What happened on Jun 14th?

19Jun11

For quite a while this blog has been getting around 250 readers a day. That suddenly changed on Jun 14th:

My first thought is that my search rankings have changed, and I read something not so long ago that Google was going to (once again) change how blogs appear in search rankings. I don’t do any special SEO stuff – frankly I’m not that bothered, but I guess I’ve benefited in the past from whatever WordPress.com does out of the box.

Let’s take a quick look at the day before:

As usual my post on the Kindle 3G, and whether Amazon would continue to offer ‘free’ internet by 3G sits in the top spot. The search engine terms bear this out:

No surprise there, if I Google ‘kindle 3g’ then my post comes just after the Shopping results – the #3 entry. But Google shows me what I want to see, it knows who I am. If I bring up Google in a virgin browser then that post isn’t in the first 10 pages – that’s what my previous visitors (now don’t) see.

The new world looks like this:

On this particular day the Kindle 3G piece is still on top (though in subsequent days it has dropped).

Looking at the search terms it’s easy to see what happened:

Now it seems that somebody has to search for ‘kindle 3g browsing’ just to get that post in their first page of results. More people came to the blog looking for new lids for their kitchen bins.

So… this blog fell off Google on Jun 14, or at least the most popular post did. I can see what happened, and there where warnings out there, but I’m unclear what really changed behind the scenes (and why). Please comment any ideas you might have.

 



5 Responses to “What happened on Jun 14th?”

  1. Posts fluctuate in Google Search rankings. My post about the memory palace technique (you can google it if you like with this terms), moves around the 20 first entries almost randomly. My post on best programming books, the same. You just have to get used to it, it is nothing personal from Google, it is just the way it is.

  2. There are a few comments over at Hacker News, mostly along the lines of too little data, and this happens all the time – get used to it.

    • Yes, just take it easy. Usually you’ll either regain Google visits for the same terms or will bring more visits with different terms. I’ve had drops of 200 visits per week, and then after a few more weeks I got them again. Take it easy!

  3. I must say i too have a wordpress blog. Dont know if this is just a coincidence but 14th June i saw a major drop in traffic from 1700 steady with weekend peaks. down to 1010 with a small weekend peak. So i checked 8 other of my blogs all which are self hosted all had similar drops on the same day. And are steady at these search rates. I know google are doing some pretty steep Algo changes at the moment so i guess only time will tell. But also this could be down to me placing all the blogs on a CDN.

  4. 5 pgaff

    The reason why this is down is they got rid of categories for the default blog search page. I used to use this as my main source of news, but now you can not browse multiple blogs easily across different topics like it was set up. I used to be able to do this and I am unable to access this now. If you hear anything else, please let me know, as I used to go to the blogs for news before it hits the headlines.


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