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May 16th and 17th changes - what happened?

     

firstmark

5:02 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I noticed on the 16th and 17th that google results seemed to be dramatically different at least for my site and its sectors. Did anyone else notice this.

frakilk

10:22 am on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Even though the results from the 16th and 17th have evaporated I still think that the 2 day period was a sign of something to come and not just a fluctuation. Just my opinion though, don't quote me on that.

avalanche101

6:37 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Well I certainly hope so, things are starting to look a little lost now. March/April and now most of May without any real change for the better.

frakilk

6:59 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Well I certainly hope so, things are starting to look a little lost now. March/April and now most of May without any real change for the better.

More like Jan-May without any real change for the better. Hard to believe Google's been in turmoil for almost half a year now.

econman

7:06 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Just checked our data, and nothing noticeably unusual occurred on the 16th or 17th for our sites.

avalanche101

7:48 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We had a dip last sep, then in dec, but held pretty solid until early march.
Now down to page 2/3 for some terms, completely vanished for others, after a 4 year spell of consistantly doing well/ holding position.

frakilk

7:51 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



avalanche101 -

How would you rate the quality of your inbound links? Ratio of one-way links to reciprocal links? etc...

avalanche101

7:56 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Good questions, I've been reading on here lots of conjecture about this side of the google story.
Ratio: one ways to us versus reciprocal probably about 5 to 1. The sites been around 5+ years so a lot of links have just been picked up naturally.
Quality of the links - google always decides this one in the end, but I would say most are ok, there's always going to be a tonne of stuff that you don't want. We get google notices every day to say this site has linked to us or that site.
What about you?

JuniorOptimizer

8:09 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The new effort in webmaster communication has been great. At least we can be greatful for that.

frakilk

8:15 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Well my site has been split in two by Google. The half I really want to rank well (the affiliate half) has minimal back links due to the fact, by my own admission, it is not very link worthy. So guess what, it hasn't gained much in the way of links.

The other half (the community and blogs) has at max 3 recips (I'm not a fan), the rest are all one-way. The quality of the one-ways varies from the great (power directories, themed links from blogs and article submissions) to the not so great (minor directories). Overall though I would say the site is at a healthy link level.

I have seen a 600% increase in traffic to the community and blog half and a 90% decrease in traffic to the affiliate half.

I reckon the lack of quality links to the affiliate half has sealed its low traffic fate. But on the 16th and 17th, traffic levels before Dec 27th came right back. I just want to know when the rollercoaster is going to stop.

firstmark

11:07 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



At least the 16th and 17th change was not just me. I hope results like that return. I wonder what caused the changes in ranking for some sites. Was it a filter turned off, some tweaking to a current algo formula, or a rollback to older data or ranking for whatever reason.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

trinorthlighting

11:13 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I had a drop of nearly 50% since those days. My pages that were fully indexed and cached just vanished out of the index.

For my level one pages in one of my online stores, I had 70 pages fully indexed. I watched the past week as the went from 70 pages to two pages. Yet googlebot is going a bit wild on my site, the pages are not reappearing.

I think Big daddy is still not fixed and still has issues with dropping pages. I just do not understand why google would index and cache a page and then just drop it.

It seems a waste of resources and bandwidth. May be they really are out of room in their servers. I know matt posted on his blog his thoughts. There are conflicting reports about this still and google has not made a public statement since.

Interesting thoughts for investors.

JeffOstroff

8:50 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Google was definitely doing something. Our BridalTips site used to be in the Top10-20 in all searches. Then laste year we dissappeared of the map, dropping to positions in the 300-700 rnage, which is the worst. Then on May 16-17, all our rankings came back and we were #5, #8, #9, and in the 20's on several of our keywords.

Then on the 18th, they sent us back to social siberia.

Whatever they did, I wish they would do it again, because it removed a lot of scraper sites that show up higher than us.

dazzlindonna

9:27 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



At least the 16th and 17th change was not just me. I hope results like that return. I wonder what caused the changes in ranking for some sites. Was it a filter turned off, some tweaking to a current algo formula, or a rollback to older data or ranking for whatever reason.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

My thoughts:

I had one site go belly-up in rankings back on Dec. 27. May 16-17 brought all those rankings back, and then of course, disappeared again.

The only thing we were ever told about the Dec. 27 changes was that it involved a "data refresh".

So, I have to assume that 16-17 results involved old data.

Either that, or "data refresh" was a lie, and the Dec 27 changes involved a filter of some sort (which is what I really believe). If so, then 16-17 changes involved that filter not yet being applied.

Either way, I think the 16-17 results are history, and we will never see them again, except for the occasional glitch when G uses old data or forgets to apply a filter for a day or two.

avalanche101

9:28 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Yes,
I don't know why they removed the 16th/17th may results, they looked pretty good in our sector, you had to go to page 8 to start seeing junk.

JeffOstroff

2:30 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



just checked today, and really strange and insulting, one of the keywords we value most Google has us on like page 93 of results, something like position 902, the page before the very last page of results.

That is a slap in the face, placed behind all supplemental sites, behind all scammers, and scrapers and scum bags.

On the 17th, Google had correctly ranked us #30 for that search term. We ar enot sandboxed otherwise we would not show up at all. Keep in mind that early last year we were ranked in the Top 10 for that keyword, as our site is the best consumer advocate site on the web with the mmost useful content on buying diamond rings and avoiding scams.

We never did any kind of spemdexing techniques whatsoever, and our site is written to be user friendly, and was well liked by search engines. We are even in DMOZ and YAhoo directory under wedding sites.

Last septemebr we appear to have dropped out of site, and have been working ever since to get back into good rank to no avail.

But something is defintiely broke in Google's filters. They tuned the filters properly on May 16, many of our keywords were back in Top 10 rank again.

Then someone at Google screwed it all up again on May 18, turning the wrong tuning knob.

trinorthlighting

2:46 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



What ever they turned on had something to do with back links. I watched my links disapear first then all the sudden the cached page dropped out of google

avalanche101

11:56 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



trinorthlighting:

Did you do link: command test on your site on 16th/17th of may?
If so: did you notice an increase in your backlinks being displayed?

Unfortuantely I forogt to run any tests on 16th/17th - foolishly thought the cahnge was for good.

trinorthlighting

11:06 am on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Yes, I did, I had approximately 6 back links for each page that was cached, they all disapeared by the 19th. Then the pages started dropping out of google.

avalanche101

12:06 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



So,
google decided to change how it views the links -ie they were counted on the 16th/17th based on whatever algo was being used, then on the 18th used a different algo which doesn't count the links.
Anything special about them? How long have they been pointing to your pages? Are they from similar websites?

avalanche101

12:07 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hi,
what I mean by similar is are they from websites in your field and not owned by you?

hermosa

12:34 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well I have just checked and a number of my pages have just vanished...completely disappeared. They still have page rank but they don't have caches and they no longer show up in the SERPS at all. These are pages that were ranking really well too.

avalanche101

12:57 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



hermosa
Did you make any changes, any links been removed?
have your pages consistantly done well through out Big Daddy Quake or did they start doing well after it started?

trinorthlighting

1:01 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



No, the links were from my own site from a different page. First the links disappeared, then the cache of the page. Then the url of the page.

avalanche101

1:10 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



trinorthlighting

I think this is a knock on effect.
If google's algo decides to not count the links from one page to another within your site, then page is going to lose its cache etc.
Have your external backlinks changed? - This could be the reason for the start of the above process.

trinorthlighting

2:13 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



No, the external back links have not changed one bit in 6 months. Its about time for a back link update. May be its starting.

avalanche101

2:42 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Well I hope so, can't see anything at the moment though.

yummybanas

9:05 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



The pages that dropped on the 17th still haven't come back for me. You're not the only one.

dc_dalton

2:40 am on Jun 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We have seen all of our indexed pages (that came out of Big Daddy in March) disapear too. Sites that were getting consistent traffic have seen NOTHING from Google since May 15th, 16th.

Clients are also screaming as they see their pages drop off the face of the earth!

These are all quality sites with great content and backlinks and no black hat at all. We watched them start rising up the ranks in Jan / Feb and then saw some great results in late March / early April. Now? Nothing! We might as well be back in January!

You know Its about time Google stopped this "double secret probation" nonsense and told us what the heck they are up too! 3 weeks and not one word about this mess. It was bad enough Big Daddy was 6 months of wondering but to then screw everyting back up after that pain and say nothing is REALLY out of line!

Come on Google .. TALK!

trinorthlighting

3:03 am on Jun 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I think google has their hands full right now because they are not talking. I have not had any pages come back yet.

dangerman

10:45 am on Jun 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I wouldn't wait for Google search people to talk to you. They have never responded properly to me through a myriad of channels over the years. We are way down their list of priorities, and imo one day they will pay the price. But not any day soon.

Many webmasters are in exactly the same position. I know, some consolation. We are having to tell clients to make sure their business/website is commercially viable if you take Google serps out of the equation. That way, when the inevitable happens, that is, their quality content-rich site disappears under a sea of crappy spam in the Google serps, they can still turn a profit.

Focus on getting original news articles out to vertical news portals, very targeted PPC keyword campaigns etc. Unless you have an old, established site, treat hits from Google serps as a bit of icing, but something you can never depend upon.

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