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

 

CainIV

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 10:39 pm on May 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Certainly some interesting changes. A website we rarely worked on just leap-frogged several other authorities in a genre I watch, with little to no work done on it (now position 3, up from 8-10)

Will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 11:29 pm on May 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

The quality of backlinks amongst some of the newly ranking sites is disappointing; I realize the attempt is to discount sidebar/footer style links, especially of a more temporal nature, but at the expense of contextual and language relevancy? A few simple filter tweaks and the makeup of the SERPS will vastly improve; I'm sort of expecting them to do it by Memorial Day, but have no way to back up why I think that.


That's an interesting observation on sidebar /footer links. I too agree that Google is tweaking it, many are already seeing changes back and forth

anand84

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 3:22 am on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just when it looked to be getting better, I just see that nothing's actually changed. The traffic's still the same, if not worse..

cien

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 3:59 am on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sorry to hear that anand84 after your previous response to my post. My traffic keeps increasing after a horrible 3 months. I've had the best Adsense day today ever in years too. Hope I don't have to eat my words soon. :-)

micklearn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 4:41 am on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Food for thought these days?...

"...we expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers."

Later on...

"But we believe the issue of advertising causes enough mixed incentives that it is crucial to have a competitive search engine that is transparent and in the academic realm."

Source: "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine"

Something changed along the way...and they appear to be *very* focused on that path right now.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 4:50 am on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Very weird, I had the best $$ day in about 3 weeks yet my traffic is at 10% off from last week. Last week in itself was 25% down the new normal. My traffic now is at about 6 months ago level (it was increasing until April 20 something.)

I have a totally useless area that got loooong tail traffic and links to it but brought no money so that must be down

member22

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 6:56 am on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I realize the attempt is to discount sidebar/footer style links, especially of a more temporal nature, but at the expense of contextual and language relevancy

What makes you think that ?

chrism

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 8:13 am on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Overnight our long tail keywords have returned, the ones i monitor have returned within a position or two (always lower) of their original position logged out, but in their old positions logged into personalised search.

Interestingly, i am now getting traffic to more pages overall, but no noticable increase in traffic compared to just prior to the drop off (which for me happened on April 9th, and bottomed out April 15th). I assume this means we're getting traffic to more pages, but due to slightly lower rankings the overall traffic is similar. I dont know if anyone else has seen this but we also got a brief return of traffic on may 15/16th.

We also had the patch of huge googlebot activity over the last couple of weeks, although i havent noticed the deluge of spam sites rising to the top that others mention.

Plan_D



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 10:34 am on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've read a couple of people who have said that their traffic and keyword positions have returned after a drop. Though the amount of time between the drop and return seems to differ from 1 week to over a month.

So a some questions that might help us to understand what might happen in the medium term is:

1. If your traffic and positions have returned how long was the drought?
2. If they have not returned how long ago did they drop?
3. How big was the drop.
4. Does this equate to any situation in the past and when?

My answers are:

1. not returned.
2. 17 May.
3. dropped to third of level before.
4. traffic similar to 12-14 months ago.

chrism

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 11:13 am on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

In answer Plan_D:

1. Approx 40 days, with a brief return exactly a month after it dropped off.
2. have returned
3. lost 95% of traffic (site traffic is around 98% long tail)
4. No previous problems with this site

Reno

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 11:36 am on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

In answer Plan_D:

1. Not returned
2. Slight drop began on May 1st, accelerated drop began May 4th & 5th; bottomed on May 7th (where it has remained at same level)
3. Lost 60%+ of traffic in those 4 days
4. No previous problems with this site (4.5 yrs old)

JoeSinkwitz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 12:05 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Member22,

Blogroll and footer area links have been more of a playground for paid links than any other areas on the the geographic section of website templates; discounting links from these areas, especially those that shift like the days of #*$! COOP, has been a stated interest of Google. I do not recall which interview and which VP of G stated it, but it was rehashed again fairly recently if anyone cares to dig for it and post a link.

Anyhow, I'm not going to disagree that applying fuzzy logic for weighting on the importance of links from certain sections (especially as the overall % makeup of one's backlinks) makes sene from a search engineer's pespective. What I do disagree with is this had the side effect of allowing off-topic and off-language in-text links count for a lot more than they should, in proportion due to weighted discounting of the above mentioned links.

The reason why this might not matter much right now is because the SERPs where I see this occurring the most are still mostly relevant because some large brands I follow are making use of the links from websites written in Russian, about watches, linking to a website like widgets, within the body of text. The casual user sees said brand, thinks it is relevant, and clicks the listing.

This is far from the only change, but is one that is becoming more apparent. Once it gets abused in a mass scale, G will recognize and adapt.

anand84

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 12:28 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Plan_D,

1. Not returned
2. March 14 -
3. 50%-60% from March level traffic. My site was growing at 30% month-on-month till March. Effectively, this is my Nov '09 traffic
4. No problems..always on the growth path

Looks like Google's mocking me of late. A keyword where I used to rank number 1 earlier is shown on top of SERPS during daytime here in India (when the traffic on my site anyway crawls) but as soon as it is daytime in the West (where most of my traffic comes from), another dataset of results show up where my webpage is nowhere to be seen. This has been happening for two days now.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 1:56 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

JoeSinkwitz,
Matt Cutts said that they reserve the right to treat them differently and give the links in paragraph more weight. Which makes sense, if they can get it right.

But it also makes sense that one will have many more blogroll /sitewide links than one articles /blog posts written about them. Great site equals many mentions in articles but also many listings under "Useful Sites" type links.

JoeSinkwitz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 2:08 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

What kind of sites will have more blogroll links than links from articles? Mastercard? Ford? Home Depot? Mom-and-pop widget shop?

Each quarter we are tracking more and more signals that are purposefully shifting towards large brands. The reality is that this is still manipulatable, but as a chess player are we looking to simply counter moves or to skip a few moves? If you aren't a brand, you need to become one.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 2:10 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

" What kind of sites will have more blogroll links than links from articles? Mastercard? Ford? Home Depot? Mom-and-pop widget shop? "

Real popular blogs for example. One link and you may have 120,000 links (sitewide)

seogold



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 2:58 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Has anyone noticed a drop in the backlinks due to the same anchor text being used on all?

ohno



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 3:06 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well the week commencing the 10th was truly shocking, last week was OK but after a weekend of Gbot activity this week is back to what the 10th was like. The only question in my mind is when the dust settles does it leave us with a week like the 10th or last week...................

JoeSinkwitz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 4:42 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Walkman,

I hear you loud and clear, and I'm seeing some of the "popular" blogs getting hit, especially those that had backlinks almost exclusively from blogrolls and as apart of media network footer links. The tricky piece is looking objectively to see if the results now replacing those blogs as better or worse from a user relevancy point of view. If G says they are the same AND the paid links are devalued a sizeable enough percentage, then will be okay with the collateral damage; I don't agree with the approach if that was the intention, but can understand their point of view as a SEO looking to optimize around it.

chrism

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 5:29 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Something very odd I've not seen before in GWT:

Links to my site being reported, several to the same page, e.g. example.com/xx/search-term.html
e.g. example.com/xx/search-term-2.html
e.g. example.com/xx/search-term-3.html
etc etc

search-term is an example of one of the keywords which recently dropped/disappeared from SERPs.

If I visit the referring page, it doesnt exist, but gives a 404 Google page, despite the domain being totally different.

If I just visit the root page, example.com with the rest of the path stripped off, it redirects to google.com

Anyone have any idea whats going on there?

[edit]

To clarify, example.com/xx/search-term.html is the page linking to me according to GWT, not a page on my site

[/edit]

Bewenched

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 6:15 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here in the US with a 13 year old site I've noticed a 22% drop in traffic from Google and Bing is now making up 10% of search engine referrals.

goodroi

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 6:29 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

For those that are seeing a traffic decrease but arent sure where there drop is happening on the website here is something that you might find useful. This is more for people that havent been tracking Google rankings.

#1 - Grab the top keywords for May 2009 and May 2010 (make sure the dates match up and you take a long enough sample). You can use Google Analytics or your log files.

#2 - Compare the keywords traffic year-over-year. You'll probably see some keywords went up and many more went down.

#3 - Identify the biggest changes and then visit the serps for those keywords. Maybe your ranking is down or your indented listing is gone.

For the websites that I have done this with I have noticed some very interesting trends in which keywords are impacted negatively. The more information and research you have the better you'll be able to respond to this latest change. enjoy :)

sGroup

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 7:01 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

For those that are seeing a traffic decrease but arent sure where there drop is happening on the website here is something that you might find useful. This is more for people that havent been tracking Google rankings.

#1 - Grab the top keywords for May 2009 and May 2010 (make sure the dates match up and you take a long enough sample). You can use Google Analytics or your log files.

#2 - Compare the keywords traffic year-over-year. You'll probably see some keywords went up and many more went down.
goodroi

#3 - Identify the biggest changes and then visit the serps for those keywords. Maybe your ranking is down or your indented listing is gone.

For the websites that I have done this with I have noticed some very interesting trends in which keywords are impacted negatively. The more information and research you have the better you'll be able to respond to this latest change. enjoy :)


We are seeing the SERP and traffic drop on high traffic KW's that we have been link building for years...

What could be the reason?

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 7:10 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is there some pattern in HOW you've been "link building"? Some type of backlink that you commonly go for that might have been devalued?

walkman



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 7:32 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is there some pattern in HOW you've been "link building"? Some type of backlink that you commonly go for that might have been devalued?


Tedster, even with that I think I should be getting more traffic. Not all of my new links are blogroll types and my competitors would have been hit too. I got a mixture of category style links, blogroll, small logo banners and mentions. Most are sitewide blogroll and banners of course.

I have no penalty but I see a discount of links.

c41lum

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 7:59 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Im seeing Blog links becoming much more important. One site has jumped to the top of page one for a really competitive term. There backlink profile shows all their links are from poor quality fake pay per post blogs. Side bar links are finished in new G.

internetheaven

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 9:18 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Im seeing Blog links becoming much more important. One site has jumped to the top of page one for a really competitive term. There backlink profile shows all their links are from poor quality fake pay per post blogs.


Whoa there! Just to clarify, are you saying that you saw 1 site that uses blog links jump in rankings and therefore blog links must be more important now?

c41lum

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 10:36 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

haha....internetheaven sorry let me try and explain again.

What I was saying is that this sites backlink profile is terrible, very cheap pay per post articles. Before the change in May this site sat back at page 3 but now because the (possibly) side bar links being devalued on other sites they have shot up to page 1 pos 4. In the past G never really took much notice of these duplicate blog posts.

sGroup

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 10:48 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is there some pattern in HOW you've been "link building"? Some type of backlink that you commonly go for that might have been devalued?

Tedster, even with that I think I should be getting more traffic. Not all of my new links are blogroll types and my competitors would have been hit too. I got a mixture of category style links, blogroll, small logo banners and mentions. Most are sitewide blogroll and banners of course.

I have no penalty but I see a discount of links.


yeah, that was my first stop :) No real change in linking strategy... same as we have been doing for years.

I also see a discount of links.
- Not sure if it could be that the new G index does not have some of the pages that our BL's are on.
- Not sure if gbot has not found most of our links yet.
....I am thinking maybe eventually they will find them and our rank will go back to page one?

What are others experiencing?

walkman



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 11:43 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

yeah, that was my first stop happy! No real change in linking strategy... same as we have been doing for years.

I also see a discount of links.
- Not sure if it could be that the new G index does not have some of the pages that our BL's are on.
- Not sure if gbot has not found most of our links yet.
....I am thinking maybe eventually they will find them and our rank will go back to page one?

What are others experiencing?


The fact that traffic is changing as we speak tells me that it isn't over, but then wishful thinking on my part might be in play:)

On links: By definition one will almost always have more sitewide links, one blog link and you may have 50,000 ones. Did google discount 100% of them, count just one for site or what...?

On edit: I still get some great visits from Goog searches (page 1 judging by the string), however, it's impossible to rank for those terms and not get 10-30 a day each, but I only get 1-3 a day for those search terms. This, IMO, gives credence to the two datasets /filters theory.

imbckagn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4137133 posted 1:41 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you want to figure out whats going on everyone needs to be on the same page and solve one problem at a time. I think the best place to start is to hear from those who have built links from May 4th till now. I'm choosing May 4th because the Google interface/algorithm changed for most people on May 4th.

So I think the focus should be:

1. What day did your rankings drop?
2. Did you loose main keywords, longtail or both?
3. Have you acquired backlinks after May 4th?
4. What type of links did you acquire?
5. Have you seen an improvement in your rankings?


At least this way we can figure out if Google is discounting links. I'll start and if anyone feels this is a decent idea they can follow.

1. May 4th
2. Main and some longtail
3. Yes
4. 65 Blog post contextual links
5. Haven't budged

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