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This 212 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 212 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 > >     
Google.com SERP Changes - June 2008
annej

WebmasterWorld Senior Member annej us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 8:24 pm on May 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

I've wondered too as to why some search terms are affected more than others and some result pages are changing around while other barely move.

Has anyone seen any relationship between how popular a search the term is and how much movement is going on?

As to when it will end I don't think we can predict as nothing quite like this has gone on before.

[edited by: tedster at 2:48 am (utc) on June 1, 2008]

 

Mark7144

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 10:40 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hissingsid, the #2 link is a non-existent URL but it is being listed as a separate page purely because when you go to that non-existent URL, you end up at the home page. Not sure what you mean when you are talking about sitelinks.

Regarding your comment on my second example, I think you are simply seeing different results than me.

[edited by: Mark7144 at 10:41 am (utc) on June 5, 2008]

Hissingsid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 11:12 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Mark,

What I see is:

#1 News results for Mr Murray
#2 Home page and site links for the sullen tennis player
#3 Homepage with query string

What I was eluding to re site links was the fact thet the site is authoritive and significant enough for Google to generate sitelinks for #2.

#3 Somewhere there must be some links back with this query string in them.

Cheers

Sid

Mark7144

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 11:18 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ah I see, yes I absolutely agree that there is potential for sitelinks but the fact #2 is identical and is the same page as #1 makes this completely unacceptable.

Yes, there must be a link to it with this query string. Maybe I will link to my home page with a bunch of non-existent query strings in the hope of dominating the SERPs with duplicate content ;)

[edited by: Mark7144 at 11:19 am (utc) on June 5, 2008]

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 6:17 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is very easy to allow/deny specific query string formats in your .htaccess file.

You can send a 404 or 403, or a 301 redirect to the correct version of the URL.

Mark7144

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 6:34 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

But why would these websites want to do that when they are dominating an extra position at the top with the same home page? Wouldn't surprise me if this ends up being blackhat if Google don't fix the issue.

oasisfan

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 9:43 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

yesterday our traffic dropped by about 30%!. Not sure what wev'e done. Our site is 10 years old and we don't do any black hat practices. The last times this has happened has been the prelude for a big change and USUALLY we go back to our previous traffic numbers.

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 10:16 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

.co.uk results have gone crazy again this morning

I'm watching one site bouncing around like crazy , 2 days ago 41 , now 61 , 7 days ago off the index , previously ranking highly . Other sites around it are more or less stable. However , changes were put through this site that appears to have provided some filtering issues.

I continue to suspect a new algo over the last month has been applied and it is having trouble coping with some amendments related to content and linking.

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 10:32 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

"But why would these websites want to do that when they are dominating an extra position at the top with the same home page?"

Because the most common thing to happen is very bad. What you describe virtually never happens, so nobody should try to do that.

potentialgeek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 4:28 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

> It looks like Matt Cutts is causing more problems than he is solving with his strategy of applying penalties for grey practices.

Yesterday's grey practices are tomorrow's penalties.

Mark7144

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 8:07 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can't believe this site is still ranked #1 and #2 with identical content. It's been 5 days now and yet Google are not fixing it. It seems out of no where Google has stopped updating its cache for this website since 1 June which means it won't realise the issue. Usually it would check it on a daily basis.

Tobyha

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 8:26 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, same site pages with different query strings in the serps looks terribly, seprs contain a lot of low quality sites at 1st places... hope that google fix it asap.

Mark7144

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 8:32 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are Google likely to be paying attention to this thread?

Hissingsid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 8:37 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Probably not.

They only seem to listen when they realise have really broken their algo seriously. The rest of the time they take long lunches playing street hockey and dreaming of their next holiday.

Cheers

Sid

Mark7144

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 8:52 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would consider having non-existent URLs and duplicate content ranking in the top-2 of competitive searches as serious.

[edited by: Mark7144 at 8:53 am (utc) on June 6, 2008]

Hissingsid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 9:11 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Mark,

Sorry but you will never qualify for a job at Googleplex with that attitude ;)

Cheers

Sid

edd1

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 9:15 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Are Google likely to be paying attention to this thread? "

No

RedCardinal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 9:45 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Out of curiosity Mark - how come this is such a big deal?

Between here and Webmaster Group you must have posted a couple dozen times on this. It will be transient, so give yourself a break and dont stress about it.

Hissingsid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 9:53 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just did a search on MSN for a term that we are #1 on Google for.

The #1 returns a 404
#2 does not provide what is being searched for and we are at #3.

FWIW IMO its much more acceptable,from the users point of view, to have a URL with a query string that does at least resolve to one that returns a 404.

If the guys at Google care about search quality at all they care about what users get not about being fair to webmasters.

Cheers

Sid

Mark7144

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 9:57 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

RedCardinal, my website usually is #2 but has since been knocked down by a web page that is not meant to exist and is a duplicate of the #1 listing.

Why does it mean so much to me? I'm a few days away from receiving what should be the largest traffic boost of the year lasting 1-3 weeks.

If this isn't fixed in time then I will feel absolutely gutted that my annual traffic boost was considerably lowered due to a mistake in an update to the Google algorithm.

[edited by: Mark7144 at 10:00 am (utc) on June 6, 2008]

c41lum

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 11:27 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Literally in may niche all the sites that have jumped up are all link buyers. There are sites that link back to me for content that are positioned above me.

All the crap about "right good content get in bound links and google will rank you high" is crap, because you can easily buy tons of links from India scrape content and then get ranked higher than the original content provider.

Hemanth

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 1:07 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Sid,

Big 'G' shocked me as well. Serps dropped to 1/10th and so do adsense earnings. It happened Yesterday.

Just a point i need to clarify, is having very few or no outbound links can cause an issue. My site is a vbulletin forum and i use a mod to hide urls from guest users . ie. No outbound links in the page other than some copyright notices in the footer. Will this be considered as a problem?

Also I enabled my RSS feeds a few days back ( which i turned off last December after a -950 penalty) and i can see a few scrapper sites already indexed a couple of hundreds of pages and Google indexed them all.

Hissingsid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 2:15 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Hemanth,

It is difficult to know what is a problem and what is a coincidence. After a particular update a few of us noted that directories and scraper directories were rising to the top and sites that had no outlinks were sinking. I and a few others put some carefully chosen outlinks on our home pages and elsewhere this might be a similar issueges in the sites and this seemed to help. This may have been a coincidence.

I've noticed a few people saying that scraper sites and directories were rising to the top again and wondered if this might be a similar issue.

I'm never patient enough to try one thing at a time and so I can never really learn what works and what doesn't in the mix of tweaking that I seem to be constantly doing.

Cheers

Sid

PS I used to have links to the directory pages where I am listed on ODP, yahoo and Google directory using my target keywords. I was convinced that this was keeping us at the top for years and then after we dropped back last August I took them off because someone fed my paranoia about these being the problem.

In other words I wouldn't listen to me if I was you ;)

oasisfan

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 3:26 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I hope its transitory, every other time but one it has been for us. Its nerve racking wondering if you will recover or not. Our traffic is down 50%.

I'm really proud of our site, we get lots of link requests which I ignore (so not to upset Google) and we get emails all the time saying how great our site is.

c41lum

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 3:57 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am starting to think these results will stick.

So I am taking the approach, that if you cant beat them - join them.

Just off to source a indian firm that can get me 500 blog links a day.(Only Joking Big G don't slap me anymore please.)

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 5:58 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Big 'G' shocked me as well. Serps dropped to 1/10th and so do adsense earnings. It happened Yesterday.

Note that we had a sudden flood of this kind of report - even from webmasters of large, well established and high PR. There's a separate thread about it, which maybe should stay separate to focus on the shift: Major Ranking Losses - 2008 June 4 [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: tedster at 7:10 pm (utc) on June 6, 2008]

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 6:29 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm a few days away from receiving what should be the largest traffic boost of the year lasting 1-3 weeks.

I guess Google is patting themselves on the back in your case with all the data gathering they do. Either up your Adwords spend or start spending with Adwords for those three weeks. As Matt Cutts ranted in some lesser seen posts. “What do they expect for free, nobody should depend on search results for a living.” Its evolved to “they” against “us” I guess. Of course it pretty well goes without saying Google can depend on the results for a living.

Mark7144

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 7:00 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I run a non-profit site so paying for Adwords is out of the question :(

Hemanth

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 1:06 pm on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sid
That's interesting ;)

Anyway i have decided to disable that url hiding mod and switch back to the old forum skin. In addition to this i turned off the rss also.

Now i'm lurking though all my incoming links and requested removal of a few of them.

There's a separate thread about it, which maybe should stay separate to focus on the shift: Major Ranking Losses - 2008 June 4

Thanks tedster. I'm on it.

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 9:40 pm on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

switch back to the old forum skin

This is one of the things that has caught my eye for a while. There seems to be an under current in some posts regarding the change of something especially images, usemaps, colors, gifs, navigation that utilizes hot spots, image labeling, etc. Makes me wonder if Google is having problems interpreting some design elements with their current algo or they’re intentionally flagging to inspect with a re-inclusion request.

BillyS

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 9:46 pm on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>There seems to be an under current in some posts regarding the change of something especially images, usemaps, colors, gifs, navigation that utilizes hot spots, image labeling, etc

Each year I change my site's template - starting from scratch so it has a fresh look and feel for the new year. I don't think Google has even blinked at it.

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3663984 posted 10:03 pm on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think you misinterpreted. I’m never said everybody or you. This was an observance with some people who were recently having problems. Remember with statistics and any analysis there are always cases to disprove the hypothesis. Rarely do you find a 100% consensus with anything especially in Google. You can disprove all theories with a lone case. It’s the percentage you observe.

I think you need to read the many threads where people claimed just changing anything cost them rankings.

Are you telling me all designs are the same?

This 212 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 212 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 > >
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