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Google Updates and SERP Changes - February 2010

     
2:27 am on Feb 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

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]

9:53 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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no changes here either..
11:12 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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ok I've got multiple sites looking like something big is happening, lots of big ups and downs across the board, anyone else seeing this?
3:00 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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My default G datacenter is showing the same positions for keywords and phrases that it has for months. The datacenters that have been mentioned in this thread, though, show improved positions for those phrases. I don't know if that's geographic, or if those datacenters are only for Caffeine.
3:15 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A Google spokesperson tells Search Engine Land that Caffeine is still live at only one data center, and says “we expect to roll it out to all data centers over the coming months.”

That’s a far different story than before. In early November, Google’s Matt Cutts wrote a blog post saying that “the full Caffeine roll out will happen after the holidays.” It’s now two months since the holidays, and Google is talking about Caffeine’s launch in months, not days or even weeks.

What happened?

“We run lots of tests with this big a change to our infrastructure,” the Google spokesperson says. “We want the new system to meet or exceed the abilities of our current system, and it can take time to ensure that everything looks good.”


This from today at searchengineland.com feb 25..

Google Caffeine may be months away [searchengineland.com]

[edited by: tedster at 7:02 pm (utc) on Feb 25, 2010]
[edit reason] added the link [/edit]

3:29 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just saw the article too.... I am wondering is google going to update its SERP before caffeine goes live ? ( months from now it seems ...)
3:29 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Couldn't be less surprised.

And thats a great bit of spin, isn't it? As well as a damning indictment of their project management:

"We want the new system to meet or exceed the abilities of our current system"

Or, rewritten, "Caffeine is WORSE than the crap we've been spewing recently"
3:56 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Seems we have to live with this crappy indexing this year.
4:26 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Something is happening on the Los Angeles datacenters. Noticing a few spammy sites working their way up to the top.

of as 8:25am 2/25/10
4:42 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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That announcement should put a lot of the speculation to rest.
5:08 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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props to google for giving everyone an update. We can all move on with our lives and let it be released when its ready
5:33 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Something has changed. My traffic is about 25% higher today than other days and notice better keywords.
7:10 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Geez I wish they would do something in the mean time the SERPs are stagnant for some reason, oh well.
7:37 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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On Friday last week we noticed a huge drop in google referrals - 80% or more of our google traffic has dried up. it's been 6 days and still no improvement. We haven't made changes to any of our sites. They traditionally ranked pretty well for long term searches but going through analytics I see many long tail terms we used to rank for gone now. the only way to see them is a site:domain with keyword.
8:44 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I thought this was an important point in the Search Engine Land article:

"The data center remains the same," Google tells us, "but different IP addresses can map to different data centers at different times due to how Google manages its traffic."


We have tended here to use the words "data center" and "IP address" as if they are the same thing - but because of Google's custom load balancing, they are not. Any IP address can be mapped to any data center!
8:50 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"We have tended here to use the words "data center" and "IP address" as if they are the same thing - but because of Google's custom load balancing, they are not. Any IP address can be mapped to any data center!"

No Kidding, WOW, FINALLY!

2005
[webmasterworld.com...]

in 2006

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

Again in 2007
[webmasterworld.com...]

Again I tried to clue people in in 2008
[webmasterworld.com...]

I have been trying to tell everyone this for many years. Not new news.

Pretty sad another site is quoted for new news, when I stated it years ago on webmasterworld.

WW_Watcher

[edited by: WW_Watcher at 9:20 pm (utc) on Feb 25, 2010]

9:17 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I realize that this isn't the right thread....but I just wrote an article for my site.

After I was done, I then went into Google and searched for the topic that my article was about.

It was ranked immediately.

That is completely amazing how fast it is !
9:18 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You're right, WW_Watcher, this is not news. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink. People will hear what they want to hear, and filter out the rest.
9:27 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sorry i have been away for quite some time now due to a recent family emergency. I just went through the entire thread again. Here is my clarification.

Well guys i specifically mentioned that "I may be wrong on the Google release date" because i was not confident about it. My sincere apologies! I should have rather not commented anything about it.

@ Walkman: Spell Checking is really a very important part of SEO. And trust me it really helps.

Frankly speaking i don't trust the article posted on the Search Engine Land. This is because they haven't mentioned the name of the person who came out with the statement about "Caffeine Delay". It looks more to me like this one [therumpus.net...]

The only logical reason in support of my conclusion is

1. Poor crawling

Google just cannot hold its crawling until caffeine launch. This would be really stupid of them to hold it off for the next couple of months.

Now what makes me believe that Crawling has something to do with Caffeine ? It's "Present Crawling Scenario"

Google's webmaster center seems to be going nuts. On 20th Feb the Indexed pages of the recently submitted sitemap dropped from 746 to 41. They then again went back to 746. Now they are around 682.

Rishi
9:44 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WMT data is FUD, always has been, is right now, and always will be. Sitemap data in WMT is especially FUD. There are no conclusions that can be drawn from variances in WMT reported data for sitemaps. I have some test sitemaps in my account that prove my point:

One sitemap I test with has 100 urls in it. All of these URLs do not exist. WMT is currently reporting that 96 of these URLs are indexed. FUD.

I have another sitemap with 100 URLs that do exist, and all 100 are indexed. WMT is currently reporting that 76 of them are indexed. FUD.

One more interesting fact - I have taken a specific string of text from my homepage, and searched for it, in quotes. Sometimes the SERPs report back my 1 page, my home page. Sometimes, it reports back 52,000 +/- URLs, and none of those URLs have anything to do with me, and none of them have the specific string on their page, or anywhere on their site. FUD, or at least, the fact that there are variances is FUD.

You can draw no conclusions from WMT data, or site: or even regular SERP query counts. It is all unreliable FUD. It is all meaningless. And these have always been like this. It is not broken, it is deliberate FUD designed to distract us. There is a difference between broken and FUD. These aspects of google are not broken - they are working perfectly, exactly like google wants.
9:55 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Add a sitemap or update one and see what happens to your indexed URL count in WMT. My experience is that the information updates in a more accurate manner right after the new sitemap is crawled.
1:48 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"That announcement should put a lot of the speculation to rest."

Post of the year... if it only had a snowball's chance of actually coming true. :)
3:17 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WW_Watcher - About the distinction between "data center" and "IP address"... you have stated it very well. Depending on their user preferences, though, those clicking your links may not easily find your posts, so I'm quoting the core of your 2005 comments below....

...The ip address shown that DNS, or a direct ip query resolves to, is probably a load balancer, explaining why the results can change from one query to the next in a matter of seconds on a single ip address. There might be 100s of boxes behind that load balancer, with different boxes responding each time. One box with one dataset, and the next with a different dataset, or algo.

Try to picture in your mind rooms full of boxes, located in different locations thruout the world. Thru the smoke and mirrors of DNS & Load balancers, a person in texas is routed to the closest room, then the load balancer for the room of boxes selects the least busy box in the room to give the response. The next query still goes to the same ip address of the load balancer, but a different box is selected to give a response, and has a different dataset, or algo (because the datacenter is in the process of updating each of the boxes in the room), and gives a different set of results....


Those wanting to find your 2005 post [webmasterworld.com] in context should look for msg#:761247 (date & time-stamped on my system as 2:50 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (PST -8).)
4:05 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There is a SERP I check extremely often (4 times a day minimum). The site is listed on page 5 of the SERPS for 18 million results. The results were often around 18.3 million to 18.8 million.

About 2 days ago, the results climbed to 19 million and 19.3 million.
Today, the site is on page 3 and the results are out of 44 million.
5:03 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If IP addresses don't lead to specific datacenters as stated, where can caffeine results be viewed?

The old link G had to it no longer works. Maybe I'm missing something..
5:05 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Something has changed. My traffic is about 25% higher today than other days and notice better keywords.


Exactly, I have also seen increase in traffic from the last two days. For my keyword, I am seeing caffeine results. I was tracking caffeine by only one keyword, So I can't say whether it's live or not live but I am currently seeing exactly the same SERPs of caffeine for that keyword.

Since Google spoke person has said that caffeine is not live and it will take months, we'll have to believe it. So what we are seeing is a regular SERPs which are exactly like caffeine. As MC said in his post,

If you search on [www2.sandbox.google.com...] you can get a preview of how the search results will change over the next few weeks and months.


Since it's been few months now, I think regular SERPs are showing exactly same results as we saw in sandbox.
6:05 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Rereading Matt Cutts's "after the holidays" post [mattcutts.com] with the benefit of hindsight, I think we may all have missed the context of what he was saying. The title "Expect Caffeine after the Holidays" sounds pretty much like 'caffeine is eminent and will be deployed after the holidays', and we read his post in that context and as supporting that context.

But now looking back I see a different context. I think we should have been seeing 'caffeine is going live on one data center for testing, but that is all that is occurring at this time so don't worry about a wider deployment disrupting the holiday SERPs. Full roll out will not occur during the holidays.'

In other words "after the holidays" was not a target date for deployment, but rather the absolute earliest that deployment would be considered.
7:01 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You can draw no conclusions from WMT data, or site: or even regular SERP query counts. It is all unreliable FUD. It is all meaningless. And these have always been like this. It is not broken, it is deliberate FUD designed to distract us. There is a difference between broken and FUD. These aspects of Google are not broken - they are working perfectly, exactly like google wants.


I have not been drawing any conclusions from the data in the GWT. I was just siting the fact that it has become really unreliable.

My point was "Poor Crawl Rate" and not the data that we see in the GWT
7:09 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"Expect Caffeine After The Holidays" surely does not mean "Anytime after the Holidays" just like "Please Meet Me After Lunch" does not mean "Meet Me Any day after Lunch"

Mr. X: How many fingers do you have ?
Mr. Y: 5

Mr. X: You are A Idiot.
Mr. Y: Why?

Mr. X: You have 4 fingers and One Thumb.

I believe Google is not going to do the same with "Expect Caffeine After The Holidays"
8:58 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"Expect Caffeine After The Holidays"

2 questions begged to be answered : which holidays? how long after the holidays?

MC was deliberately vague because he does not know when it will come live anyway :)
9:15 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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MC could have said "Expect It Next Year" instead of saying "Expect If After The Holidays"
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