Is This Google Algorithm Update Costing You?

Google Mayday Update Affecting E-Commerce Sites, Long Tail Traffic

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:

[ Search]

High rankings in Google search results are coveted by nearly all webmasters, but Google is constantly making changes to keep them on their toes. Actually, Google is said to make roughly one change per day.

One recent change in particular, however, has gotten some webmasters riled up. It’s being referred to as "Mayday," and some claim it is costing them money.

Do you think the update has affected your revenue? Comment here.

Ex-Googler Vanessa Fox, who spoke on a panel with current Googler Matt Cutts at Google I/O last week, quotes Cutts as saying, "this is an algorithmic change in Google, looking for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries. It went through vigorous testing and isn’t going to be rolled back."

She also says Google told her that it was a rankings change, as opposed to a crawling/indexing change. This, she says, "seems to imply that sites getting less traffic still have their pages indexed, but some of those pages are no longer ranking as highly as before."

Vanessa Fox"This change seems to have primarily impacted very large sites with ‘item’ pages that don’t have many individual links into them, might be several clicks from the home page, and may not have substantial unique and value-added content on them," says Fox. "For instance, ecommerce sites often have this structure. The individual product pages are unlikely to attract external links and the majority of the content may be imported from a manufacturer database. Of course, as with any change that results in a traffic hit for some sites, other sites experience the opposite."

She has more to say about it at Search Engine Land, offering some of her own speculation. One reader accuses the change of delivering "a real blow" to his revenue.

This is not the first we’ve heard about "Mayday". There’s been discussion about it around the SEO community all month, but this is the first we’ve seen it really addressed by Google.

Most savvy webmasters have learned by now that they can’t rely on Google rankings alone to drive traffic. This is why social media opportunities presented by networks like Facebook and Twitter have become so attractive. The way people search and obtain information is becoming more and more diversified, not only spread out around different applications (largely due to increased mobile usage), but also within search engines themselves.

For example, Google recently rolled out its big SERP redesign, which gives users a great deal more options for filtering their results (or at least puts these options in the spotlight). The importance of ranking in a completely natural, organic search has become greatly diluted over time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still nice, but it’s getting harder to rely on as well as less critical for discovery.

Stay tuned to WebProNews for our exclusive interviews with both Cutts and Fox from Google I/O, in which they talk with our own Abby Johnson about a variety of search-related topics. They should be posted soon.

Do you think your rankings have been affected by the "Mayday" update? Let us know.

Is This Google Algorithm Update Costing You?
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • http://www.websitetemplates.bz Website Templates.bz

    wherever you look at Google, know- there’s MONEY!

    sometimes it gets sad, but this is e-world, and honestly I am a little afraid of what is going to happen next!

  • Guest

    We’re a small firm and competition is very fierce. Google is making it far too complex for the average Joe to be where he belongs in ranking. We have been around for 15 years online and always have been #1 organic in our area of expertise. Now? We’re ranked 4 or 5. It has had a horrible impact on our sales so much so that we are on the brink of bankruptcy because of a 20% YoY loss in revenue since 2008. I do blame a lot on the changes Google made since over 65% of our web traffic came from Google.

    • http://www.searchsquad.com.au Mark – Search Squad

      Google sent you 65% of your traffic.

      I certainly hope you were on the blogs then talking about that, because you have no right to complain about it now otherwise.

  • Bob

    God damn it Chris. I was one of the first posters on that thread and by God this thing started before May. It is supposed to be MarchDay, not Mayday. In May some users started seeing dropped rankings too and joined the already started in March thread. Hell broke loose in March.

    Yes, G. is playing with fire and it appears they are hell bent on being the next infoseek or Altavista. I’m using Yahoo more and more these days. I’d say to all webmasters affected to change your sigs on all forums you visit to promote Yahoo or Bing. G. is way too big. Never believed in gov. regulation but I’m scratching my head on this one. G. needs to be broken up. G. is abusing their power.

    • Martin

      You have it right. Google should be broken up before it does any more damage.

  • http://www.driverwithvan.com kashif


    I am new to all this stuff ( almost 1 year in trying to promote my website http://www.driverwithvan.com
    I would say, google has made some changes and now my website wont show up in certain web queries where as befor it was on page one.


    What the latest technique. should i make doorway pages? would i be penalized for that by google?

    awaiting response.

  • http://www.pcnetworks.gr pcnw

    ..but I believe that in 1-2 weeks things will be better :)

  • http://www.FreeGunInfo.com Adsense Publisher

    Make more sites. Make more pages. Ride this out.

  • http://www.teach-nology.com/themes/lang_arts/studyskills/ Study Skills

    Bob, I have to agree with you on the timing of this thing. This came about on March 15th for us. We have seen a 66% drop in google referrals. We have been around for over a decade, never play any tricks, have tons of content. Yet we still got hit with the Big G drought.

  • Guest

    I have absolutely no doubt that Google has been doing this at an accelerated rate for years now, they are the 800 Pound Gorilla at the moment however they will go the way of AltaVista. This is a purposeful attempt to force businesses to pay for click or die a slow commercial death, it’s pure GREED on Goggles behalf so they will continue to do so and surprise, surprise, surprise EBay and it’s related sites do better in the search results. “It’s all about the money and all you need to do is FOLLOW THE MONEY as they say to find the truth”

    They have no idea how frustrated even there search users are and Bing will give them the smack against the head they so richly deserve and the like Google, Bing will do the same thing when they have the chance…..

    Personally from what I am seeing Google is more of a “Spy Bot” than a search engine, one can only imagine who they are collecting the information for….!!!

    I wonder when it will become Googles turn to be too BIG to Fail, what will happen then and how much of tax payers money will that cost us..!!!

  • http://www.charlieapple.co.uk Guest

    I didn’t know anything about this until I got the edition of WebProNews and checked my rankings. Under ‘marketing services’ I used to be 2nd or 3rd on Page 1. Not bad! Now I am nowhere to be seen. My site has been online since 2001 and apparently Google likes old sites so I have not changed my site for this reason as I didn’t want to lose my rankings built up over so many years, and start again. I used a ‘where do I rank for a specific search term’ type site, and it showed me up as ‘not found’. on Bing I’m right there on page 1 in the same place as I used to be on Google. I am also a site designer for small businesses and have been good with SEO, clients being happy with their results but now I don’t know what I’m supposed to do (outside of PPC) to help the sites with their rankings, including my own.

    • Stella

      Like the webmaster above, I make my sites SEO friendly, keyword-rich and I add good-quality information. I try and do all I can (without PPC) to get my sites to rank. I recently created another which was indexed and listed on Page 4 of Google and stayed there for all of a week. Then I checked and it has completely disappeared and when I check the value of my site as opposed to some sites in the top 10 for those keywords (via Samourai), my site has far more going for it with SEO optimization. Maybe no where near the backlinks, but after anaylizing the competition, most of their backlinks are irrelevant anyway.
      It’s so frustrating after spending so much time.

  • http://www.webworxtraining.co.uk Web Worx Training

    We are a small company that offers one to one tuition on website marketing. Years ago our slides could be the same for months now it seems that we are changing them every week. I do not think all these changes are being made to better Googles service but once again are initiated by the need to increase their falling PPC revenue. I say switch to alternative sources now and save yourself the heart ache as experienced by the comapny in your comments section.

  • http://www.billigfergebillett.no Ferge

    Whatever Google does, it is most likely money related.. Its getting harder and harder to understand Google SERP, and for many of us it

  • http://health-insurance-free-quote.com J.Brown

    It’s time for Google to be broken up.

  • Guest

    Google knows they can change and move things around. The average Joe has no chance and yes it is probably going to get tuff for SME’s. It is best to implement not just online marketing, but offline marketing along with community engagement and interacting in forums regarding such issues.

  • http://www.thecollectorshub.com Jim Shore Figurines

    Our niche in Google Product Search is dominated by Amazon, QVC and EBay there are a few exceptions but for most of our key words you don’t start seeing other etailers until around page 100 or so. This put small etailers out of business.

  • Rev

    While others are whining about sudden plunge in rankings I’m now experiencing the otherwise in one of my niche websites. Organic traffic and search keyphrases on long tail increased by 15% and 10% respectively since March 2010. This is a 5-year old site. Latest tweaks I’ve done on it was three years ago.

  • http://www.hopskole.net hopskole

    Thanks for share this information. This is very useful

  • http://briarpatchgiftshop.com Joe

    Since the release of this thing sales dropped 65% along with ranking, it is plain to see it truly is all about money all you have to do is search a term on google and the results tell it all if you are not spending large amounts of money on PPC you are not going to make the first three pages. What i find strange is the same results show up for several terms with relevancy not meaning much anymore. I do agree it is time for Google to be broken up the line has been crossed when you are controlling the search results for any given term. I am using Yahoo and Bing more everyday, i also removed that google toolbar from my explorer it is my thought that all your search information was collected to help build this system to favor advertisers, not to give fair UN-bias search result.

  • http://top100charts.net Jack

    As you described changes in the algorithm putted my side in the “free fall”. I think in gerneral it is very useful but the textual content is not that unique.
    No idea how to get up again in the rankings.

  • http://www.merlinsltd.com John Burns

    Google knows they can change and move things around because of there size and dominance in the market place.

  • Dieter Torjack

    Google laid out the rules for good web content rich pages!
    Why are their own rules not good anymore? Looks a lot like try and error to me!
    A lot of hard fighting webmasters suffer over and over again. They have to spend money for SEO, just to fit in.
    The next moment everything changes and we start spending money again to keep up with this constant changes.
    Google is growing too fast, they have way too much power .. not far from being the almighty Internet-God!

  • http://www.great-lyrics.net MeSEO

    wherever you look at Google, know- there’s MONEY! I agreea. Make more money is the name of the game ….

  • Pat

    Small stores like mine cannot compete with big businesses with big money, we are never on page 1 because we cannot spend so much money. I opened an on-line store because I am now retired and thought it would be a side earner, I was wrong, I spent so much money on Seo, directories, time it is just unbelievable, and I can see big competitors, big companies still at the top. So I have now decided that I will use local newspapers and directories, trade magazines,,… to advertise it is cheaper and at least I can modify my home page whenever I want to do so. So here you are I am dropping Google and their rich friends. Hope more people like will do the same so Google starts rotating the listing instead of having the same businesses at the top.
    Here you have it Google I am leaving you, you are f i r e d.

  • http://www.RepairsUniverse.com Repairs Universe

    We have noticed a big change in our Google shopping results. We have been completely taken over by eBay and Amazon listings which aren’t even as relevant to the search term. It’s very frustrating.

    • Guest

      I agree.

  • http://www.greyolltwit.com Grey Olltwit

    Of course Google is just all about maximising their profits and forcing webmasters to PPC. The quality of most of the sites at the top of their results is really awful, as Google seems to favour more and more the spammy, rubbish sites, that exist purely for Adsense click throughs because these draw more poor Adwords suckers. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that a site with rubbish content that doesn’t really answer your Google query, even though it looked like it did in the serps, is more likely to get the user to click on an Adsense ad. Have been saying this for years but have always been rebuked by those who say that Google is all about creating a great experience for it’s users as per what Cutts preaches daily. Maybe now they’ll wake up and smell the coffee!

    And why do we always have to refer to Twitter and Facebook in every article. These are mostly used by spoiled kids and are never going to send any meanigful customers to any site. Most members of these sites are not active, only a tiny percentage are. Example: I recently added our regular forum members email list to Facebook for the ADHD charity website I run. Wow, out of the 800 addresses, Facebook proudly announced that they had over 500 already on facebook. So off went the invites to our new charity page. So far 2 have responded and that was a month ago!!

    • Totally agree

      I’ve always used Google because it produced the best results, however, more and more the top results in organic search are clearly spam.

  • http://www.topseo.net Buy email lists

    I am not seeing much change. I see a lot of people commenting about all their rankings dropping, not getting anymore traffic… I am just the opposite. Our sales have skyrocketed! We are getting TWICE as much traffic this month, and sales have more than doubled.
    Mayday? No… Hail Mary!

  • http://www.getpaidevery30seconds.com Ronnie Jones

    I Have For Six Months and many Sleepless Nights Going From Zero To Guru in SEO Skills.I Have 53 Blogs and About 5 WordPress WebSites .Just Recently Notice a Drop in my Visitors But a Increase in Rankings On One Of My WebSites.It is Becomming More Difficult To Recieve Organic traffic From Google.The Effect That This Will have On The Industry is Yet To Be seen.But One Thing is For Sure This Effect Will Cause More Internet Marketers To Out Source Their SEO Skills To India and The Phillipines and Ultimitally Effect The US Econnomy.

    I Will Keep a Eye On ALL Of My WebSites and Increase My Article marketing and create More Blogs To Offset the effects Thus far.I Will keep You Informed of The results.My Site www.getpaidevery30seconds.com Continues to Flourish and traffic is Increasing Slightly.

  • http://bestessayscenter.com Best Essays

    I am made to understand by a Google insider that soon, custom writing site may soon be barred from running their ads on Google.

  • http://www.usbypkp.ac.id svisnu

    Really it’s a news for me. Thanks for your info.

  • http://diancollection.com Zay

    hi I’m really didn’t understand about this content because I’m very beginner for google algorithm and another…can you help me to more explain to me …but your articles it’s very helpful for me

  • http://www.hostwave.com Brian

    We gave up on Google Adv because of the poor ROI (and it was fierce too), even though we followed their recommendations/ How To’s on categorizing your business website, keyword (cpc), etc. Now our site is 10 years old and we just depend on creating a trusting relationship with our current and future clients. We rely on the organic and aging of our site instead. It seems like Google will always be updating their Algorithm and simply we’re tired of chasing them, and instead let them chase our site for content for their search engine (as well Bing and others).

    I just remember reading a good article a long time ago saying, “just pretend Google doesn’t exist and update your site from time to time and work on your clients, improve your service and the word of mouth is what will help you.”

    Thanks for sharing your story Chris!

    • http://al3ab.co al3ab


      I will try to change do you have suggestions? it seems the only website around google and no choice to catch a good game seo somewhere else


  • http://webtrafficinsider.com Chris

    While the Google engineers are behind the curtains flipping switches the end result is that they want companies and websites to spend more money on pay per click.

    Most e-commerce stores have a hard time surviving without organic traffic.

    • Guest

      A very low percentage of those ads get clicked on. It’s all about Google getting richer as if they weren’t rich enough already.

  • http://www.dormroomcash.com Ideas to make money

    If google is changing the way they run it is for a reason. Don’t think too much of it, jut build your business the right way and get backlinks to all your pages. If you don’t have unique content then you will not get very high on the serps. So make sure you do all the proper SEO techniques and worry about google later.

  • http://www.fixpcfreeze.com Fix PC Freeze & Crash Free

    With Google changing the algorithm daily, each site has to update its contents regularly. This makes more job opportunities because contents have to be either re written or adjusted as the webmasters understand the algorithms google is playing around with.

    Competition means better sites and better user experience. Competition is the main reason that we have genuine and good sites online and I think we should all thank Google for that. Lets us keep up the competition and have a healthy internet experience for the next generation. Cheers.

  • http://www.rawfunk.com.au OZDave

    I always thought Google’s catch cry was about providing relevant information to the searcher. Well this latest roll out, does nothing but allow the BIG companies with deep pockets to manipulate the Google algorithm.

    As an example I reside in Australia, before the the Google update I, like my fellow Australians had the ability to conduct a country specific search only. Now that’s be taken away. Instead, I’m bombarded with off shore sites which are hosted off shore that have manipulated Google to look like they are AU targeted. Which in fact they are not.

    However I have an AU TLD, it’s hosted in Australia and provides relevant information. Fortunately I’m no slouch when it come to SEO. I can still maintain some decent SERPS. Still making a buck shouldn’t be this hard.

    No one should have to contend with offshore sites or any site using techniques to spam Google, worse, Google rewarding them for manipulating their search algorithm.

  • http://www.forestsoftware.co.uk Guest

    To be honest I’ve had noticed no change to the number of visitors to my main site – although the adsense income has dropped this month.

    The positions that I monitor have remained rock solid – 12 year old site tweaked on a regular basis but no real changes since the beginning of the month apart from a couple of blog postings.

    All internal pages have links from the home page and many have links from external sites – this is not an e-commerce site with 1000’s of items but a regular site with information and articles on almost every page.

    Sales have not changed either and have remained constant.

  • http://www.artisanmanagement.com ARTiSAN

    As mentioned in the article above one cannot rely upon Google to protect your best interests. If you’re running an ecommerce business you cant afford to put ‘all your eggs in the Google basket’. The limited ‘competition’ from Facebook and Twitter is welcome although is it more of the same ?

    What we need is some real competition within the search engines.

    • http://www.artisanmanagement.com Chris Jones

      The SERPS seem to be increasingly dominated by the above corporations. In many cases the results displayed are very poor and do little to improve ‘user experience’ indeed quite the reverse. This seems to be more about generating revenue for the above rather than providing relevant results for the user.

  • http://smartpixels.net/ Arul

    If you are small, you will suffer, if you are small and are promoting some other products you are in deeper trouble,,

    I lost about 37% of my traffic this may!! But I made up for the traffic through other means..Yahoo has been a saviour and I much better serach yahoo these days because google Top 10 is filled with authority sites which dont really give me what I want

    atleast three or four spots are filled by wikipedia, youtube, about.com or some other authority site…even If I search for gum balls..which is quite irritating and meaningless…its not making their search better in my opinion…

    More content doesnt always mean better sites

    BTW google uses most duplicate content than any other company that I know of

  • http://tbeyond.com Patrick

    Endless changes from Google, though anticipated, puts everyone on the dock. All I can say is that SEO companies will continue making a killing as others will depend more and more on them because it is impossible for the average webmaster to keep tracking all this.

    Google, please dont be evil !!

  • http://www.i-freebusinessdirectory.com Jesus

    I have noticed (and checked) that my internal pages has lost a few positions in Google’s search results. Due to than I lost half of my total visits and half of my adsense incomes, specially during last week.

    In relation to Adsense revenues, clicks dicreased to 6 o 7 cents.

    We’ll see what Google does in the next few weeks but what it is for sure it’s there are changes.

  • http://www.seovisions.com/ Vancouver SEO

    “I do blame a lot on the changes Google made since over 65% of our web traffic came from Google.”

    If you are counting on any one channel in business to generate your business, for free, you are banking on a poor principle and system in business. Choose to be more diverse, as this is the direction that business is going. Those that choose to rely on the free traffic will have a difficult time in a year to two.

  • http://thehotelinedating.xitti.com Anne McMicheals

    Now i know what has happened;
    ever since Google has done their updates, my own email campaigns i do for my dating site are now being returned to me as being spam and rejected by the recipients email server

    Now i am going to have to shell out hundreds of dollars for an email marketing program that never really worked any ways

    but instead of that i tried this:
    it is disgusting me now that i have to send out 1 email every time i want to send out an invite to a person to check out my dating site i have nearly 8000 email to send out; now i have to figure out how to word the email so that it is accepted by the users email server and not rejected

    i was wondering what was going on last night when every time i came to my business email i found emails being returned to me

    do we have a list of what spam words we can not use? are they calling links spam? images?

    how are we now to do email marketing ourselves if they consider images, links and certain words spam

    highly frustrated and ready to murder my computer

    • http://emaillistcleaning.com Sharon Hayes

      Email marketing has nothing to do with Google algorithm changes.

      If you are getting emails returned to you, it is likely that you have been blacklisted for sending out Spam. And yes, unsolicited emails to people to promote a website – even if legitimate – are considered to be spam.

      I suggest doing some reading online at reputable websites on how to use email marketing legitimately.

  • http://www.bhswebdesign.com/ Paul

    I agree with the commenter above that things are getting more difficult, but I also think results are getting more relevant as websites can’t spam their way to the top anymore. So it’s a good thing…

  • http://www.uswebgirls.com/index.html USWebGirls Female Escorts

    Google cost everyone but those that get listed in the top positions. And they only benefit until the next update. It’s sad that we let one company control our web incomes to such a large degree.

    And, their results are not that good really… has anyone besides us ever really ever questioned that?

    Google sucks. Just wish others would finally see that.

  • http://www.rokstok.com Andrew Moquin

    I see the value of search engines to ECommerce business diminishing over time. The bottom line is that pure use of organic search as a sole marketing approach is dangerous and certainly a very competitive business model. Positions 1-5 are all that ever matter for any product or service sector, we have to be out of our minds to compete for these spots. I have 35,000 business in my product sector and I need to be ranked 1-5 to be relevant as far is search is concerned, thats just ridiculous.

    I think a combined effort of natural search, paid search, and traditional media is the only safe approach. In fact, as time goes on I see natural search becoming less meaningful all-together. The search results are getting too diluted with other filtering possibilites anyhow. Not to mention the geo-targeting that Google is doing, a natural search is now getting “localized” suggestions and results based on the IP address of your computer. So now you have even more competition.

  • http://www.articlereleases.com John

    It almost seems like e-commerce sites are going to have to put an article on their page before content and build links to it in order to sustain a good ranking for that page, but with most e-commerce sites, they have 1,000’s of pages.

    I know this is going to be tough for a lot of companies. What are they trying to do? Break up the smaller companies and let the huge ones like Amazon take over? Sounds much like the banking industry.

  • http://www.stratoblogster.com Stratoblogster

    Coincides with giving webmasters Adwords coupons. Just a taste. Better that we ultimately pay for that page rank right?

  • Guest

    Common theme being echoed: “Diversify”.

    Treat Google as bonus traffic, and market accordingly.

    Live by Google – Die by Google.

  • http://www.assassinarcade.com Sniper Games

    Complain complain complain, my site is now #5 instead of #1 because GOOGLE changed its algo….did you ever to think your competition jacked up its SEO efforts?

    Its good google is upgrading its algo, most search results are horrible. But in the last month, I have come up from page 8 to page 3 and next month Im sure Ill be page 1.

    Webmasters dont blame google, the world ever evolves constantly and those of you who do not adjust (those who fear change) will fall behind.

    Now get to work.

    • LLCisyouandme

      I’ve read quite a few of the comments here, and the point which seems to be missing is that Google has a responsibility to its business to continue to provide quality search results for their customers, the people who use Google to find content. Farms and other SEO-gaming sites crowding out useful sites reduces Google’s own usefulness, which over time will reduce their market share and profitability.

      Start planning to create a website that people find unique and useful, which is what Google’s algorithm intends to model, rather than strategizing new ways to subvert the algorithms. Then instead of scraping a few cents at a time off people who hit your site, probably for the first and last time, and say WTF am I doing here, you can have real customers, the kind that come back because they like what they found, in the same way that Google does.

      No one respects the efforts by any company to trick their consumers. The more they do it, the less credence even their honest products and services receive. And if that’s all they do, that’s borderline criminal. Consolidation sites have all the utility, and the moral equivalency, of chalk in baby formula. IMO Google should be dealing with these sorts of sites more directly, by simply failing to crawl or display them anymore.

  • http://www.bestaffiliateniche.com BestAffiliateNiche

    Seems to me like they (Google) are making business rank lower so businesses are forced to use PPC advertising to rank higher. And, of course, the business loses again to the Big Google Giant – so unfair!!

  • http://www.onlineenglishteacher.com Philip


    Nice comments – I do not know much about this SEO topic.



  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom