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Major Google Changes

Significant movements in rankings.

     
2:12 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

It seems that a major google update is under way. I just checked www.google.com with the normal set of keywords that I generally use to monitor any changes and found what I believe is a major update. Now its back to original results. Its kinda on and off.

One of my site had a 50% increase in the number of pages crawled.

I hadn't much chance to check out whether the update spells good news or not, so lets keep our fingers crossed.

<Imaster adds>
The changes are visible on 216.239.39.104

[edited by: ciml at 2:15 pm (utc) on Dec. 16, 2004]
[edit reason] Addition [/edit]

2:31 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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i see the positions i should/did have, does anyone else who's dropped get good results at 64.233.171.147?

Yes, the results on this IP are the "old" serps - ie, what I was seeing before the recent change.

2:33 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Don't worry about results on IP 64.233.171.147.

Searches don't result in anywhere near as many results as they should! (up to 1/6 on keywords I watch)

2:41 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I love 64.233.171.147...Great SEPR for me there.
From what I see now:

Spam still works on Google
Purchasing PR still works
The sandbox it still there
Some sites went down even with ODP listings

2:55 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Google is been good to me till now. But I havent done anything till now which might upset google.
Seeing the new results its pretty amazing how for one keyword on which we were ranking 1 we are now 250 and for another keyword we are still number 1.
This is what i am seeing.
30% keyword ranking didnt affected. Pages still ranking good.
35% went down like 10-15 positions
35% went down like 90- 300 position.
This all seems all too random for now to figure out.
Also for the keywords we went down I am seeing sites which havent done anything in term of SEO in last 6 months. I know those guys and they havent paid much attention to it. Also one of my old site which i have done much work on, is ranking in top 10 in 20% of the keywords.
So overall really bizarre results. Back links doesnt seem to be a factor bc for one page I know we have 3 times more back link compared to any other competitor but still we rank low now for that keyword.
So over all bad end for the week. On 64.233.171.147 there are still the old results but i dont think that matters.
Well all of us have discussed our problems and I am eager to see if someone found something about the solution.
3:05 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Would anyone be kind enough to sticky me an example of how their position on a single phrase has dropped?

I haven't got a clue if I'm looking at the same SERPs you are discussing.

Thanks in advance...

3:29 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I don't see any significant changes in my European travel-planning site's rankings for the keyphrases that I track, but Google referrals and total page views were down by 25-30% yesterday compared to earlier Thursdays in the month. The percentage of my referrals that came from Google (compared to Yahoo and MSN) was also lower by 25-30% yesterday. Revenues were unaffected, however, and my top pages were pretty much the same ones that I see every day in my logfile report, so the drops in traffic and referrals may have been the result of fewer searches by university students and K-12 pupils in the final days before winter break.
3:46 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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On 64.233.171.147, for my main keywords I see a 30% increase in total search results 15mil to 19mil. Perhaps google is increasing their index again and these are merely temp rankings until they are completed?
3:47 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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After looking, it does appear to have something to do with internal links, and, maybe, sites redirecting to other sites. But that wouldn't account for traffic, since the pages I've found redirecting, most go to my site. I've noticed a big drop in referals as well from google, and I have never really been affected before either, other that the usual movement in the serps. I'll agree with the person that posted this center, 64.233.171.147, is showing th serps that I am used to.
I did find a search engine that is cacheing my pages, but can't find the page that lists their robots. Anyone familiar with aspseek.org? Looks like they let sites display there serps on their own pages, or display the cached pages on their sites.
3:49 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>Judging by the number of people contributing to this thread it looks like another update like Aug 10, Aug 25, and Sept 23 - serious for those sites involved (including me) but limited to a fairly small percentage of sites.

I'm seeing that when it comes to uncompetitive, info type searches (say hypothetically "kangaroo genetics") very little difference. The main thing about these SERPs is that over a fairly short period of time, not many new pages come online, or existing pages disappear. Nor is there much change in sites linking to each other. Most of the webmasters around here run commercial sites, and change things around for perceived SEO benefit.

Thus my speculation is whatever Google has changed is targeted at the sites people around here tend to run. Dunno what this might be. Could it be perhaps Google is favoring sites that have been up a while, and content tends to stay stable? Or perhaps that Google has tweaked the algo to better identify which sites are commercial, and which aren't? Google would have an incentive to making commercial SERPs change around a lot. This would mean commercial sites would need to buy Adwords to consistently stay visible.

3:50 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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On 64.233.171.147, for my main keywords I see a 30% increase in total search results 15mil to 19mil. Perhaps google is increasing their index again and these are merely temp rankings until they are completed?

that's a theory i'm hoping will come true! :)

3:56 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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".....I love 64.233.171.147...Great SEPR for me there.
From what I see now...."

Judging from this end the results at the 64.233.171.147 data center look like they were sponsored by Bram Stoker.

I prefer the new serps, for the most part nice and clean on the keywords I monitor.

4:00 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, it looks like Google has wiped out entire categories... a large majority of the companies that were ranking well for one of our business services are gone now... we're still stuck in the sandbox, no improvement since Sept. 23rd. but the first couple pages are now more or less barren of sites able to provide the service.

Google it seems is sucessfully filtering out everyone that knows how to tweak thier sites for the engines, but are they throwing the baby out with the bath water? Makes me wonder how people are actually supposed to find these servies or compete?

Yahoo is acting up as well... we've jumped to the top of their SERPS again.

I guess everyone is doing their best to get ready for the arrival of Mr. Gates.

4:01 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>Google it seems is sucessfully filtering out everyone that knows how to tweak thier sites for the engines, but are they throwing the baby out with the bath water? Makes me wonder how people are actually supposed to find these servies or compete?

Adwords. ;)

4:03 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing that when it comes to uncompetitive, info type searches (say hypothetically "kangaroo genetics") very little difference.

The educational part of my site ("info type searches") was as badly hit as my commercial pages. And I've got at least 10 times as many educational pages as commercial pages.

4:06 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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For those of you with sites in the sandbox are you seeing any changes on 64.233.171.147 versus the the other evil datacenters. My sandboxed sites show improvement on 64.233.171.147 but are pushed further down on the other datacenters.
4:07 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I also have a load of informative pages which have suffered with the rest of the site.

I know it's their SE and they can what they like with it but manipulating serps to benefit themselves somehow doesn't sit well.

4:09 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>The educational part of my site ("info type searches") was as badly hit as my commercial pages. And I've got at least 10 times as many educational pages as commercial pages.

Perhaps Google today identifies whole sites as commercial, rather than just individual pages, and ranks lower info pages on commercial sites? Or, Google is identifying what is "commercial" based on keywords? Thus, if you sell widgets, your info pages on "widget safety" look commercial, as people searching on "widget" often are looking to buy one. *Something* different in the algo has to explain the changes you are seeing.

4:13 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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On 64.233.171.147 the total SERPS returned for our search terms are approx. 40% LOWER than on google.com.
4:22 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Needinfo, it's the other way around for me.
4:22 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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rfgdxm1.. I hear you on that one.
4:25 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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qball0213,

I personally think that some people see increase and some decrease simply because the changes are gradual, for example possibly done in order of PR or industry sector etc..

4:43 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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64.233.171.147 = SERPS from day before yesterday.
5:12 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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64.233.171.147 = SERPS from day before yesterday.

No, that's just a generalisation based on your observations...
My sites are ALL updated on that IP address...

DerekH

5:17 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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DerekH - your word in god's ear, I wouldn't have to get drunk then ;-)
5:39 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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After looking, it does appear to have something to do with internal links

In what way?

5:45 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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how can anyone say whats its got to do with when the serps are probably still on the move
5:48 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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wake me up when this is over...
5:53 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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hehe :)

i'm keeping an eye, in hope, on 64.233.171.147 and things seem to be moving somewhat on there also, but with my site staying where it has always been

6:01 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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annej: in the way that bloated sites with thousands of (often similar) pages, whose positions were boosted by huge quantities of internal links, would appear to have lost ground.

That's my one minute assessment anyway. I can't say I spent too long looking, other than allaying fears of my own demise!

6:10 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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For those who lost rankings, does the site: command return what you expected it to?
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