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Google Updates and SERP Changes - July 2010

     

scottsonline

12:50 pm on Jul 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

@john1975 the search term I posted weeks ago showed how bad Google was messed. For a year or two that search returned a real product, for a few weeks/month it return gibberish. It started to return real results a few days ago and is once again accurate or close to it. My guess is millions of other semi-long terms are now also snapping back into line.

The traffic pattern is evolving back towards normal. Google was up again yesterday but only 8% from a week ago. Bing was up 17% but Yahoo was down 35% which only confirms what the studies show - most people will go to Yahoo 2nd if Google fails. What's so clear to us is that it's that 5%-8% of total clicks that Google had filtered off that were the ones converting at probably 80%. Highly targeted searches by informed consumers that didn't need the magic intervention of Google trying to divine what it was they really wanted.

Thanks to MC and Google for slowly figuring it out. Like everyone else I was a bit harsh at times but it's tough to spend years reading the WMGL, reading everything the people from Google wrote and following it within the rules and then viola a major change happens that devastates our business and pretty much everyone else we knew in favor of spammers, scammers, mirrors, mashups etc. The filters still aren't weeding out those results and I'll say it again instead of trying to tinker with the end result why not hire/invest/spend more time looking at actual spam reports when legitimate sites report the ones running 45 sites selling the same item under different keywords which actually really DOES degrade user experience and user choice?

[edited by: tedster at 5:22 pm (utc) on Jul 1, 2010]

kd454

3:14 am on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Has anyone else noticed the light purple in the PPC ads at the top of every search page and the ad space seems to be larger as well, with very dark highlighted blue links... Man what else are they going to do to get more review?

ohno

7:32 am on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)



Did anyone else have issues with G Base/Merchant centre data feeds? Ours came back with internal error (took around 6 hours to re-process yesterday). Also, we've just put some items on special offer, the feed has gone searchable straight away and the new prices are already live on G! This used to take hours.

ohno

2:06 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)



Getting error 500 Internal server errors in G Checkout now too!

Rlilly

2:15 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I see the ones with the power are getting much more power at the expense of niche sites, i.e. amazon, staples...

A big difference in results for widget vs widgets, almost looks like a glitch.

Big discount of old links.

I see a mess until the summer is over.

Victor1

2:18 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Any other observations on the use of Categories? I noticed at the beginning of June that the relationship changed.

The weighting of Categories and how those relate to the overall site seem to be more important.

Any other insights around categories and Caffeine/Mayday update?

fred9989

4:44 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I've just seen image search results mixed in with the web search results on G....very disruptive and unhelpful (not to mention irrelevant... if I wanted image results, I'd go to image search). First time I've seen it.
A ridiculous thing to do.

ohno

5:10 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)



@fred9989, i noticed that on .com a while back, not noticed it on UK yet.......

Hissingsid

7:46 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Bit of a step change in my niche on .co.uk this morning I could have done without. Looks like a shuffling of the top 10 for important keyword combinations.

Cheers

Sid

Planet13

8:00 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Casual observation here - nothing scientific - but it seems like a lot of those content farm sites (ehow and such) are doing quite well in the serps.

Don't know if other people are still seeing this or not.

tedster

8:45 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Yes. And it seemed to get more extreme after the Mayday update, too. From the areas that I track, May in particular was quite rough. Many mash-up sites (today's version of a scraper, IMO) were getting undeserved ranking boosts on lots of queries. However, that effect did get dialed back a bit in June and July.

[edited by: tedster at 2:46 am (utc) on Jul 23, 2010]

supercyberbob

2:33 am on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Wasn't the Mayday update supposed to deal with these content farms?

Gotta wonder what Google is doing on that front.

If I remember correctly, it was part of the big announcement.

tedster

2:49 am on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Yes, it was. It was supposed to empower the more trusted sites.

Somehow the signals Google used for trust were a bit garbled. Most of the ranking mash-ups I saw were not just some "hacked up in my bedroom" affair. They had venture capital behind them, as well as some relatively big name management. That doesn't mean they are good resources, however.

To Google's credit, they did back off on this.

steve40

4:09 am on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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i think the mash up sites are still gaining strength , the ones with big money behind them have 20% more traffic since this lot started , maybe that is what big G wants

Big Money = Trust = high Adsense = More Traffic

I checked 3 of the biggest and they seem to have done pretty good

outland88

6:06 am on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Let's call them what most are. Sites that make Google a heckuva a lot of money. Guidelines be damned. Plus since Bing likes to imitate Google they're playing right into Google's hands with the Ehow MFA thingy unless the two have an agreement. Is there a keyword or combination these Ehow people don't rank high for. By the time people get fed up with this mainly reworded hijacked content the main players will just walk away with millions.

fred9989

10:04 am on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Stunning achievement by Google: a medical / social query I ran this morning (which in my judgement "needs" serious websites in the search results) produced an amateur website dating from the year 2000 or before (and not updated since) at position 1......

.......followed by twelve results from discussion forums, Ehow, Cosmopolitan magazine, Yahoo answers, and Q&A blogs.

Not a single medical authority site to be seen in the top fifteen results.

How now, Mr Cutts? To paraphrase very loosely your words of some time ago: "If you were looking for medical information, wouldn't you rather have an answer from a site like the Mayo clinic than a sales site promoting some questionable products?"

Answer: yes I would. Shame.

Fred

Shaddows

4:09 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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For those noting the multiple live datasets- one of them seems very much pre-mayday.

I'm getting a substantial amount of referral traffic to recently unloved pages, which is converting and bouncing at similar rates to early March.

I'm still getting the traffic on the post-mayday profile in addition.

This started around the beginning of the week, but its taken me this long to seperate out the different referral patterns.

At a stab, the "pre-Mayday" set looks to account for 10-30% of searches, but I haven't seen it directly.

On a similar vein, have those who reported a hit in March seen any major movement?

Added- I should note that this is a seasonally quiet period for us, so I don't have the quantity or quality of traffic data I normally enjoy.

tedster

4:33 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



At a stab, the "pre-Mayday" set looks to account for 10-30% of searches, but I haven't seen it directly.

Right on - I'm hopeful about this, and I see something of the same. It's not more than 15% of traffic for my sites.

Whatever the Mayday criteria are, this algo is not ready for prime time. Should be the 10% share, not the 90%

steerpikegg

4:54 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Things had been looking up for me for the end of June through July right up until yesterday, when for no apparent reason several of my page one keywords have disappeared into oblivion.

Overall seeing some very odd things happening over the last couple of days with regards to my site pages.

steerpikegg

4:59 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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As a side note, googlebot is absolutely clobbering the site today - 160,000 pages and counting.

anand84

5:23 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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On a similar vein, have those who reported a hit in March seen any major movement?


Got hit on March 14. And haven't seen any change whatsoever so far.

TypicalSurfer

7:49 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Stunning achievement by Google: a medical / social query I ran this morning (which in my judgement "needs" serious websites in the search results) produced an amateur website dating from the year 2000 or before (and not updated since) at position 1......

.......followed by twelve results from discussion forums, Ehow, Cosmopolitan magazine, Yahoo answers, and Q&A blogs.

Not a single medical authority site to be seen in the top fifteen results.


Yes indeed, it appears that old forum posts and "blurby" type sites are winning the day at google. For the first time ever I actually have a higher comfort level with search results from Bing and Yahoo than I do with google.

I think google is too pressed for earnings to go back now and can only see further deterioration of quality on the horizon, sorry to see this but you'd have to be blind not to.

Planet13

7:55 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Not wanting to hijack this thread, but...

What exactly is a "mashup" site and how does it differ from a "scraper" site? (I am pretty familiar with scraper sites).

Thanks in advance.

londrum

7:58 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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when a thief does it, its a scraper
when google does it, its a mashup

PhotonLight

10:03 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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On a similar vein, have those who reported a hit in March seen any major movement?


We lost 35% or so of our typical Google traffic on March 4th. This week looks promising, with a significant improvement in rankings for the terms I've been monitoring, but actual Google traffic is only up about 10%.

anand84

4:35 am on Jul 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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What exactly is a "mashup" site and how does it differ from a "scraper" site? (I am pretty familiar with scraper sites).


I guess it is those websites that automatically pull RSS feeds of sites talking about "widget" to create their own "widget" site.

drall

1:52 pm on Jul 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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10% increase in traffic on Monday and Tuesday this week followed by normal traffic on Wednesday and a 10% decrease in traffic from normal on Thursday and Friday.

Like they tested something for 2 days, returned to baseline and then started another 2 day test.

What is nuts is we are seeing top 1000 terms generating traffic being completely different for each day of the week.

Almost as if they have 4 or 5 different search engines running at once. This is on pretty big numbers, 30,000 plus unique per day so to see such huge differences rotating daily tells me something big is still brewing.

cien

3:53 am on Jul 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I got 79 Gbots on my site right now eating content left and right. Anybody experiencing an increase on Gbots on their site?

colourbleu

6:18 pm on Jul 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Follow PR updates @google_update

[edited by: tedster at 4:12 am (utc) on Jul 26, 2010]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

PhotonLight

3:05 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



10% increase in traffic on Monday and Tuesday this week followed by normal traffic on Wednesday and a 10% decrease in traffic from normal on Thursday and Friday.

Like they tested something for 2 days, returned to baseline and then started another 2 day test.


Same story here. I thought things were finally looking up again early last week. Google traffic was up, sales were up, and then after Wednesday it's gone again. Rankings seemed to have jumped up during that period as well and now have dropped back again.

tedster

3:24 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



PhotonLight - any more detail on the ranking changes you noticed? Did most of your keywords shift, or just a few? Core terms or long tail? Local search? etc...
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