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June 27 - changes Part 2

     
3:12 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Admin note: Continued from [webmasterworld.com...]

I'll offer my symptoms as well and put them in chronological order since it appears I have patterns similar to many, but a few smaller differences.

Before June27 everything had been running smooth for a very long time. No significant changes in SERPS had ever occurred. The only "weird" thing I ever saw was about eight or nine months ago when during a PR update my homepage went to PR 0, yet all of my internal pages retained their PR of 3-5. The next PR update "fixed" this and my homepage went back to PR 5 as it had been before.

Otherwise all indexing was normal. Page title in the blue link, multiple lines of snippet text from the page in the black description, etc. Using the "site:" command showed normal results, homepage listed first followed by other pages in some semblance of order. I've never previously, nor currently, have any problems with "supplemental" pages.

June 27 during the evening I lost 95% of my traffic from Google and disappeared in the SERPS.

After June 27 traffic is still way down. Yesterday I saw a tiny increase in SERPS but no increase in traffic. Today I'm down a tiny bit in SERPS from yesterday.

Looking at the "site:" command there are two huge differences. First is that my homepage is missing out of about 700 pages. It isn't listed at all. The second big difference is that most of the pages are listed with the meta-description as the black description text rather than snippets of the text previously used. Pages are still cached.

If I search Google for a specific phrase in quotes that only appears on my website, the page is returned in the search results, however again the description text is just what is in the meta-description and no snippet from the page itself.

June 29 - Googlebot went on a deep crawl of my site, crawling pretty much all of the 700 pages in the site. The crawled pages are not yet showing in the cache.

[edited by: engine at 4:13 pm (utc) on June 30, 2006]

12:21 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hmm things seem to be getting steadily worse, now our site is dropping on [72.14.207.104...] looks like these bad SERPS are here to stay.

There goes 2 years work....

12:26 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Subjective examples of the 3 different data types.
[72.14.207.107...] For me the best results for a long time.
[64.233.167.99...] OK for some terms variable for others.
[66.102.11.99...] OK for some terms poor for others.

First one: 2 less victims from my 5 demaged sites.
Sceond: Like Google.de, 5 demaged sites from me
Third: 1 less victim from my 5 demaged domains

BTW: Resarching what happened brought several disconveries. For example a discussion about a copyright infringment.

[webmasterworld.com...]

4:29 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Lordpercy
Hmm things seem to be getting steadily worse, now our site is dropping on [72.14.207.104...] looks like these bad SERPS are here to stay.

Why do you say that these SERPS are here to stay.

It looks to me that they are only on a minority of data centres. For us they look to be "too good to be true" for some (high volume) search terms but disappointing for others.

I felt like you after the Florida update but came back stronger than ever eventually. You just need to hang on and see what happens, I'm sure that we are going to have a bumpy ride for a few months yet.

Good luck

Sid

4:31 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Did *everybody* recover from the Florida update?
4:40 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>Why do you say that these SERPS are here to stay

maybe because the last blip that G had only lasted 24 hours

4:55 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sorry guess I'm starting to sound like a stuck record :( There were only 2 DC's with ok results (the same as pre 27th) now at least one of these is changing in a negative way too.

It's fair to accept changes in SERPS, but a wholesale crash seems to me like some kind of filter being applied that has some "friendly fire".

Perhaps my HTML is pants or I have made some other error.

LP

<Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com]>

[edited by: tedster at 4:58 pm (utc) on July 3, 2006]

5:01 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Lord,
What's DC's are you referring to that have old SERPS?
5:46 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[64.233.189.104...]

This one has pre June 27th, results.

5:55 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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nice to see an old friend, Index at the top using site:command and ranking 10th for a very competitive single keyword - those were the days ;0(
6:11 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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64.233.189.104

Yeah, that one is sweet. Sigh.

I'm torn, personally. I have been considering a re-design, including a massive architectural overhaul, but kept putting it off since I had good traffic with the old design pre 27th, and didn't want to lose that traffic while the new layout was taking hold. So, part of me says "Now's yer chance!", while another part says "Wait, this may be temporary..."

6:57 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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lordpercy, you say
Hmm things seem to be getting steadily worse, now our site is dropping on [72.14.207.104...] looks like these bad SERPS are here to stay.

What do you mean by "hard work"? Those serps are some of the best I have seen in a long time, and others here seem to agree. I am curious what "work" you have done is now down the drain? I am not being mean or sarcastic. But was that "work" the type of activity Google is working to combat?

Not everyone is going to be happy at all times, but I see great moves forward with that datacenter. And because your site is gone, doesn't mean the serps are getting worse.

Chris

7:02 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I better clarify, that DC is the last one with good SERPS for me and when I say hard work I mean writing fresh content every day if possible. Nothing clever in terms of SEO just following googles mantra, write good content at they will come!

Anyhow far too much from me, all I can hope is someone at the big G take a peek and sees that things are not quite right.

7:27 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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lordpercy, things have been very fluid the past 6 months. One day, a site will completely disappear from the serps, then the next day it is back. I have seen nothing "stick" on any particular datacenter in a very long time. I saw a site disappear from *all* datacenters 2 weeks ago, then return to *all* of them 3 days later.

This past weekend, I saw another site disappear from *all* datacenters, then return to *4* of them 3 days later.

So, basically, if you don't like what you see, just wait a minute :)

Things are coming and going like mad.

7:49 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Bluesplinter:
I know exactly what you mean.
I've been also contemplating doing a whole redesign to our site's navigational structure but have been putting it of too , following the if it ain't broke then dont fix it mantra.
I just wish things would settle with google to see if i should use this as an opportunity to "Raise it from the ground up" or keep doing less traumatic "incremental" updates to navigation.
8:03 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"http://64.233.189.104/
This one has pre June 27th, results. "

Unreviewed ... man, those are nice to see. Makes me a little weepy. lol

As I was looking through that DC compared to whatever comes up on google.com, I noticed something, at least for my results.

The pages that were ranking high prior to June 27 had the search terms as the title of the page. For instance, on June 26 a page named "How to handle blue widgets" ranked in the top 10 for me when people were searching for "How to handle blue widgets." After June 27th that same search result is not in the top 100, but curiously neither are any pages with that term in it.

What Google now shows as the top ranking pages whose titles are "How to handle" with blue widgets in the text somewhere. Odd. The results include things like orange widgets, black whatchmacallits and pink doodads. It's almost like the index after the 27th stopped after X words in the title.

8:21 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

In my very UK specific very small niche:

[64.233.189.104...]

produces SERPs for the terms I watch that are almost exactly the same as >> [72.14.207.104...]

I guess that changes in the algo that cause very small differences in one microcosm cause major differences elsewhere.

Someone asked if everything recovered for me post Florida. I'm happy to say yes so far so good.

Post BD we have had a bit of a rough ride but I can't see why this is happenning because different results are being fed to different groups of users in the UK. I assume that when I see good traffic it is because more folks are seeing the results that have us in #1 and #2 slots and when we have poor traffic goodness knows what they are seeing.

Best wishes

Sid

8:30 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>>http://64.233.189.104/

Whilst it's nice to see these search results again (screen capture for posterity), i am still seeing pages other than the index being returned as the first for a site:command and the results do seem to have wandered from the ones originally being displayed

8:41 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps hyphenated domains were more likely to have been lost June 27th, but they sure are ranking just fine all over the place.

If they'd just find the lost sites and dump the supplementals and turn the dcs off completely, on google.com they'd be presenting their best results since February 2004, maybe even february 2003 when they were last working right.

8:51 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We had our three oldest sites drop out on 6/27, like many of you.

I won't recite a long list of all our site features. Will just say they've been on-line since 98, 99, & 01, have large amounts of real/quality links slowly gathered over many years (*very* few of which are reciprocated), are pearly white in all aspects, have from 700 - 1500 pages of real and regularly updated/added content, have respectable Alexa, and none of them have every been caught up in any of the previous Google glitches.

There's no logical algorithmic reason any of them should drop out of the rankings as they have.

Site: operator shows no home page, meta name description instead of text snippet, and results are ordered in what appears to be a random order.

In reading all of the threads on the topic, the best explanation we've seen is that this is an update of the supplemental index--perhaps gone awry, perhaps not--and that the main index will eventually balance back out (soon, we hope). Wishful thinking, perhaps.

We've decided not to make any changes and are keeping on with business as usual: adding new high quality content.

Best,
Kirk out.

8:59 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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To me it seems clear that Google is having technical problems. When was the last BL update?

This shouldn't keep sites that have been hit by the bugdate from taking a long hard look at their site. I have removed everything I'm uncertain about. If that doesn't help I'm leveling the Googleplex.

9:17 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is it official? Bug Daddy?
9:44 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We've decided not to make any changes and are keeping on with business as usual: adding new high quality content.

That's a respectable strategy.

I, for one, have decided to panic and I am seeing a come-back in the SERPs. The cache of the offending pages is from pre-6/27, however. Is anyone else seeing an improvement in ranking?

10:24 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think the time to panic is when you run your site: command and the page report comes back in a logical order and your still not ranking in the SERPS.

Anything before this and your jumping the gun. We have continued to add content and are seeing pages added to the index post June 27th and these are clean non supp pages.

Hang in there this is not over just yet.

10:32 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We had a major jump in indexing on June 23rd weekend, and to our dismay it only lasted two days.

After that everything went back to the same old discusting...

Why is this hapenning? What should we do to get of this mess? Anything anyone tried that got them out of this?

10:37 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"I think the time to panic is when you run your site: command and the page report comes back in a logical order and your still not ranking in the SERPS."

Good point. I hadn't checked the site command ater the 27th. Mine are, how shall you say, awry.

10:40 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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F_Rose

"Why is this hapenning? What should we do to get of this mess? Anything anyone tried that got them out of this?"

May guess is; Its happening because the folks at the plex are still working on the new infrastructure. Maybe we shall see more stable serps next August.

10:58 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes the site: command seems to be the key to this IMO - it's telling us that the supplimental pages currently have greater "page weight" than even the index page but they are not going to get served as search results. So with thousands of sites going supp overnight there must be quite a few happy webmasters out there moving into the top places that have been vacated by all of these pages dropping down the ladder so to speak. None of my 5000 supp pages rank so multiply that by thousands of webmasters and thousands of sites and you have lots of sites suddenly filling places at the top they have not seen - maybe ever. So when the supplimental issue is sorted and things bounce back the next round of panic will be the guys who are ranking today...
11:07 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The changes people should be making are to correct any of the stuff that makes it more likely for Google to screw up... duplicate content on multiple URLs, not redirecting pages deleted, inconsistent linking, having www and non-www crawl paths possible, etc.

None of this corrects problems since once a URL has a supplemental associated with it you can't do anything to make it truly go away, but it helps prevent problems.

11:15 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am starting to see positive changes occuring for my site now, as google traffic stats increase and previous lost pages start to return.
11:39 pm on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"I am starting to see positive changes occuring for my site now, as google traffic stats increase and previous lost pages start to return. "

What time period is this over? A day? An hour?

Also, when you say they are returning, do you mean in the results or based on the referrers in your analyzer software?

Thanks!

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