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Google Updates and SERP Changes - February 2015

     
1:42 pm on Feb 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4726139.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 10:15 am on Feb 2, 2015 (PST -8)


wow - a conversational graveyard in here....anyway, just noting that weekly traffic has now inverted itself, whereas Saturday & Sunday used to be the busiest days of the week, with Thursday/Friday being the slowest. Now either the traffic pattern has somehow inverted or weekends have just been deflated to the point of the slow days now appearing as the busiest. This pattern started 3 weeks ago and is sticking.
7:40 pm on Feb 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Do you ever get that feeling a lot of us have thrown our arms in the air because no matter what we say, or do, nothing seems to change nor improve at Google?

I've just had my busiest-ever realworld January in 47 years with several new customer supply accounts plus two of the biggest project orders ever in my industry and both those two orders came in via one of our .asia sites which have very low traffic levels.

Less traffic - more business? Damned if I know!
10:43 pm on Feb 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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RB - yes, I do. Technically I'm now out of business on my 15 year old site. Traffic is still flowing slightly, mostly mobile all non buying. Income zero.
12:44 am on Feb 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Conversion rates improved 10%, and traffic up 20% as of approx. last Fri (Jan 30th) for multiple sites.

In one of the most competitive verticals, and using white-hat SEO.

No idea whats going on either. This whole thread is all over the place.
9:12 am on Feb 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Conversion rates improved 10%, and traffic up 20% as of approx. last Fri (Jan 30th) for multiple sites.
My traffic is up (as of the 23rd of Jan when I got a huge spike in traffic for one minor KW) and since then WMT reports 25% up on impressions, 35% up on clicks. Conversions are low but this is the worst possible time of year for selling my products. No idea why the boost. No significant new links etc. Totally white hat as your site but previously affected by penguin (but pretty much recovered from that in Oct 13)
1:56 pm on Feb 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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From everything I've read here in recent months and from personal experience, I think any sense of having any control over your own destiny where the SERPs are concerned has gone the way of the dodo. My main site targets the US but most of my search traffic these days is from out of country. My conclusions are that the free ride is over for most and marketing (as in having a comprehensive marketing strategy) is more important than ever. Pair that with a really good product, one that people can trust and find useful, entertaining, etc. and you've got a fighting chance. Just building a good site is no longer enough. We're now in charge of our own popularity and I think you've got to find a way to build that popularity before Google is going to consider your site worthy of a strong mention in the SERPs. My focus is on engaging the visitors I do get because they are extremely valuable and hard to come by these days. We need to grow our core audiences to establish that popularity factor, we need to demonstrate trustworthiness (both to the search engines and to our audience). This biz has always been about hard work. It's just harder now than ever, now that the free traffic is dwindling for so many who have relied on it for so long. That's my two cents for the day. For what it's worth.
4:53 pm on Feb 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Apart from myself, how many here are in realworld business actually manufacturing products for companies/people to purchase or are the vast majority in e-world?
5:02 pm on Feb 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I am Redbar.
5:35 pm on Feb 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My readers are very much "real world," and so are the topics that our site covers.

No products, though. There's a lot more to the Web than commerce.
5:44 pm on Feb 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@RedBar As we have discussed in the past. The web is a different mountain to climb depending on what you're trying to accomplish with it. If you're pushing a product but G has pushed you out of the SERPs in favor of Amazon or some other competitor, that's one thing. If you're a blogger who produces "entertainment" or "information" and your topics aren't getting traction, it's almost a completely different set of issues. Regardless of the goals, many have relied almost exclusively on Google as their one-and-only marketing strategy. It was fairly easy to get traffic from this source for a very long time. To answer your question. I am both a promoter of my own services and a web publisher. Both are getting more difficult to promote where the SERPs are concerned but I'm fairly certain that the solutions are different for each too.

It all comes down to a value proposition though. How Google is determining that value in this day and age is what I think has most webmasters perplexed into silence at this point. One thing's for sure. You don't see a lot of magic-bullet suggestions in these forums any more. If we can't figure out what's truly important to Google's algorithm, then I agree with others when they say "Just figure out what's good for your audience." Oh, and then go get a PHD in marketing 'cuz you're gonna need it in order to survive. Funny thing is that that should have been the strategy all along.
8:32 pm on Feb 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Apart from myself, how many here are in realworld business actually manufacturing products for companies/people to purchase or are the vast majority in e-world?


I'm in everything.
9:02 pm on Feb 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There's a lot more to the Web than commerce.


Very true, I was just thinking out loud after wondering when people make comments here from what position they were coming.

As usual webcentric, good observations.
8:39 am on Feb 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Something happened in the UK overnight. Not really sure what to make of it - some verticals shifted quotes bit and others remain unchanged.
3:01 pm on Feb 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@petehall - I was just on here to see if anyone noticed anything. Two clients have seen a partial Panda recovery. Both were affected by Panda 4.1 and both have been working hard to fix the root of the problem which was product descriptions copied from manufacturers websites and widely used within other competitors. Neither have finished the job which could explain the partial recovery. Mozcast also reporting cloudy weather over the last two days so could be a Panda refresh.
5:01 pm on Feb 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Shai I'm seeing multiple listings on most verticals I watch now. Whatever it is I'm fairly sure it's still rolling. As many as 3 listings for one site again... smells of Panda.

No doubt we'll get a bout of Penguin after just to confuse. Mind you, with no announcements it doesn't really matter anymore...
6:41 pm on Feb 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Ok, had a good look at some penalty recovery clients and definitely seeing a pattern of Panada refresh. Surprised there is not more noise here? Anyone with a Panda 4.1 affected site can confirm they are seeing movement at least?

UK btw.
10:20 pm on Feb 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I can see a little movement for a few keywords, but not much and definitely not the direction I'm hoping for. Google-DE

I'm still waiting for a Penguin-Panda-Fix because since that updates ran in October, overall link-authority seem to matter more than individual page-links, which is kind of stupid and very annoying in my line of business.
8:13 am on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Algoroo spiked on 2.99.
I noticed medium-size movements, maybe content related. Google-HU
8:58 am on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Also seen fairly large movements here, seeing lots of huge names back which were knocked down a few months back.

UK ecom niche
9:46 am on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Seen big jumps also, everything seems to be back to how it was two days ago today. UK ecom niche also

Serpwoo movement across the world today
9:52 am on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Most of my sites have now recovered from Panda (don't think I was affected by penguin much apart from some incoming natural links being devalued).

None have returned to their previous positions, most have now been dropped to the end of page one or two in favour of big name brands, as I have always gone for specialist niche sites (I just enjoy doing something properly and more in-depth) with medium traffic this means they are still as good as dead.

The most frustrating thing is the market leading websites don't cover the niches nearly as well, give outdated and sometimes plain wrong info. Google has been dumbed down - any old fluff will do as long as the site has enough backlinks.

Strangely though Bing has been growing in strength and I've started to focus on them for marketing. I'd love to see some kind of survey on the differences between Bing and Google users. Seems only Bing users have any money these days, especially on mobile which is odd.
10:16 am on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I see some dance, not to much but noticeable, for me seems to be Panda related.
10:21 am on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Any report about Brazil rankings changes ?
11:37 am on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I had four sites yesterday with much more traffic than usual, PVs per visitor were normal, still going through the logs to see if anything jumps out.
12:11 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I see some dance


Since the weekend my site has been toggling between #27 and #14 for main key term. I am hoping this is a DC issue, and that it will settle at #14 (it has been at #27 for months).

There is other movement in my (UK niche service) sector: I note, for example, that a competitor who dislodged my site from its 5-year term at #1 in 2012 is now back at the bottom of page 1, having also spent some of the last couple of years in the wilderness.

Google-referred traffic is also showing a slight but noticable increase, and Mozcast is showing the biggest spike in the last month for 3 February (exceeding the spike on 2 February), and I suspect something is rolling through.

Anything that is beneficial for my site and persists would be a welcome change.
12:56 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes, there's some re-alignment going on, and i'm not sure it's finished just yet. Several SERPs showing wikipedia no longer the top, or near the top. Some may argue that's a good thing, but when it's a commercial site above it, it makes you think it's not yet settled.

Is anyone watching the mobile serps?
8:32 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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For me the effect of Panda is back! Minus 3-5% of traffic each month :(

Slow death
9:05 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Still seeing movement across most searches.

Looking at the results I think Panda just became a little harder. Perhaps the softer approach wasn't working...
11:08 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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RB - yes, I also do.
In Agreement with webcentric's post
""It all comes down to a value proposition though. How Google is determining that value in this day and age is what I think has most webmasters perplexed into silence at this point. One thing's for sure. You don't see a lot of magic-bullet suggestions in these forums any more.""

I am not complaining Have been lucky, lucky, lucky.
But lately, totally mystified, after doing every thing I can when Google says do this or that, mobile etc. etc.
I have seen new sites with nothing related to what Google says to do leap frog above my site. And an old site that has not been updated in years, with a current events page advertising 2009 events pass me. This old site has been in top 5 for years, never changes, its terrible, few pages, no text on most pages and ugly.

Recently a site that had been off the net and out of the SERPS for over a year was re-instated in original format with the intentions of the new owner doing new content and updates. It came back in the top 5 SERPS before anything new was done.
And now, recently, getting so many returns from across the pond (England) I have to really pay attention to what country site I'm looking at.

Very good Question Engine.
""Is anyone watching the mobile serps?""


I'm confused to the point of being numb.
4:10 am on Feb 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There's quite a bit of discussion online about this particular update, which has been variously described as huge, major, highly volatile, broad-based, uncharacteristic of Panda, likely a Panda rollout, likely Penguin-related, and decaffeinated.

Earlier today, Barry Schwartz, on Search Engine Roundtable, published a brief overview and two updates from Google [seroundtable.com...] the second of which is more helpful than the first, and I would assume official....

Update #2: Google tells me this was not Panda or Penguin related.

So, whatever you thought it was, it's something else. ;)
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