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Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight

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Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/26/10 6:26 AM
I have read the FAQs and checked for similar issues: YES / NO
My site's URL (web address) is:
Description (including timeline of any changes made):

On Friday, October 22nd, my site, http://rubbaorsi.it/masked.aspx (this is masked, you'll be redirected), dropped dramatically in SERPs.

For several years, I had good positioning in search results (quite often in the first page), now the site is almot disappeared. And it happened overnight.

Just during the two previous days (Wednesday and Thursday), the site had 2.240.000 impressions in SERPs for relevant keywords and the site, as I said, returned frequently in the first positions. The following 2 days (Friday and Saturday) they dropped dramatically to 673K and the site appeared on page 50+.

Obviously, visits from Google dropped accordingly: from 60K/day (that is not bad in our area) to not even 5K/day.

I tried to make sense of this, but to no avail. If for several years Google has well positioned the site in SERPs, that means the site should have been OK. How come that Google changed his mind so suddenly and so quickly.

No change were made. Users liked the site and Google too, at least up to last week.

Maybe it's hard for you to evaluate the site, since it's in Italian. However, as you can see, it's a social network-like site within a portal, whose other sections haven't been affected by such drop.

What I can say is that this "dramatic" event happened to a lot of sites last week. Moreover, sites almost unknown and of a really poor quality are scoring well (#1 page), since last week. Even sites that with the "May Day update" were almost disappeared are now at the top.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight tobylogue 10/26/10 6:59 AM
Ernesto,

I have experienced exactly the same problem at exactly the same time. lots of our popular keyphrases have disappeared when they'd been well ranked for years.

Also i am finding very strange results when doing google searches and having to bookmark things more as the results seem to be all over the place.

I hope this is just an error by Google and they are sorting it out, if not i'd love to find out why we've experienced such a fall.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight dannymal 10/26/10 7:05 AM

Lots of people are reporting similar, both here and on other forums. Sounds to me like Google rolled out an algo change, but haven't publicly acknowledged it yet.

Looking at your referrals on an hourly basis, do you see a step change in traffic (e.g. 80% down from one hour to the next) or a progressive decline? If it is a step change then I'd suspect algo change / penalty.

Cheers,

Dan


Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/26/10 7:34 AM
@Dan

it was a step change, like someone had pushed a button. It happened on 22.00 GMT of October 21st. Here in Italy it was 00:00 of October 22nd. Accesses in the hour between 00:00 and 01:00 were down 70%.

No notification of penalty received. And given the number of people complaining (even here in Italy), I don't think it was a penalty at this point. Moreover, it seems that results in SERPs are quite often like upside down. I think there could have been an algo change, but the results are those initially intended.

Given the number of people affected and the dramatic changes they've experienced, it seems like if Google is acknowledging that what it did until last week was wrong.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight dannymal 10/26/10 7:43 AM

Sounds like a pretty convincing case for an algo change to me.

It looks like your loss is these peoples gain:


Did you get affected by the MayDay update? 

Cheers,

Dan
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/26/10 7:59 AM
@Dan

I think you took the right path. I wasn't affected at all by the May Day update. Instead, the site here in Italy, that I consider my competitor, was affected by the May update. Its traffic went down dramatically.

Guess when it went up again? On October 22nd, as I checked on Alexa. And its quality is honestly quite poor.

Did Google completely change its mind since May?
.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight MariannaF 10/26/10 8:00 AM
@Ernesto_C Scrivo in italiano visto che lo sei come me. Anche noi siamo nella stessa situazione. Abbiamo un sito molto noto nel settore, ha 10 anni di storia. Sempre ben posizionato. Ci occupiamo di news. Non ripeto quello che tu hai scritto, sono le stesse condizioni. Come possiamo condividere la situazione?
Saluti
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight dannymal 10/26/10 8:10 AM

Interesting, a lot of the classifieds aggregators got annihilated by the May Day update (trovit, mitula etc), doesn't seem like they are seeing any uplift at the moment though.


Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/26/10 8:15 AM
@Marianna

stiamo in contatto certamente. Here, I prefer to answer you in English, for respect to the other guys on the thread.

Sure enough, Google changed something last week. What? No one knows until now. Are they going to tell us? And if not, why?

Should we presume that they have limited resources and share them among different sites? 5-6 months a group, the following 6 months another group. With the exception of big shots.

They keep telling us that is a question of quality, but the sites I can see now on top positions have quite low quality. So, it's not quality, it's only time sharing...

Ciao
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight MariannaF 10/26/10 8:35 AM
@Ernest_C No problem :-)
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight casasoft 10/26/10 9:36 AM
we have had the same problem with our website, we were ranking really good for our target keywords and all of a sudden we do not appear any more.  This is a great hit on our business as google was our main source of traffic!

If you have any updates regarding the above, we would greatly appreciate if you share them here.  I had already posted another post here on: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=0cecee3f7891a598&hl=en&fid=0cecee3f7891a59800049386f3d78d12

We have even opened a Google reconsideration request but still did not hear anything.  Every day not being shown in google search results means a high lack of business and we didn't change anything, like your case!  It happened overnight..

I hope they fix this soon or get a better understanding of what happened!

Thanks! :)
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/26/10 11:06 AM
Knock, knock ... Is there anyone from Google?

Just tell us where you're heading to. Simple as that. Until now, we made our best efforts to make good sites and you seemed to appreciate.

All of a sudden, everything's changed. What were considered good sites until last week went down, and those downranked in May are up again.

Unfortunately, we poor mortals are totally unable to understand the reason. Tell us the new direction so we can follow you.

Give us the light !!!
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight seecast 10/26/10 11:22 AM
I am in he same boat.  It seemed to happen for me on Oct 21st in the late afternoon (EST).  I've been racking my brains to think if there was anything I did to my site that would have caused this.  It's extremely frustrating to have no guidance from google
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Vince Barry 10/26/10 11:26 AM
Ditto for me, massive drops for two sites in the last week, and getting even worse: in fact, on both sites I have exactly 1 visitor combined today...
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight locality 10/26/10 11:32 AM
Our site also lost 80% of our Google Search traffic at 3pm PT on October 21st. We had made no changes prior to the traffic drop. The site had been doing 20,000 visits per day and now we are down to about 5,000 visits per day. It's hard to understand why Google would release an algo change that would have such a severe impact on a well established website. I hope they reverse these changes as it sounds like it has impacted many legitimate websites.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight shahedny 10/26/10 11:55 AM
we also lost 80% traffic on a client site which has been doing so well for last 3 years, even after may day we lost 20% but gained most of it.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight LaurenNey 10/26/10 1:04 PM
Same here, massive drop in the last 24 hours on several searches through google.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/26/10 1:09 PM

You do not appear to have any/much content of your own and hope to score for information published elsewhere.

Little or no original content
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66361

Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/26/10 3:13 PM
The same happened to my site. Just making a good service seems not enough for G.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/26/10 3:25 PM
You can either focus on looking for a google error or you can look at your site and question whether you have plenty of good, quality, interesing, original content not found elsewhere on the internet and work from there.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Bow_Explorer 10/26/10 3:34 PM
@squibble, while i completely agree what you have said in terms of putting all efforts towards own websites instead of blaming Google, I believe Ernesto_C and other guys have a point: a lot of spamy sites (not saying only spamy)  are currently ranked much higher by Google than good sites. This is a fact. I can prove it easily for our case. And this frustrates many web masters and users who search for quality content.  

Yes, things are not ideal, and Google is constantly improving their algos, etc. But I hope you agree, there are very many spamy/useless sites that are currently ranked inappropriately in Google. They don't add any value, they are thin affiliates, have inappropriate backlinks, etc. But they are still in Google and dominate for ages.

In my opinion, many other webmasters/users are very frustrated.

To all webmasters who are affected: please don't give and turn to the dark side. Things are like they are. Google is working hard to get better - they are good guys. But they are huge and fixing everything at once is impossible.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/26/10 3:39 PM
Users get frustrated to see sites which publish content drawn from other sources in the results. There is a specific google guideline regarding it - linked above.

Ensure each page has unique & original content worth indexing.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Bow_Explorer 10/26/10 3:41 PM
Couldn't agree more with you on what you have just said, @squibble.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/26/10 4:14 PM
@squibble

given also my current job of programmer, I think to be a rational guy. So, let's suppose you're right about the content of my site. It should be improved. I don't think so, but let's follow this path of reasoning.

Google doesn't like social networks (because this is what my site is) or aggregators and is progressively downranking them. Just give Google some time and they'll all be downgraded. It took Google 4 years to realize that my site wasn't good, but at last my time came and I was removed. OK. I accept that. It's the rule of the game and I'll try to adapt.

But, exactly at the same time, Google upgrades sites of the same kind (only of clearly poorer quality), that it had downgraded only 5 months ago. And they haven't make any improvements since then!  What should I think? I can only think that it's a question of chance. There is no ratio beyond that. You have to admit it.

I want to know only what is considered a good site once for all. If you make sites bounce up and down, everyone gets confused and angry. It's not worth to spend more efforts in making any improvements (at this point you don't even know what means to make an improvement). Just wait 5 months and chances are that you'll come up again.

One thing is sure. Google "pushed a button" on October 22nd, that caused a simultaneous "bounce" of thousands of sites (some up, some down).
I don't necessarily mean that it was the wrong button. But I think we all deserve to know what kind of button it was. And what results Google intended to reach.

I could also accept that something went wrong. It could happen. I could also accept that they don't have enogh resources to serve all sites at the same time. But we deserve to know it. And I want to hear that they'll do their best to fix it. Then, I could go back to work and make all necessary improvements (if any would be necessary).

Google needs us. It makes money also through us. I think if we ask for respect, we don't ask too much.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/26/10 4:26 PM
 I dont know what answer you are looking for. You have a site with little content of your own, you are trying to rank for stuff already published elsewhere.

You ask what makes a good site - have a read of the webmaster guidelines and work on the areas you fall short.

Webmaster Guidelines
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/26/10 4:47 PM
@squibble

Blyme, are you reading what I write or it's too late for you in the UK. Or  I can't make me understand?

I make it easier. Forget my site. OK, you're right: it's rubbish, it's copied. Whatever you want ...

Just tell me, if it's normal what happened on October 22nd? I'm a layman, I don't know these things. Should I expect that site bounce like this on Google every 5-6 months?
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight cellfunda 10/26/10 10:13 PM
hi,
I have the same problem, but slightly different.
my site www.MiniCooperCars.com was coming on 7th number on first page for keyword "Mini Cooper Cars" before 22nd oct 2010
suddenly after that it went to 4th page
and then on 5th page
and now  No where for this particular keyword "Mini Cooper Cars"
I m just wondering what went wrong ??
Do any one have any clue ??? please guide me.
 
thanks.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ampheon 10/26/10 10:17 PM
I've just put my thoughts together on what might be going on in the following article:

http://www.ampheon.co.uk/blog/detail/google-drops-pages-and-positions-on-22-october-2010
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight R Spetner 10/26/10 11:51 PM
I also am having issues- own bowlingshirt.com and we always were ranked number one when searching bowling shirts. Now we do not come up at all, and the links that do appear on pages 345 in the google search are invalid links. They now send you to a site that has a direct forward to bowlingshirt.com with both sites listed in the URL returning an invalid link.....Very strange and happened at the same time as the others.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 12:02 AM
@Ampheon

Good. Your analysis makes sense, no doubt.  That could also explain the absolute silence on Google's part.

If it was an algo change, probably Google would tell us, as with the May Day update. But to admit problems or failures in indexing is a totally different thing. That's understandable. After all, indexing is all the whole business is built upon. Admitting failures could have dramatic consequences for stocks. Just couldn't avoid to admit the problems with CNN, blogspot and wordpress, since they were too evident to everyone.

There's only one thing that doesn't fit well in your picture. The fact that sites affected by the May Day update are now back on top positions. And they're more or less the same as when were downgraded. This is hardly explained by an index failure or an algo change. In the latter case, it would mean Google had an afterthought and changed completely its mind compared to early May.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ampheon 10/27/10 12:23 AM
I did consider that Ernesto - but with my client in particular May Day has virtually no effect - the listings they've lost are years old, as for other people I've read about. So, for some it seems to be a return to pre-May Day, for others it seems to be a complete drop of pages, and for others (like our own site) no change at all.

I'm with you on them not being able to admit to such a thing though! Did someone at Google press the wrong button??! I guess the next couple of weeks will tell.

Malcolm
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ruhul Sagor 10/27/10 1:18 AM
@all, i am facing also this kinds of problem. some keyword ranked well with previous position.
but some of them so far away from previous ranked.

just observing this situation...
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 1:36 AM

Ernesto. I did not understand your query.

You write of sites 'bouncing every 5-6 months' but you also say that you have had good placement for years. I have not re-read this thread today but suspect you draw conclusions from an outsiders view of other sites whereas this thread relates to your site.

And also if your observations are correct anyway that you have seen sites drop in search and return - do you decide that these sites took no action apart from to 'sit it out' and await for Google to chane or do you think these sites took action themselves and stepped up ?

It would be a very strange Google error to mistakenly devalue a site with no owned content of value.

Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/27/10 1:36 AM
Google sends mixed signals and forces webmasters to make mistakes.

My website has a community, frequent visitors and receives a lot of incoming links. Google sent me a lot of traffic too, probably noticing that activity. And it suddenly stopped. My site will continue operation, it has enough direct hits and referals, but losing half of the traffic hurts and it makes me hate G for its inconsistency.

When I work in a predictable environment I can make long term plans and constantly improve my websites, otherwise its pointless. The dark side is easier. Why bother making one good service when you can create 100 crappy and gain 10x the effect, never raising high enough to start being "penalized" by G moderators or algorythms (I am not sure what's the case here)?
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 1:38 AM
R Spetner - Looking at your site - You should create your own thread for further input.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight tobiascooks 10/27/10 1:49 AM
@squibble

I have the same problem as Ernesto_C and I have only unique content on my cooking blog. www.tobiaskocht.com is online since 01/09 and gets 5 to 6 updates a week. All recipes and photos are produced by me, nothing copied.

My traffic from Google dropped to 25%. Having asked co-bloggers in the same field in Germany, they have not experienced a similar drop.
My post concerning this issue is here: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=3aa1923ac8c2c7ac&hl=en

How would you explain that? Any suggestions?

Cheers
Tobias
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 2:03 AM
@squibble

Relax. If you like to continue to contribute to this thread, I'm sure it's better for all of us if you first read the posts. I suggest you in particular to read also the article on Malcom's blog. There you can find a perfect summary of what happened on October 22nd. The same you can find in other forums (e.g. http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4221534.htm).

Here we don't need someone pasting links to Google's guidelines. We know them quite well. Here we're talking of something strange happened simultaneously to thousands of sites last Friday. They lost their positions all of a sudden, after years of good reputation. At the same time we saw sites badly affected by the May Day update that now are back in #1 page of SERPs.

That is what I mean with "bouncing". The fact is that, given its guidelines, Google doesn't seem to behave consistently.

This waht we are talking about in this thread. But I can't keep saying the same things over again. Just take same time to read the previous posts ;-)
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight santos182 10/27/10 2:46 AM
I saw in this last week years of hard work going down the drain.
Only recently I started contacting clientes in order to become our partners after building a solid presence in the web and on the 1st google page search for main keywords.
That reputation was my key argument for convincing clients. Now I lost it, and I hade a few companies answering back, almost laughing at my arguments, and saying that my site is not on the first page but on the 3rd, in the main keywords, and in searchs with related keywords I'm way back at the end (19th page).
I just want to beat up someone in google.

Thank you Google!

I dont have a single clue how to get back up. I've been working night and day this last few days and I just feel brocken with this.

Wish everyone best of luck.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Bow_Explorer 10/27/10 3:07 AM
@squibble >"do you decide that these sites took no action apart from to 'sit it out' and await for Google to chane or do you think these sites took action themselves and stepped up ?"

@squibble, have a look at the below links please:
http://goo.gl/ZRzQ
http://goo.gl/hnqX
http://goo.gl/aMuX
http://goo.gl/bw0p
....etc.....

These websites rank on the first page in our industry as i described in my thread (http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=7b157c805421e7ca&hl=en). Can you please look at them and express your opinion on whether or not they deserve to be there. And why specifically they got to the first page for a popular phrase in our indusry? What did they do to rank high for a very competitive phrase related to reviews. Please feel free to reply in my thread. I would also like to know *your* opinion on whether or not our website (you have a look at it many times) should be placed higher or not. And how it compares to the above sites.

BTW, i told it many times and i will repeat again:  I respect your opinion and I am very grateful for your help, but what I am trying to say is that i can see where Ernesto comes from (having had a look at the "best sites" (above links) in our industry).

I think you guys are just talking about two different things. @squibble - you are trying to help us by saying there is no limit to perfection and I completely agree - no website is perfect - any site can be improved. @Ernesto is saying that a lot of bad guys are up now and some good guys are down and I also agree. Feel like i'm a peacemaker :-)

We should all relax and take a deep breath.

Dave
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 3:22 AM
bow_explorer - You have already posted the same on your thread. It is also best that you focus on your site and not others and also, if you are going to join other threads - take the time to look at the site referenced..
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Bow_Explorer 10/27/10 3:25 AM
I am trying to be a peace maker, buddy. OK, OK, I am leaving, leaving... :-)
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 3:44 AM
Dave, thanks for your peacemaking efforts. Actually, I didn't want to be rude with squibble. What I complain is that he keeps completely ignoring that something happened on a given day at a given time: October 21st at 22:00 (3pm PST). Lots of people on different forums say that was the exact time they saw their sites dropping. For me it was on October 22nd at 00:00, given the different time zone.

It wasn't an algo change. That takes at least a few days to show its effect, as with the "May Day update" (started end of April and continued for several days in May, maybe up to June). This current havoc happened instantly.  

Everything was turned upside down: bad guys up and those considered goog guys until then down. This can't be ignored. It's an anomaly to be taken into account. Then, a site must and can be certainly improved. But, I agree perfectly with Веселин, there should be some consistency on Google side. Otherwise, it's better to work  on quantity, not on quality.

By the way, I think that it would be better to focus on this single thread, since this problem is common to us all. It's not a question of this or that site.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 3:50 AM

I still dont get what you are looking for. Google has stated here >

Various parts of our algorithms can apply to sites at different times, depending on what our algorithms find. While we initially rolled out this change earlier this year, the web changes, sites change, and with that, our algorithms will continually adapt to the current state on the web, on those sites. While it might be confusing to see these changes at the same time as this issue, they really aren't related, nor is this a general algorithm change (so if other sites have seen changes recently, it probably doesn't apply to them as well).
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=61b28e6184e66255&hl=en

Look at your site - it is not beyond criticism. You are trying to score for content which is not your own and drawn from other sources.

Watch this video by google >

Can you give us an update on rankings for long-tail searches?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ6CtBmaIQM

Ensure your site is indeed the best to return for searches, currently it does not look like it to me.

Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 4:11 AM
@squibble

Everyone here is aware that something happened INSTANTLY at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME to thousands of sites. Like a button was pushed at that moment. The only one that seems not to understand this are you. Are you doing it on purpose?

Your quote of Google confirms that algo changes don't happen instantly

"Various parts of our algorithms can apply to sites at different times..."

I already told you. Right now, I'm not focusing on my site. I'm trying to make sense of what happened last week. I can follow Google's suggestions to improve my site only if there's a consistency in the way Google evaluates sites. Otherwise, it's much better to make hundreds of crappy sites.

Maybe, this isn't exactly your kind of thread. It could be more productive for everyone if you dedicate your time to other threads.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 4:30 AM

If you would like this to be a general thread discussing 'not sure exactly' it is helpful for others to first look at your site, focus on it and see if any unique content can be found.

Google suggests that you should > Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content. & make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

Whilst your site does not appear to meet these standards - I cannot see the problem. Make a site worth indexing and returning for searches or expect instability in results.

Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 4:53 AM
@squibble

sorry, but you have problems of reality perception. I already told you. You're right, my site is rubbish, unuseful, full of duplicate content. Enough? Should I add that I deserved to be downgraded? Yes, I deserved it. Happy now?

Right now, the issue we're debating here is another one. We're trying to figure out what happened on October 21st?

You can keep pretending to ignore this, but everyone here can make his own judgment. If I were you, I'd stop pretending. Unless yours is a strategy to divert attention.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Pelagic 10/27/10 5:47 AM
 
Hi Enersto, I also fail to see your issue, you have submitted that your site deserves to be downgraded, yet instead, you wish to generalize about the downgrading of other sites around Oct 21st, have you not considered that many of these other sites may also deserve to be downgraded? have you also not considered that other poor quality sites may get downgraded at a later date?
 
JohnMu has cleared indicated that the algo rollout and the indexing issue during this time are separate. He also explains that these rollouts can apply to sites at different times, that doesnt necessarily mean its done sequentially, it may mean that they are done in batches (thousands/hundreds of thousands) of sites at the exactly the same time.
 
It would be more constructive to provide specific examples of why you are of the opinion that any recent changes may not be for the best.
 
 
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 6:34 AM
Pelagic,

I start to think that the top contributors of this forum are not human beings, but an automatic answering system assuming different identities, put up by Google.

It was clear enough (at least to human persons that can appreciate irony) that what I said about my site was a paradox. It has been indexed for years by Google. With millions of pages on the indexes. On October 20th I had 2 million impressions on webmaster tools. The following day they were down to half a million. And the site was indexed on real time. New posts appeared on indexes a few minutes after been inserted. Page Rank: 5. So Google was wrong for all these years?

But, when I went down, at exactly the same time, one of my competitors, that was downgraded on May, came up again unchanged. Same poor quality. And, in general, as everyone could realize, the pages currently returned on top of SERPs are on average of quite poorer quality than last week. Thousand of people are complaining about this on all forums.

You don't read the posts, before answering, do you? It's not around October 21st. It's on October 21st at 22:00 GMT, exactly for thousand of sites.
Moreover, how can you suppose that it's due to the May update, when sites affected by that very update are back again? And in the video mentioned by squibble, Matt Cutts says that the May update went on from late April to early May. Now it's October! And an algo change is not simultaneous (same day, same hour) for thousands of people.

Well, after all I don't care too much if squibble or Pelagic don't, or pretend not to, understand what is the issue here. It's their problem. I don't want to waste my time with them. But, I don't want to be the only one here defending the reasons of the "victims" of the October 21st tsunami. I stay here, if others, other than squibble and Pelagic, are contributing to the discussion.

Otherwise, I have to begin to work on those hundreds of crappy sites, that given the inconsistency of Google evaluations and the calculus of probabilities, are by all means the best thing to do.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 6:40 AM
The issue is - you have a low quality site which is not being returned high in search engines. You have no content of your own, yet you are seeking ranking for it. This drop in search was bound to happen. Google moves on constantly looking for the best results to serve for the queries - so should you. Work to ensure you are the best result and not just by publishing information from other sources.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Pelagic 10/27/10 6:53 AM
 
Just because you have been indexed for years, doesnt mean that will continue to be the case in the future, users and google want better results, so its inevitable that with improving algos that lower quality pages won't no longer be indexed as they previously were.
 
"the pages currently returned on top of SERPs are on average of quite poorer quality than last week."
 
Please substantiate that with specific examples
 
"Thousand of people are complaining about this on all forums."
 
Thats to be expected, but equally there will be just as many who are overjoyed by their improvements in their rankings.

 
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 6:55 AM
@squibble

And this is your opinion. Anything new. Everyone took good note of that. Be sure. You don't need to repeat that again.

I'm only wondering whether is among the rights of those who started a thread on this forum, to ask a contributor not to post again. If so, I kindly ask you not to come back again. Unless you have something new and interesting to say, PERTAINING to the issue debated here (if sooner or later you can understand what actually is). Your opinion on my site is now clear to everyone. Don't worry.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 6:58 AM
I'm only wondering whether is among the rights of those who started a thread on this forum, to ask a contributor not to post again.
 
No it is not, and again - I do not understand the issue being debated. Your site has dropped in search, you have no content, that is good for users who like to see original content on great sites return for their search queries. Make a site worth indexing and see how you go from there.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 7:02 AM
@pelagic

I told you, read the previous posts. You'll find everything you're looking for. You can't enter a discussion after tens of posts and to form your opinion based only on the most recent ones.

Sure, there are also many who overjoyed. Are those who went down on May and now are back.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Pelagic 10/27/10 7:10 AM
@Ernesto, yes I have read them, one referred to WMW, where a poster commented on regaining his previous mayday algo losses, specifically when asked, he states;
 
"From what I can see, traffic is back to the pages that lost it on June 2."
..
"Still, I did some onpage changes, mostly what was recommended to me in the Google Webmaster Forum thread I opened."
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 7:23 AM
This thread is about your site, not others - it is pointless to compare and see which sites are the spammiest.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight JohnMu 10/27/10 7:39 AM
Catching up here as well ... :-)

Ernesto, I tend to agree with Squibble’s assessment. Having unique and compelling content of your own is very important and something our algorithms look out for. I’d definitely work hard on that, perhaps even working to prevent pages with little content of their own from being indexed. While our algorithms are constantly evolving, unique and compelling content has been a priority of ours since a really long time now.

cellfunda, it looks like we’re having a really hard time crawling your minicoopercars site properly. You’ll probably see some crawl errors in your Webmaster Tools account, but even without them, it looks like you may want to consider increasing the crawl rate settting in your Webmaster Tools account or asking your hoster to move your site to a server that has more resources available.

R Spetner, it looks like we’re running into an extremely large number of very similar URLs for your site. This is making it hard for us to crawl and index your content optimally, as well as making it hard for us to choose the preferred version for ranking. For more information, it would probably make sense to start a thread of your own, so that the experts here can take a look and give you detailed feedback.

Cheers
John
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/27/10 7:41 AM
Squibblebot said that if your site aggregates content, it is low-quality and should not be visited. I disagree. My site is useful and has no competition in my country ( http://topbloglog.com , TBL ).

My service is a blog ranking. It calculates relations between blogs (do-follow links). Users can vote, like blogs, connect (I provide widget similar to friend connect, but older), read posts by their favorite blogs (or by categories), see various statistics (including visits), read similar posts, read top posts of the day, subscribe to search results (ORM), ask for blog help in the support forum etc.

If you want to follow all bulgarian blogs, you have no other option (google reader or blogsearch can't help you). Hundreds of blogs in my website aren't included in google blogsearch (my link-finder rss for WordPress finds more links than provided by google blog search). I am crawling the web in search for new bulgarian blogs, and I am checking them automaticaly are they working (and if they don't for some non-obvious reasons, like analytics put in the rss feed, the service sends notifications). TBL checks for copyright violations and exclude any spamers. So it helps google to rank sites, giving links to quality blogs only.

My competitors, like google blog search and technorati, are useless in Bulgaria - technorati knows about 30% of all bulgarian blogs and ranks about 1% of them. On the other side, other aggregators are not giving do-follow links, they are using some tactics for making content looks unique and they did not experience drop. That's the main reason I am insulted - my fair play got penalty.

I even got an annual regional award for TBL (bgsite 2008 - me with the sculpture http://dzver.com/blog/?p=1542 ) :-)
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 8:12 AM
@JohnMu

you say that

"unique and compelling content has been a priority of ours since a really long time now."

Then why my site top ranked for several years until last week? Indexed in real time, with million of pages on the indexes. The description given by Веселин for his site perfectly applies (word by word) to mine, with the only difference of the language (Italian).

What a social news site is supposed to do, if not to collect posts from users, to rank them, to allow comments, votes, to make statistics and so on.

Given that Italian or English for me don't make any difference, sometimes I forgot other people can have difficulties reading Italian. And the language might have made the evalution reasonably difficult for squibble.

But, as I said before, we'd like that the October 21st havoc be at least acknowledged. Because an havoc it was.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 8:19 AM

Then why my site top ranked for several years until last week? Indexed in real time, with million of pages on the indexes

That is like asking ' I have been speeding down this road for years - why do you stop me today ?'

Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/27/10 8:29 AM
"I did it, because I can. I didn't stop black-hats because I can't."

We know, It is easier to sufficate one big website than 100 smaller black-hats, but this is what you should do.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 8:29 AM
@John

but then all digg-like sites are poor quality sites. When do you stop indexing digg?
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 8:38 AM
Why not concentrate on your own site and work on making it a valuable resource ? That is within your control. 
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 8:49 AM
@Веселин

don't you agree that they don't follow the logic of our reasoning? They just keep repeating the same things, even if they don't apply to what we're talking about. And when the logic is compelling, they simply avoid to reply.

If they banned your site and my site, they should ban also digg. Why they don't they reply to that?

If we should "concentrate" on our sites, we need consistency of evaluation on Google's side.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight JohnMu 10/27/10 9:09 AM
Ernesto, it doesn't really help your specific site to compare it to others. I would agree that it makes more sense for you to focus on your site and to review the changes that you can make. Whether or not other sites choose to improve their user-experience as well should not be your worry. Take a step back, look at what users find useful on your site, look at what users might want to see when searching the queries that you have seen, and work hard to make sure that your site is the best - not just similar to others, but really much better. Personally, I think that's what would help your site in the long run (it helps most sites to do that). 

Cheers
John
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/27/10 9:30 AM
@Ernesto_C I agree with you.

Some moderator spent 2 or 5 seconds on my site and evaluated it as "low-quality" after being "high-quality" for years. It's not the same site, it's better now.

They will not ban Digg, because they are probably partners. Everything is allowed to partners, even putting google ads on 18+ pages.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/27/10 9:38 AM
We are speaking to robots, they don't read us.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 9:43 AM
@John

so you refuse to answer my question. That's quite revealing.

Веселин's site and mine are digg-like sites (one in Bulgarian, the other in Italian). It's the same model of bussiness of Digg, collecting posts, comments, votes, etc, etc.
If you say that they have been downgraded because they don't have original content, the same sould be true for Digg.

This is a quite old form of logic argument. It's called syllogism and goes back to Aristotle.

But you avoid to comment on that and you tell me that I must concentrate on my site and not look to others. It doesn't make any sense.

As I told before, this is quite revealing. That means that there's no consistency in how Google evaluates sites. Everything depends if you are big or not. The rule is: if you're a big shot, you can do whatever you want. Otherwise not.

Thanks, your not-answer clarified me a lot. And I don't like what I'm seeing. And I think that this is certainly worth to be made publicly known. I'll took care of that, as far as I can. This will avoid that many site developers will waste their time.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 9:46 AM
@Веселин

yes, they are robots. And they don't even work that well :-)
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 9:51 AM
It is about now that it might be a good idea for you to start to digest what has been said, accept this is the position you are in now and look to improve your site with a view to being the best site to return for the queries.  << Cause at the moment it is not :(
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 10:02 AM
Yes, because staying here is wasting time. And you can keep telling your fairy tales on other threads. :-)))
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 10:10 AM
Well yes - I agree with you !! Staying any longer is a waste of time. You have your answer - from Google themselves. Go forth and produce a site of quality that you can be proud of.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 10:24 AM
By the way, I opened the thread, so wasn't I supposed to decide for the best answer, if there was any.

I want to make clear that this thread hasn't been answered at all. You marked it as answered, because you want to avoid that people read it. I understand that it could be quite embarassing.

Good night and good luck
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Robbo 10/27/10 10:40 AM


Ernesto_C

Your attitude is very bad and is not going to get you any closer to a real solution to your problems.

By the way, you mentioned Aristotle.  (>>> It's called syllogism and goes back to Aristotle.)

Aristotle did say some good things ( I particularly like some aspects of teleology) but he was extremely sexist and undemocratic, even in his philosophy. 

Wikpedia says "The syllogism was superseded by first-order predicate logic following the work of Gottlob Frege ...".


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

>>> By the way, I opened the thread, so wasn't I supposed to decide for the best answer, ...


Do you mean that YOU make /  change the rules to suit yourself?


Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Ernesto_C 10/27/10 11:03 AM
I mentioned Aristotle, because it was the first to formalize the most basic forms of logic reasoning.  Some of Aristotle's positions could be certainly debatable, but you can't deny his importance in logic.

No advancement in logic was made after Aristotle, until the mid of 19th century, with the advent of George Boole and mathematical logic. Gottlob Frege was superseded at his turn by the work of Russell and Withehead (Principia Mathematica) at the beginning of the 20th century. You certainly know the famous Russell's paradox about sets containing other sets (you know the barber that shaves himself)

At its turn, Principia Mathematica was superseded by Kurt Goedel, that demonstrated that an axiomatic mathematical model can't be complete and consistent at the same time.

And, guess what, I didn't even read Wikipedia
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/27/10 11:27 AM
> Do you mean that YOU make /  change the rules to suit yourself?

G is changing rules.

We are trying to find help against that.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight tieungao 10/27/10 11:58 AM
my site lamtheo.com got the huge drop on this time too, i wish we can understand what happend. I think google must respect to us because infact google search on us, rite?
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Matt_Kaminsky 10/27/10 3:05 PM
Got social news portal hit by loss of traffic on Oct 21st.  The issue about digg-like sites is quite interesting. The G employee clearly refused to answer.

He implicitly admitted that G applies different parameters to sites like Digg, compared to similar sites. Google has a monopoly and in a monopoly adopting

"Business strategies that reduce competition may be illegal..."

The quotation is from the "Competition Quality Guidance" of the Federal Trade Commission. Here we got a possible violation of antitrust laws and we should seriously consider to file a complaint to the Antitrust Division of DOJ.

Matt
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/27/10 3:07 PM
lol
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/27/10 4:17 PM
Posted another question for my site. No "top contributor" noticed me here, so let's give them a chance.

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=07541313a6cc8fb2&hl=en
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/28/10 2:53 AM
http://dzver.com/strange2/spk.jpg

Small screenshot from a popular Bulgarian blog, hosted on Blogger. Google services are painted pink and topbloglog widgets are cyan.

Regards,
Veselin
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight santos182 10/28/10 5:27 AM
I'm really tired of reading the argument of "your site is not interesting for a user". My example is obvious. I dropped 30 places on google search (even do I'm slowly climbing again) and on my place theres a site with exactly the same principles than mine, except it is a "bogus" site. It has absolutely no insterest for readers. It has 3 or 4 "posts" copyed from articles on magazines (and not even insteresting ones). Of course that 50% of the space of the articles are google adsense. Wich is really annoing for users who are trying to look for information, wichis the purpose of the site

In a question oppened by me, I got an answer from squibble in the same basis of what is written all over this discussion. There were a few things I have to agree, that my site should be better (its always a work in progress. But my site is in portuguese and I dont understand how someone who does not understand the language is capable of interpet a website as beeing a bad one, or not a useful one.

So my answer to that is very simple: Maybe my website all the sudden (and that is the truth) god considered as not intersting for google, but that is not my users opinion. So far I've gotten lots of praises from the useres and the only critic so far was regarding the lack of photos (not really a critic, more a sugestion). squibble refers in is answer specific parts of the content wich he find unuseful. And it targets preciselly the parts of the website considered more useful by users.

I got an answer by another user wich I found very positive. he send it directly by email. Unfortunally he used a form on my website and the email that he enteredas beeing his is wrong, so if by any chance he is reading this, I really apreciatte your answer. It was by far the best one!

One other thing. When this happened i noticed an obvious thing on google search. The day after when searching "casas de madeira " it returned only 19 pages. Before that it returned at least 50 pages. So something happened. For who worked on wathever change made on google, I really howpe you word harder next time.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/28/10 5:44 AM

santos - here is your site as posted  >

http://casasprefab.blogspot.com

and here is the thread you opened >

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=61cb617d04f66430&hl=en

But my site is in portuguese and I dont understand how someone who does not understand the language is capable of interpet a website as beeing a bad one, or not a useful one

I used Google translate whilst looking at your site.

I'm really tired of reading the argument of "your site is not interesting for a user".

And it is tiring here too to see threads and posts questioning low search results and presenting sites of little value, effort or purpose. Do you see a theme running here at all ? If your site has dropped and you have no other issues then you must consider your site content.

Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight santos182 10/28/10 6:26 AM
Googele translate rules!
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/28/10 6:28 AM
squibblebot, am I invisible :-)
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight stevejonesflowmaster 10/28/10 9:13 AM
Hi
I think there is bigr issue here because coincidently on exactly the 21st October our website www.flowmaster.com stuffered a massive 75% drop in 'DIRECT TRAFFIC" after being steady for 6 years.

We are a global software developer... with lots of customers and massive amounts of online infomation and as the drop is of direct traffic and has stayed steady at the low level for the past few days... Nothing changed on the website in terms of structure... something big has occured here WHAT HAS HAPPENED GOOGLE?

We all need some answers here - Things can't simply change so drasically overnight!
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Pelagic 10/28/10 9:30 AM
Hi Steve, if you would like someone to look at and possibly help you with your site specifically then I suggest you start your own thread.
 
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Matt_Kaminsky 10/28/10 11:22 AM
@all

These G guys think we're all stupid. We're asking waht happened on Oct 21st and they reply that we've to improve our site, without addressing the relevant issue.

I'm sure they're perfectly aware that something went wrong and are trying to divert attention. Every Top contributor has his role: Squibble keeps repeating the "improve your site" story, while the job of  Pelagic is to keep threads small.

They don't want big threads, otherwise the fact that we all had the same problem gets too evident. And our sites are all different. Then, it couldn't be a question of site, but of something that happened on Google's. And it should be something very, very bad. So bad they can't even acknowledge it.

If it was a change of algorithm, I'm sure they would admit to it, like they did with the "May Day update".

Matt
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/28/10 11:29 AM
otherwise the fact that we all had the same problem gets too evident.

The fact that every site shown has had serious issues with quality of content is very evident. Gosh - if something really bad happened - as you say - I hope that it no one fixes it anytime soon.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Matt_Kaminsky 10/28/10 11:38 AM
Yes, and all the quality problems came out for everyone at the same time (Oct. 21 - 3pm PST). Come on, squibble... be serious

Matt
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/28/10 12:20 PM

Be serious yourself. Google has already stated this >

Various parts of our algorithms can apply to sites at different times, depending on what our algorithms find. While we initially rolled out this change earlier this year, the web changes, sites change, and with that, our algorithms will continually adapt to the current state on the web, on those sites. While it might be confusing to see these changes at the same time as this issue, they really aren't related, nor is this a general algorithm change (so if other sites have seen changes recently, it probably doesn't apply to them as well).

And posters hiking on the proverbial bandwagon to claim exact date/time and second is neither here nor there and reflects nothing at all in particular except owners of low quality sites seeking in vain for another reason for their loss of traffic. Google changes, it updates - the assessment of your site was updated. Jolly good for searchers - not so good for some site owners.

Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Matt_Kaminsky 10/28/10 1:16 PM
Don't know how you could say that. Never gave you the URL.

"...not so good for some site owners."

apart for the scores that daily ask to be included

M
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/28/10 1:21 PM
Please believe >> You dont need to give the url.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight JohnMu 10/28/10 1:25 PM
Matt_Kaminsky & stevejonesflowmaster, we make many changes throughout a year, and for each change there are going to be pages that appear higher and pages that appear lower in the search results. Our ultimate goal is to make our users happy by providing the highest quality and most relevant search results in an algorithmic way. If you are certain that we could not do that without your pages ranking higher than they are now, then I would be happy to pass that feedback on to our teams -- but I'd need to know your sites' URLs. It's possible that there may be issues that we could help you with on your side, and it's certainly not out of the question that those sites bring up issues which we need to handle on our side. That's a part of why we're active here in the forums. 

Feel free to post your URLs here or in a separate thread, I'd love to take a look and see what we can do to work together to provide great search results for our shared users.

Cheers
John
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Matt_Kaminsky 10/28/10 1:51 PM
Which kind of forum is this?

What means " You don't need to give the url"?  Is that a threath? Is Google violating my privacy? I'm sure I never wrote the address on this forum. NEVER! I just said it's a social news portal. That's it. Again, what does your statement imply?

Never saw a forum where a moderator sends strange messages!!!

Matt
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/28/10 1:58 PM

It was not a thread Matt Kiminsky.

You posted that > Never gave you the URL.

My retort was that > You dont need to give the url.

It was not a 100% serious comment as one may guess, it was a lighthearted comment inferring that you dont need to give the url as your site is probably spam anyway.

But of course, post the url of your quality site and I shall think twice in future before making such rash and foolish statements.

Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Matt_Kaminsky 10/28/10 2:32 PM
I don't want to start a flame here. But, I'm seriously concerned. It seems like Google ACTUALLY knows somehow my url, just because I accessed this forum.

You wrote:

"the assessment of your site was updated..."
"You dont need to give the url...."

Most serious of all is the statement

"your site is probably spam anyway..."

Not knowing the url, how can you say that? Not much professional. And you're one of Top Contributors?

Matt
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight peterBarelist 10/28/10 2:32 PM
Good afternoon John,

I had the same exact thing happen to my site on the 22nd, here's a URL to the thread I made:
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=1bb05e1658b10c77&hl=en

I've gone nuts over the past 6 days changing tons of things on the frontend/backend of the site.

Any help would surely be appreciated :)

Site URL: http://www.barelist.com/ #NSFW (Adult Site)

Thanks,
-Peter
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/28/10 2:35 PM

Not knowing the url, how can you say that?

As I said above > it was a lighthearted comment
 
Please, there is no need to over intrepret what has already been outlined to you.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight R Spetner 10/28/10 2:53 PM
@JohnMU - This latest change to Google's algorithmic way of calculating our site, or delisting our site is on the brink of having 20 employees out of work and a company very close to filing for bankruptcy. Our URL is www.bowlingshirt.com. I have also spent the last 6 days scrambling to figure out why our site no longer comes up when a search for "bowling shirts" is done. Not only that but if you search for bowlingshirt.com our competitors page comes up not ours. However Our paid listing seems to work just fine? How could this have suddenly happened over night.

I have had another thread started, and have been trying to follow advice, but the reality is we are about a week away from closing our doors and putting 20 employees out of work due to whatever happened.

Please assist us if possible. The real irony is Google has been a customer of bowlingshirt.com for numerous corporate parties. We have printed their logo for plenty of events and have been ranked high in their search for 10 years. Google knows we are not a spam site they have purchased from us.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/28/10 2:57 PM

r_spetner - I have been trying to help you on your thread, you do need to take some action yourself here and start dealing with your situation >

http://www.google.co.uk/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=4969b3b2880345fe&hl=en

Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Bow_Explorer 10/28/10 3:46 PM
Guys (who blame Google and try to find out "what really happened"),

Please stop blaming and trying to find out what "went wrong". You are barking the wrong tree in my opinion. Whatever happened - happened. It's over and it's highly unlikely Google will magically hit the Ctrl-Z button. I am not saying the search results got better for every single industry. I know for sure that in our industry the results got a bit worse for at least one phrase. But I don't believe Google made it intentionally.

Think about it:
- spamers try to find every single way to bypass Google algorithms every single day

- spamers  keep creating millions of fake websites every single day

- Google have to stop them

- Google constantly changes their algos to stop them

- Knowing a lot of software architects and developers i can tell you that no system of such scale as Google can be perfect (the recent glitch with blogspot could be a good example). However Google works very hard and overall, users are happy to type google.* in their browsers.

- As a results, current search results returned by Google may not be ideal - but i thoroughly believe Google will improve and will finally catch them

- Just step back for a sec, and maybe ask a programmer you know on how easy he or she thinks it would be to create a system like Google, and more importantly how easy it would be to maintain it to be perfect 100%.

- and finally, I believe if you create one of the best websites in the industry Google will notice that and will push your website forward.



Therefore:
- create you threads and discuss problems if you have done it yet
- listen to suggestions from experts - they know the stuff (whether you like their answers or not)
- concentrate on your website, start thinking about how to make it even better, or how to promote it better so that more users know about all cool things you do. Once you do that and fix (if any) all issues natural users/links will come and you will be back

P.S. Our website was affected heavily as well - we lost 95% of traffic (as of today, have not recovered at all) and many top contributors believe our website should be ranked much higher than whatever know is on the page#1. However, the guys (top contributors and JohnMu) were able to identify a few minor things that could be improved and 1 major thing that probably pushed all our pages down to the very bottom. JohnMu agreed our website is neat and valuable but he mentioned 1 aspect that could cause a severe drop in rankings for the whole site.

So, what did we do? We stopped worrying (maybe a good advice for some of you would be to read Dale Carnegie's bestseller: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living) and we started working harder on our website. We re-grouped, and put all our previous development plans aside, and created a plan on how to resolve the major issue and address other minor things to get better.

And what's more, during this brainstorming session, we identified a lot of other ideas on how we can improve our website and make it even more useful. We went off and asked our users what they think about our systems on what they would like to add. We got some great advice from many people (not to mention top contributors, thanks a lot to @Autocrat, @Becky...., and @squibble).

Yes, maybe it's unlikely we will be back soon (unless Google picks up our changes quickly once we make them), and yes we will have to continue to invest our own money to development of our  website without a chance to even cover hosting, development, etc. But we are not worried about that too much (once again Dale Carnegie's book is awesome - helped me a lot many times). What we are worried about is how to improve our website to ensure things like that never happen again.

Hope this helps to someone.

Peace.

Dave
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight R Spetner 10/28/10 4:09 PM
@Matt  

You are a 100% correct. This hardest part for small business like ours is we work hard to try and comply. It would be much similar for the G people to just acknowledge there has been a change and to notify what is being done, similar to the May Day incident. Using the silent treatment while legitimate businesses go under due to these changes is really irrisponsible on Google's part. I just want things to revert back to the way thay were before what ever switch google turned on.

Rob
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/28/10 4:10 PM
r_spetner - you have technical problems on  your site which you should be dealing with. Please start paying attention to them.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight R Spetner 10/28/10 4:18 PM
@Bow - We will work to make improvements on the site and have taken the experts advice seriously. We are striving to comply, and have started our own thread. However, I am only asking what the playing rules are? The link errors that show in the search for our site are extremely bizzarre and do not exist on our sitemap our our site. So while our traffic is down, and we are working to make improvements, little things like having our home page show up in the search is not a lot to ask for when you search for it. If it was something we did (note we did not do anything) wrong, then just let us know how to fix it. Not everyone is an SEO expert or has high end programmers on their staff. I am an expert in retail sales......That hardly qualifies me to make technical posts on this site. I am learning as I go, but in the process am frustrated that my slow learning curve and these sudden changes are going to directly cause loss of jobs in an economy that is already struggling.

Sincerely,

R Spetner


PS. Not angry with anyone, just searching for answers.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight peterBarelist 10/28/10 4:25 PM
R Spetner - Sort of feel the same way, just want to know what to change.

Since last November I've been working like crazy with Google's guidelines for page speed and have by far the most optimized site in my space. In April/May I saw huge growth in all the SE's.

For it go down 70-80% is one day is pretty troubling. I've spent so much time just working with Page Speed and other optimizations trying to make a site Google would like, that it wouldn't be a big issues to restructure whatever was causing issues.

Thanks,
-Peter
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/28/10 4:26 PM
However, I am only asking what the playing rules are?

r_spetner - I am trying to help you on your other thread. The playing rules are that if someone is trying to help you then you stop hijacking threads of others and start to take note of what is written to help you get your site indexing back on track.


Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Matt_Kaminsky 10/28/10 4:46 PM
@R Spetner, @Peter

at last someone speaking wisely. Right, the problem here are the rules. Once you have established some rules, you must consistently apply them. This is not happening right now with Google. I've been in top positions for many relevant keywords for years. Last week my traffic from Google went down 90% in 1 hour. In the meantime, sites hit on May got #1 page.

Paradoxically, a behavior like that promotes spamming. People who intend to build quality sites give up, if they see their efforts of years annihilated in an hour.

I'm ready to make changes to my site, but I don't know what to do. It seems that what I did until now was wrong, albeit Google appreciated it for years. Now it doesn't like it at all, since the traffic didn't go down 30-50%, but it almost disappeared.

Matt
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Bow_Explorer 10/28/10 4:49 PM
@Matt_Kaminsky, maybe engaging with your audience and asking them what they want & brainstorming with your team could help a little bit? At least it helped us.

Peace

Dave
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Matt_Kaminsky 10/28/10 5:20 PM
@Bow

I really appreciate your new peace & love attitude. But it's too generic. I don't need to ask a programmer. I am a programmer and I'm used to brainstorming. But I need to know what "to storm my brain" about. And my audience is quite happy with me. Not with Google.

On WebmasterWorld, they've already given a name for what happened: October Crash. A little bit obvious, but it fits.

Matt
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Bow_Explorer 10/28/10 5:28 PM
@Matt. No probs at all, buddy - just trying to help and share our approach.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Веселин 10/29/10 12:44 AM
TBL community isn't affected by the crash untill now. We have lost between 55 and 60% of the unqiue visitors, but our front page, login page and dashboard are unaffected. We have lost <40% of the page views. I am sorry now for ignoring Facebook and undervaluing Twitter so long. They provide a direct contact with the people.

Trying to perfect some internals of your project and hoping G will do the promotion for free leads to the pit.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight stevejonesflowmaster 10/29/10 1:31 AM
squibble should be named squabble for all the mediation skills!.. look here I could understand that websites randomly get hit by algo changes and poor content issues to a 'varying' degree BUT... the fact that huge numbers of currently stable sites with good ranking get hit on exactly the same day and hit by 75-80% is not a coincidence!

What is making me laugh is that at time of complaint I we are all being told to change our content filling ways and it is our entire fault however this morning after days of complaining on here by many a strange thing has occurred... traffic has leapt up... wow and amazingly without ANY change to the website content! Funny that Mr. Squabble

check the analytics guys and let me know whether you start seeing any changes in the next 24-48 hours...
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight yeahyeah 10/29/10 1:34 AM
Agree that some of the sites affected could "improve their content" but at the same time you see and hear and read things like http://www.seobook.com/who-benefits-following-googles-guidelines and the "improve your content" mantra starts to sound hollow.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 10/29/10 1:57 AM

And then you can read this and understand that working to improve content is the best use of time at this stage >

At the same time, there were people developing not quality content (not a violation of guidelines, but also not providing value).  What it does is for long tail queries, is we now just consider them queries like anything else.  We are going to put as much value in those search results as all search results.

 
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight santos182 10/29/10 3:16 AM
Just to say that my not interesting site is back on the first page.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight JohnMu 10/29/10 4:39 AM
I'm following the other threads linked from here and will try to see what more I can post there. 

Matt & Steve & others who have not started a thread: it would really help to know your sites' URLs, perhaps in a separate thread for them. Providing information about the issues you're seeing, queries & pages where your site has dropped and where you feel it would be the most relevant result really goes a long way towards helping folks here to take a look and give you useful advice. I realize not everyone wants to post their site's URL, but it doesn't really make sense to discuss issues like this without looking at specifics -- it can be anything from a technical issue (such as what I mentioned for your site, R Spetner) to a quality issue to a serious issue in our algorithms. If the latter is the case, the more information I have from you, the easier our engineers will be able to diagnose and resolve it. Without details, they won't have anything to go on. 

Thanks!
John
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight tieungao 10/29/10 9:29 AM
hi johnMu, can u take a look at my thread: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=1b973a3ff415ad16&hl=en
Thanks
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight No Pork Pies 10/29/10 9:39 AM
Hi John,
I've also experienced this problem with a large brand - www.claimsdirect.co.uk
It is still ranking for injury claims (1st in Google UK) but have completely dropped off the top 100 for personal injury claims, as well as no win no fee, bike injury claims and 90% of the other relevant terms to them

They are one of the main no win no fee solicitors in the UK so think they are relevant for these terms. Their site has generally followed SEO best practice with considerable less 'spammy' links than the majority of their competitors yet the competitors don't seem to have been effected. I think it is a bit unusual that the site that has suck to Google's guidelines the best out of the major players within this market has been the one hit the hardest by this update!

If you can look into this and tell me if there is anything wrong with the site or if this if something wrong with the update I'd appreciate it
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Pelagic 10/29/10 11:34 AM
Hi NoPorkPies, if you would like to start your own specific thread, I can point a few things out for you that will be contributing to your issue, specifically that you are duplicating your own content and filtering this site out.
 
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Teachbyday 10/30/10 11:12 AM
Hi John,

I'm seeing the same exact thing with my site.

http://bit.ly/9IRy10

We provide high quality content and are a pretty trusted source for our niche.  But we woke up today to a trickle of referrals from big G. Every thing across the board is drop big time.

Can you please provide any insight? A 1000 Thanks.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight fighterjets 10/30/10 3:51 PM
@JohnMu

Hi John,

Hope you are well,

I have noticed a few of my websites dropped rankings on the 27th and 28th Oct i was not affected at all (In terms of rankings) by the may day update but i feel something has changed as sites that have very bad content in my niche are ranking above me.

My Url for one site: clearplasticplates.net and the main search term for the USA clear plastic plates and if you look at the rankings I was ranking 4th on the 26th October but dropped to the third page and sites above me that have no content what so ever like http://www.clearplasticplates.com/ which ranks 15th at the time of posting - thats a parked domain i think i feel to much weight is being given to a .com domain.

Can you please advise?

Thanks

Manjinder
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Teachbyday 10/31/10 6:29 AM
@JohnMu

Hi John,

I started a thread on my site:

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=22645df763532c47&hl=en

Can you please take a look.  There are number of keywords that we are now on 2nd or third page for, but we are clearly one of top 3 sites on the Internet for. Needless to say, we are all baffled here.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight thuisvergelijk 10/31/10 9:38 AM
our traffic is also dropped down since the end of october. we feel like a little boy standing in the corner at school without knowing the reason and without knowing how long standing there. dear google, i am your biggest fan, but dont forget that blogs, comparing sites, affiliates make the whole market bigger and so making you bigger. if you continue like this somebody will start a huge web hype to switch to other search engines (even Bing is possible!) i guess....
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight devzhanghl 11/1/10 2:04 AM
Hi, all

I am an author of shareware and freeware.  for about 3 years visitors can search my software names form google, the software homepage is on the 1st position. but from 21st Oct.  the pages is on the 5 or 6 pages.  I think is so abnormal.  I have help documents, software tips and articles on my site, how can it be lower quality than some useless download site pages.  but now search the software name, most of the useless pages is higher than the official software homepage.   Can anyone explain that?
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight celopereira 11/3/10 3:39 PM
Hi all,

I have 2 websites target to Brazil and both of then had around 2000 visitors/day and today (3rd Nov) my websites have ZERO visitors. Both sites simply desapeared from Google first page. Both are very bad ranked and I have no idea what happened.

I haven't changed anything on both sites. I only review the comments and approve them.

These kind of things just make me upset with Google because there is no reason for that. Everything was fine with my sites then suddenly everything is bad.

Anybody else had issues in November?
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight Teachbyday 11/3/10 5:03 PM
Tons of people are having issues.  I haven't run into anyone who has 4 or more sites and one was not affected badly on one of them.  There are a ton of conspiracy theories running wild here and all kinds of other forums.  

My honest take is that they are trying something out to see if makes for better results for users.  Which they should do, always try to improve.  How are they going to know if something works better, without trying it.  They have also done a ton of things to try to improve.  Some amazing things have come of it like when you can search for things just posted in the last 24 hours or get news based on geo-local.  They also had some botches like when they use to include tweets related to searches.  I remember searching for lawn mower parts this past summer and at the same time Bobby-Jo and Mike T. (people I have no idea who they are) tweets came up saying that they were going out to mow their lawn.  Most people couldn't stand tweets and they were gone.

They make changes based on their users reactions large scale. From hearing from searchers and webmasters both aren't to thrilled with the recent changes to plain search.  Many people are complaining about the extra-spammy sites that come up over the last two weeks.  I know I'm bothered by the sheer number of "This website Might Harm Your Computer" results I have seen lately.  Usually I might run into 1-2 of those a month.  I'm running into it like every 5-6 searches now.

So I'm sure there will be a change.  But, everyone loves the new local features. Older folks are bothered by the instant (as my dad says, it moves to fast), but information junkies like me love it. So they added an on/off button; everybody is happy.  I'm sure it takes a billion pounds of knowledge and data centers to organize the world's information. At times we need to be patient with them as they continue to make the web a better place.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight vincentvagabond 11/4/10 11:53 AM
Guys I also suffered the same problem with my blog http://techattitude.com . Coincidentally, I had made slight changes to my sitemap.xml by changing the priorities of the posts and the update frequencies and just a day after that, my traffic dropped enormously. I don't know what google is up to. But I found that the number of indexed pages in google for my site has increased. Please check out on your sites if that is the case. And the sites with high PR, ie. 5 or above aren't suffering at all... that's for sure as I've checked out for certain keywords that they used to rank higher for... they still retain the position.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight telinco 11/7/10 10:13 AM
We lost also 80% of our traffic on our site http://tinyurl.com/28m2lll since june 2 and we didn't recover any % of that drop yet. This i really frustrating, because we have worked hard and our site has unique content with happy users.

But what's even more frustrating, is seeing spammy competitors ranking high. It's just not fair and this proves the google system is not correct, no excuses for that.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight kellyman 11/7/10 2:18 PM
Well my sites the same, but like the advice or not, it like mine is sound advice, concentrate on your site, yes many sites dropped on that date, why nyou need to fell that Google owes you the answer as to why it happened it just did, get over it take the advice and fix your site.

I was told the same my site dropped on the 1st of this month, i have lost 80% of traffic and i am totally screwed as it was my only source of income, i too try to fight the answers, but the fact reamains my site needed work, that work i am doing, its gonnna take a bit of time but ill get there, hopfully my site will return.

I do hope you take notice and try to fix your site to get your rankings back, as to demanding an answer as to why it happened in the first place, well it aint going to happen
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight WendyPiersall 11/8/10 2:34 PM
@squibble - While I do think that sites got penalized on 10/22 for little original content, this simply doesn't apply to my site. Everything on my blog is written by me, all images are created by me. I write about family-friendly topics that are not profitable enough for spammers to pursue. I have tons of relevant inbound links, do not sell text links or do sponsored posts, and my site is crawler-friendly.

If I could do something to be more compliant with Google's guidelines, I would. But I honestly cannot find one thing that is in violation of their terms.

See www.fantasyjr.com
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight squibble 11/8/10 3:09 PM
I have responded on the thread you created.
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight kandw101 11/11/10 8:04 AM
Anyone that says Google serps are STILL the best are getting a 10% raise next year. Bing has a lot less spammy sites on first page. Unfortunetly, until people wake up, anyone with a website must try to contend with spammy serps and this new map c rap from Google!!
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight pottsypotts 11/24/10 11:33 AM
Like the above we too have seen the drop since end of Oct, looking at our google analytics we measure a 20% drop, our keywords have dropped down on the first page quite a few positions, looks like places have been given to Ebay,Amazon and shopzilla in our field.
One theory we had is the "big boys " were getting more weighting on the run up to Xmas ( this been a busy time in our industry)
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight jameks 12/8/10 1:53 PM
Are all you guys back to where you were?  I have a similar issue (but my site dropped on Sept 25, not October)

Here's my thread - http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=6dcd2428eb4fc691&hl=en
Re: Last week dramatic drop in Google SERPs overnight pottsypotts 12/14/10 6:18 AM
Jameks we are no where near back to where we were, things have got increasingly worse and have had our quietest Monday for visitors this year ( considering this time of year should be one of our busiest times)
Our analytics are now down 40%
We have an established retail website which has ranked well for 5 years so to see this drop is alarming to say the least.
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