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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Nov 2015

     
9:56 am on Nov 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Continuing from [webmasterworld.com...]

It's November and so far no one placed any concerns about the first of Nov spike on the forecast tools like Mozcast and SERP metrics. Algoroo has not updated for that date and SERPs com tools shows sunnier forecast. I decided to start the November thread with these observations as it is uncommon for the weather forecast tools to be in such big disagreement. Sadly I do not have access to Kissmetrics and the rest of the enterprise tools so perhaps someone else can fill that void in the data.

In any case, what do you see on 1st of Nov? Any dramatic changes or vertical shifts in the SERPS?
10:18 pm on Nov 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hi, new poster here.

I noticed a dramatic shift in the SERPS about a week and a half ago, where one of my old sites went back to number 1 for a very competitive key term. However, in the last 48 hours the SERPS have dramatically changed and the site has dropped to bottom of page one for that key term. Similarly, the other sites on the first couple of pages have shuffled around quite abit. Haven't seen any notable changes on algoroo yet. Wondering what's going on.
10:44 pm on Nov 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Fair bit of turbulence in my finance niches in the UK today, all settled back to normal this evening.
5:54 am on Nov 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Finally, algoroo is showing some major activity happening. Reflects what i'm seeing with SERPs for my niche Australian sites.
12:46 am on Nov 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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first 3 days of the month saw similar traffic, but very high quality - converting well.

Today, it's like the tap was shut off. Traffic still there, but very low quality.
4:16 pm on Nov 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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First few days had great traffic. The past 2 days traffic is same but a lot lower quality.
11:30 pm on Nov 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Also must say I had a decent first few days of November in terms of sales. However, the last few days have been bone dry, although I am keeping other webmasters in the same boat posted in the zombie traffic thread. There is some disagreement if this is intentional or not, and I am on the side that it is intentional. I have never seen such strong on/off patterns before and they are definitely doing something to alter the traffic quality when I have not had this issue before. There is a lot of speculation as well as sellers and webmasters on other platforms who have noticed dramatic losses in their sales since September -- if anyone is having this issue please find the appropriate thread.
6:06 pm on Nov 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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As it stands as of last night, yahoo is bringing more organic traffic than google now. Good thing I increased the adwords budgets!

The comps are full of pbn powered ecommerce sites.
6:21 pm on Nov 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Early November is looking much like the month of October for us: a moderate year-over-year increase in "users," and a much larger YOY increase for "sessions" and "pageviews."
9:58 am on Nov 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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More data on the overall internet weather came in in the past few days and I find it a bit disturbing. Half of the aggregators showed depressed figures in the first days of November (unusually low volatility %) the other half, unusually high volatility. Is this RankBrain getting in the way of the algo? Did anyone noticed spikes in their SERPs over the past few days?

Most importantly, do you see a stark difference in results when you manually check the SERPs and while using a software to check the keywords for you?
10:03 am on Nov 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else noticed the delay in WMT? The data is not being updated since the third of November. Anyone else seeing this?
11:27 am on Nov 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hello...I'm new to the forums, and first-time poster. I just wanted to add my observations from Nov 1st. I indeed had a large spike in traffic and sales on the 1st. I am a small seller on both eBay and Etsy. I sell antiques and vintage collectibles. I have GA on both shops, so have the data, but am not adept as using anymore than the most basic level. I am an intelligent person, and intrigued by SEO, and especially this forum, but by no means a techie or computer whiz, or savvy marketer. But, since I sell on two large ecommerce sites, I thought that it might interest those of you who are professional SEO people to have some feedback from a user of these two marketplaces. I have 350 items listed for sale, same on both sites, and I was making sales on both sites right while I was talking to my friend on the phone (and loving it, I might add!) The phenomenon trickled out for a few more days, till about Wednesday, and then deadsville since then. Traffic and views are about the same, but no sales now for almost a week:( Just thought I'd add my two cents, for what it's worth.

Definitely strange phenomenon, and I know something's going on with the internet, but I just don't know what it is, and that's what brought me here in the first place.
11:37 am on Nov 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Nutterum Seeing exactly the same on my large health/medical site. Getting increasingly frustrated with lack of WMT data update since November 3rd as traffic looks to be starting to dip and I'd like to find out why!
8:54 am on Nov 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hi Cindy_B, welcome to Webmasterworld! Now as for your post, more and more folks with e-commerce websites are seeing pretty much what you described. Some of their product listings either got a big boost or were placed in the gutter on 1st - 4th Nov. That, combined with the slow rollout at WMT, indicated an algorithm change. (this is a pattern most people here would agree is present when an algo update is pushed) . Now as for your shops, you mentioned you had 0 converting traffic since, however prior to Nov. first - did you have a steady flow of conversions or some mix of visitors and buyers? I am asking because there is an ongoing Zombie traffic thread that I believe might be up your ally of traffic conundrums. Link to thread here : [webmasterworld.com...]

@CrazyHorse23 - Thank you for sharing your observations. Please, keep the traffic updates comming. This will engage more folks to come out of the shadows and post their observations as well.
9:12 am on Nov 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Since yesterday evening we see a roll back to mid/end october serps. Combined with a heavy drop of traffic/conversions.
It seems like authority has been dialed up again.

ecom: germany
11:07 am on Nov 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It seems like authority has been dialed up again.


Question: how do you differentiate between authority being dialed up (presumably by Google), and just the fact that the authority sites might have naturally gained more backlinks/other positive metrics over the past few weeks or months, hence boosting their current positions?
11:19 am on Nov 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I wanted to show a picture of my GA Benchmarks graph for the past month to show a curious pattern of my shop versus benchmarking pool. How do I do that here? Or, can I do that here? (I already saved and cropped the image for privacy.)
2:27 pm on Nov 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Cindy_B you can upload the image to imgur.com - most users here prefer it as you don`t need a registration and it is easy to use.
2:39 pm on Nov 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Nutterum Thanks--here is image link of my graph...I just think it's weird that when I have lowest visitors, the pool has the greatest, and when I have greatest, the pool has lowest. Am I misinterpreting something?

[i.imgur.com...]
3:15 pm on Nov 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Nutterum And fyi here's my Ebay shop benchmark graph (I know, small potatoes)...same items as Etsy, same inventory, and Etsy's probably only 1/4 the size of eBay or less, but gives me 3x traffic. So either eBay doesn't like me, or Google doesn't like eBay, or a little of both. But regardless of that, I wanted you to see the spike on Nov. 1st.
(If I could only crack "the code", I'd be rich, I tell you--RICH!))))

[i.imgur.com...]
9:14 am on Nov 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a fair bit of movement today in the UK SERPS. Just briefly and now back to normal. Anyone seeing anything?
9:50 am on Nov 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I noticed some very old pages ranking well, which reminded me to add some 301s to an old site. Not sure if it'll remain stable like that, but i'll get to the 301s in any case, and take the traffic, thank you.
12:22 pm on Nov 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Cindy_B - this is not actually a spike. There is a visible trend starting 5 days prior your traffic high, then Google pushed it down. I can`t tell for sure whether it was Google-Ebay related or Google-You related but whichever the case you were brought down after the first of Nov.

@Jez123 - I don`t have much presence in the UK. Maybe 20-30 keywords at most. From what I can see it's stable on my pure organic end.

@engine - Can you recall whether you had similar old pages getting lifted prior an update before?
12:32 pm on Nov 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Now WMT reporting has caught up a lot of ground I can see a clear pattern with my site. While the update was propagating Nov 1 - Nov 5 all my metrics took a noticeable dip. Since Nov 6 things seem to have gone back to the gradual upward trend across the board that they have been on for the last couple of months.

Health News/Community - UK (US server)
12:38 pm on Nov 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@engine - Can you recall whether you had similar old pages getting lifted prior an update before?


Yes, old pages, but not these very old pages (they are 1998!). Methinks there may be some shifting going on so i'm not going to be concerned for the time being. It's possible that many other sites have disappeared and caused the old pages to rank better. At the moment, finding those pages is not the best user experience and I should have removed them, or redirected them. I'll get onto that.

The money terms for that old site are still working, so that's the important thing. :)
10:51 pm on Nov 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What was becoming a record week hit the skids at midnight last night. Nothing since. Lots of foreign traffic and referral spam all of a sudden. Bring back that last data set!
8:17 am on Nov 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I actually noticed a considerable increase this week compared to the slow start of November. Talking about 25% traffic increase, 50% of which is for value generating terms. Sure happy to see movement in November, as my niche is slow during this month.
10:12 am on Nov 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We've had a record rolling 7 days. Flat October and November, when usually they trend strongly upwards.

The uplift was a bit of a surprise, as we took a really big revenue hit from 29th October, which lasted until 4th November.
2:52 pm on Nov 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing lots of domain crowding on and off today. Precursor to something happening, possibly?
3:28 pm on Nov 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Changes are very nichey, early in the week was probably the precursor with excellent traffic and conversions, now it seems to be all referral spam and domain crowding with Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest serps not uncommon. Total shutdown in sales for obvious reasons, Running keyword check now to check the deltas (all negative I'm guessing). Enjoy your vertical if it's doing well, you may be seeing the precursor wave coming through. Hope the good stuff sticks for you tho.

UPDATE: Keyword positions have not changed drastically, so it looks like a new traffic flavor rolled through. I promise I won't say the "Z" word.
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