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October 2007 Google SERP Changes

 4:00 am on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

The backlink has indeed been devalued, however selectively.

.gov backlinks are still strong as is yahoo directory and other large authority type sites.

backlinks that are showing up all seem to have one thing in common - they also have the url in text. This fact would suggest that the text url is now very strong as its outweighing the negative effect of the actual backlink on the same page.

Its no secret that google has been going after paid linking and I think that this is part of their strategy to tackle it, where it will lead is anybody's guess.

I think you are correct about the search volume effected industries.

Taking it further, although text url is the obvious exploit of the moment, its also possible the algo is doing a correlation on the numbers between what IT considers to be a legitamte link from its list of sources and other sites which at a certain point is assuming paid linking or heavy seo and imposing backlink penalty.

I don't think its about "juice" to good links. I think its about penalty to bad and the ratio between good to bad links.

[edited by: tedster at 7:38 pm (utc) on Oct. 1, 2007]



 1:54 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think the whole thing is just completely absurd. G has totally messed up my site and the 100,000+ pages. I am showing 8 pages indexed in the regular index and 127,000 pages on the DC's. What does that mean? Anyone?

kamikaze Optimizer

 2:16 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

iSrchNkd11: What does this show, on both?



 2:23 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

It shows 8 links with the asterisks and 130,000 on the DC without the asterisks, so another words, I am $@rew@d, right?


 2:23 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

8 links on both with asterisks.

kamikaze Optimizer

 2:24 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

getting back to Steveb..., The only logical thing I can think of (aside from what you have mentioned) is the various "like" widgets intra link throughout the site as "Related Content". This goes on site wide.

Again, I am not sure about the authority status thingy here, I highly doubt this site has it (I do own one site with high trust, authority…), but not this site. This site is just entering puberty, in dog years that is… and is somewhat of a mutt when it comes to content.

[edited by: kamikaze_Optimizer at 2:51 am (utc) on Oct. 10, 2007]

kamikaze Optimizer

 2:28 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

iSrchNkd11: Welcome to "Club Supplemental".
It is somewhat like Hotel California...
But you are in the correct forum to read up a lot on it.
The number 2 causes are 1) Duplicate Content and 2) Low PR.


 2:38 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

My content is not exactly duplicated. You don't AltaVista or Dogpile get chopped like this. Altavista has a PR 9. I only have a PR 4, but it would have gone up to a 5 or 6 at the next update. My traffic was just on the rise to 30,000+ and everything was looking so good. I need to make some deals with some other sites to use my search results, but that is tough. I am not ready to release my technology that would really improve search. Not quite there yet. Just another road block. Thanks for your help. I appreciate any and all advice. I weigh it all.

kamikaze Optimizer

 2:49 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

My content is not exactly duplicated.

Duplicate and Duplicated are two different things.

I never knew that I had duplicate content until I met up with a new Google algo about a year ago. It made me totally rethink my meta tags.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:28 am (utc) on Oct. 10, 2007]


 5:48 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have seen the "1 click away" thing going on for quite a while, this isn't new and usually makes that your homepage gets the "google love" instead of the most relevant page. And I'd bet that it has not much to do with what's happening for a few weeks.

What I witness in some areas is really deconcerting. The exact opposite of what I think would make sense.
We end up with anything that can rank for almost anything totally out of theme in backlink profiles but very spammy on the site itself.

That is if I don't count the Wikipedia and similar, which shows up more than ever of course.

I don't have anything smart to say about patents, but I go by observation and as of now:

- create a site, use a blog format if possible, with widget in the domain name

- ask a friend or 2 to add you to his blogroll

- submit to some free general directories

- if possible create pages either with a lot of content repeating widget all over the place or create a very short page of 100 words including widget.

that's all you need.
spam all you can your meta description, page title, it does not matter.
No matter the theme of your backlinks, no matter the quality of your content, no matter the suspicious homepage backlinks from unrelated sites, no matter almost anything.

As I said, not going by whatever Google wants us to think, just observation.

Talking about observation even Matt Cutts' blog takes a hit these days. Isn't this odd? I would think that his site as damn relevant for SEO, odd no?
Well even with all the extra power given to blogs recently, not that they deserve it mostly, then Matt Cutts gets hit when searching for SEO.
Even the wikipedia in JAPANESE ranks better on Google.com.

Note that I took Matt's site as an example, there is much worst spreading around but I can't post it here.

As I said earlier, not sure what they flipped around but it looks like no more filter applies.

Another observation in the "wacked out filtering" world on Google.com. When I search for some unique content that I know was copied on many sites from our sites then our sites would show only as "similar results" while even scrappers are displayed straight up along with the higest PR page available.
I therefore officially consider that in my world Google has big time issues to work out :) ..before showing me how many low end blogs can popup for any queries I type.



 6:59 am on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm afraid I'm not getting why this is significant:
"Google traffic to odd pages that are one click away from an important page"

You're not.

This is how it has always worked from day 1. Basically any page "one click away" from an important page is linked from an important page, so of course benefits from a link from the important page.

"Get links from important pages" is hardly news.

This isn't how it's always worked. This isn't about getting links from pages to a page, boosting the IBL-based scoring for the given page, this is about associative data modeling.

Robert, if you'll recall the previous discussions, for lack of what to call it, I referred to it as the "two hops back" phenomenon.


 2:28 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am just wondering if all this mess have anything to do with their way of displaying when a site was update? MC was all hyped about it a while back and I see some sites where it says "45 minutes ago" in the SERPs.
This would explain why we see all these blogs, new sites and everything else "pooping up" in the SERPs. These are the ones that either gets updated frequently or is so new that it hasn't been spidered yet so GOOG thinks it is "fresh content".
Don't know if there is a connection or not but my site has gone -950 or whatever "levels" there are and when I look at the queries from my stats in GOOG then I see my site show up with the most strange sites I have ever seen. It's garbage and that's where my site is amongst them shining like a star. I have evaluated the other sites but nothing is comparable so I don't understand why it shows up with all this garbage. They must have something in common, but what it is I can't figure out!


 7:29 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google has steadily shown between 19 and 19.5 million results for the prime keyword of one of my sites. Yesterday that dropped to 18 million and my site vanished completely, it had been steady on page two before that. Last night it was back to normal. Today the same term shows 48 million results, 30 million more than ever before.

What gives? its never been this unstable for this keyword before.

[edited by: tedster at 8:36 pm (utc) on Oct. 10, 2007]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]


 8:44 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow - that is quite some volatility - glad your site's disapearance was so short-lived. I haven't seen anything quite like that so far.

Was this on a single word search term?


 10:02 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see a lot of that also. I have seen things like 4 Million result on the first page and then when you go to the second page there are only 1 million or so results. I know you can not rely on the numbers they show at all, and I don't know why we care about them so much. If we are not on the first or second page, then it doesn't matter if there are 4 million or 40 million pages.
What baffles me is that for some searches there is almost no results at all, and that is no weird searches at all. It seems that when there is a location included in your search, widgets for sale in Ireland for example, then you would expect more than a hundred sites, wouldn't you? Before this round of SERPs there used to be thousands of sites listed, sites that was valid for that perticular search...


 11:55 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

gehrlekrona, you're describing something different from what JS_Harris posted. You are talking about the way the number gets refined as you click deeper into the search results for one given search. The change JS_Harris describes is seeing the number change dramatically from day to day. 19 million to 48 million is pretty wild.

Watching these numbers doesn't do much to give you some immediate take-away you can apply to your site. But it is an indicator that some major shuffling is going on behind the scenes at Google, more than usual, I'd say. Also, for anyone planning a new site and trying to get a handle on how much compteition they;ve got for various searches, this kind of volatility makes it almost impossible to make decisions. However, I doubt that this is more than a short term oddity.


 12:01 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google is messing with my site right now. I think what they are doing is slowly making corrections on their site and knowing at the same time that the only people really noticing it will be SEO's. They are adapting new algo's and implementing them and trying to throw us off at the same time. Hopefully getting SEO's to make changes. The only thing you can do I think someone said before is sit tight and don't touch anything. Stay the course.


 12:32 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Patent application:
Propagating our business to Web 3.0.

Step 1:
We link to WP on every search result and then we hard code the same info on answers.com into our smashing lovely and cuddly search results. At the same time we go on endlessly about writing fresh content and link under WP the 5 page 7 year outdated web site of some hobbyist for a major branch in science term.
Step 2: We then write clever sounding patent applications to get SEOs all confused while we still just seed by corrupted and outdated DMOZ pages, we incidently have copied also on our smashing wee search engine servers.
Step 3: We admit the whole web has been copied on WP anyway with relevant and on topic nofollow links, so we give up on our cuddly wee search engine and continue with all the other businesses we built up meanwhile.

Conclusion: Our search is now vertical as we took a hard copy of WP down a lift in the Cincinatti Ramada..



 12:40 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes ted, a single three letter search term, short for three words. XYZ. Its back to normal at 18.9 million now, it fluctuates between that and 19.4 million regularly. My ranking is back to where it used to be too.

When is the next visible update for pagerank? I was under the impression this stuff happened a lot just before one is rolled out.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 12:53 am (utc) on Oct. 11, 2007]
[edit reason] examplified - no specifics [/edit]


 12:45 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> Talking about observation even Matt Cutts' blog takes a hit these days. <<

Matt has explained, several times, that he does not have a 301 redirect installed for domain canonicalisation, and has several Duplicate paths that are open to spidering.

He uses his own site to see how Google copes if he changes to and from www and non-www in Webmaster tools, and other changes, from time to time.


>> Google has steadily shown between 19 and 19.5 million results for the prime keyword of one of my sites. ... ... Today the same term shows 48 million results, 30 million more than ever before <<

Check the IP address of where those results are served from. It is likely you are seeing a different IP address each time.

I referred to this only yesterday, in this thread, with an example, too.


 1:34 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

When is the next visible update for pagerank? I was under the impression this stuff happened a lot just before one is rolled out.

Sorry, there's no connection between updates to the Toolbar PR and rankings changes. TBPR is a data export only - it just makes a more recent picture of the real PageRank data available to the toolbar, and it doesn't happen on any schedule at all.


 5:40 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> Matt has explained, several times, that he does not have a 301 redirect installed for domain canonicalisation, and has several Duplicate paths that ...

So let me ask this one gain: was his blog hit before with the same configuration? No.

Well that's my point or at least part of it.
I chose this example because it very much looks like what I see for some of our sites in multiple industries:

-SERP's taken over by much smaller players, either very restricted
in their geographical business coverage in the US (ex: homepage title "New york widgets" or totally from overseas and even in other languages
-low quality popularity and old fashion seo manipulation
-old sites previously filtered for excessive link exchange or other manipulations making a spectacular come back
-sites from other countries ranking in the US while US sites that used to have some deserved credibility rank overseas but not in their own country.
- any blog or any news site can throw any subject and instantly become relevant
- any backlink whether from totally unrelated sites or even totally suspicious site such as adult, casinos... help rankings for any keywords.

If I could post commercial links here, examples would be brighter and I would challenge anyone to show me how relevancy has increased.
This is more obvious in some industries or with some keywords though.
The mainstream of very popular searches won't upset regular users. that doesn't make it right for the rest of us or those searching for more specific subjects.

Now I may not see the big picture I will gladly admit it, there may be improvements, but that's a pattern I can find on many keywords I check for a very long time.

>> To get back to what gehrlekrona said earlier about freshness of results.
I find great that Google shows within hours. It's amazing and must require a lot of computer power.

The thing is that factored in as it is, some page must pay the price for this extra power used.

Some pages are no more indexed for a very very longtime while scrappers still are very often. some page have totally disapeared while they used to have influence.

this is a problem when you write a new version of an old page, it get's scrapped then your own site looks like it doesn't have ownership, the scrapper has.

Some results show really like News results: authorities get the headlines, the rest is a garbage collector of sites referenced including the keywords, with or without significant popularity or theme related items to back up the keywords they will rank for.


 8:41 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

if its any consolation, my sites have been hammered as well by this algo update. 200,000 pages of relevant content , regular as a clock 3000 to 5000 visits per day. traffic has dropped off to about 500 per day.


 9:56 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Mate I feel sorry for you - one of our big forums dropped from 300k to 70k but we are still ranking and getting good traffic. It's a PR6 and been around since 02. No love.

I am still seeing amzing differences in some AU results. From one PC to another, never seen anything like it - ever.


 3:59 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

The only thing I can see (answering my own question here) is that the sites my site show up with is that they have an older cache date and have some keywords in common.
The "45 minutes ago" refreshes that GOOG does must take a lot of power (just like follwgreg said) and the only way they can do this is to have a set of sites that they check more frequent than others because thay can't crawl every page on the internet to see if they have been updated or not.
So how do they do it? Is it authority sites that gets crawled more frequent? Do they have a list of sites that they know are being updated? Sites like blogs? Classifieds? Do they take their own top results, put them in a bucket and crawls them every hour and if you don't update your site every day your scr!$#d? What if you have a site selling widgets? How often does that one gets updated? I bet not very often. Speking about the "pages refreshed", how many of you are REALLY interested to know when it was last updated? I actually don't care at all.

They also seem to have huge problems with localization. One thing I looked at was a search for a certain type of animal. On a page it was references to another animal that starts with Boston and whammmm.... all pages with the word Boston showed up and 99% of them didn't have anything to do with the animal. Newspapers, classifieds, blogs and anything else showed up.


 6:09 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Serious issues now with the number of paginated results for some keyword searches. Searches that previously returned 800-900 total results in my sectors are now showing a maximum of around 550, with many sites ranking in more than one position when you click through the paginated sets...


 10:01 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a rollback in results and pages indexed. They look like the results I saw 3 weeks ago.

[edited by: tedster at 12:25 am (utc) on Oct. 12, 2007]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]


 12:46 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

They also seem to have huge problems with localization. One thing I looked at was a search for a certain type of animal. On a page it was references to another animal that starts with Boston and whammmm.... all pages with the word Boston showed up and 99% of them didn't have anything to do with the animal. Newspapers, classifieds, blogs and anything else showed up.

Google can't handle animals.. ;) I have a site with many animal info, videos and pictures and when you see the results for my site with animal in title in the picture name and on the page they somehow manage to show all other pages that dont't have that animal on it. They show 20 other species just not the correct one.


 2:25 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

You might be right. I see that also with chinese(?) spam sites showing up again in full force,

Like I said, it's all weird results but not for all searches. If you search for widgets for sale, then the results are pretty stable but as soon as you add any type of locality in your search, then the results are just plain weird.


 9:24 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bewenched, are you referring to this index

i'm seeing a completely different data set on this ip



 11:00 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am seeing something different right now. In my serps, the one on the toolbar...don't know which it is, (I live in Florida), but this is really strange. Off to the right side...just hanging out there, is Oct 11. I am assuming it was crawled then...cache says oct 6. and when I would click on the link and then go back and search through other pages then take a 'last' look at that horrible position I find it says 3 visits instead of the date.

That's a little scarey to me. Anyone else seeing this?



 11:17 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

ann, that sounds like what you see when you are logged in to your Google account and seeing personalized search results - it's the date that you last visited the url.

This 176 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 176 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 > >
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