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March 2008 Google SERP Changes
FromRocky




msg:3588631
 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?

 

Atomic




msg:3588653
 6:59 am on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Does anyone experience this?

Yes. Several of my sites are going through this and it's not the first time.

stevelibby




msg:3588671
 9:14 am on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Definate pr change, my site is wobbly its like jelly in one update my internal pages show pr 3 and some grey and then on the next its a complete reversal now the 3 is a grey bar and the greys are a 3. Its driving me nuts. Can anyone help?

BillyS




msg:3588779
 3:03 pm on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

There has been a change in the link: results too.

[edited by: BillyS at 3:03 pm (utc) on Mar. 1, 2008]

BillyS




msg:3588781
 3:07 pm on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sorry about the double post...

We had been a PR6, then 5, down to 4... all the time ranking improved and the number of links reported increased.

Now links reported are down by 50% and we're back to a PR5. Even stranger (to me at least) is that Google Webmaster continues to show more links.

I don't get it other than the fact the link:command is getting pretty useless (and yes, I know it was confusing before but at least there seemed to be some kind of pattern).

FromRocky




msg:3588789
 3:18 pm on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

The sitemaps of WMT also show an update on the number of site links.

Atomic




msg:3589394
 6:21 pm on Mar 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

For a search term I monitor the long-time holder of spot #2 has dropped to spot #39. It's annoyed me a long time because it's an article that's syndicated and appears on many websites and even several blogs. At one point it held 3 of the top 10 spots, then 2 and for now it's got none of them after clinging tenaciously to #2 for at least 3 years. I'd call this a big change.

Robert Charlton




msg:3589464
 8:52 pm on Mar 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

For a search term I monitor the long-time holder of spot #2 has dropped to spot #39. It's annoyed me a long time because it's an article that's syndicated and appears on many websites and even several blogs.

Funny... this could almost describe an article on a client site, except for one aspect. The article wasn't syndicated... it was completely original and very good... but it did/does appear "on many websites and even several blogs." It went from #2 to the mid thirties (and now has dropped out entirely as another page on our site, not nearly as appropriate, has shown up in the twenties). So, Google may be treating dupes more harshly, but, for the first time that I've seen in a while, they've gotten the identification wrong, at least in this case.

Also, Google's reranking of one-word terms is continuing, and they're playing around with what appear to be different slots for different verticals for which the one-word terms apply. This is very similar to what we've been seeing with slots in Universal Search for news results, video results, etc, where they're experimenting with different placements.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:53 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2008]

Durbanite




msg:3589690
 6:56 am on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

YES! Finally an answer. I am also seeing a PR update. Our newish site finally has something other than a greyed out PR.

Komodo_Tale




msg:3595872
 12:51 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have seen a lot of SERPs movement the last few days for some important two word queries. How's the weather out there in your neck of the woods?

a_chameleon




msg:3595941
 2:35 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is very similar to what we've been seeing with slots in Universal Search for news results, video results, etc, where they're experimenting with different placements.

I'm noticing these "segregated" results in the Google Experimental Search
tests, too, FWIW.

I agree, mybe Google is leaning towards categorized (?)
results, in both one and two-word SERPs..
.

indias next no1




msg:3595951
 3:12 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

from today morning there is a big change in the SERP atleast to me, one of my website ( news site ) gone from SERPs

willybfriendly




msg:3595955
 3:28 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am seeing a merging of singular and plural on a term where there can be a pretty significant difference in meaning for the two. The phenomenon does not, however, seem to be overly generalized (yet?).

I also have to say I am about six shades of sick of seeing you tube and wiki in the SERPs. If I want to search either of them, I can go straight to the respective site.

They, unlike WebmasterWorld, have functioning search.

Speaking of which, Brett, if you are out there, when will we get our skins back so I can reinstall a search bar?

dolcevita




msg:3596053
 8:34 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Actually i have noticed yesterday big changes for one of my 7 years old site. I have nothing changes on site for a last couple months and yesterday suddenly disappeared from top 10 for many search terms where site was before and i can find many terms on position 130 or not ranked at all.
Only one term dropped from position 4 to position 19 and all other gone.
What is going on here? I have sent directly mail to google through webmaster panel asking what's going on and request for reconsideration site again because i feel that such a big dropping can not happen without placing some kind of penalty on the site and i have not any idea what is wrong because i have nothing changes at all on the site.
My traffic from 130k unique visitors monthly should drop for sure for 60% what is devastated for any site.
I hope that this changes will be soon back as it was before and suppose to be.

ps

It is funny that a couple days a go i got again back my PR5 that was lowered 3 months a go from PR5 to PR4.
Just saw similar problem that has marcus about month a go:
[webmasterworld.com...]

and it has been solved for him in mean times. Let's hope that same thing will happen to my site.

[edited by: tedster at 3:04 pm (utc) on Mar. 10, 2008]
[edit reason] link fixed [/edit]

ChicagoFan67




msg:3596072
 10:03 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing very new and much younger sites come from way back in the field, finding a landing on the first page of results (often in the top 5). I'm one of the oldest in my field. One newcomer site has homepage title very similar to mine. It has a similar amount of text content as mine and other competing sites on page 1 of the SERPs but it is underdeveloped and promises way more than it delivers. It will probably not have a high bounce rate either because people will get stuck there for long periods trying to look for content which is non-existent!

I'm also seeing some of my newer pages jump from position 7 or 8 to either the top position or second, displacing pages (that offer less relevent content) that have been there for eons!

I'm wondering at the moment if Google has devalued age or is it just simply placing more emphasis on the click-through/bounce back ratio?

Hissingsid




msg:3596079
 10:08 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Jumping
########
Each morning when I check our main target term I'm noticing a bit of flux and a different site each day that jumps into the top 5 only to drop down to 10 or below the next day.

Plurals
#######
I've removed the plural widgets from our home page. Previously our home page was #1 for widgets service , now our home page is not in the top 100 and inner page is at #86.

My hypothesis is that if you rank well for the singular of certain words then it takes very little use on page to also rank for the plural. The reverse does not work however for the terms that I follow.

Can anyone add weight to or destroy this hypothesis?

Cheers

Sid

[edited by: Hissingsid at 10:10 am (utc) on Mar. 10, 2008]

Errioxa




msg:3596139
 11:42 am on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

In Google.es there are changes on serps. The importance in the age of the domain may be the case, there are many new websites.

tedster




msg:3596320
 3:09 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I see something similar, with relatively new domains making a sudden apppearance in many SERPs this past week. If they can keep the spam limited, this would be a good thing.

I assume that this may be a new version of what I've called the "honeymoon period" for new sites. That is, if the user data that Google collects for a new site in the SERPs doesn't show that Google searchers like it, it still may vanish just as fast as it showed up. Time will tell.

Errioxa




msg:3596340
 3:20 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

But, this results are bad. The web pages in serps are small with a few backlinks... I don't understand it.
I believe that these results will be little time

almir




msg:3596384
 3:56 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Gone from serps this morning,too

from first page to last one

salan




msg:3596407
 4:16 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a (unfunded, for now) notion that this change might have particularly affected websites with non-cloaked outbound affiliate links - regardless of age and quality of the inbound link profile.

Can anyone confirm if this applies to the websites that has experienced heavy drops?

JeremyL




msg:3596426
 4:27 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have been seeing huge swings in the SERPs for the past 4-5 days. It almost feels like an old school algo update as opposed to the rolling update Google has used over the past few years.

JeremyL




msg:3596443
 4:38 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Along the lines of newer sites showing in the serps, I am seeing the same thing.

I know Google segments it's front page SERPs so that certain classifications of sites show so there is variety. At least for now they seem to have added the "new site" classification to the front page mix. I can see it in the form of 2 different newer sites which should not be there, rotating to the front page, but never being there at the same time.

a_chameleon




msg:3596488
 5:17 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

they seem to have added the "new site" classification to the front page mix. I can see it in the form of 2 different newer sites which should not be there, rotating to the front page, but never being there at the same time

Isn't what's going on pretty characteristic of a 'true' Google dance,
or am I just remembering the old days .. ?
:)
.

potentialgeek




msg:3596514
 5:43 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

> Along the lines of newer sites showing in the serps, I am seeing the same thing.

Is the sandbox getting shorter?

p/g

Komodo_Tale




msg:3596572
 6:43 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Isn't what's going on pretty characteristic of a 'true' Google dance...?

On Friday night it sure looked like it on the datacenters/IPs. Different IPs were all over the place.

On Saturday they returned to being in sync.

On Sunday they stayed in sync and moved together like a conga line.

Some keywords I looked at were all over the map 1 to 10. Others were stable 1 to 5 with movement 6 to 10.

tedster




msg:3596589
 6:55 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

or am I just remembering the old days .. ?

Probably just some kind of nostaliga ;) Google's infrastructure is vastly different compared to the days when we had a once-a-month "Google Dance".

I think that JeremyL's observation of two new sites "rotating to the front page, but never being there at the same time" is fascinating. I'm on the lookout for more examples of that one!

a_chameleon




msg:3596632
 7:28 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

JeremyL's observation.. is fascinating

I'm not seeing this yet, but I'm trying to find it..

[edited by: tedster at 7:59 pm (utc) on Mar. 10, 2008]

Rlilly




msg:3596750
 8:51 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have seen 4 different sites jumping into the 4 spot for a targeted keyword. They rotate to this spot quite often.

sandboxsam




msg:3596855
 10:19 pm on Mar 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I too have been seeing this jumping going on for about a week now.

I have seen 7-9 position sites individually, jump to position 3 or 5, occasionally position 2.

Then the site drops back and another site will jump up and go back.
The cycle time is about 6-12 hours.

There are also periods of time, hours that these sites remain in positions 7-9. Not always in the same order.

This observation is all for the same three word phrase.

These are NOT new sites, they have been around since at least 2000.

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