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Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2010



11:06 am on Aug 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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

For the last 10 days or so I am not seeing any "fresh bump". It's almost like the days of old where sites just stick in their current positions. This is radically different from what I have been seeing for 2 years and across many sites.

[edited by: tedster at 3:26 pm (utc) on Sep 1, 2010]


4:03 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We are a 3yr old stable 35k uv 65k pv uk site and we been obliterated so we are hoping its a temp flux during instant release


4:39 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

@speedshopping, I'm glad we aren't the only UK site, although obviously bad it's "good" to hear we are not alone. Were you affected when May Day was released? Are you seeing foreign traffic?


4:52 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My uk shopping site has been screwed since around 3rd August no reason, no sign of recovery.

This 'instant search' looks like the final nail in the coffin.


5:12 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

@steerpikegg, was it OK prior to this date? We got screwed by May Day, then things strated to pick up again, then Wednesday it was like BAM again. I knew what the cause would be confirmed by a visit here again. Sick to death of this "game".


5:19 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

We dont have any one term that generates huge traffic, this has killed legitimate long tail. IE, Brand A Widget XYZ will now get blasted by the instant type results with people going to brand A website, brand a widget pages etc.

Each day google twists the knife into the back of the very businesses that supported its growth and played within its rules.


5:49 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I just checked 8 of the sites I manage that get lots of traffic and 5 of them experienced a slight drop around the 8th and or 9th, The other 3 are about normal (which isn't all that great).

It might be interesting to list what's offered on the sites to see if that makes a difference:

#1 - info / service = down
#2 - product = down
#3 - product = down
#4 - service = same
#5 - entertainment = same
#6 - product = down
#7 - product = down
#8 - product = same

One other thing I noticed on practically all these sites is that around mid August there was more traffic than now.


5:59 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

"Each day google twists the knife into the back of the very businesses that supported its growth and played within its rules."

Nail & head. EXACTLY how I feel, years jumping through Google hoops.


6:08 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I sometimes wonder if im one of the only people left from the 1998 era who still chases my tail with this.

I strongly suspect that most of the people who were around at the time of other webmaster forums (where brett came from for example) ditched the internet at some point around the time they realized what filth they were up against.

I only wish i had been smart enough to find another path in life than chase my tail trying to get traffic from a search engine.

What a stupid concept.


6:24 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

we now have unpaid results which have gone to garbage. This would be like the phone company deliberately returning wrong phone numbers in their white pages and forcing us to dial 411 at 20 cents each to get the good stuff.

If I want to target Brand ZYX Widget Line A Product Z as my search term and ten customers a month go looking for that in google and convert 45% of the time to a sale I'm filling a niche that others are not and am making a huge percentage of those searchers happy. Don't force the searcher to go to Brand XYZ Category Page B which there are 100 advertisers paying $4 a click for and then force them to drill down to the right page for ten minutes. This is what this new google instant search is all about, driving ad revenues. It has nothing to do with satisfying the searcher. If it succeeds it will increase competition in adwords for key terms, increase the bid price and put more money in their pockets.

If they really wanted to clean up the search results they'd actually read spam reports, clean up Google Merchant Center, remove all the garbage redirect sites that hog up all the medical terms etc. If it were about neat results they'd fix that first, but it isn't, it's all about the money.


8:35 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


No I was clobbered by Mayday as well, just started to get back to 'normal' at the end of July and then wallop, hit again even worse - lost 80% of traffic for no reason.

All the spam sites that were around in the serps are still sitting there and my relevant, professionally designed, 100% clean and straight down the line, daily updated site is nowhere to be seen for 80% of main keywords / products for no reason that I can fathom.

I tried going to the google webmaster help forums, but I've never met such an unhelpful, stuck up bunch of $&^%^s - absoultely no help at all. All they repeat parrot fashion is make sure you folllow the guidelines etc etc, which I have done, and doesn't seem to count for crap. Probably better off, like most of the serps taking my spots by loading up pages with 100s of adsense ads, scraped stuff and the keyword repeated 50 times in the description whilst having absolute zero (and I do mean zero) actual content.

So I just sit here and try to find other ways to make a living while the spammers rake it in and google buggers around with stupid active search results (I mean really, do I need to see search results for the letter A when I start typing some keywords) instead of cleaning up the serps and making sure that the 'quality' sites they keep mentioning actually appear.

Google is becoming exactly like Britains high streets - filled with big brands and corporations with rubbish blowing around in between, and no choice for the consumer, no room for the independant guys.


9:16 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

aside to MrFewkes: I started in onlne marketing 1995 and I don't feel like I'm chasing my tail one bit

Will everyone please stick to discussing this thread's topic - for example:
  • what has recently changed in the SERPs and the way URLs are ranked?
  • what do you understand about that change?
  • do you have any ideas about meeting the new opportunity?
Those topics are useful and productive, and the help those discussions offer are the reason this thread has been running for so many years.


9:21 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

Absolutely yes, certain query terms are tagged to change the way the results work with the seasons. Others with the day of the week or even the hour of the day. It is also mentioned in one of the patents - I'll see if I can dig it up.

Try digging out the "freshness" patent, I seem to recall something in that about peak seasons for some queries.


[appft1.uspto.gov ]

That might be it, and it's worth a new read anyway.


12:03 am on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

is there anyone who has witnessed an increase in traffic since google instant? so far we have read about people telling about the traffic going down


12:20 am on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

The complaints are always the first and most frequent after any change, but clearly the whole world's traffic didn't fall off a cliff. I've spoken privately with several people whose traffic obviously jumped and several site I work with saw a small increase, although I think it's too early to say it's "because of" Google Instant.


3:22 am on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I think the mantra for 2010 is "find a way to grow". There are a number of reasons for this:
1. The economy is down
2. Google is losing search share so has less to give
3. The number of pages on the web is far into the trillions making more lots more in the bottom of the barrel.

There is more competition now is larger field. You have to find a way to grow.

We are hiring more people, releasing more products, and advertising more, writing more content, and our traffic is up. This is one of the best months we have had in a long time.

We planned ahead and worked very hard all year long. MayDay gave it a bite, and we worked even harder. This is a challenging time, and if you want to do well on Google, you are going to have find a way to grow.

P.S. I started around 1999.


8:19 am on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"And the importance of page title itself is less important overall. (It still is very important, but where it might be worth 114 points a few months ago it is worth 93 points now.) "

What do you think it could be more impact after Google Instant, as people will have less time for scanning the listing and searching is more faster then Title tag must be most important factors. I don't think Google will put less important score on this one. What you guys thinking about this?


4:22 pm on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have a site that's pretty much been on the top of the serps since 1998 and saw about a 20% drop in Google the last few days since "instant" has been live here on the west coast us. Looked at my stats yesterday and had a big drop on a very popular 2 keyword phrase where the one word keyword is related. Also saw a drop on some popular long tale phrases that make it to the top ten in my stats. But this morning long tails were back and sales up to normal where as they were down as well a few days. I think it's to early to tell if this is the instant effect but I'm going after that one word keyword for sure.

Another thing to add is lately I see more and more review sites in the serps that all use the same articles when I search for information and have been switching to bing more and more on some searches.


5:38 pm on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Quick UK update, foreign traffic all but gone, .co.uk site MASSIVE UK traffic gains, coversion to sales about normal, .com site MASSIVE traffic LOSS(not just UK originated), sales conversions ZERO, this site died Tuesday though? At the moment it looks like the instant role out had more to it, lots of foreign junk traffic, like something at Google wasn't quite right(filters off? De Ja Vu May Day). Monday will be the telling day for us, usually very good, if it's dead I'll worry.

Good luck everyone ;) I think we'll neeed it this time!



9:01 pm on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

For the two days ending last night google traffic was down about 18%. That's bad, but what's worse is the traffic we did get from G is not good. The specific long tail is totally gone yesterday. Specific long worded product searches totally vanished with the release of instant.

I'm seeing this effect in my own searches today for my kids athletic gear. Last weekend I bookmarked a bunch of pages that were in the 1-4 spots in Google. I cannot find 3 of the 4 today using the same search terms I think anyway. What I get is a broader range, category type pages and the big store sites. I then have to do the same search on the end site. Useless.

A couple of hours ago I looked up a famous person. One of the suggestions was this persons divorce. #1 they're not divorced never have been, #2 there were no results returned on that search that were relevant. It might be a popular search term but the disconnect is that there were NO results related. Instant search fail.

Another victim of instant is medical searches. Try searching any prescription medication for use for specific illnesses/dosages. Almost every one I try 50% of the results are redirects.


9:40 pm on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do the sites you have dropping have seo campaigns that are building fake links? Fake articles with backlinks in them? Almost every seo company I know does this extensively.

Many sales driven sites do this. I have suspected for awhile that Google will eventually react against this in the standard serps or at least attempt to balance it out. Also, the show fewer shopping sites option is now up which kind of confirms this suspicion.


2:50 am on Sep 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It's about time for 'Larry Page' Page Rank to update.... it seems they compute different things so no resources for a PR update are left at all.

Or is there a Sergey Rank in preparation ;)


12:56 pm on Sep 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Seeing a lot of spam today, ranking high for brand names including keywords. What's going on?


2:26 pm on Sep 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can i ask if anyone has any experience with our potential situation: about 8 wks ago i found a .info domain that had identically copied our .co.uk website and google had managed to index 3,000 pages before i got the content removed - however, could this be the reason for our recent drop in rankings for over 100,000 keywords - the rogue domain still has 350 pages in google (viewing these pages just shows empty html), however when i look at googles cached version it states the page is our .co.uk page and not the .info one!?


10:39 pm on Sep 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

A search for "keyword1 keyword2" returned absolute junk; irrelevant off-topic stuff.

At the bottom of the page it said "Results were for "keyword1 keyword3", click here if you want to see results for "keyword1 keyword2".

I typed "keyword1 keyword2" because that is what I was searching for.

I am getting really fed up with the results returning stuff that I didn't ask for; in fact returning the opposite of what I asked for.

I use Google less and less because of this stupidity. Is there a search option that can be set that says "I know what I am doing, just gimme what I asked for"?


8:28 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Drilling down deeper on the data we have reveals long tail search traffic is all but gone. Our traffic is UP but it's junk, the search terms really shouldn't have hit our site & the user obviously feels the same as the page view is one & visit length seconds. Our niche products rely on long tail, the other products we sell seem to be doing slightly better. What I do not understand is testing reveals we still rank where we did, I guess users are being distracted by the constant page changing on long tail search & probably not even getting past keyword 2. All in all a total disaster for us at the moment & one I can see no way around without Adwords......funny that.


8:38 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually thinking about it we have a separate site that deals with our niche product, that site died BEFORE instant was switched on. I think they have made another algo change that has messed up long tail like May day THEN released instant.

Whatever there is just way too much going on at Google this year, no stability and constant changes in the name of "progression".


8:43 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I saw a massive rankings improvement on Thursday (UK) for a wide range of competitive keyword terms - the terms we were ranking for pre-May day (Since then I've seen a drastic decline with many spammy websites ranking highly for these terms). Got in this morning to find all positions had returned to where they previously were on Wednesday. So frustrating when you get given a glimmer of hope like that.

Anyone else in the UK noticed such an improvement, which then dropped?


8:45 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi ohno,

You are seeing what I am. Traffic is down though I am am not sure in what areas yet but I suspect longtail. All in all traffic is down by about 20% BUT orders and enquiries are down by about 50 to 80 percent. This seems to show that I am receiving junk traffic that will never lead anywhere but time wasters and at best a waste of bandwidth.

I am hoping above hope that September is "one of those months" and that things pick up and that the drop in enquiries and orders is a seasonal issue.

I, like you, can only really see adwords as an alternative if it's not seasonal. As an alternative it's just too expensive I fear!


8:58 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Seeing big changes in the UK. Some good and some bad.


9:08 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

workingNOMAD, I am not seeing anything new. What are you seeing and as of when?
This 170 message thread spans 6 pages: 170

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