Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Message Too Old, No Replies

googles weekly shuffle



9:04 am on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

for me, < in my market niche >, in the UK google results are changing between two sets of results now on a weekly basis. These are not new algos or sets of results but swing between two exactly the same sets.

one gives us great positions (ones we have occupied for 5 or 6 years) and the other reduces traffic by 300%. The 'poor' results are geographically confused and first appeared very late december 2006.

this is happening every 7 days (on a sunday)

we do nothing to get back up there when we collpase - it just sems to occur naturally

am I alone in thinking that this is being done on purpose to ensure that those of us lucky enough to not have to pay for clicks may have to start to?

this conspiracy theory also has a very positive drip through effect for G in that my clients < businesses I send traffic to > suffer twice. they no longer get the organic traffic and they are no longer guaranteed to get traffic from me. Adwords can be their only option too

<Sorry, no specifics.
See Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com]>

[edited by: tedster at 11:27 am (utc) on Mar. 25, 2007]


12:57 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

Pretty unlikely.

Why not download the alternative cversions and write to Google about it.

They do have different data centers which can produce very different results - but the pattern you describe does sound very odd.

Is this just for one key phrase, or for several?

You mention 'great positions' - but what are the 'bad positions' that lose you visitors (you can't lose more than 100% - that would bring you to zero!).

Are the sites that do well out of it changing?

Are they all using adwords already - all of them?

Do any other sites that are losing also use adwords? Or is it only yuor site that moves?

Do give us more detail (without URLs) - but contact Google. start with the "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" link on the results page.

Good Luck!


1:12 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I've been wondering if anyone else was experiencing this besides me. (If I understand what you are saying.)

I have a site that was penalized last Fall. There have been occasional hiccups where traffic came back for short periods of time, but March has been really strange.

Since the first week of March, every Tuesday at 3 PM Pacific time traffic comes back (5x to 10x the traffic when traffic is "down"). Every Saturday night at 10 PM PST traffic goes away. This is a large site with about 60k pages and used to get 30K visitors per day, so the variance is significant.

This leaves me with about 4.5 days a week of good traffic and 2.5 days of low traffic. The only exceptions have been before the daylight savings time change this occuredexactly an hour later, and the first week traffic went away on Friday night instead of Saturday night. Each week when traffic comes back, traffic is higher than the week before.

I would assume there is some sort of A/B testing going on where my site is only penalized in one set of data. Optimistically I have to assume that this is a good sign for my website, but as I write this it is Sunday, so traffic is "off" and again I am feeling uneasy about it coming back. Tuesday can't come soon enough!

I understand that Google does a lot of A/B testing, but I wonder how long this will last. And I also wonder why there is no one else reporting anything similar except me and possibly the OP.

Anyone else seeing these precisely timed fluctuations?


4:21 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Experiencing the exact same thing. There are others in the same boat too, they've been posting in the "950 penalty" thread.

Are the fluctuations you experience directory based?
For my site when a directory index page recovers, all the pages in that directory level also recover, and vice-versa.

Have you had any duplicate content problems?

Do you buy links?

I have all but eliminated any on-page factors. I think this problem is based on linking factors.

[edited by: JerryRB at 4:22 pm (utc) on Mar. 25, 2007]


5:15 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Have you had any duplicate content problems?

Do you buy links?

I have all but eliminated any on-page factors.

This site contains almost all user contributed content, so there could be duplicate content issues, but it's never had a supplemental index problem.

I've never bought links, but I suspect that some of the members might have.

I think this problem is based on linking factors.

I agree, it's certainly not on-page issues since the pages have not changed.

I just think it's funny that when G does their A/B testing it usually rolls out across data-centers over a period of time of at least a few hours if not a few days. This occurs pretty much instantly at 3 PM Tuesday afernoon and 10 PM Saturday night.


5:51 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Interesting, our fluctuations are just as predictable but occur Sunday night and Thursday afternoon.


8:19 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Strange I have come to this topic after I see fall in my traffic by 99% and its Sunday as reported by first author.

what I see today is total different results every few hours.
My site ranked at 3rd position on a search is lost to nowhere at the moment but its not black listed as I can still find it by typing full URL.


8:44 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Pretty unlikely.

I know quadrille, it does seem so

my maths though is rubbish so thanks for pointing out my obvious failing there

but....I am a fairly big player in my market (no self elevation going on here - been going for years and truly whopping visitor levels) and others that I have met through this forum and partners (some of whom are truly global companies) are experiencing the same trends.

most pertinently EXACTLY the same trends. They go down and I go down and they go up as I go up
we have (ALL) had peaks and troughs at the same time

27 dec to 11 jan collapse (1st one in 8 years)

12 jan to 16 jan back to normal (ie huge G taffic)
17 jan to 27 jan collapse
28 jan to 1 mar normal
12 mar to 19 mar collapse
19 mar to this morning normal
this morning collapse

(ok its only happened for the last two sundays but it is fast becoming the only trend I can swear by!)

no, its not one key phrase. I have a site tht attracts hundreds of thousands of diff key phrases/searches

no, those that go up are not changing or evolving at all

there is also a geographical issue here. Sir Tedster quite correctly will not allow me to be too specific but lets just say that when bad the results have an awful lot of US specific results mingled in (lots of uk and us place names are the same after all) - though not suggesting they are all crap either

I would also add that I have been watching this for a while - am not a member of the "googles destroying my business fraternity" and still get traffic from G that would make somes eyes water. In other words not taken out of the index, not 950'd, not minus 30'd

there are two dials - simple as that

so G cant keep testing the same two versions - visitor habits will be telling them which is best

So A/B testing sounds sound except why keep testing it


10:17 pm on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've seen these fluctuations with Google Images.

Last night we had a couple of hundred images with moderate safesearch on and a few hundred more with it off.

Tonight, I have no images with safesearch on and a couple of hundred with it off.

The images and their order is the same each time I see the different sets.


8:16 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just an update.... Last week (The week of March 25th) the weekly influx of traffic didn't happen as it had the previous 3 weeks. Anyone else who saw a weekly cycle of traffic turning 'on' then 'off' see the cycle stop last week?


8:22 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yes - same here data guy

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month