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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2013

     
3:20 am on Nov 1, 2013 (gmt 0)




System: The following 20 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4614058.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 1:36 am on Nov 4, 2013 (PST -8)


I'm seeing some interesting SERPs right now. Queries seeming to be matched to the most generic term available instead of the specified query. IE - a search for "type of something" returns a list of "somethings". These are geomodified queries.

No surprise, just interesting to see.
5:06 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Traffic from Google has halved for me in the last few days, something's going disastrously wrong, this is across several sites some up to 19 years old.
5:29 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)



ohno, I see the same thing you are seeing. It is like the local G server you use has not changed but all the others have .. All your words are near the same in the listing, but all 7 billion people in this planet are on some other server..

It looks to me like there are two monthly updates, or maybe should be called maintenance adjustments. On the 4th of every month I see a small increase in traffic, and on the 22nd it falls back a little more than it gained. The overall trend in google and google clones like AOL, is declining traffic and keywords. And we get more and more outside the country visits which do not purchase anything. I do great in all other search engines but they have no search volume and are trying to get us to move over to them.

There is no mystery here, They are like any other business and make changes that will maximize their profit. If there is a mystery, it is why everyone keeps looking at google as a friend that is giving them free gifts, like their spyware analytics program that everyone is so happy to use.
5:41 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@Johnny, regarding the declining of traffic, could it be because Amazon did add new products to its sortiment they hadnīt listed up to now? And Google now catched up the changes and we all no they serve Amazon biased results?
6:13 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I've just been checking my AdSense stats and whatever they have done/updated has seen USA Page Views reduce by 75%, today, so far, my US traffic is running at about 12.5% of average and compared to January 2013 at 5.5%.

As The Rolling Stones said "It's all over now"!
6:19 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)



Holy #*$! that is somwe reduction RedBar but mirrors the worst Monday I've ever had :(

ohno, I see the same thing you are seeing. It is like the local G server you use has not changed but all the others have .. All your words are near the same in the listing, but all 7 billion people in this planet are on some other server..


johny-joe there is still that mystery though.....
6:22 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing the biggest changes n SERPs for years. A significant change is going on and I think it may be algorithmic because it's affecting so many verticals.
6:32 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)



@petehall-you are actually seeing big changes in your SERP's? I wish I was as I could explain the day we've had then. But for me, in every browser I try via different ISP's signed in or out or incognito makes hardly any difference (I see +- 2 places at most for some search terms). Beginning to think they have big issues, the amount of foreign hits has far outweighed our own country today (although traffic has been so dire I'm only talking probably 50 hits!).
6:39 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)



@ Martin, Amazon has been the the number 2 listing second only to Google Shopping in my niche since May 2013. Maybe a little longer but I did not notice. That is just the new norm. We just have to accept the fact that Amazon has the most organic money.

If I see three ppc ads for one of my competitors for any word related to, or not related to, the current search. He will be in the top slot for the niche.

About the only thing that will fix this will be the government breaking them up like they did with the phone company monopoly. But being they are in cahoots, that won't be happening.

Better get out your ppc money.
8:39 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@johnny, what do you mean with
number 2 listing second only to Google Shopping
? Does amazon takes part in google shopping? Where are you located?
8:59 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)



Maybe Google's constant state of flux is designed to move people to the more stable and predictable Adwords.

If there is a mystery, it is why everyone keeps looking at google as a friend that is giving them free gifts, like their spyware analytics program that everyone is so happy to use.

Beautifully stated johnny_joe!
10:05 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Maybe Google's constant state of flux is designed to move people to the more stable and predictable Adwords.


No, because most sites will never be able to justify the cost or hassle of using AdWords. (Not everyone on the Web is selling goods or services.)
10:16 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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No, because most sites will never be able to justify the cost or hassle of using AdWords.

Doesn't mean google won't try. I'm not blind to what they've been doing in local search for more than a year now. It's most obvious in local search. If local isn't your cup of tea you can be forgiven for not noticing it too.

I can tear open one the AdWords offers I have here (I keep the envelopes for scrap paper to scribble notes on) from google to read you how they make the pitch with the heavy emphasis on "city name keyword name".

When I perform a local search and the bulk of the results are for adjacent towns you just know what they're doing, it's beyond obvious to those not wearing blinders.
1:05 am on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I've never been a believer in the infallibility of Google's algorithm. Sometimes results suck just because the algorithm isn't perfect, not because Google is trying to sell more ads.

Getting back on topic, I'm continuing to see more flakiness at the directory and country level than I usually do. Today, our Google referrals were stronger than they have been lately, compared to other sources, but most of the gains came from countries where English isn't the native language (despite the fact that all of our content is in English). Googlebot has also been a frequent visitor in the last few days even though it did a deeper-than-normal crawl a week earlier.

Whatever's happening, it doesn't seem to be over yet.
3:49 am on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)



@Martin, I am in the USA, As far as I know Amazon does not put ads on Google Shopping. But then again they might. All I was saying is it seems that no matter what you search for the first listing is Google Shopping followed by Amazon. I was assuming that it was the same everywhere.
4:05 am on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)



most of the gains came from countries where English isn't the native language (despite the fact that all of our content is in English)


This is starting to show up in my searchs. I just tryed a quick search and it gave me a few outside the country listings.

That never happens.

I'm starting to wonder if Google messed things up so bad they could not fix it. And they are now having to deep crawl the whole internet.
7:31 am on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)



All I was saying is it seems that no matter what you search for the first listing is Google Shopping followed by Amazon. I was assuming that it was the same everywhere.

Yep, bang on, usually followed by another member of the Internet consortium or whatever they call themselves!
9:06 am on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@ohno some sites have only moved a couple of positions as you state, whereas others I've seen drop substantially (2-3 pages). It's potentially just a large Panda rollout but often when so many verticals are affected it's algorithmic. Could even be both! Either way I've seen a lot of movement recently.
2:12 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@Johnny, yes we see it, too. Google Shopping and then Amazon.
But in last time i see Amazon also coming up for informational searches. Like Printer problems a.s.o. Not to mention that Amazon would be the last site to visit for printer problems. But this could be the case that we are seeing less traffic every month. It is eaten by the two big guys. It tend to give up searching for Solutions with google as there is allways the same big brands and only a handfull of sites ( most of them arnīt even have something to do with the query )

Today we see big drops in traffic. Bounce rate went up again to >90% from less then 20%. Foreign traffic, many bots.

Germany, ecom
3:03 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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But in last time i see Amazon also coming up for informational searches. Like Printer problems a.s.o. Not to mention that Amazon would be the last site to visit for printer problems.


Maybe because of advice in user reviews? I've often found technical advice (some of it quite useful) in reviews on Amazon's product pages. Some guy will buy the WX-1 widget, have problems figuring it out, finally get it working, and post what he did in an Amazon review. On occasion I've found multiple user reviews on an Amazon product pages that had useful how-to or troubleshooting information. At times it seems like Amazon is much of a "community" as Facebook or Webmaster World.

Disclaimer: I'm not suggesting that Google's SERPs are perfect. For some queries that any brain-dead searcher could recognize as "informational," Google returns corporate sell pages and e-commerce pages on the first page of results. (People who like to claim that Google's search results are intended to "sell more ads" should ask themselves why, in cases like this, Google is giving away the store.)
3:22 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)



Technical advice on Amazon? I've heard it all now.
3:26 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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any brain-dead searcher could recognize as "informational," Google returns corporate sell pages and e-commerce


I hope this one is not going into my direction?
3:31 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Whatever update has happened this past week has decimated my US traffic from Google. Usually I see 5X US traffic v UK, yesterday it was 2X, today, so far, I am seeing less than half the US traffic I've already had from either the UK or India.

Every year at this time G seems to shake-up the entire system for the benefit of shopping sites however I've never seen anything so bizarre as this.

It's not as though my competitors have gained any advantages, G's given nearly all the results to Chinese and Indian trade directory sites ... absolutely useless for Joe Public purchaser and pointless for trade specifiers seeking legitimate product information since they don't have any, just page after page of supposed bulk trade supplies of products which many of them do not have.

Hmmm, just re-read that, it's just like having Amazon pages with "This product is no longer available"! Is this G's way forward, showing endless pages of out of stock items?
3:39 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)



Redbar are you US based?
3:43 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)



I wonder if the work experience kid has accidentally unplugged something there at the Googleplex? That's the only thing I can think of that makes any sense at the moment.

Someone will walk past, see a plug hanging out of a socket, plug it back in, shrug and walk off. Meanwhile unknowingly they've restored the SERPs to how they should be.

Or maybe not...
4:00 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Redbar are you US based?


Principally I am India based however all our sites are constructed, hosted and maintained in the UK. We are a major widget producer in several countries serving a global trade via several company brand portals as in example.com/asia/cn/co.uk/eu/in/etc
4:05 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)



That's interesting as one sign of trouble ahead for us is hits from India for some reason! Do you see anything? (we are UK based, UK hosted selling UK specific products).
5:01 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Our Indian traffic is very consistent and so are visitors to our main Indian site, its biggest visitors by far are Chinese sourcing our raw products. Actually these days China is generally in the top 5 across all of our sites.
7:29 am on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)



SERP's have changed this morning for some terms I check, nothing massive but image results have gone. Still seeing brand bias but on some terms this seems to have been dialed down. Some terms to my eyes look like SERP's from quite some time ago.
8:17 am on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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ohno, since 4 days we have foreign traffic from australia, India, China....
The "normal" german traffic is unrelated, too. But I heard that this is a Quality update.
8:25 am on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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But I heard that this is a Quality update


Martin, please post where you heard this

cheers

DD
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