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Yesterday there has been a big change in our traffic for about 5 hours. Numerous other webmasters mentioned the same - and some might be very frustrated now because all reverted back to the current search results.
Personally, I have never seen such a big movement in such a short amount of time.
This early morning I was very frustrated. My first thought has been: hey, they tried it again - it didn't worked. Google is broken, yadda yadda .. all the stuff a webmaster with thousands of supplemental pages thinks.
But then, after the first coffe I started thinking again. What could be the reason for such a large movement? Why in the world would a search engine change the entire results (and that must have been millions of pages) for such a short amount of time?
I came up with two possibilities:
1. Something went wrong.
Whatever happened, after 5 hours it turned out to be "no good" and somebody (or some routine) took the decision to take the newest brew offline.
2. It was planned for a reason.
This was a planned shakeup because the worlds number one search engine would not move millions of pages unintentional.
What i have found out so far - most of the traffic that came in yesterday has been traffic for the keywords my website ranked before december 15/16. Basically I had the same traffic as I had 1 month ago. Could it be that old data jumped back into the index for 5 hours? Millions of pages? Just like that? An old datacenter demanded some exposure?
Then it striked me - what if that megaflux (or however you want to call it) was fully intentional? What could Google gain from that?
Since a long time I believe that Google is collecting much more Data then just our websites html. Identifying matching websites for certain search phrases demands user feedback. Deep tracking. Basically they will use Adsense, Analytics and Google Toolbar for that (and more probably). If you can't trust what some webmasters write on their pages - use other large scale data that can't be manipulated.
So, they know what kind of traffic I do have on my website that shows adsense and uses analytics. They know from where I do get my traffic, when I get it and how I get it.
Now to my conclusion: if Google is provoking a complete shift of their results for a limited amount of time - they are able to identify pages that are affected by that. They get large scale data about the pages that rank under different circumstances. 1:1.
I say it was intentional, planned and they will use the collected data during the next few days or weeks.
Whether they will use it in the way I wish - that is another story.
What do you think?
ps. sorry for my crude english - im not a native speaker...
My take on it is they were just showing a snapshot using only the onsite optimization and backlink anchor text. They were not using the authority (pr) of the backlink in that snapshot.
08 Jan 11922
09 Jan 25198
10 Jan 36277
11 Jan 24779
12 Jan 17398
13 Jan 37690
14 Jan 36054
15 Jan 12462
I have extreme fluctuations since the 9th. These are unique visitors.
Another server is completly stable although the same structure besides the language.
There seem to be two results sets that get switched and slowly seem to converge if I do site:www.example.com
This is a pre Google server linked since the early days (1997) and very well in neighbouring "competition" sites, it also does not have the broken geotargeting problems.
> They get large scale data about the pages that rank under different circumstances. 1:1.
Hopefully they will, mine did. For all the keywords I monitor regularly, my site was a rock in the ocean (not spot#1 for all kws!), while many other sites jumped up and down beside me.
Nevertheless, I'd speculate such a data-push is much too time- and resource- consuming for a mere experiment. Human resources in particular, because such massive data-shifts have to be monitored very carefully. So many things might happen, so many DCs must be served. Too much effort, there are much easier ways to shock us paranoids and monitor our turmoil;)
with google. Adsense, adwords and I imagine even data centers as well. The flux could be to data center outages!
It would sure be nice if they were a bit more transparent. Though, I guess that would tell us more then they want us to know.
Instead of making a monthly mess, Google makes one five days a week. For months this has been happening, pages get unpenalized, you get good traffic, and refresh or two later and they go back in the dumper. It happens every day now. Normally there are two indexes but yesterday the refresh just seemed to rollout slower.
joined:July 2, 2000
Backup that. I am able to check my referrals in realtime - and sometimes I do execute the exact same query that brought me a visitor in by myself. Mostly I am not able to see my website appearing in the results. Ergo - another index.
I am seeing this kind of stuff since several weeks.
If we could get at least 2 or 3 lines of explanation from google how long this current situation will last - and whats going on ... that would be nice.
Just to add that: In my industry there are some single sites ruling all over. Rewrite your urls, include widget names in there and you are KING.
www.thewidgetsite.com/colored/blue/thewidgetthathasafunkynamewithlootsofkeywords.html <- is THAT cool?
One of these bimbo sites has just been rewarded with a nice PR8. Good to have internal sites that aren't supplemental - these links do count.
What do I have to do now? Should I step down to keywords in urls? no way. Before I am lowering myself to that I will build my own search engine.
It's frustrating. The worst thing that ever happened to my main website since 1998.
Probably they turned down their dup content filter for a while for whatever reason, then turned it back up again.
If I had fixed all my dup issues probably the site may have stayed up there after a day.
One page shot all the way up to the number one spot, the highest it has ever been as it was previously 3 prior to September 30th, 6-7 until December, and now page 4-5 since.
I have no idea why these pages shot up and then back down, but the only thing I can think of is either affiliate links, page content (keywords) or backlinks.
My lonely little site is 53% down on Monday 15 Jan cf the previous Monday's figures, and has stayed down Tuesday. No changes my end, of course. Just the Google gods (I think that they have been reading too much Greek literature - the Greeks always complained about their god's capriciousness).
I had some dupe content issues in december when my site took a nosedive like many other people, but I fixed it and since end of december traffic has been great (returned to normal and then some). Now today they must have switched back to that old index. Not sure why..Hoping it doesn't last. All my dupe issues are gone so that shouldn't be a factor in any new data, which makes me think they're using the month old stuff.
Our products all have a link back to their main manufacturer page. These links are not showing up with the link: command.
These are pages that have been around for years as well as the links to them. They are all unique and the link to the manufacturer is simply so the customer can get more information about the product line without having the same copy on every product which would be considered duplicate.
Anyone else seeing this?