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Google Updates and SERP Changes - January 2010

   
1:07 am on Jan 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



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

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

8:03 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I don't know what all the confusion is for. Caffeine is NOT "live". My definition of live would be Caffeine 100% of the time on all data centers.

Yes you may see an shimmer of Caffeine on a random data center once in while but you don't see these results [209.85.225.103...] 99% of the time.

As Google stated this is the Caffeine data center [209.85.225.103...] These SERP's are dramatically different from the "normal" SERP's that I see.

Yes the "normal" SERP's have changed but it's not Caffeine something is jacked up.

12:07 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



right. And my only point, the only time, was for someone - anyone - to point out one qualifying factor to other members on the board that shows them that ANY set of results they see on a different DC are Caffeine.

Are they marked as Caffeine results?
Do they wear different clothing, or sport tattoos?

I am only trying to clarify what those that see Caffeine on DC's live believe others should be looking for, because all I see, is different snapshots of different SERP's on different DC's, which has been happening for years.

12:38 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



First serps vary (or did yesterday) from DC to DC.
Why would Google do a relatively major update when caffeine is about to be launched. It's 'after the holidays.'
12:42 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Seriously Cain?

lol, are the "Post Holiday" SERPs which just rolled out marked as "Post holiday SERPS"? (with tattoos and markers)

Or is it just A NAME, A LABEL we are all tacitly agreeing to here?

Again back in FALL, I made a BIG ISSUE out of simply defining the labels betwen DATASET from the INFRASTRUCTURE, remember?
Back then, many people argued that there was no difference.

SOME people took it on faith or did enough research to understand WHY I was making this critical "semantics debate"
and A FEW helped DEFINE what the CAFFEINE datasets and labels were/are/would be.

Heck, I STILL don't like the fact that we're calling Caffeine datasets, "Caffeine"

It's confusing enough explaining datasets v. infrastructure, let alone classifying which dataset is doing what and on which dataCENTER.
And then playing Gorg's PURPOSEFUL FUD CAMPAIGN of naming two different "updates" by the same label.

But again, I made a big point of trying to separate the two so we could have fruitful discussion NOW, back in Sept, remember?

So here we are. -.-
Some people are ACTUALLY seeing datasets that look suspiciously like the caffeine DATASETS we saw throughout the Fall.

Some people are seeing various "post holiday datasets" and thinking they are Caffeine datasets.

Since NO ONE can point to the datasets (right now) that were seen on Tuesday or Wednesday, it seems pretty obvious what is NOT the Caffeine-"like" datasets

But if you want to argue the there is "No 100% certainty in ANYTHING" logic, That's fine too.
I've made that argument many times in the past on different subjects,

But it doesn't really HELP in this discussion, does it?

---------------

Anyone is FREE to GO BACK, and RE-READ the 2nd and 1st Caffeine Threads, if they want to understand what SOME of us are talking about and which DEFINITIONS we had agreed upon using in future debates.

[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]

1:00 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Heck, I STILL don't like the fact that were calling Caffeine datasets, "Caffeine"

Exactly my point.

But it's doesn't really HELP in this discussion, does it?

Sure it does. Because this entire post is entitled Google Updates and SERP Changes January 2010.

And the point I was making, which started as a question (that it appears there is no answer for - yet) is:

How do we know any given data set is Caffeine.

If you are telling me it is moot point and there is no way to know, then what would be the point of calling a spade a spade.

I am personally trying to disseminate the information for my own purposes, so that I can 'connect the dots', so my point wasn't to confuse the matter.

It was to 'see the star' that others claim to see with their telescope.

Asking us to go back and read previous back data doesn't answer the question for me of

How does a person, even a business person, know that data set is Caffeine?

A good answer, might be one under 300 words :)

Hope this makes sense....

1:10 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



A good answer, might be one under 300 words :)

I'll make my arguments long enough to express my points, tyvm.
My first post was 4 points long and STILL people don't seem to understand the words:
"sporadic"
"flickering"
"live = sending me traffic"

How do we know any given data set is Caffeine.

If you are telling me it is moot point and there is no way to know, then what would be the point of calling a spade a spade.

Again, cause you had 100+ other people saying,
"wow, those datasets LOOK similar to the "officially announced" datasets I observed in the past"

It passed MANY people's "reasonable doubt" tests.
You can either believe them or not,
but if you want to wait for Gorg to say
"Caffeine has OFFICIALLY launched on 216.XX.XX.XX",
then simply WAIT for that!

Since Gorg has ONLY done that once or twice in 7 years of updates, I suspect you might find the datasets "confusing" again when they start rolling in new data 6-12 hours later on various datacenters after the "official announcement," no?

1:47 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Here's my take. The Caffeine infrastructure will eventually be used to mash up many datasets. And then, finally, it will be used to build every dataset. I assume it is only at that final point that Google will officially announce "Caffeine is now live".

Until then, there is at least one dataset that has a similar appearance to what we originally knew Caffeine was producing. It's not always sending traffic. The engineers work with it until the statisticians like the live test data they are seeing, or intil they pin down some new change that is needed.

We may well see other datasets, if not now then soon, that are also constructed by the Caffeine infrastructure. That situation will also be a test. It will flicker on and off, sometimes sending live traffic and sometimes not. And again the Google statisticians will be deciding if it is ready to go into full production.

If we do get to a multi-Caffeine dataset point, it may become difficult to say whether a particular dataset was constructed by the Caffeine infrastructure or not. It may also be a moot point. If we start to see any dataset in widespread, long term live usage, then THAT will be the rankings to deal with, the ranking factors to analyze and understand.

Until that final launch, I also expect Google's second-level reporting (Webmaster Tools, site: operator, etc) will be more chaotic than usual. And it will take some time after the launch for them to stabilize. I'm not using them for any major actions anymore, at any rate.

Hats off to whitenight for bringing some semantic discipline to this discussion. We can only use the words that we agree on, and most of the web discussions I've read about Caffeine have been so chaotic as to be useless.

2:20 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Again, cause you had 100+ other people saying,
"wow, those dat asets LOOK similar to the "officially announced" data sets I observed in the past"

Yeah, that was really my point. There is lots of talk about which data set they 'see' this on, but in theory the results that even that DS that was previously provided as a reference would have changed since then, so there is no reference point anymore. :)

The most anyone can really say is that rankings 'seem' to have changed, and the changes *night* be attributed to Caffeine (or might not).

this doesn't, however, negate the value of the research behind the infrastructure, or your avid following of the trends from September, whitenight.

It just serves to note that following different DC's to see if you spot what you believe to be is Caffeine is pretty much moot point in my books.

2:45 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



It just serves to note that following different DC's to see if you spot what you believe to be is Caffeine is pretty much moot point in my books.

lol, my continual insistence of:
"at the exact moment of posting";
"you may not see this by the time you read this";
"Today? 3 hours ago? Yesterday?";
etc.

didn't indicate the transitory and ever-fluctuating nature of
ANYONE's current analysis of the SERPs?!
That point was somehow missed?!

lol, i give up.

At one point, I gave an "eeringly" and, more importantly, ACCURATE public prediction
and play-by-play analysis of an update which was correct down to the HOUR.

I'm NOT doing it again.
People were supposed to USE that analysis as a guideline,
take the ball and run ON THEIR OWN.

No one's paying me to do it every time the algo gets confusing.
hence my original comment - "I won't be sucked back in again"

The defendant further sayeth not. :(

Be well.

DXL

2:49 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



My clients and I are taking a massive beating in the SERPs right now. I've had personal pages that were at the top of the SERPs for years for their target keywords, they are no longer in the first 10 pages of results.

That's a huge chunk of my revenue, not to mention I'm probably going to get emails from more than a few clients wondering why they've just been bounced from the top of the organic results.

Can someone give me a reason why I shouldn't be panicked right now?

3:27 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



site: opeartor returns lesser and lesser number of pages theses days, sheding more pages, don't know the reason
5:13 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



same here too, we don't know the reason either
5:14 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



I mentioned the site: operator factor a few posts above this - I believe it's related to the eventual Caffeine roll-out:

Until that final launch, I also expect Google's second-level reporting (Webmaster Tools, site: operator, etc) will be more chaotic than usual. And it will take some time after the launch for them to stabilize. I'm not using them for any major actions anymore, at any rate.
5:20 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Can someone give me a reason why I shouldn't be panicked right now?

Not if your business / income is based solely on search engine rankings for income... I believe a few of us have posted previously about the preceding being a bad business model, and hope if this is the situation you are in it corrects itself, then you correct it, so it doesn't happen again...

5:27 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



A really bad answer. Even Amazon cannot afford to lose 1% of Google's traffic, let alone a small time site that might lose 20%-50%. So traffic matters to everyone. The generic business advice is irrelevant as search engines do make a great chunk of their income, something no one wants to lose.

Not if your business / income is based solely on search engine rankings for income... I believe a few of us have posted previously about the preceding being a bad business model, and hope if this is the situation you are in it corrects itself, then you correct it, so it doesn't happen again...
5:35 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



A massive beating across many clients would be a serious cause for concern if it happened to me. I would quickly look for what common processes are in use across them all.

Even if these particular SERPs do go away, the fact is some version of the algorithm, even a short-term test, has flagged all those sites at one time. That most likely means there is some footprint in the marketing pattern that is right on the edge for Google. At the very least, the pony needs a few more tricks!

5:36 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



No, a really professional answer...
I believe more than one of us, including tedster, have stated something similar.

Let me Re-Emphasize:
Not if your business / income is based solely on search engine rankings for income.

5:39 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



site: operator is extremely unreliable right now, and has been for a few days. Ignore it for at least another week. Just ignore it. The SERPs right now are in turmoil. Breathe deep, and give it a few days.
6:01 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



I like Tedster but just because he said it...:)
Second, people are here to see how their rankings are doing. If you make 100 (whatever) for 4 years you adjust your life to that but his rankings are gone. No matter what a nice chuck of that income is gone, and his clients are hurting too. Extremely painful at least until he manages to live without SE traffic.

Anyway, did anyone see a major change in traffic? Knock on wood mine was in line with the week (adjusting for the fact that it's a Friday)

No, a really professional answer...
I believe more than one of us, including tedster, have stated something similar.

Let me Re-Emphasize:
Not if your business / income is based solely on search engine rankings for income.

6:06 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



I agree: At least he knows where too look. Maybe their links come from the same source or there is massive interlinking between the sites? Google might have discounted those networks.

A massive beating across many clients would be a serious cause for concern if it happened to me. I would quickly look for what common processes are in use across them all.
6:11 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



The question paraphrased was did anyone see a reason not to panic right now?

My answer paraphrased was, no, not if their income was based solely on Search Engine rankings.
I see plenty of reason to panic now, two weeks ago, three months ago and last year if their only income is based on SE rankings...

If their income is not solely based on Search Engine rankings, then there is more reason to do what others are saying and just wait, which is what I've been doing on a couple of sites... Fortunately, my income is not solely based on SE rankings, so I can sit and wait a bit to see what the next couple of weeks brings before I decide if changes are necessary.

Not depending solely on another business for income IMO is actually good advice to any business owner...

Ask those parts manufacturers who catered to a single US Automaker or two and depended on their business if they wish they would have branched out to the foreign automakers too and you'll likely get the same answer.

It happens often in the area I'm in with Boeing. They make a change and other companies go under, because the other companies didn't take advantage of the good times and find a way to solidify their survival as a business without the Boeing orders...

I'm not saying they would be the same size company or enjoy the same level of income without those orders, but a solid diversified income stream would help them when it's time for them to survive a change at the company they mainly cater to / depend on.

IMO It's like a stock portfolio, only different...

6:25 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



As someone who was around [and lost everything] back in 2005/6, I can honestly say that this forum is not the place to vent about losing your visitors / income. At best I found the experience futile and at times I found the responses, from those who maintained their listings, to be down right hurtful and disrespectful.

The only thing you can do in this situation is forget it for a week, return to see if Google have adjusted anything in your favour and if they haven't ... start sacking the staff. It sounds cruel, but it's the only way to survive this kind of Google activity.

Where is Reseller in these times of trouble ?

6:58 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



Reading on another forum it seems that many are noticing drastic changes, such as losing 50% of traffic and so on. Something relatively major has happened. So even if some 'datasets' have changed, apparently they have been in rotation enough to cause havoc on some sites. But then, sites are left in and out during the flux only to be fine in days.

Badcol, did you ever recover?

7:05 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



Not with the business that I was controlling in those days. We sold at the turn of the year (2005/6) and just re-invented, based on the skills of my wife and I.

I look at that time now as a frontier that was being made civilised by the search engines tightening their grips. No bitterness now, except to the guys in this forum who constantly harped on with "You should never put your eggs in one basket". We developed our business directly because of enquiries that were fed by Google listings, staff were taken on to cover the excess workload. The problem with this model is that Google never say "Don't bother developing buisness this way because we like to turn things on their heads once in a while". So we grew and then we crashed.

But there we go ;-)

9:03 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



Badcol, I'm glad you are back in your feet, in a way or another.

I agree with you exactly: if you have a business and google is bringing 100 orders a day you hire staff and spend to accommodate the new business. If the traffic goes, you can't just shrugg it off.

Not to mention that many names are essentially online only businesses.

If you lost traffic and have a good site with decent links, just hold on, before you panic. Drastic moves may actually hurt your site. Google takes about a week or two to finish the yo-yo dance.

11:07 am on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



Thanks Walkman,

We don't really rely on Google for orders these days, chossing mainly to use direct marketing and word of mouth. But, we're much smaller now and it's very easy for us to add or subtract services in accordance with market swings. I learnt a great deal about online trading with Bourbon and Big Daddy, enough not to try again ;-) I learnt why the market doesn't like a monopoly, even though the public might.

Here's wishing everyone well with this one.

BC

12:31 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



@Whitenight: Be patient with us - I still appreciate very much what you are saying because it fits my opservations and (lets say) feelings about whats happening.
2:38 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



A massive beating across many clients would be a serious cause for concern if it happened to me. I would quickly look for what common processes are in use across them all.

Even if these particular SERPs do go away, the fact is some version of the algorithm, even a short-term test, has flagged all those sites at one time. That most likely means there is some footprint in the marketing pattern that is right on the edge for Google. At the very least, the pony needs a few more tricks!

Would rankings that disappear (not fall in ranking) from the SERP for several keywords be considered a beating from an algorithm change or is that more likely to be because of perhaps Google working on integrating Caffeine into its regular indexes or some other database update?

5:01 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



The key to my comment was the phrase "across many clients". I assume your question is not about a whole stable of client sites - so it's not likely that I could answer you in any definitive way. It's something you will need to analyze.

Certainly, whether it is Caffeine-related or not, you would want to understand how some keywords just vanished from some SERPs. If those keywords are now sending no Google traffic at all, then it's more likely to be a penalty.

5:07 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I understand what you are saying about seeing a drop in the SERP across many clients to be more definitive about what may be happening.

One thing that I did not mention but should have is that for the Google IPs that people believe are showing Caffeine SERP the rankings have not changed.

I am seeing the changes in the regular Google SERPs. I think I will see how things look when Caffeine is rolled out more widely to try to figure out why this is happening.

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