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This 180 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 180 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 > >     
March 2007 Google SERP Changes
rawley2




msg:3267766
 2:03 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

"I think some of us are seeing a different variation. I know my site and at least someone else on this thread ranks # 1 if you type in their domain name. Or domain.com. Back actual pages by title, those that used to be in the top 10 SERPS are now about 10 pages back, in the 100+ range. "

This is exactly what I'm seeing. I'm holding many keywords fine but all my big keywords are gone most of the time.

Our site is swinging up and down all day long. Sometimes I search for red widget and we are not on page 1 but we are in the top 4 pages then a search an hour later and we are blasted back to the bottom of the results.

Other keywords seem stuck at the bottom.

As a result our Google traffic is down more than 80%.

We have lost many keywords that we have held #1 on for years. How can we go from #1 to the bottom or not even showing over night?

I have done nothing to deserve this and cant seem to figure out why this happened.

[edited by: tedster at 7:17 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2007]

 

tedster




msg:3276134
 6:30 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

its always been assumed that updates were to purge the serps of these type of sites, so why aren't any of them posting about being purged?

What could they possibly say? "We know our site is complete webspam, but we used to rank anyway."

graeme_p




msg:3276187
 7:36 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

its always been assumed that updates were to purge the serps of these type of sites, so why aren't any of them posting about being purged?

What could they possibly say? "We know our site is complete webspam, but we used to rank anyway."

They do not talk about site content, but they complain anyway. It is hard to know here what users sites are like, because of the forums rules and because so few user profiles have home page links. It is fairly evident on some other forums (Digital Point for example).

[edited by: tedster at 9:22 am (utc) on Mar. 9, 2007]
[edit reason] fix formatting [/edit]

Arkanoid1984




msg:3276460
 12:24 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

1. Have been on-line for several years or longer, well established sites.
2. Ranked high for many site-related keywords and now their pages cannot be found or they rank in the hundreds of pages.
3. Haven't made any recent, major changes to their sites
4. Mom and pop type, a few blogs.
5. Most were either selling a product or a service, a few had adsense but usually as a supplement to their products or service.

heheh, this is the situation of my website, yesterday I had a record low in term of traffic, I had top results for a bunch of keywords, now, what I see in place is a social network reputed for using cloud tags being on top for all my key terms, the irony is that their pages have little or no information on the key terms.

mibrahim




msg:3276471
 12:45 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I can see a totally new set of results for my website as of this morning (7:00 am eastern). My home page for the first time in two years shows at the top of site: , toolbar PR didn't change, traffic came back to end of Jan rates. Hopefully its not transient.

I checked various data centers and it looks like its everywhere.

hagenvontronje




msg:3276558
 2:08 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi,

1. Have been on-line for several years or longer, well established sites.
2. Ranked high for many site-related keywords and now their pages cannot be found or they rank in the hundreds of pages.
3. Haven't made any recent, major changes to their sites
4. Mom and pop type, a few blogs.
5. Most were either selling a product or a service, a few had adsense but usually as a supplement to their products or service

we have the same problem in europe with german, austrian and swiss websites. nobody knows why. the crashing startet on 07.03.2007. the crashed wesites, that i monitore use no black hat seo. i absolutly donīt know, what is the reason for the crash.

cu

Small Website Guy




msg:3276643
 3:41 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow, 2700 unique hits to my blog yesterday, mostly from Google traffic. Before this update my blog seldom saw more than 1000 visits. Google loves my blog all of a sudden.

Unfortunately I'm not making any money out of this. It's a purely noncommercial hobby. Maybe it will make an extra $30/month in adsense revenue. Big deal.

I'm pretty sure that my boost in Google traffic is a clue to what kind of sites Google is favoring with the new update. I sure wish my money-making site doubled in traffic.

mattg3




msg:3276730
 4:39 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

On my sites it looks like a switchback to last years SERPS.

I wonder if they try to recup losses due to the miserable Dollar course?

Surely for a billion dollar company the losses must be immense.

CainIV




msg:3276792
 5:33 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see:

Some DC's with rolledback serps and pagerank
Some DC's with the buried listings for keywords many are suffering from.
A shiny hope set of DC's showing new cached pages and updated results for some sites with rankings there.

Not sure which way this will go...

europeforvisitors




msg:3276800
 5:39 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I wonder if they try to recup losses due to the miserable Dollar course?

What losses? And what evidence to you have to support the notion that currency-exchange rates affect SERPs?

mattg3




msg:3276885
 7:06 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

What losses? And what evidence to you have to support the notion that currency-exchange rates affect SERPs?

Like you, I make guesses .. ;)

When I see more spam pages on .com then on non .com this is a possible scenario. Possible as opposed to 100% true. Since Google gives nearly no information, all comments about it are speculation, hence also yours.

Is google bad no, is it good no, hence we poke around in the big grey area and try to make sense of it.

I don't think it's that unreasonable to recup losses, Google would be silly not to react to the devaluation of the Dollar.

Since Google operates in Dollars all income from non US Dollar streams must decrease.

Maybe I am wrong, it's a _guess_ ..

Martin40




msg:3276923
 7:40 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure that my boost in Google traffic is a clue to what kind of sites Google is favoring with the new update.

What kind is that?

The changes I'm seeing are tragic. On an art related keyword (that I'm not in) two of America's most prominent museums have lost ranking, in favor of Wiki, Ebay and a site that isn't about art.

Let's say the keyword is "abc" and the site that made it to #4 of this high volume keyword is called: "Armenian Banana Company" (there is no such company).
So the site is about bananas and written in Armenian language but ranks
#4 on the HIGHLY competitive "abc" keyword ("abc" is a widget here).

matimer




msg:3277035
 10:02 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

3/7/07 is the day my site died :(

Martin40




msg:3277085
 10:32 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

What losses? And what evidence to you have to support the notion that currency-exchange rates affect SERPs?

Actually the dollar is the Internet's time bomb. If Bush fails to nail Iran (I'm not saying he should succeed), then that might put the dollar over the edge, because Iran will then continue to sell it's oil for Euros, pulling the rug from under the dollar.

If Bush does invade Iran, then at some time the Asian central banks will have to reduce their dollar reserves anyway, so in either case us Adsense publishers are screwed. I'm contemplating a different income scheme.

dexterseo




msg:3277092
 10:40 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

We believe google is testing their local search algorithms to play with 'local keyword' combinations. The results seem to be spotty at best - a search for terms like 'city mortgage' are showing wunderground and other completely irrelevant SERPS to a potential local financial services search. In fact, the irony is that Yahoo! local is dominating the google search results for this type. We wouldn't expect this to continue, since results are poor/off topic and a lot of the relevant juggernauts - lending tree, eloan, etc - have all but disappeared from local search. That's going to be a tough one for google - just because someone searches for a 'mortgage' in 'orlando' doesn't mean that a very orlando result is going to be more relevant than a very mortgage result that has information on orlando.

Has anyone else seen this or have thoughts on the 'local' keyword impact of this latest shakeup?

dickbaker




msg:3277137
 11:30 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

If Google is trying for localized results, it's not working.

A site that's devoted to Arkansas widget stores comes up #1 on some datacenters when searching for "California widget stores."

Another site that has listings for widget stores all over the US has its Indiana widget store page show up in searches for a number of different states' widget stores.

I thought the datacenters were beginning to stablilize, but I'm seeing even weirder results.

dexterseo




msg:3277154
 12:20 am on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

There's a lot going on, and it isn't good for google. They've got people coming after their ad platform and search, and with a ton of cash in the bank and "the smartest people" in technology - their results are ruining people's businesses who come to depend on that traffic and focus on building toward their 'relevancy.' I don't see this happening with Google's competitors and would imagine that many advertisers will be eager to move to a more stable and consist platform, albeit a rapidly changing marketplace.

dexterseo




msg:3277155
 12:22 am on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

- - 3/7/07 is the day my site died :( - -

See what I mean.

europeforvisitors




msg:3277198
 1:39 am on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't see this happening with Google's competitors and would imagine that many advertisers will be eager to move to a more stable and consist platform, albeit a rapidly changing marketplace.

Advertisers will go where their potential customers are.

outland88




msg:3277342
 7:16 am on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing the Google book invasion in my areas now. They've got seven books in the top 50 for one of my major keywords. I couldn't help but smile when they replaced my exact spot. I wondered what happened to that endeavor. Apparently they're really working the serps and other programs to pay for all the projects they have on the burner.

kaizenlog




msg:3277376
 8:25 am on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I feel sorry for you guys. Especially if your income depends on the SERPS.

Regarding my site, it is new (launched Feb 1st) on new domain which as far as I know never existed before.

So I cannot compare my rankings with the past.

Saying, that I am sure it is a temporary thing. Probably the effect of the new peronalization feature.

asiaseo




msg:3277384
 8:38 am on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

We have the problem of English language sites hosted in Asia showing poorly in .com results, the results in regional search such as .sg ( Singapore ) and .hk ( Hong Kong ) were far better.
In the last week the results on .com have remained fairly constant but we have gone for most search phrases from .sg and .hk
So we seem to loose both ways. There are of course plenty of good English language sites hosted in places such as Hong Kong and Singapore etc relative to the region but we just cannot compete against these large sites from elsewhere in the world that seem to get a position just because of some words mentioned somewhere on some page.

All we ask is for a level field.

Strider




msg:3277682
 5:15 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you read microlinx's message on the previous page that pretty much explains it all. I am having pretty much the same situation in 2 separate areas (competitors and my home pages disappearing and then surfacing after ~ 48 hrs with *apparently* renewed anchor weights). This with separate unrelated keywords and separate websites. Internal pages never disappeared but were *everfluxed* to their new positions since the March update started.

[edited by: Strider at 5:16 pm (utc) on Mar. 10, 2007]

zeus




msg:3277684
 5:17 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

somehow it also looks like a turn back to 3 month ago, still I dont like it but it seems it has slowly ended so there is not much to do, then create a new site.

Undead Hunter




msg:3277851
 9:10 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Here's what I'm seeing now:

We're still suppressed somehow on most pages - maybe 1/3 of our highest traffic, 1/3 revenue.

It seems each day, a handful of pages are being "tested". In yesterdays stats, our # 1 page was something I forgot we added, 3 years back, that must have been rotated at or near the # 1 spot. It was about a specific tourist destination, kind of a one-off for us, and I'll bet for a short time we must have ranked right up on the first page for it. When I search for that page and others that were high yesterday, there's no sign of them.

Could it be Google is sorting through these results as such? How could they be accomplishing this? And what it means in the end in terms of what we should do for future pages... I'm at a loss.

Is anyone else seeing anything like this? Rotating older pages into high positions for a short time?

anythinggi




msg:3277893
 9:48 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of my strongest keywords this morning (I had position 2 - under wikipedia) my website just disappeared from the rankings. The page is stil being indexed and when I check < other data centers > - they all still show the #2 placement....but on the live site it's gone. Other terms for that page still come up in their placements to that same page - very strange.

Is it good that < other data centers > still have it in there? I just don't understand.

Any thoughts?

Michael

[edited by: tedster at 9:57 pm (utc) on Mar. 10, 2007]

Web_speed




msg:3277979
 11:26 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

It seems each day, a handful of pages are being "tested".

I very much doubt that....the craziness/inconsistency/randomization of the SERPs has been going on since a little after the launch of the Adwords program.

Forget trying to rationally explain the massive weekly shifts...it is very much intentional and designed to ensure that NO site enjoys (FREE) top ranking for too long...

And they call this crap 'The best search engine on earth'...go figure.

[edited by: Web_speed at 11:32 pm (utc) on Mar. 10, 2007]

dataguy




msg:3278012
 12:09 am on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

For the record, I've got one of those 'legacy' sites which Tedster has referred to from time to time: Old as the hills, always ranked well for many keywords, large and very popular. This site was first hit in August of last year and since then traffic has been off and on (mostly off). I had the privilege of talking face-to-face with a Googler at PubCon / Vegas who told me my site was penalized for "buying links to manipulate PageRank". I've never bought links, and never needed to, but I guess that's beside the point. Before the penalty this site received an average of 300 new backlinks everyday, naturally. Given this fact I obviously wouldn't need to buy links.

Around that time is when MC publicly boasted about how Google could now determine which links were natural and which links were bought links. Two months later we hear that Google can now "fixed" the Google bombing issue, apparently by determining again which links were naturally occurring and which links were placed there for the purpose of manipulating the SERP's.

After witnessing these occurrences, I'd like to suggest what I believe is causing the topsy-turvy search results on Google. I believe it is simply these new algorithms which are proported to be able to determine naturally occurring links from unnaturally occurring links, and penalize pages and sites which exceed some threshold.

We all know that backlinks are the backbone of Google's ranking system, and not all links are equal. When Google calculates PageRank, introducing these new algo's into the mix makes changes that effect the entire Internet as Page A links to Page B, which links to Page C, and eventually links back to Page A. Eventually, every page on the Internet is linked to every other page. Add to this that too much of a particular type of link will backfire and cause a penalty for that page or that entire domain, and again it effects every site on the entire Internet. Calculating the PageRank for every page on the Internet has to at some point become circular, and the final outcome will actually depend on where you start the calculation.

I believe this could explain the huge shifts that many of us webmasters experience with each new update. When you start calculating from one place on the Internet, certain sites benefit, and certain sites pass the threshold and get penalized, and both effect the sites which they link to. Start at a different place, and the same sites might not reach the threshold, and that in turn helps the sites which they link to, but those sites might then be pushed over the threshold.

I think that duplicate content is only an issue when it dilutes PageRank, but it is not the main issue here. Getting rid of duplicate URL's with the same content will help in keeping the PageRank from dilution, but it is not what is causing the day to day roller coaster ride. I believe that this coincides with what the Googlers have been saying.

Anyway.. this is just my view on it, I thought I'd like to submit it to the group to hear what others think of this theory. If I, with my limited understanding, can come up with such a theory, I would think the PhD's could come up with a solution. I still can't imagine the SERP's are in this condition on purpose.

I had 12 hours of good traffic in February, and about 80 hours of good traffic so far in March. When traffic is "on" we require several employees to help manage it. When it is "off" we can't afford employees. Hopefully we'll have a few more "on" days before the end of March.

tedster




msg:3278032
 12:48 am on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe it is simply these new algorithms which are proported to be able to determine naturally occurring links from unnaturally occurring links

I've been thinking along these lines to, at least for some of the present gyrations -- and it may be a lot more than trying to detect paid links. When Googlers start talking publicly about a topic, that often indicates at least one of the of the present areas of focus in Mountain View.

So it caught my attention over the past few weeks when several Googlers started talking about major changes in the way backlinks are weighted and how a domain's link profile gets scored. It does seem to me that domains with the most diverse link profiles seem to enjoy the more stable rankings right now. But domains with predominantly one or two types of backlinks, no matter how big the total number of links, are often wobbling.

ed146




msg:3278035
 12:57 am on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Very interesting concept and according to you, google just got around to my site and did not pass their "tests" as my site disappeared from the serp but still indexed. Furthermore, my site is seeing increased in index pages after the disappearance.

So the question is how do I get out of this black hole...

Dan

Undead Hunter




msg:3278057
 1:50 am on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

We've never bought links. We have a diverse site, so all the links in are different. Only thing I can think of is that some of our page descriptions are on spam sites - as in, someone sets up a site based on pages scraped from high ranking search engine terms, and our sites are listed on that.

We've never done a linking campaign, so very few of our links in are "the same" at all. Maybe 20 or less to the front page.

dickbaker




msg:3278166
 4:45 am on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

My primary site offers advertising for widget stores that have to do with < a broad topic >.

I have tons of incoming links, some reciprocal, but most of them seem to be one-way inbound links. The linking sites are about all manner of < specifics related to my broader topic >. They're closely enough related to my niche that I don't think they're a problem.

I just don't think that's the problem.

Unlike other webmasters here, I haven't taken a huge drop in traffic. My site is very widely diversified in terms of keywords. In a typical month, searchers will find my site using as many as 20,000 different keywords or phrases.

Traffic to my site is down by about 15% from March of last year. However, the traffic from Google is now at 62% of all my visitors. That's up from about 45% from last year.

Where I'm losing traffic is in the search terms such as "[state] widget stores." I've consistently been #1 for "(insert state here) widget stores." Now I'm all over the map.

That's why I keep going back to previous posters ideas about this being some geographic experiment by Google. After all, why would all of my results for "Acme Blue Widgets" stay the same, but my results for "[state] widget stores" be fluctuating hour by hour?

I don't depend upon people searching for "[state] widget stores" for my traffic. The overwhelming majority of my visitors find my site when searching for "Acme XYZ model widget."

However, my sales pitch to the widget stores is that my site ranks #1 for their state for widget stores, so that makes my sales job more difficult. If I tried to explain how people find my site, the store owners would get confused.

But, having said all this, and in previous posts, I wonder if Google isn't trying to give searchers more localized results. If I just do a search for "[state] widget stores" using the datacenter in my area, I'm always #1. If I access another datacenter, perhaps one that serves < a different region of the country >, I get completely different results.

[edited by: tedster at 5:41 am (utc) on Mar. 11, 2007]

This 180 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 180 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 > >
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