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Google Updates and SERP Changes - January 2010

     

northweb

1:07 am on Jan 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

the SERPs were different in the past few days for sure.
changed mid day today.

Seattle_SEM

5:35 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Good comments, Slick.

I think it was fairly obvious that they "turned on" caffeine on/around January 8th, and that obviously didn't work out so well.

The great Google: You never hear any bad news out of them. Despite when programs are abysmal failures (What's the latest on Google Checkout $300 - million dollars later?), you'll never hear about it. They quietly brush those programs to the side.

drall

5:39 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I believe caffeine went live in June 09. Everything since then has been placed to throw you all off the scent.

cangoou

7:06 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Everything still is fluxing, sites are just going away -50 to -80 positions for 1 to 10 days and coming back to old ranks without doing anything. So I guess I will lay back and watch the show...

Slick_SEO

8:12 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



There are probably smiles and high-fives all around the Plex because of your comments...
IMO things are going according to plan....

Well, from the point of view that maybe they dont want SEO to be as easy - I understand why you'd think they'd be happy.. Yet at the same time, it should at least be possible to make one change, wait a few days and see the effects. I'm not saying it sucks because I can't pinpoint cause and effects, I'm saying it sucks because effects can't even be evaluated.. Even if you do nothing to a site, things are completely erratic and show absolutely no consitency. Page titles and descriptions on SERPs are reverting to old ones from months ago and listings are bouncing all over the place, sometimes on even an hourly basis. It's basically a complete mess. My boss is pissed off because for the past 3 weeks i have been telling him google is having problems and I can't get accurate readings on ranking reports.. This sucks, the last thing I need is to have clients who are upset because I can't provide them with any explanation whatsoever of why this is happening.

The least Google could do is say that they are working on perfecting things and clarify that they WILL announce when caffeine is live across the US. But no, we don't even get that!

So - lets just say that for some odd reason, google is planning to end our ability to obtain consistent organic rankings.. What affect would this have on them financially? I mean, all of us SEOs would be mad, but it doesn't mean google would lose money. People would still use google to search. Us SEOs dont have the power or the cabability to tell everyone to stop using Google, and even if we did, they wouldn't listen. As long as results are somewhat relevant to a search, the average joe will not know the difference - and that is scary.. Call me paranoid, but I have a weird feeling that caffeine is SERIOUSLY going to impair our ability to perform efficiently as SEOs. Considering this is my livelyhood, I'm not too happy. I can only imagine having to tell clients that Yahoo and Bing are now more important for organic rankings than Google!

Can anyone think of any scenario that would benefit google if SEOs were no longer able to optimize effectively? (or at all?) If they are d*cking us around I'd like to be the first to know so I can figure out a way to capitalize off this BS...

crobb305

9:34 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Everything still is fluxing, sites are just going away -50 to -80 positions for 1 to 10 days and coming back to old ranks without doing anything. So I guess I will lay back and watch the show...

Have you observed this on a number of sites? Also, has spidering slowed down? I haven't seen a deep crawl since January 9, but I am also in the -50 to -60 range right now (since January 11).

dickbaker

11:31 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Here's another odd part about the "new" search results.

My site recently got bumped out of 1st place for a phrase. A really crummy site is now #1. However, I'm now #2 and #3, with the "show more results from mysite.com" expandable menu.

If my site warrants the red carpet treatment, why is the crummy site #1?

tedster

1:10 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



One of my sites got that same #2-#3 treatment for its brand name - it has always ranked #1 for its brand on Google, since the earliest backrub days (I could sure use a backrub right now from Google ;) ).

At any rate, it only lasted about 3 days and we were back at #1. So this sounds like some kind of disturbance that just might afflict a site's rankings today - like the 3-day flu or something.

onepointone

2:11 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'm getting the "formerly #1, Now #2 & #3 treatment" too.

The #1 result is an ad posted on one of those free classified ads sites.

cangoou

8:33 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Have you observed this on a number of sites? Also, has spidering slowed down? I haven't seen a deep crawl since January 9, but I am also in the -50 to -60 range right now (since January 11).

Yes, this happened to a number of sites I'm observing. I don't know about the spidering because I do not own all sites I'm watching, but I have a new blog started around X-Mas which is not in the index till today.

johnnie

10:10 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Wow! A lot of shuffling going around on page one. No complaint here; I've gained two (!) #1 positions.

whitenight

9:52 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Caffeine Dataset now flickering on the following

66.102.7.99
66.102.7.104
66.102.11.104
66.102.11.99

Until further notice, assume all references to seeing Caff. are within 15 minutes of my post time.

walkman

10:11 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)



whitenight
how many DCs have a shot of espresso in them :)?

In my local google.com I still see nothing, but looking at my stat referrals i see spurts of caffeine.

whitenight

10:19 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



In my local google.com I still see nothing, but looking at my stat referrals i see spurts of caffeine.

FINALLY, someone can see Caff in logs. :) <does happy dance>

how many DCs have a shot of espresso in them :)?

Still trying to decipher WHO exactly Gorg is targeting with Caff.
It's purposeful as it's obviously on (guesstimating) 10% of all google.com searches.

DCs reported above have mostly stabilized around here, so those "SHOULD" be showing everyone Caff. datasets.

[edited by: whitenight at 10:21 pm (utc) on Jan. 28, 2010]

barretire

10:21 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I am seeing Caffeine on the DC's as well.

whitenight

10:27 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I am seeing Caffeine on the DC's as well.

Take a picture, it'll last longer! ;)

Err. no. seriously.
Take screenshots so you can analyze when it goes "poof" again, for god knows how long.

barretire

10:36 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have been seeing them all along on [66.102.7.99...]

However I have a question for you Whitenight.

I have been way=tching these serps for sometime. The one thing I have noticed is the amount of results returned are much less with caffeine. Sometimes approx half of the regular serps? Any idea why this is? This has been one of the things I watch to know when caffeine flickers.

However with that said.. Gorg has been indexing my site like crazy we have gained thousands of newly indexed pages.. Any of this make any sense to what they are actually doing?

whitenight

10:51 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



The one thing I have noticed is the amount of results returned are much less with caffeine. Sometimes approx half of the regular serps? Any idea why this is?

FUD.
This might as well be a made up number.
I've never been able to search past page 99 (999 results), have you?
If it helps you RELIABLY identify separate datasets, then use it.
But I utterly ignore it for any analytical research.

Gorg has been indexing my site like crazy we have gained thousands of newly indexed pages.. Any of this make any sense to what they are actually doing?

That would be the INFRASTRUCTURE -- Which in the rare moments when it WORKS, is ultra fast, and indexes and re-ranks almost instantaneously.
Right now, the ranking, re-ranking, indexing part doesn't match the speed of crawling.

barretire

10:56 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I never have either . I am just going by the amount Google says it returns. I have also noticed that for some time the data in webmaster tools is completely off when it comes to kw positions etc..

gouri

11:09 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



In my local google.com I still see nothing, but looking at my stat referrals i see spurts of caffeine.

Is Caffeine identified in the server logs by having the ip addresses of the datacenters mentioned above show in the logs?

whitenight

11:15 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Is Caffeine identified in the server logs by having the ip addresses of the datacenters mentioned above show in the logs?

No gouri,

You need to have a control "keyword" (preferably several)

Ie.
- on other datasets, keyword1 ranks #25-100 and therefore gets NO (little) traffic.

- on caffeine datasets, keyword1 ranks #1-#10 and recieves lots of traffic (or more than the average 1-20 random hits a day).

Now is the time to find all the keywords that rank considerably better(or worse) on the previously mentioned DCs so you can track the differences in how much traffic they get.

which will still be confusing as Caffeine has been live (sending traffic) on 10-15% of google.com users since last week, and around 3-5% of google.com searches since Dec 25th

gouri

11:46 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Thanks for explaining that to me.

I do have a couple of keywords that I watch on google.com and the datacenter showing Caffeine results.

I didn't realize right away that by watching the traffic for those keywords I can tell if Caffeine is showing on more datacenters.

I have not really seen Caffeine results on google.com so maybe that will also start to show soon.

walkman

7:04 am on Jan 29, 2010 (gmt 0)



Is Caffeine identified in the server logs by having the ip addresses of the datacenters mentioned above show in the logs?

No, but I know certain keywords that I rank on the new index. Also I get more traffic with what seems to be caffeine, as in 30% more. With caffeine I get more first class keywords, now I get more secondary and long tail ones.

mikeclover

1:30 am on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



It seems like search rankings are regional.Some of my buds in other areas ask me if i noticed my rankings have dropped. In other areas my rankings are good. Caffeine is very radical with fluctuation currently. Its like its a crap shoot with this search engine now, got everyone walking on egg shells. I am fed up with Google.

pdivi

1:40 am on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It seems like search rankings are regional.
I noticed the same thing using proxies located in different US states. None of my sites are regional, and yet my rankings were all over the place depending on the region. Local businesses don't explain the difference either...in some places I'm pushed down more positions than the number of local businesses ahead of me in the SERPs. Very odd.

BaseballGuy

10:36 pm on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)



Anyone notice a small tick in the SERPS today (2pm PST?)

Erku

10:49 pm on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



No, but I see a huge PR update on one of our website, jumping up two units, but no change in traffic yet.

walkman

12:35 am on Feb 1, 2010 (gmt 0)



Yes, I noticed changes. More pages in the regular serps (not supps) and increase in traffic.

Erku

2:11 am on Feb 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



do you see new changes in a particular databases that have not yet spread?

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[edited by: tedster at 5:48 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2010]

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