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Serp Fluxuations



5:54 am on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Lots of reason to be watching WebmasterWorld this week!


1:25 am on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm seeing no changes, I manage 30 travel sites.

This is not an update.


1:51 am on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

My prediction still stands at September 3rd...

Is anyone else seeing a lot of Googlebot activity this month? My site has around 1,000 pages. The most Googlebot has ever consumed in a month is around 2,900. As of yesterday, this month was at 7,200 and earlier today, Googlebot grabbed roughly 500 more pages.

Either I'm in trouble, about to take off, or there is something big brewing.

And I agree with the earlier post - can't the mods change it to Fluctuations?


5:11 am on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi Folks

I still see the DCs moving this morning. But of course I can only talk about the sector which my testing keyphrases are related to; advertising and marketing.


8:25 am on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have noticed today very little activity of Googlebot compared to the very high activity during the last week.

Have you noticed today the same on your site?


9:35 am on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

GoogleGuy posted something once about hotel sites just doing the same old stuff as each other and how this has no value.

Could ad up that same could be said about cell phone content sites (ringtones). These sites have also been hit hard by recent updates. Some things are better now, but as other here complain, good sites have also disappeared or dropped 95 % in rankings. Gone with the trash :-(


9:44 am on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yep.. there appears to be less Googlebot activity, but the biggest sign that something might be happening is that Matt Cutts has not updated his blog since 28 August. Maybe thats because he has been busy elsewhere stirring the pot!


10:04 am on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"GoogleGuy posted something once about hotel sites"
Can Google guy can tell us if there is a single Hotel site that is not an affiliate site?Can GG tell us why a travel site dominates all searches for travel, can Europe for visitors tell us (though he and me as well are affiliates both with an Italian company) he is there and I am gone? (I am gone probably because I affiliate as well with CJ)
.Question for Google Guy,Ok mister I run an affiliate site that you can book very very secure ur accommodation via one of the biggest and trust companies in the world, instead you have at the #1 companies that if you check at any WHOIS are from INDOCHINA and MALAYSIA,.I ask you if I have to put my credit card to book a hotel and my account goes to who the bfvk I don't know is that a creditable result on Google #1 for widget hotels? or maybe is better and you and your eval staff and engineers try to think who will book via someone that due to huge links exchange got at #1.We or I know that you manually create SERPS in travel sectors but you never thought about who is going to book a hotel or a flight via faulty companies. A second failure in travel sector ,it seems only 2 sites dominate the flights ,but both of those sites are affiliates and offer flights only from the UK,we know that half EARTH wand a cheap flight to widget ,why don't you put the real airlines on top even if they have not back links but instead you put PR*bla bla bla pages that over flights only if u are a brit and not a Canadian or Australian or south African or anybody that will search for cheap flights to widget ,because that's the language you have to put in ur SE if want to find a flight.


10:08 am on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yehh lots of mispelling because i am a european looking for a cheap flight and hotel to widget but Google gives me pages that you can book only through FAULTY TOWERS


2:16 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

the problem is this: they are 1000's of affiliates, who have the same exact info (minus the templates) and add no other useful information for the users. So google's point is: why clog the serps with 4000 sites that have the same exact information? How does that benefit the users?

suppose you have a page about Athens Travel. If you add your own pictures, your own or user reviews, current news, etc. you will be fine in Google's eyes.


2:44 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Problem is Google only looks at what is 'on screen' - you may well be bring added value 'off screen'

For example the affiliate may have far better response times to email, far better service levels, follow up etc etc

Because he cares more

I can understand Google not wanting all the same results, but in a few cases they have chucked the baby out with the bath water


2:49 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Comedy right here....

The reason that a single .co.uk site dominates a lot of flights terms is right there in the Google data for the site. Try a few special searches, and some lateral thinking. It quickly becomes obvious what is driving the rankings.

Since the information on that site is unique, why should it not rank #1?

I think a LOT of travel sites have suffered from the anti-scraper filter. I've been watching some travel terms recently, and it sure looks as if sites with syndicated content, and / or a footprint with similarities to scraped content are hurting. However, I don't believe that Google have targetted affiliates (travel or not) specifically. I do think that some affiliates need to take a good, long look at their sites and ask "How AM I different to a scraper site?". There's too many "datafeed-in-a-wrapper" sites out there


2:54 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree with walkman, this method has worked very well for us (a content page a day keeps the Googlebot...err...coming back) and the content is all original writing. I'm not saying that others on here don't use original content but it is a growing problem. Guide pages are king in the travel industry for SEO right now. The problem is too many sites are ripping content from other sites. Duplicate content filters are enforced, and sites drop in the rankings.

Also, concerning who is #1 in the SERPs for travel search terms, remember that most people building an itinerary will visit AT LEAST four sites before making a decision, so its good to focus on having the best VISIBLE price, and it's also good to focus on your SEO for particular product or location pages. The less steps you make them take, the easier they will find they price you want them to find, and the less chance they will give up and move on to the next site. 5 clicks maximum to get to the booking engine. After they are psychologically committed to your site, then you wrangle out the details.


3:10 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Problem is Google only looks at what is 'on screen' - you may well be bring added value 'off screen'

Google's job isn't to rate businesses for their customer service (real or imagined) or other "offscreen" added value.

Google's job is to index, organize, and present Web pages based on the value of their Web content to users.

That doesn't mean affiliate sites can't do well in Google. I can think of one hotel affiliate site (add "by" to the name of your favorite major European city) that does a great job of adding value. It normally ranks at or near the top of the SERPs where it's competing, and rightly so, because its hotel descriptions compare favorably with (and in some cases are better than) the hotels' own Web sites. It's a perfect example of the "added value" that GoogleGuy mentioned in this forum.


3:24 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

EFV - I know the sites you're alluding to - trouble is, they're not affiliates, unless my definition is off. They're not taking feeds, nor do they have an affiliate program - there are no aff links - they're not adding value in that they're starting from scratch.

Sure, they're packaging product that isn't 'theirs', but they're pretty much directories that earn on bookings - their model is somewhat different. Again, no steenkin' aff links.

However, all said and done, I see absoulutely-sod-all-added value aff hotel sites riding as high as they ever have - that death knoll is still sounding pretty quiet to me.


3:43 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Affiliates or not, they're an example of "added value" from a user's point of view. (And any affiliate site could do something similar if the owner was willing to work as hard on content as on SEO.)

I agree that hotel affiliate sites (including ones without added value) aren't dead by a long shot.


5:27 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The travel guide with added products to sell has always worked well. There are plenty of packaged travel guides available too. Unique and original travel guides are a bit of a rarity. Unfortunately, their content is copied and pasted, nice and easy, for Joe Schmo's new site and boom they get zapped.

When adding hotels, hostels, books, luggage, car rental and tours, it's much easier to just link to an engine and customise it a bit than to redo the whole thing.

If it works, the tours are good, the hotels are nice, the rooms are clean, the cars are reliable, why change anything? Why penalise?

Any brick and mortar store resells other people's stuff. My corner store doesn't manufacture anything but they sell like crazy.

I don't like the full on feed site, believe me. There are too many out there just churning them out one after the other with a different url, stylesheet and logo without any real add on. Same rooms, same guide, same pictures.

Unique travel sites add a personal feel to a place and personal recommendations on a variety of aspects concerning a trip.

Let's keep those unique travel sites around, even if they resell hotel rooms. Let's get rid of the full on feed.

Again, don't copy and paste, it bugs me.


6:16 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's rather comical. Travel as a standalone industry in regards to SEO has it's own methodology to what works and what doesn't. So many things in this industry will get your site penalized merely because it's part of the way we do business. Considering it's the #2 industry on the web right now I wouldn't be suprised to find out that there was an entirely different set of parameters for the way the algorithm does its magic upon these kind of sites, or for any other big sector for that matter. Maybe that is why affiliate links aren't so heavily penalized.


10:43 pm on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Okay reseller, as asked - the sector I'm in that is currently fading in and out (i.e. one minute they are in the SERPs and the next they're gone) includes 6 websites for my legal firm (Personal Injury, Employment Law, Endowment Miselling etc.) all UK based.

I have a few directories that cover a multitude of topics which stay in the SERPs but the numbers bounce around alot. One even goes from 14,000 pages to 118,000 pages indexed from day to day.


8:08 am on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Thanks for feedback. Much appreciated.

Never thought that law/legal sector is under attack too ;-)

As to advertising/marketing sector which my test keywphrases are related to, I have noticed #1 site got a hit on some Dcs while it just went down to #2 on others. I.e its not settled yet.


1:27 pm on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

They're at it again. My site dropped from #1 to #3 for my main search term and pageviews on my site were the lowest in 45 days yesterday.

Why can't they just leave it the F**K ALONE?

What's wrong with these people? They must work for the government.


1:31 pm on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>>Why can't they just leave it the F**K ALONE?

Because they have STILL not fixed the underlying problem! I wonder if they can - sigh!


1:54 pm on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I should add to my post:-

Although of course we want G to get it right :)

Would love a progress report on Canonical urls!


4:03 pm on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

the guy who took your SERPs place said just that when you took "his" place. ;)


5:06 pm on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just a bit of fun... I think sometimes we spend too much time fearing Google and not enough time laughing at it. Check out this article:



7:03 pm on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you for posting that Onion link, it was the biggest laugh I've had in a long time.


7:25 pm on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I like this one ;-)

"Until yesterday's news conference, the company's unofficial slogan had been "Don't be evil." The slogan has now been expanded to "Don't be evil, unless it's necessary for the greater good."


1:21 pm on Sep 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Back to the subject of the thread ;-)

I see at the moment changes in the serps of the following DCs when testing my keyphrases related to advertising and marketing

What was #1 moved down to be #2.

And what was #3 has been dropped!

My google.com ( top 10 are identical now with those of the three mentioned DCs.

Any of you noticed any changes on the DCs?


2:57 pm on Sep 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Reseller, you will goes crazy with G dance heheh just a random computer game. Maybe today all G employers are "taking some time to find out for yourself", or spending money shopping heheh


3:34 pm on Sep 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


>>Reseller, you will goes crazy with G dance heheh just a random computer game.<<

No dance this time...

I can see GoogleGuy´s colleagues busy at the plex today ;-)


1:56 am on Sep 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

"Don't be evil, unless it's necessary for the greater good."

This is nonsense. You can never achieve greater good by being evil. Evil is the opposit of being good. So how can one achieve GREATER good by being the oposite of goodness?

This 183 message thread spans 7 pages: 183

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