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3:Google Updates and SERP Changes - June 2010

 7:42 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...]

I think this is appropriate to this thread as to the condition of G being broke of sorts;

Of sorts?

I have built a site for +3 years around a small segment of specific products and up until June 2nd, did very well with answering every question around those products via my website.

Since June 2nd, I have dropped 80% or more of the google referred traffic to this rather small site (-300 pages) and now when I look at the serp pages, I see top result pages with... literally, 8-10 ad blocks per page!

The page that is filling my #1 void (for a specific branded search) has:

- A Popunder to a screensaver cpa
- Google custom search box
- 3 Adsense link units
- 3 separate adsense blocks
- 2 Chitika ad blocks
- Kontera Infolinks on 8 separate words on the page

The page itself is 327 words... with 4 comments (Wordpress) from readers, and very little reference to the phrase I used to be found for.

The serp's are very broken right now. Or are they?

I think its all just Matt Cutts way of getting people to report spam! LOL

[edited by: tedster at 7:00 pm (utc) on Jun 24, 2010]



 9:46 pm on Jun 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I also notice that Bing is up significantly. One website which is most negatively affected by MayDay has an over 100% Bing traffic increase. I am talking about a few thousand visitors a day and they are even converting better than the google visitors (though they came in bigger numbers).

I really don't know, but I feel like google cannot serve certain areas with quality results and the people are changing search engine.

I always found it ridiculous people reporting here that family and friends complained about the google serps, but this time I have heard some complaints myself.


 10:26 pm on Jun 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

No problems with G search here. Still works just fine every time I use it.

But I am not a good candidate for this thread since I think what G is trying to do with Serps is a step in the right direction.

And this thread has obviously become a pro-bing crowd. ;-)


 10:57 pm on Jun 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree with you that what Google is TRYING to do is a good idea, going by their public statements. But in several areas of the SERPs they have not achieved what they are aiming for. Why that is happening and how to deal with it should be our focus.

So please, this forum and this thread should stay focused on SEO for Google.


 12:15 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you are talking about "correcting" my spelling or forcing me to search for things I don't want to, then what they are trying to do is stupid.

Ususally Google's problems stem from them thinking they are doing something better than they are. But now a significant problem is they simply refuse to return results for a query, no matter how many "quotation marks" or +pluses or -minuses I use.

This is a really stupid idea if only because it makes their results much crappier.

Heaven forbid that you should ever try to be a famous person in the future with a common last name but a unique spelling of your first name. Google simply will not let you become famous because it will not serve up results for the way you spell your name.


 12:50 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

The spelling correction thing has been with us for a while - although it has become quite extreme recently. I like your point about a rising star with a different spellingfor their first name - it's right on the money.

I was talking about Google's attempt to return better quality sites on long tail searches. That's what they said they are trying to do with the Mayday update. For some searches there is an improvement, but for other searches, well, let's say they let the farm animals in the front door of the house.


 3:06 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Few hours ago, G* has finally started restoring doomed authority sites, which I would call a data restore that was missing since mayday. I believe also it is a major algo re-tweak, MC et Al must have realized the algo was too in-perfect. It may also as I always said here that the caffeine infrastructure, though they say it was completed, the aggressive re-indexing was still going on and is still going on which means moving missing data is still going on.

The mysterious de-ranking of major authority, old and respected sites might have finally got their engineers to reconsider a major re-tweak which I think is still being propagated worldwide and may take few days or weeks to restore all deserving sites.

Here we go, you only get good news here, well, I got mayday right, but it hit many of our sites badly, so it was not good news BUT I said it all along and I stuck to my guns and had faith in what I said before. OK, no all sites may return all at once, but I believe most will within weeks.


 3:30 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)


Are you back to pre-Mayday traffic/ranking levels?


 4:36 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, well, almost, as the update is only few hours old, but the main keywords for one of the authority sites I manage were returning the site on page 4-5 since MayDay, whereas now it is on page one, position 5-6 which would translate into returning traffic in few hours. I am already noticing few dozen search queries coming from G* search on the last 300 visitors, whereas since the mayday update, there were less than a dozen on every 300 hits, the rest just G* bots, y*ahoo, b*ing and the rest (a complete good hammering that was).

However, if it carries on which I predict it should, that site will return to its natural home, position 1-5 on most of its power keywords which it ranked for since 2005!


 4:40 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

This update is currently on G*.com, but I suspect it'll propagate to other G* DCs and regional sites very soon. I appreciate if when anyone concurs / seconds my opinion would post here so we can set the re-tweak date as the 28 June 2010!


 5:55 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I had two sites pop back up this morning (jun28th), but not sure what that means to those hit Mayday or June update.

One was an old site I resurrected and G hadn't reindexed until today, when it popped up #12 for the main kw it targets (as #7 or so last year)

The second was dropped a few days after G indexed a major site change. I changed back and G reindexed a week ago, but today it popped back up to #1.

No changes at all noticed in any other sites.


 7:42 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

This update is currently on G*.com, but I suspect it'll propagate to other G* DCs and regional sites very soon. I appreciate if when anyone concurs / seconds my opinion would post here so we can set the re-tweak date as the 28 June 2010!

We are seeing the pattern that we have always seen (pre mayday) which I have always put down to a google monthly dance - 50% drop in traffic on the 25/26th (we had that on top of mayday drop) then return to mayday level on the 27th then today is looking like the numbers are going up, pre-mayday this always happened from 28th to the 5th of the next month. I belive (and predicted a while back) pre-mayday traffic will be restored at the start of July. So yes I concur that something is happening starting 28th but I would say this is 'normal' pre-mayday behaviour (not seen since march for us).

Which ever way you want to look at this, a data restore or a rollback I still belive it can be fully put down to being the first (and perhaps only) caffine dance. This will bring all required data for caffine to function on on all sites into a live dataset then perhaps from then onwards it will be more in real time.

Fingers crossed this is the begining of the end!


 8:59 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)


Yes it has taken a considering amount of time to create a legal product that can attract such a vast array of backlinks, whilst operating in a market predominately dominated by illegal websites. Not every link will be of good quality, but in comparison to the websites that have entered the top 20 - they are light years ahead. I'm still interested to hear others thoughts on the inclusion of websites that include the keyword within the domain name? Still think it is the reindexing process?

Also, I posted this on Friday and was wondering if anyone has experienced this recently (homepage less weight):


Although I don't know if this is related or not but one of my sites took a sharp drop around May 28th and I thing it is related to the end of May start of June changes pre Caffeine. I've noticed that when I do a site: operator search - the home page (which has over 20k links from authority websites) appears on page two - something it didn't previously do prior to that date (was always returned top).

Is this the case for anyone else who has taken a hit? Or is it non related? I would assume that there is less weight placed on the homepage, which is why the rankings dropped and why the page is now returning on page two for a site operator search.


Any feedback would be most appreciated.


 9:35 am on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Fingers crossed this is the begining of the end!
indeed, as long as what you mean is the end of the problems caused by the mayday algo update, not us :)

Yes, I remember your post about the pattern, however, what I am pointing out is the major drop and de-rank on mayday of many large authority sites, then today some are being re-instated with the symptoms I spoke about.

The monthly pattern which G* is known for is indeed between the end and beginnings of months, I guess they always want us to notice SERP changes as soon as a month has ended (easier to notice gained links, referrers, search phrases and keywords etc from the monthly stats logs). Even major updates were actually at that time including mayday which started on 28-29 April and came to a head on the the 1st of May according to MC.


 6:29 pm on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

You are giving me some hope folks. By the way, do you see a correlation between your site traffic increase and the site: operator?

I'm seeing a slow increase in number of pages returned, but I just feel half of those should be new pages that I have been adding. The total number returned still looks way down (50% or so) from what should ideally be shown.


 7:35 pm on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ususally Google's problems stem from them thinking they are doing something better than they are.

Googles problems often stem from when they get to thinking they know better what the searcher wants than the searcher (were smarter than you). They have been falling prey to this syndrome for some time. Why the results seems so bizarre with this latest incarnation is that the bigger the search term, the more the searcher really knows what their looking for; their defining it in greater detail. So when they don't get results accurately reflecting the query, it looks quite odd.

When you get to a four or five word search term, the searcher knows darn well what their looking for.


 7:56 pm on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

You are giving me some hope folks. By the way, do you see a correlation between your site traffic increase and the site: operator?

Actually, in my case no, in fact it's the opposite for some reason, the less site: numbers the better the site is moving up the rank, but I guess that is where the crunch is. The fact that the large site which has returned to the top in many of its pillar keywords, though still with a lot lesser traffic than it should, explains the site: number, perhaps the site is only assessed on those numbers until further pages are added to the index. Gbot is at it again like crazy, longtail somewhat wrong in some places.

The interesting phenomenon with the longtail exact phrase search is slightly better, before when you searched for a 70-100 character phrase unique only to your site and can't possibly all of it exist in any other site, G* somehow returns other sites which may have at least two or three words of that phrase, but not yours at the top.

Even inurl: numbers are way down which also makes sense. My guess is they are starting to apply the new algo mayday tweak on what number of pages re-indexed already, instead of waiting for every doomed large site'e total re-index. Probably felt the wrath and the heat from many of us here and elsewhere, and thought OK re-rank those sites anyway, at least they'll gain some lost traffic and we'll do the rest next month or as we go.


 8:06 pm on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

@anand84, to slightly correct or explain myself for your question better, yes it seems there is a positive correlation the lesser and lesser site: numbers and the more and more rank regain. That's why I am thinking they decided on applying the re-tweak on what's available and already re-indexed and ignore what to be re-indexed for now, again moving on to what I always pointed out, doing things in batches.


 11:34 pm on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Right now the index is a little snapshot of Google's crippling dysfunction when it comes to 301s and canonical pages. A rather large number of non-canonical URLs have been puked back into the index, and sometimes are taking the ranking position from the canonical domain, but even more strange, sometimes they are just added along with the canonical domain.

In other words, while example.com scores 13,817 points and ranks #3 [red widgets], also example.com/?iaiaius is scoring 13,817 and ranks #4 for [red widgets].

What a mess.

Yo, Google. 301 means "moved permanently" not "keep in the index permanently and display randomly".


 2:44 am on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think I'm also seeing what Dusky is seeing with a few keywords, where the SERP yesterday returned to a state very much the same to what it was in early March (there was some kind of reshuffle around the middle/end of March, and again in early June). I started noticing it first on gl=uk, which then spread to all other locations except for the US, and then finally noticed it on the US as well. But today, I can't seem to find it anymore except on gl=se, which has always displayed SERPS closest (but not exactly the same) to the March one for this keyword.

As for the 301's, for the same keyword just a couple of days ago, I saw example.com ranked 3rd and then an alias of example.com (another domain name, 301'd to example.com) ranking 5th. I've never seen the alias being ranked before, so it was weird that Google seems to be not only ignoring the 301, but ranking it highly as well.


 2:48 am on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

At least for our B2B industry the staggering change continues.


Google down 12%
Yahoo up 35%
Bing up 50%

Most interesting is the steady increase in traffic from a shopping comparison site that we probably didn't get 100 clicks from in all of 2009...we're now getting 30 a day only highlighting how messed up the new SERP is as it's kind of a useless site IMO.


 8:49 am on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Something seems to be happening, as my number of incoming links as reported in GWT just doubled overnight. Still no change in rankings or traffic that I can see, but I've got my fingers crossed.


 10:25 am on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Crawl rate doubled in WMT about a week ago, long tail on the rise, major keywords down a bit. Yesterday was a bit better than 27th of April - the day before MayDay hit me bad...

I suspect it was the link building - so my advice: get deeplinks. When you are done with it, get more deeplinks before you try to acquire more deeplinks!


 10:26 am on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is the third instance in the past two months where I am seeing a spike in Google traffic around the 10AM-11AM GMT time.

I hope I'm lucky this time around..


 10:50 am on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wouldnt read into that, one of my sites is reported to have 3 million incoming links in WMT but only 944 pages have links. So that would mean each page should have at least 3,000 links but WMT reports just 5-20 per page, it's a mess.

On another note i went from 30k pages crawled a day to 100k for the last week, then today just 50. Something is in the works. Looks like a deep crawl and then they are going process the data.


 12:36 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Wanted to mention something else related to quality. If you go back to one of these original threads and search for the specific search term they allowed me to use as a demonstration...will leave out most but starts with Lee*s and ends with Corn*do.

They've modified the results. Only problem is the #1, #2 #3 and I think 9 and 10 are all the same business running multiple mirrors. Same chat software which links to the master page, checkout goes to the master page etc. So whatever filters they have which once caught these things are gone still. The legit business that was #1 previously has been bumped to 5th by all the mirrors. Good system!


 12:38 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

In WMT one of my old site is showing 2.5 million backlinks( it was 3200 yesterday).
Lots of backlinks are from pages or sites which do not exist since June 2008 anymore.


 12:50 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

lol - after my 20k links boast in a previous post, i've just noticed today in GWT that the figure is now 6k. I know we shouldn't take those figure as gospel, but if Google can only find just over a quarter of my links that it returned previously, then surely that could be a reasonable explanation for the drop, no? Anyone else noticing a drop in the number of external links?


 12:55 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Something seems to be happening, as my number of incoming links as reported in GWT just doubled overnight. Still no change in rankings or traffic that I can see, but I've got my fingers crossed.

I can confirm that, although the links for my site that was affected on June 2 increased by 3700% from 100k-ish to 3.7 million.

They have either changed their reporting or something is brewing.


 1:05 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Our external links just dropped like 70% in GWT for our 2 year average. On a side note GWT reports the last time it asked for our robots.txt was July 24th yet parsing the raw log shows 30 or 40 googlebot requests for the robots.txt since then.

After 3 or 4 post I have made here and great responses from Tedster which calmed my oh so paranoid mind I have come to the conclusion that GWT data is nice to look at but means just about nothing.

As Tedster always told me, do you see a drop in traffic? No? Then dont waste your time trying to figure it out. :)


 1:18 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I actively monitor several thousand domains, and for the last 19 hours, Google has completely stopped indexing pages. It seems they are working on something because they have G Bot taking a vacation.


 1:50 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

same problem here for us today, only about 5 hits off the google bot

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