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Monday, October 15th, 2012

Google EMD Update

For those of you who haven’t heard, on Sept 28, Google unrolled what is being called the Google EMD Update. EMD stands for Exact Match Domain. This update focuses on “low-quality” exact match domains. Matt Cutts tweeted about this as it was happening.Google EMD Update (Sept 28, 2012)

For most, this update will go unnoticed, but for 0.6% of searches, we have seen a change. This sounds like a small number but when you consider that as of August 2012 Google was serving results on average for around 100 billion queries a month – as a result this measly 0.6% impacts about 600 million monthly queries. Read more…

Today, Matt Cutts posted a new Google Webmaster Video addressing (finally!) the issues surrounding the many changes in long tail search engine results. Here is the video:

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To recap, the Mayday update (as most are calling it) was a purposeful and permanent shift in how Google determines which sites should be ranked under long tail searches (i.e. short tail = “victoria bc hotel“, and long tail = “victoria bc pet friendly hotel“). According to Matt, the changes are not based on specific offending websites but a quality enhancement to the entire Google algorithm with the most affect being on long tail rankings. Read more…

Well it’s official. Google is now incorporating site load speed into its ranking algorithm according to a Webmaster Central Blog post earlier this morning.

There has been chatter about this addition being in the works for some time, and if you ask me, its one that will significantly help to improve the overall quality of search results and end user experience. Read more…

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Yahoo! Applies Search Engine Update

Just under a couple of hours ago Yahoo! announced a “Weather Report”, which, in Yahoo terms means that their search results are getting revamped (if only slightly). Apparently the update began on Sunday and is expected to be completed by Wednesday morning. There isn’t much to this notice other than it is being applied, but it is worth knowing about.

Remember not to panic if you see your Yahoo rankings fluctuate over the next couple of days. Search engine updates like this tend to produce a ranking shuffle and it is useless to act on any changes until the dust settles.

I will keep you up to date if any of the changes have a measurable impact.

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Future Evolution of Search

The search engine world never rests. As online marketing professionals discover new ways to obtain top rankings the algorithms evolve right along side. There are two primary reasons behind the updating of ranking algorithms. To increase the quality and relevancy of the results, and to decrease the many page of online spam. Read more…

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Are Google SERPs Entirely Organic?

Google has made another alteration the Google Help Center, this time removing the assurance that Google’s results are completely automated. The change was first noted by Phillip Lenssen in his Google Blogoscope.

As recently as February 2, the document outlining Google’s Principles stated, ” The order and contents of Google search results are completely automated. No one hand picks a particular result for a given search query, nor does Google ever insert jokes or send messages by changing the order of results. Read more…

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Google's BigDaddy Data Center

Anyone want a quick glance at a small piece of the future? Not only can you see what will soon be there to be seen, if you don’t like what you see there, you can file a complaint.

Google is asking for feedback on one of its main testing data centers, BigDaddy. Bigdaddy is now visible at two IPs: and In a blog posting on January 4, Google’s chief search engineer Matt Cutts, confirmed the existence and role of the BigDaddy data center and asked for webmaster feedback.

“We’d like to get general quality feedback. For example, this data center lays the groundwork for better canonicalization, although most of that will follow down the road. But some improvements are already visible with site: searches.” Read more…

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Algo Insurance?

A not so funny thread over at the Digital Point forums asks webmasters to estimate how much money they are losing due to the Jagger update. Some webmasters are claiming to be losing up to $9000 per month. Others claim to have seen their traffic decline by up to 85% over the past week.

One post on the fourth page asks if anyone offers Google upate insurance. Why didn’t we think of that?

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Google's Jagger Update Contines

We’ve had quite the week over the past seven days, eh?

Whenever Google implements an algorithm update, the search engine optimization sector gets inundated with phone calls from clients questioning why their site placements took a sudden dive. Read more…

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

Google Jagger Update

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a fairly significant update happening at Google right now. As with all other major updates, Brett Tabke from WebmasterWorld has given it a name, Jagger.

Jagger is keeping true to previous Google updates and is wreaking havoc on the nerves of many webmasters, SEOs and small businesses who’s placements seem to have vanished overnight. Starting sometime over the weekend, Google started showing results that looked somewhat different from the results shown earlier.

The changes actually started with a string of back-link updates that began in early September and continued into the first week of October. Two weeks later, the information Google has in regards to links directed towards a specific website is likely different than the information it had two months ago. That is likely the cause of immediate changes to the SERPS.

The most important advice in dealing with any type of Jagger is simple; don’t panic.

Like temporary hearing loss, effects suffered by a visit of the Jagger Update will likely dissipate over time. What you are experiencing right now is the flash of the live-time update show in which everything is bigger (like the big-boxes who dominate the rankings right now), and badder (like the spam that rises to the surface before sinking).

Google updates happen in phases and tend to take a few weeks to fully work themselves out. If your website has suddenly lost rankings for no reason whatsoever, there is likely a simple explanation. It tends to happen during updates. More often than not, the site moves itself back up again as it and its document histories are reweighed against sites with similarly themed content.

During the infamous Florida Update , the StepForth site dropped to the mid 100’s and then to the 1000’s before bobbing back up to the #6 spot it holds today.

That’s not to say a sudden loss of ranking is ok by any stretch. If your site loses its placement overnight, there might be a problem it shares with other sites that lost placements at the same time.

According to Google Engineer Matt Cutts , the changes stem from a series of back-link updates starting in early September. Obviously, that’s where we are looking when investigating client sites that have been adversely affected by this phase of the update. We have noticed that some clients sharing similar outbound link pages have dropped in rankings. While stopping short of advising clients to immediately remove those pages, we are looking very closely at the link-paths established by our clients to try to judge how Google is looking at those links.

We hope to have concrete information to print in our blog in coming days but it will take a while to really see how Jagger is going to play out. In the meantime, we will have advice for our clients in coming days.