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This 502 message thread spans 17 pages: < < 502 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 17 > >     
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]



 4:43 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

what makes no sense is that a particular keyword or phrase can perform great one day and not the next, so I while I find keyword tracking

It is not just keyword tracking but everything around it need to be tracked.I don't see any alternative method to find why the connversion is not happening.

Finally, while we may know the "what" and "where" of traffic sources, we do not know the "who" on the other end. It seems the traffic I am seeing may not be from buying humans, but rather from machines.

this had always been a differentiator between offline and online business in the sense that you don't happen to see them physically but when you are selling a product, you do get all the information about them.

It seems the traffic I am seeing may not be from buying humans, but rather from machines.

lol...probably we need to find how to make these robots buy...

[edited by: indyank at 4:49 pm (utc) on Nov 2, 2010]


 4:46 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

@scottsonline: the site has around 5 Mio. spiderable pages, but site: returns around 600k, so I guess Google does not like the rest much...


 5:08 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

@indy - if I just sit back and wait, the site will start converting again all by itself. It's just that playing this waiting game is maddening and making any changes might just upset the applecart when "real" traffic come back around, which it always seems to do. My philosophy has always been (in simplified terms), create a good & useful product, tweak the sales copy for optimal conversion, make the checkout and fulfillment process easy, then just throw traffic at it and it will convert. I just never imagined a time when the traffic works, then just stops working. The only common denominator is that of human vs non human traffic.

One odd thing and not to get off topic, but what I am seeing in webmaster tools is the proliferation of what looks like automated aggregation sites that link back to me. I used to have a couple sites linking in, but now it shows a whopping 167,063 links to my site (with a few months)! Looking deeper I find that most are garbage domains or links that appear to be script generated. Anyone following one of those links is not a buyer. Also in the process of creating those links, a script must have visited and harvested the information, appearing to Apache like normal traffic. Your thoughts?
(sorry tedster, if you already have a topic on this, please let me know)


 6:08 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

If conversions seem to go all over the place, try tracking the country-origin (via IP) of your visitors at both good and bad time slots.


 8:45 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hey Backdraft, yep bit busy here but sadly not internet related! Yesterday was OK in the morning then dead, traffic overall was about normal but lots of 1 pagers. Today has been dire,both traffic wise & converstions. After the half decent weekend I was hoping things were starting to settle but it would appear not. I see foreign traffic throughout the day, before this kicked off i would see less over a whole month!


 11:53 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am glad I have found this forum, but in that its heart wrenching seeing that I am not the only one who is upset with Google. Google has totally messed up our site, and with that one has to ask...can we sue them for lack of sales?

warm regards,


 12:06 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hello mickimar, and welcome to the forums - but sorry it is bad fortune that brings you here.

Suing is always possible, but winning in court is a completely different thing. I am not a lawyer, and this is not the place for legal advice. But that said, it's pretty clear that Google has no contract with any website, either explicit or implied, when it comes to sending organic search traffic.

You're better off understanding how things got messed up, specifically and in detail. Then you can take steps to make it right, including technical changes or submitting a Reconsideration Request from within your WebmasterTools account.


 1:07 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster,

Well am still ranking with my keywords, but from 9-29-10 for my search term gift baskets I was 79 now am so far out there seems the chances are slim to get anything close by the holidays.

Am I right in thinking that things are still are all a disarray?



 1:20 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you were at 79 (page 8) then you already had little chance - sorry to say - unless you recently were on page 1.

We don't usually discuss specific keywords here, by the way. There's no doubt that other people reading these threads have similar interests. A keyword like the one you mentioned is not going to be easy at all. And even if you do rank for a very generic keyword, that doesn't usually mean conversions and sales.

Some sites are definitely experiencing new ranking challenges right now - and others have just seen their rankings and traffic zoom up. Rankings always shuffle around on Google - you can never look for something stable.

I'd say get to work on other areas than this particular keyword target, because the season has already begun and I don't expect we'll see another major shuffle very soon. Google needs to give their users a stable and satisfying experience during the heavy shopping season. If they do introduce anything major I'd be astounded - especially with everything they did in October.


 2:25 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

The only way you could sue and win I'd imagine is if you could prove a willful malicious act by someone there to hurt you.

Without detailing tonight I was searching on another very common term with a particular condition. I've used google for this a million times before. Disaster! Spam blogs, spam, junk. Wow! This is not an ecommerce term really. IMO it's longtail related. Instead of giving me what I typed I got near matches that were poor.

Our traffic continues to be up but the targeting is a mess.

Tedster if the baskets person corrects the site can it improve before the next update or is he doomed?


 2:33 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Updated rankings occur pretty darned fast these days - that's what Caffeine is all about. But there are so many factors involved, it's very hard to say what will happen in any one case.

For any keyword you hope to pursue, you should study the current top ten - understand all the factors that help them rank so very well. Look at both backlinks and how many independent DOMAINS backlink. Look at searches such as [site:example.com "query term"] for each site, too. Look at how much advertising is triggered by the query term. All that will give you a better idea of how big the job is.

I'm sure that as we watch various specific SERPs in the near future there will be shifts and changes - but I'm not expecting to see a major algorithm change right now.


 3:34 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Tedster the problem in my niche is when I look at the top ten I see hundreds of paid links. All other things equal it's what separates the men from the boys. In those cases what do you do?


 8:38 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

My traffic seems to be back at at pre 10/22-29 changes. But it's early to say if I lost any money, I make in batches usually.


 9:13 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Checking Analytics this morning shows zero traffic yesterday for all my sites across 2 accounts. Must be a bug Googles end.


 9:19 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Likewise here. Analytics forum also has posts about this. No response as yet I don't think...


 9:27 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Same here, both sites on zero, I checked them last night @ around 8pm and they had data! Maybe analytics show sthe truth for what the user sees eh?! ie, we are dead because no one can find us!


 9:33 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

yes analytics seem to be dead...now this might have impacted adsense too..as the same thing happened a few days back...

come on google...what is happening and you don't seem to be worried about all your technical glitches these days...


 9:38 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

The analytics under reporting and the adsense dips happened at the start of october and we see a similar pattern now in november...google sucks a lot these days..and this kind of attitiude and work doesn't augur well for them...they seem to be too unprofessional these days...


 9:51 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

when these kind of technical issues can happen quite regularly with their products, god only knows what of kind of bugs are there in their constantly changed search algorithms...

things like not all sites have the same algorithms applied to them, seem to be more a method to hide their faults...it definitely makes life easier for people in charge of these products...


 10:00 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lots of people reporting Google Analytics problems - see our thread here: [webmasterworld.com...]


 10:23 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

god only knows what of kind of bugs are there in their constantly changed search algorithms

I don't think even Google know what their search engine is doing - it's like something out of Terminator and will probably become self-aware quite soon. Maybe it will penalize itself.


 10:25 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google bots "I think therefore I am"


 10:45 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Whenever there are drops in traffic/conversions, site owners wonder whether something has changed in the algorithm or they have been penalized.Now they will also have to wonder whether it is a google glitch...as these glitches can affect all or a few sites.


 10:59 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I do wonder whether they're now giving top priority to the pretty pictures on the search homepage...


 11:14 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just one thing, I notice Google bot in our logs is now reported as "crawl-66-249-71-35.googlebot.com CHATTANOOGA", is that a legit bot? It always used to be Mountain View?


 12:14 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

SERPS aside it seems the more they do the less they do well. Weekly/monthly analytics crashes, crawling errors, maybe this is why bing didn't try instant results.


 12:44 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Analytic data is back but we are deader than dead today. Two weeks tomorrow since it started, the longest we have had issues since May Day. Getting the feeling now the game is over :( Bugger.


 1:02 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Getting the feeling now the game is over :( Bugger

My site's been up and down like a yo-yo this year (mainly down) - I am just about to call it a day I think and try to find some other avenue as a career. I just can't live like this any more with the constant fluctuation - it's literally making me ill with worry.


 1:04 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Dead for me too ohno. One enquiry today and that only just came in. Yesterday was mediocre at best. Monday was fairly normal though. Another order just came in! Woo!


 1:06 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

ohno I've been through 10 years of search engine changes and always came out in front in the end. You need to Observe> Test > Adapt in order to make a negative into a positive. I'm currently in the observe and test stage of this update and will expect to get through this stronger than ever. If its any consolation to you, I'm in the same boat as you with some sites loosing over 80% traffic and most of them today's number of inquiries are the worst I have ever experienced.


 1:21 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

re "conspiracy theory":

here is my take...

1. G does know very well what they are doing

2. that does only apply to a core team of around 10-15 people

3. G has had and still has the goal to achieve the maximum with as little effort as possible (coding, hardware, etc.)

4. Calculating a relevancy set of URLs out of billions of pages with 100+ factors is just Mathematics, not rocket science!

5. 10 people tweaking a formula for the rank of billions of URLs and then 10 more people trying to combat SPAM with more formulas after that (I still believe more than ever: there are many calculation rounds - first rank, then filter, iterate!) creates the ocean of the SERPs. And that is in constant change...

As I understand companies, I really do think we are in the hands of around 20 core people behind the core product of Google. The rest are maps, mail, admin, sales, network engineers (poor guys just plug boxes into racks and configure routes) and so on.

There is no uncontrollable anonymous Google, they are just damn good to keep these 20 people out of the line!

So: there are only 15-20 geeks tweaking a set of formulas... each with an organizing mind on top of the these 2 core groups. That's all, the rest are urban legends and a bunch of underpaid guys driving through the world with cameras on top of their cars!

2 pennies

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