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3: Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2010
tyler756



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 5:19 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

I have been attempting to follow this thread to the best of my ability but must admit there is information in here that is a little out of my league.

Has anyone been able to do anything to help increase rankings? I lost rankings for 3 my keywords (I am not ranking for a ton of them yet) and these 3 drive a lot of my traffic. I dropped down from the 1 spot to position 5 and 6 for two of the keywords, and from the 3rd spot to the third page for the other major keyword. I am not sure what to do and we are about to enter the "slow months" for my industry and my traffic is dropping every day.

Just thought I would post to see if anyone is having any luck

[edited by: tedster at 7:41 pm (utc) on May 22, 2010]

 

Mareck



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 10:01 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have an ecommerce site and dropped from top position to second page. I specialize in a very specific product and am outranked by some crappy ecommerce sites who happen to sell maybe 3 or 4 of the products we also have. One of them is even a customer of mine (I am outselling him by at least a factor 50 for the few products of mine he has on his site)!

Last week I even ranked below an empty site which has been broken for months now. It just has some empty frames with no content what so ever. No text, no images, no links. Just a godaweful music file that plays. He has dropped some places but is still on place 13 or 14 on my localized google. When you search for my keyword on google.com using english interface he even is ranked second!

Now the thing is: his domain name contains my main keyword. The other crappy sites that score above me have my whole or part of my main keyword in their domain name.

It seems like having a domain name with the keyword or part of the keyword in it has become even more more important than ever now.

Also:

I am scoring much better on google.com in english than on the respective localized google sites ( i sell the same in several countries, .de, .fr, .nl etc). I am at top or very near when using google.com in english using the keyword translated to german, french or dutch. But when using the respective google.de,.fr or .nl I score poorly.
Any ideas why this is?

sean22

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 10:56 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I tend to agree with you about the direction, but... Any ideas on how Google might now be measuring quality content? I'm coming up empty on that right now.

Also what is the character of the May 17 change that several here have mentioned? We can continue the Mayday discussion in this thread [webmasterworld.com] for as long as we need, but probably should keep pace with new changes here, because Google isn;t standing still, that's for sure.


We know Google is evolving, at one point it accepted just about any content and ranked pages better that had the exact kw in the title, url, content and repeated way too often. Then we were at the point where synonyms and actual strategic placement of KW played in ranking content. Google is becoming increasingly smarter at identifying better written content.

Everything I wrote mainly applies to a segment of websites (informational). I believe these websites will be rewarded for greatly written content. I read it somewhere here about Google scanning millions of books. Could it be possible that Google is deciphering text and understanding the context? There are many ways they can gauge quality. There are of course exceptions such as content that dazzles the net and abounds with an influx of temporary social media links. It's complex but Google I think knows evergreen, social, commerce, news , etc content and hey the net is changing.

Is it right for any site to rank well for many Kws simply because of domain authority(acquired by links) when other sites have better content and deserving? This doesn't apply to e-commerce sites because as others have previously mentioned it's inevitable that they must pay. How else is Google going to be a trillion dollar company. :D

I meant closure to the April 28 Ė Early May long tail KW crisis in which many of us were hoping would resolve itself.

Anyway it's just my 2 cents.

Reno

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 1:50 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is becoming increasingly smarter at identifying better written content.

This statement is exactly contrary to many of the webmaster reports in this thread.

......................

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 2:35 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

To be fair, the full context of that statement was historical - "the point where synonyms and actual strategic placement of KW played in ranking content. Google is becoming increasingly smarter at identifying better written content."

Even now, my sense is that Google is trying to become smarter - even if some SERPs don't show good results at all for the moment.

Reno

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 3:19 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

...Google is trying to become smarter

Absolutely, with perhaps the most relevant word being "trying". But any effort by any company is going to have some success and some failures as they refine the next step, so we should not be surprised that so many webmasters posting here (and elsewhere too) are reporting "crappy" SERPs. The key for Google is to ASAP get that down to an absolute minimum. The longer they take, the more it appears to be the new status quo.

................................

MacSeth



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 12:46 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have been looking at my stats and keywords like I used to do for a long time. I do see an increase again of keywords appearing in the topresults (some came from quite far and are hopping van 3rd to 2nd page to top5 positions again). I do believe the "re-indexing" theory "dusky" has been talking about may be correct.
I am not seeing a BIG increase in traffic but I DO see some tops again.

I have been checking some positions on a hospital pc (i needed to be there anyways :) ) and saw the same results (so personalized search was not in effect at all).

I have got my "hopes" up it will continu to go upwards again. A 80% drop is not a funny drop to be experiencing ;)

tigger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 2:22 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've seen a slight drop in rankings and traffic, but something that has amazed me is a competitors site that I know for a fact he's done nothing with for over 2 years (he's a friend) is now ranking for all his top terms - it seems G is rewarding webmasters that do nothing at all whilst others that try to develop content and gain quality links get pushed further down - long live Bing !

Plan_D



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 4:27 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just want to check, are we saying that:

1. MayDay changes/problems

are different/seperate to/from

2. May 17 changes/problems

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 6:28 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Due to the fact that people begin reporting various changes in late April and the changes comprised much of May I'm not one to say ungroup them. Plus I donít doubt the accuracy of many who say a lot of this started in February.

cabowabo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 6:44 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have taken a look at all of our sites top to bottom (600+) as we are a high-end affiliate company. While we have a few that have the symptoms outlined here, the majority have remain unchanged or have improved. It should be stated that our sites are not MFA or thin affiliate sites. Typically, our sites get confused with the merchant's site as we product better sites than the merchant. It is just how we do things.

Most of our affiliate sites are PR5-6 and have a very strong back link profile in the 200k-800k range. I see no similarities between the sites that tanked and those that didn't. I wish I could lend more info to the forum here but right now I have more questions than answers as to what to do from here in terms of the sites that tanked.

amythepoet

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 6:52 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

This morning, I saw some of my urls back on page 1 on google and now I look, and they're gone again, I don't understand this at all?

cabowabo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 7:00 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Amy,

Due to the "effect" of different datacenters, instead of looking at your rankings, look at your stats. Is there a big drop from your traffic? As others have suggested here, looking at referral traffic numbers can get you on the right path to recovery.

amythepoet

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 7:05 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

referral traffic? how do I find that out? please?

thank you

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 7:16 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

When I recommended ungrouping the ranking losses, it was based on several factors:

1. Google tweaks their ranking factors in minor ways almost every day, and in bigger ways less often, but still a few times a month.

2. A big shift occurred right over the beginning of the month. It was reported here almost immediately by pontifex and soon by others, here and around the web.

3. Matt Cutts verified that a major algo change rolled out at that time (Apr 28-May 3) and was complete.

4. Another smaller number of reports came in around May 17 - that's two weeks later. And it was definitely a smaller group, though still very real reports. Those websites made it through the beginning of the month without losing traffic!

It seems clear to me that there were two different changes at Google. The second might have been a dial turn of some kind, but it wasn't the main event, the long-tail changes we called Mayday. If we want to do rigorous analysis of either group, then I don't think blurring them into one event makes sense.

[edited by: tedster at 8:02 pm (utc) on May 31, 2010]

cabowabo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 7:18 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Your search keyword referral traffic ... which keywords users are finding your site. It was suggested here to compare:

Apr. '09, May '09, Apr. '10 and May '10. You are looking for massive drops ... but in your case, since it just happened recently, you could shorten your analysis to a two week window in each of the above months.

Plan_D



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 8:17 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Those websites made it through the beginning of the month without losing traffic!


We actually had a 10% increase in traffic around the MayDay event then a 70% drop on 17th May.

@tedster do you think the May 17 is an adjustment completing the MayDay change?

What we have found is that a vast number of our pages (that used to rank and get traffic) have disappeared from the index altogether, leaving secondary related pages which rank much much lower (e.g. long article with 10 pages, page 1 disappears, leaving page 8 appearing in SERPS on page 20).

So what I don't understand is if there is an algo change that means google dislikes some of our pages enough to drop them completely from the index, why would they keep the other pages that rank worse?

Andylew



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 8:26 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

What we have found is that a vast number of our pages (that used to rank and get traffic) have disappeared from the index altogether, leaving secondary related pages which rank much much lower (e.g. long article with 10 pages, page 1 disappears, leaving page 8 appearing in SERPS on page 20).


Exactly what we have experienced (on may 1st) pages (around 90%) havent dropped rank they are no longer listed. We await their relisting as by googles own admission the algo update doesnt effect listing (although they could, and do, quite happily drop and relist everything if they wish at any time)

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 8:33 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

do you think the May 17 is an adjustment completing the MayDay change?

I can't rule that out, but I don't have enough data to make that conclusion, either. May 17 seems to have affected a much smaller number of sites.

a vast number of our pages (that used to rank and get traffic) have disappeared from the index altogether

Then that's not the same as an algorithm change. The Mayday change was aimed at algorithmic ranking for long-tail results. Matt Cutts also emphasized that Mayday was an algorithm change and not an indexing change.

There have been ongoing reports here of losing pages in the index - and then some members reported seeing a gradual reappearance for some pages that were dropped. This sounds like a different process at Google, and a somewhat mysterious one at that.

Can you see a pattern between pages that were dropped from the Google index and pages that were retained?

[edited by: tedster at 11:08 pm (utc) on May 31, 2010]

Plan_D



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 11:06 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Can't really see any pattern. I thought it might be something to do with pages with external links vs only internal links, but we seem to have a spread of pages in both camps that have been dropped or kept.

Andylew



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 7:31 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Then that's not the same as an algorithm change. The Mayday change was aimed at algorithmic ranking for long-tail results. Matt Cutts also emphasized that Mayday was an algorithm change and not an indexing change.

There have been ongoing reports here of losing pages in the index - and then some members reported seeing a gradual reappearance for some pages that were dropped. This sounds like a different process at Google, and a somewhat mysterious one at that.


The algorithm change could have needed a re-indexing of the long tail to factor in another variable? Matt would be telling the truth saying it is an algo change but not giving the complete story by saying a reindexing was required - that would be going beyond the question that was asked.

For us we still see only several thousand pages in the results compared to over a million being reported on WMT. Somewhere there is a blackhole of ~1 million pages.

potentialgeek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 8:12 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Has anyone noticed a difference in ranking between "short" long tails and "long" long tails?

e.g., three-word phrases v. six-word (or longer) phrases?

petehall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 8:49 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't know what to say other than long tail searches seem to be in a random state.

Some long tail searches still appear to be reasonably accurate, where as on others the results are very messy.

My least favourite of all Google's updates in the last 10 years or so.

:-(

internetheaven

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 9:21 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is becoming increasingly smarter at identifying better written content.


This statement is exactly contrary to many of the webmaster reports in this thread.


I have to agree. Google's perception of good content these days seems to be taken right out of the facebook and twitter handbooks.

As for long tails, I know some of you die hards still cannot accept that Google would deliberately damage the organics to push Adwords but surely this is a prime example of just that sort of tactic? Google have spent years making Adwords relevant and ensuring that nearly everybody has to buy them. Google's PPC ads are more relevant than their organic counterparts now.

I was under the impression that SEO had not been killed off by the latest changes. But seeing traffic falling for items ranking #1 in organics is making me feel that SEO for commercial sites is becoming pointless.

... traffic to WebmasterWorld has dropped. What more of a signal do you need of Google's intentions! ;)

< discussion continues here: [webmasterworld.com...] >

[edited by: tedster at 11:31 am (utc) on Jun 1, 2010]

This 293 message thread spans 10 pages: < < 293 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 [10]
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