This article about Google manipulates the SERPs and controls your success is originally published by Wulffy's (SEO) Blog. May not be re-published in any form without written permission of the author. This includes re-publishing at other blogs/websites.

This is perhaps one of the most important articles for your success in the web. While reading it you will understand our theory how Google works and learn a bit about the possible secrets nobody writes about. Of course we will explain how to take advantage of Google's approach.

Reading this blog post will take about 30 minutes of your life. But not reading it perhaps months or even years.

Here is a summary of what you will find in this blog post:

(explains the reason of disappearing and appearing of new posts in SERPs)

Two weeks ago (from June, 26 onwards) people started to wonder why their new (blog) pages had not entered the Google SERPs at all. Later on they could find them, but those pages changed between disappearing and appearing - again and again. Many bloggers wrote about this phenomenon. Obviously they were not familiar with Google's indexing. The only reason for that "phenomenon" was a new indexing of the entire web. Even though Google started in 2003 to continuously update its index, it seems to be necessary to update the entire web from time to time. Already at the start of this process, Google blocks any access to the new index. Later on data centers will get updated step-by-step ("Google Dance"). During that period of time, people will get old and new (and old and new...) results. That's the reason why many bloggers thought that blogs won't get into the index and why they noticed that pages disappeared and appeared from the SERPs.

Contents of this post neither refers to this process nor is meant to be this process.

Google manages a fixed limit of visitors to your website

When searching via Google, you will be connected to a data center with your search. Depending on your location Google will connect to a data center in a geo-targeted group of data centers. Only if you search again within less than a few minutes, you will be connected to the same data center. Otherwise you will be connected to a different data center and may get different search results. This is the basis that makes it possible for Google to manage a fixed limit of visitors to your website. Details will be explained.

First we start with real evidence:

At this chart you see what happened after the end of link building during 18 months in weekly steps:

End of link building

Picture: "End of link building" (Click to zoom)

Look very carefully at the number of visitors to this niche website. On average it is indeed continuously decreasing, but what is more important? On average you see the same number of visitors with minor changes irrespectively of general seasonal fluctuations.

Ok. Next website. Next chart. Again in weekly steps:

No link building for a long time

Picture: "No link building for a long time" (Click to zoom)

At this niche website OffPage-optimization was stopped a long time ago. And amazingly the same effect occurs and is even better to see. Continuously same number of visitors per day, week and month.


The following statements build upon each other. Please read carefully.

Google collects any available data

Everybody knows that Google intends to collect any available data on this planet. Google continuously works on strategies to collect those kinds of data that are not available. Many bloggers made a fuss about Google Trends. Perhaps they have not noticed that Google Trends is only a plaything for users. The operative instrument is built by many (or better all) Google products like Google Analytics, Google Toolbar, Google AdSense, Google Mail, Google Social Graph, Google Maps, Google Street View, Google Earth, Google Mobile... These data are only available for Google itself, but they do not control the SERPs actively. In fact these data are necessary for the strategy to keep the limit of visitors of a website under control.

Google keeps your success under control

Perhaps unconsciously or consciously you have noticed that the number of daily visitors to your website will not vary that much. If you got e. g. 100 visitors a day and you will not work on OffPage-Optimization (link building), you can write everyday new articles and create new pages, but none of your work will have any impact on the number of about 100 visitors a day. Perhaps 127 or 83 and later 109. But you will not gain 200, 500 or even 1,000 visitors. If you publish a new article, but the daily limit of visitors has been reached, it will not appear in the SERPs. What could be the reason for that? How can you break this vicious circle?

If we assume that Google manipulates your success by limiting the number of visitors - how does Google control it?

Compare real-life with the web and learn to understand

Let's start with a simple example.

You start a business and open a shop in a city. At the first day only ten prospects enter the shop. What happens in the evening? Six of the ten are talking to their friends about your new shop and your products. Four of them plan to visit your shop within the next days:

Referrals converted by prospects and customers

Picture: "Referrals converted by prospects and customers"

The very next day you will get 18 prospects. Some of them are window shoppers. Three of them are referred by their friends. Five of those 18 will buy something. And again in the second evening prospects and customers are talking to friends. From day to day you will increase your success. In real-life the number of customers will continuously increase. You may increase your stock, may present more and more products in your shop and you will regularly boom your business!

Okay, you may say. But what has this to do with your website or blog?

The web
Let's compare your website with your imaginary shop. You may increase the number of pages, may present more and more products at your website, but you will not get more prospects and customers, if the ones that have already visited your "shop" will not talk to friends and/or will not return some day. Of course some "window shoppers" will step onto your website, but you have no control about the numbers. But Google does.

Ask yourself: How many websites have you ever visited and about how many of them have you informed any of your friends? More than three out of 1,000? In real-life it is not common to talk about websites. To refer a link by word of mouth or via e-mail to a friend is the exception rather than the rule.

Only if prospects and customers would recommend your business in a way Google is able to analyze, you would get more and more prospects, customers and sales. HOW THEY CAN?

How is this convertible for Google?

You have been thinking to have done everything to improve your website. You increased content, pages and products. But really none of your visitors talk about your website and refer others to it (or Google cannot verify it). And still those 100 visitors a day will not change... Why?

How is Google able to manage a fixed limit of visitors to your website?

Google cannot get this "data" of talking among people. Google is addicted to digital data. At least for the time being. Perhaps some day they will analyze phone conversations and filter "links"... or in the near future they may have success with Google Mobile or buy Skype and will analyze phone conversations... (that's another story - back to topic)

For years Google uses a very easy system. But they keep some important functions in secret. If you managed to place a keyword or keyword combination in the Top 5 (approx.) of the Google SERPs, those keywords will normally be screwed tightly. Any other positions below this Top are dangerous. Your keywords bop around the SERPs in hours.

Every day the web has a different number of users. Due to all the rules this must lead to a different number of visitors to your website. In reality it is not possible that you still have almost the same number of visitors every day, week, month and year. And sometimes for years, if you resign to do OffPage-Optimization.

In order that this does not meet the eye of an average webmaster or SEO without close examination, Google tries to hide its strategy.

Testing has maybe revealed the truth

We made several tests and evaluated our traffic (logs) and, in particular, the search terms which visitors used to find us with. When you test in real-time and search with Google exactly the same keywords a few minutes later than a visitor, you will understand the strategy Google adopts. With the utmost probability you will be not assigned to the same data center (as mentioned above).

Your website has 100 visitors a day.

After two hours of that day you got 12 visitors.
A visitor searched Google for "stalk of bananas" and found your landing page at position 17 in the SERPs. Five minutes later you check Google with this search term and will not be able to find your page in the SERPs at all.

Google takes results out of the SERPs repeatedly for a short period of time

What has happened? Google had excluded the result for your page from their SERPs in some data centers for a short period of time.

Three hours later you repeat your search again with "stalk of bananas" and miraculously your page is back again at its known position in the Google SERPs. But only because you are connected to a different data center.

As Google is somehow intelligent, they disguise this algorithm, else, if you reached all of your 100 visitors already after four hours of the respective day, Google would have to take your entire website out of the SERPs for the rest of the day. And this would be conspicuous. People would demonstrate and tie up Google.

And: Obviously Google controls your queries in their search engine by your IP address, installed Google Toolbar, Google Webmaster-Tools and cookies so that the statistical probability to find out how Google manages it would be extremly low. This means you are identified through these tools; Google manages to direct you to the "right" data center to keep your perception to be at a certain rank.


How to break this vicious circle?

People must talk about your website or better page by page. But they cannot talk in the web. They have to write about it and have to create natural links to your website. As this generally takes too much time, there are many strategies in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization to optimize and accelerate proceedings:

Search Engine Optimization (OffPage)

Creating backlinks, Social bookmarking, articles, press releases, linkbait, widgetbait, WordPress theme bait...
(Beware of creating articles and press releases, if you don't know what to consider!)

Social Media Optimization

Participating in Social networks and Social news, making high-quality friends, working in a group of good friends, creating different user profiles and different "artificial" users... (nothing else as real-life)

Conclusion and how to optimize

Quality and trust of backlinks manage the maximum allowable number of visitors Google grants you to have. Ok. Want more? - Anchor text, dofollow, quality and trust of backlinks manage it better. (Read this last sentence once again.)

If you do not regularly do OffPage-Optimization, you will be left stranded with the fixed number of visitors. In real-life: If people will not recommend your products, you will not be able to increase your success.

If nobody talks about your article, create characters that talk about it.

If not enough characters talk about it, create even more characters.

If Google is not willing to include your (new) page into the SERPs, again more characters have to talk about it.

If it is still be missing, create other "referrals" to your new article:
  • ask other trusted (!) bloggers to write about it (with dofollow link)
    (or created trusted bloggers if this is possible within your budget)

  • socialize it with digg, Social bookmarking and Social networks

  • make new friends after posting a new article in digg & co., because they will check out your profile

  • blog about it in a second blog (third, fourth...)

  • discuss it with others somewhere in the web

  • find other blogs that wrote about it recently and try to insert a link (even in plain text) in their comments, but recommend your new article with some friendly, good and appropiate words

  • send e-mails to friends and inform them
Find ways to trigger discussion about it.

If you try to hurry you won't be successful, and this is the main reason why newbies won't succeed. Calm down and relax. Remember every day how this works in real-life. Think about a buzz. It needs many people to spread it, but it will still take time.

Do a little bit every day, drink coffee, wait and see, sleep, and be happy. (Problem: the more you have to optimize, the less you may sleep, but definitely you will drink more coffee.) - First you will succeed in long-tail. Within the time you should test as much as you can. Don't waste your time with reading too much. Outthink others, analyze what ever you can and try to find out strategies that others won't do.

Does Google control the max. number of possible positions within a range?

Within this research special attention was paid to the total number of positions of all of your pages with keywords in the Google SERPs. It seems to be that Google also controls the max. number of possible keyword positions within a range (e. g. Top 100) that are listed in their SERPs depending on the actual strength of your backlinks, website and pages (deep links). But this is unprovable at this time.


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This blog post Google manipulates the SERPs and controls your success is categorized under Search Engine Optimization, SEO Web 2.0, Social Media Optimization, SMO.


Joe said...

Wulffy, a while ago I thought something similar like you wrote in your article now. Especially when you describe how Google tries to make us believing that everything is normal. Do you know that my search outcome is different when I'm logged in or logged out all the time?

This might be explained thru differences at the data centers but I have this seen now for months. Strange, isn't it?

Wulffy said...

Hi again, Joe! Thanks for reading and your valuable comment!

Only heavy testing can prove this. It is perhaps better not to participate in Google's Toolbar, Google Webmaster-Tools etc. and to frequently delete cookies. Then it's maybe possible to find out about this spoofing.

Or try to talk by phone (or Skype) with a few friends in front of their PCs and search simultaneously. I cannot promise that you will catch Google red-handed at first trials, because nobody knows to which data center someone will be connected.

efendi said...

Guten Tag,
ist es möglich, dass dieser Artikel auch mal ins Deutsche übersetzt wird? Ich würde gerne mehr verstehen.

Viele Grüße

Wulffy said...

Da Yahoo! Babel Fish und Google Translate derzeit immer noch keine verständliche Übersetzung von Englisch ins Deutsche liefern, ist eine manuelle Übersetzung in Arbeit und wird in Kürze veröffentlicht.

Anonymous said...

Wulffy, great post! Insightful information for those who are learning search engine optimization. Most people don't think in terms of geographical location when it comes to indexed information and servers.

Regards, Matt

Mattheosis: Making Money Online One Step at a Time

Wulffy said...

Hey Matt, thanx for the comment. I visited a few days ago your blog. Interesting... Cheers, Wulffy