| 3:07 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)|
You are not alone. I have the exact same experience.
HOWEVER, it is very hard to imagine that Google now considers these as punishable techniques:
1)posting your major keywords in large letters on your front page (H1 tag) for all to see (many sites above me don't have these words on the page at all--are they wiser?)
2)using these same words in your page title and description (Yes, I did that too!)
3)managing to have directories such as the ODP use these words in your site description (gee, I wonder how that happened?)
Conclusion: maybe we should wait and see what really comes up when (if) they finally update
| 4:38 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Something happened to my site around 11:00 pm-1:00 am last night. My business's name is Location Keywords.com. So naturally the majority of the inbound anchor text and the title were Location Keywords.com.
Searching for Location Keywords, it had ranked #4 prior to this nonsense going live on www. It had been #1 or #3 across the different datacenters until last night.
The site is relatively new. I bought it last July. It had been down for awhile, but the domain never expired. ALL the links are new, related, and gotten by individually written requests. I even contacted Yahoo! and had them remove the existing links in January as they were now off topic for the new site.
It was ranked number one for allinanchor:Location Keywords across www and all dataceners until last night. Now it is 24th.
I have a lot of new links which should have been coming live for this update.
| 4:45 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I have a similar problem [webmasterworld.com].
I noticed that neither PR nor backlinks seem to cause this problem. Also, I'm still #3 for 'allinanchor:keyword', while I dropped from #2 to #450 for 'allintitle:keyword'. However, the title was not changed for month and Google still shows the correct title.
| 4:52 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)|
yup confirmed, heavy penalty on "some" keywords.
I have been wiped out from several keywords on one site.
So H1 etc is not enough of an explanation. I wonder if they are punishing anyone who has too many links in with that anchor text .. Or they are adding negative anchor weight from some links.
An insane thing to do but it would explain things ...
| 4:57 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Spica, AthlonInside, and extreme,
Did you notice this early on or was it something just added(subtracted) last night for your sites?
| 5:00 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I noticed it early on.
But it came and went on -sj and -fi. Now its applied on -sj but not on -fi. And its applied on www.
Without this very odd penalty it'd have been a wonderful update. But i guess its a bit early to say for certain whats happening.
| 6:01 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Gone down from top 10 to lower than 30 on some of my main keywords. My ranking for secondary keywords have stayed about the same. (which is great because 90% of my search engine traffic comes from those).
I'm trying hard to find a pattern, but the hit seems to be completely arbitrary.
| 7:11 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|I have been wiped out from several keywords on one site. So H1 etc is not enough of an explanation. I wonder if they are punishing anyone who has too many links in with that anchor text .. Or they are adding negative anchor weight from some links. |
This is what I am thinking too. They have block my site from appearing with my top keywords which can be found on title, h1 and 95% of my anchor text. A search on that used to return my site in top 10, but now it is gone. Instead, my 'about page' which has the terms on the title appear somewhere near 100.
Since I am not alone here, Google must have applied some filters. But what's that filter and how it works? We need to work together to find out. Else we would stuck forever on it.
This might be the possible reasons.
1. I have added h1 tags specially for this update.
2. I have lots of links pointing in with the keyword as anchor text. Clean from guestbook links. Have partner sites which link to me in all their pages.
3. Duplicate title? It seems like a competitor using a title similar to mine. When he appears, I am vanished, and the opposite. Only one survival a time.
4. Crawling of non-www version of my domain. Googlebot has index my non-www version of domain (ie mysite.com instead of www.mysite.com). Is it a bug which cose google to confuse with my site?
All other keywords perform quite well (those not in anchor text). PR remained well. It is a SEMI-PENALTY but what do I do wrong?!
Are googleguy here to help when we need him the most?
| 5:01 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
This filter is confirmed on with this update. It is there on VA as well (so as FI, CW & DC).
SJ is just the based index with old algo, it get transfered to other data centers. The only filters is applied and that's why we see strange results in other data centers.
| 5:22 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
What does allinanchor show for these keywords AthlonInside? Sounds like you may have the same missing anchor text credit that my site does. Home page used to be #4 with allinchor: for the main keyword. It ain't even in the top 100 for that now.
| 5:33 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Gents you have to remember it's still early days yet, my sites were lost completely when this all kicked in now on all the data centres there back, ok not the links but we know they will come back over time
The best thing to do is wait, I know it's hard but there’s nothing you can do until www updates then you can try to work out what’s happening
| 5:54 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Yes, wait until next update maybe. This update is kind of for sure with what we see in 3 datacenters (CW, DC and VA).
| 11:54 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I understand the need to wait for the update to complete to draw any real conclusions, but the concensus seems to be that the updated algo is in place, so I think this is still worthy of discussion. I have a site in a similar situation - top 10 on sj and nowhere to be seen on dc/fi/cw.
The link count on all the data centres is exactly the same. For red widget i'm top 10 on sj, nowhere on fi. For 'big red widget' i'm infirst position on all the centres.
However, I have been able to observe an interesting difference between the listings on sj and the other data centres.
If I search for "www.url.com" on sj, up pops the site's home page. If I do the same search on fi, inner pages from the site appear low down the serps, and the homepage is nowhere to be found. It looks like the homepage is devalued somehow? I appreciate this may be a glitch of some kind, but there are quite a lot of people seeing similar descrepancies.
Anyone else who suspects a 'semi-penalty' try searching for the phrase "www.yoursite.com" and let me know if you see the same as I did. This might help understand if this is some kind of new penalty, or glitch/whatever.
| 12:13 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|inner pages from the site appear low down the serps, and the homepage is nowhere to be found. It looks like the homepage is devalued somehow? |
Welcome to the club. This is exactly what we are talking about. The new filter seems to ignore the main page and shows some inner page (my about page in this case) in some where below. Main page is buried and hidden.
But there are nothing special on the search on www.mysite.com.
SJ is okay. FI, DC, & CW is terrible.
a searh of allintitle:blue widget didn't bring my site up too.
| 12:18 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Just as a point of reassurance, I had a similar problem (for entirely different resons) some time ago with another site, and it was back to normal after one update. This was a site-specific problem though, and not one that seems as widespread as this one.
Also part of my point is that I don't think this is to do with links, since the site in question has very few links and shows the same count on all the data centres. Very little has changed on the site in the past 4/5 months.
| 12:43 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
This "selective penalty" has been talked about for some time. Usually it seems to occur when a very high percentage of your links come from the exact phrase. It typically only affects that exact text in ranking.
There was a large thread about selective penalty here a couple months back.
I cannot confirm that too many anchor key links is hurting on the new index, though. When I search allinanchor:keyword, it pretty much mirrors the search results for that keyword as usual.
It would make sense that Google may penalize sites where their only links are almost identical, as it demonstrates that most were gained artificially (link exchange). True, a high percentage may come with key anchor text naturally, but not nearly all.
| 12:55 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
There is no difference for me on the results for "www.mysite.com" among the datacenters that reflect the new algo.
In my case, my site comes up higher in the new index for "allinanchor:keyword1 keyword2", even though it dropped considerably in the SERPs for "keyword1 keyword2". Thus, I don't think that missing anchor text is the explanation.
| 1:14 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
In the "new index", my site has dropped down 2 pages for keyword1 keyword2 (k1 k2), but is up a little for any 3-word combination that also includes k1 k2 (e.g., k1 k2 k3, k4 k1 k2, k1 k2 k3 k4, etc.). Here is a possible, though (I hope!) unlikely explanation...
(read with twilight zone music on)
If you check the SERPs for your favorite keywords over and over again (with the toolbar on, of course), then you are obviously trying to optimize for those keywords, and will get penalized for that. Beware, big brother is watching you!
:) :) :)
| 1:17 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I don't have the toolbar, so this definitely doesn't apply to my site.
| 1:38 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
our experience if it helps anyone:
in about feb - march, we received a ranking on a prime keyphase (for us) that we hadn't expected for awhile. (until our pr could compete with the heavy hitters)...
since march, we disappeared of the map with the keyphrase, again. we hadn't made any signficant changes to make it appear or disappear. it just did,
comparing that to what we see on -sj & -fi:
true to form our ranking discussed above shows up on this index for the keyphrase. got us real excited at first since GG was hinting that index was going to go live. we thought we got our ranking back (since we dont know how we got it exactly, and than how we lost it, that was exciting)however upon closer inspection we realized what everybody else did....it's common knowledge that the -sj starting point for that index (its ground 0) is stale data in many regards, if not all.
doesn't have us ranked anywhere on this keyphrase (just like old and new times). further, of certain new data being rotated on www. it seems it closely matches -fi index in many regards. however there are indications that --fi is a stale index of data as well as its ground 0. maybe more stale than -sj or maybe newer. it's really hard to tell for us if -fi is any better an indicator of things to come than -sj.
in short, for us hard to draw any conclusions with what we are seeing. yet anyway. on anything. based on this analysis and a few phrases we are watching, and other posts in this forum for the last couple of weeks now.
| 2:33 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
In my case the semi-penalty seem to be caused by on-page factors. Although 80-90% of the incoming links have the same anchor text, that doesn't seem to be part of the problem. Backlinks, PR and allinanchor show normal behaviour, while allintitle and allintext show strange results. Also, the problem seem to appear just for the index page.
The results are the same for SJ, FI, DC and CW.
| 2:46 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
What's the on-page factor you are referring to?
| 4:12 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
My index page comes up higher in the new index for the keyword1 keyword2 combination that I am targeting whether I search using allinanchor, allintitle, or allintext. There must be something else that is more important now....
| 4:36 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
the only point which I found which could caused this semi-penalty on my index page is JS. I used a script as flash detection and redirect the user either to a flash intro or to the main page.
I removed the flash intro as well as the script. SJ, FI, DC and CW already show the new index page, but the problem is still there. Either I have to wait for the update after the next deep crawl or the problem is caused by anything else. However, there is nothing special on this page.
yes, there are additional factors and maybe Google changed the algorithm. However, a change in the position is nothing unsual for an update. This can be caused by many things: change of the algorithm, change of PR (either for your or the other pages), a penalty for other sites and so on.
However, at least in my case, the situation is different and more complicated as explained in msg #4.
| 4:38 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
<it's really hard to tell for us if -fi is any better an indicator of things to come than -sj.>
abcdef, agree with that! It's our opinion that -sj -fi and maybe -cw are leading the pack in terms of updating schedule, which might make sense if for no other reason than that those were the first ones to get going on this crazy update.
We keep thinking it's possible that what's going on here is either they are TESTING different algo variations at different dc's, or that they are applying the filters in different orders at different dc's. Either of these approaches could be designed to evaluate the effect of the new algo's key elements on the index.
At times we think that we've been able to guess WHAT they are testing or implementing. What we have little clue about is where the SERP's will all end up when ALL of the chosen algo elements are in place, and the new index is added in (which we still think is not there yet).
Most of what we've been able to get out of this is a heightened awareness of things that are getting more attention at the Plex than perhaps used to be the case (freshness, keyword anchor text, onsite versus offsite factors, community relevance, etc.)
| 5:01 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
yeah, wackmaster, agreed.
some excellent observations in this topic and others. but it seems to us that it is still early to draw conclusions as to what Google is up too.
nonetheless, the observations are really interesting. In this case we can't see where keywords in our anchortext is something that ss hurting us with this new scheme whatever it is. but maybe.
| 5:32 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I fell from #4 for my mega keyword to #19. The interesting thing is, we are the only site in the top 20 to be so affected. The others have been there for eons and they haven't budged much.
Since I was #19 three months ago, I know this is only temporary. I don't believe there is any new penalty, but just back to an old algo for a while.
At first, I found it strange that I was the ony one affected, until I recalled that the other sites have been around for eons. They don't have a clue about optimizing, so I have been moving up while they have remained static. So, if Google reverts to an old algo, it stands to reason that I would be the one affected the most.
I suspect this is the position most of us find ourselves because we are always tweaking and optimizing and edging up. When the dust settles, I am certain that the situation will normalize and we will all move back up.
Even if don't, so what. This experience has reminded me that you can never build a sustainable business on anything free. When it's free you are always vulnerable and you have to accept wahtever is dished out to you. When you are paying for a service you can always take your business elsewhere. For me its back to sound business basics(affiliate marketing, email marketing, etc.). Henceforth, whatever I get from the SE's will be bonus.
Just my .02cents.
| 5:49 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Regarding this anchor text thing (first brought to our attention by rfgdxm1), there is little doubt in our minds that G is looking at dampening it in some cases.
If you do an allinanchor search across the nine data centers, it yields some interesting results. What is of course hard to divine is what/why G is doing on this front (i.e., what are their criteria for dampening anchor text in some cases and not others...and what impact will it have if they decide to go with this).
The trouble I have with it is, if "blue widgets" is the anchor text most often used to refer to a site that has lots of inbound links, and is called "BlueWidgets.com", how the heck can they penalize you for that? One possiblility: perhaps they are dampening only the inbound anchor text from one's own pages? Doubt that it's that simple though...it never is ;-).
And besides, is it bad to point to the lead blue widgets page in your site with anchor text that says the same...if it's accurate and relevant? Hmmmm. This can be a game where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't!
| 6:09 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)|
>>When the dust settles, I am certain that the situation will normalize and we will all move back up.
I hope you are right. My situation is exactly like yours.
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