Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Message Too Old, No Replies

Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2013



1:20 am on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

< Continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

Sunday traffic sucked, Monday was the best Monday in months, now today traffic sucks again. I'm talking a difference of 25K pageviews a day.

What I don't get is that our keyword rankings have been quite stable. How can that be? I mean, ok, so maybe every keyword that I don't track suddenly tanked... but that doesn't seem likely. Are those DDOS attacks on Wordpress sites still going on? (my site isn't Wordpress nor have I noticed any access issues but I know webhosts and ISPs were experiencing bog downs). I just can't figure these fluctuations out. I'm seeing very unstable traffic patterns lately.

[edited by: tedster at 12:41 pm (utc) on May 1, 2013]

Martin Ice Web

8:47 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

@amleaner, @virtualreality, same with our site. We were on a Close way to out pre-Panda/penguin traffice. On 8/9 march we lost all of the gained traffic to get more worse than july 12 panda update. Since then traffic looks like a rollercoaster. With the lastest changes we saw Amazon, ebay with domain spamming taking over the serps. Nearly no other domain between them.

The annoying Thing about it is, that you are working hard to make a good site for users. And every time you think now you are on the right way. BOOM! It hits you again.

What we did:
-keywords reduction
-new site structure ( siloing )
-canonical tag for similar widgets
-focus on our niche ( no blabla to any side ) <- and this is the Problem is think, we are to focused/targeted on our niche
-removed/nofollowed external links
-get rid of those soft 404 errors
-reworked every (10.000!) widget with a unique description
-added new pictures to the widgets for more user information
-we got very good stats for user experience/buy experience from other sites
-w3c html validation
-lock googlebot from fetching internal search pages

If i take all this and i do not know anything else we can do ( except to buy links! or link out to Amazon/ebay) I have no clue what the heck g* is looking for.
The now spammy pages that are in serps are all against all rules what MC did say about penguin/panda.


9:11 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@Martin Ice Web, yeah I totally understand your frustration. I feel the same way. All white-hat SEO here, writing and updating content on daily basis. Other sites also link to my site regularly because they like it so i dont buy links but then WHY is this drop! Could it be something else that is not penguin/panda related? Maybe Google is restructuring something? By the way my site has never been affected by any panda or penguin updates before so this is the first time I see something so strange going on with my traffic.


9:44 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Product ads have been around since February with up to 8 products in the top right corner or a smaller selection at the top of the organic results. They immediately hit my organic and Adwords traffic (and conversion rate) so I got my products in there and had some great results for 2 months, at which point my merchant center account was suspended because my products are deemed a 'service'.

Obviously my competitors products are also a service and Google Shopping are (slowly!) removing their ads as well but in the meantime those ads are sucking up a good proportion of the product specific traffic and sales. Very frustrating. Text ads are nowhere near as effective now for product specific searches and you have to be top in the organics to even be above the fold on the average screen.

As a user I'd really like Google to show product images against organic listings like they do with Google+ authors. As a webmaster that would make my organic product listings much more appealing. No incentive for Google to do it of course, with Product Ads sucking up a good proportion of the product specific traffic and sales now.

On the plus side, saw a 40% increase in traffic yesterday (May 9th). No obvious ranking changes to explain it though or any evidence of a shake up in my niche.

Martin Ice Web

10:13 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

@virtualreality, it feels like panda. First: I Support the theory that they run it once a week. It seems not to be in main algo yet ( else there should be more everflux ). Second: I think they added some more "quality signals".

I my head buzzes something MC was making a example of.
Something like
-the frogger is green
-froggers are water animals
( Tedster did summarize it pretty good some months/weeks ago, unfortunately i can´t find it anymore )

All the silly spammy sites ( and Amazon/ebay) are short description pages, no detailed information, no futher links. Just short keyworded text. I see this for nearly all queries. Good coding forums have been replaced by this short desciption blogs with no further Information or going deeper into the matter.
They all look like google´s knowledgebase. Short info, but very shallow. Is this what a user is looking for? Do we add to much background knowledge?
Pages from my site that does fit more precisly to a query does not shop up, instead of the the linking pages Shows up. Has the detailed page to much Information? Is it to pointed?

I see sites for are certain query (xyc plug ) that have nothing ( and i mean nothing ) on it, even the title is only the domain name. Google rewrites the title to match the query. 3 other sugestions from this site in Google serps are just ebay affilate links. One other is about a umbrella instead of a plug.
All other site in this query have Google ads and nothing else over the fold. You have to scroll down to see some content.

I am a supporter of the "they make Money" theory. What surely is right in ecom business. But that does not fit with the realy good forums/Information sites that had beend vanished. Maybe it is a two way strategy.

Close look at my thoughts. I see i have no clue.


10:26 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just a thought for all informational sites that regularly update their content and have been affected by this new Google update (if we can call it one).. do you run Adsense? What if G wants to push down all sites like that so that's their way to cut your Adsense revenue down? It is just a thought.

Martin Ice Web

10:31 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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


i can only find shallow Information sites with adsense above the fold, Information down the fold!


10:35 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yes, many are like that. But there are sites with quality info and adsesne on them. Mine is one of them. My adsense are above the fold (most of them) followed by detailed articles and photos for my topic. So what if G want to hit all adsense site no matter shallow or not?


10:39 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

informational site with adsense way below the fold and still hit hard

Martin Ice Web

10:39 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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


followed by detailed articles and photos for my Topic

referring to my post above,you are to targeted, you give to much information. Be shallow!


10:57 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

@virtualreality, I don't have applied adsense on my website so far and content is also genuine written by writers. So I don't relate it with adsense.

I'm observing a strange thing, against couple of queries some new blogs with just 1-3 postings are appearing in top 10 and all these blogs are made in April 2013. Is G getting mad?

[edited by: amleaner at 11:17 am (utc) on May 10, 2013]


11:00 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@Martin Ice Web, Not sure I understand. Do I have to be secretive for my website?
@amleaner, it was just a though. Maybe something bigger is going on? I wish some G guy puts some light in the puzzle.


10:05 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

Today i have seen some changes on my keywords variation suddenly got down. one of my top keywords gone dropped to 2nd and 3rd page.

[edited by: tedster at 11:19 am (utc) on May 10, 2013]


11:30 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

One thing I did notice while trying to work out traffic loss over the last 7 days is below.


The KB per day in GA, had a major 7 day blip where they hardly pulled anything from the site, it seemed to recover yesterday, so fingers crossed the loss is also a blip

Martin Ice Web

11:33 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

@virtual, no not secretive. But I think all the panda is looking for good Content is wrong. Its looking more for a short cut to the main information.

-bees are making honey ( Short )

Bees can be serperated into xy Groups. Some are big some are small........ All bees are making honey to feed their .... about 50000 times is . ( Long detailed based on facts version )

g* prefers the short shallow version. And thats site from poeple who mainly not involved to deep in the matter.
Again, look at Google Knowledegraph. It is realy shallow.
But that is what rules.

I often wonder why my Detail pages do not rank. It to much information.


11:56 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@Martin Ice Web. oh ok, i see thanks.


12:22 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I just did a search for "vintage widgets"

Page 1: 2 Pintrest results
Page 2: 3 Pinterest results
Page 3: 5 Pinterest results
Page 4: 6 Pinterest results

Message that certain users might get: "Don't use Google for search, use Pinterest instead"

It looks like with this new algo change Google is in self-destruction mode.


1:58 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oddly enough, I get more traffic from pinterest then google lately...


2:04 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Martin, I'm not sure that's so much a Google thing but a user thing. Some of the best-performing posts we've had are short-form list posts. But that's nothing new, as it's been a truth of the Internet for a long time.

Some people claim that Google uses visitor stats in the algo. If so, perhaps they are measuring a level of contentment from the visitor with that type of content and modifying the algo to reward that?

That said, we've also had some successes with long-form, non-list content as well, so maybe I'm incorrect.


2:06 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I use adsense above and below the fold. As much as I can tell there is something rolling out, my traffic has remained fairly constant. No changes over 10%


3:00 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

My Penguinized site doubled its Google traffic on May 9 and looks so far this morning like it might double yet again today. It's mainly long tail phrases coming back. My top pages have risen several positions on their main keyphrases, too.


4:30 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

We have an information site that has good content, well liked by our visitors, and our articles are frequently linked to. (Unfortunately, they are also frequently stolen) We have never bought links or did link exchanges.

We've dropped close to 30% this Friday compared to last Friday - looking at the hour to hour stats

Even though I've written many articles for my own site, when I search for "by [my name]" no articles from my website show up on the first page. Instead the first couple of pages (all I looked for so far) have sites that reference me in some way, and one of those is because they posted an article they stole from our site and included my byline. (We have a big problem with people stealing our original content and reposting it on their sites.)


9:27 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

> Some people claim that Google uses visitor stats in the algo

Very interesting. Everytime I blast a newsletter and offer customers a discount code I get a spike in sales - yet half don't use the code. Upon investigation I see they are new customers who did not receive the newsletter. I have definitely noticed more traffic/new customer sign ups during the 2-3 days after an email blast. I've noticed this for about 8 months or so, maybe longer.


9:46 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

After reviewing HubPages, it feels like a panda iteration. These tend to be the only types of algo changes I've seen that can move traffic so significantly over the last 6+ years.


10:34 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I would also like to report that this week something has driven the results nuts. I am seeing much better ranking here in the US for my website but the traffic has plunged. So either it is going to be a major downgrade for my websites or this weekend will be a roller coaster ride as the algo propagates and creates havoc.


10:36 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

100% certain it is panda... I did the research, same players getting hit, my sites got hit the same way as feb 2011.

Update was weds afternoon back 2011, again its weds afternoon.

It would be interesting to know if you got hit this time around were you hit back in 2011...


11:52 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Update was weds afternoon back 2011, again its weds afternoon.

Google have traditionally updated on 5/6th May, I've been screwed-over several times for no known reason since 05.05.05 ... go figure!


12:05 am on May 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

I see sites for are certain query (xyc plug ) that have nothing ( and i mean nothing ) on it
I found many results for my common searches, like bits of code, were returning deceptive results; title and description in SERP shows the text from my query but the target pages don't have ANY occurrence of ANY word used in the query. What was more frustrating was that the results were what I was used to seeing, the same sites too, just not the data on page. Got the same set of results with both logged in and anonymous browsers.


11:49 am on May 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Top Contributors Of The Month

I checked the Alexa reach of some major sites (hope it is reliable with these volumes):

"Google's" overall traffic is down ~5% (1 month comparison) while last year's drop in April was less.
"Facebook.com's" traffic is down ~4%, while last year there was no drop in April.
"Wikipedia.org's" traffic is down ~6.7%, while last year's decline seems less.
"Amazon.com" is UP 12.7% (last year there was a drop)...
"Ebay" down 6%.

The changes start towards the end of March.

So, while Amazon's, Ebay's and Wikipedia's changes are probably a result of an update (changes are too sharp), I still wonder why Google's and Facebook's own traffic went slowly down beyond seasonal?


12:07 pm on May 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@guggi2000, good observation. well all we can do is wait and see. otherwise what else can we do? we have made our sites according to G's guidelines, good copy, good links. if G does not appreciate that then.. I don't know.


12:31 pm on May 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

One of the reasons amazon is up no doubt is related to the bad search results. In their efforts to minimize spam they pushed so many bad sites to the top that people have up and are now just using amazon directly.

I will never understand why google favors the generic amazon content. Eventually for product searches there will be no need for google at this rate. Use wikipedia for information amazon for products and google will be left to show is blog posts, twitter feeds and news articles. They seem to be slowly pushing away their customers anyway.
This 456 message thread spans 16 pages: 456

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month