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This 157 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 157 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 > >     
Update Dewey: April 2008 Google SERP Changes

 10:32 pm on Mar 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

So what's up with the Google? Something big is going on?

It would appear we are in for an old style Google shake up. From what I've seen listed on a variety of blogs a number of long standing sites listed on the first page have been delisted or dumped way back.

I've had one site online since 1997 that had a lock on the top spot for my keywords on and off for four years on Google just go "poof", all that's left of it is two obscure pages I haven't changed since about 2001 ;~)

So far I've received nothing in the way of messages on webmaster tools, and my site went missing in action after March 16TH. I'm just going to wait it out to see if the old girl gets relisted. I've gone over the whole thing and there's nothing on the site that breaks any Google guidelines unless there is something new in the algo.

Anyone else going to sit it out before going off the deep end to once agin ask " what does Google Want?"

[edited by: tedster at 8:36 pm (utc) on April 1, 2008]



 7:49 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I see the core websites being shifted around, with newer websites with less backlinks pushing them out. However, In sectors that I watch, I do see a slow move back to where we were previously, with previous websites regaining some ground.

Impossible to ever know what these large scale movements are.


 7:51 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)


the same Google top 10 include another website in a similar style ( youtube + adsense, no original content ) with also only 35 sites linking to them. In this case primarily related domainspam. in this case PR 3.

Perhaps thats the new way to revenues.

Slash a few youtube clips together with adsense. Buy a few domains around that topic and Google will pay you well.

and btw.

the trick seems to be that the No.1 rank has 1.000 inbound links from 30 sites and the other one 252 from 35 sites.

[edited by: night707 at 7:56 pm (utc) on April 3, 2008]


 7:51 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

if they bought a different strong domain and then used a 301 redirect to the domain that is ranking.

Do You mean that 301 transfers the PR and linkjuice from inbounds to the new domain ?

If that is the case makes ya wonder if the opposite could work. Penalized site/domain/page then 301 redirect to a healthy site or page...


 8:01 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Makes for very mysterious rankings at times!

What is Googles policy on that ?

That example is on 1 since a while.

Another funny thing is, that 367 links from a similar page with PR 0 are the biggest chunk from the 1000 inbound links that makes them No.1.

Google probably now goes for the amount of links and not sites that link to a page.

[edited by: night707 at 8:21 pm (utc) on April 3, 2008]


 8:06 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Penalized site/domain/page then 301 redirect to a healthy site or page...

If that works, penalized domains will become valuable weapons for certain mentalities.


 8:12 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

If that is the case makes ya wonder if the opposite could work. Penalized site/domain/page then 301 redirect to a healthy site or page...

I wonder how much the guys with the big black hats would charge to do that to your #1 competitor. The offensive sabotage opportunities grow with every new move Google makes.

There's actually now a value in a penalised site.

Come on Matt get it sorted out, these guys are just taking the pi** out of you.




 8:20 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

@ reseller


Would you mind mentioning the IP of the google or the IP of data centers you are hitting.

Not a clue! I use the default Google search box in Opera which always gives me far different results to Firefox.

Bear in mind I'm in the UK and Firefox seems to take a mixture of results seemingly weighted towards UK listings which is useless for me when trying to ascertain how I'm doing versus the rest of the world!

To get a different perspective altogether I use mega proxy occasionally to see what's happening and it seems to be more or less up-to-date usually.


 8:25 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Husky,

Are you searching on Google.com using Opera?



By the way there is an extension for Firefox that tells you the IP of the page you are at.

[edited by: Hissingsid at 8:26 pm (utc) on April 3, 2008]


 8:45 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

that IP seems to show the "correct" results - although there is another index that keeps switching in and out that is way off base.

Just wait, things will settle I'm sure.


 8:45 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)


To you and the other kind fellow members who wish to watch Google data centers!

There are free tools available to watch the data centers showing the IP of each. You may wish to Google for example "Google datacenter watch".


 9:27 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

This seriously does suck

In my uk sector one site has appeared from nowhere and is ranking for a v competitive phrase with hundreds of (im guessing quickly acquired) off topic Turkish blog links! Now in fairness to the Turks - the site has a decent PR but surely a crappy sidebar link on a completely unrelated non geo targeted blog cant work - can it?

Are we really getting back to that?


 11:19 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've noticed google loves cheap links ever since the update just before Christmas. They don't even have to come from different sites. 200 links from one crappy site seems to be fine by Google these days. Seems, you just get an Indian "SEO" company to buy them for you at $6 each! This Google ain't so smart.


 12:44 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi again.
My Google dance continued unitl I 'Dewey'd a report, now stable.
Thanx mat!

One thing I DID notice during the dance, the only other site that moved about like I did in the first 20 results for my specific keyword was a site with LOADS of NEW links, like myself..(I been working on links for the last 6 months, the other site is a well established wholesaler, just now launching a web site with lots of quality retailer links.),

We swapped between 4th and 11th. Sad to say , now we settled at 4th and 11th.

Sad to say I'm 11th....


 2:36 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've noticed google loves cheap links ever since the update just before Christmas...

Seems to be the case. I just stumbled on a network of thousands of marginal sites that have been bouncing in and out of the top 20 - all with "seo" from a single company. Over 98,000 in total! More than a few in my niche, which is how I happened to find it - as I was scratching my head over how it was that little 15 page brochure sites were ranking in the top 10 at times - sometimes better than sites with hundreds or even thousands of pages of quality content.

Who is it that said content is king?


 3:43 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

When I compare my results in Google India with the US results I'm pre-Florida and better. It shows you just how ridiculously heavy and different the filtering is in the US.


 4:16 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, it appears that India based SEO companies really have Googles number for this latest update of the algo.

A lot of their small sites are steam rolling into the top 10 and outranking huge sites soley based on the link profile generated by the SEO company.

This latest change has nothing to do with content.


 5:30 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am still seeing the first and second page results on both datacenters flooded with subdomains and spam sites where my 10 year old content site used to be. I know LoveJoy had mentioned this earlier in the thread. Is anyone else still experiencing results like this?


 6:48 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

you just get an Indian "SEO" company to buy them for you at $6 each!

$6! - you are paying way too much! (j/k)


 7:32 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)


Its too early to issue judgements about the final serps of Update Dewey. It might take more than a month from now to see things settled down.


 8:02 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)


The site that is #1 for our main search term has loads of cheap links, some sitewides (hundreds of links from the same off topic sites) and is owned by and seo company with offices in New Delhi.

I wonder if the trick is the balance between inbounds and out bounds.

I also postulate that the new Google Algo is once again US centric. Compared with the UK market the US is at least 10 times as big so if you set your filters to penalise sitewides, quick inbound growth etc the threshold for the US needs to be 10 times as large as for the UK (and other smaller markets) for UK specific terms, otherwise it is easy for seo kiddies to fool Google. That is exactly what is happening right now.

Come on Matt there's a whole World outside the US but some terms need to have different thresholds because they are market specific not Worldwide. If you give us a way to communicate with you I'll send you my example. Googleguy looked at it after the Florida update and saw the reasoning.




 8:07 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sorry to do an immediate 2nd post but ...

I don't believe it the site at #1 owned by the Indian SEO Co. now has site links in the UK for the term they shouldn't even be #1 for. What the **** is going on at Google. I've never seen site links for this term before and this site is the last that I'd give them to.




 8:18 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have examined another top 20 of aglobally popular kw and it shows the same pattern as the one mentioned before.

Fact is, that there are many sites that make big adsense money by taking the p.... out of Google with obvious MFA link spam.

Step 1

Put a few embedded youtube or live vids together on a domain name that contains your targeted keyword. Copy the describtion of the video to have some text. Also type 20+ times Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears for extra traffic.

Step 2

buy a few related domain names from where you link to the site that you want to see on No.1.

Take two or three of these related domains and produce a few hundred pages that link to your desired No.1 ( up to 500 seems to be fine )

Step 3

Hire some Indian seo spammers who have loads of cheap blogs, forums etc. that are designed to give additional link juice.

1000 links for $10 etc.

That way you can push away any regular media and content site.

I never bought any link for any of our sites which have hundreds of organic links including loads of directory links at DMOZ, Google, Yahoo etc. and i simply wish, that Google will be able to show the best content pages on top.

But obviously Google does not want that. Otherwise they would have established a scheme like "proven quality publishers" to ensure that the top 20 will show the "real top 20".

Check also this thread.



 12:23 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

the site at #1 owned by the Indian SEO Co.

and is owned by and seo company with offices in New Delhi.

you just get an Indian "SEO" company to buy them for you at $6 each!

India based SEO companies really have Googles number

All these references to the Indian SEO companies that are building thousands of links for cheap suddenly working go tme thinking so I did some research in the news sections and I think I've found the link!

There are billions of people over there but only 30-40 million actually online. If Google can get more of that population online then it can boost it's sales month on month. Getting more people searching on Google is a far easier financial strategy than squeezing more money out of advertisers! So how do they get them online? Increase the number of internet businesses in India seems the easiest and fastest way to do such - I can't think of a better plan than that!

By making all these rubbish SEO tactics actually work internet development in India will take off along with Google's profits. Bravo Google. Bravo.


 12:55 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Who is it that said content is king?

Not an SEO.

On another note, are Indians somehow inferior? I know many Indians and some of them are the most intelligent successful people I have had the pleasure of meeting.


 1:07 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I for one meant no slur on the people of India however if I wanted to get some scripting done, or links built really cheaply I would go either to Eastern Europe or India.

Go and take a look at getafreelancer and you'll see what I mean.

The FACT that there is a common link between unexplained sudden #1 rankings, which is the geographical location of the seos involved, is worth reporting IMHO.




 1:20 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)


it is up to Google to decide where they want to transfer internet traffic and adsense dollars.

They can feed scammers who clearly vioalate their webmaster rules or they can send Google users to regular content sites.

Right now Google is obviously offering wide open doors to crooks from all over the world and it is some sleazy Indians who jump in first.


 1:25 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm still noticing a few major keyword searches bouncing around (page 1 to page 3) with new results showing on first page. Most of my results are stable though.

However, Google can't seem to grasp the fact that several of the top listings are simply distributing free visitor counters with hidden backlinks allowing these spammers to climb right to the top. Totally unrelated sites (in the hundreds, if not thousands) pick up these counters to use on their sites and are unknowingly contributing to the success of these spammers. I say unknowingly because I've emailed a few of the site owners and they are taken by surprise and quickly remove the counters. Must I email each and every one of them to end this?

I've been reporting this to Google (via Webmaster Tools) for about a year now and still no changes. Has anyone else noticed this and actually seen Google take action against these spammers? All I want is for Google to simply discount the links from these counters!


 1:55 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Way back there a few pages, Reseller asked:


Had any of those 135 sites you mentioned been affected during the previous "Update BigDaddy"?

Whats the size of the largest 4 sites of those 135 sites?

Only one that I recall, and it wasn't for long.

As for size - how do you measure size? number of urls? traffic? I dunno what you mean. The sites range from one page "yellow book" type advertising sites to full blown ecommerce and auction sites with 5000+ products listed.


 1:55 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi MadeWillis,

By counters do you mean things like Digg, Stumble and other "bookmarking" sites?

If you do them my problem competitor has links 11 of these (including Google) at the bottom of each page and at the bottom of each page on other sites in their network.

How would this work to help tham?




 2:34 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Link Farms Make Comeback

Is that the headline of the latest SERP changes you're seeing? That's what it sounds like reading this thread.

I'm not seeing any changes in my sector. Top 20 all the same.

But the idea that Google would change its algo to allow link farms, which it has targeted so forcefully in the past, because they undermine the foundation of its algo, sounds wild.

It dealt with Link Farms years ago, and blog spam a year or two ago as well. So why would Google change its algo to allow both back in?

I could understand if there was a special sophisticated trick here in link farm design, but the comments from earlier posters don't indicate there is any sophistication at all in the creation of these link farms.

They're all from the same company&/region. Google, including Cutts, have been smoking out link farms with domain whois tracking, IP addresses, etc., so how could these alleged Indian link farms be flying below the radar?

Hundreds of links from the same sites is cheesy+cheap link farming strategy from the 1990s. More links from the same site=more punishment from Google.

The exception is authority sites. If you get many links--and I mean many--from an authority site, it counts as a positive.

For example, one of the authority sites in the RE industry for webmasters gives link juice after 300 posts in its forum, according to various webmasters there. That makes sense. But how many of these Link Farm sites are authority sites?

I guess my point is if spammy sites are getting away with murder in some sectors, it could be not from Google changing its core algo wrt links and blog spam, but something in these sites tells the Google algo to not treat them as spam.

Sort of like how with the 950 penalty, some sites stay free when others are punished because it has links from an authority site.

Like one thing that COUNTERS/OVERRIDES spam. The Saving Grace Feature.


[edited by: potentialgeek at 2:54 pm (utc) on April 4, 2008]


 2:35 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

By counters do you mean things like Digg, Stumble and other "bookmarking" sites?


By visitor counter I mean a box that people will show on the bottom of a page that shows how many visits that page has received. Basically, webmasters grab the code from a site offering these "free visitor counters", paste it on their site, and boom...a backlink to my competitor's site. There is usually very small anchor text under the counter with a keyword. This technique has been documented well here - [searchenginejournal.com...]

Seen anything like this? Search for this in Google and you will find tons of sites offering these free counters. Most are just contributing to the spam. Why would Google even allow sites that distribute these counters in their index? Does Google even look at the spam reports sent through Webmaster Tools? Maybe this just isn't evidence enough for them, but it stands out like a sore thumb to me.

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