Reports Of A Google Update Between November 1st & 5th

Nov 6, 2013 • 8:27 am | comments (67) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

google updating logoI have been seeing some chatter at WebmasterWorld and other sources of a possible update that is being pushed out slowly since late October 31st through today.

If you read the thread, you'll see some people complaining about declines in rankings between the dates of November 1st and today. You will also see people excited about increases in rankings.

All the Google tracking tools don't show heavy fluctuations, with the exception of, which seems to have some bug. But the most, they show some activity on October 31st and November 1st, quiet down on the 2nd and 3rd. A spike back up on November 4th and today with chatter.

Here are some quotes from webmasters noticing fluctuations in the Google search results:

Been smashed by whatever rolled out. a good 20-25%

Yes, something is going on. One site's traffic slightly down and slightly up for another.

Quite a large drop in traffic overnight, not sure whether halloween would have this sort of impact. anyone else picking up anything? saw a large KB per day increase on Monday.

Truth is, I am not sure I'd classify this as a significant update but let's see if Google announces anything.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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11/06/2013 01:54 pm

Panda Update?


11/06/2013 02:07 pm

Halloween update. As always, Google also wants to look scary :)


11/06/2013 02:12 pm

Yup, I can confirm that on November 5 we lost 90% of our traffic. Interesting fact - we've been hitten on september 4 also, but after 3 weeks recovered. Then we seen a slight recovery all that time and the whole week before the second penalty we've been recovered to more than 100% of previous traffic. Then a penalty received again exactly 2 months later. Interesting fact is that it was only 1 day difference between those 2 dates - September 4 and November 5 :)


11/06/2013 02:20 pm

Saw a large increase on one site. Another site, it strangely shifted it's daily traffic pattern. It receives more traffic than usual in the mornings, and less traffic than usual in the evenings. Never seen that happen before.


11/06/2013 02:38 pm

Google does not WANT to look scary ! They ARE scary !


11/06/2013 02:40 pm

Just curious: Do you have a clear picture of the geographic breakdown of your visitors? I have no idea what your site(s) are about, but is it possible that you have acquired lots of visitors from across the date line? Example: You host an English language site/blog/whatever. You suddenly see a large spike in traffic during the early morning hours EST (have no idea what your time zone is, so I will use mine for this example). You investigate where the traffic is coming from and it seems that there is a lot of traffic from our Australian friends - early morning EST seems to be a time when a lot of Aussies are browsing and consuming web content. Investigate the 'why' your content is suddenly hot in a new market, and maybe you have something to capitalize/focus on. I am sure you are already doing things like this in order to discern what is going on, but I find a shift in daily traffic patterns to be strange as well and am curious as to your experience.


11/06/2013 02:41 pm

That's what I usually assume at the beginning of the month over a 5-10 day period. Wasn't affected myself, so it would be interesting to see what types of content/sites took a hit or a boost.


11/06/2013 03:14 pm

I saw a big drop in our tracking tool for our rankings but I believe it caught the rankings when they were changing. I am not seeing the big drop in traffic yet. We also changed the design of our site at the same time. So it is hard to pin point if there was a change from Google or us changing. One of our other site also saw a change but it was on par with a normal Google update where what ranks shifts a little. My guess is this is another Panda update with a shift in ranking relevance for seasonal terms.

Shawn Lindsey

11/06/2013 04:01 pm

Now, we saw a couple dropping in rankings over the past couple of days for one of our sites, however, what was really concerning is that the drop happened, but normally our Top 10 rankings were ALL for inner pages, and then it started indexing the home page as being the highest ranking one for the keyword and that is where our tools are picking up drops in rankings.

Durant Imboden

11/06/2013 04:05 pm

Same old, same old (both in GA and WMT).


11/06/2013 04:05 pm

Yes, it has been confirmed, Google is rolling back the panda algo, softening it.

Moshe Feinstein

11/06/2013 04:44 pm

I love it how people get their panties in a bunch over updates. Face it folks, you have to pay for traffic, soon or later. Google is a one trick pony and needs to ad even more ads to the pages and penalize even more sites (so they advertise.) Barry at least makes money by pretending Google is fair, what do you get? Google is rigged, their results are manipulated to results in most ad clicks.


11/06/2013 04:58 pm

Many, many youtube videos have taken over the serps. I'm not really surprised by this. The slow death of Google organic search continues...


11/06/2013 05:12 pm

Agreed, I noticed some small bumps from Google the last few days, but I've been noticing a huge flux from BingHoo yesterday.


11/06/2013 05:27 pm

I don't think they can be called updates, its just Google keeping the flux going so no one cant count on organic positions month to month anymore. No other software developer in the world would test in a live environment like this. At best if these 500 "updates" per year are proof google cant get the algo right, 3-4 updates a year are normal, 500 though? Just broken patch jobs!

Zeshan Noor Wahgra

11/06/2013 05:40 pm

I remember MATT have a special video on it. He said , "Webmasters usually confuse data refresh with Update".

josh bachynski (SEO)

11/06/2013 06:59 pm



11/06/2013 07:02 pm

This explains the poor performance I was witnessing the past couple of days...and couldn't pin point.


11/06/2013 07:44 pm

Weird, our hits decreased by about 20% (as usual) but so did our bounce rate. We're down to 35% bounce and have over 8 pages/visit. Until this update every previous update had increased the bounce. Business up and bounce+hits down, we can live with that.

Durant Imboden

11/06/2013 07:57 pm

They aren't "keeping the flux going on" to mess with people's expectations, they're doing it because (a) they now have the ability to update frequently, and (b) batch processing is sooooo 1990s. (Think about it: Would you be happy if Google Analytics or your online bank statement was updated only once a day, once a week, or once a month? Why should Google's search index grow cobwebs while waiting for someone to hit an "Update" button once a month?)


11/06/2013 08:42 pm

My names Google and Christmas is coming up hers your Christmas present! Why do they do this do they have no heart?


11/06/2013 08:48 pm

I found this hard to read.


11/06/2013 11:27 pm

I'm traveling and haven't had a chance to dig into it, but it's a U.S. site only, so overseas traffic shouldn't affect it. Will poke around, and let you guys know if I find anything.

Jan Dunlop

11/07/2013 12:15 am

confirmed by who??


11/07/2013 01:07 am

they not need heart, they need more money. and penalize more good sites. All money must go to internet coalition.


11/07/2013 02:53 am

Does anyone have any suggestions on what steps to take to get crawled again/back on google organic? We were hit by this and I would need to do whatever possible to get us showing again!


11/07/2013 05:26 am

I agree Alex, lost 80% of our traffic. Don't know why, never build a single paid link (actually never hired ANYONE for link building) and all in all never hired an SEO guy for the site. Built all of the traffic just by concentrating on quality content... Moral is, Google is Scary!!!


11/07/2013 07:58 am

Buy a new domain, never BUILD a link, Fill site with content that is truly amazing, , generate a frenzied buzz around that truly amazing content content. This is the advice you will get from the google run forum. My own advice is to tell everyone you know that google destroys small businesses. Never use google for searching because that will contribute towards the death of small businesses.

SEO Expert - Rahul Trivedi

11/07/2013 08:15 am

Can you tell me little bit about your domain? I am assuming that you will start link clean up first. And it should have to be first step yours. There are other factors which you have to consider to get recovery. skype:rahultrivedi1311988


11/07/2013 08:50 am

I am sure that Hummingbird and Penguin 2.1 roll out is not complete. We know and google also said it takes at least 1 month to employ the update. So after 1 month or more few days this fluctuation in raking will stop, i believe. Let's see what happen.

SEO Expert - Rahul Trivedi

11/07/2013 10:32 am

one month has been already passed. Last penguin was on 4th october and hummingbird was before penguin. So your thought will not work.


11/07/2013 11:02 am

What you say would make sense if the serps I watch were throwing up NEW sites but they don't, they just reshuffle the same 5-6 top sites and that's it, constant reshuffle across around 23 SERPS I watch for clients! If my bank account kept reshuffling my balance without me spending anything I would be pretty pissed m8 :)


11/07/2013 12:16 pm

Rahul, this is my domain "" I have check the all link which coming other domain. But not found any spam link. Can u suggest me why this spam by penguin 2.1 and now what i should get bank in SERP.


11/07/2013 12:36 pm

can u share your webmaster details?


11/07/2013 01:14 pm

So a site further down in the index, you know...where nobody bothers to go to, caught the ban hammer and was deindexed...there is a shuffle that affects the position of every site above and below it in its rankings. Maybe a few sites get caught up and the effect is negligible based on where they were ranked compared to each other. Things you aren't actively watching (page 37 of the results for a given query) can make what you are watching move around with no real rhyme or reason. ...or maybe those 5 or 6 sites are all basically equal in the eyes of the algorithm and simple things like a slight uptick in user interaction due to an effective e-mail campaign or a piece of content that gets momentarily popular...or...or... All I am trying to say is the constant reshuffle may be perfectly normal for the given query and set of competitors. It's your assumptions about Googles 'nefarious intent' and the lack of data/inside information from competitor sites that is setting you up to stagnate as you assume Google is just screwing with you.


11/07/2013 01:18 pm

Cool, I will be sure to check back and see if you find anything interesting. Luck on your travels, hope for good weather and short lines.


11/08/2013 05:21 am

hmmm might be...


11/08/2013 05:55 am

May Google has some update at the end of year


11/08/2013 08:01 am

I lost about 60% on October 31 but I guess Halloween had a little to do with it. Regained a little and I'm now at 40-50% down. To me, this didn't look like Panda or Penguin or anything like that, but what I noticed is that the broader traffic and LSI traffic went down. So where I was first ranking for something like, say "television networks", traffic is now down for terms like "tv networks" or "television stations", whereas "television networks" is still standing strong. Anyone else notice this?


11/08/2013 12:48 pm

my website which is quite new 5-6 weeks old was hovering around 30th for the term i wanted yet on November 5th it got smashed to somewhere past 150TH!! it has no links from anywhere other than 1 link on the portfolio of the creator of the website which was not until november the 7th! i dont know why it would be punished so much? now 150+ for handyman darlington and even when type the website name without www. and .com it doesnt show up!


11/08/2013 01:27 pm

darlington is a tiny place and there is only about 2 other websites going for this search other than directorys i dont see why the website would be doing so bad its vanished for 3 days now can any body suggest whats happened please? :(

Vibhu Gauba

11/09/2013 11:51 am

Just email me once i will be able to help you out, or skype me at gaubavibhu We have been able to recover many of the websites that got hit by these updates. The stuff is very simple. Be as close to your niche as possible. LESS IS MORE so lesser the number of links but HIGH QUALITY is the only way we can score on google.

Vibhu Gauba

11/09/2013 11:55 am

I personally believer it was PANDA as well


11/10/2013 04:31 am

the website has zero links you cant get much less than that lol - i dont use skype and dont see your email address? thanks


11/10/2013 04:55 am

ah sorry yes i see it now, im going to leave it a day or 2 because yesterday i made changes to the site and it jumped up over 100 places in a few hours!!! but even weirder the index page has now gone again back down past 100 this is really weird and rankcheckerace confirms the big drop then big jump in just one day then big drop again hmmmf

Petter Johnson

11/10/2013 06:38 am

I just lost about 50% of my website traffic, over a night. But i didn't found any update by Google this November. I saw my website ( traffic yesterday (9-nov-2013) and i checked it today (10-nov-2013) there is a significance drop down about 50% in traffic. I don't know what to do now :/.. I am working according to the Google algorithm and I didn't do anything wrong. What this Google need from us, why Google bothering us :


11/11/2013 10:42 am

It's "Sunday" mate, may be no one searching for your keyword so that only you felt a drop in traffic.


11/11/2013 10:46 am

It may be a algorithm data refresh which affected the search queries. According to matt cuts, Google will not notify about its data refresh!

Simon Dalley

11/11/2013 10:49 am

Yeah I'm seeing an update - bit of a hit for us

Jacek Wieczorek

11/12/2013 08:12 am

Hi guys. I got hit on 1st, got back to previous rankings on 5th of November and today the results are the same as on 1st Nov. Have you noticed the same?

Sony Thomas

11/12/2013 08:41 am

This is interesting. My site ( ) was going down since Penguin 2.0 in May 2013. All of the sudden I started to see some great improvements (near 40%) since yesterday. I am not quite sure the relation to this positive move and how long it would sustain....


11/12/2013 02:17 pm

Not long if you keep leaving links like that!


11/12/2013 09:00 pm

Seems to have moved some terms towards stories rather than sites that may be in that business during the last few days.


11/13/2013 10:35 am

Is the latest update a Christmas push?


11/13/2013 07:41 pm

between nov 5 and 6 I went down between 15 and 20% of my traffic. I think is a non public penguin update. It cannot be a fluctuation.

Ashish Ahuja

11/13/2013 08:52 pm

agree with mathew

Ashish Ahuja

11/13/2013 08:55 pm

you have too few links

Ashish Ahuja

11/13/2013 08:59 pm

you have 40K links in short span of time, mostly sitewide and unnatural anchor text, perfect recipe for Penguin 2.1 penalty


11/15/2013 04:48 am

What was wrong with that link? And why would leaving a link "like that" in a comment have a negative effect on traffic to site?


11/15/2013 04:58 am

Because I've left some in comments and a few in some forums, all for innocent reasons and been hit by Penguin. Didn't take many.


11/15/2013 05:01 am

If it can be seen as potential spam, don't go anywhere near it. There tends to be a leniency for bigger sites that have people dropping their links all over the place left right and center. But if you're small, you don't want to be doing that


11/15/2013 05:04 am

Simple put: I struggle scratching my own ass without getting a Google penalty. If you can do your best to be extremely cautious and steer clear of any potential threats and STILL make it out alive in Google search, you've done well. Do NOT flirt with danger.


11/15/2013 05:05 am

Did I just get hit by panda for saying spectrum twice ahhhh


11/20/2013 11:18 am

My site went horribly down on 3rd of september (-70%) then mysteriously came up on october the 31st. And yesterday everything crushed again and got back to october results. Wondering what the h*ll Google's doing and why a non spam, healthy website has to fluctuate like this...


11/21/2013 02:24 pm

The first part is just wrong. We have a South American travel site with no links whatsoever, original content over 1200 articles built for over 5 years and now gone. Along with the rest of our network. Ironically the second part is right, this is not about spam, this is about murdering the little guys period. Cough up the cash for ads or get lost in search. We abruptly stopped adding content to any of our sites as it becomes a question of for what? Why continue to feed into the BS of Cutts et al.


11/21/2013 02:31 pm

Yes like my dogs stool after switching to Blue Buffalo. Reversed what? The sites are still completely dead at 75 90% drops and even with a reverse can't come back. Similar to a big government ruining a country and then someone reasonable steps in, there is no coming back. Do you feel happy with years of hard work being played with like a yoyo.

Spook SEO

11/21/2013 03:07 pm

Hi Barry, Google sometimes frustrates me but I totally trust their system. They seem to be doing a lot of serious stuff to make their search engine maintain its great status. My rankings fell during that inclusive dates but I went back with vengeance and gathered more traffic than before. White Hat will always survive in this kind of market.

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