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March 2007 Google SERP Changes

     
2:03 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

"I think some of us are seeing a different variation. I know my site and at least someone else on this thread ranks # 1 if you type in their domain name. Or domain.com. Back actual pages by title, those that used to be in the top 10 SERPS are now about 10 pages back, in the 100+ range. "

This is exactly what I'm seeing. I'm holding many keywords fine but all my big keywords are gone most of the time.

Our site is swinging up and down all day long. Sometimes I search for red widget and we are not on page 1 but we are in the top 4 pages then a search an hour later and we are blasted back to the bottom of the results.

Other keywords seem stuck at the bottom.

As a result our Google traffic is down more than 80%.

We have lost many keywords that we have held #1 on for years. How can we go from #1 to the bottom or not even showing over night?

I have done nothing to deserve this and cant seem to figure out why this happened.

[edited by: tedster at 7:17 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2007]

1:49 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Re-start an Adwords campaign if you want some G love... NO MORE FREE TRAFFIC FOR YOU.

We've never gotten a positive ROI from adwords. too much click fraud in my opinion, but when I complain or ask them to look at it .. just the same old response. "we have reviewed your concern and no fraud has been found". Yea right.

1:55 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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for once this has gone in my favour! Im up around 100 - 150 people per day, about Blo**ing time!
2:13 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Ours is up as well, looks like google is sending us more long tailed traffic. Its good traffic thats converting to sales.
2:13 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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64.233.167.99 could that be new results or is that just a dream. Some how all keywords for my site looks good here, about 2-3 places better then before update.
3:11 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Zeus, it's probably a dream...

I think Google is simply doing some more testing & house cleaning.

I watched my #1 and #2 competitor sites both disappear for about 48 hours each, then pop right back. This morning, it's my turn in the barrel and my site is gone for my major keyword searches. My sub pages are still there, but the main page, gone.

However, checking C-block datacenters, I am still #1, so I'm sure it's just a temp shake down.

IMHO, it seems Goggle sequentially removes the top few listings, then waits a day or two, checks for duplicate content in remaining pages OR cross linked domains, then flags any violating sub pages and then replaces the main page. That's what it looks like to me, and if so, it's probably a GOOD thing.

My message to the junk sites and black hatters that rank high: "Enjoy it while it lasts, because it never lasts".

4:35 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday traffic from Google dropped 85 percent! Eight year old site, very stable for the past 4 years, ranked 1st, 2nd page for many site-related keywords, is now nowhere to be found.

I havn't made any major or even any minor changes to the site.

I'll just wait it out and see what happens. What a nightmare!

4:44 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Things are way up across the board for my top eight clients with the biggest sites; my personal sites are all pretty much the same.
4:48 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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ditto.

Lately my google traffic is around 3500 per day. It's been steadily increasing for over a year pretty consistently. Yesterday it dropped off a cliff to 200. No changes in nearly 8 months to my site. No black hat of any kind. What gives?

4:58 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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microlinx - what C-block datacenters are you checking, what you say thats also what i see, i was also placed good on first page, within I think i will be back again.
5:07 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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we will randomize the SERPs until no decent webmaster is left standing.

Actually, I think the serps are more randomized these days. I'm seeing many more sites that probably aren't high trust rank in the serps. For many categories rankings for related keywords are spread out among a wider group of sites than they have been in the past.

6:16 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My blog traffic has suddenly SOARED. This new Google update sure likes blogs.

Unfortunately traffic is down slightly to my money making sight.

So I make less money, but at least more people are reading my opinions on politics and society.

7:10 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This new Google update sure likes blogs.

Not sure about that. I have a blog (wordpress) and two days ago Google traffic dropped 85-90%
7:31 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Not sure about that. I have a blog (wordpress) and two days ago Google traffic dropped 85-90%

Well is it a REAL blog, or a spam blog designed to make some adsense revenue?

I've also been picking up a lot of links the past few months, that could have helped. But my PageRank remains a 5.

7:45 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well is it a REAL blog, or a spam blog designed to make some adsense revenue?

It is a real one, all content is unique. I invested hundreds of hours developing this one. PR5 and all pages are indexed by Google. Traffic dropped from 3000 uniques/day to 300 uniques/day without any reason.
7:47 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If you read my previous posts in this thread, I also lost about 90% of the traffic from google. I run a blog and the content is unique.

My site is G O N E from best ranking keyword.

7:51 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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to me it look little strange all this, as I see it people who has a first page ranking is down to place 95-100 on most servers, but on others the same as before or better, I have this strange feeling that we all will be back to normal when this is finished, be cause it can not be that so many sites at once is on page 10.
8:14 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I had one major authority site that got hit yesterday after the BL/PR update, all rankings including the URL itself went back about 4 pages from top 5 positions.

Then this morning everything went back to normal. :)

8:17 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have this strange feeling that we all will be back to normal when this is finished

I hope your filling is right. If not, I will stop developing my fallen blog and start three new blogs (with similar but not same content) instead. I think it is much safer to have three different blogs with 1000 uniques/day each then one with 3000 uniquies/day. If one of them goes down, you still have two more left. That is my plan.
8:31 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a question. For some reason if I search from my home for say ABC, my site shows #1, if I go into work and search for ABC, I am no longer listed on this page. I first thought that maybe Google was doing some updates but what would cause this?

Is Google now GEO on their results?

My home is just outside of Boston and my job is in Boston. This is happening for a bunch of other terms that are state related

Dave

9:01 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I can't say I'm surprised to see this happen it is almost a year to the month that G dropped me for 30 days. They have obviously tweaked a filter to dial out some spammy results and like most operations we get some friendly fire!

All you can hope is that G are scanning the forums looking for feedback on the change and realise that many normal unique content sites have been hit. Sadly it seems to take a month to fix anything, but don;t give up on creating good pages and content just because of this, if you say "i might as well give up" you just sound like a spammer who has been caught out.

Keep the faith good unique content always wins through.

9:36 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to the forums, davidbabba.

Yes, Google is increasingly customizing search results, using many factors. The biggest one is Personalized Search results (seen when your computer is logged in to Google in some way.) But there's also geolocation, and sometimes even different browsers on the same machine.

Google also maintains scores of data centers worldwide that do not contain identical data, and you can be routed to a different data center at any time, even within a second or two.

I have been wondering how many of the current anomalies in search results are tied to all this -- especially the Personalized Search infrastructure, which seems to be under intensive development (and marketing) right now.

10:03 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if this has been addressed - so many threads! - but does it make sense that Google would mix up the top results for popular queries, even on an hour-by-hour basis, to monitor bounce rates?

With each set of results they monitor, then add/drop a few sites and see what set ultimately produces the most stickiness (I hate that word...)?

Some of the sites/pages may be ones that are tripping filters and by popping them in and out at various times can compare them to sites that appear "clean"? If there's a strong variance between the flagged site and non-flagged sites perhaps that would help lead to the EOR penalty...

10:12 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Kevsh,

I would say that does happen and it is what we see from time to time. Especially newer sites or pages.

11:09 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It is a real one, all content is unique. I invested hundreds of hours developing this one.

This doesn't sound like a real blog but rather a commercial endeavor. You don't "invest" hours in "developing" a real blog. You just blog, and the links come.

I think that Google is getting better at identifying real blogs which pick up natural links from SEO exercises masquerading as blogs.

11:21 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Now I see many of my keywords is totaly out of the index, before it was mostly the main keyword, still i think all will return at last be cause the site dont mess with anything.
12:12 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This doesn't sound like a real blog but rather a commercial endeavor. You don't "invest" hours in "developing" a real blog. You just blog, and the links come.

You are right. This is my business. I am developing new content every day, helping my readers and as a reward I am getting revenue from advertizing. Would I spend 7 days a week and 4-6 hours a day developing my blog after my regular 8 hour job just for fun? Probably not. I would spend some time but not as much. Would you work for free? This is my second job. Does it make my blog less real then yours?
BTW, I am not working on back links at all, I have no time for it but people linking back anyway because they like my content.

[edited by: notme at 12:34 am (utc) on Mar. 9, 2007]

12:23 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For those of us who are trying to run an online business its long over due that we need to diversify our traffic streams. This Goole stuff is driving me crazy.

There's nothing you can do to make them happen for very long. So the fix is simple. Stop worrying about Google. Buy some google ads (because this is what they want that's why they move you up and down the results, so you have to buy in.)

Work on other engines to improve ranking...Looking into shopping portals and anything possible to get your name out there.

The days of dominance on Google no longer exists. Its now just King of the Hill for a Day!

1:12 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Work on other engines to improve ranking...Looking into shopping portals and anything possible to get your name out there.

Surely, but I don't think you can work effectively on more than two servers, after that work gets sloppy quality decreases ..

Diversity has to be in an offline business. You will get mad between sandbox, affiliate killing and an update a day while Google tries to pull content for free, like out of copyright books.

The only content that makes sense is now videos as the bigger publishers are now forcing Google to obey the law and take off all the stolen content, they didn't bat an eyelid to show.

Luckily 1937 camcorders weren't that good although I guess we can expect Google Pathe soon.

5:40 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I spent much of today at Google Groups trying to figure out why I lost so much Google traffic. [groups.google.com...]

I was stunned to see so many people posting about disappearing sites or sites that suddenly and drastically lost their ranking. After searching through over 300 pages and looking at many of these "disappearing" websites it started to become clear that many of them had much in common.

1. Have been on-line for several years or longer, well established sites.
2. Ranked high for many site-related keywords and now their pages cannot be found or they rank in the hundreds of pages.
3. Haven't made any recent, major changes to their sites
4. Mom and pop type, a few blogs.
5. Most were either selling a product or a service, a few had adsense but usually as a supplement to their products or service.
6. Like me, all of them just wanted some sort response from a Google rep., anything. The silence was/is deafening.

What I didn't find was a single MFA or Scraper, its always been assumed that updates were to purge the serps of these type of sites, so why aren't any of them posting about being purged?

Personally, I think Google is an outstanding company, they have done a great deal for web publishers over the past few years, including myself. That's why I don't understand their update procedures, it just seems that every time they update so many decent sites with hard working people get crushed in the middle and their lack of communication is truly a mystery.

[edited by: tedster at 6:13 am (utc) on Mar. 9, 2007]

[edited by: alvin123 at 6:19 am (utc) on Mar. 9, 2007]

6:15 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if this has been addressed - so many threads! - but does it make sense that Google would mix up the top results for popular queries, even on an hour-by-hour basis, to monitor bounce rates?

It does look like it is top results that are being affected.

I hope they are not relying on bounce rates because it is bad for sites that immediately give visitors information they searched for.

My sites seem to confirm that high ranking sites are affected. UK Widget News, which is no longer updated, has been unaffected. Widget Info (.co.uk) has about a third the usual number of visitors. It gets most of its traffic from keywords for which it was high (1-5) in the SERPS.

One odd thing is that some keywords are still at the top of the SERPS, others have gone from being at the top to being nowhere visible (presumable being buried deep, although I have not checked).

Both sites have similar link profiles (in fact a lot of the inlinks are the same), except that there are lots of links from Widget News to Widget Info, and Widget Info has more natural (unsolicited) one way deep links.

This 180 message thread spans 6 pages: 180
 

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