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April 2007 Google SERP Changes
madmatt69

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 4:35 am on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

So yesterday I had decent traffic for the first time in a few weeks - today it's the lowest i've ever seen it. Like since launching it 4 years ago.

No clue why...Can't put my finger on it at all.

[edited by: tedster at 5:42 pm (utc) on April 1, 2007]

 

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 5:08 am on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

"1 - 40 of about 2" has been my favorite so far.

April Fool's appears to be a 24/7/365 deal down there at the plex.

lordpercy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 4:40 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Almost a month now of literally Zero G traffic!
As with every year for the past 4 years Google has dropped my main site for exactly 1 month, so I wait with much nervousness for April 6th to see if it comes back, baby come back!

You spend all year writing unique content and hoping you have a valuable resource and every year in spring you get kicked in the knackers. This year I have had a bad reaction to this and had a very lazy month I'm sure that's not what Google really wants.

LP

Martin40

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 5:19 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Brett started a thread about an interview with Eric Schmidt, see [webmasterworld.com...] in which he says:

if Google makes a ranking algorithm change (which changes the order of search results), it can have unintended consequences. And if you're on the losing end of that unintended consequence, that's very real.

Comments, please?

[edited by: tedster at 5:36 pm (utc) on April 1, 2007]
[edit reason] fix link [/edit]

mattg3

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 8:10 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Comments, please?

Google owns the web and there is nothing you can do about it. Happy? ;)

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 8:25 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I was just studying some SERPs that are showing significant movement where there has been little for many many months. Three out of the previous top five have now fallen into the bottom five - and the only factor I can see right now is freshness.

Those three URLs were like fat cats just sitting there and grinnin' forever. They had not been changed in many, many moons - and neither have they showed any relatively current growth in backlinks. The URLs that moved up are much fresher and do show significatn recent backlinks growth.

In the past, Google seemed to forgive relatively unchanging content for certain types of sites, though certainly not for others. Now I'm thinking the algo has shifted, at least a bit.

These falling URLs do not contain e-commerce (though the rest of the domain does) -- they're more of the informational and commentary kind of page for which freshness was not historically much of a factor.

Does this line up with anyone else'e observations?

rawley2

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 8:58 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Does this line up with anyone else'e observations?"

I'm starting to think along these lines. Also I have noticed the site that dropped in late February stopped getting crawled as much about the end of January. (going by webmasters tools) The site sat for about 4 months with little to no changes.

The site still shows a PR7 but when I check in webmasters tools the last 2 months do not show the home page as the page with the highest PR. Add to that it also shows about half the site with no PR. So basically webmasters tools show a different PR situation than the tool bar.

kidder

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 10:24 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Last 4 to 6 weeks we were in and out almost like clockwork, we kept dropping to the back of the results. Thanks to some thread reading here (950 penalty) we went ahead and made some changes in the name of SEO and as it happens within a few days we came back in and stayed in. On the weekend we dropped out again but this time it looked different because we were not even at the end of the SERPS - within hours it corrected and we are back in and "touch wood" we might stay in. For the first time we have been breaking into the top 10 for some results that return 170 million + - The nature of our industry means we have a lot of repitition on our pages so we have worked around this as best we can, this "appears" to have made all of the difference.

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 11:09 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does this line up with anyone else'e observations?

I can't say conclusively, but looking at our industry sector on some benchmark keywords, the introduction of community based sites has been prolific, coupled with sites that have "newer" content.

My gut feel is that the recognition of "freshness" is playing a greater part in Google's algo, where it can.

tflight

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 11:43 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does this line up with anyone else'e observations?

On the surface, yes. However I can also find many examples where this doesn't line-up. That also wouldn't explain how particular pages can be at the top one week, the bottom the next, the top the third week, the bottom the forth week, and the cycle keeps repeating itself with or without any changes to content on those pages.

mattg3

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 12:06 am on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

One site rises the other falls, only difference the PR and the language.

PR5 traffic has increased PR 6 decreased. Wikipedia on top. No changes that would be remarkable really, up and down, yawn.

jscroft

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 2:10 am on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Remember the Long Tail, guys... any keyword you particularly like actually represents only a tiny fraction of your potential traffic. My advice: spend less time worrying about particular keyword rankings and more on pleasing the hell out of the traffic you get.

celgins

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 2:34 am on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does this line up with anyone else'e observations?

Very much so. I was stuck on pages 6,7,8,9 of Google's SERPS for the past few months. Around the middle of March (or sometime before), I jumped to the #1 position on page 2 of the SERPS.

Observations in line with Tedster's comments:
I'd like to think I keep my site material "fresh". Some weeks, I update content every day or two. Other weeks, the updates are less frequent. However, that freshness is still WAY more than those sites that hang around the top 1,2,3 positions on page 1 of the SERPS.

A few of those sites (ones that were permanent fixtures on page 1) have disappeared. Of those, two or three were articles that haven't changed in over a year.

simey

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 3:24 am on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been seeing weird results for a few days.

If I search for (state) plus a certain realty related term, I get [for all results past 200] all subdomains of the SAME SITE.
And the site in question is 404.

reminds me of the subdomain spam problem of last year.

madmatt69

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 6:10 am on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm just at a complete loss.

I've gone through everything since January and really thought it wouldn't be more than a few weeks at most, and certainly didn't expect it to get worse. Down from an average 40 people online at a time to 5.

All whitehat site, updated content daily, etc etc like many others on here. Well linked, no link exchanges or spammy things.

And I'm really not just saying this, because I have other sites that are ranking in top 10 for terms they should most definitely NOT be ranking for.

Whatever they're doing is beyond me! I'm out of ideas.

night707

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 8:43 am on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I still see one site with even 2 never updated urls sitting solidly on Google No1 and No2 since ages now.

My search phrase goes for a "free" service and that site sells just a $xx software with a free trial.

Our content and service is 100% Free, relevant and receives almost daily updates. Also our PR is higher.

Last year we were cut off from G traffic 100% for several months whilst that software seller never drops out.

I truly hope, that Google will receive some tough competition with more relevant results.

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 10:46 am on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have seen low traffic for the last couple of weeks but every key search arguement that I check out still has us in the top 3.

Maybe the public are just getting out more.

mattg3

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 11:11 am on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have seen low traffic for the last couple of weeks but every key search arguement that I check out still has us in the top 3.

Maybe the public are just getting out more.

Spring Easter Holidays in Germany .. let's hope. I can see no immediate ranking difference.

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 12:01 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Down from an average 40 people online at a time to 5.

I'm trying to build up the loyalty in my community to help avoid this exact situation. We (everyone) needs to take advantage of the traffic while you have it and build tools that keep those visitors coming back. So when SERPs crash for you, your site will live on.

I know easier said than done... but start by asking your users what they want... I've spent the last 2 years listening and improving on my site using the recommendations of my users. Hopefully it will help keep my afloat during the down spells...

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 12:29 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

It seems like there is now a monthly churn, google turns up new pages to the top of the serps for a few days to see how they perform then gather some information and then rerank.

I guess this is the new way google does business.

GerBot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 12:37 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

an interesting observation
I have a .co.uk domain on a UK server/IP ranking #1 in Google.com and out of the top 1000 on Google.co.uk where it previously held the #1 spot.
This is just happening for the money 'keyword + keyword' phrase.
anything longer tailed e.g. 'keyword + keyword + foo' all is normal.

no matter how long you play this SEO game you've never really seen it all have you?

castar

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 2:57 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, I am seeing one of our biggest sites and oldest drop in the serps that has had a number one spot for years. We've not done much with it for a very long time with regard to links, although content was updated for freshness monthly. Always felt, if it's not broken, don't need to fix it, right? This time around our backlinks dropped significantly. Wondering too, if one facter is not enough deep backlinks or links to interior pages. Most links were to main page. Today we are seeing increased traffic, nowhere near where it was before, down currently 50% (was down 75% around March 24th). We are still on the first page, but like Tedster said, dropped to the bottom of the page (7th). Is this update over, yet?

rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 3:04 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Freshness seems to be a factor in Web search rankings. A client called me up the other day because searching for their domain name (which always listed the home page first) was now showing a recently added (and entirely un-optimized, with weak linkage) PDF file at the #1 result.

rden17

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 3:16 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I noticed a nice increase in google traffic starting in January. Then March 5th - my traffic from google quadrupled. I'ts like they turned on the traffic machine for me. The whole month of March was the best I've ever experienced with this or any site. It was great.
I use the term was, because April it all stopped. Gone. My traffic has dried up.

I had noticed that my site turned 1 year old on March 4th and on March 5th, my traffic really took off. I thought there must be some kind of 1 year filter in place, to see which sites are in for the long haul and which are just MFA's and dumped after the first year.

Now, I don't know what to think.

Martin40

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 4:09 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does this line up with anyone els+.e'e observations?

I'm sorry, I don't see it and stale content wouldn't produce the -950 penalty.

There is a connection with:

It seems like there is now a monthly churn, google turns up new pages to the top of the serps for a few days to see how they perform then gather some information and then rerank.

There may be an element of that but it still doesn't explain the why authority sites go to -950.

On Google Groups they were speculating that it's an age of links thing. As if Google would favor new links over old links....

With

if Google makes a ranking algorithm change (which changes the order of search results), it can have unintended consequences. And if you're on the losing end of that unintended consequence, that's very real.

Comments, please?

...I was referring to the possibility that Schmidt was referring to the current SERPs weirdness as unintended (in response to the interviewer's suggestion that people perceive Google as too powerful).

300m

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 4:33 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

" The whole month of March was the best I've ever experienced with this or any site. It was great.
I use the term was, because April it all stopped. Gone."

The same exact thing you wrote happend to me the same way last year and this year. Actually March 06 and March 07 nearly mirror each other in traffic. It makes me wonder if there is some kind of March refresh that is more prominent than any other refreshes. I do not think it is an update. I am of the opinion that it is a refresh.

rden17

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 5:04 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

300m

what are you experiencing after march? is it all crappy again until next spring?

FrostyMug

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 5:06 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

my site was dropped completely for a month and came back, that was in the june fiasco of last year. now i'm getting my adsense ecpm cut in half... my strategy - i change one main component from the most current SEO suggestions (for example: more/less alt tags, add/remove description fields, more/less internal/external links, etc) and then wait.

rden17

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 5:25 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I had also been dropped for a month (Dec 06) so when I came back in January, and things continued to improve through February, and finally a huge jump in March, I thought all was finally well, but no such luck.

Been adding good content, quality backlinks, but?

Last Monday I had 3600 visitors, today so far, I haven't even hit 200 and most of that is from yahoo and msn.

300m

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3299297 posted 5:46 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

No, last years was more of a fiasco than this years. For me I think it had more to do with a 301 and google finally understanding that. This past 10 months have been very consistent in traffic. Sometimes it has issues, but nothing like before last March. It does not have to be a finality when a site drops, I spent a lot of time understanding the changes I made, the changes Google makes and try to trend it all. Thats for another thread, but trended data over long time frames makes these kind of situations easier for me to understand. Luckily for me, I have data dating back years.

I wonder how many people that are having issues have done a 301 in the past 6 month or so. I know thats what did it for me last year.

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