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Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2013

   
6:32 am on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)




System: The following 3 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4580257.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 9:35 am on Jul 1, 2013 (utc -5)


RIP Tedster, though I never knew you personally for 8 years now I've learned a lot from your great contributions
12:49 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have to agree with the following:
>What is very, very weird is, that we have so many good positions back but it seems no one searches for them<

Even WMT shows we are getting 3x the impressions from last week and about 2.5x the clicks, but I can't see where?

A quick update on our experience with "Panda-gray". Almost all of our ranking upgrades have held and still rising. One day words a,b,c will go up, the next day d,e,f will go up while the others take a rest, then back to a,b,c the next day. In a few cases we are back up to over where we were Feb 2011, most not. We don't dare make any unnecessary changes until things stabilize. Those words that dropped back 5-10 positions in the last few days did so for a day or two and then sprang back up 10-15 positions.

>Matt Cutts said that the new Panda would look for "additional signals of quality" that would soften the effects of Panda.
Any ideas on what those additional signals might have been? <

We discussed it in the office and in our humble opinion the top 4 ranking signals they added:
4. The number of DMCA/scraper reports you've filed with G in the last year.
3. If after 2 years of being Pandalized you haven't given up and are still banging your head on the keyboard and renewing your domain, you MUST be for real.
2. Whether you still rank highly on B/Y, as they finally realized who has the overall better results.
1. Whether Page, Brin or Cutts have pinned a humorous cat/dog/squirrel photo from your site to their personal Pinterest boards.

Don't ask me for "evidence" for our guesses. THERE IS NONE. It is meant to be FUNNY (mostly).
3:48 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)



I'm seeing a change starting mid-morning yesterday (7/22, EST). In my case, it seems to be entirely related to long-tail. Overall search referrals are up pretty significantly (about 20%).
8:16 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing massive improvements today. Saturday was good, Sunday was great. On Monday things continued to look better and today it continues to improve. If this is the softer Panda update, I certainly hope they continue to keep it soft.
8:38 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)



DigiSEO. What are "massive" improvements percentage wise? Are you seeing it mostly in the tail?
9:14 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)



If after 2 years of being Pandalized you haven't given up and are still banging your head on the keyboard and renewing your domain, you MUST be for real.


This is it :)
9:34 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If after 2 years of being Pandalized you haven't given up and are still banging your head on the keyboard and renewing your domain, you MUST be for real.


So Google are happy to give you arbitrary exercises to do other than writing great content just to prove you are "for real"? How I miss the old internet.
10:49 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So Google are happy to give you arbitrary exercises to do other than writing great content just to prove you are "for real"? How I miss the old internet.


MikeNoLastName did say that he was joking. Speaking of which, maybe the Disavow Tool could be replaced by a Virtual Confessional. Admit your sins, say the requisite number of Hail Larrys as penance, and you'd get absolution.

Or you could simply buy indulgences in the form of AdWords. :-)
1:19 am on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm still wondering what Google was trying to do in the May 7/8/9 update, and why there's been so little talk about it.

I saw that on 7th of May Google started to treat HTTP 500 that was returned by requesting robots.txt differently (see message #4581521 in this thread [webmasterworld.com...] )

Hence I am wondering whether May 7/8/9 has anything to do with some changes in Google's treatment of (various?) technical issues of a website.
6:56 am on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



My best site that went up after the previous Panda updates has had a slight decrease in traffic with this release. I don't think it is penalized. I just think the sites they are going softer on are providing more competition.

Another site that was hit by Panda has been recovering a bit more each day over the past week.

Overall my income is pretty much the same as the different ups and downs are a wash. But I like this update better because my income is getting spread out more again with more sites getting traffic.
8:32 am on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)



Though my sites are doing "business as usual" I can't say that the SERPS are looking fine for the Joe user, google.de , .it, etc... today looking for certain place the first page is full with double listings of the usual suspects...following by english pages and ! a couple of certain hotel official sites (ie hotel "hotelplace.com" "placehotel.com"....ect and in english of cource)..go figer out if the German, Italian, Dutch or French user will ever click on those hotel pages or the english versions of the certain "place" pages.
9:18 am on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@Sprereporter, I can confirm that german non-ad-listings are full of foreign sites.

Meanwhile i thin of revert some changes i did regarding the menue structure. This i made more summing up the niches. Before that i had a "megamenue" where poeple would have less clicks to do before reaching the target. I now think that the small menue is not in the sense of users, cause they now must shuffle through more submenues.

Has someone experience with changing from megamenue to small menue and back?!

AHH, and i donßt care if Google likes megemenues or not, serps are full of bad navigation sites!


ecom, germany
10:03 am on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)



@Martiniceweb it looks like google has messed up the local results or alternatively the so called Panda/Penguin ...whatsoever... has to learn some other languages as well, except English .......
2:09 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Since Saturday, there have been substantial improvements in traffic and conversions. This pattern is very typical of all updates since 5/2010. First the noob / MFA type sites get a boost, while at the same time long established sites drop for a day or two, then the noob sites drop back and the old timer / auth sites pop back up...until the next update, which might be a few days at best. Rinse & repeat.

We had three good days, now today traffic is back to a trickle...must be another update rolling through. Nothing they have done recently is "softening the blow" of updates for us.

I'm finding the best way to force traffic is to pay to promote Facebook posts. IMHO, FB is the future for delivering quality / buying traffic.
3:00 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)



Seeing a potential recovery from 9am EST

INFO site
3:17 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hence I am wondering whether May 7/8/9 has anything to do with some changes in Google's treatment of (various?) technical issues of a website.


The only site of mine affected by that one was also the only site affected by Penguin. It recovered a noticable little percentage of its traffic on those days, and has gotten a few more bumps since then. I think it was testing Penguin 2.0 on a limited set of sites.

I'm finding the best way to force traffic is to pay to promote Facebook posts. IMHO, FB is the future for delivering quality / buying traffic.


Glad to hear you're finding something that works! In my niches (informational topics), social media is how more and more people are finding the stuff they used to Google for. While my Google rankings on my top site are still great, it just doesn't deliver like it once did because people are using FB, Pinterest, SU and others instead.
5:44 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)



Just ran some cleaning utilities on my system, it cleared all cache of all kinds. Went to google after to check my rank, and got this at the bottom of the page:

[i.snag.gy...]

Anyone else seeing this? Looks like google might be looking more for direct feedback from their users.
5:46 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)



backdraft7 - That is interesting- my website is kinda new, and I dropped farther back now. Its interesting because that would mean site age plays a huge role in ranking.
6:54 am on Jul 25, 2013 (gmt 0)



Anyone else seeing this
Nope...
As for what I wrote yesterday I assume it was probably a glitch, this morning results in .DE .IT .FR .CO.UK are fine, business as usual..
1:52 pm on Jul 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



the clamp is back on, now back 1 to 4 visitors at a time, never more, always less. The natural patterns of the web are long dead and now appear highly manipulated on a daily / hourly basis.
2:01 pm on Jul 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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backdraft, if you spend me 1.000 bucks if will call up ten users to visit your site within 5 minutes, so you have the good old feeling back :(

But i can see this pattern too. And goomazon and ebay are back more then before. It feels like a roll back + anti soft panda + lots of ads, ads, ads over the fold.

Google isnīt a search engine or a imformation engine it is a
ad engine supported by organics.

@sprereporter, and it reverted back at 11am. Not a glitch.

ecom, germany
1:22 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Um, it's late here in the UK.. just done a place name <topic> search. Page 1 has EIGHT tripadvisor listings, one for a local social care centre ( not the <topic>) , and one local council page related to the <topic>.

I'm laughing at Google, what a joke. Billion dollar company and that's the best they can do !
8:28 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)



Google giveth and google taketh away!

Saw some sites jump now gone back, the only one holding is the one I deleted the disavow tool txt doc for recently, nothing else has been changed and 3rd organically on a national level.
8:45 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



the clamp is back on, now back 1 to 4 visitors at a time, never more, always less. The natural patterns of the web are long dead and now appear highly manipulated on a daily / hourly basis.


Interesting remark but it needs to be taken further - who or what limiting the amount of visitors? The implication from your post is that G is limiting the number of visitors. However is it also a possibility that publishers are effectively doing this?

Adwords and addwords users are becoming more and more sophisticated and possibly their usage of the system, not G, is the reason for what you see?
10:00 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Um, it's late here in the UK.. just done a place name <topic> search. Page 1 has EIGHT tripadvisor listings, one for a local social care centre ( not the <topic>) , and one local council page related to the <topic>.

Tripadvisor also do Multiple Domains Crowding Spam,
often they appear with several companies of theres.
12:51 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



who or what limiting the amount of visitors?


...and this is where we get ridiculous by speculating the 'who' or 'what' part. G does not want us to know. The whole M.O. of "quality updates" is to confuse blackhat (and even whitehat) SEO efforts. I'm done chasing rankings...now I just put my 'thang' out there and let G do with it as they will.

That said, yes, publishers could be a factor, so are mobile users, social media, the weather, you name it.
Bottom line is that (in my vertical) the natural traffic patterns observed 2000-2010 are gone.
2:30 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)



Um, it's late here in the UK.. just done a place name <topic> search. Page 1 has EIGHT tripadvisor listings, one for a local social care centre ( not the <topic>) , and one local council page related to the <topic>.

I have searched for many keywords, and I see Trip Advisor, Amazon and eBay pages getting the domain name spamming boost in Google's search results. I am beginning to believe that this crowding/spamming is just a member benefit of Google's lobbying group (Internet Association) because no small businesses get this type of treatment. Also any coupon search has Google financed Retail Me Not listings, even for car wash coupons I was searching for today.

Does anyone have any evidence that Google's search results are not completely/totally biased towards those companies that Google has a close relationship with or owns? And Google just bought Waze, so now map options for people will be reduced.

This problem in Google search has gotten so bad I could compare it to a 1970s telephone company distributing phone books that had listings of only those businesses that they own, finance or have partnered with.
3:23 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have searched for many keywords, and I see Trip Advisor, Amazon and eBay pages getting the domain name spamming boost in Google's search results. I am beginning to believe that this crowding/spamming is just a member benefit of Google's lobbying group (Internet Association) because no small businesses get this type of treatment. Also any coupon search has Google financed Retail Me Not listings, even for car wash coupons I was searching for today.


Matt Cutts admitted to the "crowd sourcing" problem and said Google were looking to fix it a few months ago. Obviously it hasn't been fixed. On a typical search I've made just now, I see the following:-

amazon
amazon
amazon
independent retailer
ebay
alibaba
twenga (product aggregator / pay-per-click site)
ebay
amazon
ebay

That's the top 10. 4 Amazons, 3 eBays. This keyword is dead in the water for any indie site (OK, there's the token single Indie seller, but how long before they add another eBay/Amazon result there?).
3:25 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



Does anyone have any evidence that Google's search results are not completely/totally biased towards those companies that Google has a close relationship with or owns?


You can't prove a negative, but there is a way to settle this.

In cases where someone alleges discrimination in the workplace, courts look through ALL the company's employment records for a pattern of discrimination to back up the employee's claim. So someone ought to put together a real, statistical study to test if Google's using favoritism. I'm not sure how to frame it, but you'd maybe look at the SERPs for various queries and see how often Google products or Google-financed companies come up, maybe compare it to other engines' results, maybe look for improvements in the rankings AFTER Google got into a financial relationship with these companies (that is, if RetailMeNot was always up top, Google can just say, "Yeah, it was, so we invested in a winner", but if their rankings improved after Google invested, that's suggestive).
5:01 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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if their rankings improved after Google invested, that's suggestive


Not even then, really. First, you would expect the website of a Google subsidiary/affiliate to have Gooogle "best practices" applied to it, and second, you would expect a business to improve in many ways (not just Google SERPS) following investment from a multi-billion corporation.

The only thing that would show an unfair bias (as if it would make any difference) is evidence that penalty factors which apply to the rest of us were disregarded for Google subsidiaries/affiliates. We don't know what these are, and my guess is they will have been stripped out of those sites following acquisition rather than "overlooked".

How long the public will remain happy being served Google-on-a-plate remains to be seen, but if results as bad as some I have seen lately haven't shifted them, I reckon they'll go on eating it for some time yet.
5:56 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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How long the public will remain happy being served Google-on-a-plate remains to be seen, but if results as bad as some I have seen lately haven't shifted them, I reckon they'll go on eating it for some time yet.


My thoughts too. I think Google are really onto a winner here. They've got an entrenched, established search market share that is happy to shift from organic clicking to ad clicking, and now they're just dialing up the ad clicks slowly but surely. People aren't going anywhere in the next few years at least, and while the big brands win all this traffic, they can reinvest their extra profits into stellar content / website improvements, giving Google even more reason to continue to rank the brands well. Welcome to High Street 2.0.
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