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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]



 2:29 am on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I manage a lot of sites and many are US based in different servers, ownership and locations, I get alarmed (for better or worse) when I notice a considerable and consistent shift in the SERPS for at least a handful of them when I know there no structural or design changes were made for months apart from the normal day-to-day content additions.

It may be bizarre, but probably obvious, I seem to notice a strong correlation between SEO threads inflation all round the net and G*'s movement, when G* does something like start the shaking of the SERPs and the knee-jerk reactions which leads to posts on those forums including this thread. Say I participate in 10 well known forums such as WebmasterWorld, when there are minor tremors happening, less than 20 posts per day in all of them, but when a tremor registers 6-7, posts and replies are in the hundreds, from those who lost ground and indeed from those who GAINED IT from them!

Just an observation, when on a night shift one think of all sorts to pass time when you have a break!


 3:55 am on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

1script, I bet you're going to see some positive changes and revert-backs within 48 hours, probably started a couple of hours ago. It seems G* has started releasing another chunk of data and that may reveal the mystery where your sites were buried and now finally will start surfacing again, hope I am not wrong!
Well, that's a nice positive note to end the graveyard shift on! I'm not seeing anything as yet but the long-tail that returns may not be the long-tail that was before, so I might just be watching wrong SERPs. Anyways, fingers crossed. Returning 90% of G* traffic is hard to miss, so I'll know one way or another if you make a good oracle :)

 7:13 am on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

[] is caffeinated for me.


 10:55 am on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wondered if it would be a popular thing amongst WMT subscribers to open and close each months thread with a summary of the key events and observations ?

We're just about to end the month , so i thought I'd ask the question.


 12:38 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just woke here in the west and see that search.aol is showing the caffeine results, been a while since I saw them on there.


 12:49 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can confirm that it appears to be rolling on again, west coast to east coast.

I only wish it weren't so ugly for some of the stuff I watch.


 3:24 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

There's a UFO outside my window ...


 3:36 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I also saw three black helicopters circling my housing development.

Could swear I saw a gorg logo on them.

But, I'm actually seeing caf results in the main search in AZ.


 4:30 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I saw on [] when I did a search for a keyword that for the first result in the SERP it only showed the url. After the first result, the results looked as they usually do.

Has anyone seen this before?


 4:50 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

"URL-only" results often happen if that website prohibits crawling in robots.txt. Unusual to see it at position #1, however. I suppose if the query terms are not too competitive, it can happen.


 5:27 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am seeing a lot of movement today in the SERP's. Keep in mind this does not look like caffeine in any way, but this is the most shuffling I have seen all year. The SERP's have changed 3 times today as far as I can tell. A competitor who has ranked #3 for a term for the last year+ has dropped to #5. Lots of movement going on


 6:32 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Huge movement in the west coast. Am seeing caffeine in the LA area. East cost is showing it as well..


 6:41 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

We are getting big changes, caff. in the east coast as well, back to where we were 2 weeks ago or so... A big step in the right direction, but not perfect yet... ;)


 7:13 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't know whether is caffeine or not but my vbulletin forum with 120K site:mysite.com pages on Google is dead in the water. Have around 60 Google spiders constantly in my forum at the same time all day, but no true visitors for 20 days now. Grankings dropped overnight.


 7:50 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Changes all over the place, all caffeine-ish.


 8:24 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

UFOs... -lol- Black helicopters... ; ) Let me be the first to also reference the fact that tomorrow is April Fool's Day and here we go again on a possible caff roll-out, and right before Easter too. It would be perfect timing if this is it, gives them a few days of live testing with fewer people around... There are dozens of jokes and witty comebacks we can all enjoy with the timing of this if it turns out to be the final move... Jeez, I really, really hope this is it, whatever "this" is...


 9:44 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm in the same boat. Forums sites, traffic dropped overnight March 15th, no changes since then. Today is no different despite all the sightings of all sorts of changes reported here.

Not sure what you mean by 60 google spiders though. Are you talking about 60 IP addresses they are coming from? I don't believe they would send 60 different bot instances to pound on one site. Check the IP addresses of those log lines marked as Googlebot 2.1 user agents. You may find that a large percentage of those 60 are rogue. I normally see 1-2 different Googlebot IPs even on the days they collect 10,000+ pages.

Every legitimate Googlebot that came to my site in recent time (looking at stats daily since March 15th crash) came from 66.249.x.x subnet. There may be a few others but if you see very different IPs (that do not reverse resolve to Google, Inc.) - they may be up to no good.

But yeah, the general picture for the last two weeks is the same here:

  • forum site - yes
  • healthy (or exuberant) Googlebot activity - yes
  • Google traffic - 10% of normal


 10:13 pm on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can see a lot of caffeine results even in DC that doesnt show it before. I think they are rolling out caffeine this April for 2 reasons..

1. Perfect timing, if it works.
2. If it doesn't work, then they can pull it back and just say Happy April Fools to everyone

Google playing safe as usual

We'll see what happens..

< discussion continues here: google/4108578.htm [webmasterworld.com] >[/1}

[1][edited by: tedster at 9:45 pm (utc) on Apr 1, 2010]

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