Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Our website is a non English property related website (moshaver.com) which is similar to rightmove.co.uk. On September 2012 our website was adversely affected by Panda causing our Google incoming clicks to drop from around 3000 clicks to less than a thousand. We were hoping that Google will eventually realize that we are not a spam website and things will get better.

However, in August 2013 we were almost sure that we needed to do something, so we started to restructure our web content. We used the canonical tag to remove our search results and point to our listing pages, using the noindex tag to remove it from our listing pages which does not have any properties at the moment. We also changed title tags to more friendly ones, in addition to other changes. Our changes were effective on 10th August. enter image description here As shown in the graph taken from Google Analytics Search Engine Optimization section, these changes has resulted in an increase in the number of times Google displayed our results in its search results. Our impressions almost doubled starting 15th August. However, as the graph shows, our CTR dropped from this date from around 15% to 8%. This might have been because of our changed title tags (so people were less likely to click on them), or it might be normal for increased impressions.

This situation has continued up until 10th September, when our impressions decreased dramatically to less than a thousand. This is almost 30% of our original impressions (before website restructure) and 15% of the new impressions. At the same time our impressions has increased dramatically to around 50%. I have two theories for this increase. The first one is that these statistics are less accurate for lower impressions. The second one is that Google is now only displaying our results for queries directly related to our website (our name, our url), and not for general terms, such as "apartments in a specific city". The second theory also explains the dramatic decrease in impression as well.

After digging the analytic data a little more, I constructed the following table. It displays the breakdown of our impressions, clicks and CTR in different Google products (web and image) and in total. What I understand from this table is that, most of our increased impressions after restructure were on the image search section. I don't think users of search would be looking for content in our website. enter image description here Furthermore, it shows that the drop in our web search CTR , is as dramatic of the overall CTR (-30% in compare to -60%) .

I thought posting it here might help you understand the situation better.

Is it possible that Google has tested our new structure for 25 days, and then decided to decrease our impressions because of the the new low CTR? Or should we look for another factor? If this is the case, how long does it usually take for Google to give us another chance? It has been one month since our impressions has dropped.

share|improve this question
    
Have you carefully reviewed technical issues? HTTP headers, robots.txt, any redirects, duplicate title/meta tags. Any errors in WMT? –  jeffatrackaid Jul 10 at 20:17
add comment

1 Answer 1

This thread on WebmasterWorld keeps track of day to day changes in the Google SERPs. There are several reports of a "Panda algorithm data refresh" around that time, especially around sites targeting the UK.

It seems very unfortunate that you would be hit by Panda a month after making changes to try to make your site higher quality. It is unclear how much data Google needs to evaluate Panda. The generally refresh the data and change site ranking only every few months. It is very possible that the Panda algorithm hit your site because of the way the site used to be, not because of the way the site is now.

On the other hand, your drop in CTR from the changes you made is very worrying. One theory is that Panda is punishing sites that have a low average CTR and high average "bounce back rate".

It may be months before Google gives you another chance. Watch the webmaster world threads for information about panda refreshes.

share|improve this answer
    
Google does not use bounce rate to calculate SERPs. webpronews.com/matt-cutts-google-doesnt-use-bounce-rate-2012-06 I have many pages that rank 1-3 with bounce rates >90%. –  jeffatrackaid Jul 10 at 20:12
    
They say they do not use "bounce rate" (a measure of single pageview sessions). That is subtly different than measuring the return to the search results, which I do believe they use. –  Stephen Ostermiller Jul 10 at 20:28
    
I think the terms for that is "dwell time" which some feel along with SERP CTR are 2 critical factors. –  jeffatrackaid Jul 11 at 17:36
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.