I was wondering if anyone could shed any light on the trend I've seen in relation to one of my sites on Google over the last 4 or so days.

According to Webmaster tools, over a period of 4 days:

  • the number of my pages in the index has more than doubled.

  • At the same time the number impressions being served (and as a result, clicks) has halved.

I doubt this is a coincidence, as until now the number of pages in the index was fairly static, and the impressions were on a fairly predictable slope.

However, I'm puzzled and intrigued as to why these two things are connected in this way. One might expect the number of impressions to increase with the number of pages in the index. But how can the inverse relationship be explained?


I'm going to assume you're talking specifically about traffic referred from Google, otherwise it makes no sense to relate these two events.

It's necessarily speculative, but there was an update to Panda in the last week or so that seems to have affected a lot of sites that are nowhere near the obvious content farms it was initially targeted at. You might be in there. Panda is a ranking adjustment(with some guessing it affects the entire site), though. The indexing increase isn't necessarily interesting in direct relation, although I suppose it could be seen as having taken in that much more for purposes of determining what to do about your rank.

  • Thanks. Yes, I'm specifically referring to the data from Google webmaster tools (so just Google related, not wider stats). Speculation is all I was after :) Interesting theory about the indexing increase - that would make sense I suppose. – UpTheCreek Oct 5 '11 at 16:19
  • I'd personally lean toward seeing the events as happening close together(Google presumably do things in batches) but not necessarily being directly related. – Su' Oct 5 '11 at 19:20

you should be using Google analytics to track your impressions, pageviews, and visits.

But it does seem weird that your indexed pages has gone up but impressions are down.

Are the newly indexed pages duplicate content or spammy somehow. My guess is these new pages hurt your site. Thats the only way to explain the loss of impressions.

Yes when in doubt blame PAnda!!!

  • I am using google analytics also. No spam or duplicate content. But yeah, it looks like it must have been related to that Panda change. I read that the biggest beneficiary of this change is (Google owned) YouTube. – UpTheCreek Oct 5 '11 at 17:43

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