Google's Most Trusted SEOs Lash Out Over The "May Day Monster"

Sep 30, 2010 • 9:00 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

We have covered the May Day Google ranking algorithm update many many times now. But I was pointed to an interesting thread on the topic created by a Google Webmaster Help "Top Contributor." The Top Contributor, named Autocrat, named the thread May Day Monster!.

In short, he seems extremely upset that although Google has offered clear advice on how to reverse the impact of a site hit by the May Day update, that advice doesn't always seem to work. He showed one example of a webmaster who was hit hard by the May Day update. You can find those threads with advice over here and here. In some, Google's JohnMu cited MayDay as the issue and said he should work on making his site more "high-quality and has unique and compelling content."

So he did that over the past few months but is still no where to be found.

As Autocrat summarized in the May Day Monster thread:

  • Suggestions regarding tweaking/rewritting/improving the content.
  • Suggestions for catching Internal Duplication/Canonical issues.
  • Suggestions for catching External Duplication issues.
  • All of these things have been addressed.

I skimmed through the thread and in this case, this webmaster is serious about making the necessary changes and has done a tremendous amount. Is it about needing more time or is it about being collateral damage? Many are suspecting the later.

It is not just the story of one webmaster. You can find thread after thread with complaints. I am not sure of any thread where anyone said they existed the May Day filter, if it is called that.

Of course, when you see sites with high AdWords quality scores and not ranking due to May Day, it makes you a bit suspicious, feeling Google is being sneaky. Of course, you and I know the two algorithms are completely detached and it likely has nothing to do with each other. But yet you see some sites that appear to be May Day candidates doing just fine and dandy.

Have any of you been impacted by May Day and reversed it? Please comment.

The most interesting point here is that those webmasters and SEOs who Google values so much, the forum "top contributors," are fighting with each other over this topic. Some feel the need to protect Google while some feel the need to protect the webmaster who has tried everything but is still failing.

What recourse do you have?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Comments:

Michael Martinez

09/30/2010 05:27 pm

The whole problem with SEO analyses about MayDay so far is that all of us have been thinking in terms of "the long tail was hit hardest by MayDay". Google has even confirmed that. And yet, that's not really the case. After all, Google still shows content for those "long tail" queries. It's not that sites are targetig long-tail queries that is getting them into trouble. It's that those queries don't seem to be immensely relevant to those sites (or vice versa). It sounds to me like MayDay is more about enforcing relevance than anything else.

Ted Ulle

09/30/2010 09:01 pm

An interesting note from WebmasterWorld. The member who first observed it and coined the name "Mayday Update" made some site changes and recovered their traffic within the week - and we're talking a mega-site here.

Martin

10/12/2010 09:47 am

Ted. do you have by chance the link to the thread on WMW?

Andy Beard

10/13/2010 09:40 am

"Of course, you and I know the two algorithms are completely detached" As far as I am concerned both have quality scores and in some ways a similar algorithm.

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