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Google Updates and SERP Changes - February 2011
tedster




msg:4261946
 11:19 pm on Feb 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

< continued from: [webmasterworld.com...] >
< active thread: [webmasterworld.com...] >


Related AdSense Farm Update < continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >


It's a new month and our regular SERP watching thread has been neglected a bit lately. Most of the posting right now is on dedicated threads focused on specific changes - especially the Scraping algo change [webmasterworld.com] and the promised (but not yet active) campaign against Content Farms [webmasterworld.com].

But Google's perpetual update machine keeps on turning. I'm particularly wondering about sites that publish a lot of legitimately syndicated content rather than a lot of original content. Did your rankings and traffic wobble with the "dupe content update"? If they dropped, did they rebound?

I'm watching one such website and though they are mostly republished content, nothing seemed to change.

[edited by: tedster at 6:00 pm (utc) on Feb 4, 2011]

[edited by: tedster at 8:38 pm (utc) on Feb 26, 2011]

 

indyank




msg:4262579
 3:31 am on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Tymax,

Check out the canonical url too. See whether you have specified it correctly.You can probably block via robots.txt, all urls with question marks in them, if they are not relevant.

backdraft7




msg:4262606
 4:44 am on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

@indy - I am ranking for the same ones I have ranked for in the past 5 to 10 years. I can compare today's results the results I was getting a month ago, a year or more ago and they are within the scope that converted in the past. The algo needs to shake & bake. I still think it's now a waiting game...it always is.

motorcyclexhaust




msg:4262652
 7:37 am on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Two Thirds of the country is frozen...

TyMax




msg:4262769
 1:24 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

@indyank, I was not using a canonical url or link on that page, or any site pages. I could have been hacked but I do not think that is the problem in total. I notice other results for the niche market we are in are all coming in odd, not like they do on Bing which was about the same as Google.

Makes me wonder if Google maybe making changes to throw off Bing's index checking. All I know if on Bing/Yahoo and others things are fine, but Google has eliminated the main information page we used that provided high placement for a wide range of keywords for our industry.

The page was in place many years as a go to place for other sites to better learn termination for global and domestic terms for the products we carry. When I started our website back in 1996 different products were often called by the same term. It was confusing so I put the page together and as new companies opened websites many would borrow my terms.

I say borrow rather than steal since they were not copying the site. I could tell they were just learning and adjusting to what I had posted. Some have stolen whole title and keyword and description word for word. These people I sent polite emails to. So the page was a bench mark, but maybe it was to good? So Google has flagged it as a false positive for spam?

Most of my other pages still rank well but I see changes there too which has me worried what Google is changing and how it will effect sites that have a long history of highly relevant information. I know Google does not like redundancy so some years back in eliminated via robot and tags pages that could have been crawled and looked at as redundant.

Like many I have watched Google change over the years and will hold tight a week or more to see what is all going on before I look at making changes. You use to be able to email Google and get a reply as to what your site issue might be, those times are long gone.

indyank




msg:4262774
 1:44 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

As i said earlier, google might have filtered it as duplicate content.So, do try to block other urls (like the ones that you said) using robots.txt.

Remember that google has made changes to demote copycat pages and there is no guarantee that it might not have affected you now, though the duplication happens within your own site.

In any case, I would just like to have one url for a content page, rather than multiple urls.

Canonical url was introduced for this and it had worked well for me on wordpress with the platinum seo plugin and I haven't seen any issues so far.

[edited by: indyank at 1:48 pm (utc) on Feb 4, 2011]

kellyman




msg:4262775
 1:44 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ive seen mt traffic up 68% no big changes for me in the serps, im uk based strange but not complaining

TyMax




msg:4262785
 2:02 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

@indyank I read some last night and robots.txt is a option I plan on but it mentioned this was a last result option. The suggestion I used was to use Google webmaster tools and try to filter it with Parameter tool. If that does not work robots.txt is next option.

I have been reading more about "Canonical url" and looking at wordpress with the platinum seo plugin. I had a laptop stolen early November but changed all pass words etc within 48 hours on the 50+ domains I work with in one way other another. Canonical is the way to go but I am still reading how it is best used. A bit confusing for me, but then I am dyslexic.

backdraft7




msg:4262821
 3:15 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Two Thirds of the country is frozen...


So what? Are the electrons and photons frozen in the network cables?
Usually a cold snap means everyone is online, which maybe the other problem.
[internettrafficreport.com ] has had the US at 75% for the past week.
That's a pretty low index...it seem to get lower, and lower....too many iPhones streaming video.

Our network infrastructure is outdated already, IPv4 ready to max out in a few weeks, no solution in sight?
It's not much different than bridges that collapse when not maintained. The unbridled explosion of network devices could bring the web to it's knees fir the next few years as networks scramble to upgrade to IPv6.

In the mean time, let's just blame Google. ;^)

Jez123




msg:4262877
 5:41 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)


Ive seen mt traffic up 68% no big changes for me in the serps, im uk based strange but not complaining


It's wierd how this is as my traffic was about the same as I got on Christmas day (ie, low) yesterday. In fact the lowest I have know it since the site got sent to oblivion in an update (Florida of something like that). My SERPs are healthy too. 2, 2, 3 for my main phrases.

It all seems so random. The only stroy I fully identify with is backdraft7's apart from now I have low AND Zombie traffic! Lucky me. The amount of pricing I have done is 2 3rds down on last week and even more down on actual orders. Last week was the best week I have had since pre Christmas (but it all started going wring in Sept / Oct)

backdraft7




msg:4262880
 6:00 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Jez - It always seems we are in the same boat. I'm really surprised more people aren't in here screaming about low traffic / sales. My sales have been steadily lower starting on Tuesday. It first started to become erratic at the end of last week with slow mornings followed by busy afternoons which made up the difference. The weekend was good too, but erratic. Tuesday though, the rug was pulled out and it's been progressively worse since then. This is probably the worst run in our sites entire history. I'm wondering if we're getting whacked as a false positive.

I've taken the opportunity to flush the old content out of my blog and do some more housekeeping. In a way these outages are a good thing because improvements are made. When things are running like clockwork I rarely make changes or improvement in fear of upsetting the apple cart. Well, the apples are all over the ground right now, so there's work to be done.

The scraper / garbage sites are thriving though...remember, nice guys finish last.

g1smd




msg:4263039
 9:51 am on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

what in the world is ?ref=Klasistanbul.Com?
It's a duplicate content URL, created when some other site linked to a non-canonical URL for your content. The problem is that your site served it with HTTP status 200 OK instead of correctly returning either 404 Not Found or else a 301 redirect to the correct URL for that content.
Hissingsid




msg:4263049
 10:42 am on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone else (in the UK) notice some tinkering with semantics. There's one term that, for the last 10 days of so, if I add UK to the end returns results similar to previous ones but without UK in the term my site and a couple of other serious contenders drop down a page.

This could be a co-incidence, like for example if something had happened to an important site that back linked to my site and others I'm seeing affected. My reason for asking the question here is to establish if others have seen Google tinkering.

By the way this is just for one two word term and the other terms I follow are not affected.

Cheers

Sid

badjocks




msg:4263064
 1:04 pm on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Whatever changed from 2/3 to 2/4 has wiped me out as well. Terms I have been ranking Top Ten for for years are gone. The main part of my site still shows up as do blog posts, but archives and specific topic pages all wiped out of the results.

Edge




msg:4263066
 2:20 pm on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, a significant competitor PR dropped from a six to a four on their home page and back links fell off the chart. They still have the links, just not counted as important. My back-links and PR is stable so, Iím doing fine.

Interesting, I canít figure out what happened to my competitorís PR or back-linksÖ

mromero




msg:4263181
 3:29 am on Feb 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

AlyssaS - Thanks a million for the link. For some time now we have had friends in different countries check our rankings and have found a wide disparity. In our country we are highly ranked. In others, especially the U.S. low.

The link confirms this and shows old pages from the U.S. state dept., a church etc. ranking higher. It appears the G index for U.S. is mixed up.

Worse, we found two of our STOLEN images ranked on the first page of G Image Search, and parts of our original and stolen articles in other sites AHEAD of us.

If it is one thing that this current state affairs is in, it is that it is fingering the people who are stealing our content and images and ranking higher than us.

Angrily writing letters to the content thieves and their hosts now.

Crush




msg:4263373
 10:02 pm on Feb 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

We have one site filtered with a ton of dupe, surprised it has stayed this long( about 4 years) but it has a ton of mega strong links from when we bought it. I got so used to seeing it in the serps I thought google would never take it out. It was a pr 7 when we bought it, still is a 6.

Should not have been so lazy and made some more content.

I think this thread with "I am seeing no changes"etc is only relevant to those of you who have similar sites.

So I can with 99% certainty say that google is now notching up filtering sites that have too much related content.

anteck




msg:4263476
 7:13 am on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hey gduffield, sucks to hear about your situation. I know the feeling well, as do others i suspect on here, having gone through that personally.

It's tough to hear Google rabbit on about quality, put heaps of working into delivering that quality, only to get deranked by a crap site.

It's even tougher to hear Matt Cutts from Google say 'we've fixed something' when in reality they have screwed it up...

Spencer




msg:4263488
 8:40 am on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

"hear Matt Cutts from Google say 'we've fixed something' when in reality they have screwed it up" ...

I don't think they're screwing up, just enacting a process that will eventually lead to the end of the SEO business. Google [IMHO] is fed up of the parasitic behaviour of the SEO world and wants an end to it. There are so many signs that it is happening already, with SEO companies turning to social media and classic ad placement in favour of thousands of hours of SEO development being flushed down the pan by another Google Update. SEO is becoming a waste of time and there is nothing that good business hates more than that ;-)

anteck




msg:4263491
 9:01 am on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Spencer, i was referring to the concept of scraper sites ranking higher then the original material. Matt Cutt's said a fix was put out, but as gduffield and myself have experienced, it's simply not working.

Crush




msg:4263537
 12:26 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

buy adwords, less stress and a defined revenue strategy. I see seo as a bonus these days.

indyank




msg:4263575
 1:35 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think they're screwing up, just enacting a process that will eventually lead to the end of the SEO business. Google [IMHO] is fed up of the parasitic behaviour of the SEO world and wants an end to it. There are so many signs that it is happening already, with SEO companies turning to social media and classic ad placement in favour of thousands of hours of SEO development being flushed down the pan by another Google Update. SEO is becoming a waste of time and there is nothing that good business hates more than that ;-)


yes, the focus of high profile SEOs has been gradually shifting to social media and they are even successful in convincing the googlers who matter, that spamming is not easy there ... :)

TyMax




msg:4263643
 3:57 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

@g1smd, thanks, my 404 was not set up correctly and I now see someone is setting up some other site linked to a non-canonical URL for your content. Could be multiple. I have made changes in Webmaster tools on Google and correcting my 404.

@g1smd I appreciate the feedback.

mromero




msg:4263651
 4:14 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks to the link AlyssaS posted we found several content thieves thanks to the G U.S. index.

Below is an example response from a very indignant thief who at first said he had no knowledge of what we were talking about. I do not know if these folks are illiterate, spooked or maybe English is not their first language but they did take down our material:

"All references to Your web site have been successfully deleted including any links to Your web site..
.Its unfortunate that Individuals like Yourself act in such a RUDE and CARIOUS Manner...You are
rest assured that none of Our 200,000 annual viewers or any one We know will be directed you Your
web Site in the Future...

"If all People like Yourself act in such a rude and Hostile manner You can rest assured that You will get very few visitors in the Future especially to Your Web site"

chrisranjana




msg:4263661
 4:25 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a point to make, I know a website which copies craigslist postings word for word and republishes them. how come it ranks much higher than the actual craigslist posting ?

TyMax




msg:4263760
 6:16 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

@g1smd or anyone who may know, is there a way to trace whom ever is site linked to a non-canonical URL for my site's content?

imbckagn




msg:4263849
 8:23 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I see a lot of big changes today in the SERPs...

Rlilly




msg:4263958
 11:00 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I do too, I also see Google lagging behind getting new pages indexed and positioned were they should be.

AlyssaS




msg:4263996
 11:40 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

mromero - glad you are getting somewhere.

Re the quote you gave of the response of the thieves - you need to make it plain that it's not links to you that you want deleted, but the actual text they've stolen deleted. It sounds like they have just removed links!

If they are monetising with Adsense, and they don't take your text down, shop them to G using the following:

[google.com...]

brinked




msg:4264010
 1:07 am on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

lots of nice changes today. I am seeing some duplicate sites being punished.

mromero




msg:4264019
 2:17 am on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks AlyssaS.

They removed our content and in spite I guess, also the links. It does not matter. We own widgets.com thus have some Teflon coating to cope with dropped links. No way they have 200,000 visitors.....just B.S.

But the following day gained a couple of links from a good site that had broken links to us.

Just a little work to write the author and when she was clueless (the CMS was inserting trailing blank spaces), wrote to the editors and the links were fixed.

Webmaster tools found the broken links for us - good practice to log in and check those logs.

imbckagn




msg:4264032
 3:45 am on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

lots of nice changes today. I am seeing some duplicate sites being punished.


I don't want to jinx myself but my main site seems to be coming out of a filter it's been stuck in since this all started May 4th. I see lots of garbage sites getting pushed down.

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