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March 2007 Google SERP Changes (part 2)
eschulma




msg:3279784
 7:53 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

Our site is bouncing up and down in the SERPs. One minute its #4, then the next it's vanished...I'm off to check the datacenters, I can't imagine what else would be doing this.

[edited by: tedster at 5:49 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]

 

outland88




msg:3281322
 4:54 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I was missing quite a few pages from my site but stumbled on some of them while doing a search. Google had split two of the directories into separate indexes. Now no other search engine in ten years has ever done this nor do they do now but somehow Google managed too do it. Google is so possessed in pursuing this washed up anomaly of an algo for ranking sites that they no longer can run a search engine.

andrewshim




msg:3281335
 5:31 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

leeparker - Several things here. If your site is just vanishing and then jumping back, with no movement in between, it's likely that you're seeing results from two different data centers.

What if the site is #1 for a competitive phrase for -5 days, then totally missing for a day or two, then back and the cycle repeats? Been that way for six months now for most of my main keyphrases! No changes to site except for small addition of new content's title every 5 days or so.

That's for #1 key phrases. For other keywords, I go missing for a day or two, then come back in the serps (usually higher). It's as though I'm being abducted by Google Aliens to be poked and prodded to check if I'm worthy to be listed in the serps again. Maybe that IS the case - Google takes you out for a while, runs you through the filters and plops you back again if you pass the tests. Does that make sense? I don't know... SEO makes my brain hurt.

[edited by: andrewshim at 5:38 am (utc) on Mar. 14, 2007]

MHes




msg:3281341
 5:36 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

andrewshim - Sounds to me like a lot of you are victims of 950 penalty.

tedster




msg:3281345
 5:43 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I also wonder about the "950". I'd guess that the urls involved may not be vanishing altogether, but instead diving very deep. Many report going to the last few pages (950-1000) and others report more in the 600 area. Take the time to check through the entire SERP.

kidder




msg:3281365
 6:25 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yet another site that is doing the 5 day working week - We should form a club..

I am going to start watching the other players in my vertical to see if they drop at any particular time of the week.

andrewshim




msg:3281367
 6:31 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

nope guys... since seeing this thing happen, I use < a online tool >, get the dc's where I'm missing and check for my site till the end of the results. Not in sight. Totally MIA for a day or two, then back again at #1 or +/- a couple of places.

If if were the 959 penalty, how do I find out if it's affecting me (what is it btw... I sheepishly ask?)

Fortunately, I'm doing Okay for most of my keywords and this seems to happen in a cycle, my other keywords taking turns. Right now, this is happening to my main keyword position. If it follows the cycle, I will be back this time tomorrow... (fingers crossed).

And to add to the "mystery", I also check for other sites in the top five and notice that they too go MIA periodically then back again just like mine.... which led me to my Google Alien abduction theory ;)

As long as the traffic comes, I'm happy, but what if the Google Aliens decide to keep me as a permanent lab specimen... egads!

[edited by: tedster at 2:09 pm (utc) on Mar. 14, 2007]

MHes




msg:3281420
 7:41 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

andrewshim

A signal that you were being hit by 950 was that your site could be found on the last page of a serp, before the "ommitted results" link. Then, sometimes you had to click the "ommited results" and you could find your site at the end of these results. I am suspicious that in many circumstances you now just cannot find your site at all.

The overiding signal is that your site goes from top positions to 'nowhere' or last. Other filters may do this, but 950 is the big one at the moment.

What is 950?
Recent patients lodged by google suggest that a phrase based filter is both possible and being applied. Basically it is the repetition of many different recognised phrases on a page causing google to be suspicious. There is a current thread about the detail. If too many phrases are found, the page is then subject to deeper analysis and you survive or become toast. The fluctuations you see, where you sometimes return for a few days, is probably a result of the algo being turned up or down.

andrewshim




msg:3281475
 9:40 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Meaning, if I have 10 paragraphs and I use my keyword once every paragraph and this keyword is what's tripping the filter, I will go yoyo like what's happening now?

So am I correct to assume that if I use a keyword density tool and find the top three repetive keywords, then reduce their frequency, this will theoretically solve the issue?

MHes




msg:3281561
 11:48 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

andrewshim

No. It's not the repetition of a single phrase, but the use of 'predictive phrases' for that phrase. It's hellishly complicated, you really need to spend a longtime reading all the threads and the patients. Noone can tell you the cure for your site, as each site is unique and the relationship with predictive phrases, N values, links, anchor etc etc all play a part.

zeus




msg:3281563
 11:56 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmm I saw today that my site is fully back for the main keyword and serps also looks good, its as if the good sites are back. :)

mainspot




msg:3281568
 12:17 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

My site start to nose dive on 7th March along with the disappear of my keywords (around 5 keywords) on SERP first place, until today the traffic still discounted around 40%.

The site is already 4 years and keep growing every month for the last couple years, well... until 7th March...

Start from 7th March, I check my keywords everyday and since yesterday some of them are back to 1st SERP page again, but the lower position for some keywords.

What happened exacly @ Google? I think this whole thing might be some kind of accident instead of planned update... :P

zeus




msg:3281574
 12:26 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

mainspot - wait untill all servers have the good results again, maybe you will see all trafic back.

julinho




msg:3281580
 12:37 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google takes you out for a while, runs you through the filters and plops you back again if you pass the tests. Does that make sense?

I have been having the same experience (of #1 pages missing for a few days and coming back).

At least in my case, I know that there are filters in action; when I add &filter=0 to the end of the SERP URL, I see my page back there, at #1.

mainspot




msg:3281604
 1:10 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

mainspot - wait untill all servers have the good results again, maybe you will see all trafic back.

@ Zeus
Hopefully it will ... :)

Luckily, I've prepare from a long time ago for not too depend on SE.
It's turn out to be 'not so bad' way of thinking.

For my traffic down above (40%), the actual referrer from Google was around 85-90% dropped.

Plus, now Yahoo deliver more referrer to my site compare to google.
Previously, Yahoo referrers was only around 10% of Google's.

My simple thought for this is:
My returning visitors are the actual contributors to my page views.
The referrer from SE might be just a 'one page view' type of visitors.

Surprisingly, since 7th March, I started to use Yahoo for my SE in Firefox.
It's turn out to be very good SERP for the keyword we type in. I'm hardly find result from blog or any similiar kind of sites.

andrewshim




msg:3281699
 2:37 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

No. It's not the repetition of a single phrase, but the use of 'predictive phrases' for that phrase. It's hellishly complicated, you really need to spend a longtime reading all the threads and the patients. Noone can tell you the cure for your site, as each site is unique and the relationship with predictive phrases, N values, links, anchor etc etc all play a part.

oh gawd MHes... you've just shattered my blissful ignorance. ;) I repeat... SEO hurts my head...

walrus




msg:3281913
 5:19 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am amazed yet again, the top listings for my main keywords used to show places that actually had the feature searched for.
Now, hotlinking has taken over. This used to be considered bs by many webmasters and i see more and more top ten results dominated by sites that have no actual content, do not act as adirectory of webaddresses but merely sets up thousands of links to files hosted by someone else.
So why bother hosting actual music or movies files, wasting our valuable and expensive serverspace, hey , just hotlink, thats the ticket.
its open season Google....? whats up with that, good grief.

decaff




msg:3281991
 6:35 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

that if I use a keyword density tool

In my opinion...going this route will jeopardize your site..
any tool that claims to know the correct keyword density percentage for any modern search engine is a sure bet to get you busted...because you are writing for the search algo instead of your human visitors....(and this type of calculated keyword driven writing is factored into the algo filters as these programs become even more sophisticated..)

I have never, ever used a keyword density tool...I write for my visitor set (targeted demographic)...in the style that they are used to reading...for their unique subject matter...

All my work survives the inevitable algo tweaks and SERPs fluctuations (of course, some carefully researched and well established link relationships help to support well written "human consumable" content ;-)

kidder




msg:3282247
 10:54 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Today we were back in as normal then I started tracking back my Google traffic only to find we have dropped again - I did some digging and I am now finding my results around the 700 - 800 range. So we seem to go from number 1 to the very end of the results in the blink of an eye... Penalty?

andrewshim




msg:3282303
 12:11 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

me too. like clockwork. except for me, I'm boinging between total oblivion and #1.

zeus




msg:3282308
 12:18 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

As said im also back in serps, but its no up and down, Im steady where I was before this hickup.

CainIV




msg:3282529
 8:10 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe it was tedster talking about a possible implementation of the phrase penalty that might reshufle cards based on a secondary filtering criteria.

It would make sens e that if the system was not perfect, websites that 'should' rank well would pop up in ranks, only then to be hammered back down once the second level of filtering is applied. Could be abug in the mechanism they use to control this, and possibly this is why we see such a wild swing in websites.

vicyankees




msg:3282768
 2:46 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

As of about Monday I started to see traffic from Google decline. And since then tons of terms I used to rank in the top 10 for have dropped out of the top 100. We were going good for about the last 3 weeks thinking we were back but now it's back down again - the good ole google roller coaster.

rubenski




msg:3284380
 1:05 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am now pretty sure Google is using my local 'four seasons a day' weather forecast to determine what the serps look like, although they might also include the changing magnetic properties of the sun in their algo. Still figuring out the exact equation, but I think I'm on to something.

<serious>
Oh, and I just figured out that when searching for 'widget buying' my page that previously ranked first for this search is now totally gone, but when I search for 'widget buyimg' (intentional typo) it ranks first again, while the misspelled word 'buyimg' is nowhere on the page. Funny stuff. I really don't know what to make of this.

And for one of my top keywords I'm ranking first again! I hope more of my top keywords will return at the top in the coming days.
</serious>

wingslevel




msg:3284416
 2:09 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

40% of my orders today came in two one-hour spurts (when traffic was like the old days)

for my serps, the filters are being applied across a broad swath of the datacenters at the same time.

kidder




msg:3284562
 7:45 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is all just too silly now. I've just made some major content adjustments that will reduce repetitive "boiler plate" text. Although this is usefull to my clients I guess I am caving in to try and recover some search results - So much for building the site for users - If I see any recovery from this I will be sure to post it here.

Powdork




msg:3284572
 8:02 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

'widget buyimg' (intentional typo) it ranks first again, while the misspelled word 'buyimg' is nowhere on the page. Funny stuff. I really don't know what to make of this.
Click on Google's cache link for the 'widget buyimg' search and it should say 'these terms only appear in links pointing to the page' or something to that effect (affect?)
rubenski




msg:3284605
 9:53 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Powdork, you are right! Thanks.

Itchym




msg:3284640
 11:27 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think Google should at least 'have the courtesy' to inform us of 'work in progress' and to expect 'changes' in results and whether or not these changes are likely to be temporary or permanent

lol i think your expecting a tad wee too much how long would it take to notify all the webmasters in the world :) and your forgetting the most important thing you have no right to be listed in google at all, just be thankful that you are.

Sir Bert Orchard




msg:3284751
 3:32 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

lol i think your expecting a tad wee too much how long would it take to notify all the webmasters in the world :)

rofl...Who said anything about informing all the webmasters of the world?

Google could easily and quickly inform the 'sufficiently interested' webmasters of any updates etc via their Webmaster Help Centre [google.com...] should they so want to do so.

JoeHouse




msg:3285098
 12:37 am on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes I too has seeing a flux of orders, emails etc....within blocks of hours. There definately a filter which is causing flux of traffic to come and go.

Has been going on for a few weeks now. Really not sure what is going on.

offroadvietnam




msg:3285365
 10:41 am on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I had the same problem. It started on the 6th of March, my site was down to page 6 or 7 and I changed keywords (limited to 25 words) and description tags (limited to 64 characters) and this week most of my important keywords found their way to page 1 or 2 (most). It took me 2 days to edit about 150 page headers. Try and I best of luck to you all.

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