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Any fool can slap their favorite keywords into the navigation, and millions do, and it doesn't work for them.
It depends whether you are talking money (competitive) keywords or just made up words / uncompetitive keywords. I agree with santapaws regarding the unique or made up words - you can be ranking in no time just by slapping them in the nav, title, h1, url, etc.
But... when it comes to the money making terms the theory still applies regarding the keyword in navigation but you also need an array of other SEO factors thrown in on top, i.e. high PR, matured inbound links preferably consisting of similar keyword anchor text as the phrases you’re targeting and for those links to be coming from similar themed sites, etc.
What I'm afraid *might* be happening with this update is that due to Google’s new more efficient file structure they are now digging deeper, scraping the very bottom of the internet barrel which is churning up lots of low quality pages (and in turn many more links) that once had to be disregarded.
So a site that has e.g. 3000 poor quality inbound links pointing to it is benefiting much more than a site with only 75 high quality links, which to me seems like Google has shot itself in the foot.
[edited by: tedster at 4:07 pm (utc) on Nov. 1, 2009]
But there is still some sting involved when a Universal Result is in the top spot, even if it "doesn't count" as one of the ten.
Has anyone noticed any logic as to what kind of queries trigger a #1 Universal Result, and what kind of queries are content with showing the first Universal Result just below #3?
Can sommeone point me in a direction what could be wrong? I don't see posts of people experiencing similar changes. The loss of these KW's ( red widgets, 3d widgets, etc.. ) started around 26 October.
( old site, many relevant backlinks, updated weekly etc..
nothing blackhat or shady stuff..)
It's so strange, the site did well over the years, and all of a sudden all the related searches are gone completely.
Like someone turned a switch.
If someone is interested in looking at this, pm me for the URL.
It has to do with how Greeks search that cause problems as most searches are in english or with latin characters (google issued a press release here about this issue via its online reputation agent).
On a different niche I am monitoring which is very broad, the image results appear at #4 for the popular searches and #11 for low volume ones.
Can't see any logic in this, but it certainly does make google's SERPs look a bit congested when some queries trigger news, image and video results.
All this of course from my personal experience and I really can't be certain of anything until the "ranking hopping" stops and the fresh results are normalized.
It definitely seems to be a major algo change happening, it just has taken sooo long to sort out.
October 26 was definitely part of this recent period of moving and folding data around on the back end, something that will continue I feel until they've got the Caffeine infrastructure fully activated.
If you have lost a lot of traffic, you might want to post on Google's Webmaster Forums - you can list your domain there and sometimes a Google employee will take a look and offer a hand. If you'd rather not be so public about it, you can submit a reconsideration request through your Webmaster Tools account.
If it is a bug, your long tail rankings will probably come back as mysteriously as they left - and there will be others in the same boat, too - whether or not they post about it here.
The only thing on your side that I can think of would be if you recently changed something about the site's link structure (this includes playing with "nofollow") and broke some deep PR circulation.
Noticed that what IS in the serps are rankings for the main page OR very old pages.
We did not change things in the last months, besides the usual updates, adding content etc...
I've never been sure exactly what makes a trusted site but my site has been there since 98 and is still being added to. Maybe it is affected by the fact I have a lot of old links. Edu, museums and such.
I hate to see all that junk sprinkled in like local stuff and images. If a person wants images or local stuff they can specifically search for that
Anyway I dropped by here to see what people were talking about since the serps looked so different. More like Bing or such.
Saw an increase in traffic from Google yesterday, but today things are back to before the weekend, and traffic back to normal.
Looks to me like a short-term upgrade or testing of new infrastructure...
So who knows what's going on.
Though, saying all that, I have not noticed any of my websites change in the SERPS.
I don't know if its only on my end, but I cannot see local business results on Google pages. No meter what keyword I type there is no local business results appeared. please let me know if anybody else notice the same.
[edited by: tedster at 5:08 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2009]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]
This may also be part of the changes Google made to Local Search submission guidelines this past week. You now can see the revised local guidelines here [maps.google.com].
Apparently they are trying to crack down on the amount of Local Search spam that has crept into Google Maps.
[edited by: tedster at 4:43 pm (utc) on Nov. 8, 2009]
Maybe this has something to do with it. The page that is now #10 in the results was #1 yesterday. And the #3 page in the results has nothing to do with the keyword (it only has a link to the page that now ranks #10).
The one good thing I see is that the #10 listings now displays an image of the video on the page with a little play button. Very cool. Unfortunately it's not really a video, just a flash slide show.
Clustering sometimes turned off?
- SERPs where the same domain is at #1 and, say, #7 - instead of clustering.
- SERPs with 5 and 6 results from the same domain
Fast new indexing, mixed with aged data
- New pages can still show up in mere minutes. And then on the same SERP, there's a version of another page that's been a 410 for over four weeks!
Universal Results playing peek-a-boo
- This one is funny. Do a search and you get the usual blended mix of regular results, News, Videos, and what-not. Then repeat the same search and you see no Universal results at all. And then repeat again and they're back.
[edited by: tedster at 7:49 am (utc) on Nov. 11, 2009]
At any rate, is anyone else seeing some kind of short term strangeness?
I assumed it was Caffeine infrastructure at work, but MC has confirmed that there is currently no DC with Caffiene, and no large roll-out until the new year.
Any explanations greatfully received.
Universal results- someone from Google said in an interview at some point (sorry for vagueness) that if someone makes several searches, but never clicks a result, they have to wonder if they were showing the right blend. Perhaps this is a artefact of reblending-due-to-perceived-disatisfaction?
Crawling is spikelike, random and very deep. SERP refreshes clearly show separate distinct datasets sorta like the old days during a dance. SERPs I monitor show a big shift in my industry to a emphasis to onpage factors.