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This 334 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 334 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10 11 12 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - December 2010

 5:35 am on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

I know tedsters has stressed this but what we see ourselves in the SERPS doesn't always help. We are getting pummeled by traffic on one keyword that is relevant. I can't find it and neither can any friends buts it's converting at a great rate. When I perform that search i get no results. Oh the games....

I'd say 20% is a close number compared to two weeks ago. Google traffic is off 35% over these days last year. Yet business is strong, and the bounce rate is low.

The shopping SERPS are impacting more this year because exact matches are turned down. Theres s bunch of products that we were 1-3 on last year where we are gone and so is everyone else, replaced by unrelated stuff...think:

Product whiplash from Appalachian co

Man falls from tree in appalachians suffering whiplash
Walking the Appalachian trail
Blah bla x 7

The exact match of the product name yields no results in holiday search 2011.

I was laughing tonight when I saw a site on amazon that sells helmets also is selling tools. They rank near the top on many items in google. They have no ratings and appear to just dump feeds. #1 in google, ahead of the manufacturer and a world renowned climbers site. That's the lunacy in all this, amazon isn't an authority on rock climbing helmets, crucial memory, or even sweat socks sold by 3rd parties.

This is as bad as the earlier wiki is 1st which was adjusted out. An unknown third party selling on amazon using content that's identical on 5k websites prior...doesn't make amazon the expert.

Im betting a lot of lost traffic went to amazon. They were up 25% yesterday, a lot of us were down 25%. Thanks google im sure amazon needed that boost.

[edited by: tedster at 6:51 pm (utc) on Dec 1, 2010]



 4:42 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Had a client call me in a panic that he was gone.

I checked the serps from proxy from several computers and he is still there.

I then had him sign out of Google, remove his cookies and then block google from being able to cookie his browser and run the search again.

He was right where he was supposed to be.

Then had him turn cookies back on, search again and he was gone again.

That is one of the reasons I don't allow Google or doubleclick to cookie my browser.

Any others see this type of activity?


 5:01 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've noticed that nothing new is being indexed again. At one point I could create a blog post and find it with a few hours. Now it's been 6 days since anything new is updated. What happened to the 3 mile high stack of pages per second indexing? It looks like they still have that capability but are now filtering out certain content from that cycle.


 12:42 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

@backdraft: registered a wordpress.com blog, linked to it from PR3 and submitted the RSS feeds to a bunch of aggregators... no sign of that subdomain after 4 days... The articles I wrote there are clean and good content.

I will let you know, when it appears!

So, I guess Google is just playing it very safe with updates until New Year... Like they did the last 7 years. I always saw a major shift in the first 2 weeks of January as long as I am in the game!

eg: [webmasterworld.com...]



 3:20 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone else noticing the "links to your site" section of GWT saying data unavailable this morning? Two of our biggest sites are showing this in GWT today. I think its a glitch, cant remember if it did this before.


 5:57 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

well the one site I mentioned a few days ago, where I changed the title tag to not be an exact match has fully recovered today all of its rankings. It lost its rankings a few days before oct 22 like a week before. It was then dropped to the 3rd and second pages. Today it is in the top ten again for its 2 main targetted keywords. Not sure if its a coincidence of me changing the title tag or maybe a penalty was lifted as I did send a reconsideration request weeks ago


 9:10 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm also one of the casualties of the 22Oct nonsense. I've also changed my title tag to make it not be an exact match in hopes that my ranking will recover but it hasn't helped.

Can I kindly ask what you said in your reconsideration request. I'd like to phrase it properly so I can send one over to them too.



 11:18 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

well, this site was hit before the 22nd. It was actually hit around the 5-6th of october according to my traffic stats.

The thing is, I had 2 sites ranking top ten for widgets. First this site dropped to page 2-3 for widgets then the 22nd my main site dropped to page 2 for widgets.

I also noticed, my secondary site had a domain that was 301 to it from the same server to my main site. This could be that google caught the fact that they were both hosted on the same server and dished out penalties to both.

I corrected this issue a few weeks ago, putting my 301 domain on the same server as my main site and making sure no whois information can trace back to the other domain.

These 2 websites do rank similarly for the same terms but they are both unique and provide value to its visitors.


 8:00 am on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

sorry I worded that wrong. I meant to say the server that my secondary site was hosted on was also hosting a domain that was 301 redirected to my primary site, which could link both my primary site and my secondary site together.

indias next no1

 10:21 am on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

traffic affected due to may day effect, from yesterday onwards, it is getting too bad . i don't know what to do ?


 5:42 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Getting different results on every PC in my office. Low traffic volume and no sales. Competitor site is bangin' away with sales yet ranking two or three position below me. MFA site has usurped yet another of my #1 positions today. Site info has updated.


 5:51 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

traffic affected due to may day effect

Does that mean you've lost long tail traffic?


 6:03 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've noticed that nothing new is being indexed again

Not seeing this on my end. I updated a 2 WordPress sites as well as 1 ecommerce site, all pages/new content was indexed and ranking for onpage "runs of text" within minutes.


 6:09 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone else noticing the "links to your site" section of GWT saying data unavailable this morning?



 6:20 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

@mhansen - that post was two days ago. As we now know, things change on an daily of not hourly basis at Google. Things went unchanged for 5 or 6 days then poof - updated. It looks like back links with targeted anchor text will get you to the top, so some "link building" SEO low life's are using that to it's advantage. The site that has bumped us just popped online a few months ago, yet has over 400 perfectly anchor text'd back links. It looks like paid links, but Google will never take notice.


 7:27 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

@backdraft7 - Most definitely a daily change. I probably should have said that its changed on my end, today...

Maybe there are several indexes we are working to and from, in order to keep us guessing! (I think I read that here before also!)

It looks like back links with targeted anchor text will get you to the top... so some "link building" SEO low life's are using that to it's advantage.

Hasn't that been the case for 10+ years? The only people Google are scaring away with the backlink FUD are the ones trying to play by Matt Cutts' rules. Everyone else is still building links, buying links, spamming the index with links, flying under the radar and ranking well. They often outrank me too!


 8:11 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

My blue-widgets.com site that virtually disappeared from Google rankings about 2 years ago was back on front page for "blue widgets" yesterday and the day before. And gone again today. I never found out why it had disappeared, but now assumed a penalty had been lifted. However, because it's gone again today, yesterday's may have been an old data set? Or is today's an old set and yesterday's the new data set that is settling in?


 10:18 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

@mhansen - It sure has, but as in my case, it took 10+ years to get about 300 natural back links. Now it seems a 3 month old MFA scraper site with 600+ obvious paid back links ranks #1 over night. My point being that all these so called "quality" changes have resulted in even lower quality results. No big surprise there.


 1:38 am on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

A subpage of my test subdomain on wordpress.com just appeared... Strange is: i never linked to that page, just submitted to 10 rss aggregators and put a PR3 link to the start page. guess the RSS guys won the race - which one of the ten is unclear!

Took google 6 days to show a fresh subdomain on a large estate... that is telling us what?

indias next no1

 3:53 am on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

tedster :

seems to be the problem ,but also two words keywords are also loosing traffic


 4:51 am on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I see some comments about 22 oct effect.

I recover my sites, and the main problem was duplicate problem...


 6:17 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

No sales all day - not traffic to key pages - yesterday a 2 hour window opened up with one sale every 10 minutes...then BOOM shut down for 24 hours. How can that be? Working on a possible WMT problem that I previously assumed was not a problem. [webmasterworld.com...]


 7:55 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

If your website is crap and has had success, dont get mad if one day google finally discovers your website is crap.

LOL, I love the way you put that. Obviously the word is used to describe evrything from the latest pop music to many/most microsoft products and of course , there is crap and then there is total crap and all the shades in between, kinda crappy, pretty crappy etc.
Made me think, he's right. OMG my site is crap !
Its started out great years ago, I was one of the first to elaborate on the theme in a non spammy way, made original content, first to do this and that. Was quickly copied, imitated, scraped etc and couldnt keep up with the advanced programmers who have way more skill, experience, and freinds in the right places like some famous (i wont say it) directories for instance . Mostly though i didnt have time due to complications in my home life and my own mismanagement of some elements of life.

I can accept, and i think a lot of guys just don't want to accept, that they are being left in the dust by the competition because a lot of the comp are pretty damn good programmers really. Even my sabatuers, fkers that they are, i have to give em credit, it is a vicious game, survival is the ultimate ideology.


 8:01 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

walrus, you will be amazed how many clients come to me with something like "my website was penalized and I have no idea why, I was ranking on the top ten for 3 years and now I am losing all my traffic" and then when I look at their site its a doorway/made for adsense/thin affiliate site or something that is totally useless. A lot of peple believe if they rank top ten for a certain amount of time that they deserve to always have those rankings.


 8:28 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Brinked - I'm finding that with Google's new brand and quality algo updates, it's not the doorway, MFA or thin affiliate sites that are griping, simply because they are now at the top of the Google SERP's.
A lot of peple believe if they rank top ten for a certain amount of time that they deserve to always have those rankings.
This is where I disagree on the grounds that although we've ranked well in the organic SERP's all these years, we have always been loyal Adwords customers to supplement those organic results, even for keywords that rank #1. The sites I now see in the top 3 don't pay a dime to adwords and only suck the revenue out of Adsense. As a GOOG stockholder, that rubs me the wrong way.

Walrus - I think we're all feeling the same way. Recent college grads looking for a shortcut to cash can scrape and usurp your site in a second with their fresh knowledge of web design and SEO. Us old timer's who can't keep up will be doomed, unless we hire them. :^D

Google needs to throw out the scrapers - it seems the Google SERP's are now over 50% (or more) thin content sites with the sole purpose of generating Adsense revenue, thanks in part to those "get rich quick with Google Adsense" eBooks.


 11:00 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

backdraft, a lot of people have a genuine reason to be bitter. A lot of quality sites are being hit no doubt. What I am saying is, this update also did some good as well by hitting poor quality sites. If your site is poor quality, you should be more focused on improving your site rather than worrying about your google rankings. I was simply stating what I was experiencing with a lot of new potential clients, if someone comes to me and their site stinks, I am going to let them know even if its not what they want to hear, but they deserve to know the truth.

I do see a flux of poor quality sites sneaking their way up which is unfortunate but I am going to wait until February to pass judgement on google for their latest update.


 11:38 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here is a textbook case of why I dont believe anything anymore.

Site A
- we work on this site daily, 4 people on 2 shifts.
- hundreds of thousands of natural links from gov to fortune 100 bus
- 13 years old
- all high quality handmade content built by experts
- drop dead awesome design
- 25k facebook fans
- 900k stumbles
- 5k twitter followers
- pageload faster then 98.3% of websites
- vanilla SEO
- basically everything Google preaches to do

YoY traffic decrease of 45% from Google

Site B
- 8 year old site
- site was a project I never completed
- terrible design, way out of date
- pageload faster then 50% of websites
- 50 or so IBL's
- no content updated in 8 years
- no social networking
- extremely out of date and borderline useless content
- basically everything Google preaches NOT to do

YoY Google traffic increase of 1700%

There ya go folks, that about sums it all up.


 12:31 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone else noticing the "links to your site" section of GWT saying data unavailable this morning

My data is available, however it was too low. It was in the usual 14 thousand before the December update. Now it shows only 5 thousand "links to your site."

Could this be the reason why my PR dropped from PR3 to PR0? What should I do to regain the PR3?


 1:13 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

@drall - Bingo! and exactly why many of us are slightly perturbed with Google's current SERP's.
@brinked - Oh I agree about the poor sites, but as drall points out, just because it dropped doesn't mean it's a poor site and needs to be completely overhauled.

I also have a site I started a few years ago, then never did anything with, it is a domain centered around one affiliate. It gets about 10 to 20 uniques per day, now, just a few days ago, it shot up to 200 uniques per day and affiliate sales are converting, and it's holding position.
I wonder if this is just a sign that Google is about to cough up a (another) big furball.


 5:53 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

My .02 cents is that anymore the line between "good, quality content" and MFA sites is VERY thin. Even quality informational sites are overrun with on page ads in some cases. It seems the biggest difference between "quality" and MFA is site age. If its been around for a long time and people somewhat recognize the name, it's OK if there are ads everywhere. On the otherhand, if it's a newer, unknown site it's almost immediately classified as MFA.

I'm not sticking up for either of these types of sites or owners but I find it interesting how people on here talk about MFA and scrapers when, in SOME cases, they are(and have been)profiting in the exact same way.

I have a few ecommerce sites only and find most of these "informational" sites to be a nuisance. I have seen VERY few that I personally would not classify as MFA.

I'm probably not making friends saying that but when informational sites that have adsense ads and a little bit of text outrank my sites for "buy widgets" and don't directly sell them, it's irritating.

Yes, we can blame g for giving them that ranking but it's the site owners for creating the problem. "If you give a gun to a monkey(G) and it shoots someone, you don't blame the monkey"


 2:18 pm on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Solve the problem by not running adwords on non google sites.
Stop perpetuating the scam. Cut back your adwords spending.

We abandoned a site in 2005 that we were using to support a client. It has one ibl. It gets 150 UVs a day. Before may it got less than 5, jumped to 40-45 and in oct jumped to 110. Early this month it hit 150.

The last time a page was updated was in the news section on may 10th 2005.

Google search traffic went from 3 to 120 in the last nine months. That's a slick algorithm.


 2:50 pm on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is very interesting that old abandoned sites are ranking high, yet current branded sites are dropping.
It all goes against what Google claims about these "quality" updates. Google SERPS may now be faster, but faster at finding junk is useless. I still hear a furball coming up - ack, ack, ack....estimated ETA is Dec 26th.

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