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Something is up. We monitor google.de very closely and the SERP's have remained very static for a couple of weeks now. No jumping around of sites as we have seen over the past months with the exception of a few sites that should not be ranked as highly as they are. Last time I saw this there was a big shake up. Lets hope for the best results ; )
[edited by: tedster at 5:39 am (utc) on May 1, 2009]
Anyone else noticing anything unusual
Just an awful lot of movement with major brand sites going up and down, and up and down, and up and down. Itís like they just canít seem to get it adjusted the way they want. Over the past few days they are a lot more up than down, even sites that were page 4 or 5, are now rising up to the first page.
This Vince thing kind of came and went discussion wise, but for the neighborhoods we hang in, itís been very significant, and seems to gaining steam.
did anyone else notice anything happen over the weekend 25th April?
Do you think any of this is related to the Google outages people are reporting?
Not directly, not at all. The outages were apparently a problem in Google's load balancing routines.
I am happy for those who are seeing better rankings and I certainly can empathisize with those who went down. Has anyone got any observations about what KIND of factors are causing the movement? For instance, johnnie, can you give a top-level idea of what you're hard work was all about?
A lot of times this kind of shuffle looks more dramatic at first, and then over time it does even out - so I wouldn't immediately jump into action. But it is a great time to see what factors might be making a difference because the contrast is still strong.
Across most SERPs this has been a relatively calm period, so those who are affected might be able to give us some interesting tidbits.
I also haven't noticed any major movements in SERPs for my top keywords. In fact, I would say they are eerily stable, almost as if Google has stopped updating them. But traffic from Google is definitely down and it's hard to track where the losses are coming from. The weekend of April 25 also seems to be the start of something major for me as well.
If it's not just flux, or a data bug like we saw back at Halloween [webmasterworld.com] (remember the ghost data set that was improperly imported by Google?), then something new has developed. And yet, the great majority of SERPs seem to less churn that they have for 6 months.
1) Two sites that were just recently sold at an online auction - both had similar backlink profiles, so I'm not sure whether the public auction sale was the cause.
2) A legitimate authority site - this is the first time I've seen Google penalize a quality site and an established brand before for what seems like link buying.
3) An established website and some of its smaller sites within the same niche - They had links from the same websites.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:45 pm (utc) on May 17, 2009]
[edit reason] removed specifics [/edit]
what seems like link buying
That seems to be the issue with the examples I've seen, too. The SERPs as a whole are still remarkably low-churn, but we've also got this flurry of 4-6 page penalties.
I suspect that Google has tried to further automate their paid-link detection and that is causing some collateral damage. The cases I've looked at have unpaid backlinks that are formatted in a way that could appear to be paid, and there are also common domains involved in the backlink profiles - domains that have been known to sell links.
Everything went as planned and I have been optimizing that site for 15 months with a spike in positioning the beginning of April. Page one for at least 4 highly competitive keywords. On April 30th exactly, traffic dropped to a crawl and all keywords were gone! Could not find them, then after 2 weeks time (exactly 14 days) everything shows back up again but this time not in Page 1 but in Page 5 (some in 6 and 7 as well). Has been like that for 5 days now.
I saw all this with my own sites and it opened my eyes about this -50 stuff. Google disconnects the PR flow for the domain itself, not for the sites which link to the domain.
I have spent more than 4 months diagnosing this -50 nonsense and the best advice I can give if a reconsideration request fails is a 301 to a brand new domain.
[edited by: SEOPTI at 3:32 pm (utc) on May 19, 2009]
I have a range of site that have had 5 years of penalties. This has lead to few or no incoming links in that time. I have over the last few weeks been inundated with new link requests.
So, I went to have a look at the SERP on G. My rankings are back to top 20 for some "very competitive keywords", although they were number 1 for some 3 years. My analytics data confirms this with a small peak from G.
I have also noted that some old sites, from my old competitors in those days are back in the rankings. I have not seen some of these for years. Most of the ones I have noted have removed a lot of "product" pages and are now ranking with area pages.
It could be rather than just you guys are being penalised, other older penalties may have been dropped. This of course leading to many more pages of competitive content.
I would not worry to much though. I certainly am NOT expecting my rankings to last.
G hates me with avengeance. It is like I stole one of thier babies and took it to Africa. They just wont forgive me ... ever .. I am sure.
[edited by: tedster at 5:53 pm (utc) on May 19, 2009]
[edit reason] make specifics more generic [/edit]