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Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2014

     
8:54 am on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 2 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4642316.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 3:04 am on Mar 1, 2014 (PST -8)


@advaith

Embedded video was discussed a couple of pages ago in this thread [webmasterworld.com...] (pages 5 & 6), and focus on news has also come and gone in the SERPs - and in discussions in earlier threads - a couple of times.

My guess is they are still testing these in the results, probably with a view to rolling them out at some point.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:12 am (utc) on Mar 3, 2014]
[edit reason] added link [/edit]

3:09 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Let's bear in mind that a 'softer' algo will be softer on our genuine competitors too (I don't consider 'big brand' sites that are just at the top because they are, well, big brand sites to be genuine competitors). If Google is too gentle some of us may find ourselves in a worse position than before. I don't see this happening yet here in the UK. There seems to have been a small shake-up in my niches with the major sites still increasing their dominance despite their quality and relevance, or more often lack of it. Mind you that could be because a lot of the operators of first class sites in my niches have pretty much given up. Good for me of course but not good for the Internet in general.
3:14 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I haven't seen any change for our information site--at least, not yet. Google referrals and overall traffic for yesterday (Tuesday) were almost exactly the same as for Tuesday a week ago.
3:24 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps it might be useful to know the region of the world you're in when you report of changes.
4:13 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Have any of you noticed that the Google organic traffic to your site isn't converting much at the moment?

Do you receive much of "junk" international traffic from countries which you are not targeting at all?

Thats exactly what happening to a small site I monitor.

Talking about "soft Panda" :-)
4:29 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@reseller, 2 site, not converting at all. I have carts from foreign users, abandon. All other visitors seem to get shown the wrong search results.

ecom, germany
5:03 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have just recognized that - in my niche - the first three entries have
-on stock + price adde by google.
It is in most cases ebay and one big brand, the smaller ecoms dont have this feature. Does someone know where they get it from? google shopping datafeed?
6:10 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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google shopping datafeed?


It could be from rich snippets - I know there's schema for products (I added this schema to my own sites ages ago, but Google never showed it in their results!).
7:58 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have just recognized that - in my niche - the first three entries have -on stock + price adde by google.


It could simply be a test with a handful of big-name sites. That's what Google did with Authorship photos and bylines a couple of years ago, before Authorship was officially rolled out.
11:20 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Here are some keyword rankings I'm tracking for one of my sites. Visits dropped by 15 percent compared to last week.

Before the update (average 12):
22 March | 11 | 26 | 35 | 02 | 07 | 24 | 09 | 21 | 05 | 12 | 03 | 05 | 21 | 05 | 09 | 07 | 01

During the update (average 14.5):
24 March | 16 | 24 | 52 | 02 | 05 | 26 | 11 | 23 | 05 | 12 | 04 | 06 | 30 | 08 | 11 | 09 | 02

After the update (average 18):
27 March | 18 | 86 | 55 | 02 | 09 | 19 | 14 | 21 | 05 | 11 | 05 | 05 | 28 | 09 | 14 | 09 | 02

Pretty much the same happend to my "regular" competition while big brand rankings were up.
7:16 am on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Cos, i thought about rich snippets too but that would mean that Google must crawl the site more than once a day. All the brand are Google Shopping subscribers and have adwords over the serps ads. And only big brands do have it.
Next step to psuh big brands and kick out smaller ecoms?

Update:
we got a new hit yesterday, -50%. Our main site is now at it worst point ever. Our unattended site with no Information, no layout, no sea has now better rankings.
If this sticks i know what they are looking for, necause we use a much more different technic on the unttended site.

ecom, germany
9:31 am on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing significant shifts in UK as of yesterday and today. I am unsure if it's Panda or something bigger but most verticals are affected.
9:42 am on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing anything in mine, Petehall.
10:24 am on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Agree petehall - I saw significant changes yesterday that look like they are continuing into today.
12:20 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I think I'm going to assume Panda, as I'm seeing a lot of host crowding issues returning (multiple listings from one site).
2:57 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Traffic on my site is up 30% since yesterday - it could be that an disavow file I submitted a month ago is kicking in.

Anybody follow [algoroo.com...] ? They showed a 3.1 spike on Tuesday, highest since January 24.

TLDR: looks like an update.
3:00 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm still seeing movement for some keywords, but not as large as on 22nd/23rd.

Another strange thing: Google News listings pop up for some keywords in between the normal search results, for more or less unrelated stuff, just because the search term appears somewhere scattered in the text. For example: A search for "tablet comparison" would also return a news result with "blahblahblah tablet blahblahblahblah comparison".

And last but not least, one time the results went totally nuts when I was looking for a book with the search term "*partial title* book". The results ONLY listed google books, not because the book I was looking for was listed there, but because the word "book" was in the Google Books URL. After a few minutes everything was back to normal.

So in my opinion, this was a major update with some serious side effects. The site I'm passionate about and investing 2-3 hours daily had a visitor drop of 15 percent, while some smaller (spammy) sites of mine are on the rise. Guess, I'll concentrate on creating more of those.
3:30 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Big Brands are ranking better than medium-small sized businesses. Simple. After this update.....
5:17 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If this is the 'softer' update heaven help us if they bring in a hard one. The only movement I'm seeing here in the UK is the big brand junk edging out the quality sites even more than before. What a sad and useless Internet we're going to have.
8:54 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I am in the UK and am far from being a big brand - this update looks very positive at the moment
9:04 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the UK too, I'm not really seeing huge changes, except for Ebay and Argos have now both moved ahead of me for my main keyword, dropping me from #4 to #6. Amazon still occupying result #1 and #2, of course. *sigh*
10:17 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If this were a major update, wouldn't we be seeing reports on Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, etc.?
11:06 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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> If this were a major update, wouldn't we be seeing reports on Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, etc.?

[seroundtable.com...]
11:06 pm on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Martin Ice Web "If this sticks i know what they are looking for, because we use a much more different technic on the unttended site."

Please share with us what you think Google is looking for as a result of your recent hit.
12:34 am on Mar 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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new_shoes: Yes, I saw the SE Roundtable post, but Barry Schwartz said his "gut feeling" was that there hasn't been a major update.
1:01 am on Mar 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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> If this were a major update, wouldn't we be seeing reports on Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, etc.?

[seroundtable.com...]
It's worth noting that, in the seroundtable article cited, Barry's main reference to "discussion" about the update is this thread, which he links to twice. ;)
1:07 am on Mar 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's worth noting that, in the seroundtable article cited, Barry's main reference to "discussion" about the update is this thread, which he links to twice. ;)


Yes, I noticed that, too. :-)
7:47 am on Mar 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@kenroar,

i will wait a week. And will sticky mail you.
Meanwhile my "first" site, with a big pack of Information, pictures, user interaction.... is of the Clip. It gets traffic but i Looks like the poeple look only for Information and don´t buy. Sales are switched OFF.

It seems that this "update" was ecom related, as i don´t know any ecom that gained any traffic/sales. G does does very well who wants to buy and who is looking for Information. Easy switch to canalize the streams.....

ecom, germany
8:53 am on Mar 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If this were a major update, wouldn't we be seeing reports on Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, etc.?


Let's remember that Google is making constant changes to the algo - what we used to call everflux.

I'm seeing major changes for some search terms whilst others have been stuck in concrete for months. It's highly unlikely that updates will automatically affect every search term in every vertical in every country.
9:09 am on Mar 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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> If this were a major update, wouldn't we be seeing reports on Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, etc.?

[seroundtable.com...]


He also concludes: "Truth is, my internal signals from all of this makes me believe there wasn't a major algorithm update".

In my sector and on my site I am not seeing anything that suggests any significant change.

On my own site, total monthly Bing referrals have now very nearly caught up with Google (this was unimaginable a couple of years ago), so it is possible that more searchers are starting to move. I note, also, that Bing CTR is MUCH higher (in overall terms returning the same number of Clicks from half the number of Impressions), which suggests that Bing's results are now significantly better matched than Google's to searchers' intentions.
9:29 am on Mar 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Our traffic from google in the U.S. was up Monday, Tuesday, leveled off on Wednesday, and then shot up more again on Thursday.

Looking at WMT, massive crawl spike on 3/22 - 3/26 (last day of reporting), from 650 pages a day to 13,000 pages a day.
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