More Google May Day Theories, Five Months Later

Oct 21, 2010 • 8:34 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

It is over five months since the Google May Day update docked and we still have many SEOs and webmasters talking about it. The last time we covered it was at the end of September, under the May Day Monster.

I wanted to point you back to that thread, where we have a long time contributor to this site (in the form of many many comments). Michael Martinez added what he has seen over the past several months.

Sites complaining about the May Day update all share similar characteristics, Michael said:

  • Sites are long-established (2-10 years).
  • Sites had well-established referral traffic from popular queries up until August.
  • Sites were pushed down to page 2 or further for multiple queries.
  • Sites continue to rank well for low-traffic queries.
  • The high traffic queries now feature many "well-known" sites that may not necessarily equivalent or better value in terms of content.
  • The standard SEO help coming from various forums (including this one) has failed to resolve the issues and left a lot of Webmasters wringing their hands infrustration.

He believes it may be due to:

1) That Google may be paying more attention to on-page (quality) signals

2) That Google may simply have devalued another horde of links

Or none of the above.

Anyway, the discussion is a bit heated in the Google Webmaster Help thread, so have fun.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Michael Martinez

10/21/2010 04:21 pm

Actually, Barry, that list of criteria applies more to a recent August update/changeover that I'm still collecting information on. I think it coincides with Google's August 20 "brand" update but people are reluctant to share details.


10/21/2010 05:53 pm

Very timely post - I am speaking on Tuesday (at the seoMOZ PRO SEO Seminar in London) on my MayDay testing conducted on a dozen affected websites, 20+ ranking experiments, covering 1,200 unique url's and search terms. The results were not what I was expecting (or hoping for) but are very interesting. I will publish a full post either on my blog or youmoz next week after the conference is finished.


10/22/2010 11:49 am

I have seen since this August update, that point 2 is exactly what's going on. All sites affected are plagued with old directory links, these directories have for the most part had 90+ % of their pages deindexed. This is a trust issue where old back links which used to pass OK, are now considered part of a bad neighborhood. The solution, look for directory links which have only a few pages in total indexed and remove them links.

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