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January 2007 Google SERP Changes



2:31 am on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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< Some of this discussion continues from the December thread: [webmasterworld.com...] >

We have noticed some moderate ranking changes in the past 24 hours, which have reverted to previous ranking positions dating back to the middle of December.

Our rankings are secure, so I am not writing this as a complaint, but as the sharing of an obersvation: there is a new shift occuring right now.

In addition, we have also observed a reduction in the number of double listing "authority rankings" for various sites over the past 2 weeks or so. Many of these previous double rankings were indeed redundant, so this removal of some double listings is a perceived good thing in our opinion, at least in the sectors we watch.

Is anyone else having these same sorts of observatiosn these past 24 hours?

[edited by: tedster at 7:25 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2007]


11:48 pm on Jan 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

zaneta and chelseaareback... give it some time. Yes, the sites are out of the supplemental at first sight, but they are still affected. The rankings are low because most of the pages are not yet indexed as they were before. Google is moving and refreshing all the data from what I can see, but it isnīt a one click operation.


12:16 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Maybe a really good time to weed out all those duplicate pages - in our case still finding a few.

Also noted that we have at least one page where the actual page ( non supplementary index ) is listed with the supplementary on an indent for a search term.

Odd but perhaps indicates "the process" whatever that may be - is still going on - Latent Semantic Indexing perhaps..


12:55 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

It appears changes are still churning, as trying to go to the last page of results for a site seems to bring up a different ordering each time I do it right now. And also, something potentially unfortunate, it looks like penalized pages may now not be pinned at the bottom of the results, where at least you can see the ones that were being incorrectly interpreted or that may have actual problems to address. As of this minute there isn't a way to see all these pages with one glance (at least on the domains I've checked so far).

Nostalgic Dave

2:21 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just some observations for what its worth:

My site, like many of you are reporting is now showing the non supplemental pages before the supplementals, but here's a new one for ya... I had a lot of non WWW links out there before cleaning everything up and submitting my cannonical preference to Google Webmaster Tools... well, starting just now a site:example.com showed only 541 URLs, whereas only hours ago it showed over 1500. Then moments later a refresh shows 421. They must be culling out all those non-canonical URLs! a site:www.example.com shows the correct 1660 URLs.

Plus, for a few days they showed "www.example.com/index.asp" in the site: listings, which had me worried... had somebody linked to that? but alas today that URL is gone as it should be.


3:33 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My main site tanked with supplementals first on Dec. 19/20. All but one main keyword phrase went to 47/48 position or ranked not at all. A week ago, on Jan. 2 we came back to normal traffic. This lasted only a day and then tanked again. Three days ago, we came back and so far it has stuck. Our numbers are up some, so that is good news. So for most, this may be temporary. Good luck!


5:33 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My website homepage went out of index and the terms ranking went ut of the box

Any Thoughts?


7:25 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My website homepage has also disappeared from the index, though webmaster tools does not show any error


7:34 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Big, big, big changes.

Old domain names went out of the suplemental - not all pages, but enough to jump from the back 500-600 results up.

At the same time I see a lot of stupid spam ranking - which to me is a clear indicator that whatever is going on, it's not going to stay but for a day-two max.

Our home page still shows stable results, but as I mentioned it has a "jan 2" cache date, when Sitemaps shows Jan 4 and my logs show good crawls every day and it seems that everyone around me has a fresh cache but me - so maybe your home pages will be back shortly.

Whatever is going on - it's HUGE and there is no way of even try and predict anything - I will just shut down the rig and spend some time outside for a couple of days ;)


7:50 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Did you tried and figured out the main reason for your homepage going out of index

Can we have a discussion on sticky?



8:54 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi :)

The same for me, Google now give a pretty list without SP and the home page is now first, all pages have their snippet :)

I check my rankings for 7 keywords, I make a big jump!
It's not has it was before I lose all my rankings, but it's in the good way.

I've jump for near than 220 places per keyword, moving from 300 to 80.

I'me happy, because for 3 special keyword that I work hard and where I never be better than 300, I'me now 70, 79 and 139 on several DC :))

Hope it will continu in this way, for me and of course for you!

Recents Changes : Delete hundred of pages in SP
Very Recents Changes : Delete all Adsense blocks on my website (since 3 days now).


10:23 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

One of my sites was ranking highly about 2 days ago for multiple keyword phrases and was getting traffic. But now, all rankings have disappeared but website is still indexed. No changes have been made lately. Go figure. I am thinking my site got drowned along with supplemental results fixing.

Also there are many pages on some my other sites which have gone supplemental. These pages still exist and are accessible and many contain original content. I just hope this is a glitch and that things will get back to normal soon. I've had my share with ups and downs in rankings but kind getting used to it now.

For all those affected by these changes ie a data refresh I would say, just sit tight and don't do any drastic changes yet because this is something outside our control usually. Just wait for a few days or weeks. It happened to me before that my site was gone for 1-2 months, then was back after and ranking high like it did previously.


11:38 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

just a thought,
can't it be that if google refuses sites or pages for adsense, they remember those urls, and let them ranke lower?


12:07 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

mirror, nope I don't think so. I have several sites with AdSense ranking and getting traffic. AdSense does not affect rankings.


1:04 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

when site are REFUSED


1:53 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I don't think there is any link between that. You have only been refused AdSense and rankings is a different matter. If you have good inbound links, you will rank like you deserve. Just my 2 cents.


1:56 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am starting to subscribe to the glitch theory too. Some of my pages (100s) with very high page ranks have actually disappeared, and of course, some have gone supplemental. Since links from these pages do not count any more, I am seeing a drop in some keywords but no change for others. I am simply assuming that Google will fix it in the near future. Yes, I have Adsense on all pages and know for sure that it has no effect on results.


2:28 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm noticing a lot of root .edu sites ranking for extremely comeptitive terms that not only don't use the text on-page, but aren't using it directly in anchor either; in one of the examples I tracked through, it was because some student pages were being spammed, were shut down by the .edu and then the shut down pages were 301ed to root. Ha!

What a time to be a dishonest .edu webmaster...one could make a killng (before being fired from the thankless, underpaid job that it probably is).



2:43 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

all my site: problems are gone. supps disappeared from the top of the list. rankings are returning, although not as high.

definitely a good sign.


3:09 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

this is an across the board change. Either its a glitch, they fixed a bug or they no longer want you to be able indentify possible penalties. This has nothing to do with anything you yourselves did to help fix issues with your sites.


4:00 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

i agree, soapystar. definitely something on google's end. my guess is they either fixed a bug, or they put through a new data refresh that was a clean one.


4:47 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

We are seeing back link numbers fluctuate a lot across the dc's


4:53 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yup Yup, backlinks all over the place.

Round and round we go, where it stops, only google knows...

"I demand a bottle of your finest wine!"

[edited by: Pico_Train at 4:54 pm (utc) on Jan. 9, 2007]


12:42 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

< This post was moved from another location >

Is it Christmas again - all supplemental results are gone

I just saw on all sites i watch they have no supplemental results anymore, the serps looks totaly different without this extra text.

Any other seeing this change on google.com

[edited by: tedster at 5:27 pm (utc) on Jan. 9, 2007]


6:15 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just had another site get hit, this has been about 5 for me, 1 has come back so far, another one has come and gone. But this new website is about 10 pages of hand written content that has 0 supplementals. Thats right 0. It never had supplementals. Yet has dropped from top 10 on 2 phrases to no where found past 100. This has happened since yesterday. The site does have adsense on it, and is interlinked with some of my other sites. If google is penalazing for interlinking, I'm just going to link to my competitors and have them drop to 100+ too.


7:18 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I always interlink my site. I believe that every company do the same (check internet.com and devshed network).

None of my sites has ever been penalized from that, so I think you should consider other factors.

Yes there might be no benefit of interlinking in terms of keywords optimizations, but spreading PR accross the sites is of great benefit in terms of spidering/indexing.


7:27 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

This is strange. My event site has several hundred pages; all but five went supplemental and are still supplemental. The first four are constant, but the fifth one changes every few hours (the pages are different cities where the event occurs) The 6th through whatever pages are all old caches from early December or before - lot of those pages don't even exist anymore. It's that fifth page changing that seems weird to me. At 9am it's one city, then at 11:14 it's another city, and so on and so forth. Weird.


8:08 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Glitch? I'm not so sure.

It seems that most if not all (?) of the sites who had pages listed beneath supplementals are now seeing a more normal site:search. This suggests to me that that was merely an unintentional signal to sites that had been caught by a change in the algo.

Was it a new algo? No, probably a turning up of something that has been around a longtime. More people got hit in one go this time hence the fuss. I suspect Google likes to do things in small doses to avoid unwanted ill feeling and they may now have turned it down a bit. Hence a few recovered without doing anything. However, many are still showing all the rankings effect without the 'top heavy supplemental' signal. Because some have suffered with having a few rankings and the rest of the time been buried at 950+ for nearly a year this suggests to me that there is a deliberate agenda. It is no surprise that they turned it up at Christmas... similar things have happened every year.

Is the algo that causes sites to lose huge numbers of rankings and be buried 950+ still alive? Seems to be, I know of one site that hasn't recovered. Other members report the same and more keep appearing.

Is it Google trying to sort out a longterm problem and making a hash of it? Wishfull thinking. There are too few members complaining. Many of the complaints sound like prisoners saying they didn't do anything wrong.... We are seo webmasters and by definition we are to some degree gaming the serps and should expect to get caught out. Inocent victims are probably few and far between, although often very vocal :).

Can you change things to get back? Of course you can. It all depends what you did wrong and to what degree. There is no magic bullit, one person may have several issues while another has a marginal problem that either effects the site or not according to the degree the algo is applied. Matt said there was no new algo, so we are left with the probability that something was turned up and maybe down again. It may not have had the effect they wanted over christmas, but it strikes me as being very controlled in the way it was turned up and down.

Evidence suggests there is no lasting site penalty.... just people who keep getting caught.... again and again. Glitch? Not this time, If you want to be top you have to do good seo or be very lucky, there is no change there. It will never be about the most worthy site automatically being number 1, it will continue to be about luck and/or good judgement. It is predominently a matter of pumping in those plus points and avoiding the minus ones. This time, we have to find the minus ones.

I think if you were caught out this time then it is a clear signal you are very vulnerable to be caught out again... so changes are needed.

Added for cllarification - If your site is showing new supplemental listings or recovered supplemental listings, that is a whole seperate issue to the problem originally discussed in this thread.

[edited by: MHes at 8:14 pm (utc) on Jan. 9, 2007]


8:10 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Oh-oh, the "info:" command doesn't work now.


12:20 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The appearance of supplemental pages above non supplemental pages, when running the site command has been cleared up. Progress? I guess, it certainly looks better to the eye for what thatís worth. (for sites of mine that have experienced this I will admit I feel better about it)

However, for some sites if you search www.domain.com that page comes up 2nd or 3rd page. For other sites you come up first, which you would assume to be the correct order of things. If you search for the site www.domain.com, thatís what youíre looking for and that to me would be the most relevant return.

Why would a site that mentions your site come up before the actual site? Would this indicate some sort of problem or weakness with the site?


12:45 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Why would a site that mentions your site come up before the actual site? Would this indicate some sort of problem or weakness with the site?

I think this is a sign that something is wrong.
The same situation was on 26.06.2006 and now I can see that too.
Maybe someone can explain better what it is.

This 205 message thread spans 7 pages: 205

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