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What i'm wondering about is, that no one here calls. Yes i#m a winner. My site shot up in serps and gains 200% more users!
Where are the poeple that now get the users? Are they non seo's? Are they weekend homepage makers with no business background?
I fear google is shifting things around so much there are no winners left. Last months winners are feeling like losers today even if they shifted like this:
1. month: pos 45 in serps
2. month: pos 8 in serps
now: pos 22 in serps
It is like the story of the Chinese man who has lost his son just a few days ago. People are asking him why he is not sad as he terribly used to love him. His reply is irritating but logical: "I always was a happy man even before I had my son, now I am in the same condition again, why should I suddenly feel bad?"
To normal humans the feeling of loosing something, either a child, money in the stock market or a position in the serps, is much worse than gaining it. Therefore most of us always have a too pessimistic view of the current occurrings.
The top-ranked site for the top keyword phrase hadn't been changed in a long time; whereas the top-ranked page had a lot of recent development. The changes, though, were only on-page text, not new links (internal/external).
My intention: if a lot of visitors are coming to the page, why not give them more bang for their buck. Well, in theory that's nice, but somehow Google can't handle it. Too fast development? Too much keyword density? Who knows.
I'm making small changes to the previously top-ranked site--nothing drastic. I still don't know if it's a dial experiment with possible reversions pending. Suspected it was a dial-down on age-based trust rank. It's PR5 so site changes are quickly cached and potentially used for rankings. Most of my website success in the past came from gradual site development so I might try that again. "Slow and steady."
We knew Google has been holding top-ranked sites to closer scrutiny but its current algo for competitive KWs still needs some work.
helpnow We also have a full recovery today from June 4 - we are better than before. We made many changes... I can document them if anyone cares.
Our 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness are over.
I would highly appreciate if you can document the changings you made plus tell me if you had any duplicate meta title errors in your webmaster console. Looking forward to your reply.
However most of them are false, like WMT says I have some pages with duplicate title tags, when I expand the tree the 2 results are exacly the same page, same URL, same everything, so of course they are the same. It has to be a glitch.
It is basically saying your homepage is a duplicate of your homepage, well duh!
If Google shows in WMT that www.domain.com/page.html and www.domain.com/page.html have duplicate titles when in fact they are the same page maybe we are being slapped with a duplicate content filter, by accident, my current state is not unlike my site being in the supplemental index, i rank but only when there is nothing else to rank or the terms are non-competitive.
[edited by: Dave_Hybrid at 12:07 am (utc) on July 12, 2008]
Were all of those searches made at the same Google IP address?
If not, then you were seeing the effects of different datacentres coming round in rotation. Google search servers are spread over at least 70 Class-C IP blocks, with speculation that each Class-C block represents a server cluster, or several clusters in a cage.
Get a copy of the Mozilla Firefox web browser and install the ShowIP extension so that you can see exactly which Google datacentre you are connected to when you make a search.
Be aware that Google has multiple different versions of their index in play at any one time, and that is true right now. Some of them are showing very different results to the rest of them.
I had something similar a few weeks ago, with the "Short Meta Description" report.
The same URL was listed twice, with the same meta description listed twice. Two identical entries, one after the other.
We fixed the problems with the meta description, and Google cleared all of the entires from the problems list at the next WMT update.
This sounds related. It's probably some sort of database error.
It can take several weeks for those reports to fully catch up with reality. If you have fixed the errors, then go do something else. The rest is out of your hands.
Instead of June 4th, I was hit with something around the middle of May. Starting on the 13th my largest site began gradually losing Google traffic over the course of a few days. When it was all said and done about 2/3s of it had fallen off the face of the earth, with my main keyword falling far back in the serps along with a lot of longtail keywords that were providing good traffic. On May 16th, my third largest site also started to gradually lose traffic. It's main keyword fell from #2 to floating around #s 6-10. That third site has a far less competitive keyword and far less pages that the first I mentioned.
My second largest site, ranking #2 for it's keyword, didn't move at all.
As of a couple days ago, most of my Google traffic on my largest site has returned, with the return being as gradual as the fall in May was. Nothing new has happened with the third largest site yet, though if it follows the same pattern as whatever happened a couple months ago, maybe it'll start to move in the next day or two now that the first site is regaining ranking. During this whole stretch of time, from before the fall up until today I've made no particular changes to any of those sites outside of regular updates as I've always done. Definitely some weird sort of Google roller coaster ride.
We also have a full recovery today from June 4 - we are better than before. We made many changes... I can document them if anyone cares.
Our 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness are over.
On the 4 of July vbseo released a update to their software that works with vbulletin forum software.
vbseo rewrites urls and it appears 3.1 handles punctuation in urls different to 3.2.
This caused Google to find 1,000s of duplicate urls on my site along with having to re-index 1,000s of urls and thus losing links and trust at the same time.
As many people use this and probably all upgraded at the same time it may be of some help.
The home page has dropped for one keyphrase with about 40 million results (while staying on the first place or even in #1 position for equally or far more important keyphrases), but "long-tail" rankings and referrals seem to be remarkably constant.
For what it's worth, I don't do SEO (beyond the recommendations in the Google Webmaster Guidelines) and don't constantly tweak my pages. I'm inclined to agree with those who believe that too much tweaking can lead to an erosion of trust.
*** Looking at the above number of returned results it looks like they are rotating through 3 or 4 different groups of data sets, but the placement of the site in the results has no correlation to that data set from time to time. ***
Were all of those searches made at the same Google IP address?
Good question. But I wasn't paying attention to the datacenters, I was playing average web searcher when doing the searches, so I can't answer, but I'll start watching them from here on out.
Even within one dataset for instance (assuming it's from the same datacenter), it's interesting how the site can now range from #41 to #84, and everywhere in between, when it used to always stick at #1.
And for the other keyword I was specifically paying attention to for this purpose, where it used to rank #5, it is gone altogether from the serps. When I do a really specific search also including the domain name (keyword1 keyword2 domain name) I get two results at #1 & 2 that have absolutely nothing to do with the main keyword phrase, but the page that used to rank isn't there at all.
[edited by: StaceyJ at 3:26 pm (utc) on July 12, 2008]
In one industry I watch, daily, if not every time you do a search they rotate results in and out of the top 10. It's never the same when you search the same thing 5 minutes apart.
In others, they don't rotate as often.
I miss the once a month Google dance. At least you know where you stood for a month.
1.) a winner in the current serps
topic: commercial info, from general-multi-topic going to the very detail
content presentation: tree and result based
links: natural, <10 recips, <10 outlinks
daily traffic from google: 20k+
2.) a loser in the current serps
topic: commercial products, a lot of products
content presentation: result based
links: aquired, >100 recips, >100 outlinks, but many of them capped with nofollow
daily traffic from google: 50
treating industries different from each other.
In one industry I watch, daily...they rotate results in and out of the top 10.
In others, they don't rotate as often
going 10->3->10->3 for almost two weeks now
Let's add both these new observations together with some of the others in the thread, even where the "cycle", "sine wave", "yo-yo", or "roller coaster" happens in the deeper pages. It sounds a lot like some kind of statistical testing, but still a bit mysterious. In addition to watching the other sites in those SERPs, I would also appreciate hearing about any time a url that has been cycling suddenly stabilizes, and if other sites in the same SERP continue to cycle or start to cycle.
Even if it is some kind of statistical testing, it would be good to figure out if Google is testing your url for it's performance, or testing two different versions of the algorithm.
It appears to me that Goog is treating industries different from each other.
Further speculation on my part, but if Goog wanted to thwart manipulation of the rankings one potential answer would be to move the goalposts constantly. Googlers have stated that the future for SEO is one of making sites accessible/crawlable, but it's clear (IMO) they want SEO to stop manipulating SERPs.
if Goog wanted to thwart manipulation of the rankings one potential answer would be to move the goalposts constantly.
Or, better yet, move the goalposts frequently for sites that lack TrustRank or that fit an "SEO profile." That would make life harder for SEO-reliant businesses without inconveniencing users.
In addition to watching the other sites in those SERPs, I would also appreciate hearing about any time a url that has been cycling suddenly stabilizes, and if other sites in the same SERP continue to cycle or start to cycle
Had a site that was cycling from #6 to # 11/12 for a couple of weeks. Actually was trading places with a colleague's site in the same niche. Was a single word plural search term(i.e. 'widgets').
It has now been fairly stable at #21-23 for about two weeks. My colleague's site is stable at #20/21 for the same period.
My site ranks 4-6 for the singular term 'widget' (well, #8 right now :().
There is some true garbage in the 'widgets' SERPs. At least 30% of the top 20 are little brochure sites with zero optimization, and almost no links. For example, #8 has 100 IBL's (the majority from only a half dozen blogs) per site explorer, and a whopping 22 pages. My #23 site has nearly 1000 IBL's (virtually all one way, and only a few from blogs) and nearly 600 pages.
My colleague's site has nearly 2000 IBL's (mostly blogs) and 3000 pages.
I wonder if this isn't more prevelant for searches where intent is not so clear e.g. single word searches?
That may be a good angle to look at, whether the search is a single word or a common phrase. For instance, how many of the top ten results offers informational pages or purchase pages? When things get churned up, does that balance change?