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Old News Results Showing in the Top Ten

 4:31 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Has anyone seen an extra news result appearing on the first page of Google results for their keywords?

For our most competitive keyword, we've been seeing weird, old news results pop up in the top ten hits. I can't figure out why these dated pages are appearing, but Google must be tweaking their algorithm a bit in this regard.

Has anyone else seen this?



 5:46 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, I've seen some of this recently - and not just News (or old news in some cases) but other types of universal search or blended search results, too. In particular Books and Videos are popping in and out of some SERPs I watch.


 6:41 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Actually, now I just got a news alert for this keyword, and it showed one of these dated pieces of news. So maybe Google is having an index-wide refresh that is somehow considering all this news to be recent?


 6:48 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

So maybe Google is having an index-wide refresh that is somehow considering all this news to be recent?

Hmmmm... add in the recent reports of a drop in spidering frequency [webmasterworld.com] and that sounds like a real possibility. It is the time of year where we often see "holiday changes" to Google Search.


 5:22 am on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have been conducting searches for many top keywords and this is exactly what I see in the SERPs: wikipedia, youtube videos, amazon, msn shopping results and google shopping results.


 5:26 am on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I mean, yahoo shopping results not google. I have also been seeing a strange similarity between yahoo and google results. Has anyone else noticed that?


 7:00 am on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Without being rude, there's only so much farmer's friend that can be mucked about (scrapped, duplicated, etc.) before the shovel hits bottom and the bottom turns top. Some of this can be chalked up to new efficiencies in search engines, some can be chalked up to "so much more of the same old dressed up in new shoes".


 7:17 am on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yahoo Shopping results? That's a hoot, isn't it.

But more seriously, this is a lot like the kind of shift we've seen in recent years. At this time of year, it takes a lot of parallel marketing channels or an established customer base to succeed. Google has decided that many queries are early in the "buying cycle" and the user really wants information. It will be interesting to see if it shifts in a few weeks.

Still, returning to the topic of the thread, including OLD news articles in the results does seem a bit off base. I'm guessing that would be a bug in the process rather than something intended.


 8:54 am on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree with you, but I firmly believe that if people only need info they could very well directly search wikipedia or youtube or shopping comparison engines. These websites really need not even be a part of the results. The funny thing is that I could see these strange results even when I search for keywords containing terms like 'cheap' or 'discount'. Anyone using these terms is certainly not looking for info.

Anycase, I think this is the case only in a few datacenters and could be a bug, so as you said, let's wait and watch.

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