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Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2010

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

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< 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]

4:49 pm on Sept 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You can clear your entire search history from within your Google Account - and then pause search history. Voila, there's no information left to personalize with.
6:32 pm on Sept 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The problem again is geographical type names for brands or products have all gone missing. It's all back to garbage results like we had right after Mayday when I search for a brand that may have some geographic reference and a product name I end up in the weeds.

Although we do our best to adapt and to adjust nobody can predict a 80% drop in new sales. Worst case you figure if you play by Google rules things will change in percentages over time. We've had one sale since instant versus many a day prior.

Like Ohno our 17 employees will be looking for jobs in a few months if things don't change all thanks to Google. This time the sales drop was just so incredible no amount of pickup from Bing/Yahoo will make a difference. This one was the real killer.

Yet the competitors running 15 mirrors, running doorway pages on Google Merchant Center, buying text ads all over the place and everything else win. Great system.
7:39 pm on Sept 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Urrm, anyone else NOT seeing instant on Google UK right now? I thought I was going nuts but no, instant has gone, I still get it on .com?
12:57 am on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Randomly just after 2pm today the traffic came flying back. I really have no idea whats going on but its pretty clear they're playing with something.
6:34 am on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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/\ Same as us then! Although you are in the US?
8:01 am on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Instant is still on where I am looking (UK)
8:19 am on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's on again this morning, when I posted last night I could not get it at all on .co.uk, .com had it all evening.
8:26 am on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have to wonder if Adsense users are getting crappy traffic too? It least if they are you can be assured that it will get better if only for that reason.
2:42 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Jez123
Well, google is officially mental. I have gone from 3rd to 4th to 9th to 8th to 6th to 5th to 4th to 5 to 3rd to 2nd in one week for my main SERP.


I think what's happening is that they are rotating databases, and they arn't in sync.

I made a major change last week, and have been monitoring cache dates to see whether Google has picked it up - and the cache keeps jumping. One day it says 7 days, the very next day, cache says 14 days - which makes no sense unless they are using different databases, some of which have more recent caches than others. If the caches are out of sync, the rankings will be too - as they will have been calculated on different dates.

So I think they are rotating databases, and they are all out of sync. I think this is a new development. I'm pretty sure that previously, you just got the database nearest you, which meant that the rankings you got were consistant, as they came from the same dataset. No doubt someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
2:56 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@AlyssaS

Yes, you are probably right. Lets just hope they settle on the one where I am #2 :-)
3:01 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Today has been much like yesterday I'm pleased to say, good sales, quiet morning but then good afternoon. I haven't checked logs etc but when I did last night there were signs of traffic quality improving.
3:05 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think what's happening is that they are rotating databases, and they arn't in sync.

I made a major change last week, and have been monitoring cache dates to see whether Google has picked it up - and the cache keeps jumping. One day it says 7 days, the very next day, cache says 14 days - which makes no sense unless they are using different databases, some of which have more recent caches than others. If the caches are out of sync, the rankings will be too - as they will have been calculated on different dates.

So I think they are rotating databases, and they are all out of sync. I think this is a new development. I'm pretty sure that previously, you just got the database nearest you, which meant that the rankings you got were consistant, as they came from the same dataset. No doubt someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

I agree, I've noticed this too.

It also happens with me when I check (via the site: operator) how many of my site's pages are indexed. Sometimes I'll check a few times in a day and get slightly different sets of results each time. (And Google Webmaster Tools also reports a completely different number of indexed pages to the actual SERPs, too).
3:28 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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ohno, my day was the same as yesterday, very slow. Maybe your database is the one to be on?

Traffic was up for me yesterday - normal I suppose but still no sales and very few enquiries. I am getting as many people hitting the site but not so many pageloads. Maybe I am being seasonally affected too I wonder? Traffic is down on from this time last year.
3:32 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Could be, one site seems to be picking up while the other is still dead. I have noticed the dead site also does not appear in the shopping results box in the SERP's. The dead site is .com but set to target UK (.co.uk can only target UK traffic!).
3:40 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I hope it's getting fixed then. These last few days (well, the beginning of the month really I suppose) have hurt worse than I thought they could. Thank god I got some repeat business from old customers
5:46 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Urrmm, is this true?!

< original link now is 404 so I removed it - Ted >

At 16:28 today Google has crashed. No one can get access to the monster search engine, but why is this? I think it may have a good thing to do with its recent launch of “Google Instant” where Google will instantly start predicting your search results from what you are typing in “real time”.

it seems the giant online search engine is trying to punch above its weight by bring innovation in search forward as it appears that its servers have crashed and Google has gone down in an instant. Even loading up any site that has Google analytics is not showing up as 100% uploaded as “analytics is still not being picked up online”

[edited by: tedster at 9:27 pm (utc) on Sep 18, 2010]

6:17 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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No, it is not true. That single irresponsible article is enough for me to ignore that source of information completely.

Remember, Taking SEO Advice Blindly Can Kill Your Business [webmasterworld.com]
6:35 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's on the Telegraph website too?
6:47 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Here is the link to the Telegraph article. Looks legit.
[telegraph.co.uk...]

I've been using Google on and off this morning and I didn't see it down (Pacific NW).
6:52 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I don't know about for others, but these last few months have been the most stagnant search results I ever seen in the 10+ years I have been watching google. There may be more "features" on the search results page, but I get the impression sometimes the serp pages are in "set it and forget it" mode.

Our business is up, but it is through expansion to other methods of driving traffic. I think part of this is that there is some truth about searches being down, and bing growing market share. I think also more people are using Facebook and twitter, as well as getting accustomed to visiting their favorite sites versus searching for things.

Google is probably going to be working on becoming a destination, but meanwhile, I sure hope they don't leave their serps for dead, abandon pagerank, and forget what started all this hoopla in the first place.
6:56 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Didn't notice Google being down either (Google UK DC). Seems to be legit though.
7:14 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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OK - here's responsible reporting about the incident from the Telegraph: "The US-based firm [Google] said the fault lasted around an hour and affected a 'small percentage of Google users'."
7:40 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's when Google goes down like this you realise how complacent we as site owners have become.

The Google going down wasn't too bad, but I have various 3rd party scripts, including a Buzz button, and this was causing my pages not to load.

Looking at my site I have twitter, facebook, buzz, digg buttons, statcouner stats and maybe a couple more on some pages.

If any one of these services crashing can cause my pages not to load it makes me consider if it is even worth using these social networking buttons anymore.
8:15 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google has crashed.


Certainly my AdSense CTR has been much lower than normal this afternoon however seems to be picking up again now.
10:10 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If any one of these services crashing can cause my pages not to load it makes me consider if it is even worth using these social networking buttons anymore.

Make sure the external features are - as far as position in the code is concerned - placed after your navigation and content.

That way, failure of those features to load will not affect the visibility of the critical parts of your pages.

I often stick a lot of those features in their own iframe.
2:08 am on Sept 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just had to come back here to see what's going on with Google. Since May 18th we slowly recovered to "normal" traffic and sales levels. Over the past week or two, sales and traffic have again gone flat.
OHNO - We are in the same boat again. Hope this straightens itself out soon.
BTW, we are still listed at the top, but the little traffic we are getting appears to be foreign & poor converting. I had three sales between 8:37am and 8:58, then one at 9.50, then nothing all day. This is far from normal.
5:42 am on Sept 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a huge difference in page numbers between plural and non-plural searches. In one particular case, if I search for "Widget from Place Name" I get 24,500,000, if I use "Widgets from Place Name" I get 314,000.
6:51 am on Sept 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hey backdraft7, I guessed you were seeing the same as us as you had gone from these threads just like us(busy doing orders instead of busy working out what is wrong!). When I checked the logs last night it seemed to have gone backwards again-echo'd by no evening sales.
8:20 am on Sept 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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backdraft7, same with me. UV's are about the same. Page loads are down. Enquiries are thin on the ground and orders are slow slow slow. I can only imagine that the traffic is not of the same quality as the site used to get.
9:39 am on Sept 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to change the subject but has anyone noticed Google optimising websites for people?

I forgot to optimise a page a month or so back, and was amazed to find Google had picked out a title from the content for me which was almost exactly what I would have chosen if I had optimised the page.

It ranked well too and changing the "auto-optimisation" for manual optimisation made no difference to rankings.
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