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I've wondered too as to why some search terms are affected more than others and some result pages are changing around while other barely move.
Has anyone seen any relationship between how popular a search the term is and how much movement is going on?
As to when it will end I don't think we can predict as nothing quite like this has gone on before.
[edited by: tedster at 2:48 am (utc) on June 1, 2008]
oasisfan I thought google's bots were intelligent enough to have see the content in the order it is presented on the screen, not neccessarily in the raw order its in the website without the css to format it?
Perhaps Google should rank pages on the basis of the content as rendered but that is not the case, unless something very interesting indeed has changed recently.
If you are in a competitive keyword area even small subtle changes to your content can affect your ranking significantly.
If you compare old page that ranked well with new page that ranks poorly you should find some clues.
PS I wouldn't take the BS that the folks at Google spew out as anything other than BS, spin and misinformation.
Tonight I had a brainwave. Do a search for "company name" on the Google Gadgets Custom Search Engine box already on the site.
Amazing. It lists all but five of the pages from the site. So, Google does have that data, but they just don't show all of it in regular searches.
If its an OOP penalty like Matt Cutts claims how come Iím not equally penalized for OOPing all over the world. Is Cutts saying I geographically OOPed to much or is he saying if I donít speak the language I wonít be OOPed? I guess that stands to reason because if I can't speak the language my OOPing abilities would be vastly diminished therefore my intent to violate the guidelines is lessened. But what if youíre multi-lingual? How did Mr. Google know I didnít know French that well? A lot of food for thought here. Those guys are to funny. :)
Google has for some years 'overspidered' virtually every site that I have - it will have taken many pages into its memory only for a proportion of them to ever be visible even though they all contain unique information - a bit like looking through the letterbox of a house where you can see the doors to many rooms but not inside them if the doors have been closed. Perhaps Google just closed another door or more likely reduced the size of the letterbox!
>> "I run a non-profit site so paying for Adwords is out of the question."
There is nothing preventing nonprofits from using Adwords.
In fact, if you qualify under Google Grants, Google will even pay for it.
I got my sitelinks back yesterday. Now, if they'd just update them to include the ones I *want*...
I was just making a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact if the penalty existed why wasnít it equally applied in all countries. The penalties and filters seem to be applied more to the US markets. I consider this somewhat unfair in that all country engines have a check box for results only from that country but the US does not. Why shouldnít US based results enjoy the same check box. In fact if these country only results are deemed essential for so many countries wouldnít it hold truer for one of the bigger markets.
I agree. Google defaults to the google search engine of your country (google.ca or google.co.uk, etc.). Most Americans may not know that. But if you're in another country you have to change your settings (opt in) to get google.com. What would be the logic of penalties based on geography? Americans are bigger optimizers or spammers than anyone else!?
Clearly, if you are going to use penalties, they need to be applied at different thresholds for different markets. Markets that don't use English are easy but those that are separate but use slightly different forms of English are more difficult to deal with.
For example the natural link development of a site in the UK is less than 1/10th the level of something similar in the US. If thresholds were set for the US then UK link buying cheats would never get over the threshold and would never be penalised.
In my niche the thresholds for the UK are too high now. I recon my site lives in a quiet rural community with very low crime levels. The folks here hate the crime that exists but the Police are too busy fighting the inner city estate crime that is completely out of control. I want Google to do more in my neighbourhood.
Having said that I don't think penalties are the solution. As we have discussed elsewhere if Google simply removed the benefit of any spam activity it would not matter on what scale it was happening and new exploits which can target competitor sites would be diffused.
LOL...I was about to post something similar earlier today until Telehouse in London had a major outage!
This afternoon I had at least one site index page in the SERPS for two search terms with the same cache date of 8th June one with the current title bar and the other with a title bar from at least a month ago!
IMHO all I can say is that whatever is happening is not the fault of most webmasters or sites...hey, guess what, G's broken again!
In order to monitor this, I've made punctuation or capitalization changes in titles where I haven't changed wording.
The actual times involved depend on the type of page and site and how often I change things, PageRank and position of page in the site, when in the crawling cycle all this happens, and what else Google happens to be doing... but, in my experience, this order of steps has been consistent for quite a while now.
Additional serps changes that complicate this pattern might occur for a variety of reasons that we've all been discussing, but this is for initial changes on otherwise relatively stable pages.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:36 am (utc) on June 13, 2008]
I'm seeing 4 different result sets. For example each of these have a different top 5. Same sites just shuffled. 6-10 are constant.
For some reason I hope the bottom one wins ;)
[edited by: tedster at 3:10 pm (utc) on June 14, 2008]
I got all excited and then just 4 minutes later I was gone again, back to the bottom ... :(
Google, you're a tease! Is this your new anti-SEO tactic? Give us all heart attacks?
That in and of itself wouldn't concern me, as I've seen it happen before, and I've always bounced back.
What seems to be happening in my niche is that the sites that were solidly #1 to #3 are holding their rankings. It's the sites in the middle that are in flux.
My site deals with widgets. For the phrase "Acme widgets" I ranked #4 or #5 for several years. Now I'm at #8 to #10. The sites that are appearing in the middle of the results are weak sites: lower traffic than mine, lower page rank, and not as relevant to the search term.
These sites in the middle are in almost constant flux. They come and go almost daily, or even more frequently.
A search yesterday really floored me. I did a search for "Acme widgets," and the site in the #4 spot across several datacenters was a MFA site for <a completely unrelated phrase>. I couldn't figure out what it was doing there, as there were no links on the site for anything related to widgets. Then I realized the owner had created some pages (MFA as well) that listed MSRP prices for Acme widgets. That's it.
This is unlike every update I've experienced in the last seven years.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:46 pm (utc) on June 15, 2008]
[edit reason] removed specifics [/edit]
I just want to know from you guys (if you know).... is this temporary fluctuation or permanent?
reply would be appreciable,