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Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2015

     
9:19 pm on Aug 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4755384.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 3:40 pm on Aug 3, 2015 (PDT -8)


Zzzzzzz......we've seen quite a lot of traffic, but conversions slow. Anytime there is a major update, this always happen, almost like something shut off.
12:31 pm on Aug 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I've seen overall bump in traffic with the same % of conversions which naturally resulted in more total goal completions. But I do not think the websites I monitor received bump, rather some websites or landing pages of those websites got Panda-ed. Too early to tell for sure though. I can confirm that Panda is live(one of the smaller websites I monitor got hit), despite what some webmasters here still think.
5:04 pm on Aug 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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.we've seen quite a lot of traffic, but conversions slow.

When panda initially was released our conversions from Google dropped like a rock. Then they started coming back and now are back to a flat and underperforming state. Google is sending us more traffic, but the conversions are not there. Maybe this new version of panda is designed to demote conversions. Nobody really knows. All we have been told is that it will take months for this to roll out. We've all heard of hope and change, I just I have a feeling this is going to be a case of hope and no change for many people.

My company leads its industry with high quality products, pre and post sale support and fast shipping. No competitors even come close in terms of the product quality and the information/help our wholesale and retail customers receive from our website. That is what has me concerned. Being the best in small industries is not enough to weather out Google's algorithm changes.
7:37 pm on Aug 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Our traffic dropped slightly, but could also be related to the vacation in Germany.
10:19 am on Aug 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@mrengine - If what you say is true, then I'd suggest you get yourself a nice juicy e-mail campaign going (as in few millions of emails sent per months). If your product is as good as you say and you have the branding set to convey this message to the public then e-mail will give you enough clients, you'd use Google organics as control group, if that. All leading businesses, especially niche leaders turn to proper email nurturing campaigns and disregard pure organic.
9:15 am on Aug 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@mrengine, i confirm what u are seeing for our ecom site in germany,

All i can say, that before panda, i didnīt see this inconsitent in traffic and conversions. It was a smooth flow of traffic all day long with regular conversions.
Today it looks like:
case 1: no traffic no conversions
case 2: high traffic, no/low conversions ( biggest timeframe)
case 3: high traffic high conversions ( very low timeframe)
case 4: low traffic, high conversions

Even PLA traffic can not help reaching old traffic levels. And with - from google state growing search - u would think that traffic would rise too. But pffff nothing.
I guess that growing search traffic means poeple search more but add amazon to search string.


All leading businesses, especially niche leaders turn to proper email nurturing campaigns and disregard pure organic.


In germany it is hard to have a email campaign going, because u need to have the opt-in from the customer.
3:07 pm on Aug 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Even PLA traffic can not help reaching old traffic levels. And with - from google state growing search - u would think that traffic would rise too. But pffff nothing.

With these big algorithm changes, Google has a tendency to run Adwords voucher campaigns right afterwards. The same applies to the recent panda release. It's as if they kill off a portion of your traffic to entice you with a follow postal Adwords voucher. I received two of these Adwords vouchers yesterday - one to spend $25 and get $100 free at one company and another spend $150 and get $150 free at another company. Of course these vouchers are for new customers only, and it's not as if Google does not know that both these businesses are already signed up and active under Adwords. There's no coincidence in these Adwords voucher mailings as I see it all the time with major algorithm updates that happen to siphon even more organic traffic away from quality ecommerce websites.

All leading businesses, especially niche leaders turn to proper email nurturing campaigns and disregard pure organic.

Some leading businesses have relationships with their wholesale customers that limit the manufacturer's involvement in direct to consumer sales. Though this has changed over the years, our direct to the consumer market is very narrow and structured in such a way that we are not competing with our wholesale buyers. Different industries have different distribution models. Ours just happens to be a little different than normal cut throat retail where manufacturers compete directly with those they supply on the wholesale level. Email campaigns direct to consumers are out of the question.
10:27 pm on Aug 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It's not often that I run into blatant spam in my search results, but I reported two counts today. Hm.
12:15 am on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Have you noticed how much G has stifled these boards? I think this is the 9th post of the month!

The SERPs are so bad now that no one wants to talk about them plus Google hasn't a clue what to do with them simply because they have lost total control of what they had.

Matt saw this crap storm coming without a doubt!
3:06 am on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Have you noticed how much G has stifled these boards? I think this is the 9th post of the month!

Google's search results are big brand biased and the CEOs of these big brands are not big forum posters. Most of us here are small business owners and many have been buried so deep that it does not matter if one ranks #20 or #200 since traffic from Google is non-existent. Even with good organic ranks we are buried underneath Google's own ads and links to their other properties that traffic from organic results is limited. In other words, there is not much for most to talk about unless it's a decline in traffic from Google.

The SERPs are so bad now that no one wants to talk about them plus Google hasn't a clue what to do with them simply because they have lost total control of what they had.

I disagree. Google is in full control and the changes they make are driven by profits and not quality. For example, domain crowding with Yelp, Amazon, etc. will force more small business owners to jump into Adwords or increase their existing bids.

Matt saw this crap storm coming without a doubt!

I believe this as well. Matt seems like he is too nice of a guy to participate in what Google is doing or how Google has been using the act of combating spam as a cover to manipulate the search results in such a way that monetizes small business owners by unfairly pushing them to the back of the search results.
3:59 am on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I don't especially care for Google's overwhelming dominance in search.
I don't especially care for Google's changes to the ten blue links presentation.
I don't especially care for Google's changes making larger sites more dominant.

However, I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting for Google to revert to the web of 10, or even 5 years ago. There was a point where emphasis moved from information to entertainment. Entertaining information seems like something that might "fit" in the current environment.
9:36 am on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Have you noticed how much G has stifled these boards? I think this is the 9th post of the month!

The SERPs are so bad now that no one wants to talk about them plus Google hasn't a clue what to do with them simply because they have lost total control of what they had.

Matt saw this crap storm coming without a doubt!

"SERPs are so bad now", "Google hasn't a clue what to do", "lost total control", "crap storm". If there's anything stifling these threads it's the overwhelming amount of subjective claims and personal attacks many of you (and you especially) pour into them. Any discussion will die with all that Google bashing nonsense drowning out the good stuff. I wish the mods would step in more often, like they used to. Alternatively, see if you can keep all that spite to yourself.
9:42 am on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@robzilla

This +1000.
10:07 am on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The bad thing about google is that with all their algo changes and algos for this and that it is hard to make a site "compatible".

I would like to offer more helpfull things on my ecom site but i am realy scared about how the little panda will react on it. Will it at least kill my traffic that was left after all this demotions?
What is goog for users seems not to be good for google though.

First:
They say: Make good compelling sites for users and will will catch up! For sure but i canīt efford to loose my last income and i donīt have the budget to by my traffic. I canīt wait for panda to catch up 12 month. Google is a source where my customers are looking for widget and you need (free) traffic to "become" popular.

Second:
google claims that big brands sites are treated the same way. I canīt confirm that.
In my niche most brands pages have a big lack of information. Most of them copy the manufacuterer description, most of them have link schemes.
I would guess that if a small site will do it: Good bye!

googles uses my content to fill up their organics and put ads besides, so i would like to have google give us at least some information about why a site has been demoted by panda.
My advise would be: give us a PANDA SCORE in WMT!
10:52 am on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@robzilla

Exactly! Ridiculous
11:29 am on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Martin Ice Web - so you say your site got Panda-ed in the latest update, or was Panda-ed last year? Or that some of the competition deserves to get Panda-ed? If the latter then I fully agree. If you got Panda-ed then...it is only you to be blamed.

Honestly, I can't understand how a decent business can catch Panda. I can see how a website can get Penguin-ized, but for Panda, you really need to have zero clue about how Google works in order to get your website penalized. And here is the irony - Big brands are well aware that the threshold before penalization is much higher and they get away with more bull than the rest. Sad but true.
12:12 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Nutterum, there are some sites in serps showing up ( i can only talk about my niche ) with 1-2 sentence on it. My browser does allmost automaticaly hit the back button.... This pages a ranking so very well...
2:02 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In my niche I see the same thing. Scraped content or descriptions of 20 comma separated keywords. And with the slow release of the latest Panda update, I have to "wait and see". That does not mean this is the correct approach. What this means is that Google haven`t reach our niches yet.
2:34 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What this means is that Google haven`t reach our niches yet.


Au contraire, this happend with release of panda. This pages havenīt been there before. And there are coming more and more with every day. This panda went through my niche like a axe and killed all content-sites. And i donīt have a clue what this means.
4:00 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Any discussion will die with all that Google bashing nonsense drowning out the good stuff.

It's confusing what you mean by 'the good stuff.' Here is the good stuff: build a useful website for visitors and forget about SEO. That's all you need to know. Anything else, ie. 'the good stuff' is an attempt to manipulate search engines. I guess most posters who express their negative opinions here have a useful website and try to forget about manipulating search results, but it doesn't work for them as promised. It's far from nonsense though.
4:35 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Google bashing? Haha thats the dumbest thing ever and is actually an insult towards those who suffer from real hate crimes...unless you are saying Google is a religion or something which is weird then I suggest the term Google bashing should be banned.

As for the search results......the results are contrived and rubbish! Another thing people are forgetting here maybe because they are not programmers but at the end of the day bots cannot read.... and these filters are just blindly penalizing sites based upon quality scores.
4:59 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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<aside>
If there's anything stifling these threads it's the overwhelming amount of subjective claims and personal attacks many of you (and you especially) pour into them... I wish the mods would step in more often, like they used to. Alternatively, see if you can keep all that spite to yourself.

So, member bashing and contribution stifling [against the TOS] is okay [implicit, since you're doing it], but a member sharing a personal opinion you don't agree with relating to the current state of the SERPs, harsh and/or critical of Google as it may be [not against the TOS] in the Google Update and SERP Changes thread should be "called out and discouraged" by members and/or stifled by the mods?

I'm not sure I understand that position on things...
I thought these boards were for the members, not the search engines.
</aside>
6:36 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I thought these boards were for the members, not the search engines.

Yes, but when nearly every thread turns into the same old "Google hates small businesses" kvetchfest, it can be hard to find actionable or even useful information amid the noise (granted, monthly update threads aren't as relevant or meaningful today as they were in the days of the "Google dance").
7:14 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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...it can be hard to find actionable or even useful information amid the noise...

I didn't have much difficulty "filtering through" the 7 posts between the Aug. 1st and Aug. 9th preceding the one in question and what's "actionable" or "useful" about the post immediately before it:

It's not often that I run into blatant spam in my search results, but I reported two counts today. Hm.

Someone who doesn't normally see spam reported 2 counts of it -- Uh, okay.

What's actionable and useful in most of the posts in this thread for that matter...

The posts are reports of what people see in the SERPs -- We don't all see the same thing any more. -- Someone saying "my traffic is up [blah] since [date]" isn't any more/less "actionable" or "useful" to me than "Google sucks, traffic's down [blah] and all I see is spam."

Examples:
-- "Site got hit by Panda. Site's great, Google sucks. All they do is punish sites that try to do it right..."
-- "Site recovered from Panda. Google's great! Everyone can recover from Panda. Google's not just in it for the money..."

WTF Action should I take based on either one of those?
Not get hit by Panda? Recover from Panda? What?
All they are is information and neither is more/less "actionable" or "useful" to me than the other.

This thread is a "general state of things" to get an idea of what other people are seeing, their position on the "state of the SERPs" as they see them, and a general "what's happening" others see, but we may or may not see ourself. For the most part it's not an "actionable information thread" whether the posts sing the praises of Google or talk about how the results are a spam infested mess of dung.



The "most useful" thing about this thread to me is people sharing their views of the SERPs, whether those are editorialized positively or negatively to an extent doesn't matter a bit, because the thread is about "where things are in the SERPs from another perspective" so people sharing is required for it to be useful, even if they "sing the Google song" or "Trash the Evil Gorg" when they do.

Bottom Line: Personally, I'd rather have people share and editorialize [either direction] than have them STFU and not share anything like most did for the first week of the month.
9:08 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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People should be able to report what they see without others jumping in and criticizing them for doing so.
11:12 pm on Aug 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Google is broken, totally obsessed with brands and penalizing sites for no reason. I am not google bashing I am stating what I see and if you don't like it, well I have other comments you probably won't like either.
1:19 am on Aug 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes, but when nearly every thread turns into the same old "Google hates small businesses" kvetchfest, it can be hard to find actionable or even useful information amid the noise

Most of the noise you speak of comes from unqualified people commenting about business related ecommerce matters that don't even operate an ecommerce website. A good example of such people would include yourself. Such noise, which mostly praises Google for matters one is not even involved in, can be summed up as Google cheerleading, which once again accurately describes you.

Now that we have established where the real noise originates from I will say traffic from Google is higher than when Panda started but sales are generally down. But conversions are on a roller coaster ride with one or maybe two days per week sales from Google traffic are what I would deem normal. Only time will tell if this will level out and produce some sort of consistency.
2:42 am on Aug 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The silence is deafening.... 3 e-commerce sites + 1 ebay store.... absolutely deafening. All commercial pages penalized by Google and hidden from Joe's public view under tons of cleverly crafted distractions.

But wait... here's a trickle of very expensive clueless adwords window shoppers you could have. Good luck with them.

The today's internet state of affairs according to Google = frustrating, quite disgusting and absolutely shocking!

They are limiting and controlling trade in broad day light.
4:47 am on Aug 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The "most useful" thing about this thread to me is people sharing their views of the SERPs, whether those are editorialized positively or negatively to an extent doesn't matter a bit, because the thread is about "where things are in the SERPs from another perspective" so people sharing is required for it to be useful, even if they "sing the Google song" or "Trash the Evil Gorg" when they do.


A lot of what I've seen in this thread is discussion of fluctuating traffic mixed with periods of high/low conversion. Somewhat reminiscent of "zombie" threads which I believe were concluded with the determination that zombie traffic was probably bot traffic with spoofed user agents and proxied IPs.

Removing the "sing the Google song" or "Trash the Evil Gorg" aspect might make SERP reports just a little more coherent and actionable. In my opinion, of course.
7:35 am on Aug 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Now, now, let us all play nice. We are here to discuss and most people discuss their disgust of how Google is operating.

On a different note. Another post-Panda SERP change I noticed is the increased use of product/offer rich snippets in the SERPs. You can take a look here : [postimg.org...] . I haven't seen this in non local organic SERP results. Thoughts?
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