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Major Google Changes

Significant movements in rankings.

     

Imaster

2:12 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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]

illusionist

6:13 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



There is a newer set of results now, it does not have as much results than the one before but more than the original serp for the keywords i monitor.

dupac

6:13 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well according to my findings its a anchor text filter. If same anchor text is used for linking then for that keyword its hurting the most.
Thats one solid thing i am seeing for the keywords we dropped ranking for.
Anyone else seeing anything else please share?

WebFusion

6:27 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Until it settles down this is all speculation anyway. Stop stressing, have a good holiday, and worry about it all in the new year.

Why worry? Is there anything you could do before next year to improve your ranking in the short term anyway?

Free traffic is just the icing on the cake...

ezrydr

6:28 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Around september 23rd a site of mine lost half of it's google traffic....Main front page keywords stayed solid at #1 and #2, but the site lost ranking for dozens of smaller keyword combos on sub pages....Today most of those sub pages are back at pre sept 23rd Top #5 positions.

I've seen the same thing for one of my sites as well. There have been no changes to the site, since Sept. 23, except for some additional backlinks to the index page. My front page has kept solid positions in the SERP, but all my internal pages dropped to #30 - #100 after Sept. 23rd. Now my internal pages are back on first page results very similar to where they previously were. Lots of first page indented listings again, where before there were none. Looks like the Sept. 23rd filter has been relaxed somewhat.

Spine

6:34 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My Sept 23rd site is back where it was or better, and in my case I DID change a lot of things.

My site is better off for having been kicked in the ass in some ways.

div01

6:37 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Anyone else notice that the "Google directory" link in the toolbar is going to non-existant Google directory pages?

peterdaly

6:40 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



suggy, I would guess based on my current experience is you may be on to something with your internal linking suggestion.

Rollo

6:45 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Congrats Spine, I wish I could say the same.

This update seems to be wiping the slate clean of any sites that dares to optimize... even the last man standing a few hours ago, a PR8, just disappeared.

These SERPS seem to change by the hour... we'll see how it shakes out.

Has anyone with else with $ keywords observed a big change?

matrix_neo

6:46 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



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

No. None of my sites are shown for the site command properly, some times only few pages sometimes nothing. But I have gained a few places in the serps

Kangol

6:48 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes,
I just lost 2 lots of $ keywords. For non competitive keywords the SEPR are unchanged.

foxtunes

6:55 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"....Looks like the Sept 23rd filter has been relaxed somewhat...."

I was thinking the site hit on the 23rd had fallen foul of some kind of duplicate content filter....Two weeks ago I finally decided to remove a menu bar that was on the bottom of every page on the site. The content was different on every page aside from the menu bar which had the same page descriptions.

Check out these green widgets, the history of blue widgets, learn more about purple widgets etc.

Other than trimming the virtual fat from the menu bar bacon, I increased backlinks and waited it out....Perhaps if I had done nothing the result would have been the same?....Whatever I'm happy with the current results.....But these could easily change by tomorrow.

The site in question was a pure info, non affiliate project, and it was irritating to see content scrapers linking to particular pages and appearing above me for those sub page terms in the serps....I look now and most of those scrapers are gone.

fishy

6:58 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"Well according to my findings its a anchor text filter. If same anchor text is used for linking then for that keyword its hurting the most."

so if the natural structure of the site & it makes sense to use a keyword as the link text, then your keyword is getting hit?

this seems counter-productive. i would reckon there has to be some sort of an over-optimization filter being applied.

dupac

7:01 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well if you got inbound links with same anchor text, it seems its hurting. It is a over optimization filter.

div01

7:14 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Things are changing by the hour - not worth fretting over (yet). I'm gonna go have a beer...

Armi

7:21 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



[google.de...]

I see that the best results have all endings with .html or .asp.

Results without these endings (e.g. of Ciao) became strongly devalued > reference to mod_rewrite-> dynamic > devaluation?

leoo24

7:25 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member




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.

my site that has been affected was only 700 to 800 pages , i have sites with over 50k pages that haven't been affected at all, no loss or gain.

Dazzlindonna, site: does return the expected results.

nick35

7:26 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)



"so if the natural structure of the site & it makes sense to use a keyword as the link text, then your keyword is getting hit?

this seems counter-productive. i would reckon there has to be some sort of an over-optimization filter being applied."

Yes, I agree my index page is still number one in google for the main keyword, however ALL of my pages that have anchorlinks with the exact keyword are gone. They all use to be in the top ten in Google. What is amazing, I thought you needed to create those pages that way for SEO. What is even more amazing is that all of those pages used to be non-existent in Yahoo and MSN and now they are in the top three. But I really rather be in the top three in Google. Do you think Google will keep this filter in place forever? This is very depressing.

WebFusion

7:31 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Do you think Google will keep this filter in place forever? This is very depressing.

Google doesn't hold onto any one algo forever. They are always changing it.

I'm only seeing minor changes here and there. A few spots up, a few spots down, but then again the only google thing that has affected me negatively is their capacity problem (which I use to think of as the sandbox). None if my older sites have ever been really impacted much but these changes that always send people here in a panic.

div01

7:44 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I see that the best results have all endings with .html or .asp.

Results without these endings (e.g. of Ciao) became strongly devalued > reference to mod_rewrite-> dynamic > devaluation?

Not likely since mod_rewrite can just as easily produce .html pages on the fly.

div01

7:44 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I see that the best results have all endings with .html or .asp.

Results without these endings (e.g. of Ciao) became strongly devalued > reference to mod_rewrite-> dynamic > devaluation?

Not likely since mod_rewrite can just as easily produce .html pages on the fly.

steveb

7:52 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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



Top 50 search term, sometimes top ten.

Since the past four or five days (a bit before this "update"), the page ranks #4 on most datacenters, #1 on others. The page is a FAQ page from a major university library.

Problems:
keywords nowhere on the page
Google shows no links to it
Yahoo shows 7 links, none with the keyword in link text, or even on the pages anywhere
the page, the linked to page and even the paraent domains have absolutely nothing to do with the keywords
page gets crawled daily, and shows an accurate cache, nothing to do with keywords
domain isn't expired or anything like that
all similar pages have zero to do with keywords

Usually these oddball results have some sort of explanation, but there just isn't any here.

===

hmm, it ranks #9 for allinanchor (nowhere for allintext)

and now I've found another one like this, also ranked #4, from an edu (not the same one), page not found, one backlink on Yahoo, none on Google, PR6...

with Google thinking these pages should rank for allinanchor I suppose it makes sense, but I would have to think that at least one blog link would show up on Yahoo by now if somebody was test-bombing the page.

[edited by: steveb at 8:13 pm (utc) on Dec. 17, 2004]

egomaniac

8:11 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Most of my pages are doing fine. I am seeing new stuff... particularly blogs are coming on strong.

One of my pages that I effectively "pulled" for a month (while I did some testing on it using a metarefresh to a rotator script) is no nowhere to be found in the first few hundred results. It was #1 both before and after my recent test (which I wrote about here... Page Pulled For 1 Month, Gets Back to #1 in 24 Hours [webmasterworld.com]).

So either this update is not "done", and the page will show up again soon, or this page won't be ranking for awhile because it was not available for spidering during all the googlebot activity during November (which is when I had pulled the page for the test).

BTW, this page was the #1 result for a moderately competitive two-word phrase (20.7M results). Nope, not whining, and I don't even care that much cause the phrase is low traffic (which is why I was doing some testing there). Just reporting facts to help analyze with.

madmatt69

8:26 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yeah..I'm seeing a page about a digital camera in the top ten for a search term completely unrelated to cameras.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when the dust settles!

<added>Just checked adsense, lowest day in three months - related?</added>

[edited by: madmatt69 at 8:30 pm (utc) on Dec. 17, 2004]

howiejs

8:29 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Uh oh. I haven't read this thread yet - but I noticed a massive drop in rankings on my site just now

leoo24

8:39 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Just checked adsense, lowest day in three months - related?

i would say the drop in traffic is relative to teh drop in earnings.

concering the speculation of the update being in favour of google boosting adwords, won't a drop in adsense sporting sites reduce their income from adsense advertisers?

dupac

8:40 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well apart from seeing the same anchor text penalty, I am seeing that this filter is giving more weightage to outgoing links. If anyone else seeing that too.
Can anyone confirm this?

madmatt69

8:44 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Not sure. Just thought I'd increase in rankings having now got into the Yahoo directory, and a few PR7's since the last update linking to me. But again - We just have to wait and see what happens when the update is done. My site's survived every update (incl Florida) on top of things, hopefully it'll continue.

One thing I am seeing though is keyword in the URL and domain name, for the keywords I'm tracking. Which again is why someone with a file name "digital-camera-widget.php" is out ranking legit sites for this particular search phrase that has nothing to do with cameras.

So far, that's all I can tell.

nick35

8:47 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)



Well, I don't know if this will last but the "old and GOOD" in my eyes results are back. Lets hope they stay and that this is not just a glitch! I have been checking for a half an hour!

leoo24

8:55 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well, I don't know if this will last but the "old and GOOD" in my eyes results are back. Lets hope they stay and that this is not just a glitch! I have been checking for a half an hour!
new and crappy results still for me :(

dickbaker

8:59 pm on Dec 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I just checked a site I'd done over a year ago for a title insurance company. It consistently ranked in the top ten for "title insurance (insert county name here) county."

Now it's #41 to #50 for the various counties.

The sites that are coming in the top five results are terrible in terms of SEO. One is practically all Javascript. Another is just the employee directory page for a large title insurance company.

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