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This 172 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 172 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6]     
February 2007 Google SERP Changes

 6:33 pm on Feb 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

And here it is. 12:00pm CST My site magicly disapeared from Google's earth. 1st page for many majour keywords, now is no where in the first 9,999.

I think disater is about to strike. Good luck to everyone



 7:02 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree, this is not a rollback. This is a tweak or loosening of a filter, penalty, whatever you want to call it.

Unless my changes were spot on...


 7:15 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Shoot, I was hoping for a rollback of about two years. ;-)


 7:31 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

LOL - think of all the new spam that would let through!


 9:13 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

My personal site just dropped from #1 (held for 5 years) to #4 for an important 2 word key phrase.

The top 3 sites listed now are: #1 is a links page with my site and description among the links, #2 is Wikipedia, #3 a geo specific site on a free server with a tilde'd account name.

This has now populated all datacenters I've checked. At least I'm getting a few hits from that #1 site :)


 10:03 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> Tedster

That's correct, now if we are seeing result of a lower quality now than then. It means that spammers are catching up.
Could also means that Google decided to play to adwords/profit game.

I personaly fail to see where the improvements are for the past 6/8 months.
If Google got rid of Google bombings, which is perfectly fine of course. Then they are still gamed by textlink buyers big time in my opinion.
If there are filters against textlink brokerage networks please show me where.

I would be mean I'd say that the purpose for most queries is in the like of:

- bring up 30 to 50% of trusted authorities (ex: wikicancer) or news (come on..no digg posts or 40 words social bookmarking posts anymore!)- shake it up a little every 3/4 days to make it look real.
- mix the rest up and see if it increases adwords revenue (which it surely does, sounds like revenue sharing. Sometimes you win sometimes you loose, not sure what the logic is from the user prospective.
Actually the basic reflex I'd guess is ending up clicking on ads from frustration.
No harm being done, you need information you have the Wiki, you need to buy then you get the ads - nothing in between is rrelevant.

By the way I also see many more foreign websites for long tail keywords, which bothers me a little since I don't read chinese or russian at all.

Google is still not totally irrelevant at all. It is just disapointing and makes me feel suspicious about the real intentions...is this all really for the good of user experience or toatally profit driven?



 3:56 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've only been tracking this for 8 days now but it's not a daily change in SERP's but a momentary one. We've gone from #1, which we have proudly and legitamately held onto for the past 3-1/2 years, to #5.

There is a substantial change in total number of results ranging from 1,530,000; 1,670,000; 1,550,000; 1,730,000; 1,700,000 within minutes of each search. Now, I'm not "pounding" the server; just trying to figure out what's going on. I'm thinking, "Is it the page or is it a Google change?" I know G has picked up on page tweaks and we consistently bounce around on the SERP.

Additionally, the number of Highlighted in blue 'Sponsored Links' varies from 1 to 3.
Whether or not I'm signed into my Google account effects results, even when I've got personal tracking turned off.

Changing browsers also effects results in all of these areas. I'm not the only one who has noticed this right?
One thing that is a consistent is that when our position is not #1, inevitably I know exactly who the website(s) above us are.

You know, I guess I'm just spouting off about an issue that has been picked up on and drilled into the earth but don't you know it feels good sometimes to just get your thoughts out in the open and see where they lead? (rhetorical question)


 4:07 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

seeing no changes on our sites except the ever flux


 4:56 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Noticing changes at my end.

Looks like they have let loose a tad bit better regional filtering part to there algo with what I am seeing and I would say they are aligning a new batch of sites that have in effect paid there dues, so there giving them the accurate score and associated power in this set of results that look to be coming through at the moment.

Something interesting that I have noticed with a site of mine that is being affected by the +950 penalty, is that the majority of the pages on my web site that I have optimized.. without including a city location after the keywords targeted for aparticular page, they all seem to do fine and rank accordingly.

The pages that are getting filtered are all the ones where I have targeted local based keywords eg: keyword phrase city name. I'm pretty sure someone else mentioned something like this before so it's probably not knew.. so here's hoping it's only Google playing around with there regional filtering part of there algo... and crossing fingers that theres still more to come.


 5:49 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is everyone seeing a lot of pages going supplemental?

Yup. That's where Google has dropped [webmasterworld.com] most of the pages of my site.

It is currently at 20% of the equivalent Google referrals in 2006. Not a lot of reward for a year's work.


 6:46 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> followreg

I think that might be correct. I added eminimalls on my website, and noticed traffic drop right away, no adsense.

In my opinion, I think they are using analytics to monitor page views per visit, which is one key pointer to the quality of the search result that visitor found. If the page views per visit increased for sites running adsense, this means more revenue plus users are finding what they want ON adense sites. So the tuning that they would do is to try to maximize the number of page views per visit on sites running adsense.

The discussion we're having here on lower quality serps include both adsense and non-adsense sites. We can confirm this if someone with a website runnin adsense can compare page views per visit this week versus a month ago for visitors coming organic from google.!


 9:01 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

We can confirm this if someone with a website runnin adsense can compare page views per visit this week versus a month ago for visitors coming organic from google.!

Not really, because a lot of things could have changed in a month's time. On a site about New Orleans, for example, Mardi Grass traffic probably would have resulted in more page views per visitor a month ago than today.

Unless you can control the variables, such comparisons are futile.


 9:02 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

OK, so like WOW have things changed since my post this AM, some 4-1/2 hours ago! Total Qty of results, # of sponsored listing, in IE and Fx have leveled out. We're still not #1 on our targeted keywords but at least it appears that after 8 days our position is now consistent.

Now, it's time to analyze. We have, in our humble opinion, the more informative, credible and qualitative site. Why has our position moved downward a spot or two on our targeted keywords?

So, what to do? I'm reminded of the lyrics from a Kenny Rogers song "The Gambler".
Remember in the movie when the Gambler(Kenny Rogers) said,
"If youre gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.
You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when youre sittin at the table.
Therell be time enough for countin when the dealins done."

Change the page (fold'em) or wait(hold'em)? I think patience is a virtue and the cream will always rise to the top.... I think I'll wait 'til all the cards are dealt.

Code Love - ;)


 9:48 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

You are exactly right. I seem to have recovered as well now we will see if it holds.

Lord Henry


 9:49 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is what I find so utterly bizarre

Here I am adding content articles links etc and etc and a site is popping up in the serps I might add only in Google right now with small keywords stuffed in the footer.

Please tell me this isn't the reason I for the life of me figured Google had this figured out but it seems they are so worried on duplicate content that the stupid kid tricks of yesterday are working better now than then...

jeeze Google allot of good sites are getting killed while the dumb kid tricks 3 years ago are working better than ever....

Go figure


 11:02 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have to add some info on the above post I made.

The searches this site is showing up in are big ones so I did some looking
Links in Google 0
Links in yahoo 382
links in msn 82

Folks this is completely against anything Matt has said, I have read, I have studied, nothing adds up other than human intervention..

No Links no articles no nothing but some hidden keywords in the footer..

Would someone like to have a shot at this an ecommerce site with the basic product pages..

Yet Google is putting them in high traffic searches and yahoo and MSN don't have them anywere.

I would have figured the other way around but nope I see it myself.. I wonder what the future does hold for Google...


 11:21 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

You cannot do serious analysis based on the Google link: operator's data. Guaranteed they see all, or almost all, the links that Yahoo does. See

Google link: operator FAQ - it's not like other search engines [webmasterworld.com]

Second, I would also suspect 301 redirects -- and they're not links.


 3:56 am on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see only 2 different sets of results: one for IE one for FF.
Can someone points out which IP's show differents sets?

On IE tonight I though I was gonna p.ke when I see some real stupid site from some guy in my industry coming back on page 1: come one the site is a joke, even links to totally unrelated sites from homepage and links in are also 90% unrelated whatsoever.

How can google rank such site for competitive keywords?
It seems like Google is much less sophisticated than people think...or their latest small algo change (the anti bombing thing, not even sure it works) is just not working at all.

I am just being basic here, taking the hilltop algo to the letter: a site with unrelated backlinks and unrelated outbound link should not rank well for competitive keywords. Period.
If a human review can see that at the first look, apparently the Google algo is still very far from being able to pinpoint such things...which in my opinion makes any SERP's unreliable for the least.

That's not to mention that textlink brokers have a future with Google, it seems to work wonderful! Google fooled like a new comer in the industry. Not good, sorry.(especially IE tonight, but anyway it's really not great for at least 1 month)


 2:41 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

"You cannot do serious analysis based on the Google link: operator's data. Guaranteed they see all, or almost all, the links that Yahoo does. See

Second, I would also suspect 301 redirects -- and they're not links."

Tedister I agree and do not use the Google for checking links but having not one reconized link farfetched to consider the keywords this site is coming up in.

It has not information, no articles, no forum nothing but product pages and hidden text.

It is not doing 301's as I have been watching this site for some time it is an older domain 2001 been penilized before. PR of 3 Home page doesn't pass pr well product pages are a 0.

I have done a serious analysis on this site there is nothing in it that should have it showing in the searches it is in other than

1 age but it has been caught cheating before so this should not be a factor Other than that nothing. It is a cfm site.

The only thing I can see that could be helping the site is the stuffed keywords I know of many many more way better than this one not showing up.

Mine site ranks in these terms, so this isn't why his and not mine thing it is a question of why this one does as it is doing nothing we read study and implement to get there..

I have examined this site very carefully not just on the link count but I ask this question what is this site doing to add relevance.

Tedester I can pm you the URL and by all means take a look I might be missing somthing...


 6:27 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

jeeze Google allot of good sites are getting killed while the dumb kid tricks 3 years ago are working better than ever....

I'm not sure about the dumb kids thing, but I do know that Google's SERPS have, dare I say, looked similar to MSN SERPS in so far as showing a preference towards keyword rich domains. Additionally, the age of a domain seems more important than ever with Google.

I still believe that what you see now is not what you will see in a week or two. I believe Google is "working through" some issues and we will see a more stabilized, relevant and less spam index shortly.


 7:18 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are some gems of information in this forum and I'm hoping to add some insights that will help gain some more clarity on this issue. Our site used to be an authority for a highly competitve keyword phrase (almost 3,000 searches a day according to Overture) for over a year, then struggled with 1-3 spots for about 6 months and then began steady decline in November. We know hover around 10-11 (16-17 on the datacenter monitor).

Our quality score in the eyes of Google (as measured by what though exactly?) is likely the anchor that is keeping us from drifting into -100 territory for our top keyword phrase, but there still has to be something specific negatively affecting that top keyword phrase over our other keywords which have remained steady and in some cases even maintained their "authority" status.

Possible things that would affect one keyword phrase (but not the overlapping/modifying keyword phrases--keyword1 keyword2 keyword 3--associated with it):

1. Backlinks - anchor text using keyword phrase (specifically drop off in these backlinks, lack of natural, continued growth in these backlinks, devaluation of these backlinks for various reasons)...I neglected our backlinks for a couple of months to focus on buidling quality content and improve our user navigation

2. Over-optimization for the affected keyword phrase. It is a HIGHLY searched for phrase so maybe the theories that Google is imposing different over-optimization standards to high-volume keyword searches to combat spam is true. Looking at the non-.gov sites that rank above us, our allintitle:/site: percentage is 38% vs. 93%, 17%, 1%, <1%, and 15%. The 93% site is a major university-sponsored site about our topic with lots of .edu and .gov backlinks, but it is not a .edu itself. site:keyword/site: percentages show a mixed bag. We are high at 92%, the .edu sponsored site also very high at 97%, but the #1 site alos high at 89%. All others are in the 30's. allinanchor:/site: percentages pretty much mirror the previous percentages. So does that make us over-optimized?

3. Over the past 8 months we have added a wordpress blog and a knowledgebase (developed by Interspire--bad customer service experience btw) that use php, whereas most of the rest of our site is HTML and ASP.NET. Since we are on a Windows server, we had some issues with the URL rewriting of the blog URLs to make the search engine friendly. The problem was corrected and the issues it caused seem to have corrected themselves.

4 . I came across a post talking about personalized search and Google possibly even tracking page views by visitors (through the Toolbar I imagine?) to determine quality of site. Would that make it a problem that most people can find what they are looking for on my site by visiting on 2 or 3 pages (home page > product based page > state-based page (product we sell is state-specific). User can also jump directly to the 3 thirdpage from the home page using a product drop down and zip search.

Issues I've observed over the past 4 weeks that have concerned me:

1. site: search returned much lower indexed count (which I later theorized has something to do with sites that use Google sitemaps. I noticed that the indexed page count was capped at 260 pages for a number of my competitors (like my site was capped) and then I just started checking random sites with the site: search and found several instances of the 260 cap. I made the correlation to Google sitemaps because 260 was the same number of pages on my site that Google showed backlinks to....could be the 260 error on both fronts was the effect of a bigger error and not the cause of the error). Repeating search with omitted result would show the correct count and no new supplementals were noted (in fact, supplemental count had dropped).

2. rankings for our top keyword phrase have been on a steady decline since December, but that trend picked up speed in mid January on through today.

3. Our backlink count dropped dramatically from a little over 1,000 down to 650

4. 3 of our high PR, long-term, relevant text-link purchases (that used our major keyword phrase) dropped their text-links or switched to rotating, banner-based advertising within the past 6 weeks


 7:47 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thats a detailed seo view, have you run an analytics and looked at what your traffic does and bounce rates and things like that.

Google seems to be leaning a bit more towards traffic patterns these days. We had a site with 1000 pages that we recently lost some ground in. We looked at the traffic and for the most part, people were only looking at 100 pages or so. So we sized down the site and added the content from the pages we ditched to the ones we were keeping. Google and the visitors loved that, now we bumped to number 1 again.


 9:14 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

The SERPS for my site went nuts starting Feb. 7th, the rankings could not be any better. On Feb 18th our traffic jumped another 10K. After reading everyone else&#8217;s post and looking at my site data. The update could have started early Feb and went full fledge on the 18th.

My other sites are the same. No drop no gain.

< continued here [webmasterworld.com...] >

[edited by: tedster at 5:36 pm (utc) on Feb. 23, 2007]

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