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Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2010
scottsonline




msg:4162718
 12:50 pm on Jul 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

@john1975 the search term I posted weeks ago showed how bad Google was messed. For a year or two that search returned a real product, for a few weeks/month it return gibberish. It started to return real results a few days ago and is once again accurate or close to it. My guess is millions of other semi-long terms are now also snapping back into line.

The traffic pattern is evolving back towards normal. Google was up again yesterday but only 8% from a week ago. Bing was up 17% but Yahoo was down 35% which only confirms what the studies show - most people will go to Yahoo 2nd if Google fails. What's so clear to us is that it's that 5%-8% of total clicks that Google had filtered off that were the ones converting at probably 80%. Highly targeted searches by informed consumers that didn't need the magic intervention of Google trying to divine what it was they really wanted.

Thanks to MC and Google for slowly figuring it out. Like everyone else I was a bit harsh at times but it's tough to spend years reading the WMGL, reading everything the people from Google wrote and following it within the rules and then viola a major change happens that devastates our business and pretty much everyone else we knew in favor of spammers, scammers, mirrors, mashups etc. The filters still aren't weeding out those results and I'll say it again instead of trying to tinker with the end result why not hire/invest/spend more time looking at actual spam reports when legitimate sites report the ones running 45 sites selling the same item under different keywords which actually really DOES degrade user experience and user choice?

[edited by: tedster at 5:22 pm (utc) on Jul 1, 2010]

 

arizonadude




msg:4167568
 3:37 am on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing results returned in the top 3 for certain terms that have nothing to do with search term and the pages are not even related to the term cateogry.

But, the adwords for the terms are spot on.

tedster




msg:4167576
 4:32 am on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

anand84 - yes, there are several terms that I monitor that for the past 8 weeks were just chock full of near misses: close in spelling but nowhere near in relevance. They're gone.

arizonadude - for those results that have nothing to do with the search term, are there NO bold characters to be seen on those results?

Victor1




msg:4167672
 1:10 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

All my sites that took a nose dive with the June 4th update have not come back yet.

arizonadude




msg:4167704
 2:34 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

arizonadude - for those results that have nothing to do with the search term, are there NO bold characters to be seen on those results?


That's the wierd part. In the snippet provided by Google, the terms are there and they are bolded, but when you visit the page, those terms are nowhere to be seen and the page is not remotely related to the actual terms.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4167624
 9:22 am on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing some weird search engine results tonight for some keywords I follow. This is on .com, new = not previously ranked.

#1 - Wikipedia (used to be #500 or so, now it ranks above the manufacturer/owner of this competitive term.)
#2 - UK site (new)
#3 - UK site (new)
#4 - UK site (new)
#5 - Definitive site (old #1)
#6 - UK site (new)
#7 - Manufacturer (old #2)
#8 - gov site (old #7)
#9 - Mashup site (new, 100% copied content)
#10- Mashup site (new, 95% copied content + map application)

Number of pages: 52,000,000+(old) 4,000,000+(new).


On a scale of one to 10 the search result page would rank 2-3 at best in terms of usefulness, mostly thanks to wikipedia which doesn't belong on page 1 when you know of all the other quality sites on this keyword. The BIGGEST community site ranks #218... but should be top 3 ANY day.

[edited by: tedster at 2:51 pm (utc) on Jul 10, 2010]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

indyank




msg:4167757
 5:24 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

@arizondude interesting....did you check the google'e cache for those pages? may be they are cloaking...

indyank




msg:4167759
 5:31 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

@Sgt_Kickaxe yes, I was about to say this...

i find wikipedia ranking high in google.com (as well as others) for keywords that i monitor.This was from yesterday...Google's algorithm (from friday) suddenly seem to have given a boost to wikipedia pages.

Is google giving power to internal links?

tedster




msg:4167775
 6:04 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

@Sgt_Kickaxe - I'm thinking it's an experimental change of the balance between relevance and trust - but the factors in each area are more complex than they have been. I hate the ranking boost that mash-up sites have been getting, even mash-up sites with venture capital behind them. Anyone who is a Supporter can find a related mash-up discussion, with specifics, in our new "Open Google SEO" forum.

All those new sites in the SERP that Sarge reported are interesting. They might also who Google's continued interest in "fresh" results over relevant.

Along those lines, I was doing some historical search - looking for Google's earliest history with DMCA removals. It is not easy, even with the new options, to research a question like that because of the constant assumption that we always want the most recent and relevant (according to their algo that is).

I needed to do the search, then use Custom Date Range, then sort by date - which still puts the most recent result at the top. So I then I need to click to the last SERP. I finally found what I wanted, but only by clicking through to a result and following a link on that page. Google never gave me what I was looking for directly.

TheMadScientist




msg:4167782
 6:32 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google never gave me what I was looking for directly.

Sure they did, you just didn't really know what you wanted...
Don't worry though, you'll learn someday!

curioustoddler




msg:4167786
 6:37 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

you just didn't really know what you wanted


very well said.
Gradually we will learn what we want and what we should look for. Afterall google is here to educate us.

outland88




msg:4167805
 7:07 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)


Google never gave me what I was looking for directly.


Sure they did, you just didn't really know what you wanted...
Don't worry though, you'll learn someday!


I'll nominate MS's post as one of the funnier of 2010.

Daddy Google has determined I need Nike instead of Asics. But Dad I really like the other. Understand this, you'll darn well like what you are served and not complain. I think they're also implying I'm fat with some of the weight loss ads they sneaked in? It's not spam it's what's good for you.

curioustoddler




msg:4167809
 7:22 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I noticed this first time at the bottom of search results( 1st page) -
Tip: These results include words similar to the words in your search. Show results that include the exact words in your search.

second sentence is hyperlinked

tedster




msg:4167817
 8:07 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

@curioustoddler - it's not completely new, but it does seem like it is showing up more often these days. I definitely prefer that compared to just shoving revised query results at me with no recourse on my end. It's a real improvement.

member22




msg:4167861
 10:51 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Could someone explain me what is going on with google right now...
It seems that everyone on this forum is having issues seeing bizzard results crazy ranking but that is about it, what does it mean when is it going to get back to normal and show all the work that you and I all did to rank better the last 6 months...

Then how about the next PR update is is anywhere close or has google decided to wait another 6 months ...

I had 30 links 6 months ago and was ranking nowhere on google ( meaning way further than page 1,2 or 3... ) 6 months later I now have 350 ( done the right way ) and I am a still ranking nowhere my ranking hasn't changed...

Has google changed its way or ranking websites or is it just broken ?

TheMadScientist




msg:4167870
 11:16 pm on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Could someone explain me what is going on with google right now...

They had a theory years ago.
They built a system to implement the theory.

Everything we see is basically a 'live test' and IMO they often 'run with a tech theory' and then implement 'people and real world use' changes like the one tedster is noting above after the complaints about the 'overly geek, doesn't work for everyone' aspects of the theory are pointed out...

My guess would be they will be months getting things 'right' again, and I think they don't mind too much. Why? Because in the overall 10-year-plan a few months of adjusting after an implementation like this would seem to be a reasonable 'sacrifice' to make on their part for 9.5 (or more) years of 'better'.

IOW: I think with Caffeine and the new abilities they have they are doing things they think will be 'cool' and 'well received' and some of it's just plain not working very well right now, but my guess is it was expected and determined to be necessary for moving forward, so IMO it's something those who use (refusing to switch) and/or depend on Google for an income from are probably going to be dealing with for a while...

That's my real-world, what I think, bottom line opinion of what's going on and why. Sometimes to take a huge leap forward you have to take some steps back when integrating a 'next generation' system. It's almost like 'starting over' with a more advanced system in some ways.

Lapizuli




msg:4167880
 12:32 am on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

@TheMadScientist: I agree, and well put.

People tend to think of the SERPs as fixed results - or results that try to approach fixed - but I think of them more as an organic work in perpetual process, test mixed with result. And any illusion of fixed we had in the past was because Google wasn't updating quickly enough. But now there's Caffeine...

It looks to me like Google Search has been striving toward artificial intelligence and, in its ideal world, answers every query exactly as the searcher intends it answered, even if that means billions of different sets of search results per query term.

And Google's goal would also be to free itself from reliance on SEO as it gets better at doing what it wants to do.

After all, why would Google want to limit itself to showing widespread preference to certain pages, when the Internet is potentially unlimited? PageRank is a tool, but not the end goal. Google's goal isn't to fix anything in stone, but rather to know everything.

Couriers




msg:4167997
 6:42 am on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have def noticed that google is taking more notice of my "last updated "22 hours ago comment in green buzz seams to be listing lots more news items. I would think that this is to keep pace with twitter and the markets expectations. I have been trying to get my url off pr 2 for a while now I keep adding good content hope to be noticed

[edited by: tedster at 6:50 am (utc) on Jul 11, 2010]

tedster




msg:4168000
 7:00 am on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Welcome to the forums, Couriers.

Do you use micro-formats for the updated note, or any special tagging to help Google index how recent your updates are? Some members here have been frustrated trying to get that kind of freshness factor noticed.

member22




msg:4168061
 12:31 pm on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Madscientist : Thank you for your reply. So from what I understand google has introduced caffeine in april and is still doing live testing and it might take months before we see google back to normal...

Hopefully the results are going to be incredible ;) and I hope it won't months but just weeks because I have been waiting since january...

Rlilly




msg:4168081
 2:37 pm on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Correct me if I am wrong, it seems like every year around this time Google starts playing around/testing with different algo's. It seems to return to a normal state beginning of the Fall?

I guess they do it this time of the year as it most likely will have the least amount of impact on ecommerce..

Planet13




msg:4168141
 7:16 pm on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I guess they do it this time of the year as it most likely will have the least amount of impact on ecommerce..


I remember seeing a video interview with Matt Cutts talking about the severe impact the Florida update had on merchants (I believe Florida was right before Christmas) and saying that they would try to avoid that in future updates.

arizonadude




msg:4168147
 7:43 pm on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I remember seeing a video interview with Matt Cutts talking about the severe impact the Florida update had on merchants (I believe Florida was right before Christmas) and saying that they would try to avoid that in future updates.


Matt says a lot of things.

Now that they are public, he has no say in when they do what.

The bean counters are firmly in control and with the founders getting ready to bow out all together, it's not going to get any better.

tedster




msg:4168167
 8:39 pm on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, the mid-summer SERPs have historically been quite "different" and then things shift again in fall, especially right as the holiday shopping season revs up. I assume we'll see some of the same this year and that we're in for a bumpy summer in the SERPs.

Right now I'm seeing something even further in the area of query revisions. First I am very happy that the original unrevised query shows up a lot more as a linked option, even though the revised query results are still served first.

But even more, for the term I mentioned earlier, I see a remarkable change. A search for "ABC DE" (with a space) used to be filled with results for "ABCDE" (no space). Now the search for "ABCDE" is invaded by results for "ABC DE". So something about the query rewriting algorithm changed by 180 degrees.

There are several other shifts in this area that seem quite new. There were actually four variations that used to be all piled together. Now that is no longer the case and the other two are being kept completely separate.

So there's a good bit less of the HAL5000 attitude of "Sorry Dave, we can't let you search for that."

BillyS




msg:4168188
 9:56 pm on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google tested a fairly significant change on AOL starting 7/11 about 6 pm Eastern (US) for about 12 hours. We'd normally get around 300 visitors a day from AOL and we got roughly 10 times that amount - so it was around a 20x increase.

Anyone else see it?

tedster




msg:4168267
 3:51 am on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just checked a few logs - two US sites and one in Germany. I'm not seeing a spike from AOL for those sites.

Was your spike from a variety of long tail traffic, or for a couple more competitive phrases?

haseebnajam




msg:4168286
 5:41 am on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have also witnessed this strange behavior in Google regarding keywords stemming. seems LSI is in full action with "related stuff"
for instance if you search "used industrial machines" you get majority of results with word Machinery in it

BillyS




msg:4168431
 10:30 am on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

or for a couple more competitive phrases?


Based on what I see in my logs, the spike came from just one competitive phrase. The strange part is we're #1 for this phrase in Google but don't see more than 125 visitors a day from Google. So I don't understand how AOL could send so much traffic on that same phrase.

member22




msg:4168743
 7:39 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Could it be possible that google at 2 sets off data ?

I have the feeling that the set of results we see online dates back to january there are playing around with it and tweaking it but in their data centers they have a new set of data but that won't release until they have played around with it to make sure it works " perfectly ".

outland88




msg:4168751
 7:58 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have seen Russian (?) groups do what you mentioned and it would be matching up to Google IPís. You can see the ru domains plus Ask, AOL, MSN and a few others if you look deep. Itís a fooler. What their purpose was I couldnít totally understand. Youíll suddenly get a tremendous burst in traffic and sometimes rankings. It normally only affects a few keywords. After it happened to me four times Iím certainly donít complain. All I know is someone certainly knows how to get traffic and exploit the Google algo. It was one of the few times I was hoping I would get e-mail from the company but didnít. We're all amateurs when it comes to what these people are doing.

tedster




msg:4168770
 8:31 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

If this is Google search traffic, then the IP address should be from the visitor's ISP, and not Google.

It is true that some of the darker forces on the web will spoof a Google IP - that's why a "double reverse" look-up is the only way to verify any IP.

gouri




msg:4168893
 1:39 am on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

In GWT, for the Average Position of a keyword, is that number determined from the positions of the keyword from the actual clicks to a website, or is this the average position all over the world (not just the position of the keyword from clicks but just rankings overall in Google USA, Google Canada, Google UK, etc. also)?

This 234 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 234 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 > >
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