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The Google Update Schedule Thoughts
Gleaned from datacenter updates
Critter




msg:218271
 3:02 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey all:

This is a recap and a prediction topic.

Recall that GG said that the -sj index would move to the other datacenters, then we would see backlinks/spam filters applied across the board.

If this is the case, and if the d.c. datacenter (-dc) just got the -sj index (I saw it bouncing around last night actually); and the cable & wireless (-cw) datacenter got the index on the 15th. *Then* it seems we have 2 days for the index to be propagated to each datacenter (this is a worst-case scenario, as the datacenters may be updated in parallel and may all pop up with the -sj index very shortly).

Since we have 5 datacenters left to go, that brings us 10 days in the future for all datacenters to given the -sj index...which brings us to the 27th. At this time we should see the backlinks/spam filters being applied at every datacenter as deltas/patches (if you will) and the real "dance" will be underway. It will, of course, take considerably less time.

Notice that the prediction of the 27th is, in my opinion, a worst-case scenario; we will most likely see things happen sooner.

Peter

 

Critter




msg:218331
 10:46 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

No...he's flipping a switch that says "rfgdxm1's cerebellum and brainstem" :)

(watch that twitch thar)

Peter

Kirby




msg:218332
 10:49 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why, then, ARE people stressed? Why DO they pay attention to every minute detail?

Quite simply, because their livelihood depends on Google. With the undisputed dominance of Google in the Search Engines area, a drop of 20 places in the SERP of some critical keywords can have a MAJOR effect on the survival and/or prosperity of a site. People have invested countless time, effort and money to develop an online business, and they see the possibility of it being badly affected. Sure they are alarmed!

It is easy to become dependent on Google, but not smart business. When Goto came out, I became very dependent on PPC in a very short time frame because it was so cheap. I could make $10k a month on $50 a month on PPC.

What started out for 6 months costing me $.05 a click is now $5.00 a click, so PPC no longer makes sense for me.

I needed to adapt and learn and forums like this helped. So I did adapt and the last 12 months I spend no $ on PPC and make $200k on free SERPS.

Now my traffic is like a yo-yo and I have no idea where it will end up, but the last people I am upset with is Google or GG. Google owes my business nothing, not even an explaination, so I appreciate GG's posts.

My suggestion is instead of reading this forum hourly, many would benefit from some outside reading, like "Who Moved My Cheese?'. Seems appropriate since that is what many think Goole has done to them.

No disrespect meant to anyone here, just some tried and true business sense.

BigDave




msg:218333
 10:52 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy,

Thanks for the compliment. It's nice to hear that I'm at least getting a lot of it right :)

I'm just an old time hacker. Mostly assembly and C doing firmware and OS stuff. I've only done a little SE type stuff, but there's a lot of optimized datapath, and compiler design work that carries over very well to SE. And linguistics is one of my hobbies.

Other than that, I just payed attention on here to the members that made the most sense, and seemed to put the most thought into what is really happening.

rfgdxm1




msg:218334
 10:53 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>rfgdxm1, I really promise that there isn't someone flipping a switch that says "rfgdxm1's key anchortext."

However, it makes things much more interesting to cook up a conspiracy theory. And, just because I know people are out to get me doesn't make me paranoid. ;)

BigDave




msg:218335
 10:56 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1, I really promise that there isn't someone flipping a switch that says "rfgdxm1's key anchortext."

It's nice to see that you have automated that function now. It seems like such a waste to have someone spending their whole day flipping that switch.

Alphawolf




msg:218336
 11:04 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

webdev,

Nice post there bro....

Completely agree that complaining does nothing here and has given me a good insight into gaining exposure in other se's and areas....

Thanks. I saved Bett's report to my hard drive when I first spotted it.

AW

rank outsider




msg:218337
 11:37 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

In reply to teeceo:

I like many others, read this forum daily, but rarely feel moved to contribute. The sentiments expressed by others normally reflect my feelings. Again the sentiments expressed by one wholeheartedly reflect my experience. My site is gone, vanished, disappeared, DEAD (having occupied #1 for 6 mths +)! I am actually trying not to be melodramatic but this site is (was) my livelihood. Should I feel a little sad about this? Desperate even? Afterall I have only spent 4 years honestly trying to get my site to the top. For those of you that knock those of us who deign to be frustrated, anxious, and maybe even downright scared think about it? I know you don't have to, but how would you feel?

Powdork




msg:218338
 11:50 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

No...he's flipping a switch that says "rfgdxm1's cerebellum and brainstem

I tried a search for allincerebellum:keyword and my site wasn't even listed;)

Is my anchor button near rfgdxm1's? I think someone hit it by mistake.

deanril




msg:218339
 12:24 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

In reply to teeceo:
I like many others, read this forum daily, but rarely feel moved to contribute. The sentiments expressed by others normally reflect my feelings. Again the sentiments expressed by one wholeheartedly reflect my experience. My site is gone, vanished, disappeared, DEAD (having occupied #1 for 6 mths +)! I am actually trying not to be melodramatic but this site is (was) my livelihood. Should I feel a little sad about this? Desperate even? Afterall I have only spent 4 years honestly trying to get my site to the top. For those of you that knock those of us who deign to be frustrated, anxious, and maybe even downright scared think about it? I know you don't have to, but how would you feel?

Im with you buddy!

Heres my 2 cents....

Nobody told google to take 80% market share of all search engines, its not the webmasters fault google owns 80% of the search engine world. GOOD HONEST PEOPLE ARE LOSING MILLIONS

Spam , dirty, most likely fraudualent people are making millions off of this "google lets have some fun time"

To think that complaining wont help, is WRONG, Google folks read this board, if google folks see all the hardworking webmasters complain, maybe google wont play so much.

Again its is not the webmasters fault that google owns 80% of the market. It is not wrong to complain, about losing millions. If you took the time to think about it internet sales make up a good chunk of this countries(us) economy, you have a company with 80% of the means to influence this chunk of the economy, you may end up with some bad results.

My site is in and out for a week and a half, mostly out, I did nothing wrong. I cant help it that google owns 80%, Im not buying adwords, thats not in the plan. Nor is the 100 million other good selling websites.

However maybe thats in GOOGLES PLANS, ever thought of that?

Ever thought google wants to play games, and rake in some cash? Anybody ever go that route with your thinking? no of course not, not google.

BigDave




msg:218340
 12:38 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah, we think about it a couple of times an update, every update when someone loses out and they start complaining.

The thing is that it is a zero-sum game. Whenever a site goes down in the rankings another goes up. And the possibility always exists that those sites might actually be better sites that have been in the doldrums for months. The economy is not hurt by this because for every site that goes down, another goes up. If the buyer wants to buy something, they will. The money will be spent. The local economy of your pocket is where it can hurt.

When you are at the top, you want stability. If you are working your way up, you want a little more flux.

annej




msg:218341
 12:40 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

that all important search term only accounted for 4% of our traffic, and there were about 600 other search terms that were reaching us each day

Exactly my experience as well. I'd love to rate high on my best single word search but in truth most of my traffic comes from dozens of search phrases. These searches bring visitors to various pages on my site and it's my challenge to get them to stay and explore more. While we are waiting for this unusual update to be completed why not concentrate on lesser pages.

Let's make sure all our individual pages have good titles, H1 and H2 info and text. Think about what people who would be interested in a page would likely use in their search. There is much less competition on these lesser phrases and they are more likely to bring in traffic that will be interested in your product or information.

Also we can add new well optomized pages that will be of interest to our visitors. Having many well written and well optomized pages is one of the best cushions possible.

added edit- just checked my stats and dozens is an understatement. People found my biggest site so far this month using 2701 different phrases. Only 3.8% of searchers came in on the single keyword I've been obsessing about. That was an eye opener!

[edited by: annej at 12:51 am (utc) on May 18, 2003]

Jakpot




msg:218342
 12:40 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Deanril:
You gonna get some comments - wow!

Jakpot




msg:218343
 12:45 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Bigdave:
"The thing is that it is a zero-sum game"

Maybe in a macro sense but not for the webmaster where the rubber meets the road. We are talking cash flow not the good for the whole.

BigDave




msg:218344
 12:54 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Jakpot,
Again its is not the webmasters fault that google owns 80% of the market. It is not wrong to complain, about losing millions. If you took the time to think about it internet sales make up a good chunk of this countries(us) economy, you have a company with 80% of the means to influence this chunk of the economy, you may end up with some bad results.

Sure sounds like at least part of the point was referring to the macro influence on the economy.

On an individual level it kinda sucks.

But a comment like "Im not buying adwords, thats not in the plan." really loses any of my sympathy when the person saying it is complaining of losing millions.

If you depend on google for your living, you might want to read chiyo's posts on the subject. There's a lot of wisdom there.

deanril




msg:218345
 1:01 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

The thing is that it is a zero-sum game. Whenever a site goes down in the rankings another goes up. And the possibility always exists that those sites might actually be better sites that have been in the doldrums for months. The economy is not hurt by this because for every site that goes down, another goes up. If the buyer wants to buy something, they will. The money will be spent. The local economy of your pocket is where it can hurt.

Hmmm, not solid, isnt googles algorythm "suppose to" give the sites with more relevantcy better ranking? How can a spam site be better?

Also, a Site practicing spam techniques, is going to be better? I think the likely hood of them being a shady operation, is more so, then them being "better". How about the guy who actually bought from the shady site, and got burned on his merchandise? Will he use the internet again? Dont think so.

People with a visa card, not finding what they want, and multiply that by 50, million, at $20 bucks a head, and we have a small dent in the economy, because of google.

Bottom line, Search engine giving spammy results is a bad search engine, doing it for a couple weeks, is a very bad search engine.

Adwords? Somebody is bound to say, adwords sites are spammy, yes but if they can afford adwords, then more then likely they are doing good business.

deanril




msg:218346
 1:20 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

When Yahoo flips the switch to inkomi, a huge chunk of that 80% will be gone. And you know what, thats a good thing. To much MS in one companies control is a bad thing.

Morgan




msg:218347
 1:45 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anyone know people they can blame when they lose their livelihood because Google drops them on their particular keywords? They can blame THEMSELVES.

No serious business person would recommend getting 3/4 of your business from one source, and no matter what anyone thinks, search engines are not the only source of business on the internet.

Affiliate programs, PPC, real world advertising, banner exchanges, just some creativity and self reliance would help, and maybe a box of Pampers. You don't just say PPC is "not in the plan" like it's not a valid income source.

The Google free ranking gravy train is not guaranteed to be static just because it was consistent for a year or two.

GoogleGuy




msg:218348
 1:48 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

annej, I really wish every webmaster would do the log analysis that you just did. :)

Stefan




msg:218349
 1:49 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

BigDave, all due respect 'cause your posts are usually good and helpful, but...

The thing is that it is a zero-sum game. Whenever a site goes down in the rankings another goes up.

The thing seems to be that some sites, or large parts of them, have disappeared entirely, grey-barred, not indexed, not to be found. I only lost about 5 of my pages this update and my main page PR is bouncing up to 6 again, but I live in fear of being the next site to vanish entirely from Google. That 80%, (for me less really, got a lot of pertinent incoming links bringing traffic and Ink likes me...), is a scary thought.

makemetop




msg:218350
 2:02 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

>do the log analysis that you just did. :)

Some of us do :) Hundreds of different phrases are the norm and thousands not unusual on some sites.

Reading this thread makes me wonder about the business model of some posters. Just because some sites have dropped out (including some of mine) isn't the end of the world. They'll be back over time. Trust me, when Yahoo did their changes last year, it affected a lot more webmasters in the pocket book than this ripple at Google. We didn't all scream at Yahoo for 'ruining our businesses' because it may have hurt a little, but you just carry on, use Overture or whatever - and we had paid them to be listed - Google listed you for free!

If you are out for a while, use AdWords or try getting traffic from other sources.

Don't moan - be grateful for whatever you get for free while it lasts.

Chris_D




msg:218351
 2:03 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

When Yahoo flips the switch to inkomi

If there has been a lesson to learn here on this forum over the past 2 weeks or so - maybe it's been that databases of 3 billion webpages can't get major algorithm calculation and filter updates, and then get reindexed or reanythinged, with the 'flip of a switch'.

It obviously takes weeks and weeks of reprogramming, testing and replication to do this stuff on a distributed database over 10,000 machines in 9 datacentres. And no - most companies (not just search engines) can't afford to 'double up' their hardware platforms so that they can test things 100% 'behind closed doors' - then 'flip a switch' and go live with a new product.

So - my advice is to learn from this Dominic episode, and start planning for a different future commercial reality - and start to focus your energy on your own 'disaster recovery plan'. That way - if/when Yahoo moves to Inktomi - or anything else happens - you'll be ready with a 'Plan B'.

theBear




msg:218352
 2:16 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is more than the 3 billion web pages, it is the interconnecting links that make life difficult.

And then the filtering isn't exactly easy.

Cheers,
theBear

BigDave




msg:218353
 2:19 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Stephan,

This would be a good lesson to eveyone about depending on that single source for your income.

Every single month there are a huge number of sites that do not make it into google for reasons that are not the fault of the webmaster. Your host could be down, or the site that provides the majority of your incoming links could be down. Or google can decide that a dark blue background with yellow block letters is just to SPAMmy.

You have to be prepared to miss some months sometimes. In this case it's only going to be a couple of weeks.

A close friend of mine has one of those sites that has totally disappeared. He's going to be hurting more and more as this update moves to the datacenters until his site reappears. He has a sick baby and is just buying a new house. He also spent much of his 20s living on the street. He learned his lesson and has a 6 month cash reserve.

He also works hard on keeping his repeat business and is planning on starting a couple of new sites to diversify.

He's not happy about being out, but he will survive. So should you if you planned for this sort of thing.

Stefan




msg:218354
 2:28 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

True, true, BigDave. I wish I made $$ with my site to worry about losing; I just get fame and glory :-)

You're quite right though; one SE can't be a business plan. The 80% for some is still a concern... it's reminding me of the vole these days.

[edited by: Stefan at 2:31 am (utc) on May 18, 2003]

Kirby




msg:218355
 2:29 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Chris_D gets an "A" in Business 101.

Any business that makes themselves dependent on another company is setup for failure.

When Yahoo flips the switch to inkomi, a huge chunk of that 80% will be gone. And you know what, thats a good thing. To much MS in one companies control is a bad thing.

No guarantee that you will like these results either. Regardless, planning for that day is smart business.

John_Creed




msg:218356
 3:12 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just checked www and about 30 pages of one of my sites dropped out of the index yesterday. That's not counting the other 100 pages that are showing in FI and SJ and www has yet to touch.

I really hope these problems are not a new trend with google.

I have a feeling they're taking this current update slow on purpose. Taking their time and working on new things.

Because the last few updates have been late, they're basically skipping this current update and pushing it back to next month. That way everything will be perfect and on schedule once again.

At least that's what I hope.

annej




msg:218357
 3:53 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks GG, but I think you may be the only one who read my message.

So many messages here give the impression Google ranks sites and not pages. Hey, every little page counts.

Alphawolf




msg:218358
 4:00 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dean,

To think that complaining wont help, is WRONG, Google folks read this board, if google folks see all the hardworking webmasters complain, maybe google wont play so much.

As GoogleGuy stated there was a similar reaction here the last time they made a major change.

That didn't stop Google from tweaking again. So, why would this round be any different?

The update isn't over yet. Didn't you state here that your site was doing well in SJ?

Google just doesn't care at all whether your site or another site is in the first page as long is the results are on topic.

If the update settles and you are bumped up a few notches would you be happy then? Sure.

FI has you at #56 for one of your top phrases with just one backlink showing.

Before you ever came to this forum did you ever know when a google update was happening?

Would you know it now based on your regular WWW surfing?

There's just no amount of posts or e-mails that will back Google change it's entire algorithm to suit our needs.

What can you do to fix it?

I hope Y! doesn't change to Inktomi as positiontech has rankings now, but ya never know.

It's unfortunate that your site got caught up in the change.

The gist of my post was that if you can't change it (and you cannot) why stress over it? It serves no purpose other than to make yourself unhealthy.

I used to stress out over things I had no control over. It was wasted energy.

In the grand scheme of things maybe you'll come out the update better or maybe it will be a horror until the next update for you.

With GoogleGuy stating more than days but less than months...this could go on a while. :(

Question is- how can you (if at all) react to counter all the lost sales?

What if this goes on another 3 weeks?

AW


BigDave




msg:218359
 4:06 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

annej,

I read it and I totally agree with you. In fact a keword accouting for 4% of the traffic is more than an order of magnitude better than my best keyword. I'm going to have over 15,000 keyphrases this month. If it's not one of my top 5 keyphrases (all at 0.3%) I would never notice if they disappeared. I'm waiting for the day that my best keyphrase is less than 0.1% of my SE traffic.

I have also never had more than 40% of my traffic come from search engines. I have 16 links that have delivered more traffic to my site than my best keyword. One of them produces 10 times the traffic than my best keyword.

Powdork




msg:218360
 4:08 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Personally, i agree that you mustn't put all your eggs in one basket. Thats why I have zeal listings which rule on msn for my categories. Thats why I'm constantly out hunting for new relevant links (part of the reason anyway).
However, it is Basic Business 101 that if there is a free advertising medium, you should tap it for all it is worth. If it is going to go away unless you learn something to find out why, you should do everything you can to find out why. You should hang on to that free income stream and only let it go after a serious amount of kicking and screaming. Yes, you should diversify, and that involves PPC, paid links, offline media, etc. But when it comes to search engines, there really is only Google. It is true, Google does not owe us this income stream. I don't think anyone would complain if Google disappeared because that would treat everyone the same. The problem here is that our sites are gone but Google still loves our competition, even moreso now that our sites are not there.

g1smd




msg:218361
 9:15 am on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I saw that up until 2003-05-16 that -sj and -fi have had my site showing in the SERPs based on a 2003-04-08 snapshot of the site (the site was new on 2003-03-20). This result had been showing for the last 5 weeks, but then the google cache, title, description, file size, etc (on those 2 datacentres) suddenly changed to be based on the page content of just a few days ago; so some sort of update has occured on those two servers. They still have results that are slightly different to the other datacentres, so different algo or whatever is being used. Newer data seems to have been applied to those datacentres for at least some sites.

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