Some Reports Of An August 21/22 Google Update

Aug 23, 2013 • 8:41 am | comments (428) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

google update logoVirtually all the keyword tools sent out warnings of a major update that hit around August 21st. But the truth is, based on what I am following in the discussion forums, although there were some people talking about an update, it didn't seem like there was a major ranking shift.

Go ahead and check Mozcast on August 20th and then the other tools on August 21st, such as, SERP Metrics and Algoroo. They all show major spikes on the 21st, whereas Moz shows a major spike on the 20th.

Did rankings change? Was it a ranking algorithm change? Was it a penalty? Was it a user interface change? I am not sure. I suspect something major happened to the search results that made these tools spark up but the forums are not all that noisy.

Maybe the forum chatter is low because it is one of the last weeks of summer and people are away? But are webmasters ever truly away?

Did you notice any major change in your Google organic sourced traffic over the past few days?

I am honestly not sure what is going on or if it is worth me pinging Google about this.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: Google has nothing to say about this topic.

Previous story: Google AdSense Adds Opt Out Options For Five Ad Formats


Glen Craig

08/23/2013 12:58 pm

From what I'm hearing and seeing something happened on Saturday the 17th.


08/23/2013 01:06 pm

Agreed. Traffic dipped around 15-20% but sales were up, starting on Saturday and all through the week.


08/23/2013 01:22 pm

I also noticed a change in organic traffic this past Saturday and Sunday.

Sam Michelson

08/23/2013 01:24 pm

We some some significant positive changes 3 days ago for some clients.


08/23/2013 01:29 pm

With Yahoo making some big moves now....they may have Google nervous. :-)

lez bennet

08/23/2013 01:29 pm

All very, very good questions Barry. I suggest you get hold of Matt Schucks cell # and ask him. Last time I checked his wife made a very spammy looking quilt. Just sayin, the man can't stop spam in his own house - lol


08/23/2013 01:34 pm

It is very difficult to stop home/business based spam. Those damned Vikings are persistent.

Craig Hamilton-Parker

08/23/2013 01:44 pm

My UK site saw a bit of a jump upwards on Wednesday but fell back again.

Sean Hecking

08/23/2013 01:50 pm

Nice jump for a couple e-commerce sites for more competitive keywords. Hard to say if these will hold.

Sourya Kharb

08/23/2013 02:29 pm

In 22 August my site got 2000+ unique visitors and today 23 my site just got 250 visits :( In some searches my site is in first place like root huawei ascend p6 till yesterday and today i didn't even find it on the 10 page

Michael Tilma

08/23/2013 02:51 pm

My ecommerce site got a good increase in organic traffic (about 20%) starting on Monday 8/20, but the site has been growing nicely for a little while. My corporate site has been very normal, no significant increase or decrease. I suspect this update has something to do with ecommerce sites, based on some of the comments.

Richard Gailey

08/23/2013 02:53 pm

Started to notice that quite a few of my older articles have started to get some hit which is strange as normally they are rarely read. Thought I'd check here to see if anything was going on. Hit wise, traffic is normal.


08/23/2013 02:54 pm

Think it is Penguin adjusting sites with penalty to seasonal traffic

J Money

08/23/2013 03:02 pm

I saw a net loss of about 200 positions on Tuesday 20th in my auto industry (major brand) site.

Barry Schwartz

08/23/2013 03:18 pm

What does this have to do with this story?


08/23/2013 03:43 pm

Sorry to hear this Sourya. I can feel your pain. At this point the most we can do is continue to ensure we have rich content, let others keep naturally linking to that content, become a social butterfly, link like hell to Google+1 to verify authorship and....wait. I tried all that. Does not work. :-) Good luck Sourya. Truly am sorry about your decline in traffic.

lez bennet

08/23/2013 03:50 pm

Nothin other than.... >> The subject of the blog is 'Google'. >> The Google enforcer is Matt Schmucker. >> The owner of this site is mentioned by Matt Schmucker on 19 Aug 2013 in his twitter account. >> There is a tight relationship between the two: Matt Schmucker and the owner of the site(as mentioned in the twit) Where else would it be more appropriate to place such a notification? Let me know and I will place it there in the future.

Sourya Kharb

08/23/2013 04:04 pm

Thank Frank for your reply Actually i am using wordpress and my site articles automatically posted by it on Google+,FB and twitter accounts...I also send a feedback from webmaster tools for this issue and find out the reason behind this...Hope they fix it :) again thanks for your reply


08/23/2013 04:42 pm

While we all hope for some diversification in search... ...Yahoo is not a threat to anyone. Did you see their Q2 report? Pegging your positive financial news to the fact that AliBabba is doing well is not the best indicator for Yahoo. They have had some nice logos over this last month though.

Barry Schwartz

08/23/2013 04:52 pm

Email me directly or schedule a meeting. This has nothing to do with the question, did your site go up or down in the rankings in the past few days. I am removing this thread so the topics stay on topic. Feel free to call me names directly or in threads that it is relevant. This is a distraction to the story.


08/23/2013 05:02 pm

nice increase in rankings on Aug 21st - toptail KWs (around 35% increase in organic traffic)

lez bennet

08/23/2013 05:52 pm

Barry, the whole idea it to have that twit by Matt and your friend Sullivan, PUBLiC as in visible to the audience of this site. Its relevant, you just don't want it known. And nobody was calling you names.....


08/23/2013 05:54 pm

Sorry, what do you mean with that?


08/23/2013 06:19 pm

Still investigating.

Jan Dunlop

08/23/2013 06:41 pm

Yep, traffic up +5% and rankings for top keywords - biggest positive one day shift we have seen in ages.

Shaun M.

08/23/2013 07:38 pm

Saw a nice increase on the 21st for some keywords that had dropped on the 26th/27th of July.


08/23/2013 08:17 pm

I have a site in the retail coupon niche. We saw a sitewide drop in rankings for all merchants. Went from page 1 for hundreds of keywords to page 18-25.


08/23/2013 08:42 pm

I still see lots of host crowding by Google's "Internet Association" members. Must be good to be in their elite club!


08/23/2013 09:19 pm

I urge you to look at the Strucutred Data repots in GWT tools. We made som cnages there and saw some positive impacts around this time.


08/23/2013 10:04 pm

I don't know why my post is not being displayed. When i clearly mentioned that there was a rise in traffic on Aug 21??


08/23/2013 11:58 pm

I think I have an idea of what's going on, we had some rankings drops and I believe that it is related to the geo location modifier we use. In fact if I query key + location I get now totally different results but if I set my location directly from Google I see the listing again on top.

Jhai Mitchell

08/23/2013 11:58 pm

I noticed a major change on my blog it was doing quite well after I started to put some killer content on it and journalist were publishing it, so I don't think is was a panda update. I suspect it was a penguin update.


08/24/2013 12:01 am

I confirm my suppositions at least for keywords that present a geolocation modifier, many listings are dropping if the query include the geolocation modifier.

Phil Singleton

08/24/2013 12:38 am

Pretty sure it was Penguin, I had a confusing dream / nightmare / vision / fantasy that night that looked like a "Matt-Cutts-Guin"


08/24/2013 01:11 am

haha nice one.


08/24/2013 01:57 am

I noticed a big spike in traffic on August 21, it went back to normal the 22th though.


08/24/2013 05:58 am

I can see spike in my traffic in my new blog I had launched for SEO, Traffic is increasing but I am seeing many 404 errors in GWT , what to do ?

George Webster

08/24/2013 06:37 am

Jitendra What 404 errors has to do with keyword tool?

Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

08/24/2013 02:36 pm

According to my SEMRush report, Traffic Generation Café has indeed seen a lot of ranking changes around that time.


08/24/2013 11:29 pm

I didn't notice anything on my end

Durant Imboden

08/25/2013 12:27 am

Nope. Our hourly traffic graph for the past few days could be superimposed on the previous week's, and you'd barely see the difference.


08/25/2013 04:08 am

It was NOT Penguin but it is related to Penguin 2.0. Penguin 2.0 was released on May 22. The "update" now was on August 22. Exactly three months after Penguin 2.0. Google's algorithmic penalties have often a lifecycle of 3 months. In order to confuse, Google often bundles multiple updates into one. In case of Penguin 2.0, Google bundled it with other unknown updates/refreshes. So all you guys see now are simply either recoveries or re-penalizations of algorithms that bit you together with Penguin 2.0. Since Google set those penalties with a lifecycle of three months, it's likely that the next Penguin refresh is right ahead of us.

James Dean

08/25/2013 05:02 am

I did not find any changes but since it is just the 4th day of this so-called change, the next few days might be different.

Ian Harris

08/25/2013 07:20 am

I actually had a major change in my keywords on the 13th August. Certain keywords searches that came through on my site every day without fail up until 13th completely disappeared. I have had no searches come through with those keywords since then. When I try those specific words in Google (I was about position 40-60) now, I don't exist though I still come up for other similar search terms


08/25/2013 02:11 pm


Pedro Matias

08/25/2013 02:18 pm

That sounds like the most plausible explanation so far :-)

Pedro Matias

08/25/2013 02:21 pm

I've seen up to 25% increases in traffic from the 22nd, something was up.


08/26/2013 06:13 am

I can see a significant change in my site's ranking in google. Ranking for most of the keywords has decreased.

Bilal Sarwari

08/26/2013 06:33 am

I see 20% traffic up from 20th August, feeling happy :D


08/26/2013 06:36 am

It was slightly up at 21 aug but got down than normal traffic after that


08/26/2013 07:20 am

I am noticing strange results. Websites from different regions are appearing at my location India..


08/26/2013 11:05 am

Any cure from this update ??


08/26/2013 11:15 am

Seeing little boost in the traffic..

Professional Wordpress Themes

08/26/2013 11:21 am

I saw a little boost in traffic and some keywords ranking on surely a good welcome change as far as i am concerned

Soni Sharma

08/26/2013 11:49 am

It was 15% to 20% traffic growth on many sites..


08/26/2013 11:59 am

I have seen some drop in traffic.


08/26/2013 04:20 pm

I saw the same thing. My sites lost rank for many key terms which Google listed geolocation results.


08/26/2013 05:31 pm

It was a drop for me.


08/26/2013 07:23 pm

I insist, it's not related to Penguin and it's mostly not a real issue.


08/26/2013 09:22 pm

my search traffic dropped by 75% due to this

Haroon Gul

08/26/2013 09:46 pm

My site traffic is dropped by 90% will it recover or not?


08/26/2013 11:59 pm

I have lost over 50% traffic from google on almost all my websites! They do something...


08/27/2013 06:37 am

On August 15???


08/27/2013 06:39 am

I was hit by something August 15 and still haven't recovered. I get enough views for the site to be crawled regularly so any issues like page layout should have been resolved by now. My views have not increased at all. There's just no bloody way I've been hit by penguin or Panda...especially with it getting looser apparently. I do no link building either. Any ideas???


08/27/2013 06:47 am

You grew extremely quickly...far too quickly to be non-spammy. I'd say you're screwed


08/27/2013 07:43 am

i too had big mess in my traffic and huge drop ofcourse... not sure the cause yet not the resolution :(

Ajay Singh

08/27/2013 07:44 am

yes I see Google do something wrong because got nice traffic from lasts a few days but now my site traffic goes down. Still confuse what Google do again ? any think wrong with the webmasters.


08/27/2013 09:49 am

Ya had seen a major drop of my keywords rank on Google search result all of sudden (One knight drop) So i was sure their is some changes which had affected the ranking.. Please conform if any one is for sure about update.. i'm still in deli ma..


08/27/2013 11:20 am

dropped form 2nd to 6th for my primary keyword, some time between the 24th and 26th of August.


08/27/2013 11:25 am

Nearly all of my sites had major drops in rankings. Do you know what happened yet? There was definitely an update. I would love to know what it was.


08/27/2013 02:23 pm

Positions dropped 7 places for one of my main websites and now we are -60% traffic drop :( This happened in 23-Aug.


08/27/2013 03:15 pm

It appears that Google maybe slow rolling out this update, as my traffic only dropped significantly this morning. Will wait a few more days, as usually my traffic and ranking returns on its own. Periodically I have to correct for keyword rnking.

Ashish Ahuja

08/27/2013 04:29 pm

Still no confirmation from google?


08/27/2013 05:37 pm

traffic lower over the weekend and down by 40% Monday the 26th. Some downward keyword ranking changes, not sure what else. We do absolutely zero backlink building so I can't see how it would be Penguin related


08/27/2013 06:58 pm

Hi Barry, have you pinged Google asking about the possible update? I am seeing 30% traffic decrease, and some of my friend webmasters have also seen traffic loss. It would be very interesting to hear more details about this... Thanks.


08/27/2013 07:59 pm

8/20 good day. Down 12% on the 21st and down 23% on the 23rd. 24th and 25th have not recovered at all.

John Smith

08/27/2013 08:58 pm

We posses 40% traffic drop from friday 23 August ,even that 19-22.8. was so far the best days in our one year history


08/27/2013 10:07 pm

40% traffic drop from sunday 25th August.


08/28/2013 02:15 am

my traffic significantly dropped and is still down!

Rahul K Soni

08/28/2013 06:43 am

80% Traffic Drop after 21st august. I am sure theres an update.


08/28/2013 08:55 am

I have seen a 15% -20% drop in my main blog (on iOS related stuff) I have also seen my ranking tumble for almost every keyword except a couple. This has been replicated on 2 of my other blogs as well with one of them getting a 40% drop in traffic.

Big A

08/28/2013 01:12 pm

Yo, my traffic also dropped from 3000 to 80 visits per day. If you find out what was the update for, please reply. Is this the end of blogging? What is the aim of Google these days? Thx

Linda Mark

08/28/2013 01:56 pm

My website drop 90% traffic, all keywords drop

Hemant Aggarwal

08/28/2013 02:15 pm

My website's organic traffic also dropped by more than 50%. What is Google focusing on, any idea, so that I can alter my articles to make them more search engine friendly.


08/28/2013 03:45 pm

My site dropped from being in the top 5 for the my highest traffic keywords and down to 4 page ranking, ranks currently around 40. It all happen August 21st. And it has stayed in the low rankings. I haven't notice any changes for most of the lower traffic keywords to my site.


08/28/2013 03:53 pm

Same here....

Abdullah Akbar Shafi

08/28/2013 07:06 pm

I have Seen Drop in the Traffic by 10% in my Blog I just expect that the change they have made turns out to be good in wide prospective.


08/28/2013 07:35 pm

same with me , about a 25% drop in traffic, wonder whats going on?


08/28/2013 11:34 pm

Looks like Google did have a big update and giving even more avantage to big brands , the big brands seme taking over the top spots even more now. Not good Google we also need make a living us small wenmasters

Linda Mark

08/29/2013 01:03 am

Anyone know the reason ? what Google focus on ?

osman musa

08/29/2013 05:00 am

Doesn't Google hurt it's own revenue by dropping rankings of webmasters with sites using Adsense? I lost half my traffic. 50% drop for sure. I found out on the 23rd that my adsense earnings were way lower than normal and upon checking Analytics I was shocked.


08/29/2013 05:37 am

Barry - PLEASE ping Google and let us know what this was. It might help us fix it and regain our rankings. From the comments it seems like many were hurt by this update. Please!!!!!!!!

osman musa

08/29/2013 06:49 am

I have noticed my site and the other sites mentioned below all either have permalinks structure of year/month/day/postname or category/postname which may have something to do with being affected by whatever Google is doing, I am not an expert in this but I can see a pattern here.

David Mercer

08/29/2013 08:25 am

From what I can tell, a lot of the sites that were affected were either new or had changed domains in the last few months.

Spencer Turner

08/29/2013 09:05 am

Oh yea there was definitely an update! Hard to tell what it actually targeted though as I use pretty much the same strategies on all of my sites, some have seen a drop in rankings and some have seen a slight boost! Here's what a drop looks like :( >> This site is around six months old and as you can see had recently moved up quite a lot in the rankings. This site did get penalized before and I managed to turn it around but seems it's been penalized again! Noooo


08/29/2013 09:15 am

My site is old, has original and lengthy articles, no backlinking of any kind was performed outside of organic, and yet traffic has fallen 40% starting on Aug 25th. Previous updates have always helped the site. I don't get it.


08/29/2013 09:21 am

You could be right. My 5 month old website that saw 40% drop in traffic has category/postname url structure.


08/29/2013 09:22 am

I too have seen big brands comming up even when they are far less updated than my site.

David Mercer

08/29/2013 10:27 am

Jeff, what percent of the content on your site was added in the last 5 months?


08/29/2013 12:34 pm

My traffic droped from an average of 50 visits per day to just 1 - 2 per day. My blog is 8 months old and I was shocked when I saw the drop. Here is a screen shot of my traffic drop. If anyone Can Hlp me I will be really greatfull !

Sanjeev Kumar

08/29/2013 03:00 pm

70% traffic of my site has been dropped, It's really very tough time for me. Barry Could you please confirm, this is panda or penguin update?


08/29/2013 04:17 pm

i have a 7 year old website, changed domain about 4 months ago. Went from google PR 5 to 0. Stayed at 0 and traffic dropped about 35% but stayed steady for 4 months. On August 24 traffic dropped 70% and has yet to return. I should also say i have been testing unique article wizard on some of my site pages for the past month using a variety of kw rich anchor texts. Never noticed any improvements and as of August 24th massive ranking drops for hundreds of kws. I'm talking positions 1-5 for years have dropped 20+ places. Now saying UAW is the cause, just adding info to the discussion so we might figure this out.


08/29/2013 04:23 pm

We recently changed domains 4.5 months ago and saw about a 35% drop in traffic starting on 8/25. Could this update be targeting new domains?


08/29/2013 04:30 pm

FYI i 301 redirected every old url to it's corresponding new url. i didnt do a bulk redirect to homepage. Anyone else in the same boat? It sucks that my site is being considered new when the content has been up for years.


08/29/2013 04:45 pm

Did your website also had category/post or date/post format ?

osman musa

08/29/2013 06:11 pm

Yep, my site is new too. I started up in may and it quickly became popular before getting slapped in August 22 by the big G. I suspect this targets new/blog sites. It may be that Google knows which sites are blog by its signatures (such as built with WordPress etc) I pray everyone recovers. I've taken actions to adjust to this and I hope to see results.

Sanjeev Kumar

08/29/2013 08:15 pm

It's actually a price comparison site: category/product-page/

David Mercer

08/29/2013 09:53 pm

If, as it seems, the vast majority of sites that are affected are new domains, it may be possible that Google rolled back some changes, reverted, or lost some data. It may be that this is not an algorithmic penalty, just an error on Google's side. At least, that is what I am hoping. Without any word from Google it's impossible to tell if we stand a chance of recovering or not.

osman musa

08/29/2013 09:56 pm

It still has all my pages indexed so therefore it has lost nothing. This is Google we are talking about, they got server farms and engineers and it's pretty hard for them to lose stuff or go down.

David Mercer

08/29/2013 10:02 pm

Yet they crashed 2 weeks ago... You're right, it's unlikely they lost the data - but it's not like they haven't made mistakes before either.


08/30/2013 12:23 am

From 10,000 page views per day down to 1000 page views around August 21st. My blog is new and grew rapidly from May till August until it dropped drastically. Any news, as to what kinda update it was


08/30/2013 12:33 am

My domain is 7 years old so clearly this is not just affecting new domains. Let's hope this is indeed an error on Google's part (although I doubt they'll admit it if it is). Whatever the reason, I am happy with everything I have done on the site and so are my visitors it seems. Any changes/tweaks I make to the site are based on feedback from visitors (i.e. real people), not the fickle whims of an algorithm.


08/30/2013 01:34 am

David, its in the health niche and the last major updates were made in 2011. About 2 weeks ago we published about 10 new pages but those represent less than 1% of the total. The other anecdotal info is that I also manage G news sites and they have completely tanked the past few days. They are on different servers and completely unrelated to the health site. It is very unusual for me to see algorithm changes that impact both news and non-news sites.


08/30/2013 01:38 am

Mine is 15 years old.... 50% drop in traffic this week

osman musa

08/30/2013 02:00 am

Jeff and Mike? what are your permalinks? So far the ones that exprienced this have year/month/day or category/postname permalinks.


08/30/2013 04:37 am

My site was created in May of this year and has seen a 75% drop in traffic. I have a category/postname structure but think that if that were the case...there would be many more people complaining. I feel like we are part of a small cohort. So...even if it were something to do with the permalink would have to be in conjunction with something else. Besides age and permalink site also had about 75 pages of content that was nearly identical to each other except for some minor changes. Most of those pages fell off the keyword map and even though they are still within the top 500 results...they plummeted. However, some of them can still be seen in the top 10 for their respective keyword. So, I am not sure if that is really the issue. My link building has been fairly above board with some gray hat stuff. But nothing major. All done manually as well. I am baffled. In my readings...although most of the sites impacted seem to be newish...there are reports of much older sites still getting hit. I thought it might be duplicate/template content...but not all of my pages have been impacted (yet?) I can't figure this out.

Spencer Turner

08/30/2013 08:40 am

Ouch, why did you change your domain from an aged PR5 to a new PR0? I've used UAW on another of my sites that actually has improved rankings since this update, I would never point UAW directly to my site but point it towards a buffer site that links back to my site to pass link juice.

Spencer Turner

08/30/2013 08:48 am

Hey Osman, my sites that have been hit have /postname permalinks so I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. @Mike @Jeff Surprised that your sites have been hit by whatever this update is! Did your sites get penalized with the earlier updates?


08/30/2013 09:03 am

Guys, I'm noticing a pattern here.. Are all your guys sites built on a blogging backend?

David Mercer

08/30/2013 10:03 am

Ok Jeff, I know that there were a few more established domains that were affected in the order of 20 - 50%. But, it seems that the majority of domains affected were newer (around half a year), and these got hit between 70 - 100%. My money is on a mistake, index roll-back, or something other than an algorithm update. Ultimately, there is nothing we can do until someone pushes Google for an answer... Barry?

Andrew P

08/30/2013 12:15 pm

my site uses /postname/ url structure and got hit, so i don't think that's it. It seems more likely this is targeting new sites, perhaps with large amount of content or traffic. I moved 5000+ pages from an 8 yr old site in May to a new domain. I did 301 everything, but perhaps the algo is just seeing a new site with large content and 10,000 daily visits as unatural and slapping it. Those of you who've been hit with new sites, can you please share how much content you have, how fast you put it up, and what seo work you've been doing on it.

Andrew P

08/30/2013 12:18 pm

you mean like wordpress? if all wordpress sites got hit this would be massive news


08/30/2013 12:18 pm


Andrew P

08/30/2013 12:19 pm

this is interesting, when you say it grew rapidly you mean the amount of content? or just readership? if it was only readership you must have done some seo work on it?


08/30/2013 12:23 pm

Yes it started with about 30% loss with the 2011 Panda and there has been a steady cycle of partial recovery followed by loss since. Before this August "update" there was quite a dramatic 3 month long spike which brought traffic up to pre-2011 Panda level but now back down to pre-May 2013 traffic. Cheers.

osman musa

08/30/2013 12:25 pm

yes but are your permalinks just /postname or /postname.someextension

osman musa

08/30/2013 12:32 pm

I'm surprised you even got all that indexed so fast. I have a database of 300k articles and when I put it up on a new site, Google didn't even index 99% of it lol. It wants to see fresh content. What you should of done is waited until Google deindexed all of your previous pages from your old site, and then you should of started the new one so that it doesn't think it's duplicate content. I'm no expert but that's just my opinion.

osman musa

08/30/2013 12:46 pm

I suspect all the people here that experienced the major traffic drops don't have a .html ending extension in their permalinks. .html is probably viewed favorably by Google for various reasons such as it's the original format when web was new, most bloggers don't use that extension.


08/30/2013 12:47 pm

I've been hit and my extensions are .html so I don't think it's that.


08/30/2013 01:05 pm

Andrew, I also moved to a new domain in around May. I did a 301 for all content. I have about 50 pages that went up all at once. Out of all of my sites only 2 were hit and they were both moved to a new domain in around May with a 301 from the old domain. I wonder if it is related to the 301 and not to the large amount of content.


08/30/2013 01:11 pm

The amount of content grew as well with it the traffic.No SEO, was on blogger. Nil off page seo. on page, you cant do much with blogger. just added separate description of each post, relevant post title with natural keyword density and synonyms. After the hit, i though its a good time to shift to WP as things can not get worse, so currently on WP. And i find it painstakingly hard to get my new posts indexed, on blogger my posts used to get indexed in about 5 minute! here it can take up to 3-4 days!


08/30/2013 01:12 pm

I just read through most of the comments and it seems like this could be a "sandbox" update. Barry - could you please confirm this with Google???


08/30/2013 01:14 pm

mine was .html as i was on blogger, after the hit i shifted to WP retaining the old permalink structure. And .html or any other extension has absolutely not effect on Google ranking. confirmed by Matt Cutts in one of his videos. Make sure you do not have .exe extension for your webpages. :)


08/30/2013 01:35 pm

Quick question to everyone, who here that has been effected is not using Wordpress or a blogging platform? Also interesting investigation here:

David E Carey

08/30/2013 01:47 pm

Hi, yip not using WP predominantly. I have very well established site with over 5% of my root domain links being .gov based with a high DA and PA, MOZ Trust, MOZ Rank than many competitors you name it and still got hit around Aug 21st. SERPs starting to creep back up to where the were originally but mighty slow.

osman musa

08/30/2013 01:51 pm

Lol, having actually, I have seen sites that have .exe as web applications. It's funny but true.

osman musa

08/30/2013 01:52 pm

i'm using wordpress.

Chris London

08/30/2013 01:56 pm

I have an eCommerce site that got hit, domain is over 10 years old - organic search dropped from 1,200 to 748 daily visits since the 25th. Looking at data to see what terms have been affected.


08/30/2013 03:36 pm

Nope, static html here.


08/30/2013 03:44 pm

I'm using wordpress got hit on 25th August.


08/30/2013 03:48 pm

i'm using drupal and was hit on the 25th


08/30/2013 05:47 pm

Our oldest and best established e-commerce site was hit. Our SERP dropped from 2 to 6 with our primary keyword and 4 to 12 with our secondary, which has resulted in a significant loss of organic traffic (pre-penguin we held the 1 spot on the terms for years). Looking at the comments thread, one potential factor is that we did have a domain change this year. We moved from an exact match domain to our brand domain (both are 9 year old domains), to recover from the EMD domain penalty. The site recovered within a couple of weeks after we updated the domain (and we used 301 re-directs). The August '13 update seems to have knocked us back to our previous position that we occupied due to the EMD penalty. Our backlink profile of the EMD domain is very keyword rich (naturally because we used an exact match domain), but no paid links and never outsourced any link building. But, the keyword rich backlink profile is still a suspect for us.


08/30/2013 05:48 pm

4 e-commerce sites that lost more than half of their daily traffic (saw the initial drop between Aug. 16th and 18th). The first two are only a few months old. Another is a few months old, but underwent a domain change a week before the update. The last is more than a year old, but was recently shut down and brought back at the start of 2013. We thought that because each of these sites have sister sites that share homepage text we were hit with a duplicate content penalty. After completely changing the homepage text there is still no recovery, traffic is trending upwards but its too early to make any conclusions


08/30/2013 06:00 pm

Our site is static with a 13 year old domain name. Our traffic dropped off on 8-25-12 by 1500 unique visitors from Google per day.

Lisa Viohl Lawless

08/30/2013 06:01 pm

Our site is static with a 13 year old domain name. Our traffic dropped off on 8-25-13 by 1500 unique visitors from Google per day.


08/30/2013 06:01 pm

My situation sounds identical to everything that you mentioned here. Maybe it was an update against sites that managed to recover from the EMD penalty.


08/30/2013 06:03 pm

I'm using Wordpress and I was hit on the 25th of Aug


08/30/2013 06:05 pm

I have about 10 sites. 2 were hit and they don't have an .html ending, 1 does have and it was not hit and about 7 don't have and they were not hit so I don't think that that is the issue.


08/30/2013 06:07 pm

I did that too on both sites that were hit. Other sites on which I didn't do that were not hit. What about others?

osman musa

08/30/2013 06:08 pm

Looks like I am slowly recovering, I have noticed increased search traffic today


08/30/2013 06:43 pm

What if the server manager was playing Angry Birds and the server got crashed ? :D It can happen, that's what the only reason can be, Matt Cutts haven't tweeted or mentioned about it

Andrew P

08/30/2013 07:46 pm

can u give more info on your site? is there anything you may have done? do you see any similarities other reports here?


08/30/2013 08:38 pm

Hi guys, i too was hit on the 24th of march, lost 60% of traffic, still no recovery


08/30/2013 10:48 pm

I've lost about 70-75% of organic traffic to over the last 5 days but seem to be recovering – back to the first page of my top keyword after being pumped off to page 3.


08/30/2013 11:36 pm

My ecommerce domain is over 13 years old, It has had any errors shown in all area from webmaster tools fixed when ever they show up, Has a .html extension and has been one of the market leaders in our industry for over 30 years (on and offline) we now all of a sudden dont show up for our 4 main keywords even though they are shown in webmaster tools as being our main keywords there as well and we have had a drop of 85% organic traffic since the update. NONE of our main competitors have been effected at all....

Linda Mark

08/31/2013 01:18 am

how you recover it ?


08/31/2013 01:58 am

Can you tell us what you did for the recovery ?

osman musa

08/31/2013 02:21 am

Linda, I can't speak too soon as I only noticed it today. I need more time to say for a certain I fully recovered. This search engine matters is a headache and constantly changing. I can tell you what I did now but it can be harmful or beneficial so it's best I don't say anything as I am not an expert. I will however assure you that I am now back on first page for most of my search queries I had before that were relevant to my posts. Big G could be reading this you know.


08/31/2013 07:34 am

Hey Osman, How can I get in contact with you I'd like to know the steps you took for recovery.

Muhammad Jawad Khan

08/31/2013 08:37 am

From 21st August, i lost 50% of traffic. I dont know how do i recover from this.

Ben Kemp

08/31/2013 08:41 am

The site shows a warning in Google Webmaster Tools TODAY: - Big traffic change for top URL That lead me to check the page, and on to here to comment. That lead me to check AWstats - traffic has plummeted from an average of 4,200 visitors per day up until the 22 Aug, and sharply downwards daily to a low of 1,400 for the 30th Aug. Thats the only site out of 50+ in my GWT account with a warning. WHY is a mystery - the site was was moved from an old domain to a new one in June due to severe Penguin issues created by the previous owner's link-building campaigns. Since that migration, its traffic and rankings had been accelerating smoothly until this bizarre occurrence! About the only links to it are from Yahoo Directory... its been completely rebuilt, sanitised, de-optimised and should be squeaky-clean from end to end!!!


08/31/2013 11:47 am

Was that big percentage?


08/31/2013 11:51 am

No, in fact almost every update has increased our site's rankings. That's why this is so strange.

Greg Ireland

08/31/2013 11:57 am

Had a significant 75-80% drop around that time.

Lisa Viohl Lawless

08/31/2013 12:19 pm

We have not done anything differently. I have noticed that the sites that have been around a long time (over 10 years) and are stagnant sites and not blog related are saying they have taken a hit. Specifically since the 25th, we have decreased 1,000 visitors from Google a day. From about 3,200 to 2,200.

Lisa Viohl Lawless

08/31/2013 12:19 pm

Specifically since the 25th, we have decreased 1,000 visitors from Google a day. From about 3,200 to 2,200.


08/31/2013 01:00 pm

And my drop was from around 8,000 pageviews per day to about 4,500. Almost 50%. Numbers on the 25th were okay and the drop happened Monday the 26th.

Andrew P

08/31/2013 02:34 pm

I think you solved your own mystery- it's almost certainly due to the domain change. The only positive i can take from this is that all of us seem to be running decent quality sites; all my content is unique and i put up fresh stuff regularly. I'm about done with being kicked in the nuts by google though, this is the 3rd or 4th incident where i have rebuild traffic in as many years.

Jay Castillo

08/31/2013 03:10 pm

I noticed a 25% drop in search traffic from Google last August 19 and 20 in one of my wordpress blogs (almost 5 years old), but it wen't back to normal in the following days... then the drop came back with a vengeance last August 26 where I noticed a 45% drop in search traffic and it has been like this up to now as I write this comment. FYI, this particular site of mine recovered during the July 15, 2013 Panda update and was starting to get an average of 2,000 visits/day of search traffic from Google, but now this happened. Trying my best to be optimistic...

osman musa

08/31/2013 05:26 pm

Osmanstpaul at gmail

osman musa

08/31/2013 05:38 pm

What I did was edit a lot of my posts and moved keywords farther apart from each other, when I looked at how far back I was put in search results, it appeared people that ranked higher had 2 things in common (1. They don't necessarily have All of their important keywords in title and 2 their keywords are spread out in the body of their content and not right next to each other. After fixing mine I've noticed improvements.


08/31/2013 06:11 pm

Another question: Are the pages that dropped in rank quite old? Like they haven't been updated in some time?


08/31/2013 06:31 pm

Is there anyone out there that recovered (besides Osman)? Is there anyone that was hit (between the 20th-25th of August) and did not have a 301 redirect from another site?


08/31/2013 07:11 pm

I wouldn't say I have recovered because my traffic is the same. I have noticed that for my most highly searched keyword where I originally ranked number 4 or 5 overall before being bumped to the second page of google that I am not bouncing between the number 10 spot on the front page of the SERP and 11th or 12th depending on when I check. I havent really seen any other significantly noteworthy change in rankings and my traffic is the same. Also...I did not have a 301 redirect from another site to mine.


08/31/2013 08:45 pm

Hi Sam, i was hit the 24th, no redirect, a site like 4 months old, was rankings real high, lost 60% traffic

osman musa

08/31/2013 11:40 pm

from what I have seen, Google has been showing pages from way back like 2004 and 2008 in top results so I suspect page age is also one of Google's ranking factors.

Linda Mark

09/01/2013 12:46 am

I'm not have a 301 redirect from any domain . I see in Webmastertool , there are some 404 errors , because of affiliate link. I just add nofollow to affiliate link , but se nothing change. I cloak with MBP ninja plugin

Jay Castillo

09/01/2013 12:57 am

Hi Sam, I did not have any 301 redirect in place but I was also hit on August 19/20 and 26th...


09/01/2013 01:55 am

I only did a couple of small tweaks to the XML sitemap and re-submitted it in Webmaster Tools. However, that wouldn't take effect the same day so the partial recovery happened by itself.

Emi Jitaru

09/01/2013 05:36 am

Also got hit.Tech blog ,4 month old dropped 60-70% in traffic from 24th august.. From page 1 on some keywords dropped on third page.

Linda Mark

09/01/2013 10:08 am

If this update affect to new domain, so if I redirect 301 to new domain (buy aged- domain) , is this work?

Andrew P

09/01/2013 10:26 am

i don't think so. Many people here have old domain and made 301 redirect to new domain, but they got hit. Maybe google is not looking at the age of old site with 301 to new site, and only sees new site? Maybe many people did this to escape penguin penalty and google thinks all new sites with 301 from old sites should be dropped. It definitely seems like new domains with 301 from old domains are being put in the same category as completely new sites.

Andrew P

09/01/2013 10:28 am

Osman do you really think those changes you made would reflect in google serps so quickly? i've never known google to be that responsive.

Linda Mark

09/01/2013 10:45 am

I mean I redirect 301 from new site to old site , if Google focus on Domain Age


09/01/2013 10:58 am

Any news on how to recover from this update? Or at least what it was about?

David Mercer

09/01/2013 11:22 am

Try ping Barry again, and get him to ask Matt Cutts. It seems the most common scenario for the type of site that got hit is one that changed domain (or is new), and may previously had a penalty from which they recovered. Although not all sites hit fit that description...


09/01/2013 01:16 pm

Travel related site, I'd call it an authority site, part custom, part Wordpress, all unique content. Domain 10 years old. Saw a significant drop in traffic around the 30% mark around the dates mentioned, so around the 5,000 visitor per day mark lost. Past history, we combined some WP blogs about 6-12 months ago using 301s and there's probably 300-400 301s across the whole site (there's about 50,000 pages indexed all up) related to that. Scratching my head on this. Site is totally above board, no dodgy links etc, never been penalised previously, but traffic loss appears to be across the board. All a bit odd.

osman musa

09/01/2013 04:47 pm

I meant to say I just discovered that just like others here, I too have been penalized for 301 redirect. I didn't even know it was because of my other sites pointing all traffic to me that was getting me this penalty. I am disavowing it now.

osman musa

09/01/2013 05:02 pm

I also just discovered that in Google webmasters panel, it is reporting 1300 back links from that domain of mine that was doing the redirects so it may be thinking that I am doing unnatural back link building. Apparently if someone does 301 address change, it will view those as back links. Google should fix its own messed up system


09/01/2013 06:13 pm

How can you have "just discovered" that? That's something you must have known about.

osman musa

09/01/2013 06:19 pm

I just changed permalinks and have noticed improvement. I am also disavowing all backlinks that are showing up in my webmaster tools that are from one site that i shut down and which I am redirecting traffic for. It turns out that 301 redirects from your old site can show up as backlinks in your webmaster tools control panel for your new site.

Andrew P

09/01/2013 06:28 pm

You want to buy an old domain then 301 your pages to it? I doubt that would help. If i was you i wouldn't change anything right now because nobody knows what is going on. New domain is one piece of the puzzle, it doesn't mean every new domain got punished. Just wait for few more days (i hope) and somebody official will announce something ( i hope).

Andrew P

09/01/2013 06:38 pm

thanks for sharing. My site sounds similar to yours, although i have about 5000 301's. 80% drop in traffic across thousands of keywords. The 301's seem more and more like the culprit!

Andrew P

09/01/2013 06:40 pm

he knew he did 301 redirect. He didnt know google is viewing them as backlinks. Neither did i, i never check my webmaster tools account.


09/01/2013 06:56 pm

The big question now is once we cancel the 301s will the penalty go away or will it be like Penguin 1 where we had to wait 5 months for a change?


09/01/2013 06:58 pm

I lost 50% off traffic on 3 of my websites since 2 weeks so i believe there was an update.


09/01/2013 06:59 pm

I thought you said that you had recovered?

osman musa

09/01/2013 07:08 pm

If your website has articles on diverse topics, you should be ok. My website has 10 authors talking about almost anything imaginable so somethings we rank low for other things we are like on top of first page in number 1 position.

osman musa

09/01/2013 07:39 pm

I did somewhat, but not fully. I never said I fully did. This is an ongoing thing.


09/01/2013 07:59 pm

Lost 50% of traffic and has been going down ever since, I am down to a 2 year low with lost of 65% of organic search traffic. What is going on, I can not find anything different in webmaster tools...

Alok Rana

09/01/2013 09:06 pm

Same with me don't know what google is upto this time....

Andrew P

09/01/2013 10:51 pm

Although the 301s seem to be causing the drop, i would wait for something official from google. 301ing is google approved protocol so it makes no sense we should get punished for this. I'm still hoping it's some kind of mistake. Also, if you have a 10 yr old site and you were #1 in google for years, then you 301'd, then removed the 301, your new page will have no authority, links or age, so you'll pretty much end up way down the serps anyways.

Andrew P

09/01/2013 10:53 pm

That is not true in my case. My site has everything from dogs to recipes to history. I've dropped across the board. In fact i was thinking the diversity of subject matter may be a cause in the drop.


09/01/2013 10:55 pm

A couple of additional notes for us. In the "Index Status" within Google Webmaster Tools, our total indexed count dropped from 28,920 on 8/18 to 20,689 on 8/25. Prior to this, our index has been steady in the 28-29K range, ever since we transferred to our brand domain from our EMD domain on 5/19. So, the drop in indexed page count correlates with the drop in SERP. When we did our 301 redirect domain change in May, we set up the "address change" notification in Webmaster tools to notify Google of the change. However, this notification no longer seemed to be present when I looked at the old domain in Webmaster tools, so I re-established the address change in WMT, for what's it's worth. We'll see if that helps. Also, I see that our old domain is listed as the top of our "who links the most" list with 1,144,713 links to our new domain. Google might be confused about this, as these are 301 re-directs and therefore I wouldn't think these would be considered inbound links. But I didn't check this list prior to this week, so I don't know if the old domain has always been considered a referrer, or if this is new. Perhaps re-establishing the address change will help. I've also taken to cleaning up our internal links to see if it makes an improvement. We have many thousands of internal links that still point to our old domain (which resolve to the new domain's internal pages via 301 redirect). I wouldn't think this would be a problem, but I can see that it could start to look a bit "loopy" - e.g., old domain URL redirects to new domain, which has internal links that point to old domain that redirect to the new domain, etc. We are cleaning those up and updating all internal link references to the new domain in case that is causing any flags to be raised. If we see any progress from these changes, I'll let you know.


09/01/2013 10:56 pm

Ditto, worst problem yet

osman musa

09/01/2013 10:56 pm

My other site hiiraantimes dot com improved in traffic after the 22nd and never took a hit, its a site i started in January with someone else. I don't know what to make of this anymore. I give up trying to find out.


09/01/2013 10:57 pm

I don't think this is related to 301's. We haven't done any of those at all. I have multiple sites affected and none of them have 301's.

Andrew P

09/01/2013 11:56 pm

interesting comment about the loopy links. Is it possible we all did something wrong when 301ing our old sites to new? I just saw the 301s working and the old sites serp results got replaced by new so i figured everything was good with google. I also have my old site as top refferer but it's only 25 links. Please keep us updated if you notice any improvement or not.

Artem Lapitski

09/02/2013 01:29 am

Thanks for the post. I also transferred my website from another domain in May via a 301 redirect. I just re-enabled the Change of Address – will see if this helps.

Jay Castillo

09/02/2013 01:46 am

Hi Osman, my site's permalink structure has a .html extension (I moved my blog from blogger to self-hosted wordpress more than 4 years ago and retained this structure) but It was also hit, so I suppose we can rule this out.

Linda Mark

09/02/2013 01:47 am

I agree! We should wait the next update, and maybe it will recover again

osman musa

09/02/2013 02:10 am

I wish Bing or Yahoo can increase traffic for all of us, since Google is messing around.

osman musa

09/02/2013 02:18 am

I just noticed that in one of the terms that I have exact match for, I was put on 2nd page, but Digital Trends is on top of first page yet none of the things that author for Digital Trends is talking about matches anything the user is searching for except for 2 words that match but content that's not related to what the user just looked for. I found this out because that visitor reached my site after going to the 2nd page. It turns out now more and more people have to go to 2nd page just to find exactly the useful info that they made the search query for and not some article that have some of the words the person is looking but irrelevant content. Seriously Google needs to do something about well known popular sites dominating search results, even if their articles are irrelevant. Google is also displaying Youtube vids in top results which is also further eating up traffic. Isn't this called monopoly or something where Google can be held liable for not being fair?


09/02/2013 02:54 am

I have no diversity in 2 sites hit.


09/02/2013 02:55 am

I have a new page (two months old). Before I was in google search, as of now you can even type in my page URL and Google search will not pull it up. Is this why?? If not do you have any insight? I have checked my webmaster tools and requested them to crawl my site but there are no messages showing issues on my site. But I did notice there are no queries either. No robot.txt on my site. My page URL is Any suggestions or anyone else having these issues?


09/02/2013 03:20 am

That could be in 5 months! The 2nd Penguin update was 5 months after the first!


09/02/2013 03:22 am

But did you have any links that could be considered spammy? It seems like those that were hit because of the 301s were hot because of the links we got from them. Maybe it was a Penguin update that took into account links from 301s (which I had never realized were links before)


09/02/2013 03:33 am

I am not showing a change in Index status on 2 domains hit


09/02/2013 03:34 am

Although I do have all of the rest of the things you have.


09/02/2013 03:40 am

100% agreed

Result Planet

09/02/2013 04:48 am

ya my website lose traffic from 30,000 to 3000 from 24th August 2013 can any one help me how to recover my Website Traffic Please Help me. Thanks


09/02/2013 08:38 am

My permaliks look like this domain/post-name/ and that's it. But I used to have permalinks like this /domain/date/post-name/ but I changed it and I redirected them in .htaccess file, do you think that might be the case? I only redirected like 10 links. And could it be the link clocking?

David Mercer

09/02/2013 08:42 am

Ditto. My old domain's change of address was also missing. I've re-implemented it... If this was the problem, then the update may have been Penguin, in which case we'll all be stuck without traffic for the next 3 months until Penguin is refreshed. Let's hope not.

Andrew P

09/02/2013 09:49 am

completely agree, by the time you get youtube, google shopping results, and the usual massive sites owned by media corporations, there's nothing left on page 1

Jay Castillo

09/02/2013 10:43 am

Nope, the site has no spammy links I'm aware of. Thanks for asking because I will check my backlinks in GWT just in case there are...

osman musa

09/02/2013 02:42 pm

My main tech site was getting 270 visitors a day just from "How to charge Galaxy S4 for the first time" and after the hit major dive and now minor increase. When more and more people start clicking into page 2 or 3 of results, Google will figure out they are doing something wrong since people are not finding the content they are searching for on first page.

David Mercer

09/02/2013 03:33 pm

Perhaps if @mattcutts hears of hundreds of webmasters caught by possible faulty 301 redirects update on 22 Aug, he'll take a look. Might be worthwile retweeting this comment to him. Maybe one of us will catch his attention, and Google will give us an answer.

Andrew P

09/02/2013 06:38 pm

This page has become the go-to resource on this issue. Is anybody talking about this anywhere else? It' seems like there's only a handful of us commenting on here. it' been a week already and i cant find any gurus talking about this.

David Mercer

09/02/2013 07:20 pm

I think that because the sites that were affected severely are ones that have had a redirected domain in the last few months, or are quite new, the update (or glitch in the update) simply didn't affect a lot of people. Unless we can make enough noise so that someone at Google takes a look, we may not hear anything more about this...


09/02/2013 10:41 pm

I've noticed a sudden drop in my organic traffic and I thought I had made something wrong, but when I read about others, then it's certainly a quiet update from Google!


09/02/2013 11:25 pm

Hello, I was hit by this too on the 26th, lost positions on several keywords where we were standing strong in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for years. I changed my domain in late may to the .GT (Guatemala) variant and created a few hundred 301 redirects when I saw other .GT domains pushing me back on the SERPs and I instantly regained my previous positions, until last August 26th when we were pushed back to where we where in May. After reading your comments I don't know if the positions I gained in june where because of the new .GT domain and the sudden drop is because of the same domain change. Did you gain any positions/traffic after changing your domains? Do you think I should keep my old .com domain or stick with my new .GT domain?

Tom McCracken

09/03/2013 12:55 am

Just to contribute some data, our website saw about a 30% loss in traffic starting on Aug 26. We did a domain change with 301 redirects and a GWT change of address at the beginning of April. So I guess more confirming evidence that sites with domain changes/301 are being hit.


09/03/2013 01:52 am

I'm also suspecting the form for small websites from Google. I read an article that matt cutts has offered a link to submit small websites to rank better in search engine if they are valuable, so any one knows what I'm talking about?


09/03/2013 04:04 am

I definitely have seen a major improvements for 9/2, webmaster tools is reporting like 3,000%, 1,000% and various high increases in some keywords and analytics is showing promising increases. I hope I keep going this route and not back lol. I don't need another slap.

osman musa

09/03/2013 04:05 am

your 301 redirects are showing up as high quantity of backlinks in webmaster tools is what I am thinking is causing this, just like what happened to me when i was redirecting traffic from one of my other sites that I shut down.

osman musa

09/03/2013 04:10 am

have noticed the more keywords in url the more of a chance you will end up farther back in results. Or the more closer together the keywords, the farther back you go in results. Maybe it's just me that have noticed this.


09/03/2013 05:26 am

I've noticed an upward organic traffic trend for one of my blogs hit hard by Panda and Penguin. The weird thing is, my 4-month old blog which I built ground up virtually without link building - and growing steadily - smashed to the ground by Google, losing nearly all organic traffic. Reading the discussion here, it's a common situation, I suppose?

Sanjeev Kumar

09/03/2013 06:01 am

Same as Tom, I have also changed domain of my site with 301 redirect

Linda Mark

09/03/2013 07:36 am

My website has over 100 posts, all are unique and 700 words

Linda Mark

09/03/2013 07:38 am

I 'm not have any 301 redirect on my website , but it have alot of affiliate link, may be it the reason.

Spencer Turner

09/03/2013 08:39 am

My traffic just keeps going down, this is the worst hit my sites have taken, I can't even try to sort the issue out because I don't know what has caused it! Since this update I also don't know what is "safe" SEO for my clients websites. My sites don't have 301 redirects, are probably just under a year old and have 200+ posts. I have another website that is almost exactly the same which is slightly older and it's rankings have increased!

Linda Mark

09/03/2013 08:55 am

The same to me. Do you have any error on Webmaster tool ?


09/03/2013 09:08 am

The same with my company's site, we also did a domain change with 301 in April..and we lost 70% of our organic traffic

Spencer Turner

09/03/2013 09:19 am

Hey Linda, no nothing at all!


09/03/2013 09:24 am

My site is all .html ending..and we lost 70% of our organic traffic


09/03/2013 09:47 am

Hi guys, tech blog here. We've seen a 50% drop in organic traffic. Our drop might be correlated with our structured data (breadcrumbs and hcards) being deleted. WMT shows a 100% drop in structured data on the same day as our traffic dropped. Many other webmasters have the exact same problem, and nobody seems to know why.

Andrew P

09/03/2013 10:43 am

i think you might be right about this being a glitch. Just hoping they'll discover it and fix!


09/03/2013 11:37 am

Has anyone tried contacting Matt Cutts or someone who can get us some answers?

Barry Schwartz

09/03/2013 11:38 am


David Mercer

09/03/2013 11:43 am

Great, thanks Barry...

Alan Anderson

09/03/2013 12:28 pm

I think google is doing some thing fishy. It is ranking high sites like brands,eCommerce or large corporations. My small niche websites also got hit. I am planning to do following things: Add google author link on my sites. Do some high authority backlinking, update my sites on daily basis, fix all not found pages, try to remove un-natural backlinks by using google disavow tool and then let me see. If this worked then i would post my findings here.

Jay Castillo

09/03/2013 12:53 pm

I think you are on to something here Daniel, thanks for sharing. I checked my structured data in WMT and there was also a huge drop in the number of pages with structured data (around 60 percent less pages) and it started at the same date I started to lose search traffic (August 19/20). Will dig deeper and share what I find...

Barry Schwartz

09/03/2013 03:11 pm

Hey everyone, I reached out to Google and they told me, "we don't have anything to announce." I am sorry.

David Mercer

09/03/2013 03:17 pm

Darn, Thanks for trying Barry


09/03/2013 03:38 pm

Just returned from the long weekend to discover 30% of my keywords with 1st page SERP fell to pages 3-10 this week. That's after almost a year of steady of growth in rank/traffic, reasonable link building, regularly adding new content, etc. Site is in the travel/destination marketing vertical. On other sites in the same realm, I've seen single keywords plummet in rank after the in-depth article update earlier this month, but nothing as broad as this...


09/03/2013 06:19 pm

Yes, thanks Barry. I really appreciate you reaching out to Google to further investigate. My most optimistic self hopes that the "no comment" reflects that the dramatic SERP changes were an unintended consequence of an algorithm tweak. My fear is that there is some kind of new penalty related to new sites or domain changes made in the last year. Despite the changes we have made so far in an attempt to recover, our SERP hasn't budged.

Andrew P

09/03/2013 06:55 pm

yes thanks for trying. Im going to start tweeting mattcutts several times a day. If everyone else here on this discussion did the same thing he'd have to see it sooner or later


09/03/2013 07:33 pm

Our forum has been also hit since 26th August (Monday). Traffic was excellent till Sunday. We have 125,000 pages indexed in Google, an average of 300,000 page views and 30,000 unique visitors per day. Our adsense revenues have plummeted by 50% and traffic is down to half. Our forum is huge with hundreds of new content pages posted by members every day. We did receive a penalty notice in June that our site had too many un-natural links but then we had soaring traffic at that point in time. We never took up to link building as forum had lots of rich content and so never bothered to contact those spammy websites linking to us. We had excellent traffic till 26th August and saw a 50% decline after that. We see another decline from 2nd Sep onwards. Not sure what's going on. We have partnered with Adsense since 2004 and had decent revenues. Google would not be making any money from any of the sites beating us in the ranks. These 20-30 pages websites have now overtaken us. God save us - Someone said CONTENT IS KING - BULL SHIT!

Jay Castillo

09/03/2013 11:50 pm

Hi Paul, I know how you feel (and I think everyone here also feels the same way), and I hope we will all get to the bottom of this and recover. I hope you won't mind my asking, did your forum experience a drop in structured data in GWT that would coincide with the drop in traffic?


09/04/2013 12:57 am

My decline didn't show until August 24th where my daily traffic went from around 10,000 unique visitors today and has today hit 3,400 uniques when it would normally be 10k. We were steadily gaining week to week for at least 5 months. The site was 7 months old, all unique high quality content with statistics, authority references, clean SEO, very little back link building, definitely no "funny" backlinks. We were pretty much destroyed by this update. :/

Sven Sanchez

09/04/2013 02:31 am

I'm sorry, could you please tell me where to find structured data? My GWT is in Spanish and I can't find anything like that.


09/04/2013 02:47 am

Me to losing traffic on daily basis lost 30 to 40 % traffic, did u find any solution

G Jason Schnellbacher

09/04/2013 02:55 am

My site experienced a statistically significant drop in traffic on Aug 23 but we have not recently implemented any 301 Redirects and the site is not new (est 2009). We maintain 1.95 pages/visit, 2:02 avg visit duration, and good bounce rate. The only thing that we can possibly think of that might have caused a problem is an algorithm change or a remote possibility could be article post on GoArticles dot com on 2013-08-11 but we doubt that is the issue. Maybe Google Authorship could be the factor? Just did a couple random unrelated searches and noticed, 4 of the top 7 sites above the break have Google Authors. If your site has experienced less traffic recently, please let us know if you have Google Authorship enabled. Other hypothesis or conclusions other than 301 or new sites?

Linda Mark

09/04/2013 03:51 am

anyone think this update relate to Panda?

Artem Lapitski

09/04/2013 04:05 am

Almost the same exact scenario as my WorkoutLabs site...


09/04/2013 04:11 am

what is ur website may i know


09/04/2013 04:14 am

It seems some thing is going on again today just had a look at histats to analyse my website in real time and i see there's huge drop, i usually have 200 + visitors an hour now its just 20 to 30 dont know whats happening .... please help me


09/04/2013 04:25 am

There is a major update still going on, i had mine go down the 24 of august, still getting worse and worse, expect to lose much more traffic, in my case i will start a new site, i was doing like 20 thousand uniques daily, down to 200 now

Karthick Rajavel

09/04/2013 06:48 am

Anyone Ple update how to recover from this update...

David Mercer

09/04/2013 07:40 am

I'm not sure if it's relevant, but I noticed that Webmaster tools is now showing up 404 errors for pages that haven't been part of my site for 6 months. Almost as if they have reverted back to an earlier version of their index... Also, Google's crawl rate on my site has dropped by 50% since the hit. Anyone else notice similar oddities?


09/04/2013 08:11 am

I don't have Google authorship enabled and only 2 out of 6 sites were hit. I think it is somehow related to exact match domains. Even if today they are not exact matches (since many of us moved to a new domain). Look at the moz report and you will see a huge decline in Exact match keywords from around the same time.


09/04/2013 08:12 am

Was your site ever an exact match domain? Did you ever do a 301?

Daniel Nest

09/04/2013 08:46 am

Yes. I have also noticed some 404 URLs showing up, but when checking the pages supposedly referring to them everything is fine. Seems like Google is looking somewhere else than my live site.


09/04/2013 09:22 am

something strange is happening with positions in SERP today. Has anyone experienced it today?

Linda Mark

09/04/2013 09:30 am

The same to me, they are affiliate cloak link , I just add nofollow to them, but nothing happen

Jay Castillo

09/04/2013 10:26 am

In the english version of GWT, Structured Data is under Search Appearance.


09/04/2013 10:30 am

30% drop in traffic on Aug 24. Another 80% drop in traffic on September 3rd. Google analytics landscape (graph) changed from Mountains to Rivers.

Andrew P

09/04/2013 10:35 am

This came up on Matt Cutts twitter feed. You can submit to google why you think your site should be doing better:

Spencer Turner

09/04/2013 10:42 am

I think you're right, one of my sites that didn't get hit by this latest update has already received as many page views as it normally receives in a day and it's not even midday yet! One of my other sites that was hit seems to be recovering slowly, I haven't made any changes to it. However I have other sites that were hit that aren't recovering! From what I'm seeing, based on my WMT, my own websites and my clients websites I think this has targeting Exact Match Domains, can't be sure though. It's difficult to believe that is the case as many brands obviously have EMDs too and they won't be hit.


09/04/2013 11:13 am

This "small website sumbit" is a trap , google wants to categorize small websites for future shocks. It is well known fact that Google want to see only Big brands on 1st page.


09/04/2013 11:27 am

same here, today i lost 70 % of traffic i don't know whats happening . Please let us know if u find a way to bring ur site to normal state


09/04/2013 11:34 am

EMD is not my case but serp positions dropped drastically :(


09/04/2013 11:50 am

My site got effected by the same hit, not getting even half traffic I used to get


09/04/2013 12:05 pm

Is it reasonable to complain to Google? How? Or just wait several days hoping that positions will come back?


09/04/2013 12:27 pm

Google has no such thing as Transperency or sense of responsibility for Publishers.

Andrew Scaife

09/04/2013 12:35 pm

Not noticed any changes with any of my UK sites yet; maybe it's just a matter of time now!


09/04/2013 12:43 pm

Problem website has a lot of Russian-language content. I heard that Google's updates were applied to English-language sites at first and to other-language sites - later... Maybe it's happened today... Has anyone websites with preliminary non-English content? How are your positions today?


09/04/2013 01:09 pm

of course. just heard that there were some way "to ask google to re-calculate website's positions". Is it true?

Ola Johansson

09/04/2013 01:49 pm

Same here for, massive drop about 00:00 CET between sep 3 and 4 and it has stayed on about 50% less searchtraffic. Biggest drop we have ever had.


09/04/2013 01:52 pm

My GWT shows this message - We do not detect any structured data on your site.

Nihad Pasalic

09/04/2013 02:40 pm

Could this issue be connected with this (see image), because i have noticed it on few locations. Google is asking users to enter captcha (Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia)


09/04/2013 02:47 pm

Cannot see image. I just noticed that about 10-14 hours ago positions dropped significantly (4-5 times)

Nihad Pasalic

09/04/2013 02:49 pm

This image asks user to enter captcha code. I am on same position for best keywords, but haven't checked for those with small amount of searches.

Derrick Hicks

09/04/2013 02:54 pm

Typically, this shows up if you are performing multiple Google searches in a row or are using rank checking software on your computer. Google is just making sure you are a human and not a robot scraping search results. If you are using rank checking software, you might want to slow it down so it doesn't check hundreds of keywords in a matter of minutes... or use proxy servers. ;)


09/04/2013 02:56 pm

Have lost about 50% traffic in the last week. And yesterday Have lost almost 90% of the traffic. My site was an Mp3 search engine that was receiving about 60000 visitors/day and now almost nothing. I have not seen any warning in WMT. Do not know what has happened.

Nihad Pasalic

09/04/2013 02:57 pm

Well this started last night, and many have noticed it. Those people are regular users which are not using any software for it. I just have checked hundreds of keywords for which my websites ranks and for most of them i am on firs 3 positions on google, same position as before.


09/04/2013 03:58 pm

Same here with me also. May I know what niche are you in. Mine was a Mp3 Search engine. I was thinking may be if you are receiving too many DMCA may have caused this.


09/04/2013 04:34 pm

This is disturbing. One of my major traffic blogs is suddenly 80% less search traffic. I was getting around 20,000 uniques a day and I wake up this morning to see a massive massive drop-off that started overnight between the 3rd and 4th september. I'm just going to keep reading and give this a week to see what happens. It's at least a little comforting to know I'm not the only one having this issue. The odd part: when I check my major keywords that bring in the most traffic my actual rankings remain the same. I'm in first or second position for most of them. It's almost as though there are 80% less people searching for the keywords. Surely that's not the case. It's very odd.


09/04/2013 07:43 pm

just found that last night 99% of my pages were moved to google's "supplementary index". But no message in wmt about any penalty...


09/05/2013 01:10 am

does anyone notice increment in organic traffic tonight? 4th of Sep, as I see some of my keywords and climbing the SERPs, specially after removing the redirect from the other domains pointed to this 7 months old domain.


09/05/2013 02:34 am

same here i lost around 80 % of traffic but most of my links are still in the top of google search results

Linda Mark

09/05/2013 02:52 am

Just read on Warriorforum , and some people say this update focus on thin affiliate website. what you think?


09/05/2013 03:23 am

looks like true


09/05/2013 04:07 am

my site is not affiliate and it's affected.

Tanvir Zafar

09/05/2013 04:12 am

my site is totally effected in this 21 august to 3 sep.. all my keywords go down.i see a huge decreament in my organic traffic..please tell me how to fix this problem?????? my site is

Tanvir Zafar

09/05/2013 04:34 am

thanks for try barry..barry i want to make a contact with you in Skype..please add me my username is tanvirzafar1


09/05/2013 04:50 am

The site is an EMD, it has no 301s.


09/05/2013 05:09 am

Looks like you got de-ranked for thin content , over optimisation for keywords


09/05/2013 05:21 am

And what to do in such situation? if content cannot be significantly improved

Tanvir Zafar

09/05/2013 05:25 am

sorry dave...can you please explain me?

Tanvir Zafar

09/05/2013 05:26 am

what i do know?

Bellwether digital media

09/05/2013 07:11 am

I guess it is. A client website got hit and it was the same site that got hit during a previous panda update too. This time, specifically, the site has got several pages with same content.

Bellwether digital media

09/05/2013 07:15 am

That's an "info" type message, not an error/warning. u may ignore that or add structured data

Bellwether digital media

09/05/2013 07:15 am

interesting, mine was an emd too! Anyone else?


09/05/2013 07:19 am

Now this make sense. 2 days earlier my site was receiving 200 views on an article of a unique keyword, today I had only 8 view.. When I search for these keywords that I rank before all of the sites that comes out are not the right content in fact it was a different category. How can people searching for a map get a site of a video review.. This surely can't be right Google?

Spencer Turner

09/05/2013 08:37 am

I don't know what's going on! Something definitely changed on September 4th. Thankfully this effected one of my sites in a positive way and another seems to be recovering, however one of my other sites still seems to be struggling. Check out the boost I had on the 4th.


09/05/2013 09:40 am

My website is also affected, during two weeks I lost most of my traffic. from 20,000 users per day to 2000. I don't know why? I really have no idea.


09/05/2013 10:46 am

My websites are all affected. The change is most noticeable on, other domains seem to perform better. I have no idea what to do, but I'll try with additional link building, maybe that helps.

Andrew P

09/05/2013 10:58 am

Google are doing an update. This takes a few weeks then they'll announce something. All their major updates were the same. Some of us got hit on 21st August, or every other day after that till now. Thin affiliate sites are one target, recently 301'd sites another, there are probably a few other factors that will become clear. My site is 5000+ pages and almost no affiliate links.


09/05/2013 11:07 am

That's a trap. Google has no moral values.


09/05/2013 11:09 am

Does this include 301 redirect from non-www to www version? Thanks

Linda Mark

09/05/2013 12:55 pm

my site has over 100 posts, and just add 30 posts , you think it thin or normal?


09/05/2013 01:28 pm

Please do let us know if linkbuilding helped.

Satish Kumar

09/05/2013 01:36 pm

hello my website drop in last 5 days, please help me friend how can i recover.


09/05/2013 02:02 pm

I think that the easiest way to know what happened or what they changed is to do a little bit of team work. I have prepared this open spreadsheet and i have included data from 3 sites i have 2 affected 1 not affected but with similar characteristics in order to be a control sample. Everybody is invited to collaborate and to modify the spreadsheet to include more relevant data, i have included only a few similar things between them, but the idea is that information will be updated with the every new change or addon done by others...

Google is rigged

09/05/2013 04:54 pm

"Update: Google has nothing to say about this topic." But will enjoy the extra money it makes on ad clicks.


09/05/2013 05:13 pm

Some things clear at the moment based on the study of about 20 affected sites and counting: -Does not affect only new or recently redirected domains. -Does not affect only EMD domains -Does not affect only english sites -Does not affect only sites with too many or to low inbound links -Does not affect only thin content sites, agregated content sites or duplicate content sites, a lot of normal sites with good content are affected -The only common thin until now between all of the sites is Adsense.. but that can´t be a reason unless Google now like to shoot it´s owm toes.. The only way to know for sure more is with your anonymous contribution to this spreadsheet...


09/05/2013 06:12 pm

Excellent Idea


09/05/2013 06:15 pm

My website is also 5 month old like you and I also got hit

Sven Sanchez

09/05/2013 06:50 pm

Ok here's something that may be of help for some of you. I run a horizontal portal and was first hit on the 26th with a drop of about 12% which continued declining up to almost 20% on the 30th. Then it seems that my overall traffic started recovering and I am now about 8% lower on traffic than before this whole thing began. The interesting thing is that the most important of my sections is an online directory of businesses in my country, and this is still down about 25%, meaning that the rest of my site is actually doing better. I too changed domains in late may to the .GT variant of my domain to see if it would improve my ranking and it immediately did, however I didn't know about the "address change" option in WMT so I changed that when I read about it here and it seems to have helped a little as from a 36% drop in this section I am now at 25%. I too created a few hundred 301 redirects for the directory part of my site which is the one mostly affected. Another interesting thing: most of the competitors who now outrank my directory sections in the SERPs are sites with product catalogs. For example, if you searched for "beds" I would appear in the top 3 spots but now I'm down to 8th, the other sites are companies selling beds with online bed catalogs. In my site I didn't have any beds catalog, just a directory of companies where you can buy a bed so I assume it's logical that Google places those sites before mine since I had no content about the beds. So my conclusion so far in my particular case: 1) Notifying Google about the address change is a good thing (about 10% gained since I did it) 2) Having product catalogs seems to be placing sites higher I haven't seen where I gained traffic because I am more focused in regaining my spots at the top for my directory section which is what I sell. One question: I see some people talk about "affiliates" sites being affected, could you please explain what you mean by "affiliate"? I was thinking about letting my directory customers publish their product catalogs on my site, is this what you mean by affiliates?

Ashish Ahuja

09/05/2013 08:37 pm

Looks like a bump for authority sites

Ashish Ahuja

09/05/2013 08:39 pm

Its more of an update or bump to authority site rather than downgrade to other sites

Ashish Ahuja

09/05/2013 08:42 pm

its more of authority update to big sites


09/05/2013 08:52 pm

Please continue filling There are new columns in the end of the table so those who were the first fillers please fill all new columns!

Laurean Vincent

09/05/2013 09:18 pm

none of our customers experienced this major shift... perhaps because they are all ranking for local


09/05/2013 09:57 pm

Ranking for local .............? 1) Maps Listings ? 2) Or ....Local search rankings ?


09/05/2013 10:41 pm

I removed the 301 from my site and i'm noticing increase in the traffic, and my serp positions are getting back slowly. I'm also building links to my website and using brand anchors and naked urls and branded exact anchors.

Sven Sanchez

09/06/2013 12:35 am

I could probably do that too, but I don't dare since when I used my new .GT domain (late may) I instantly gained positions. I will stick with my new .GT domain even though it has PR0 and the old one had PR6


09/06/2013 07:27 am

We don't have adsense ads, as our site is in gambling affiliate niche. But it has also been affected.

Spencer Turner

09/06/2013 11:27 am

Hey Sven, by affiliate sites they mean websites built mainly for promoting products as an affiliate which they then earn a commission from if someone purchases the item through their unique affiliate link. You can become an affiliate for all sorts of things, Amazon have an affiliate program however there are also websites such as Commission Junction and Share a Sale that also have affiliate programs. For your example you could set something up where you promote a certain companies product then they monitor the purchases made through your link which you could then arrange a commission for.

Spencer Turner

09/06/2013 11:34 am

A clients site that I've been working on for around a month has had a significant boost in local searches around this time and is now sat at position 1-2. Have seen an increase in both maps listings and local search rankings. Obviously I'm pleased but some of my own sites that aren't local have taken a mega hit!

Andrew P

09/06/2013 12:49 pm

Bandar can you please clarify did you: A. remove the 301 from the .htaccess file of your old site? or B. take down the new site and revert back to your old site?

Andrew P

09/06/2013 12:50 pm

exactly the same with me went from 6 to 0. I'm kind of surprised it has stayed at 0 as its been 4 months already.

Andrew P

09/06/2013 12:51 pm

no ads on my site, adsense of otherwise.


09/06/2013 05:13 pm

I would love to know this as well. Does a 301 for non-www to www apply in this? This is the only thing I can see on my blog, I have lost almost all traffic. It is a how to tech blog, all original content, no Ads, new posts two times a week.


09/06/2013 05:39 pm

I removed the 301 from the old site. I build backlinks to the new site, contextual links.


09/06/2013 05:40 pm

I have noticed I have a bunch of incoming links from a signature in a forum. These links showed up at the same time as the drop in my traffic. Could Google be seeing these incoming links as spammy or low quality?

Sven Sanchez

09/06/2013 05:57 pm

Me too, I thought the PR would be passed on to the new domain. I was using Addthis which adds a strange code at the end of the URL and thought this was causing the issue but even after I removed it about 1 month ago it has stayed at PR0... Would like to know how to tell browsers to show my main page as the old domain to get back my PR6 and pass some juice to the other sections.

osman musa

09/06/2013 06:00 pm

Yes Steven, that is exactly what they are seeing as spammy backlinks. Same thing happened to me when I noticed 1600 links coming from one specific source and I used the disavow tool. Careful with that tool though, it can make or break ya. Since using that tool my traffic is back up to normal and i rank first page for most of my content.

Sven Sanchez

09/06/2013 06:02 pm

Hello Spencer, that's exactly what I started doing when I saw many of the now TOP listed sites have online catalogs. I am building my own catalogs with my customer's products but without the possibility of buying them through my site as this is a little more complicated in my country. But I guess Google's logic is people who search for 'beds' for example wants to see the beds, not the companies selling them which is what I have in my directories. I was on position 6 for furniture and I was blown to position 15! Hopefully this will work (I will end up having more products in my catalog since I will have all of the products from the top listed companies together with my own descriptions). Will post here my results.

Sven Sanchez

09/06/2013 06:04 pm

Does your client that had the boost in local searches have a product catalog in his site?

Ali Zaidi

09/07/2013 07:17 am

I actually got the following message on the 22nd of August from Google in Webmaster Tools: Big traffic change for top URLAugust 22, 2013 Search results clicks for have decreased significantly. The number of clicks that your site receives from Google can change from day to day for a variety of factors, including automatic algorithm updates. However, if you have recently made significant changes to the content or configuration of your site, this change may be an indication that there are problems. Recommended action Check the Search Queries page in Webmaster Tools Investigate whether the traffic change affects the whole site or just a few pages. Configuration changes are likely to affect the whole site Some content is popular only for a short window of time. If the change in traffic affects only this kind of content this message may not be indicative of any problem And then the same message again on 4th September. Trouble started on the 2nd of September. By the 4th Google had pretty much dropped all traffic to my site. Now it won't even return for branded name. Any suggestions on what might have caused this? I see no manual action in webmaster tools either.

Linda Mark

09/07/2013 08:22 am

I have a lot of affiliate link, but I add nofollow to them, is that help?


09/07/2013 08:49 am

If you improve the content, lets say you have a content of 400 words and added another 400 to to improve it.... why should there be a problem? Can't we change the content to make it rich? If we do then does that mean it might have a negative affect?

Ali Zaidi

09/07/2013 10:37 am

Thanks. What I just did was put all comments back onto one page rather than having it paginated. When they were divided in pages, since 2nd September there were only a handful of comments on the main page... could that have been classed as thin content? Not sure if google even considers comments as actual content.. any ideas? I'm hoping it will work.

Satish Kumar

09/07/2013 01:51 pm

now my site is recovering, all page indexed again but my latest post not indexing easily any one guide me

Satish Kumar

09/07/2013 01:53 pm

any one help after 4th of September my website's new post not indexing easily and not shown in google search. before my post available within second.


09/07/2013 03:09 pm

What did you do with the old site after removing the 301? Did you linked it to the new site or what?

Ashish Ahuja

09/07/2013 03:28 pm

that may be due to google server busy in the updates, see if you have lost any traffic from Aug 21-22 to Sept 4 if that is the problem then you have been hit by the update

Ashish Ahuja

09/07/2013 03:30 pm

Google never said that adding more words will improve the content. One of the best ranking post on one of sites is only 3 sentences. Go to analytics and improve pages showing heavy bounce rates

Ashish Ahuja

09/07/2013 03:37 pm

Your website has loads of low quality links and huge amount of links have been made in last 3-6 months


09/07/2013 05:44 pm

I did nothing, I just removed the redirect and waiting for changes.

Cindy Lund

09/07/2013 10:41 pm

My website went from # 3 to # 7. I had been steady at 3 for a few years and just within the last two weeks it started falling :(


09/08/2013 03:26 am

nothing was done, i just kept the old site online without content.


09/08/2013 07:56 am

I see this message in my webmaster account. Its just automatic response.

Ali Zaidi

09/08/2013 09:52 am

To be honest it only needs to be a one page site as far as users are concerned. But having only one page increases bounce rate (obviously). If I increase pages to reduce bounce rate, the extra pages would just be contrived, just to encourage people to navigate for the sake of navigating so that I am no longer penalized by Google. Would such an action please Google as it is? Perhaps. Will it actually be useful to my users. No.

Muhammad Jawad Khan

09/08/2013 11:45 am

Thin content does not mean how many posts you have on website, but how valuable each post is.

Ashish Ahuja

09/08/2013 01:28 pm

Google looks at other factors than bounce rate, it looks at click thru rate, time on site etc. etc. So if your one page site is good enough for your users then don't create another page. But if you are fixated on improving your bounce rate then you can do lots of things to reduce it without even with one page content. btw, also make sure your one page website is authority or go to resource for your niche otherwise its just another "one page site"


09/08/2013 09:33 pm

how can I find that a website has low quality links?!


09/08/2013 09:41 pm

How Can I find out if my website has low quality links?! what is the definition of low quality link?!

Sanjeev Kumar

09/09/2013 05:55 am

can you please share you site links?

Ashish Ahuja

09/09/2013 09:55 am

There are various tools out there to find out about the links but I use other useful sites are &

Ashish Ahuja

09/09/2013 09:57 am

there are various factors which determine if a link is low quality, since you asked I will do a blog post on the same

Ashish Ahuja

09/09/2013 10:06 am

I am seeing authority sites getting a boost. Was yours a authority site


09/09/2013 03:09 pm

There some thing WRONG with Google search, just search "onam fb cover" and you will find just ONE website all over the first page, this is so come a site can hog all the place in Google search...I am attaching print screen


09/09/2013 04:49 pm

Shows there is something seriously wrong about the update. I think we have to hang in there once this gets sorted out. Whats the crawl rate of your websites BTW.


09/09/2013 05:59 pm

I am seeing some keywords appear on search several times a day and they get lost into 100's back in no time. So one thing that I think is that the update is in no way over yet. It still has to settle. God knows when.. What ever it I hope atleast Google can speak up and let webmaster know that what ever shit they have done is atleast over so that we can move on.

Joshua Rodriguez

09/09/2013 07:05 pm

I didn't do a lot of digging here. I did go to your site, it made me want to bounce. As a user, I can personally say that the site design is definitely poor in quality. Very thin on the home page as far as content and tons of links. I'm no expert, but from what I've been reading, that can play a role.

Joshua Rodriguez

09/09/2013 07:11 pm

When you are doing these searches, are you logged in? Using an incognito window will usually show you what others see. Try searching that way.

Joshua Rodriguez

09/09/2013 07:12 pm

I experienced this same thing in late july. My problem was too many sitewide links pointing to me and too much thin content. Maybe that's the cause here.

Joshua Rodriguez

09/09/2013 07:13 pm

Those captchas usually happen if you are running a software that scrapes google. This type of software will run tons of searches and when too many go through, google displays the captcha

Joshua Rodriguez

09/09/2013 07:26 pm

I ran into the same issue in late july. My problem was that I had too many sitewide links pointing in and too much thin content. Maybe the past is a great place to look for present issues.


09/09/2013 08:34 pm

Hi Jay, have you found anything yet? My structured data is still at 0...


09/09/2013 09:30 pm

Thanks Joshua, I will look into it. I didn't know that. I'm actually more focused on my blog atm. This blog was an older one and I'm just not sure what I'm going to do right now about it. Anyways, thanks! Nick


09/10/2013 06:26 am

I have noticed that too ...websites that used to have top ranking are now all over the 1st page. This gives poor user experience as user isn't given proper choice.


09/10/2013 10:18 am

One thing other that is also happening is that the site:website is showing less ans less pages everyday. The WMT does not show any drop in indexed pages but the are dropping according to the query.


09/10/2013 11:25 pm

Before update I had top5 positions on many keywords with big competitions. Now I'm on 13 - 20 position. I used hundreds of links with exact match anchors (but my site had high trust rank). Few months before update I got message from Google about unnatural linking profile (Google send by mistake many such email - mistake was sending emails not the content of message :) ). I did nothing about this since my page that time was not affected. Now I'm removing links with exact match and will see what happens. Will also add new anchor links from trusted domains.


09/11/2013 11:38 am

Can you Believe the search results just see. Google displaying the worst ever results. Just imagine the traffic the people who have been affected positively must be getting these days.


09/11/2013 04:24 pm

One of my keywords back on page one. Anybody else saw any improvement.


09/11/2013 09:11 pm

Cannon see any positive change. Just some movements between pos. 50 and 150 for those keywords which were in top 3 before 3/4 of September...

Spencer Turner

09/12/2013 09:08 am

Hey Sven, no catalog on their site just basic info about the company and contact details.

Barry Schwartz

09/12/2013 01:30 pm

Heads up, I am seeing new reports of an update today, September 12th. Did you guys notice any changes (positive or negative) to your rankings? If so, comment at


09/12/2013 01:33 pm

Well the keyword went back into the 100s. And it is bouncing like crazy. So I think what ever Google messed up is still going on.

Rudi Palmera

09/13/2013 12:56 am

LOL, i agreed with you... some search so messed up... This is not very convenient at all in search for information

Jay Castillo

09/13/2013 01:21 am

Hi Daniel, I've been backtracking on changes on my site that may have triggered the drop in structured data, and rolling back those changes. So far I have noticed a slight increase in my structured data, although it's still very far from pre-August 21 levels. Just to give you an idea, my structured data prior to August 21 was 10,900 items in 1,544 pages (2 structured data types). After August 21, it dropped to 9,441 items in 674 pages. Now, I have 9,978 items in 735 pages. The 2 structured data types are hcard and hatom. I'm not really sure if structured data really has anything to do with the drop in search traffic as it might just be a coincidence, but I will monitor if the recent slight increase in my structured data, will have a corresponding increase in search traffic. In your case, I'm assuming it was zero even before August 21 right?


09/13/2013 09:46 am

Hi Jay, I'm glad that you are slowly recovering. My structured data went to zero on June 7th and back to normal on June 21st. The next drop happened on August 9th. No changes since then. A strange thing I have noticed is that WMT shows 0 breadcrumbs, but they are being displayed in the SERPs. Still can't figure out what has happened. The guys on Quora and also have no idea.


09/13/2013 09:46 am

Hi Jay, I'm glad that you are slowly recovering. My structured data went to zero on June 7th and back to normal on June 21st. The next drop happened on August 9th. No changes since then. A strange thing I have noticed is that WMT shows 0 breadcrumbs, but they are being displayed in the SERPs. Still can't figure out what has happened. The guys on Quora also have no idea...


09/13/2013 11:18 am

I saw my backlinks reduced from 19000 to 3500 in august. It was definitely a google update as this large fluctuation was never possible without a google update. Google never confirmed anything about this update. Amit Porwal Wordpress Designer


09/15/2013 02:39 am

Google suck and suck and suck fuckyou mother google larry page


09/15/2013 06:32 am

i found 600+ backlinks from for my blog. i saw this in google webmaster tools. i never create any backlinks with, is this lick are harmless for my blog if yes then how to remove this licks from my blog..?


09/15/2013 09:23 am

Hi! I have the same unpleasant issue but with other external domain. Found such way via WMT: I've done it but still can see links in wmt :( hope they will dissappear soon


09/15/2013 05:44 pm

Although i have seen a little recovery about 15%. But I am constantly seeing the number of indexed pages drop daily but not in WMT only by using the site:website query. Is anyone experiencing this also.

Gregory P.

09/18/2013 02:02 pm

I've definitely noticed a drop at that exact day - August 22nd. Not sure if there is any more info out about this but I am looking around still.


09/18/2013 05:38 pm

That's terrible, i have seen that Google is not giving more preference to its sister sites like Youtube, Blogspot etc. Search any popular celebrity and feet, 7 links would be from google site.


09/18/2013 05:38 pm

not = now **

Ashish Ahuja

09/19/2013 05:53 pm

See here for proof of google update around that time


09/19/2013 08:30 pm

We run a fairly large discussion forum that was enjoying great traffic till the 3rd week of August, 2013. The forum started losing traffic from 24th August 2013 onwards (Possible Google Update) and have lost over 30% traffic since then. It seems that the reduced traffic has less to do with our website rankings but the steady decline in the number of pages being indexed by Google. Our traffic was at all time high in mid-June 2013 when the indexed pages were highest (272,301) and these pages must be getting traffic on thousands of keywords from Google. As per GWT, on 15th September, Google has dropped 112,542 pages from its index which implies that traffic coming from all those pages is gone since those pages no longer exist in Google's index. We never made any changes to our website structure or else. Earlier, we got an "Unnatural inbound links" notice on GWT on 9th June, 2013 and another notice on 21st June that "Google detected a significant increase in the number of URLs we could not access. It is likely that your server had an internal error or was busy when attempting to process these requests." Further, our re-consideration request was declined on 27th June and 22nd July and the site continues to be penalized. So what could be the Google Penalty? - Decline in rankings? or Webpages being dropped from Google's index or both? How do we get Google to re-index all those pages and have the Penalty removed? Still pondering if there is any co-correlation in the Google penalty and the steady decline of our pages in Google's index.


09/20/2013 06:19 am

1. See this: 2. There are some problems with forums: - old postings are buried or even dropped from google index! - a lot of no content/low content pages. You must have a "big" and detailed robots.txt - duplicate content; some IPB forums have a LoFi version! 3. Check your forum for possible spam posts + all the outbound links to be nofollow! 4. Check your inbound links in Webmaster tools and do some cleaning! Use a maceta! 5. Check your footer :)


09/20/2013 06:40 am

Some saw drop in index while some saw drop in back links. Those who got unnatural back link warning from Google were definatly among those who got hit since 21st August update. I have jotted down some common factors that you may also find relevant in your case.


09/21/2013 06:10 pm

Its pingiun my site fall to die

Linda Mark

09/23/2013 12:35 am

1 month and nothing recover


09/23/2013 01:12 pm

Hi everyone, Can you all please share you websites, I got a strong clue about sites dropped on 20,21,23 or 24th august... then i can share my conclusion!

Sanjeev Kumar

09/23/2013 01:13 pm

Hey Linda, Can you pls share your website link?


09/27/2013 03:24 pm

I assume that this was caused by the Hummingbird. What can we do to recover? Can you even recover from the Hummingbird?


09/27/2013 08:29 pm

I have an idea bounce rate, or some kind of click back rate measurement became an important ranking factor in Hummingbird

Marta Gryszko

09/28/2013 11:53 am

I also think it might have been the Hummingbird. I'm just starting analysing the changes from that time.


09/28/2013 07:07 pm

Well... this is the update that happened in late august that dropped many sites organic views the name of it is hummingbird update.


10/02/2013 04:46 pm

I was hit by the update and my bounce rate and click back rate is better than average so I don't think it is that.

Derrick Hicks

10/02/2013 05:05 pm

How do you know it's better than the average?


10/06/2013 08:26 pm

my website was in the top searches for whole 4 months but on 7-10-2013 my website's ranking dropped and it went to 6th page


10/07/2013 12:56 am

Google, fuck you, stop changing everything so fast. I' m loosing money you stupid shit

Dimas Warrelics

10/11/2013 12:45 pm

Unfortunately these algorythms works with no relevancy at all, Blank pages or 404 pages are first in SERP, and less relevant results... Really good and individual content sites are gone from SERPs? Peoples who didn't built SEO. are lasy, due of that- their content in most cases are the same as their SEO optimization

Jay Castillo

10/18/2013 12:44 pm

Hi Daniel, unfortunately, even if my structured data is increasing steadily (but not yet at normal levels), the search traffic improved only a little. I wish there was a way to see what pages had structured data and what data types they contained before this algo change, which I believe is hummingbird.


10/20/2013 12:48 pm

can anyone update "improvement column" of

Satish Kumar

11/07/2013 01:00 pm

Hello Ashish will recover our website. i already Disavow links. what should i take other action.

Haroon Gul

11/15/2013 11:00 am

my site is not recovering from google panalty any suggestions?

myahya sanei

04/11/2014 11:28 pm

Happiness. What is it really ?  Can we consider happiness as a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment . Both of these feelings are apparent when we attempt to   that the less we achieve them . I just live for today and we   addict who still suffers 've  take the message to feel satisfied, happy and meaningful lives are deeply  find . Just for today: I will be happy  . Your happiness is achieved through service to others , I

Fawad Rahmani

05/19/2014 07:24 am

live is great

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