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This 245 message thread spans 9 pages: < < 245 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - February 2011 part 2
boirun03




msg:4273008
 6:39 pm on Feb 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

But, I believe that Google now prefers sites with a much higher percentage of "valuable" pages. If you don't meet the percentage value determination, whatever that is, you get whacked.

I tend to agree with Fred. This is what I am finding as well.

[edited by: tedster at 8:00 pm (utc) on Feb 26, 2011]

 

dataguy




msg:4273744
 5:23 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's common for the Googlebot to crawl sites at an accelerated speed after an update. This has been happening to my site today... part of the day the crawl rate has been over 5x the normal rate.

I don't think this is outside of the norm. Actually, referrals from Google have been more consistent hour over hour than it has been in weeks.

On a different note, Analytics reports that traffic has been down for my site Saturday because of a reduction in visitors from London. I hope this means that the change has rolled out outside of the U.S. now and I haven't seen much of a difference.

I'd love to hear from others regarding what their Analytics Intelligence reports and if they have seen a change in the number of referrals from outside the U.S.

brianp




msg:4273745
 5:46 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hey Webmasters,

Long time lurker for many years...just thought I'd offer some perspective from what we've seen with this update.

First, our site is an e-Commerce site that actually sells and ships a product. We've been doing this since 2002 and have a strong presence in our industry. Our name recognition is so strong the top three keywords to get to our website is a variation on our company name.

We have had no real link building program, all of our external links are from either satisfied customers or trade types who review our products. The vast majority of products we sell are products we are the sole source for or manufactured ourselves.

What we've seen from this update is about a 7-9% decrease in Google traffic. Sales and revenue is nearly unchanged, but I would say the main reason for that is our brand is so strong that people search for US to buy our widgets, not searching for our widgets.

Perhaps the most annoying thing we've seen however is many keywords for our widgets now have the top 1-5 spots occupied by expired auctions or old sales by our customers on major sites. I know we can't list keywords or links, but we're pretty much the only company with these items in stock, and we've dropped from #1 or #2 down to #5-6 to be replaced by the closed/expired auctions from various major auction/sales sites.

This update has given us some incentive to add Google Rich Snippets to show we have items in stock, price, and ratings. While I don't think it will short-term improve this, I think the logical evolution for E-Commerce SERPs will eventually be factored in by criteria like price and availability.

In the mean time, we would encourage all Webmasters to REPORT SPAM to Google. Our IT department is spending hours looking for it and Google has taken action. I honestly believe they want to have the best possible search results, so lets help them achieve this goal.

tedster




msg:4273750
 6:11 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Welcome to active posting brianp. I'm wondering if you can see any specific traits about the pages or keywords where you lost traffic.

I know it's still early - and things may well change again soon. But right now it's like the algo only has partial clothing and sometimes you can see parts that get covered up later on.

Birdmaru




msg:4273755
 6:41 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

How google judge which site is high quality? I still found a lot of sites that created by script at the high ranking.

SEOPTI




msg:4273757
 6:48 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

lol, everything is created by scripts these days, or how do you want to pull data from a db, you usually use a script ;)

castor_t




msg:4273760
 7:08 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I noticed that for most of my keywords I went up one or two positions today compared to the drop on the "Farmer Algo" day.

walkman




msg:4273764
 7:28 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

But, I believe that Google now prefers sites with a much higher percentage of "valuable" pages. If you don't meet the percentage value determination, whatever that is, you get whacked.

This makes perfect sense.

But on some sites the member pages, tags etc can easily be more than content pages.

tedster




msg:4273765
 7:37 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes, it does make sense, but I don't see evidence of this in practice - got data? What I see is Google not keeping weak pages in the index, but good pages can still rank even if there are only a few.

There are some kinds of sitewide factors in play - Matt Cutts made mention of them several times. But I'm not zeroing in on what they are. Even this new Farm update seems to be executed page-wise, and not site-wide.

walkman




msg:4273767
 7:43 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Tedster,
it's very unlikely that 80-90% or so of suite101, buzzle and other sites were 'bad,' (compared to ehow) there has to be something sitewide there. Even a relatively small, say, 5 point drop on a 100 scale it's major enough.

jeje1314




msg:4273770
 8:01 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Oh,my god!

jeje1314




msg:4273771
 8:01 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Oh,my god!

Rhonie




msg:4273772
 8:02 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

brianp, I absolutely agree with you 100%. I really think this is what Google is after also. From what you explained that you have done everything correctly with your website, and I think at this day and time that Google may be doing some experimentation to make this come true. I do think that this will take some time to work out the problems here and there, but myself using Google for many years the bugs will be fixed shortly that will give better results to active web pages with the correct content.
A company like Google or any company will not survive unless they are constantly improving their product so it never becomes boring to their customer base.
Any user of the internet will tell you that Google has gotten bogged down with always seeing the same stale old sites, with copied content at the top of the Google search page. When I say this I mean sites that have been sitting around for years with content that is either irrelevant now or is outdated.
Case in point when I do a Google search for my website, under me is a website forum that has not posted something new in that category since 2007, but yet it remains #2 on the results page. In some countries in the world it is #1 and I am #2.
I cannot complain however, because if someone searches for an exact search term for my website, they will see that I return over 55 pages of only results that relate to my website, with over 6,000 total returns, under 4 different domains. I don't think I can ask for more than that.

jeje1314




msg:4273776
 8:07 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think Google did very well

SEOPTI




msg:4273784
 8:58 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

jeje1314 is a f****cking bot!

pontifex




msg:4273797
 10:15 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

@brianp: yep, welcome to writing :-)

In the mean time, we would encourage all Webmasters to REPORT SPAM to Google


That are good intentions, but has 2 implications:

a) a lot of people try to report their competition as SPAM - every false positive is a victory for evil.

b) good SPAM is undetectable and will continue to outrank the white hats - sad, but I have seen blogs and company websites looking sooo real and good - all fake, all belong to one person.

Before reporting others I always prefer to make my own stuff as good as I can and not care about the short term attacks from the black hats...

valex




msg:4273812
 11:21 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone for replying to my post.
@GeraniumV I see something similar here - yesterday evening some of my keywords came back to it's original 1st page position, but this morning all of them have been buried again to the 18th page if not worst.
@ckissi - yes, that's exactly what's happening here and the only thing that comes to my mind is to remove the 30 random internal links I've got on almost every page. These links are key phrases pointing to random posts or pages and are generated by a recent searches plugin. Maybe that has caused some kind of a keyword stuffing penalty?! But that's obviously has got nothing to do with this tread, so once again thanks for the replies, guys :)

TheMadScientist




msg:4273816
 11:52 am on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone else seeing Incredibly Slow updating of titles and descriptions?

Even for site: searches a title I changed days ago that's been spidered multiple times hasn't been updated yet. Time to spider then update in the SERPs seems like it's really high right now to me.

gyppo




msg:4273819
 12:05 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

We got hit pretty hard in this update, although things have started improving a bit today. We realised that we had a lot of indexed empty placeholder pages ~75k so I noindex,nofollowed everything that doesn't have content that's worthwhile.

Will keep you posted if that improves our position.

driller41




msg:4273821
 12:06 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well I can see the point of the change, but they are not there yet, when I search for something wide based and generic such as "how to ride a horse"

I am getting back Wikihow, ehow, Mahalo.

What does Wikihow know about horse riding - nothing

1 get on horse,
2 move forward,
3 dont fall off,

Total rubbish answer with a load of adverts on the page.

For once I see the need for this update.

ortelius




msg:4273832
 12:48 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Do you sell a branded product or service? Or are you simply writing a little on a lot of subjects for the sole purpose of luring visitors to your ads? That's a content farm in my book, and they've become a dime a dozen. I know it's hard to accept when you've spent 10 years spinning content to lure in users and search engines, but that's no longer working. Bury you head in the sand and believe in your business model or adapt. It looks like way too many people bought that "get rich quick on Google" ebook.

I doubt you can compare yourself to CNN. Their original content is frequently the source of many content farms. That and true authority sites. If you're writing tens of thousands of one page articles and surrounding the with ads, face it, you've built a content farm and complaining about losing ground is pointless.


Well, that's a pretty sanctimonious attack on someone and on a site that you know nothing about!

FYI, I don't write "a little on a lot of subjects," I write a lot, and with original research, on a single subject.

Is the only kind of acceptable activity on the web the sale of "branded products or services" in your opinion? Is everyone else a parasite? That's what you seem to imply.

I find that attitude both narrow-minded and self-important.

Many of my pages have FB likes running into the hundreds, and the buttons have only been on there for a couple of months. I don't think visitors "like" pages in those numbers for total crap, do you? The site also has tons of excellent links from trusted sources, including the About.com guide in the niche itself. You think I got that link for writing garbage?

Finally, I did not compare my site or its content to CNN. I said my ads are the same kind of display ad as shown on CNN.

I think you ought to stop the personal attacks on site owners about whom you know nothing, and focus on the facts of the update and how to repair the damage.

robert76




msg:4273833
 12:54 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

What's interesting to me about this update is that affiliate websites with very low level content seem to have been untouched in the same genres as larger websites.

This tells me that the update was focused on websites which do not target a single niche, regardless of how "granular" the taxonomy in the website is.


Yes, I agree. I see many signs of this. Perhaps google is unable to properly characterize a broad site.

ortelius




msg:4273864
 2:10 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

This tells me that the update was focused on websites which do not target a single niche, regardless of how "granular" the taxonomy in the website is.


That's not my experience. My site was hit, and it could not be more single-focused.

walkman




msg:4273877
 2:45 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

What does Wikihow know about horse riding - nothing

1 get on horse,
2 move forward,
3 dont fall off,

Total rubbish answer with a load of adverts on the page.


ummm....you forgot the meat and potatoes of the page:

#1 Make sure you want to ride a horse

dataguy




msg:4273917
 4:27 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that Google is looking at semantics and grammatical structure to determine quality of individual pages. If for some (stupid) reason they are looking at comments on pages as well as primary content, they that could explain why my most popular pages have dropped the most... they have more comments than other pages, and comments tend to be fragmented sentences.

This could also explain why newsy sites like HuffPo have seen a drop... their pages often have many comments as well.

Does make sense to anyone else?

TheMadScientist




msg:4273919
 4:29 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does make sense to anyone else?

+1 ;)

rowtc2




msg:4273924
 4:37 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am looking in US results and i don't know what to do: to laugh or to cry. Tag pages, Wikipedia for what i am not looking for..I am going for a beer.

walkman




msg:4273925
 4:37 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

dataguy, I had added some stupid sentences in my pages. Totally useless since people search for specific things in my site, but if Google wants me and my visitors to learn /not forget the proper English language, I'll do my best.

Lenny2




msg:4273947
 5:08 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Someone asked if the indexing and changes to title tags and content has slowed down. IMO it has always been "fast" for our site. I changed some pages up to test my theory that these changes have to with the semantics of the page and less to do with the actual key word. I was surprised when within one hour Google's index was showing the changed version of my page (no increase in position...) - FYI my site has seen a 50% drop in Google traffic.

tedster




msg:4273953
 5:18 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone interested in more hard data on the sites that lost out in the Farm update?

Many articles republished a short extract of data that was mined by the German company Sistrix. The full list of the 300 websites that lost the highest number of keyword rankings is now available online as a Google doc spreadsheet.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?hl=en&hl=en&key=0AnIg_DeUJWYCdEpkY2EzamV1MktFd0ltZ2VsZGQtcmc&single=true&gid=0&output=html

chrisv1963




msg:4273969
 5:34 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone interested in more hard data on the sites that lost out in the Farm update?

Many articles republished a short extract of data that was mined by the German company Sistrix. The full list of the 300 websites that lost the highest number of keyword rankings is now available online as a Google doc spreadsheet.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?hl=en&hl=en&key=0AnIg_DeUJWYCdEpkY2EzamV1MktFd0ltZ2VsZGQtcmc&single=true&gid=0&output=html



Great ... my main website is on that list. And my biggest competitor is on that list too. My website is 10 years old. My competitor's 15 years. Both sites have hundreds of pages with unique content, written over the years. We both lost about the same percentage (according to this list and according to Quantcast). Whatever Google tried to accomplish with this update ... it is a distaster, except for Ehow that continues to rank with content stolen from us.

econman




msg:4273979
 5:47 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

more hard data on the sites that lost out in the Farm update


Great find!

TripAdvisor wasn't hit (or, at least not badly enough to be listed), yet their sister site Travelpod dropped 91% by one measure and 68% by another measure (from 41,774 keywords to 13,261 keywords).

Not sure how the writing quality compares, but they are both based upon user generated content.

This 245 message thread spans 9 pages: < < 245 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 > >
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