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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Sept 2015

     
8:37 am on Sep 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 17 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4760634.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 10:16 am on Sep 3, 2015 (PDT -8)


So is/was Panda 4.2 a "slow rollout" or "no rollout"? For me it looks like they just announced 4.2 so that the webmaster community shuts up.
2:22 pm on Sept 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The only way to get any traffic is to tease it away from Facebook. 1 billion users in one day? Now you know where everyone is, the trick is how to entice them back to your site. Do a lot of likes and short comments. If you have a catchy name and logo, they may come check you out. Seems to work for me. Twitter works too. Forget G+ tho.
4:44 pm on Sept 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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^^ I hope that is a joke post, not sure if serious.

The slow rollout seems to be still going on with the sites we have. Still lots of bouncing up and down in the serps, but oddly enough it appears to only effect the home pages of the sites. The inner pages are our money makers and they look very stable. This is something we have not seen before with any other updates.
8:09 am on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Kelowna is correct. Panda is rolling. It is slow though, as if implemented within the rate of recrawl. Our biggest web property has a DE version that was hit by the latest Panda. Not every page , rather those that deserved it (read the EN content was not translated yet). On the flipside some other websites were hit entirely disappearing from the long tail SERPs, which is where the money are in our niche. So far, so good. As for adding fresh links, this might sound easy but for the niche websites it is tough as hell to get a decent Google approved links. The good news however are that I can run a very small very high profile link portfolio and still outrank the grey/black hat spammers that have 70k+ backlinks.
9:50 am on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Nutterum, do you think that there will only be this recrawl for panda, or will panda updated with next crawl of the page? ( = panda inplemented in algo )? So upgrading the page would result in a new panda score.

Since P4.2 we saw 2 big hits. Every time it was on a friday evening.
It also seems as if the first 3-4 entries do not move at all. In my niche this poisitions didnīt move for month now. And allways big brands cover this positions. In 80% of the cases they are not relavant ( and the most cases are from amazon ).

I see google now puts much relevance in site structure/ page filename.

And google lost the ability to destuingish between 5m and 7,5m , as the "," is a seperator for them.
12:42 pm on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Kelowna - no, not a joke. What people are doing here is more of a joke, trying the same old, same old of tweaking their site and hoping the Google tooth fairy will gift them some traffic. You have to go get it these days. As Einstein said: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".
4:38 pm on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@samwest - Because this is the Google update thread, I thought you were joking as your comment had nothing to do with updates on Google.

Re: "same old of tweaking their site and hoping the Google tooth fairy will gift them some traffic..."
If that is the what you think it takes to rank in Google, then for sure move on to something else.

Re: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".
It's not about doing the same thing, it's about doing the correct things. Its about analyzing what works to rank on Google. That is seo 101, if you don't know how to rank a site, then you are not a true seo. If that is the case then yes, go get some other traffic sources, but this is not the right thread to post about it.
5:40 pm on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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But if you know how to "game the system" then you are a blackhat spammer according to google.
6:19 pm on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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That whole hat color thing is getting old. Getting sites to rank is what makes money. There is never any spam involved in what we do. Surfers looking for a product always see a page about the product. To me spamming would be sending them to something else.
6:25 pm on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Is card counting illegal, no:-)

Skillful SEO v blackhatting are different methods to achieve similar results, good SEO shouldn't get you penalised and seemingly good blackhatting doesn't either!
6:58 pm on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Back on topic... seeing some very substantial movement across the board today. Over 30 sites are showing well over the normal daily fluctuations.

Mainly UK ecommerce or service sites.
7:47 pm on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I get tired of people looking down their nose at other people on this thread. Google updates are simply mathematical changes to an already complex algorithm. It is a game and there's really no way to figure it out. There are simply too many variables that no one person could figure out. That being said, it could still be reverse engineered but it would be a monumental task. Anybody who thinks that they're doing analysis and the right things on what it takes to rank in Google is fooling themselves. You can only get bits and pieces and sometimes you might be right. But only for a short time until the algorithm changes again which is all the time. It's not like it used to be, there were ways to game the system because it didn't have that many variables. Almost anyone could figure it out. It's important that every Google update can't be figured out, hence they don't give us any feedback as to how someone got to any site. Without that information, it's very difficult to figure anything out. It's a system, Google indexes the world's information and makes it available for a cost, and there's always a cost no matter which side of search you're on, the searcher or the destination.
7:54 pm on Sept 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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So what I'm saying is that this thread is a complete waste of time and thought. The problem is beyond a few hundred people comparing notes and updates.
1:26 am on Sept 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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A lot of useless traffic from Google today. Bing/Yahoo are a small percentage of overall visitors but convert multiples over Google traffic. Google's hiding of the keywords used to send traffic makes it more complicated to figure out what they are ranking our ecommerce site for, but they definitely are not buyer focused keywords. Fortunately our target customers can be reached elsewhere, and that's where we have and will continue to focus our efforts and majority of advertising dollars at. Google organic and paid is just too unstable to hone in on a stable roi - one day is good and the next day it's horrible. In the end it's a wash with too little profits to justify the time.
8:29 am on Sept 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I disagree with you Babadook, threads like this one are a good catalyst of the state of the vocal minority of dedicated webmasters. Some of us operate websites that generate millions in yearly revenue and our updates are usually a pretty decent early warning sign. Do we get emotional and derail the focus of the thread from time to time - yes, that does not mean its complete waste of time and thought. As for your earlier comment, I think you are wrong again. People do know how to cheat the algo, problem is they get caught pretty darn fast. Some niches are not of interest to Google however (purely financially) and thus some corners of the Google search can be spammed much more easily and with a greater effect than others.

Google is a service that wants to get revenue. That said they focus on what is most relevant for their business. At this time this is local and mobile search and this is where they are most prolific with updates, changes and monitoring. In my niche, I've seen websites blatantly spammed with techniques that were considered questionable in 2009 let alone in 2015, yet even after several reports, the website is still occupying several niche relevant keyword clusters. Its not about knowing what works well, its about Google squeezing the very websites they generate revenue from in order to serve their own ads/products/properties.
5:50 pm on Sept 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It's not like it used to be, there were ways to game the system because it didn't have that many variables. Almost anyone could figure it out. It's important that every Google update can't be figured out, hence they don't give us any feedback as to how someone got to any site. Without that information, it's very difficult to figure anything out. It's a system, Google indexes the world's information and makes it available for a cost, and there's always a cost no matter which side of search you're on, the searcher or the destination.


That's one view but I believe you are not only fundamentally wrong but very mixed up as well.

there were ways to game the system

Correct, trying to game the system has become a short term exercise for only the very technical minded. And it is only a short term game.

it's very difficult to figure anything out

I disagree, from my perspective it's become even more simple nowadays. To rank in the SERPS you need to accpt two basic principles which are:

1. G wants to pinch your business and they will use every tactic and strategy they can to inflate their bottom line without regard to the damage it may do to you. Fair enough? Yes, I want to inflate my bottom line and don't think about the impact on G when I attempt to do that.

2. G want their SERPS to satisfy their users needs. And they judge that by a variety of factors such as how long a user stays on a page, how they interact on the site when they are there, where they go when they leave and other factors. They put those considerations well, well above what's actually on the page. What's on the page is impossible for their computers to judge, their only method of judging a page's worth is how the user interacts with it.

Q.E.D.
5:54 pm on Sept 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Really poor quality SERPs right now. At the moment, purely observing google SERPs in one country, it's not filtering very well at all. I'm getting mostly US-based sites. This is not going to do anything for traffic if you are targeting that specific country.
6:56 pm on Sept 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Seeing lots of green arrows in our serp tracking today, mostly on older sites that we have not touched in a while, possibly a boost to site age? too soon to say 100% but starting to look that way.
8:18 pm on Sept 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Was there a Google update in the last day or so? Seeing a drop in traffic, although I'm not sure if it's just analytics being a little slow to update.
8:56 pm on Sept 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We saw an uptick in traffic from the recent Panda reset, then just over the last week have seen traffic go back to post-panda reset. Barry mentions this in his website that others have seen something similar.
3:13 am on Sept 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It doesn't seem to matter if you're on page 1 anymore. I've got green arrows everywhere yet a trickle of traffic.It's all smoke and mirrors. SEO is useless. If you believe it works, then all the power to ya. I've jumped through the hoops for 15+ years and every day just gets worse and worse and worse. I don't see too many people gloating about any upticks in this forum. One day it's on, the next it's off. It's not my site, or your site that is broken, it's Google and perhaps the entire web. I was reading Babdook's comments from last month and he's pretty much got the right view. I also see the same patterns he described. Others I talk to see odd patterns of SPAM (stoppages) coinciding with down periods which to me would indicate and overall network issue...perhaps some top secret agency filtering packets or throttling traffic for national security reasons...who knows. All I can say is that natural traffic is dead, and SEO relies on natural traffic.Manipulation makes it useless. Have fun.
1:13 pm on Sept 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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SEO is useless. If you believe it works, then all the power to ya. I've jumped through the hoops for 15+ years and every day just gets worse and worse and worse. I don't see too many people gloating about any upticks in this forum.


It is a natural thing for those that know what they are doing to keep things quiet, not sure why that surprises you. I too have been doing this 15+ years and with great success.

All I can say is that natural traffic is dead, and SEO relies on natural traffic.Manipulation makes it useless. Have fun.


Our business relies 100% on natural traffic and is doing great, the only slow down has been finding good paying products/programs to promote. I have to say that I do like the trend of people dropping out of the game, as it just makes it a less competitive marketplace. Losers gonna lose & winners gonna win... there's my gloat for ya.
1:53 pm on Sept 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It doesn't seem to matter if you're on page 1 anymore. I've got green arrows everywhere yet a trickle of traffic.It's all smoke and mirrors. SEO is useless.

In many industries the winners and losers have been hand picked by Google and there is nothing that can be done about it. For example, Amazon's multiple top organic listings for many products leaves little room for anyone else. And when you consider that in addition to those multiple organic Amazon listings that Amazon also has a paid listing there is even less room for anyone else. Yet there are other situations where no organic listings are above the fold and no amount of seo can overcome how Google lays out their search results.

If there is a lack of opportunity in Google, look elsewhere. Especially if you have to spend money to be seen, as I do, you may find that you can develop a manageable ROI elsewhere. In fact Google's paid ads are about the priciest ads that can be bought and offer the lowest or negative ROI in my experience.
4:26 pm on Sept 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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mrengine is completely right!
5:49 pm on Sept 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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All verticals are different. I'm commenting on mine. I still get some organic traffic, but not enough to live on anymore. That's why I mentioned FB and other social networks as a place to pull traffic from. 5 years ago, those places were more of a curiosity, now they are the first place people go when the start their day and they check, check, check it all day long. Hardly anyone is wasting their time trying to find anything useful by doing a Google search. I'm trying to fix an old roto tiller engine and my repeated queries pull up that same Amazon pages search after search and I'm still stuck with a broken motor. I'll say it again, manipulation makes SEO worthless.
10:18 pm on Sept 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hardly anyone is wasting their time trying to find anything useful by doing a Google search.

If that's the case, isn't it time for people to stop obsessing about Google and move on? Why beat the proverbial dead horse?
8:32 am on Sept 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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what is going on right now?

is some kind of update still dancing?

we've been hit on Sept 2 and dropped 5-10 positions, in favor of stupid news blogs/websites
1:18 pm on Sept 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Let's not get too dramatic, I don't think anyone is "obsessing about Google", just pointing out what we see, but I guess if you've used it for a decade and a half and it worked fine, but then in rather short order it stops working altogether, it makes you wonder what happened. If that's obsessing, well so be it. I will agree though that it is a dead horse...

To get back on topic track...Jessica, yes I see a similar loss of traffic, however, not seeing any drops in rank of my core keyphrases that might explain any of it. Someone will pop in here and say it's the weather or the Labor Day weekend, but in the past, Labor Day weekend was the start of my seasonal upward trend. Site is sitting at zero traffic.
1:41 pm on Sept 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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what is going on right now?

Orders coming in now for us are originating from everywhere else except Google. Customer order emails originating from search engines end in @live.com, live.ca, hotmail.com, yahoo.com, etc if that tells you anything about the source of the sales. Google seems like a dead dog right now - what users they send do not buy and have few page views. As far as search engines go, Bing/Yahoo are doing a good job. The other places we advertise at are sending converting users, so whatever is going on with Google is indeed Google's problem and started on 9/2/2015.
4:17 pm on Sept 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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^^ I concur with that date. No dramatic drops in SERPS, just usual flux, but traffic and conversions are gone. Every year previously (back 5 years) have had robust sales before during and after Labor Day weekend. They just hit the KILL switch again.
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