I have to admit it has been years since I checked, so this may have been the case for a long while... but the Yahoo Directory pages my site is listed on is graybar for PR.
And the Dmoz site isn't. My sites that are Dmoz listed and not Yahoo listed didn't suffer on Oct 14. My site that is Yahoo Directory listed did. Maybe a coincidence.
But if a backlink profile was heavily dependent on a Yahoo Directory or other historically strong directory listing, then that link was devalued on a given date (say Oct 14), a slip of 4-5 positions across the board would make some sense. Let me get checking some other sites in Yahoo without huge backlink profiles and see if they dipped.
[UPDATE] I just went through an entire category in the Yahoo Directory with a fairly trusted search metric tool and can't find a correlation between any October 14 and a change in rankings for most of the site in that category.
Ya I have noticed the queries with+that+as+a+search too and never really saw them much before. Weird stuff going on. Well sounds like firefox is starting to use bing on the new browser. Let's hope momentum gains against Google and we can get the serps back to stable. I know I switched to bing, thats for sure.
Yeah some movements , and I dont know if its me but it feels like a lot of the movements for the past 2 weeks have been caused by optimization and the way the algo is looking at it, and not quality of content at all. My thoughts are on very sensitive Over Optimization down rankings. Like i saw someone mentioning earlier "Google wants us to de-optimizate our sites" , and all those shake ups make a lot of sense . I am just trowing wild guesses here. Oh and by the way something funny , check all rankings for 950-1000 its all about blogspot and wordpress lol !
optimization and the way the algo is looking at it, and not quality of content at all
If you look at the Google Blog post entitle "More guidance on building high-quality sites" its fairly easy to see how to much optimisation = lower quality content. "Quality" is just being measured differently. Its a bit like a recipe, put just a little too much salt in it and you spoil the dish completely.
We have seen a later traffic flux (but not as deep) than the previous iterations of Oct. 13th and 20th. Seems the last iteration was rolling out around the 30th. Long tail keywords remain slightly down, primary keywords up. Let us hope this 30th iteration recovers as well as the 13th and 20th.
Wow, I have seems some complete rubbish results. A keyword phrase that I often check, now sees the first 5 organic listings from one site. I'm seeing many uk site also. It's crazy. I've been watching closely, so this isn't a random observation. I'm actually at the point of getting sick of this. Caring about this is approaching for me, a total waste of my time and effort. Period.
I see several new pages in the top 20 for a very competitive financial phrase that don't have the phrase anywhere in the html and have empty title/description fields. The pages rank due to hundreds of recent links on spammy made-for-backlinks blogs (all of the blogs are nearly identical). I can't believe this still works, but given that the phrase is no where to be found in the html, it makes for an interesting case study of how backlink anchor text (or lack thereof) can impact rankings.
somehow, a dozen or so similar blogs, all about advertising, smoking, interior design, computer software, etc, are showing up for at least one major 2-word financial phrase. Completely unrelated notepad pages or "this is just another wordpress blog". This seems like an exploit, I just don't know a lot about it. I wish I could be more specific, but I am shocked. Most of these blogs are ranked page 4 to page 7 as of now.
I have given up on Google. I just can't figure out WTH they are doing. It just keeps going up and down and up and down and there is no way of telling why. Today is probably the worst day so far since February :( It looks like the ones they do send, don't spend a lot of time on the site. Not sure what's that about but maybe the keywords does not match exactly what they are looking for...?