So after my recent posts weren’t appearing immediately in Google’s main web search, I thought I’d post a quick article just to test if my latest article would indeed appear in minutes as was the case up until the beginning of February 2008. Matt Cutts confirmed some time ago this is how Google was working these days.
It was a clear phenomenon, quite distinct from how Google has been treating this blog recently. Rankings not changed, traffic the same – it’s only the way Google is treating the blog ‘area’ that is/was different from 2 weeks ago.
I go into it in more depth in precious articles;
- Has Google Canned The Fresh Content Boost ‘Experiment’?
- Meet The Google Fresh Content Blog ‘Penalty’!
A few of my online friends tested on their own blog and only Jeff at search engine people seemed to be witnessing a similar phenomenon with a recent post.
Barry Schwartz at SEL commented;
“In my opinion, it is just the nature of blogs not being updated for a while and then Google stops crawling it as often”
….hmmm he might not have actually read the post here (as he linked to the Sphinn discussion and not this blog, the scoundrel!) but as he can see from looking at the dates I post on this blog has been very active the last month or so, so that is patently not the cause. I think I have posted 37 articles since January 1 2008.
Tim Nash recently reported all was well, so it certainly was not a widespread phenomenon – it seemed localised here with the only visible similarity being Jeff.
Ian offered some advice;
“I’m aware of a site that Google indexes every day and content appears in the SERPs within hours of posting… but for years Google takes a holiday from indexing the site for a couple of days once every month or two… see what happens over the next few days.”
…sounds intelligent advice, which this seo has taken.
This post will allow me to test the ‘minty freshness’ of Google, at least when it comes to this blog, and help me determine whether something is amiss either with Google or closer to home. It’s either go to be something amiss with my WP install or something do to with a change in how Google indexes this blog.
So what I have is a blog which up until recently saw posts immediately feature in Google. Now it takes hours usually, at the height of this phenomenon it took nearly 24 hours.
Here goes (I’ll edit this post with my analysis)…
- Google Web Index :(
- Google Blog Search :) – 9 Hours?
- Feedburner :) – Minutes
- Technorati :) – Minutes
This post was posted at [Mon, 11 Feb 2008 19:06:26]
- Update; 1/2 Hour Later Still no Google minty freshness and surprisingly not even in Google blogsearch :(
- Update; 1 Hour Later still not in Web Search or Blog search
- Update; 2 +1/2 Hours later Google still blissfully unaware of the page (apparently)
- Update; 3+1/2 Hours later still not in Google
- Update; 4 +1/2 Hours later still nowhere
- Sod’s law had to restart Apache – Outage for 1 hour damn it!
- Update; 5 +1/2 Hours later still not in Google
- Update; 6 +1/2 Hours later still no Google recognition
- so nearly 9 hours later not in Google
- Update; 20 Hours later still no appearance in Google’s web search
- Update; 2 days later…..nowhere
mmmm…. not exactly what I would call minty fresh indexing.
I called this a “fresh content penalty“. Perhaps it is simply a phenomenon, but when a change this great happens only affecting new content, with no loss of Google traffic or SERP rankings, it’s curious to say the least. I’ve checked all is well site-side and it seems it is.
It’s not a ‘penalty’ because it hasn’t happened to you yet, believe me, but it’s a major change in the way Google is working this blog. If this were a low authority seo news site, for instance, this blog would be scuppered in the serps at least. I see more authoritative sites like SEL and Sphinn constantly injecting new material into the serps, so I know it is not widespread, and would question if those sites would actually fail an “authority score” anyway.
Perhaps Google has taken a holiday from this site as Ian said and this is just a phenomenon I haven’t witnessed yet -perhaps something is wrong this server side – either way it’s worth examining for the next blog it happens to, especially as things are far from resolved.
Perhaps this site doesn’t meet some new “authority” status although when Google does rank the post a day later it’s usually top ten.