| 5:57 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I usually monitor google.com using IE8.
I've notice that after checking a few times my favorite search phrase (about twice a day and for a couple of days), suddenly google.com starts showing results pretty similar to the results that were available in the Caffeine datacenter a few days ago.
This sudden change in search results have happened always when I restart my computer (I switch it off at night).
The "Caffeine" search results always dissapear when I put IE8 back to its default settings (Tools, Internet Options, Advanced, Restore advanced settings, Reset). However, the "Caffeine" search results will show again after a couple of days as explained above.
The regular search results and the "Caffeine" search results at google.com both have removed a Web site that has shown steadily in the top 30 for the last 4-5 years. The site uses a lot of outgoing links to sites hosted in the same Web server. All the sites in the same Web server have the same outgoing links. The affected Web site site doesn't have a lot of relevant content. The affected Web site and the sites it links to are owned by the same person.
The regular search results and the "Caffeine" search results have treated nicely various older domain names with a fair amount of relevant content.
The "Caffeine" search results treat even nicer those older domain names with a fair amount of relevant content.
| 9:04 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)|
From what I am seeing Caffeine is becoming more and more of a mess everyday. Plenty of sites and pages vanishing and then sometimes coming back. Plus as you dig further in the results Google is elevating pages whose authors could care less about them. From the looks of it un-optimized spam pages can be worse than optimized ones. Plus many pages without meta titles can bring up a whole slew of results with the same title “widgets”. It looks like another misguided effort by Google to interpret what you are looking for. If you’re falling outside of the top 30 results I don’t even think Adwords can save you unless you’re prepared to shell out the bucks. It’s looking more and more like the “Fat Cat” update to me. In other words small business will foot the bill in rankings and money for this one.
| 9:23 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I have a non caffeine question. Usually if two pages from the same domain are on the first page they get an indented listing. I am seeing multiple queries where this is not the case (where a site had an indented listing for this query before). So for instance now two pages from the same domain will show up 4th and 8th, before they showed up 4th with the other page showing 5th as an indented listing.
Are other people seeing this? Also do people think this is a change or a temporary bug related to caffeine.
| 9:25 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)|
|Plus as you dig further in the results Google is elevating pages whose authors could care less about them. |
Usually these are the best pages though,m at least from Google's perspective. No SEO and a labor of love that brings natural links.
I too believe that this is caffeine--off and on. Just doesn't make sense for Google to update in such scale days before bringing caffeine in.
| 12:17 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
My only job was to get you going and spice up the thread White. Works like a charm :)
| 12:46 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
This is what I always called the "rock and roll" effect, it's been happening since September, lately and probably due the engineers being more confident in its application, it's still happening but with lesser rocking and lesser rolling. We did not know then they were testing the Caffeine infrastructure, since they announced it, they were more sure of its implementation and success, however, they are from my observations still having some teething problems. MC himself said it's not expected to be a whole sale roll out which explains the DO then REDO, perhaps intentional perhaps not. We have to remember that not only the quality of search is affected but can amount to changing the whole world order within minutes if it goes wrong.
fakedsysadmin, I agree with you about older domains, they seem to be given more weight, it also seems they don't have to have authority status but have to be current, well maintained and frequented. I noticed that since last week at least, and that is happening in most searches every day up to now, may be because more and more Caffeine DCs (CDCs) and databases are serving the main scripts requests.
Yes it looks a mess at times, what I theorize is G* is prioritizing DCs and their databases by category segments and geo-locations, example:
Business and Finance / North America / Authority sites => test locally, roll in small dozes
Business and Finance / North America / minor sites => roll and test live on CDCs
That's what I am trying to convince myself is happening, large well known corporate or gov sites are not shaken so much, whereas internet mainly based sites, big or small are seeing good results one day, bad the next. All that, I believe is due to them tweaking the algo on one hand and observing public opinion and reaction on the other.
I also have a hunch that G*'s engineers are putting a lot of weight on mobile search, squeezing compatibility for their own new mobile smartphone and its mobile browser with its new Apps, trying to bite the big Apple, whether that will end up being a mega "bite" or a nano "bite", that remains to be seen!
I have a feeling we ain't seen nothing yet!
| 12:47 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
|My only job was to get you going and spice up the thread White. Works like a charm :) |
Should have used your "rile up whitenight for info" passes
here >> when they start rolling in new data 6-12 hours later on various datacenters after the "official announcement,"
You might find THAT INFO exponentially more useful.
We live, we learn, eh?
Perhaps, you can bribe Shaddows to loan you some of his whitenight-info-passes when that time comes...
or convince miamacs back to SEO, or get Guru "M" to make a ridiculous analysis & appearance here.
| 2:31 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I've been monitoring SERps closely for 10 days now, yesterday i have noticed a huge site that always ranked #1 for its url keyword, i mean its a gigant and has a branded name that everyone knows. I wouldn't say which one but just imagine cocacola.com would vanish completely from Google SERPs for the keyword coca cola ! That site is back now and i DOUBT google would kill it like that.
The problem is the algo is in a test mode so some errors are being adjusted. DO NOT PANIC. If a monster was hit with their branded name, its just a mistake! Everything would stabilize in a matter of a week max!
And remember "Cocacola.com" will always rank #1 for coca cola
| 4:13 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Sorry for going offline for a bit.
Honestly, I am not a Googler and Google is currently not being very forthcoming with me on the details at this point.
I would hope a Googler can come in here, like they have done so many times in the past (although not recently), and tell webmasters what is up.
I honestly said all I know.
It seems to me that something big is up from what I am seeing here and in other forums. But is it Caffeine or something else, I do not know. Although Google said it is not Caffeine - or at least, Caffeine is not live.
| 5:36 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
|Honestly, I am not a Googler and Google is currently not being very forthcoming with me on the details at this point. |
Well that pretty well validates much of what whiteknight has had to say.
I also do think more is up RB. Google seems to be driven by a profit motive more than anything else now.
| 5:58 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Until it's all done Google can't really say anything. If it's still in flux and they say we have caffeine, people will slam it. If Google sees that's the SERPS are really bad and pulls it out they look bad. So waiting for it to be final is the best course of action.
Outland, have you been hit? When did it happen and how bad is it for you?
|Well that pretty well validates much of what whiteknight has had to say. |
I also do think more is up RB. Google seems to be driven by a profit motive more than anything else now.
| 6:24 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Yes/No, which is a wishy washy answer. I have looked at thirty DC’s and seen the results completely reverse themselves in 12 hours. All sorts of sites moving up and down. It seems like they’re doing an update at the same time they’re testing Caffeine. I would agree with RB it seems big. Seems like Google is picking up things from Yahoo and Bing. I judge it by the bottom line though and this has been the worst month in ten years. Either people are very, very, broke or Google is screwing around way to much. Whiteknight is right in that Google has been testing far longer than most people think. I was exploiting it in the early days.
| 6:33 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Google UK seems to be back to post Xmas, pre tweak postitions now. One interesting piece of data that I spotted during the recent flux is that my Google fed Youtube visits shot up to approx 3 x the usual rate. It has completely settled again now. The last time I saw Goog/YouT hits like this was between the 1st & 4th of December.
I'll let bigger brains than mine work out what that means.
| 7:47 am on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Yes BadCol, I checked google.co.uk and although it is not 'perfect' at least a few of my monitored keywords are back and the site: command is more accurate than in google.com (main page is in #1 position again).
| 5:14 pm on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Things seem to be back to "normal" now. With one or two exceptions.
| 6:21 pm on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
|Until that final launch, I also expect Google's second-level reporting (Webmaster Tools, site: operator, etc) will be more chaotic than usual. And it will take some time after the launch for them to stabilize. I'm not using them for any major actions anymore, at any rate. |
This is something I generally agree with but... I've noticed some sites that I consider very strong not changing at all with site: operator.
Someone mentionned WW as dropping pages with site:, I don't follow how WW stays in the index but can anyone describe what they are seeing with WW and site: more closely or talk about any changes with site: in general terms for other strong sites they see.
Perhaps some will call this outdated, but I still believe in primary and secondary indexes whether Google says its the case or not.
For both of these below, I leave out the www
site:example.com (Total pages in Google)
site:example.com/* (Pages in "Primary Index")
Strong sites (defining as sites whose pages rank well, not necessarily PR), most often have a very high proportion of their pages in the Primary Index.
| 6:41 pm on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
The big bug is that site: operator is even less accurate at reporting on how many URLs are in the index than it used to be - and I'm no longer sure what number the /* hack reports on at all.
The only certain way I know of to see if a URL is really indexed is to search on the URL itself and see if Google gives a result. Otherwise, if you use site:example.com you will just get some number, often alarmingly low. And if you do individual searches on site:example.com/directory/ for all the directories, you will find URLs that were not in the simple site:example.com results - sometimes MANY such URLs.
When it comes to the primary index over any supplemental indexes or partitions, the most valuable information for me is to see what Google exports to AOL search. And with AOL hinting that they may drop their Google Search partnership [webmasterworld.com] that information source may be on life support, too.
The most valuable metrics for me come from whether a URL is getting actual search traffic from Google or not. Search results and rankings are now so personalized, localized and erratic in other ways, that only traffic itself gives a solid picture.
If a URL gets no search traffic from Google but I consider it worthy of being a site entry page, then I'll investigate whatever I can learn about its ranking and indexing as part of a debug process. Same thing if a page's traffic seems low or has changed significantly. However, the site: operator or any single ranking report, taken as primary data, can mislead an analysis rather dramatically.
| 6:58 pm on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Thanks tedster, you make some good points.
Interesting about AOL and I think you're right about maybe them exporting or just making the primary index available to AOL.
I do agree that there are many faults, inconsistencies about the site: operator especially on directories.
For a large site, it is hard to keep track and check on thousands of url's so I like using tools such as site: .
One thing that still sticks out in my mind, is my obersvation that sites with a higher proporption of pages showing with /* correlate to higher overall traffic.
| 7:13 pm on Jan 10, 2010 (gmt 0)|
"I judge it by the bottom line though and this has been the worst month in ten years. Either people are very, very, broke or Google is screwing around way to much."
Outland, couldn't agree more...worse month so far in 8 years...
| 10:48 am on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
|If you’re falling outside of the top 30 results I don’t even think Adwords can save you unless you’re prepared to shell out the bucks. It’s looking more and more like the “Fat Cat” update to me. In other words small business will foot the bill in rankings and money for this one. |
I don't want to be one of the only guys in the room wearing a tinfoil hat, but every time there's a Google shakeup, I can't help but wonder if there's an advertising motive by the big G.
| 3:14 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Bottom line is this: conversion rates seem to be down for everyone, and yes, I really think this can be attributable to the economy. Don't be conned into believing by the CNBC-hypsters that this economy has turned around. Bottom line, US unemployment rate is at its highest level since the early 80's...less disposable income means less spending, which translates into few conversions, and lower profits for affiliates. No secret here.
With Google, Bing/Yahoo will become a formidable competitor this year, and there is more pressure than ever on the part of Google, to show an increase in rev, Q-over-Q. You can be rest assured, that business decisions are driving technology decisions these days at the Plex. Google is no longer a computer science academic exercise - it is a business, in what will become a more competitive business space. Those who ante up, will reap the benefits. The days of free traffic are slowly but surely becoming obsolete.
| 3:29 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Everyone in my main vertical is saying the same thing...traffic steady, conversion rates way down. Shoppers are browsing, loading up the carts, and bailing before checkout.
|conversion rates seem to be down for everyone |
| 5:09 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Anyone noticing any changes? Compared to last year my traffic was up about 30% now it's to about the same level starting today.
| 7:39 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
in my case (bilingual website) - english traffic has doubled since jan. 4th. websites from customers have lost up to 30% of their referrals from google.
however, i had many other problems (read my earlier posts if you like) with my website ... and "doubled" a little relativated means, i get still only 10% of the traffic i received before the last updates smacked my website down...
all the best to the webmasters that lost rankings. i know how bitter it is. :-/
| 10:15 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I'm not seeing a massive reaction on other forums. No way near the negative glimpses that became apparent prior to Jagger, Big Daddy and Florida. From memory there were a lot of seo's shouting in the test periods before those and this is just a fraction of that. My guess is that this update will be gradual and relatively smooth, but sadly some will get hurt.
| 11:16 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)|
|My guess is that this update will be gradual and relatively smooth, but sadly some will get hurt. |
That's the only difference between this equally massive but not sudden update and the landslide updates before, I guess G* had taken onboard the big hoo-haas caused before. This time decided to punish / hit slowly with less pain and reward smoothly with less euphoria, nonetheless the changes I expect to be as great!
| 5:02 am on Jan 12, 2010 (gmt 0)|
OK, so what update did we have? Is this caffeine or what?
| 5:11 am on Jan 12, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I'd say no - there is some significant ranking churn that is showing up on non-Caffeine SERPs. That may be part of shuffling things around to prepare for Caffeine, but I'd say there's more than just that going on. We may still end up calling this period "Caffeine" in the future just to have a name for it that makes it easy to reference.
| 6:34 am on Jan 12, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Judging by my Google referrers I almost recognize the keywords as being from a month or so ago. Maybe the undid something, who knows.
| 4:01 pm on Jan 12, 2010 (gmt 0)|
have there been any reports of entire sites disappearing from serps with caff? I am reading through this thread now, so pardon if this is an issue already discussed. I have a 5 year old site that suddenly disappeared. Yesterday, all pages ranked well, with 8 sitelinks under a search for the site name; today, rankings and sitelinks are gone. The pages are still there if I search using the site: operator. If someone else were asking me about this, I would say "just wait, it will probably return". But, I am not sure what to expect with caff.
| 4:10 pm on Jan 12, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Did you have a problem a couple of months ago ? I only ask because I'm seeing positions that I recognise from November.