Published on July 27, 2012
A Secret Algo Project Launch Dr. Peter J. Meyers Rogue Scientist SEOmoz @dr_pete
Should’ve asked this guy…
DR. PETE LUVS THE KITTEHS
What do we know? 20 named updates (2003-2012)
“516 changes” in 2010
Schmidt’s sworn testimony8,157 side-by-side experiments + 2,800 click evaluations = 516 changes http://cnet.co/IVtdGG
What do we know?8 events tracked = 1.6% of 516 changes, 0.28% of 2,800 tests
What Google says VS What we observe
I. What Google Says
Clues from patents - http://bit.ly/IK1gRx
Spokespeople & socialOfficial accounts & staff (Matt Cutts, Pierre Far, etc.)
Official blog(s) - http://insidesearch.blogspot.com
Search quality highlights (starting Nov. 2011)
2012 Google “Highlights”Jan – 17*Feb – 40 198 reportedMarApr – 50 – 52 = 475 projectedMay – 39 *Late 2011 and January 2012 were probably under-reported
2012 updates by type“Minor” updates include spell-check, speed, snippets, sitelinks…
What’s in a name?Panda = 16 updates (3 major, 13 minor) over 17 months
How minor is “minor”?(1) Tweaks to handling of anchor text. [launch codename "PC"] This month we turned off a classifier related to anchor text (the visible text appearing in links). Our experimental data suggested that other methods of anchor processing had greater success, so turning off this component made our scoring cleaner and more robust.(2) Keyword stuffing classifier improvement. [project codename "Spam"] We have classifiers designed to detect when a website is keyword stuffing. This change made the keyword stuffing classifier better. (1) “Minor” highlight from March, (2) Part of the “Penguin” update
II. What We Observe
Webmaster “chatter” - http://www.webmasterworld.com
Localization and personalization are changing the game
Cat-and-mouse game - http://bit.ly/JnXRs5
What’s normal? What’s abnormal?
Project: Algo Alert Top 10 rankings 1,000 keywords* 24 hours*De-localized & sampled across 5 volume “bins”
SERP “Deltas” Delta100 = +0 if no change +|#| if ranking moves +10 if ranking drops Delta10 = Sqrt(Delta100)Don’t forget Delta10S, Delta55, Delta55X30, Delta55X7 (DeltaX), and DeltaL
III. Algo Alert Findings
Sunny day in Googletown Saturday, May 12th – Delta100 = 3.82
There’s a storm brewin’!Tuesday, April 24th (“Penguin”) – Delta100 = 14.31
The April 16th glitchNote: Y-axis is scaled to emphasize differences
The “Penguin” update Highest Delta10 on record (3.32) at the time
The Glitch vs. The Penguin Scaled to match Penguin graph
What goes up…Total rankings that moved up vs. down (April 20-28)
The Penguin shuffle 2 Big Losers 8 Small Winners
The “Bigfoot” update**Google has not acknowledged the existence of Bigfoot
Bigfoot’s footprintDomain diversity dropped – Multiple domains got 2+ rankings
Overall domain diversity Domain diversity dropped 2.6% from 6/4 to 6/5
Long-term domain diversityGradual decline with 2 large drops: (1) Penguin & (2) “Bigfoot”
Big 5 dominate rankings 10.7% of top 10 results are from 5 domainsBig 5 = Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter (June 2012)
The Panda 3.7 updateMulti-day rollout – 3 consecutive days topped Penguin
Late-June mystery update On par with Panda 3.7 – Google says “no update”
Is this just “bounce”?Cumulative Delta10s for April 8 vs. April 9-18
Visualizing ranking shift A “quiet” keyword – 10 URLs over 10 days
Typical shift patternAn average keyword – 13 URLs over 10 days
Rapid & permanent shiftA highly volatile keyword – 37 URLs over 10 days
What’s a normal day? 79.7% of SERPs change every 24 hours1,000 SERPs over 2 months (May + June 2012)
Google’s busiest day?There’s a reason we don’t like Mondays (May + June 2012)
Highest-flux keywords?Keywords split across 5 “bins” (May + June 2012)
Top recorded Delta10sMany major “events” go unnoticed or unnamed
The Panda 3.9 update Similar to Panda 3.5 – Probably data-only
IV. Introducing MozCast
Should we chase the algorithm?
“I’ll be back-links.”
Dr. Peter J. MeyersYour Fluffy Naptime Panda Pal SEOmoz @dr_pete
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