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Very Odd - Big Drops in SERPS Today April 26, 06
Big SERP Drops - Odd Fresh Dates

 6:35 pm on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Very Odd - Big Drops in SERPS Today April 26, 06

A site we have has seen decent results for over 2 years, all of a sudden today all SERPS have dropped for us by about 4-10 pages lower all at once.

This is very odd, we have worked very hard to put out decent content and relevant content.

Any reasons for this, is their some sort of weird dance taking place?

We adjusted the page two days ago to make it better for the reader and seems we got slammed very badly for this.

Google fresh date (on serps) shows a date April 24, 06 but when clicking on the "Cached" link on the results page it shows a date of April 18, 06

Curious to what the webmasters think of this out there.



 1:20 am on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

The site: command return an another page that the home page for me, what's going on for you?

Same here... looks like my homepage is lost... before march 30 when I use site:mysite.com I had homepage on first place... now I cant find my homepage :(


 2:18 am on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm going out on a very short limb here and say that everything that we have been suffering from is a major meltdown at google.
I believe that they are NOT deindexing...they just lost the data. Something happened when they instituted Big Daddy and introduced the new spidering system.
Nothing else makes sense. It is nothing we have done and there is not a penalty for anyone. It's all a huge glitch.
Google is melting down. And I can bet you they are seriously scrambling. I would love to be a fly on the wall in their engineering section.


 2:48 am on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes texasville I agree I think, when searching for my site name without the .com I can't find it, but as we are mentioned on c/net directly and Popular Mechanics site and others, what's up?

Damn Google, all a mess.


 8:59 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


Not seeing any improvements yet in Google visitor counts, still down and out about 60-70% in visitors.

Cant find site for its own name minus the .com part, weird; pages do show up but much lower down.



 9:22 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

That is precisely the same symptoms as my site has. Quite embarassing when you dont even rank top for your own company name (instead a slew of crappy automated sites that have scraped content from us do). I could possibly understand this more if our pages had simply disappeared from the index, but they are on there just dozens of pages down the rankings.


 9:36 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yah it is plain dumb Silent_Bob, I mean is this a penalty or a screwup, would like to hear from others on this if possible, pretty please!



 9:37 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm suffering from the exact same thing.

For the name alone even with the .com, it is way down there.

I did notice today that a key phrase it's been in the top 10 for years that tanked to the 50s is now back into the 30s. At least it is a step forward.

What I also notice is that the home page listing does not have a fresh cache date.


 9:53 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just noticed a competitors site which dropped for a few days has come back now (although slightly lower than it was). Can only hope for the same at this point.


 9:54 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

and same thing for me as well... for the past 4 months:

searching for my domain name without the ".com" places me in the 40s - 50s. always used to be #1 (still is at MSN and Y).

anyone has any ideas?


 10:03 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm telling you...google has dropped the ball. Something big happened and they are keeping it a secret. This isn't an update. It's a major malfunction.
It's like someone forgot to throw a switch or threw the wrong one and they are trying to fix it but don't know where to start.
I think they cooked up this new spidering story and renamed their bots to cover. Trying to protect stock prices and trying to save face.


 10:18 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing an old page title for my home page at both and www.google.com, even though the cached page is from April 26.

As far as major changes are concerned, I'm not seeing any for my site. My home page has slipped a tiny bit for a few keyphrases, but it's still #1 for others, and some of my rankings have improved. Plus, my overall Google referrals have held steady or increased slightly since Big Daddy came along.

I'm not suggesting that other sites haven't been affected; I'm merely saying that, for some of us, Big Daddy has been a non-event so far (unlike the mini-update of just over a year ago, when my site and a number of other content sites got whacked badly--apparently because of www-vs-non-www problems).

I do think that it's early days yet for Big Daddy. As Oliver Henniges said in a Supporters Forum post, Google "is moulting, and snd such a process is in most cases accompanied by a period of weakness."


 10:27 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

My site also recently dropped from page 1 to 4, 5, 6 on hundreds of terms......even the obscure non competitive ones. Pages are not gone; however, they all appear to have big demotions. I have not touched the site for the past week so I doubt your change caused it. My site has been around since 2003, DMOZ listing, good PageRank...yada yada.

I do notice that when searching
site:mysite.com ...my index page shows as the second listing from my site, while all my unaffected competitors show their index as the first listing.

Rank 40th with mysite minus the extension


 10:50 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do notice that when searching
site:mysite.com ...my index page shows as the second listing from my site, while all my unaffected competitors show their index as the first listing.

That's interesting, I'm seeing the exact same thing on mine.


 10:58 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

SO what the heck, keep talking, this one is weird, there must be something to this as now others have sim. drops in .com search results when searching their own names.


 11:31 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Major Change in Supplemental Result Handling today:

Over the last 18 to 24 months, I have written many times about how a page can appear as a normal result for search terms that are located on the current version of the page, and as a Supplemental Result when you search for words that were on the previous version of the page (but are no longer on the current version of the page).

In the latter case those "old" words also appear in the snippet too. In both cases (old search and new search) the cache is usually just a few weeks old, so it never shows any of the words associated with the "old search".

As of today, the new search is still linking to the new cache, but the "old search" now brings up a cache that is dated just one or days before the date of the last change of content on the page, and therefore the cache DOES now show the old words from the old content.

This is a new thing today, and Google has NOT worked like that at any time in the last two years or more. So, rather than get rid of old supplemental results, Google now gives them more space on their server, now actually keeping the old cache copy for them alive too.

I was hoping that old indexed data with no matching cached page was going to get deleted from Google's index in their currrent tidy up.

However, what they have chosen to do, is not to delete it, but to now keep an older copy of the cache to go with it. This is addition to keeping a new copy of the cache in the normal index.

I have seen this effect on a large number of pages today. It doesn't happen for all sites, may be not all that data is complete yet?

Google begins to look more and more like archive.org every day.

So,if you alter a page, Google will return that page for the current content but it will also return that page if you search for the previous version of the content. Before today, you could only see a modern copy of the cache. Now, you get to see either a new copy or the old copy depending on exactly what you searched for.


 12:46 am on Apr 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

efore today, you could only see a modern copy of the cache. Now, you get to see either a new copy or the old copy depending on exactly what you searched for.

You also may see an old title or a DMOZ listing's title, and--if the page is a second-level page with a "vanity domain" pointing to it--you may see either the vanity domain or www.mysite.com/subdirectory.


 8:21 am on Apr 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

My PR5 site with 120 backlinks just dropped from pos 11 to pos 45 overnight, last night. We were at pos 3 for over 6 months, then dropped to 7 for 5 months, then 11 for 4 months and now we are on page 4. Can anyone shed any light on this... it's infuriating and frustrating. Thanks.


 5:49 pm on Apr 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sounds familiar. Check your other key words...even the obscure, non-competitive ones. Chances are you have moved to the same position on those as well. I went from about the 10th or 11th serp to 48 overnight. I have crawled back to page 4 at the 33 position on the most important serp. I can live with the drops on some key terms, but the drops on the non-competitive words is puzzling. Not sure if it is a temporary glitch or if my site has somehow angered the great Google.

I am not a big believer in outbounds, so wonder if this is a common trait in the other sites hit?


 6:50 pm on Apr 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have been at #3 or #4 for about three years for one keyword, in 150 million results, but several times per year the page drops to #80 or #200 for just 2 to 3 days and then returns to where it previously was. Don't panic unless it stays down for at least a week.


 4:18 pm on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am watching some very odd stuff today.

I see other competitors now getting yanked down about 2 full serp pages and then coming back 100% Not me yet of course. With major press media mentions we canít beat a sad little wanna be competitor, it's weird.

I swear with all my years as an SEO since 1997, this is corporate PPC manipulation and it makes me VERY mad that the last settlement with Google for PPC fraud went to the lawyers.

I ask all you webmasters out there, how can you let a PPC settlement of like 30 million go ONLY to the lawyers pockets, what the _ is that? Stop being ___es.

Google will rock any well managed site that has good web positions soon with this mess of an algorithm. It's all to fill the pockets of this new PPC machine, report the numbers Google and go hang with Exxon Mobile. Sad when Google went public, sad. I know what others will say here but think it over.



 11:00 pm on May 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

It looks like this is the second time this problem has occured :


...moved up to 17th spot for query mysite.


 12:36 am on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Nothing changing here still, very bad Google, it is so sad that I can not find my site for mysite.com searching, it is sad, a billion dollar company that can not show you your own site for yourself or your customers. Is it dumb... yes!

IS Google answering e-mails ... no.. why.. as always it takes and never gives, I wish everyone would understand this for once. Boycot is best, I say everyone ban the sad robot. .. after all it is sad when Yahoo and MSN have a lead in serps, (I think they have better serps as well by far) I know what others will say but Google has already dropped the ball, time for some fun with MSN and Yahoo. I am glad I have my investments in everyone but Google. I just can't see Google surviving this search game with all they offer that conflicts themselves. Adsense creates junk and more junk results but money for Google (yay google), bad for a website owner period but awesome for the investors (for now - watch out).

Googles blogger good for adds to make Google money, for us just more junk in serps.

I can go on and on.... so fix the damn thing googleplex.

PS - remember that Google posts about e-mails and the such..., it's a scam. It's all for them and never for us, if it is for us show me, as they say "show me". Have they commented on it? Maybe I missed it? I doubt it.

End - ;-)

Eeeeee....more beer, more beer!

No edit - H


 1:39 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

No change for my site either. Now I'm getting slightly worried. Luckily I learned my lesson last time I got burned by google and we rely far less on search engine traffic now than ever, but even so it still is extremely annoying a) to not rank top for your own company name and b) to have spam, scraper sites and new sites all outranking us on the terms we used to be #1 for.

It looks just like being sandboxed as a new site again, which you dont expect after waiting 18 months to come out of it in the first place.


 6:51 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

"like being sandboxed as a new site again, which you dont expect after waiting 18 months to come out of it in the first place"

My site has been around since 03 (Pre-Sandbox) so I doubt that is behind these drops. I emailed my AdWords rep and asked if I also need to bid on myuniquewebsitename seeing as that query is now on page 3 as the 29th result. They were no help so I have gone live with the following AdWord :

Due to this SE Poor Results
Try Here For The Real

...I will email the rep again and see if he likes the AdWord. Maybe they will offer more constructive help?


 7:10 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)



 6:45 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

uclaudius - what does that have to do with anything?
Looks like lots of people have disappeared into thin air, gone from hundreds or thousands of listings to one main page listing or none at all. Many, many people are going "Home page only",

Caches disappearing or backdating over a year. And yes, old strong legit sites dropping in the SERPS from top 5 into the hundreds and beyond.

I'm convinced there is a serious meltdown and what we're seeing is info that can be scraped together to provide, for lack of a better term, a false store front while the store is being re-built, hopefully bigger, better and stronger in the end result, if not, then that will spell disaster for Google.

Google has already admitted to a storage meltdown and some great sites are being affected in the meantime. Just because some sites are moving and yours are holding position doesn't make this a non-event.

I also have pre-sandbox (if there even IS such a thing) sites (yes, content rich sites) that have gone from thousands of listings down to one main page with a backdated cache. many people are in the same position.

If you are holding position, good for you, but don't be surprised in the next hours or days if this changes dramatically.



 7:14 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do notice that when searching
site:mysite.com ...my index page shows as the second listing from my site, while all my unaffected competitors show their index as the first listing.

I Hate to be the bearer of bad news....but this same thing occurred to a very old (launched 1999) and large (25k+ pages) unique content site of mine (PR6) on July 15th of last year, and the site never recovered it's top rankings since (previously had hundreds of top 5 listings in the serps).

When searching using the site:mysite.com command, homepage is always listed 2nd below a (seeming) random internal page. in addition a search for "www.mysite.com" always lists the site on page 4-5.

This is the only site of mine that this problem has ever happened to, and all my other sites have maintaained relatively steady/climbing listings thorugh every other update/algo change/whatever that google has implemented. It appears to simply be some kind of technical glitch in their indexing system, but everything I've tried has not made a bit of difference. Site's been using a non-www to www 301 redirect sicne long before this problem, so that shouldn't be it....hundreds of pages are deep-linked from some strong authority sites (wall street journal, fast company, ny times, usa today, ivillage, among dozens of others) and it has maintained a PR6 throughout this mysterious problem.

The saving grace with this particular site is it was simply my "hobby" site (i.e. labor of love) that wasn;t ever counted into my monthly stable of income producing sites (although, losing $200-$300 a day in adsense income is nothing to sneeze at I suppose), so it's more of a mystery than a "must fix or starve" type of situation.

However...the good news is since traffic was diversified among the engines/inbound links/bookmarks BEFORE the google dabacle, the site is still relatively strong traffic-wise (MSN especially seems to like it these days) and since I've adopted a [in a matrix-like NEO voice] "there is no google" traffic-building strategy amongst my other sites, I've found that google on again/off again traffic patterns can be "leveled out" somewhat to minor spikes/dips as opposed to a feast or famine experience.


 7:35 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebFusion - your description is exactly mine to a tee for the following searches:

"www.mysitename.com" - 4th page position
site:mysite.com - homepage is always listed 2nd below a (seeming) random internal page

Does that site also have the sympton of:

mysitename - 3rd or 4th page

I think I will be okay as I still get traffic from word of mouth, repeat customers, bookmarks, AdWords, MSN and Yahoo. My site is also clean, but this type of drop leads to paranoia. So your hunch is that is some type of long term technical glitch and not a penalty of some sort?


 7:43 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

So your hunch is that is some type of long term technical glitch and not a penalty of some sort?

In my case, that can really be the only answer. The site in question has never participated in link exchanges, has never used any duplicate content (every single page is written by our authors/users and each has unique titles/meta info), and (aside from standard html practices) has never been "SEO'd". The site has always been updated daily with fresh content, and has multiple links from every conceivable authority site (to include DMOZ). Also, every page from the site appears in teh index (although ranked generally 4-5 pages back from where it used to).

Having said that, I have noticed a pretty large uptick in the new mozilla-flavored googlebot activity over the last week or so, so maybe they are trying to finaslly sort this glitch out (but I'm not holding my breath).


 8:24 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Webfusion - where does you site appear for a search for your domain name minus the extension?


I have spent a significant amount on AdWords over the years so at least of have the satisfaction of rattling the cage over there demanding they forward the problem to search. I have paid way too much for a canned response.


 8:31 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)


In my professional opinion, I really feel they could CARE LESS over at the plex!

They are focues on Investors and only investors. Remember the 30 million lawsuit went to the PPC case lawyers only!

I feel the pain.

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