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Google.com SERP Changes - November 2008 (part 2)

     
12:01 am on Nov 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

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.

Hi Whitenight

Would you be kind enough to explain your rationale for this please.

Cheers

[edited by: tedster at 9:28 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2008]

10:42 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Shaddows -

1- mostley positive
2 - info
3- a,c,d
4- few to high authority websites, all follow

10:44 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i'm still seeing all the same wierd or "wrong" inner pages ranking much higher for things than they used to, but the index page is still in the results this time. SERPs here look the same as during the "bug" for me.

wierd

1:10 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Same here still seeing the bug datcenter showing on some other ones still, hasnt gotten back to normal yet for us, seeing old pages and ton of google books on first 2 pages
11:10 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi All,

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.

Thanks,
Rajesh

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 1:12 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2008]
[edit reason] Moved from another location [/edit]

2:49 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We are 6 days out from the October 31st Google SNAFU and I am still seeing bad results. Duplicate listings being returned and also .uk and .au sites for queries that are supposed to be localized and I don't live in that part of the world.
3:09 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I was at page 8, now my home page is nowhere to be seen, however one of my sub pages is on page 4 now? weird. I hope that turns into my home page
3:55 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Steveboy that's the same kind of thing Im seeing, homepage gone, and inner pages much higher than they have been and should in fact be.
4:11 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Steveboy, kevsta- Do the IBLs pointing at your homepage tend to always include your main keyword? Do they lack variation? I ask because it could be an OOP- see the severe form of this penalty lifted from PotentialGeek here:
[webmasterworld.com...]
4:15 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If its just a bug, it must be a pretty bad one for it to have lasted so long
4:27 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Reasobly sure its not a bug- it's a re-build. My guess is Google did it in the wild by accident (or for the extra processing power), rather than on one datacentre. Think of the June 4th shuffle- that also marked a big change in SERPs.

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!

4:56 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Shaddows i pretty scared now as it could be that. I dont have many IBL, around about 5 with anchor text with my keyword in, but I do have the keyword mentioned in the home page around 13 times. This wasnt deliberate keyword stuffing its just that the term needs to be used a lot to explain what the site is about. Its a site a did for a company with a specific product/service name. So the site keyword is the product name and the product name is mentioend 13 times.
5:30 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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shaddows, well yes but the firm name is keyword1 keyword2 so little difficult to avoid.

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.

8:41 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure how relevant this is to anything, but I've noticed the past couple days when I check Analytics data that apparently one of my pages is ranking for a keyword that hasn't appeared on it in at least over six months. The page has no links going back to it with said keyword in the anchor. The keyword itself is fairly rare, and the only place it's ever been mentioned on my entire site was one time on this one page.

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.

8:48 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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JackPage, if you can that url to show in a search result, click on the cached page that appears there. Sometimes - especially on rare terms - Google will rank an older version of a page. When they do, they also show the older version of the cached page but only on that search result. In the "old days", there would also be a "Supplemental Result" tag next to that position on the SERP.
9:34 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've noticed some things that lead me to think that right now, where I am, an older index is being used. Caches are showing an IP (74.125.95.104) that's different from the usual 209.nnn.nnn.nnn I've been seeing for months.
9:53 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I check my logs on 5 sites and noticed that Googlebot's hitting them especially hard today, harder than I've seen in some time. Anyone else notice extra Googlebot activity?
4:33 am on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have normal crawling from 66.249.71.1/2/3 - but another trio: 66.249.71.42/43/44 is currently performing heavy crawling only of duplicate title pages (which I discovered in GWT). Those duplicates were fixed just yesterday. I think this is awesome. Googlebot is doing tens of crawling of the same urls, again and again. It will be so interesting seeing disappear all those duplicates from GWT.
8:06 am on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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strange. just checked my site and its serp has gone back to how it was before. in the chaos one of my subpages appeared on page 4, now thats no longer there and my home page is back to page 8
9:06 am on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Steveboy yes, same as that. everything's reverted to pre last weekend levels
11:01 am on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Atomic, very heavy activity. 66-249-73-138 crawled over two hundred pages on one of my sites. Then 66-249-66-1/243,
66-249-65-108/148, 66-249-67-13 and 66-249-72-97 crawled the other sites.
2:53 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I still 3 or 4 different sets of results...with a lot .edu, blog posts and articles...junk!
5:07 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We are back to Halloween like results/index...

Matt: Are we still rolling out changes? Seems like the inclusion of "authoritative signals" have been taken out of the mix again?

6:42 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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OK...Authority site with hundreds of page one listings just dropped to position 40-50 for thousands of search terms...what is going on?
8:07 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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All of my sites are back. I made so many changes to them that I have no idea what, if anything, fixed it. Is Google having a "Meet (Beat) the Engineers" party at PubCon next week? :-)
8:43 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Kevinsource- same here....authority site with numerous page one listings (homepage and subpages) dropped into the 50's...
11:05 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi all :)

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.

10:41 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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< moved from another location >

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]

8:08 am on Nov 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing some movement on a few sites at a guess they are tweaking something "again"
3:55 pm on Nov 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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there is definitely something afoot...

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.

4:08 pm on Nov 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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something afoot! I'd say

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

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