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October 30: major shifts in the SERPs? or just minor inconsistencies?

What are people seeing today?

     
12:27 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We lost 000s of pages from the Google results on October 20, although nothing like as consistently as over the summer; some have popped in and out all week. But I think there was more movement today, October 30 - has anyone seen big changes, or just inconsistencies, like us?
7:51 am on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Folks

Most of what you wrote till now sounds like; what took place was a Data Refresh of an old algorithm.

Those Data Refreshes could be very nasty indeed ;-)

We better get used to them because they are happening once a month.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Please say:

Farewell Google Dances and Google Updates...

Welcome "Matt Cutts" Data Refreshes :-)

Btw, we need to agree on giving names to those killing Data Refreshes. How about calling the current latest one:

Data Refresh - Zombie

9:16 am on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just call them:
The Monthly Ripoff
10:20 am on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What exactly is the data that gets freshed during a data refresh?
1:08 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I could have buy in on the data refresh. However, unless i have misunderstood Matt wrong, a different department at the plex handles data refreshes. It would be nice if we could get some clarification on some stuff.

i would only have 2 or 3 questions and if one of the google reps read this maybe they would be kind enough to respond.

1) Who handles the data refreshes? I am under the impression there is some kind "index team".

2)Is there a specific place that we can go to confirm that a data refresh has occured? Kind of like a webmaster central blog for sitemaps, we go to Matt's blog for stuff, is there one for this "index team" or what ever it is called?

2:38 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Whats the difference between a "data refresh" and the old dances?
3:31 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We had a big drop in traffic 10/30 and 10/31. While some of it was from organic listings the majority was from adwords. Decrease from adwords was across the board. Bids did not change. We manage over 1000 keywords. Very strange.
4:18 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Whats the difference between a "data refresh" and the old dances?

The old Google Dances involved a monthly change to the algorithm, which then migrated to the various data centers in a dance. Today new algorithm components are added in or changed quite infrequently, although the relative weights of each component do get dialed up and dialed down regularly.

Today's Data Refresh can be a bit more dramatic than mere "everflux" changes in the SERP, but it usually causes nowhere near the wailing and gnashing of teeth that say a Florida Update used to. Or, I hazard to say, whatever the next true update will throw at us.

4:21 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Seeing changes for sure on our big terms for the positive mostly.

Call it refresh freska?

:)

4:44 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Or, I hazard to say, whatever the next true update will throw at us.

Tedster, do you think there will be future Google "updates" in the traditional meaning of the term? Or might changes be rolled out incrementally (and is it possible that facilitating incremental changes was one reason for the new BigDaddy infrastructure)?

5:04 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I do think that, once in a while, some MAJOR change to the Google algo will require some shaking of the earth. Possibly once a year or even less often -- as you say, Big Daddy has given Google some excellent tools. But the playing field is still far from mature, so new and major issues are bound to come along once in a while.
5:41 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Seen some significant changes today on Google.
6:49 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have been a part of the "refresh" scandal too....ranked #3 for my primari KW...went to 6th!...in less than a week.

Also, my PPC campaigns went bezerk.....one of my adgroups saw an 11k increase on impressions, another had over 5k more impressions...!

7:09 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I still suffer from old indexed pages that haven't existed for months and old cached pages, #*$!
7:31 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Anyone noticing that some of the major "adult" terms are showing filtered results now for "moderate" safe search?

Interesting.

John

3:30 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Something is happening for sure. I just registered and subscribed to find info for this very reason.

Totally different serps has been shown today. We lost a lot of freshly added sites within a few hours. Nowhere to be found.

We suspected some kind of roll-back but it doesn't look like it.

5:40 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Anyone notice that Wikipedia pages seem to have taken over much of the Google search results?
6:27 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing some movement today. For what reason I don't know. But movement.
7:45 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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macman,

yes i have noticed wikipedia dominating the SERPs. This is likely because google views the website as authoritative.

Hopefully they get this worked out, cause its going to impact people looking for "widgets" to buy if all they get in the results is information on the "widgets". Then again, maybe this is a ploy from google to increase the click through rates on their ads?

J

8:15 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hopefully they get this worked out, cause its going to impact people looking for "widgets" to buy if all they get in the results is information on the "widgets". Then again, maybe this is a ploy from google to increase the click through rates on their ads?

Google's stated mission is "to organize the world's information [my italics] and make it universally accessible." Information is Wikipedia's stock in trade (and Google's), so why wouldn't you expect Wikipedia to rank well for searches that don't include modifiers like "buy" or "dealer" or "store"? Defaulting toward information results on generic searches isn't a "ploy," it's how Google Search is supposed to work.

8:28 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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> is it possible that facilitating incremental changes was one reason for the new BigDaddy infrastructure

The key issue is the PR-calculation-algorithm.

Quite a number of inconsistencies have been reported here; it seems as if PR has not been thorroughly calculated for many many months now. The traditional algo requires all values be calculated in one big loop. The question is whether the BigDaddy infrastucture was made for accounting for the massive growth of the internet (with another really big update coming as soon as this metamorphosis is really finished) or whether google has switched over to some completely different way of organizing knowledge and ranking.

10:18 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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europeforvisitors,

"Ploy" may have been the wrong choice of word there, however you cannot deny the fact that if the state of the SERPs stay as is, it will increase the click through ratio for "money terms", thus increasing googles bottom line.

I wonder how many people are savvy enough to change their browsing habits to include "buy", "store" and "shop" in their search requests.

11:35 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Our rankings have remained stable, and now our ratio of paid google to organic google is back where it belongs, around 1:4.

So, there has been a change of some sort these past few days, I cannot figure out what, but the net result for us is a spike in traffic back to levels we are familiar with.

All is well for us and basically back to "normal". A review of SERPs we watch suggests they are "proper" and "good" and "normal" again. Sites who are better than us on certain search terms are above us, search terms where we honestly do have the best site: we are #1.

Google SERPs makes sense and seem fair to me right now, for the areas and sectors we watch.

2:04 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Ploy" may have been the wrong choice of word there, however you cannot deny the fact that if the state of the SERPs stay as is, it will increase the click through ratio for "money terms", thus increasing googles bottom line.

Possibly (when surfers are looking to buy things), but for Google, that's just a happy side effect of living up to its mission statement.

I wonder how many people are savvy enough to change their browsing habits to include "buy", "store" and "shop" in their search requests.

Maybe not a whole lot, but it's hardly realistic to expect that Google would make it harder for people to find information and easier to find sellers when it has a stated mission of "organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible."

The good news, if you're an e-commerce business, is that you don't have to survive without Google traffic: You can either take the quick and easy path (buy ads) or the slow and more difficult path (provide the grist that Google Search wants for its mill, as information sites do).

6:06 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So finally was there or was there not a 'minor' data push/ refresh on Oct 30?

I havent seen any changes on my yo-yo site which is usually tossed about on the 17th and 30th push-refreshes.

Then again, there might have been a refresh on those two dates, and I scraped by because of the anti-duplicate content campaign undertaken across the site without damage.

But I can say my efforts were of any use only if there were any real changes on 17-20th and 30th of October. Were there?

Another guess I have is that that data refreshes and pushes are critically damaging fewer and fewer sites. We do not have the 'google killed me and my cat' kind of threads anymore which used to run into 20 or more pages...

3:10 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think the real updates and big changes will happen when the supplemental index (Which is larger than the regular index) is crawled and updated. Thats when we see the most dramatic changes usually.
3:16 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Things look normal for us again.
7:25 am on Nov 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I did not see any changes on October 30.

But my main domain went again in a filter November 3th in the evening.

I wonder why I do not see a big thread about this.
Am I the only one with such an unluck on November 3th?

5:25 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We've definately notices some huge fluctuations over the last two days. We've been sitting at #1 for our main search terms for the last 9-12 months and yesterday we went from #1 to #271 for our money term and today we're back. Hopefully this is just a some tinkering that went south and now they've fixed it.
5:38 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Agreed, vanevan. I am also seeing reports of some scattered but volatile changes for a few domains -- and the total pages indexed under the site: operator also seems not to be settled down yet for everyone.

Even PR and backlink numbers (if you watch those) seem to be non-uniform across the data centers that get tapped for the live google.com results. Also the UK only results are still seeing that disappearing home page [webmasterworld.com] phenomenon going on.

Still, I am with you in the hope that it is all a sign of some low level tinkering "below the waterline". We'll all know soon enough, I guess.

12:46 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Did anybody notice anything specific happening over the weekend?

I had a sudden increase in traffic on my main site. On Sunday 5th Nov page views were up about 30%, and on Mon 6th Nov up about 80%.

Previously when I have seen this sort of thing happen it has been due to a single page or group of pages becoming temporarily popular because the subject has become newsworthy. But this was not the case here as the increase was across the board for almost all directories.

Unfortunately yesterday everything was back to normal. :(

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