Google SERPS Change November 17, 2012

Google has been making minor changes since around November 17 resulting in a major Google BitchSlap for a small number of webmasters, myself included.

Based on a thread at WebmasterWorld that is already 13 pages long, nobody is quite sure if this change is part of ongoing Panda or Penguin updates or just a another “adjustment”.  Some websites have seen major drops in traffic of more than 80%, one of my websites has seen a 32% drop.

Looking deeper into my drop in traffic it seems that only 2 pages were affected but those two pages were both drawing major traffic, and both were related to the same keywords.  So from here it looks like November 17 was just another of the endless keyword/SERPS reshuffle.

I have also noticed more and more SERPS movement happening on Saturdays recently so I am eager and terrified at the same time to see what happens this coming Saturday.


Use _setSiteSpeedSampleRate() to Improve Your Google Site Speed Performance

Over the last month or so I have been trying to focus on improving the overall performance of  Knowing that Google is already, or someday will be using site speed performance as a ranking metric and knowing that nobody likes a slow website, it seems like a smart thing to focus on.

I’ve already done the standard things to make the site load faster:

  • Installed a PHP Accelerator
  • fine-tuned Drupal Caching with the Boost module
  • lightened the pages by removed a few unnecessary visual elements like buttons for links (trade off between pretty or faster)
  • Replaced images with losslessly compressed PNG or JPG files, particularly on high-traffic pages
  • Enabled Mod_Deflate on the server to compress HTML, CSS, and JS
  • Fixed a long-time DNS issue that measurably reduced DNS lookups to the server and memory usage
  • Removed Kontera from many high traffic pages as it was one of the biggest speed-killers

All of these changes made Continue reading

Hangin With The Adsense Team

As part of the Adsense In Your City program I got a chance to meet with several members of the Adsense Team today.

The team reviewed a few presentations and talked about several new & different ways to optimize websites for increased earnings and also presented a few tools such as Google DFP for Small Business and Adsense for Search Ads-only (now renamed Custom Search Ads). They also answered several questions from the group and even cleared up a few rumors and misconceptions.

After the presentations every publisher in the group got 15-20 minutes of one-on-one time with an Adsense team member to review and optimize our sites. My team-member (“Jane”, far left in the photo at the bottom) gave me a few suggestions and ideas during my one-on-one optimization time which I’ll be testing over the next few days.

The Adsense in Your City program is a great way for Adsense publishers to give feedback to the Adsense team, get those burning Adsense questions answered, and even meet other local Adsense publishers. Be sure you Opt-In to receive notices from the Adsense team (Adsense account|Personal settings) so you can get notified if/when the Adsense team comes to your area.