Google Delivers Knockout Blow

by updated 2011/11/05

This week’s search is no search at all.  I was surprised when looking at searches this week to see the list very short.  I was puzzled since this site has always been very good in Google search results. About 70% of visitors here have always come through the Google search engine. Often pages here are at the top of the Google search results. No more.

On October 13 Google did some sort of update to their search engine and this site’s Google traffic dropped 70% overnight.  All other traffic sources stayed the same.  Frustrating for sure but nothing that can be done about it.  Can you imagine if you made your living from a website and Google did this to it?  I will continue to post interesting searches as I find them.  But with 300 a week rather than 1,000 the pickings are a bit slimmer.  Below is the graph of Google search visitors that shows the drop during the week of October 13th.


Nice huh?

Will Sig
1 Binky

Usually Google is trying to make its searches more relevant, but their updates often have unexpected side effects. I know my websites have gone up and down in relevancy with some of their updates. When you provide good content, there’s not much you can do but sit back and wait for the next update to fix things. It certainly can be very frustrating, though.
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2 Will

I think I may have a clue as to why this happened and it might be my fault. I had a problem with dates displaying formatted the way I wanted on old posts. I wanted dates removed from very old posts because an old date is a spam attractor. When I could not get it working the way I wanted, I got lazy and just removed all the dates. Turns out having dated content is very important to Google. I spent the time tonight to fix it like I should have a month ago. We will see if it eventually makes a difference.

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3 Robin Henderson

I’ve noticed this too on my blog. No idea what they’re up to.
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4 Tony McGurk

Strange indeed. I always look forward to some of the strange search results you get Will
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5 Will

I spent a bunch of time to fix the dates issue and install a broken link checker that will allow me to get rid of broken links. I also spent a couple of hours in my Google Webmaster Tools account fixing a bunch of things there. Now I just hope once Google crawls the site a few times they like the changes enough to give me back some of the search engine traffic I lost.

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6 Steve

Hi Will,
My impression is that google is trying to get rid of some of the GARBAGE in their listings, but that means they’re throwing out a lot of babies with the bathwater. I wish them luck, but it seems like I’m having a harder time finding quality results when I search for stuff, which means they’re heading in the wrong direction. That said, I recognize what a challenge it must be for them (since there are a lot of lazy and/or deceptive people intentionally creating garbage or copying and re-writing other people stuff and then trying to trick google into thinking it is quality… but enough of my rant).
It’s hard to believe that removing dates would make such a drastic impact, but let us know if your traffic returns to “normal”. I hope it is something that you accidentally did, and that you aren’t simply another bathwater baby. :)
Good luck! Steve
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7 sandraw2580

I have the same trouble here as well. And search results doesn’t give me what I’m looking for.. Maybe they’re still trying to tweak the changes they made?
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