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Google Updates and SERP Changes - February 2010

   
2:27 am on Feb 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed a big increase in my Blog Traffic, but my keyword traffic is down. I am going to assume that Caffeine has not hit all data servers yet ? I would assume this because my contacts in Chicago, Iowa all say my keyword rankings are -30. My assoicates on the west coast say I am on the first page. Here in Texas I am on the first page. The wierd thing is my traffic is not really down. hmmmmmm

[edited by: tedster at 5:47 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2010]

9:14 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Hi basicus,

Welcome to WebmasterWorld!
Thanks for sharing...
9:28 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Well I Will Again Go A Step Forward And Say That "The Keywords After The First Spelling Mistake Lose Their Importance" and this is called as "Strike Out Theory"

Another point

Think your Website to be a Newspaper. H1 Of a website is like Heading Of A Newspaper. It is not for stuffing keywords and should be short. So this is the reason that the keywords start to lose their importance as we move from the first word of H1 tag to the last.

I am not an expert with English and this is the reason i have separate set of people doing the job for me. What i am Good at is "SEO"

Rishi

[edited by: tedster at 10:31 pm (utc) on Feb 7, 2010]

10:12 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@RishiRich .. Welcome to Webmasterworld
My Logs Are Filled With Numerous References By Yahoo-Bot but very little from GoogleBot.


I've noticed this too. Slurp is outparsing Googlebot by at least a margin of 3 to 1 ..
10:15 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Go ahead Tear me to pieces!


Never invite this. ;)

I'm going to "tear you to pieces":

* Not because you're new;
* Not because of your spelling;
and
* Not because you don't have 3000 posts.

(In fact, i usually only reserve my "rants" FOR people with 1000+ posts, so considered yourself an honored "vet" in my eyes.)

But because what have said in the 10 posts shows:
* you obviously haven't even read the last 7 months of basic background info re: Caff
* your statements don't make logical sense.
* is FUD, I've spent the last 5 years combating on this forum.

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

You wrote:
1. Caffeine Is Not Live Officially. It is Still Being Tested By People At Google.


I just spent a month clarifying "live" vs "launched" and "official".
Your statement just ADDS confusion.
Caffeine Datasets HAVE BEEN LIVE and ARE live for at least 15% of the population.

Caffeine INFRASTRUCTURE HAS BEEN TESTED LIVE since I first reported it a week after "Long National Nightmare" Update back in August.





2. Google guys are keeping silent about Caffeine roll out because they failed to make it live "After Holidays" (1st Week Of Jan).


Yes, again, spent the last THREE months explaining this and elucidated the moment MC commented on it.



3. As Described By Many People "Their Results On Google Flunctuate A Lot". To my knowledge this is only because Caffeine is being tested and will only give you a very little idea of what the actual results may be when the actual version rolls out. The results may be entirely different when the actual version rolls out.



This is where you start to lose all credibility.
Is actually a load of crap that certain VETS (3000+ posts) were making back in August.


Anyone who's kept records of the Caffeine DATASETS from sandbox.gorg until the Caffeine DATASETS being displayed live NOW can tell you NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED since the originals on sandbox.gorg.

As challenged earlier, will they be "slightly" different.
Of course!
the SERPS are ALWAYS slightly different from hour to hour. IT CAN BE NO OTHER WAY.




4. Google Gave us all a sneak peak at Caffeine which they have never done before because they wanted us all to be prepared for the massive change. By massive i mean really massive. The results that were shown on Caffeine were not actual results that will be shown when the caffeine rolls out. They were just for the heck of it.


Same as above. This is a plain and simple NON-understanding of how Gorg works or any SE technology works.
OR
perhaps we should define the word "MASSIVE"
OR
perhaps those of us who've being seeing Caffeine DATASETS LIVE since Dec 25 are all clowns. No?




6. Few Things To Watch Out For Will Be

a. Page Load Time
b. Duplicate Content
c. Reciprocal Links
d. Deprecated Importance Of Long H1 Tags


Here's the logical kicker.
If no one has seen the "REAL, LIVE, OFFICIAL" Caffeine,
where in the HECK are you getting THESE predictions from?!
Please praytell?

The only one that even holds a LITTLE "SEO 101" weight is page load times, and even then, I could argue, it has SLIGHT overall importance to ranking.
The other 3?
I won't even bother dignifying with proof that they are inaccurate.
People will just have to "Trust Me" ;)


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

Now, BECAUSE, I'm treating you as "vet" I expect logical answers with some semblance of verifiable "background" in which I or others can prove or disprove your theories.

Rest assured, I have a very large database to test from, so I'll quickly be able to ascertain what's
CHICKEN-BONE THROWING aka FUD
and what's sound analytical research, k?
11:05 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Here's a hypothesis that keeps coming up for me - I wonder if any other Caffeine watchers see anything like this. It's only a hypothesis, since I haven't got enough data yet to pin it down.

What I think I'm seeing is a stronger weight for the "recent backlinks" factor. Google mentioned this in several patents going back to 2005, but in practice even sites whose backlink growth seemed dead in the water were able to hold rankings pretty well. Now it seems to me, from looking at maybe 20 different keywords, that this "recent backlink" factor is getting more clout, at least for these terms.

Seems possible, especially because it might need more powerful near-to-real-time processing to make it happen. It will take a lot more data to know for sure, and separating out this one factor from the mass takes a good bit of work - but I'm wondering, does anyone else see "recent links" as a more important factor in the Caffeine results?
11:13 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



lol helpnow,
stop coding =P

It's still live on the 15% which I'm still investigating whom to and HOW they are sneaking the new IP/dataset specific relocation (spyware) into the code.

Now it seems to me, from looking at maybe 20 different keywords, that this "recent backlink" factor is getting more clout, at least for these terms.


Can't say for certain yet, tedster. It hasn't passed my "provable doubt" test, yet. So still testing this.
11:15 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



tedster - about "recent backlinks". How long would the value of an old backlink live on? I understand the notion that backlinks may have a half-life... Do you have a sense of how long? 1 year? 9 months? At what point does the value of a backlink reach 0? What if the backlink dissappears? Does a backlink that dissappeared still have value? And if so, how long does it still have residual value? Same as a backlink that still exists? Do you think that google tracks backlinks, and keeps checking them to make sure they still exist?

It would seem to me that if "recent backlinks" is an issue, then a disticntion would have to be made between backlinks that still exist, and backlinks that no longer exist. It is one thing to make a note of something that did exist at one time, but quite another to keep checking each instanced sighting of something to see if it still exists.
11:21 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Further on "recent backlinks", I suspect this must be treated differently, depending on the niche. In some sectors, the nature of the sector is that things change. But in some sectors, things stay the same. A discussion on the husband of Queen Anne with a link to detailed info on him, is really not going to change much. Just because the link made to that page was 3 years ago, does not mean that the link is no longer of any value, and that the site linked to should lose ranking, since this is theoretically what will happen if a backlink is not recent.

Contrast this to a discusson on Obama - Obama links from 2004 proably aren't as valuable now, they are probably out-of-date, and in this case, the age of a backlink may make more sense, i.e. recent backlinks. No?
11:24 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



What I think I'm seeing is a stronger weight for the "recent backlinks" factor.


This is where I think processing speed comes in and why I think the changes may be more drastic between the 'regular' SERPs and Caffeine, especially over a relatively short time after the full roll out.

Further on "recent backlinks", I suspect this must be treated differently, depending on the niche. In some sectors, the nature of the sector is that things change.


QDF. Query Determines Freshness from a Searching POV.
LDF. Links Determine (or assist in determining) Freshness from a SERP POV.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 11:29 pm (utc) on Feb 7, 2010]

11:27 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



If a backlink disappears, then Google drops it from their webmap right after their crawl discovers that fact. As for how long the "half life" might be - that's the issue. Used to seem like it was a couple years except for "social media" links. I have several keywords where my sites are competing against some of these "dead ducks".

Now I see a data-set where they are tumbling to the bottom of page 1 or even onto page 2. What's interesting (and harder to fold into the research) is that the domain is still showing backlink growth, just not the page itself. I'm also seeing what looks like the inverse - very recent backlinks to the page sending more juice, sooner.
11:29 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



This is where I think processing speed comes in


Indeed, most people still don't realize issues like Yo-Yo, Position #6 bug, various other oddities were caused by lack of processing speed, depth, and storage.

I think the changes may be more drastic between the 'regular' SERPs and Caffeine, especially over a relatively short time after the full roll out.


This is a far assessment, BUT you'll be better served (not you personally, as you've booted Gbot) by simply ignoring the 'regular' SERPS and focusing on the pre-lim Caff datasets for analysis.

The "old" resular SERPs are very much like an soon-to-be extinct species for analyst purposes (even if they still send 85%+ of traffic now)

[edited by: whitenight at 11:32 pm (utc) on Feb 7, 2010]

11:31 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



The only one that even holds a LITTLE "SEO 101" weight is page load times, and even then, I could argue, it has SLIGHT overall importance to ranking.


MC stated this is not taken into consideration, but may be later this year. Glad I don't have over 3,000 posts...

One of the nice things about Google is that it's constantly evolving. We saw this first happen when Big Daddy when live. We stopped seeing dances where it was clear that massive changes were taking place and everyone was noticing the dance. The change was a big and not the slow evolution that we see today.

For example, our traffic went up around 60% starting at the end of December. This happend over the course of about 2 days, but no one here reported seeing any difference in SERPs. (We get over 30,000 visitors a day, so it wasn't noise.)

I'm providing this example because I see a lot a debate around individual observations. Did Caffeine go live just for me in late December? I don't think so, but it was the single biggest increase in traffic I've seen to date.

Play nice guys, and keep in mind that what might be clear to you might not even be observed by someone else.
11:32 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



But I think this level of tracking takes an exponential increase in computing power. It is one thing to scrape a page, grab the links from the page, and shove them into a database, along with the necessary tracking info.

It is quite another to have to keep going back to that page (for this task, I know you're grabbing the page for other reasons, but this new task now has to be appended to the previous jobs done on that page), and run through all the links seen on that page in the past, and note which ones are still on that page. Consider the effort surrounding this tracking task. Google caches each page once. You would need a history of links found, for every page.

I think the idea is awesome, and in a perfect frictionless world, it should be patented and implemented. It is a very cool idea! But in reality, the effort to track this and react to the ramifications of this for the SERPs is enormous, for the billions and billions of pages out there, and there are many instances of collateral damage we can all imagine would /could happen. So, I dunno. I see the notion of "recent backlinks" as very difficult to implement.
11:35 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



This is a far assessment, BUT you'll be better along (not you personally, as you've booted Gbog)...


Me I would never... LOL. ;)

Okay, so yeah I did boot the bots on some sites, but my booting is fair and unbiased: I booted the major SE bots equally.

...by simply ignoring the 'regular' SERPS and focusing on the pre-lim Caff datasets.


I definitely agree.

What worked yesterday may very well not work tomorrow and I think revisiting the old patent apps. would definitely be a good study for most...
11:36 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



For example, our traffic went up around 60% starting at the end of December. This happend over the course of about 2 days, but no one here reported seeing any difference in SERPs. (We get over 30,000 visitors a day, so it wasn't noise.)

I'm providing this example because I see a lot a debate around individual observations. Did Caffeine go live just for me in late December? I don't think so, but it was the single biggest increase in traffic I've seen to date.


BillyS,

lol
This is EXACTLY what I've been saying.
Caffeine has been LIVE since Dec 24 10pm PST.
THATS WHY you got an "unexplainable" increase in traffic.

You PERSONALLY can't see it, because Gorg has been serving Caff. datasets LIVE to only 15% of goog.com users.
(which is why i kept stressing to 'check your logs' for anomalous traffic)

That's the sneaky SPYWARE I've reported and have been trying to track.

Even though you insisted with debating me in this threads, YOUR POST just reinforces MY analysis.

It's ok to agree with me...
or at least, make the logical 'jump' that i MAY be correct, even if you don't see it at the time.
11:42 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Buzkashi is a tempting capRRaic sport ..but the posted offerings have the taint of craf.ted Rot hareng ..as in all threads which attempt to unweave the weft and warp of the tissue of serps ..beware of hidden hands upon the looms ..and those who wouldst pull upon a line to unravel a thread ... beware of maya :)
11:44 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



It is one thing to scrape a page, grab the links from the page, and shove them into a database, along with the necessary tracking info.


Google has been doing much more than that for quite a long while. All the data associated with a page is sharded "six ways from Sunday" and each shard is evaluated according to a couple hundred factors. Then those shards and evaluations are stored in a multitude of ways cross the humongous server farm Google operates, and then get folded back into various data-sets for various purposes. That's one of the reasons that we only see "about" numbers for how many results in a query.

Google really isn't "a" database the way we normally think of one.
12:01 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



helpnow, that is a great question. Unfortunatley unless you are a Google engineer, none of us will know the answer to that.Here is my focus for Caffeine buzz kill.
1. Unique Content
2. Off Page Link building
3. Social Media
4. Load time for my site
I would recommend everyone else do this as well. I think we are making this harder than it needs to be. Google tells you what they are looking for in there webmaster guidelines. Take the time to read it.
Here is a good article to read.
[google.com...]
1:51 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Further editing to add:

our traffic went up around 60% starting at the end of December.


Before you and others wonder how 15% equals a 60% increase:

1) The 15% (it's around 15%. It's been as low as 3-5% and others have reported 30% in proxys)
Live Caff Results are NOT randomized.

It is demographically targeted to certain SPECIFIC groups.
Hence my earlier comments about spyware and targeting US Military servers who are the 1st main group I've identified that's receiving a disproportionate amount of Caff. Dataset results.


2.) I can almost guarantee without knowing your site's keywords, your Caff. datasets SERPs are better for the terms that are contributing to the mass of new traffic.

Ie. #1 or #2 rankings receive multiples of traffic compared to even #5-#10 SERP... let alone SERPs off the first page.

So while the logs may show you still receiving the same "1st page" traffic, the increased traffic is coming from a better ranking/higher click-thru SERP.


3.) Again, your affected site/keywords MAY be more likely to be searched by/from the yet identified demographic groups that Caff spyware is currently targeting.
2:53 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Before you and others wonder how 15% equals a 60% increase:


So does this mean...

15% = ~1/6 the total traffic increase I will eventually see. So instead of sending me 30,000 visitors a day, Google will send me closer to 200,000?

I wish that were true.
2:57 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



How many angels can fit on the head of a pin? Sheesh, this thread reads like an epitaph for the SEO "industry".
3:01 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



So does this mean...

15% = ~1/6 the total traffic increase I will eventually see. So instead of sending me 30,000 visitors a day, Google will send me closer to 200,000?

I wish that were true.


Not necessarily. All things being equal, then yes.
Many hyper competitive website owners here will attest to the multiple increase in visitors for such terms.

BUT

it's more likely you'd get a smaller, yet sizeable, additional total traffic increase
due to theory that your site, in particular, is already getting skewed higher % traffic
favorable to the demographics that your keywords target.
3:04 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

The answer is always - 42

this thread reads like an epitaph for the SEO "industry".


You should read some of my behind the scenes predictions.
You're not far off. ;)
3:36 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



this thread reads like an epitaph for the SEO "industry".


If in fact Google is killing off the SEO in their neck of the woods, I could almost imagine the boon it would be for Bing/Yahoo and other search entities when the SEO industry begins to refocus the talent in their direction.

I've heard, and much more often of late, that the only Google killer out there, is Google itself.
3:52 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



If in fact Google is killing off the SEO in their neck of the woods, I could almost imagine the boon it would be for Bing/Yahoo and other search entities when the SEO industry begins to refocus the talent in their direction.

Kind of makes you wonder why after all these years Google decides to run an ad during the Superbowl showing their search. I thought for sure it was going to be about their phone, but instead they show what everybody already knows they do.

Anybody want to bet that if Bing had not launched and been pouring all that money into advertising, Google would not of felt the need to run an ad.

Also, I don't think they would of ever mentioned the new caffeine if not for Bing. Bing was getting all the press at that time and they felt like they had to release something.
12:12 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"Whitenight" I Am Presently Busy Due To Valentine's Day. I wish i would have had time to reply to your post.

I am being misinterpreted in some points.

Just one question for everyone as i do not have any insight on this issue "How Does Google Identifies Duplicate Images" I know its not related but any help will be highly appreciated.

I am expecting Caffeine to go Fully Live On all Data Centers before 20th Feb.
2:20 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Kind of makes you wonder why after all these years Google decides to run an ad during the Superbowl showing their search.


It's always a good thing to never forget what made you great in the beginning. Search is as search does, and in the early days of search, everyone ran ads .. from HotBot, to Excite, to Lycos .. everyone played the game.

In this day and age of search, things like toys, gizmos, and gadgets can only take you so far, and I think that once Google figures this out, we might be seeing more ads that are focused on it's search.

Google has been top hat so often, and for so long, that I think that being proactive enough with regard to running ads for their search is a bit overdue.

On the subject of Caffeine? Well, I think it has more to do with OS/Delivery than anything else .. it may, or may not be a good thing IMO .. we'll see.

Search has been a "quiet place" for too long .. and it's good to see the search engines mixing it up on the ad scene. Maybe .. just maybe .. if they start scrapping with each other again, like in the days of old (1999) .. we'll start seeing some real innovation again.
8:35 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



I am expecting Caffeine to go Fully Live On all Data Centers before 20th Feb.


This is becoming cliché. People have been "expecting" and "predicting" Caffeine to "go live" since the end of December. Every holiday that has passed was another expected launch date for many people. New Year's Day, MLK Day, Groundhog Day, SuperBowl Sunday, President's Day. Now February 20?

Not trying to flame. But, no one knows the date/time and every prediction to date has failed. This is very similar to the Big Daddy launch. It will happen when it happens.
8:44 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am assuming this on some Valid Grounds. This is based on my research and i hope it won't be ridiculed until 20th Feb.....
9:08 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I can tell you this. Something is going down, my site that has been on the first page of google for very competitive terms for over a year, has been toggling back in forth. This is very typical during a Google update. So its taking place and its affecting alot of sites. Once Matt has confirmed the update, then everyone can make the neccessary changes. I would continue doing what you normally do until we know for sure.
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