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annej - I am very suspicious they do some link buying and wonder if Google is playing around with some algos they think might catch that.
I'm seeing similar signs this morning but I think that this is in reaction to the effect Internetheaven reported above. ie a devaluation in internal links caused an overvaluation in low value external links. I've seen a few sites rise to the very top of Serps that seem to have done it through link buying and link exchanging with off topic and/or poor geo location sites. Those now seem to be dropping.
Also one site that, out of the blue, got sitelinks for a very competitive 2 word term where there is no way it should be top of serps never mind be given sitelinks for that term. I'm pretty sure that this was an indication that external outgoing links, with the right anchor text, was given an undue boost. Today they have lost sitelinks. Lets hope they don't get them back!
What I'm seeing this morning looks like they are either tweaking down the weight of external outgoing links and incoming links or turning internal link anchor weight back up a tad.
[edited by: tedster at 3:16 pm (utc) on May 1, 2008]
Since this w/e (3/4th May) some of our pages have now dropped from top 5 results to around 30/40!
I hope Google sort this out. The results they show now for our search terms are really quite rubbish and irrelevant.
[edited by: Bigwebmaster at 1:47 pm (utc) on May 6, 2008]
The software itself is impressive for sure, but it has been given mandates that are causing the current slightly off-white results. Just take the chains off and let it go Google! I'm curious ...
Lets hope the AI is intelligent enough to spot AL (artificial links)
I think the AI move is to get away from things that can be artificially boosted such as links. Trying to create something that understands both the keyphrase being searched for and the intent of the user and matching it with a set of results. For example, mis-spellings have been dramatically adjusted over the past few months.
For example search for green tablets and pages optimised for green tablet come top, search for green tablet and pages optimised for green tablets do it.
I guess this may [possibly] be because stems and synonyms add to topic weight but do not add to a sliding scale over optimisation penalty.
I notice similar results with one of my biggest keywords. When I rank in top 5 for the plural I usually show at spot 10 or 11 for the singular. When I show in top 5 for the singular I drop out of top 5, usually around 8 or 9, for the plural. It seems to rotate day to day and sometimes throughout the day. This has been very consistant for about the last 6 or so months.
Yesterday is the first I can remember seeing both remain in the top 5 at the same time. Looking good today so far!
[edited by: MadeWillis at 12:31 pm (utc) on May 7, 2008]
I guess the folks at Google wish the algo would do what they say it is doing.
Matt Cutts says words to the effect that they are going to come down hard on paid links and link spam, a few minutes later Google starts promoting sites that buy cheap links.
Perhaps they are using AI with an ironic sense of humour. It has got out of control and keeps taking the p*$$ out of the spam team.
I guess the singular and plural don't matter so much but those two versions usually refer to the object while the ing version is about doing the activity. People are looking for quite different things in that case.
Hmmm, maybe it's more subtle than that. Maybe the algo looks at other words on a page that might relate it to the ing version. The concept that people might want to do the activity rather than buy the product.
Did you compare last year's ups and downs? At least in my country these are the first days with some sunshine, so for many people time to fall in love and not stare at monitors.
Hope dies last;)?
Literally every few searches the results skip around I am even seeing one result jump from page 3 to 4th.
It seems you are hitting different data centers (DCs). Different DCs receive different data at different times. To simplify, lets call it the data refreshes at Google DCs. Facinating, don't you think so ;-)
Can someone PLEASE, ask Matt to give us some kind of statement that truly relates to what we all are seeing?
So far, the silence has been very unsettling. Where is Google Guy when you need him?
I very much doubt it. I would bet if you carried out satisfaction results today compared with 6 months ago there would be no significant difference.
So basically why would Google care one little bit about webmasters being unhappy if their public is happy?
Does Google really need some fancy algo to figure out most users who search for widget might not be led astray if the results are the same as widgets?
Good grief. Artificial intelligence. O-kay.
I'm seeing some kind of stability in SERPs following Dewey weirdness after moving my site onto new servers. No idea if there's a connection. Also removed one possibly suspicious inbound link. Can't say, either, if it helped.
Supposedly it's okay to link from one of your sites to another if you aren't greedy (many crosslinks), but the link was on a 160x600 image, which we know is so prevalent as paid advertising. I wasn't convinced Google would ignore it and hold back hitting it with a paid-link penalty. I'm pretty sure Matt Cutts designed his algo to look at links from standard ad sizes.
On both of those DC's even when I type in a unique text string I get scraper sites pop up in fornt of my pages. I have to say that it did this 12 days ago as well but then everything returned back to normal, fingers crossed it does this time as well.
Hi HissingSid we have been hit hard on both .co.uk and .com but some words have held up on .com that have been lost on .co.uk.