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This 115 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 115 ( 1 2 [3] 4 > >     
December 2007 Google SERP Changes

 2:35 pm on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

Any thoughts on this? Up until recently, my site did not rank in the top 1000 in Google for my main search term. I did a bit of research, made a lot of changes, bought some software to help even. Since then it had a dramatic increase in placement. In the space of around two months it moved up to place 19.

I have not made any changes in last 4 weeks, but it has still been climbing......until yesterday. It has now dropped out of the top 1000 again. The site still ranks for other words and has not been dumped all together.

I am feeling a bit confused. Could any one offer advice please?

[edited by: tedster at 6:18 pm (utc) on Dec. 3, 2007]



 8:30 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

surfing1 - we've had the exact same problem

anyone else notice this?


 11:01 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

aok88 and everyone else with the same problem - The only thing different that comes to mind on our one site that dropped to page 4 was that we removed advertisements that were listed on 5 different high PR sites last month. Considerint the competitiveness of the keyword, this shouldn't have impacted the ranking that drastically. These 5 paid advertisements were the only paid links we had. It appears we took a dive on Dec 14th. Can you think of anything that may have caused yours to drop? The more info we have the better we can zero in on why this is happening.


 11:07 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

surfing1 -

See my post at [webmasterworld.com...] for a detailed description of what happened to us - can you glean anything from that?

Do you see other similarities.

(and I don't think removing 5 sites' worth of links would make that drastic of a SERPs change for you - unless you had like 10 links total pointing back to your site.)


 12:15 am on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hello :)

I want write this: two month ago i added the rel="nofollow" attribute to my adserver links. Maybe G**gle is now more looking for this! I removed the links 30 minutes ago - maybe its helping.

What you think about this?



 1:17 am on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)


We have had the same one theme for the past 5 years. We haven't made any changes to our site recently either. Were you using blog posting software like rss2blog and have you been adding a lot of links lately. If so, what was the ratio of high quality links to low quality links that you have been added. We are trying to wrap our heads around this.

Also, we have no AdSense on this site and no sub-directories.


kamikaze Optimizer

 1:38 am on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not to pass judgment here…, but if you are using rss2blog on your site for the purpose of it's intended use, it would not be a surprise to me if your site dropped out of the serps.


 3:39 am on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)


We are not. A lot of our links come from bloggers which could be the culprit. Someone using rss2blog or similar software in a blackhat way would have been penalized. This would give us an clue as to whether google is analyzing the ratio of lower quality blog links to higher authority links.



 12:52 pm on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

surfing1 - we are not using any blog posting software


 1:54 pm on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Seems to be a bit of movement... does not look great but then does it ever?


 5:19 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just contributing to the choir now that we're mid-way through another month.

As I've indicated in the past couple SERPs changes threads, the keywords I watch continue to remain incredibly stable. The crazy dips and dancing that were observed throughout July and September haven't shown any signs of returning yet.

My employer has also almost returned to the number two position in our money keyword, a position we had held until that crazy period where we almost fell completely off the first page. This is not because of algorithm changes, though... just plain old link building.

kamikaze Optimizer

 7:52 am on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Now that the online shopping season of 2007 has come to a close, it will be interesting to see what changes happen over the next few days.

Last year showed us some heavy movement in the SERP’s during this time.

For the past 48 hours I am see very little bot activity, which for me in the past has preceded changes (as resources are being used elsewhere, I assume).

Your thoughts?


 12:09 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

On 20th-22nd Dec I noticed reduced traffic to my site - which I thought could be attributable to the fact that less people are shopping now before Christmas. However, I have now identified definate shifts in ranking from page 1 to page 2 for certain search terms corresponding to an overall loss of google traffic to the site. Hopefully this will just be temporary and normality will be restored before the January sales. Has anyone else noticed anything similar? I have not made any recent (dramatic) changes to the site.


 6:06 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

At 1 am PST on the 22nd my Google traffic crashed very hard, 80-90%--I have made no changes recently excpt for routine updates. This happened in a very similar way in April, also on a Saturday. The last time it lasted exactly 18 days and then traffic returned just as dramatically to the old level. I did make a number of changes during that period though I have no clue as to whether they had any effect or if I should have left everything alone.

I may make some changes this time, but nothing major. I'm just going to wait it out.

added in edit: I use no artificial means to gain links, only naturally occuring. Neither do I use any aggressive SEO, none at all really for over two years.

[edited by: OnlyToday at 6:15 pm (utc) on Dec. 22, 2007]


 6:21 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

On 20th-22nd Dec I noticed reduced traffic to my site

This is what's happening to my main site. However, it effects only to English pages but not to non-English pages. Traffics to English pages have gradually reduced during the last three days, and now just over 20% of the normal.


 7:12 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm wondering if there is just one main search term affected, or if the traffic drop seems to be spread across all terms. Also wondering if the home page seems to be the place the problem is happening, rather than traffic to internal pages.

I know of one site that got hit about a week ago, and it seems to be a home page, "big search term" thing, with internal specific product pages still collecting their usual long-tail traffic. Also this is a well branded business (began 1950s, online 1996) and the company name is a major search term - but the home page just dropped to page 4 for their own name - no obvious guidelines violations that I know of. It seems like some of the other reports in this thread [webmasterworld.com] are talking about something similar.

So any observations about the actual SERPs, rather than only the traffic in general?


 7:30 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

My two sites got hit across the board, all the pages have the same proportional popularity, just all down.

I cross linked them extensively on Nov. 17--about the right time for a penalty to hit, so I have uncross-linked them just now, it was very easy, the menus are ss includes. So now I've just got to wait and keep my fingers crossed.

[edited by: OnlyToday at 7:34 pm (utc) on Dec. 22, 2007]


 8:42 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hello OnlyToday,

that is a interesting Topic. I also had cross-linked my site very much, but around 9 month ago. Maybe there is now a filter for this. Now i have cut the links away and we will both see what is happening :-)



 9:18 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I know of one site that got hit about a week ago, and it seems to be a home page, "big search term" thing,

I seen similar for a client - "big search term(s)."
But to be quite honest, it looks like a -5 penalty (lol is there such a thing?) ie several #1 are now all exactly #6 for home page's "big search terms"

Also occuring at above noted times.


 8:04 am on Dec 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

The -5 is probably due to inlink devaluation. That is what I originally thought. It felt like I was hit with a -5 penalty but I think all links just got devalued and in turn is hurting the entire site.

cheesy snacks

 1:10 pm on Dec 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yep.. i was #1 for a big keyword but now have been hit 5 or 6 places....like a -5 penalty... Google has also drastically cut my backlinks...


 2:53 pm on Dec 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Happens every Christmas!


 7:52 pm on Dec 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

strange :) ....

i just looking for some missing keyword kombis and i found them exactly on the 2nd page on position 1 :) Is there any -10 Penalty?

btw Nice Christmas for you all :)



 12:06 am on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing big drops on Saturday for several of my sites that have been stable since last summer and have not had any content or backlink changes since then. Some drops look like a half-950 someone mentioned here.


 10:24 am on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I too see a -5 penalty on my home page and affected most of my major key word phrases. Started around December 21. What is this in response to? Has this -5 penalty just started?


 7:02 pm on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think this updates just started a few days ago...or a new filter just started. Yes, the "Minus 5". Probably worth it's own thread.


 7:18 pm on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Actually it's not a minus 5...it's a minus "whatever" to put you at #6.


 7:38 pm on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Can't say I've zeroed in on something like this. What does it look like the "Position 6 Penalty" is handed out for?

Robert Charlton

 7:51 pm on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

But to be quite honest, it looks like a -5 penalty (lol is there such a thing?)

I've also recently observed an unexpected -5 jump, to #6... not the home page, but an internal page that has some external inbounds going to it.

To think out loud about whether a -5 exists, chances are that enough of us have seen a drop for any specific number of places that we could create a number of minus-n "penalties" or filters. Any -3 drops, for example?

That said, I was struck by the drop when it happened, about Dec 12 or so in this case. Originally, it was a -4, and, in the past week or so, it's become a -5. Normally this page hadn't moved in big chunks like this. It had moved up slowly over the years to #1, where it had been extremely stable for a long time.

I'd initially attributed the move to more competition in the area and to competitors simply moving up, not to a demotion of our page.


 9:05 pm on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

To think out loud about whether a -5 exists

Couldn't it be that rankings for a certain page/term have just fallen x spots? Why does it always have to be a "minus x penalty"?


 9:32 pm on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of the oddest "staying on the first page" shifts I've seen in a while is happening right now for a my client of mine on one of their two "money" keywords.

In September, we helped them release an entirely new website, and their ranking for this money keyword jumped up from #9 to #2. It stayed at #2 all through October and November. Beginning around Dec 10, this ranking began flickering back and forth between position #2 and #8 (for same Google IP address) - and staying on each position for around three days at a time, then shifting back up or down again.

The second money keyword (it's an exact synonym) went from #5 to #3 with the new website, and it has stayed constant at #3 right on through all the jumping around for the other word.


 9:37 pm on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Couldn't it be that rankings for a certain page/term have just fallen x spots? Why does it always have to be a "minus x penalty"?

Exactly the right question, I think. If you can identify a specific factor that makes the -5 drop happen, and then remove that factor and see ranking pop back - I'd say you have a good case for having identified a penalty. Otherwise, it can be difficult to say whether the Google algo changed, or maybe your competition improved, or maybe you made some change that had a stronger effect than you thought it would.

I'm not saying positively that a -5 penalty (or "go to position #6" penalty) doesn't exist right now, but I am asking if anyone who thinks it does can zero in on it a bit more.

[edited by: tedster at 12:29 am (utc) on Dec. 25, 2007]

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