homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 378 message thread spans 13 pages: < < 378 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 > >     
Google MAYDAY Update - SERP Changes May 2010

 12:53 pm on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

Now, as the dust settles from the last days and my panic is under control :->, I thought I share some ideas here.

Basic infos:

1. Nature of site: eCommerce

2. Type of link building: across the board
specialties: our sellers get subdomains, minimal link buying, majorly press, partners, etc.

3. Pages on domain: somewhere around 3 Mio. pages,
majorly product details and listing pages of products

History: Until Tuesday we ramped in around 200k Uniques a day - very strong long tail traffic, 65% of the landing pages are the product details.

What happened: First the site lost one PR point from 6 to 5 in the last update. Traffic went up, so I did not care at all, but maybe it completes the picture.

Tuesday, April 27th: solid and good traffic, but slightly lower than last week.

Wednesday, April 28th: first noticeable drop of around 10%

Thursday: 25% loss of traffic to Tuesday

Yesterday: 27% loss of traffic to Tuesday

Think this is the current status: Lost around 25% of power/traffic somehow.


What happened?

Hard to say really, but here are some cents for the collective thought pool:

a) Keywords I monitor are still where they were, but these (around 20) keywords are not really LONG TAIL

b) Some merchants selling strong in the past weeks dropped out of the sky and vanished from our top sellers list: that could be the reason.

I looked here in this senseless long thread :-) and found the following quotes spark a clue:

I think the loss of long tail is more to do with Google's incredible improvements in Adwords relevance matching. - internetheaven

Well, my loss in traffic is majorly long tail - so that area fits at least.

Long tail traffic in most cases relies on internal link juice, this is how it works. - SEOPTI

There is so much insight in that one sentence, I love it!

And I can relate to it in my case:

The few top sellers vanishing from the list are providing thousands of niche products for very specific purposes. They lost the traffic and that whole picture falls in to place:

If this is the Caffeine update, IMHO the following happens while we type:

Deep content is gathered from domains not crawled so deep before. The amount of pages with long tail keywords doubles, tripples or just magnifolds and changes the game as a whole.

If internal link juice is now weaker or stronger: Link building has now a different meaning.

Link juice must be handled under a differen perspective.

Even if we can build up 1,000 named backlinks to a page, it looses its power on 3 Mio. children quite quickly.

If there are major authority sites unlocked by Caffeine with "before 100,000 pages" and after "10,000,000 deep pages" we have now

9,900,000 new enemies in the long tail....

That would explain a lot to me and I wonder what you think?


< the active thread for this discussion is here: [webmasterworld.com...] >

[edited by: tedster at 7:44 pm (utc) on May 22, 2010]



 9:10 am on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Simsi: I would have thought this was condusive to the theory that Google's new infrastructure allows them to better measure user behaviour.

tedster: Bingo - that's my suspicion, too. We saw a little bit of this behavior beginning two years ago, but it was rare and it seemed only to be used for URLs where something that helped them rank seemed a bit unnatural - even though it was not at spammy or outside the guidelines.

The bottom line for Google is not whether the website follows their guidelines. It's whether their useers like the search results.

It also means what we're seeing is possibly the turning point in Search. This "update" is potentially the biggest yet in terms of impact.

member22: If this happens this is the end of google because if you don't understand how google works ( at least part of it ) you won't ever rank anywhere and by the way remember that unless you are in the TOP 3 on the 1 st page of google you will never make a single dime on the internet.

It won't be the end of Google, in fact IMO it will be quite the opposite. But it will signal the beginning of the end of being able to manipulate Google. You won't *need* to understand Google...you will just need to understand your users.

If your business is SEO, this could have serious connotations if these suspicions are borne out. While "Evolution" might be more apt, the name "Mayday" might turn out to be a very astute choice long term LOL.

[edited by: Simsi at 9:22 am (utc) on May 4, 2010]


 9:11 am on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have noticed my site again drop in ranking during the mayday update like other but not only for longtail but 2 phrase words as well. One of the industries biggest keywords and company dropping a significant amount of spaces down. This is big, my site results are back to what they were a month ago.

My theory is that to implement the caffine update right they are using an old set of results as it worked on x amount of search engines when they rolled it out the first time, why not do it again.

I guess tedster has a valid point that switching between 2 different data sets is effective which explains why at different times I see my website back to it's original rankings but this has been going on for a month now and all business are now suffering.
When will google stop this dance of engines?


 12:33 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

We all know when 1 site loses traffic this traffic has to go somewhere this is a given. Now from the looks of the post there are thousands maybe millions of sites that have lost traffic. This means there are thousands or millions of sites that have gained traffic. This could be related to testing user experience or this could be Google is sharing the traffic to more and more sites.

As I have posted before it is my belief Google has begun distributing traffic in a way to allow more and more sites into the organic results. This opens the door to new sites to do PPC. Guys Google is in the business of making money they may be looking down the road 5-10 years and see they must allow more sites into the organic to say put the carrot in front of the mule.
eljacko said
now and all business are now suffering.
Bingo so I am willing to bet eljacko is looking at doing PPC now if the business wasn't before.
I see more and more sites in the results that haven't been there before over a wide range of different areas of business. Doing some research these sites are young, with few backlinks, and by all standards shoulddn't be there.

How exciting it must be for a site/owner that wasn't getting traffic before to pop and start getting organic traffic (I know you all remember it) and now comes the free PPC letter to try it out.

Think about it..>>More sites = more revenue. I would have done the exact thing to keep the cash flowing.

Martin Ice Web

 1:22 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)


What about stability? If the serps move around like crazy, the users wont find their old pages they used to find. If i do a search and the next five minutes there are other results makes me go up the ceiling. And distributing traffic to lots of sites is not the purpose of search engines. I could easily doing it and i bet no one will use my traffic distributing search engine.

To give lots of site traffic will not increase PPC, cause if it is a serious business, they will have done PPC before. On the contrary, pages that have done PPC and now gain organic traffic will cut their PPC!

To run a search engine means to serve the user the very best results that will match to the query. If u have a look at the results right now. u see that goog is far away from that aim.

If i think back to big daddy update, wasn´t it the same? All pages lost traffic, thousand of - at that time never been seen - sites where served to the users?
And after 5-6 month all resumed to the good old state of serve stable results with most matching content.


 1:22 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I guess it won't be a week before I know more like I thought it would be... Yesterday finished right on trend for Monday's traffic over the last few weeks, which is interesting.


 1:26 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn, your logic could work both ways: those that have gained organic may reduce any Adwords spend as a result of sudden organic increases. Plenty of PPC powered websites that are working on razor thin margins.

Not everyone has seen organic traffic drop. There are those that are seeing steady traffic as well as others that are experiencing increases--I think graeme_p was one.


 1:35 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

What about stability? If the serps move around like crazy, the users wont find their old pages they used to find.

Apparently the people at Google don't understand the point you're making, because I've certainly had people I've talked to about Google complain about it, but the people at G don't seem to have any clue how many people don't like the 'ever changing' results and the personalization... It's like they look at their search numbers and think 'Wow, we're doing so much better!' and don't ever stop to think their search numbers are increasing because people can't find what they saw earlier or yesterday and don't like it.

When I explained to one friend of mine about the personalization they said 'Now a bunch of things make sense... I wasn't ever going to do it, but I might try Bing.'

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 1:38 pm (utc) on May 4, 2010]


 1:37 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

If the serps move around like crazy, the users wont find their old pages they used to find.

Personalized search remedies this. If you click on a site in search results enough, it becomes a favored result regardless of the shuffling of SERPs.


 1:47 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Martin Ice Web
distributing traffic to lots of sites is not the purpose of search engines
maybe in the beginning but the game has changed now it is about making money while serving up results. Then again that is the purpose of the SE. It just has never been in in a controled manner. I doubt very seriously the general user will get to upset if they did a search for a term and was delivered different results, besides I am not talking about keeping the results different. I am talking about once the dust settles there will be a stability in the serps but the traffic will be shared out to more sites.

graeme_p without looking back yes but read his post a young site with few backlinks.


 1:51 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I doubt very seriously the general user will get to upset if they did a search for a term and was delivered different results

The users I've talked to have been. It looks like G is using the same thinking you are and not realizing people are getting frustrated by it. When I say people I mean the random ones I talk to at the coffee shop some times. I mean random 'Joe Public' who has no idea why the results keep changing. Ask around a bit, not people you know or people who know about how search works, but the random people who have no idea... The answers might surprise you.

Martin Ice Web

 2:17 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)


what is "enough" ,5 times, 10 times?
What about i did a search yesterday and found some good stuff ( i surely forgot to make it a favorite ) and the next day it is gone, cause of moving results.
-> Do I have to wait until the time window for this result will show up?

Why should google move sites in and out of relevant search results - in my point of view up to page 3 - if after page 3 the relevance of results is and were less than 50%. Why should a site on page 1 of results to be on page 10+ a second later.
If it is a user behavior testing then it would make sense to compare a "fresh" site on result #2 and move the previous #2 site on #3. Now have a look on user behaviour and see if the new site has the ability to catch the users without loosing them to site on #3.
But if i shuffle the complete results, i will not have a relation between new and old site on search #2.
I hope I illustrated it clearly enough....

Martin Ice Web

 2:23 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)


what aboout our favorit mall. U go in and find anything adhoc.
Now the new seo or supervisor or some howerver very important person means to adjust all the widgets ones a day. What would you do? Do you go to search a new mall where you find our widgtes where they used to be?
Certenly, some new shopping mall visitors will not recognise the new constalation but the very most of it will.

[edited by: Martin_Ice_Web at 2:24 pm (utc) on May 4, 2010]


 2:24 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

TheMadScientist actually I have and my results are based on what I said. I don't bring up anything just ask what SE they use and are they satisfied with what results they are getting. The general public doesn't spend the time we do on the serps. They do a search then go away maybe to do the same search in a week maybe never, so really the vast majority of the public isn't aware of the shifts going on in the serps right now.

Besides PPC delivers what they are looking for in the top 4 spots.


 2:29 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Im still of the opinion this is a shakedown of the new system and 'normality' will resume shortly. Google has said all along this is an infrastructure change, two incompatible systems with one replacing the other - not a major algo change. To do both at the same time seems a little suicidal (too much to go wrong) In doing so it is unlikely that they would import old data from one system to the other, they would send out the bots and essentially start again - large sites may be getting stored differently so a complete crawl of the site may have to completed, I cant remember the default page crawl rate but it is slow - around 10k pages per month, if they have been doing this for 6 months it still leaves a big shortfall in deep pages.

I cant wait for 6 months time when I can look back on my posts and see how wrong I was! Can I post Images? (Newbie!)


 2:42 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't bring up anything just ask what SE they use and are they satisfied with what results they are getting.

Yeah, that's what people have said to me at first, so we're getting the same initial responses... But I'll usually throw something out there like 'did you know their results are personalized now?' or give them something else they probably did not know, then the 'yes, I'm perfectly happy, blah, blah...' seems to change to 'oh, well that makes sense... no wonder... and just the other day I was looking for .... again and couldn't find it. So frustrating.'

I didn't realize the amount of people who really find some of the things they do frustrating until I started having a bit more of a conversation, usually by telling them something they didn't already know or asking a question, much like the following.

Try, innocently: 'Do the results keep changing for you too when you try to find a site again?' sometime... My guess is you get a slightly different answer and might even get a mini-rant, at least that's been my experience. 'Do you have a tough time finding a site the second time too?' works well too...

BTW: Glad to know I'm not the only nut case taking informal, unpaid search engine surveys... LOL :)


 2:53 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure this isn't a Caffeine V1.0 effect. Either it's an algo change post-implementation, or an untested facet that didn't show up in the sandbox, nor in the dripfeed rollout.


 2:54 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a terrible country flux right now. Normally, here in the UK, we get a flood of AU/NZ websites taking over our SERPS from time to time. Never understood why ... maybe it's the American grasp of geography (just kidding!) ... but today it seems like my UK sites are being shown highly on foreign SERPS.

I've been getting huge amounts of foreign traffic to some of my sites apparently referred from Google.de etc. German and Arabic visitors by the truck load since last night.

My main concern is ... what are they writing on my comment boards? ;) Probably "why the hell did Google send me here?!"


 3:02 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

To the point about much of the current flux having to do with pushing Adwords revenue increases--just an observation but conversions in our Adwords account rose by double digits last week...no changes to the account at all.


 4:26 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't like seeing the same things at the top of the list every time I search for something, especially when those things are there because the site owners know more about how Google works than they know about their sites subject matter. I want variety. If I like a site there are thousands of ways to bookmark it.


 4:35 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't like seeing the same things at the top of the list every time
and neither does Google. This only limits their ability to sell what they do best adwords.

Martin Ice Web I don't think a week goes by when I go into a certian store to get an item I get all the time it has been moved, what do i do i do a search till if find the item I am looking for.

Another thought here if I a user can't find the same search I did a week before my % of clicking a Google ad goes through the roof.

dertyfern brought up a real good point wonder how many others have see a conversion increase. I wonder if tedester would allow in this subjest matter those doing adwords could post their conversions for the last couple weeks. I have kinda tied them together so maybe there could be some connection.


 4:48 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have a feeling it's the same thing that happened a month ago, my site dropped to the same positions back them too and then recovered after a couple of weeks. Fingures crossed this is the same as my site spends a lot on ppc so it's not a adwords factor. Google are targeting more sites to take up ppc but thats normal. But it survives because of natural search so doing this does not make sense especially when I am seeing different rankings every 5 mins.

Facts are that even mjor branded websites who do pay millions on ppc have been knocked down. The ones that have stayed are sites with strong deep links. This may be a big factor in the latest update.


 4:50 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

if you are bored may i suggest you head over to alexa.com (or your preferred alternative) and check out the traffic levels for websites that are known for getting low quality pages ranking in the serps.

yes i know the data is not perfect and can be inaccurate but imho it can be used to see some trends.


 4:56 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I looked at our clients last night with an eye to this discussion.

A site with 1.2m monthly unique visitors and 400,000 keywords: there is no change in the traffic pattern. I ran the graph back to six months. No changes, outside of normal fluctuation.

The site is a major university (with .edu) in the USA. I assume Google gives them a high ranking value.

An ex-client called me last night; they've been on Google for 7+ years and always in the first 2-3 positions for their main keywords. They fell off the first page. Sales are down 90% (they do $8m/yr). He's increasing his PPC to make up for lost traffic and hoping that his ranking recovers.


 5:09 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

...a sneaky suspicion that two things have been devalued- internal linking and "TrustRank"

I have a related suspicion - that the Trust data (and possibly the "Vince" or brand data, however that is maintained) is temporarily corrupt or incomplete.


 5:12 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

So you are stating that google data may be corrupt Tedster?

I though that was inpossible.


 5:16 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Bingo so I am willing to bet eljacko is looking at doing PPC now if the business wasn't before.

I had several customers in the past couple of days that enjoyed steady and PPC FREE traffic from Google for the past couple of years calling and asking if they should go the PPC Route.

Lots of them feeling the pinch, some of them relay the exact theory of :

I don't want to get on AdWords Needle :(

And my honest response to them: Please DO NOT.


 5:19 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

but that does not explain why a site which is spebind millions on ppc is dropped in rankings especially when it's running within google guidlines which we all know does not mean anything as far as the update is concerned.


 5:26 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

A large index, then, more web pages in their clusters. The same search volume, then, the traffic is distributed in a greater number of websites.


 5:30 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

eljacko, these are rough times for even GORG, and i think they are using the moment. The Profit has to come from everywhere mentality kicks in when the world is in funny situation as we know it, or as we told...


 5:34 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

eljacko I am sure what I suggested isn't the whole reason for the update and am willing to bet once the dust settles you will see a return to per update to a degree. There are many other suggestions that are being discussed that need some serious thought and really we all are playing a waiting game.


 5:35 pm on May 4, 2010 (gmt 0)


This 378 message thread spans 13 pages: < < 378 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved