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This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >     
Google Directory Seems to Flip Flop

 4:28 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

When the Google directory updated (about 10 days ago?) it did it's usual dance as it moved across the servers and then settled. But the last couple of days it has been showing the old results more often than the new.
Has anyone else noticed this?



 4:29 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes I noticed it. My site was out of the directory for 1/2 a day or so for no apparent reason, but now it's back.


 4:34 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes.. I've noticed many flaky things going on where weeks after the dance, the results are still changing (you can hit 'refresh' and they change back and forth right in front of your eyes!).

Some of our sites are completely stable, and others are all over the place, and some even have the pre-dance cache now.


 5:29 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I noticed this morning that Google and Yahoo has reverted back to pre-dance results. Did they step on someones toes during the dance?


 6:27 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I noticed this as well, my site, as well as a friend's, were results #1-4 for a particular search term, and now I've only got one page as #5 with no sign of my friend, which is how things were before the last dance. Does this have something to do with the current freshbot runs?


 6:32 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thank god, I thought I was going crazy!
Saw the refresh-old-new directory thing too, and though I still have my new PR , the SERPs have fallen back to the old ones, and all my similar links have disappeared.
Just when I was getting focussed on what I really should do ...work...I'm bad to wondering what the heck I did wrong!


 7:03 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good, so I'm not losing my mind. Okay, now that we can agree that there are some old results popping up... There is also a site that WAS at #1 for my keyword before the update, got dropped in the update, and is now back again!
What the heck could be going on?


 7:14 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Look at Googles search results totals... it is bouncing around like it is doing the 'dance again. It only appears to be happening for certain keywords/phrases though.


 7:18 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Every time I get an old directory page I immediately hit "refresh" on IE and the page changes to the current/correct one... every time.


 7:21 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

that happens to me as well... what I don't understand is some of the sites reverting back to the pre-dance cache though, which in some cases, dramatically changes the ranking order.


 11:22 am on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

while I got flip-flop result from google directory yesterday I only get old results today - no matter how often I reload.

in addition one of my sites disappeared completely from the index (including grey bar) but still can be found in the yahoo results.

all this drives me to do sample search and look in my stats and check out for the googlebot every 5 minutes instead of getting some serious work done :)



 12:21 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)


I'm checking the directory entries for a few of my sites as well as my client's... some show the new version, and others (always the same) show the old stuff... That makes me guess that Google's directory is only partly affected.


Made In Sheffield

 1:30 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Confirmed here too, it's been like it for days. The first time I checked I thought it was just my cached page from IE but it's just done it again.


 1:49 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I hope GoogleGuy is around to explain what is going on lately. The consistency of Google seems to be gone now. I'm usually updated every day on our news sites, and yesterday, on a controversial news story, I was #1 on everything - more than 2,000 unique visitors - and today, it's not even in the database.

Fortunately, Yahoo must slightly alter the algo, cause it's still on top there (after its update), but other sites are moving search results from 2,000,000 to 2,180,000 within minutes.

Other sites (and keyword searches) are solid as a rock, and operating as always.

Any ideas ladies and gentlemen?


 3:28 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

My theory is....
after reporting back to the bosses, Google Guy indicated that his observations at WW indicate the a large majority of SEO and experianced developers had quite a clear understanding of how the algorythm worked. Together they conclude that the best way to deal with this was to load more mickyware, which would cause bugs to mysteriously appear and disappear. This move would cause mass confusion and make the wise ones doubt their own conclusions of how the algo works.
Having done that, they also decided to throw a couple of Tom cats in with the pigeons, in case they detected any bugs and fixed them right away.
When you look at a serp or directory page, refresh and it goes back to normal, it simply means the pigeon got back to his desk.


 3:43 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks OnTheEdge! It's nice to finally have a difinitive answer as to what all has been going on with Google lately. Have you considered writing a book on the subject? ;)


 3:49 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

i could have a lot of fun....
they do have a good sense of humour over at Google ;)


 6:11 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

So we are still at a point where we all agree there is something wrong/weird but we have no reason or historical explanation?


 6:19 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

From what I've gleened from the "Google Masters" here, I guessing its just Everflux, only the bigger the index gets, the more obvious the flux is.


 6:26 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>something wrong/weird but we have no reason or historical explanation?

I have never seen this happen before, particularly on mature sites. About 80% of my sites are fine, and about 20% of the sites (and/or keyword results) are flaky - and one of the flaky ones I put up in 1996!

Lately, I haven't been getting as much GoogleBot activity either (on any of the sites), which also concerns me.

As I mentioned before, other than during the dance, I have never seen search results bouncing around when I hit refresh on some keywords, like it is now. And to drop the fresh cache (that's been there for the past couple weeks) to 1-month old cache makes no sense either.

Hopefully Google will get well and go stable again soon.


 6:37 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Netguy, you mentioned Freshbot activity and I have something strange there too. I am #2 for my keyword and have a nice stable stie that is visited almost every day by googlebot. But for the last three days, almost all of the top 20 sites have fresh tags and mine does not. Googlebot is visiting and my site is highly ranked (and also the highest PR in my category)... why no Fresh tags?
Any help is appreciated!


 6:46 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, Huntersbiz, I also have more questions than answers. By the responses so far, I don't think anybody has an answers other than to sit back and wait - and hold our breath...........


 10:36 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has anybody besides me noticed that the Yahoo! backlinks, on the 3 Google databases, are still out of whack at 692,000.
At the conclusion of the GoogleDance they should return to the standard 642,000.
Google is still indexing?
Or is it Googles Spring/spam cleaning?
Hmmmm,,, , ,,


 11:10 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is no "standard" for anything to go back to. Yahoo backlinks are at 692k this month and will be something else next month.


 11:23 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

My guess is what is going on with the directory is that there is at least one server out there which for some reason still has the old one. Thus if you look occasionally you may hit it.


 11:26 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Hopefully Google will get well and go stable again soon.

Why should Google be stable? Is the web stable?

Stable is what we are used to, but it's not the way it should be.

I don't say the present fluctuation is the type we're waiting for, but 'stable results' belong on the scrap heap.


 11:56 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Why should Google be stable? Is the web stable?

Obviously as information is added and changed, Google needs to respond accordingly. There should be changes every day.

What is NOT stable is seeing changing SERPs and search results of 2,040,000 - 2,100,000 - 2,050,000 - 2,180,000 every Minute when you hit refresh! And sites changing back and forth to last months' cache.

Most can't see this since many of the sites I monitor keywords and SERPS for aren't affected either. But on certain keywords, Google has 'stability' problems.


 12:21 am on Mar 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, stability is not what we are looking for. But fluctuation to UPDATED results instead of fluctuation to OLD results is a perfectly acceptable goal. Fluctuating to old results is bad for us, bad for Google and bad for the web community.
I think we can all agree on that.
There IS a problem at the moment.


 12:55 am on Mar 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Fluctuating to old results is bad for us, bad for Google and bad for the web community.

This is particularly bad with what the directory results are doing. For me, they were fluctuating between the current results from the last RDF dump Google used, to result back from fall of last year. Which in the cat I checked had 3 dead sites that have since been dumped, and 3 new ones that have been added.


 3:51 am on Mar 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google's Fresh. Feeling much better now... have a nice fresh March 20 stamp on my sites now. All fresh pages and cache. Hopefully the information holds.

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
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