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Major SERPs changes [Wednesday 26th]

Major serps drops and rises experienced as of Wednesday 26th

     
11:52 am on Aug 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I thought the postings from page 13 on the thread Google PR -- Next Update? [webmasterworld.com] deserved a new thread as it was getting off topic and imo is important enough to merit its own thread.

Many webmasters in the thread above are reporting significant drops in traffic, up to 80% in some cases within the last 24 hours. In contrast others are reporting significant rises in the SERPs which indicates a big change (which imo is not sandbox related).

Rather than having a "I've dropped/risen too" thread, perhaps it is a good idea to attempt to work out what has been happening. I personally have seen big changes on numerous travel booking related sites. One of the theories appears to be too high keyword density. This may have some merit, as on some sites ranking drops are not across the board on all themes/phrases. So it could be that templates focusing on one term have a much higher density than others. I'll certainly be looking into this. I'm also wondering if this is somehow theme related as as I've mentioned it defintely has affected the travel theme. or perhaps it is based on just highly competitive terms as a whole.

It would also be interesting to see if there is a concensus from those sites that have lost traffic on..

1. Are they affiliate sites with many links to the affilate host.
2. Do they have satelite domains which they cross link/one way link with sites particularly on the same ip c-block.
3. Are the drop in serps keyword specific or site wide.
4. Are some inbound links on mass from single domains. For example, a great number links from a footer link on a major site.
5. Have changes been made to keyword density recently.
6. Is there a distinction in ranking between major and minor terms.
7. Has there been any PR changes or backward link changes.

Google isnt likely to give us the direct answer, but maybe they wont need to if we work together in cracking this change.

If your site has been affected from wednesdays update, it would be helpful for all, if you could perhaps answer the 7 points above relating to your own site.

Cheers
Alan

2:09 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Local search is in beta and has been appearing/disappearing in some keyword spaces for several months. Did it just turn up in travel related searches?
2:13 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I agree this is related to local search.

I have been running an experiment on local search optimization for several months and it hit a snag last week (I believe it started the week of the 18th, and has gotten slowly "worse".

It is related to place names and would definitely impact travel sites and local directories.

Page 1 results are now scattered page 2-4, with almost none of them on page 1 any more.

2:51 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hey Steveb, In Addition To The PR Update In The Directory (on that datacenter), it has incorporated a VERY recent import of the ODP RDP Dump. There Was a correction made to the entry in the ODP for my site about 3 weeks ago(little more or less), where the "www" had been left of on the URL. It is corrected in the G Dir Cat where the entry had the [sitename,...] instead of the [sitename....]

Thumpcyc

2:54 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing new backlinks on 216.239.53.99

can anyone else confirm?

3:00 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I don't.
3:01 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



yep, confirmed new backlinks on that data center.
3:04 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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



Yes, Yahoo 484k instead of 509k... links are still the same general batch of worthlessness though.
3:06 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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yes, confirmed.
But what does this mean? We will see another update very soon?
3:08 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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



It means what it is. backlinks have changed, PR in the Directory has updated. That's it.

No toolbar PR change on that dc.

3:13 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Backlinks in www is different from www2 and www3 also. Will this bring of any changes in the serps? Hope last traffic drop will recover soon!
3:29 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Confirm backlink change on 216.239.53.99

And the number of my links shown has decreased even tho my actual links have increased.

4:09 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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And the number of my links shown has decreased even tho my actual links have increased

Are the actual links PR4 or less?

If yes, that might be the reason - many believe they're counted but not displayed

6:08 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The links shown have a wide range of rank from 5 down to 0, but my strongest links aren't shown. However, if PR bar hasn't updated, I don't know the actual PR of the links shown.
7:25 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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



IMHO, one problem since Florida has been that at times it is difficult to tell what's a technical glitch/setback, and what's an algo shift/evolution.

Liane, re your kw density post, is there any chance your problem is related somehow to your link structure, not kw density? Or perhaps a combo of those two measures?

7:52 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



In my own case it cant be a keyword density thing. It certainly looks like an internal link structure/pr on internal pages thing though. This has moved on from theory, at least for me, I'm seeing it on multiple domains that have been hit by the wed 25th stick. Those pages with the most internal links (but not too many, between 50-80 seem to be ideal) are outperforming those that have fewer internal links <10, by a great deal. It wasnt the case before Crash Wednesday but is the case now. It is consistent and tested on various domains. I'm more than 80% sure this is an internal linkage/pr problem on sub pages. At least in my case.

@caveman, thanks for getting the thread back on topic.
Alan

8:35 am on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Anyone who got busted with main page back again?
1:39 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Anyone who got busted with main page back again?

Yes. Maybe. A little up today.
6:54 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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looks like updating has finished at worst place, terrible results, I found a science lab site for the main term of shopping in 8th place. A joke
9:27 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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



webby2001, msg #1:

I thought the postings from page 13 on the thread Google PR -- Next Update? deserved a new thread as it was getting off topic and imo is important enough to merit its own thread.

It sure is important enough for a thread specifically to get into analysis.

Rather than having a "I've dropped/risen too" thread, perhaps it is a good idea to attempt to work out what has been happening.

LOL.. I call those "I'm up, I'm down" posts scorekeeping posts!

Those make it practically impossible to follow along with a thread and to get a discussion going with any serious analysis of what's happening getting done.

9:39 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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#109 - and that lab is on a secure https:// page. Requires a login/password. 6 incoming links... A joke indeed.
10:02 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I somehow dont see a backlink update down here.
How about PR?
10:51 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



confirmed backlink update

Any hope that my 7 month old site stop being filtered for being new?

4:38 am on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



> In my own case it cant be a keyword density thing. It certainly looks like an internal link structure/pr on internal pages thing though.

If subpages with more internal backlinks are suddenly outperforming the ones with not so many, this could have several reasons, including:

(1) Google has turned the PR knob up (lesser internal backlinkss == less PR).
(2) Google has turned the internal anchor text relevance up.

What do you think?

6:10 am on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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



<-- is trying *really, really* hard to skim past all the other *stuff* and follow along with what's relevant to the original question asked and points made like the original poster asked us to do.

Has anyone tried altering their internal linking? It'll take a while to see, but I made a couple of on-page changes on one page and saw a change in a very short time. Only a few spots up can make quite a difference.

Also think about the presence of outbound anchor text on pages, even if it's going to other pages within the same site. Anyone been adjusting that besides me?

6:28 am on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Marcia, Im getting good results with internal pages with nothing but internal links. I modified my internal linking and results improved within days.

I then added 50 new pages last week using the same internal linking. These pages were cached on 8/28 and this morning most were page one.

8:24 am on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hello,

Just to add a 'strange' observation. My main site basically dropped from Google, and Googlebot did not make a visit recently. This site has a 'mirror' site that I hardly look at. Every three, four months I update (remirror) the site. The thing is, my main site has 300++ inbound links, some quite relevant. The mirror site has few inbound links (I never promoted it), coming from my own sites. Well, the last week, traffic on the mirror site has gone up significantly. This does suggest that recent changes are not related to internal links, inbound links etc. After all, the mirror site I have looks the same, and has far less inbound links. Is it something about giving new sites, lower listed sites, a chance?

9:14 am on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have an entire site dedicated to blue widgets.
Domain is blue-widgets.com anchor text incoming links etc. It has been dropped the the second page for the search 'blue widgets'

Interestingly I also have a site on widgets, the result directly below the above search is a single page on my other site on the history of blue widgets!

Does this suggest perhaps an attempt to devalue links a little in favour of page content?

I am also noticing in my area that a higher KWD seems to be playing a bigger part than before, judging by the SERPS.

9:37 am on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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



>>perhaps an attempt to devalue links a little in favour of page content?

I just pushed a site up from #7 to #1 - just a minor keyword phrase but very targeted so it *works* - but mind you, it's a site that got hit with the Florida debacle from great & climbing rankings to zilch on good keywords - and hasn't been touched since December until just recently. ONLY on-page and minor title changes, that's it. The site has never been promoted or gotten links, it's been living off Yahoo all this time. I'm not *scorekeeping* the point is that it was *only* on-page changes.

I know most of what's wrong with it (aside from lacking links), a few things on the site are the same as another site that got hit - the other was fixed and is doing great. But I'm very interested in all the theories, because it's a perfect test-bed to try all these things out, as long as the Yahoo rankings don't get messed with.

Actually, it's a lot of fun to try to figure these things out. Aggravating sometimes, but that's what keeps it so fascinating.

It feels like we're all of us missing something. What is there that never gets mentioned in discussions about Google optimization that may be carrying weight now without us even thinking about it?

5:22 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I have not read the whole thread yet - but my quick 2 cents

1) It seems that a more general keyword - "red widget" -- used to come up on a page - "red widgets in the dark" --- and now you need to enter keywords much closer to the full title of the page

2) I am also noticing a bit more theming -

But #1 seems to have hit me . .

11:40 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes, howiejs, I made an observation about the changed weight of plurals/etc -- there's a more detailed post in another thread: [webmasterworld.com...] (although I don't think my post is strictly on-topic in that thread)
This 130 message thread spans 5 pages: 130
 

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