Google SERP Update, September 2008- Google Focuses on Fresh & Updated Pages!

Sep 4, 2008 | 2,294 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Via Webmaster World, numerous Webmasters have reported different observations in Google SERPS (search engine result page), thus marking the beginning of Google SERP update for the month of September 2008.

It seems that, this time around, Google is focusing entirely on fresh pages, and is getting rid of the old and outdated pages. It has also been reported that, Google might also be paying special attention to artificial linking versus natural linking schemes.

Here are some excerpts from the thread at Webmaster World:

“I think Google is weeding old or stagnant pages out of the index to make way for new pages, it is the only way they can keep up with the internet IMO. I recently did a search for a topic from 2002 and it was like going back into the stone ages in search. Everything now is what is happening today, not years ago. I don't know what all your sites are about but even on the top sites it seems they weed the pages.

For example I ran a search for an electronics product from 2000, only 8 years ago. You can barely find traces of it in the sites I searched via Google. Now do the same search from a product from today, say the iphone. There is probably a billion pages on that. Now I am not saying they are doing things wrong, but with the millions of pages added every day to the internet they have to delete or else run out of space perhaps. I just wish they had the ability to search the archives easily for the topics or products that are "old". Right now you can do that with Google news but not Google search.

Anyway my point is I think Google looks at a site and compares all the content, then keeps some of the most recent content in the results including the higher PR stuff and puts the older stuff in supplemental. That is only a guess but seems to be what is happening.

Since the older stuff I looked for was probably dropped into the deepest parts of these sites I couldn't find it with Google anymore.

Maybe though this is the way the internet search will be, you use if for todays content only. If they had to archive all our sites I don't think it is possible, not with all the pages being added.”

“Picking up on the reciprocal linking – we need to broaden on this.

Why does google frown upon excessive reciprocal linking?
Because the intention to build links artificially to get higher search results. If one where to be able to discriminate between natural (NL) and artificial linking (AL) the difference would be "artificial (self promoting) links" (AL) within these you could include reciprocal links, but also bought links, link triangles, and "artificial (self promoting) linking themes" (ALT)

Google has been collecting and using links and back link profiles as a major part of the algo for years now, and it does have obviously flaws.

I expect the changes we are seeing now is google building a bigger picture of back link profiles, in particular artificial (self promoting) linking themes. If you take the classic 3 way link triangle and expand on this. It all comes down to how much data is google prepared to collect and analyze to understand the difference between NL and AL. My bet is this is getting a lot of attention. If for instance unrelated websites which do not link share major similarities in their back link profile then at best these links will be discounted, as worst the site will be downranked.

I think people who have spent the last few years concentrating on building links as their main strategy, no doubt a large percentage of white hats included, as going to start noticing sites drop if the majority of the links are being marked as artificial.”

“If for instance unrelated websites which do not link share major similarities in their back link profile then at best these links will be discounted, as worst the site will be downranked.

It's difficult to know when Google is going to discount or penalize. It made more sense for it to discount internal link spam, because it had little if any negative impact on user experience, the #1 issue for Google; yet it chose to hit sites who did that with an extreme -950 penalty. I don't know if Matt Cutts has ever stated Google's philosophy on ignoring v. penalizing. (There may in fact be no set policy.)

I think people who have spent the last few years concentrating on building links as their main strategy, no doubt a large percentage of white hats included, are going to start noticing sites drop if the majority of the links are being marked as artificial.

I agree with the earlier comment that resources are an issue for Google that is never going to go away. How much data it can store from old pages and "site history" may increase or decrease because of how big the internet is getting.

But at the same time, Google employees have to do something to stay busy, and since linking is the foundation of its algo, you would expect them to focus on more advanced discernment of crooked v. legitimate links.

Still, how easy is it ever going to be for Google to figure out all legit links v. bogus ones? After a certain point, there's just not enough data for humans or algos to figure it out conclusively.

I may be seeing a shift by Google to more emphasis on sites with extra content. Cutts like everyone else says content is king. Tons of links to site or pages with little content is a tougher sell now.”

“Anyone seeing something serious happening today? We are down 30% since July and today is showing another 20-25% drop…”

“one of my sites seeing nearly 25 % drop from august 27th ? what would be the reason”

“we are also seeing (over the past week since I've noted it), that our first page rankings are bobbing & weaving from 4th to 10th to 6th to 9th and back and forth multiple times per day…. We are also seeing the database results nearly doubling from 10 million to 20 million in the term searched… what would that be an indicator of ?

any thoughts on what this update might be about and when the "word on the street" is that it will be completed ?”

“I'm seeing strange things too therefore I have been checking all my important keyword phrases etc in Google.com for the past week or so using a proxy and they're still ranking #1 insofar as I can tell.

Having said that I've noticed that in Google.co.uk (the web) and (pages from the UK) that some of those very same pages (they are hosted in the UK but mostly with .coms) have been pushed down 2>3>4 places.

Furthermore each browser I am trying is displaying different results, some have the top couple of places the same but others are very strange with, I have to say, totally useless results ranking at the top.

As a searcher/user I certainly would not be happy with these results.

Altogether, IMHO, things are not very satisfactory with the SERPs all round for my sites, and I am gathering, others too.”

4.thumbnail Google SERP Update, September 2008  Google Focuses on Fresh & Updated Pages!

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Google SERP Update, September 2008  Google Focuses on Fresh & Updated Pages!
4.thumbnail Google SERP Update, September 2008  Google Focuses on Fresh & Updated Pages!