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This 527 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 527 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 18 > >     
Major Google Changes
Significant movements in rankings.

 2:12 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)


It seems that a major google update is under way. I just checked www.google.com with the normal set of keywords that I generally use to monitor any changes and found what I believe is a major update. Now its back to original results. Its kinda on and off.

One of my site had a 50% increase in the number of pages crawled.

I hadn't much chance to check out whether the update spells good news or not, so lets keep our fingers crossed.

<Imaster adds>
The changes are visible on

[edited by: ciml at 2:15 pm (utc) on Dec. 16, 2004]
[edit reason] Addition [/edit]



 7:22 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Interesting... I am seeing some definite changes in the SERPs I watch (though my own site is staying rock solid at the top though which is good).

One weird thing I just saw is that for a highly competitive keyword I am #1 for, I am also seeing a page from my site down at #14.

Wouldn't you expect this to show up as an indented result at #2 below my page at #1? That's why I expect.


 7:22 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think this is a rollback, its showing alot of old titles and products that were gone awhile ago.


 7:42 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing one of my sites moving drastically (down, but I'll try not to make this a "poor me" post) on a wide range of terms, while another is experiencing no change beyond the usual flux.

While the first pages of most keywords I track appear relatively stable (just minor shuffling), there do seem to be a number of new sites appearing on subsequent pages.

A couple curious observations thusfar:

On a "brand widget-type" search with 664,000 results, I'm seeing "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries..." after only 200 results. There are many relevant pages/sites that are indexed but not listed. When I do "show omitted results" the results are littered with duplicate content (as expected). The duplicate content is almost entirely from a single site (which ranks #1) and its many cobranded subdomains.

Another "brand widget-name" seach shows a different phenomenon. Again, many relevant sites have disappeared. But after about the 200th result, they've been replaced exclusively by cloaked redirects from a single source. The cloaker is using many subdomains of 4 or five primary ".info" domains, all redirecting to a single spammy pseudo-search site.

My working theory: there have been changes to the initial algo that determines which pages make it into the results, possibly allowing in more duplicate content, and/or loosening other filters (subdomains seem to be a factor in both cases). The algo that ranks the returned results may have changed also, but perhaps not. The addition of duplicate/spam content, even though it isn't ranking highly, may be effecting the mix of factors considered by the ranking algo. These lowish-ranking sites may be affecting SERPs further up the line, either by pushing them out of the result set altogether or by affecting the criteria used by the ranking algo.

This is, of course, conjecture based on extemely limited information. I plan on riding this out for at least a few days before considering making any changes.


 8:26 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Can't see any changes on those 2 ip's that have been mentioned in this thread - but can at

What do you guys see at - is this different to what your seeing at those others?

Incidentally the site: command on this dc doesn't work.


 8:31 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is bad, but you are only now seeing the results.

For me, with a big site, on 06.12.2004 I had 171.844 visitors. The next day I had 148 000 and now I have 120 000 visitors.

170 000 unique visitors was something normal for me.
I was expecting 200 000 unique visitors/day by the end of the year but today i'm struggling to survive...


 8:33 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

How can you possibly be strugging to survive with 100k+ daily visitors? Time to rethink your business model perhaps?


 8:39 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think this is a rollback, its showing alot of old titles and products that were gone awhile ago

Unlikely. An on target blog entry dated 11/30/04 has made it into the top 20 of my niche.



 8:39 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

not seeing anything, anywhere


 8:42 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0) this is the one that im showing on google.com live. Not sure whats going on with these results, its showing old data.


 8:43 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Damn! I make a living off of 500 visitors a day in some cases.

100K visitors would make me beyond ecstatic.

On topic, I'm seeing changes the past 2 days, doesn't look like a rollback to me though.


 8:44 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

UK_Web_Guy: you're seeing changes on

For a slection of my keywords, the SERPs on that DC look much more like yesterday's results, and don't appear to reflect any of the changes I've noticed elsewhere today.


 9:09 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok, I had to log in to report about what I've noticed. 3 days ago, my visitors tripled. Then yesterday they went down big time. Just the past hour have I noticed a small upsurge.
What was it that happened 2 or 3 days ago that caused the flood of traffic?


 9:21 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)


That's correct, only see any changes on that DC?


 10:03 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Doesn't look like a rolllback.

First glance suggests that they've decreased importance of internal links, and possibly increased the value of external links, among other things.

Spammy sites with lots of networked ROS links are giggling right now.

Also, mega sites (mainly spammy ones) with no main theme but lots of sub sections having to do with anything and everything, all under one roof, are doing well.


 10:06 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I haven't checked individual IPs in a long time, so had to go search for a list of the IP numbers.

I found the new changes on these IPs: (and other CW IPs) (and other DC IPs) (and other VA IPs)

Also: and Don't know DC associated with these.

Can't get to any IPs associated with AB, FI, or VA, so didn't check those.

P.S. I don't any changes on


 10:27 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

No changes for me at any of the data centers. Of course, my site is just six months old. Best position I have is #32 for one of my keywords, with other keywords ranking as low as #247.

Another site I have for which the same keywords apply is on the first page for everything. That site is 2 1/2 years old.


 10:30 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing non-rollback results on the keywords I watch. A site that has been solidly #1 for a long time is down to 5.


 10:33 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been thinking that there was a index rollback for days now.

The main reason is that I noticed a couple of days ago that googlebot had started requesting pages that I 404'd at least 6 months ago.


 10:34 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

On my main keyword I am bouncing from #6 to #86. Is this normal? Am I being penalized? I think that if I would drop a couple of places it would be normal but to drop 80 places seems strange. Is this a dance effect or I am being penalized?


 10:43 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

looks like old fashioned dance to me

sites that have penalties appear in serps for a while
this seems to be happen during a dance until each of the new algo / penalties are applied .
I would not take any notice until about tuesday next week if your traffic is down


 11:01 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Expect to see major updates for the New Year... think the 'Big Three' (Google,Yahoo & MSN) have something up their sleeve.

Perhaps the spam filters/control will be better than we thought?

Guess we'll just have to wait & see.


 11:08 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am still seeing all over the first 10 SEPR sites that have tons of blog spam. What ever they are doing ain't an improvment untill now.


 11:14 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Around september 23rd a site of mine lost half of it's google traffic....Main front page keywords stayed solid at #1 and #2, but the site lost ranking for dozens of smaller keyword combos on sub pages....Today most of those sub pages are back at pre sept 23rd Top #5 positions.


 11:15 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

They updated our site:domain.com count. However it includes a ton of "Supplemental Result" pages.



 11:22 pm on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

>looks like old fashioned dance to me

Yeah it sorta does to me too.

Hard to know if this is it, or if it will evolve over the nex few days.


 12:21 am on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Surely a major update. I actually had tried to start a thread first thing this morning. One of my sites has lost about 30% of it's traffic, while another of my sites has gained more than 20%. I have noticed the new results are really weird and it will probably all sort itself out by the end.

IMO it is an extremely odd time for a major update. It's too late in the Christmas season for bad results to be appearing again. By bad results I mean the ones with dead links. In one set of results I monitor 2 of the top 3 results have links to sites that are no longer there. Two of the results toward the bottom of the page are not relevant. This is what leads me to believe it will all sort itself out by the end of the update.

We'll just have to wait and see.



 12:30 am on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I really do not like Google!...Update or not the same old crap is in the top 10 for competitive keywords. Great content ignored again more spammy link sites racing to the top. The link mavens must be happy.


 12:34 am on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

First glance suggests that they've decreased importance of internal links, and possibly increased the value of external links, among other things.

I would tend to agree with that assessment. Our site that's been hit hard has been coasting up until now on internal link structure and anchor text, with individual internal pages tuned for very specific keywords. We have several thousand organic incoming links, mostly to the home page, mostly with poor anchor text (e.g. the site name). The home page has faired much better today than many of our internal pages, many of which have no external incoming links but had previously ranked very well for their niche keywords.


 12:49 am on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's interesting how different people report signficant changes on different data centres. I can see that different centres have different parts of the update, but my own sites seem to be part of about 3 possible sets of results - what I had, and two different variants of what I might end up with.

I'd expect to find only two sets of results, flipping back and forth.

Is anyone else seeing more than two sets of results - if so do you have a feeling which one will be the final point of convergence?


 12:51 am on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Something strange is happening, I had 650 pages in the index just an hour ago, now down to 82 and they are all pages that I elminated about 2 weeks ago.

I used to have 1200 results on "contains the term" with the website name. Now only showing 270. Not right.

I see all the pages on, number of backlinks is correct here too.

The site is clean so I know this is not a penalty.

I also noticed a rollback on the directory.


 1:03 am on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've got a site that used to be #3 for its keyword. Then I got banned for duplicate content when I accidentally left my development server open to the Internet. Now after nearly a year my site is back in the #3 slot. Except when I clicked on the link I got this error message from Google:

Server Error
The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.

Please try again in a minute or so.

But at least there do seem to be changes afoot.

This 527 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 527 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 18 > >
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