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The Google Rollercoaster Ride of Pages Indexed

has anyone else noticed the pattern?

     
2:57 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed a repeated pattern with Google since about May of this year...and now it's happened so many times that it's definitely a pattern. Every 3-4 weeks or so I notice that the number of pages Google has indexed for my site skyrockets for a few days, peaks, and then drops back down to where it was. This has happened every 3-4 weeks for months now. I am checking my site using site:http://examplesite.com/*. If I drop the asterisk the page number is much higher, but I assume those are all in the supplemental index. Has anyone else noticed this pattern? Thanks
3:43 pm on Sept 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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ichthyous - While I haven't noticed patterns for the number of pages indexed (largely perhaps because I haven't looked for them), I have seen patterns over time for rankings, often apparently cyclical. It would be interesting to graph these and see if they're related.

For the rankings, interacting patterns of other pages would, of course, complicate the cycles.

4:40 pm on Sept 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If I run a simple site:http://myexamplesite.com/ search then there are many more pages from my site indexed. It's only when I add the asterisk that things change. It's not the number of overall pages indexed which is cyclical, but rather the number of pages in the supplemental index. I do notice a traffic difference of about +/- 15% between peak and trough, so the extra 1,000 or so pages added to the regular index (de-supped?) at the peak must all be low ranking and/or considered duplicate content for some reason.
7:03 pm on Sept 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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ichthyous, exactly what I see. I write down the numbers from time to time, they change daily. Since I'm looking at a large dataset so it's easy for me to spot.

These are URLs which are not in the supplemental index (www.example.* query) for one of my domains over the course of a few months. At the moment supplemental index is hitting hard again across all of my domains, it does not matter how many quality or quantity backlinks they have.

Either supplementals are up with all domains or supplementals are down with all of them. Example for URLs which are not supplemental so you can see the up and down:

5120 - 9.010 - 9.720 - 9.020 - 9.810 - 10.100 - 10.600 - 9.060 - 8530 - 7950 - 7670 - 7300 - 7320 - 7420 - 7480 - 7520 -
7570 - 7540 - 7620 - 7680 - 7580 - 6560 - 5660 - 5500 - 5310 - 5130 - 5010 - 4940 - 4950 - 4850 - 4770 - 4650 - 4530 - 4750 - 4960 - 5160 - 6080 - 6560 - 7040 - 7490 - 7990 - 8610 - 9020 - 9200 - 9830 - 9870 - 9930 - 9970 - 10100 - 9970 -10100 - 10300 - 10500 - 10600 - 10700 - 10900 - 11000 - 10800 - 10700 - 10500 - 10400 - 10300 - 10600 - 10900 - 11100 - 11300 - 11700 - 11900 - 12000 - 12100 - 12200 - 12000 - 11600 - 11200 - 10900 - 10700 - 10200 - 9530 - 9270 - 9130 - 9040 - 8870

There have been no changes how Google treats supplementals, they removed the suppl. tag, but nothing has changed at all. They just hide their failure because they can't solve it.

7:46 pm on Sept 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For me the pattern cycles every 3-4 weeks like clockwork, staring last May. Before that I didn't have much in supps. Most of the time my non-supplemental pages seem almost to be pegged to the same number, 600. My non-supp pages fluctuate in a very narrow range around 600 for two weeks of every month, skyrocket for approx. 3-5 days, peak, and then drop for 3-5 days. They always end up around the same number though. As I mentioned, the lowest ranking pages in my site are the only ones affected by this, so while this is going on my traffic is fluctuating maybe 15%
7:47 pm on Sept 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I should mention...the total number of pages on my site is around 2,500 or so
8:44 pm on Sept 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For the past 3 days, I have had pages falling out of the index like crazy. Perhaps it is due to some navigational changes I made to get out of the 950 penalty. But I'm not sure where the "bottom" is as each day I see more and more pages falling out on this site that has been around with these pages forever. I've fixed navigation and submitted a new sitemap. If that doesn't fix it, guess I'm going to have to add new content to these pages.

My number of indexed pages had been very stable for a long time prior to this week. Now I'm down about 1/2 sitewide and afraid they will all be gone but the homepage before long.

9:33 pm on Sept 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My number of indexed pages dropped significantly in May of 2007 (along with my traffic). Although most of my pages have been reindexed, the number of indexed pages continues to show cyclical fluctuations (now on a down cycle). I can't find anything wrong with my sites, so I think that it is just a weird Google thing.
11:19 pm on Sept 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, this week there is a down cycle, but this could change next week, we will see.
1:46 am on Sept 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I see this also with one of my sites, it has +/- 14,000 pages and only about 550 are not in the supplemental.

G-Bot is currently doing the first deep crawl since I made a major navigational change to the site (put in onsite "Related Article" links), so I am hoping this number changes somewhat positive in the next 24-48 hours.

4:52 pm on Sept 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Let's stick to the original post...has anyone seen an ongoing cyclical pattern of pages being added/dropped to the supplemental index? Something repeated over months and not one time...thanks
5:25 pm on Sept 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The most interesting pattern is that the supplemental index affects all domains exactly in the same way, either supplementals increase with all domains or they decrease with all domains.
5:28 pm on Sept 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I have seen a pattern previously, but not quite as severe of a bottom as I presently am in. Usually its just a couple hundred pages difference but now I am 75% down in one folder.

Something else I am seeing that might be related. In this particular folder if I do a site:mysite.com/folder/ search, I get 300 results. But if I do a site:http://www.mysite.com/folder/ search I get 1,000 results. However, on another folder the results between the two are the same. What is the difference in these two queries and could they somehow reveal a potential cause of the loss of pages?

5:46 pm on Sept 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The most interesting pattern is that the supplemental index affects all domains exactly in the same way, either supplementals increase with all domains or they decrease with all domains.

Wow, that is interesting. How many domains are you talking about and how long have you seen this happening? This week I have seen my non-supp pages spike to 1,800 and back down to 435 today. My traffic has gone from 2,600 at the high to 1,700 yesterday, so my traffic does seem to be getting affected by this more and more. This is not a one shot deal for me. I have seen it repeat now every 3-4 weeks

5:49 pm on Sept 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Something else I am seeing that might be related. In this particular folder if I do a site:mysite.com/folder/ search, I get 300 results. But if I do a site:http://www.mysite.com/folder/ search I get 1,000 results. However, on another folder the results between the two are the same. What is the difference in these two queries and could they somehow reveal a potential cause of the loss of pages?

You shouldn't have the same ages coming up for both a www and non-www site search. You should add some code to your htaccess file which merges the two domains as those pages might be seen as dupe content. There are hundreds of posts on here about how to do that, run a search for "canonical urls"

6:13 pm on Sept 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A quick (dumb) question....

If you use the asterisk, are the page number/pages you see in the supplemantal index or are these the ones that is in the index?
So if you have 2,500 pages without the asterix and 300 with the asterix, are the 2,500 in the index or supplemantal?
Sorry, Friday so a little bit slow on the uptake :)

8:17 pm on Sept 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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/* gives you the pages that are not in the supplemental.
11:16 pm on Sept 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This has been happening since May for me when one poster alerted me to the phenomena. At first I couldn't explain it. In fact I’ve been on alert for it since then. I swear that if Google would leave my sites alone I could easily retire in 2-3 years. It sometimes takes me back to pre-Florida days when everybody was happy in most forums because everybody was making money. In my case see-sawing me in and out of the supplemental results apparently makes that much of a difference. Every time this happens I say to myself “Adwords isn’t doodley” compared to what you can get out of search.
1:50 am on Sept 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Their whole system which decides which URL is supplemental and which is not is definitely broken. Those fluctuations are a joke.
9:12 pm on Sept 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Huge decrease in URLs indexed today.
9:25 pm on Sept 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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when I do the /* I see my domain.com in there plus other pages, but I also see my domain.com when I check without the /*
Have also been checking other sites and even if we have almost the same amount in the supplemental, they have a better ranking...
I also see that I get hits from pages that are in supplemental, almost more than from the ones that are indexed... not sure I understand the whole concept :(
11:26 pm on Sept 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Pages in the supplemental index will still get shown in the results for some searches. But the entire content of the page is not indexed, just some "top level" information. I'm sure that includes title elements and meta descriptions, but not sure of anything further.
11:26 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have also seen huge swings in the past week. My max was over 2,800 visitors in one day at the peak of indexed pages, and today if it hits 1, visitors it will be a lot and indexed pages are down to 290! I have vanished for many terms that I have been n the top 10 for for a year now. It just keeps getting worse and worse with Google. Soon you'll have to have a PR 5+ to get any page indexed! What's worse is that it's taking a year to pass PR down to lower level pages. I have PR 4-5 pages and the pages one level down from them have a 0 for over 6 months.
12:13 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Supplemental - not supplemental - supplemental - not supplemental, this is going on for months, who the heck knows what they are brewing in this capitalistic Plex, maybe a new world order LOL?

[edited by: SEOPTI at 12:28 am (utc) on Oct. 2, 2007]

12:47 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't know if this is related but I noticed today that for one search I do almost daily the number of results returned went from 2 million (as it has been consistently for 3+ years) to over 11 million. That's pretty odd.
4:18 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't know exactly what this October surprise consists of, but it seems like Google is going haywire to me. Terms that I have ranked on consistently for years have been swapped for crappy one word terms and less relevant searches. I have never seen such a dramatic swing from high to low and also a huge change in which terms I am ranking for. It took me until mid-September for my traffic to recover from May's blitz and now this! This is just Google trying to squeeze every small business they can for new revenue...period!
11:37 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Anyone have an explanation for this...

site:mysite.com/directory/subdir/ = 1,030 results, can scroll through 350 before end of results (doesn't show pages above 5 when set to display 100 results per page.

site:mysite.com/directory/subdir2/ = 502 results, can see about 200

site: mysite.com/directory/subdir3/ = 1253 results, can see about 300.

But... when I do this: site:mysite.com/directory/ = 600 results, I can scroll through about 300.

So, if the third level directories have a combined 2,700 pages in the index and about 1,000 that I can actually see, then why when I do a site search for the second level directory does it show much fewer results than the sum total of the third levels?

8:27 am on Oct 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed those changes also for websites with a specific content.

at some point I noticed that websites with content A (let's say bussines news) went down while websites with content B (let's say about celebreties) were not affected. ( I must mention that website with content ,let's say, A are not linked between each other. they just target the same content)