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Rather than cry and complain threads (there is never anything imperfect in G serps, there is only reality), this one is for success stories, and why we think it happened.
Only one of my domain pages (in a highly competitive industry) suddenly dropped rank in serps since Allegra, so I switched priorities and let content expansion ride for a while whilst I redesigned anything and everything I could think of (and read about here in WebmasterWorld) that might help to win the love and respect of the current G algo.
Nothing seemed to help.
The other day, I looked closely at what brief description text G picked out of my pages, and I was disappointed, not what I would like or expect to see.
I came to the conclusion (for what it's worth) that G gave more weight to text in outer tables irrespective of keyword density and h1 tags throughout the page, over text in inner tables. So I changed that.
Bingo! As the robot revisits, ranking for those pages is back up higher.
My conclusion may be wrong (could be something else has happened), it may not work for you, but either way I'm sure we are all eager to hear success story reasonings, rightly or wrongly interpreted.
Anyone else here with morale boosting reasonings ................
One hypothesis is that Google found the new pages, said "I'm starting over" and rebuilt its index of our site from 0, which is why we saw our site:domain.com results decrease.
Has anyone else seen something like this happen, or is it more likely Google's recent update that we're seeing?
Hoever on .de I can see my site ranked a little higher than before on a strong keyword (#3 before allegra, down to low 40ies after allegra, now back on #17).
Let's see what will happen.
These two are showing me different results and the updated number is showing on www.google.com right now.
On these data centres, the SERPS show one of my pages with the old (February 28th) title & description, whereas in the cache it shows the new updated (March 1st) page. On google.com both the latest title, description and cache are shown.
So those data centres seem to show slighly older information.
Is this significant?
About outer/inner tables.
On one page I had all content (> 1000 words) in an overall table, except for one line of small print (font 1) at the bottom of the page thus not included in the overall table. That bottom line is what G picked up as the site description for serps!
After removing the line, the page picked up in serps again and got a decent description.
That example is extreme, but similar happened with tables in tables in tables. An outer one had some irrelevant text for the site theme, an inner table had the title with H1, but the title seems to have been ignored, and the irrelevant text got used as description, which makes it logical to me that my keywords weren't getting noticed and would explain a drop in serps. Redoing the tables hierarchy got me a better description and improved ranking.
I triple checked for possible html errors since it seemed very strange, but there were none. Weird.
Nothing major seemed to change for weeks (since about Feb 10th), but now some things are definitely shifting around for me...
In the last few days, my site went from:
to 24 zeros / 6 1's
to 20 zeros / 10 1's
to 24 zeros / 6 1's
to 16 zeros / 14 1's
(The zeros were probably actually in the 400's, but #*$! truncates at 100)
fluctuated between 2-6 DC C-clocks showed 1st place, others ranked between #420-460
6-8 DC C-blocks now show 1st place, others still in the 400's
If I had to describe the behavior I'm seeing, it's as if I'm watching my site "come of age" out of the sandbox. I'm also seeing more of my site's pages with the datestamp in green (freshtag?). Old pages that no longer exist on my site (they were 301'd but remained cached in Google) are now finally dropping out of the SERPs when I search mydomain.com
Quite fascinating to monitor these changes!
[author: why does "scr__gle" get turned into "#*$!"?]
[edited by: lego_maniac at 2:38 am (utc) on Mar. 3, 2005]