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Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2010
tedster




msg:4209551
 8:22 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

There are many different kinds of ranking disruptions being reported right now - dropped domain roots, unexplainable traffic spikes and dips. These things often come right before some kind of algo shift. What do you think - is something brewing?

[edited by: tedster at 12:38 pm (utc) on Oct 1, 2010]

 

indyank




msg:4214366
 4:47 pm on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google still seem to be having some problems with alphabet cases. For example, I see a page ranking on google page 1 for "widget 1.0" but not for "Widget 1.0".The page is not found anywhere in the second case.

Has anyone else noticed this?

tedster




msg:4214418
 6:40 pm on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Different rankings for upper case words have been a mysterious factor for over two years (see Different ranking when using capital letters [webmasterworld.com])

At this point I'm beginning to wonder if it's not a bug at all but an intentional algorithm factor. Google may be assuming, in some cases, that people who take the time to capitalize a word have a different intention. It may line up with this patent: Identifying Query Aspects [appft.uspto.gov] because capitlization is one clue that the word has become an "entity".

mrez74




msg:4214448
 7:50 pm on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Husky,

I am in the same situation. Nothing has changed in the SERPs, but getting so much less traffic to the sites the last few days. Just don't know where is this traffic disappearing to. Any know what is happening here?

tedster




msg:4214452
 7:55 pm on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nothing has changed in the SERPs

Do you mean that rankings are the same, or that literally nothing has changed? Sometimes a new Adwords ad in the top spot, or a new Universal Search entry or Onebox can leave your ranking "the same" but dramatically affect traffic.

outland88




msg:4214466
 8:51 pm on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

No change in SERPs and vanishing or peek-a-boo business seems to be a growing lament in Google forums.

indyank




msg:4214602
 3:27 am on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

No change in SERPs and vanishing or peek-a-boo business seems to be a growing lament in Google forums.


I am also witnessing this and couldn't believe this...not sure what is happening...

One possible reason could be "GOOGLE INSTANT" and the more prominent ad at the top...but I am keeping my fingers crossed :(

indyank




msg:4214603
 3:49 am on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Tedster, Thanks for those links. They were interesting reads....

Is there any thread or page that links to all the important patents related to Google SEO?

indyank




msg:4214607
 4:00 am on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well, Here are the reasons Why I think Google Instant could be a reason for the low traffic despite there being no change in serps

1) Google Instant pushes the results down (more than normal) and the ad at the top and probably the first two organic result gets more attention than those pages ranking at 3 to 8 positions...
2) The suggested queries are taking away people from the usual queries they use to search.

From whatever I have seen so far, 1 seem to be causing more havoc than 2.

Google Instant has been rolled out in my region only recently and it works only when I am logged in. I am assuming that logged out searches would outnumber logged in searches.So, I am wondering how the traffic is diminishing despite no change in SERPS.

tedster




msg:4214621
 4:43 am on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is there any thread or page that links to all the important patents related to Google SEO?

Well, it's certainly not ALL of them, but there is a list at the bottom of the Hot Topics thread [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page. There's also a link there to other papers written by Google engineers, for more insight into the things they're exploring.

nuthin




msg:4214625
 5:03 am on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Many URL canonicalization issues at the moment.

Numerous points are being rewarded to inner content pages vs powerful authority home pages.. I'm going to wait this one out !

No need to stress when results are looking this bad ppl. =]

[edited by: nuthin at 5:04 am (utc) on Oct 10, 2010]

mkassets




msg:4214649
 8:04 am on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nothing has changed in the SERPs, but getting so much less traffic


Same here. Still ranking #1 for my best keyword, yet down about 25-30% for the overall traffic from this keyword (~1000 daily to ~700 daily).

The same probably hold true for many other keywords, but some of them just not have enough volume to be sure this is not a random fluctuation.

I don't think it has anything to do with the instant, I didn't experience anything like this when the instant was launched.

Spencer




msg:4214655
 9:15 am on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is the first month that we have had more direct sales as a result of Facebook Marketing (special events, tokens and coupons) over the Google fed sales (Organic, CPC and Merchant Centre). Sales are growing heavily on Facebook and we have to concentrate on the avenue that brings best returns. So decisions have been made at the top to stop addding textual content and just focus on contact building and special offers ... For me this is the end of an era.

HuskyPup




msg:4214709
 2:00 pm on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've just posted a little more in-depth on the AdSense forum:

[webmasterworld.com...]

however the basics of my last week have been:

Normal = within 90-110% of September's average.

Site 1 - Trade directory .com
Site 2 - Trade B&M .com
Sites 3 to 8 - Trade 2 x .asia, 2 x .cn, 2 x .in

4-8 Oct

Site 1 - Normal
Site 2 - Page Impresssions -32.79% Earnings -50%
Sites 3 to 8 - Page Impresssions -62.5% Earnings -58.3%

Interestingly one of my .co.uk sites this week has seen -67.2% in PIs.

PLease G, get it sorted, there is evidently a serious issue.

scottsonline




msg:4215169
 3:29 pm on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Whatever switch was flipped has gone the other way. Traffic collapsed today. I cannot imagine what the SERPS at large must be like right now. Hour to hour searchers must see different results, such an odd situation.

I cannot find any differences between keywords on Friday to today, yet volume bs this day last year and last week is way off

Forbin001




msg:4215321
 7:43 pm on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Give the SERPS another day or two....there may be....and I emphasize....MAY be an update happening now. Dont be suprised if tomorrow is 'yoyo' day :D

scottsonline




msg:4215324
 7:50 pm on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Forbin what makes you think that?

It'll be interesting to see if late last week was an aberration. We had 52 online orders then, zero since from g! So funny how it is up and down.

I also don't discount the fact that some of this is changed behavior of users do to the economy.

scottsonline




msg:4215472
 4:00 am on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty confident at least in our industry a subtle update has occured. A portion of the results are a little sloppy with amazon as always dominating the top spots but that usually fades quickly. There still seems to be an issue with geographic references in product or service names, but the results are cleaning up some. Duplicate sites are replaced by other competitors.

It's too early to say where it ends up. But I did notice even during a health search which was left open in a browser tab about ten days ago....results greatly improved on a refresh of the same search.

Robert Charlton




msg:4215481
 4:31 am on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

...a health search which was left open in a browser tab about ten days ago....

You don't worry about these things getting moldy?

kellyman




msg:4215558
 8:16 am on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Although im new here, i think there is an error in the results, i dropped for all main page search terms, even local listings where i have no competition.

The main thing i see was i had 1500 + URL's in my webmaster tools, on Oct 1st it showed 217, although evry page i checked was still cached and in the index, so to me somthing went wrong on the last indexation which i am sure will be put right in the comming days /weeks.

There is also too many WP sites and new sites in the top 20 for some very competative search terms.

Im sure things will sort themselves out very soon

ohno




msg:4215591
 10:00 am on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I see everyone else is seeing things like us again. We had some GREAT weeks then on October 7th BANG, thee we start seeing LOTS of foreign traffic. Things still have not recovered, dead. I've given up on SERP's as these seem to change from one query to the next, no hope of ever seeing what a customer may see IMO. Time to sit tight...again! As others have said though, I have never known Google be so erratic since we started onlin(2002).

scottsonline




msg:4215747
 3:29 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

@Robert lol, safari is used only to track searches. I'll open 6 tabs and comedy searches and come back 7-10 days later. Most change in that time now.

Major traffic fluctuations continue today. Some
Of the competitive keywords that we do not target that we suddenly were ranking well on have fallen back hard.

backdraft7




msg:4215763
 3:55 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

@ ohno & scotts - I'm seeing pretty much normal traffic again and decent sales, so it's more targeted than in previous weeks. It all cleared up on October 3rd and has been quite good since then...knock on wood.

tedster




msg:4215838
 7:41 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

we start seeing LOTS of foreign traffic

I wonder if that might be connected to what engine brings up in this thread: the UK serps are littered with international sites [webmasterworld.com]

Many people here have commented about seeing waves of traffic come in from other countries, only to go away and then come back.

scottsonline




msg:4215842
 7:47 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

@tester no change in foreign traffic here, always around 20% regardless of total volume.

Traffic on the whole seems to be following the normal Monday Tuesday doldrums.

Amazon affiliates are ranking first in most cases which always happens during an algo change.

pixar24




msg:4215850
 7:53 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Same issues here.
I have a multilangual site, many users from many countries.
5 days ago, traffic dropped 40 %, site-wide.
Same positions in Serps, but visitors are gone.
(Just recovered a bit from "Mayday" drop, and now this..)

scottsonline




msg:4215949
 1:29 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

They made a major change today that will hurt many of us.

The top three results are all from the same sites. Ie if you ranked first before you now take the top three spots with all the others below the fold. If you were 2nd before, you are now 4th.

Ouch!

Robert Charlton




msg:4215957
 2:03 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

top three results are all from the same sites

I'm not seeing this, but it sounds like a variation of test we saw just about a year ago...

New multiple indented listings with meta descriptions on some searches
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3999074.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Anything similar, or regular serps listings? Without getting into specifics, what kinds of searches are these?.... ecommerce? ...highly competitive? ...not highly competitive? ...branded? ...etc?

Are you seeing these on all searches, or just some?

scottsonline




msg:4215960
 2:09 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Product searches not very competitive. This is why traffic changed so much from Friday to today, they must have been playing with this for days.

Brand xyz product Jimmy - search would have returned

Product from company 1
(sometimes indented main category page)
Product from company 2
Product from company 3
Google merchant results

Now returns
Product from company 1
Category from company 1
Related product from company 1
Google merchant
Everyone else

Worse in many cases the manufacturer is now first which is useless to most searchers as you cannot buy from them...be like seeing sonys product page first for a tv you can only buy from best buy etc.
In addition they've blown up the meta descriptions reducing it to gibberish.

Robert Charlton




msg:4215981
 3:19 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Brand xyz product Jimmy

So it sounds perhaps like the branding/named entity effect has been turned up to include leading vendors in addition to manufacturers.

In this previous discussion, from Aug 23, we noted that Google treated a branded query in part like a site search, returning more results from the manufacturer's domain....

Google To Show More Results From a Domain
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4191279.htm [webmasterworld.com]

A search for [apple ipod], eg, for those tuning in late, returns seven results from the Apple domain (and subdomains) of that domain, with the last three results then coming from Wikipedia, Amazon, and cnet.

To some extent, I've noted that the number of branded results depends on how strong the branding effect is with that site, and undoubtedly the size of the site and the number of pages it has fitting that query.

I still haven't seen exactly the type of serps you're describing. I have seen something perhaps similar, where if I search for...

[productname sitename]

...in some areas I'll get three results from one domain, then three results from another, and then two or three from another, etc... where all of the domains are leading vendors, and the productname is a generic unbranded product.

Any other observations along any of these lines?

scottsonline




msg:4215984
 3:40 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google seems bent on pushing manufacturers to #1 even when the quality of the sites is awful. In one part of our industry the manufacturing sites list no phone, email or any way of interacting by design. Many require logins just to see basic information....logins which the average user won't get. The person doing the search is looking for more information or to buy which they cannot get from the top results. On the same token I like what google is trying to do, but there's a better way of implementing it.

For products online it'd be great to see google provide three tiers for branded results:

1.manufacturers page if it ranks well, minimal content in the serp. Some type of key indicating this is the manufacturer
2. Company product pages for those selling it
3. Company product pages for those selling it
4. Company product pages for those selling it
5. Same
6. Same
7. Top ranked reviews
8. Next reviews
9 next reviews

In a dreamworld we'd have everything on a single page
Manufacturers page
Top organic selling pages but gives us the ability to scroll through in this section all ten
Google merchant if available
Product review type pages if available

3-4 pages in one plus adwords.

What they're doing now is just annoying. At least in our industry it'll drive the manufactures nuts as they get calls from end users


Ideally return a similar page to today, with multiple sections and via CSS/dhtml they could still get ten products per page, the manufacturers, merchant center and paid ads along win reviews on a single page

Robert Charlton




msg:4215996
 4:09 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

At least in our industry it'll drive the manufactures nuts as they get calls from end users

Bingo. ;)

I don't think Google wants to be this simplistic, and I have seen evidence that Google is using measurements of, say, searcher satisfaction for what site they return for what query. It's not just brand name co-occurrence.

There are increasingly a number of searches I've done where sites that I've wanted to find first have been returned instead of manufacturers' sites. Let's say these are awesome review sites, so good that's where everybody looks first for product information... and, in comparison, the manufacturers' site are just fluff brochureware.

That said, when you search for [brandname widgets], rather than [brandname modelnamewidget], manufacturers' sites are usually returned first, since Google is assuming, rightly so, that a manufacturer will have the best list.

But I will bet that if, over time, a manufacturer doesn't have the best product list, Google will start sending searchers elsewhere.

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