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Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2016

     
7:50 am on Mar 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Continuing from:
Google Updates and SERP Changes - Feb 2015
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4788898.htm [webmasterworld.com]



I think something major might be changing right now, my 'search analytics' data in Google's 'search console'(ie:GWT) has not updated for a full week. The last data showing on the page/keyword reports is from Feb 23rd.



[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:44 am (utc) on Mar 1, 2016]

6:09 pm on Mar 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Bear in mind that in the UK at least, everyone breaks up today for Easter break so some search flux is expected. I appreciate your sites may not be in the UK, but given that Google seems to fill UK serps up with non-UK results, you're probably getting all the UK ones. ;-)
8:43 pm on Mar 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Traffic spurts...two morning sales within 10 minutes to two different customers, then nothing all day....then one at 2am. How can there be more buying traffic at 2am than mid day in the US?
9:51 am on Mar 25, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I have also seen some wired stats. Where in one case google analytics is showing normal traffic flow for last one month but seach console is showing very less number of clicks for last one week.

Who knows what is happening with google serps ?
10:05 am on Mar 25, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@Maddy5 Exactly the same here and I posted about it earlier! GSC broke on 23rd February and Google halted it being updated for many days whilst their engineers fixed it. But when it came back on, our search analytics data from 23rd Feb onwards was nonsense; far too low, just looks like random noise and doesn't correspond with Analytics at all.
1:06 pm on Mar 25, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Conversions were very strong through about mid-day Wednesday and tapered off. Barely anything yesterday. It's starting to get predictable at the end of the quarter. Same thing happened end of June and September last year. It's like a light switch. Traffic remains constant. Conversions are not.
1:36 pm on Mar 25, 2016 (gmt 0)

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More weird and unnatural stats, for the past three days I've had a morning sale on Wednesday at at 8:25am, Thursday at 8:26am and Friday at 8:27am. Seems almost like that would be a natural impossibility. Each day's early morning sale is followed by nothing else all day.
3:08 pm on Mar 25, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It will be a miracle? Since yesterday Google is sending me again legitimate user.

The same number of users of the dead days, but now it seems that they breathe ...

I hope it stays that way. :-)
5:20 pm on Mar 25, 2016 (gmt 0)

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People mentioning positive results in terms of conversions, you are aware it has just been many people's pay day for this month as well?
1:59 pm on Mar 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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After three good days with good conversions, today it seems that the zombie traffic is back.
5:41 pm on Mar 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Or people spending time with family or on holiday for Easter? Sorry if this doesn't apply to your website, just an observation.
7:15 pm on Mar 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@N00b1 - I would agree with you if not exist smartphones.
7:45 pm on Mar 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I take it they make up more than 16% of your traffic? They only account for 16% of my visitors. I also think people are less inclined to purchase or research certain products when they have other things to distract them (like Easter holidays etc.) regardless of whether they have a smartphone.
7:57 pm on Mar 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@n00b1 - My niche is tourism. My best results are at christmas, new year, weekends and `holidays`. Mobile represents 22% of my clicks. I do not sell products, it is an online guide. Today was to be another day of big gains with AdSense, however I just watch zombies.
4:20 pm on Mar 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I posted the following a couple of weeks ago and it's simply getting worse:

I'm seeing keyword stuffed pages/sites ranking well again in my widget sector, and I mean really stuffed, 20/30/40 times per page, meta, almost any opportunity, absolutely useless pages for visitors, awesome for G SERPs!


There are two sites in my widget sector that are killing the SERPs, they're using their own standard templates constructed like this:

Title: 16X Keyword1 Keyword2
Description: 9X Keyword1 Keyword2
Keywords: 8X Keyword1 Keyword2
On Page: 91X Keyword1 Keyword2

91, ninety-one is not a typo!

These sites have been there for months now, why doesn't G simply admit it hasn't a clue what to do with them, yet another massive Google FAIL meanwhile those of us with legitimate,clean sites are continued to be demoted since we do not us these tactics.

And don't try and convince me these companies are not getting valid business enquiries, I know they are.
5:29 pm on Mar 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I think their idea is simply. You have no choice put to pay adwords if you wish to be above them. Its same reason Penguin has not updated since Oct 2014...
7:12 pm on Mar 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I ran some searches today and, wow, the SERPs look awful. So many non-relevant sites appearing. .ru, .com, .fr, appearing and none were what I was looking for. How strange, i havent seen it this poor for a while, yet tge adwords were right on the money. No need to be cynical but the organic serps needs some work.
i would not be surprised some may be seeing zombie traffic if the entries are that bad.
9:28 pm on Mar 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I ran some searches today and, wow, the SERPs look awful. So many non-relevant sites appearing. .ru, .com, .fr, appearing and none were what I was looking for. How strange, i havent seen it this poor for a while

RankBrain is supposed to improve relevance, but it probably needs some time to self-learn from its mistakes. So the results might have to get worse before they get better.
[webmasterworld.com ]

i would not be surprised some may be seeing zombie traffic if the entries are that bad.

A possible connection between RankBrain and zombie traffic has been mentioned in other threads here several times.
9:45 pm on Mar 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Just stopped in to report more odd goings on.
A recurring surge just occurred, on a particular blog post. I was monitoring on GA watching the usual 2, 3, 5, 2, 1, 0, 4, 2, 3, 2, 2 (you get the idea) pattern.
I looked up and I see 87 visitors suddenly pop onto the site! all going to that one blog post. I hovered in the 60 to 90 range for about 5 to 10 minutes, none of the visits seemed to go anywhere, just that page and gone. The visits were all from diverse IP's. They were also a mix of direct and Google (no key word of course). I was recorded by piwik so I'll examine further, but it just makes me wonder where these surges come from exactly. Is it a test? a screw up? a glitch?
It's been happening every few weeks now.


I have a client who is being featured on a reality type TV program every weekend. Once the show airs the server goes from 2, 3, 2, 3, 2 etc visits to 900+ within a minute! Thanks to the cloud, we ride smoothly through those events.
11:30 pm on Mar 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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RankBrain happening? My site is with a great traffic flow, unusual for a Monday night.

Or penguin coming?
3:11 am on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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RankBrain happening? My site is with a great traffic flow, unusual for a Monday night.

Does the traffic consist of a lot of deadbeats, bots, fake, zombies, etc. traffic that many are seeing seeing? Google has proven over the last six months or so that good traffic that does not convert is essentially worthless.
9:35 am on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@engine - On my laptop this weekend - with the 4 Adwords ads and google shopping I don't actually see anything organic above the fold so they don't have to worry too much about the organic SERPs.
2:06 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@IanTurner On desktop for our main product keyword queries it's mostly one organic Amazon entry above the fold. Everything else is paid. On mobile it's all paid ads without scrolling.
6:06 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I think most people are aware that the right column ads are "no more" and that 4 ads can appear above organics as a replacement? Another clue why organic results are way down (it would seem) in the list of Google priorities. Image search going the way of Pinterest now, which makes other peoples image collections part of a Google product, in a matter of speaking. Such is the current state of Google search, or whatever it's referred to as these days.
10:17 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

Today during three hours we have had an increase of visits of 500%, after the visits came back to normal.

It was extrange, most of visits went to home and analytics detected It like Directs but hi-stats from Google withouth referer word.

I don't know if this was a test from Google of what, anyone got the same?
10:31 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@chms - With me the same thing happened yesterday.
10:50 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@renatovieira right now is going on again.
10:51 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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One more thing, most of visits are from computer (85%) adn It is happening in two of my websites that I thought could be penalized by penguin.
8:04 am on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

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This Easter Google made a new and "nice" change.

Now I see:
- a lot of MFA and EMD sites are up
- softonic.com for any software related querry, with more spam pages; even localized pages!
- warez is back UP

See this querry: [goo.gl...]

This is what I see:
[i.imgur.com...]
8:44 am on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Mentat, try the default 10 results per page. You'd get a lot less domain clustering.

You'd still have the issue, though, that there are enough of these for this query with the product name corresponding to your query that it appears you're looking at mostly navigational searches.
10:11 am on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone noticed a huge surge in blog comment spam lately? Thank you again Google, for giving idiots a reason to try and neg SEO their competitors.
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