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Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2013

     

spreporter

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

Mentat

10:47 pm on Jul 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@dethfire

dang, no changes on my end. i've had steadily declining traffic since dec 2012. I was sure it was Panda 21. Seems to be something else. Just weird how each month is lower and lower. Like clock work.


Same here, 10 years + old site, with 1 million unique visitors/day!
Every day I see a new low since the fatal and strange day of 6 March!
Another inflexion point was 6 of April.

After this, my stat is like a Slow Arsenic Poisoning. Each "rolling update" is like a small dose of poison.

I've search all over about those specific dates, but no real info about the causes.
Some "unconfirmed minor updates", but for me is a disaster...


=======
The "funny part" for me, is that I was unscratched by the Biggest Panda or Penguin!

* the frustrating part is that my competitors are using the EXACT SUB DOMAIN MATCH for 4-5 years now, with millions of subdomains and Google is very happy with this!

GG SPAM!

np2003

6:51 am on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Damn, this is wierd. Anyone know wtf is happening?

I have a site that is under manual penalty, I got the "unnatural links" notice and my site bombed last year in the Panda update. Recently, I've been adding thousands of domains to the disavow tool and opened a reinclusion request.

On the 16/17, my site comes back from oblivion to page 1/2 for three really competitive search terms. Assuming they removed my manual penalty, I am over the moon...

Then I get a reply back from the webspam team later that day saying (this is when my site is alraedy back to page 1)..

"There are still many inorganic links pointing to your site. At this point, we believe we’ve evaluated these links appropriately, and no further action from us is required. In order for your site to have a successful reconsideration request, we will need to see a substantial, good-faith effort to remove the links, and this effort should result in a significant decrease in the number of bad links that we see. We do not recommend that you submit another reconsideration request until you have been able to make a good amount of progress. Once you’ve been able to get the links removed, please file a new reconsideration request with details of your cleanup effort."

So, what the hell happened? Am I still penalized? Why am I back to page #1 and they still say I'm manually penalized... Should I open another ticket or just stay quiet? Could it be the disavow list I uploaded 2 weeks ago that is making it's way into the system or did the Panda update fix my site?

I say this because my other 10+ year site which constantly ranked on page 1.. did not recover, it's still got the "manual penalty".. and did not recover with this softer panda update, so I'm wondering whether or not the disavow tool is automatic.. e.g once it detects a certain % of your bad backlinks are disavowed, it puts you back automatically?

Any ideas?

Wilburforce

2:04 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



I have never had any penalty notices, and see no sign of recovery now. Clearly - whatever you choose to call it - it IS a penalty: you don't drop from the top of page 1 to page 40+ (behind a lot of pages not even in the Key Term business) without some heavy negative weighting, especially when you are still at the top of page 1 on all other engines.

One thing I noticed yesterday is that half a dozen link errors had appeared in WMT which were clearly the result of some indexing/caching error. I had changed a number of pdfs at the beginning of May, following my usual procedure of uploading the new versions/filenames, then uploading revised versions of the pages linking to them, then deleting the older versions. WMT reports link errors from the revised pages postdating the revision by more than six weeks. Is Google using cached versions for this (the only explanation I can think of)?

Clearly any changes to backlinks/disavowing cannot be evaluated for their effect if Google is using historical (and no longer correct) data. On this point, also, the links I disavowed about six months ago do now appear to have been removed, but this has had no effect whatsoever.

backdraft7

3:18 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



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?



Probably how many G+ circles you belong to...

The decline continues...slow and painful.

SerpsGuy

8:40 am on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)



It almost looked like I recovered from the June 5th update, but tonight, at exactly 12:00 PST all traffic dropped off and all rank disappeared again:

[i.snag.gy...]

Martin Ice Web

9:48 am on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



@Serpsguy, this is weird! But no visitors at all and the graph shows that you had 11% returning visitors prior to that fall. Did you check your domain regarding server issues? Maybe your google script is not responding correctly.

Wilburforce

11:06 am on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I had 3 referrals from google.co.uk yesterday. Whoopee!

I never thought I would be able to describe Google referrals as a fraction of Bing, but here we are.

backdraft7

12:49 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Woke up to see a big Goose egg on GA Real Time...so I did a quick check of the serps in Chrome incognito mode... I'm still listed, but no traffic. This whole thing seems like concentric merry go rounds and as they all spin, our referrals change. It used to be that it took 6 months to a year for anything to move, now it's moving in real time...constantly. This is the master plan...courtesy of DARPA and their goal of never being taken by surprise. It eliminates any chance of ever gaming the system (not like I'd ever try).

Oh, and after not getting one sale all day yesterday, I get one at 3:28 am - it's clear by my traffic patterns that I'm being severely day parted...again.

Wilburforce

1:03 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If you've done something so bad you fall below directory listings and businesses in other towns for Your Business Your Town it would be courteous of Google to tell you what it is.

I really do hope they reap the whirlwhind.

nomis5

1:16 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@Serpsguy
Do tell us what happened over the next 24 hours - that graph is just plain scary. As mentioned by MartinIceWEb, it does indicate a technical problem with your site or ad serving. Without that explanation how can the figures drop so completely and quickly?

backdraft7

1:58 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



@serps guy - I've seen that before...it usually means GA is overloaded or not functioning properly. It also indicates a lot of "dial turning" at G. Wait a day (or a few hours) and the data should update.

What I'm seeing today is traffic spikes followed by completely nothing (as viewed in GART). 9am and the site should be banging away, yet it's sitting at zero.

hasek747

2:19 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)



Exactly like @backdraft says. My site, as well as many other ones I've been monitoring have experienced just what you are experiencing today - this was 2-3 days ago. They have returned to normal TODAY, which is kind of the opposite of what has happened in your case.

EDIT: Backdraft, you can check out my message on the previous page (msg:4594610) for more.

EditorialGuy

3:09 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I was getting intermittent zeroes from Google Analytics Real-Time yesterday. (That's something I'd never encountered before.) The day's final traffic stats were almost identical to the previous Saturday's, so I'm pretty sure that the zeroes were a GART reporting error.

backdraft7

3:41 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



My "zeros" seem to be verified by my PIWIK analytics....and a total lack of sales.

backdraft7

5:25 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Five days in a row - zero morning or afternoon sales. WTF are they up to?

SerpsGuy

10:27 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)



I can assure you this is not some analytics error. I check my rank manually as well, and Moz tracking shows all my ranks down again. So I recovered for a few days only.

Jane_Doe

4:39 am on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



My oldest sites seem to be coming back to life, and the newer one are keeping their rankings. So far this softer update has been good for me. I'm still hoping the recovery sticks for my older sites.

ibeau

6:35 am on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)



@hasek747 Same for me. My traffic disappeared for 2 days (no sales whatsoever) then as of yesterday Impressions, CTR and Sales are back up. I always seem to get heaps of international traffic about 24 hours before my local traffic returns.

I'm based in Australia btw

Martin Ice Web

9:31 am on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@SerpsGuy, U mean that u still have NO traffic?
If so it must be a manual penalty.

2 days of the new Panda have been very nice to us, before it stroke back on friday. Weekend was worth, but in Germany we have vacation ( 15 countries )and 34°, that is not a weather for online surfing.
What is very, very wierd is, that we have so many good positions back but it seems no one searchs for them. So sales are at rock bottom and traffic is way down.

ecom, germany

ColourOfSpring

10:41 am on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Top Contributors Of The Month



I'm seeing total domination by brands / eBay / Amazon for my keywords. They are not only taking up all the first page organic results, but they are all taking up the first page advertising spots too + Google Shopping on the first page. Even if you wanted to advertise for these keywords, now you're competing with brands / eBay and Amazon for CPC bidding - you're not going to win there.

Quite a defining moment when you can't find a single link on the first page results to an independent seller, nor even have a hope of profiting through advertising through Adwords / Google Shopping. In other words, Google is 100% completely a closed door for an indie for these keywords. The future is now.

Death of the independents has finally occurred in the niche I sell in (niche fashion accessory).

My primary job is a web developer and confidence is ROCK BOTTOM with my clients (small businesses). Very scary times because Google aren't losing their grip on traffic. I'm genuinely thinking of getting out of this game altogether now....I just need to find some other job first and scale down my internet operations....sad times :(

Martin Ice Web

10:56 am on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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COS,

They are not only taking up all the first page organic results, but they are all taking up the first page advertising spots too + Google Shopping on the first page.


I was just thinking the same. Best what ever happend to big brands. Now they are able to overtake the complete search engine for ecom terms. All the small site that are much more cheaper are vanished. Don´t know if this is a good UE to the users.
My niche is domiated by 2(!) big brands ( and Amazon ) this two brands have nearly 80% presence on first page! This is a upgoing spiral for brands and their signals, hard to break through.
And a Multi Million Dollar spender like Amazon will not pay the CPC you have to pay!

ecom, germany

ColourOfSpring

11:15 am on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Top Contributors Of The Month



True Martin, and there's nothing we can do about it. It happened on the high street (small shops being ousted by big brands), it's happening online. It's futile to fight it. We just have to accept it and move on. I've seen this happening since spring 2012 and it's not going to change unless Google really lose a lot of traffic because people get fed up with lack of choice. So far, not happening. People are happy with a lack of choice offline, and they will be happy enough online with a smaller choice of vendors. Scary thing is - the jobs market absolutely sucks in the UK and has done for years. Cost of living is sky-rocketing - where's the relief?! Sorry to go off topic here.....my main point being that I am in no way seeing any let up by Google with regards to brand-favouring....they're ratcheting up their bias to this signal more and more.

hasek747

1:46 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)



@ColourOfSpring

True, but not everyone searching in Google is looking to buy. So while people who are buying might not care how much choice they are given, people who are looking for information do care, and they won't stick with Google forever if the current trend continues. So I think it's false to compare Google as a whole to the e-com situation on high streets (it's very easy for us to forget that Google is far, far more than just about ecom, from a searcher's point of view).

EditorialGuy

2:42 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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For several [keyword]-based two- and three-word queries that I monitor, the site that's currently outranking everything or nearly everything else is a thin affiliate site at:

www.keyword.nu

("Nu." in case you're curious, is the TLD for Niue, an island state of 1,414 residents that will sell .nu domains to anyone.)

Who says EMDs are dead?

EditorialGuy

2:48 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



it's very easy for us to forget that Google is far, far more than just about ecom, from a searcher's point of view


That's a great point, and it may have implications for future rankings. If and when AuthorRank becomes part of the ranking algorithm, for example, it could become harder to profit from sites where "content" is a synonym for "filler."

Disclaimer: I did say "if and when." :-)

ColourOfSpring

3:45 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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True, but not everyone searching in Google is looking to buy. So while people who are buying might not care how much choice they are given, people who are looking for information do care, and they won't stick with Google forever if the current trend continues.


Maybe that's true, but it won't stop Google from killing off independent e-commerce sites as they are doing now. If people leave Google because information searches are offering less choice, Google will just revert back to more choice for info searches and come out with a "we listened to our searchers, we're giving you more choice". Not so for e-commerce - nobody's complaining about lack of choice for e-commerce, just as nobody's complaining in the high street about lack of choice. People feel they get enough choice in the big box stores as it is. And while Google are making a ton more money by offering less choice for e-comm searches, nothing will change. E-commerce is my market, hence my desire to get the hell out of it while I have my sanity :)

roseberry99

4:18 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



for those who haven't seen it, searchmetrics now has the updated winners and losers for last week. Interesting to see that there seem to be certain industries that are more represented: [suite.searchmetrics.com...]

I hope this is okay to link to with posting guidelines and moderators - if not I apologize in advance.

Wilburforce

4:50 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



nobody's complaining in the high street about lack of choice


I am, but I accept I am not representative of the consumer-at-large.

EditorialGuy

5:53 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



@roseberry9: Thanks for the SearchMetrics reminder. According to SearchMetrics, our search visibility dropped quite a bit in the early May "phantom update." That's in line with what I saw in Google Analytics.

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.

hasek747

8:10 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)



Google will just revert back to more choice for info searches and come out with a "we listened to our searchers, we're giving you more choice".


The thing is, I doubt your average searcher monitors (or even cares about) announcements from Google :) Once they switch to something else due to lack of satisfaction, I believe they will stay there as long as it (I'm tempted to say Bing, but I'll just say "it") satisfies their needs.

That's just pure theorizing at this point though. :)

Sorry for the OT by the way - I'll be quiet now.
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