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This 76 message thread spans 3 pages: 76 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Google.com SERP Changes - January 2009
potentialgeek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 4:42 am on Jan 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

Google is giving SERP #2 in a very competitive sector to a site that uses browser "hijacking" (back button disabled by redirects/forwards to same page). Not sure if it's a javascript trick that loads when you hit the back button. This site also has a mirror site in the top 20! lol.

Shouldn't Google by 2009 be able to detect and not reward these old-as-the-hills schemes?

p/g

[edited by: tedster at 3:43 pm (utc) on Jan. 1, 2009]

 

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 3:45 pm on Jan 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

The back button thing seems minor to me, but ranking exact mirror sites along with each other is something I'm seeing more of in recent days. I hope it will fade away soon - and that this is just a bug in the New Year SERPs that needs to be fine-tuned.

johnnie

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 1:18 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Somehow all of my sites got slapped overnight. I don't understand why, since the sites are not interlinked in any way! Granted, they are on the same shared IP, but the only thing linking the sites is shared whois info and a common IP. Why would google do this? The sites all feature unique, quality material and are regularly provided with fresh content. No black hat stuff going on. Never has and never will.

What I have noticed, is that the server seems to have changed its IP. Could this cause such a drastic drop? Some of my other sites, which are also hosted on this IP, seem to be unaffected, but are in relatively uncompetitive niches.

[edited by: tedster at 4:40 pm (utc) on Jan. 6, 2009]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

Bewenched

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 8:57 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

We seem to have lost alot of traffic as well, but we've made no changes. Humm... I'll have to investigate further.

Dave_Hybrid

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 9:14 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Something just went nuts on my main site, traffic is dropping yet rankings are the same.

This is different to last years traffic loss and ranking loss.

dibbern2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 9:38 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Something is up, and I'm not complaining.

About 100 old established pages got buried in 500's (or worse) on Dec 17-19. As of this afternoon, almost everything is back to 1-10.

Was working on correcting a few errors, but I can't believe that did it, since its only been 24 hours since corrected pages were mapped.

Hope this isn't the yo-yo.

johnnie

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 1:27 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Of the three sites that got hit, all of them feature a fair amount of adsense. Maybe G has started factoring in ad placement? I have changed it and have filed a reconsideration request (there is absolutely nothing else I can think of that could cause a penalty, I double-checked *everything*). I'll keep you posted.

batgirl13uk

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 2:25 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hello
I have noticed a lot more movement and odd results this week myself like paid listings on the 2nd page, blog results being listed separately, and more depth to the pages showing in the results (rather than the site's home page, there were more channel pages, etc). I have spoken to a few people but some of the info I have gotten so far is:

· Around the 31st December there was a PageRank update.
· Back link update: Previous to the PR update, Google reviewed back links to re-evaluate PageRank.
· Google release (and retraction): Some agencies believe that Google released a test change to its algorithm in November and towards the end of December this was retracted. This resulted in us seeing some sites be removed from Google’s index briefly, they have since returned to the SERPs.

Comments, thoughts?
Cheers
D

con771

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 4:54 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

I haven't returned to the index. I was dropped on Dec 23rd (4 year old site). i've submitted a reinclusion request but no luck so far

moehits

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 6:23 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

Had a site come back today I inherited from another seo firm, badly penalized, 6 months, it's ranking today, it wasn't yesterday.

Anyone seeing anything like that?

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:32 pm (utc) on Jan. 7, 2009]

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 7:36 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

moehits, did you clean up that site in any way, or did good rankings reappear even with no changes to the site?

moehits

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 8:41 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)


I did some cleaning, for controlled study reasons, I'll outline history a bit.

It was redesigned in June, the redesign included hidden text, that's when it was penalized. I suspect there were a few other things at play, but that was the major problem.

I started on it in August

1. Removed hidden text
2. many pages looked like duplcates very thin on content, we added a lot of original content.
3. removed reciprocal links, many were to spammy sites.

4. Did a re-inclusion request around October, nothing happened.

5. Over the past few months, got hundreds of high quality links, it had many high quality links before, ( so it should have at least ranked for some terms ) but also was submitted to a ton of bad directories so I suspect it had some penalties there, or at least a lot of the legit work was discounted.

Nothing major happened until today, my first guess was either a time based penalty ( 6 months ) expired, and / or it was re-evaluated by the spam system or human evaluator and passed.


moehits

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 11:03 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)


Some consistency...

Before today, it seemed the site wasn't really indexed by Google, even though it was cached.

Before today, when I searched for exact unique text from a page on the site, it wouldn't return the page.

The pages that are ranking today return for specific text searches also.

There are still many pages that don't return for exact text searches.

I'm going to look at the navigation, by google's cache, the links to the sub pages are indexed.

eljacko

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 10:06 am on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have noticed that not the whole website but my main keyword has just dropped 5 places, the website has been stable at position 8 for months and yesterdayt dropped to 13th.

I am baffled by this, looked at Google webmaster tools and noticed that Google had taken away nearly 1000 links from the site (in the external links section). Would this effect the position?

Why would Google strip links or ignore them?

idolw

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 12:55 pm on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why would Google strip links or ignore them?

it may consider them low quality links.

ChicagoFan67

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 2:33 am on Jan 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

looked at Google webmaster tools and noticed that Google had taken away nearly 1000 links from the site (in the external links section). Would this effect the position?

It may. I had the reverse happen. I was baffled by the poor ranking of a couple of my pages for several months. These pages also, were not listed in either the internal or external links section of GWT despite having a reasonable number of both. One day, I was surprised to see a substantial rankings improvement for these pages and when I checked GWT, the external links had been updated to include these pages.

Why would Google strip links or ignore them?

I noticed many of the pages containing external links to mine had grey toolbar PR.

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 10:17 pm on Jan 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I’m seeing well optimized one page Adsense doorway pages from many medium sized search engines gaining momentum in my areas. In fact one domain tool provider archiving copies of everybody’s site is beginning to compete with me on every keyword. All of these sites are typically concentrating on the index page of sites for rankings but a few are even dipping into the sub-pages of sites. I expected this to occur since Google is allowing pages from about any areas to compete in sections I frequent. Tough to compete against and tricky filing DMCA’s against search engines. Regardless of the reasoning it’s bound to be enriching Google allowing all this “passing off” to occur. Plenty of aged domains to deal with.

internetheaven

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 9:47 am on Jan 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

ranking exact mirror sites along with each other is something I'm seeing more of in recent days.

And they're all interlinked too. Seems Google have turned off the interlinking filter ... probably at the request of the huge worldwide corporations that use Adwords and which interlink all their various businesses. I'd love to be able to name a few on these boards, you should see the mess of the footerlinks of some of these billion dollar companies!

one page Adsense doorway pages

Google can deny it all they want. Adding adsense to your pages gets you a tick in a good box.

just dropped 5 places

Here in the UK for commercial terms I'm seeing ranking changes almost daily. The top major terms with millions of searches bounce around less, but the the 10,000-100,000 searches mark has an almost daily rotation.

I don't think "I've dropped x places" posts have much relevance in working out algorithm shifts anymore. Most of those posters then post "I'm back" a fews days later and then "I'm back down" a few days after that ...

JoeSinkwitz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 3:13 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing some more sites getting hit with the yo-yo; they tightened the filter again.

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 4:42 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have a new insight into what the yo-yo is based on? This is not an easy one to gather data for, since the yo-yo can happen even within one day. I'm still leaning toward a sudden jump in search impressions. By that, I mean the unfiltered algo awards the url a large jump in ranking for a competitive keyword. But there's another factor involved, because not every rapid rise gets caught by yo-yo. Maybe it's a sudden growth in a certain type of backlink?

JoeSinkwitz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 4:53 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can eliminate the backlink growth concept; several hit have not been undulating or spiking in backlink acquisition frequency; the same can be said for sudden rank increases.

Previously I would have said it was related to a specific duplicate content problem, but now I'm not so sure...there might be a combination of these factors that trips an aggregate score. Either way, I see it hit good sites more often than bad sites (hint hint MC).

[edited by: JoeSinkwitz at 4:54 pm (utc) on Jan. 15, 2009]

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 5:02 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see it hit good sites more often than bad sites

That's a fact. Do you see it hit sites that previously were ranked well on that keyword - or only on sites where the higher ranking would be an improvement on their recent history?

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 5:07 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Joe, are these your sites? If so, has anything structural changed? Different titles, new menu/navigation, markup changes (particularly Hx scheme), something CSS-related.

JoeSinkwitz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 5:14 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Shaddows: We track a LOT of sites...a few were mine, but most were not. In some cases a control site was used, resulting in a filter and subsequent return to first page ranking over the time period. Nothing structural changed. The other site lots of changes...still tracking together.

Tedster: The sites I'm most interested in are the ones that were ranking #1-3 for several months before entering an extended yo-yo for all phrases except domain.com; I've seen 90 days on / 90 days off, 45 days off / 45 days on, etc. Some of these sites were strong enough to have sitelinks on generic phrases for a while, so that's saying something.

It occurs to me that I wasn't fortunate enough to see whitenight's ghost dataset. Wanna weigh in on that buddy?

[edited by: JoeSinkwitz at 5:16 pm (utc) on Jan. 15, 2009]

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 5:38 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

The sites I'm most interested in are the ones that were ranking #1-3 for several months before entering an extended yo-yo for all phrases except domain.com; I've seen 90 days on / 90 days off, 45 days off / 45 days on, etc. Some of these sites were strong enough to have sitelinks on generic phrases for a while, so that's saying something.

I haven't found one like that - it really is "saying something."

The most intense yo-yo situation I've seen was for an internationally recognized brand (you can probably sing their TV jingle) and it hit their flagship site. But the yo-yo only affected a keyword they hadn't intentionally pursued before and recently began intentional SEO on. Instead of the expected "pop to the top" they got a yo-yo for 90 days, and ended up ranking at the bottom end of the yo-yo, not the higher end.

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 5:51 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

So WHOLE DOMAINS for a long, regular period (technical use of 'period', as in 'fixed interval').

Are they getting dropped a long way?

Are they getting exchanged for another site (as opposed to Yo-Yo-ing agains a backdrop of stable-ish SERPs)?

Was there a lot of activity below the top three (possibly getting G to re-assess the searcher-intent for a keyword phrase)?

I'm looking for new (or at least improved and defensible) theory since my last stab at an explanation [webmasterworld.com] was met with rapturous silence (apart from an encouraging critique from the afore-summoned whitenight)

JoeSinkwitz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 6:07 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

So WHOLE DOMAINS...
YES

Dropped long way...
YES

Are they getting exchanged...
No, more similar to a filter with a ceiling activated

Was there a lot of activity below the top three...
Not in terms of thematic differences; the phrases are clearly commercial in nature for specific generic queries (if that makes sense)

fom2001uk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 1:38 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing big changes in SERPS today (from top to botom of first page). Is anyone else seeing big changes in their SERPS ? I'm hopeful its just a temporary thing, during an update or something, and it'll be reversed probably by tomorrow.

[edited by: tedster at 2:02 pm (utc) on Jan. 18, 2009]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

fom2001uk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 2:15 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Definitely looks like some kind of SERP update. I notice there are 3-4 million extra results in the SERPS for the term I'm monitoring. Would that be a sign of a temporary update (maybe there's more poor stuff getting into the index temporarily, until the update setles down) ?

wingslevel

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3817354 posted 9:06 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, I think you are right fom2001uk

Been seeing big changes since Friday actually - I think they dropped lots of new data in and forgot to apply a quality filter or two. On one of the serps that i watch, there is a low quality site (thin content, lots of purchased links etc.) that has always appeared well down in the results - it has popped up to 4th on a very competitive 2 word phrase.

Remember when this happened in the fall (was it November)? Then Matt came on the board and told everybody that someone forgot a filter. Seems like a similar thing to me - I am seeing more low trust sites in the serps.

This 76 message thread spans 3 pages: 76 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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