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Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2009

 6:35 pm on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

I have to say that in the short term I strongly agree with Whitenight, do nothing, watch and learn. I only ever seem to make any significant changes when I've got to a point where I think I've nothing to lose or at least making the change is worth the risk.

Longer term though, if you want to rely on Google go for the "hay while the sun shines" option and don't forget it.



[edited by: tedster at 2:34 am (utc) on Dec. 3, 2009]



 6:16 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've also been getting some peculiar Alerts again - and in some cases they are things that should have been sent a while back. I'm not seeing any impact on the SERPs from these new pages, however.


 6:37 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yea, my Alerts have gone nutso over the past few days to a week.


 7:11 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Reporting some very relieving progress on some newly launched domains and some extra rankings but with something like yoyo happening on multiple keywords on a daily basis the past month, still taking place (on my mature sites that is)...


 7:29 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have been steadily gaining more longtails on a 6 year ols site, I am also getting an abundance of pages being indexed all of a sudden.


 9:08 am on Dec 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

The twitter account 'google_update' is handy for the first signs of an update, they tweet as soon as GOOG does an update, another handy tool in the real time race!


 9:16 am on Dec 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've also been getting some peculiar Alerts again - and in some cases they are things that should have been sent a while back. I'm not seeing any impact on the SERPs from these new pages, however.

I find some of the re-spidering taking effect on the SERPs today. At least it seems so, because the domains respidered gained positions.


 3:06 pm on Dec 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I seem to be getting Google Alerts for AdWords ads in the content network. I don't remember that happening until recently, but I could be mistaken.

Is that known to happen?


 3:01 pm on Dec 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Even though personal search seems to be dominating the discussion at the moment, I would like to report some shifts in my niche. A large authority site dropped from #1, leaving room for... Me!


 3:58 pm on Dec 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are you sure that's not just personal search?

I'm not sure how you tell. I block the cookies but have a static IP address.


 4:50 pm on Dec 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Sounds like the happy webmaster effect of personalised search to me.



 8:08 pm on Dec 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if still shows the caffeine results from the one data center? Because from what I can tell, the results from it looks exactly like the regular results. And knowing that the actual caffeine results only show up 50% of the time at the moment, I wanted to confirm how you would know that you received that result. In the past month or so, I noticed my rankings appear in two different positions every once in a while. It happened again this morning. I deactivated customization on the web history option on google, and I'd get one result on one browser (usually Chrome) and the other result on a different browser (Firefox or IE). Not only are the rankings significantly different from each other, but the number of results that appear for each have a huge discrepancy as well. One search will have 5 million results and the other will have half that amount. Can it be determined that the lower number of search results returned is the caffeine result? Because regardless of personalized or depersonalized results, that number is the same, except for when the other lower search number appears.


 1:10 am on Dec 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

At least for me - I can still get two different results on by refreshing the page. However, the results on have been changing and getting much more similar to regular Google.
But trying your test - I am seeing results similar to using Chrome and Safari. But not with FF or IE. Weird.
EDIT - I am not seeing different results on different browsers. Operator error!
But I can still see different results on


 2:13 am on Dec 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, strange. is definitely not giving me different search results. However, using normal Google, I can get different serps on Chrome versus other browsers and vice versa on other co-worker computers.


 8:49 am on Dec 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hmm... The changes reverted this morning. Maybe it was a test or a glitch; certainly rooting for the former.

Note: I have disabled personalization and purge cookies before I check my site's rankings.


 6:18 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

From my exp we can expect a minor shuffle each third to fourth week of the month. SERPS change daily but I strongly believe that one a month it rolls more serious updates.

Anyone else seen this?


 9:16 am on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

on December 15th my two flagship sites dropped to page 5 for all keywords (minus 50 penalty)... well i hope this is just a glitch

did this happen to anything else?

should i just wait it out?

i changed a few things and sent in a re-inclusion request?

(i'm really sad about this)


 12:29 pm on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

It looks like they finally got around to switching the UK filter back on for google.co.uk. Also I've just noticed "Web History" appear top right corner on non logged in browser where cookies are enabled. If cookies are not enabled this does not appear. If you click on this you can opt out of personalisation.




 2:01 pm on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Stevy, I replied on your other thread in more detail. Just wait it out IMO.


 10:09 am on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)


The same exact thing has happened to me. This happened around the first week of December. It has also happened to another website that is ranking for my same exact KW. Today his site jumped from bottom of page 5 to the very top of page 4. My site remains cemented in it's place on page 5. I have never thought I would be happy for a competing webmaster but I AM excited that he is out of page 5 hell and I hope I follow suit. So hang in there dude. Whatever it is I think it is glitch.

WMT seems unfazed by all of this as my ranking in it is constantly on Page 1.


 10:15 am on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Correction: The main KW dropped to page 5. Other significant KWs dropped 1 page back. Insignificant KWs remain unchanged.


 10:46 am on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

notice a shuffling of results. Some pages indexed 10 days ago are showing higher than the twitter /facebook and other sm profiles for myname-com.


 1:55 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

60% of my main keywords have totally dropped off G. I v never seen anything like it. Iv been checking for duplicates allday, cant find any. Has anyone else had this problem today?


 2:37 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Welcome to the club...


 3:18 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I dont want to be part of the club Frank..lol

Im seeing results jumping around like a dog on heat today in the areas I watch.


 4:44 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Caffeine is coming in in a week too. That will shake things off, who knows what that will bring. Scary


 4:49 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

With Caffeine coming soon and Google going back to its regular index from its holiday index it should be interesing to see the changes that it brings to the SERP.


 5:38 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Kind of makes me wonder why they bother making such drastic tweaks when the will be switching over the infrastructure next week ?


 5:42 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maybe they aren't drastic? Every month afaik they do some more than their daily tweaking

Marvin Hlavac

 11:52 am on Dec 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Numerous times I read here at Webmaster World about Google SERP favoring shopping sites during the Christmas holiday shopping season. When does this "preferential treatment" usually end? On December 24, perhaps?

The reason I'm asking is that one of my landing pages, for the first time yesterday (Dec 24), ranks higher than Amaz-n.com. The page improved it's standing on two key phrases. In SERPs now I see the manufacturer of the product being #1, my page #2, Amazo- #3.

Would this indicate the shopping season SERPs are over, or should I attribute it to something else?


 12:19 pm on Dec 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

On December 24, perhaps?

lol, i love when other people observe the SERPs on the holidays!

Yes, some new SERPs rolled out over the past 24 hours. Nice catch.


 5:43 pm on Dec 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems that we're back to the holiday SERPs now, though... The post-holiday SERPs were only up for about 6 hours or so...

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