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But something quite major is now going on with the Google SERPs. Members are reporting major changes in the single word search results, most particularly, but lots of other things are stirred up as well. On one of my single keywords, I've just passed wikipedia (yeah!) and jdMorgan reported the same for one of his keywords.
So it's time -- we are officially declaring Update Buffy. We'll begin with recent posts from our June SERPs Watching thread [webmasterworld.com]. What do you see going on?
< So why name it Buffy? Let's say it's in honor of someone who just
left her job but knows a whole lot about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
We've never gone with someone's formal name for an update. Tip
of the hat to reseller, goodroi, and jdmorgan for their input >.
< further note - Matt Cutts says [mattcutts.com] that in his mind this is not an
update. OK - so we'll call this moment an "Honorary Update". >
[edited by: tedster at 7:27 pm (utc) on June 19, 2007]
MC says no update
Yes but I see he does admit something is happening with one word searches though he minimized it.
I miss the old days when there were real updates
I loved the Google Dance. What a rush watching it all, like rolling the dice in extremely slow motion. When it was all over at least you knew where you stood and could look at your site/sites and see what needed to be improved.
occupied much more than before by "authority sites".
I assume by authority sites we mean sites with lots of related links to them not sites with knowledgeable information. Maybe link bloat is the word. That would account for all the free stuff sites doing well in my topic, the really big ones get a lot of inbound links.
I am also wondering if any weighting there once was for links from edu or gov sites is gone. I wouldn't blame Google as spammers have made any value for those extensions meaningless.
see what needed to be improved
I also miss the Google dance but I fear they're gone forever.
From everything we've heard from Google in recent times, it would seem they don't want us to make the sort of improvements you refer to (SEO improvements) any more.
I really see SEO dying a slow death and creating pages purely for people coming back into vogue. Won't that be insane!
It's been nearly a week now and my traffic has pretty much stayed steady at roughly 4x prior levels. The pattern is very consistent - 4x the traffic on Saturday and Sunday, which are normally very slow days for me. Google used to send around 45% of my traffic, now they send closer to 80%.
The best way I can describe it is like coming out of the sandbox for a second time. I don't rank for any one word searches (except for the site name).
Could be just a coincidence - maybe some kind of manual review that gave me a boost. I don't look for links and I don't trade links. If you've got good content you get a link, pretty simple.
Like someone else said our google traffic was around 40% now its 80%.
We don't trade links, just link out where appropriate and TRY to have good content. Gave up doing any SEO years ago too, just write the text plain and simple as if I was writing a word document.
Would you be kind to update us about the boost in traffic of your site(s) which you reported in previous posts.
Starting in the beginning of June my traffic went from 250 visitors/day to about 5000 visitors/day. It has ramped up gradually.
A few years ago I was getting about 4000 visitors/day. I never determined why I had a sudden loss of traffic. My site was a vertical portal/directory but could be perceived to have the footprint of a scraper.
The traffic seems to be sticking so far.
I wonder if the boost is related to Google dealing with arbitrage sites and they lifted a penalty on my site?
It sounds like the great majority of those who benefited from these recent changes are older sites, is that so?
It seems so based on the feedback of some friends on this thread.
As I mentioned previously one of my sites, 10 years old, which lost 75% of its traffic in Allegra update (Feb 2005), has started regaining traffic sometime between 13th and 14th June 2007 reaching around x2 boost in traffic. Still long way to go to reach pre-Allegra traffic, of course ;-)
This is not just one word searches, nor is it all about "authority".
I just looked at a four word term: southern state widget store
I see a former client's site has three of the top four spots (1, 2, 4). All mirrors. The interesting thing is the URLs
I had previously advised this person to implement 301's to avoid the duplication. They never did, and it would appear to be to their benefit that they haven't. It looks as if two of these sites are sitting on the same server, same IP, while the third is on a different server/IP.
Hardly an authority site, the "news" page is nothing more than a Yahoo rss feed.
But wait, there's more...
Site explorer shows approx 250 IBLS to brandwidgets, approx 5 IBLs to brand-widgets and zero IBLs to brand-widget-store. Oh, and 2500 pages, most of which are phantom pages created by a poorly implemented blog application that gives many URLs to identical pages.
Now, the .org site of the NPO association representing southern state widget stores does not appear in the SERPs until #24/25.
But digging that deep I see that brand-widget-store.com shows up again at #16.
But, wait, that's not all...
In the top 30 listings on this term there are 7 "links" pages (i.e. site.tld/links.htm), 7 directories, 2 tourism sites, and an odd RSS feed thrown in to boot.
So we have accounted for 23 of the top 30 sites on a very specific term, almost all of which are quite frankly garbage - although they do represent an awful lot of outbound links.
Huge boost for me (please lord let it stay so or increase it) and yes, my site is older than Google. Of course it is also valued around $165 Billion less :)
I did have a link penalty issue with them that was cleared by email about 5 months ago
Marcia in a prior post stated - "There was a TF factor (text frequency) involved with sites in the Florida update, and I'm seeing it being a factor now with the sites I've been looking at."
I have had a site which has ranked on page one, position 2 or 3 for about six years now and suddenly it's on page 2.
As soon as the site dropped to page two I notice that the KW concentration was lowered as result of this Non-Update.
Yes... my concentration of keyword was fairly high.
For those that remember the FLORIDA update and the STEMMING issue, this is very much like that... except that it also incorporates an element of SEMANTICS... meaning that if you have a lot of reference to "colored widgets" on the page Google will show your page fairly high for "blue widget" "red widget" "yellow widget" but not specifically the over-weighted "colored widget"
This is just my take.... I am certain that Tedster and the rest of the crew have a better eye than I do.... but would probably come close to this observation.
My finanl opinion.... sit tight.... let all the smoke settle first.... see where you end up.... tinker as needed.
Do we agree then that as a result of Update Buffy (which could be still underway) we have now better search quality regarding 2,3,4+ keywords queries?
At least that what I see in sectors related to online advertising and online marketing.
A well done job of Google Search Quality Team and Crawl/Index Team.
Except of course the changes that were predicted by recent activity on and off-site. But nothing special.
What I did notice is keywords in the URL that now count, and that stemming seems to be pretty much OFF for some sites. For some areas the "exact match" anchor text approach gave a boost. Or should I say if there wasn't a single exact match for that phrase in either of the anchors, the page dropped x2 positions. If it was 6, now it's 12. If it was 20, now it's 40. But I use exact match anchors, even though it's kind of AdWords sensitive.
If the phrase was in the url it's up, if it gets anchor with the words, it's up.
Which is... if you ask me...
Not an update.
And I don't mean the rollback of data, the SERPs aren't what they were a year ago. But a rollback of methodology. In certain aspects the algo is back in 2005. Only with the -950 kind of filters in place, the SERPs are now ... supposedly clean. ( Not in my sector, but I'm so glad you people are happy. )
With this kind of weighing of existing parameters, TrustRank related spam has more or less been taken care of. It only took three years.
I track however a lot of good sites that are still -950. With no other good reason than yeah, they still match the profile for buying links. They don't. Exact match anchor text from quality sources -- and in cases of these *cough* quality sources overusing a certain phrase, anything ELSE -- does the trick but... it's troublesome to rebuild a linking pattern.
Sorry for the “wall of text”, but I hope it makes some sense, a few conclusions, or thoughts:
I hope it makes sense. Please discuss, maybe we can find solutions and get some understanding what happened.