Google Algo Watch

by seoibiza on 17, July, 2009

Anybody who watches Google a lot, across a lot of different keyword SERPs (SEOs really, isnt it, who else would..?)  can’t have failed to notice almost total devastation in some SERPs lately, and especially so the UK SERP where the general feeling is of poor quality results.

Our own test site has seen some dramatic drops in places over the last few weeks  and on both .com and .co.uk we’ve observed a gradual re-alignment of the stronger UK results back down to .com  levels at their new (reduced) positions (after we changed GEO targeting to be strongest in the UK back in December)

For a while there we had first page entries for “SEO services”, “SEO web Design” and a second page for just “SEO” on Google.co.uk, but these have all faded away again to similar levels as the reduced .com rankings now, having lasted like that for some 4 months.

As always we cant draw any conclusions from our own site because we have too much going on at once, but some of the other sites we monitor have shown some definite and interesting trends which we’ll come back to in a future post when we’ve studied the results properly.

The usual long running SERP changes thread on WMW is as busy as you ever see it and the general consensus seems to be that Google are mid-rollout of something big again, back like the “Halloween update” scenario we happened to be observing in detail last year.

There were also quite a few reports of random, seeming-to-be penalties, one of which affected a friends site for no reason anyone could see, as below..

These are often observed as Google starts it’s data set manipulations and button twisting, and usually disappear towards the end of the process. Well coincidentally or not, as randomly as it appeared, this particular filter lifted again yesterday and the site is back to normal again.

Nothing had been done to it, before, during or since the filter was observed.

We’ve also been observing two quite different data sets for the last day or so,  which is  quite easy for us to watch because one of them has dropped a particular page of ours from the results, which gives us a #1 or #6 reading depending on the dataset / datacenter.

There’s also a lot of postulation on the various effects of the arrival of Vinces change in the UK SERP and some good brand SERP analysis by Greenlight here

And it’s Friday afternoon, so it’s the start of the usual Weekend Index behaviour anyway, but with all this Google-churning going on as well,  on looking now you sometimes hardly even get the same result twice.

Hold on to your hats ladies, we think this weekend is going to be a bumpy ride. Better still, switch the damn PC off, head off to the beach, and come back Monday when it’s all sorted.

SEO Ibiza are off to the beach.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul B 18, July, 2009 at 12:46 am

Yeah Mark over at Digerati marketing was saying something similar only he was mainly refering to navigational domains which ive seen some big changes for too. At the same time my long tail sites are pretty stable. Is this only affecting bigger sites?

Paul

seoibiza 18, July, 2009 at 1:06 am

Hi Paul

actually our biggest client site has weathered the storm relatively well, meaning average +/- 5 up to 15 in some longer tail stuff, stable on some of the big kws and carnage on just a few of the big ones.

thats about 30k pages, but acquiring good natural links daily probably helps flatten out their rollercoaster ride a bit.

and no, several smaller sites have been affected, but none across the board really, at first look it seems very kw specific.

Connecticut Web Design 20, July, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Paul/seobiza
What is the definition of a long tail site? is it a site rich in contect with low PR?

seoibiza 22, July, 2009 at 8:01 pm

hello lab860.

not entirely sure what Paul means by that, either large sites with lots of longtail landing pages or a niche site aimed at specific longtail kws.

could be either really

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