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Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2010

 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]



 3:26 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Right back in the dirt for the past 24 hours. Normal traffic levels, but no sales conversions. Seeing many foreign IP's (Amsterdam, Russia) banging away on the site as if they are robots or scripts trying to hack in. Anyone else seeing this too?


 4:21 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes my traffic has increased but sale is down.


 4:40 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

One thing I've noticed is a large swing in pages shown under a site: search. Seems like new pages aren't getting picked up as quickly. We are also seeing several days lag between updating a page and the change reflected in the serps.

It's a pretty large site....


 5:16 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have the Google toolbar and after I do a few searches and want to clear history I am seeing the following along with the phrases that I searched for:
= 6.626068 10<sup>-34</sup> m<sup>2</sup> kg / s

Is anyone else seeing this today?


 7:26 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's shaping up into another zero sales day - time to shut down my Adsense ads I guess. Google is shooting themselves in the foot.


 7:28 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure what sales volume has to do with Google SEO News and discussion, this is a completely different topic, I believe it belongs into ecommerce forums.

It really won't help people if you post your sales are up or down in a SEO forum, this is nonsense. I think this is the correct place to post alle the sales up or sales down stories:



 9:29 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

That's a good point. While your sales are naturally very important to you, they don't mean much to anyone else.

So if sales are being affected by poorly targeted search traffic, let's talk about how the SERPs have shifted to create lower quality traffic. If sales are being affected by loss of rankings and - or rankings that yo-yo - then let's talk about that rankings problem.


 11:00 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

It would be nice if we could get this thread talking about Google updates and SERP changes, not sales and traffic and rankings for a particular website.


 11:29 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Right back in the dirt for the past 24 hours. Normal traffic levels, but no sales conversions. Seeing many foreign IP's (Amsterdam, Russia) banging away on the site as if they are robots or scripts trying to hack in. Anyone else seeing this too?

I have seen this in the past, massive traffic all from russia, china, india, etc... It seemed like comment spam bots so I turned off comments for a while to get rid of the junk traffic slowing the site.


 11:30 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

BTW: I got all excited today when I checked one of my Golden Keywords and I was #2. I then switched firefox to private browsing and was back to #7. At least google knows what I want to see at the top. :)


 3:39 am on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

My site:search results have been steadily increasing by close to 100 every day for the past few days. It should also be noted that I write add quite a few pages (around 40 if you include pages, new tags, categories added,etc.).


 8:07 am on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've noticed a significant recovery in rankings starting Sunday evening. It looks like for most of the keywords I've been watching, my site is back very close to where it was before this mess started (In our case, google traffic has been down since March 4th). Most of the spammy scraper and chinese product-sourcing sites in my niche seem to be absent from the top spots they have held for the past several months. Is trust back? Or is this just another temporary experiment by the Google engineers? Has anyone else seen any improvement within the past couple of days as well?


 8:43 am on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I posted this in another thread but I think it is also very relevent here.

We have at long last pinned down exactly how mayday affected us, this is after months of our own speculation and theories and many hours hard work.

The facts that were known to us:
1st may = 90% drop
Algo update confirmed by Matt saying 'looking for higher quality pages'
Caffine official launch start of June
WMT still reporting a massive number of indexed pages from sitemaps
Site: Reporting 10% of what WMT is reporting.
Small changes back and forth over may/june/july but nothing significant.

What we are now 100% certain what happened to us on May 1st:

The algo update was a tweak upwards to minimum link juice a page has to have to be listed in the main index. Therefor although many pages might be 'useful' if they dont make the grade they are dropped to the supplemental index (yes it does still exist).

Caffine has nothing to do with Mayday

This can be checked by comparing site:domain.com which will give the number of main indexed pages to "site:domain -spellingmistake" (without quotes) which will confuse google into giving all pages in the main and supplemental index. Notice any difference?

So whats the solution?
Simple, as Matt said deep links, and more links. More deep links are required to get link juice ripples further down into the site and more links to the home page to increase the strength of the link juice ripples into the main body of the site. This is an automatic system so once a page reaches the minimum link juice level it will then be ranked in the main index.

The problem for our site and im sure many others will be the number of pages which is probably why it was so badly affected, with lots of pages the link juice has been spread more thinly amoungst its links and these pages have now dropped below the minimum link juice required for main index listing.

Pre mayday minimum link juice might have been 1. So:

Homepage link juice 10 links to 10 other pages.
Each linked page gets a share of that juice so 1 juice each.
Net result = 11 main indexed pages.

Post mayday minimum link juice was increased so say if it was increased to 2 then only 1 page would then be in the main index and 10 in the supplemental index.

The net result of this is loss of quantity of traffic but the traffic generated will be highly targeted and likely to convert - the supplemental index would only be dipped into when the main index falls short.

For all those 'waiting' as we were I no longer belive this is just a short term 'problem', it may be tweaked slightly which may just tip the balance back to main index pages but overall this is here to stay and the answer is more juice and deeper juice!


 11:55 am on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

So @ the above poster Andy - happy spamming more and more forums then.

Oh What Happy Spammy Days We Live In.


 1:37 pm on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Great to hear that. Are you also noticing changes in the site: operator and WMT IBL listings?

Interesting analysis and I think you make sense how a small factor change can affect us so heavily. But I'm not sure if this alone could be the reason since back in March when I still had pre-Mayday traffic, I used to have a Wordpress plugin that linked pretty deeply to old and new pages from each of my posts. There couldn't have been a Wordpress website that was more appropriately deep-linked.


 3:53 pm on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Great to hear that. Are you also noticing changes in the site: operator and WMT IBL listings?

WMT has slowly been listing more backlinks, but I think it probably has most of them now. I haven't been doing the site: operator regularly until recently, but it appears site:mydomain is returning all of the actual pages with content that exist on my site. If I follow the site:mydomain -spellingmistake example it returns about 6-7 times more pages, but most of these additional pages look to be old non-existent pages or other non-content pages such as the URLs for various iframes used to display some javascript widgets and such. My site is relatively small, so I don't think Google has had too much difficulty indexing everything quickly as some people with larger sites have reported.


 3:55 pm on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Site disappeared again this afternoon. Nowhere to be found for any terms.


 4:58 pm on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I stepped back for a bit but wanted to touch base again.

Through last night for the month of July versus July 2009:

Overall traffic is up roughly 25%.

Bing is up 75%
Google down 25%
Yahoo up 10%

But what is most dramatic is the weekly change:
Google up 7%
Bing up 91%
Yahoo up 80%

The ads running for Yahoo are having an effect, soon as they started the visits increased from yahoo. Bing continues to steadily increase share and is now averaging about 20% of search visits per day.

Overall the search results have improved. As others have said the chinese knockoff sites have fallen back but there are still way too many domestic knockoff sites. It's just such a shame that this change did not pick up the filters that blocked individual companies from running 10 or 30 mirrors and profiting from it. It degrades the entire user experience.


 7:12 pm on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just noticed that the 'Links to your site' on WMT has now reduced by 1/3rd. And like PhotonLight says, site:domain -spellingmistake throws more than double the number of pages..


 6:18 am on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Rolling indexes right now, some sites for competitors are gone one minute on DC flavor of the day, then back on another. Still seems to be two main flavors rolling right now.


 1:21 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Highest traffic levels ever - while at the same time the lowest sales conversions ever. Zombie Traffic!


 1:36 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

/\ Yep. Utter pants. Seems G will never be the same again, year after year of stability now this rubbish.


 3:42 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

@backdraft7 and Ohno
Does your analytics show a distinct change in visitor country-composition in June-July as compared to say, Feb-March?


 4:02 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'll take a look but yesterday was full of foreign traffic.


 7:24 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

So has goog settled down now? Is this the results we will be seeing for a while now? None of my sites have moved or been updated in goog now for weeks. Great change goog.


 7:27 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's far from settled as far as I can see..........


 9:18 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

seeing huge changes in the UK serps... looks like all the comparison and affiliate sites have taken a real big hit... Anybody else seeing this?


 10:18 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone noticing a change in specific landing page traffic via google analytics? I have an e-commerce site which has approximately 3000 products. What I have started to notice in analytics is the pages which are getting traffic are category pages and not specific product pages. If i spot check ranking for specific products I'm still ranked well for that product, the only difference is google is showing the category page in place of the product page.


category = widgets
products in this category all have their own url and =
widget 1
widget 2
widget 3
widget 4
widget 5

if i do a search for widgets I'm still ranked well, if i do a search for a specific widget 1, i'm also ranked well. Difference is google is showing my category "widgets" page instead of the specific product page.

Robert Charlton

 10:53 pm on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

if i do a search for widgets I'm still ranked well, if i do a search for a specific widget 1, i'm also ranked well. Difference is google is showing my category "widgets" page instead of the specific product page.

Judging by discussions in the forum, this appears to be a major concern for a lot of sites right now.

I see it as perhaps an indicator that less link juice is tricking down to deeper pages... or else that there are great many sites that aren't well organized. Perhaps a little of both.


 3:01 am on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Figure this one out,...

Traffic almost the same as previous months, changes in our KW's in the SERPs maybe up or down 1 or two spots,..

Yet sales completely dropped off since the 17th. From the 17th until today sales down 91%


 3:14 am on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Has anyone else noticed the light purple in the PPC ads at the top of every search page and the ad space seems to be larger as well, with very dark highlighted blue links... Man what else are they going to do to get more review?

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