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Any thoughts on SERP discrepency?

Vastly different placement in google than with Yahoo or MSN

5:43 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:July 23, 2003
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I'm hoping that some of ya'll can offer suggestions on what may be causing this...

I'm seeing VASTLY different search results between Google and Y! & MSN. My site doesn't even rank in the top 200 for my primary keywords in google (although 6 months ago it was in the top 30), but on Y! it's #4, MSN it's #11, MSN Beta it's #2 (have seen it #1).

In the last month I've had over 16k page views from MSNBot, 4k from Slurp, 13k from Mediapartners-Google/2.1 (UA) but only 30 from Googlebot (although there have been 2700 from GoogleBot Cloak).

AdSense is running on the site, but I don't subscribe to the penalty theory.

I've resubmitted to Google, and am awaiting to see an increase in spidering from that.

Any ideas/suggestions that would explain the difference?

5:44 pm on Jan 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:July 23, 2003
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Any thoughts? (the topic got lost during the delay in post approval and the time it actually showed up on the board)
5:13 am on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:Jan 16, 2003
votes: 0

Google has a number of tests that yahoo and msn do not have - or at least to the same extent:

- Interlinking of sites test - so only one site gets returned for a search.
- sandbox - so your site doesn't get listed on the serps despite having better PR and onpage SEO than many others in the SERP's
- duplicate content filter - if the snippet for your site for a given search phrase is the same as for another site - only one site will have its page shown
- duplicate content filter - when people use a 302 redirect to link to your site - their url can be shown with your content
- or just plain ole Google dancing between datacentres and not having your pages cache at that moment. I have seen a few old pages that have been cached in the past, not currently showing up, and not being returned for searches, despite the majority of other pages in the site showing for their searches.
- fresh effect - new content given temporarily higher serp placement, then disappearing due to normal reasons, or any of the above.

It becomes very hard to isolate just why pages that were previously showing up well don't continue to do so.

All the best.

5:26 am on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:Sept 28, 2001
votes: 0

We should start by asking two questions:
1) When was the first time Google indexed your site?
2) How many results are there for the phrase you are ranking?

If your site is young, and there is some competitiveness for your keywords, you are automatically ranked lower because you are new. It could very well be 2 years before this changes unless you resort to black hat tactics. However, you might try optimizing for less competitive phrases, and in general, building lots of content about your topic across many pages of your site.

Better yet, forget Google for a while. ;)

Try MSNing for "Google Sandbox Effect"

A couple of new terms I want to throw out here:
MSNing = to search using MSN
Yahooing = to search using Yahoo

Old Term
Googling = to search for non-sandboxed sites that are supposedly "tried and true"


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