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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2010

 5:50 am on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

Here is alexa's take on the the oct 21-22 debacle..they do see a significant shift...


but wait, there seems to be one more tweak that happened this friday, oct 29. This could either be a reversal or yet another tweak...google is enjoying the tweak game and one thing for sure, they are trying to achieve something for themselves via the tweaks...

[edited by: tedster at 2:18 pm (utc) on Nov 1, 2010]



 2:25 am on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

@Mrguy if you took time to read you would see it isn't my business at all. It's a 25+ year old business here in NYC with a worldwide client base. That's why I still have a job today. The firm across the street that opened with a 25 million dollar vc investment several years ago just let go of most of their staff because they competed solely online. Instead of attacking all I asked for was one mainstream major success in b2b or b2c who flourished without google.

@andylew I'm seeing the same things, better SERPS appear to be here for good and appear better now than any time since pre may.


 6:11 am on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Devaluing backlinks from article sites (backlinks or the article sites as a whole) will actually help the paid links.


 6:47 am on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

@Indy true. Newtons law for the web.

I'm not sure that is what happened. I think it's cross-sites that were hit....the people running three ecommerce sites selling the same thing under different keywords etc. Good riddance I say.

I can tell you from my companies site that internal factors for some reason came to the forefront. The sensitivity dial to things tolerated in the past may have been spun.

I did see some new sites appear tonight so they may be tweaking again.

Marvin Hlavac

 3:33 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)


[edited by: Marvin_Hlavac at 4:02 pm (utc) on Nov 10, 2010]

Marvin Hlavac

 3:39 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)


I can tell you from my companies site that internal factors for some reason came to the forefront. The sensitivity dial to things tolerated in the past may have been spun.

Could you please tell us a bit more about what you see?


 4:07 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

right now G is still doing a lot of tweaking from looking at the serps

if it wasn't for the drop in traffic it really would be quite funny as I have a old spammy directory thats not been touched in 8 years thats now ranking and pulling traffic LOL

I wouldn't be doing anything to your sites as this is not going to last - if it does I'm selling links on a directory that should be dust to G


 4:22 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hope you are right Tigger as this is really starting to bite!


 5:56 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Marvin, there are mistakes that were embedded in our code for ages that google always handled. Around 10-15 it stopped doing that and began treating pages as duplicates. It was not googles fault, it was the programmers our company hired. When corrected results improved very quickly until today.

There was a sharp drop this morning in traffic. The telltale foreign traffic started shortly afterward. Our business on average 75% of all purchases take 2 or more visits. It's got to be infuriating for searchers that the results change every two days.


 8:26 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone else see a huge drop in the US?

Adwords is down about 40% too. Did everyone take an extra day off?

Wow, there is just no stability day to day it's amazing. I see nothing in the SERPS so it feels like out turn at the trough is over and now we are being throttled.


 8:44 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

@scottsonline Yes, I've seen a big drop in traffic and calls to our office today.


 8:50 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Things have been fairly normal here for a Wednesday. Maybe it's the day before a holiday.


 8:57 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm actually seeing increased traffic to my sites.

Some of them are down, but others are up and overall my traffic has been much higher the last few days.

Then again, not all my traffic comes from Google either ;)


 9:06 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)


Can you explain a bit better this:?
Another thing is see is that a spammy site which scrapes my content and it is using all black hat techniques such as keywords stuffing, cloaking pages etc is outranking some of my own articles but..listen to this. If I go to GWT the default page is the spam report form!

Specially I don't understand what you mean with:
If I go to GWT the default page is the spam report form


 9:11 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Bewenched must be another tweak. Kind of saw this coming last night with sites so new they have no safety ranking in the various tools rolling up. Traffic is ok, but the bounce rate is back to september levels after a month of being down 10-15%


 9:21 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Had a monster day yesterday.... 10% above normal (pre 22nd oct). Today looks a lot slower, but our category and product pages are showing up more. It still seems much better than last week. Pages views slightly up.... bounce rate very slightly down (not too noticeable)

Things are changing on a day to day basis.... no stability at all. very difficult to know whats happening


 10:00 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

With so many noticing it was slow today I'd say it was related to the holiday - aside of the fact that during the slow time it was all foreign traffic. It seems to have normalized again after 3, no foreign traffic and solid traffic.


 11:56 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

AlyssaS, I am sorry but your theory is detailed but it is not true. You are on the right path by looking into trends but what you are saying would take a huge coincidence that all these sites would trigger a filter at the same time. Now, obviously google changed something in how they rank a given webpage, my belief is they tightened up how they value backlinks and are looking for an even more natural backlink profile. So those who mentioned sites who depend on article backlinks got hurt, they probably ONLY HAD backlinks from articles. Backlinks from quality articles will not hurt you. Any 1 type of links will hurt you albeit all sitewides, all same anchor text, all blog links etc. Google has always looked at this and I believe it has made some tweaks to this trying to get sites with better backlink balance to rank higher.


 12:48 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Brinked, all these sites have taken a hit at the same time, because Google tightened the filters, affecting everyone at the same time. It's no coincidence, it's deliberate.

That's what the algo change was about - moving the parameters of their filters. And that by itself would cause ranking changes, because sites that previously passed the old filter didn't pass the new one.

After getting caught by their new filter, the only thing I did was assess the on-page SEO and make changes.

What took time was getting them to re-crawl me - when you fall back in the SERPs they seem to crawl less often. But within 12 hours of the cache updating, I was back in the SERPs where I had been before.

That's the gist of my experience with this. But obviously you can ignore my anecdote (I'm only a sample size of one!) and take a different approach to getting back your rankings.

What methods are you trying to restore your SERPs position?


 12:57 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thought you'd all find this interesting:

Google organic visits by the hour us only
9-12 noon 200-400 per hour
12-1 4 visits
1-2 100 visits
2-3 200 visits
3-7 200-300

Verified with actual logs. That's not a filter the four visits in that hour were all overseas. Throttled I'm thinking because our rankings are improving too quickly after making fixes.


 1:01 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

P.S. While Google deals with on-page SEO with filters (which they change from time to time), they deal with backlinks they don't like in a different way.

Usually they deindex the offending backlink, and because you no longer get the benefit of these links, you fall back in the SERPs. I've heard of them deindexing private networks en masse.

The way to check if your problems are down to backlinks is simply to see if they are still indexed. If you keep detailed logs, you should have the urls of everyone who has linked to you, natural or not - simply drop the urls in the search box to see if they are there or not. If they are there, you don't have a backlink problem.


 1:35 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Alyssa you are somewhat correct. Google is not necessarily applying filters or penalties to all these sites that take a hit. Google is just valuing the overall backlink profile differently, making some sites rank better and some sites take a hit. Now granted, there are sites who are definitely getting caught up in filters/penalties if google did in fact tighten up their algo.

To answer your question, I am not doing anything to recover because I am benefiting greatly from this change. Many ranking boosts (some undeserved) and many mini sitelinks.

What I am seeing in multiple niches (I hate that word), if the sites that have gotten a boost are very natural looking and have a very diverse and natural backlink profile much like my own sites.


 5:43 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Brinked truth is we have no idea. Traffic on my employers site was normal aside of 70 minutes where it was dead aside of foreign traffic. The company was on a NYC radio station over a donation and that generated social buzz which we think tripped a filter. But who knows really?
Cpc google was up 10%, bing yahoo were up solid double as were all the other generation methods. Organic down 10-15 with the hour turned off. I wonder if the engineers know this stuff happens? I'm sure it's impossible to monitor so many sites.


 6:22 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

In the last few days I'm seeing a large increase (100%) for Safari browser users.

I found out Google is visiting URLs from IP
but why would they do this with a referrer like this:
(KHTML, like Gecko; Google Web Preview) Version/3.1 Safari/525.13"

Now I found the answer :)



 6:42 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am also seeing the same thing. The Extra Safari visits are from Google Inc. I think it might be related to Google's new Instant Preview feature. As G* needs view as it looks in browser, they are browsing all pages as safari browser. What others have to say on this?


 6:44 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Exactly, so if you see a traffic increase you should blame a new preview bot or people checking out your site with the preview feature.

Time to make sites look interesting for previews, layouts become more important. But why the heck do they use a safari referrer?

This is completely messing up my analytics because it shows bots requests as real users.

It seems google web preview is crawling the URL every time someone clicks on the preview icon.


 7:25 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

It seems google web preview is crawling the URL every time someone clicks on the preview icon.

It definitely is. The preview even displays on-page ads that render through Javascript. Going to hurt my CTR % :(


 7:30 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

In some previews I see adsense ads displayed, but not with all previews. I think it just needs more time for processing the javascript and the ads will also appear in all previews.


 8:09 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

In some previews I see adsense ads displayed, but not with all previews. I think it just needs more time for processing the javascript and the ads will also appear in all previews.

i think you people forgot the fact that these are image snapshots.


 11:52 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)


hi..you italian?

What I was talking about is that I see a lot of spammy sites which use all well-known black hat techniques rank high in the SERP, actually. A spammy blog in my niche which copied my content is still ranking higher for some posts he copied from my blog.

Such posts are dulicated contents from my blog and in one case the guy used a cloaking post which apparently looks different from mine but google search returns my content (looking at its code, my content is nested in the html)

I see other spammy blogs ranking quite high. In another case I wrote a post which in a couple of minute was ranking number 3. The next day a spammy blog ranked number 2. Such spammy post was all scraped from different blogs, it was full of keywords (keyword stuffing) and the post URL address was verbosely full of keywords...something like this [blogsname...]

Referring to the URL above Google Search seems to be pretty pestered by them lately in the SERP

Moving on, the weird thing is that if I go to Google Webmaster Tool the default page is the Spam Report. At first I thought it was a mistake so I tried to flush my browser cache and I also tried to log off from GWT from the main page. But the funny thing is that when I log in again the main page is still the Spam Report form...anyone experiencing this?

In the meantime my organic traffic from Google has doubled in a matter of 20-30 days now. However today my traffic took a little dive.
I would like to report, for the benefit of all users here, that, as Matt Cutts suggested, I deleted all my nofollow tags, making sure not to have any duplicate content issue.

The result is that now my PR is flowing anywhere on my blog from categories to tags, from about page to subscribe page. Only a couple of links have still the nofollow just to avoid duplicate contetn issue

Sorry for this long post!


 2:40 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)


Im from southamerica, descendant of Spain

About the GWT, I see in the first position the access to the spam report if I search Google Webmaster Tool but if I access to my GWT account I must clic in that option to see it.


 2:53 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

fine, got it. You have to click that option to see it. In my case (till 4 days ago) that Spam report form came right away as soon as I log in GWT. It looked like Google pushed me to report spam...

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