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That's the Ghost Dataset.
I don't see it as a bad thing those home pages went "missing". I see it as a good thing.
Would you be kind enough to explain your rationale for this please.
[edited by: tedster at 9:28 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2008]
I am also observing lots of changes in the Google rankings. Some of my keywords have gone almost out of 100 rankings from the top 5 positions and also few keywords have gained rankings at the same time.
There is a small similarity in this current fluctuation that the similar kind of keywords have gone down and at the same time another set of similar keywords have gone up.
[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 1:12 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2008]
[edit reason] Moved from another location [/edit]
I strongly doubt this will roll back. It will stick around for a few months, jiggling pages up and down as the algo gets tweaked and successive iterations work through the system, then there will be another overhaul to get used to.
Remember, for everyone who lost ground, someone else celebrated a victory- and believe the success is down to something they did!
also dont think its that because in other keyword1 + other keyword searches things are unchanged, homepage still showing up in plenty of other places, just not certain places you'd really expect it would be the only page that would have a chance of ranking.
its very odd.
Even stranger, this just started occurring a lot in the past month. I got long tail traffic for this term just twice in June and once in August prior to this, but now I'm getting a hit or two for some variation on it every couple days.
Shouldn't Google realize by now this rare term isn't on the page anymore? The last cache date of this page was October 29th. Or, does Google remember the term and always associate the page with it even though it's no longer mentioned?
I wonder if this is related to the sudden new 404 errors I'm seeing in WMT at the moment for pages that don't actually exist on my site and haven't for some time.
This past week has been one of the best times for my website/forum.
I only manage one single site, and I only monitor one very small niche market, and all this may not necessarily have to do anything with what Goog is doing, so take it for what its worth :)
This is a 13 months old information forum focused on a very small niche topic. It's a non-commercial site (my hobby site), no advertisements, no income generated, etc. I sell nothing :)
The site has grown from zero to about 1,200 to 1,300 unique daily visitors (but still growing). We discuss various products, and a few manufacturers of the discussed products actually started to participate in the forums. The site is becoming an authority site (but I think most site owners like to think the same about their creations, lol, so I don't know).
There has been a slow, but steady, improvement in SERPs for the most relevant keyword phrases since the start. About a week ago I observed a sudden big jump in positions of three or four relevant phrases. A jump from the middle or bottom of second page to the middle or top of page one. This was on google.com, but what surprised me even more was a jump of my US-hosted .com site at google.ca for my most important phrase. For that phrase the site was always at position 9, 10, or 11 at google.ca, where all top positions were .ca sites, or sites with the word Canada in URL, or simply Canadian based sites. For the past 4 days I was at position number 2 :) The remaining sites on page one are all retailers selling products that we review and talk about at our forums.
I think it is refreshing to see an information-only site among all the sellers.
I went from top 5 for 3 different keyword strings, to not even showing up in the top 100. I had checked positions this morning, and all was well, but 7 hours later and I am nowhere to be found.
What could prompt this? I have made no changes to the top ranking page in the last few days.
Thanks for the help.
[edited by: tedster at 12:43 am (utc) on Nov. 8, 2008]
my sites have been unusually erratic in non-paid google traffic. across 5 sites probably down 15%. all white hat etc.
i have too many pages to track individual keywords, but all of our homepage and higher ranking inner pages appear to be ranking the same. the hit is coming on the longtails for us.
traffic had plunged about -20% with the halloween adjustment - then roared back when matt said the problem was fixed. that lasted only 2 days though and now we are back almost as bad as we were on halloween.
i think the trust dial is involved here - somehow trust sites aren't passing their trust down to inner pages as well as they did pre-halloween. checking some longtail serps, i am seeing lower quality result sets.
I've just checked the rankings for one of my main money terms and my page has dropped to 10th that was 1st but ranking at 5th is the link URL to the affiliate I use together with my affiliate ID and that's it! - so G is ranking an link by itself above hundreds of other pages!
can someone at G throw the bat switch so this can be sorted pls