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Google Updates and SERP Changes - January 2014

     
2:46 am on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4627107.htm [webmasterworld.com] by aakk9999 - 4:37 am on Jan 4, 2014 (gmt 0)


I think we had a Penguin or some EMD update. I have an informational site that's been around for a while - 1 word EMD - and it's nowhere to be found.
7:14 pm on Jan 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Ugly websites=user more likely to bounce back to Google? Nice websites no longer rank as that takes user from Google? Who knows. All I know is Google have started 2014 how 2013 went for us,ie pear shaped. Funny how during the break between Christmas & New Year our websites bounced back.
7:21 pm on Jan 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I've noticed a general shift away from Google whenever I talk to small businesses about marketing. We talk about word of mouth, local, offline outreach (not local Google), Facebook, Twitter, contributing to online niche communities - basically, good old networking (for B2B type businesses). Google rarely gets a mention now. People see their ads as too expensive, their organic listings as just unreliable (in terms of marketing). Businesses want reliability. I've myself drifted away from Google. I hardly post on this Google discussion group anymore, and when I do come back, I notice that also there's a lot less activity here than a year ago. I think businesses have just gotten jaded with Google. It's preceived now as a big-brand place, a cold place for SMEs. I see the drift continuing, which surely can't be good for Google.
7:56 pm on Jan 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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People see their ads as too expensive, their organic listings as just unreliable (in terms of marketing).


Advertising is beyond the purview of this forum, but as for the notion that "organic listings are...unreliable (in terms of marketing)," how exactly is that bad for Google?

Google Search won't be hurt if only 100,000 vendors, as opposed to a million, are trying to rank no. 1 for "fuzzy red widgets" or "hotel rooms in slobovia" in the organic results, or if old-school SEO is no longer the most useful skill for an online entrepreneur.
8:10 pm on Jan 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Seeing big improvements in "cleaned up sites" now ranking very high, although I can only talk of a small sample set.
8:20 pm on Jan 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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have a new website, 4 moths old domain, clean white hat, versatile SEO (of course with some paid links)


Contradictory stuff right there.
9:32 pm on Jan 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Advertising is beyond the purview of this forum, but as for the notion that "organic listings are...unreliable (in terms of marketing)," how exactly is that bad for Google?


I can only speak about the sentiment with the businesses I deal with, but it's surely bad for any business to go from appealing to unappealing to many SMEs out there (again, perhaps my sample is unrepresentative, who knows?). You're right that there will always be enough advertisers for Google, but surely one of the dangers of Google is that more and more businesses slowly learn of ways to survive and even thrive outside of Google.
10:44 pm on Jan 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Google Search won't be hurt if only 100,000 vendors, as opposed to a million, are trying to rank no. 1 for "fuzzy red widgets" or "hotel rooms in slobovia" in the organic results, or if old-school SEO is no longer the most useful skill for an online entrepreneur.


Google will be hurt if a better search engine came along or the existing ones marketed themselves properly.

Having watched their results go over the years from terrific to not bad to disappointing to poor and now to abysmal after this last update (in my own opinion, my vertical and my country of course - you may see things differently) they are no longer part of my own long term plans. The results I have seen of this update have been even more brandspam (I thought naively that it reached saturation point ages ago), scarcely relevant results and an upswing in business from Bing. I am also seeing even more competitors of long standing with sites that to be honest are vastly superior to some of mine fall right down in the SERPs or disappear completely. Quality, after this update, seems to be a liability. In my humble opinion they are throwing away their main asset, we know that they can do far, far better than this.

There is a lot of brand loyalty to Google but over the half century or so I've been in business I've watched countless companies soar to the skies then crash in flames because they lost sight of their main raison d'etre; in Google's case, to produce first class search results, every time. They are no longer doing that.
1:52 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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There is a lot of brand loyalty to Google but over the half century or so I've been in business I've watched countless companies soar to the skies then crash in flames because they lost sight of their main raison d'etre; in Google's case, to produce first class search results, every time. They are no longer doing that.


I think Google are here to stay now. The results are good enough. The trick is to work out the key factors to compete and work on those aspects. Old seo techniques are a thing of the past. IMHO its all about quality signals now.
3:27 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Interesting. My site that was de-indexed seems to have reappeared yesterday, 1/12/13. I don't believe that happens with manual "penalty" actions.
7:31 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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IMHO its all about quality signals now.

In which case I must be completing missing the boat on what is deemed quality. There were plenty of sites (which have now disappeared)I considered higher quality than generic SERP spam from the likes of Amazon & eBay. With each update I see more traffic from Bing. Great, the sooner Google disappear up a Panda's ass somewhere the better. Here to stay? Maybe. Remain as the no1 SEARCH ENGINE? Don't bank on that. The SERP's I check this morning are back to massive Google Shopping block & images taking up all of the screen above the fold.
8:10 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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With each update I see more traffic from Bing. Great, the sooner Google disappear up a Panda's ass somewhere the better


hopefully !

I wish I could say the same about Bing but as we both target UK traffic I'm surprised your seeing an increase! I rank about the same on both and even with adding Y's figures I'm only getting 14% of my traffic from B/Y that won't pay the bills!

Like you I long to see the day G fails but I really don't see it, for most brits G is the internet ....idiots
8:19 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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My traffic from Bing is still way off Google. However like I say each update Google does seems to see another notch up for Bing. Bing is far from perfect but I can't take Google any longer. I'm sick of seeing Ads everywhere om their pages. Looks like another tough day ahead, the UK must be switched off as all Google traffic is coming from India. Maybe it's time to ask that to Cutt's? Why would multiple websites that target the UK selling UK specific products suddenly get loads of traffic from India which always seems to coincide with an update? Not a hard question to answer surely Matt.....
8:57 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm still seeing a lot of shuffling. I don't think it's over yet.
9:09 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Panda hit site has recovered around 30%, I think this update started last thursday and filtered to this site yesterday and is ongoing.
9:10 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'd second that Chalkywhite. We were fine until Thursday then BAM!
10:11 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thursday was when it kicked in and I lost about 10% - I agree its still cooking and hopefully will improve, I'm so gutted that Cutts hasn't tweeted telling us 1% of all sites will be effected
10:16 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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lol, oh yes that 1% bull#*$!! It must be up to a total of 99% by now ;)
11:13 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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as all Google traffic is coming from India


Pongal holidays this week, maybe more Indians using the Internet at home etc.

for most brits G is the internet ....idiots


Whilst the stats say one thing many of the people I speak to seem to say the opposite. They do not seem to be shifting to Bing but rather social media for their information.

basically, good old networking (for B2B type businesses). Google rarely gets a mention now.


Yep, as a business we participate in 3 or 4 widget international exhibitions a year and whereas they were declining up until a couple of years ago, based upon their many years of attendances, they are now increasing in popularity again. Ok one good argue that it's better economics that's doing it however talking with many clients it is obvious that they are fed-up with Google, many, many people cited Google results as untrustworthy and biased without me even commenting about them.

It's ridiculous that we should even have to write about Google like this, they had it all yet now seem to be prepared to throw it all away simply to satisfy corporate investors ever-increasing expectations.

Isn't it time for them to have a radical re-think about what they are actually doing?
11:19 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Pongal holidays this week, maybe more Indians using the Internet at home etc.


No chance. It happens EVERY time an update happens. Same old same old, boost, decline, junk.
11:39 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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i need to know why the search result vary from browser to anther ?
11:50 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Isn't it time for them to have a radical re-think about what they are actually doing?


The current SERPS look like a radical rethink of actually being a search engine to me.

An interesting phenomenon that was apparent a couple of months ago seems to have resurfaced: if I search for e.g. specificservice supplier mytown and there are no specificservice suppliers there, I now frequently get e.g. handbag supplier mytown and bicycle supplier mytown, in at least equivalent numbers to specificservice supplier nearby. If I am looking for a pet shop somewhere, the words shop and somewhere get more weight than the product.
11:54 am on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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i need to know why the search result vary from browser to anther ?


Clear the cache and check browser preferences (including Google preferences in each browser). Also, if you are logged into WMT in IE, don't expect to see the same thing in other browsers.
12:05 pm on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's ridiculous that we should even have to write about Google like this, they had it all yet now seem to be prepared to throw it all away simply to satisfy corporate investors ever-increasing expectations.


I often think of the parable of the golden goose.

Here's just a thought, prompted by the chaotic SERPs at the moment. What if Google periodically shook them up and then let them find their own level based on user data? It could explain why they are often so bad after updates.

Just a hypothesis, I don't mind if it's shot down.
12:14 pm on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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That could well be the case, trouble is, why to they keep shaking them?! Our user feedback suggests our site & products are good. When Google is off our back we ping along just fine. Then another update happens...
2:45 pm on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Anybody else seeing a lot of movement with Wikipedia? On the 10th, we got passed by them, yet the content on their page I'm looking at isn't really that strong.
2:53 pm on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I can cope with wikki being in front of me, people know what it is and if they are buying probably won't click it
2:53 pm on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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thanks for help
so do you think the off page was gone
3:35 pm on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Anybody else seeing a lot of movement with Wikipedia? On the 10th, we got passed by them, yet the content on their page I'm looking at isn't really that strong.

Yes, for some terms they are no1 again. Talking of which what are the implications if a wiki page copies YOUR text 100%?! As one of our popular products has a Wiki page which is basically a copy of our page!
4:38 pm on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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finally got hit 3rd time
5:47 pm on Jan 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Anybody else seeing a lot of movement with Wikipedia? On the 10th, we got passed by them, yet the content on their page I'm looking at isn't really that strong.


Brand seems to be getting a boost again.
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