Lots Of Google Search Activity: Likely Manual Vs. Algorithmic

Mar 21, 2014 • 8:40 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Update BrewingThe ongoing WebmasterWorld thread that tracks Google activity has webmasters and SEOs asking if there are algorithmic updates going on, either Panda or Penguin. I can say, Google has not told us about any update but there has been a heck of a lot of penalties, manual actions and widespread targets on the manual side that happened over the past couple weeks.

For example, this week, we had a blog network penalized impacting many of the publishers associated with that network. Last week, Google took action on link networks in Spain, Germany and Italy. Earlier, Google also target networks in Poland and France.

Google has clearly stepped up their activity in a very manual way, targeting networks that use links to manipulate Google's rankings. This is both on a large scale, going after larger networks, as well as the daily smaller scale manual actions.

So while there may have been a Panda refresh, since they are kind of pushed out monthly. But if Google pushed out that softer Panda update, Google would have likely told us.

I may be wrong, but most the tracking tools seems pretty flat, with the exception of one.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Durant Imboden

03/21/2014 01:01 pm

Google claims to update its algorithm at least 500 times a year, if I recall correctly, so it stands to reason that some people will be affected, for better or worse, on any given day--even without major updates or manual penalties.

PM Fiorini

03/21/2014 01:18 pm

Indeed. You are correct.

Kyle Risley

03/21/2014 01:40 pm

Can attest to uptick in manual penalties dished out beyond the high profile ones.


03/21/2014 02:07 pm

So much more goes on besides Penguin and Panda. We probably see 2-3 Penguin updates a year? 12+ for Panda? Leaves 485 possible answers. String of sites I monitor had a surge in mobile views, was there a mobile algo that rolled out? Who knows, but doesn't mean there wasn't just because Google didn't give it a pet name.

PM Fiorini

03/21/2014 02:31 pm

I've heard this too. Anyone else?

Jitendra Vaswani

03/21/2014 04:49 pm

I m seeing rise in no of manual penalties.


03/21/2014 05:35 pm

Our website was hit this Monday clearly - search traffic is down almost 40 percent - we lost about 20,000 people / day, but the main problem is that this is the first time in site's history (it has more than 5 years ) when we are hit. Webmaster tools does't report nothing - we did't buy / sell link, and we did't do no SEO - never ever ! At this point when there's no message on webmaster tools, all tools look pretty normal - what can i do ???

Kyle Risley

03/21/2014 06:04 pm

1. Go into Google Analytics (or whichever analytics platform you use) and look at traffic impact by landing page. Try to see if certain portions of your site were affected. 2. Look at your latest links in WMT and Majestic SEO. See if there was a possible negative SEO attack. 3. If you know what your type keyword queries were, see which sites are now ranking for well for those queries. Assess the strengths of those sites that your site may be lacking. 4. Contact me @KyleRisley if you're still stumped.

James R. Halloran

03/21/2014 08:14 pm

I think Google is quickly becoming the "shoot first, ask questions later" kind. As large as they are, it surprises me they don't conduct a little more research into who they're hurting before they penalize. The MyBlogGuest scenario is a good example. So many other legitimate bloggers are now affected by that penalty. It's just unfair to hold other people accountable for the doings of others. It's a shame.

osman musa

03/21/2014 08:53 pm

I never manipulated anything and I am still enjoying my penalty from February 14th. Thanks for the Penalty Google, you only hurt your own Adsense income by doing that to me.

Durant Imboden

03/21/2014 09:08 pm

Maybe it was a Panda refresh and not a penalty? http://www.seroundtable.com/google-february-12-update-18108.html


03/22/2014 04:00 am

I think so many small websites are hurt by not just penalties, but penguin, panda, above the fold, EMD, etc. that not many people feel changes Google makes anymore. Because of this it is hard to make any judgement based on chatter alone but people must use something like mozcast because they monitor corporate brand positions. This is assuming that the owners of the small websites even care to see if their ranks have improved from position 50, 100, etc. to only see that Amazon has 3 listings on the first page of Google for their prized and relevant search term.


03/22/2014 07:43 am

19-20 March, it was the usual 2 weeks run for Panda TWEAKS...


03/22/2014 08:43 am

true ! i agree 100% !

osman musa

03/22/2014 08:45 am

Actually, I am beginning to think that Google wants people to hang around inside the Search results page for maximum Ad exposure just like Facebook does too.

Patti Paz

03/22/2014 11:35 am

Good point. You know, those who are rejoicing over Google's slaughtering of what WAS good and well managed websites need to know that Google's actions have gone far beyond simply hurting those spammy and non compliance websites. Dead bodies (websites) are scattered all along the road . . . .

Patti Paz

03/22/2014 11:35 am

You are assuming they CARE and their motives are in the right place

Morgan Akchehirlian

03/22/2014 01:59 pm

I think its frequent with different days. The update time span is more diverse then before. Like other people I also think so that today some update roll out from Google.


03/22/2014 03:36 pm

see algoroo[dot]com mostly orange and red =(

Durant Imboden

03/22/2014 03:40 pm

Algaroo has been mostly orange and red since early January. (I can't help thinking of the story about the boy who cried "Wolf!" too often.)


03/22/2014 04:39 pm

Better that they are manual than algorithmic. Less false positives.

Sam Sinton

03/22/2014 08:57 pm

My Blog Guest was nothing but a spam network... Just because the owner is respected does not take that fact away.


03/24/2014 02:06 pm

they care about "quality", so only their own sites, dead bodies, doorways and unrelated high authority sites in the organic serp now.


03/25/2014 07:11 pm

My sites have unique content I've made a good income over the last 10 years with adsense now it's just ridiculous.


03/25/2014 07:13 pm

Does anyone think Google is penalizing us because we have Discus on or sites?

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