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Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2009

 10:47 pm on Sep 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

What is the Caffeine Update?

Google File System v2

A couple of years ago at the first Seattle Conference on Scalability, Google’s Jeffrey Dean remarked that the company wanted 100x more scalability. Unsurprising given the rapid growth of the web. But there was more to it than that: GFS – the Google File System was running out of scalability.


Background Here:

[edited by: tedster at 4:05 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2009]



 9:23 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

What I'm noticing is a great deal of slowness in indexing of changes on some sites I am working on. Sometimes changes are in within 15-30 minutes, but other times it takes 10 days or so, something I haven't noticed for a long time

Yep. Good observation.
To me this indicates that Goog is STILL having issues fully implementing Caffeine behind the scenes.


 9:28 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

i recognised the same slow indexing
but at this time serps (just) are updated here in Europa

difference between caf and decaf is getting less and less

(except oop seems less harsh in caffeine)


 8:38 am on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

There is really something wrong: I changed a page on 10. October, cache-date is 22. October - but with the old content.


 9:49 am on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

> Like other recent threads here,
> it's time to stop believing in the Santa Goog.
> He never existed.
> You've been lied to.
> It's his JOB to lie to you and
> keep you ill informed.


Never trust company officials from public relations department.

Learn how to think independently of what Google is trying to push into your brain.

Stop believing in "google is not evil" and "santa clause" exists propaganda.

Don't make a fool out of yourself.


 10:19 am on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can't quite put my finger on it but something isn't right with the current results. Its as though they have put a bit too much salt in the recipe and spoiled dinner.

If I was to try and plump for one reason that things are not quite right => it looks like they have implemented a "Word Association Football" filter based on the John Cleese piece from Monty Pythons Matching Tie and Handkerchief. They are trying to second guess what users really mean in their searches and getting it right only some of the time and when they get it wrong it is almost comical (but not when the wrong site has taken your #1 slot).




 12:33 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Oh there is most definitely something wrong. As of approximately October 24th/25th Google index did something very bizarre.

We track a keyword, lets call it 'widget shape'. This was ranking #2 right behind the maker of 'widget shape'. But as of the 24th or early 25th the rank the same for 'widget shape' but it points to a page that is 'widget color'.

The page it points to, while semi-relevant, is not as relevant as the page that was there for 2 years.

So the keyword being tracked still has a rank position, that dropped one to #3, but to a different page on the same website that is only partially relevant.

This is for a keyword that receives thousands of hits a day even not at #1, not some obscure keyword.

It is quite fascinating (and frustrating) to watch this evolve. It was almost like watching a baby having to burp, and its just letting out little burps, I am waiting for the blowout.


 5:57 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

ok major movement across all keywords, both up and down on lots of sites, like a rebalancing due to Google tweaks.

and... ....it's Halloween again isnt it? :)


 8:03 am on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see something happening on our site that's quite strange, on our main Keyword we still rank like we did over the past years, however many ( or even most ) other related keywords lost traffic bigtime. This started on sept 26, and it seems to continue.

It's like many pages aren't ranking anymore on their KW's and in the index many very old site's (some even death )show up.


 11:43 am on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have a brand new site that is indexed in Google. I usually get some of that initial traffic then it fades for a couple of months and starts getting traffic again.

On this site with low competition it has gotten 1 organic hit from Google and that is it. Totally not like the last 20 sites I have done.

Google please pull your head out any time now.


 12:17 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I sawa shift yesterday that appeared to settle with the same serps of a couple of weeks back.. I am fully expecting some substantial changes the end of the week. That is my guess anyhow.



 6:14 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Something is certainly wrong, i'm from the UK and most of the test searches via google are coming up with a lot of US websites.



 6:49 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems like Google is displaying fresher content in the SERPs. About time.


 7:00 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am also seeing a correction propagating.


 7:20 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Martini buster
yes. g will continue, as it's computational power grows, to crawl deeper and deeper and bring up those with less "valuable" inbound links, this is a part of the new caffiene they informed "US" of.
Caffiene is not an algo change cut rather a change in HOW DEEP they go and how consistently they go there.
these are the times when internal NAV is more important than ever and the link of the little man starts to shine !


 8:20 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Kristos, the data they were showing in some searches I monitor was about a month old. That's not evidence of an increase in computational power. ;)


 12:29 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have seen the SERP today looking the way it looked at the beginning of the month.

Do you think this means that this is what Google wants to go with?


 1:17 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google is stale at the moment.

It seems their computing power has been purchased by bing.


 1:22 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Tells me they are up to something again..


 2:13 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

When I view the google.com search page, I do not even see a "search" or "I feel lucky" button under the search box. I just see the search box, and the normal advertising links. You have to manually hit the enter key to get the search to work. This is happening from two computers, using IE 7. I have snapshots. If casual users who rely on these buttons are searching and can't find them, they may be confused.

This is happening with the new fade-in feature, where the navigational links fade in upon page load, but again, no search button. I think this was a deliberate design change, but I don't understand why they would do anything that would complicate the search process or confuse people.


 4:13 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am seeing constant crawling with no updates to the index for a new site for about 30 days now.

Others seeing anything similar?


 6:55 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

these are the times when internal NAV is more important than ever and the link of the little man starts to shine !

Kristos, can you elaborate a little on what you mean by this?


 7:11 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Others seeing anything similar?...

Look up, about five posts up. ;)

...these are the times when internal NAV is more important...

Internal navigation is the easiest to abuse and thus less trustworthy. That's an opinion, but one based on several years of testing different keyword/navigation things out and reviewing the results over the course of days, weeks, and months. In my experience keywords in navigation don't convey all that much, if anything. Think of what happens to pages containing the same meta description across many pages. If you think in terms of Page Rank, where individual pages have unique meanings and concepts, and as a bonus have their own backlinks, then things like internal navigation can be seen as being worth less.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:20 am (utc) on Oct. 31, 2009]


 7:19 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Internal navigation is the most likely to be abused and thus less trustworthy

Martinibuster, my understanding as well however keyword stuffed internal navs do seem to be playing a positive roll in this update. Unless Google is still yet to apply filters. Very worrying if not. It mean huge sites with thousands of nonsense pages linking back to themselves through an internal nav structure are ranking well.

This is a step backwards isn't it?


 7:28 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

...huge sites with thousands of nonsense pages linking back to themselves through an internal nav structure are ranking well.

Did you do a backlink analysis on these sites?

Did you do a backlink analysis modified by certain keyword phrases?

Did you do a backlink analysis that segregates the results by TLD and ccTLD?

Have you kept track of how many inbound links they've acquired within the past few months?

Have there been changes to on page SEO?

Have they been publishing a steady stream of press releases?

How many times have they been mentioned in the news?

Did you check if pages are being cloaked?

Did you check if they've purchased domains and are redirecting them?

Things can improve for a site despite what they are doing. For instance, I know of a large site whose link builders are not building links at all. Their guys are buying links from networks and pocketing the difference. This brand is so well linked and trusted that the crap links don't make a difference, bad or good. The point is, the most obvious thing you see may not be what is accounting for a change in ranking. It's simply obvious and easy to spot.

Just my opinion and observation from where I stand (your view may differ ;)): I am not seeing keyword stuffed navigation playing a role. If it did then some of the canaries I have living in the mines would be jumping around and turning blue.

What I have been seeing this entire year are SERPs that have that "machine learning" feel to them, where they rely too much on trusted sites. Yahoo and Bing have that feel more than Google.

Geocities just closed. That is bound to make waves in the link graphs used for identifying trusted sites and ranking pages. Now that to me sounds like something to look out for.


 7:56 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

;) lol glad you edited martini.
Giving away gold for dimes.

Geocitites just closed


What were they thinking?!
Heck, they could have at least sold it on ebay for a couple million.

Wonder if I make an offer of $100, could I get all those domains? ;)


 8:02 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

To answer your question(s) Martinibuster, no. I haven't extensively looked into those factors so I get the point, I have jumped to certain conclusions. However, for example I can see a large site of around 5000 pages that has creeped up the SERPS over the last 2 weeks from the lower end of the first page of results to #1 for a string of key phrases (and I mean maybe 8 *money* key phrases).

What's leaping out at this point is that his "internal nav", if you can call it that, is a basically a list of those keywords pointing back to maybe 3 different pages in total. So each navigation item doesnt even have its own unique page.

On page SEO is what would be expected, not over the top, nothing too funny going on there.


 9:10 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

keywords in nav make no difference? i assume your tongue in cheek? Thats so NOTTTTT the case that i wonder why you said that. Unless you mean changing/manipulating keywords can have no impact?
This one is very easy to put to bed. Make up a totally unique word. use it as a keyword in a nav and link to a page. Now tell me that page wont rank for that unique keyword even when the word is not on the page? From that point on its all relative to the keyword your using and how it sits across the net as to whether your nav has a small or large impact and of course your internal structure itself is a big factor.


 9:23 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

...keywords in nav make no difference?

Keywords in the navigation is to ranking what Musk Oil is to attracting a lover.

Step back and think about it. Any fool can slap their favorite keywords into the navigation, and millions do, and it doesn't work for them. That's because there other factors at work. It's not the musk oil. ;)

[edited by: martinibuster at 9:50 am (utc) on Oct. 31, 2009]


 9:44 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

well of course its all relative to the sector and keyword and sites/pages that are also within the keyword pool. IF keywords are in both url and nav then they both play a part but all relative to the whole pot of factors. That part may be tiny or large. For example hitting a sweet spot may require a balance of factors internally and externally and you could have NO nav keyword if you get the other factors right. You could just as easily make good use of keyword in nav by downplaying other factors. What you cant do is assume cause and affect by ONLY playing with nav keyword and then saying it makes no difference. Its about hitting the sweet spot.

I was just raising an eyebrow at your catch-all opinion of

In my experience keywords in navigation don't convey all that much, if anything

and especially that last
if anything

I know your pretty clued up so i wondered if maybe you was teasing the clan a little or truly believed this?

oh, BTW, again testing your Musk Oil is pretty simple but it would require true testing and not simply bathing quasimodo in it and then claiming he attracted no female lovers. The Musk Oil is not the only factor in attraction and you can play with the many factors. If your Musk Oil is really rubbish it will never pass any test but we all know the difference a sweet perfume makes on a woman. It adds a little something :)


 9:54 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Step back and think about it. Any fool can slap their favorite keywords into the navigation, and millions do, and it doesn't work for them. That's because there other factors at work. It's not the musk oil. ;)

well now your broadening it somewhat to where i came in. Your originally said keywords in nav have little or even no affect at all ("if anything" you said). Now you are talking about the range of factors. Its only musk oil if you get ripped off on a street corner, you could just have easily used a good judgment and bought a proven cologne. To say smell or scent has no part is really misleading.

If keywords in nav have little affect i wonder why google bothered adding filters for it when the algo was so little affected by mega menus?


 10:05 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

>>> i wonder why google bothered adding filters for it


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

[edited by: tedster at 4:06 pm (utc) on Nov. 1, 2009]

This 121 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 121 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 > >
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