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Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2014

     
11:01 am on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 16 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4712477.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 5:04 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (PST -8)


I have several sites from May's Panada which received good boosts and have retained their positions but I also have a few new, unique, widget-specific sites that seem to be floundering and getting no traction whatsoever.

Since there were only two Pandas in 2013 and we've already had two this year, do we assume that it may be another few months before we see another Panda update?
4:35 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Happy Cyber Monday - moderate traffic levels, huge improvement on conversions today. Hope it lasts all day.
7:50 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if I can post this URL, but Search Engine Land is saying G has confirmed the movement over Thanksgiving: ďthe Penguin rollout is ongoing, and this is just the effect of that.Ē

[searchengineland.com...]
8:03 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Good grief, still ongoing!

Google has confirmed with us that the shifts and changes reported throughout the industry on Thanksgiving day were a result of the Penguin 3.0 refresh that first began rolling out 6-weeks ago.


So this means that we are in ever-flux surely?
8:43 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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you guys gotta stop saying penguin this penguin that. Penguin is over...


Kelowna?
Graybeard?

Perhaps folks should listen with a more open mind when others speak of their observations...

It seems pretty clear from the data I have that the cache date issue they (google) told us not to worry about was a little more relevant than they were letting on.
8:57 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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OK, we're in December now, and the only change I've noticed for our main site is a continuation of a trend that has been going on for some time: Small but steady improvements in average rankings for nearly all of the queries that I monitor in Webmaster Tools. Panda? Penguin? Something else? Or a combination of all three?
9:33 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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My ex penguin affected site's traffic is definitely slower since the update started. First off I thought it was just seasonal shift but this far into Christmas it should be higher. Still converting well what it does get though. But slower. I can't see any rankings slipped to explain why. Any one else seeing anything like that?
9:50 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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My ex penguin affected site's traffic is definitely slower since the update started.


+1
9:58 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Its ironic that some people say penguin has nothing to do with all these changes and it turns out it certainly does. Obviously Penguin is significant if it gets the webmaster communities on this and other forums riled up. My guess is they are still figuring out how to best run Penguin so they can do it more and maybe without being as intensely involved as they are right now. One can imagine it isn't a simple algorithm so it may take a fair amount of tweaking to get right. If it was just a Penguin refresh it likely wouldn't take this long. At any rate hopefully they can figure out a fair balance with it and also give sites that aren't spam fair chances to recover.
10:08 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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We don't know what "roll out" really means regarding Penguin. Maybe they are releasing parts of it every few weeks, maybe it's crawling all the time and adjusting websites continuously ...

I had a small traffic spike last week and this weekend has been the strongest in 2014 (yesterday: + 20 percent compared to last week, + 45 percent compared to last month). At the same tim the bounce rate went down 20 percent. So something certainly is happening.

Google WMT also shows a huge increase in crawling activity this past couple of days. Usually Google crawls 3000-4000 pages a day, for 1 week now, it changed to 6000-7000 a day.
11:08 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Google has confirmed with us that the shifts and changes reported throughout the industry on Thanksgiving day were a result of the Penguin 3.0 refresh


Ummmm... someone please shoot me the link to where Google confirms this, I call BS!

What they are saying is that because they ran penguin over a month ago that they are still tweaking the algo trying to make the serps look better, not that they ran penguin again, that is false reporting by some blogger, not from google.

result of the Penguin 3.0 refresh
that was finished back in October... nothing new here.
11:48 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Google has confirmed with us that the shifts and changes reported throughout the industry on Thanksgiving day were a result of the Penguin 3.0 refresh


There are, of course, those who believe everything that Google says.
11:59 pm on Dec 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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12:31 am on Dec 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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that blog link means nothing.
12:44 am on Dec 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Right.
12:57 am on Dec 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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While the above was being posted, I started a thread referring to the Search Engine Land post, and added my own speculation as to the kind of math that might be happening, which could help explain what's taking so long....

According to Google: Penguin 3.0 is continuing
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4719313.htm [webmasterworld.com]

PS: The blog post mentioned is simply an example of the kind of discussion out there. The SEL article says nothing about its merits.
5:35 am on Dec 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a cache update dated as of Nov. 30, on a small site I run. It's cache was previously updated in Oct -- Traffic is still the same -- So, as posted previously, somewhere else here. I wouldn't worry about cache dates, because it's a totally different system than rankings and traffic.
8:37 am on Dec 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't worry about cache dates


I don't, generally, but I do wonder how WMT can find broken links to my site when the linking page hasn't existed (or has had the link removed) over three years ago. I suspect it is because some very old cached versions of pages are still being treated as currrent at least by WMT, and in all probability by other Google functions.

This isn't a single instance: on my site - and mine can't be the only one - it is multiple links and multiple pages, and comes around periodically.

I wonder whether the cached versions and missing backlinks are e.g. factored into Penguin.
11:00 am on Dec 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Happy with this Google SERP update, our website rank improved, which website had gone but Now our many website result is positive.
12:31 pm on Dec 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Looks like some kind of rollback happend yesterday. May traffic is down again to the usual levels, after the record last weekend.
3:32 pm on Dec 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I was a bit excited! Our sites ranking dropped to non existent around October 16th and returned to its previous status sometime around thanksgiving and cyber monday. Tuesday morning, our hits fell 60% again and now we cant find ourselves on google at all. There re no manual actions, no errors in our webmaster tools (crawl errors, bots, etc). I still cant figure out WHY we are being hurt so bad by these updates?
4:15 pm on Dec 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld nathaniellee

What result do you get with site:yourdomain.tld?
11:49 pm on Dec 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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About 31,800 results (0.80 seconds)
So my links are still around but accoding to my moz reporting im not even in the first 51 results in anything but my brand and my doman ranking fell almost 20 points
12:14 am on Dec 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hi nathaniellee, and welcome to WebmasterWorld. Without wanting to take this thread off topic (which is more about reporting changes and less about analysis), I have some quick questions about your sites, and that "s" always jumps out at me when someone reports problems...

How old are the sites?
Do they crosslink for SEO?
Do they rise and fall more or less together?
How have you built your backlinks?
etc...?

You may want to start a dedicated discussion about possible issues... but there's not much we can say at all on this thread without at least some context.
2:16 am on Dec 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hey this is one major site <snip>
I cross link a bit of SEO with two of our blogs i suppose -
As far as our sites are concerned, we have 12 domains on a private server. None of the domains are being penalized besides that one.

Backlinks are built on social media and by our bloggers. We DID hire a company to help with backlinks earlier this year and that did get us in a bit of trouble with close to 1200 bad domains. But i disavowed those before this spike occured so i thought we were back in the green

Sorry for changing the topic you guys but im following these changes pretty closely especially being holidays and trying to figure out whats hurting us.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:42 am (utc) on Dec 5, 2014]
[edit reason] Removed specific domain name, per forum Charter [/edit]

6:02 am on Dec 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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nathaniellee - We don't allow links or mentions of specific domains and we don't offer public site reviews. Please check out the Google Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com]. Site reviews are available in the paid Supporters area.

From what you describe, though, the problem is pretty clearly your backlinks. If Google penalized you (ie, manual action), disavowing doesn't suffice. You need to make some strong attempts to get links removed and file a reconsideration request... assuming, ie, that this was a penalty.

Again, the details of dealing with a manual action (aka link penalty) or with a Penguin algorithmic loss of ranking are too involved to discuss in this thread. For more thoughts about your site's situation, please either post without specifics, or use our forum search to find previous threads on these topics. I'm guessing that you might find some answers, though, by going straight to this current discussion....

Lessons from a Confirmed Penguin 3.0 Recovery
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4716727.htm [webmasterworld.com]

There are some observations on the thread which cover some of the questions you need answered.
6:22 am on Dec 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Looks like some kind of rollback happend yesterday.

Whatever itís named, itís still happening...
8:10 am on Dec 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Woke up to significant shifting here in the UK. Although it appears to be Panda related a site I think was hit by Penguin is nearly back to its original placement.

Whatever the update was it's been positive.
8:21 am on Dec 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Although it appears to be Panda related a site I think was hit by Penguin is nearly back to its original placement.

It's also happening in my parts of the world
8:58 am on Dec 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Woke up to significant shifting here in the UK. Although it appears to be Panda related a site I think was hit by Penguin is nearly back to its original placement.

Whatever the update was it's been positive.


same here, have been dreading checking my rankings first thing in the morning but today what a shocker, and all good

I did see a blip yesterday but it didn't last long, but this time seems to be sticking
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