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Dec 2006 Google Changes - Data Refresh or Penalty?

     

Wibfision

11:52 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My site has taken a big hit this evening, losing the majority of google traffic. Artefacts are: when doing search on site:www.domain.com, the first few pages of listings are supplemental, followed by the homepage and other listings which are not supplemental. The none supplemental listings start on results page 61-70. The homepage is at the top of this page.

Is this a penalty or a bug? Have any other sites been similarly affected?

kidder

10:32 pm on Dec 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



"What's truly amazing is that Google thinks they are helping the user experience with their algo tweaks"

Sorry but the user experience is coming from the results on the right side of the page. The organics don't seem to matter these days.

Atomic

10:41 pm on Dec 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Most of the SERPs I track are virtually unchanged and I track a lot of them for my clients. There has been a little movement but there's certainly no more and no less spam than last month or even the month before. I suppose some areas are more susceptible to spam than others but I try to stay away from them whenever possible. I'm curious about the SERPs that have changed and wish I could see for myself.

OptiRex

2:03 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)



I'm curious about the SERPs that have changed and wish I could see for myself.

And how would you compare them, before and after, or do you just want to see what's there right now?

frakilk

2:03 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Matt just posted a comment about the refresh/update/GFU over at Search Engine Roundtable.

After the last questions of a holiday update, I prepared for this by asking around. Google hasn't launched any major scoring/algorithms updates recently, so any changes you see are normal operation.

[seroundtable.com...]

andrewshim

2:05 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Accordingly our friends at the plex are working now on "Reverse Bad Data Push" if one may say so ;-)

it's christmas time. They're in "Neutral Don't Push Any Data" mode.

mattg3

2:29 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



From where I am sitting this ain't normal ..

One keyword yesterday on page 14 and the other server on page 1 then server 2 and server 1 on page 15, today server 1 on page 1 ..

well on the other hand G is totally unstable, so in that way, it certainly is normal.

OptiRex

3:11 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)



After the last questions of a holiday update, I prepared for this by asking around. Google hasn't launched any major scoring/algorithms updates recently, so any changes you see are normal operation.

Hahahaha...don't you just love corporate speak for major GFU?

I bet if their pay cheques suddenly went missing they wouldn't call it "normal operation"?

Possibly this is what we have been needing from G, a major wake-up call that they are too prominent and dominant and capable of destroying overnight companies dependent on their services.

It's made my decision very easy about whether to continue with real trade exhibitions or not...booking forms are being filled in right now!

You know what G? You've turned into a very awkward 8 year old child and, as such I doubt, just like many youngsters, that you will not take heed until you've realised just how much you have lost through your own impetuosity.

Me? I'm just giving fatherly advice:-)

Atomic

4:55 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



And how would you compare them, before and after, or do you just want to see what's there right now?

I understand the comparison is impossible. That's why I didn't come right out and ask for an example. I just wish I could see it myself. That also means that I would need before and after shots.

kdobson99

5:58 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Just to add to the data...

Noticed one page yesterday (21st) jumped about 10 spots to result 11 on a new cache for my most competitive KW and various other position changes for other KW's. The cache date shown yesterday was the 19th in the results page, and the 20th when you actually viewed the cahced page. Today, everything is back almost exactly where they were prior to yesterday's new cache.... and it's showing a cache date of the 17th.

Obviously some rollback to an old cache, which seems to happen to me right before I take a pretty big ride one way or another in the SERPS. I'm hanging on.

While we are speaking of cache dates... for most of my keywords yesterday, it was displaying the new cache date next to the Cache link in the results. However, for one keyword search in particular, it never displayed this "December 19" next to it. Why would this be dependent on the keyword used to search? Obviously the same cache was shown once the cache link was clicked from any keyword.

reseller

7:03 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



kdobson99

Obviously some rollback to an old cache, which seems to happen to me right before I take a pretty big ride one way or another in the SERPS. I'm hanging on.

As I mentioned in my previous post, what happened on 20th December could be a Bad Data Push. Now we see what I call "Reversed Bad Data Push" or a rollback as you mentioned.

That might also explain what Matt meant by:

Google hasn't launched any major scoring/algorithms updates recently, so any changes you see are normal operation.

Bad Data Push also belongs to "normal operation", you know ;-)

OptiRex

10:59 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)



Bad Data Push also belongs to "normal operation", you know ;-)

Hehehe...well, logically it would...oooops, we've made a bit of a horlicks (UK), we'd better find out what we did!

Ooohhh...everyone's on holiday, can't do anything until next week...oh I know let's outsource it to India or China, they don't do Christian holidays...hmmm...is this why I'm seeing so many Alibaba sites?

Conspiracy theories? Google's got 'em all and they're definitely outta control:-)

soapystar

11:17 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



major scoring/algorithms updates

he said MAJOR....he didnt saying nothing happened....

he even went so far as to be specific in regards to the events he was referring to...they were scoring/algorithms.....so nothing happened in terms of two of the many variable factors involved in the serps and in terms of of those two..there was nothing MAJOR.....

MHes

12:08 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Lost Google rankings yesterday...

1) The site: search shows 6 supplemental listings and then normal listings
2) Page content does not rank except in quotes

Very similar to what happened in late November 2005. We did nothing and we came back in early January. We have been steady ever since (around 15k uniques from google per day).

We have not changed anything significant on the site for several months, just normal content tweaks.

My advice?.... Turn off the computer and spend the time with your familly. There is nothing you can do until this has settled.

soapystar

12:26 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Turn off the computer and spend the time with your familly.

huh?.....where's the fun in that?

reseller

12:39 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



For the benefit of further discussion, I wish to mention that Matt Cutts has talked about this WebmasterWorld thread in a post on his blog [mattcutts.com] today with more info about Data Refresh, Data Push, Everflux etc...

Explaining algorithm updates and data refreshes

A thread on WebmasterWorld started Dec. 20th asking whether there was an update, so I’m taking a break from wrapping presents for an ultra-quick answer: no, there wasn’t.
.........

MHes

1:03 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



soapystar - You're right.... back to business :)

>update.... no, there wasn’t.

Usual nonsense from Matt. I don't know what he thinks an update is but enough people have been effected over the last few weeks to merit discussion. Something new is being applied, lets not get bogged down with petty definitions of 'update'... something significant has been applied to all the dc's. Maybe Matt and google have not realised it yet?

Pico_Train

1:33 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



MHes - I agree, something new in terms o filtering or ranking has just just been applied or tightened unless of course all of us here have been penalised or degraded for some other reason...

reseller

1:34 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



MHes

Something new is being applied, lets not get bogged down with petty definitions of 'update'.

I have been trying to make some sense out of all those different defintions too; Data Push, Data Refresh, Bad Data Push, Index Update, Algorithm Update..

It seem that when Matt talk about Update alone, he refer mostly to Index Update and thats related to the three terms: Data Refresh, Data Push and Bad Data Push.

Don’t get hung up on “update” vs. “refresh” since they’re basically the same thing.

However I have noticed in the past that Matt mentioned Data Refresh as "refreshing algorithms with newer data"!

Then we are left with Algorithm Update which Brett use to give them names here on WebmasterWorld.

Talking about the impact of those terms on the index, and accordingly on our sites:

- Data Refresh, Data Push has "minor" impact. I.e Matt see the current changes mentioned on this thread as minor ones.

- Algorithm Update (as for example Update Allegra) has major impact.

Having said that, I must confess that it was much easier to "decode" GoogleGuy's posts than Matt's current ones :-)

[edited by: reseller at 2:05 pm (utc) on Dec. 23, 2006]

Wibfision

2:04 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My advice?.... Turn off the computer and spend the time with your family. There is nothing you can do until this has settled.

I'm with you on this one, MHES. All things considered, I think this must be some sort of bug (again) which will end up resolved.

mattg3

2:06 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



That data refresh became more frequent (roughly daily instead of every 3-4 weeks or so) well over a month ago. My best guess is that any changes people are seeing are because that particular data is being refreshed more frequently.

This seems to be what we are dealing with here, some residual effect of this. Would also explain why my keywords are jumping around like mad.

OptiRex

2:19 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)



I think this must be some sort of bug (again) which will end up resolved.

I sincerely hope so since two of my most important pages which are MIA are the ONLY pages on the entire Internet that contain important technical data for architects and specifiers and will probably mean my e-mail in-box filling up with requests for this necessary information.

Thanks G, create me even more unnecessary work sending links to people because you're unable to understand and realise the vital importance of these specific pages...doh!

Time for beer...it's 14.20 UK time and I've had enough of this farce:-(

MHes

3:09 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>- Data Refresh, Data Push has "minor" impact. I.e Matt see the current changes mentioned on this thread as minor ones.

So we have all been effected by a data refresh of an existing algorithm.... Matt says "Changes are typically toward the less-impactful end of the spectrum" .... not from where I'm sitting, along with plenty of others!

So what could this existing algorithm be that has had a site wide effect now the 'data refresh' has occured? We have changed very little over the last year, so perhaps a previous algorithm has been quietly flagging sites and now this has been applied to the new data which they are using on the dc's. I suspect this 'existing' algo has been turned up a bit and with the data refresh many sites have suddenly been caught out.

Looking at my uneffected sites and effected ones, the only difference seems to be that we turned up the affiliate links presence (we are a ppc publisher) in the last month in order to counter balance the reduction of demand from our own private clients. I'm surprised the spider noticed it, but perhaps we now have too many affiliate links per page?

doughayman

3:10 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Cheers, OptiRex. Looking for something "harder" than beer over here - surely know I need it. It's only 10:20 AM (US) here, but given the week I've had, starting early is justifiable.

Have to keep a Happy Face for my kids!

dazzlindonna

3:11 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



My personal opinion: bad/old data gets pushed now and then.

MHes

4:04 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



HOLD ON....

Suddenly back. The site: search is looking healthy and some pages are ranking again.

Seems there is stuff happening. :)

Good luck, hope others see this.

reseller

4:09 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



MHes

So we have all been effected by a data refresh of an existing algorithm....

It seems so. But what surprised me most that those "Data Refresh / Data Push" are affecting rankings of pages for the specific keywords / keyphrases which they use to rank well for.

At the same time pages which don't use to rank well for specific keywords / keyphrases suddenly appear to rank well in post- "Data Refresh / Data Push"!

So... though Matt see the impact of a "Data Refresh / Data Push" as minor changes, affected sites owners will feel the same impact as a major one.

Pikono

4:23 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



My homepage completely dissapeared from some of google datacenters,for my main keyword, while at some data centres it is ranking better then before.

Until last week that homepage was ranking on all data centres at same position.

Other pages from the same site seems not to be affected as far as their ranking for their keywords is concerned.

:-(

reseller

4:24 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



dazzlindonna

My personal opinion: bad/old data gets pushed now and then.

You are right. However, its Adam Lasnik and not Matt who use to declare the Bad Data Push. So don't expect Matt to say anything about it in case what happened on 20th December has been a Bad Data Push :-)

OptiRex

4:38 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)



Looking for something "harder" than beer over here - surely know I need it.

Not even got to the pub yet! I've had a very intensive couple of hours video conference with my various worldwide offices to discuss and analyse as best possible the situation.

The decisions have been made, now we can get a couple of days respite without wondering if the G push-me, pull-you is broken or not. I guess the sales teams won't be so chuffed when they see the decisions we've made!

Have to keep a Happy Face for my kids!

I could send you some pics of my ugly mug to cheer you up:-))

mattg3

5:05 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



MC:
My best guess is that any changes people are seeing are because that particular data is being refreshed more frequently.

I am still at odds what has changed in the web so dramatically on a daily update that if we take the first December as baseline, second week has an increase of 50% then down to baseline and then down to 20%. Logically that doesn't make sense to me on a 9 year old domain.

This makes only sense if the G algorithm is extremely volatile or there is a bug (=unwanted effects) or there was indeed some change.

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