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Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2013

     
5:18 am on Mar 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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< continued from [webmasterworld.com...]

I'm seeing daily switching between 2-3 datasets across around 600 keywords. Seeing roughly 10-20 keywords swapping in & out of positions.

[edited by: tedster at 2:47 pm (utc) on Mar 1, 2013]

7:21 am on Mar 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Has there been a Panda refresh lately?
9:08 am on Mar 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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tedster, yes, there are some stable results that did not move for month. Unfortunately not in my niche. There are coming new pages daily and going daily. Lot of movement.
But it is ecom related and we have a lot of competition. But old big googles new AI shuffles a lot of silly and spammy pages to the front.
On site i watch in a non ecom niche was #1 and did a complete new site layout. You should think it would suffer at least a little bit but it stays #1.

Automated statistical sampling, maybe?


That could be an answer for big jumps from #5 to #75 and back. Maybe because of lack of sufficient data? I donīt think that they are able to compile all the websites every day and thatīs why pages are jumping. New compiled pages get a boost long time ago compiled pages suffer?
I have this theory since long because weeks ago we saw every thursday a gouge in our referrals only to grow over the week till thursday. But this seems to be on a daily basis now.
9:58 am on Mar 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The trend towards longer phrases in my site referral stats continues.
10:20 am on Mar 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Has there been a Panda refresh lately?


it seems like today it is rolling out. Lots of spammy silly stuff comes to front like every panda update.

ecom, germany
3:34 pm on Mar 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Gyppo - I have been seeing similar behavior for a while now, maybe 3-6 months. The changes are not always extreme, but there are very few stable results. I have wondered if search query volume is one of the many triggers. Such as, after a keyword has been searched x number of times the SERPS are reordered. This could be learning.
4:18 pm on Mar 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Has there been a Panda refresh lately?


Personally think it has been running for about a week now...
2:09 pm on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The trend in my niche looks like scraper sites who steal your images and post nonsense text are the winners this round. Atta boy Google.

Right when I started to see some improvement, they drop me from #1 to page 5. My old position still contains my images, but hosted on some scrapers MFA site.
2:22 pm on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I got serious movement on my top keyword last night, up 5 spots to #6 on the first page. Is this a deep crawl?
3:01 pm on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm tracking about 150 kw phrases, and haven't seen any panda-like movement in the SERPs from Google since the Jan 21st panda update. Bing and Yahoo had some churn last night, with significant movement to about 15% of my keywords.

Hoping (hard) for a panda update soon...
3:57 pm on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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One of my NEW sites' is receiving more and more traffic since wednesday:
+5% Wednesday
+5% Thursday
+5% Friday
today it seems it is well over any expectations, i think it will have +10% at least

informational site, USA
4:44 pm on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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>> The trend in my niche looks like scraper sites who steal your images and post nonsense text are the winners this round.

I got scrappers who post nonsense text and include images of my text content that rank higher than me.
6:51 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Sunday fun day! Today my conversions skyrocket to almost 90% of those who hit the order page, looks like the floodgates are back open. But remember, just-like-that it can do the "day part" shut down.
8:56 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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...and all I had to do was mention it and it's over. Day Parted, door closed.
1:03 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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< moved from another location >


I know this is nothing concrete or more than just speculation on my part, obviously, but I suspect we're going to have a Panda refresh in the next few days and that the data used for that refresh is being gathered right now.

Why? Because like with the past few Panda refreshes one of my sites has seen a massive crawl spike by Googlebot. The site didn't get more visits, it just had a WHOLE lot more data downloaded yesterday(6x normal) and the Googlebot responsible verified to the right IP address range so it wasn't likely being faked.

It's only done that, so far, when a Panda refresh was imminent.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:54 pm (utc) on Mar 3, 2013]

3:21 pm on Mar 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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For a Monday, unusually low and non-converting traffic. Also almost no spam mails in the in-boxes ....
3:44 pm on Mar 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Something's happening and especially so with image SERPs.

Today I've seen a 2013 launched site go straight to #1 with one of my images, obviously copied a few months ago, and knocked me off the top. The on-page info is crap with four short lines of general blurb, nothing more, nothing factual, nothing unique, nothing...fubard G, fubard.
9:35 pm on Mar 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My "Exact Match Domain" (which is really about the matching subject yet took a big hit last October) is getting about 400% more traffic from Google the past couple of days. Of course, I'm hoping that the trend continues. :-)
12:07 am on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I saw major movement across keywords we have go from #5 on the 1st page, to # 7 on the second page. I would imagine they are doing something. BTW our change took place about 3 days ago!
12:19 am on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I see big movement for the keywords I track, a lot of new spammy listing and even German sites for USA location results. Something is happening for sure.
8:09 am on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I saw some movement in keywords, but still there's almost the exact same amount of overall visits to each page as there's been the past month.
2:54 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My traffic has been going up and down like a roller coaster for over a year and I think I've finally figured out the problem. It took several months to gather enough records.

Whenever the 404 errors in Google Webmaster Tools get to a certain point (about 50), which are all due to typos --because I don't have any broken links, then my traffic drops off until I remove the errors then it picks right up again.

The chart for errors doesn't follow the chart for traffic because once Gwmt reaches about 50 errors the traffic drops off but the errors continue unless I remember to go into Gwmt to remove them. But soon as I remove them the traffic picks up within a week.

Anyone else see this?
3:11 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@Lorel

I have about 300 404 errors.

Most are people linking incorrectly (usually the ? and & of the url are turned into entities).

To delete them do you just mark as fixed? I have never done this since most of these pages should be serving a 404 anyways so their was nothing to fix.

I guess my question is if the link is suppose to return a 404 do you mark it as fixed or just leave it alone?
3:42 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@lorel,

i can confirm this. And i thought i must be wrong.
But i think it must be a correlation between indexed sites and error pages. ( like 5% )?

ecom, germany
5:03 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Is there a good reason not to use a custom error page?
5:12 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@Martin Ice Web
Do you just mark the 404 pages as fixed in GWT even though they are suppose to be 404 pages since they do not exist?

@Wilburforce
Not that I know of. With a custom page you can at least direct someone to a related page or search page instead of just showing an error code.
5:25 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@JesterMagic

From my practice marking 404s as fixed will just make them disappear for a short period of time. I still have thousands of 404s and 410s, and have no idea on how to "fix" them.

...because once Gwmt reaches about 50 errors the traffic drops off but the errors continue unless I remember to go into Gwmt to remove them. But soon as I remove them the traffic picks up within a week.

I saw that in the past. Errors in GWT definitely have something to do with ranking, hence traffic. And not only 404s, html improvements too.
5:56 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Whenever the 404 errors in Google Webmaster Tools get to a certain point (about 50), which are all due to typos --because I don't have any broken links, then my traffic drops off until I remove the errors then it picks right up again.


Interesting - haven't seen a correlation between the number of 404s and traffic (Doesn't mean it doesn't exist). Logically, it makes sense. Better logic would be for the Google to immediately plunge that page deep into the SERPs. See days where the Google seems to only be hitting 404 pages, as if It was getting ready to delete those 404s.

Reason I say this is because we have 10s of thousands of 404s at any one time (1M+ products/price comparison type site).

Maybe if we didn't have them - hmmmm...
5:57 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Not that I know of.


Me neither (and I always have), but if anyone else knows of anything I would obviously like to hear about it.

There are a couple of operational issues, one being that you have to give the absolute ref of the css file in the error page if you want links to mysite.com/ican'tspellthis/page.html to get the css, and the other being that most automatic link checkers don't find internal link errors.

On the plus side, you don't get 404s
6:39 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hi All,

I often run Zenu to check for broken links on my site and there aren't any. I have custom 404 and 410 error pages set up already (and they are working) and I list the most important pages on the error page so I don't loose anyone, but Google apparently records the errors anyway.

I haven't found a valid reason to set up a redirect for the errors I see as they are mostly typos, like someone adding a "/" on the end of .html -- which is caused by not hitting the enter key or other dumb errors/typos.

I just mark them as "fixed" and in about a week my traffic starts climbing again.

They are all unique errors too -- typos -- not indicative of a navigation problem. I've even typed a url wrong and found it in Gwmt later.

I haven't checked to see if the page's rank was affected yet. -- next research project.
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