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This 468 message thread spans 16 pages: < < 468 ( 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 [13] 14 15 16 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2010

 5:27 pm on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

I have been watching all of my competitors which pretty much live off of large amounts of longtail traffic loose overall traffic the past 4-6 weeks and that includes us.

I dont know whats going on but for big sites in my section of the web site page count has been dropping at a constant decay and new content is coming in very very slowly and not nearly enough to counter the drops.

Overall traffic seems down about 8-10% for all of us and those drops are graphing perfectly to the drops in page counts since mid January.

At the same time the crawl graph in WMT and my local stats package show a flatline since mid Jan with no deep crawls and about a tenth of usual crawl activity.

All of this for us and our competitors started mid January
1. dropoff of the googlebot deepcrawl with a flatline stable crawl at a much lower rate.
2. daily reductions in pagecount across a dozen sites by exact same percentages
3. similar gradual traffic declines matching page count falls
4. uber slow new page caching and ranking

When I see this happening to not only us but many pr6-8 sites in my sector it gives me comfort to see that it isnt only us but also concern because it isnt only us.

Just going to keep chugging along, not much you can do but sit back and watch this stuff unfold.

[edited by: tedster at 5:49 pm (utc) on Mar 1, 2010]
[edit reason] split from earlier thread [/edit]



 2:55 pm on Mar 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I looked at and and it seems to be a third version of SERP

Those 2 ip's are meant for non USA results, see the link at the bottom of the main page that says "Go to Google.com"

Those look like regular serps with a few UK sites thrown in. Those are the regular serps for a different region somewhere, that is why they look different, but not caffeine.


 3:27 pm on Mar 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I see the link that says "Go to Google.com"

But this SERP is showing on which is generally where Caffeine is.

I am trying to think, is there any reason why Google is showing these SERP on this IP?


 1:20 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am seeing a new set of SERPs on East Coast proxies. This is the same set that was live last week...

Anyone else?


 2:11 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

@helpnow new set of SERP, do you mean Caffeine? Which Google DC are you on?


 2:41 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

not seeing anything out of the usual in florida and NY. You sure these arent just normal fluctuations for your niche?


 2:55 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

The only caffeine result I am seeing right now are the ones in the 209.85.135.* subnet. How about you guys?


 3:43 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's gone. It was there for about 2 hours, now back to how it has been for the past 5 days.


 4:07 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

LOL Who's on first?
I'm punting April 1st for the full rollout...


 4:24 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

OK caff is back on 74.125.95.*


 4:32 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

yes, just like i said. its now monday and caffeine has returned to the usual datacenters


 4:34 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah good observation brinked. Late last week I also found some 66.102.7.* DC pumping caffeine for a short time..


 7:29 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm getting a little confused ... we're on, what, Page 8 or 9 now of "I see Caffeine on XX, oh, now it's gone."

What is the point exactly? The fact that Caffeine is appearing on datacenters has been firmly established. Do we really need to know about every appearance and disappearance? Can't this continue in it's own "I see Caffeine somewhere at some time" thread?

I checked a Caffeine Datacentre once out of curiousity. Even avid datacenter people like whiteknight have stopped posting.

How about we all sit tight because we can't discuss current SERPS because they are in flux and we can't discuss future (Caffeine) SERPS because they are not fully rolled out yet?

Every time I come back to WW I see 2 more pages have been added to this thread and dive in looking for information about the new SERPS ... only to be sadly disappointed to see that absolutely nothing useful is being written in here in relation to Caffeine ... just UFO sightings ...


 10:18 am on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't know if any of you have noticed that but over the last few days I looks at my adwords stats and noticed that my traffic is getting more and more targeted towards what my website offers and is all about. I use to have a lot of junk as far as keywords visitors use to find us on and now the keywords seem to be better targeted.


 12:29 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

internetheaven thank you I was wondering when someone was going to post what you did. Seems this thread has gone to egos and UFO posting.


 12:31 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Amen Internetheaven!


 12:43 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Internetheaven, Same here. Major increase in adwords spend over the last week and higher CTR's. That's what this is all about folks.


 1:06 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree with the notion of UFO spottings - this is dreadfully boring and frustrating. I think the general hope is that each most recent spotting turns out to be the final one.


 1:24 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree that Caffeine is showing SEPRs with the state of about 8-10 weeks ago - hope they will catch up soon. And I hope we don't get a penalty because Google spiders the new links from 2 month in 1 go ;-)


 5:24 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

We saw a drop in traffic at the end of January. Over the last week, we've seen some of that traffic return, which is all good for us. Our site is UK focussed, and we've seen an increase in our UK traffic, but not US traffic. It seems like Google may be reverting back to pre-end-of-January SERPs, which is good for me :)


 5:32 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Serps look like they are rolled back at bit to me as well.


 8:15 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am seeing caffeine on mobile google now but not regular google. If I search google mobile, I also see caffeine on my computer using www.google.com/m/ like the following:



 9:58 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sharing which DC caffeine is showing is not a bad thing, you can consider it as a form of historical data and you can use it to analyze what's happening and what could possibly happen. Its part of the excitement. Dont get too emotional or disappointed on things we cant control.

Just keep waiting like the rest..


 10:27 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Theory: what if Caffeine is not an overall set of search results with some tweaks to the ranking algorithm and how Google views data. What if Caffeine was created from the standpoint of Google's controversial location patent?

What if this is it? What if this is the software/datacentre upgrades/changes that mean no universal SERPS any more, even logged out of personalised search?

Just a theory as to why everyone is seeing different things and why some locations seem to be being tested more than others and why I've seen 8 different sets of results today depending on what I've logged in to.

Or maybe I'm just bored and looking for something interesting to talk about while we wait for this to finish


 10:31 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah there are so many "what ifs" for caffeine, no one really knows what is it or what will happen except Google. Thats why the only credible things we can talk about here are the facts, the things that we know, one of these things is which DC caffeine is showing up.. once we know which DC then we can then check our SERP there and compare.


 10:36 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think instead of everyone sharing the IP address, they should share their experience of caffeine on their home PC or any proxies. It does not mean anything if caffeine can be seen on any given IP. Like google publicly said:

“The data center remains the same,” Google tells us, “but different IP addresses can map to different data centers at different times due to how Google manages its traffic. Because of how Google employs custom load-balancing, there is not a single IP address that will always reach the Caffeine data center. For example, one IP address might still send half of its traffic to the Caffeine data center and half of its traffic to a different data center.”

If you know how to identify what caffeine looks like, then great, share with everyone if you notice any interesting changes. Here is what we know:

caffeine is frequently spotted anywhere from 10-40% of the cities in america.

caffeine has been seen in some cities on a consistent basis except on weekends, these cities include but are not limited to wayne, PA, woodstock, IL, Chicago IL, some parts of Texas.

Caffeine has been spotted on the west coast (notably california and arizona) for several hours 1 day last week but has not been spotted there since.

There has been no major news on the caffeine front for the last 3-4 days except maybe my finding that you can view caffeine results on mobile google.


 11:28 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

So far as I can tell, it's been more than two months now since Google has removed any URLs from its index that are now 301ed to a new URL.

This is really bizarre. The first two weeks of January if you 301ed something, the new URL would come into the index and the old URL would disappear in a week or ten days. Sometime mid-January Google just started adding the new URL, and ranking it properly, but still left the old URL in the index too... despite having crawlen through the redirect 20+ times.

It would be quite a coincidence if this started happening for some other reason at the same time Caffeine was oozing into the results as it has.

Is Caffeine incapable of sorting and discarding old URLs while retianing the correct algo/link-power data for the new URL? What could a possible reason be for Google to not update at least 98% of 301s since late January?

Perhaps once we see 301s updated, we will also be seeing Caffeine fully deployed... sometime "after" the spring solstice 2010.


 3:05 am on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)


You raise a very interesting point regarding the 301s. I have posted previously about a very strange hijack to my domain (another domain set their CNAME or DNS to mine) and eventually THEIR domain showed up with my dedicated IP (using the Domain Tools reverse-IP lookup). Google began caching their pages on January 11 (with my content), and coincidentally, my entire site was hit with -40 to -60 the same day. It gets worse. Their domain showed a PR5 in the toolbar AND Google showed MY backlink profile for their domain. So there were some serious canonical issues that I resolved with a 301.

I never could get their domain removed from my dedicated IP (my webhost tried to help, and I contacted their registrar, but nothing could be done)....so, I got a new IP. Google has removed my backlink profile from their domain, BUT their URLs still show in Google cached with my content (2 months later). I still sit here with the -50 filter in place.

I am not saying for certain that this was the culprit, but it certainly didn't help. I am hoping that a full deployment of Caffeine will correct this issue as you suggested.

Please forgive the rehash (since I mentioned this a month or two ago...It just saves a little time for you to read it here instead of searching the previous thread). My point is: you may be on to something with the 301 and I hope Caffeine resolves it. I would love to see those cached pages removed, but alas they remain. Since my backlink profile was showing up on their domain, there certainly could be some link-power/data confusion (consistent with canonical problems).


 1:52 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Besides the effect that new links doesn't seem to be involved so far, it seems to me that sites which got more single-keyword links are preferred to sites which got more variety in anchor-texts on Caffeine.


 3:08 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

it seems to me that sites which got more single-keyword links are preferred to sites which got more variety in anchor-texts on Caffeine.

I've been noticing the same thing.


 4:06 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

it seems to me that sites which got more single-keyword links are preferred to sites which got more variety in anchor-texts on Caffeine.

Gee, the guys in the Link Building part of this forum would have a field day with a notion like that! Doesn't that stand all you've ever learned about link building on its head?

But, for all it's worth - I am seeing shorter key phrases being less affected by my recent traffic drop. The overall Google traffic is down 90% but many one- and two-word phrases rank where they've always been which is what's still baffling me in this whole ordeal. Trouble is: no one ever searches for one or two keywords anymore!


 5:37 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Trouble is: no one ever searches for one or two keywords anymore!

Think you've got this backwards. Sure, no-one really uses one word searches these days but natural link building tends to use one word links (mostly "here"!).

I would imagine that reducing the power of 3+ text links might be a tool to combat un-natural link building e.g. if a website has only 3+ word phrases linking to them then chances are all links are either bought or otherwise obtained.

It does seem sort of tin foil hat territory though and probably very unreliable as a ranking tool ...

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