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Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2014

     
1:18 pm on May 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 17 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4659095.htm [webmasterworld.com] by brotherhood_of_lan - 11:06 am on May 1, 2014 (utc -5)


I know its Labour Day around the world but my god is quiet today, wouldnt be surprised if an update has rolled out also.
7:47 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Google large update shifted from 2 may to 7 may
9:11 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Traffic shifting from very good for 1/2 hour to -95% traffic for 1 hour. I think it hits another datacenter. The overall daily traffic is not affected.
Even google shopping traffic is affected by this hourly change frames.
9:21 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Definitely some activity going on today. Major fluctuation for some clients. But not the ones affected by Penguin.
9:22 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Shai, good or bad?
9:42 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Depending on which DC im hiiting it seems :) eg DC1 +34 DC2: -11
5:26 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Switch between new and old results in the UK.
7:30 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Everything seems to have settled down (or up) for those clients affected. All up by about 20 - 27%. C'mon Penguin... where are you? They must be cooking something really special this time I feel.
12:12 am on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have a feeling they're gonna launch the Soft Panda Update and Penguin 3.0 at the same time just to screw with us.

And on the Friday before the Memorial day weekend. At 5pm PST. :)

Can't wait.

It's like Christmas, but Santa takes all your stuff away.
12:47 pm on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's like Christmas, but Santa takes all your stuff away.


YESS!
12:56 pm on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Has there been any consensus about this so-called 'Softer Panda'? Has it rolled out yet or not?
1:14 pm on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Has it rolled out yet or not?


Something's definitely happened this month, my traffic is down just over 11% so far, yesterday for me was very low for a weekday, mind you I cannot see anything improving until they sort out their diabolical SERPs and we ALL know that ain't going to happen.

One thing is for sure, Google has absolutely no idea of quality and, for many searches now, relevance.
1:17 pm on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Authority is the new "relevance". : /
1:30 pm on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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And it's amazing how, according to G, one can go from an evergreen authority site to an also-ran irrelvant bystander when absolutely nothing has changed about the subject...but then again, I'm not in receipt of millions of Dollars of speculative funding just like their next door neighbours are...nooooo, no collusion or conspiracy there!
2:44 pm on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I noticed (a while ago) that google seems to balance all rankings of one website to a specific value they asigned internally. One keyword goes up, another one goes down and overall traffic doesn't change that much.

However: It seems Google is toying around a lot lately. Two of my main keywords dropped from positions 4 and 11 to 18 and 26. For no apperent reason. Nothing has changed. The sad thing is, that other sites with little to no relevance to the subject are now ranking in front of me. A lot of spammy sites too.

So I tend to agree: Google has no idea about quality. They keep talking and talking and talking, but the truth is, they are just poking a stick in a hole and hope something good comes out of it. I really find myself hating this behaviour more and more. Even bing is delivering better results lately, without mainly, spammy, not-relevant, foreign cr*p.

Yep, I'm pissed ;)
4:06 pm on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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In my vertical I've noticed a few top quality, relevant pages sneaking into the top ten serps over the last couple of days. Brandspam junk still dominates of course.
4:30 pm on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's such a ridiculous roller coaster out there and everything has been turned "topsy turvy". Sunday / Monday used to be the weekly peak for traffic and conversions, now it's the opposite. Long dead spells with sudden "lucid" moments with incredibly good conversions (no more than 3 or 4 hours), followed quickly by 24 hours of dead again. I'm tempted to call my hosting company to see if someone keeps tripping on the server's power cord.
Prior to 2010, every day was equally dispersed with conversions, naturally. Today it's obvious artificial ON/ OFF traffic as G tunes the SERPS to make their $2K+/second ($185M/day).
7:23 pm on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's such a ridiculous roller coaster out there and everything has been turned "topsy turvy".


Yep. The glow of light I mentioned above has gone out again this evening. Brand mediocrity again rules unchallenged.
10:39 am on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Just reading this thread shows just how much uncertainty Google have created for small business owners. Like it or not, Google are the de facto monopoly online when it comes to traffic, and we're forced into a position that is guaranteed to cause constant uncertainty - even for those ranking well. That uncertainty alone hurts businesses - how can you plan for anything?
2:32 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Like it or not, Google are the de facto monopoly online when it comes to traffic, and we're forced into a position that is guaranteed to cause constant uncertainty - even for those ranking well. That uncertainty alone hurts businesses - how can you plan for anything?


No, we don't like it either, however, in defense of Google's tactics, if they made it easy, everyone would game the system. The complex landscape we are looking at today is the direct result of basic, individual greed to get ahead in the serps. Remember the days when Blackhat actually worked?

I'd venture to say that the web is a better place than it might have been if allowed to be one giant "king of the mountain" scramble where anything goes. There are problems (especially with G's own greed for $$$) but at least we're still eeking out a meager existence, and for that we're grateful.
3:10 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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we're forced into a position that is guaranteed to cause constant uncertainty - even for those ranking well. That uncertainty alone hurts businesses - how can you plan for anything?


It's worth remembering that the job of Google Search isn't to help businesses plan for the future, it's to help users find things. Also, Google is a spidered search engine, not a directory. Volatility comes with the territory, at least for search strings that attract constant "SEO attacks." (For other search strings, Google's results may appear to be set in stone for months at a time.)

Think about it: If you're selling real estate in Widgetville or covers for xPhones, so are a lot of other people. And every day, a whole lot of players are jockeying for better search rankings. Even if Google's algorithm never changed, the rankings for [competitive search string] would change from day to day or from week to week simply because the players, their tactics, and the contents of Google's index are in constant flux.
3:40 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I've almost been completely and utterly blown up by Google and whatever it is trying to do. Thursday and Friday traffic was at 66% and today, so far, 20%, I am seeing mass manipulation of US-favoured listings in the UK SERPs, it stinks and it stinks very, very bad indeed.
4:42 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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we're forced into a position that is guaranteed to cause constant uncertainty - even for those ranking well. That uncertainty alone hurts businesses - how can you plan for anything?

The basic cause of that uncertainty is the instability of Google's search results. A page that has ranked number 1 for years can fall to number 600 overnight. Think about what this means -- Google's algorithm ranked this page as the best result for years, then suddenly ranks 599 other pages above it.

A good algorithm would produce rankings that change slowly and gradually, not suddenly and drastically. It's amazing to me that Google's algorithm, which they've been working on for 15 years, still produces such unstable results. The only conclusion I can reach is that something is fundamentally wrong with Google's whole approach.
5:36 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@samwest, thanx for Posting this Roller coaster. We see exact the Same andere i thought we would be the only One seine this. But it. ist Not only the organische but google Shopping too. IF they serv the Bad serps GS is offline too. There. Must be something Realy wring.
7:54 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Lol... Sorry Martin, but as I read the above my brain read it in the voice of Inspector Clouseau for some reason. :)
9:46 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Remember the days when Blackhat actually worked?


I have never seen it working as well as it has since Penguin.
10:31 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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A good algorithm would produce rankings that change slowly and gradually, not suddenly and drastically. It's amazing to me that Google's algorithm, which they've been working on for 15 years, still produces such unstable results. The only conclusion I can reach is that something is fundamentally wrong with Google's whole approach.


Exactly. To me, there is now zero symbiosis between web publishers and Google. It's like they are now two strangers untrusting of one another. The predictable defensive responses to my previous comment (defending Google) are totally missing the plain point I made: publishers now are filled with uncertainty, and that in and of itself is not a good thing - not even good for Google. Publishers are less invested in their websites (in general). I've seen this play out over the last few years. So many small businesses have withered on the vine because they've simply had their oxygen snuffed out by the de facto monopoly traffic driver. It's not about castigating Google, it's simply describing reality (devoid of blame).
2:13 am on May 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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A good algorithm would produce rankings that change slowly and gradually, not suddenly and drastically.


First of all, not all of Google's rankings change "suddenly and drastically." Some rankings go unchanged, or nearly unchanged, for months at a time--even when they should be changed because the search results are poor or even downright flaky.

Second, are we to believe that the owners of pages that suddenly go up in the rankings are bothered by the unexpected change, and that they'd prefer to rank lower for longer in the interests of more "stable" results? (I'm skeptical: I know that I'd be delighted if Google were to surprise me with a 50 percent boost in referrals overnight. But maybe that's just me.)
4:22 am on May 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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A good algorithm would produce rankings that change slowly and gradually, not suddenly and drastically.

Wild fluctuations in rankings are indicative of an algorithm that is either unable to properly ascertain content quality or is relying to heavily on irrelevant signals (general brand boost, demotions because of links, Google's profit targets, etc.)
7:52 am on May 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@shai, sorry it is the correcture function from iPad.
1:07 pm on May 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Lots of unrest right now: [dejanseo.com.au...]
Could be the start of something?
This 434 message thread spans 15 pages: 434