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This 128 message thread spans 5 pages: 128 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 > >     
SERIOUS Google update algo analysis thread.
NO whining or cheering about how your site is doing in this one.

 6:42 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm starting this thread because another member suggested such would be a good idea because the main Google update thread is cluttered with posts like "OMG, I've been dropped in the new index!" and "Yippee, I'm now #1 on a key SERP". This thread is ONLY for serious, generic discussion of changes that you are observing with the new algo in this update. As in things like "Looks to me like PR is less important this month, and anchor text of inbound links counts more.", etc. How your site is doing has no relevance here unless you can explain why you think so in terms of a general algo update.

My observation so far: little change this month from last. Anchor text of inbound links still counts big time, and PR seems to be worth the same as before. IOW, its the same old, same old. One aspect that isn't relevant with the SERPs I am most familiar with is "spamminess". I don't see much more spam, but then these SERPs don't tend to be the ones that spammers would be found on. Thus, the index may be more spammy, and I wouldn't see it.



 6:45 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

To the point, I like it!:

Site lost about 30 backlinks, may have gone from PR 5 to 6, and looks about exactly the same in the serps.

[edited by: PFOnline at 6:46 am (utc) on Mar. 7, 2003]

brotherhood of LAN

 6:45 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

good idea....

>little change this month from last.

I agree. Not much in depth analysis, but from glancing, the SERP's dont look much different at all.

I think the index is a little larger, not sure if there are more pages being produced or google's filters are more relaxed.


 6:51 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am noticing a lot more php indexing as well as dynamis url's in general. On one of my pages I messed up badly with the title but this didnt effect it's placement in the serps. Perhaps a little less emphasis on titles and more on anchor text. From a non webmaster perspective has to be one of the best indexes in a long time. From a webmaster point of view. Great results for peopele with links from dynamic pages. I posted a few days ago refering to freshbot making some pretty strange requests for dynamic content, i.e. arriving with a querry. I am begining to understand why. All in all good results.

Good luck everyone.


 6:51 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am seeing a lot less backlinks. But I seem to have gained moderately in my rankings overall. So I think some sort of adjustment may have been made to what "counts" since we didnt add many links this month yet all of my existing links are still there. No link rot seems to be occurring here.

I counted 6 sites that had hidden links and 1 site that had hidden text keywords. I found 2 sites that are mirrors of each other.

I am not sure what the difficulty is in finding hidden objects and filtering them in the algorithm. I guess duplicated content that is not linked may be more difficult.



 6:54 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Site lost about 30 backlinks, may have gone from PR 5 to 6, and looks about exactly the same in the serps.

I have a possible explanation for this. One of the mods here pointed out in this index Google has a lot more total pages than the last one. If these are things like bulletin board pages, etc. which would have low PR this might tend to drag down the PR of ALL higher PR pages. Thus, no relative advantage or disadvantage to those. However, the link: command only shows PR4 or higher pages. Thus, total backlinks may be the same, but the link: command shows less because some fell beneath PR4.


 6:56 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Seems to me they put some nasty filters on internal links, made a graph and the sites that where penalised where the ones that had the mostreciprocal links.

Seems the keyword density filters are less permissive as the pages where i increased the density last month as they don't show anymore for the terms they are targetting.

So less internal reciprocal links, i guess use a very strict hierarchical structure, and lower keyword density


 6:58 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

That would explain it rfgdxm1! Good call, thanks... I'm gonna check the PageRank of the sites that still link to me that no longer show up as backlinks.


 7:05 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

after this uppdate, the backwards links doubled for my site...but the page rank remained the same..does anybody knows y?


 7:15 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

My site is relatively new and therefore has been increasing with every update for the last four months. last month was my best to date as far as adding on topic links not just to the home page but to all the inner pages as well. However, it has fallen back this month to less relevant sites for the search. These competing sites also have fewer backlinks and similar pr. Previously I have heard tell of Google possibly adding domain creation dates (for lack of a better term) into their algo. Is anyone else seeing results that might indicate domain age may have a part in the algo?

ps. I don't mean to whine but these are the only results i know enough about to post on


 7:17 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

How does one check the updated page rank?


 7:19 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Two of my sites lost about 20 links and have improved marginally in the serps for key words/phrases. But one lost almost 100 links and it looks like it may lose its PR7. At least itís flicking on at PR6 part of the time.

The site that lost so much has been around since 1996 and I wonder if something has changed in regards to old sites or old links. I remember Brett wondering if old sites had an advantage. Perhaps this is correcting for that. The lost backlinks doesnít seem to have hurt the site in the serps.

At first I thought the difference was less internal back links showing but that doesnít seem to be the case in the newer sites.


 7:20 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

No significant change in algo or rankings. Although PR and rankings are the same, the number of reported backlinks shows a slight decrease.


 7:26 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Seems the keyword density filters are less permissive as the pages where i increased the density last month as they don't show anymore for the terms they are targetting.

How high was the KWD here?


 7:30 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have seen a larger dependance on link text as pointed out in the other thread.

I also notice more amazon and kmart item pages, etc... very deep links surfacing to higher rankings. Maybe PR is more important?

And I am seeing some very agressive spam in my SERP's, like I've never seen before, and they are very sucessful at it, it seems. 10+ domains, interlinking, etc... I call it spam cause some of these domains have 8 keywords in them and super-micro text links.

Oh well :) Google has to modify this algo sooner or later.


 7:37 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Either new page rank hasn't filtered in yet or the new Google directory PR isn't having an effect yet. I expect significant changes next update or at the end of this. New pages that should have PR have none yet so when that kicks in it should be interesting. I've been hoping for improvement on a couple interior pages I changed my internal linking to benefit, so the update is like a teaser now, still waiting.

jeremy goodrich

 7:37 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Serious update algo analysis -> I love the post title.

Makes it seem so 'official'...hm, seriously, I'm not going to bother checking or looking at anything for a few days.

No need to rush, the update just started - as many have said, things change.

Google traffic up 20% so far on the few sites I bothered to check.

Go Google. :)

Does anybody know what a 'pagerank' is? And how to calculate one?

Is it the normalized eigenvector of the link matrix of the web, or something else...and if the normalization is skewed to one degree or another, say, favoring sites of a certain 'brand X widget' then perhaps that would be the 'snippet' of analysis I should share?

No whining or cheering, hu?
<- I think that makes for a 'non fun' thread.

I guess I'll finish by saying, ya team, go google, wohoo, Google Rocks, party on, etc. :;

whats up skip

 7:38 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think you may be trying to analyse the new algo too soon.

From what I can see this update (www2.google.com)has not yet taken account of the new DMOZ data.

Without this key data being included (I am assuming this is one reason for the delay in the update) in the results on www2 you cannot really see the impact.

At the moment all you really can tell is what pages are in and what are out.


 7:43 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google traffic up 20% so far on the few sites I bothered to check

This is the second post saying traffic is up. Do you guys really get traffic from www2 or are you just counting your own crew visiting your site?


 7:45 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

It has been my observation that the results early in the dance mostly stick until the end. Of course, this month this may not hold true.


 7:47 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

>This is the second post saying traffic is up. Do you guys really get traffic from www2 or are you just counting your own crew visiting your site?

EXCELLENT point there. Who else but us Googleholics even know about www2?


 7:49 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I think you may be trying to analyse the new algo too soon

Well, "serious anecdotal evidence discussion" is a bit of a mouthful. More accurate perhaps but people prefer those buzzwords. :)

Okay, I'll be serious. It's too early yet to determine anything about the new update. Making factual observation based on shifting data is the equivalent of trying to step on the same spot of water twice. Isolating variables using static data is difficult, with shifting data it is fruitless.

Making authoritative statements based on incomplete analysis is the equivalent of prevaricating. To each his own, I'm going to spend my time matching snowflake patterns.


 8:01 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

From what I can see this update (www2.google.com) has not yet taken account of the new DMOZ data.

I have one site that I anticipated would appear in the Google Web Directory (taken from DMOZ) for the first time with this update. It does on www2 but the directory link does not go to a newer version of the directory itself and the site is not listed there. So my conclusion is the opposite - that www2 has taken it into account but that the new Google Web Directory has yet to be updated.


 8:04 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's too early yet to determine anything about the new update.

My experience with the update is that I can be found in two spots. Where I was before the update and where I am after. I don't understand the term 'dance'. My sites don't move, it only appears they do because I hit a data center that has the old index and then one with the new. I hope I am wrong and welcome any opposing views.


 8:05 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

One word... guestbooks.

I see a site rocket from #13 to #1 on a competitive two word keyphrase with only doorway pages, a standard DMOZ link, and many guestbook signatures. GoogleGuy... guestbooks must somehow be ignored or minimized better. This is scary.


 8:07 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey, drop me that query in a spam report. We'll use it as test data. :)


 8:17 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Already sent.


 8:25 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

my experience with the update is, that the serps are much more 'updated' or let's say up-to-date. even older pages still rank high, 'new player' are listed a bit more higher / fairlier weighted.

don't know if others can verify, but this experience is based on three sites in very different topic areas.

i realized such a change maybe half a year ago. quite the same. one year ago, these older pages were nearly 90% of the grand total serps for a keyword, then half a year ago 60%, now it's about 30% and put to the back much more. maybe this is related to the algo described in the new patent [webmasterworld.com]. i don't think it's 100% implemented but they try to do something like it right now maybe.

indexing of dynamic websites
php indexing, or indexing of dynamic pages, i can state no change. well, for my very new sites i switched over to se friendly urls completly. so for the 'new in the index' sites i can make no decisision, this is only based on older ones.

spam issues
imho what spam is, it's reduced a lot. my example comes up for book titles. spamming was there for peoples buisnesses and reseller websites a lot in the last time. this has been solved. i get much more topic related info then a direct link into a shop. well done!
i hope google will go even more into this and internationalize the froogle section. this might help to divide selling interests from information interests and will provide a better websearch.


 8:25 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I noticed a big improvement in the serps for my sites. I think partly from the boost of receiving the DMOZ link but also because the backward link anchor text has given the sites a big boost. I see that one of my sites moved from 187 spot to #7 for a major keyword.
I wonder if there is any chance the rankings will change dramatically. I worry that this is too good to last. :)


 9:00 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I confirm there is nothing really new to consider with this algo that wasn't important beforehand. I am still seeing one spammer and it is the kind and nature that really gets under my skin. I can forgive a lot of spam but 500 keyword cloaked redirect doorway pages burns me up.

Important algo factors for me include:

1. Quality inbound links (theme and non theme)
2. Anchor text in those links
3. Good meta title and description
4. H1 and H2 tags play a big part
5. I mention my keyword approx 7-10 times per 100 words of text.
6. Absolutely no flash on front page or any other pages. Nothing kills you faster than flash.
7. Clean code, no useless code, junk code.
8. I have a cardinal rule against putting any image on the front page and it is probably the most significant factor for me. Nothing "weighs" you down more than images. I understand for a lot people this is not possible but in my opinion - I am glad my competitors love to use 27 images on the front page.
9. Related to that: Download in 3-4 seconds max.
10. Add fresh content every month. Write one to two more pages if that is all you can do.

Summary: With those algo principles and a Keep It Simple Stupid approach to web-design - I kick butt. Working with medical sites as I do, I am glad that all my competitors who are clinics and doctors are vain with self-inflated egos and love to have big fancy image laden sites with flash on the front page and other bells and whistles because it just kills them in the serps. They would need massive links and high PR to overcome those type designs which work against them.

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