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May 2008 Google SERP Changes

     

Hissingsid

7:20 am on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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

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.

Cheers

Sid

[edited by: tedster at 3:16 pm (utc) on May 1, 2008]

internetheaven

5:57 pm on May 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There was a significant drop in 3 of my sites on the 9th from which they are not recovering. These 3 sites are the ones that use affiliate banners from the regular networks like TD and CJ rather than other monetisation programs such as Adsense and direct selling.

The traffic on my other sites has either remained stable or increased slightly during the same time period. (I am in the UK).

All those reporting a drop in traffic since the 9th May, do you use banner advertising across more than 80% of your pages?

zafile

7:17 pm on May 17, 2008 (gmt 0)



Yesterday, the newer set of results for my beloved niche were 1,020,000.

Today, the number is 1,030,000.

The number of results was 970,000 some 48 hours ago as I wrote on message #:3650978.

mirrornl

9:23 pm on May 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



G certainly used the "age" knob in the last days in favor to older sites

Guido

1:27 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



G certainly used the "age" knob in the last days in favor to older sites

I don't think so. My 5yo site is acting like a yoyo. Within hours I'm on top five, in the middle of nowhere or buried on page 20 or so.
Other strange things:
I'm getting visit for the most unusual keywords.
Search for keywordA Google.com returns pageA (which is correct)
Search for KeywordA Google.co.au returns PageB which even if it contains KeywordA it's not specific to that word/sentence.
I also lost ranking on .co.uk and at my previous place there is a post of mine in yahoo-answer with reference to my site. It's rather hysterical.

clickfire

6:44 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



G certainly used the "age" knob in the last days in favor to older sites

I'm still seeing at least one old site dropping and reappearing in the top SERPs. I hope this whole issue can resolved soon.

zafile

8:41 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)



I'm now looking at 1,050,000 results.

zaqwsx3

9:24 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



All those reporting a drop in traffic since the 9th May, do you use banner advertising across more than 80% of your pages?

I was hit by the May 9 drop, and the only ads I show are G/adsense. On a couple of pages I don't show any ads at all, but on more than 95% of them I do.

Having said that, it appears to be coming back to normal ... but I don't want to speak too soon.

zafile

9:42 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)



Exactly one week ago, Mother's Day was celebrated on May 11 in the USA and other countries.

I wonder what Google did on that weekend. I wonder if it was hardware or software improvements. Or perhaps newer data deployment?

Regardless of what happened, I can see today slightly improved search results.

clickfire

4:51 am on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



My site in question users a very small number of affiliate banner ads, with the rest mostly mostly adsense.

El_Matador

11:23 am on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have a website with affiliate ads on pretty much every page and the keywords i am competing for are highly competitive.

I used to rank number 1 a few months ago for one of those terms in the .co.uk - and stayed there for awhile. Then it was up and down for a long time and from about the beginning on April it began to steadily slide. I just put it down to Google messing around with something and status quo would be resumed soon enough.

I now find today that i am no longer on the first page.

What I don't understand is the websites that are now above me are mostly spammers and content scrappers. I update my website everyday with at least two new pages, have a bunch of links from authority websites in my niche and don't do any anything dodgy with regards to seo.

I'm certain that the links I have received since the start of the year are not to blame - the only two things that i can think of causing this decline is a site-wide external link i got (which i am still on the fence about whether or not they do more harm than good) and a change to my homepage copy (which was after the steady decline began anyway).

Would people recommend some urgent action - i dont want to slide anymore - or let things settle for awhile?

Cheers.

zafile

5:29 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)



I would let things settle for awhile...

I'm now looking at 966,000 results.

adamxcl

7:04 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



For three weekends now, I've seen a curious thing. On late Friday night I go to organic number one for a higher dollar two word search phrase. I'm number one through the weekend (slowest two days of the week for searches on it), get around 500 people a day from it and then come Monday morning, I'm back down to number two or three. Before any comments, this in the organic results and I'm not talking about the top paid spot.

I know that Google rankings change often on the weekend for testing or such. That is usually when I see the biggest changes. It's just curious to see such a definite pattern over the course of almost a month. I hope it's a sign of a more permanent shift in the near future but who knows.

[edited by: tedster at 7:40 pm (utc) on May 19, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

howardam

8:35 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have also been seeing a lot of flux over the last 3 weekends. We are a new site, and have been slowly working our way up the SERPs. Usually, during the week, we rank on the first page for more long-tail keywords, and on page 3-4 for our top most competitive keywords. However, when I check the Webmaster tools, I see that the have our top search queries as the two most competitive terms, and list us as showing up at #6 for both. The only thing I can think is that we are appearing in the first page over the weekend and then drop back down over the week. That just seems really odd to me, so I'm not entirely sure what to do at the moment. Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.

tedster

9:33 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



The only thing I can think is that we are appearing in the first page over the weekend and then drop back down over the week. That just seems really odd to me...

Google began experimenting with time sensitive results a while back. Weekend versus week-day is one version, and seasonal variations (winter, spring, summer, autumn, gift-giving holidays, etc) are another. Some people report what appear to be time of day variations too.

So it might seem odd, but believe your eyes - it is happening. There are all kinds of factors that are now influencing the sERPs, or soon will be. Check out this April 2007 patent on Scoring based on Traffic Analysis [appft1.uspto.gov]

anhwu

6:16 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I am pretty sure that webmasters usually complain when results drop. They should know that other webmasters have been trying their best to get on top, it's natural that search engines reward these sites with better content and optimization.

I did have my first site drop one year ago and at the same time my new site replaced the old one as I was only promoting the new site at the time.

I have been receiving many offers for triangular linking but I never do it as I can't have any control as with reciprocal linking. Many say that reciprocal links were not as important as they used to be but I personally don't think so. Any advice?

internetheaven

7:59 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



My site in question users a very small number of affiliate banner ads, with the rest mostly mostly adsense.

I was hit by the May 9 drop, and the only ads I show are G/adsense.

I have a website with affiliate ads on pretty much every page and the keywords i am competing for are highly competitive.

What size, wouldn't happen to be 468x60 would it?

zaqwsx3

8:41 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What size, wouldn't happen to be 468x60 would it?

Only a 728x90.

El_Matador

9:20 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have a handful of 468x60's but mostly are text links.

srik79

9:52 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



There seems to be a roll back now... seeing the same old results for a few highly competitive 2 word keywords

c41lum

11:34 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Its seems like google has switched the May 9TH changes back on. Anybody else seening this.

Hissingsid

12:49 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hi Callum,

I have one "indicator" term which is more volatile than others I watch. That seems to just be moving me up and down between 7 and 9 on Google.com when I look at the DCs on a proxy checker but I'm stuck at #2 on google.co.uk.

There are two different sets of SERPS on the DCs for this term but the differences are very minor just the top 3 shuffling. And for other, less volatile terms I'm just seeing one version of SERPS.

Cheers

Sid

marketingmagic

5:54 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Sigh.... how I wish Google would get rid of the 8 out of 10 .co.uk and .au sites that are dominating the first page of serps (searching google.com from Toronto canada).

The results using a proxy service out of the US, are completely different - no .co.uk or .au sites - serps make sense.

Here they don't as for our sector you aren't going to be doing business with a company in the UK or Austrailia as the freight charges would be stupid.

They had removed them about 12-14 weeks ago, then brought them back about 8-10 weeks ago, where they remain.

Any one else seeing UK and AU sites doing this?

clickfire

12:35 am on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Its seems like google has switched the May 9TH changes back on. Anybody else seening this.

I haven't noticed any switching. My rankings have been AWOL since May 9th.

nuevojefe

5:25 am on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Very interesting changes I'm seeing. Major swings in a high traffic niche, but not much different in other niches I watch.

Seems new sites of a certain criteria are being allowed to jet up more though. Surprised to see new sites able to be propped up by network linking.

c41lum

11:21 am on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



HI Internet Heaven,

I am seeing a similar thing, since the 9th any site which has affiliates on it has been slapped big time.

We have lots of original content but monetize through affiliate networks.

How can anyone afford to create a quality content filled site and then not earn any money out of it to pay the hosting bills.

dudibob

12:31 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I look after a network of sites, all with banners ads using obvious tracking URLs and the rankings on the whole haven't been affected too much, a few single word terms we've flown up and dropped down a few as the most notible.

Are you sure Google might be thinking your pushing the ads too hard and made people suffer or could there be coincidences of something else?

methodman

3:36 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If its because of having affiliates, honestly does google want to be the only site on the internet making money.

<snip>

nothing but BAD news, what is going on, I see sites with 25 back links out rank my site wit hover 700! unbelievable, bad update. Not just that but we actually have better quality content than any other site that ranks right now.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:11 pm (utc) on May 21, 2008]
[edit reason] removed link [/edit]

c41lum

3:59 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hi methodman, exact same here.

In my area there is a web with just a image on it placed higher than my content which has 60 IBL and has been featured on Google and Yahoo news. CRaZy.

c41lum

5:35 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have just noticed that other small search engines sites like Retrevo. Are getting listed higher than me for my own unique content. Even through they link to me. This has neve happened before but since the May 9 the change I am seeing it for almost all the unique content on my site.

What should i do sit tight or report it to Google.

internetheaven

7:06 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Are getting listed higher than me for my own unique content. Even through they link to me.

You think you're results are bad? High value term I'm looking at has an affiliate URL as the No.4 spot out of millions! Just the URL, no title, no description and if you click on it, it 301's to the merchant that is listed in the No.1 spot!

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