Was There A Google Update A Few Days Ago?

Dec 10, 2012 • 9:12 am | comments (37) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Update BrewingBoth Mozcast and SERPS.com reported significant fluctuations on Wednesday, December 5th.

I checked WebmasterWorld the following morning but it was temporarily offline and due to that, the discussion of a possible update was very low to none. So my normal gauge to see if there was an update was broken.

Google SERP changes

That being said, there is some chatter in the WebmasterWorld thread that there was an update late last week that webmasters began to notice on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. One webmaster said:

Again -37% less traffic today. I have never seen this useless serps ever. Though in summer was bad. But this is top of all bad serps, beginning 27/11. Sites with no content, ebay affiliates, amazon affiliates all over. small ecoms are totaly gone.

Did you notice an update late last week? Should I ping Google asking them about this one?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Has Google Changed As A Company?



12/10/2012 02:24 pm

Some of my clients seem to think so and I would have to agree. Strange things happened in the serps over the weekend.


12/10/2012 02:39 pm

With tools like this - when there is movement shown on a particular day, might that not suggest that the change happened the day before? I assume these are based on tracking ranking fluctuations for a keyword sample, so if those reports run earlier in the day, then the change would likely be the day prior. I guess one day doesn't ultimately matter all that much, but is there a way to find out if these would accurately reflect a change on that exact day or if it might have come previously and been reflected in that days report?

Jos Davies

12/10/2012 03:18 pm

I work at Confused.com where we saw a number of high profile keywords move in a positive direction. Most interestingly our landing page now ranks for [car insurance] instead of our home page. Before this our home page has always ranked higher than the landing page. A number of our competitors seem to have moved around as well. It looks like there was a pretty major algorithm change. But what will it be called!?...


12/10/2012 03:35 pm

Definite change on Dec. 5. But here's the odd thing, I feel like they are A/B testing something. Around Dec. 5, huge jump up on good keywords, but HUGE drop in traffic. Drop in traffic seemed to accelerate over the week, through keyword rankings held. Adding to the weirdness, traffic was WAY UP the week before, which leads me to suspect they are comparison testing something.


12/10/2012 04:00 pm

Saw some slight movements, too.

Chris Ainsworth

12/10/2012 04:16 pm

I can't say I noticed any major flux on 5th but I've seen a little flux (nothing major) around the 8th. It's interesting the Mozcast and Serps.com both report flux when SerpMetrics reports not flux around that time in US or UK serps.


12/10/2012 06:39 pm

After receiving "Manual Spam Action Revoked" message last week we are still not in the SERP's, I assume it could take some time..... Our rank will most certainly be lowered but does anyone have a time frame or ETA for our site being re-included into SERP's after manual penalty revoked? Thank You!


12/10/2012 06:51 pm

Thanks Barry for giving us update about the changes in algo, most of them noticed but there is no definite answer from google, even what happened on 19th November they did'nt gave an answer for that...It seems really useless now to chase algorithms and i have seen most of the ppl are getting bored now. I would suggest to normally optimise websites, using legitimate techniques and built business thinking without thinking of search engines...

Michael Rizzo

12/10/2012 07:08 pm

I noticed this too, but saw an increase.

Scott Krager

12/10/2012 07:28 pm

Our report at serps.com shows volatility of rankings for that particular day. We run the report each morning for the previous day. It usually matches really well with updates, sometimes it can be a day off depending on the time of day we grab the data and when the update was rolled out.


12/10/2012 07:33 pm

Okay, there's my answer. Thanks Scott.

Paul Mitchel

12/10/2012 07:35 pm

Totally there has been an update and still going. It looks like Panda but could be something even bigger.

The NC Cowgirl

12/10/2012 07:40 pm

Traffic for my blog doubled from Thurs to Fri and has stayed up since then. Great news for me b/c my traffic nearly dropped in half on Nov 17th. I made some changes after that and slowly have been recovering but like I said traffic doubled on 12/6. Fingers crossed the changes helped and my blog is on the mends.


12/10/2012 10:50 pm

if it was so easy. at current time you never know what is going to work and what is not. and for every change google also penalize you.


12/10/2012 10:51 pm

I still see some major change for an adult keyword, youporn! In google.com . From page 4 I see only youporn.com results comming up, I see this from the last update from around 27th of november.. It's quit messed up to my opinion..

Nick Ker

12/10/2012 11:25 pm

Definitely seeing some weirdness across a few different sites/verticals. On a few sites, I noticed a spike in query impressions in WMT on the 5th, which settled down after that. Traffic followed a similar path. Kind of odd since there were no noticeable keyword moves that could not be attributed to something else like on page changes or new links, though there were many "minor" keyword position moves of the type that just kind of happen day to day. I have also noticed that some sites that really deserve the EMD filter (low quality, out of date, few links) are suddenly ranking very highly for their matched keywords, without any visible changes to the sites or link profiles. That also started after the 5th. Seems like it is worth a ping.

Guy E

12/10/2012 11:36 pm

Yep; definitely seeing an update of some description. I'm putting my bottom dollar on a Penguin refresh. Some of our sites that got hit by the last Penguin refresh is now recovered; whilst some have taken a further plunge.

jacob lageveen

12/11/2012 01:54 am

There were definetely some updates. Not all that positive I agree.

Paul Mitchel

12/11/2012 03:50 am

It is Panda I know now for certain. No even need to ask Google. Crystal clear now. Whether it is a refresh or they added a few new signals I don't know. My best guess is they might be tweaking a few things but also 100% refreshed the feeds. Come to mama!

Anurag Nair

12/11/2012 03:52 am

I too observed a drop in traffic on 7th...but there was no drop in the ranks..not sure what's Google gonna do this time...

Website Developers

12/11/2012 04:03 am

Traffic decreased but ranking was not affected....


12/11/2012 06:55 am

From 28 November, my traffic went down to only 60-70..it was just like a heart-attack feeling, i made some major and minor changes and now traffic is increasing from today...thanks to Google...


12/11/2012 08:00 am

And here I thought it's something we did. Unbelievable, can't they make up their mind already? :P

Angela Navejas

12/11/2012 09:08 am

yes, 5 Dec-12 there was update.. many keywords up and down ...

Rahul Mishra

12/11/2012 09:14 am

Yeah...I also think. I also saw some major changes in terms of traffic. So you should ask Google and confirm it.

Sourabh Rana

12/11/2012 11:08 am

If there is a update so what is the name of this udpate.. Is dis panda refresh or penguin ?

manoj sharma

12/11/2012 12:17 pm

What is the way to ping google for asking about latest update? Can we also ping and ask to directly google?


12/11/2012 12:48 pm

Yes I have noticed the same and please go forward to ping Google and ask them about same... waiting for confirmation :)


12/11/2012 12:51 pm

What kind of changes did you made? It'd help people here who've been hit by the update and haven't recovered any traffic yet.

Chris Ainsworth

12/11/2012 04:23 pm

MozCast are reporting more flux yesterday (11th December). They just tweeted "Major shake-ups in some SERPs yesterday, but not seeing a clear pattern, unfortunately." - maybe something is happening after all...

The NC Cowgirl

12/11/2012 07:59 pm

I updated my robots.txt file, removed any plugins I wasn't using and deleted inactive ones, left my Google Adsense advertisements but took down an affiliate banner, and some other minor tweaks. That plus posting has helped my traffic bounce back.

Selcuk Koc

12/11/2012 08:16 pm

Yeah I felt this too

Justin Urich

12/12/2012 05:44 am

I definitely saw a major shift on Thursday night (when I checked), and an even bigger "jolt" this morning. Also, if it means anything to any of you - one of the sites that was previously penalized (unfairly) by penguin, is now on the first page for major terms.

Angelina Parker

12/12/2012 08:08 am

I saw a drop in my rankings, It was on number 15 for the keyword cheap flights and now Saturday I suddenly fell on 30... Two videos are ranking in the 11th and 12th positions.... Different URL's of the same domain are also dominating the search results... Really worried with the recent update. What else could we do to rank cheap flights??


12/14/2012 03:33 am

It's all so simple, elegant verbosity enhanced with pertinent information etc... And a lot of hard word. No more cheating.


12/15/2012 09:43 pm

what changes were made by you for your site to regain some traffic rankings?

Matthew Jay Cossey

12/17/2012 11:38 am

My business was hit really hard.

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