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This 210 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 210 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 > >     
Google.com SERP Changes - June 2009

 12:35 am on May 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

I want to echo Outland88's comments on the previous page:

...Google is rotating results, changing the positioning daily, and showing sites on a day/night schedule with many keywords. You can’t tell what you’re going to get whenever you do a search. It can explain traffic drops. Google probably has the rankings tied to weather conditions and the price of oil to name a zillion things.

Just finished putting together a spreadsheet that draws from a sampling of ranking positions for eight keyword phrases (3 words) that normally drive substantial traffic for a specific site. The "normal position" for each phrase is between 1 and 15, and I've seen occasional jumps of as much as 10 positions in a single day.

Taking about 15 samples each month for the past year, averaging those results and putting it into a fancy graph, it seems that each phrase has generally kept a particular trend (up/down/equal) for a period of 3 months, followed by a "bump" and then either maintaining the previous trend or establishing a new one. The phrases consist of 2 sets of closely related, nearly interchangeable keywords.

I don't think anything can predicted from a single SERP drop unless the site itself has undergone considerable changes or the webmaster is engaging in aggressive and possibly greyhat marketing/SEO tactics.

If you worry too much about a sudden drop, maybe it's time to take a step back from it all...

[edited by: tedster at 5:47 pm (utc) on June 1, 2009]



 10:33 pm on Jun 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thank you, I hope you're right. I think the worst part about it is that none of my competitors in the same business, have moved an inch. After the disappointment of dropping to Page 3, last week, then the relief of going back where I was this morning, to just going to page 8 in a matter of minutes, it's a real nause. For some reason Yahoo is a lot kinder, but as we know, it's Google that can make or break you these days....



 4:50 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

This effect (up and down at different times) was first discussed last year, and we called it the Yo-Yo Effect [webmasterworld.com]. Many of the websites that originally experienced it escaped, but at the lower ranking - and others escaped but at the higher ranking.

In our Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], that discussion is still active and is found under the heading --OPEN QUESTIONS--.

So we know Google developed the back-end technology to shift rankings around like this. We're just not sure why it gets used on some sites. It may be related to another mystery, Google Throttling Traffic [webmasterworld.com].


 8:43 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I know this may sound like a stupid question, but page 1 to page 8 in one swoop, from yesterday, (and it's actually lower on page 8 this morning) but, at times like this you can get a bit paranoid, as well as lose some sleep, but could a competitor do anything to make this happen. Only reason I ask is because if you were to drop one or two positions, you can understand it, but not 8 pages in half a day


 9:07 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seriously everyone. DO NOT PANIC. These updates have happened before (anyone else remember Florida update?). Your sites will eventually return if they deserve to. Don't do anything rash and jeopardize its return. Rest assured that this happens from time to time and normality will return.


 9:51 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

And if you are benefiting from a rapid rise just now, make hay while the sun shines because you'll probably drop down next month, or maybe on the 20th of this month.




 10:00 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes Sid, I forgot to mention that the other side of the coin can be quite devastating too. A person may be thinking that their hard work has paid off and they are cracking champagne for being top 10 for their keyword only to drop back to sub 50 next week or next month.


 10:29 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

How do they decipher to pick on me evey time it happens rather than anyone that was in position 1 - 6, I was 7th and I always take the hit. This has been going on longer than it's ever done before.


 10:53 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

K_Harris - this is about the first time since Florida that I haven't been hit by a drastic drop! And that's not to say I won't either. I do know only too well how it feels. Just resist the temptation to make drastic changes or go on a link buying spree to try to boost your position. By all means do look at your site for errors or ways in which it can be improved though (and I don't mean that to sound condescending!)


 11:17 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks Jez, I do hear that my flash intro pages are a BAD idea when it comes to Google, but it hasn't really affected until these last few weeks over a 4 year period. It happened initially at the beginning of May, then righted itself after a week or so, then in the last 2 weeks I've had these problems again. Is that the period this all kicked off?


 12:23 pm on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

K_Harris - Yes, I don't remember the exact day but it must have been a couple of weeks ago now.

Flash intro pages are not just a bad idea with google - lots of actual people don't like them either - they would rather get to the "meat" in my experience. But not only that, why waste possibly the most important / powerful page that you have SEO wise in something that doesn't do a great deal?


 1:05 pm on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

All stable here for 4 days.

...or maybe on the 20th of this month...

Whys is it the 20th? Just out of experience?


 1:56 pm on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I do not buy that these are tests Google is running for quality raters. We all know that Google dedicates a data center just for testing and we used to see that all the time when people watched data centers. There is a lot of junk at the top of the serps still. I think it was a very bad algo change.


 2:57 pm on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

This morning, the #1 website in my niche who was ranking #1 for all the major keywords and phrases dropped completely from googles index!

This site is huge and a very authority site. Its like the victorias secret of lingerie in this industry.

This is insane. I'm happy that google removed them because I move up a spot...but it has me worried if this site gets completely removed and is a quality site with millions of backlinks..what might G do to my second class site?


 3:30 pm on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hmmm guys I am seeing a huge mess as well. There are many 2 authority sites in my niche that are at the top and still stable (I am still in -50) and the rest is a bunch of garbage. A domain registered 3 months ago has made it to page two for a very highly competitive keywords similar to what brinked was saying ("Its like the victorias secret of lingerie in this industry").

There is also allot of piggypack blackhatters on .edu's and forums that spam there way in and are getting away with it. Grrrrrrrr


 8:42 pm on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am seeing some of my old neglected sites move up and sites with to many backlinks moving down. No regard for content. So they are moving sites down for aggressive BL, keeping the first 5 or so site on top of first page no matter what they do. Also giving penalty for breaking rules with a 40+.

What we get out of this is a few good results top 5 could be better then garbage
Right now all 3 msn, yahoo and google have mixed bad results with google and yahoo the worst. ASK.com looks preety good so does google.ca


 9:15 pm on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am seeing some of my old neglected sites move up and sites with to many backlinks moving down. No regard for content. So they are moving sites down for aggressive BL, keeping the first 5 or so site on top of first page no matter what they do. Also giving penalty for breaking rules with a 40+

This is exactly what I am seeing. I have a few older sites that are doing great in the SERPS and I have not touched them in over 15 months. I was doing link building for a clients main site (1- 3 links a day on forums, blogs, etc) and totally white hat and boom 6 weeks ago I got slapped with -50? Content is hand written as well and very helpful?

So it makes you wonder should you just stop building links for a while to see if you get a penalty lifted or see less fluctuations? I am waiting 8 weeks before submitting reconsideration request.


 10:06 pm on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's incredibly annoying that there are now 8 pages of irrelevance between me and the top 6 who are on topic. When I drop I immediately re-submit. Now I know there is talk of this being bad news, but I know for a fact many popular sites re-submit every month. I don't resubmit unless I drop like I have. What are your guys rulings with submissions. And yes you are right about the flash, maybe time to go. It's not made a difference before. Interestingly as soon as I took the hit with Google, I've gone into prime position on Yahoo. I only wished people used it these days... sigh

[edited by: K_Harris at 10:08 pm (utc) on June 12, 2009]


 12:33 am on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

K_Harris..I think your nuts re-submitting every month, to me that's like telling them "Hey Google, I'm spamming your SERP's but please don't punish me!"

Why don't you just give yourself some more time and don't jump to conclusions(I know hard to do), a lot of these things work themselves out with time. Or better yet, if you are doing shady things, stop now, stop everything your doing black hat and do your FINAL re-submit to Google before you have to start completely over with domain age, backlinks, trust, etc.

[edited by: MLHmptn at 12:35 am (utc) on June 13, 2009]


 12:39 am on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I didn't say I submit every month, I said I know my competitor who I talk to does it every month and are in the top position, 1 and 2 actually. I said I submit only when I've dropped a big fall. That's why I was asking you guys about rule of thumb? I don't know. How often do you guys submit, is that spamming then, submitting if you're already on there no matter how low? What are the submit programmes people offer then, only to be used once? I really don't know about it


 12:54 am on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Okay, first thing...DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR COMPETITOR! :) Do you think your competitor wants you in those top positions with them? I don't know for fact but I seem to remember hearing that submitting your URL's only delays inclusion further. I have never even submitted a URL to any website submitting program or service(actually I take that back, I have submitted URL's back before Google even existed, when it actually was the only way you got listed). Get backlinks to your site and let the spiders find you from there. Also, I was completely off base with my reply to you. I thought you were resubmitting your site after being penalized multiple times...my bad. Those website submitting programs are spam creators for your site and your email! If you have to, buy a few links to get your site spidered better and faster. Buy directory listings in yahoo, botw and business and any other relevant directory that is on-topic with your site then wait it out 3-6 months. How old is your site KHarris? If your jumping all over the place your most likely in google's "sandbox" delay if your site is new. Great rankings at first, poor rankings for 2-6 months or longer until you build a little trust from your IBL's and your domain ages a little.

[edited by: MLHmptn at 1:01 am (utc) on June 13, 2009]


 2:00 am on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Look Google, why do this on the heels of the Bing launch...?

I fell to page 2 from position 4 on page 1 for my main keyword. My site is informative, has lots of IBL and is pretty much what I would consider an authority. However poof Im pushed back to what I consider the dead zone. The sites that out rank me are junk, no content at all, in fact one is a one page site, just that its been around for ages.

Im beginning to wonder if Matt Cutts was just shooting himself in the foot when he said Bing results weren't all that when Google is topsy turvy like this during their updates.

From a "USEFUL SERPS" perspective can we take a vote on the latest move.

Good vs. Bad vs. Little Or No Effect


 9:59 am on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

MLH, In this instance, this competitor is a friend, and he pays someone to submit every month, I'm not convinced they do though. HE has top 1 and 2 in the searches, and I'm amazed how, He never touches his site. It just never moves. My site is 4 years old. Took a long time to get in 6/7th on page 1. Only recent month or so the trouble has started. For the record those that have got me on page 9 now, not page 8, from being on page 1, two days ago. Back links, do you mean link with other sites? Excuse my ignorance.... I had someone build this site for me who seems to have disappeared. I'm getting someone to take it over, but don't want to touch it yet.

[edited by: engine at 10:12 am (utc) on June 13, 2009]
[edit reason] See TOS [/edit]


 10:11 am on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

> he pays someone to submit every month

Someone's being frugal with the truth (your competitor, or their "someone"). Or wool is being pulled over someone's eyes.

Forget submitting to Google, it's not required. Googlebot will re-visit a site that is established.

When the SERPs are dancing around, don't change anything. Wait until it stabalises.

Then, only change one thing at a time.

Have patience.


 10:20 am on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Dancing around..... well, I've taken page hits, going down 1 page in the 4 years, and going back up, but 9 pages? I asked earlier but nobody answered. Is it possible that a competitor could have done this?


 10:21 am on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

and he pays someone to submit every month,

Your friend is being ripped off by the sounds of it! It's unethical for someone to charge for this as it's a total waste of time and as you say, probably doesn't submit anyway. What do both parties think is being achieved by this?

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:32 pm (utc) on June 13, 2009]


 7:44 pm on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is it possible that a competitor could have done this?

Possible, yes. Probable, no.

Do you see a lot (and I mean a LOT) of garbage backlinks? If so, you can always submit a reconsideration request and let Google know that you had nothing to do with them and don't want "credit" for them. I know of two cases where such a reconsderation request was followed by restored rankings. I know of others where no change happened. It certainly can't hurt.


 8:25 pm on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see very different SERPs for "Gadget" and "Gadgét" (while the real keyword is "Gadget") now. Some weeks ago the SERPs where almost identically for both searches. With "Gadgét", I see some pages back in Top10 which dropped otherwise some pages. Any idea what this could mean?


 10:23 pm on Jun 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Back links, do you mean link with other sites? Excuse my ignorance.... I had someone build this site for me who seems to have disappeared. I'm getting someone to take it over, but don't want to touch it yet.

Yes I mean get other sites to link to you that are on-topic and relevant to your site and what you want to rank for. Use your target anchor text (preferably in-body) on the links coming into your site from related on-topic content and it will help your rankings. Use this forum to learn from(most specifically whats been pinned at the top), browse the link development forum and learn.

Also, don't fret right now that your rankings are dropping...Everyone is dropping or moving at the moment. I have onen site in particular that was in top 10 that is now on page 8/9 for my main targeted term. Why? I'm presuming it has to do with google devaluing blog comments as this particular site was heavily optimized on IBL's utilizing blog's and hardly anything else. My other sites that don't utilize blogs are still holding steady. In any event, learn, learn, learn and don't panic, the sky is not falling. Give it time to work itself out.

Visit these WebmasterWorld links:

Link Development
[webmasterworld.com ]

Google News Hot Topics
[webmasterworld.com ]

Visit Yahoo's site explorer and browse the inbound links you have and spot the ones that may be hurting you with the following command: linkdomain:www.example.com (with example.com being your site of course)

Other than that...Keep learning from people here and at other forums (even though I believe WebmasterWorld is the best).

[edited by: MLHmptn at 10:49 pm (utc) on June 13, 2009]


 2:16 am on Jun 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see very different SERPs for "Gadget" and "Gadgét"... Some weeks ago the SERPs where almost identically for both searches

That's an interesting observation. Are we looking at a change in the way Google handles languages and character sets? I'll do some digging on that idea.


 3:30 am on Jun 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

there is no change


 10:46 am on Jun 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't have links as most people who are related to what I do are kind of competitors and won't have my site on theirs. I've done a check of who has links for me, but they are not reciprocal, and Yahoo seems to pick up quite a few, whereas G ignores them, they do have a few pages worth, but the ones from very big sites, like Heat Magazine, The Sun etc.. only Yahoo lists? Don't get that.

Still on page 9 this morning.

They say if you are already on Google no need to submit, even when you're on Page 9, Is that a reconsider yet, or do I have to wait longer now. I have no business since this has happened. Incredible how Google can make you feel isn't it?

Just want to mention how great you guys have been, and I'm very grateful for all your input. It is appreciated


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