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October 2007 Google SERP Changes - part 2

 1:25 am on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

Now when typing a Unique domain name of one of our Unique brands, only 1 URL shows on Google.com, while the usual 2 url results show on other tld's.

Once again this was a site previously proxy hijacked months ago and quite heavily copied.

I've counted at least 7 major pages that are totally our of the index.

Even sil.y directory listings or forum posts would rank above the site itself for a search like domain name + widget. And that's only on Google.com

I looked into it even more and found out that the same was happening to a couple of competitors. Even worst as 1 of them have their homepage that is not cached.

It's like Google that keep on hitting and hitting again websites that were already victims of scrappers and hijackers. Just like if it was not sufficient to have our copies infringed and Google not being able to recognize the real author.

Really disconcerting. and only on Google.com.

I start wondering if I should ask for re-inclusion. That would totally su.k as I will have to admit we did something wrong and that's not the truth.

I have the feeling that some people have found ways to manipulate Google weaknesses somehow.


[edited by: tedster at 5:13 pm (utc) on Oct. 17, 2007]



 2:11 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I still see several sites doing very well with Stat counter link spam

I could not agree more! It's been years that I see that and Google does nothing about it.
Since this so called update on Google.com, those sites usually do even better along with all the good old and obvious tricks.
Some eventually drop quickly, but most stick on top.

I also wonder how difficult it is to filter website with backlinks on homepage footers. As I see it, those too are doing perfectly well on google.com and do better for a few weeks again.

Again, how difficult is it to filter based on obvious offtheme incoming and outgoing links?
For example, how can 10 links from pharmacy sites help ranking a software site? How can this software site be taken seriously be providing a link from its homepage to a pet store?

If this is just a storm then it's pretty bad and runs for over a month now. It seems to be exclusive to Google.com though I can't be sure.
On some other TLD's I've seen serious spammers coming back from where they used to have been penalized and totally rank like if they were the wikipedia!

Apparently there are also more complaints about pages that just disapear from Google without obvious reasons (including some of ours).
Dropping pages on sites that try to do a good job, and ranking scrappers, .cn and almost empty pages makes no sense to me.
for the past few weeks, I spend more time checking if our servers have been hacked, and find nothing - unique formerly valued pages just disapeared! , than managing our affiliates or pay per clik.

I spoke with a couple of competitors that also totally lost some pages, we all receive traffic from coutries where we usually don't sell. We have a general feeling that somebody is playing a bad joke with all these non-sense blogs and super-minor local players whose sites are now ranked for the first time in history.
Sites that rank now for the main industry we are involved in are always blogs, flat paraphrases of major industry news, or foreign or local players that sometimes don't even sell in the US at all.

When I spoke with these other guys the only conclusion I had was based on comon factors...we all had our sites displayed on many scrapers, we all had to deal with more or less serious hijacking situations. It simply doesn't seem like the problem is on end. End consumers will pay the price at the end of the day.


kamikaze Optimizer

 4:06 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

If history repeats itself:

I am seeing the same thing this October that I saw last October: The algo for supplemental is turned way up, hence legitimate sites are taking a big traffic hit.

If I remember correctly, all the traffic came back on or about October 20th and it did so in full force.

That is the way it played out for me.

Any of you remember this from last year?


 4:12 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of my associates made the mistake of submitting his site to a few FFAs and a few foreign link directories.. it has sunk to incredibly low rankings, pretty quickly since all this began.

The competition could do exactly the same, couldn't they?


 5:02 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I honestly don't think that being submitted or listed in a directory is going to get you removed. I have so many sites that are listed or scraped on to other sites it would be more than a full time job to get them removed.


 6:02 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I honestly don't think that being submitted or listed in a directory is going to get you removed

I'm guessing it's centered around the ratio of "qiuality" links, to obvious junk links...?



 9:53 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

The competition could do exactly the same, couldn't they?
that is indeed one of the huge issues I think. And despites whatever people may think, it is used widely in some industries, at least in ours.

Supplementals may be a problem I agree, there are really many pages gone missing or that aren't cached anymore. For some I understand for other it makes no sense at all, 50/50.

I repeat myself but except if you consider supplementals as some type of filter --- the rest of Google filters look totally missing so is the totally WRONG geo location.
Our most cherished :P website doing great in countries where we "don't sell/have never promoted/have no personel/have probably no links", while sites from those countries do great with their "casino site homepage" backlinks in the US is totally baffling to me. what's the point really?

when querrying datacenters I see almost "normal" results, not great, but looks more like real companies, not fake overseas seo stuff.
So Google does it on purpose for a reason, just that given the results I harly find what the reason could be except forcing on pay per click. After all, it's business. It's just overall disapointing that Google would eventually do that I think.

Market authorities excepted, It looks like a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g can rank for anything whatever the total lack of quality in their content, incoming and outgoing links. and more surprising is how easy they get ranked and stick there with such poor, so poor quality.

I am very surprised that Google hasn't communicated, nor exported their pagerank. Sounds like if they would then they would raise a webmaster revolution that would shake down they stock quotes. My $.2.


 7:00 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

One thing Iím noticing in my sectors is when you do a search many of the top ranked sites barely mention the keywords searched for. Even more disturbing is when the listed sites arenít even slightly themed towards the keyword. I mean hypothetically when a map site can rank a single page highly in baby clothes its got to be hurting businesses and driving more to Adwords.

Overall though I donít think Google gives a hoot. As long as they keep the first fifty results within reason theyíre going to squeeze every dime they can out of people. Theyíre money making programs are way to big now to not be influencing the end results.


 10:08 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Market authorities excepted, It looks like a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g can rank for anything whatever the total lack of quality in their content, incoming and outgoing links. and more surprising is how easy they get ranked and stick there with such poor, so poor quality.

I would disagree, and because you see this in your sector does not mean that *many* other sectors show the same results.

In 5 of the 6 sectors I watch, highly linked to websites are winning. I have not gone through to analyze the links they have. And sure there is also the usual crap site or two listed.


 12:21 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Guess everybody here by now know that I am a stat-freak, which means I check my stats a LOT.
10-15 minutes ago (6:05 PM Friday 19th) my site came back to where it used to be but since it always goes up and down I don't know how long it'll last.
A month ago it disappeared for 2 days and then came back just to diappear again two days later.
It's been gone for a month now and when I was checking my stats I saw keywords show up that I used to rank for a month ago, and that on page one for 16 million pages in the SERP's
I can only hope that they did something good but who knows.
"What Google giveth, Google taketh away"


 1:08 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

That's good to hear. Maybe it will stay that way for you.


 1:23 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

In 5 of the 6 sectors I watch, highly linked to websites are winning.

Ditto for me, and I have probably 18, 19
that I watch daily. Highly linked-to sites
have climbed up several slots.



 1:30 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ditto for me, and I have probably 18, 19
that I watch daily. Highly linked-to sites
have climbed up several slots.

Just curious. Are we talking domains selling things or Adsense sites here?


 1:49 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10-15 minutes ago (6:05 PM Friday 19th) my site came back to where it used to be but since it always goes up and down I don't know how long it'll last.

We had 2 1/2 months of this from January to March, in April then Stats collapsed and haven't returned back since then on one server after we had 2 1/2 months record traffic, collapse up down. This when I discovered a spam network was linking to us and a poem site. We also gathered many organic IBLs. In fact we have now as many as never before.

It was like we were at the border of something. The site is 10 years old and linked from Unis, governmental institutions, some german ministries for research and environment, schools. Weird.

I remember at the time someone else was posting they had the same, rollercoaster of wild traffic behaviour. A similar server, same programs, equivalent content, same hardware and software setup, same age but PR -1 and less links and link spam had no rollercoaster. At the time they send us 3/4 of craigslists users .. on something that has ALOT more graphics and videos.

The only positive thing I learned then was to handle massive users on a shoestring budget.

"What Google giveth, Google taketh away"

If you want go down the bible line: :)
Peaceful meadows will be turned into a wasteland by the LORD's fierce anger. He has left his den like a lion seeking its prey, and their land will be made desolate by the sword of the enemy and the LORD's fierce anger. (Jeremiah 25:34-38 NLT)


 1:58 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks, but like I said, you'll never know how long it'll stay but I take what I can as long as I can.
I posted just to see if anybody else have seen any major changes tonight. Seems like fridays is the day for them to update/downgrade. Has happened several times on fridays. Better grab that beer before it gets blend :)


 2:06 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Just curious. Are we talking domains selling things or Adsense sites here? "

What I see basically is that quantity of links, related or unrelated, along with a handful of related and some high pagerank links is very effective in the sectors that I watch, regardless of whether it is for products, services or Hadsense :P


 2:33 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing Adsense scrapers and Adsense sites all over the place in my sectors plus an array of sites 4-6 weeks old. None with back links. Google is also slowly bringing the books back into my sectors. Add to that the news and television sites etc it looks bleak. I've had two commerce competitors totally dissappear in the results and I thought they were as rock solid as they came. I couldn't even compete with the number of links they had. I'm also seeing sites only mention the keyword once or twice with 3 back links achieve top ten positions. These were once areas it took hundreds of backlinks to reach the first page. Two weeks ago it looked like they were lightening up on the keyword density now it has totally swung the other way.

[edited by: tedster at 11:45 pm (utc) on Oct. 20, 2007]


 3:01 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)


Ditto for me, and I have probably 18, 19 that I watch daily. Highly linked-to sites
have climbed up several slots.

Are we talking domains selling things or Adsense sites here?

We're talking eCommerce, service providers, Info. sites & blogs

kamikaze Optimizer

 9:37 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am beginning to see referrals that I cannot find on any of the data centers using our favorite data center watching sites.

And the pulse site is showing very heavy movement today, the heaviest in over a month.

Also, after several weeks of deep robot traffic, G-bot has stopped.

I think something is brewing.

Can anyone confirm the same?

Good luck everyone


 11:35 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

This thread is for observing SERP changes - not floating conspiracy theories about AdWords and organic search. That second discussion creates what our Google Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com] calls "Google Noise". In the words of the Charter, "the noise level it creates here makes it difficult to filter through threads for information of real value."

If you notice that your post has gone missing without notice, that will be the reason. Many of those posts habe now been moved to a thread dedicated to the Adwords/organic SERPs discussion [webmasterworld.com].

[edited by: tedster at 1:12 am (utc) on Oct. 21, 2007]


 11:53 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think something is brewing. Can anyone confirm the same?

I've been a member for some years now, and this forum has always been good at spotting Dances.. I'm real convinced this is, as mentioned earlier, "the storm before the calm". I've seen Gbot get very busy for a few days, several of my sites actually increased their rank, then suddenly; no crawls 'tall.

BTW, Tedster, thanks... I was wondering when you'd nip the off-topic banter . :)


 3:34 am on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it's pretty clear something big is still in process. It may be that in the end, we're back where we started, that this is just implementing some infrastructure that takes time. I don't think there's any reason to assume that there is some huge shake-up coming in terms of radical changes in the SERPs. However, I think that the current SERPs are not Google's "final answer".


 4:00 am on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

You mentioned "AdSense scrapers" and that is something I have seen also. Not sure how they do it but it seems that they scrape the AdSense Ads and that way they get well ranked since the AdSense Ads are highly targeted ads (most of the times)
My site, like I said before, came back yesterday but it's still just a third of what it used to be. Have got some new keywords that I didn't even know I had but the most apparent thing is that it seems that the anchor texts I have in IBL's doesn't seem to matter anymore.
It's been mentioned several times that something is going on with IBL's and anchor texts and from what I can see now it is a good assumption that something is going on with that. It seems that they devalued all IBL's somehow and is slowly putting it back again but use something else than the anchor text as a variable. *I* can't figure it out, just what I am observing right now.


 4:43 am on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)


I probably have reinstated what I mentioned much earlier in this very long thread: I am not checking on very heavily searched keywords.

I am checking on medium volume queries. This is where, in any industry I perform my test searches, I find that any site can rank for anything whatever its popularity comes from - 10 backlinks from pharmacy homepage sites can rank a marketing site for example.

Since last month all "authority" sites have benefit from additional trust from Google, same as a couple of years ago.
So if you check on high volume type of keywords, I have no doubt that you will find ONLY heavily linked websites.

As long as their backlinks are consistent (which in my opinion should trigger some filter) it doesn't matter anything else, tiny little sites gets above some of the usual market leaders.

Also sites that used to be penalized or filtered for the past two years are back on top, better than ever, whether they stopped what penalized them on not. I see that on most Google TLD's since we have offices in 7 countries.

On google.com specifically I find that a few websites have seen their value go down and are replaced by much less popular sites, often originating from very local/tiny businesses, lots of blogs, blogs that crosslink with 1 of the other sites already ranked (a blog from a corporate site installed on another domain for example) or businesses overseas.
Devalued sites are still doing well on some other Google tld's although they don't sell in countries other than the US and there is no indication in their backlinks that they would do so. This also happens the other way around with for example totally wacked out site "values" between .com/.co.uk/.co.in and other TLD's that all have the english language in common.
In fact, for some sites now doing well on Google.com, according to "inanchor", they would be more relevant to other countries than the US which is really weird.
All websites that went down have done well in the past 2 years or so and have been scrapped a lot. But his may not be related, just a fact.

The inanchor query still shows approx. logical results so it all has to do with some additional tweak based on...something!:)that Google did back a few weeks ago.

Note that I test only 50 keywords, but that's what I find consistently on medium volume searches and I am not even talking about the blog thing and companies that have multiple sites + subdomains that take up to 20% of the top 20 at times.


 8:11 pm on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

followgreg - maybe I was misunderstanding you :)

I certainly wasn't talking about the quality of content.

What I was mentioning was that in the sectors I watch, links are winning the game. And you are spot on, it currently doesn't seem to matter where the link comes from, as long as it has the right link anchor text. Let's hope this is something Google can deal with because of course it opens up a whole lot of issues and allows spam to enter the results.


 4:34 pm on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think maybe there is a clean up going on. One proxy hijacker I see down from 130,000 listings to just 20,000.
Also a page rank 5 scraper site down to no page rank can be displayed.
Lots of scrapers built off Api's seem to be getting hit. Lets hope it continues....


 5:20 pm on Oct 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

In my ignorance I thought that Google had settled down a little bit for a while, but today I see a LOT of cr@p showing up again and it seems, like always, it has to do with locations again.
I see a lot of spam sites and sites I have never ever seen before in the searches I do to check.


[edited by: engine at 5:33 pm (utc) on Oct. 23, 2007]
[edit reason] specifics [/edit]


 3:07 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm curious about any major SERP changes that came along with the recent PR knockdown. Did this actually affect search results for anyone, or is it just a toolbar thing?

Let's keep discussion of PR in its own thread:
and let this thread focus on the SERPs, thanks.


 3:17 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Did this actually affect search results for anyone, or is it just a toolbar thing?

I'm seeing PR go down on 2 of my sites, with absolutely no change in SERP ranking...




 3:33 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Apostolos of Teoma has always claimed google have never implemented page rank, only trust rank on search results.


 3:48 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Has anyone an example of a pr0 site outranking everyone, look for a .cn domain


 1:29 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see a LOT of cr@p showing up again and it seems, like always, it has to do with locations again.

I could not agree more!

As a matter of fact I had to travel this week. And when performing my regular test searches and I didn't see some of the totally shocking results I see from within the US on Google.com.

Since this morning there is even a couple of scrappers outranking one of our sites on a keyword that we used to rank for very well (by keyword stemming).
The crazy stuff is that one of the scrappers scrapped.....OUR site on many pages. And I am not even talking sophisticated scrapping, only: scrapping + content spinner software + adsense to spice up revenues. That's just so ...gross.

I can't find any sign of quality on the new sites Google seems to love for over a month on US results.
Actually worst, when I check with Yahoo's site explorer I find stuff that would usually turn up a flag so red that even santa claus could not compare on xmas day.

And again sites that went down all have been scrapped or had hijacking issues, at least ours and some competitors, maybe not be the main factor though. It's like Google.com penalizes some sites for things that they can't control, only Google can stop this and they don't.
Not sure what triggered the fact that some sites have lost their values, but for sure replacement can't compare in terms of quality.

It feels like we are going backward in time, homepage backlinks from totally unrelated themes are marvelous as long as they mostly say the same thing, don't bother with branding just go straight for keywords. Welcome to the New branding world!

As far as textlink buyers, well all is fine again. They eventually switch to less obvious like blogroll links, still paid text links but less obvious. They do better than ever.

By the way I used to see those so poor quality sites and sites from overseas flooding the top 30 for a month, but only on keywords that don't generate much traffic. Now I think that it's spreading a little....SEO's learn quickly Google's weaknesses apparently. Good for them, terrible for the rest of us.

And still no comment from Google.

I also don't understand why some sites see their PR down and keep doing well. What said above must be true, pagerank could be a total myth for rankings, not sure what Google's credibility in the webmaster community would be if it was true?


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