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Google.com SERP Changes - April 2009

     
7:20 am on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

Last 2 days .co.uk results appeared to have lost the UK filter, ie they matched the .com results. This morning there is an AJAX (possibly) driven search term suggestion as you type into the search field. I wonder if these two things are linked.

Cheers

Sid

[edited by: tedster at 4:17 pm (utc) on April 1, 2009]

10:51 am on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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> Some reports that links from article sites no longer have power - see discussion

Long overdue! (Hope it's true.) They are link farms (which often get duplicated, sorry, "syndicated").

> Google likes to see mostly editorial links, and not self-created links.

True, but it's still letting link farms get #1 ranking in my sector. I'd like to report an obvious link farm in the Spam Report, but would Google take heed, even if I prove the whois data for each domain matches? Some of the interlinking sites are so offtopic it would be funny (if it didn't cost me money), and I know it's a clear violation of Google's guidelines (linking schemes).

Has anyone reported a link farm to Google and seen it take action? I had assumed Google would automatically take a closer look at #1 rankings for high-traffic searches by its algo. It's clear the engineers still have work to do on the backlink valuation algo. May I be of assistance, Mr. Cutts? ;-/

p/g

11:59 am on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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How can Google algo possibly tell when a link is an editorial link unless they check manually?
8:50 pm on Apr 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It may seem hard to fathom, but Google has been automating part of this process to a degree for a while now - and yes, the algorithmic approach sometimes does cause collateral damage. They certainly do use manual inspection, their knowledge of the industry and, some suspect, "guilt by association". My guess is that they "seed" the alog with confirmed examples that are gathered by hand.

-----------

On another wavelength, in the "mini" sitelinks thread [webmasterworld.com], Hissingsid made an interesting comment:

I am of the opinion that something happened a short while before these things started to appear. For months now we have retained our #1 slot on google.co.uk but were #2 on google.com. Just (perhaps a day or 2) before mini sitelinks appeared on .co.uk we dropped to #2. I saw other signs that made me jump to the conclusion that they had turned off the .co.uk filter but there may have been some other algorithmic reason for the change.

Anyway the point is that your drop in traffic may be an unfortunate side effect of other coincidental changes that have taken place along with the mini site links thing.

Anyone else see changes to the SERPs right around the time the "mini" sitelinks appeared? It may be jusst a UK thing, because I'm in the US and can't say I noticed any related shuffling.

2:48 am on Apr 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yes we had a nice little push up on many rankings when mini site links started to appear on my home page for lesser search terms and internal pages.

we definitely receive a some "trust" with these being associated to the internal pages.

Vimes.

7:40 am on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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< moved from another location >

I have just noticed that my website has been knocked down many places for all keywords. Can this be a ban or just a google reshuffle within it's engines?

[edited by: tedster at 8:45 am (utc) on April 14, 2009]

9:11 am on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A ban is when Google punishes a site by dropping it completely, as in site:example.com shows no pages in the index. so your not banned. The question is does your site now have a penalty or is this just a ranking shuffle that hit you pretty hard. And that can be a challenging question to answer.

The first thing I'd ask is are you careful to check rankings when you are not logged into any Google account?

And another question would be has your traffic changed?

10:10 am on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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hello Tedster, my traffic numbers seenm to be the same, It's the main keywords I have dropped for, can it be a bad link? I have checked through yahoo and not found one. Can it be a competitor?
10:14 am on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have also been reading about -30 penealties etc. for me it does not make sense as my keywords have dropped in ranking from 10-60 places some in the 200's
10:24 am on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If it's a ranking shuffle would the site be able to get back up once the robot recrawls? I have had this experince once before
12:04 pm on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Have you recently done changes on your site or acquired backlinks?
12:33 pm on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have added a outgoing link, in regards to backlinks, I have a few blog posts and a few #*$! sites which have linked to me.
1:39 pm on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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In:
[webmasterworld.com...]
eljacko said:
making my link profile look spammy.

If I were writing an algorithm to penalise spammy sites, I'd try and find something that was indicative. Looking spammy seems like quite a good indicator to me.

It seems to me that virtually everything that you do to your site carries with it some level of risk of an adverse reaction by Google. Even doing nothing is a risk.

Cheers

Sid

3:03 pm on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hello Sid

this is why I changed all to be only home page but a lot of those links are not non existant.

I agree, even doing nothing get's you into trouble.

6:25 pm on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I really hope Google is performing some "cr*p to the top before wiping it off" stuff because there is some real junk smothering the top 10 in nearly every search for me right now.

Even my wife phoned me up and demanded to know if I'd been messing with Google because she "couldn't find a bloody thing!" anymore. I explained, again, that I don't actually influence Google's results ... I just wish I could ...

5:24 am on Apr 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Seems like Google is doing some spring cleaning. The past few weeks have brought a number of posts in the forum from people who are seeing their site: operator numbers take a dive. Most report little or no traffic loss, but at least one reports a fall from 4 million to 2 million that IS accompanied by a traffic loss.

I know we've seen cycles like this before - and here we go again.

2:37 pm on Apr 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I am back up and strong, it must be google messing around.
7:51 pm on Apr 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm still on the ground ;(
Lost ~70% of G traffic 5 days ago...
Some pages are strong so far but my root page has gone down ;(
8:41 pm on Apr 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well I for one hope Google leaves it this way. I'm noticing great improvements for my site and a number of client sites. One client is in a very competitive e-commerce field and today he's receiving his highest levels of traffic ever thanks to being all over the 1st page results instead of the 3rd and 4th page results he was on yesterday. All we've done for him is an intensive link building campaign over the past 4 months.
8:45 am on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing some out of the ordinary shuffling going on in my niche right now. Looks like older, established sites are receiving a bit of a boost.
9:38 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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< moved from another location >

For searches that I usually do I am seeing a lot more competitive sites. In some cases from 400,000 to 8,000,000. I am seeing this since late yesterday.

Also, I see sites that have been coming up high in the SERP are now lower.

I am wondering if there these two events are related? Use of AJAX and sites appearing lower?

[edited by: tedster at 2:52 am (utc) on April 23, 2009]

1:51 am on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi guys,

I'm experiencing something weird with the site: command. For one of my website, it returns about 114 pages while Y! returns more than 1800 pages, which is closer to reality.
All the pages that the site: command does not show up are product detail pages, all with unique content. So, when I copy pieces of content from those pages and google it by doing : "my unique piece of content", my product detail page shows up ! Looks like there is a sub-index of pages per website. Anyone has ever heard of that ?

[edited by: tedster at 3:21 am (utc) on April 23, 2009]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

6:23 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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From the number of reports coming into the forum, it seems like there's been some jiggling going on in the SERPs recently - but I'm seeing even less ranking churn than usual.

Looks like there is a sub-index of pages per website. Anyone has ever heard of that ?

Observations such as yours, Cirilo007, are more common - disruption with the site: operator numbers.

Yes there definitely are "sub-indexes" - these grew out of Google's original Supplemental Index. There is some information about this in the Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page. There are also a few very recent threads that may be touching on the area. This discussion [webmasterworld.com] is one example.

Another thing to note is that the site: operator numbers are challenging for Google to report on accurately, because of the way their data is sharded. That's one of the reasons you usually see the word "about" before the number.

4:06 am on Apr 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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One of our sites which was recently ranked very highly, and rightly so as all the content is hard-researched and completely unique, suddenly came down crashing with these SERP changes. Google accounted for 50% of traffic till recently but after the changes it accounts for less that 5%. The site is perfectly legitimate, no tricks, and nothing was changed recently. It is amazing how arbitrary Google is about these changes.
5:00 am on Apr 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm also getting a whiff of something that's hard to document - more search terms getting the geo-targeting treatment, and the geo-targeting may not be all that appropriate. When it comes to ecommerce, I don't really care where the vendor is as long as they are in the country. I don't want to see the more local vendors getting a boost and the quality vendors a couple hundred miles away tanking. For services, just maybe - but for hard goods, no.

Today I was checking something for a client in another city. They were concerned about falling to position #8 - but for me they were at position #67 or so.

6:57 am on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I seems to get trouble again with Google. This time my 8 months old website been knocked down.

I already got site indexed for 21,000 pages but for some reason since 25 April ago my traffic has been down from 5k/day to 400/day. I checked my main keyword and it's no longger there.

Does anybody has the same result? I already got 2 people has the same result and they told me it's a google dance.

It's been 6 days and I start to doubt that.

It's still in google indexed but no longer on serp and my traffic is pushed down to toilet.

< Continued at [webmasterworld.com...] >

[edited by: tedster at 5:38 am (utc) on May 1, 2009]

 

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