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This 186 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 186 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 > >     
Google.com SERP Changes - November 2008 (part 2)

 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.


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



 5:06 pm on Nov 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

wingslevel -- same here, all our homepage and higher ranking inner pages rank the same, for a great majority of our keywords.

We roared back when Matt said the problem was fixed (we glitched Oct 31st for a short part of the day, and then fully returned on Nov 1st, 4am or so in the early morning)

The trust dial is completely at work here, I can't even rank for my site name with the 8 sitelinks I've had for many, authortative years...


 3:57 pm on Nov 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Something has changed with the supplemental index, seeing 100% more URLs in the main index today.


 1:02 pm on Nov 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

I don't know if this is G going through yet another one of its tweaks but gumtree is now taking 7 of the top 20 places on one of the terms I monitor and other terms are looking just as bad, overall the serps are looking poor anyone else seeing the same

[edited by: tedster at 4:37 pm (utc) on Nov. 9, 2008]


 12:09 am on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

could be something to the sitelinks connection theory we've gone from 3 to 8 in WMT tonight


 12:38 am on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hacked edus have a greater % share of the localset now than any point in which I was tracking them.


 1:12 am on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

anything to the having an old homepage cache? I'm still seeing October 31st for the homepage (subpages are seeing cache dates within Nov 2th-7th).

October 31st was the Halloween special Google gave us; I wonder if there is any correlation to this?


 9:36 am on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

homepage cache 30 oct currently. new sitelinks will showing with the right search


 9:14 pm on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

...think I have found what all the sites that are suffering from penalties have in common...

[edited by: KevinSource at 9:19 pm (utc) on Nov. 10, 2008]


 9:32 pm on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

KevinSource whats that then?


 11:01 pm on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just noticed some fluctuations for my site. Similar to what happened a few weeks ago but my serps didn't go as far down this time as they did before.


 11:03 pm on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I see at the moment Toolbar PageRank update on the following two DCs



Anybody else have noticed the same?

May be this TBPR update would be announced during PubCon. Lets wait and see ;-)


 1:34 am on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just a tremendous amount spam (.edu) still present in the index; multiple google operators and other tools reveal a common theme between all the authority sites still having issues.

allinurl = site is not #1, no sitelinks, etc...
Pagerank = intact, no visible change
site:mydomain.com= all pages present; even more are indexed
googlebot= moderate crawling; nothing different than before I believe

Adwords Pay-Per-click= tremendously positive developments on October 31st and on (likely coincidental); increased QS, rankings for the same bid price... I know organic search and ppc are apples and oranges, but you have to wonder how far this glitch extends... a penalty (at the minimum) one would think your cpc prices, quality scores to be negatively affected, not the opposite..

Where long standing #1 rankings have dropped to page 5-7, I am seeing an "indented" effect where the homepage and subpage are displaying in an indented listing type format.

Super respected authority sites (we are talking industry leaders, some as old as 1996, playing by the white hat book) can't even rank for their brand name, nor do their long standing sitelinks appear.

Moreover, it doesn't matter whether your site is ecommerce or affiliate based; I've personally observed sites in either niche suffering.

Interesting enough, the query www.mydomain.com does rank these missing authority sites #1 with their sitelinks- which is positive I guess?

Google Webmaster Guidelines Stipulate:

"Verify that your site ranks for your domain name
Do a Google search for www.[yourdomain].com. If your site doesn't appear in the results, or if it ranks poorly in the results, this is a sign that your site may be penalized for violations of the webmaster guidelines."

I'm just not convinced this is penalty related, just too many sites having identical issues (with an already known google confirmed problem). If October 31st was indeed an anomaly (per Matt Cutts) and quick fix Nov. 1st...then Nov 6th-7th where we saw a re-appearance of this "glitch" returning----I guess we'll hold out hope (lol) Nov. 13th and 14th will produce some kind of positive update to these remaining authority sites.

It's a bit hard to keep the faith...out of 8 billion websites, google has somehow lost a long standing, respected site? I agree something has flagged these authority sites (webmaster being guilty or I guess it's not completely impossible; right now they can't rid themselves of all this .edu spam that has invaded since Oct 31st.

Anyone care to share thoughts, common themes?


 2:14 am on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have been watching some crazy stuff over the last month in particular for our largest, oldest and most authorative property.

Page count has dropped 70% now over a 2 month period but overall traffic has increased.

Pages that are nestled deep inside with little link juice outranking authority sites while our most prominent and heavilly linked pages have been drilled.

This is the first time in 9 years we have seen this type of page count drop so I would say something big is going on over at the plex.

Only this site is being effected, other low pr5ish sites arent seeing anything like this going on.


 2:29 am on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Im not seeing any changes on those DC's reseller.


 6:13 am on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree Gankige it is getting harder and harder to keep faith and stay on the right side of the SEO line when you see sites drop and vanish that really should be ranking when "YOU" know they are clean with no black hat SEO and directories, spam & just URL's ranking when they shouldn't be

Their clearly "IS" something going on and I'd hoped like the last blip it would have been sorted over the weekend but no!

Hopefully G will not string us along too long before sorting this!


 6:27 am on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am noticing big changes in the results I look at, and they are not good, for me anyway!


 6:57 am on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've lost 3 sites to this "tweak" and whilst I accept the fact that sites do move around the serps a bit when its replaced with pure spam it does make you wonder what they are playing at

One site thats ranked 2nd for a highly competitive term is pure spam, the page has 30 links back to the index using the same main keyword for the site and nothing else - not even the design theme of site just a blank page with 30 links !

Is this what we really expect from the worlds number 1!


 9:57 am on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have noticed more than a handful of major local brands disappear for their own brand keyword, or their homepage disappear while other pages (ie. FAQ, About) are still listed.

[edited by: D4vid at 9:58 am (utc) on Nov. 11, 2008]


 2:07 pm on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wonder if there will be any discussion on this topic at PubCon this week...


 2:36 pm on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

For those who are fortunate enough to go and speak with Matt regarding this ongoing issue, please report back here to us less fortunate ones! ;)


 2:44 pm on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

For those who are fortunate enough to go and speak with Matt regarding this ongoing issue, please report back here to us less fortunate ones! ;)

Yup, and can we get clear and unambigous answers. "It's not a test" just doesnt cut it.

For the record, I'm still mostly good, but there are some weird results around. And I'm getting Yo-Yos where I wasnt before.


 3:07 pm on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys

for those who are looking for this new issues as i had my site 50% of traffic lost since last Sep 2008 i discovered that my site was 302 hijack"ed" by a https that was global over our ip so another site from other niche at the same server was crawled by google that "stole" our Page Rank on most of our KeyWords. This was not intentional, was a consequence of this missconfigured SSL HTTPS

first i watched my index being vanished from SERPs, than other autoritive pages of our site was not ranking for the keywords they used to

our regional SERPs are very poor and our google.com search even worst, i tried get more backlinks, exchange link programs, change page titles in order to increase my rank but nothing have changed

15 days after sending a Reconsideration Request my site got lot's better but a single week was what it takes to go down on SERPs again!

something was wrong and i needed to discover what i never had known this 302 hijack or Deceptive Redirect

but after i guy here at this thread pointed this possibility i did a search at google.com

"keyword" my_site_url

and it didnīt show the expected results

i did it again "keyword" mypage_particularname_html

then i realize instead of me, another site with the exactly page of mine


site:suspicious_site.com was showing my PAGES!

as i said in the beginning of this post it was un-intentional that this happened due to the HTTPS thing.

we placed a robots.txt disallowing all robots to craw the https, 404 not found pages to all requests coming from other sites to the ssl, and using the Removal Tool at webmaster tools removed more than 200 pages

a couple of days has passed since then nothing changes

"my keyword" suspicious_site.com shows the correct results

"my keyword" my_own_site_url doenīt show the correct results

i will wait more days and if it not fix itself alone i am going to send a spam report or something as another reconsideration request

we considered to 301 back from the suspicious site the requests to our correct and valid and own pages
but i was concerned to pass the lame rank from then back to us so i choose placing the robots and 404 header

diging it hard i even found a real Cloaking Deceptive link that is a bot of a particular domain

that has many pages in many languages, using this bot it clones pagenames and titles and mix some random content to create another pages of "autorithy" then it serves to googlebot this page headers and to us it strongly redirect to another thing that seems to be spam links Farm

but as they are not redirecting to our content and just mixing parts of many contents and copying our page names i think this is not a issue to me

i like to state that my site is 100% build with original content i never copy a single line and never had a single Black Hat over my sites it is 100% html and this issues are hard to be correct troubleshooted

thanks, hope someone else can find a clue on their issues


 5:01 pm on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

The yo-yo effect is the best thing their creative minds could come up with:

I like your site, one week later, no I don't like your site, two weeks later again I like your site, but, no one week later I don't like your site ....

This is childish behavior of an algorithm, what a nonsense! Maybe their machines are going wild and those Goog "creative minds" don't control them any more?

Again they try miserably to force publishers into Adwords to squeeze out a few more billions.

[edited by: SEOPTI at 5:03 pm (utc) on Nov. 11, 2008]


 5:19 pm on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

agree SEOPTI - but it will interesting to hear the spin Doc put his little name onto it


 5:41 pm on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Oh, it will be a 'relevancy' thing. Users are getting more relevant result. Those webmaster/SEO who are losing people will be 'in the minority' due to a 'bug' that they will be 'working on'. But the 'vast majority of users' will be happy.

The 'quotes' are the typical language used to explain away the completely coincidental requirement to spend on AdWords to keep trafic up.

Tin hat time. Would it not benefit Google to push up info sites (which have adsense on them) at the expense of ecom sites (which pay for adwords)?

On a less bitter note, I'm not really seeing the info-at-expense-of-ecom consistently on SERPS. Just different sites bouncing around in broadly the same proportions. Anyone actually seeing consistent data, rather than just the view from their site(s).

Conversely, any AdSensers seeing higher impressions due to improved organic rankings?


 7:07 pm on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Oh, it will be a 'relevancy' thing. Users are getting more relevant result. Those webmaster/SEO who are losing people will be 'in the minority' due to a 'bug' that they will be 'working on'. But the 'vast majority of users' will be happy.

live by sword, die by the sword. I wouldn't worry about what Google has to say about what's going on. It doesn't matter - your input won't change what they're doing and any answer they give won't give you any insight into how to get around what we're seeing.

Heck, I just checked and right now I'm #4 for 'widgets'. #1 is a site of all paid links, #2 is wikipedia, #3 is some rinkydink site with 76 backlinks, none of which are terribly authoritative or relevant. That's what's beating my main site with thousands of backlinks, mostly high quality and relevant. :). I'm not going to waste time figuring out how to tweak my site to make it palatable to whatever's happening.

The fact is, IMO I should be #1. And was for the last year or two. But I'm not. And I (and you) don't have anyone to petition to to 'correct' the issue.

If we're living off of the vagaries of an algo developed by a third party black box, it's wise to be a bit more diverse. What people should be learning from this is not how to fix this immediate problem, but how to guard against this type of problem on an ongoing basis. And that solution is pretty simple:
- develop more and better backlinks
- diversify your sites. One site is not enough. I have three, and have others I can light up if needed.
- attack the long tail

I'm either doing or working on all three of those. I'm in the middle of a site redesign that will allow me to publish another 50 articles. I've got three sites ranking, one is my blog. And since my main site is getting yoyo'ed on my main term (though I'm still getting traffic) my second and third sites are starting to gain steam and pick up the slack. When I'm done my design to my main site, publish the extra articles and calculators and drive new links to them, I expect to have a noticeable *increase* in traffic - yoyo effect notwithstanding. *that's* how to come out of this - more and sustainable traffic. not 'how do I fix what Google did wrong?'.


 9:28 pm on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wheel, of course you're right. In fact, as an ecom site, we're diversifying our product portfolio. It's taking time because we do silly, old fashined things like pre-sales technical advice. On an actual telephone. With an actual geographical number (well, it looks like one). As such, to add products, you have to add knowledge to your sales staff. Thats money, right there.

I'm also recommending to the Directors that we launch... well, lets not go there. It's not clever, but its quick, should be relatively easy.

And I'm still going for the 'build it and they will come' mentality. Good content, seeking good links from industry magazines. In fact, we've got some really great ones the last few months.

But, and here's the thing.
I claim my inalienable right to moan about things I can't control.

So added to my favourite topics of the weather, reality TV, and the price of beer, I now proudly add Google.

And like the football, I'm sure I could do a better job if I was in charge, rather than those overpaid people who's only qualification is to be the most talented people in a competitive feild. So there!


 4:58 am on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I guess something major is afoot.
One of my sites where I do a site:domainname.com/* operation almost daily, shows a jump from 70 pages to 460 pages. It was around 70 for more than a year.
Another site (not mine, belongs to a company with over a billion in sales), had major changes in ranks between yesterday and today.
WMT doesn't report any external links nor internal links. Just the total number of links.

This weekend would be exciting, IMHO.


 3:55 pm on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not only the site:domain.* supplementals changed. Even search.aol.com numbers (where I prefer to check my supplemental status) have changed dramatically.


 5:07 pm on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Top ten rankings for one of my sites have just returned (after dropping to the 3 or 4th page on Monday, just as they did on 30th November).

This says to me that the site is on the edge of a filter, and it is harmed when that filters knob it is tweaked to far in one direction. Now I believe this filter to be for 301 redirects (filtering out the authority passed on by 301s).

Does anyone else who has been experiencing this same yo-yo effect rely on 301s a bit too much and agree with me?

I feel obliged to point out that the 301s I have in place are legitimate - domain/company name change (just in case Google is watching lol)


 5:43 pm on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Interesting, we have hundreds/thousands of 301's also. Ours too, are legitimate...makes me wonder.

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