Google SERPs are Worse Than Before

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  • SEO
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Am I the only one that thinks Google is starting to lose sight (and control) of their search results? I have seen so many horse-sh... er bad sites coming back in the results since the last update.

A few of my sites were hit a little hard (perhaps rightfully so on 1 or 2 of them that I have let slide), but one of my sites that took a hit is regularly updated with top-notch, quality content and it's slipped to page 6; there are 30+ sites of crap now resting before me - total MFA garbage... lame. There are no bad links pointing at my site either. I don't get it.

Here's a great example a friend pointed out: Do a search for the term, "dumb debt" - for me, the site dumbdebt (dot) com is in position 3... Take a look at all that great content... It's been like that for a month now.

So what gives? I don't claim that Google has an easy task before them, I just think they were doing a better job before this last update. :confused:
#google #serps #worse
  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    The kw is pretty low competition and the domain is 100% EMD. Google is sometimes a bit slow with refreshing the results so that could explain it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mbelmont
    I agree completely, and I think there's many explanations...

    1) Aggressive anti-spam tactics that Google is using in highly competitive niches (IM, debt/mortgages, insurance, dating, etc) has wiped out some legitimate high-quality sites

    2) Devaluation of domain name matching search terms (ie. search for "farmer joe" may now rank "farmerjoe.com" at #8 because the matching keywords in domain name have less value than they used to, reducing the relevance of search results in many cases).

    3) Personalization. With Google using search history, location, social signals, IP range, and 70+ other factors to personalize your search results, you're bound to get some weird stuff in the SERPs. Hopefully this will be ironed out over time or we'll have the option to turn it off.
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    • Profile picture of the author brainfreeze0
      Originally Posted by mbelmont View Post


      2) Devaluation of domain name matching search terms (ie. search for "farmer joe" may now rank "farmerjoe.com" at #8 because the matching keywords in domain name have less value than they used to, reducing the relevance of search results in many cases).
      This is the first I've heard of this and it really makes no sense to me why Google would add this as a factor with Penguin. Google's always been pretty adament about their reliance on webmasters to use good white hat SEO techniques to help in delivering the most relevant search results. I completely understand their back link factors as that was an attempt to manipulate the results based on campaigns that relied on artificially inflating a sites worth, but a main keyword in the domain helps to focus the relevance of the sites entire theme in the same way they tell us to focus the entire theme of a particular page by the main keyword in the title tag.

      I'd still imagine domain keyword structure still has some SEO juice, if not as much as before, but I think they should have left that aspect out of Penguin as it really doesn't fit as well with their other implementations which had justifiable reasoning behind them.
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  • Profile picture of the author sham2
    i guess it could be due to 2 factor raised by mbelmont. it could be due to domain name.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnsander1
    Now it is very hard to get good ranking position in SERP after google and penguin update because it is very strict now regarding link-building as well as content.
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    • Profile picture of the author mbelmont
      Originally Posted by johnsander1 View Post

      Now it is very hard to get good ranking position in SERP after google and penguin update because it is very strict now regarding link-building as well as content.
      Nonsense. It's just harder to rank well using gray/black hat tactics. If you have a high-quality website with lots of unique content, a quality & diverse backlink profile, and strong social signals, you'll still rank well.

      If anything, I'd say it's easier to rank well now by using white hat tactics aimed at sustainable long-term success.

      (Sorry to anyone who relied on forum profile spam to fill out their backlink profile... but did you really think Google was never going to catch on to that sort of tactic??)
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      • Profile picture of the author Linkology
        Originally Posted by mbelmont View Post

        Nonsense. It's just harder to rank well using gray/black hat tactics. If you have a high-quality website with lots of unique content, a quality & diverse backlink profile, and strong social signals, you'll still rank well.
        Exactly.

        People are actually forced to do some work now instead of creating 25,000 push-button garbage backlinks at one time, spamming blogs, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author goosefrabah
      Originally Posted by johnsander1 View Post

      Now it is very hard to get good ranking position in SERP after google and penguin update because it is very strict now regarding link-building as well as content.
      It just takes a little more leg work. If you do things right and don't rely on overnight links, you will be okay.
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  • Profile picture of the author jennifermark81
    EMDs are losing value - thts true, I work as a SEO exec in a company that has hundreds of clients with many spending over $10k per month with the company on SEO and we have been seeing the trend go towards quality sites vs new sites with EMD.

    Its best to focus on building good quality sites than cranking 100s of new sites every month.
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  • Profile picture of the author rajeevsh
    Well, yes, in many markets, they are indeed worse than what they were. However, after the last Penguin refresh, I saw quite a few get better so I'm hopeful that it is going to get better over time.

    As far as ranking goes, now, it's no exact science (as compared to, say, a few months ago). What works for one market may not work for another; what works for one site may not work for another.
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  • Profile picture of the author jfambrini
    Lot of my sites got creamed too and low quality sites took their place but it gave me an opportunity to regroup and fix the sites. My sites dominated the SERPs for 10 years so it was good going and it hurts to be thrown on page 10 but rebuilding one site at a time may take time but it is good in the long term. I don't have to be afraid of upcoming Google updates.
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  • Profile picture of the author jfambrini
    Originally Posted by Extreme DoFollow View Post

    It has been known for quite a while now that G was going to tune down the power of the EMD. I personally never relied on them for this reason as it was always quite obvious that they had slightly too much power and this affected results adversely. However, the recent decline in the quality of search results has been largely attributable to the Penguin update. Unfortunately, until/unless G fixes this, it will be like this for the foreseeable future.
    Yeah my site Toyota Hilux Vigo 2013 2012 New 2011 2010 2009 2008 Minor Change Toyota Vigo Thailand Toyota Fortuner Nissan Navara 4x4 Pickup Truck Dealer Exporter SUV Thailand Australia NZ UK Dubai Dealer is doing well on all searches but cannot move above #7 on searches related to Toyota Hilux Vigo no matter what I try. Now I realize that it has to do with EMD devaluation. Yahoo and Bing still value EMDs though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Samung19
    Good quality link building is still working, just dont spam.
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