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Google.com SERP Changes - November 2008

   
1:50 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

A set of holiday season penalties and filters just rolled out.

[edited by: tedster at 3:21 am (utc) on Nov. 1, 2008]

1:18 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



> My site has come back as well now. Dropped to position 140 now back to its original spot...

thats luck

mine is bad since sep/2008 had a 50% traffic loss (perfomed well only a week since september) realised some serp phenomenons other ones described here and then i joined this cool board to share this "group therapy" ; )

i tweaked got more links and pages and deleted some obsolete content

i will wait during this month will try to reduce keyword density a bit and see what happens...

1:44 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



My advice to many of you... stop worrying so much about your rank for keyword x, or keyword y, or rank of inner-page z... follow... no follow... blog links... directory links... inner-link... outer links...

Gives me a headache just repeating it... Build a valuable service for your users. The rest will come. When we do any changes for our site, we consider one thing. Will the user's benefit from this? Does it make sense from a user's perspective? That is it. That is how we decide on all our site changes. Is this link helpful to our users and the content, if yes we add it. None of this NOFOLLOW stuff. That is for spam control, not for links you add to your own site. If you added the link, you obviously trust it.

We've watched a spam site competitor enter our market in the last 18 months. They pretty much focused entirely on SEO, shady link building, link farms, blog links farms, social links, you name it. They jumped to the forefront of SERPs in less than a year.

Today, they are gone from SERPs, penalized for trying to game the system. If they would have simply focused on building up their site and content, they would still be around today. But they didn't have the patience to build up a long-term successful web business.

I know most will laugh at me... but my advice is to stop sweating all these details, stop monitoring your rank each and every day... Redirect your energy back to building a great service for your users. It will payoff much more in the long run.

2:46 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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how we can be first in google SERP exactly ?
2:53 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>My advice to many of you... stop worrying so much about your rank for keyword x, or keyword y, or rank of inner-page z... follow... no follow... blog links... directory links... inner-link... outer links...
Gives me a headache just repeating it... Build a valuable service for your users.

My web site has 15 pages all driven to the customer is a product and has value to hundred of customers

with 50% traffic lost i got 30-40 visitors per day before i had 80-100 and it is selling 80% less than before

if this situation is Algo change, Goog cache, what ever if it continues i will be forced to started a new domains and use ADWords PPC to this web site and keep analising this sounds more a G Bug on different datacenters.

2:59 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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that was quite a fright on a halloween night wasnt it ladies and gents?
3:26 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Guido - Organic as in Organic link building. Ask yourself, what is the typical way a site in my sector naturally build links and how this would be done across the net (not just blogs or sigs). Then gradually and steadily encourage the natural process ; )
3:27 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



szykman - why would you change domains and essentially start over just because you dropped from 80 to 40 visitors a day. Do you realize that such small numbers are very difficult to stablize?

This is exactly what I am talking about, people freaking out and dropping everything and starting over just because their rank changes one month.

How about giving it a few months. Maybe look at using Adwords with your current domain, etc. Unless you are doing something shady, there should be no reason to change domain names.

3:35 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



One more note. There is a lesson to be learned from the stock market crash. We see where it gets us when we buy and sell on a whim based on fear and half-ass news reports.

Don't make the same mistakes with your web business. Don't make any major changes due to one Google algorithm change. This is why we all recommend having at least 3-6 months cash banked. So you weather the storms. If you must make changes, start small and move slowly!

Ok, I'm done ranting. ;-)

3:35 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



A few thoughts. First, I'm very suspicious that whatever is happening is not a regular backlink/onpage content type of algo shift. There's some new factor being given a large weighting, perhaps it's got something to do with the amount of content or something like that. My reasoning is based on my rankings. I've been #1 for 'widgets' for quite a while, solid through everything. Then just a few days ago I dropped to #2. Then to page 3, then page 5. Then back up to #2....now back to page 3. My backlinks and content vary little and should justify top rankings...so there's something else going on. My other 2 and 3 word term rankings are holding firm.

Secondly, since this is the first time I've been affected by a shuffle like this, it's been a good learning experience for me. More specifically, it's validating some of the things I've done and am doing. First, in the last six months I lit up two other websites to rank on secondary terms. Those two websites are still pulling in business, helping diversify things. Secondly, I'm working on a project to bring in larger volumes of high quality links - a boost of a large number of authority sites should help solidify rankings (I notice wikipedia didn't get dropped). And lastly, I'm working on a site redesign. My main site currently has little content so I rank on terms like 'widgets' but not 'buy widgets online in houston texas'. The redesign will be centered on allowing a lot of additional content - which should allow my main site to broaden it's rankings from main industry terms into the other half of the Serps, the long tail stuff.

In short, I'm hoping the answer is: more big backlinks and more content. I suppose that's the answer to everything though :).

4:16 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Very cool to watch. Dead on Whiteknight, same two sets that we watched folding in, plus a final 're ranking' based on new algo criteria (possibly tweaked for Holiday timeframe?)

ha, did you "see" that Ghost Dataset(TM) get rolled in?
Ah thar gold up in them those hills...err..dataset.

First, I'm very suspicious that whatever is happening is not a regular backlink/onpage content type of algo shift. There's some new factor being given a large weighting

Yep, it wasn't. MUCH bigger and more important for future SERPs.

since this is the first time I've been affected by a shuffle like this

hmm, that's not exactly a bad thing.

People gotta stop looking at the authority sites that went "missing" as a "penalty"/problem.
If you missed the "Ghost Dataset(TM)", you're missing a huge part of what's going on.

Since 216.239.59.104 is still around and looking ugly, this isn't over yet... won't probably be over til after the New Year

4:27 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



>why would you change domains and essentially start over just because you dropped from 80 to 40 visitors a day. Do you realize that such small numbers are very difficult to stablize?

>Don't make the same mistakes with your web business. Don't make any major changes due to one Google algorithm change. This is why we all recommend having at least 3-6 months cash banked. So you weather the s
storms. If you must make changes, start small and move slowly!

Maximillianos, thanks for sharing your thoughts sure is an important point of view

even having a low unique visitors per day 30-40 or 80-100 it really impact my business

sure dont changing the site for a while and observation is a good advice but can take a while for recover the rank what i cannot handle so Adwords are also an option during this storm.

4:38 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It's effecting big government websites also.

Definitely a screw up at Google.

4:57 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)



"My concern is this one could also not be understood quickly and therefore last longer than it should before they fix it."

I think this was a short-term issue and things should be back to normal pretty soon (if not already).

5:07 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Hi Matt, ;)
5:34 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well that's a relief. Serps are going back to normal. Thanks for fixing it so quick Google!
5:37 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Still seems like lots of flux, and for some two and three word phrases the SERPs are still chaos.

"Ghost Dataset(TM)"

Now that's funny - especially for those who sat through this last night! :)

I jotted down lots of notes last night. Doubt this is the last time that will happen. Going to wait until everything shuffles down to place to mention what I was able to gather.

5:48 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well both my sites now rank around 50th for their own names. This better be a bug or I am screwed. Not that I like relying on google traffic for my business but that's just the way it is when they own the internet.
6:05 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Check it on this datacenter and see if you find anything different. It may not have rolled out completely yet.

[64.233.187.99...]

6:56 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Simply amazing and questionable Google had a quote "bug" that specifically targeted index pages that vanished. Maybe Mr. Cutts ought to encourage the engineers to see how far back that and other problems go. I'll file that under “never happen” though.
6:57 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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On my sites it was not just index pages, sub pages had similar issues.
7:01 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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how google can detect paid links ?
what's paid links symptom ?
7:05 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Panic over... phew!
7:13 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In my niche is still a mess.
site in 3rd position has ONE page with that keyword but the whole site is on a complete different topic.
8:06 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



It is a relief to see rankings back and Matt call it "an issue" but I'm still worried this was a hint of what we can expect from an upcoming update.
8:45 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)



b2net, I don't consider those rankings indicative of anything coming in the future. Some data went into the index without all of our quality signals incorporated, and it should be mostly back to normal and continuing to get back to normal over the course of the day.
9:06 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



twice in one day Matt?

lol, play it cool, man.
Only a few people saw all the goodness in that "bug" (is that what you're officially calling it?)...
Let alone be able to dissect it and use it to any advantage.

And I'm certainly not letting any REALLY good info out. (im selfish like that) :P

No worries.

9:11 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



During few months (since I started to monitor it) search using two specific keywords always returned very informative articles from Wikipedia and SearchEngineWatch.
Now, it returns post from a forum, with non-assigned toolbar rank. And other results too, very deep article pages, blogs mostly. No any specific site dedicated to the search subject.

If it is "an issue" which will be quickly(?) fixed (in a GFS/BigTable) we would like to know details... it deserves an article in Wikipedia at least.

11:19 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)



whitenight, on weekends I have a little more spare time. ;)
11:29 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Matt, thanks for the update. A little slow to see some of the fluff panned out of searches, and some seem still way behind, but overall getting better throughout the day.
11:44 pm on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



MattCutts,

Thank you. Much appreciated input.

p/g

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