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Google Updates and SERP Changes - November 2010
indyank




msg:4224747
 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...

[blog.alexa.com...]

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]

 

frank72




msg:4229217
 2:53 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

@martinacastro
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...

scottsonline




msg:4229295
 7:06 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I mentioned the extra google visits a few weeks ago. They are following users in when they do previews OR on new pages without a preview.

It doesn't effect your traffic stats as it is always the same ip presuming like us you filter for unique ip.

Whatever switch was played with yesterday today is back to normal. I now firmly believe a spike in social can trip filters.

seolearner




msg:4229319
 7:59 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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


All safari requests are from Google. So you can just filter out the all requests from "Google Inc." service provider and you should get exact data. In Google Analytics, you can easily do that.

Bewenched




msg:4229330
 8:19 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

@scottsonline it's not back to normal for us yet. :(

SEOPTI




msg:4229333
 8:41 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Analytics shows the preview visitor as direct traffic which is nonsense.

ken_b




msg:4229336
 8:52 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm beginning to think that my 9 year long free ride in the serps is coming to an end!

Sigh...

Mal_Jones




msg:4229337
 8:57 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

The fact is Google want to direct their users to the source of the product or service rather than to resellers, directories or portals.

Lets take the real estate business as an example. Kyero and a number of other Spanish property portals rule the search engine results in google for the Spanish property market but they aren't the source and the vast majority of them aren't even estate agents. Why should google direct their users to these portals when they can easily cut them out as middle men?

So google offer google places and google real estate to attack them, cutting off their supply of free traffic. After all these types of seo portals are feeding off traffic from Google when google are quite happy and capable to do this themselves.

As another example lets look at the clothing market. Many sites sell the same product as resellers, drop ship or affiliates to the main brand. Does it not make sense that google wants to send their traffic direct to the source rather than the reseller? They are trying to help real businesses who have bricks and mortar business by offering them local search?

Another example is the site that relies on user generated content that reviews other companies offerings like hotels and products and services. Google is trying to do this themselves using places pages although they aren't at present served to a global audience google will figure a way of doing so rather than rely on local search . I cant see why google cant integrate their own user content feed back into their results cutting out the middle man which are review sites.

One more example which I believe will be hit hard in this update will be the price comparison sites. What do they have to offer that google cant do via their products listings or perhaps their own price comparison results featured in their search results? Google is changing and in my opinion if you aren't the source of the product or service then you don't deserve to rank well above the source.

I'm sure I will get flamed for stating the above but before you do so try and think of this from a google quality of results perspective. I understand that many brands don't want the traffic but hey if you cant buy from them the surfer will move on to the next best results.

To conclude IMO , resellers , directories and affiliates do not feature in googles view on how their search engines produce quality results for their users regardless as to whether or not they have great content.

londrum




msg:4229344
 9:07 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is changing and in my opinion if you aren't the source of the product or service then you don't deserve to rank well above the source.

I'm sure I will get flamed for stating the above but before you do so try and think of this from a google quality of results perspective.


you are forgeting that google aren't the source of anything either. and yet they place their properties above the serps -- even above the providers that you are arguing deserve their place at the top.

google aren't cutting out the middle men to favour more deserving sites. they are cutting out the middle men because they want to BE the middle men.

they are using their dominant position to elbow out the competition.

To conclude IMO , resellers , directories and affiliates do not feature in googles view on how their search engines produce quality results for their users regardless as to whether or not they have great content.


i dont think you can call google's new 'place' pages "quality content". and yet these are the links that appear at the top of the serps for a lot of local searches now. they are just rehashes of other sites info. they give snippets of reviews from other places, pictures from other places, and addresses that appear on the provider site. there is nothing "quality" about them.

Mal_Jones




msg:4229348
 9:18 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Londrum I have mentioned in previous posts that google want to control the content in their results via their own products. If that produces the best sourse of the product or service then they are on the right track.

londrum




msg:4229351
 9:32 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

how can it be the best source of the info, though? because they get it from other places.

if you are saying that it's still possible to have the best info whilst getting it from other places, then there's no reason to block out the middle men -- because that's what they do to!

no one can honestly say, hand on heart, that google's new place pages deserve their place at the top of the serps.
do a search for "waldorf astoria new york", for example. the link to their place page appears ABOVE the waldorf's own site, and just contains snippets of info from other sites. its even got photos labelled "from the owner" -- the waldorf! presumabely the same site that is now stuck at number 2.
not to mention all the ads on it... making money off the waldorf. which makes it nothing more than an affiliate page

you cant even book a room on that page, or see the prices, unlike a million other travel websites (the so-called "middle men", which are now dropping down the serps) -- making them far more useful than google's place page.

so that is not something that is going to improve the quality of the serps. all it does is improve the visibilty of google's own product.

that is the direction that google is moving now -- relegate sites for whatever reason (because they are affiliates, because they are comparison sites, because they are middle men etc etc etc) and replace them with... what? google's own version of the same thing.
google are in the affiliate business themselves. the ultimate middle man.

scottsonline




msg:4229353
 9:39 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Mal jones one of the absolute worst google properties is google merchant center. Go look at products sold in bulk like paper or commercial cleaning products. All bulk sellers are required to list the minimum purchase quantity bulk price. If the roll of towels is $2 but comes in a pack of 10 only they must all list 20 dollars. 90% do but big advertisers play by other rules. It is a horribly run program.

You seem to think all resellers are bad. There are countless manufacturers that aren't the source and won't sell to anyone but their resellers so your logic is flawed in thinking google is providing a public service
All google has to do is look for a phone number or checkout. If that doesn't exist on the homepage of the brand it should be a signal that the brand does not want to be first.

Bewenched are you b2b?

Mal_Jones




msg:4229355
 9:41 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google will become the middle men for many niches and they will also develop their places pages into the face book pages for businesses. I personally cannot see anything wrong with this approach as I don't believe an affiliate, directory or drop shipper should rank above the source be it google content or external website.

Mal_Jones




msg:4229361
 9:48 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

You seem to think all resellers are bad. There are countless manufacturers that aren't the source and won't sell to anyone but their resellers so your logic is flawed in thinking google is providing a public service


O F***ing dear . At no stage did I state that resellers are bad , in fact I made a little living being one. What I am saying is I believe Google is trying to take over this lucrative business in return for more content / web pages to show ppc ads on.

Google isn't stupid and will get over this problem about the brand not wanting to sell to the general public via bounce rates.

Komodo_Tale




msg:4229374
 10:37 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is going ape on an enterprise client. For months they held a #1, #2 or #3 rank for their top keyword pointed at their homepage. Today the results are erratic, shifting anywhere from #2 to #5. Google is pointing to different pages too -- the home page, a blog page and a news page. The results show either one or two of the three pages and half the time the homepage is not in the results. I've been watching this shift around for the last 6 hours.

I expect this is related to Google's new favoring of interior pages. Perhaps an update is propagating amongst the data centers? Something has it's hands on the knobs and levels.

Are others seeing similar behavior?

dickbaker




msg:4229375
 10:50 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

A question: I've heard many people say that they're getting traffic, but it's not "quality traffic". How do you determine what is or isn't quality traffic? Is it people who are clicking on results that don't lead to conversions and, if so, how would Google send those people to you but not people who would convert?

scottsonline




msg:4229376
 11:01 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Maljones I think you're totally incorrect but we can check our respective opinions at the door as all that matters is results. Google has way too many things going on right now. They are becoming the GM of 1995, jack of all trades and suddenly the master of none. That said I think you are way overplaying the places thing. Ultimately if it's managed like merchant center it will fail. If merchant center were not oneboxed in regular SERPS nobody would use it. Places will be abused the same way merchant center is and nobody at google will follow up and that'll be the end of it.

Just about everything we buy is dropshipped. Amazon wouldn't exist if middlemen didn't provide value and google knows this.

Dickbaker for us it is carts. Our cycle of buying extends days into weeks but if we aren't getting 10% of our visitors carting we have a problem. The last 30 hours it's down to 5% after the 12 noon tweak yesterday. We also haw another measure, spam. When we all arrive to 30 spam emails from china we know they tweaked and we are on the downside as foreign traffic is up. No Chinese emails, good carts and conversions.

I have no idea other than tracking us all like dogs how they know. I do know they can divine the difference between two users that type the word widget knowing one is looking for information and the other is looking to buy.

Bewenched




msg:4229377
 11:03 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

We're getting traffic, but is it the preview people or what... Conversions are way down and bounce rate is up. As if they are being directed to our pages but for things they aren't looking for.

scottsonline




msg:4229404
 12:56 am on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Our bounce rate went back to new norms today.

I think caffeine became self aware on 10/18, head for the shelters.

danimalSK




msg:4229490
 9:24 am on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hey Mal,

In general I agree with you; Google either wants to get rid of the middle man, or become the middle man itself. It is especially interested in doing this in local because of the huge amount SMBs traditionally spend on advertising (Yellow Pages etc).

I do, however, think there is a role for some middle men, it is just unfortunate that 90% of them are bunk, and these bunk ones taint the image of the other 10%. Some aggregators (think travel) provide a great service, when was the last time you trawled through 50 hotel websites, and 10 airline websites before booking your holiday? Also why would I want to look at 20 individual real estate agent sites, when I could just look at one good aggregator. There are many instances were aggregators provide an infinitely better service.

Ultimately Google will try and invade all of these spaces though, and in a very hypocritical way - "aggregating and scraping is bad, except when we do it..."

Cheers,

Dan

Jez123




msg:4229493
 9:28 am on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

how would Google send those people to you but not people who would convert?


I would like to know too. I get periods where "the crazies" come out. They ask stupid questions and want to order what I clearly don't sell. Historically, I get a run of "the crazies" (every few months) and then they stop and go away. I assume that everyone that is not fully automated gets this! My problem is is that google have taken away all the people who want to buy what I sell and left me with "the crazies" all the time seemingly.


Can I take a poll? Who thinks this is here to stay? Who thinks that google are tweaking things to try to return them to "normal"?

I remember getting caught in the Florida update and my site was lost for a couple of months. I thought then that it was the end and it was going to stay like that but eventually things went back to normal. I am hoping that this is the case here too! Please! :-)

Andylew




msg:4229511
 10:25 am on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Has anyone noticed their googlebot ip having changed?

We have historically always received visits from 66.249.65.x it has been this ip for years.

I havent checked for about a week but looking today everything has changed, crawling is now being done by 66.249.67.x and 66.249.68.x and images are being hammered by 74.125.74.x - never seen this ip before but it is google related.

Edit:
Just checked the logs, the new bots were phased in and old ones phased out between 3pm and 6pm gmt on the 11th.

Edit Edit: another new one just showed up 66.249.82.x hammering images

potentialgeek




msg:4229661
 6:27 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

To Google Engineers:

If you insist on multiple pages from the same site in Results, could you at least reorder the pages with titles that have Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 in the correct order?

Currently my site has positions #2, #3, and #4. But Result #2 is Part 3; #3 is Part 1; and #4 is Part 2.

dickbaker




msg:4229744
 9:53 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I like the idea of "Acme", "Acme, The Sequel", "Acme III: Revenge of Acme", etc. If Google is going to antagonize us, they might as well try to entertain in the process.

scottsonline




msg:4229754
 10:21 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Whatever they did the middle of the week/Tuesday traffic went through the roof but it's all junk. We almost seem to be back to 2009 results where we are clearly getting traffic from competitors versus the public.

A week without changes would be nice but that will never happen I fear.

scottsonline




msg:4229840
 3:52 am on Nov 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

End of week summary:

Traffic after 11/9 rose 20%. Coversions dropped 50%. I am also noting major news blogs aren't getting indexed quickly. One of the msm sites had a series of blogs hut at 9am none are searchable more than 12 hours later.

indyank




msg:4229846
 4:35 am on Nov 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google seem to be having some kind of issues with indexing content.they have screwed it up somewhere, while making so many changes, and they never seem to get it right again. I am also not sure why they are using the new crawl ips.Is it done to fix the indexing (or crawling) issues? Not sue, what the problem is but the folks seem to be under pressure.

When you put pressure on your teams to do too many things in a short span of time, the results are always poorer.But the senior folks never worry about it, as they are more interested in announcing the new things to the world and seeking glory for themselves.

MrHard




msg:4230413
 9:13 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone know why G is dropping the root in favor of more targeted pages on some but not all keywords?

indyank




msg:4230429
 10:15 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone know why G is dropping the root in favor of more targeted pages


but then that is the correct behavior right?

on some but not all keywords?


may be, we will see it for others gradually...

scottsonline




msg:4230481
 1:03 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's really tough to see clean results again today. Lots of new duplicates appearing. Despite our traffic being so solid sales are steadily decreasing from google.

tigger




msg:4230495
 2:15 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

@scottsonline

seeing the same, looks like someone has thrown a switch today and these multiple site listing are a joke,I really see no benefit in showing 3 and sometimes 4 pages for a site!

natim




msg:4230562
 4:05 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Late Fri or very early Sat there was some sort of tweak, we have 6 sites all built on WP with absolute fresh unique content every day. Each site ranked mostly 1,2,3 for it's primary target, Saturday morning every single one of them had fallen back to pg 5 or 6. Anyone know anything specifically regarding WP sites?

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