Elsmarc - 11:03 pm on Aug 29, 2012 (gmt 0)
@RegDCP - My experience goes back to 1995 - Pre-Google but I did it as a hobby and don't consider myself an SEO person. Yes, I have seen Google changes show up relatively quickly in the past, but it's not typically the case especially these days. Back in the Caffeine days (2009-2010 - Yup, only 3 years ago) there were a lot less web sites than today, and even then you were guessing whether algo changes were the cause for the "next day" jump (or decline) or changes you makes a few days or a week prior.
Personally I didn't even change anything for Caffeine. I do remember discussions and people going to different data centers around the world anxiously waiting to see where changes appeared first and trying to figure out if they would be rolled out all over, if it was "withdrawn" and didn't propagate to all the data centers, etc., etc. I never did that stuff because my sites weren't affected so I didn't care.
I always have had some months that are better than others, but all in all my sites just kept going right along gaining more visitors every year on a year to year basis. Even visiting "webmaster" forums (which includes here) was something I did now and again mostly out of boredom. Now - That's not to say it hasn't been a roller coaster ride. I think it was 2007 that was a "down" year for me. But I never saw anything like the drop I saw in July 2012.
This year my main site crashed in late July, but other than that no issues. I did do quite a few things to my main site starting on 28 July, got into Google's WMT and joined (and worked with) Bing's equivalent, for example. And I'm here every day these days, where prior to July I'd drop by once every week or two.
Heck - I put up the first site map I've ever put on any site last Saturday (I'm still not convinced they make a difference on an already well organized, canonical site, but figure it can't hurt) and I have a project plan for changes which should be complete in a week or two. My expectation is I won't know how much things will really change until we're into September and October.
I will say that in WMT I can see things day by day that infer whether changes I made are making (or should be making) a difference, but my measurables are visitors per 24 hours and page views (with consideration to other measurables such as bounce rate, etc.). And day by day, this week and last week, things have improved a bit every day - But no big "jump" back to where I was.
It is noteworthy that you say "If you are seeing changes take 2 weeks, then it looks like their patent is working." since it's a new patent and the discussion is whether they are implementing it or not. Not to mention the patent, if it is in use at this point, makes it improbable that you will, in a short time, know whether SEO changes you have made are effective or not, since:
That pretty much tells you that you will not know *for sure* that the effects of changes you make today and the results you see tomorrow are *definitely* the effects of yesterday's change(s).
During the transition from the old rank to the target rank, the transition rank might cause:
a time-based delay response,
a negative response,
a random response, and/or
an unexpected response
I'll stand by my statement that changes to a web site "today" do not show dependable (much less long term) "results" over night, although I don't doubt that sometimes it may *appear* that way (and in the past may have to some extent been true). If that was true, there are lots of people here (and elsewhere) who would cream their pants because it would be easy to make a change, wait a day and see what happens. That's part of the "problem" - There is no way to know, in a short period (and 24 hours is relatively short), whether or not changes a person makes to their web site(s) had any affect or not.
And these days there is more than changes to a web site. Social media is now part of the "game". Example: Do links put on Twitter and/or LinkedIn and/or Facebook and/or Google+ effect change that can be seen tomorrow? I seriously doubt it. There is one heck of a lot more to "SEO" these days (as I am painfully finding out as I make my way back into the world of SEO), and expecting to "know tomorrow" if changes made today are "working" or not isn't in the cards.