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Google.com SERP Changes - November 2008 (part 2)
koded




msg:3779564
 12:01 am on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

That's the Ghost Dataset.
I don't see it as a bad thing those home pages went "missing". I see it as a good thing.

Hi Whitenight

Would you be kind enough to explain your rationale for this please.

Cheers

[edited by: tedster at 9:28 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2008]

 

pbaddock




msg:3780262
 11:08 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

my $0.02 worth.

We try to keep a eye on the rankings for a number of industry leaders in our region, about 8 websites, within the AU index and world wide index.

Over the weekend we noticed a significant drop in SERP rankings for our website and all other websites in our industry, specifically from the AU region, within the google.com SERP's.

It seems the website rankings and positions were relatively unchanged in the .com.au index as all seemed to maintain their existing and current rankings but in the .com index, all hell broke loose.

Of some note is that wikipedia, normally ranked #1 in our region for the more competitive terms is now lower down in the rankings.

This decline was not restricted to homepages alone but seemed to be a region wide drop for an industry, in short a foreign website weighting shift. Hence, wikipedia getting a lower weighting in .com.au and .com.au sites get lower weighting in .com index.

has anyone else seen this? .. does this account for most of the reported drops? .. i wonder if this is a permanant shift, a vision for the next 2 years, or is simply a "glitch" as Matt Cutts commented before.

whitenight




msg:3780263
 11:08 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

hmm. lets see.
It's 3:00 PST Nov 4th and all DCs are similar?

Dataset from 216.239.59.104 is now gone.

Most of the US is currently voting or watching election updates...

lol i'm just sayin! ;)

------------------

If you don't like the results as they are NOW, better get to work or wait til they shift again after New Years.
Been fun everyone. Back to work!

tangor




msg:3780265
 11:17 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've read this with a great deal of fascination. Sites I work on (mine included) are important to the creators, of course, but angst over daily or weekly ups and downs are not coffee topics. Ups and downs spanning months, on the other hand, do get a strong look. Then again, my experience for commercial (ie, for profit) sites is one, the other five are informational and carry no advertising or products.

Dave_Hybrid




msg:3780279
 11:43 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm still seeing much different results on 216.239.59.104

whitenight




msg:3780284
 11:52 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm still seeing much different results on 216.239.59.104

Good news for you.
Better take a snapshot of as many important SERPs ASAP for later review,
Cause it's about to go bye-bye.

Dave_Hybrid




msg:3780286
 11:57 pm on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

The most significant thing I can see is that wiki is ranking much lower, and my sites higher. Not sure what that means.

HuskyPup




msg:3780371
 3:26 am on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts:

I think

Yeah...does NOT know

kevsta




msg:3780445
 8:33 am on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

still seeing this here, its far from gone. what's everyone else seeing?

Fridaynite




msg:3780504
 10:23 am on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Since a few hours i see the same Googlebot slow crawling like on the days Sun-Tue last week. A new Update following?

szykman




msg:3780515
 11:08 am on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

My site was 302hijacked i dont know if i laugh or if i cry, most like i will cry... well i had a https pointing all shared ip web sites to my site so one of then was crawled by google as https and followed 254 pages from my web site, this site has a PG 0 and my site is now as supplemental results of this poor rank site, i can take ownership of this site as it is on my web server, now i deleted this https as all pages will return now a 404, but should i ask for google remove them ? should i as form reconsideration again as the only week we performed well on SERP must had influenced bu the last reconsideration request i made a month ago... does any one know if it is better to me disable this hijacking site? or make 301 redirect to my site again? well now it is over my especullation i have to clean this mess, thanks Claudio

qeo50000




msg:3780520
 11:26 am on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

why new changes don't value to back links from forum signature ?

JackPage




msg:3780644
 3:14 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is anyone noticing weird errors with WMT as this is going on?

I'm getting not found errors on pages that don't exist on my sites. I don't even remember these links, so all I can figure is that they're from ages ago. That new "linked from" feature doesn't even work - I get a "Our system is currently busy. Please try again in a few minutes." on every supposed link error that I try to check. Some of these just popped up on the 4th.

Top search queries is completely off for me too, but that's nothing new. Been like that for awhile.

SERPs wise, I had a subdomain from my main, seemingly filtered site have a huge jump in Google traffic from the 3rd to the 4th. Today, it seems to have gone away. Strange. I don't know what to make of this anymore.

bbd2000




msg:3780656
 3:36 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

The most significant thing I can see is that wiki is ranking much lower, and my sites higher. Not sure what that means.

Me Too!
I have long believed that Wikipedia does not deserve to rank for everything. Their content is good and it is getting better over time. Itís their SEO practices that offend me. The hoarding of page rank is just not cool.

Shaddows




msg:3780684
 4:15 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hoarding PR.

Say you had 20 links, 15 external but nofollow, 5 internal
Would G give you 1/5th votes per link or 1/20th? If the former and now the latter, would that account for wiki's drop?

We haven't really focussed on PR sculpting, concentrating on navigation instead. We do not use nofollow at all.

Have the sites using PR sculpting techniques been disproportionately affected? What about non-blogs (or social media) using nofollow?

Dave_Hybrid




msg:3780713
 5:06 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I do PR sculpting on my main site, I don't believe it's hurting it, I do it not to be selfish but as it is a very large forum it's a way of managing rogue outgoing links until they are caught. I think it may be an authority thing, maybe Goog is turning down domain age/authority so newer sites get a chance. That would explain wiki dropping in place of less aged/authoritative sites on the serps I monitor.

cabowabo




msg:3780824
 8:22 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

The timing of this couldn't be better. Matt will be in Vegas next week for PubCon. We should have a group "chat".

Cheers,

Cabo

wheel




msg:3780845
 9:01 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm back to #2 across the board. Being beaten by my article-and-directory-submitting competitors.

I'm not complaining, but wondering if I shouldn't blast links to some directories while I'm waiting for my next 'quality' link campaign to kick in. There was a post on sphinn recently that talked about 25 directories or so that are still halfway decent...I suppose I could drop my site into those to see if there's any kick there.

Or just wait :).

tedster




msg:3780872
 9:24 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

why new changes don't value to back links from forum signature ?

If you think about what a forum signature represents, you can see why it shouldn't have much value in a ranking algorithm. Google is looking to rank sites that other people will find of value. A forum signature is not an independent endorsement of a website from some third party - it usually is placed by the owner or staff of the site it points to.

szykman




msg:3780885
 9:37 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can anyone tell me please if i accidently hijacked 302 my own site with another site that i own, should i ask google remove the whole target site? will it compromise my "hijacked" site ?

the case is that i place 404 not found pages in this target site where i eliminated the "hijack" script

but google will take a long time to stop crawling the pages and cache so i placed a robot.txt disallowing google from craw this target site

but will it make my SERP back to it's original? will google delete cache and site or just remove the url but keep the ranks and messing my site? or should i ask for reconsideration ? or 404 will take care of the situation? man i think i cannot think anymore my brain is tierd...

grippo




msg:3780895
 9:50 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Only one of my sites: sub.domain.tld was hit on Oct/22, loosing 90% long tail of well ranking pages. I was prior to Oct/31 but I think it is related. After a lot of research, (I guess) I've found a reason: article pages are ok, but I have my own search engine and result pages were indexed with good ranking, now those result pages have been devaluated.

What can we learn? Pages with a good descriptive title but consisting of just a listing of links are devaluated from now on. I'm close to disallow indexing of result pages via robots.txt, because maybe those pages are good for users, but bad for Googlebot.

Anyone else have seen this? Agree or I have to look otherway?

TIA

tedster




msg:3780952
 11:55 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

szykman, there are too many possible factors to give you any guarantees about what will happen. On the surface, as long as you can afford to lose the site where you banned all spidering it sound like an OK decision. Did you consider placing a 301 from that domain to your target domain?

[edited by: tedster at 3:02 am (utc) on Nov. 6, 2008]

potentialgeek




msg:3781002
 2:20 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you think about what a forum signature represents, you can see why it shouldn't have much value in a ranking algorithm. Google is looking to rank sites that other people will find of value. A forum signature is not an independent endorsement of a website from some third party - it usually is placed by the owner or staff of the site it points to.

Webmasters on a real estate forum that allows signatures commented a year or two ago that they got a SERPs bump after about 300 posts. I agree with the point it's self-promotion (and one of the oldest forms of online self-promotion, which used to be bigger on usenet, back in the day), but on your principle, why does Google still respect article sites?

On the topic of SERP changes this month, for one keyword I see five YouTube results on the first page! First it's wikipedia, then four YTs, then natural results, with another YT between 8 and 9. Next month maybe it'll be just YT! I've never seen so many YTs on one SERP. The search word isn't even video.

I think I wish Google had never bought YouTube. I don't know if they're making any money off it, but I know I'm losing money because of it. (At least 50% on this one site since YT flooded the results.)

Why they can't put a link to "Video Results" and leave it at that is beyond me.

p/g

tedster




msg:3781021
 3:13 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

p/g - you are someone who is both literate and technically knowledgeable, but that's not the average web user. In fact the average web user doesn't really read very much, especially online - but they really do love their media. If a video in any particular search result doesn't get good metrics, Google does drop it after a while. I've seen it happen several times - and it happens with other types of blended search, too, such as a Books one-box.

As I understand it, Google is onto something that many users are happy with. It's a certain demographic, granted, but still it is a pretty large slice of the general public.

Many web businesses are learning this lesson. One of my clients used to have five videos total on their website. They saw the popularity of those videos (the stats leaned very heavily toward video) and so they began to create a lot more.

Now they are happy when they see their video begin to rank through Universal Search placements. Like it or not, Video is an important piece of the search picture and it's likely to stay that way.

CainIV




msg:3781088
 7:08 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

"On the topic of SERP changes this month, for one keyword I see five YouTube results on the first page!"

I see the same thing, interestingly enough some sectors have cleaned up well, while others are bouncing in and out of some very bad results.

Its not just Youtube, its half the video sites out there that are winning top 10 in some genres.

bluntforce




msg:3781094
 7:56 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I thought this latest variation in the SERPs was a limited time-frame thing based on an earlier post from MC about data being included without the "normal" quality factors included.

I've taken a hit, not only on my main page, but also a secondary page that has a fair amount of significance, but with a plural keyword emphasis.

My assumption, with the information provided, was there was a "bad" data push that should have been rectified. We're quite a few days off 10-31, where the first notifications were acknowledged that there might be an issue. I'm not seeing this issue being over, I see sometimes good position, sometimes 9-10 position and sometimes non-existent position. "allin" searches show pretty much mid first page which is what I'd expect.

So, anyone have a clue as to what the heck is going on? I try to run fairly WH, so I'm surprised by a change that doesn't really make much sense to me.

Any insights, or thoughts, appreciated.

andrewshim




msg:3781144
 10:16 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

My assumption, with the information provided, was there was a "bad" data push that should have been rectified. We're quite a few days off 10-31, where the first notifications were acknowledged that there might be an issue. I'm not seeing this issue being over, I see sometimes good position, sometimes 9-10 position and sometimes non-existent position. "allin" searches show pretty much mid first page which is what I'd expect.

ditto

szykman




msg:3781146
 10:21 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Tedster

great hear your opinion,

>Did you consider placing a 301 from that domain to your target domain?

yeah i considered too, also i ask google to remove some urls and used the robots.txt to block robots from that target site

regarding to the 301 redirect do you think it would re-build my original Rank as the other way around it will reverse what happened? as the opposite of the hijacking ?

This 302 hijacked happened just because a https layer was pointing as a global alias all shared ips and this target site too, direct to my web site so https://www.targetexample.com was the same thing as [mydomain.com......] now all pages are 404 not found

to do this 301 instead of 302 i would need to know how apache would handle this as it is apache that is redirecting, i tried using htaccess+mod rewrite and didn't work

probably my site is "marked in google" as duplicated content and i will need to ask their reconsideration if after some days nothing gets better...

thanks
Claudio

Shaddows




msg:3781147
 10:23 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sorry to restate this, but Matt never said anything to the effect that this was a bad datapush, or a mistake. Just that data was out without signals, and this was not a test.

For a short period (24-48 hours), there were SERPs that did not have quality signals fully incorporated. I think a priori trust and authority in particular were disgarded (hence authority homepages were gone, and deliberately surpressed, and sitelinks disappeared). The the results were iteratively processed with the quality factors turned up slowly from 0 to FULL POWER, with whatever blend/weighting Google currently think is best. Trust and authority were thus revalued, some former authorities are no longer considered so, and some new ones have emerged. The fundamental assumptions about what consititutes 'authority' may have been re-evaluated, leading to the less ubiquitous appearance of Wiki (amongst others).

I don't think coloured hats is especially useful here if we are to understand the new world order. Losing position is NOT always a penalty. Gaining a position is not always hard work. Algo tweaks affect us all, for good or bad. Trying to find common factors in changes is the only way we learn. Google (whatever we think) will live or die by returning relevant links to searchers. Sure, they are monetised. And sure they will maximise their return but, long-term, this means keeping their searchers happy.

So, the questions I think would be helpful to have answered so everyone can get a handle on this are:
1) Were the effects on you: univerally positive/negative/some of each
2) Are you info, ecom or blog?
3) How have you built your backlink profile [ a) bought links / b) link exchange / c) none-entirely natural/ d) begged, coerced / e) mix- how much]
4) Outbounds- lots/few and follow/nofollow

For my part
1) mostly positive
2) ecom
3) mostly C, some D
4) Lots, to manufacturer sites, all follow (launching new window for those who realise its madnes to send visitors off-site)

Shaddows




msg:3781149
 10:25 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

probably my site is "marked in google" as duplicated content and i will need to ask their reconsideration

Google fiters dup content- it does NOT penalise (apart from particularly nasty examples). As the 404s drop out of SERPs, the original content will be de-filtered.

[edited by: Shaddows at 10:27 am (utc) on Nov. 6, 2008]

eljacko




msg:3781159
 10:37 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have seen a little change in the UK DCs, I have just gone to a 1 page position after being on the second page for month's.

Is this another update glitch or is it for real as I have seen this happen for a days now?

eljacko




msg:3781161
 10:42 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Shaddows -

1- mostley positive
2 - info
3- a,c,d
4- few to high authority websites, all follow

This 186 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 186 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 > >
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