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Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2009

     

jd01

10:47 pm on Sep 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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

What is the Caffeine Update?

Google File System v2

A couple of years ago at the first Seattle Conference on Scalability, Google’s Jeffrey Dean remarked that the company wanted 100x more scalability. Unsurprising given the rapid growth of the web. But there was more to it than that: GFS – the Google File System was running out of scalability.

[storagemojo.com...]

Background Here:
[storagemojo.com...]

[edited by: tedster at 4:05 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2009]

jd01

8:24 pm on Oct 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google's Phrase Based Searching at It's Finest.
(Or Most Assumptive Anyway)

I can't remember seeing this before...
I was searching for some information on XML parsing using PHP's DOM method.

Here's the original search: php dom store node value php5
Here's the 'Did You Mean?': php dom tree node value php5

> And no, I absolutely did not. If I meant tree. I would have typed tree or something close...
They're two completely different searches!

Sorry for the specifics, but I thought the suggestion of the word 'tree' in place of the word 'store' was significant, because I don't remember seeing a completely different word in the middle of a phrase, which completely changes the search in the 'did you mean' before... Maybe I missed it, because I usually don't pay attention to the 'did you mean' too much unless I'm checking spelling or something, but this time it jumped out at me.

That's not a synonym, dictionary or homophone replacement it's purely phrase based...

BTW tedster: I looked for the correct thread on two pages this time and figured this was it. :)

dusky

5:51 am on Oct 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well, at least that's not as bad as, did you mean "hating Kids" when searched for "hating Broccoli", or, did you mean L*rry Page? when searched for "scary page", I probably would've wanted to mean the latter, but S*rgey is scarier, don't you think? , I don't blame G*'s machines revolting in such a manner and whistle blowing that way, under heavy loads, computers can result to free speech or even "Lararchy"!

Of course those searches now have since been refined from few years ago :)

kevsta

8:22 am on Oct 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



last year at the end of this month we had the "halloween" updates didn't we?

prior to that I had been observing some dubious behaviour for about a month on a particular DC that I seem to get answering my queries here (for geographical reasons I think) every time they're messing or changing something

well ive started seeing these strange results again yesterday, basically the rankings are different because there are various pages missing from this (.com) index, that still show up on .co.uk, and on the DC tools, and caffeine.

its like we get our own little private preview of the process while its going on.

whitenight

11:49 am on Oct 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



hmm. another exciting "Halloween update"?
(or was that a one-time "Presidential elections update?")

with a full rollout of Caffeine?

Could be an exciting month if Goog engineers can get their act together.

So far, I've sensed some disturbances in the Googplex Force regarding Caffeine's flawless and complete implementation...

crobb305

12:39 am on Oct 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It has gotten to a point where I have to append -cheap -buy -order -free to all of my searches where I am seeking INFORMATION. Medical searches, for example, yield so much commercial junk. I don't want your stupid pills! LOL

Sorry, I just had to add my two cents because informational searches seem to be yielding more and more commercial noise (mainly pages with "cheap", "free", "buy", "order", etc in the title or on-page).

jd01

12:43 am on Oct 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@ crobb305: LOL...

@ kevsta: My main 'shock' was seeing the word in the middle of a phrase replaced. I've seen words on the end of a short phrase replaced / suggested differently previously, but have not noticed the 3rd word in a 5 word phrase replaced with in the 'Did You Mean' before, like I said, I usually don't pay a bit of attention, so I may have missed it, but it was new to me, so I figured I'd post about it and see if anyone else had noticed it or if it was something new.

hitarizona

2:26 am on Oct 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



@crobb305: Thankfully, I'm not in the pill business -- the software business. Also unfortunate.

Hissingsid

4:45 pm on Oct 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



whitenight
So far, I've sensed some disturbances in the Googplex Force regarding Caffeine's flawless and complete implementation...

You're sounding like Senna the Soothsayer again.

Matt Cutts says it's not live yet.
I've done some tests to see if I can stimulate Caffeine to no avail. I think it is either off or it is on and currently it is off.

On the live results after a wobble they seem to have settled down in my neck of the woods. My current hypothesis on the changes I did see is that UK/US semantic differences are being better defined, key words in URLs given a boost, on topic back links ever more important. Geo location of sites backlinking to you may be important for geo ranking and for the UK/US semantics thing. ie Google seems to be more likely to apply more weight to UK semantic understanding of your terms if backlinks are weighted towards UK sites. So for UK sites if your terms are sensitive to this you need to have more backlinks from on topic sites in the UK.

Of course I could be wrong ;-)

Cheers

Sid

gford

9:30 pm on Oct 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have been noticing a slower response on Google's info:/cache: updates on many URLs. The heaviest traffic pages are showing fairly recent cache dates but many others are much slower to update since the end of September.

This seems to be a pattern I have not noticed before. Perhaps it is just me being more sensitive to it at the moment, and thus my post to see if others have noticed a "sluggish" cache update on Google's part?

whitenight

11:39 pm on Oct 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Matt Cutts says it's not live yet.

lol, Google says it's not live yet.
My testing (done again as lately as today) and
MC's language actually points to a different analysis. [webmasterworld.com]

Either way, at the end of day, my posts are targeted to only a few people, so no worries if you don't agree. :)

gford

Gford's Back!
Gonna stick around and leave some of your testing goodness this time?
Nice to see ya around again. :)

Robert Charlton

5:47 am on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I've been extremely busy the past several weeks, so I haven't been watching the serps closely enough to pinpoint a transition date... but I've been noticing some huge changes in a competitive market area I watch... in particular lots of changes among the top three results, which, until very recently, hadn't moved much in a year or so.

cangoou

6:39 am on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Serps are back to the state of 4 weeks ago - at least on some google-servers. Another rollback? If I would rollback updates for my customers like google does I would have been fired...

dertyfern

10:16 am on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Running into some odd stuff: the same URL listed once on every page for a particular query, mostly on the last spot of the page.

AnkitMaheshwari

10:41 am on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



@dertyfern,
Recently, I have also started to see the same URL appearing on a number of SERPs for a number of keyphrases in my niche. Don't know if it is a bug or Google is doing this deliberately...

dertyfern

11:13 am on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I don't know if they've ratched up some trust factor in their algo or are trying to squeeze even more money out of the serps, but I'm running into queries where a big name domain occupies 5 and 6 spots of the first page.

In one case the domain occupied 5 of 10 first page results and 2 of the following 10 on the second page.

gford

12:31 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



whitenight - I never left, just a massive lurker. As you can see I have been a member longer than you, but my post count is a fraction of yours. :p

I am in agreement with everyone else here that something is odd. From the comments of 5 of 10 from 1 domain, to two week old results. While I have not seen these (but will be looking for them now), I have seen some really awful results such as BLANK askville pages for extremely competitive terms in the medical industry and the cache dates issue I mentioned in my previous post.

It just seems google is so busy doing something behind the scenes that the actual results are suffering slightly, albeit only noticeable to those of us really paying attention for the most part.

eljacko

12:44 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I don't know if any one else has noticed but I think google is starting to notice on page presence, good on page content websites are now starting pop up for very competitive keywords, some I do not agree with being there but they have what the branded sites don't and that is non biased information.

I have seen sites with small text boxes within the page (scrolling text box) stuffing text within the page without it looking bad ranking for words.

Also another thing noticed is that sites which have a link network supplying it with links ranking high, especially in the .co.uk dc's when the links are from co.uk websites.

This implies that locality of back source links is heavily favoured

randle

3:23 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Either way, at the end of day, my posts are targeted to only a few people

Could you give us all some insight on who those people might be? Just trying to figure out if I should be reading your posts or not.

whitenight

3:48 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



lol, that's for you to decide, isn't it?

Been sounding like "Senna the sayer" for a long time now.

Anyone who wants to go back and check my record of correct predictions and analysis can do so and you'll see the usual disagreement I've gotten for it.

Time usually proves me right, but those who argued against have short memories, it seems.

So....to answer your question...
if you're an SEO in a hypercompetitive market that needs to be 3-6 months ahead of the competition to keep an edge, you might want to pay attention to what I'm saying between the lines.

Most people/niches don't fall in this category, so they can probably wait til all the "big name" SEOs write up their analysis AFTER MC has commented on it and simply ignore my rants.

Most times they will still be ahead of the competition, if they act quickly on that knowledge.

lol, ironically, this conversation reminds me of a test gford and I did back in '05 on another forum.
Btw - I still use that keyword and site for testing purposes. If you remember, it's sitting at #11 from #98 with the current test I'm doing

[edited by: whitenight at 3:57 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2009]

randle

3:55 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



if you're an SEO in a hypercompetitive market that needs to be 3-6 months ahead of the competition to keep an edge, you might want to pay attention to what I'm saying between the lines.

Thanks, that clears things up.

gford

4:56 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member




lol, ironically, this conversation reminds me of a test gford and I did back in '05 on another forum.
Btw - I still use that keyword and site for testing purposes. If you remember, it's sitting at #11 from #98 with the current test I'm doing

#11? I see it higher on my DC, time to do a cross-DC check! :)

eljacko

5:01 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Whitenight, have you got a link to your rants?

sirkevon

5:25 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



The past month it seems a couple keywords that I rank on the 1st page for is not just fluctuating, but rotating. One moment, it will be back on the 1st page where it had been for a consistent period of time before a few months ago, but now it would occasionally jump to the 5th or 6th page and back at certain times. I follow the Google guidelines and have only ever backlinked with those keywords if I were writing a blog or article. No bad on-page optimization. So I don't believe it's a penalty. Have anyone heard anything about Google rotating SERPs due to the amount of video, image, shopping, and local results appearing on the 1st page and basically affecting the rest of the rankings? Because I have no other explanation for my constantly changing rankings.

pontifex

5:52 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I never left, just a massive lurker

like many of us :-), thing is that the changes in the SERPS are so complicated that forums discussions have stopped being very useful to pinpoint a specific effect.

the whole index rotates like a dance on steroids in some areas and other listings have not changed for 12+ months now!

P!

zerillos

6:53 pm on Oct 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Since October 1st I've noticed some different/strange activity in the results. I have a blog and posts that are indexed, drop completly out of the SERPs after 10 or 20 hours. After that, scraper sites that copy my posts appear in the SERPs, instead of the original post from my blog.

Did anyone noticed the same behaviour?

[edited by: tedster at 7:36 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2009]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

barretire

2:08 am on Oct 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Just got this on twitter "Google will announce tomorrow that search results will b in AJAX 4 real time results & ranking software killer. SMX EAST"

Matt Cutts replied "nope, although a % of users do get AJAX results. That's a nice win for users."

Hmm what is this all about any ideas?

[edited by: tedster at 2:28 am (utc) on Oct. 7, 2009]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

whitenight

2:36 am on Oct 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Whitenight, have you got a link to your rants?

many of them are in the FAQs in this forum.

Just got this on twitter "Google will announce tomorrow that search results will b in AJAX 4 real time results & ranking software killer. SMX EAST"

Matt Cutts replied "nope, although a % of users do get AJAX results. That's a nice win for users."

Nice timing.

Another one of my oft-edited rants that many people said I was overreacting too, when they originally did this.

So much for MC's nice speech about "returning to Goog's core values" or whatever.

Mandatory GA installed for tracking Google traffic anyone?

tedster

2:39 am on Oct 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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



Well, since Matt says there will not be a change tomorrow, this will be an interesting thing to watch.

At any rate - here's a reference thread from earlier this year:
Google AJAX Powered Serps Kills Referals [webmasterworld.com]

By the way, Google did fix the referrer tracking problem

cangoou

5:55 am on Oct 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Something is happening. I lost some single keywords for pages on which other keywords where not affected at all. I tried almost everything: onpage deoptimization, anchor-text deoptimization, I checked every incoming link if it's bad or not and so on. A lot of work, but nothing really did the trick.

And tonight, almost every keyword came back - no matter if I did something or if I did nothing. Was this really all a big 4-month-google-hiccup?!?! I like working for nothing.

whitenight

6:17 am on Oct 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Good to hear Cangoou.

Google does ALOT of testing at primetime viewing hours Pacific Time in the fall.
The SERPs can change completely from minute to minute.

Really fascinating to watch if one is objective.

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