Google Update drops SEO's in it

48 comments

General chatter recently suggested that Google was updating - as of yesterday a significant algo change hit the SERPs. A lot of SEO's and seo-savvy webmasters are reporting significant loss of rankings and traffic for their own and client sites, and typically there are complaints about irrelevant rankings.

There's widespread speculation as to what is behind the changes - main theories at present are:

  • Data loss at Google causes an incomplete index - suggestions of Googlebot panic spidering to rebuild it
  • Semantic processing of links that mean established and varied links are weighted more, giving more power to internal links and less weight to link development work
  • New filter for site-wide links
  • Increased weighting of authorities to reduce presence of less established sites even further, to limit spam
  • Google is evil, blah blah blah

There's a 60+ page thread on WebmasterWorld, and DigitalPoint manage a respectable 30+ pages at the time of writing.

Comments

"main theories at present are:"...

..how about some you win, some you loose.

Generally you only hear from those that have lost out! There was a similar tweak by Google on 22 Sept (and a similar long thread at WMW).

I never did manage to nudge much response at TW to that one.

FWIW one site of mine came back from the dead with this tweak yesterday evening. Most were uneffected in either tweak.

I agree - there's a longer

I agree - there's a longer history behind what is going on, but it seems to be rippling out.

I'm Currently Printing a T-shirt That Says:

"Stop Ya Whining and Do Something About It"

The time that it would take to read those threads could be better spent figuring out a battle plan to help a client's total online marketing strategy - (I can hear the gasps now "You mean SEO/SEM isn't the only online marketing strategy out there". lol) - so that ranking shifts aren't a major detriment to your business.

Natasha "That Girl From Marketing" Robinson

Christmas Update

Don't worry guys, it's just the annual Christmas update. Commercial sites plummet, bid prices skyrocket, all returns to normal mid-January.

"Increased weighting of

"Increased weighting of authorities to reduce presence of less established sites even further, to limit spam"

I subscribe to this one in the travel industry. All the big mother sites are ranking. Tripadvisor, hotels.com, yahoo travel.

"Stop Ya Whining and Do Something About It"

Natasha - You're missing the point

It's not the clients' sites that have been hammered

Peter "That Boy From Never Never Land" Pan

Love it

traffic on two personal commercial sites has went up x4 and x6.

It is funny though, the one site that 'some important people @ google' know belongs to me, has taken a serious dive. It seems funny to me, cuz that site is handled the exact same way as the other sites that that have had such a major increase in traffic...

I am disapointed though, Matt Cutts had said that he was going to give us all a heads up before the updates, I never saw it, did anyone? Maybe he was busy hand penalizing sites and forgot...

matt cutts

Yeah I thought old cuttsie would give us the Alan Greenspan analysis with weighted words that we could all disect and speculate over what has gone on. Went to his blog and saw something about gmail.

No algo update

Just a continuation of problems.

Official Google Response?


There is no update here. Please move along.

These SERPs look a whole lot

These SERPs look a whole lot like late May's SERPs. It's almost uncanny in what I'd reckon are 2 of the top 10 most competitive fields. Seasonal or rotating algos, anyone?

LOL

Phenomenal - too funny!

Brian - thanks for posting this. I'd never have known anything was happening otherwise, and nice to see that none of the few SEO clients we have have been hurt. All are the same or better than a week ago.

Does anyone really pay

Does anyone really pay attention to this?

More hysterical ravings and bad guesswork -- the usual

This stuff really gets old. Most of the posts in these discussions consist of people disputing the claims and noting that their SERPs are fine. And it is just a tad suspicious that more than one forum has a discussion which starts out along the lines of:

"This is being discussed at other forums but not here, so I thought I'd start it here. Google has massively wiped out [whatever hysterical assertion is popular at the moment]".

I notice that Bruce Clay and Search Engine Watch still rank highly for the mucho coveted "search engine optimization" (does anyone besides an SEO actually search for that expression?). So much for the "too many one-way links" theory. My own domains only renew once each year. They're fine on dozens of searches. So much for the "must renew for more than one year" theory. And, oh yes, plenty of commercial sites are still coming up for "britney spears pictures". So much for the "Google is out to get all commercial content" theory.

They're not wiping out SEOs for being SEOs.

They're not wiping out affiliate sites for being affiliate sites.

They're not wiping out 1-year renewal sites.

They're not wiping out sites with lots of 1-way links.

So, yeah, some people got hurt. Happens every week.

Deal with it.

hmmmm

so the results shifted and some sites didn't stay and some did and some people are happy and some aren't. This is news? ;)

Just seems to be more

Just seems to be more anti-spam filtering... as usual, some innocent sites get knocked out with the bad ones.

Amazing how these

Amazing how these discussions elicit so much emotion.

Michael, why do keep reading and responing to these threads if they are so 'old'? I think you have been in about everyone of these type of threads I have ever seen here...

Seconded

Quote:
Does anyone really pay attention to this?

I'd have to disagree a bit

I'd have to disagree a bit with Michael and others here who don't want to hear about it. When these things happen, I actually like to see how widespread the issue is, look at the domains that have been affected and read about individual cases. Then I can look at SERPs and links and who's ranking now and make some intelligent conclusions of my own.

Watching Google's updates is, in my opinion, a very good way to become more knowledgable about what's being weighted at the engine. Data from posters, whether they be affiliates or site owners or SEOs or whatever is useful.

Besides - you guys never complain about the other threads here... What's the deal? Does every single post except this one appeal to you? Why the bad rap for update threads?

Rand, it's not worth all the fuss

I watch the forums and use the screaming and hollaring as an SEO wind gauge, but this time it wasn't anything big.

And it feels so much like a bad Casablanca ripoff, "My Web site has lost its rankings! Round up the usual suspects!" Whooohoooo (that's the sound of the old 1940s police siren). So, the poor "usual suspects" of "Google is getting rid of SEO", "Google is getting rid of commercial sites", and "Google is getting rid of link-popular sites" are rounded up, artificially interrogated, and the real villain gets away.

All we need is for Sam to start playing "As Time Goes By" and Bogey will quietly get drunk and cry in the corner while Ingrid Bergman asks, "Rick, Rick, what is all this fuss about Web sites and links? Oh, Rick, I am so confused, I don't know WHAT to do!"

Let's cut to the end:

"This is Rand Fishkin. Someone has killed Major Strasser -- I mean, this wasn't such a big update after all. Round up the usual suspects".

"Rand(y), this could be the start of a beautiful friendship".

'Nuff said.

Rand's post

Watching Google's updates is, in my opinion, a very good way to become more knowledgable about what's being weighted at the engine. Data from posters, whether they be affiliates or site owners or SEOs or whatever is useful.

Absolutely right - when Google tells us that the weighting factors for ranking have significantly changed, it's worth taking note of what those changes may be.

[quote]"Increased weighting

Quote:
"Increased weighting of authorities to reduce presence of less established sites even further, to limit spam"

from speaking to a few members here and from some sites of my own it looks like a dial on authority sites got turned up a notch – easy come easy go

Its like sex with the wife

Its like sex with the wife rand, once you have done it so many times the fun starts to go.

Get out the Vaseline

I hope you enjoy your hand. Maybe you won't get bored of it so quickly!

Speak for yourself, NFFC. :)

Speak for yourself, NFFC. :)

You obviously haven't..

..been married long enough yet pleeker.

(anyway you need more practice before you understand what NFFC is saying)

Ahhh.. so now we know who's

Ahhh.. so now we know who's wives do and dont look over hubby's shoulders while he's on the 'net heh...

Hehehehe...

You folks are funny. :-)

(14 years next month, fwiw....)

What I would give...

To see NFFC's wife stumble across that post... :)

It's certainly no fun when you're the only one involved in make-up sex.

>To see NFFC's wife stumble

>To see NFFC's wife stumble across that post

I wasn't on about MY wife :)

I hope

>>>>I wasn't on about MY wife :)

I hope you weren't on about mine either, cos she does read this :)

Amazing emotions

Quote:
lots0 wrote:
Michael, why do keep reading and responing to these threads if they are so 'old'? I think you have been in about everyone of these type of threads I have ever seen here...

You and I apparently make good bedmates in these kinds of discussions, so why do you keep complaining?

You lost some rankings? Happens to everyone. It's not worth all the fuss.

Yeah!

So does my husband's wife!

~ no, wait - that does make sense... ;)

The Wife

Some things get better with age NFFC ;-)

Updates on the other hand are so *old* hat. Been there, done that.

Bravo! Michael - we're

Bravo! Michael - we're guaranteed to get the Oscar nods this year...

As for getting old like the wife... Well, it's easy with that analogy to understand why so many people still get excited about it. I'm just trying to play Kinsey here.

Something from Mr Cutts

... he's just posted the following:

Just to give you a heads-up, I think a new set of backlinks (and possibly PageRank) will probably be visible relatively soon; I’m guessing within the next few days. I still expect some flux after that though, just to let you know.

Call me what you will, but

Call me what you will, but am i the only one that understands the PR counts for shit, but still loves to see a TBPR update, just in case there are changes on my sites?

Prolly just me, i love "keeping score" - silly, but what can ya do? :)

Matt's said previously that

Matt's said previously that when you see new backlinks appear and PR number changes, it doesn't mean they have actually changed, just that they've made them visible.
Those backlinks could have been picked up any time since the last time they made a new set visible.

So that doesn't really suggest anything about the algo update.

--

Quote:
You and I apparently make good bedmates

Eww...did we have to know that, Michael?

LOL @ NFFCs Wife

Maybe NFFC should be bedmates with Michael and Lotso?

..

>>>You lost some rankings?

Lost some - gain some, more gain than loss though, just like most times. :-)

I guess I am a little twisted, 'updates' ('everflux' or whatever you want to call it) never really get 'old' as far as I am concerned. I enjoy figuring out what has changed - It's kind of like that Rubiks Cube thing, it is a puzzle I just can't put down... And the harder Matt and the 'boys' try to hide what they are doing, the more I want to know... Like I said, I'm twisted...

What I find interesting is

What I find interesting is the difference in "Web" vs "UK only" results on Google UK:

Earlier this year, Google dropped my business site for a while for a major keyword from Web search, but ranked high in UK search.

Now the reverse has occured, with it ranking high in Web, but 100+ in UK search. I figure it'll float back up as cream usually does. ;)

Interesting...

On Matt's blog he is talking about a new binary and (at least) three stages to this update.

A little early to tell yet, but so far this looks very interesting...

so what's with the TBPR then?

Matt over at SearchGuild points out that MSN TBPR is now down to 2 and it seems that Google themselves now have a TBPR of 9.

So can anyone find a 10 or have Google turned the dial a little bit too far this time.

And will all the people who paid for links from one of those 'genuine PR 10' redirected sites get their cashback?

Google International

My sites went up/down a little but I think I lost some of my major international rankings. Why I think this is I used to wake up to a large pile of AdSense cash which was there before sunrise in New York and now it appears to be a slow trickle of international traffic from the Google.

I don't have the stamina to do a full scale check of all the variants of Google as it takes all day just to check the US site at this point, but a few spot checks seem to confirmed my theory on my international rankings.

BTW, you guys and your wives are hysterical.

Just roll 'em in flour and ....

I cant get over MSN.com with

I cant get over MSN.com with a PR of 2. Nice to see it aint just the webmaster sites getting hit.

MSN PR

Matt Cutts posted somewhere that http://msn.com has its regular PR of 8......

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