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Google Updates and SERP Changes - January 2011

 10:26 am on Jan 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

It looks like the consensus is that throttling 'does' exist.

When did G begin employing it?

What determines a website's 'share' of traffic?

Has Matt C ever been asked about this?

[edited by: tedster at 6:51 pm (utc) on Jan 2, 2011]



 4:04 pm on Jan 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sorry, Sam - there are too many assumptions in those questions. We just don't know enough about whatever this is.

Suggestive observations go back at least two years - but as far as I know, no one at Google has made any public comment about this theory to explain those observations. and it's important not to jump to any conclusions just based on a consensus, since we don't have a "smokng gun" at this point in time. Very few people have actually contributed any data to the theory so far.


 12:19 pm on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yesterday my Google traffic spiked. I got twice as much as "normal".


 3:40 pm on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

My Google traffic has been higher than I would expect since about December 29th.

Does anyone know if there has been a data refresh? It looks like more pages of my site are showing up than previously had been.


 5:01 pm on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

There does seem to be an increase in google traffic since dec end to some sites...

I am sorry if this is totally irrelevant but has anyone of you tried duckduckgo.com? I find it to be almost a google in terms of results. Amazing!


 6:08 pm on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know if there has been a data refresh?

Yeah, data is being refreshed constantly, mostly on the fly since Caffeine was introduced.


 2:54 am on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)


anyone else seeing that when you are logged in to Google that the Search results are now coming from a SSL URL,
i had a nasty surprise this morning when checking Referrals, with a huge drop from Google!
i now see the home page URL as this:

not sure what i can do about this as it would appear that a large percentage of my users are automatically logged in to Google.



 4:53 am on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I tried it logged in and did not get switched to SSL. Did this happen when you were on a smartphone or a laptop/desktop?


 5:05 am on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's SSL Beta... Saw it yesterday, but not today (loged in) on laptop/desktop.

My guess is it's either on and off for everyone or 'limited' to N users at a time... Could be N logged in users or N of all users didn't check both ways, just noticed it was different.


 5:47 am on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

yea seems to be switching on or off depending on the DC, so maybe its not the major cause of my Google ref's drop.

i'm on my desktop atm but I've seen this on my laptop also.

seems to flick in every now and again, I've cleared all my machines down so history cookies etc, and it appears to redirect more often to the SSL beta when you've come from Gmail or other a secure Program but not always, i've had it appear on signing in from the home page as well.



 9:10 am on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Might be browser history forcing you to SSL version. I've seen this reported elsewhere.


 2:49 pm on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't see SSL version of search results.


 9:30 am on Jan 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I can confirm today that for no apparent reason on one visit to the google homepage I was automatically redirected to the SSL version, only happened once maybe as I immediately told it to return to "classic Google"


 9:24 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Can I throttle Google back?


 9:30 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Something brewing -- my spidey senses are tingling ... well, the test phrases I use to see if something is brewing have returned strange results. ;)

Anyone else seeing increasingly stale results over the past week?


 9:42 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Extremely stale. Maybe Google's going down like the Titanic. Or is that just wishful thinking?


 1:59 pm on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

my spidey senses are tingling

that is actually very funny :-)

from where I sit and watch: End of October things turned bad. 10-15% traffic loss for me, after I recovered fully from Mayday end of June and traffic was nicely going up since then. November and December looked like "throttled" and right after Christmas, the site was back to the pre-20ish of October level.

They are shuffling the SERPs around. Yet it is hard to say if it is a major algo change or just the usual tweaks.


 6:33 pm on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

On Hacker News, there were a whole bunch of comments talking about the Coding Horror 'Trouble in the house of Google' blog post.

Two Google employees (Matt Cutts and another, whose name I forget but begins with M) were replying in the thread, and the latter Google employee did mention that Google have been working on something since the Coding Horror post and that it'll be out 'soon'.

So perhaps we are seeing some pre algo change jitters?

(I'll hunt around for the link and comments in an hour)

EDIT: I was wrong, it's at this post:


The comment which implies something is going to change soon is:

64 points by moultano 2 days ago | link

We're working on it (as always.) There is a big improvement inspired by the stackoverflow post on its way shortly.


 9:05 pm on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

"So perhaps we are seeing some pre algo change jitters?"

We sure are, which I suggest will become very evident soon.


 8:06 am on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Have seen a big shuffle in my results today (UK) for my keywords.... anyonme else seeing this? Not happy!


 8:15 am on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

On performing a check on the google datacentres.... my results are normal and where they should be. The reaults I'm seeing on my browsers are very different as of last night!

Anyone confirm similar?

Thanks - Pudders


 10:40 am on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Noticed that I had hits from "toolbar.google.com" last night and also over the w'end. Been reading on other sites that most think there is an update in Jan... if not right now!

Out of interest - is there a shuffle of SERPS whilst the PR update is going on?

Martin Ice Web

 10:56 am on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

im a little bit surprised by the fact that nobody complain about the bad g -serps. Just for my reassurance did things work out for you or are you still stuck in subsurfaces of g serps?
We are still suffering.


 11:25 am on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)


They only happened last night for us.. but as I said - querying the Google Data Centre servers direct reports our SERPs to be normal!

When did this happen for you?


 11:41 am on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Pudders, which DC are you seeing this 'big shuffle' ?


 12:05 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)


Sorry for being nieve but not sure how to check which DC I point to.. when I check on [webrankinfo.com ] my results come back as how they have been for mmonths!

How can I check which DC I point to?

IE is my preferred browser but when I check using FFox, I see my normal SERPS ponting at DC (


 12:26 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes that is the current DC for google.co.uk

Add this &gl=uk and you very likely to see the same results on others DCs



 12:43 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)


Thanks for that... my results seem normal with your checks... so what DC is pulling shuffled results to my default IE browser? How come I am seeing dropped results?

Cheers - Pudders


 4:08 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

As of 16:00hrs GMT my results have come back but expect them to shuffle again over the coming week if G is up to algo jitters


 3:55 am on Jan 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

We've seen a slight drop across a few sites starting yesterday the 10th. Seems to be continuing today. Probably down about 8% evenly across multiple sites.

Thought maybe it was the BCS championship game yesterday. But seems to be down the same percentage today.

This 56 message thread spans 2 pages: 56 ( [1] 2 > >
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