Did Google Update On Thanksgiving Or Traffic Down Due To Holiday?

Nov 29, 2013 • 8:52 am | comments (42) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Thanksgiving Day UpdateA WebmasterWorld thread plus dozens of threads at the Google Webmaster Help forums have webmasters complaining about both ranking changes and traffic drops from Google's search engine.

The traffic drop would make sense being that it is a holiday and on US holidays traffic normally drops. But ranking changes cannot really be explained by an algorithm change.

Maybe all the black friday deals and all those new pages trying to compete on top selling product categories are popping up and Google needs to rank them properly? I am not sure.

One webmaster said, "I'm seeing what looks like a rollback today. Many verticals have returned to their former positions."

Another said, "We've been hit again, main keywords dropping even further."

Some can't figure it out if it is ranking or traffic.

Google has said they won't update major algorithms again during the Christmas holiday shopping season but who knows.

It is not unusual for webmasters to spark up during Thanksgiving about ranking issues. We've seen it a couple of times in the past, at least.

The Google tracking tools are not yet updated, with the exception of Algoroo but I'll keep checking Mozcast, SERPs.com and SERP Metrics to see if they agree. Update, it seems as if the tools do not agree.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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11/29/2013 03:07 pm

But I saw increment in my traffic. Not big just 15% than yesterday.

Febry Suryanto

11/29/2013 04:41 pm

Maybe it is google update, There are a huge increment in my traffic from 25 Nov

josh bachynski (SEO)

11/29/2013 05:56 pm

Panda (and thanksgiving)? Panda takes 10 days to roll out, Barry started reporting ranking changes about 10 days ago.


11/29/2013 06:51 pm

I been suspecting a Panda rollout as well. It would make sense considering recent Panda changes have included softening penalties, or it could be a bump from people recovering from Panda.

Spook SEO

11/29/2013 07:23 pm

I love how the competition is boiling in the SEO. Everybody is working on it even if the reward will only happen for a single day. Holiday seasons are the best when it comes to releasing your hidden creativity. You just have to know where to cling them to give you maximum results.

Stephane Brault

11/29/2013 09:54 pm

Google always does that kind of stuff right before Black Friday or before the Holiday... so you end up using Adwords to get your traffic back. Remember how they used to promise not to do any updates right before the Holidays?

Durant Imboden

11/29/2013 11:02 pm

Update? Maybe. (Our Google referrals have been up, compared to other traffic sources, over the past couple of days.) Worthy of a cheer or a rant? At this point, I'd have to say no.


11/30/2013 02:09 am

I am definitely saying update Barry. There many penguin ideals noticeable with these changes as mentioned here http://www.seo-hop.com/thanksgiving-google-update-november-26-2013-winners-guidelines

Imran Dobud

11/30/2013 05:00 am

I am seeing a 15% increase in traffic to my newer websites and a 15% reduction to my older ones. It started about a week ago.


11/30/2013 05:20 pm

What exactly is great ? Google doesn't want to pay taxes. So ? Who wants ? P.S. Its funny when this website blames others for questionable activity, but divides short article into even smaller pieces to collect page views and cheat advertisers )

Durant Imboden

11/30/2013 05:58 pm

And that article has what to do with the topic of "Did Google update on Thanksgiving or traffic down due to holiday"?


11/30/2013 06:37 pm

)) Durant, if you believe, that your phrase below made this thread alive, then you're wrong. It's dead Durant, it's dead. Nothing can harm it already )


11/30/2013 09:47 pm

I think the article shows that google now is only about money and I think that is a normal thing. They should maximize their profits. They also should milk the system by getting all the benefits while avoiding taxes as much as possible. Thank god I own some google stock I know they are looking after my best interests.


11/30/2013 09:50 pm

− ⚑ I think the article shows that google now is only about money and I think that is a normal thing. They should maximize their profits. They also should milk the system by getting all the benefits while avoiding taxes as much as possible. Thank god I own some google stock I know they are looking after my best interests.


12/01/2013 03:09 pm

Hmm. a spammer offering SEO work..

Aunty SEO

12/01/2013 03:34 pm

Your stocks are in safe hands. We all love Google.. If you dont understand whats going on with the new algo (Hummingbird), try and understand what going on with this (most probably you may not) :https://soundcloud.com/monstercat/hummingbird-iyffe-remix and if you are clueless, your prayers are here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf1GF9t6aZ0

Love Peoples

12/01/2013 05:38 pm

hi everybody , its seems i get hit?

Seo Hop

12/01/2013 05:57 pm

excuse you!

Usman Raza

12/02/2013 04:40 am

Hi guys, no worries, for webmasters who are already optimizing their particular website or business as per their user needs. if your user happy, Google is more than happy to put you on deserving place!


12/02/2013 07:53 am

I got hit on 4 subdomains on 4th of September. One got better without a change on 19 November. On 27 November, one of my oldest and biggest subdomains got hit 90%... My site is scrapped day and night by bots...


12/02/2013 08:22 am

So ? Any observations, assumptions, conclusions ?


12/02/2013 08:22 am

So ? Any observations, assumptions, conclusions ?


12/02/2013 12:23 pm

Google new update penguin and panda first affected. Now I think its again any new update, but there is no information yet.


12/02/2013 05:38 pm

10 years old domain, no problem until now. terrible link profile... I have to disavow 90% of the links reported... I only rank now for strange long tail...


12/03/2013 01:05 am

google love to tank sites, their precious algorithms are hunting for money in all niches and even looking of history of your site (for fun & to ban).


12/03/2013 01:07 am

google need money for thanksgiving day, to buy some turkey


12/03/2013 01:09 am

yes, it good hands. this hands know well how to train their algorithms for money hunting in all niches (may be even in investors niche) :)


12/03/2013 01:11 am

so, matt cutts lied us again about 6 monthes without updates


12/03/2013 01:12 am

you going same way?

David Urmann

12/03/2013 07:18 pm

If thats the case then why is the traffic bouncing up and down so much from month to month for so many webmaster. Are you saying one month the website is good and the next its bad for users? Or is Google not sure? The fact is the site is the same every month almost.

Usman Raza

12/03/2013 09:03 pm

well David those webmasters somewhere in working with website did the mistakes or ignore users, that is why their users are bouncing so quickly and quick variations are sign you are ignoring users. yes i am saying if one month is bad for website because they are not giving users as they are looking for and very next month when they focusing on users and starting showing them relevant information or product and services they are looking for their website will be Good website in Google search.

Jason rushton

12/03/2013 09:15 pm

I noticed a drastic drop on Nov 19th. Not sure why.......

Jason rushton

12/03/2013 10:11 pm

1st page rankings for several keywords dropped to page 6.... I have not performed any link building at all for this domain.

Matt Dimock

12/12/2013 11:13 pm

@jason_rushton:disqus: what is your URL? It doesn't line up with the data I've seen for some clients (I saw drops around 11/24-11/27, but I have a sneaky suspicion it is Penguin related. I want to dig a little bit to see what your backlink profile looks like ..

Matt Dimock

12/12/2013 11:15 pm

Marcus, that would have been my guess too. I have a couple of client's who saw declines exactly around the same time, and it turns out they had unnatural links created in the past. I for sure think this was a behind the scenes Penguin update. Make sure you disavow at the root domain when you do that, to help speed up the process.

Matt Dimock

12/12/2013 11:16 pm

What's your URL? I want to check out your backlink profile to confirm if it appears unnatural. I'm thinking we may be dealing with a Penguin update here.

Jason rushton

12/13/2013 09:19 pm

This domain is homemadezone.com

Matt Dimock

12/13/2013 11:36 pm

@jason_rushton:disqus: Thanks for the response. You have absolutely no kind of link profile, so I'm pretty confident in saying it's not Penguin related. And the fact that your date doesn't line up with the date range I've experience the drops on slightly reassures me in that my assumption is correct. Have you tried doing a comparison of two weeks of traffic following the date your impressions/traffic dropped to the two weeks prior? If you look at the landing pages for only your Google organic traffic, that will give you an idea of whether or not specific pages were targeted. From there, you'll have a better understanding of what may be getting targeted on your site. And have you checked the HTML Imrpovements and Manual Action section of Google Webmaster Tools to see if anything negative is showing within there? Lastly, I ran a few pages through Copyscape.com but did not see anything get flagged as duplicate. You don't post duplicate content on your site, right?

Jason rushton

12/14/2013 01:59 am

Thanks for your input matt. My content is all original. I post the video on youtube then i write a blog post about the video. I cant figure out why google has dropped my site so far.... my rankings were basically relying on social interaction ie. People watching the videos all the way through and liking and commenting on my posts (no backlinks) do you think they have lowered the value given for social interaction? Also the drop does line up with 1 post that i published ( drop happened the next day)

Matt Dimock

12/20/2013 05:14 pm

Hey Jason. I had posted you a really long response the other day, but it looks like Barry (or whoever else is moderating this blog) deleted it. From Matt Cutts has stated multiple times, social doesn't impact SEO rankings on Google. I'm pretty positive your site's drop in rankings may be correlated with it's page load time (it's horrendously slow!). You can e-mail me at Mattdim805 [at] gmail [dot] com for more info on my findings, or if you would like some free assistance. If you want to tackle the problem yourself, start with looking at http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=homemadezone.com, and then add W3 Total Cache to your blog. Before you activate it though, run a test at http://www.webpagetest.org/ so you have a baseline of what your speed is. Then activate it with the standard configuration in place and run another test. If it's still not fast enough (speed ranges per site and type of content on site, but I think you should be looking to fall in the 3 - 5 second load range), make additional tweaks using the plugin. Just make sure you run a Web Page test each time after you make one change, so you know exactly how each one helped improve your site speed.

Jason rushton

12/23/2013 02:07 am

Matt, thanks for the reply. I guess what i meant by social intetaction was not so much social sharing etc. But how visitors interact / respond to the content. Ie how long they spend on the site, how many pageviews, do they fill out a form, leave a comment etc. I never considered my page load time as being the cause for the drastic drop. This does line up with a post that i published that had alot of large images. I am now working on speeding it up and i will see if the rankings come back. Another interesting point is that bing did not drop me at all. Thanks for all the info.

David Scarpitta

03/14/2014 06:32 am

Gotta love for some reason, I have no idea why my comment was marked as Spam..I'll try again, Since I feel like I am adding value to this conversation: I've seen it again and again. And I tell everyone that really at this point, you can abandon what you think will "work for google" serps. Here at http://www.DasCheap.com we've seen a severe decrease, and then a small jump and literally have seen a ton of "things that don't make sense" according to "good seo habits". At this point we've focused on retention, brand awareness and other forms of traffic generation. With Google making keywords "secure", and pushing their Google shopping to the front of results for 1000's of products, has erratically changed the landscape. No one is safe, and trying to evaluate algo's at this point is a waste of time and resources.

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