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October 2007 Google SERP Changes

     
4:00 am on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

The backlink has indeed been devalued, however selectively.

.gov backlinks are still strong as is yahoo directory and other large authority type sites.

backlinks that are showing up all seem to have one thing in common - they also have the url in text. This fact would suggest that the text url is now very strong as its outweighing the negative effect of the actual backlink on the same page.

Its no secret that google has been going after paid linking and I think that this is part of their strategy to tackle it, where it will lead is anybody's guess.

I think you are correct about the search volume effected industries.

Taking it further, although text url is the obvious exploit of the moment, its also possible the algo is doing a correlation on the numbers between what IT considers to be a legitamte link from its list of sources and other sites which at a certain point is assuming paid linking or heavy seo and imposing backlink penalty.

I don't think its about "juice" to good links. I think its about penalty to bad and the ratio between good to bad links.

[edited by: tedster at 7:38 pm (utc) on Oct. 1, 2007]

2:55 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Vimes, I can confirm. Also, for what it is worth, those DC's populated with the current content on Friday, Sept 28th at 7:00 GMT. I thought for sure that they would either not last the weekend or populate to the other DC's, but they have done neither.
7:39 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I can only speak about my sites but I'm sure i'm not alone in this so I'll ask anyway, its not to be rude.

Why are you looking for an update?

Google serps update daily, they flux ALL the time. Look at one of your top pages in the serps, add a few outbound links to it, a few days later you'll see a drop in the serps. Remove them and the page will rebound.

I thought the days of waiting on a major update were gone because the serps update continuously now, they also seem to favor fresh content on trusted sites. Yahoo! and MSN do the same just not as frequently.

7:41 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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And who the heck knows by when and how other factors will bei weighing in (e.g. PR, linkage, penalties, etc.).

SO , as always: give it time...

7:50 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm waiting for an update because Google is overdue doing something about the spam sat at the top of the serps. It's a long time since they asked for all the paid link spam reports and I've seen no difference in the serps whatsoever since. Surely it was for a purpose?
8:02 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google has removed many pages from my site out of index. Is everyone else witnessing the same?
8:18 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I thought the days of waiting on a major update were gone because the serps update continuously now...

Not always. This appears to be a little more then (or maybe a lot more then) a normal daily flux.

As others have suggested, it may very well be a pre-holiday test.

[edited by: kamikaze_Optimizer at 8:48 am (utc) on Oct. 3, 2007]

9:43 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I dont usually track DC's but I am seeing some old junk floating to the top at the moment.. somes mine, some isnt!
12:22 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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personally I like googles behaviour. Have asked to do some seo for a friend and do not want to sit here for 3 years in a backlink competition.

SEO today has become just that - a backlink comp. Give me the good old days of the google exploits and the changes that bring you instant rankings anyday - it certainly seems the only way to weather pre christmas sales period.

1:01 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google has removed many pages from my site out of index. Is everyone else witnessing the same?

Yes. Google seems not to index, or did not crawl for 2-3 months some pages.
If those are deep internal pages that's fine I'd say. They seem to emphasize on some freshness type of factors indpendently of true (human) value of pages.
Let's remind Google that the web is not a giant newspaper and 99.9999% of blogs are not USAtoday, not even close.

In my opinion this participates to the whole weird and confused spammy indexed, half in japanese that we can spot on many low and average volume of searches.

They also some serious resource issues in my opnion. They could have been forced to draw part of their computer power to a point where they have to choose to emphazise more on freshness instead of freshness being just a regular factor as before when SERP's where still no so insane...a few weeks ago.

I've performed more search tests during a business trip yesterday, i was bored.
Well I very much think so that the singular plural change issue, yes it's an issue at multiple levels, also came in with a few keyword stemming changes.
This part, a former Google super strengh allowed document retrieval contributed to increasing averall value on page 1.

These would participate sldo to the feeling of: "WTH is going on LOL" I have every single search I make for the past weeks.

A whole part of the site-theme-query association is not making it to Google's top layer algo, not even remotely.
I still did not find one of the newly surprising sites have brought any quality to the result at all.

It's been a few months that Google does weird things.
We should have warmed them before, hope it's not too later sincenrely.

1:06 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing Wikipedia taking a hit. Anyone else?

Wiki was ranking first or second for terms that they really had no business ranking high at all. For commercial terms such as "widget", and "buy widget". It always frustrated me that Wiki ranked for commercial terms because people searching for these terms were doing shopping comparison searches, not trying to learn about the topic.

1:12 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is typically time where they test their holiday serps, so it will be up and down until November 1st Different Data centers are different tests. Typically October produces three different sets of results in data center groups.

That is correct. It has been happening for years now.

1:26 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think that a lot of the freshness is to blame for a lot of the results we see now. Their try to show pages that was updated like an hour ago doesn't make any sense to me if it is not blogs, news or something like that. You can't keep on updating your site every hour just to be on top in the SERP's. Maybe if you had the "quote of the hour" on you page and it got updated automatically when the crawler came by....
Not sure people are interested in knowing if it is a day old site or not. They can always subscribe to alerts if they want the latest.
1:44 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The thread menions some new DC's:

72.14.203.99
72.14.203.104
72.14.203.107

What is the feeling here? Are these new DC's showing data that the index will be moving to, or is it just archiving old stuff that is no longer to be used.

Any 'factual' observations along with opinions is appreciated.

Thanks.

2:52 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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New DC's.... probably SEO-bait :)
2:59 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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72.14.203.99
72.14.203.104
72.14.203.107

Those DC's are now showing clean results for me.

I first noticed some garbage creep in there last Friday, and prior to that they were clean for my KW search.

Looks like they are back to normal.

ARC

3:29 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My guess, (and I am trying to be objective as possible), is that the new DC's represent the blurring of the lines between the supplemental index and the regular index that Matt Cutts spoke of a while back.

I am noticing greater indexing in general in the new DC's along with less pages in the supplemental index.

3:37 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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BTW, those are by no means "new" data centers. Google them and for one or two of them you will find past discussions (from a year or so ago) where they contained different results in the past. In fact for one of the (forget which) MC responded on his blog with some strange comment like "Oh, THAT datacenter... that one is our _______. I'll look into it" and then I couldn't find a follow-up. One of them had been nicknamed here something like "Ms Gorgeous" or something like that. Jusy FYI.
3:41 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>> 72.14.203.99
72.14.203.104
72.14.203.107

These DCs are showing very good results across all my areas.
No changes in headline positioning of sites on main keywords but loads of good content returning from the SI - very refreshing and encouraging, the most user friendly results I've seen for months.

Hopefully the usual pattern of a roll back will not ensue - I expect it will though!

3:49 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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kdobson99, phantombookman good thoughts, thanks for sharing them.

phantombookman, I like the results too and hope they filter through to all DC's.

5:23 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hello everybody,

I think that if company have a certain budget for marketing and placing text link in order to advertise the website on different other website, never will be devalued by Google. Why website who makes a lot of money and spend thousands per month for marketing to advertise as a text link should be penalised? Google cannot remove quality of the website which sells advertising space. There are millions PR6,7,8,9 website who sells advertising space as a text links. So you want to tell me that all those websites will be removed from search engine results and devalued with their quality. It will never happen, because Google will lose their quality as a search engine by not showing correct results in SERPS.

5:37 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There are millions PR6,7,8,9 website who sells advertising space as a text links. So you want to tell me that all those websites will be removed from search engine results and devalued with their quality. It will never happen, because Google will lose their quality as a search engine by not showing correct results in SERPS.

That logic sounds like wishful thinking to me. Why? Because there's no shortage of Web sites for widgets or Elbonian hotels or Whatsitville real estate. If joebobs-widgets.com gets whacked or loses rank in the search results, billyjoes-widgets.com will take its place. Users won't know or care that Joe Bob's site is no longer #1 for the search phrase.

7:49 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Since about the last week of september we saw a considerable surge in traffic and sales which is very good since sales have been off for more than a year now.

Today however sales have slacked a bit.

10:58 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Our homepage is gone! This morning it was there ranking nicely for big keywords and now it is gone completely from the index.

What is really odd it that our 14000 other pages are still there. When you search for our company name you get a random page from inside our site. VERY ODD!

11:29 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Search counts are varying wildly, especially on those 72.14.203.nnn IPs.

Some IPs have seen cache dates dropping back to dates from a few weeks back, or more. Others have been updated to be very recent (days).

12:24 am on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Our homepage is gone! This morning it was there ranking nicely for big keywords and now it is gone completely from the index.
What is really odd it that our 14000 other pages are still there. When you search for our company name you get a random page from inside our site. VERY ODD!

Yep, that's what seems to be happening to some sites on some of the DC's.

6:32 am on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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JS_Harris,

You said that "Look at one of your top pages in the serps, add a few outbound links to it, a few days later you'll see a drop in the serps. Remove them and the page will rebound. "

Does this mean google doesn't like outbound links?

But in webmaster guidline they said that google like the related outbound links.........

7:23 am on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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No, it doesn't mean Google doesn't like outbound links, it means that your pages apparently have a set amount of pagerank "juice" and that linking out lessens the amount available to pass around internaly. Link structure matters a great deal, linking out included.

This affects young and small sites more than large established ones. Not linking out at all is not better either, some outbound links actually help rankings, just don't overdo it.

7:59 am on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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it means that your pages apparently have a set amount of pagerank "juice" and that linking out lessens the amount available to pass around internaly.

Ah, I could debate that for hours. Use the word ‘excessive’ with “linking out” and I might agree with you.

Link structure matters a great deal...

Yes, I agree.

...linking out included.

Again, excessive is an important word here.
So is the phrase ‘Relate Content’. Not to mention who you link to.
I could link out to Wikipedia all day (not that I want to) and be safe with my links verses linking out to random blogs with *.cn URL's.
10:20 am on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For the DC watching crowd...., I can confirm a moment of truse... All DC's look the same at this very moment.

Your mileage may vary.

11:09 am on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In these DC there aren't link to Notebooks when you are logged.

[edited by: Errioxa at 11:11 am (utc) on Oct. 4, 2007]

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