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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Dec 2015

     
9:54 am on Dec 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 2 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4775925.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 3:18 am on Dec 1, 2015 (PDT -8)


Seeing some shift in the SERPS for the last few days. I believe Google dialed up the domain age ranking factor.


I saw a lot of shifts in Germany around November 21st. For example, I saw old domains (classifieds) with changes of 10-20% (some up and some down).

However, I don't believe in the domain age theory. It doesn't fit for me. My guess is that it's either Panda related or (like the phantom update) a change in the core algorithm.
11:03 am on Dec 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@EditorialGuy:
Noticed a similar spike in average position (search console) beginning on Nov. 20 and recovering slowly.

In my case it's a strong fall due to an extremely strong fall of the average position for DESKTOP searches. Mobile positions haven't changed.

Checking some of the main KWs didn't give me a clue for this, but I noticed a lot of additional very weird search phrases (typos), with extreme rankings only once per week/month and mostly only for desktop or mobile.

I guess this is the reason.
12:02 am on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Traffic is all over the map, ON then OFF. Yesterday 4 sales withing an hour, then off the rest of the day. Today bursts of non converting traffic with long zero runs again. Definite clamping / throttling still in effect. Desktop sightings becoming more and more rare. I guess this is what we have to live with.
5:42 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@samwest. Seeing the same here. In the past this has been an indication of an update of magnitude. Could this be one?
7:54 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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So far I have not made a single conversion in the month of December. Traffic is suddenly of very low conversion quality. Today volume is back a bit. I do smell a substantial change (I won't say update) brewing. Based on progressing behavior, I'll guess it is designed to optimally harvest the current holiday spike in buying. And here I was on a nice roll...
7:58 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I was talking smack a couple of weeks ago saying that I was back to the way things used to be. I haven't had a conversion since the 25th. Things were good. THINGS WERE GOOD. Why they gotta be messing with everything?!
8:32 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Google's looking like the grinch that stole Christmas. December sales from Google are extremely bad. Both Algoroo and Mozcast show changes occurring on the last day of November. Those charts also show things have settled down since. If an update was pushed, it may be over and what we see is what we will get.
8:46 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Edited (sorry, delete please)
9:06 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have been seeing above normal traffic, but the conversions are very spotty. All morning long, maybe 1 conversion, but once 3 pm hits, I get 9-10 conversions. I wish I could get the 3 pm traffic all day!
10:20 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I wish I could get the 3 pm traffic all day!


I'm in Europe and I'm seeing low European traffic ever since Friday 13th attacks, Asia is ok, US/Canada ok, but Europe?

Strange, anyone else?
8:04 am on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was spliced on to this thread from: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4780237.htm [webmasterworld.com] by aakk9999 - 10:20 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)


Have you noticed lately, around mid November, something funny about your serps? I'm seeing quite a bit of webspam, sites with redirects and 302's appearing on the 1st page of Google for very competitive keywords.
10:55 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have been seeing above normal traffic, but the conversions are very spotty.

Same here and has been the new norm since late September for me. It's a continuation of the zombies as was discussed at [webmasterworld.com...] You may find some similarities in what you are seeing.
1:49 am on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We just heard that one of our competitors lost 60% of their traffic because their rankings were eaten up by scammers who scraped their site. All this within 1.5 months and we are seeing similar pattern, attacking our high volume keywords with same tactics (scrape our content, drop it on an unrelated hacked website and have the user end up there via a series of redirects.)
5:13 am on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Seeing improvements here for my new website.
12:59 pm on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We see a gradual decline in the SERPS. Being in a b2b niche means end of November and almost the entire december to be slow. Nothing shocking, just the average 3% decline per week.
5:46 pm on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Three days into December, conversions have completely shut off. So, is it my website? No. Is it my SERPS?, testing of my base 100 key phrases would say no. Is it my traffic volume? It's not down any more than it's been in the past 90 days, so what gives? or should I say "what takes"? Compared data to past 10 years never showed a December 1st drop like this...in fact it usually goes up. CrAzY.
6:18 pm on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@samwest

Maybe your site is still suffering of the so called Google Zombie Traffic? ;)
10:40 pm on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@reseller - it has been for years, but this is flat out zombies now. That or super cheapskates.
2:21 am on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday for one of our high volume keywords "games downloads" we saw 3 scam/phishing sites served right up there on the 1st page on Google. Today two of them are gone, but one remains.
3:06 am on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just great. Google just announced a delay in Penguin 4, and it will only come out "next year due to the holidays". Your guess is as good as mine when "next year" would mean. It looks like no Penguin updates for the whole of 2015. This is the longest stretch I believe.

[searchengineland.com...]

Those idiots must be partying hard with all the moolah they acquired, and simply cannot be bothered that a lot of people and businesses have or are suffering from the effects of their Penguin algo (this includes those affected by Negative SEO).

Yeah, let em all eat cake...
4:09 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just great. Google just announced a delay in Penguin 4, and it will only come out "next year due to the holidays".

Doesn't that make sense, if it isn't ready? Do you really want them to rush out a new version of Penguin between gulps of eggnog just to meet an artificial deadline?

From all reports, the new Penguin will be more than an update--it will be a whole new Penguin infrastructure. Google would be crazy to release that into the wild without substantial testing and tweaking.
5:24 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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From all reports, the new Penguin will be more than an update--it will be a whole new Penguin infrastructure

Hmm... This suggests to me that Google decided that something was badly wrong with the old infrastructure, so badly wrong that they threw it away and started over from scratch.
6:29 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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One update seems that Google actually rewards by huge gains in SRP, the black hat practice of header based url refresh code to fool googlebots.
"Avoid meta-refresh and JS redirects - Google's JohnMu" is no longer bad but is apparently rewarded by the New Google

The below code placed in header has literally kicked butt in SRP keyword movement from >100 to 11 in results.

<meta HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" content="0; url=http://'desired url'>

This is a terrible practice that has been reported but Google is ignoring those who play fair and rewarding Negative SEO Firms who get paid to trash your site and cheesy tricks like the above.
8:19 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This suggests to me that Google decided that something was badly wrong with the old infrastructure, so badly wrong that they threw it away and started over from scratch.

Dunno about the "from scratch" part, but moving from an occasional batch process to a real-time process doesn't sound like a trivial undertaking.
12:16 am on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just great. Google just announced a delay in Penguin 4, and it will only come out "next year due to the holidays".


That sounds like a good thing. Their updates seem to cause more harm than good so putting them off can only help.

Just to add, traffic for us in USA and Canada seems a little off but no issues with sales for us, You guys having issues may have to dig deeper into what you are doing, and less of what google is doing to see where the problem is. I mean just because you think your site is great, does not mean your visitors and the bots do.
11:47 am on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Kelowna i am half with you. I have to admit that after beeing kicked by some of the pandas, i got a total new sight on my site. From todays view the site was not a big deal and it took a lot of work to make it professional. And it still takes a lot of time and hard work to find all the samll errors and bad descriptions. After all it makes fun again.
But it also , like samwest says, it makes you very sad when google only sends zombies while short periods of converting traffic are very rare. The point is that after all the right clue is missing in this game while google holdst quiet about any problems they think they have with a site. I wish they would open up a little more.
8:19 pm on Dec 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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You guys having issues may have to dig deeper into what you are doing, and less of what google is doing to see where the problem is. I mean just because you think your site is great, does not mean your visitors and the bots do.


We've dug ourselves silly. We are doing nothing. It's Google that is changing data sets on the fly. That's pretty clear when out of 4 days you get 0, 2, 3 then 10 conversions respectively. While that might not sound bad, 10 years of pre throttled era saw days more like 12, 10, 8, 14 variation consistently. I'm looking at this from a "kurtosis" view of the stats, normal or natural "peakedness" vs. throttled or controlled in a natural distribution. There's no longer anything "natural" about it. I'm not complaining or "sad" just observing the changes that be.
9:28 am on Dec 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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< moved from another location >


Hi Guys!

Have you noticed fluctuation in website Ranking/Traffic especially at the end of the November?

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 1:16 am (utc) on Dec 7, 2015]

11:42 am on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Asim_Mughal - Welcome to WebmasterWorld. Thanks for your observation. Take a look at the comments about updates observed by Glenn Gabe in the second half of November in this thread...

Nov 2015 Phantom updates: user-engagement factors + Panda
Nov 19 and Nov 28
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4780955.htm [webmasterworld.com]

...and see if you can find enough correlation to think that this might be the "fluctuation" you've mentioned too.
2:33 pm on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Funny searched for product that is being raved about currently... very popular at the moment and the only place you can buy is amazon top results or in google shopping results (but if you go to a price comparison website you will find a lot more sellers at a lot lower prices than google shopping results) even appending the word buy doesn't get you eCommerce websites even on page 34567..find this to be the case for lot of Christmas shopping items........ google filters eCommerce sites.
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