Seeing Major Serp Changes
Is it just me or has there been a Yahoo update in the SERPs?
Seems my positions are fluctuating all over the place at the moment.
And, why can't we name Yahoo updates? Yahoo seems to be updating every couple of weeks now and it's spiders won't leave my sites! :>~
|new pages ranking then disappearing? |
My experience is that a "new" page gets some lift from being new information, but that usually fades over time and the page settles in. Not really a sandbox (site-wide) more of a page ranking filter.
I've been keeping track of the latest updates in Yahoo, MSN and Google and there's ONE CRITICAL item I haven't taken into consideration during the past weeks/months.
Lately, MSN and other engines have been taking into account how often Web pages are updated [research.microsoft.com...]
The main pages of my Web sites haven't been updated in a long time.
These main pages give weight to a key phrase that has been slowly loosing positions in Yahoo, MSN and Google.
Hence, while the internal pages have been updated constantly, the texts and photos of the main pages remain pretty much unchanged since many, many months ago.
"How fast does the web change? Does most of the content remain unchanged once it has been authored, or are the documents continuously updated? Do pages change a little or a lot? Is the extent of change correlated to any other property of the page? All of these questions are of interest to those who mine the web, including all the popular search engines, but few studies have been performed to date to answer them."
Eventhough I have corrected many items in the past weeks/months (semiduplicate content, bad links, etc.) it could be wise to consider to throughly update all those main pages with new texts and photos.
Instead of placing your efforts into finding something wrong in Yahoo-MSN-Google, a throughly update of the main pages of your Web sites might be a lot more convenient as a way to restore the rankings of your sites.
As we say in Costa Rica, pura vida!
Zafile..I'll agree that some fresh content might be a good thing. Some change arounds on your main pages but I wouldn't go to far. If the big G smells a redesign..even a hint of it..I believe you are headed to the sandbox. It happened to me. Mine was a fairly big redesign but it's look remeained the same to the viewer. Put me out of the serps in G but Y loved me even more as did msn. I lead the pack in all key phrases there and coming up quick on main keywords.
Perhaps that's how they are identifying all the black-hatters. Step 1 remove all SERP filters. Mark the top 100 results on every search for manual review. Hire an army of reviewers to go through and ban those who are in fact violating TOS.
Just a wild theory but it would probably be pretty effective if done on a regular basis.
Our rankings jumped forward for the 30s to 15 and then back again. It all happened in about a 3 hour span. Then today, we are back to 15.
They still have about 200 or so of my dynamic pages indexed. 100% of our site is .asp code, but we still get decent rankings in MSN & Y. Google, well it's good for nothing more then adwords to us.
Mysite has been indexed 4-5 times more. Ranking well for all pages indexed. It has been a year till this large movement.
It's fantastic to be properly acknowledged by the great old leviathan!
PS After the initial directory listing we are now going to begin supplementary advertising with Yahoo (as we do with Google now out of the sandbox).
I have never had very good rankings on Yahoo, even though I have had good rankings on Google for a long time. A few months ago, I finally hit the same good positions in MSN and Ask as on Google, but Yahoo remained in the pits and didn't even have most of my pages, only about a 10th of them.
For the past several months, Inktomi has been visiting my site every day and crawling about 2/3s of the pages each time. From my understanding, Yahoo owns this bot, no? I noticed that I started getting more visitors from Yahoo but still sucked in their rankings. Now a few days ago I see that - no evil eye - I finally have the same high rankings for my major keywords in Yahoo that I do in the other search engines.
My site is a shop. It's a static site with a separate page for each product, a number of which are unique to my store because either I make them or just no one else carries them. I think this has something to do with having good rankings, at least in my neck of the woods, where a lot of other shops get all their products from the same distributors and so have the same products, same pictures, and even the same copy about the products.
I have never paid Yahoo to be included in anything and have no AdSense on my site. I do update my pages often and constantly tinker with them. I try to add at least a couple new pages a week. Each page has a lot of info I have researched and written about each product - description, history, how the widget can be used, how it has been used historically, and what other widgets it goes well with.
I don't have links from big sites or universities. I do have some links from sites that are authoritative for my customer base, but I doubt search engines would see them that way.
I do use keywords (product names) in file names because otherwise I would never be able to keep straight what product is on what page and because I saw that it does help a little in search engine results. I use the class of products (widget, for example) before the name of the product (blue gizmo) in the file name. I did this originally because I didn't know there was any way to do it otherwise and now it's too entrenched to change it all.
I have also been slowly changing each page to use a two-column table to show the content so that the purchase button is not below the fold but up at the top in the right-hand column. Unlike the other engines, Yahoo was displaying the first line (navigation) and then the content of the second column, which is the product name, price, and ordering button. Not very helpful for searchers. Now in the past few days they are showing these pages as they are shown on the other engines - what is in the first column, i.e., the description of the item. So something about how Yahoo's bot sees the site has greatly changed.
About six months ago I suddenly had number one ranking for one keyword in Yahoo. Two days later, it was back to being buried pages into the results. I don't pretend to understand these things. You can just do the best you can and that's it.
Im still seeing wild fluctuations with the Yahoo search results. Tim did say to be patient for 2 weeks, but im still surprised at the level of changes im seeing.
Our site was doing very well before the update. Initially after the update, traffic jumped about 30%. Yesterday, it went down to almost ZERO. Now im seeing traffic start to climb back up again.
Anyone else seeing your pages gone and than reappearing again like this? Is everyone seeing the major fluctuations im seeing?
I haven't noticed any of my pages gone, just shoved several pages back (which is essentially the same as "gone") and I've seen no changes in them. Still slammed way back.
|Superficial remarks like, Y loves affiliate sites, and Y hates affiliate sites are not only contradictory but do nothing to further the knowledge base........ |
.....The important thing to keep in mind is that this update is not over. Superficial complaints don't help, but meaningful analysis is gold.
<SNIP> While certainly agreed the update is not over (HOPEFULLY not over), remarks/comments can indeed help, plus, it's ALL anyone has. It's always a good thing to spread the word that an SE is screwed up. This can get more word out to the SE people themselves (Yahoo of course in this case) and point out what's screwed up about it. You know someone at Y is bound to be reading this thread, and the more complaints and specifics they see about the complaints, the more likely they will do something about it and fix it and can certainly use this information for this purpose. When specific observations (which you may call "complaints") are posted, this indeed does add to any knowledge base in efforts of remedying the situation. ;)
[edited by: martinibuster at 8:18 pm (utc) on July 24, 2005]
[edit reason] TOS#24. [/edit]
The fact is that our site with previously good listings didnt get that much traffic from Yahoo anyway so its no great loss, but we dont want to see a Google only option at the end of the day do we?.
The new algo is certainly in a mess. You cant produce the results they currently show and claim that they are an improvement and are being adjusted over the next two weeks. Thats a bit like saying "sorry customers but my products a bag of nails at the moment, so it may not be any good to you but within the next couple of weeks we will have adjusted it so that its worth using"
As a business plan what Yahoo are doing is not a good idea is it!.
With regard to whats wrong with it. Where do i start.
A simple search on a major search term which i could give loads of examples of would show the problem by return. In my sector a search on Blue widgets will produce some dire results like the same site listing 50 times in a row blue-widget-area1-domain, blue-widget-area2-domain, blue-widget-area3-domain etc, etc. Some serious black hat pages pointing in to pages. Sites with Short titles and next to no content listing. Authority sites and sites with lots of content not listing.Its a mess frankly.
Its clear to me that providing the site has lots of links to it saying exactly Blue-widgets it will rank. Problem with this method is that quality Widget sites covering red, blue and green widgets wont rank and thats because zillions of spammy doorway sites, chuckaway sites and general rubbish can get listed as blue-widgets in loads of non edited directory sites and out rank the quality.
At the end of the day, google have it right by providing a page rank system. They can say that a site is quality, its established and has lots of links to its pages and by doing this are able to say that a page about blue-widgets on a widget site with a high page rank will be more likely to feature quality than a spammy multi domain site. Currently google dont have the same multi listing junk that Yahoo do as a result.
One last point, as i said earlier, if something isnt broken why fix it?, the results before the change were much better quality, now they are full of some of the worst junk i have ever seen, so it is fair to say that Yahoo are in a mess with this and im glad im not holding shares in them, search engines users will be currently leaving in their droves imo
[edited by: martinibuster at 8:20 pm (utc) on July 24, 2005]
[edit reason] TOS#24 [/edit]
Big movement again in the downward direction. This morning I'm showing only 68 pages in the Yahoo index, down from around 85 earlier. I don't see any pattern to the pages that are still left.
Still old cache dates on all but the home page. I've all but written off Yahoo for the time being.
With this much fluctuation still going on in the serps, im surprised there is still not a flurry of posts. This has to be a huge deal for a lot of people out there.
Im sure most people are just waiting to see how it all shakes out, but it would still be interesting to hear what other people are seeing now with their own sites right now.
To summarize my experience so far:
- Initially saw a 15% increase in the # of INDEXED PAGES (still mildly fluctuating)
- Initially saw a 35% increase in traffic
- Yesterday, saw no change in # of indexed pages, but saw a 95% decrease in traffic
- Last night, still no change in # of indexed pages, but saw an increase of about 20% of traffic and old ranks
- No changes for the past 8 hours or so
All in all, we're still down about 75% in terms of traffic.
Guys, where are you seeing these "cached dates"?
The TOS prevents the kind of specifics Yahoo! needs to respond effectively to your dissatisfaction. The Yahoo! Search Blog [ysearchblog.com] includes firstname.lastname@example.org and invites feedback and you can be as specific as you like. My experience during the last update was that Yahoo! was quite responsive to this feedback channel, but I offered very detailed information and sound reasons why their results were flawed.
|You know someone at Y is bound to be reading this thread |
Frankly, the people who have been in the biz for a while have become accustomed to SEs taking the time they need to deploy an update. Observations made mid-update could be useful to some I suppose, but complaining that this incomplete update is poor amounts to nothing more than venting by unhappy webmasters.
If that's how they want to run their site, that's their business. The last Google update took about a month, then another week for a PR update. It takes time to process the massive amounts of data SEs are managing.
|Thats a bit like saying "sorry customers but my products a bag of nails at the moment, so it may not be any good to you but within the next couple of weeks we will have adjusted it so that its worth using" |
It doesn't bother me if some of you "greenhorns" want to continue whining, I'd prefer you waited 'til you had something to whine about though... ;)
[edited by: martinibuster at 8:21 pm (utc) on July 24, 2005]
From a business point of view how can it be a good idea to change the SERPs overnight to something sub-standard and at the same time say that they will be adjusted over the next two weeks?.
Sorry, Dave but its not about frustration, its about having a quality alternative to Google. Yahoo are not MSN, just starting out as a search engine, they have been around a long time by now they should be producing something of quality.
If the results need a couple more weeks to get right they should have tested them, tested them again and tested them again before changing what they had and put out the finished version when it was ready not before! .
As i said im glad im not an investor because results like these wont keep customers - Fact! - its not a moan, im telling it how it is! just go and look at SERPs, a company as established as Yahoo can do significantly better than this and that Dave is why this update is such a joke.
RichTC - the point is, the update isnt done yet.
Im sure that the engines would update everything overnight if they could. This isn't like rolling out a few changes on a test server and than going live with it all at once. The amount of data they are dealing with is staggering and it takes time to roll it all out across thousands of servers.
Tim asked everyone to be patient for a few weeks. Apparently you can't. I suggest you try - it will be less stressful on you.
Like Dave said, if you dont like the results after its all done, than feel free to let us know why... until than, it really is pointless to complain, dont you think?
It is pointless to complain about the quality until it is done, but it is worse to complain that they are changing things. Even if the results are not as good (when the update is done) it's silly to think they should never do anything. They should try and get better. If they end up doing something they thought was a good idea, but wasn't, live and learn, move on with your business, and strive to do better next time.
I am not seeing much difference in SERPs for my website I am seeing only increase in domain listing, Yahoo directory description in SERP.
Like most of corporate America a lot of it is change for change's sake, gotte keep busy and justify one's h=job and department...and then defend their actions.
What I see are changes for the worst, which doesn't surprise me. Yahoo is no different than any ohter insane large corp.
|Im sure that the engines would update everything overnight if they could. This isn't like rolling out a few changes on a test server and than going live with it all at once. The amount of data they are dealing with is staggering and it takes time to roll it all out across thousands of servers. |
I think the point many have been trying to make (as on the G update thread) is these updates should done ELSEWHERE, with something like a "test userbase" perhaps in-house only, THEN, when they have all the numerous bugs fixed, then and ONLY THEN, should an SE's new index be released to the public and go live. Then any changes seen would still be gradual across various DC's, BUT, the changes would not (or SHOULD NOT) seem senseless as they do now.
|If they end up doing something they thought was a good idea, but wasn't, live and learn, move on with your business, and strive to do better next time. |
I can't determine from that if you're talking about Y, or webmasters. If you are referring to webmasters to "strive to do better next time", you must mean learn/go blackhat and violate Y's TOS next time so you'll rank high in Y SERP's.....since SO FAR that's what they are loving.
|The Yahoo! Search Blog includes email@example.com and invites feedback and you can be as specific as you like. My experience during the last update was that Yahoo! was quite responsive to this feedback channel, but I offered very detailed information and sound reasons why their results were flawed. |
I indicated earlier that I emailed that address and got an AR back saying you won't get any replies. What makes you think no one is providing "very detailed information and sound reasons why their results were flawed"? I certainly did in the email I sent them. I cited case-by-case example of what should not belong in their SERP's, yet is showing at the top.
|Observations made mid-update could be useful to some I suppose, but complaining that this incomplete update is poor amounts to nothing more than venting by unhappy webmasters. |
...It doesn't bother me if some of you "greenhorns" want to continue whining, I'd prefer you waited 'til you had something to whine about though...
That's probably coming from someone who is unaffected. What you call "venting" is information that hopefully Y will see and do something about it, even while an update is going on. When they see that for numerous search phrases their top SERP's are blackhat and non-relevant results, then I would think they would do something about it, like tweak it to be sure this does not happen when they are complete. After the fact, (AFTER an update is completed), it would be to late to offer any information as to their trashy SERP's, so is not NOW the time to do it? If afterward, they'd no doubt say something like "well, we can't do anything about it now since the update is completed, but several months from now we might consider taking that into account...." .....all the while between now and then blackhat and irrelevancy dominates their SERP's and countless thousands of whitehat, decent and legit business owners are trashed. This is why disclosing ANY and ALL observations are important--to prevent this from happening.
Holy shiz when I do a linkdomain: in Yahoo I have new in links but my listings dropped a lot. I was top 10 for several niche terms in Yahoo that were dominated by an SEO that had made like 20-30 domains per product he wanted to sell. I had no links into my site from anyone and I was gaining great listings by virtue of unique content. Then all the sudden this SEO points about 25 domains at me with links to my content on his pages. None of these domains have PR in Google and all of them are crappy generic affiliate sites with affiliate links all over them. Now all my listings are dropping in Yahoo and Google and this guy is laughing all the way to the bank. I wonder what has happened?
A lot of us are seeing that as well. I have about 300 links MORE in that command than that of what I had before this update! It's as though they are penalizing for too many backlinks, or, finding that some of the backlinks are maybe 302 hijacks and that's hurting us or maybe some of the links are from "bad places" and they are penalizing for that.
I am finding the same thing too. Despite the fact I lost 400 pages from the index, I've got several hundred new links.
It's been almost 6 days after the update, and I have still have lost 99% of my site's 300 pages in the index. They haven't even re-appeared temporarily during that time.
Is anyone else in the same situation?
PS My backlinks are still fine.
The major difference I have noticed so far is in my keyword categories, no subpages are being displayed. All the returns are indexes. Even in the check on my domain, none of my subpages or my competitors are listed anymore. I used to return twice in the top five usually index being the upper and then a competitor being next and then my subpage being third and then the competitor again with a subpage. Sometimes my competitor and I would change positions swapping out. Now, the competitor is gone completely. Interesting thing is all their subpages were their manufacturers indexes appearing in the competitors frame. Just thought somebody might be able to deduce something from this info.
As far as losing pages in the index (I assume you mean losing pages where they once were in the Y-SERP's), that's happening to most on this thread. From what I've heard though, what's unusual in your case is that you're also losing backlinks. So, if this is the case, please verify. If so, this could be indicative that increasing backlinks are not having anything to do with losing SERP's, as previously seemed to be the case.
>>>that's happening to most on this thread.
This happens with every update, not just Yahoo's either. Pretty much a mirror of the Google and MSN update threads. What's interesting is to see some of the same complainers in the MSN and Google update threads complaining here, too.
I'll say it again:
It is not helpful to drop in and give us a weather update on your website without some analysis to go with it. Please tell us WHY you think your site isn't doing as well.
If your issue is not just Yahoo, but also with Google, it's a good idea to troubleshoot. It's rarely a coincidence that all the search engines drop a website within the same time frame. It could even be a web server blocking bot requests or any number of other issues that could be affecting site performance.
I'll repeat it once again: It is less than helpful to post a complaint without meaningful analysis of what may have gone wrong. Honesty is of the essence. If you have issues with your backlinks, then say so. But don't just complain, talk about the issues that may be causing your problems. It's when you are honest about the possible reasons that a general picture of what Yahoo is doing can be perceived.
A common perception is that if others are playing it fast and loose with their optimization it must be okay and can't be the reason for failing ranks- well, that's wrong. Be honest and say what you think is causing your issues. Please, don't just complain.
[edited by: martinibuster at 7:27 pm (utc) on July 25, 2005]