Latest Google Update... What Works, What Doesn't

by brettb
19 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hi all,

Well yesterday was brutal, but I've had a look at my Analytics data and it's not all bad. If you've been hit then I don't recommend you do anything for a week or so, just to let the dust settle .

My AdSense income is down another 30-40%. The main thing to get hit is HubPages (again!). This was my 2nd best AdSense income source. My Hubs appear to have lost 90% of their Google traffic. Ouch! Let me know if you've seen similar.

My 3rd best site has been hit hard, with maybe an 80% loss of Google traffic.

One of my EMD sites has been hit, but the rest seem to be OK. I've definitely got sites that are unaffected, which is good news. When the dust settles, I'll focus on these.

Also my best site got thrown out of Google ages ago, but it still gets a stack of Yahoo/Bing traffic. Somebody needs to write a WSO about ranking good in these!

Worst affected are my oldest sites. These have been decimated. And to whoever says that you should switch from niche sites to real businesses, well my real business has been sunk!

I think the major signal for Google is once again LINK BUILDING. There's a clear pattern now with my niche sites - more link building has equaled a bigger hit. I haven't actually done much linking, and I've certainly never bought Fiverr gigs etc.

I don't think quality is an issue - my best quality niche site has been hit and I think this is because I put it in a Blog network. I'll take it out and see what happens.

It's the weekend so it's hard to tell if my B2B sites have been affected. I'm rebuilding one so I can't tell for that one.

One of my other sites has gone from the SERPs. I'm pretty sure that there's now a Google duplicate content penalty that kicks in if you move content from one site to another. My Hubs got b& so I tried moving them to other sites. I think this does work, but you need to unpublish them for 3 months or more, or just rewrite them.

Anyway, I'll be interested to hear what's happened to your HubPages, niche sites, authority sites etc. etc.

:confused:
#google #latest #update #works
  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    I've only got one hubpage which I haven't touched for 2 years. It's been sitting at around the middle of page 2 for the last 12 months but has now dropped off. It's really the only change I've noticed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    Not a single site hit this time, really surprised.

    IMO they are looking at domains, sub-domains and whole URLs (and how many per site). That's just what I'm seeing after looking at literally tonnes of nuked sites. Shitty URL structures are shitty.

    The "low quality" part is a bit like mini-Panda as in it's almost 100% another machine learning algo that learned for some time and is now killing shit sites based on dozens of small parameters. This explains perfectly why some smaller sites are fine, while other sites (seemingly "better") got hit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    Yeah, I've got no doubt there's a lot to look at. I was more curious about hubpages in-particular as it was one of the main sites to cop a drop in traffic after the original Panda update.

    I did a search then for

    Google.com > "title of my page" inurl:*.hubpages.com

    and got the following in the results:

    "A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt" which seemed odd. The result just had the url - no title and obviously no description.

    Note that "title of my page" is a product type.
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    It's a bit too early to analyze yesterday's update IMHO. Give it time to settle.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Yes this one needs more time, but I think HubPages is smoked, at least any Hub in a niche that will earn you coin.

    Also this update has hit on a weekend, so we need to know what will happen during the week. It's also good to wait and see what appears in Webmaster Tools.

    I think it's time for much soul searching for many of us.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nelapsi
    Yep, I am in agreement here way to early to analyze but never to early to start the mind rolling on this...

    I have tons of content to play with different link building ideas and have to say not noticing anything strange based off links.

    Recently I started a pattern for knocking out content with getting it indexed, the sole theory was to test/learn effective keyword research.
    Article (500-750 words + 1 picture)
    Links
    1 Facebook and Twitter
    Added link to my Follow Like social/bookmark exchange

    Now when I started doing this, articles did solid and would settle rather quickly between SERP 4-13. After this update everything moved to SERP 1-11. I know this all depends on what kind of sites were in your way but I think it does show that with minimal work now you can actually noticeable results.
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    • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
      Originally Posted by Nelapsi View Post

      Yep, I am in agreement here way to early to analyze but never to early to start the mind rolling on this...

      I have tons of content to play with different link building ideas and have to say not noticing anything strange based off links.

      Recently I started a pattern for knocking out content with getting it indexed, the sole theory was to test/learn effective keyword research.
      Article (500-750 words + 1 picture)
      Links
      1 Facebook and Twitter
      Added link to my Follow Like social/bookmark exchange

      Now when I started doing this, articles did solid and would settle rather quickly between SERP 4-13. After this update everything moved to SERP 1-11. I know this all depends on what kind of sites were in your way but I think it does show that with minimal work now you can actually noticeable results.
      Are these pages all one domain? How authoritative is the domain?
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      • Profile picture of the author Nelapsi
        Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

        Are these pages all one domain? How authoritative is the domain?
        Yep, all one single domain and PR is 0. This domain has almost no authority at all. While I do keep on a general topic and it has a basic structure I follow there is nothing fancy about it.
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        • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
          Originally Posted by Nelapsi View Post

          Yep, all one single domain and PR is 0. This domain has almost no authority at all. While I do keep on a general topic and it has a basic structure I follow there is nothing fancy about it.
          So the bulk of links being built to the pages are social bookmarks? I think you probably already have links from quite a few IP ranges?
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          • Profile picture of the author Nelapsi
            Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

            So the bulk of links being built to the pages are social bookmarks? I think you probably already have links from quite a few IP ranges?
            Yes correct and while I have not checked the actual amount of IP ranges because for what I am doing there is very little need too. I also don't think it mattered much, some pages didn't rise as much as others and others raced up the SERP however I think the difference was mostly the SERP competition for the reason.

            I use no special tools or software for keyword research (by that I mean paid for or something I wrote) so anything I am doing isn't like mind blowing. I was merely learning but since I had all this data and with the new update, I decided to see what else there was to learn and how it handled the update.
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            • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
              Originally Posted by Nelapsi View Post

              Yes correct and while I have not checked the actual amount of IP ranges because for what I am doing there is very little need too. I also don't think it mattered much, some pages didn't rise as much as others and others raced up the SERP however I think the difference was mostly the SERP competition for the reason.

              I use no special tools or software for keyword research (by that I mean paid for or something I wrote) so anything I am doing isn't like mind blowing. I was merely learning but since I had all this data and with the new update, I decided to see what else there was to learn and how it handled the update.
              I think your strategy is a sound one. You're getting a wide range of backlinks and focusing on on-page. Likely many of your competitors have already been penalized for excessive link building. "Light" link building (social bookmarks, Tweets, nofollows) from a wide range of IP addresses seems effective to me.
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              • Profile picture of the author Nelapsi
                Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

                I think your strategy is a sound one. You're getting a wide range of backlinks and focusing on on-page. Likely many of your competitors have already been penalized for excessive link building. "Light" link building (social bookmarks, Tweets, nofollows) from a wide range of IP addresses seems effective to me.
                I am going to come up with a topics to write about this week and see how things move compared to articles prior to the update. It could be insightful
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Well another day has passed and there's another day of Google Analytics to play with.

    I can see now that my HubPages are toast. They've lost about 90% of their Google traffic. That's a shame, because in 2010 I was comfortably making $15+ a day there.

    Two of my larger niche sites have been hit, but the smaller ones are unscathed. I'm not sure why this should be. Once again I suspect I've just lost the big volume keywords. Search for them now and you get the official site at #1, then a load of scraper sites and general crap. Thankfully my traffic is more diverse and collectively I still have around half my traffic.

    My older sites have been hit very hard. I guess this is simply down to the fact that natural backlinks don't cut it any more. It's largely because some niches have become virtually saturated. Take my few pages about tropical fish. These used to be very popular. Now they've been replaces in the SERPs with 1000+ page sites about tropical fish. And there are an awful lot of fishkeeping sites.

    If I had to guess what Google wants, is that it likes FORUMS and CROWDSOURCED SOLUTIONS to problems. Take another niche I used to clean up in - programming tips. I used to get a lot of traffic for this. Now just about every query can be answered by stackoverflow.com. I don't ever recall seeing this site back in 2008, but it's become the Yahoo Answers of programming.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Woolard
    Were you backlinking your hubs?

    My two hubs that had 0 backlinks went up in the SERPS. My one squidoo lense didn't move.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    No I never really backlinked them.
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  • Profile picture of the author jerrywhyte
    Lets still allow the dust to settle, as G normally run algo. updates in between updates
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Yeah, it's hard to tell what's happening with my smaller sites. Some days they never got any visitors anyway.

    One thing I'm certain of is that HubPages is DEAD, at least as far as valuable niches are concerned.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Woolard
    I still have my doubts on your hubpage theory. I don't have a single backlink to my 3 hubs and they either stayed the same or went up the SERPS.
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