Google Update Brewing? May 2013

May 7, 2013 • 9:01 am | comments (86) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Update BrewingThere are some very early signs of a possible Google update brewing as of early this morning. A WebmasterWorld thread has some renewed chatter around an update.

Note, most of the WebmasterWorld thread is about April 15th changes, which people say have to do with the Boston bombings and seasonal traffic changes. But last night, early this morning, two webmasters came in and said they saw major shifts in rankings and traffic.

A preferred WebmasterWorld member said he saw a 77% drop just yesterday. Others said "some thing big is underway," after noting drops in his keyword ranking. reports pretty significant changes in he Google results on Monday. shows very little change in the search results. MozCast has not yet updated with results from Monday but they showed changes on Sunday, which seem off.

It is very early and nothing is confirmed - but there may be signs of a possible Google update. What exactly, is still unknown and unconfirmed.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: Seems like there is now a wide spread update happening...

Previous story: Google: Awesome Sites Are Better Than Perfect SEO'ed Sites


Praveen Sharma

05/07/2013 01:17 pm

Just thinking why every update comes with traffic drop signal for almost all the webmasters. What about having a traffic up signal someday.. with pleasure from Google.

Faizaan Khan

05/07/2013 01:18 pm

I personally know a group of Blackhat SEO and all of their sites (not just one, 13 Sites) gone ... Gone means Out of Google... .. also seeing my two sites gone up in SERPs...

Derek Ostler

05/07/2013 01:29 pm

If sites go down other sites have to go up right? It just seems like you never hear about the sites going up.

Praveen Sharma

05/07/2013 01:35 pm

Yea right... we hardly hear anything related to going up in terms of traffic and rankings during these updates. :)


05/07/2013 01:44 pm

It should be right, but there is no uptrend among the sites I monitor since the first Panda. Incl.: hubpages, daniweb, epinions, squidoo, ezinearticles, triond, etc ... These are content websites and all of them are down, more or less, but down. Even makeupalley (never had a problem before) shows downtrend after the last update. Sometimes I also ask myself - who gain the traffic in the content niche ?


05/07/2013 01:52 pm

Saw massive gains across all my keywords for a client today, a lot more page 1 & 2's up from page 3 & 4

Luke Glassford

05/07/2013 01:56 pm

Is this the new Penguin update we've been hearing about? I wrote a post about Google's overall Penguin strategy over the weekend:

Luke Glassford

05/07/2013 02:29 pm

So that would definitely suggest Penguin - depending on what kind of blackhat stuff they've been doing?


05/07/2013 02:30 pm

Nothing changed here, we still get ZERO traffic and all of our SERP's are on Page 20+. Hopefully they refresh the Penguin soon!


05/07/2013 02:54 pm

It's been going on since late Saturday into Sunday. All of my sites saw 30-40% drops. Luckily things are slowly returning to normal today.


05/07/2013 03:51 pm

Not seeing anything in yet, but then again I doubt I would if it's only the .com... Hoping to see a Penguin update this month, fingers crossed :)


05/07/2013 04:04 pm

factors 1 and 2 identified for this google udate and more to come

Dr. Peter J. Meyers

05/07/2013 04:17 pm

Saw evidence of a bunch of small things over the weekend, including some talk of a Venice update and Google testing new features. We haven't been able to sort out if this was a core algorithm change or a combination of many smaller updates.

Dr. Peter J. Meyers

05/07/2013 04:29 pm

People don't go on forums to complain about their traffic going up :)

Praveen Sharma

05/07/2013 04:41 pm

But they can celebrate if not complain by shouting on forums. Or might be they don't want to come into the eyes of the search giant - playing safe. :)


05/07/2013 04:52 pm

Saw some chunky ranking increases in for a bunch of clients over the weekend. They're all clients that have been getting quality links for a while in otherwise spammy (and slow moving) sectors. All the terms that I've seen increases on are non-local so I'm leaning against this being a Venice update. Whatever it is, I'm liking it so far!


05/07/2013 05:16 pm

if you look at Webmaster World forum, an update is brewing every day there and it's rarely reliable signal for an update. Too many people over there depending on Google traffic so when MC farts, it gets magnitude 9 on WW forum despite the fact he did not touch a thing in algo...

Barry Schwartz

05/07/2013 05:17 pm

Of course, I know that. But I filter a lot of it. I've been doing this a long time. I do my best to filter the noise from what is real. I am not perfect.


05/07/2013 05:22 pm

I know you do, that's why we see these articles once every few months. It's more kind of frustration we can't get any better signal to predict update now that Google has stopped informing both you and us (through you).

Barry Schwartz

05/07/2013 05:24 pm

They rarely informed me anyway. Most of the time, they confirmed or denied updates and no commented updates.

Nick Ker

05/07/2013 05:48 pm

They already are playing it safe - which is why they don't have to worry about it, are doing well in search, and don't need to mess around fretting in the forums with the people who DO have something to worry about.

Nick Ker

05/07/2013 05:50 pm

The sites with GOOD content are gaining, not the ones with the type of filler that is so common on those sites you listed.

Derek Ostler

05/07/2013 06:09 pm

Agreed; however, it also seems like a lot of blog posts are about them going down to not just forums. I think if traffic goes up most people are just happy and do not look into it as much as if their traffic goes down. (I know people should look into traffic going up to, I just think a lot do not.)


05/07/2013 07:23 pm

Sorry, but your words worth nothing without the examples. You don't suppose that writing "GOOD" in capital letters says something important to others, do you ? Same as "type of filler". Most of the media (incl. Internet) are of this type. Remember, that you're not the only person on this planet. Filler type of information for you, can be very important information for others. I'm working with the information. I see such examples every day. So, examples please.


05/07/2013 07:26 pm

P.S. How do you define this type of information : "The sites with GOOD content are gaining, not the ones with the type of filler that is so common on those sites you listed." Is it GOOD or type of filler ??

Mathieu Chimei

05/07/2013 07:56 pm

Name one site that doesn't rely on Google traffic with under a million social media followers. Get a grip! It's Google or die


05/07/2013 08:16 pm



05/07/2013 08:48 pm

That is very true!! Over the weekend esp. on Sunday and today I had close to 80% drop in traffic. Saddening. The problem is with the Keywords. Google snippet is not working perfectly. It is failing to highlight the keywords as always e.g If keyword is ABC and it happens to be reversed as CBA it does not highlight. Some of our site's keywords which were on the top, first page, can be found on 5th...

Mathieu Chimei

05/07/2013 08:48 pm

I mean a blog....

Mathieu Chimei

05/07/2013 08:49 pm

obviously start ups don't rely on Google once they are big


05/07/2013 09:07 pm

What start ups ? What are you talking about ? Do you know what the Craigslist is ? You asked the website. You got it.


05/07/2013 09:21 pm

My site drop in traffic..oh my god.

Nick Ker

05/07/2013 09:45 pm

Good was capitalized for emphasis. Sorry you couldn't follow that. "Good" being the thing that separares the content of the sites that are gaining ground and the ones you mentioned. The point is that most of the the sites you listed are known for content that is repetitive, unoriginal (not necessarily copied), and just not very worthwhile. Sites that are consistently gaining do not fit that description. We aren't talking about what you or I enjoy, but what Google deems to be useful. The same old crap regurgitated with bad grammar with nothing of interest added (as is usually the case on sites like squidoo) does not qualify as useful or original. More often than not, the content on those sites would qualify as spam in the sense that they have nothing new, useful or otherwise appealing. That is why those sites are not seeing an uptrend. Search engines aside, you also don't see content from those sites getting shared by people or going viral for the same reason. Hope that helps. If you need a specific example, show me some content from one of those sites you are monitoring that is not seeing an uptrend, and I will look at the pages that are outranking them and explain the difference to you if you'd like.

Nick Ker

05/07/2013 09:45 pm

Sober up.

Mathieu Chimei

05/07/2013 10:16 pm

Craigs list sure as hell aint a blog...and no i don't I'm not American, but I've heard of it enough to know that!

Mathieu Chimei

05/07/2013 10:17 pm

If it's not a blog or a startup then what is it


05/07/2013 10:18 pm

Pages ??? LOL ))))))))))) Talk about pages with the SEOs. This is your level. I'm talking about tens of thousands daily traffic at least. Websites I mentioned, cover about 10% of the all internet traffic (excl. porno and video) Pages ............. )))))))))))))))))

Mathieu Chimei

05/07/2013 10:19 pm

If a website that started online, and it's business is online only (which obviously that is the point here) is not a blog or a start up then what is it


05/07/2013 10:23 pm

Are you SEO ?


05/07/2013 10:30 pm

Change the dealer.

Guy E

05/07/2013 10:58 pm

A lot of our sites had a huge increase in traffic; then dropped back down to normal. But as of today, it seems that it's decreased slightly from the norm.


05/07/2013 11:13 pm

Meet the Business Owner: Nick K. "Long time graphic designer and "internet guy" with sights set on cutting through the SEO BS and internet marketing slime by doing things right and delivering results for start ups and small businesses." Established in 2009 Man, no offense, but shut up and read what others say. If you will be good reader during the next 3-5 years, then probably you will be able to say something worthy. Otherwise you will be same looser as you are in design.

RentalLease Agreement

05/07/2013 11:34 pm

MozCast has Sunday as the highest level in the last 30 days

Mathieu Chimei

05/07/2013 11:57 pm

What does that even mean


05/08/2013 12:42 am

SEOs - people with lack of knowledge in the internet business, promoting themselves by flooding related forums and websites (incl. related non-profit personal blogs) with the goal the get customers, mostly unprofessional owners of the websites. Attributes: - registered, photo and full name provided ; - registered on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ ; - links to personal pages on social services are provided in profiles ; - personal pages on social services are flooded with the re-posts ; - own personal websites with lack of traffic ; - attend special conferences.

reshu jain

05/08/2013 04:29 am

hmmm have also seen some signals for the same!


05/08/2013 04:48 am

my website is nowhere in the Google ranking. F**k you Google!!

Web Development Company

05/08/2013 05:19 am

My keywords is in ranking right now...


05/08/2013 05:33 am

LOL. I would add that they are responsible for 50% of traffic on G+.

Amit Dwivedi

05/08/2013 05:36 am

Yes, Ranking is reflecting ....


05/08/2013 06:51 am

Nothing much changes in ranking. What kind of update brewing?.. Any one plz tell me.

Amit Kumar

05/08/2013 07:16 am

Till now i am unable to see any loss or profit....

Muhammad Usman

05/08/2013 07:53 am

I think it would be prove best for us, if we use White hate SEO.

Pooja Arora

05/08/2013 11:28 am

It always makes my blog more stronger and stronger, i simply love google updates !


05/08/2013 01:10 pm

Just about anything that outranks any of those sites on any given topic would be an example of better content. Most of the stuff on hubpages, squidoo and the like belong in the spam bin.

Curtis Worthington

05/08/2013 01:14 pm

any more updates on this? thx


05/08/2013 02:00 pm

Using my search keywords on GUK i'm seeing some new websites arrive on page one. Sites that i have never seen before.

Jerome Madsom

05/08/2013 02:42 pm

Nothing happened in our niche so I think this is just a bunch of speculation. Not a complete Penguin refresh or algo update, sorry folks!


05/08/2013 02:47 pm

Yup) Probably we should make the lists : "How to recognize the SEO?" and "What to do if SEO is around?" ))

Jarno van Driel

05/08/2013 03:54 pm

Instead of complaining let me give a positive notice than... As of today a lot of sites I maintain are showing Rich Snippets with Bullet Lists where they weren't showing these before today. No updates from my end to those websites though.

AB Edward Ent., Inc.

05/08/2013 04:04 pm

We have seen some changes on our end (Chicago area) - Does anyone know of a good way to stay up to date on these changes from Google?


05/08/2013 04:25 pm

I was about to write that my website was hit hard by penguin update. I just found out that i mistakenly noindexed my homepage! :(

Mathieu Chimei

05/08/2013 07:50 pm

No dude. I know what SEO means (and that is not the definition It's actually Search Engine Optimization, but thanks!)

Mathieu Chimei

05/08/2013 07:51 pm

What I was asking is what does your sentence consisting of "Are you SEO" even mean


05/08/2013 08:28 pm

last update october 2012, it was about time about getting a refresh. my site is down since 18 months now, no matter what I do, nothing seems to help, trust me, I tried everything, name it, I tried it. Need a new search engine, maybe the new ceo from yahoo can make this happen, we'll see. For the moment, trial and error, and a lot of patience. Still hanging in there...


05/08/2013 10:38 pm

Having worked for a leading SEO Agency with a number of bluechip customers (this wasn't a small 1 man band agency but had about 50 staff), and knowing that they were using their own blog network, all their major customers have had massive drops in their rankings. These were customers that all occupied top 3 positions in highly competitive keyword fields (IE: insurance, loans, finance, travel). I also note their own rankings for SEO and Search Engine Optimisation also dropped (previously they were fluctuating between 1 and 3 (after wikipedia). My thoughts are if you were using your own blog network, start crying!!!


05/08/2013 11:26 pm

Thank you for the good news. Go Google, Go )

Marko Vuckovic

05/09/2013 01:12 am

If you ask me, i saw a big difference, unfortenatully, negative on my website ( traffic, which is PR 3. On first few days in may everything was as usually, i had a lot of traffic. 2 or 3 days ago i noticed that my traffic for for about 40%. My results are moved of for some keywords from first page. In first i thought it was mayday, or a bad day, but now few days after that "bad day" situation is still. Any help ? Is this a new update ?

Alan Smith

05/09/2013 05:20 am

Will we see major changes in ranking?


05/09/2013 05:28 am

I haven't seen difference in ranks yet.......


05/09/2013 07:22 am

Yes. Something big is definitely up. I lost tons of traffic at and it is absolutely shocking! The least they could do is announce what they are doing!

Katie Wilson

05/09/2013 08:11 am

My site is new on search engines so I don't think so it would be ranked down by this update..


05/09/2013 11:44 am

Very bad news for us. Our site has lost 60% of it's traffic in a couple days all Google organic. We (were) a top 10K alexa site. Hundreds of thousands in lost revenue? Only from one lousy update? We've been around for 4 years and we're 100% white and this change was not expected. Feeling like crying...


05/09/2013 11:50 am

Google is experimenting something major this time.

Jack SEO Consultant - Eemes

05/09/2013 12:09 pm

There is a an update for sure. No doubt about it. This update is a big one, May 6, 7 and 8, 9 were the reflections New sites if in ecommerce will rise in traffic, but as far as others may drop. I think google is considering new sites now - like say fresh seo's invited in google index :) as per my observations. Branded domains or say authority domains are given the highest importance.

Jack SEO Consultant - Eemes

05/09/2013 12:09 pm

yes as i said u may have a chance to enter in search! good opportunity for new ones!

Marko Vuckovic

05/10/2013 12:49 am

Yeah, definitely something big (but for most of us - negative) is happening. I am really affraid about my website traffic, as i described few comments before. I have lost more than 70 % of traffic. Today, only few from google. lol! Looks like my site is penalized for some reason by this new update.


05/10/2013 05:42 am

Organic Traffic of my site is down by 50% on May 9, 2013. Its a two year old site. ...Disqus Discovery may be one of the the reason....any suggestions??


05/10/2013 04:00 pm

I'd stop including spammy links in the comments of blogs for a start!!


05/10/2013 05:17 pm

Just finished 3 hours of number crunching and comparisons of our highest ranking USA blogs - 35 percent decrease in traffic started May 10th

Nick Ker

05/10/2013 09:18 pm

Start with and and you won't have to worry about algorithm updates (except for things you did before you started following the guidelines). And resist the urge to drop a link into blog comments when it isn't relevant.

Nick Ker

05/10/2013 09:24 pm

You can't stomach the idea that ezinearticles, etc. are not really known for good content, so you think digging up a blurb from some profile accomplishes something? It is kind of funny that you misspelled "loser". Can you spell "troll"?

Whats wrong with Google

05/12/2013 05:01 am

Can anyone tell me why I lost 25% of my traffic from Google on may 7th 2013? My website is a not-for-profit website devoted to education. The content on my site was written by scholars! I often get links from other education websites sharing the content. Even get links from major news type websites as supporting references to their posts...what's up? Most of my content is as good or better then wikipedia content! What really makes me mad is I also went from 1st page to 4th page for my homepage in Google search?!?! Now stupid post from twitter that offer no helpful information outrank me...and the post aren’t even related to what the search query is for. Just because someone from twitter mentioned the word I was ranking for, now it out ranks me...WTF is Google doing???? I read that Matt Cutts says "write great content." Well Matt Cutts I went far beyond that...I posted content that is supreme, written by experts in the field. I've read all of Google policies and haven't violated anything! I also have another website not related to my other, also lost 25% of its traffic?


05/12/2013 10:45 am

Looks like most of us here are in the same boat. I'm down 83%. At meebal I write new and other topical articles; all written in-house with a personal view. I see Google are still promoting it's own services without issues; must be nice to be able to manipulate the rankings for your own commercial gain. I have to be honest I gave up worrying about Google over a year ago and most of my traffic is generated through the social networks. The way I see it is you can either concentrate on your users to bugger around with Google all day; I chose to focus on my visitors and its paying off as they share. You can forget the EU ruling Google won't pay any fines and the promises they made to stop manipulating the algorithms will either be ignored or they'll simply switch tactics, until they get caught again. There are no swings in Google's playground, such a sandbox and a merry-go-round.

Arup Ghosh

05/13/2013 09:12 am

Totally freaked out by this traffic drop (nearly 40% )


05/13/2013 01:03 pm

Is there any confirmation about Google Algorithm will you update the new algo?

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