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Is Universal Search making my traffic fall day after day?
myk02




msg:3351510
 4:58 am on May 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Since Google has launched new "Universal Search" system, my ranking is continuously getting down day by day and there is a drastic reduction in my Google traffic.

In last 16 days I have loosed up to 50% visitors from Google. Do you think new search system is the main factor?

 

europeforvisitors




msg:3352123
 2:10 am on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

In last 16 days I have loosed up to 50% visitors from Google. Do you think new search system is the main factor?

Probably not, unless you had a whole bunch of terms that ranked near the bottom of the first page before Google Universal Search came along.

myk02




msg:3352169
 3:53 am on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your feedback.

I wanna share one more thing that day before since down fall in my daily visitors started, there was some technical error occured in my server, which create problem for Gbot in crawling for 2 days. Google Webmaster tool has given alot of errors.

After analyzing all the possibilities and factors I conclude it the main factor for this problem.

What's your openion on it? Do you think I am thinking to the right direction?

I will appreciate your valueable feedback!

flex55




msg:3352289
 8:52 am on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I also experience the same traffic reduction on my site but still has no clue as for the reason.

Regarding the errors your server generated - it's important to know what http code was G given, 500? From my experience I can tell that G will take his time removing your pages from the index - of course, that depends on the site, his age, etc.

simonmc




msg:3352356
 10:45 am on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is your target market global?

I have noticed at least a 1/3rd drop in traffic since the start of May ... but more importantly that traffic has been Rest of World (Not US). Still getting US traffic.

I think Google is GEO Targeting more keenly than ever and Global SMALL businesses are the ones to lose out.

Google does not care that your product is a world wide product at all. It just wants to make sure that if I am in Berkshire in England and I am looking for green widgets... the top 5 sites in Berkshire for green widgets will show up. Google does not even care if these are the best results (in the overall index). This is CLOAKING (Geo Targeting) on an unprecidented scale.

They may not be doing this so minutely yet but this is the trend it is moving in right now according to my visitors and orders.

Anyone else?

Simon

KlausWright




msg:3352533
 2:56 pm on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The logic is simple. If your site was coming up in positions 8 through 10 you've been wiped off the first SERP - and you can forget about that traffic. If you were coming up in the top spots, it's really Russian roulette where the 'Universal Search' block will appear - if you are targeting geographically - it will more than likely be at the very top, pushing everyone down.

The thing that is rubbing me the wrong way is that they reduced the number of organic results from 10 to 7 - effectively pulling the rug from beneath the feet of innumerable webmasters in lieu of increasing their profit margin by a potential 30%+.

Google announced profit increases for Q1 up by 69% - to a total of 1 billion dollars in 3 months to be exact. This is an obvious move to hit a solid second quarter at the mere expense of people who depend on the money they earn from their sites. I feel tremendous empathy for those who actually feed their families from this money - regardless of 'their eggs being in one basket'.

With headlines like "Google is Rolling in Cash" floating around, this maneuver is downright callous. It's Machiavellian to an extent that would make "Wall Street's" Gordon Gekko reevaluate his stance on just how good is greed.

Universal Search is a webmaster jettison that can only be the brainchild of a conglomerate of over-privileged silver-spooners with absolutely no regard for anything other than a profit margin. I don't want to draw historical parallels, but the concept of a governing body suddenly taking over 30% of the available land, while forcing the previous inhabitants to move definitely rings a few unsavory bells in my head. Long live Google, but 7 organic listings on the first SERP is simply wrong.

tedster




msg:3352548
 3:11 pm on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is an obvious move to hit a solid second quarter

Universal Search was first thought up many years ago and took extensive resources and intensive development to make into a reality. I don't think it's just a move to improve the next quarter.

europeforvisitors




msg:3352600
 3:50 pm on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The thing that is rubbing me the wrong way is that they reduced the number of organic results from 10 to 7 - effectively pulling the rug from beneath the feet of innumerable webmasters in lieu of increasing their profit margin by a potential 30%+.

I think Webmasters need to get over the "It's all about me" attitude when discussing Google Search. Is it Google's responsibility to worry about Webmasters who have occupied the bottom of the first SERP when implementing changes that are designed to improve the Google Search user's experience? And if so, what's special about the 8th, 9th, or 10th position for a given keyphrase? Shouldn't the Webmasters in the 11th, 12th, or (for that matter) 50th or 500th positions also be granted "equal opportunity" subsidies in the form of organic search traffic?

One could argue that, in the interests of fairness, all search results should be chosen randomly from the Google Search index. (Of course, if Google were foolish enough to take that fair-to-Webmasters but hostile-to-users approach, we'd hear cries that Google was intentionally delivering lousy SERPs to sell more AdWords.)

tedster




msg:3352621
 4:24 pm on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Returning to the specifics of the opening post, rather than the more global issues which we are already discussing here [webmasterworld.com]:

my ranking is continuously getting down day by day

I would not expect this just from the introduction of global search - one change that might push you down a couple of places, yes - but a day after day drop points to some other issue with your rankings.

The timing is probably just a coincidence. I suggest you start studying the SERPs where you are falling off and see what patterns jump out at you.

In order to implement Universal Search, Google had to find a way to put the relevance scoring for each specialized search on the same kind of scale so they could be integrated. From what I can see, the new measures were mostly in the area of making sure that too much news and video did not flood the results. A URL may have been pushed down a notch or two, but there's no ongoing lower-lower-lower thing happening to the previously well ranked URLs.

trinorthlighting




msg:3352635
 4:35 pm on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

This move is to provide a better service to searchers. If you were in that 7-10 position it does somewhat hit you.

tedster




msg:3352642
 4:46 pm on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I find that #10 can often bring more traffic than #9 -- so it might even help some people to get pushed down a notch. But as I said above, Universal Search is not causing the kind of day-after-day continuing fall-off that the opening post reports.

myk02




msg:3353084
 3:41 am on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Dear All,

Thanks very much for your valueable feedback.

I posted another problem after my first post i.e.

"I wanna share one more thing that day before since down fall in my daily visitors started, there was some technical error occured in my server, which create problem for Gbot in crawling for 2 days. Google Webmaster tool has given alot of errors.

After analyzing all the possibilities and factors I concluded it the main factor for this problem.

What's your openion on it?"

Can you please share your openion on it!

Thanks

tedster




msg:3353096
 4:44 am on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

If the server problem was fixed after only two days, you should not have long term problems from that issue.

decaff




msg:3353148
 6:23 am on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think it's just a move to improve the next quarter...

Of course, the reality is that Google does not make decisions now without deep consideration of their revenue requirements...

Every strategic move they make is analyzed from every possible angle...

They know that they must continue to grow their revenue aggressively, not only for their shareholders, but to continue to build their war chest ... (which has become very significant...not nearly as big as MS's...)

This allows them to make aggressive moves like their recent acquisition of DQ...(not dairy queen ;-))

Their move to Universal Search WILL affect the SERPs .. and many are already seeing the rankings and traffic shifts...

The days of G providing vertical traffic to many sectors has shifted yet again (in G's favor)

2 days of server downtime can have a negative affect...if your site was performing well (usability...good CTR's)..for the traffic that G was delivering...then you should bounce back to some relative positions and traffic overtime...

europeforvisitors




msg:3353485
 1:54 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Of course, the reality is that Google does not make decisions now without deep consideration of their revenue requirements...

Yep, and they're smart enough to think far beyond the current quarter or the next quarter. They're also smart enough to recognize that having an array of search products is part of their "unique selling proposition," and that enhancing the SERPs with relevant results from Google News, Google Product Search, Google Images, etc. accomplishes two things:

1) It gives them a leg up on their competitors as far as the user experience is concerned; and...

2) It's a great way to promote the full range of Google Search products to users who, for the most part, probably aren't aware of anything but the plain-vanilla Google Web Search.

In short, Google Universal Search is likely to be good for Google's revenues, but it won't be due to the fact that john-does-widgets.com got bumped from the bottom of page 1 to the top of page 2 of the search results for "left-handed purple widgets."

Miamacs




msg:3353491
 2:00 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm also wondering what might be happening the last two weeks.

Many changes, nothing too significant, but all at the same time...

- The June 1st Crackdown
- Universal Search
- A long holiday ( no bored people surfing from work )
- Some changes in the weight of keywords in URLs ( single word queries )
- Usual fluctuation ( updated TrustRank, the usual monthly schedule )
- Summer's comin', no more bored kids surfing from school, or to gather stuff for their assignments (?)

...

I'm seeing a very funny trend of the most well optimized sites slowly sliding under in terms of traffic while actually keeping their positions ( even the long tail ), while the most crudely optimized, yet older sites don't seem that affected.

...not sure anymore what to make of this.
Just to make sure, checked the trends ( sorry, checked Trends ) to see whether the niches and sectors I'm relatively new to have these slides in traffic this time of the year and...

Yes. Add that to the list.
I think these kind of problems may surface when one gets carried away in optimizing only a couple of sites and gets a nervous breakdown on every single instance of a change for the worst.

I'm not touching anything.
While this settles I'll build some new sites.
At least they'll be optimized for Google May/June '07 Fashion.
Have a lot of sites optimized at different times of the year and you'll have a diverse enough portfolio - one project for every perspective of the algo.

...

trinorthlighting




msg:3353536
 2:42 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Miamacs,

We have been watching those slight changes as well. We had some serps go up a few places and some go down. We have not made any changes to the ones that have went down. The only thing we have been doing is adding pages that focus on the serps that have went down that are useful to the visitor such as additional technical specifications, photo galleries and expanding the overall content to help the consumer in making a decision. That has seemed to help push us back up a bit on where we fell a few places.

decaff




msg:3353815
 7:20 pm on May 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

In short, Google Universal Search is likely to be good for Google's revenues, but it won't be due to the fact that john-does-widgets.com got bumped from the bottom of page 1 to the top of page 2 of the search results for "left-handed purple widgets."

yes..excellent point..
Google is really ramping up their usability and product exposure game here...and this will increase their revenues..

(when you can crunch data like they do...you can certainly look at thousands of granular details and then make macro decisions for future growth)..

This is what I recommend to all my clients ... make sure you work to fully understand how people are interacting with your web site(s)...if you can know this information, understand the implications and then take positive actions to enhance your user experience..you are moving ahead of the curve for sure...

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