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Dec 2006 Google Changes - data refresh, penalties, or what? (part 3)

     

trakkerguy

6:42 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

None of the sites I actively manage have seen any change, but one that I've consulted on has been decimated. Before October it was 3rd for some one and 2 kw searches. It dropped a couple spots around Oct 20th. Dropped a couple more on Dec 7th, then went to page 3 on Dec 20th. Is now fluctuating between page 6 and farther back.

This site has been up for about a year, and no real changes were made during this drop. All other sites in the serps for these keywords stayed in place except one - the #2 site. It was previously THE authority site, but had been moved and had a 301 redirect to the #1, new authority site. #2 dropped a little on Dec 7th, then to page 3 on Dec 20th. After the 20th, there have been a few days when the #2 site has moved back up and is now back at #2, while the site I've consulted on has dropped further, usually at the same time #2 moved back up.

While it may be that G has made no changes to the algo, I'm convinced they tweaked the weighting on some "filters" that resulted in these changes. Both sites were unchanged, yet bounced around at the exact same times. The dropped site had too much duplicate content and not enough good links from trusted sites. It was also heavily optimized for a few keywords.

I can't figure what factors caused the #2 site to drop and then recover, but it seems that G tweaked some things a little Dec 7th, hit the same things harder Dec 20th, then adjusted some in following days which brought the #2 site back up to #2. Hopefully they will continue to adjust and bring back the rankings for those who have been unjustly dropped...

[edited by: tedster at 9:57 pm (utc) on Jan. 1, 2007]

tedster

7:47 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



While it may be that G has made no changes to the algo, I'm convinced they tweaked the weighting on some "filters" that resulted in these changes.

Welcome to the forums, trakkerguy.

I see what you're saying - it's not an algo change. It is quite peculiar how only certain domains were surgically impacted, but when they were, the consequences were often dire. Just a conjecture, here, but maybe it's a new form of penalty? When the weighting dials get turned it tends to shuffle all the domains in a SERP a bit more, no?

[edited by: tedster at 8:50 pm (utc) on Dec. 29, 2006]

reseller

8:47 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



MHes

By doing these changes in small doses, there is never enough impact to affect their share price, especially if it goes wrong. Members here report the same observations going back months, if I was google, I would do the same and roll out changes in small pockets below the press radar.

Don't know about the share price :-)

But I'm convinced that we have been witnessing Algo Updates in small doses, the so called;

Data Refresh within an existing algorithm

Matt Cutts:

Data refresh: When data is refreshed within an existing algorithm. Changes are typically toward the less-impactful end of the spectrum, and are often so small that people don’t even notice.

However, people do notice those changes, Matt ;-)

tedster

8:55 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



The unusual effect that some sites are reporting is the blinking in and out thing -- dropped to the depths one week, bounce back the next, then dropped again, and so on.

Whatever is hitting these domains (apparently borderline cases) is pretty extreme. So I assume that whatever Google is tweaking for must be something they really don't like -- even if it's been present at the top of the SERPs for years.

trakkerguy

9:03 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Well, I personally wouldn't describe it as a penalty because I don't think they did anything to single out a site, but changed what they count or how they count or weight factors.

It is strange how a small percentage of sites were hit, but those were hit so heavily.

reseller

9:21 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



May be we should take a look at Google's updates history.

When was the latest official annonced algo updates?

hmmmmm... reseller thinking. Got it!

It was Update Jagger , Oct 18th, 2005 [webmasterworld.com]

No Algo Update happened since. Google functioning for more than a year without updating its algo?

What kind of a search engine is GOOG that keeps functiong on ancient algos ;-)

outland88

9:23 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I totally agree with that Trakkerguy but Tedster does make a very good point with the word surgical. I think what is occuring is slowly drifting through areas. But with Google some things normalize in a few days some never.

mattg3

9:30 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Google never seizes to amaze me:

When I do site: www.example.com with pure english content .. and use on google.de hl=de and press the only from Germany button I get 2.5 times my index.

So it seems to be indicated by ISP and not by language and ISP.

I think one of the reasons might be the usual effed up geotargeting on the Internet. That would explain, the losses percentage-wise.

As a German in the UK, I have a webserver that is in English hosted in Germany .. The server that is in German in Germany is nearly not affected.

Ah same picture here.. the German server has all pages indexed on .de.

Shouldn't a .com in English, may it even be in pidgin English, indicate that the intended audience is global. Usually I get loads of people from India. :\

Google's simple picture of the world .. Never heared of the EU.. so at least .co.uk should show all pages .. So that's the debacle then. We once had an american server in New York, but Germany was cheaper.

[edited by: mattg3 at 9:44 pm (utc) on Dec. 29, 2006]

europeforvisitors

9:38 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)



When was the latest official annonced algo updates?

Officially announced by whom? Surely you aren't suggesting that Brett Tabke, who announces and names the "updates" that we discuss here, is an official spokesman for Google? :-)

mattg3

9:46 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



official spokesman for Google?

No we all thought that would be you, dear EFV.. ;)

reseller

10:02 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



EFV

Officially announced by whom? Surely you aren't suggesting that Brett Tabke, who announces and names the "updates" that we discuss here, is an official spokesman for Google? :-)

It was "officially" announced by both Brett & Matt [mattcutts.com] :-)

Martin40

10:12 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My penalty has been lifted. It was caused by an old hosting server error and some Googlebot crawl error that Matt Cutts discusses somewhere on his blog.

The kicker is that the penalty was based on URLs that hadn't been crawled for over a year. I filed a reinclusion request last week and several days ago Webmaster Tools began to show the offending pages as Not Found.

I'm opportunistic enough to say: "Happy New Year, Google!".

doughayman

10:41 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Martin,

Can you please elaborate on what the "crawl" error was (and any web references to it that you might have)?

Also, what is entailed when you do a "reinclusion" request? Is there a form to fill out? Do you get a response from Google?

I'm certainly not ready to fill one out just yet, 'cause I'm not quite sure what I did (if anything), but I would love to hear what the process is, when begging for forgiveness from the almight G!

Thanks in advance,

Doug

reseller

11:18 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Martin40

I'm opportunistic enough to say: "Happy New Year, Google!".

Sounds good!

Happy New Year GOOG :-)

RichTC

12:53 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Martin40

Can you remember what date you submitted the reinclude request and how long it took for you to have the penalty lifted?. Im interested how long on average this cycle can take?

cajuns2

1:35 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'm totally lost. A lot of my pages are now in supplemental, my home page is now near the bottom of the site:www.example.com search and thousands of my pages are just missing from the index, period.

I've decided I am just going to start optimizing my pages for Yahoo and MSN, and forget about Google. At least they still seem to think we are still worth listing!

Google is just too wacky and way too unreliable, and seem to have forgotten that they wouldn't be where they are now, if it wasn't for the webmasters that have websites that they built their search engine on. They are becoming quite a monopoly.

Why can't they at least offer some kind of explanation for what is happening? All of us are clueless, having no idea what to do, or where to even start.

BillyS

3:30 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



Tedster asked:

BillyS, are the cache dates different on those two listings, the one tagged as Supplemental and the one that's not tagged?

I just saw your question - they are different:

site:command returns a supplemental page with a cache date of Sep 8, 2006
keyword site:command returns the same page (not suppplemental with a cache date of Dec 7, 2006

And the page that actually ranks (without the site:command) is also the December 7, 2006 page.

reseller

6:58 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



cajuns2

Why can't they at least offer some kind of explanation for what is happening? All of us are clueless, having no idea what to do, or where to even start.

In the past, we had GoogleGuy to guide us through the updates and important events. No more, unfortunately (:(

However we have within our WebmasterWorld community high qualified members who are able to help in explaining things.

Thats in addition to our kind fellow members Matt Cutts and Adam Lasnik who are helpful too.

steveb

7:46 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



I'm seeing a data refresh now that fixed about half the problems I've been tracking.

reseller

8:37 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



steveb

Can you mention few of the problems solved by this new data refresh.

I see several combinations of serps on the DCs at the moment.

Number of backlinks is changing too, not much, but changing. Maybe those data refreshes affect backlinks too.

steveb

8:44 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



All involve the 950 penalty.

Beachboy

9:45 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



"Google never seizes to amaze me"

You're right, this is a seizure.

jetteroheller

1:37 pm on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



My penalty has been lifted. It was caused by an old hosting server error and some Googlebot crawl error that Matt Cutts discusses somewhere on his blog.
The kicker is that the penalty was based on URLs that hadn't been crawled for over a year. I filed a reinclusion request last week and several days ago Webmaster Tools began to show the offending pages as Not Found.

Please could You explain this exactly.

It's not very funny to be near bancrupt because of a Google penalty and to read some vague statements how You escaped this.

doughayman

1:43 pm on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Well gang, I'm proud to say that as of this morning, my rankings appear to be back to what I'll call early December (after December 3rd) levels. Looks like Google may be turning the fine-tuning knobs as we speak.

I had seen a decline in rankings since early December; just to be obliterated on December 20th.

These rankings are lower than what I have been accustomed to pre-December, but I'll certainly take this as a first step.

For all those interested, I did absolutely nothing since December 20th, except for adding some minor content. I notice that several of the key pages that were missing from the index, have reappeared, with cache dates of early December.

I'm cautiously optimistic now. I have my seat belt on, in anticipation of a potential bumpy ride.

steveb

9:37 pm on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



"I'm cautiously optimistic now."

Several of the pages I mentioned above that were unpenalized yesterday, plus one more, have been repenalized today.

So don't be optimistic. Google is still just acting like a drunk and randomly moving chairs around again.

mattg3

10:36 pm on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



jetteroheller:
Just out of interest. Does your domain have more pages in the index on google.at if you click "Seiten aus Österreich"?

jetteroheller

7:34 am on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Just out of interest. Does your domain have more pages in the index on google.at if you click "Seiten aus Österreich"?

At Google.at

site: 13000
site: German only 6930
site: only austria 0

The sequence looks now far better than since December 20th
But site has still high penalty in search

At tools for webmasters from Google, still "No data available" at statistics "Page with highest rank" and "In website content"

Pico_Train

7:53 am on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I've been investigating why my site was suddenly ravaged on the 20th of December.

On the 20th of December at 19:23 my time which is GMT +2, I uploaded my new Top Include file for the site. It is used for 80% of my pages. This is rather interesting....

The Top Include had AdSense ads in it before I uploaded it. I decided to change from AdSense and put another type of ad in there to see if it work out for the site. I find this coincidence slightly alarming...

I've gone through all my Titles and Descriptions to make sure they are all now different. Some were exactly the same, I hadn't changed them yet because I took the attitude that if it isn't broken why fix it? All the significant pages are all different now.

In addition my site: site.com results return all my supplemental results above my homepage. There are about 10-15 supplemental results. Does that mean anything?

So what gives? No.2 Positions for several pages for ages. Now 1 is at 188 or something ridiculous and the other is at no. 276?

Great stuff Google, keep up the good work!

I almost forgot - Happy New Year for tomorrow to you all!

[edited by: Pico_Train at 8:00 am (utc) on Dec. 31, 2006]

steveb

9:28 am on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



I'm seeing those pages penalized and pinned to the bottom of the results now showing grey toolbars instead of regular pagerank (or even a white bar).

cajuns2

11:10 am on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hi Reseller,

I'm sorry, I didn't mean that people here were not helpful, everyone is great!

It's Google that's wacky!

This 182 message thread spans 7 pages: 182
 

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