Google Updating Algorithm

It looks like there is some kind of Google Algorithm update going on. I am no longer ranked number one for the term, “make money online.” Depending on the Google server you’re on, I’m anywhere from the 12th to 50th spot (thanks to everyone who alerted me BTW).

It seems I’m not the only one affected by the latest change. Matt Jones at of Affiliate Programs and Internet Scams reports his site is experiencing Google changes as well.

I hadn’t been ranked for my main term ‘affiliate programs’ but I suddenly popped up on page 3 today! I have checked a few times today to make sure and sometimes my site is page 3, then if I check again a literally 1 minute later it will have disappeared. I guess they are still sorting the algorithm change.

Also I was sent reports that my PR dropped from 4 to 0, but the Google Toolbar still says 4 (and I don’t see why it would drop).

Strange goings on!

I can only assume the changes are designed to discount all the waves of review for linkback, technorati trains, alexa trains, etc. Google didn’t get to be the number one search engine by staying still. You should check the positions of the keywords you were after and see where they are now.

With the algorithm change, I’ve decided to put a stop to my review for linkback promotion. All reviews received to date will be posted, but I will no longer accept new reviews. I may bring the promotion back at a later date with some changes. However, I’m going to take a wait and see for now.

Not being ranked number one for make money online won’t make the drastic change in my traffic. The term sent me about 150 people a day. A nice amount, but very tiny compared to the over 11,000 that read this blog everyday.


111 thoughts on “Google Updating Algorithm”

  1. Was I one the first to alert u? ๐Ÿ˜› I am sure this is some temp. change with Google…You will be back at top with your keywords ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Kumiko says:

      I hope it’s not too temporary! I’ve moved up to no. 63 for ‘make money online’!

      1. One of my sites was disappeared for a couple of keywords…its back on top now :mrgreen: Hope same is with John…his blog will be back on top again ๐Ÿ˜Ž

        1. My site disappears for couple of days whenever I modify my title. I loose a lot of visitors when it happens, up to 400 or more per day.

      2. Nathan says:

        Ummm, John.

        have you done “site:http://www.johnchow.com” yet?

        Your home page isn’t indexed anymore ๐Ÿ™

        1. John Chow says:

          Yes and I know what happen now. Expect to see me back at page 1 in a few days. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

      3. Jack says:

        weird,
        you still have the first place here.

    2. Wahlau.NET says:

      nice find from India.

      I can’t find jc for “make money online” on page 1.

      This is pretty bad.

    3. I agree, this is probably just a limited minor set back. you’ll be back on top again John

    4. Aaron Cook says:

      Doubtful that it’s temporary. It was actually Google bombing and Google simply adjusted their algorithm to recognize that. They adjust this continually.

      As of January 25th of this year Google implemented a specific algorithm that minimizes Google bombs. That change finally removed the well-known “miserable failure” link to the White House from the front page.

      BTW John, I’d say to definitely continue with the reviews…just don’t require any specific anchor text to be used in them. That’s what Google notices and adjusts for.

      1. Garry Conn says:

        This same thing happened to me many months ago when I was marketing the keyword: Rolex Watches. I was listed number one for months! Then all of a sudden… not listed at all. Learning from that experience, I then started banking on marketing long-tail keywords rather than just one specific group of keywords.

        I noticed the affects of this change too… however, for the positive. My personal blog (my name links to it) suddenly appears on page 3 under my chosen keyword phrase I am marketing.

        My good friend George is now listed in third place for Make Money Online.

      2. SEO blog says:

        Aaron, I’m not sure what you consider Google bombing but this isn’t it. Google bombing is when you make a site rank for a term that doesn’t contain that keyword at all. The most famous example is of course Miserable Failure bringing up the white house website. In this case though, John has the phrase “make money” all over the site. Therefore, that’s not the issue in this case.

  2. Matt Jones says:

    I wonder how this will affect sponsored reviews like those from PayPerPost and Reviewme, could this be the end to their services?

    1. Bob says:

      I don’t think anything is sure yet.

    2. Thats a good question.

      The key I think is the relevancy of any topic we post about.

      Maybe this is the wakeup call for some.

      Quality and value.

      1. Marc says:

        Hard to tell so soon. I don’t have enough to data to get a feel for what’s going on yet.

        Early indicators for me though is that there’s no visible shift. They might just be further enforcing their Google bomb nerfing efforts. That would have a likely side effect of decreasing the value of identical backlinks which the sponsored programs have lots of. That would seem in line with the threats that Cutts has been issuing lately.

        Who knows. I’ll know where I stand in a few days.

      2. Ali says:

        I think a red flag was about to go up sometime or the other. I mean 700 link backs all from blogs with a huge amount of them having “make money online” as anchor texr would even put Microsoft’s algorithm on notice.

        I guess it was only a matter of time.

        1. Marc says:

          The key to this kind of campaign is to allow the bloggers to vary the link phrase. too many that are exactly identical are indeed an easy to spot red flag.

        2. I’ve been mixing my anchor text up using about three different but similar phrases. I based it on John’s model. I hope they bring some value for my desired keywords.

          1. it will bring value and good results over time as you add more content

      3. We need to ‘hear’ well the voice of this wake up call.

        For me, I remain unshakeable like mt. Zion, for my search terms. I am still #1 page 1 for The Gardener’s Daughter and La Hija del Jardinero. And, they are still bringing between 250 to 500 daily organic visitors to my blog.

        Let’s give Google a couple of more days before we begin any deep anaylis of the new trend.

    3. Ankur says:

      Is a linkback all that publishers want? They publicity and traffic is WAY MORE VALUABLE!

  3. Do you think it affect PR ranking? Maybe they will reset PR after the testing is finished.

    I just need my review(May 3) be up by then in case it does not affect PR ranking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Algorithm changes don’t affect PageRank. PageRank is calculated based on number and quality of links to a certain webpage. PageRank is only one part of the algorithm Google uses to rank webpages.

  4. Alex says:

    What happen?

  5. Ontora says:

    That’s really strange. One of my sites seems to have been positively affected (now ranks #3 for keyword). Other than that, I haven’t noticed any major rankings change.

    Although, traffic has seemed to have slowed down lately.

  6. Dj Flush says:

    WoW :O lol John you got enough Evil

    now its time for Google to get Evil ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Ali says:

      Like Google says, Don’t be Evil!

      They mean that for them mostly, but I think now it can be applied to us Internet folk as well.

      1. Ankur says:

        Hello, you think John’s Mind is not upto some new ๐Ÿ˜ˆ ?

        1. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ is all that is in John’s head.

  7. Entreprenuer says:

    I wouldn’t stop your review for link exchange program. It probably gets you more traffic than being ranked for Make Money Online. I’d stop forcing people to link back to you with the term “make money online” as that is probably what set off the penalties you’re now experiencing.

    1. Tyson says:

      Besides you said that make money online high ranking only drives 1.4% of your traffic.

      I wonder how much traffic is generated by the blogs that did a review for a linkback. I am sure they have more than one post linking to the Master of Evil

    2. Kumiko says:

      I agree. I don’t see a reason to stop the promotion, just change the rules to take out the “make money online” requirement. Exposure and name recognition can be just as good as a google ranking.

    3. I think so, too — the link exchange review program is a unique characteristic of your blog, John. You might want to change the rules up a bit, but not necessarily take it out altogether.

  8. Alex says:

    Come on, maybe is an internal error in Google. I hope they dont change the algorithm…

    1. Marc says:

      They are always changing their algorithm. It may not affect a particular site all the time, but there are always changes going on.

  9. It’s pretty amazing how quickly Google is able to adapt to this stuff. Knowing you, however, you’ll come up with a new system in no time!

    – Mike

    1. Marc says:

      Quickly? Google’s been battling this kind of SEO strategy for years and years. John’s given new incentive to help it along, but at the end of the day, it’s essentially Google bombing.

    2. Trust John, he would come up with new evil ways to keep the pace for the race โžก .

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  11. I was actually expecting this sort of thing… Google doesn’t like “google bombs” or other similar things where a ton of sites are linking to a certain site all using the same anchor text.

    I would suggest that if you reactivate the review link exchange that you give people a choice of maybe 3-5 anchor texts that people can use when linking back to your blog John. You might also want to spread the link love and let people link to random blog posts instead of the front page of your blog.

    I’ve mainly seen an increase in ranking on many of my sites in the last few days so it looks like the updated algorithm likes what I’m doing ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Marc says:

      I wouldn’t even limit it to 3-5. I’d leave it wide open with some vague instruction as to what you’d like the theme to be.

      Then again, this could be the result of reciprocal nerfing as well…

      1. Aaron Cook says:

        I agree Marc. The more natural the better. If there’s any pattern at all Google will eventually pick up on it, whether on their own, or from those who watchdog this sort of stuff and report it back to them.

  12. VORN says:

    Don’t kill your blog John ๐Ÿ˜ฎ !

  13. BlastYourAss.com says:

    My sites have been all over the place also. Definitely some Algo changes.

    Moe

    BlastYourAss.com
    “A Place to Make Money With No BS”

  14. Raj says:

    It’s not just PR and not just ranking on search results, the supplemental pages from my site have doubled ๐Ÿ˜ฏ and John pages from your site have also doubled in supplemental results ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    I think the algorithm is checking the number of backlinks for page/site and doing some drastic changes, shall know by tomorrow!

  15. Curses and I just posted my review about and hour ago. I wonder if I made the cut?

    I once read that if you rise to fast in a certain very populated keywords that you can get penalized in Google for it. 5-10 a day is good while 20,000 over night is bad.

  16. Interesting turn of events. Almost a month ago the same thing happened to my blog. I don’t have a clue what happened. I was in the top 10 results for a lot Aeroplan and Airmile, Nintendo DS Homebrew, and some photography searches as well. I had 150 uniques one day and the next I had 25. Not a single search engine result from Google.

    Interesting thing is that even though my traffic was cut by so much, because I diversified my revenue sources, I am only going to be off by about 10% to 15% this month. My traffic from RSS readers and the other search engines seem to click fairly consistently and I have some non-fluctuating sources like PayU2Blog and PayPerPost.

    I’m still trying to figure it out though. I’m still publishing as consistent as I can and will probably go back to submitting posts to article directories like I did just before Google decided to love me and leave me.

    1. Oh yeah…and just prior to the drop off in traffic from Google (like a week before), my PageRank went from 1 to 2.

  17. Patrix says:

    Although I never participated in your review-linkbacks (did link to couple of your posts though), I still thought you were getting plenty of inbound links for Google juice.

    As someone pointed out, it would be better if there are many inbound links to different parts of your blog (e.g. different posts) instead of just the homepage. I think google differentiates between blogroll links (typically to the homepage) and within-post links (preferably to specific content with relevant anchor text, title, and alt-text).

    Bottomline: content that brings back visitors and make them link to you always wins.

    To be honest, John I used to love your blog few months back for blogging tips and blog tweaks but lately I have been seeing lot of ‘Make Money Online’ lists and ReviewMe reviews which I almost always marked as read in my RSS feeder. I hope this change in Google algorithm brings back the old John Chow that I loved to read. Just my $0.02.

  18. Steven says:

    I would still like to see you do the blog reviews John. Although Google may have changed their way of conducting search, you should not steer away any potential traffic other blogs can pull in for you the same way you can send traffic to them by exchanging reviews.

  19. Matthew says:

    I actually jumped ranks on keywords… now on page2

    1. A lot of sites jumped since quite a few sank. Cause-and-effect, I guess.

      1. Matthew says:

        i suppose so, now we moved again, however we still are holding on page 2 for “more website traffic”

  20. Mike Panic says:

    Yea, some Google updating going on. My 4 month old blog went from PR0 to PR4 =D

    1. Good for you, Mike! These changes in algorithm certainly have their downs. But it’s been a cause for celebration for a lot of sites, too.

  21. -gary says:

    It’s affecting more than just blogs linking to each other. I run a forum that ranked high on a few of the keywords for the manufactuers products. Their site overtook me for the #1 spot for the first time in 5 years a week ago, and then they dropped back to #2.

    Some others that were high in the mix for years have fallen to the second page, while new entries with far less content (thousands of pages compared to my 1 million) have jumped to more prominent positions across the board. So much so, that they look almost look placed.

    Keywords that I ranked in the top 10 on have gone down to around 100, and my PR has gone from 4 to 2. All of this with nothing changing on my end and no subversive linking or any sort of advertising on my part.

  22. Sabo says:

    Iยดm back again with the keyphrase I use to market my website ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I do agree with John Chow putting his link promotion in stand by until he can figures it out how G. will play ball with this new change to the Algo.

  23. Larry says:

    This is interesting. I know that Google is trying to fight all link exchange or sales service (like Text Link Ads and similar) but such a change is scary. I need to check how my sites are doing after this change. I still wonder, what could it be, does Google know which links are worthless?

  24. Nocturnal says:

    Yeah I’m back to being number 1 for a certain keyword. A few weeks ago I dropped from being in the top 10 to like page 6 or something along those lines. I’m now back to the top spot. It is weird but good at the same time.

  25. Martin says:

    I think your ranking are appearing then dissapearing because you are searching on different data centers that have not been updated. They are changing the algo though, one of the main changes is clamping down on MFA (adsense) sites.

  26. Tobsy says:

    I’d say most people who look for informations how to make money online will find this blog anyway.

    Why not just change the anchor text on a monthly basis? “June is ‘Online Business Opportunities'” month, or something like that.

    Show Google that you’re universally admired *g*.

  27. I hate to say ‘I told you so’. I wrote a post about the potential dangers with this linking strategy. I also sent John and email and I left a comment in the spam thread. I though he didn’t read the message.

    If you want to learn more about what might be happening and what to do about it. read here

  28. Glen says:

    So you are going to let google decide the way you run your blog?

    I thought better of you mr chow ๐Ÿ™

    1. Alex Ion says:

      He can’t do anything.

      If Google would have been “member driven” it wouldn’t have been so successfully.

    2. Glen,

      Google is a lovable giant and not a Goliath, it’s better to befriend Google, and strike a balance with your audience.

      The many tips we KNOW about Google operations have helped many blogger to rise in the blogosphere.

      Quality Unique Content, remains King for our audience, which also include Google too.

    3. Wahlau.NET says:

      The big G could actually do evil thing in a larger scale compare to jc

      1. Considering they own half the internet, I agree ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  29. listikal says:

    I guess this is what makes it fun. whatever changes they make, they always seem to work, I still find what I want every single day.

  30. A great way to keep people guessing over the weekend.

  31. Wahlau.NET says:

    150/day for this key word may turn some into return visit. So, in the long term, it should bring your more visitor than the mentioned amount

  32. Thomson says:

    This Algo update might upset some of the bloggers calculations

    1. It already is, and if it doesn’t restore back to normal then it will definitely get some inter-press =P

  33. Sahil Gupta says:

    is it a minus thirty penalty?

  34. Katana says:

    I haven’t found any changes for keywords on all my sites. ๐Ÿ˜›

  35. Take a moment to ponder on these things, John — I’m sure you’ll come up with something even more brilliant.

  36. This is all really simple, read:

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/text-links-and-pagerank/

    Now look around the site. Google tells you they don’t like buying and selling of links for PR purposes/SE benefit. And a lot of you bloggers just make it too easy for them since you talk about it, advertise it, flaunt it. Not too bright. That’s asking to get nailed by Google so when it happens, don’t be surprised.

    Also when you get links in, you don’t get them all in with the same text, that’s newbie SEO. You vary it.

    Mistakes galore here.

  37. Tony says:

    Its not actually Google Bombing because John uses the terms on his site. Google Bombing is making a site rank for a phrase that doesn’t normal exit on the site in question “Miserable Failure” was one of the examples. What it is is reciprocal linking which google have been marking down for about the last year.

    1. I didn’t know that’s what it meant. All the while I thought it was the abuse of SEO in “any” way.

  38. Mohammad Nizam says:

    Why do we have to resort to using links based on keywords like “make money online” to be number one on the results page?

    There’s a more legal method.

    Just make sure you have lots of contents on Make Money Online.

    So john, so you have to keep posting entries mostly with the keywords “make money online”. Then, you’ll be number one again.

    One suggestion. Just have something like.

    Make Money Online Step XX:
    make sure your entry has the correct word density for make money online.

    Afterall, if you search for “click here” you’ll end up with Adobe as number one. It’s ridiculous, but hey, that’s their algorithm.

    I got a site with a particular string of profitable keywords for some products I am selling online. It’s doing pretty well.

    Afterall john, you have PR6. That’s good. Just add more relevant content about making money online. That should help.

    All the best! Just sharing some SEO stuff I found to work wonderfully.

    1. I think John got his PR6 status because of all the strategies he’s implemented all this time. Of course, now he has to reevaluate his review-John-Chow-dot-com linking strategy, but he certainly reaped what he sowed from that.

  39. I’ll still be coming here and reading your site!

    1. There’s no stopping how big John’s blog is getting through time. Hiccups are inevitable…so is success for geniuses like John here.

  40. Tychus says:

    I can confirm this situation. Lot of webs where I work for, are underated on google engine. Maybe is some geolocation upgrade?

  41. A couple of my sites also lost their status near the top of their respective keywords.. They better be back soon.. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  42. Eric says:

    John posted a pagerank tool that would go out to all the different google datacenters and get your pagerank (so you could see if it was in the middle of an update). That page has stopped working for me (and I don’t have the link even now…), does anyone have a better one?

    Oh, and my site has gotten a small bump, probably 10-15% in organic google traffic, higher up on a lot of terms. I like it :).

  43. The one time I finally need to do a review, John isn’t doin’ them anymore ๐Ÿ™„ . Time to look else where in the blogosphere.

  44. SEO blog says:

    It might have to do with the text links you’re selling John. If the rankings don’t jump back soon you might consider taking those off. Of course you have to weigh how much the rankings are worth to you though.

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