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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]

 

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.

AlyssaS




msg:4264036
 4:08 am on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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.


I'm also seeing a site that got filtered on 31st Dec, restored to it's original position. Might be temporary though.

On other forums they are saying new sites are dropping. I wonder if this is a filter down to age somehow (either site or links).The site of mine that's returned is over ten months old.

How old is your site?

imbckagn




msg:4264047
 5:20 am on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Mine is about 3 years old. There are two sets of serps out right now. I can see the newer one we are talking about and the previous flipping back and forth with every search.

87rob




msg:4264122
 12:39 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

My site is 12 years old and has just been destroyed in the google.co.uk SERPS. Yesterday the 20 keywords we were monitoring dropped 20-100 positions from the 1st - 4th pages.

We haven't a clue what has happened? We only offer useful, unique content. Hoping its a glitch in the Google algo that will revert soon?!

In the meantime Google are having no problems taking our money on Adwords

trinorthlighting




msg:4264135
 1:30 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have seen some major issues since the 26th.

1. In webmaster tools, my crawl errors skyrocketed and google can not even show me the url the crawl error is linked from.

2. The page speed section has not updated since the 26th of January (On all 7 of my websites)

3. I have seen massive Google crawling the past few days.

It makes me think their latest "algo" change was not so great and now they are tweaking it. I am seeing fluctuations as well.....

tigger




msg:4264146
 2:18 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

@87rob

you know the answer don't you ? spread the risk! don't rely on one site alone and over a 12 year period you should be looking towards 10-20 sites rather than all your income eggs relent on one site - I work within a very competitive field and good few years back knew resting all my income on one site was madness. I now have 50 some pull good traffic others just tick over but I'm not relying on one

AlyssaS




msg:4264163
 3:08 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Something definitely happened yesterday. A competitor to one of my other sites disappeared.

He has a lot of copy/paste filler on his site, and disappeared when the scraper/duplicate update was first announced, but got restored to the SERPs a few days later. Now he's gone again. His site is over a year old.

oodlum




msg:4264164
 3:17 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

you know the answer don't you ? spread the risk! don't rely on one site alone and over a 12 year period you should be looking towards 10-20 sites rather than all your income eggs relent on one site - I work within a very competitive field and good few years back knew resting all my income on one site was madness. I now have 50 some pull good traffic others just tick over but I'm not relying on one


True for a lot of webmasters but it's not always about affiliate/advertising revenue. For many people, their website reflects their business. Dan's Dentistry or Ted the Builder don't want 20 web sites. Or anyone with a strong brand, for that matter. Not to say they should rely on Google traffic. They need to diversify their traffic, not their sites.

[edited by: oodlum at 3:31 pm (utc) on Feb 8, 2011]

tigger




msg:4264172
 3:30 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

True for a lot of webmasters but for many people, their website reflects their business. Dan's Dentistry or Ted the Builder don't want 20 web sites. Or anyone with a strong brand, for that matter.

It's not always about affiliate/advertising revenue.


Agree when its a business / brand it makes it a little more hard work, but it can be done - relying on one site is madness not unless your going to spend cash on Adwords every time G tweaks things not in your favor

AlyssaS




msg:4264183
 3:48 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

True for a lot of webmasters but it's not always about affiliate/advertising revenue. For many people, their website reflects their business.


Yes - but it makes sense for a brand business to buy up all the versions of their domain name - brand.org, brand.net etc, otherwise they get other people trying to use their reputation to piggy back up the serps.

They can always redirect them to the main site, but need take care that the backlink profiles to all the secondary sites are quite different, so that they don't all get taken out of the SERPs at once if there is an algo change

MelissaLB




msg:4264266
 5:53 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

We noticed a bit of a 'flutter' in Google serps today. We're in panic mode still after steadily losing our serps since Oct and being hit really hard mid Nov and again Dec 28th. So us noticing something may not necessarily correspond with a lot of others...

-We had one keyword that maintained front page placement (fell from #2 to #5) Beginning of last week it fell to page 2 and today it's back at #5 where it has been for months.

-We've also noticed the lack of Site Performance update in WMT. As well, we've noticed today that all of our 'Links to site' stats are missing.

-Noticing a few times yesterday where our Analytics didn't report. It was like there was an outage for 20 or 30 minutes 3 different times. Unsure why and if it was just us.

-When we did a search on our company name (the name in the url) we are used to seeing our homepage followed by 2 other top category pages from our site. Today did not return those results, it was listed as homepage, twitter page, tumblr page. Anyone else see something similar.

trinorthlighting




msg:4264332
 7:48 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would hang on before making changes. It is evident that Google rolled out an algo change and now they seem to be rolling it back and changing it. Give it another week until the dust settles.

backdraft7




msg:4264346
 8:09 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure it's a complete rollback, but changes are afoot again. It may also be that the dust is already settling because I am noticing blog posts being picked up quickly and cache dates being updated. That seems to happen AFTER the algo has completed it's initial shake & bake process.

TyMax




msg:4264349
 8:19 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am holding out for a week or so before I make any major changes and hoping the Google editors find a way to reduce or eliminate the false positives that it seems have taken out good relevant web pages that have ranked well for many years.

The current changes have caused the SERPS to have odd duplications and eliminate pages that have been benchmarks for sometime. I wonder if some of those page,s content has been borrowed or duplicated by many other sites, making them look like duplicate pages when in fact the were the original source.

Plus results seems solid else where and changes could have a negative impact on those rankings.

mromero




msg:4264419
 10:34 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

So far so good.

Using the G image search today for widget girl saw one of our great images and a duplicate as well. Hovering over the duplicate shocked to find it is on a Twitter account.

Follow that by cutting and pasting the url find it is a Twitter spammer tweeting about upsk irt and na sty things using our copyright image as his profile.

Just fired off an angry message tweet to the scrapper sucker. If no take down will write Twitter.......

backdraft7




msg:4264426
 11:12 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

traffic sure hit the brakes today...very low apache volume. It's almost like trying to run a business on a third world phone system. Hello, my name Peggy...please hold, click, bzzzzz!

backdraft7




msg:4264689
 4:06 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Low traffic again today...sales mediocre, low side of low. Keyword results resemble Mexican jumping beans.

Jez123




msg:4264720
 4:45 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

My main SERP went from #3 to #7. Looks like it's churning here again.

Same as you bd7, low to non existent sales and low traffic. Plus I just picked the kids up from school and they are driving me crazy ! :-)

tristanperry




msg:4264722
 4:59 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does seem to have been some sort of algo shift on the 7th. I didn't notice any major SERP (nor traffic) changes with my main site, but I know a fair number of people who did see changes (in some cases massive SERP drops).

87rob




msg:4264729
 5:07 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Can you see any common themes running through the sites that have been affected? I've been digging for days and can't get to the bottom of my problem (other than not having 50 sites - as tigger pointed out)

mromero




msg:4264732
 5:09 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes, they appear go have lurched for the dials again yesterday and today.

Seeing Wikipedia as usual hogging the top stop, an old U.S state dept. page, an outdated CIA page (now who would trust them?); an old page from the BBC, and even a fragment of an Lost Planet book contaminating *cough* dominating one niche ;o)

This would be funny if it were not weird.

I vote for it to be called the Jankanu dance February 2011 Edition.

I guess back to the same old G....

backdraft7




msg:4264747
 5:20 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Perhaps is was a coincidence, but when we did rebound for a few days there, each of the three days had identical sales, Friday through Sunday. Fridays are usually very slow and Sunday's are usually very HOT, yet all three days were identical. Not sure how Google does this, unless they are metering us with their analytics, even though I have not set up any goals. If David Blaine can make a card appear out of thin air, then I'm sure Google can make us disappear at will.

mromero




msg:4264757
 5:34 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I try the check and I get three different sets of results in Fire Fox, I.E. and Chrome.

Either they are fiddling with the dials or spying on me and showing me what I would like to see ;o)

scottsonline




msg:4264778
 6:14 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've been away. Lost my job at the end of December. The company I was with took a brutal beating from google and our positions were eliminated. But I keep in touch and wanted to update.

Sales rebounded by triple in January before dying again the last few days of January/first few days of February. One competitor dominates the top ten spots by running five mirrors. They change the keyword for each product and google can't help itself

Blue fussy widget
Cute wide widget
Widget with attitude
Keyword keyword widget

Each site carries the identical keyword placed before the product name. It's hysterical that google cannot figure this out in 2011 when the ssl, address and even the chat all ties back to one account but they are powerless

I thought searches in January were good. February is junk again.

backdraft7




msg:4264834
 8:04 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

@scotts - sorry to hear about this. It infuriates me that the people who are suffering the worst from these so called "quality" updates are real business owners and the ones still profiting are the scum bag scrapers and black hat artists. This isn't just bad news for the industry, it' disastrous. So far I've seen only one certain effect from these algo updates...it's that they've put many good businesses to death while rewarding that which they claim to be combating.

Jez123




msg:4265051
 8:56 am on Feb 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

@scottsonline - Sorry to hear that. I hope you don't struggle to step into a new position.

@backdraft7 - Yeah, I see at least 3 of my main competitors have at least 1 mirror site linking to the other. They are bullet proof it seems. Maybe one day a stance will be taken against this practice. Every update if they move from their position I think, hey, maybe this time - but no! I won't stoop to it as the second I do - that'll be the day that the ton of bricks falls!

Jonny6




msg:4265117
 12:32 pm on Feb 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing lots of changes in the UK Serps, bit of shuffling around in the top 100, but most significantly there are huge changes lower down the serps;

Significant increase in
1.unrelated sites with one mention of the keywords
2.totally unrelated sites with no mention of keywords
3.poor quality articles
4.poor quality blogs
5.google books
6.old pages from BBc
7.more foreign sites, fr.wikipedia?

Mixed in with above junk are quite a few good sites, even some authority sites, either false positives or penalized?

Very Wierd !

indyank




msg:4265127
 1:05 pm on Feb 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

1.unrelated sites with one mention of the keywords


more mentions are usually associated with spams

2.totally unrelated sites with no mention of keywords


If it is relevant to what is searched, then google has got strong signals of it being more relevant! This is one thing that they had been working on for sometime.They even change titles for them.

3.poor quality articles
4.poor quality blogs


Opinions differ from person to person and what matters is what google thinks about them.


5.google books


If they are on topic, they may not have been written so poorly as other junk pieces on the web.

6.old pages from BBc


Google may have found them to be relevant to this date!

7.more foreign sites, fr.wikipedia?


I am not sure what you mean by foreign sites, but wikipedia is always in the good books of google.

Jonny6




msg:4265138
 1:47 pm on Feb 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

1. These are not spammy sites, just unrelated

2. Now had a chance to look at some of these, two in particular, both profile pages, one just has "Sorry, this account is no longer active", they both have <30 very low quality profile links to them with the keywords, looks as though some blackhatter has been testing Google ;( and it worked !

3/4.Nah, these are just crap, ehow and worse

5. Totally unrelated to the keywords, not only that but the sheer number of them

6. Good but short content, some relevance.

8. Yes but its in FRENCH ! also there are more foreign ccTLDs .za .au .nz .ca .se

The point is there is an increased number of far worse results low in the serps compared to previously, secondly this crap is outranking some very good sites, which I can only assume have been penalized for some reason or another, and perhaps unjustifiably so?)

Jonny6




msg:4265147
 2:12 pm on Feb 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Referring to my comment above, about some authority sites, two sites in particular stand out, they are both the manufacturers of the actual product.

google.com - both are on page 4

google.co.uk - they are both next to each other on page 49 ! with all the above described crap in front of them :(

scottsonline




msg:4265152
 2:20 pm on Feb 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks I'm still looking the job market is bleak in the USA still.

Google is failing to follow and enforce their own rules. How can a company run five sites using a different scheme on each one offering the same product to the penny but not get filtered?
It's keyword spam and they don't care.

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