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Are Google and Yahoo Serps Converging?

Has there been another algo change at Google?



3:54 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Up until circa early Feb my serps in 5 search engines were approximately the same. And they remained the same with the exception of Google where many pages started to drop down the rankings from Feb onwards.
They are now popping back up again.
I only monitor page one results.
I decided to check TWO websites only; and this is what I found:
Of 9 pages in total examined at random, 7 had identical positions in Google and Yahoo; and of the remaining two pages, one page was one position adrift, and the other 4 positions.
Or does it signify another major algo change by Google,retreating perhaps to their pre Feb algo, or something similar?
What are you experiencing with your sites?


9:39 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has nobody noticed a change in the Google algo which now makes it more like it was pre-Feb?


10:14 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have noticed no such improvement.

Many technology related sites which are ranked first, second or third on Yahoo are on the second page or completely missing from Google. It has been that way since Yahoo dropped the Google results and is still that way as of this minute.

I just checked one of those topics.

The number one site on Yahoo is the number one site on Google. They both agree on that one but I do not.

The number two site on Yahoo is the number nine site on Google. (*** The main authority site for this technology. ***)

The number three site on Yahoo is the number eleven site on Google.

The number four site on Yahoo is the number twelve site on Google.

The rest of the useful results on the first couple of pages of Yahoo do not have any meaningful ranking in the SERPs at Google.com.

The number seven site on Google for that term is a blatant example of cloaking which has not been caught by google's algo. That page does not rank well in Yahoo.

I do agree with numbers two and three on Google but they do not rank well on Yahoo so I could be wrong in my assessment.

[edited by: quotations at 10:33 pm (utc) on May 10, 2004]


10:30 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

In my case Yahoo is starting to converge with Google.

My Google results have been incredibly stable, but when Yahoo switched away from using google results, I lost 40% of my yahoo traffic. In the last couple of weeks I have started regaining about half the yahoo traffic that I lost.

One site, or even one field does not make for a very good sample.


10:39 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>One site, or even one field does not make
>for a very good sample.

I just use the one example because the defects are so obvious. We continue to see big differences between Yahoo and Google results across at least eight different industries and hundreds of sites.

No convergence has been noted.


7:16 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Not really. It may be true in some cases, i assume for the lesser competitive search terms.

While google has implemented many filters to the effect, Yahoo is mostly responding as preflorida google.


8:59 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

looks like for a rather competitive term I'm drifting up a bit after having been pushed down to nowhere, then 150, then 80, then 200 again after fiddling around too much. Now back to 11. Seems like some of the fancy meta-content-sites (directory of directory...)loose some ground and "real" sites drift up a bit in turn. But that's just a narrow view at a couple of keywords.


10:26 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You may have a point, about relatively uncompeted-for terms.
The websites which I referred to in my first post are both technical sites.
The bigger of the two sites has 100 pages, each page devoted to a particular technical matter - the title of a page is generally either a single or two-word technical term.
These terms are searched for between 200 and 2000 times each month worldwide.But, there are masses of small websites in the sector.

I checked some further inside pages today and the Google - Yahoo results are almost identical now - they have not been like this for several months.
All the inside pages appear to have moved back up to where they were several month's ago.
This site has had NO, I repeat NO, optimization changes since Feb.
So, what's going on here?

Because of your observation about competed-for terms, I checked on another niche-market site with massive international competition for the 4-word keyphrase (but interestingly only 4500 searches last month - which factor does Google note most: the number of websites competing for the traffic, or the number of searches carried out by the public, do you know?).


3:09 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've noticed a change in the Google serps starting yesterday or Sunday. A site that was on the first page a few months ago and then dropped to nowhere in one of the updates is back again. A couple of other sites have moved back up to where they were earlier this year.

Back when they fell I scraped together more incoming links, but that didn't seem to help at all. So I stopped, and haven't really changed anything for a couple of months now. There's definitely something going on.


3:32 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can you elaborate a little.
Are your sites niche sites with keywords relatively uncompeted-for?
Or are they sites which use highly competed-for terms?
Is it just the index page which has recovered or all the inside pages as well - that is, if you have optimized the internal pages.


3:38 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

And Metablue,
Have you compared your Google results with Yahoo.
Are they looking the same?


4:13 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just cross check Yahoo and google for my main keyword.

There are only four crossovers. I hope that yahoo stays the same it is much more friendly for me ;)


9:00 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My site which plummeted on March 12th has now returned (last Saturday) with similar rankings to before. I had made slight changes to various pages (titles, internal links, anchor text), but none seemed to have any effect up to now, after several deep visits by G. A couple of new backlinks added too, but only from industry-specific directories. This is a niche industry - 60,000 pages found for a main keyphrase.

Yahoo and Google SERPs have never really been similar for this site since Y dumped G. It generally gets better rankings on Y, though depending on the key phrase.


9:34 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo rules for me at the moment and has done since the switch....Google killed a number of my sites and Yahoo has put them in their rightful place :) ...so I'd say they are not linked.


5:19 pm on May 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well so far, we aren't agreed on whether Yahoo and Google serps are converging, though Andrew 77 in the thread HUGE CHANGES TODAY has noticed some canny similarities.
There is no doubt in my mind that four sites of mine - the only one's examined to-date - are looking very like pre Florida when for me Yahoo and Google (plus just about all other leading search engines) showed almost identical serps.
As explained before all these sites are niche sites, not big traffickers.
So what's going on?


5:42 pm on May 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One site, from those referred to in my earlier post, got hammered in February for a 4-word keyphrase.
It went right down the rankings. It definitely upset Google's then algo in respect of keyword repetition and density.I've left it untouched since then.
Now its returned to almost where it was - the position it has always held in Yahoo.
It seems as if Google are having second thoughts in some areas, rolling back the algo a bit for niche sectors.Perhaps they are beginning to feel the 'heat' from a nascent Yahoo. I wish!
What are you finding?


1:58 pm on May 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Midhurst,
Kind of late, sorry. To answer your questions ...

The keywords for the site are very competitive, not niche. After reading a bit more I think the site came out of the sandbox (if it can be put into the sandbox after doing well for a few months).

The internal pages seem to rank a little better, but they were always coming up in searches, whereas the index page was almost impossible to find.

I don't see convergence between Yahoo and Google though. The site was getting traffic from Yahoo on the main keywords while being shunned by Google, but now that Google has let it out of the sandbox it's doing much better on Google. In my experience it's been easier to get a reasonable result (first or second page) on Yahoo, but when Google isn't sandboxing or filtering the site it's easier to get excellent results (top 5).


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