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This 105 message thread spans 4 pages: 105 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >     
February 2007 Google SERP Changes - part 2

 10:59 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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


You definitely bring up a good point. Up until very recently our site was a bit of mess navigation wise and it was hard for users to find a lot of the information. That has been corrected as of last week, so it will be a few weeks before I can see how the traffic patterns change, but yes, right now the percentage of our more than 1200 pages that are visited regularly is very small. As a long term strategy, we've always gone with 'build quality content' so we continue to add pages with valuable information pertaining to our industry.

Even though most visitors stay confined to a small portion of the site, shouldn't the other unique content be left as is? It fills smaller niches that pertain to more focused user groups. Our industry is very divided by state so pretty much every informational section we add, has to have state by state breakdowns so it's hard to combine this info into fewer pages.

Also, other than immediate backout rates, can Google track user's paths and time spent on a site if the user doesn't have the Google Toolbar installed? Doesn't this bias rankings towards the behavior of users that have the toolbar installed?

Thanks for giving me something else to consider, it is much appreciated.

[edited by: tedster at 5:31 pm (utc) on Feb. 23, 2007]



 9:24 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

okay the last few days maybe over a week ten days google has killed my traffic.

it still eats like crazy (googlebot) but hardly any traffic from it.

what is happeneing? i haven't done nothing.

[edited by: tedster at 12:22 am (utc) on Feb. 23, 2007]
[edit reason] post moved from another location [/edit]


 1:04 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am seeing some unusual changes in rankings for a few of our main keyword searches - Is there some type of bigger than normal update under way?

[edited by: tedster at 1:09 am (utc) on Feb. 23, 2007]
[edit reason] moved post from another location [/edit]


 2:08 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google can see traffic in the following ways:

Tool Bar
Queries where the back button is clicked back to google

Besides that, google does not have much visibility. If you are getting good traffic to pages where google can not see the traffic, that is where you might want to consider adding google analytics to the entire site.


 5:41 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Also my site is dropping continiously from December
lost back links
indexed pages decreased to 350 from 2000
page rank has remain the same
every day site falls down some positions
what is happening?
any sugestions to improve it?


 6:31 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)


Can you tell me what this means?

"Looking at the non-.gov sites that rank above us, our allintitle:/site: percentage is 38% vs. 93%, 17%, 1%, <1%, and 15%."



 10:20 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have done a lot of research about Google Search for several months. Clearly, Google is broken, and many problem cited here are related to the promotion of AdWords sponsored links by pushing down natural links with good content. I do not understand why so few of you dare to criticize Google openly.


 12:04 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think the more ways we can be less dependent on Google the better off we will be.....

Google is a great success, but no one should be dependent on one search engine for your total success.

I know some of the largest sites out there in my websites subject arena gets all 90% of there business by referrals (links), and 10% comes from Google.
They do 280,000 plus hits a day.

its hard work to get traffic elsewhere but its much more stable!


 12:33 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

The more I look at it the more I think that they can't control their algo anymore.
It's really spam world on SERP's currently, the less quality backlinks the better rankings.
In many areas I monitor it is a neverending flux, which tells me either they play the adwords game or they just have it so wrong that nothing makes sense.

Back a few months ago I did not see them going down in quality as much as they are for the past few weeks.

I still don't understand why our lowest quality sites, never updated, with almost 0% related backlinks but almost 100% identical are getting on top in very competitive areas.

Once again I'm thinking: my site looks like s..t so Google determines I have no cash to spend on adwords so it ranks high...
Am I making (ad)sense somehow with this?

I can't believe that they stick to it, it looks like nothing works up there, too busy competing in the software industry maybe...

Seriously, in fact I believe that Google has gathered a lot of info through webmaster central/Analytics/Gmail.
Now they are using it, but they don't know how to do that very well.

Google understood the internet like no other, but this doesn't mean that they understand users at all. At least not with the info they currently have.
If it goes on like this I feel that low end spam is about to become the best practice. A different type of spam, such as faking users behavior to put down competitors and increase your own sites quality factors. I don't don't think that Google can ever pull out an algorithm that can prevent that very well.
They never could prevent sophisticated click or impression frauds..remember.

Veterans don't seem to be worried here, but it's been 3 years that I learn and monitor Google from webmasterworld and it is the 1st time I see so little quality sites on SERPS, low end SEO tricks winning the game, going worst each week.

....future will tell.


 1:01 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I do not understand why so few of you dare to criticize Google openly.

A backbone appears to be a rare quality with Webmasters. Possibly has atrophied from so much time sat in sculptured computer chairs.

However, it is also a feature of the stunning silence from G that greets the loud cries of pain at all these twists and turns.

Personally, I've come to thing of the 'Plex as an asylum. "Hey, look what happens when I twist *this* knob".

Certainly no way to run a conventional business.


 1:16 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Our site has over 90k URLs (all original content). We've always been on SERPS page one for the majority of relevant queries.

Dec 12-17 google dropped us right down (still in the index) then came back up . On 28th Jan we went down again and stayed down. Having looked at this my theory is the Googlebomb tweak that happened on the 26th Jan.

How does Google stop the bombers? In two ways (I think):
1. Check to see if theanchor text is reflected on the destination site e.g. 2miserable failure" was not found on the White House
2. See if multiple instances of point 1 above appear in a short timeframe, thereby suggestive of a concerted campaign.

We've always ranked highly for search terms "[product name] review". Siteas that link to us would use the word review after the product name in their anchor text. However, on our site, we did not use "[product name] review" but just "productname" - omitted review. As part of the Googlebomb update, is their merit in theory that because of the mismatch between anchor text and landing page text, we got demoted?

(We have added the word review to product page snow after the product name).

If this theory does have merit, then other sites currently suffering may also find a similar mismatch. Thoughts?


 2:17 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with woodsome, the anti-bombing thing was the "miserable failure" in fact.

No more Google bombing but a bunch of irrelevant sites proudly fooling Google with keywords in domain names, page title, almost 100% identical backlinks.

Hey wait a minute...keyword rich domain names, spam page titles, identical backlinks....what does a human think of that? ...I personally think low quality indeed. Currently Google finds it relevant, fine...well it's not, period.

Makes me think of the current Yahoo algorithm, which I never considered smart whatsoever. It's really "not clean" at all.

What is the point of building such complex algorithm if it ends up with simplified factors.
I don't think that Google should move too far away from the core Hilltop algorithm, they are not ready, the internet is not ready.
Spammers and textlink buyers however are and currently succeed.

I finally wonder if the everflux is on purpose or is it that they can't find the right balance after all?
Just rmeove google bombs manually for now and rollback until you have better at the plex guys, IMO.


 3:42 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

whether its admitted by Google or not.....
I believe those who participate in adwords get higher ranking!

I spent 90% of all my adsence money back on adwords!

and Its working out for me Im getting the traffic, Im increasing in 1/3 in growth weekly, with about 25% in return visitors and all the rest new hits.

Cant help it, but I believe advertising is the key!

Look at all the big sites out there and how much they addvertise.

well anyway I just wanted to add my Ad sense!he he

Have A Great Day!


 3:50 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just wanted to add....
I launched my latest site 2 1/2 weeks ago.
in the first 2-3 days was doing 100-200 hits a day....
after adding on ad words, I'm now getting about 3,000 hits a day.
My goal is to have about 300,000 hits a day in 6 months.

After that, I should be on to my next money maker site.

In case some of you are wondering, Im running a graphics hosting type site, haveing about 250 index pages of graphics and content.
not a spam site!
:) :)


 4:17 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Adsense does not affect your ranking. We have done AB testing, and there is 0 effect, either up or down, whether you have an adsense campaign running or not.

It'd be a nice easy answer if it was true, and trust me, I wish it was because then the solution to great ranking would be easy!

Alas, it is not to be.


 4:20 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I was talking about ad words.....not absence!


 4:33 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe participating in AdWords *does* give you a bit of a boost, but not in any sinister backroom way.

If you run Adwords ads, and they are delivered on a ranking page displaying AdWords, and are scraped by an MFA builder, you build links, by default - with your title text. And those scrapers that use SERPs, well there you go again.

I have seen literally thousands of inbound links generated from scraper sites for high ranking ADwords ads. Most of these links are counted using Toolbar backlink, in addition to other methods.
I do not believe this is a strong enough effect to deliberately use, but it think it does exist.


 4:47 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good stuff bigjohnt!

Undead Hunter

 4:47 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

We're down again as well. Somehow further down again than we were on January 20th. Then revenue was cut in half. Now it looks even worse, with revenue projecting to be 1/10th of normal.

Once again, when I search for my own name, which is in the title of one of our pages, I find nothing. When I search for my site name, I am still # 1 for that. No lost links at all. Just some kind of penalty knocking us into oblivion. Last time, in Jan. it seems to knock us about 10 pages down. This time, worse.

In Jan. we were out for 11 days. Literally back on Feb. 1, and its been the best month in our 3+ year history with AdSense. As of yesterday we had tied our best month ever.

Not much I can do, I guess, other than hope they release this penalty again in a week or two.

We had been stable since the Bourbon update. Sure, losing some pages here and there, gaining others. But this crazy. I guess the best I can say is that at least we had a good month up 'til now.


 5:00 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Since most of you are saying that AdWords help your position, may you could add a different website for each keyword in AdWords adds.

Comments Please.

Lord Henry


 5:00 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

1/10th here as well. I am at 90% of normal traffic.
It came back for 6 happy days this month, only to be cut off again on morning of Feb 15th.

Now I am beat out by parked pages, and other similar junk. I wish I knew if I was being penalized for something or what. I've gone over my pages again and again to try to find something I might have missed.

I am more and more convinced that the "google bomb fix" update is inadvertently hurting many good web sites. They made such a publicity stunt out of it being "fixed" that they cannot go back now even if they wanted to do so. (not without looking bad.)


 5:02 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I do not understand why so few of you dare to criticize Google openly.

I'd say there is enough criticism going on, on this forum and for Google it may be a good way to stay in touch with the grass roots. Of course the ranking concerns of a bunch of webmasters can't be an issue for them. But neither should webmasters be disallowed to vent their frustration and do some polite Google bashing.

Adsense does not affect your ranking. We have done AB testing, and there is 0 effect, either up or down, whether you have an adsense campaign running or not.

Cool, I've done some research myself and on some key-phrases the Adsense hypothesis works perfectly, but on other key-phrases it doesn't quite add up. The latter may be due to some sites having started to use Adsense quite recently (like 6 months ago).
Pre-2000 sites wouldn't be affected anyway.
So for me the question is: are there any sites created after 2000, that have been using Adsense for at least a year (and not using Adwords) and haven't had ranking trouble on Google recently? With ranking trouble I don't mean new sites not being able to get in, but having ranked well for a long time and then dropped considerably.

Getting ahead of the debate: it would benefit Google to make the top5 of a key-phrase Adsense-free. Adwords users would see a drop in traffic, increasing their bids.

Undead Hunter

 5:31 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)


How "optimized" are your pages? For us, I have the keyword phrase in the Title tag, page name: keyword-phrase.html, and in a brief summary on the side. Article site primarily, the articles themselves don't force it at all. 1 or 2 mentions maybe. Meta-tag descrip. will have it, too. Incoming links are all natural, from all over.

Only thing is we're a generalist site. A lot of reused content, not all of it very well publicized on other sites, though. We were doing great, though, for a long time, so...? PageRank 5. 10 year old domain, sat with archives 'til 3 or 4 years back, adding regular (daily, weekly or monthly) content since.


It's clearly a penalty though. This time if I search for the exact title of the article with quotes - "keyword phrase here" - it comes up. If I add our domain name to the search - keyword phrase ourdomain - that also brings it up. But otherwise we're buried.

I did find the page w/ my name on it - 11 pages in. Our most popular article is buried 17 pages in.

[edited by: tedster at 5:35 pm (utc) on Feb. 23, 2007]


 5:32 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well that was fun! I made it back to my normal serp positions from the last few years over the last two weeks after being in the 950's.

And sure enough today, back in the dumpster.

Just when you think Hey! Maybe google isn't retarded.

Update for everyone - I haven't really done any major changes to my site before during or after these fluctuations. Fixed a couple of html errors, removed some old pages, combined a few similar sections of the site.

But obviously, it doesn't seem to matter. I think all we can do is wait it out.


 5:41 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)


Personally, I've come to think of the 'Plex as an asylum. "Hey, look what happens when I twist *this* knob".

That has to be the best quote on this thread by a mile!

Undead Hunter

 5:54 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)


I just checked the Jan. thread on this, and you were seeing the same results as I was then. So did you come back in the first week of Feb.?

I don't know. All I know is its worse this time than in January. We made at least 1/3-1/2 revenue then. I'll be lucky if I get out today with enough to buy supper at McDonald's. AdSense CPM has dropped tremendously this time - last time it actually peaked up a bit. It's down to 1/4 to 1/3rd of average.

I'm curious, do other people who are knocked out have 100% original content? That would be our Achille's Heel, I think.


 6:16 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

So for me the question is: are there any sites created after 2000, that have been using Adsense for at least a year (and not using Adwords) and haven't had ranking trouble on Google recently?

I have a couple.


 6:43 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey undead - exactly.

Traffic bounced back a few days into February, for a week it was back to 100% and then down to about 85% but I wasn't complaining.

This morning, it's back down to like 1/10th. If that.

Pretty lame...Time to find a new business.

btw - 100% original content except for about 5 pages out of the thousands.

Undead Hunter

 7:06 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Matt: New business. I agree wholeheartedly.

I'm both relieved and dissappointed to hear that the majority of your content was 100% original. Relieved because hopefully that's not our problem and dissappointed because I was hoping that was "the answer"; meaning I could toss a few years of work here but at least if I made a new site it would be "safe".

Do you think backlinks are the issue here? We're a fairly general site, so we have a lot of links but they are all over the map? I assume if your content is original, probably a lot of yours are on the topic?


 7:07 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been advertising on AdWords for a year now and my site was hit with the "end of results" penalty in late Dec. and hasn't recovered. So much for that theory!

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