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Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2014

     
12:58 pm on Jul 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 2 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4676767.htm [webmasterworld.com] by aakk9999 - 3:29 pm on Jul 1, 2014 (gmt 0)


They've been tacking my site name onto my title tag for a while now - more than a year. Meh.
2:56 pm on July 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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But G has been (randomly?) adding site names to titles for at least 3 years according a search here at WW.


I gave up trying to fathom out the altering of titlebars and site names at least three years ago.
4:00 pm on July 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Well, the title issue is just cropping up for me after recent changes to the URL structure of my site. Note, I didn't change anything with metatags.

I'm seeing a mixture of styles. Some, the way things used to be (a week ago) and lot's in the new format which indicates to me that this site is currently undergoing a title transformation. I've decided I don't like it because of the way it's taking specific information (particularly locality information) out of the title and generalizing it to the degree that it seems like whoever wrote it is a plain idiot.

It's most brutal where categories are concerned. Instead of "Category Name - Locality" it just says "Category Name - Domain Name." Kind of useless when the intended thrust of the title is rooted in locality.

This seems like a direct assault on locality-target search results. G has been working the local angle for a long time and this just seems like another way they can neuter their competition e.g. local information resources. Subtle but it's having an effect.

So, this puts the description tag even higher up the totem pole but even that's a crap shoot in this day and age.
10:58 pm on July 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Inadvisable. There is a theory that Google penalises this since it is an attempt at influencing the SERPs.


Well, this situation got me to a point that I am searching for causes. There was no intention on my part to influence anything. It was a sitewide penalty upon further analysis. Traffic and ranking is still going down and the SERPs right now are weird. This very disappointing and demotivating to say the least..
6:29 am on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a large drop in g referals. Started yesterday at 5pm cet.
Something is very wrong at google. Since one week we get lots of referal spam from russia and this is only when something big is changing. I guess a quality update is in progress, so that users can find things they search for even faster without clicking on ads.
7:10 am on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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No changes here.

Don't forget the FIFA World Cup. Every time Germany was playing, my visits cut in half. Maybe it's the same with you. Compare the FIFA schedule with your visits.
7:16 am on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Itanium, no. germany didn´t play yesterday. No. At point 5pm referals plumped like a stone. I think they reverted the changes they did last thursday.

ecom, germany
3:35 pm on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday, website and phone lines were bonkers. Today just the chirping of crickets.
5:29 pm on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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No changes here, either. Today's traffic graph looks almost exactly like the graphs from last week and the week before.
7:25 pm on July 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm noticing that Google site:domain searches are really whacked right now. Two hours ago, I was getting a quarter of a million results, now I'm getting 30,000. I've seen this fluctuation for a few days now (up and down) and am not sure if it's just normal behavior or indicates some shuffling in the index. My guess is that I'll see even more listings tallied here in a few hours as that's the way this has been going. Don't usually watch this but I'm monitoring some new sitemap submissions so this may be totally normal behavior.
10:52 am on July 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Anyone seeing low traffic today?
11:06 am on July 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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yes, but we should, it's a holiday here in the U.S.
12:22 pm on July 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, but it was never this bad like today, We have about -50% traffic from g at this time. Bing, Yahoo and other sources are on constant level. only g. traffic is down.


ecom, germany
2:00 pm on July 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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A little lower than last week, but nothing unusual considering the nice weather.

<- Germany
2:51 pm on July 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This is always my biggest traffic day.
6:50 pm on July 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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A little lower than last week, but nothing unusual considering the nice weather.


+1 (UK niche service).

MozCast has been showing slightly raised temperatures for the last couple of weeks, so I imagine that changes with more significance are apparent in some locations/sectors.
9:38 am on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This 4th of July pause can be a perfect period for a big change in algo.
10:19 am on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Well, as of Sunday morning here in the U.S. I can say we are about 95% sure that there was NO penguin update.

Soooo... with regards to penguin, if the story is true that the engineers clear penguin refreshes/updates with Matt Cutts (story: [twitter.com...] ) Looks like it's going to be a few more months before we get any chance at an update...
1:08 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Shepard

I don't think that a penguin update would require Matt to be in the office. He said they have a really good team.

Thanks to a deep bench of smart engineers and spam fighters, the webspam team is in more-than-capable hands. Seriously, they’re much better at spam fighting than I am, so don’t worry on that score.


I am noticing big changes in my niche this morning (US ECOM). Mozcast is reporting 83 degrees. I don't think it's Penguin, but maybe a Panda refresh.
3:12 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Definitely some upward SERP movement on my (penguin) site this morning but nothing earth shattering. Hope this is a start for good things to come.
3:18 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I can confirm - I am also seeing movement on sites that had been previously effected by Penguin/Algo.

I would say something Penguin related is rolling out as of last night Saturday July 5th GMT.
3:54 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I could be wrong but my memory is that important panda and penguin updates are always monday - thursday, typically pm in California time.
I don't think they ever get run on weekends.
4:03 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Anyone in the UK seeing this?
4:37 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Anyone in the UK seeing this?


Not me.
5:43 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I don't think that a penguin update would require Matt to be in the office. He said they have a really good team.


My take away from the story was that the engineer had to remind MC that it might be time for an update, he noted it and moved on. It does not seem to be top priority so I would not expect the babysitter to handle it.
5:46 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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and of course, as soon as I say that, one of our canaries just got it's site links back...
6:38 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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one of our canaries


?
7:24 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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canaries


In the olden days miners used to take canaries down into the mine with them, if the canaries died they knew there was a problem.

We have a few sites that have been hit by penguin. We consider them to be our canaries, kind of backwards though, they are dead and if they come back to life it is likely a good sign.

One of the things we noticed about penguin was that an affected site tended to lose it's sitelinks for a search of the domain name. I think that one of the early signs of a penguin recovery might be getting one's sitelinks back, but who knows...
7:47 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Got it. Makes sense now.

It's funny you mentioned the sitelinks. I noticed the same or similar with panda. When doing brand searches the site links disappeared for smaller brands when hit by panda. With the Panda 4.0 run I saw them come back for sites that recovered, including my own ecom site.
8:16 pm on July 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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sitelinks. I noticed the same or similar with panda.


Interesting, might be that losing sitelinks is a symptom of all algo-penalties.
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