| 12:32 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Google professes that they do not tilt the SERPS to benefit their Adwords or Adsense programs. I, for one, believe that.
Not everyone can have New York Times-like authority but those that do in their respective fields - and Google does in search - can make make the most money simply by being above the fray and uncorruptible in their intent. Their brand is built on authority and anything that detracts from that money-losers.
It's only the lesser newspapers (or search engines or whatever) that feel like they must compromise integrity for profits. And just like at The Times, I think there would be an overpowering institutional resistence within Google to bend to these more crass commercial tweakings to compromise the product.
| 12:36 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I know the minimal changes are different and I see a lot of people saying shift is normal, but we were consistently on page on, top of page 2 tops for the major terms I search, and no we're barely on page 4. I will say I say a small jump upward this evening, maybe they are on their way back to normal, I hope.
| 12:38 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
NOt that I think they did tweak for profits, but technically these guys built it themselves... if they wanted to tweak, they wouldn't need to ask/tell anyone.
| 12:47 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I read here about it being important to be organic, to be an old site, to have many incoming links from other domains. In a very competetive area that I monitor a great share of top 10 for many search terms were taken by 4 month old spam networks with 10000s of doorways, keyword stuffing and dense cross-linking.
They are doing extremely well for several days now , they are in the top 5 for hottest keywords so all your theories seem to be invalid.
| 12:48 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
>> Any thoughts?
My most stable domains at the moment are the older ones. Examples
Well performing domains seem to be older and have trusted directory links (yahoo / dmoz).
Underperforming domains rely on internal anchor text and have been promoted recently into the serps. Age of links, age of page in google archives or age of domain may be an issue?
Internal anchor text is severely diminished for large sites. Internal network links also seem to be diminished. Sitewide links seem to be diminished.
Yes, adsense CPM is up, but thats irrelevant when the number of Ms is down. :)
| 12:48 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|I'm thinking their goal is to strike a balance |
That would certainly make sense. Google know which markets generate the biggest adsense bucks and where the least is made. Therefore you could conclude that they try to filter out spammy/affiliate sites where they make the least money to produce clean relevant results. But in areas where lots of money can be made from adsense they leave it untouched.
That would explain why in some markets you get top 10 results containing merchants selling products direct (with little or no adsesne/affiliate sites in the top 10).
Then in other market like Travel - people have said they are seeing more sites carrying adsense/affiliate stuff and have not been affected by the drop in traffic. Presumably because big buck are being made there.
It would appear to be a smart move on google part to give clean results in some sectors (look ma, no spam) while trying to maximze profits in other sectors.
Any truth to this? Who knows. I dont wanna start sounding like "jerry" in conspiracy theory.
| 12:59 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
How about we drop the irrelevant discussions of motives, profit, "good content", greed etc etc and concentrate on:
1. What, if any, changes did you do to your site in the last few weeks
2. What distinguishes your stricken sites from ones which are unaffected.
3. What precise effects you've seen lately: dropped serps, Googlebot not visiting etc.
Can we just please stop the whining and stay on topic? Pretty please?
| 1:06 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Rick, care you share? :)
| 1:06 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I have noticed a good 10% increase in traffic from Google over the past week. I made minor changes to most pages over a 2 week period before this happened. I doubty this affected my SERP positions. I attributed it to a shift in the SERPs. I have too many pages and keywords to keep track of.
| 1:29 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Shri: I posted a few messages earlier in this thread, here's a recap:
Site A. Aug 5 SERPs drop from page 1 to page 3,4 for across the board terms. Some of these I'd been on an active link campaign for, some were untouched for months. We'd added many links, some sitewide, from related and unrelated sites in the month prior. One competitive term went from pos 3 to 20. A search for our company name finds us on the third page now! (used to be #1)
Since Aug 5 evening Googlebot hasn't visited the site
SERPS are down, hence visitors are down
SERPs have been slowly recovering, but are still off from Aug 5
Site B. Another site which had been adding lots of links the prev 3 weeks was unaffected. This one was in a non-competitive area. Googlebot still visits.
Site C. One other site for which a very few links had been added stopped being crawled. I don't monitor SERPs for this one (blog) so can't say what's up with that
| 1:30 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
A different possibility is that at least in your case, they have tweaked the algo for AdSense and/or for the SERPs in such a way that the results line up better with each other.
Maybe that 10% reduction in traffic was actually a 20% reduction in traffic that was not well suited to the topic of the page, a 10% increase in people that weere extremely well suited, and a 15% increase in targeted ad performance in general.
| 1:46 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
rickbender1940, the site with the AdSense increase is very similar to the sites shri describes, older, trusted links, few reciprocals or questionable links, etc.
As to recent changes, routine maintenance only, fixing broken links, updating a few words on a few pages to keep content current, etc.
The site has never relied on "modern inbound linking" tricks or anchor text. It enjoyed prominence and substantial traffic on most SEs before Google began to dominate the market. It was barely top 100 and unremarkable in Google until Florida. Since Florida it's been solidly top 3, with no significant changes to the site. Surprised me!
diamondgrl, I'm not suggesting Google is manipulating the SERPs. I'm suggesting they are manipulating... something... to improve their bottom line. I'm suggesting those manipulations impact, perhaps even determine the SERPs.
And I've heard all of the "Google is screwing up the SERPs to force people to by AdWords" conspiracy theories. When I see those I just go read elsewhere. Please don't count me among that group! :)
| 1:48 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
BigDave, we're thinking along the same lines I think.
| 2:08 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Dave, I think we agree on the effect, and even the cause. But we are not quite in agreement on the cause behind the cause.
I do not think that adsense revenue enters into the results that generate the natural SERPs at all.
On the other hand, I do not doubt the possibility that knowing what search term sent someone to your site might come into play when it comes to serving up the ads. If they serve up a SERP for "Granny's lye soap" that lists your site, they may decide to serve up ads for that instead of "Ginger's coconut milk moisturizer" for the next few impressions. That way, they make themselves, you and your visitor happier.
And even if they don't do that, it certainly makse sense to keep track of how your page ranks in the popular SERPs and to keep track of how often those terms are entered. Then just do the not so simple math of figuring that in with the data they get from their returns on past ads on that page.
I am fairly certain that the idea of adjusting the SERPs to accomodate adsense revenue is kept off the table.
| 2:37 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
For anyone who was hit very hard with this algo... Have you noticed that any pages that had external links pointing to those pages doing just fine but all your other pages have lost all their traffic?
Again, I'll reiterate that one site that has been hit hard with this algo had many homepage links (as most sites would have because 80% of most links resolve to a homepage) but we were fortunate enough to have many pages linked to that were internal on the site. Those internal pages that had external links have not really suffered but any page that did not have an external link have lost positions heavily.
This has to be a big clue to what is going on although I'm going to assume most sites only have homepage links so this is an exception to the rule that may explain some things.
| 2:45 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Lothar: our most strongly linked page is an inner one. It lost ranking for its terms in a big way. So did the home page
| 2:46 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
< Those internal pages that had external links have not really suffered but any page that did not have an external link have lost positions heavily.
Our case exactly.
| 2:47 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Links are updating!
Looks like an update. My guess is this time PR will update and Googlebot will resume crawling the many sites which have been bot'less for the last 4 days
| 3:12 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
>> new link campaigns
Are we perhaps looking at a dampening system. (Again.. the iocaine reference is influencing my thought process on this.)?
If your PR or link acceleration ( PR or Link Delta / Time ) is greater than a larger sample, your recently accquired links are sandboxed (perhaps even retroactively for 3-6 months?).
| 3:15 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Rick, well spotted. Huge jump in links for a site that has suffered (went from 11K to 16K .. no clue how and why.. looks like a lot of spurious inbounds from inktomi / overture scapers).
<added>Also seeing an amazing improvment in the allinurl:domainname.com display for some older domains</added>
| 3:36 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
good catch. not sure what this means, though.
my large, authoritative, "organic", non-highly keyword-optimized, non-SEO-fad-driven site has suffered a 30% decline in google traffic since last week. but this update shows my home page with a 45% increase in backlinks to more than 10,000 (largely from high-ranked pages within my own site). so i seem to be doing something right as far as pagerank goes but not according to the latest serps.
i hope you're right that things turn around somewhat (at least with regard to me - i'm agnostic as to the larger significance still) but i see no reason not to believe that non-pagerank factors are now more important for google in serps. i'm still not sure what those other factors could be exactly.
| 3:51 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Link update is quite useless. It does not tell anything. Does PR mean a thing? Just now checked Google directory and didn't find the usual side PR bars associates with the sites there.
Anyway, my traffic has remained same as before and I think it could be because of the industry segments it is in. (I am not in travel business.) Almost no reciprocal links.
| 3:55 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
"Lothar: our most strongly linked page is an inner one. It lost ranking for its terms in a big way. So did the home page"
Thanks for that info Rick. That pokes some holes in my theories to some degree. Sharing info is what this place is all about.
| 4:40 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Will Anyone Now Put the Things together and tell all of us what has changed?
I have read many threads and have noticed that different people are saying different things.
But lot many things have come up.
I Must say that >>>
1) The external links are now valued much more than internal links.
2) Googlebot has started to come to my site again and did a fresh crawl which it stopped few days back.
3) I have seen a PR update for many pages of mine (and please don't think that i have noticed this thing wrong, cause i have checked it on toolbar and also thru some site named www.rankwhere.com which tells the Real PR of Page)
I wish others will add more points to this list of Changes that have come up suddenly.
Thanks for sharing all your Opinions.
| 4:57 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Googlebot is on a spree...deep crawling my site. Let's hope the re-arrange the serps in a few days. Anyone else seeing this?
| 5:17 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
A pure algo change doesn't explain people seeing increased traffic from Yahoo and MSN.
Perhaps, by coincidence at around about the same time, one of the widely distributed parasitic toolbars updated itself to divert google toolbar/search traffic elsewhere?
Unfortunately, when you're dealing with the #1, 2 and 4 sites at Alexa, their data won't show anything but very major changes. Plus the Alexa toolbar might not be able to detect another parasitic application lynching traffic.
Add the US holiday season to the above, and maybe the algo change isn't the major cause?
| 6:02 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
for what it's worth, PR has been updated at the google directory, my site was on 8th position yesterday and today 1st, i checked the google cache on some other categories and it seems the update is across the board...
| 6:10 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
"Ole' WarbuckZ is onto something" ...
Not sure if anyone else has recongized this (haven't seen it discussed yet) ...
I have a number of different sites ... Several are multiyear, "Static" sites, which are solely visitor driven ...
In trying to figure out what is currently going on, I did a VERY extensive analysis of all the log files from each site, and something very interesting came to light ...
On several sites, I employ dynamic DNS (as I'm sure that many who have ecommerce sites do) ... On others, I don't ... Strange as it seems that every site that I use dynamic DNS (I use enom, with "A" record changes) has been hit hard by the current Google movements ... But others (in which standard nameservers are used) have remained almost exactly the same ...
Very interested to know if anyone else is seeing the same ...
| 7:04 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|On several sites, I employ dynamic DNS (as I'm sure that many who have ecommerce sites do) |
You are kidding, right? Dynamic DNS for a site that you are depending on for your living?!?
| 8:06 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Just for the record:
I was a little sceptical about the drop in traffic - putting it down to the Summer doldrums. I'm not so sure now.
One of my main sites is down by over 60% on last Monday. On checking the SERPS there has definitely been a downward shift for some of my keywords which have been constant for months.
I think it might be time to hit the panic button!
| 8:53 am on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|Perhaps, by coincidence at around about the same time, one of the widely distributed parasitic toolbars updated itself to divert google toolbar/search traffic elsewhere? |
MSN have just bundled their browser toolbar (more useful everyday) with the latest messenger update, which probably accounts for the increase in msn driven traffic.