>The geo-targetting looks like a new wrinkle..
I got zapped on MSN.com and HotBot.com at the beginning of the month along with loads of other people and only noticed the geo-targetting when referrals from the .co.uk versions of INK driven sites went up. So only completed investigation within the last 48 hours - but I think it has been there since the beginning of October. Although I thought this may be the case earlier, it could have been a red-herring - now I'm pretty convinced this is a fact.
>Ink continually adds fresh new free inclusions, gives you a bite of peach, then a month later let's you fall off the planet to see if you come back to do the PFI. At this point you can either wait it out (I don't know how long it takes) or PFI.
The 20 or more sites I've been looking were all PFI'd more than 6 months ago. So not sure about the 'fresh new free inclusions' bit.
When I first looked into this yesterday and compared Pure with HB or MSN, the Geo targeting was the first thing that came to mind. All the top .co.uk domains in Pure, appearing way down the SERPS on HB/MSN.
Has many in the US seen drops in their rankings on HB/MSN?
The more I research, the more clear it becomes that the change is based on time of inclusion in MSN. Here's one of many examples; I have a client with two sites, designed to promote two different vacation properties. The sites are about the same size and scope, but the text and graphics are unique (12.8% percentage similar using an automated checker, 0% similiar text and file names). The one thing they have in common is a reference to my client's name in the Title Tag (the only occurance of the name in both sites). The sites have about the same number of inbound and outbound links, and are 100% spam-free.
In a search for the client's name, 526 pages are returned; the site submitted via Ink PFI in January, 2003, ranks #1. The other site, submitted in June, 2003, ranks #405. Now, consider that before the Oct. 1 change, they ranked #1 and #2. No changes have been made to the sites. Hmmmmm......
I has to be time. I own two websites. One is PFI site back in July, one that was listed for free just two weeks ago.
Both are gone.
>The more I research, the more clear it becomes that the change is based on time of inclusion in MSN...
Trying to find certainties is extremely difficult and I don't doubt your observations at all. However, I submit pages on an almost daily basis and have noticed no drops on any pages (and I've checked most of my many sites for referral drops), free or PFI, on pure INK or regional MSNs and Hotbots - only on MSN.com and Hotbot.com - apart from where the sites are .coms - they have remained pretty rock-solid in the US but have disappeared over here!
Unfortunately, INK does drop pages regularly and can penalize PFI pages so you drop to the bottom. Trying to sort instances of normal INK shuffling from the overall strategy while trying to understand what is now happening can make the whole process extremely difficult.
Apart from the geo-targetting (for which INK do have a States side algo apparently) for every statement by one observer there is a different observation by others. Something has happened - that is certain. What combination of things has made them happen is slightly more uncertain.
>>>>The more I research, the more clear it becomes that the change is based on time of inclusion in MSN<<<<<<<
I agree with the statement - some type of hiccup. I can't believe all these sites are being penalized. For my sector - geo-targeting does not apply. I know it would be pointless contacting MSN, but there must be a way to contact HotBot to find a techie that can give us a definitive answer.
I sent a letter of to my PFI provider and they have forwarded it to Inktomi. My Inktomi PFI provider told me it is likely related to all the mergers, acquisitions and negotiations. He felt SERP's would resolve once the dust settled and told me not to hold my breath for a response from Inktomi.
[edited by: Woz at 4:39 am (utc) on Oct. 10, 2003]
Hello from Germany,
I try to summarize my experiences and some elements of the discussion. My scenario:
1. We all have good results in Inktomi/PureSearch
2. We are loosing our SERPs since October, 1st in HotBot and MSN.com as well
3. Hotbot and MSN.com belong to different companies with their individual business goals.
4. It´s highly improbable that both companies acted synchronously regarding the filtering and dropping of listings.
5. So the different algorithm of Hotbot/MSN compared to that of Inktomi/PureSearch has been applied before the weighed data/results were transferred to Hotbot/MSN.
6. Why should Inktomi do this? Who is interested in such a policy?
7. a) Yahoo owns Inktomi. They may consider to transfer all the dropped Inktomi listings to their search results while Inktomi continues delivering the altered (for all of us horrific) data to MSN.com and Hotbot. So all PFI clients still are included in Hotbot and MSN.com (with bad positions) and additionally in Yahoo with better rankings. Perhaps the PFI clients have to pay an extra fee for that...And MSN/Hotbot will show less relevant results (competitors). b) Or maybe it´s a warning shot against MSN not to cancel the contract with Yahoo-owned Overture.
8. In consequence of a) Yahoo would have to do something with their actual Google listings
9. I think we will have some breaking news soon.
|2. We are loosing our SERPs since October, 1st in HotBot and MSN.com as well |
Though you may be ranked #1 on one of those engines, that doesn't mean that you're going to be ranked #1 on the other engine.
|3. Hotbot and MSN.com belong to different companies with their individual business goals. |
But they currently share the same search provider.
|4. It´s highly improbable that both companies acted synchronously regarding the filtering and dropping of listings. |
Exactly... it's done internally at Inktomi.
|5. So the different algorithm of Hotbot/MSN compared to that of Inktomi/PureSearch has been applied before the weighed data/results were transferred to Hotbot/MSN. |
They all have completely different algorithims, and they all weigh certain content differently. But again, the share the same "database" (not sure if you can call it that, but for argument's sake, I will)
|7. a) Yahoo owns Inktomi. They may consider to transfer all the dropped Inktomi listings to their search results while Inktomi continues delivering the altered (for all of us horrific) data to MSN.com and Hotbot. So all PFI clients still are included in Hotbot and MSN.com (with bad positions) and additionally in Yahoo with better rankings. Perhaps the PFI clients have to pay an extra fee for that...And MSN/Hotbot will show less relevant results (competitors). b) Or maybe it´s a warning shot against MSN not to cancel the contract with Yahoo-owned Overture. |
Uh... what? You were kind of all over the place with that one, but I think I know what you're asking. The sites that have been dropped from, or have editorial actions, will stick no matter where the results are being pulled from (Y!, HotBot, MSN, etc). Those sites will not come back as long as Inktomi is providing their search product.
|8. In consequence of a) Yahoo would have to do something with their actual Google listings |
Yeah... they're going to drop their Google listings. Why would they keep Google results if they spent all that money buying Inktomi?
|9. I think we will have some breaking news soon. |
I wouldn't count on it. Sources tell me that Yahoo! was trying to have Inktomi results before the holidays, but it looks less likely now.
Reading this thread, you would think there was a building on fire.
This is a old post about how ink works [webmasterworld.com], but i think it has a LOT of good info in it that is still relevant
|I sent a letter of to my PFI provider and they have forwarded it to Inktomi. My Inktomi PFI provider told me it is likely related to all the mergers, acquisitions and negotiations. He felt SERP's would resolve once the dust settled and told me not to hold my breath for a response from Inktomi. |
That's just your provider being too lazy to get in touch with someone at Inktomi. Even now, if we suspect an editorial action, we contact Inktomi and receive word right away (from a direct contact) as far as exactly why we've got an editorial action against us, and they let us know what we have to do to fix it.
You might need to bust some heads to find out why they're not getting in touch with Ink like they should.
There is something going on. I'll compare 2 sites, both in the Inktomi database submitted via PT...
Site #1 - All were ranking well in MSN and HotBot until the end of September. Now they are no where to be found in the rankings. No referrals this month. They are still ranking fine in pure Ink.
Site #2 - Most of these pages have were submitted over a year ago. But two of these pages were submitted only 2 months ago and ALL of these pages are still ranking the same, no drop.
So. Why do the pages for a new site (not in the DB) added a few months ago suddenly plummet in the rankings? And why do the new pages from a site that was indexed over a year ago stay the same?
Inktomi is investigating unintended rank changes from recent portal configuration updates for relevance improvement. They expect to have update information on Monday October 13 about the status of those changes.
Latenight - say what? So when is this issue going to get fixed?
What is a "portal configuration update"?
I have no idea what, when, why or how - the message is one that Ink. sent my PFI provider.
|Portal Configuration Update |
Is that geek-speak or double-talk?
Let's try to decode this.
- Portal = MSN and other partners.
- Configuration = Configuration of Search Filters and Algo parameters. Or?...
- Update = Update
Maybe it's geek-speak for "bi-monthly update."
Portals can choose certain relevancy criteria around geo-targetting. They've updated them - they are wrong!
Just my 2 cents :)
I also share the same problem with you. My ranking disappeared from MSN starting October 1. The site is doing great in Google under the same search term. I submitted my site to Inktomi early September.
I e-mailed MSN directly and asked about this "disappearance"
Here's a portion of my e-mail:
Thank you for your prompt response. I understand that the site ***** is definitely in the
database. A search on September 30 on the term "***" pulled up my site on MSN first page. Now if you use the same search terms, the site in nowhere to be found on
the 1,2, or 3 page. I know that there can be ranking fluctuations. But I have never seen a complete ranking disappearance from Page 1 to nowhere from MSN.
I was informed that the "web page" results on MSN are from the Inktomi database. I went and checked Inktomi pure search, using the same search terms "****", and my site
is exactly where it is, on page 1.
What's up with MSN search results and Inktomi search results?
Here's a reply I received. No mention of Inktomi at all.
Thank you for writing to MSN Search Customer Support about your missing page on the MSN Search network. We understand the inconvenience this matter may have given you.
There are dozens of different variables that can affect where your site appears on the MSN Search results pages. Given that we deal with over 2 billion web pages in our index it is impossible to deal with each issue on a case by case basis. The only way to guarantee consistent & high placement is to participate in one of the following paid inclusion programs:
For information about our Featured Sites program, please go to: DELETE
For information about our Sponsored Links program, you will need to contact: DELETE
If you do not have the advertising budget to participate in one of these programs you should anticipate tweaking your website as necessary to keep pace with the aggressive marketing tactics of other web site owners.
We hope this helps you with your concern. If there is anything else we could be of help to you regarding MSN Search, please feel free to write us back.
So far, I think they are dodging the answers. I still have no clue what's going on between MSN and Inktomi.
|So far, I think they are dodging the answers. |
You didn't actually think that they were going to answer you, did you?
Seems to me that the best way to handle this is to assume that our lost sites are not coming back. I plan on adding new sites as a counter-measure.
I actually do, that was why I kept sending them e-mails. I was hoping they would shed some light :)
I guess we'll figure this out sooner or later.
I'm tending to side with the geographic theory.
I don't know how many of you who posted are actually US based sites or at least do not have a country code on your url. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who's been dropped that is a .com .net .org .us because if you have fallen out too at least that would put to rest the geographic theory.
I have a com.au that was ranking top 5 in msn/ink for many major keywords. Now we're suffering like others. Still good ranks in Ink but either disappeared altogether from MSN or sitting somewhere between 80-150.
The other interesting thing is that in ninemsn.com.au (The australian version of MSN), results are favouring Australian and New Zealand sites and are very different from Ink, with the big US sites like Ebay, pushed right down the listings.
In one respect I'm in favour of this but I would much prefer to have the option of a local country search (as in google) rather than be forced to local pages which may not be the most relevent for my search.
Having another look at the SERPS from MSN, I can see that some UK sites are still positioned OK. So if it is a geographic hit it may not be universal.
By the Way (just to add to the debate on whether it is a hit on recent PFI pages) None of my missing pages have ever been part of PFI at Ink.
At the moment, I'm just hoping they've got something wrong in an algo change, and I'm going to sit tight until the next update and see what happens then.
Janet, all of the domains that I manage and have rankings disappeared from MSN are .com
I guess that make the geographic theory dead and buried
Guys, indeed lets put to rest the geo theory....in my opinion that just aint it, I have pure US hosted IP .com domains (a hell of a lot) that have sunk to the bottom of the abyss as well.
Geo-targeting in this case isn't just based on country code, it also considers hosting location/IP. I have several .com and .co.uk sites based in the UK that have suffered. Also have a .com based in the US that hasn't. And a .co.uk in the US that has suffered.
So if you’re site doesn’t have a generic country code and is not located in the US, rankings will be downgraded.
It’s the hosting location that is difficult to identify for some search engines. Which is why the get-targeting theory falls apart in some cases. But for me it’s the only connection I’ve found examining around a 100 completely unrelated sites. There may be other factors but geo-targeting is the most obvious.
>I guess that make the geographic theory dead and buried..
INK is experimenting and implementing portal geo-targetting for US regions that will affect .com domains in the US. If that fouled up - who knows what may happen!
Unofficial (but usually reliable) sources have intimated to me that there has been "a glitch" in the interface provided to portals.
Take this senario:
2 sites. Different subjects. Same templates. Same server (in UK). Different TLDs (.co.uk and .info). Submitted to Ink within a couple of days of one another.
Both rank well on positiontech
The .co.uk ranks well on msn.co.uk
The .info doesn't rank well on msn.com or .co.uk
Infact, the .co.uk ranks futher down the serps on the main phrase for the .info site as it contains a link to it with kwd anchor text.
In a nutshell - I am definitely seeing some geo targetting.
All of my sites are .com and all are on the same server. The only site that has been *penalized* is the one which was submitted in July. All of the others have been in the database for over a year.
And again, it seems that as long as the site was submitted before this mysterious cut off date, any pages submitted recently are just fine. It's only seems to be pages from the site that were submitted recently.
Mona, I have the exact same problem.
Why buried PFI sites that were submitted from July down? All my rankings from sites that I submitted from July are either buried or gone.
If this is a glitch from geo-targeting, when will it be fixed? It's been almost 3 weeks and I have yet to see any new changes.
Any thoughts or recommendations?
PFI is not relevant in my situation. All my missing pages have been found naturally by Ink. They have NEVER been in PFI.
I think this is another red herring....
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