got a pretty steady spread of traffic / conversions over 24 hours. It is quite strange, we get sales for the same few hours every day then almost nothing for the rest of the day...? It almost seems like we get a quota of sales for the day, once they are used up the traffic gets turned off. I don't see how that is possible over a network of sites but its certainly what it feels like at the moment.


5:45 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ ethought

"It is quite strange, we get sales for the same few hours every day then almost nothing for the rest of the day"

"once they are used up the traffic gets turned off"

Same observation for 1 our sites... 100% identical situation....


6:03 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Further to my last comment another interesting point is while traffic and conversions just keep dropping Adsense income has stayed steady as a rock. Although our Adsense income is minimal it has brought in almost exactly the same amount of income daily for most of the year. So while traffic has dropped by around 75% from June Adsense income has stayed more or less the same on a day to day basis... Seems strange to me.


7:05 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Officially labeled a Panda data refresh impacting 1.3% of English queries


Shocked they did this before the holidays.


7:25 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

lol like they do care, Barry ...

[edited by: SEchecker at 7:55 pm (utc) on Dec 21, 2012]


7:47 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have a drop in 05 Dec at one blog, -40%. From yesterday i see an improvement at another site (probably Panda).

Robert Charlton

8:14 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Thread on a specific aspect of the Panda update here [webmasterworld.com...]

Is a Panda refresh now rolling out and are they treating subdomains as if the content is part of the main url?

We know they treat links as internal ones from a subdomain, but is it possible that those of us who used subdomains to tackle Panda, are going to be hit soon?


6:49 pm on Dec 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If there was a Panda update im pretty upset. Last month I spent a small fortune having professional writers rewriting a 150 page website I own. I even had them rewrite my privacy policy. All pages now come out copyscape clean.

Old pages were 450 words to 800 words. New pages are 850-2000 words and some even longer. No optimization of keywords were used, they were just written how they should be with in debt coverage of topics.

All pages got reindexed by December 10th.

This just goes to show you that this whole Panda scheme is just a smokescreen. I cant believe that all that work did absolutely nothing.
This 301 message thread spans 11 pages: 301

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month