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I have noted more than the usual shifting of pages in and out of the SERPs for the past week or so, and of course we have seen threads about updated backlinks (FWIW).
Anyone else seeing changes?
We have a site that went from #2 to #4 for widgets, and from #14 to #5 for widget in the singular, so there may be an adjustment taking place on the singular/plural knob, although I have also added a number of links with the singular version of the keyword.
More significant to me though is this. Living in a rural area, I ocassionally do searches on some rather obscure small towns (Pop. < 3k, some much less). Along with the usual bunch of DB driven datelines, lodging, real estate, and psuedo-portal sites, I am seeing many more high schools, local newspapers, restaurants and such.
Anyone else seeing these things?
I have noticed quite a lot recently that searches are returning quite a few results from the same domain, not together.. maybee one on page one and one on page 2.. but this never used to happen. Google would simply indent one and offer "more from this site"
I think this is because of datacenters.
Each datacenter can return drastic different of results, say top 10 in one datacenter and 20+ in another datacenter. So I suspect when you display the first page, it is fetched from the first datacenter, and when you reach page 3, it is fetched from another datacenter.
You can confirm this with some datacenter watch tool.
Marcia - I've seen this happen when they are using the tracking urls. Once the tracking urls are removed, the results return to normal and the second page is indented again or it returns to its normal position if it was on a different page.
Put your mouse over the link, and it'll be obvious that it is a tracking URL. Also, if your site is on the SERP, likely your browser will have it colored as a link you have never clicked. If I search on "widgets" to see how my site is doing, that the link to my site isn't differently colored means I know Google is using tracking URLs.
Thanks guys, I need the exact URL of such a link. I saw them once but unfortunately didn't write them down. I know that the real url is passed as a parameter to some Google page. But I don't know the page or the name of the parameter. I started another thread [webmasterworld.com] about it. Some people here must know it but maybe they think it's against the charter to post it, or someting. Anyway, if you see one of these creatures, maybe you'll think of me and drop me a line ;) ...
I understand that Google is on a rolling update schedule these days, but that's ridiculous. How can anyone have faith in results that fluctuate so wildly?
Oh G, you slay me, what's a webmaster to do with you.