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Google Updates and SERP Changes - April 2010
wmxpert




msg:4107999
 4:48 am on Apr 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

We are in the same situation, since March 15, 2010 our traffic is continuously declining with the average of 6% every week. In current week it gets worst, approx. 15% decline!

Overall, 30% to 35% traffic has been reduced compare to peak week of January 2010.

"site:" is also showing huge drop in index pages, though it only provide the avg. not actual.

Don't know what's going on, Is it really the effect of Caffeine roll-out?

[edited by: tedster at 9:46 pm (utc) on Apr 1, 2010]

 

Pass the Dutchie




msg:4110368
 9:57 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, I would second that Ted. Full privacy, logged out of G w/ various proxys . GUI with same SERPs seem to be switching depending upon IP/browser.
Calling it a night.

internetheaven




msg:4110408
 12:03 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

From what I've seen Caffeine doing elsewhere, applying that to Google.co.uk results is going to be spammer heaven!

Has anyone ever seen Caffeine for UK results yet?

pood




msg:4110482
 3:29 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lost about 40% of my traffic fri, sat, and sun, but almost back to normal today.

TheMadScientist




msg:4110487
 3:46 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

You Lost 40%? LUCKY! One of the sites I took over about 4 months ago is in a niche that has huge 'holiday drops' ... I didn't lose anywhere near 40% over the weekend, I only had 15%. I've actually started visiting it on holidays to pad the stats a bit. LOL.

Like you said though, nice bounce back to the norm today. ;)

helpnow




msg:4110507
 4:55 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

HUGE shifts occurring right now! Back to where we left off from April 1... It has been quiet all day and yesterday too, and now that it is after midnight, and everyone is back from Easter travels and presumably in bed, big changes going in. Either they are burning the midnight oil, or they pre-scheduled it this way. HUGE. Mid-west proxy, east coast proxy, haven't checked west coast proxy, can't be bothered to navel-gaze to that extent until the dust settles. Hope they finish it off this time, and I hope it sticks, but if the past 6 (!) months are any indication, they probably won't...

wmxpert




msg:4110555
 7:37 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

@helpnow I am also noticing major fluctuation in results on different proxies and it seems that something is going on.

[edited by: tedster at 7:47 am (utc) on Apr 6, 2010]

eljacko




msg:4110556
 7:40 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have been hit by the change but only across 2 websites. This is strange, it's not recognising my internal pages as mush as it used to. My home page is the most dominent one which is strange.

UK_Web_Guy




msg:4110583
 8:48 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have caffeine again in the uk this morning. Was seeing it most of Sunday as well, back again just now.

Only seems to be via Firefox, IE is showing regular. Do they split by browser?

Just this morning as well I've noticed that the cache links now don't show an IP address, instead webcache.googleusercontent.com making it harder to see the IP of these results, but I know it is a 209.235 address.

I guess this is what Matt indicated, a European IP would be next to start seeing caffeine, on and off and on and off.

Wonder how long this will go on for.

eljacko




msg:4110601
 9:23 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can't see any change between the browsers but have noticed that some of my insode pages have been indexed properly which are still showing in same positions but a few have not and they have dropped in positions. Also noticed that the inside pages have slowly started to move up one position at a time.

Is this Google reindexing the pages again with a fresh look at the incoming links?

Would I be able to see this in webmaster tools?

Pass the Dutchie




msg:4110627
 9:53 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

@ UK_Web_Guy
Only seems to be via Firefox, IE is showing regular. Do they split by browser?


Yes, I am seeing this as well. I am also seeing it on different PC's in the office despite not being logged into G, no G toolbar, in different browsers and having all w/ full privacy.

Here is what we are seeing on Google.de. Can anyone confirm is this is Caffeine GUI?

[flickr.com ]

restless




msg:4110700
 12:21 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Some sites getting back the traffic again today. 1 site was thrown out on the 23rd of March like other people mentioned in the March thread now on the 6th has come back, that's 2 weeks of low traffic.

the other site that come back was thrown out completely over a month ago that was due to some over backlinking not because of a google shuffle but today I receives quite a few visitors.

helpnow




msg:4110725
 12:55 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

SERPs have reverted. What I saw last night is gone, and we are AGAIN back to where we were about a month ago. Sucks, but I hope/assume this is simply a work in progress.

curioustoddler




msg:4110788
 2:50 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

"but I hope/assume this is simply a work in progress. "
This is what we can do now.

eljacko




msg:4110795
 3:00 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

My site is still out in the UK but I have noticed the new google layout and some keywords are crawling up the ranking ladder but nothing like what they were last week.
I have checked my webmaster tool and found that no external links have been found since the 31st March. Can this be why it's knocked down?

gouri




msg:4110809
 3:18 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have an IP address that is currently showing the new Google layout?

I looked at google.de but I wasn't able to see it.

TheMadScientist




msg:4110834
 4:00 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't think you were around with the Big daddy but thousands upon thousands site tanked and yes there was an aglo change for it as well.

@bwnbwn This is my second time being a senior member and I've still got quite a way to go to catch up with my other post count.* I've been around since long before Big Daddy... I barely missed Florida and read extensively about the aftermath.

Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2009 [webmasterworld.com] Check out the first post and the linked resource for more information and where I got a fairly accurate idea Caffeine is not directly an algo change. Neither was Big Daddy. They are both infrastructure changes. The algo may have been changed shortly after the implementation of Big Daddy, but Big Daddy itself was not an algo change. It was a change to the infrastructure.

Sorry if I'm being confusing to some by being overly specific about what each is rather than just lumping everything together as one cause and effect, like many seem to do, but I personally think it's more confusing and misleading to not spell out what each is and what each does...

Big Daddy and Caffeine (the named changes) are (were) infrastructure changes.

What they're actually doing with the changeover to Caffeine is changing from the Big Daddy infrastructure to the Caffeine infrastructure... Caffeine is a change to the file system, not the algorithm directly.

* The other username was a 'late at night' decision I didn't ever really like and wasn't really 'me' but I stuck with it for a long time, because I didn't want to lose my join date or post count... One day I'd had enough and couldn't take it any more, so I took the plunge and 'became a rookie again'. I wish I'd done it a couple (few) years earlier...

dertyfern




msg:4110955
 7:13 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have an IP address that is currently showing the new Google layout?

I see it on the same IP.

WW_Watcher




msg:4110965
 7:24 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

OMG, all these years, and I am still not a Senior Member.

It is not how large your post, or how many times you post. It is what you put into your post & others get out that should determine your posting reputation.

Should one brag that they posted thousands of shallow posts, never delving deeper than the beginning of the subject, or just a few posts, covering a variety of topics, from the entry to the end, deeper and deeper until satisfaction is achieved for both the poster & reader.

WW_Watcher

walkman




msg:4110974
 7:30 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

so how far has this gone? My traffic is up and I am wondering in how many Dcs has this spread

TheMadScientist




msg:4110976
 7:37 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

OMG, all these years, and I am still not a Senior Member.

So you don't share very much, each to their own... Not a big deal.

It is what you put into your post & others get out that should determine your posting reputation.

Yeah, no kidding, but when people are going to talk about how long I've been around and what I or know or don't, then I might point it out.

Should one brag that they posted thousands of shallow posts, never delving deeper than the beginning of the subject, or just a few posts, covering a variety of topics, from the entry to the end, deeper and deeper until satisfaction is achieved for both the poster & reader.

Nope, actually it bothers me quite a bit some people look at post count and join date in an effort to determine knowledge level or accuracy of information presented, and if you think those are the type of posts I've ever made, please feel free to check my recent threads and review my posts to see if the idea is accurate or not.

I've also been around long enough to know we should get this thread back on topic or tedster's going to take his golden snippers to it, so...

I can tell people after the 'holiday hiccup' on the site I was posting about earlier in this thread traffic actually returned to near record levels yesterday and is solid again today.

gouri




msg:4110978
 7:39 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am seeing today for a couple of competitive phrases, a number of sites that come up when searching for those phrases moving back around 150 positions.

I think it could be because of Google adding datasets to their index as they prepare to rollout Caffeine.

Does this sound like a possible explanation? When might the sites that have moved back go back to around where they were ranking?

bwnbwn




msg:4110988
 7:51 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

TheMadScientist I said what I said because sometimes you make statements that just don't have any data to back them up.

What I am trying to say is with an infrastructure change there is or will more than likely be an algo change to work with the new infrastructure. If all that changes is the infrastructure and nothing else changes in the algo why then would a site that has been preforming well suddenly lose it during an infrastructure change.

Each and every infrastructure change Google has gone through there has been many sites damaged from the change. So if the algo doesn't change there shouldn't be any discussion on the infrastructure change assoicated with Caffeine, but since (as we already see sites are being damaged) there seems to be something changing within the algo to determine a sites ranking position.

[edited by: bwnbwn at 7:52 pm (utc) on Apr 6, 2010]

TheMadScientist




msg:4110989
 7:51 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

An interesting little bit of info about the site I've posted about a couple times in this thread is traffic is steady to up consistently, search terms have shifted a bit and Average Page Views are way up over the last couple of days... almost doubled.

Not sure if it's good or bad yet, but there have been no changes to the design or layout or anything else that should affect the page views from my end, so there has to be a difference in the landing page for searches or the people finding the landing page and either it's good and people are liking the site so they're surfing a bit more, or where they're landing is not as accurate for the search and people are having to view more pages to find what they were looking for. I'll have to look into it a bit more if it stays this way.

randle




msg:4110991
 7:52 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I barely missed Florida


Well that was a really bad day, but a positive experience in the long run. Lots of lessons learned particularly on the "google organic traffic over reliance" front. I often wonder how many of the top notch pay per clickers of today were born from that maelstrom. Anyhow, more relevant to the point of this thread, lots of complaining around here about the fits Google is having trying to get Caffeine rolled out; starting, stopping, roll outs and roll backs. Clearly their struggling a bit to get this right.

Florida taught everyone lessons, especially Google and your seeing that now. I would rather have the delays, false starts and general Google plex disinformation on whats going on than experience the debacle Florida was. I really believe they had no clear understanding what was going to happen when they launched that.

TheMadScientist




msg:4110996
 8:03 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Each and every infrastructure change Google has gone through there has been many sites damaged from the change. So if the algo doesn't change there shouldn't be any discussion on the infrastructure change assoicated with Caffeine, but since (as we already see sites are being damaged) there seems to be something changing within the algo to determine a sites ranking position.

I see what you're saying and understand the reasoning, but... A change to the underlying data or the way the data is organized can change which pages have the calculations performed on them at a given time, pages which were included in previous calculations may not be included in the process (yet or are included faster), because data may have been dropped or missed from the new dataset (or there may be more data added in), the calculations could be performed at a faster rate causing pages to be removed from (or added to) the dataset (or index, results) sooner than it would have been previously and that could be what is being seen...

There's all different reasons why the results might change from the underlying data and storage system being changed that has nothing to do with the actual algorithm (heuristic).

Here's one example (there are a bunch of possibilities):
Calculations are performed much faster (Caffeine).
A site is detected by one of the ranking mechanisms as spam.
The pages from that site have their 'weight' discounted.
The sites linked to from that site have their 'weight' updated (with the lower value passed to them).
The site detected as spam (all of its' pages) and the site(s) (pages) it was giving weight to drop in the rankings.

Using a slower system it may have taken 2 weeks to make it all the way through the calculations and have an effect on all the pages involved, but the faster system makes it happen in a day, so it could appear there has been an algo change because sites (pages) start 'dropping like flies' and what would have been 'spread out' previously 'happens at once'. The real change is not in the algo, but in how fast the processing happens, how fast a 'scheme' is discovered, how fast the removal of the scheme is applied to other sites and pages, and how fast those changes are visible in the results.

An infrastructure change can definitely lead to changes in the results without the actual algo (what's important to rank) changing a bit, by speeding up the detection and removal of 'spam' pages . The converse is also true and positive changes could make their way through the system faster. The apparent change would be to the algo, but in reality it could easily be the speed of the processing system.

TheMadScientist




msg:4111001
 8:11 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well that was a really bad day

Yeah, I read about it quite a bit and the stories (legends?) are still being told today. I'm actually glad I missed it and got to read about it later. IMO There's actually quite a bit of good advice in those old threads, harsh as some of it may be...

bwnbwn




msg:4111023
 8:51 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually we already know the algo is changing for Caffeine. Site speed has been applied now to the algo so yes there are algo changes assoicated with the Caffeine infrastructure.
I am sure there are more how we can determine what these algo changes are to a sites ranking is determined by similarities within the sites that have lost/gained rankings.

I had the pleasure to go through Flordia see all the post learn from them and apply what I learned to the sites I work with. Then came along Big Daddy same thing, and now Caffeine.

If you don't believe the algo is changing to adapt to the new environment then your gonna be singing the blues if you as a webmaster don't learn and begin collecting data that will shed some light on the changes.

This is why I read the post made here collecting data. If I didn't believe/know the algo was changing reading these post would be a waste of time.

TheMadScientist




msg:4111029
 9:05 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hmmmm...

Been doing this for a while myself too, and didn't have an issue with Big Daddy at all, and really like what's happening with Caffeine, so my guess is we use a different methodology. I've actually been really happy with the Big Daddy and Caffeine changes and haven't 'chased' either one, because traffic and rankings on the sites I'm concerned with continue to grow through each.

I actually really like the changes and don't plan on singing any blues any time soon, but I build sites and SEO them a bit differently than most, so I don't (haven't, knock on wood) ever had to 'chase the algo' I just do what I do and let them do what they do and we seem to get along very well, irrespective of the amount of data collection I do...

I guess most people only dream about being able to build a site and 'leave it alone' for about 3 years, except to update the data feeding it once a year and just watch the traffic grow... I think I'll go with TheNuttyProffesor if I change my user name again, because you've got to be crazy to even think something like that is possible right? I mean you have to have huge amounts of data and constantly 'chase the algo' to be any good at optimizing a site right? There's really no such thing as 'set it and forget it' is there?

Seriously, bwnwbn, I'm sure what you do works for you, but I use a totally different approach than most people, and know others who have done the same thing, so as impossible as it may seem, you do not have to have a huge amount of data and constantly chase the algo to make a site rank... I'm not saying I don't have data, and I also have access to huge amounts of it here too if I feel the need to reference it and adjust things a bit once in a while.

bwnbwn




msg:4111045
 9:34 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually TheMadScientist I did fine in FL, Big Daddy and now Caffeine but that doesn't stop me from learning now does it. I don't chase the algo I learn and apply a big difference.
I also have access to huge amounts of it here too if I feel the need to reference it and adjust things a bit once in a while.
exactly. Are you chasing the algo? No your learning. This is why I said you can't make the statement the algo won't change it will and it does.
TheMadScientist




msg:4111066
 10:23 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is why I said you can't make the statement the algo won't change it will and it does.

Fair enough... Do you think our discussion helps anyone else out a bit? ;)
Have a good day. I'm actually working, so I'll be 'out' for a while if you can believe that. LOL.

gouri




msg:4111095
 11:06 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am seeing something on the Caffeine datacenter that I have not really seen too often.

One way in which we have identified when were were looking at the Caffeine dataset on the Caffeine datacenter or on Google.com is by looking at the number of competitive sites that show up for a search.
Usually, the Caffeine dataset has a smaller number than the regular dataset.

Now, I am seeing more competitive websites than I am used to seeing for searches that I do on Google.com and also on the Caffeine datacenter but now the Caffeine dataset seems to have a lot more competitive sites for a search (sometimes 10 million more) than when I do the same search on Google.com.

Could this be because Caffeine is adding more datasets to its index and when Caffeine is rolled out the number of competitive sites that show up for a search will be more than what we now see on Google.com when it is showing the regular dataset?

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