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This 156 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 156 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 > >     
March 2008 Google SERP Changes

 5:41 am on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

I have noticed that the numbers of indexed URLs from the sitemaps of my main site have been steadily reduced in the last two days. The reduction rate is about 5% per day. This drop takes place in all sub-directories and also shows on the results of a site command search. However, it seems that the fully indexed pages are not affected. Does anyone experience this?



 12:41 am on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm also seeing a site that was hit by the position #6 bug [webmasterworld.com] jump back and forth between it's recent #4 and it's previous #1 over the past three days.


 2:11 am on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen this before.
I just added some new pages to one of my biggest site last week. Today, these new pages can be seen in the top ten already if a site command search for this site is used. They shows both with "\" and "\*".


 6:10 am on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, I also saw this change from last week-end. From yesterday, there was hardly any change and it seemed this is a new update and Google awarded the well designed and optimized sites. That's usual guys.


 12:26 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I also facing this flux since last month and its like on and off for more than a week my site was down in serps and then after it was on its position top 10 for for more then 5 keywords but since yesterday it is again lost down to somewhere around 500 - 800.

I m not getting what big G is trying to do..... )

Maneet Puri

[edited by: Maneet at 12:27 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2008]


 1:45 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here goes my monthly rotation again,

site:www.example.com Results returned 359,000
site:www.example.com/ (no *) Results returned 528,000

only on these DC’s

last month these were

site:www.example.com 409,000 pages (was showing 512,000 in January)
site:www.example.com/ (no*) 289,000 pages (was showing 196,000 in January)


[edited by: Vimes at 1:46 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2008]


 3:16 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Things seem to have stabilized for my SERPs over the past 2 days. No more movement.

One of the newer pages stayed, the other disappeared completely. Of the two they picked to stay, they picked the older, more established one. The other was a junk MFA blogspot blog.


 9:28 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Exactly 3 days later my site is back to old position. That were 3-4 terrible days where i lose 40% of traffic.
It is good to see my site back again to old position!


 7:18 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

And after 12h gone again. God, it is not nice to play it with 7 years old site at all.


 4:42 am on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)


I m not getting what to do with rankings, I m facing this flux since Jan 08 and till now its like on and off Initially my site was down for 3 weeks then its back to its position for all the targeted keywords then after a week it was again down for a week and during this for few days its not showing the right page for its keyword, it was all home page only no service page for service keywords no maintenance page for maintenance keyword.

Another problem was which is not usual that when m searching for the keyword with out double codes it is at #207 and with "keyword" it is at #250, although it should be below hundered when I m searching it with "Keyword".


 5:18 am on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

One area where I see some big changes in the SERPs is trying to accommodate disambiguation right on the first search. This specifically includes major shifts for those searches that often result in a quickly revised query from the end user - often those searches that already generate a set of related suggestions at the bottom of the SERP.

So if there are 3 possible user intentions for a high volume search term, then instead of returning a completely "natural" ranking (which historically would have only been the big commercial meaning, in many cases) we are now seeing at least one of the other types of search results forced into the top ten. Maybe they are using the Universal Search mechanism for inserting results from a different vertical - treating semantically ambiguous terms something like separate verticals?

Google has been wrestling with this challenge for a while. I can certainly see how user satisfaction might be impacted in this wat. There was a point where the experimented with a set of other interpretations between horizontal rules. Don't see that so much any more.

I suspect this was the area where Google accidentally tipped their hand with the position #6 bug. The bug is gone, but the experiment continues.


 9:22 am on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've been seeing the same cycles as sandboxsam, between 6-12 hours. Our site is a new site and I can confirm that first we sit in position 5 for a highly competitive phrase, next we are gone. This happens in a matter of hours. There's nothing uniform in it either. One day its pages a-d that drop out of existence, next day its pages u-z and the others are back again.

Battling to get pages indexed, out of 105 we have 49 indexed and 86% sit in the supplemental results (if those matter anymore).

Maybe mine is becoming unrelated to this thread...or maybe not...I'm so confused by it all. I've noticed that Google takes no notice of our real number of IBL's lately either. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

[edited by: tedster at 5:22 pm (utc) on Mar. 13, 2008]


 12:41 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Still seeing what looks like a rollback up here in Canada. They had removed all the .co.uk and .au sites dominating the serps and as of about 2 weeks ago they are all back. What's up with this? Anyone else seeing this? Funny thing is when I use a proxy browser out of the US, the serps are still the same - no rollback and more importantly, none of these irrelevant .co.uk and .au sites. Am I the only one seeing this? Wonder why they would roll back here in Canada....


 5:44 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just noticed a significant drop in traffic yesterday, so I checked results on Google for many, many terms that I've ranked #1 to #7 for. I found that my site has completely disappeared.

The site has been around for four years, and has been first-page on Google for almost that long. I've seen some pages on the site go from #5 to #15 for a short period, and then come back again. But I've never seen the entire site disappear. I'm not even in the top 500 for terms that were ranking #1 to #5.


 7:37 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

dickbaker, this sounds like a solid -950 penalty.


 9:47 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

If it's a -950 penalty, what might have caused it?

I've never experienced this before, so I'm not sure how to handle it.

Robert Charlton

 10:17 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

If it's a -950 penalty, what might have caused it?

dickbaker - Up at the top of the Google Search forum home page, there's a pinned Hot Topics thread. In that thread, there's a link to some key points regarding the -950 penalty, which includes some links to ongoing discussions about it. You need to review that discussion and see how it might apply to your site....

The -950 and Minus 30 Penalties [webmasterworld.com] - ongoing mysteries


 12:14 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yesterday one of my sites suddenly jumped from 500+ to just outside the top 100 for the top generic keyword I've been targetting for the last 4 months. I tried not to get to excited, Google dance and all that.

Sure enough today its back to outside 500 again.

Is this a sneak preview of future SERPS ? I hope so. I've noticed this teaser effect happening on a few occasions.

Any similar experiences?

[edited by: tedster at 8:57 pm (utc) on Mar. 14, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]


 8:27 am on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

On March 10, 2008 my website has experienced a traffic reduction (from aprox. 40000 visits/day to aprox. 10000 visits/day - Google Analytics) caused by a sudden reduction in ranking for the main keyword terms.
I think that a Google penalty was imposed on my website but i'm not 100% sure because i haven’t done any significant changes to my pages lately and i haven’t received any notice regarding a Google penalty via Webmaster Console or email (mention that my website was not verified on Webmaster Tools).

After i’ve carefully read Google’s quality guidelines i have taken the following corrective actions:

1. I’ve removed page redirects (Refresh:0; url=”download-link”) from my download pages.
2. I’ve added rel=”nofollow” to all my external and internal links that could be considered Google’s quality guidelines violating links.
3. I’ve removed repeated bolded keywords that could be considered keyword spamming.

I’ve just filed a reinclusion request.
I don’t know how to be sure that the cause for my website sudden drop is a google penalty or there are other causes.


 8:42 am on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)


If you are not checking a specific Datacenter by IP it could just be that you are seeing results from different data centers.




 11:35 am on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Then how do you explain traffic big decrease in Google Analytics?


 1:41 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)


I think that my message is out of context because the message I was replying to has been deleted.




 12:32 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Losing page rank on vital pages has resulted in ranking, my website has been going up and down the ranking throughout the duration of last week.
Now I dread the worst with most of the competitive words dropping 100 places. Can it be that the pages are too optimised or that Google has banned the pages?

How would I find out?

[edited by: tedster at 3:51 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]


 4:42 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have read that the links have taken a beating this time round,how can we tell which links are those which google is now banning and effecting our webiste rankings.


 6:16 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Last week i just added keywords meta tag to my site.

Did you do this for personal reference about the page topic?


 10:13 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

One of my sites suddenly jumped from 500+ to just outside the top 100 for my main keyword. But within 48 hrs, it fell back to outside 500 again.

Is this a teaser - a sneak preview of future SERPS ? I've noticed this teaser effect happening on a few occasions. Anyone else?

Any similar experiences?


 11:13 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>>>Last week I just added keywords meta tag to my site.<<<<

Where was the original post of that comment? (I don't see it in this thread. I want context before responding. Also want to know if the site was 950'd.)



 2:27 am on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

something is going on: I am either #3 or 11 for a keyword. I have that in my domain but it is a very new site so it may take a bit longer. On my Google.com, I am #. Checking with many tools sites, I'm 11 on all Dcs. But then, I even used an anon service and that shows me at #3 at "google.com."


 5:17 am on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Walkman, here's one for you.

Single word term. The exact same page shows at #34 AND #42. The entire content of the page (other than tons of FrontPage html) in the cache is:

<title>New Page 1</title>

<p>This page uses frames, but your browser doesn't support them.</p>

Close the browser. Reopen and repeat the search. The page now shows only at #42

Close browser, reopen and re-search and now it is only at #34

I am seeing any number of sites in the top 50 that appear to be chosen completely at random.

The site in question shows zero links in G, Y or MS, though it does show a PR of 4? Cache date of 3/13/08. It has 13 pages indexed in G. The domain was registered in 2002. No DMOZ listing.

I have seen more and more of these poorly designed, completely non-optimized and virtually useless brochure sites popping up in the top 20 on this particular term recently. I have scratched my head over these for hours, and I can only conclude that there is some random element that keeps stirring some of these sites to the top every few days.


 8:28 am on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

One of my new sites just got out of the sandbox after exactly two months. (With no IBLs, completely organic searches.)

That seems shorter than ever. It's possible Google has changed its algo to shorten the sandbox.

I think in previous years my sites were in the sandbox for at least six months. Which, frankly, was totally ridiculous.

"We can't trust a site which isn't up for six months. Less than that, it's impossible to have any value."

This new site is only about 25 pages, but it's already top 10 for a competitive phrase (the one I targeted).

The Yahoo sandbox lasted one day.



 8:52 am on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have again noticed that last night Google had changed the rankings and I started appearing in the top 100 for competitive terms which I was no where for before.

Looked again this morning and again I was nowhere to be seen. Did anyone else experience this?


 2:13 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

eljacko please tell me how do you check first 100 google results for a specific keyword. Do you use a tool for this or manually?

This 156 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 156 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 > >
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