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Google.com SERP Changes - September 2008



8:01 pm on Aug 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

I think Google is weeding old or stagnant pages out of the index to make way for new pages, it is the only way they can keep up with the internet IMO. I recently did a search for a topic from 2002 and it was like going back into the stone ages in search. Everything now is what is happening today, not years ago. I don't know what all your sites are about but even on the top sites it seems they weed the pages.

For example I ran a search for an electronics product from 2000, only 8 years ago. You can barely find traces of it in the sites I searched via Google. Now do the same search from a product from today, say the iphone. There is probably a billion pages on that. Now I am not saying they are doing things wrong, but with the millions of pages added every day to the internet they have to delete or else run out of space perhaps. I just wish they had the ability to search the archives easily for the topics or products that are "old". Right now you can do that with Google news but not Google search.

Anyway my point is I think Google looks at a site and compares all the content, then keeps some of the most recent content in the results including the higher PR stuff and puts the older stuff in supplemental. That is only a guess but seems to be what is happening.

Since the older stuff I looked for was probably dropped into the deepest parts of these sites I couldn't find it with Google anymore.

Maybe though this is the way the internet search will be, you use if for todays content only. If they had to archive all our sites I don't think it is possible, not with all the pages being added.

[edited by: tedster at 4:46 pm (utc) on Sep. 1, 2008]


2:10 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

Welcome to the forums, mr_koozie.

That could be a real kick in the teeth. Are you certain your url is gone completely for the singular form of the word? In other words, have you looked all the way through to the last page of the SERP.

I'm thinking this might be the dreaded over-optimization penalty (the -950 penalty [webmasterworld.com].) The thresholds for that penalty get recalculated from time to time, and your site might be just over the edge now, whereas it never was before.

When we are talking about single words, there is often a difference in user intention between the singular and the plural form (informational intent, versus buying intent and so on) and Google continues to work on ways to disambiguate those two results.

It's common to see a set of "Searches related to:" results at the bottom of a single keyword SERP. Sometimes comparing the differences between the singular and plural pages in that area can bring an insight as to how Google is currently disambiguating the two word forms.


5:39 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the welcome tedster! A real kick in the teeth it is! I am certain that we are completey gone for the Plural form of the word, we remain in postion 1-3 for the singular form. Yet if we did a search for lets say "specialized widgets" (widgets being the plural) we are still in position 1-3 its only when we use the key word by itself in the plural form where we have vanished. Unfortunatley that is the most searched term. Do you think I should do a little content rewriting being careful on how much I use the plural(widgets)? Any advive is welcome and Thanks!

[edited by: tedster at 2:58 am (utc) on Sep. 18, 2008]
[edit reason] make keywords generic [/edit]


5:56 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

First I'd say study the phrase based indexing patents [webmasterworld.com] before you just start changing anything. Essentially that technoology is measuring query term co-occurence. Be sure to wrap your mind around it before you start making changes.


4:16 pm on Sep 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

One thing I’m seeing in the past three days is the appearance of big gapping holes (where sites should be) on searches in my areas. These can be anywhere from 2-5 site places. When I observed the hole on one search yesterday I decided to compare with the data centers for the open holes. It looks like Google bumps sites out either singularly or in groups and replaces them in many instances with what they want. Actually this is nothing new with the revolving results but it became very clear what Google was doing. Its like a cliché (similar to the one with the mashed titles) they never meant for anybody to really see. Many people could think they’re penalized when in reality they’re filtering particular results into the mix and shifting the one’s they replace. It looks like to me it could be the kiss of death for a site in positions 4-8. This even applies to the 1-3 positions if they’re moving Google shopping results around.

Another thing I’m seeing is they’re getting rather very heavy with the You Tube and Amazon ads in my sectors. In fact based upon the above it is very predictable.


3:26 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am experiancing something even more bizarre.
I have no penalties on my website but ever since the update for the term 'special service'I am no longer in the top 200 but for 'cheap special service' & 'compare special service' I am in the top 10.

Any ideas what this could be?

[edited by: tedster at 6:50 pm (utc) on Sep. 25, 2008]
[edit reason] removed specific keywords [/edit]


4:23 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

> Another thing I’m seeing is they’re getting rather very heavy with the You Tube and Amazon ads in my sectors.

Yeah, I've never seen SERPs more cluttered than they are now. Suggestions at the top, suggestions at the bottom, and two Youtubes in the middle. On top of the suggestions in the toolbar.

Would it kill Google to have an on-off toggle button for suggestion links? Youtube links? News links?



4:45 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

... and one to get rid of all the google books listings - I have seen up to 60% of results.

Mind you I suppose every link to another google page keeps you on google and removes another natural search result from someone else. It's mostly about the ad money rather than a search experience these days.


4:55 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If google had lifted bans on penalised sites during the PR update, then when will they get rid of the already established websites breaking the laws of google?

I have seen it and I am sure you have too, many websites are doing bad things and getting away with it and getting quick results, it used to be where these sites were up there for months but now it's turing into years.

I would have thought a google update would have got rid of this, but instead it's fuelling it.


12:34 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Would it kill Google to have an on-off toggle button for suggestion links? Youtube links? News links?

Couldn't agree more. You should be able to toggle off all of G's intrusions. If you want to search G books, videos, maps, news, god-knows-whats-next, you can do it through the appropriate categories - you don't need it in the main serps.


6:40 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Like other updates, different sites will see different results.

I work with a large site - 10 year old domain but wasn't crawlable until late June this year. For a couple of months we sat at about 400,000 indexed pages in G (I am only referring to the public count, not the one via WMT). We have thousands of top-5 rankings - true long tail at work. The pages are very lightweight.

With this update we have over 2.5 million pages in the index.

I haven't noticed any sudden rise or fall in organic visits.

Small Website Guy

1:30 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think people who have spent the last few years concentrating on building links as their main strategy, no doubt a large percentage of white hats included, are going to start noticing sites drop if the majority of the links are being marked as artificial.

The above quote demonstates the arbitrary distinction between hat colors.

Link exchanging is extremely time consuming, and something no one would ever bother to do except for SEO purposes.

People will try to justify the practice, arguing that the links benefit the site users, but nearly all webmasters put the outbound links somehwere that users won't find because they look ugly and often point to embarrassing places. Hardly any traffic is directly generated by reciprocal inbound links. They are there only for the SEO boost.

[edited by: Small_Website_Guy at 1:31 pm (utc) on Sep. 29, 2008]


8:00 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

After 3 months of 30% traffic loss I was just starting to bounce back the last 2 weeks and today I am back to -30% again. anyone see traffic loss today?

< continued here: [webmasterworld.com...] >

[edited by: tedster at 11:31 pm (utc) on Oct. 1, 2008]

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