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What's afoot at google?

Something strange at the moment

   
8:40 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Not sure if anyone else has noticed this - for keywords I tend to keep an eye on google is returning far less, but far higher quality, results.

Sites which usually appear (including a couple formerly at #1 but with little to no content) are still in the index, but now way down in the SERPS.

Interestingly, the old geocities problem (second completely unrelated geocities domain getting an indented listing) has also gone again (google have been playing with this filter for a while - it goes on and off).

Seems to me the on-page factors knob has been turned up.

Anyone else seeing the same?

TJ

8:54 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



trillianjedi

The only thing I have been seeing is big fluctuations in the returned number of results.

They are certainly at the lower end today, but is this just not part of the continual update and will settle down after the deepcrawl update?

EW

8:58 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



but is this just not part of the continual update and will settle down after the deepcrawl update?

I'm not sure there is a deepcrawl update anymore, but you could be right - just flux and lower number of returned results.

Strange though, as sites which do not appear in the results at all at the moment are in the index if you do a search for www.domain.com

TJ

9:12 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes I have noticed that as well but just put it down to flux

It will be interesting to see what happens when the PR is updated and it all settles down again.
(if ever :-))

EW

11:31 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It seemed to me that an update started (and may have even completed) last week and then reverted back just after I posted a message saying all seemed well at Google. I'll keep quiet in future when Google seems to be working properly.

Kaled.

11:36 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have also seen a few things, the major index started for me well over 1 week ago and it looked as though it had stopped.

The number of results for my main phrase is usuallly around 600,000. In the last few days I have seen this increase upto 770,000 - now its down to 140,000.

Also my position has been no1, number 2, number 10, now back to number 2. I noticed when it was number 10 the sites between 3-7 were good quality sites but out of a 3 keyword phrase they were really only optimised for 2 out of the 3 keywords.

Maybe they have been testing, maybe its flux - not really sure, but we will find out. At least I am dancing with the bigboys ;)

12:36 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Am seeing different results on WWW-IN datacentre at the moment and no DMOZ descriptions
12:53 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Iíve noticed similar with my traffic doubling from the 21.10. - unsure about the serps as I prefer to watch my logs - interestingly the pages affected are the ones where I have number of incoming links.

Anyway, I have been wondering whether an update has taken place, as I canít seem attribute the increase of traffic (Google referrals) to anything else.

1:10 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I've seen wild fluctuations in traffic recently without any major changes in SERPS. For my website, it can only be freaky statistics, but it is very strange. One day last week, I had three times the typical number of hits and downloads for one program setting a new record by far. Back to normal now though.

I've also seen a marked drop in the download:hit ratio for another program. Very odd but I can't see how this or a rush of downloads on a third program could be related to Google - the SERPS just haven't moved nearly enough to explain this - at least they haven't when I've been checking them.

Kaled.

1:36 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have to say that my traffic has remained consistent since the increase
1:47 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Am seeing different results on WWW-IN datacentre at the moment and no DMOZ descriptions

In addition, on IN I see 50% less results, old content, no fresh tags and odd SERP's.

GoogleBot is spidering my PR7 and PR8 sites deep at this time, but not the <PR6 ones.

Hope this helps...

2:05 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>GoogleBot is spidering my PR7 and PR8 sites deep
>at this time, but not the <PR6 ones.

It's skipped your PR6 so it could chomp on an extra helping of a PR5 for dessert ... my logs indicate googlebot came over to spend the night with my site and danged near woke up every file in the house. From the look of things, his from best bud from ATW had his back too.

2:31 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm a newbie - and not terribly confident in the ways of Google. I've been reading your marvellous forum posts for a while now and have bookmarked lots of useful views and tools (thanks) but unfortunately haven't managed to self-diagnose my own 'complaint' - so here goes. I made keyword changes to 2 x PR3 sites on 1st October 2003 and a further minor image change 2 days ago to one of them. The one site is already showing 'new' cache (including the 2 day old new image) in Google - whereas the other is still showing 'old' cache. They've both got good keyword positions anyway - but I would welcome any plain language insight that's going around. What's the pecking order in Google with regard to refreshing their cache? Or am I being needlessly anxious?
3:17 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This kind of confirms something I noticed. Had another significant percentage bump in traffic from Google starting the 20th and so far it is sustained through the 24th.

Can't quite pull out relevant search terms as most traffic was coming from terms already in 1 and 2 positions (with scattered 3s). Might be coming from other variations that got a bump of some sort but are buried too far down in the data to dig out just yet.

Might also be just an increase in user search but percentage appears much too significant to explain that. Site sometimes gets traffic spikes because of other seasonal and event-oriented reasons but none explain the current increase.

If Google has "turned up the knob" for on-page factors I'll be perfectly content.

Jim

4:35 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Mmmm. Iíd love to hear if anyone else has experienced this, either up or down. I have been reading this thread [webmasterworld.com] and wondered if I could attribute the traffic bump to someone else dropping out the index.

I have two main sections to my site widget items and widget manufacturers. The latterís traffic has remained static whereas widget items has increased across the board and is the area I had concentrated on for securing incoming links. However the scope the section seems too broad to attribute to any one site dropping out the index and hence my suspicion some kind of update had taken place.

Either way something is happening.

Mcdermc: Any pecking order that Google uses comes down to PR (with of course exception to serps)

5:23 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



mcdermc wrote
I made keyword changes to 2 x PR3 sites on 1st October 2003 and a further minor image change 2 days ago to one of them. The one site is already showing 'new' cache (including the 2 day old new image) in Google - whereas the other is still showing 'old' cache.

I mentioned on this very forum a few days ago that on one of my sites, my PR5 home page still has "August 27th" written in the cache.

Even if you were to postulate that Google regimented its "botting" to a simple formula like PR5 every two weeks, PR4 every month, PR3 every 2 months (and there's considerable evidence, mine included, to show that this isn't the case - my other site's PR4 home page gets a visit every single day, whereas my PR5 homepage goes months without a look-in (and has many more backlinks too...))

Sorry - I digress! - even if there WAS a formula, you may have been lucky with one site (got there just before the Bot) and unlucky with the other site (just missed him).

On a PR3 page, I personally don't expect to get visited more than once every 3 months - anything more than that is a bonus, but I'm going to choose my content on such pages so that they don't look stupidly out of data in Google's Serps. I'm after visitors, so a PR3 page which says "Last chance to buy a widget this April" is not the sort of thing I put on a page that might have an out-of-date version in the SERPS....

DerekH

5:36 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Getting back to the topic (Is something afoot at Google?)

Might also be just an increase in user search...

I'm leaning toward that explanation, at least to account for a large uptick in visitors with no improvement in serps and a very minimal expansion in keywords used to find me.

In a 69 message thread [webmasterworld.com] started in July that stretches into August a lot of members were complaining about the decline in traffic.

Ok, I think it's back.

5:39 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



On one blue widget type search, I've dropped from about 30th to about 230th. So much for anchor text. Several weeks ago, I changed the internal links to include keywords. I was skeptical about the value of anchor text, now I'm even more so.

Kaled.

6:26 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Following my last post - most dc's SERPS now have no DMOZ descrriptions and DMOZ categories are now at the foot of the page.
6:36 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



On one blue widget type search, I've dropped from about 30th to about 230th. So much for anchor text. Several weeks ago, I changed the internal links to include keywords. I was skeptical about the value of anchor text, now I'm even more so.

I have seen lot's of spammy SEO work going on for that type of widget in the past few weeks...

Are you sure you droped 200 spots? Or did 200 sites come in above you?

6:38 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Might also be just an increase in user search...

I threw that is just because I can't discount it. Can't find up to date usage stats but there was a slight seasonal increase in September (Comscore reported 3.1% increase in minutes) due to college kids returning to school.

The increase from Google I'm seeing on this site is much more than that, almost 20% starting this past Monday and sustained through the week. (The traffic for this site usually runs in a very narrow range day-to-day making it very easy to pick out anything abnormal.) And the increases from other SEs are negligible, 2% to 3% for MSN, AJ, etc., so for this site it isn't a user search increase across the board.

I know the terms the site should be starting to get extra hits for as we run up to the holiday season starting with Halloween next week, on to Thanksgiving and through Christmas. So far these terms are each at levels I expect -- fractions of a percent.

Of course, a .05% or .1% increase over many, many, many different keyphrases can easily account for the increase and won't register on my preferred keyword tracking tool, my eyeballs.

Still think it might be somewhat Google-related and, in light of trillianjedi's observation, at least enough to keep an eyeball on.

<added>Of course, there are always combinations of factors that happen to coincide and make it impossible to put your finger on the deciding one.</added>

6:54 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I just posted this same question elsewhere. Since 21st I have been creamed on 5-6 key phrases that have completely disappeared from the rankings for no apparent reason. A few minor phrases still show so I have not been banned ( haven't changed anything to warrant it anyway)

Still in deep shock, any suggestions?

John

7:12 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



martinibuster I'm with jimbeetle 50% increase since the 21st sustained dosen't scan with increase in user search.

Sorry John.. no suggestions or ideas.

NB my pages are optimised heavily for on page factors.

7:24 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Here's a good experiment for those who have an AdWords account:
Go to AdWords and count the number of impressions week to week and see if there's a spike around October 20th. Also check your month over month trends.

My corporate site is experiencing record month over month unique visitors, and this month is another record.

7:35 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Ok, I just did a report for impressions limited to search for September 1-25th and the same for October.

My impressions are 16% higher on terms related to corporate B2B. This correlates with the increase in traffic my site is receiving. Of course, your mileage will vary.

Anyone else?

7:51 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Afraid I don't have an adwords account...but this doesen't seem to account for Johns dilemma.

I'd be very interested though if adwords showed a rise between the week before the 20th/21st and the week after, as this seems to be the period that something happened.

7:54 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Adwords will definitely show an increase for the last couple weeks if you haven't changed the default "broad match".
7:59 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I changed the internal links to include keywords

I did the same a while back and I dropped off page one to page 2. Changed them back and went back to page 1 higher than I was before. Not sure if density was a factor or not, but I think anchor text is more important off page than on.

7:59 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Viewed per single day, I received the most traffic on a day a week before Oct.20th. Otherwise it's been pretty steady, varying by 1-2k impressions/day (except for weekends). No noticeable impression spike on the 20th and 21st.

You can spin this data any way you want. But it looks like a steady increase, and viewed month to month, it's a 16% surge in (exclusively search related) impressions.

Hmm... broad match only affected a few words, and I went in there and negative matched out irrelevant searches. The spike I mentioned above was indeed a broad match anomaly, so allowing for that, the true pattern may be steady throughout the month, but with a gentle upward trend.

[edited by: martinibuster at 8:05 pm (utc) on Oct. 25, 2003]

8:04 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Same results just moved to FI
This 92 message thread spans 4 pages: 92
 

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