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January 2007 Google SERP Changes - part 2



12:16 pm on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

A very interesting article (including comments by Matt Cutts) has been posted over at PBS. It may be possible that it is related to the December/January changes

[edited by: tedster at 8:00 pm (utc) on Jan. 11, 2007]


2:29 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The same thing that happened to your sites also happened to one of mine on around the 16 (Havent run proper stats yet)

The strange thing is that most of the keywords that I used to rank on page one, I now rank on page 50 and lower, except the very first keywords I ranked for.

Even 5 to 6 term keywords that I ranked well for has tanked.

I think the internal navigation links dial has been tweaked to cause this.

All of my pages with good external links are still holding strong (ish), but the pages with few links ( and Mostly internal links) have dropped off dramatically.

Might be a good idea to send each other our sites, to do some cross checking and see if there are any similarities.

What do you guys think?


2:56 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If you want good relevant results go straight to page 5 of the G results. When I search blue widget reviews I cant find one decent review in the first 4 pages. All I get in the first for pages is the usual suspects like Amazon and Kelkoo.

Why bother creating good content when its just going to get ranked on page 5 anyway.


2:59 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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arguments about wikipedia aside, and back on topic, could I ask anyone the following

1 - have the results in your sector improved from say a week ago (irrespective of whether your site remains hit or not)

2 - have they settled down now in the sense that they are consistent

It would seem from the fewer posts that this topic is generating that there is more and more satisfaction out there.

From our point of view we have lost 75% of google traffic since dec 29th (save for 3 'normal' days last fri,sat and sun but must admit that at least the results in our sector make a bit more sense than they did 10 days ago


3:11 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'd say the results overall are worse; .edu parasitic spam abounds. I did come across a query last night that I thought would be really spammy, but wasn't, but for the most part I think the quality went down.



3:31 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I cross checked and compared Yahoo, MSN and ASK to Google yesterday regarding my situation that is also plaguing some of you, Yahoo and MSN and ASK have there SERP's in order but again who sends us the traffic!


3:34 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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1 - have the results in your sector improved from say a week ago (irrespective of whether your site remains hit or not)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But I would say they have not improved. Most of the top 10 in my sector is amazon, wikipedia, and ebay... The strange thing about the ebay serps is that there are about twelve entries for them, one for each country TLD.

2 - have they settled down now in the sense that they are consistent

No, I still have seen massive changes in the last 48 hours.


3:53 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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No the searches I check are still really bad and not relevant to the searches I am making. All I get back is blank ebay pages asking you to review an item and old amazon pages.

Whats the point of creating great info for searchers when google will only list it on page 5 anyway.

Yahoo, Msn and Ask results seem spot on at the moment. Thank the lord someone knows quality when they see it.


4:03 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Likewise, sat-sun Ok then zilch


5:20 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

I didn't relize this was a multi part topic or i would have posted this here

I pray this is a temp thing and will clean out this stuff


6:39 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

yep its subdomain/geo-domain heaven out there right now....get all the miltiple listings you want.....


6:50 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What the hell is going on I have no idea.

Maybe they are doing some form of maintenance or something is broken. It's Friday night and suddenly pre jagger like traffic is hitting in again, after the week showed post jagger results again. I get an adsense report send 3 times (yesterday twice), webmaster tools looses my verification. It looks to me they play an older index in for periods of time to work on the new one. The .com is totally unaffected.


6:53 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Don't have that


What is that?


7:36 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I see pages and queries that either has never been used to find my site or are very very old ones.
I see strange queries that people have used to find my site and I see people who have gone to page 50 in the result set to find my site.
I am wondering, why do people go to page 50 to find something? Is that because the other previous 50 page was only crap?
I don't know WTH they are doing but someone at Google must be on crack or something worse. Maybe they all need to go to a rehabiliation center (at Yahoo! maybe?) and lern some sense?

One thing that kind of bothers me is that I don't see a huge outcry from sites being hit. There's got ot be some sites that are REALLY happy by now, especially MFA sites, splogs and other sites that got the first page for a while, or however loing this crap is going to continue. I don't see anything good yet coming out of it and I am wondering if the sites that DID come back are still back or not?

If it is going to be the same as the other downgrades from Google, then this crap is going to last for 2 months, give or take......
Search engines suck!


7:43 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am out for 32 days, but 2 days I was back.
So there are 30 days and 30 nights of insomnia.
This is the only one site I left in webmaster tools.
The rest all recovered some of them after deletion from webmaster tools account.

I added a site to webmaster tools about four days ago, and now its basically tanked. I'm going to remove it and see if it recovers. Seems crazy, but why not?


7:57 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What we forget a lot of times is that whatever we did might not be the real reason for their changes at all. They just want to see if they put more emphasis on outbound links for example instead of inbound links to what the result might be.
What we also forget is that Google is a giant and doesn't move fast so I think that is more what we did or didn't do like 2 months ago that might affect our rankings.
What I have seen is that every time they have these huge changes, old pages comes back to the cache! and to me it looks like thay are using the cached pages with the old links or whatever on these pages to do new rankings.
I jund they had cached pages from early 2006, in september they had cached pages from May and before this change in January they had newly cached page and right after the change old cached pages were back........
Oh forgot... I do not use their Webmaster tools at all since I don't like them having access to everything I do. It is too easy for them to use and abuse. Webmaster tools, Urchin tracker, email... you name it. What can they do with all that when they compile everything?


8:00 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In the last hour I have seen the results for UK searches get a lot better is any body else seeing this.


8:01 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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same site but with multiple geographical extensions....com .de .fr etc....

the point is one domain such as ebay where clearly identified as the same site but with multiple geographical targetted sites gets all sites listed..not just the corect country for the search...

exactly what happens with subdomains..so now you get all the city widget sites making sites like


because that way they know both the sub and the main domain can appear in the same results...kosher sites tend to go the
and so get just the one listing (filters allowing)

i thought this was just a passing phase as it came with BD but its actually getting worse...

for all the talk of how easy it is to spot networks i see no evidence that BD is actually doing that....so add multiple domains and geo-domains to an already large network of sites and they are are getting stronger with each refesh for the serps i watch...


9:58 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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in checking with my suppliers they have also told me that they are dead since 2 days ago. They rely on internet companies to give them orders. It is not just our company, it is our entire sector. its good to know that its not just us, but when ebay listings, hijacked sites, and wikipedia results overpower legitimate sites then I would say maybe its time i sell on ebay and seo my ebay pages so i can position better in google


11:11 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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c41lum: I agree

I've seen some "improvement" in UK, in the last hour or so. But still a disaster.

I had one kw in position #5. Today it was 22nd. One hour after it is 17th. Yes, that's an "improvement".


11:27 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A change in the results has definatley happened here in the UK for some of the results I watch. Though overall G still has a long way to go they are anywhere near as good as they were a year ago.


1:15 am on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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still a mess here in the Netherlands
it seems we are always like 10 days behind on everyone else.....can that be?


3:42 am on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Checked the resuts for my extremely competitive niche... and honestly, I caught myself looking up at the title bar on my browser and asking myself... "is this google?"

It is a complete mess. I mean the biggest mess I can ever recall seeing in google results. It's not because my site isn't there... b/c it's part of the 950 thing (which I think I have solved, we will see on the next cache, then I'll post)... but this set of results is far, far worse than even MSN. 20 real players in my niche should be at the top. Exactly 5 of them are there in the top 20.

For those of you who think rankpulse is somewhat valid... its showing today having the second greatest change in result positions in the past 6 months.


4:10 am on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just sharing some observations:

I have four subdomains with totally different content. All were put in blackhole on Jan 14/15. Two of them came back with first page ranking after two days. The other two are still no where to be found in SERP.

Subdomain 1, 2, 3, 4 (1 is the oldest, 4 is the newest):
1 and 4 still in blackhole
2 and 3 recover after two days

1 and 2 had new content added in the past two months, 3 and 4 were just updated (no new pages added) - so adding new content does not seem to have an effect.

1 and 4 has gone from PR5 to PR4 in the recent PR update. 2 and 3 are unchanged (PR4).

2 and 3 have anchor text beginning with "A" or "B" for incoming links, 1 and 4 have anchor text from "D" to "S". I notice that many link pages arrange links in alphabetical order, so those beginning with "A" or "B" are in pages with higher PR.

I am not sure, but I think if your incoming links are placed in more prominent websites and webpages, your site can recover more quickly.

Also, I don't think it is possible to get multiple listings using subdomains with identical content now. My subdomains used to share a few articles (not main content) but these articles are all in the supplemental results now.


4:22 am on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am seeing 2 different results in their DC's.

One key phrase I am checking has a site that is either #26 or #30 (It's actually my wifes site so that's good for her!) but I am usually at least where she is now.
It I try to find my site then I am at #150 where she is at 26 and I am at #251 where she is at #30.

It is kind of steady so I don't expect any changes in the near future. For me it usually takes about 2 months to recover.

One thing I am wondering about is, How many of you are using rel=nofollow in your links to other sites?

I am also seeing almost the same sites on the first page as I did the last time Google F-ed up.


4:06 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think everyone should calm down. In my niche, they're showing old caches from late Dec (17th, for one page I checked).

So, something's gone wrong with this latest tweaking, and the old index is showing while they work out what to do. So wait and see.

I call this the Alzheimer Update: "We forgot some of your pages";


"Oh wait, we remember!";


4:52 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Here's an odd thing I just discovered!

I did a search for "blue widgets in Michigan" without the double ticks to see if anything has happened to my SERP's
Of course everything was like yesterday, #*$!ty!
So, I added the double ticks to get the exact result with only pages that has "blue widgets in Michigan" on their pages and to my surprise I get tons of spam pages, guestbook spam pages and God knows what and the SERP's stop at 87 pages and get this Message:
"In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 87 already displayed......."

WTH is this all aboout? Have they gone totally mad?

Undead Hunter

5:05 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just adding to the list: We're knocked out as of this morning.

Last two weeks were the biggest on record for us, both revenue (via AdSense) and traffic. Traffic was up 10-20%, revenue more like 30-40%. Looking back I have to wonder if our AdSense eCPM's were so high because competing sites were knocked for a while, and didn't have as many impressions to show! *L*

Example of how far we are out: Yesterday I ranked # 1 for a search for my real name, as I've had since we started. Today, na-da, I have to add our domain in there to even find it. All manner of junk sites and irrelevant sites are in there instead.

Weirdly, we still rank # 1 for our domain name. We still are showing the same # of pages as before (unlike the Bourbon update, when we couldn't even rank for our unique domain name). The cache in Google is from Jan 17; in previous updates, its been all over. I can put the exact article title, and not come up with anything. Only if I do quotes, and put all the words do I get it (and then I do, with no other results).

I assume because they clearly turned the spigot to "on" over the past two weeks, we're now on "off" for some time.

We're a 9 year old domain, 3 years of new content, PR 5. Have slowed down adding content. Did make a change to page layout two weeks ago, removing the top nav bar. There's fewer redundant links on our page... but the fact the cache in Big G showing Jan. 17 dates on recent articles leads me to believe its something they have clearly done, rather than our changes which have tossed anything.

Not much to do but wait and see, I guess.

Undead Hunter

5:15 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One troubling thing: in previous updates, I've seen different results in the DC's.

A quick random check, and all the results are the same for us across the DC's I looked at.

If I didn't see all these other results here, I'd start to question our design change as a factor in this.


5:22 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yeah, it's still going on BIG TIME!

We're a large authority site and have been dumped this morning on all our major and small targeted keywords. Where to turn next, I'm really lost on this one. I guess just wait and hope.


5:26 pm on Jan 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

We should stop "blaming" ourselves and look at what we have done or not done over the last months.
This is totally a Google screwup and something they either are testing, hopefully, because if this is going to be the future result then we're all screwed. The only things that's left is Blak Hat!
Another odd thing I have seen is when I click on a Cache link I get a 501 Error and it says "Not implemented yet"

WTH is that?

Added! Here's what I found about Error 501:
Resolving 501 errors - general
This error should be very rare in any Web browser. It is more likely if the client is not a Web browser - particularly if the Web server is old. In either case if the client has specified a valid request type, then the Web server is either responding incorrectly or simply needs to be upgraded.

So I guess Googles web server needs to be UPGRADED?!? Do they have a Server Problem? Is that why we get all these weird results?

This 247 message thread spans 9 pages: 247

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