Sgt_Kickaxe - 7:14 am on Jun 30, 2010 (gmt 0)
I'm thinking several things are different, this was a package of changes and it wasn't rolled out evenly but it's upon us all now.
The top 3 spots mimicking natural search results is surely draining some of the natural traffic, no doubt.
Arronsky, my original and unique solid content, wikipedia-like in quality, guide sites that took several years to build are indeed faring poorly. My sites with affiliate offers much worse. I own less than 10 sites and none of them are spammy in nature (Bing/Yahoo love them still).
Long-tail searches are now a joke(in comparison to Google's pre-Mayday rankings), I can't find anything easily anymore if it requires 4 words or more.
The only competition I face now, in a rather tightly knit niche no less, is from a pair of sites that do what Google has always said don't do. Don't abuse sub-domains they say yet it's paying dividends for one of the two. Don't steal other peoples content they say yet the other site is 100% pure mashup with zero added value, not even a hint of extra features. These sites both have millions of indexed pages, all dynamic, all stealing from smaller sites... they appear on page one for every keyword combination in the niche.
It's been 2 solid months now and nothing has improved on any of my sites or on any of those belonging to friends of mine or sites I've worked with in the past who ask me what's going on.
Is this the future Google wants? I find that hard to believe. I earn a living online and I am more than capable of creating the mother of all mashup sites and to make the software available to others and to pump these sites out quickly... dynamic is easy, cheap and of little added value but there it is. 2 of them right in front of me where my sites have stood for years.
Serps? 3 Google ads, 2 spammer sites and a kickaxe in a quandry. Even WW traffic is down and many others I consider top quality. Whatever comes next doesn't feel like it's going to benefit visitors or Google, I really don't understand this move from Google nor did I ever expect it. I keep looking for positive signs but I see none, really none. I can only imagine what will be said if Google puts out a much improved revenue report next quarter.
I've been pro Google my entire webmaster life, these latest changes have me taking a solid look at Google right now.
My original question, is Google using the ad targeting data they collect to guide visitors in search as well, requires an answer. The good traffic, where is Google sending it?