Change in Google Results?

I’ve lost my mojo!

I used to tell people the easiest way to find me was to Google search “Web Strategy”, or even search for “Jeremiah”. In the last few days, I’ve noticed that I’ve fallen off the search results. What’s interesting is that my old blog that I’ve not updated in 1.5 years on blogspot (a Google property) scores high in the results, and this blog on wordpress (which I update daily) isn’t even on the first page.

Strangely, I still have many incoming links, increased traffic (according to Google analytics) and I’ve not changed my posting behavior. I certainly don’t do any black hat (or even white hat) SEO, what you see is what you get. I know things have been only going up for this blog as according to compete.com I get more visitors than Gartner.com.

I’ve been looking for answers, and some of my Google friends directed me to Matt’s blog, which I’ve been reading Matt Cutts blog (he’s the top blogger at Google, focused on search) but I’m not sure quite sure what to do. The other thought is that everyone else has just become more relevant than me. Thoughts?

  • Just remember: we still love you, no matter where you rank in Google.

  • José Luis

    Hi,

    i’m really not sure, but i’ve read that many many blogers got a drop on google “relevancy” (to name it somehow) because of “paid links” and “pay per post”.

    Maybe, this is related to that and the fact that many of your posts are 1) being also posted on Forrester’s blogs and 2) you regularly mention “Forrester” in your posts.

    While you always disclose you work for Forrester, maybe the search engine is thinking you are paid for it (which is in part true) AND your blog is not under Forrester’s domain.

    Again, i’m not really sure of this, but seems possible…

  • Hi Jeremiah – I done a series of posts about this including my own SEO blog which seems to get indexed by Google literally within 5 minutes (It’s on Blogger). We’ve watched client rankings sour and others take a deep-six in the past three weeks. My best guess is ‘trust factor’ not page rank is what is nailing a lot of people here and I doubt Google is done because there are simply too many relevant websites that literally fell out. Believe it or not, although I have seen you around, I found this piece on BlogPulse.com ??!!

  • Your PageRank is 5…was it higher before?

  • @ sean ness at one time it was a 7

    That’s pretty amazing as my Technorati rank is in the 600s (lower the better).

  • @ Jose. I doubt it’s because I mention my employer, I always mention my employer so before that was PodTech and before that Hitachi. But I mention other companies FAR more often —like Facebook, MySpace which I cover as an Analyst.

    Here’s a list of my peers (top marketing bloggers) you can see my page rank is 6, and most of peers are at that level too –or better.

    http://adage.com/power150/

  • This also happened to me – then a few days later i was back in the top 5. I dunno why it happens but i wouldn’t worry about it too much (i did and it ended up pointless… i even emailed then).

    Give it a week.

  • Even more reason to use a blogger blog.

  • it really blows. i used to be on the first page of james. then the google dance waltzed me right off the toprankings. i think Google wants to unrank bloggers, basically.

  • Ian

    Hi Jeremiah,

    Don’t let the complaining fool you. Pagerank just doesn’t influence the rankings that much. So falling 2 spots for that didn’t do it. Nor does Google somehow have a vendetta against bloggers. Their only goal is higher-quality rankings, so they can make more money.

    This is probably Google doing an algorithm adjustment, and it may return back to the previous rankings in the next day or so. But I’ll do some research and send you a few notes…

    Ian

  • Thanks Ian, I knew you would chime in.

    Folks, IAN is an SEO and SEM expert, he’s got his own company called Portent Interactive and has written a book on the topic.

  • We just talked about this in Seattle! I worry more about people finding me than SEO rank. So I purchased http://www.conniebensen.com & http://www.conniebenson.com
    (It took me a bit to oust the lawyer & another who’s a doctor both with the name Connie Benson.) I created a post about the dilemma & included that spelling. That did the trick.

    So my simple suggestion is to purchase your URL & redirect. Both of these are available.
    http://www.jeremiah.com/
    http://www.jeremiahowyang.com/

    (And I’ll keep sending friends your way. Nothing like WOM! 🙂 )

  • Thanks Connie

    I’m not interested in people finding me by my real name, but rather the topic that I’m focused on: ‘web strategy’

  • nmw

    My eye’s popped out — but no: jeremiah.com was registered in 1996….

    At any rate: To rank well in Google, it helps if the information has been around for a long time (you find that illogical? who ever said that Google rankings had to make any sense? 😉

    But of course there are also many other factors — and I’m guessing that it’s quite likely that no one will ever really know why the blogspot blog ranks higher than the wordpress blog… when using the google.com engine.

    My forecast, however, is that it will matter less and less what the rank in a “one-size-fits-all” engines. More and more, you will need to focus on engines that are important for your “target” audience (perhaps something like e.g. http://social-networks.info ;)…

    🙂 nmw

    ps/BTW: although I think perhaps the website might “profit” from some geo (“google engine optimization”) — it really is amusing to what degree content on the www is nowadays influenced by Google’s algorithms (I consider “blogging” and or “tagging” software to be for the most part “link creation” software 😉

  • Jim

    I’ve been wanting to redo my site but I show up in some searches at the top of the page and I am hesitant to make any changes. Amazing how fear of ‘google ranking’ can influence the relevancy of information.

  • Maybe it doesn’t really matter, I’ve had a dozen comments in just a few hours, the right folks (you all) are here and reading.

    Or, should I do something about it?

  • nmw

    about what?

    ;D nmw

  • nmw

    ps — for Web Strategist (always remember: the “one-size-fits-all” search engines basically work like the white pages):

    #1 Live.COM

    #1 Yahoo.COM

    #1 Ask.COM (though note: in Germany, ask.com defaults to de.ask.com and the results are completely different)

    #5 Google.COM

    QED (Google is simply bogged down with 10 years of historical junk)

  • ian

    First, my gut tells me this is a temporary glitch. It almost looks to me like Google has swapped your old site for the new, rankings wise.

    1. Your pagerank is a 6, so I don’t think you’re seeing any kind of penalties or anything. Unless you go from a 6 or 7 down to a 2 or even a 0, I just wouldn’t worry about that too much. PR is a terrible
    measurement.

    2. I don’t see that you’ve suffered in the social world, either. Your links, etc. keep going up: http://www.pythia-analytics.com/index.cfm?site=www.web-strategist.com

    3. Google shows 4000 incoming links. That’s generally not super-accurate (Yahoo shows 130,000 incoming links for your site!) but it isn’t zero, either, so you’re pretty good there.

    4. Comparing to the #1 sites for the phrase ‘web strategy’: WebStrats.com only has 76 incoming links and 31 pages, versus 4000 and 350 pages for you. So you’re clearly way ahead of them.

    5. If I search for a phrase in a newer blog entry, you show up #1: http://tinyurl.com/2bxfaf
    – so Google is still crawling your site.

    6. But here’s the weird part – in any search results where your newer site shows up, the only thing showing is your feed, not the site itself.

    Somehow Google’s gotten confused about your old and new sites. If you’re up for being a guinea pig, sit tight for 2-3 days and see if it straightens itself out. If you’re like me and seeing your site vanish from the top 10 gives you heartburn, then you need to make it crystal-clear to Google that the old site is just that. Do the following:

    1. NOFOLLOW all monthly archive links that point to the old site – add ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ to the < a > element for each link. That way you’ll stop delivering link juice to your old blog.

    2. If you don’t have one, set up a Google Webmaster Tools account and verify your site. Then you can get more detail from Google regarding any crawl issues you’re having. If you want to, just add the meta tag below to your home page in the area and let me know.
    Then I can add you to our webmaster tools account and tell you what I find.

    3. Change the title tag on the old blog. Make it something like ‘Archive: Web Strategy by Jeremiah’ or ‘Jeremiah’s old blog’ or some such. This is splitting hairs but I’m trying to think of every possible way to differentiate the two sites.

    4. If you REALLY want to play it safe, take all the content on your old blog and put it in an archive on the new one, then set up a 301 redirect from the old to the new site. That’ll tell Google unequivocally that the new site is the more important. But it’s also a
    lot of work.

    Again, I think sitting tight might do the trick.

  • Hi!

    1) I do believe in 301 redirects from old to new site! this is the best way, and instead of sharing the ranking credits between two sites you will consentrate the pagerank (or whatever you call it) on one site.

    2) Ask your friends and readers to link to you with the words “web strategy” in some way. You have given us all a lot of knowledge (and I am pretty new), so it is just fair for us to do something back.

    3) Another topic: where do you host your wordpress blog? I’m looking to host a wordpress site at the moment…

    Ludvik

  • I did a search for ‘jeremiah owyang” on Google.com, Yahoo.com, Live.com and Ask.com.

    a) Google : Top result is “jeremiahthewebprophet.blogspot.com/ ” and Web-strategist.com not in the top 10.

    b) Yahoo : Top result is “www.web-strategist.com/blog ”

    c) Live.com : Top result ‘www.flickr.com/people/jeremiah_owyang” and and Web-strategist.com not in the top 10.

    d)Ask.com : Top result is jeremiahthewebprophet.blogspot.com/ and Web-strategist is number 6.

    Not sure how to anlyze this except that you have the same problem with Live and Ask. Did anything change where you host your blog?

  • I’ll ask my host…hope they are responsive.

  • Hi Jeremiah!

    I found your host using IP-lookup, sorry for the inconvenience, didn´t think of it at the time!

    Ludvik

  • Last week when we were in Seattle I had noticed it (because I always search for ‘Jeremiah’). You had tweeted that your host had switched you to a larger spot due to traffic.

  • My perspective is that Google is juicing to get their properties higher in the rankings. I honestly think the FCC will step in at some point in time because they just have too much vested interest in providing an unfair advantage to blogspot or blogger Web sites that run AdSense. I’ve blogged a bit more about my thoughts at: http://www.etherbreather.com/seo/life-after-google/

  • I’m with Ian — duplicate content being sorted out in the algo was my first thought. If your posts are also posted on Forrester’s blogs you need to link directly to whichever you want to be canonical to tip the algo off that’s it’s not dupe content. And it really would be best to 301 from your old site to your new one as Ian suggests.

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  • I have noticed the search results lately to be so messed up. It is like Google just went nuts. The google maps are different daily now and the search results for roofing st louis are different daily now too. Any suggestions?

  • Hi,
    Good work. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi,
    Good work. Thanks for sharing.

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