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Let's do a poll - who are having problem with google and what's wrong
vanished sites, burried results, dispeared PRs, let google hear this...

 7:54 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi guys, I have a thought, let's put together a "little" list of problems that some of our webmaster are experiencing so far. However, before you put down anything, please read the rules of this forum and the standard format of this thread. I don't want to start a thread for people to simply yelling at google, buy more to put down their problem they are experiencing so far. Mind you, according to GG, this update is far from over, so, your problem may just be solved over the next few days (weeks), but I think these information are still valuable to the new webmasters, or even google themself. :)

Simply put down the following information in ur reply:

1) what's the problem, (no url posting), use simple words, like site vanished, PR dropped to a white bar/grey bar.

2) when did this happen. Please stick to the recent event, if you had problem since the last update, please do not post it here.

3) how long have your sites been online (from what I know, people who have sites online within the last 40 days are not in the same boat with people who have sites that over months old)?

4) what was the original PR before you had this problem.

5) I hope you all do have legit material (no spam), however, our guesses so far is that the new google algo may be strickier than before, so, put down what do you think that could caused a penalty on your site. (such as, it could be duplicated contents, hidden links). Remember, in simple words, no need to say why u had them. (To make you feel better, hey, if google never detected it before this update, then ur site is perfect legit up to now, nothing to be ashamed of)

6) You comments: what do you think is happening, and what do u want to say to google... (again, please do not use harsh tones. neither googleguy nor google owes us anything, they are here to help us to gain fortunes, they have their own reasons of making changes, we can't blame them for everything we see now).

So, guys, please share your thoughts, and moderators/admins, please keep this thread clean for useful information sharing. Thank you all!




 11:36 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Having real problems with my site dropping in and out of the index.... Seems to vary every couple of minutes. Sales are down but I'm hoping that all will be back to normal shortly; just going to chill and give google time to sort themselves out and see where I stand this time in a few days before I start kicking off.

It could be worse, just checked my main competitors and most of them have been removed from the index whilst this transition takes place :-)


 11:36 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>For now, for me, all I can say is "thank the Goddess for AdWords!".

Let's hope that's not the direction Google is heading. A quality site should not have to buy AdWords to get a decent ranking in the SERPS.


 11:42 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

My site is now PR0 and out of the index :( Happened today My site has been around since febuary and had PR of 4.


 11:47 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

You mean search url is out?

Try a search for your keywords


 11:49 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

So far, no changes at all. Neither in ranking nor in traffic. And, I assume it stays this way when and if a whatsoever new algo comes into place. The sites above me in the SERPs are there because they are of higher quality.

PR = 6

Clean site, no tricks whatsoever, first indexed 2,5 years ago.

[edited by: mrose at 11:50 pm (utc) on May 19, 2003]


 11:49 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Same with me at present...

Used to return 1800+ pages for allinurl:mydomain.com.

Now "no results".

Note that my site has been indexed by Google only since March (or possibly one page in there in February)



Come Ooooooon New Data :)


 11:51 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Should I want cigarettes why would I look for a city?

I know your URL coosblues and checked. I can't imagine how you got buried so far with such a focused search. As for that cigarette seller, check the source code of the home page. Looks like about 300 hidden links to me. Spamming seems the way to do well today with Google today. No need to bother reporting this spammer. You'll still be hopelessly buried, and nobody will find your site.

>Help us all that followed your TOS and got killed.

I know the feeling too. :(


 11:51 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

For now, for me, all I can say is "thank the Goddess for AdWords!".

Mm.. if adwords is good for you, then google is good for you

If google goes sour, then adwords will be no good at all.


 11:54 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just checked my website:

1. Been online for 2 years.

2. Before domonic PR 5 Now SJ PR6 had maintained pr6 for about 8 months prior to domonic

3. Back links before Domonic 574 now sj 298

4. Main Keyword before Domonic #1 and #2 1st page now sj #458 page 45

5. allinanchor main keyword before Domonic #1 sw allinanchor main keyword #1

6. allintext main keyword before Domonic #1 sj allintext main keyword #71

7. allinurl before domonic 1,070 now sj 843

8. sj is using outdated Title back in April same title still show up on main index.


 11:57 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) none
2) n/a
3) 14 months at current URL
4) PR5/6 (fluctuates month to month)
5) n/a
6) folks are too obsessed with watching the dance


 12:21 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wasn't even paying attention to the dance until I started noticing the erractic results for our primary keyword. We spend close to $10 per click for this keyword, so of course I'm a bit anxious over losing a top 10 listing for no apparent reason. We appear to have gone back to where we were in January of 2003.

I hope there isn't a correlation between adwords and positioning because I did drop back to about $7 per click last month, and then we free fall this month after lowering what we spent on adwords. It's likely a coincidence.

Our site is extremely relevant to this keyword, and there are plenty of sites now ahead of us that shouldn't be, but I guess is Google has changed it's alorythm again, we're screwed.


 12:26 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

My site is new as of Nov/02 and I've only recently started paying attention to SEO as I was mainly concentrating on content before.

My category (completely non-profit -- let's say an almost-no-money-in-it-hobby) has been fluctuating wildly since the dance began.

The main problem as I see it is not irrelevant results (we got tons of those before) or spam (saw some last week on -sj but it's gone now) but simply OLD DATA.

I'm seeing dead links in abundance, as well as very old cached data with old titles. (One fairly important site has, embarrassingly, "hosted by Tripod" as their title!)

My own site has shot up in the rankings, although I don't know how long that will last. My pagerank is a bit lower than the sites that usually fill the top, and it's a slow-moving category.

One thing I have noticed is that title/header text seems to count for a lot more in results, whereas inbound links seem to count for less. It's hard to gauge this properly since most of the sites in my category are PR0-PR3.

I'm in a position of having done a lot of changes to my site (redesigned pages and completely new content) in response to the search queries I was seeing in my server logs, right *after* the April deepbot crawl. So as far as I'm concerned, the next crawl can't come too soon!


 12:28 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) dropped rankings from #1-5 to #25-50 for various search terms....

2) happened after this update. Before this update, held solid rankings for ~ 6 months.

3) site is ~ 2.5 yrs old.

4) previously "high" PR5, same now. (some internal pages also PR5)

5-6) what could have caused it?
- CSS altered h1, h2... tags? (font made smaller, but still very visible with high contrast)
- poor "theme"? (when doing "related: mysite.com" search, get off-theme sites showing as related to my site because of the linking patterns of other webmasters who link to me, not from my linking directly)
- too dependant on inbound anchor text? too many obvious link exchanges?

I wonder if other people have noticed if interior pages that don't participate in link exchanges have also dropped? Or is it just your home pages that exchange links that have suffered?

[edited by: born2drv at 12:35 am (utc) on May 20, 2003]


 12:35 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

My site's been on for many years. I used to do everything with flat pages but about a year started converting thousands of pages from flat to dynamic. The flat pages were converted to meta refresh forwarders. Just now I found the url of the old flat page high in the serps. The cached version of the page was actually the dynamic page. So apparently Google is not seeing that the page is refreshing. I can't understand what is going on with this.


 12:46 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well... I have an industry major site just gone missing from -VA (and for some less critical searches -DC, -AB, -ZU and -FI)

What is going on I ask myself. No hidden text, no server downtime. Why just today? Bizarre.


 12:50 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)


OMG now it's a problem!?...lol Sorry I had to make that comment after just learning that another MAJOR keyword lost in the dust or rubble.

Can it get any worst than it already has...


 12:57 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Fair comment Klickman. Now it's in the full glare of public scrutiny the warts of this change are a little more accute.

It really is in everyone's interest that Google are able to introduce all the missing data (or whatever is causing this) ASAP, not least their own. I'm sure they are working flat out on it (I hope so!).

Things are certainly a bit shakey at present, giving the impression of too many balls in the air. I refer to the forced default lanaguage interface drivers that were implemented yesterday. This too is causing grief to a lot of people (and I don't just mean webmasters) and seems to be a bit of a mistake.

I for one will be happy when this bus reaches it's ultimate destination.


 12:59 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is nothing short of bizzare. I am more than beside myself in what I am looking at in the many instances.

Can we comment on the fact that this has nothing to do with "our own keywords" and simply put, this live index (however incomplete) is simply full of a lot of trash.

Would our taking the emotion and vested interest out of the equation help others understand what we are seeing a significant step back in terms of quality and relevance.

Most curious to me is the fact that G doesn't seem to care about the fact that this index is quite frankly bad, yet is live accross the AOL Y! and G. Remarkable.


 1:06 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I haven't had any problems that I'm aware of. I dropped from #1 to #5 for one of my most important keyphrases, but I went up from #2 to #1 for another, and I haven't noticed any big changes overall in either my rankings or my Google referrals. (Google referrals have actually been climbing in recent days, so either my overall rankings have improved or more people are searching on topics that I cover.)

GoogleGuy has made it clear that the update is far from over (for one thing, spam filters have yet to be applied), so it's too early to be certain of anything.

For what it's worth, I normally see very few major changes in my Google rankings from update to update (although the overall trend has been positive). That's probably because I focus on creating content and optimizing my pages with very basic, non-controversial techniques such as descriptive page titles, headlines, and links.


 1:12 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I noticed several strange things with both, google and yahoo, over the last 4 days (might have been going on for longer, though)

one of my sites has a steady rating of 3/10
but this only applies to the domain *name*

previously the index.shtml (first page you come to) always showed as 2/10, now it's simply a white bar (= no ranking)

if you go to www.domain.com/ (which still loads index.shtml - just not showing in address bar) I'm still up with 3/10, subsequent pages (including my mail form of all things) still show 2/10 -? -

I actually re-submitted the index.shtml some 2 weeks ago -? -

from time to time I follow links to particular search terms which show in one of my counters, just to see who's listed in the vacinity.
Yesterday I followed up on 2 searches within less than 4 hours: my site was not showing in the result listing anymore!
This happened with one yahoo and one google search -? -

[Thanks for this great board - only just found it via link from another board]



 1:19 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Napoleon, Remember way back when. GoogleGuy said you and I had a pretty good handle on what was goin on. Not so anymore. I'm pretty sure BigDave's sites will be the next to go;)

Born2Drive I have also noticed that my 'similar pages' is a problem. I have somehow become an expert on network administration and computer hardware. Only my homepage is suffering big now although my interior positions have either stayed the same or moved down very slightly. Nothing has moved up.


 1:26 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)


Your are absoutely correct when you said:

Most curious to me is the fact that G doesn't seem to care about the fact that this index is quite frankly bad, yet is live accross the AOL Y! and G. Remarkable.

I can not believe that G would release an update without first ensuring that the algorithm/filters etc were test, re-tested and properly set in place.

The results that we have been witnessing from Dominic have simply put "Have grave shortcomings and beneath the professional standards of Google." For them to release this type of update on major Internet information providers such as AOL, Yahoo and others is beyond my wildest dreams.

I can't speak for others, but I for one am seeing visitors coming to my website from MSN, Hotbot and other search engines. This doesn't make up for the traffic that I have lost from Google but it does make me believe that there are people out there who are turning to alternative sources other than Google to find information they are looking for. Will this trend continue..I don't know.

I do know that people are not satisfied with the current index and are fulfilling their search needs through other channels.

Google it's time to wake-up and listen to what Webmasters are saying about Dominic.


 1:27 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've dropped about twenty spots for my main keyword, while also dropping about that for allintext allinanchor and allintitle. There is no way on Earth that most of those sites that have moved ahead of me for those allin searches actually do have more allin "stuff", even if you eliminate *either* my internal or external links. The quality of my links are way better, but I'm assuming these results are much more "a link is a link" and pagerank is being nearly completely ignored, but still, I even have volume on these other sites and they pass me.

On the flip side, I made a page as a joke a few weeks ago. It is now #1 for its prime search term, despite up until yesterday just having three mediocre links from some of my non-index pages.

What's wrong... a page with established authority is devalued, or judgement of it botched; while a "fresh" page just thrown up on a whim is being highly valued (and as of yesterday more valued with a link from my index page because it is bringing me a boatload of clicks).


 1:33 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dead right Powdork, on both counts. It's the front page of my site that has suffered, not the inner stuff. Odd.

As for the plot, it's not quite how I envisaged it. Far more pot holes around, and a lot slower to get to the end state. I can't see that a mere software roll out would account for interim fluctuation like this. There's more going on, and I don't just mean adding new data (which seems to have pretty much stopped).

The geolocation thread is still raging as well - and that issue has certainly caused them some damage.

What in earth is going on there? I don't like to see this at all.


 1:38 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Missing anchor text (i.e., missing backlinks which contain the important anchor text).

My site has been online for 2 years...and until this update has been very well ranked.

My top page still has PR7 which indicates to me that it is the missing anchor text causing the HUGE drop in rankings on important keywords.

I trust that the backlinks (and anchor text) will be added back as GG has said. I just wish they had done all this BEFORE the index moved to the other datacenters. Now, I just wish they would hurry up and get the show on the road. :) I think that most who have suffered huge drops in keyword rankings are experiencing the same loss of important backlinks/anchor text. Maybe this problem will be resolved SOON! ;)

[edited by: crobb305 at 1:42 am (utc) on May 20, 2003]


 1:41 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

My inner pages have also held ground as well, but the home page has dropped greatly.

One theory I have is that Google is beginning to recognize reciprocal links and devalueing them, or at least the anchor text. And since most sites link to the home page of the other site, that is why we have all seen a lot of reduction in rankings for the home page.


 1:45 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi born2drv:

Don't mean to put your points down, but for me is totally the other way around. The only thing from my site left on google is my home page. None of the inner pages are indexed. :)


 1:45 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

One theory I have is that Google is beginning to recognize reciprocal links and devalueing them, or at least the anchor text.

Googleguy has said several times that the backlinks and anchor text will be factored in after this index has gone to the other datacenters...basically in phase 2 of this update. So, seems to me that Google hasn't devalued the importance of backlinks and anchor text in the algorithm, rather they just haven't been factored in yet. I am not sure why Google has chosen to do the update this way (sending an incomplete index to the world) but maybe they have a plan that will end up working better in the long run.


 1:57 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>One theory I have is that Google is beginning to recognize reciprocal links and devalueing them, or at least the anchor text. And since most sites link to the home page of the other site, that is why we have all seen a lot of reduction in rankings for the home page.

It is my site's home page Google drove a steak through the heart of. If Google ignores anchor text of reciprocal links, that could explain why my site is moribund. However, I still think this is due to Google incompetence rather than design.


 2:02 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

didi - Maybe you're right, I've seen a couple oddballs too so I'm still puzzled, if I knew the problem.... well :)

crobb - Are you sure GG said that RECENTLY? As in for this completed update for what is showing now on www and not SJ or somewhere else? I saw him make a comment similar to that 2 weeks ago in Dominic part #3 or something :)

If so, I guess I won't panic just yet. Please point me to the thread/post, I haven't been reading all the Google News posts lately.



 2:12 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)


Googleguy said that the first step would be to send the -sj index to all the datacenters. Once all the datacenters had the new index, it would seem that the update was over since www always shows results from one of the datacenters. However, it is at that point that missing backlinks and anchor text would be counted and factored in, "gradually" and "overtime". So, basically the world gets to see Google updating it's index live as keyword rankings change based on the addition of new backlinks and anchor text. Like I said, I do not know why they are doing it this way, but that is what he said would happen. I am not sure which thread, but I saw it in several different places, and in a summary thread.

I must add that I hope Google stops dragging their feet. We first saw the horrible index on -sj nearly a month ago. Here we are...4 weeks later and it has only gotten worse.


[edited by: crobb305 at 2:15 am (utc) on May 20, 2003]

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