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Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2015

     
11:47 am on Mar 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4733881.htm [webmasterworld.com] by aakk9999 - 12:23 pm on Mar 1, 2015 (gmt 0)


@samwest
10 years of data are worthless, if Google constantly changes the rules. It may as well be, that there was a stable conversion rate before Panda, because your rankings were stable throughout the whole keyword range you're targeting. That might have change with Post-Panda with a strengthened focus on authority and big brands.

How do you thing is Google managing to manipulate your conversion rate? The only way I could think of is via ranking changes and those have to be pretty obvious too. I haven't seen anything like that and can't find any correlation between conversion and my rankings (checked via Sistrix, Semrush and Searchmetrics) or general ranking changs (checked via Mozcast and Algoroo).

I just thing that the user behavior has changed and that Googles algorithm changes reflect that and lead to highly unreliable conversion rates for smaller sites (besides Amazon, Ebay & Co.).






Mods Note: When sharing observations about Google changes try to provide some general details to help us better understand your observation. What details should you try to include?
Which country did you find this?
What type of site? (B2C, B2B, e-commerce, content only, old, new, less than <100 urls, >10,000 urls, wordpress, etc.)
What type of serp was impacted? (desktop, mobile, tablet, local, etc.)
When did you notice this? (weekday, weekend, morning, business hours, late night)

For example it is not very helpful to say "My site went up" but it can be very helpful to say "My e-commerce site with less than 100 urls increased its Germany rankings on the weekend for mobile devices."

[edited by: goodroi at 4:06 pm (utc) on Mar 2, 2015]
[edit reason] Added Mods Note [/edit]

7:40 am on Mar 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hello all.
From last 3 days i am noticing fetch as google bot in GWT did not work.
i also notice some major fluctuation on my top KW's.is there any update from google? Mozcast weather is 76 for Friday.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 12:28 pm (utc) on Mar 1, 2015]
[edit reason] <moved from another location> [/edit]

12:54 pm on Mar 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I see local movement, seems like Panda/Pidgeon like this week-end.
1:36 pm on Mar 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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So, any suggestion ? what i need to do?
9:34 am on Mar 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I see local movement, seems like Panda/Pidgeon like this week-end.


I think it is Panda.
Meanwhile the selection of site for searches in certains niches getting smaller and smaller. It seems does when Google thinks this site is a reliable source for a niche then it will push it even it is not matching the search.
Looking for php/css/Js Problems will allways Show up stockoverflow.
In 8 out of 10 cases the first 3 pages from SO will not give me what i want. In most cases this are generic pages with no deep Information. I wonder when Google will add SO to their KnowledgeGraph.

For informational searches Google has become unserviceable. All reliable sources, all good site that used to be on #1 are gone.
6:01 pm on Mar 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We are seeing a bump starting on Sunday, March 1st. Though it seems to be bumping back to previous levels from a few weeks ago. So no net change here if it sticks.
6:51 pm on Mar 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'd like to get some feedback on spidering, too. Has Googlebot slowed, or picked up, with the result of the index updating faster or slower?
7:30 pm on Mar 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing some odd Googlebot crawl behavior. For the past three months, at the end or beginning of each month (between the 29th and 1st), I'm seeing a huge spike in number of pages crawled. It's almost 3x the daily average. Then it drops back to our average rate for the rest of the month. However, I haven't seen any major change in rankings or traffic as a result. Has anyone else seeing a similar spike? Or, does anyone know why this might be happening?
9:32 pm on Mar 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing significant positioning changes - but I have noticed MANY more answer-boxes for random queries. We have a bit of "how to" content on our site as it relates to product(s) and just about all our "how to" traffic has disappeared.

I know it's speculation, but it could be that Goog have expanded the scope of the answer box / knowledge graph into many more topics.
8:36 am on Mar 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Here is my proof that Panda is back again.

[i.imgur.com...]

Look at the picture on one of my sites, which is badly affected by Panda since 4.1.

See the nice hunchback shapes when Panda was active?
The traffic was "shaped" until ~ 11 Oct 2014.

After that, the graphic is not so regulated, it's more natural.

Since the first week of February 2015 Panda is back for me and I hate it!

It's killing me like poison.
9:24 am on Mar 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Mentat, that does not look like the graphs we saw when we had sites hit by Panda, or when they later recovered: we saw immediate changes (spread over less than 24 hours) of 30-50% and I know other people often saw even larger changes so the graph changes were really much more dramatic than yours (same goes for Penguin as well).

I'm thinking you might have been affected by something else that isn't panda or penguin.
9:28 am on Mar 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Mentat I agree with @Rasputin, I don't see any panda penalization in your graph. Maybe an adjustment period or something like that, but not a penalization.
9:59 am on Mar 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I actually do think this is Panda. Google itself said on several ocations, that Panda isn't just on or off, but might gradually affect sites. I too see the exact same pattern with one of my sites.

There is an analysis of a rather large site (in German) by Sistrix, which shows the same pattern ( [sistrix.de...] - Fallstudie netdoktor.de – Abwärtstrend) of a slow decline.

An like I said in the previous thread: I think the "unknown" update on February 5th was indeed Panda.
10:14 am on Mar 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There are 2 types of Panda attacks: sudden and slow.

See realtime panda [hmtweb.com]
10:38 am on Mar 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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That's an interesting article but imo doesn't present a very convincing case and is an elaborate theory based on very little evidence.

Just because JM says that panda changes can be frequent and small we can't conclude that therefore all frequent and small changes are due to panda.

There are many other factors, algorithm changes, constant flux and testing by G and external factors, that affect results from week to week (often the external factors apply to all search engine traffic not just google so can be identified in GA).
11:00 am on Mar 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@mentat, i agree with the others, that does not look like panda. You might want to investigate elsewhere for the issue.
5:28 am on Mar 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There appears to be some update since the middle of last month that has pushed down country TLDs from Google searches where they don't matter. Sure, it's in the right direction (since .co.uk is not relevant to a US Google user).

Interestingly, a lot of them I see are branded websites. So it's like a search for 'yahoo' from Australia no longer has yahoo.co.uk ranking on the front page. This one, for example: [i.imgur.com...]
1:01 pm on Mar 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This week is definitely a tale of two conversions. Sunday was great, Monday almost as good, but Tuesday? Same traffic levels, but zip on conversions. Total zombie shut down. Incredible.
2:18 pm on Mar 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@samwest - basically same here. I had a good 11% increase for the past two weeks that came with increased number of conversions, now its a graveyard, similar traffic - only 3 conversions. I'd have to admit though, those 3 orders packed a punch that is bigger than 10 "normal" ones, so really I can't complain on my bottom line, just wanted to note it.
12:50 am on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Large branded site in Australia - not seeing any correlation between Googlebot pages crawled and pages released/updated. Gradual decline if viewed against early January, small decline if looking at the first few days of March.
5:33 am on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Lower than weekend traffic Wednesday! This is not good...
10:00 am on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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For me forced local search it's a disaster [searchengineland.com]

I live in a non-english language country and the general results are very poor.

First position local sites
Second position automatic translated sites
etc

Not every language has a good variety of content!

Now I'm frustrated as a webmaster and as an user!

As SEO, this is becoming impossible.
I have different results depending on browser, now another variable it's that I'm stuck with the country of may local IP!

"Don't be evil" it's hollower each day.
11:38 am on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This feels like a new Panda round has been opened but with the keynote that *ALL* buyers are now cut out from organics.
11:49 am on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@spunkle: I think that gradual decline is what Google calls "Softer Panda". It doesn't mean, that it's easier on calculating the sites value, but to soften the effects of a lower rating. Affected sites don't drop like a stone now, but slowly fall until the problem is fixed and the algorithm is run again.
1:41 pm on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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"Don't be evil" it's hollower each day.


Their unbelievably horrendous SERPs mess is getting worse by the day, they simply haven't a freakin' clue what they are doing in my sector other than promoting US companies for everything!
2:12 pm on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What US companies?
The problem is now that local results are forced!

I'm on the other side of the problem.
My content is international, english, so a lot of crap is ranking better now on local search!
3:19 pm on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Our problem is that this appears to be a case of G separating the wheat from the chaff...and we get the chaff. Something is definitely afoot...again.

It's probably just my hallucination, but either all the buyers just left the planet, or they are being redirected somewhere other than our sites. The powers that be must think that any traffic is good enough for us. This would be G's rationale: "We give you the chaff (non-buyers) so you can give them a great user experience and turn them into buyers". Hard to do when those visitors are under age, broke, are incredibly un-targeted (or foreign) or just vowed to never buy anything online. G knows who buys, how often and what they buy. You think they're gonna let that golden traffic get away? No way! They are getting better at it each passing day.
3:22 pm on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@samwest: How do you think Google is targeting your audience without visible ranking changes?
4:23 pm on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Itanium - If I knew for sure I wouldn't be griping. I go by what many other webmaster and SEO resources are reporting and by what appears in front of me and in my logs. I don't know the mechanisms they use, neither do ANY of us. We can only speculate. It's intentionally black box. After over a dozen years, all I can be sure of is this: If I do as Google says, I will pay for it in the end.
9:39 pm on Mar 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What US companies?


In my widget industry.

In Google.co.uk making searches for my widget products, many of which I have actually manufactured and exported to the US from Brazil, China, India and Italy, invaribly gives US companies as the best results.

How crazy is that? No one in my industry is going to purchase these widgets from the US meanwhile Bing usually nail it absolutely correct and serve-up relevant UK suppliers.

There is a definite in-built Google bias towards US companies in my industry when the reality is that 90% of the products are imported into the US.
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