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Rapid Fire Rankings Changes.

 10:39 am on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google ranking are changing at a crazy speed.If i search for a particular keyword it shows my site page at say x position.The next moment i refresh and the position changes.Can somebody explain?



 7:05 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

This has been happening for while now. I don't think it's a bad thing, especially for the searcher.


 7:11 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello Geetu, and welcome [webmasterworld.com] to WebmasterWorld.

Google pulls its results from several data centers. The results may differ from center to center resulting in what looks like results "fluxing."

Head over here [webmasterworld.com] for all you ever wanted to know about Google but were afraid to ask.


 7:37 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

This has been happening for while now. I don't think it's a bad thing, especially for the searcher.

? either the first search is the most relevant or its not. Whats happening is that on the first search relevant sites are missing totally and on the refresh they are topping the serps. You cant say that sites deemed by google as the most relevant are good for the user when they are missing. This is not random. I happens each and every time to affected sites. On the first search site is missing and for all refreshes its back. Normal users do not suddenly decide to refresh just on the off chance that a different site will appear. Google is broken, thats it. It aint good for the user or anybody else.


 8:18 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

i think that it was steveb, in another thread, that was talking about people who were happy with the SERPs, and complaining that they were focusing only on their own SERPs, and claiming that google is broken.

Well, this refresh flux that you're talking about is NOT happening across all areas of Google. Just FYI. It isn't happening in one category that I watch regularly, which is a HUGE category, and about 50 kw's. It's not happening on any of them that I check.

I am seeing changes on a daily or every other day basis, but even with 4 different browsers, and emptying the cache, it's not happening to the SERPs that i see.

I'm in SoCal, so maybe it's a geo-thing? Maybe it's an industry specific thing? I would imagine that, if it has to do with e-commerce sites, then it's probably related to all of the complaining about Amazon et al SERPing well, and those darn knobs getting twisted over at Google.

Google is not broken. Google was never 'fixed'. It would probably induce a lot less stress if people acknowledged the intrinsically organic nature Google, and took some deep breathes. Google didn't become the top SE for having crappy SERPs, and I'm sure that with every tweak, it's getting better, no worse, although it may appear worse temporarily.

Oversteering. We all do it from time to time. Unless you're not pushing the boundaries, and just staying one course.


 8:50 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google IS broken... a whole list of problems is emerging, some of which are crystal clear. Yes, it was SteveB who produced a partial list, but there are a number of other problems as well.

>> Google didn't become the top SE for having crappy SERPs <<

No, but in a growing list of areas they are certainly crappy now.

Yes... the Google fan club will deny it to the end, come what may, but problems there are... the deterioration is there and becoming more and more obvious.

They've taken their eyes off the ball (too much attention to adsense/adwords perhaps, and too little management of the SE techies).


 9:02 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Been in the top ten for two of my keywords for over 2 years, did a search yesterday and now their not even in the top 2000, yet when I use (pages from the UK only) my sites are number 1 and 2. Somethings not right with Google at the moment.

badger uk


 9:08 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

yes, thats another point i made a while back...the seemingly contrasting serps for .com and .co.uk . If everything was going to plan theres no way a site can be deemed a top relevant for .com but not .co.uk when its a Uk site as is the case with more than one of mine.

however having said that this goes back to monday following a months stability. each time this happens it seems to last slightly less longer than the time before and each time the effects are a little less broad than the time before. This suggests google IS broke but gradually on the mend, hopefully. But i dont see how some guys can say google isnt broke because its not broke for ALL searches. If i drop a vase some fragments are bigger than others, but the vase is still broken!


 9:14 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

What happened to Google's desire for better webmaster communications/relations? Just askin'.


 9:36 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think it's a bad thing for lazy surfers like myself. Yesterday I was making sushi for the first time, and wanted to check something on a website i'd read the day before, except, all I remembered about the website is that it was number 3 for term X

url? nope. unique language? nope. I was lucky to remember the term I used to find it.

of course.. I couldn't find it, it wasn't in the top 20 for that term.


 9:55 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record.... this sort of chaos was the prelude to the fall of AV and others. Ask any old timer.

It's quite depressing, because over the years Google has been very kind to me, but now I fear the worst. The casual surfers will notice the difference, and are already doing so. The field is being prepared for a competitor search engine to emerge... and it is Google itself that is preparing it. In my opinion it is madness.


 9:56 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

how come nobody stopped to think that it might be something similar to what ppl used to refer as google dance? Maybe google is in the process of recalculating their entire index and once the calculations are done things will look good again?



 9:57 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)


i mentioned that exact scenerio somewhere in the last week or so... uncanny how so many of us actually do things in such similar patterns ;)


 9:57 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

how come nobody stopped to think that it might be something similar to what ppl used to refer as google dance? Maybe google is in the process of recalculating their entire index and once the calculations are done things will look good again?

How come you didn't stop to think that other people had already stopped and thought?

This has been going on for quite a while now. It's nothing to do with any 'dance'.


 10:11 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

There isn't supposed to be anymore updates, so this is what we get instead.
It's quite interesting to see ones position jumping up and down. It would be nice if the spammers at #1 would change everynow and then.


 10:17 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

omg, run for the hills.

of the millions of page requests google gets every single day, do you think that each of your microcosms represent qualitative statistical data? no. it's like saying that the statistics from a CNN sampling poll of 1200 people ACTUALLY represents the thoughts and feelings of all Americans.

these changes might have been going on for a few months, and i suppose that you're lumping the 'broken' toolbar into the list, but every week or so one problem is replaced by another problem. imho things are getting better, in terms of search quality, and not less so. sometimes it doesn't look like it, then there is a subtle change, and things are better than they were before.

i'm imagining that people who are freaking out are not very well diversified in their search engine strategies, and have too many eggs in one basket. i'm not in a google fan club, and hope that more se's do start taking a share of their searches. seriously. but, the hysterics on this board lately are amazing. you guys are like the hardcore britney spears fans who freak out when she poses semi-nude for the brittish elle magazine. pot/kettle=black.

times change. google is growing. and probably to compensate for the inevitable challenger that will come along for some a swipe at their market share.


 10:41 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey Twilight....

Can you elaborate more on the idea that there aren't any more updates...I was actually hoping to see an update here in the near future.


 4:28 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm a bit amused by all of this, and I'm thinking that all of us (myself included) need to remind ourselves to, well, keep things in perspective!

I'm a Webmaster, too, and in the previous weeks, I've seen the rankings of almost every page of my main site plummet... from largely PR5/6 to white and gray bars. It's maddening, it's confusing, and it's frustrating. It's also been costing me quite a bit in lost revenues :(

But you know what? When I search for something on a Google as a regular user nowadays, I invariably find what I'm looking for... and usually quickly and easily.

Of all the messages in this thread, I think I've read a mere ONE post in which a user complained that Google's results page flux'ing resulted in a problem for him.

For the rest of the "sky is falling, sky is falling!" folks here, have you indeed gotten progressively worse results when you search for stuff on Google, or are you just (understandably) peeved that your site for blue-left-handed-chrome-plated-semi-edible-widgets is no longer ranked where it once was for the keyword "blue widgets"?


 6:09 am on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

"have you indeed gotten progressively worse results when you search for stuff on Google"

yes, depressingly so. I now use several engines besides google for my own searches which i havent had to do for three years!


 1:00 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has anybody noticed? Google's servers are down these days much more often.


 1:17 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has anybody noticed? Google's servers are down these days much more often.

LMAO. That one's the icing on the cake!




 1:23 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

whatever google did this week, all data centers show consistent results now for what I am checking.

Not being able to refind things is a nuisance for the user, but google got really good in terms of freshness. And I suppose that counts most.

I basically get all traffic now via google/yahoo/aol/natscape and a few directories.

I got growing traffic from altavista pre- and during Dominic, but now nothing.

So I suppose users still like google....

Me I would prefer more search engine competition , being so dependent is kind of scary.


 1:48 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

THough I'm happy that freshbot is able to add new sites into the permanent index, I'm quite displeased that it has been almost 2 months since the last dance.

Yea, it's great these new sites are being added, but it's not great that deep pages are not getting refreshed.

So it's Rapid Fire Ranking Changes for the upper level pages, agreed. But the lower level pages are not getting refreshed like only the deepbot can do. Where is the deepbot?!


 2:07 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google is slightly broken at the moment, has quite a few chips need repairing, but some users are looking at the good side.

I would say the reason that rapidfire ranking changes have taken place is simply due to the rolling update, and otherwise from my side, the vase looked near perfect over the past month, however around this Monday some old chips reappeared:

1. one top ranking site appears only with refresh (a joy I had previously only read about here)

2. results before and after refresh are pretty smelly affairs with obvious irrelevance high percentages (up to 50%) for my searches. Before this top ten total irrelevance was at about 10% or so.

I'm hoping for a speedy fix this time around.

See the Google is Stable? type thread as I think these two threads are highly relevant to each other, and GG turned up on the other, so Googleplex is aware of where some of the chips in the vase are.

BTW - Vases? Yup, people have been using broken vases as being like broken searches - if you can only see a bit it doesn't seem broken, but take a look at the big picture and there's quite a few chips and cracks which still affect an awful lot of people.


 2:22 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well they have had some kind of update similar to the way they used to update, before, after every update, traffic and sales would be down for a week or so and then crank back up after freshie did it's thing, and I have been experiencing the same thing all this week since the third, when I noticed a lot of my serps changed. This morning something seems to have happened because a lot of my sites are back where they usually are, like after freshie used to do it's thing, but I'm not seeing any frsh dates. Getting to the point I just look at the numbers that are coming in and not even worrying about checking ranking in google, it's not fun like it used to be, hehe.


 2:33 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm watching literally tens of thousands of keywords at a time and the way they have been bouncing all around lately has been nuts. I'm just taking a wait and see approach since I havent seen any backlink activity at all even amidst all of these ranking surges.



 2:41 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

But you know what? When I search for something on a Google as a regular user nowadays, I invariably find what I'm looking for... and usually quickly and easily.

whereas, I don't have any ranking problems across my networks, but I am experiencing frustration as an end user.

The ranking changes would only be a bother if there weren’t some things going up while others go down, and frankly, what I'm seeing now is pretty much the same as it has been for the past couple of years, except it used to happen all at once, at the end of the month, and stay stable longer. The effects are the same though. Some go up, some go down.

I'm honestly using google less and less as a surfer. I hate not finding something where it was ranked just the other day, or anywhere nearby, when I want to refind something from a new location/computer. I guess I'll have to change my mindset completely to 'find a unique phrase on this page and memorize it', in order to refind.

Hard to complain about not being able to be as lazy as before.. but hey, I'd gotten used to it.


 3:46 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wonder if Google did not know that we searched that way? As this is my only complaint lately. I use Google and then a day or so later I need that site again and I go back to google and use the same phrase. This is no longer reliable as I cannot find the site I just used 24 hours earlier.
My Google traffic is down quite a bit and I am not happy but i am not sure if it is more competition from the over all web or if my site is being unfairly hurt. Back to making content. :)


 4:00 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

As a webmaster of small e-commerce sites I am frustrated by the inconsistency of the SERP for my sites. On the other hand, Google never promised me that they would help me sell anything so what do I have to complain about? I am frustrated, but not complaining.

As for searching, I still find what I need. My full-time job has nothing to do with the Internet but a lot to do with news and content, and I get to what I need using Google very quickly. Sometimes I actually have to think for myself and get down to SERP 15 or 35, but I always get what I want faster than calling a librarian.

I still wish Google would rank all my e-commerce pages #1 so I could make so much money I would not have to use Google for a full-time job, but that is fantasy! I'll always be a wage slave. :-)


 9:44 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah it's a difficult area - given a rolling update one should expect regular, but I think safe to say, small, changes.

However this week has seen what I imagine is actually a proper tweek (though not an update in the traditional sense).

My opinion of this tweek on my searches (4 word but very competetive arena in general) is basically 'minor disaster'.

I think it's actually very difficult for google to see the real effects of these tweeks, so many searches, which do you test?

I think webmasterworld is actually a very valuable forum in this sense - generally (hopefully!) articulate industry professionals who across the broad spectrum of searches are interested in mainly the most competetive arenas (and therefore the areas most difficult for Google to manage re: spam, link farms, Link PR vs. Content value etc etc...

Just my two cents worth (actually pence).


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