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This 205 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 205 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 > >     
January 2007 Google SERP Changes

 2:31 am on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

< Some of this discussion continues from the December thread: [webmasterworld.com...] >

We have noticed some moderate ranking changes in the past 24 hours, which have reverted to previous ranking positions dating back to the middle of December.

Our rankings are secure, so I am not writing this as a complaint, but as the sharing of an obersvation: there is a new shift occuring right now.

In addition, we have also observed a reduction in the number of double listing "authority rankings" for various sites over the past 2 weeks or so. Many of these previous double rankings were indeed redundant, so this removal of some double listings is a perceived good thing in our opinion, at least in the sectors we watch.

Is anyone else having these same sorts of observatiosn these past 24 hours?

[edited by: tedster at 7:25 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2007]



 1:01 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)


Do you have a .uk or a .com site?


 1:01 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

randle - I seem to recall Matt (google) recently saying that suplementals do not mean that a page won't rank or that it is bad news.... odd comment. I suspect that the way they use the supplemental index has changed and it does have very different significance. The fact that pages are being put beneath supplemental has to be a clue that these are being seperated for special treatment.

Why are they put below supplemental? My guess is that enough flags are being raised to suspect that they are written for spiders and not for humans. Heck... if I write a letter to my Mum I think about word density, it's a difficult habit to get out of.


 1:04 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

reseller - Does phD stand for 'phenomenonaly difficult'?


 1:10 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ok. Here is my analysis before hitting the bed ;-)

Google is doing a major cleaning of its main index. Pages that Google see/classify as unworthy/less worthy would be "converted" to supplementals and accordingly indexed in the suppelementals index "Auxiliary Index".

As you see I don't agree with Matt that supplementals are not a bad business ;-)



 1:14 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

So this appears to be some kind of keyword related penalty - is that accurate? If so, are these single words, 2-words, more? Highly competitive, mildly competitive?

In my case I can make some interesting observations surrounding the drop in SERPs. As has been mentioned before, most traffic (but not all is lost.)

Most of my pages target a similar type of keyword: "Brand Line Model". What I've found interesting in the times my site has been impacted by the data refreshes is that it tends to hit the pages on my site that correspond to the top two most popular brands.

Pages about products from the third most popular brand are sometimes not impacted at all and I retain good SERPs, and if they are impacted it is a change from ranking #1 to ranking #4.

Pages about products from the two most popular brands I see my SERPs go from positions 3-10 to somewhere between 100-300.

So it seems in my case that the pages that are about products which are more competitive are suffering more significantly than the products of lesser known brands.

(BTW, I'm not using any manufacturer provided content, it is all internally generated so this isn't likely some sort of dupe filter impacting those pages.)

However, this is all just a trend and it does not follow 100% within my site. It is probably 95% true. For example I have pages on my site which for very, very long tail searches I've still seen cases where the page is sent to the back of the SERPs even though it is not even a remotely competitive search. I also have one or two pages from the most popular brand which survive the data refresh unharmed. They are different pages in each data refresh and I can't think of anything distinctive about them that might yield any clues as to what is going on.


 1:26 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

my site is a .com hosted in the States and relates to a Mexican travel destination, although I'm a Brit myself


 3:16 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)


A few changes observed on my affected site:

1. supplementary results are now listed after site homepage

2. site ranking fully recover in all DCs
Hope the traffics will start flocking in. cant say anything right now until i see the stats.

After 2 years plus of close monitoring on the said site, its google ranking is pretty predictable as the G rollercoaster drop it down and bring it up around the same time. nothing special had been done in the up time as well as the down time. (assuming setting up bunch of redirects on server side is not affecting)

Hmmm, perhaps google has two sets of algo (or just data or filter knob or...): one for the holiday season and one for the normal? wonder how adsense/adwords revenues flick when they switch.


 12:19 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Woohoo Guys, the 2 sites I watch are back as before! The first was hit in the 28th November and the second on the 30 December.

What did I change? Absolutely nothing. Don't touch those sites.

Right now I am of course happy but still ready for the rug to be pulled from under my feet again.

Best of luck guys!


 12:39 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

frakilk... thanks a lot for the update of your sites... you gave us hope :) I need to ask you: where you checking your sites against the datacenter Did you see a sign before you went live again? I am comparing the to the rest, since there is the only dc in which my sites seems to be out of the supplementals.


 12:42 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

seohome - Yes I was. Yesterday the sites reverted to normal site: listing (not supplemental top heavy) on and today everything is back. I don't know if there was a relation between these 2 events.


 1:04 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thatīs really good to know. I am seeing some movement right now, very little but itīs something, and taking note of your news, I believe that today we may all go to sleep in peace.


 2:10 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)


I believe that today we may all go to sleep in peace.

Sleep in peace, seohome. May GOOG bless your soul :-)


 2:13 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)


my site is a .com hosted in the States and relates to a Mexican travel destination, although I'm a Brit myself

I.e a travel related site recovering its previous rankings, right?


 2:28 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yeahh! "reseller" At thins point... all I we can do is laugh (or cry of course) :)


 3:11 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Traffic seems to have started to recover for my site also, for now.


 3:40 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wibfision, please, give us some more details (in my case, I am still waiting)... are you fully out of the supplemental... where you also taking a visit to the datacenter I mentioned one post ago? Thanks in advance.


 3:54 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm thrilled (although I'm approaching this with great trepidation) to see that my site has fully recovered its 'normal' rankings in Google after it tanked on Dec 31. I started noticing changes last night on the google.au and then later on google.co.uk and finally this morning on google.com. Traffic has now returned to normal and referrals are showing for the keyphrases that I would expect.

During the affected period, the site:example.com search produced 2 supplemental pages at the top followed by a random collection of all the rest of the pages at my site (certainly not in the order I would expect, e.g., home page first followed by the most popular pages). Now site:example.com shows no supplementals, my home page first, my all-time most popular page second and my currently most heavily trafficked page third.

In the last week I had several sleepless nights as I kept swinging wildly between two theories:

A) This was a temporary glitch and it would correct itself.

B) My entire site was getting some kind of spam penalty as a result of over-optimizing my most heavily trafficked page.

When my site tanked on Dec 31, the Google cache for my most heavily trafficked page was Dec 25. Now the Google cache for this page is Jan 2.

I always keep detailed notes of all changes I make to my site regarding SEO. This is what I did last week in this order:

1) On my most heavily trafficked page (my suspect page), I made a couple or three minor changes to the text - just enough to make it different but not enough to affect keyword density. (Jan 2)

2) I inserted the <META name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"> tag on the two pages that were showing supplemental and appearing at the very top for my site:example.com search. Actually, I should have done this a long time ago as I never wanted these pages indexed anyway since they're web applications appearing in iframes on other pages. I already have a javascript preventing those pages loading as 'orphans' (i.e., in a non-framed display). (Jan 3)

3) Once again, on my most heavily trafficked page (my suspect page), I had ten links right near the top leading to other 'preview' pages. Each of those ten links had something like 'Click here to preview...' (there's more but I don't want to get too specific as per forum regulations) as the link text. So in effect, Google was seeing 'Click here to preview...' repeated ten times in succession right near the top of my page. I thought collectively this might be mistaken by Google as keyword stuffing but since I am in no way shape or form attempting to rank for any words in that link text then I figured I was safe. However (and admittedly overcome with paranoia and a "I'll try anything to get out of this" mindset) I decided to change all those 'preview' text links to image links instead with empty alt attributes. (Jan 4)

And that's it. And now I'm back.

Of course I could just as easily assert that yesterday I spun around three times fast while saying, "Google, I love you" and that was why my rankings recovered. I don't know. I still find the whole experience a huge mystery (and very nerve wracking) and like somebody else mentioned, I feel like I just won the lottery as a result of my site recovering.


 4:02 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just noticed our new pages are finding their way into the index. Maybe google bot is back from its extended vacation.

We are also noticing a lot of ebay and amazon pages in the top 20 in the serps which we have not seen for a while.


 4:21 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

-I spun around three times fast while saying, "Google, I love you"-

We all did that :) Yours, was a great post, thanks for the detailed experience. Let me remind all... the Supplemental Pages error that took place on february 2006. At the time, Matt Cutts recognised that there were an error at Google.


 4:37 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys,

Exactly 1 month later, my old positions are back agin and the number of visitors semms to reach the normal state, as usual before the 6 th of December.

The bad pages (as described in the 7th and 15th December threads) are completely removed from the cache amd the site: command also looks nice now.

I wish the same positive effects for everybody of the other dropped guys here and would to thank for some helpful statements inside these community.

Have a nice sunday all together.

Regards from Germany



 4:50 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Please for next announces let us know if you made any changes in your pages of recovered sites.


 5:01 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

This morning (sunday) I see 2 of my sites rank move up, and I see someone's site moved into top 10 from nowhere before.


 5:06 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)


Wibfision, please, give us some more details (in my case, I am still waiting)... are you fully out of the supplemental

My site is fully out of supplemental on all datacentres including It first came out of supplemental on the four datacentres mentioned by shogun_ro on page 2 of this thread.

Rankings appear to be back to what they were just before 20th December, but are still lower than at the beginning of December.


 5:08 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I made some minor changes to remove some key words in the anchor text on some of the pages. To be honest, I didn't think I had overdone the anchor text and I doubt that this is why the site has regained its rankings. However, I did feel that I couldn't just sit and do nothing...


 5:55 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

reseller said: I.e a travel related site recovering its previous rankings, right?

Yes, that's correct, all back to normal here.

Good to see many others sites recovering too.


 5:57 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just saw an alien.

Yesterday, in the SERPs my home page showed cache Jan 4.

Today, in the SERPs it shows cache Jan 2, but when I do an "info:" on my site - the cached page is Jan 4, so it is in the sitemaps.

I have never seen this before...


 8:53 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

steve8383, your problem seems to be similar to mine. It looks like the PR of our homepages is penalized, resulting in a drop of around 60 places. I'm theorizing that #1 positions stick, because #1 positions give Google enough user behaviour data, which overrides PR.

One question to steve8383:

Do you use Adsense on your site (that is penalized)?

Just my observation, but it's like Google is purposely taking out top 10 sites one by one, putting them through a series of filters and seeing if they pass the tests. If yes, then they come back stronger... if not, then kaput.

Oh no, not kaput. I'll go bust if it pleases Brin, but not kaput.

I think your theory may hold some water, but the other way around. Maybe the sites that are known winners (flattering myself, here) are shelved, giving the upstarts a chance to show Google how well users like their sites. I thought I had observed that scheme with MSN earlier and recommended it to Google, so if that's what's going on, then I'm shutting the **** up (waiting to see whether that gets my critics started or not).

[edited by: Martin40 at 9:04 pm (utc) on Jan. 7, 2007]


 10:00 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

In addition, we have also observed a reduction in the number of double listing "authority rankings" for various sites over the past 2 weeks or so.

I can't stand this. I hate seeing ONE SITE get 3 or 4 page one and two listings for the same exact same site. Sure it might be "authority" but hey, if your not interested in clicking it's "number one" serps ranking, why would you be interested in seeing the same result in the first second or three pages of results?

It's like saying no, and them saying "but but... it's great!"...

I would rather see more variety in serps, not the same stupid "authority" site hogging all the ideal result ranks...

Just my 2 cents..


 10:10 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

From my 10 sub domains lost November 2nd

2 recovered December 30th

Seems 1 recovered just today in the morning Jannuary 7th.

So I have only continue to wait for the other 7 to recover.


 10:15 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

The merry-go-round continues.


 11:05 pm on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Our site went completely supplemental on Feb 2006, has anyone recovered from this time? I see people recovering but looks to be sites that were hit recently.

This 205 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 205 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 > >
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