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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Jan 2016

     
10:10 am on Jan 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Continuing from:
Google Updates and SERP Changes - Dec 2015
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4780066.htm [webmasterworld.com]


I was off for the past two weeks, but looking back at the traffic patterns at the mid-end of Dec I can safely say something moved in the non US Google domains. Seeing positive changes in the UK, DE, FR and IT traffic. Asia is same but since we do not get much traffic from there either way I can't say for sure there was no changes in the SERPS there.

Too early to tell as for Jan. because it is the first workday of 2016, but I guess I can confirm my observations on Friday.


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:56 am (utc) on Jan 4, 2016]

4:14 pm on Jan 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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My Bing traffic so far today is smacking my google traffic around like a little so-and-so...

Not sure yet if B is up or if g is down, they are always pretty close together.

Someone once asked a googler (not mentioning any names): "Seeing how google is the search leader, with the majority of market share, wouldn't one think that google was getting it wrong if Bing was sending more traffic to a site than google"... silence.
5:03 pm on Jan 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Someone once asked a googler (not mentioning any names): "Seeing how google is the search leader, with the majority of market share, wouldn't one think that google was getting it wrong if Bing was sending more traffic to a site than google"... silence.

Perhaps the Googler felt that it was more diplomatic to remain silent than to point out the silliness of the question.

The fact that Bing was sending more traffic to the site than Google was could reflect badly on Google, but it could just as easily reflect badly on Bing.
6:15 pm on Jan 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Seeing huge changes on Google.de. Not sure if for better or worse... I lost on some keywords, but got a few spots on others. But definitely an update/refresh going on.
8:06 pm on Jan 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Someone once asked a googler (not mentioning any names): "Seeing how google is the search leader, with the majority of market share, wouldn't one think that google was getting it wrong if Bing was sending more traffic to a site than google"... silence.

Perhaps the Googler felt that it was more diplomatic to remain silent than to point out the silliness of the question.

The fact that Bing was sending more traffic to the site than Google was could reflect badly on Google, but it could just as easily reflect badly on Bing.

I'll concede that the absurdity of the question suggests the questioner had a bias opinion... But if I may, Google's minimum market share is 76.4% compared to Bings maximum market share of 13%. With a sample rate of just TWO the margin of error is enormous.

Best to open up a few call centers and randomly ask at least 998 other businesses. But eh, you have a head start!
8:46 pm on Jan 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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but it could just as easily... not be a silly quesion
8:53 pm on Jan 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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But definitely an update/refresh going on.


I've seen important changes in the past 2 days in positions 80+ to 180-/+ on a particular search phrase that involves location and business type. So far, I'm happy with the shuffle :).
9:14 pm on Jan 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google feels the need to rank a keyword that is mentioned once on an unrelated page, rather than a page centered around this particular keyword (it's a product, and isn't focused around it so no panda/keyword density type issues -- but is far more relevant). I don't know why this happened considering my page about this certain keyword was ranking a few spots below where it is now. Makes absolutely no sense at all.

I haven't seen anything significant so far, expect for maybe "normal" traffic somewhat returning. It's too early to speak now about whether I'm still experiencing zombie type traffic. My conversions have improved slightly, but still haven't returned to pre-zombie levels.
12:22 am on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google feels the need to rank a keyword that is mentioned once on an unrelated page, rather than a page centered around this particular keyword


ding, ding, ding..... now you are seeing the light I hope... stop over optimizing your pages
12:58 am on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Kelowna, no it is not over optimized. I don't write for search engines, although it is used commonly on the page because that is the product that I am talking about. Anyway, it seems to have gone back to normal for the keyword I was talking about when I first made the post... but now my homepage is ranking for a particular keyword which there is a page dedicated to.
3:39 am on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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no it is not over optimized.

Thin organic search results make paid ads more appealing to searchers and more appealing to business owners that give in to opening their wallet to compete with the thin search results.
4:17 am on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There are some very poor results currently on search terms related to my niche. It is pretty annoying, considering that I have content that is leagues above the competition. I am on page 1 for most terms, but there are obvious sites with PBNs in their link structure that outrank me. Crap content + good links still wins. So much for AI trying to make the results any better.
9:47 am on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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my results are down a lot since the last update, i hope is temporay
12:02 pm on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Since yesterday I'm seeing 2 datasets switching by the minute.
1:31 pm on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Over the past week, I have seen a slight increase in overall rankings. Lost some, won some. Seen about a 25% increase in traffic, though.
1:54 pm on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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ding, ding, ding..... now you are seeing the light I hope... stop over optimizing your pages


And it's so easily done. I recently used a keyphrase I was targeting as part of the alt text to an image - it wasn't mentioned anywhere else on the page. A week later the page disappeared from the SERPs for that phrase even though it kept steady for others. I changed the image and the alt text (I did both to make the change appear more natural), and a month later it returned.

Google likes to decide for itself what a page is about, and doesn't appreciate what it sees as 'manipulation'.
3:24 pm on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing some SERPs return to a point of a few weeks back where some site that have been at the top for as far as i can remember are now demoted a few spots.

Are we seeing the arrival of the real-time Penguin? Reports of page 2 moving around: [webmasterworld.com...]
4:01 pm on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I agree Superclown. My keyword density is about .5 % if I feel the need to make the article more relevant so people can actually find it. The over-optimization thing has just gone over the top, and now it's becoming counter productive. It's just extremely annoying for the time being - I don't believe I've been penalized. I've also been using my keyword in alt tag in the images, because it actually is related, so we'll see how what happensin a week or 2.
7:40 pm on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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One of my sites seems to be out of Penguin - but the results are only on a single data center might be a test or a full roll out
8:02 pm on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a lot of changes this afternoon, here in the UK. Something's rumbling.
8:58 pm on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Seeing significant positive changes here on the east coast for long time penguin hit sites.
9:44 pm on Jan 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@thejimster

Are the positive changes sticking? or are they flipping back and from like the others have noted?

Hopefully they are sticking for you!
3:39 am on Jan 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Hi, The Site Links when we search for the domain keyword is now two, yesterday non only a yahoo kind of line. It used to be 10 links ?

Why is this. My site was offline due to vps error by ASO hosting. Nearly a week, site was down. How can we rectify this ?
5:10 am on Jan 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@Snowman Our rankings have jumped significantly and they are sticking. No dancing here.
5:48 am on Jan 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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No recovery yet on a penguin hit site.

I have another website which is basically a rewrite+improvement of the penguin hit site, which has been moving up fairly steadily. My writing skills have noticeably improved on the second site, and the content is a lot more substantial. I'm seeing regular ups and downs of a few spots, but nothing substantial in keywords on any particular site.
11:56 am on Jan 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing anything positive on my 80 ish percent Penguin released site. In fact I'm not seeing any changes at all in my UK niche. Is it still going on?
12:55 pm on Jan 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Jez123, I am seeing a large increase in traffic on a squeaky clean USA site that has been around for a couple years. There are three links the site acquired throughout this time, and Google traffic changes to it is a good indicator of non-penguin updates for me. The industry the site is in is also clean with no spammers I know of in it. If what Google is doing is penguin, I would not expect any of the sites in this industry to move.

I'm not sure what is going on, or if it is flux related to penguin, but algoroo is off the charts. The highest value for the last year was 2.07 and yesterday was 2.45 and today even higher at 3.74. Mozcast reports 89 on Friday.
1:10 pm on Jan 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@Jez123 The flux is very country-specific. If you check serpwatch or accuranker where you can filter by country, you'll see that the UK is barely seeing anything at all. Whereas the US, Canada, Australia and parts of Europe are off the chart. I guess the UK is coming soon...
1:16 pm on Jan 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@glakes: I agree - this is not (only) Penguin, but imho a refresh or update of the core algo.
2:03 pm on Jan 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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This doesn't feel like a Penguin-only update. We never saw a drop of 25% during a Penguin update (we're seeing a 25% increase). On the other hand, we could have moved up because of new penalties - but the increase seems too big for that..
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