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This 134 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 134 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 > >     
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...

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 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!




WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 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]


WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 2:12 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy ahas said repeatedly that backlinks, fresher data, spam filters etc will be added in once whatever this stuff is makes it to all the data centers. He has pretty much told about all of the stuff that is happening now. However, since he has said all this things have gotten worse. Many more pages are gone or devalued, more pages are pr0 and the database has gotten far enough around to Google's datacenters and affiliates that many of us are starting to feel the pinch. We are also a little leery of the fact that it keeps dragging on. I suspect this is gone on further than the original plan at this point but I really don't have a clue. No matter what GG says.:)


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 2:23 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi i am new here i might not get this right so go easy on me as a newbie here, thanks in advance :). The so called Google dance has just eliminated 3 of my websites 5/20/203, stand alone hosted websites never mind about rankings even typing in the full URL the results are now nill. And yet sub domains continue to be prolific on the google search, this is extremely irritating and what seems now to have been a complete waste of money registering hyphernated domain names in order to try and gain some kind of placing on the Google ladder of success. As i type this even the humble redirected (frame optimised) URLs have been eliminated URLs that were listed on Google before today. In my book Google sux big time as so many of the listings on Google are irrelevent SEO listings and useless sub domains. I am now going to change tact' and say, The Type-in domain name rules and it allways will. At least Altavista & Alltheweb are still holding the fort (for the moment) and Mr.Google i will be removing the Google search box from my sites, i had to get that out :)


WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 2:39 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

"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."

No, not adding in the effects of new backlinks doesn't explain this. The old backlinks and anchor text are still there, and it would seem that stripping out that old data would be a complete waste of time. In other words, you can bet that most of our backlinks and anchor text are not THAT different today than what is being used from a few months ago.

On the other hand, this is all so bizarre that at this point they could be sacrificing goats there at the Googleplex, so pointlessly stripping out one aspect of the algorithm may be a job 100 people are assigned to.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 2:51 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

In other words, you can bet that most of our backlinks and anchor text are not THAT different today than what is being used from a few months ago.

You can bet that mine ARE much different today than a few months ago. Last month, Google showed that I had 582 incoming links. A few months ago, I only had about 100. As those new links were added, my rankings soared. Many of my newer links contained VERY important anchor text. Now, Google shows only 82 incoming links! That is a huge reduction from last month's 582. Other sites that have moved up around me seem to have lost a smaller fraction of incoming links. Googleguy has already addressed this so to deny the effect is naive. I trust that the backlinks will be added back because they exist. Google will find them again.



10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 3:02 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Technology Publications and Resources - Expecting some Comments soon due to the Following.

I have contacted google in various ways relating to regular search engine results and AdWords, every answer is common... "we never promised a listing to not flux each time it is searched for... we never said your site would be listed at all..." blah blah

The fact is people are not happy and I have not spoken to anyone that is, so whatever the excuse is over at google I do not buy it!

I think we will see some stories about this soon in the media.

I have switched over to PayPerClick Giant #2, they are much better in my opinion.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 3:16 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good thread

1/ Problem is ridiculously old data (like a snapshot of the site from Feb), old backlinks, about 10% pages MIA. On the othe hand, main page PR was 5, now bouncing back up to 6 and I'm still #1 for most targetted kw's.

2/ It happened first in SJ and is now in 7 datacentres.

3/ The site has been in Google since Oct 2002.

4/ PR slightly improved on main page, unchanged on those that didn't get lost.

5/ The site has nothing dodgy that I can think of.

6/ I don't know what the Google plan is but most of my problems seem to be because of the ancient data being used for the "new" index. The pages that have gone missing are the newest ones, and pages deepcrawled in March still aren't in the index yet, (like the best ones I've done which were supposed to start bring some $$ in).


WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 3:25 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. no problems, to us no changes that seem more significant than "updates" on average in the past.

2. sites 4 to 8 years old, most update and add 40 pages or so per month. All still in all indexes, slight diffs in rankings - up for some phrases, down for others. We use adwords for one site, being commercial and where we dont want to make compromises in design for SEO. That site not affected more than others.

3. in our pet keyword phrases, some large affiliate commercial sites with lots of interlinked sub-domains seem to have jumped up a few notches in sj/fi, but that has also happened in the past, and they have usually dropped down again at the end of the update and/or during the month.

4. sj and fi, which i believe are the "new" indexes from reading here seem as relevant or better overall for our keyword phrases than before.

5. We are mainly informational sites for business professionals, with almost no reciprocal links, but given our domain names, most unsolicted links, built up gradually over many years tend to include our descriptive keywords. No affiliate links except some old abandoned occassional amazon links. Some very occassional interlinking between sites from inner pages when very relevant to the page. Lots of outgoing relevant links, mainly from news sections. 99.99% original content available nowehere else on the web. When someone copies it illegally we quickly get it removed. Some sites can copy up to 20% of some pages with links back to the original page where text was copied from, not the index page. Lots of incoming edu and gov links. Lots of sites duplicating our article summaries and linking to our latest artciles via javascript (mainly) and other formats using our RSS newsfeeds

[edited by: chiyo at 3:52 am (utc) on May 20, 2003]


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 3:34 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

You mean search url is out?
Try a search for your keywords

This was a search for my keywords. I was number 5, now I'm not in at all.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 3:45 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. Our main page is no longer anywhere in the first 10 pages of SERPs for our main keyword. Formerly we were number 8 on the first page. Secondary pages still appear, though not high. Our main page still comes up in a search of our organization's name, but we come in 3rd.

2. This change happened in the main index just 2 days ago, but in the other "datacenters" over the last week or so.

3. Site has been around since roughly middle of 2002. We started actively promoting (trying to get backlinks) and adding more content in February of this year. It really paid off until this last update.

4. PR was 5 and is still 5

5. Not too much has been added to our site in the last month (since the previous update.) We're certainly not doing anything "illegal" intentionally.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 3:48 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am puzzled and really don't know if I want to make any changes before the neww deepacrawl.

Most of my 2 word searh terms went from 1st page to 2nd anr 3rd or completely vanished.

My PR went down 1 point throughout the site.

My inbound links were reduced to 40 percent.

Yet: My traffic increased. I get most of the traffic from multiple word search terms and my sales increased!

Should I be sad or happy? Should I make some changes or just stay put and enjoy the ride? It is a $ 10.000 a month question...


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 4:32 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think we will see some stories about this soon in the media

I expect you are right. The MBAs have taken over at Google and the computer scientists are out. MBAs love the fact that Google charges for adwords. With the upcoming IPO, it only makes sense, right? Doesn't matter that free listings are what made Google in the first place.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 4:38 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ahhhh you gotta laugh, dont you!

The #1 site in my category, hasnt been modified since 1997.
90% of links out are non-existent sites. The owner is probably deceased.
But Alive & well in the SERPS.

And having a chuckle at the threads.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 4:55 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>The #1 site in my category, hasnt been modified since 1997.
90% of links out are non-existent sites. The owner is probably deceased.
But Alive & well in the SERPS.

Why does this surprise you? The Google algo doesn't consider things that. These are what I call "living fossil" sites. One of these happens to have been in the top 10 of the SERPs for a specific keyword in almost all search engines since 1997, and it hasn't been updated since. The owner, if not dead, has definitely abandoned the site. However, so long as the sites linking to it don't drop their links, it will do well. Remember, some sites can be just as relevant 10 years after they were created with no changes. A site about ancient Athens, Greece would be a good example. Old does not necessarily equal bad.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 4:57 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey GoogleGuy,
who do I have to buy a beer for? to get my back links back?


WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 5:08 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey GoogleGuy,
who do I have to buy a beer for? to get my back links back?

While I don't speak for GoogleGuy, I will have no problem drinking for him. And I will give you one link back.:)


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 6:07 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) from 14/05/2003 stopped be showed in the results of the web search google.com and google directory but it is still listed in the dmoz page.
Until this update has been very well ranked
2) My site has pagerank #7 and listing in google from 1999 now grey pagerank
3) I have nothing in it google would consider dodgy
4)Used to return 450+ pages for link:http://www.mydomain.com. Now 150

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


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 6:16 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, things have gotten weirder for me.

In the last 24 hours I have gotten a whole lot of hits using search query strings I've never seen before. They are all users looking for a different website (let's call it my-hobby.org), which I have only linked to.

I googled the most popular query string, sure enough my site was at #3 (#1 and #2 were yahoo groups postings which mentioned my-hobby.org). My-hobby.org is nowhere to be seen. This is just really bizarre.

I frankly don't want this sort of traffic, and I don't need it.

I do know that the webmaster of my-hobby.org manually blocked a whole bunch of bots, including googlebot, in the htaccess file after being hit by some nasty slurp-bots in 2000. For some reason some of the site's pages do show up in other search engine results (perhaps their bots aren't in the block file?), but on Google you only get the domain name with no cache. (It has a lot of backlinks -- in fact, if you simply search for "my-hobby" it does show up.)

As a caveat, it is possible that my-hobby.org has never placed for that particular search string, and this is just a result of my site -- for no reason I can discern -- suddenly jumping above several well-established sites that also link to my-hobby.org.

The webmaster of my-hobby.org thinks he's quite a hacker, btw . . . even though he likes to send you files with no file extension and the mime type stripped. Bloody unix weenie . . .


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 6:20 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. Site went from 3 to 289 on main keyword, 2 to 82 on secondary keyword. Back links went from 138 to 13. PR dropped to 3/4. Sites whose only relevancy to the search is our link description now place far above us.
2. Started on -sj whenever this started and is showing up now on www, sometimes.
3. Site has been live for about 3 months
4. PR was 5 for home page and most internal pages
5. My theory. We had to change our url and did a 301 redirect late Feb. The old url had been number 1 for about 2 years and still was still there after C update. New site popped up as #3 and stayed there until the latest rumbles. Now the old site has disappeared completely, which is actually a good thing, and seems to be in contrast to a lot of the results others have seen. Main competitor has also dropped from 2 to 9, though they are not doing anything dodgy that I am aware of. The rest of the results are mostly longtime reputable sites that just hadn't ranked as well.
6. What would I like to say to google? Well, obviously I was much happier before this current "update" but that is not their concern. Do wish we could get our backlinks back soon, wish we had a better sense of what was happening and when and why this was all a good idea.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 6:28 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) Site around since 1998
2) Pagerank 6 last year - now 5 - now unranked on some internal pages. Dmoz descriptions kicked off one major section of the site in Google - still in Dmoz however with this new update
3) The only dodgy thing about it is the silly ramblings on the front page GoogleGuy removed a penalty from it 10 months ago caused by my daft cross-linking.. so I know it's as clean as a bouncing baby from bavaria
4) Buried for it's major keyword - despite it having thousands of the bloomin' things - Used to be number one then number three for the past 5-6 updates
5) Sent in a request to webmaster @ google about the problem a few days ago Other people's mirror domain spam taken away that was showing... but my site hasn't re-appeared...a pox on you Google! A pox! ;)
6) This is a long list


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 6:35 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I seriously don't want to comment on various things that are currently happing during this update /pre-update /never-ending update etc. but if a search engine cannot detect a page which it has index – some thing is seriously wrong.
Last time I had noticed a bug with “related:” link to which GG replied that he would show it to the right engineers [webmasterworld.com...]

Though I don’t see that bug anymore this time around, here is an another one – I type in MyUrl.com, check cache using Google toolbar, what I get is my affiliate redirected sub-domain URL :(

E.g. keyword.affiliateURL.com

<Frustration> I use cache: command and get the same result </Frustration>

I know there would be hundreds who will have opinions that I am wrong and the affiliate site is wrong, but only considers these points:

1) A merchant has no control how an affiliate links to the site. (E.g. the above mention uses affiliate links using a sub domain and a refresh tag.)
2) If this would have caused a problem then I would have suffered in all SE’s – av aj ::f etc.

How does this affect my ranking?

1) Keyword.affiliateURL.com is displayed against keywords for which my homepage is optimized and where my homepage was displayed earlier.
2) Business suffers, as now I have to pay 20% as affiliate commission for all the converted SE traffic - which I use to get for free earlier
3) ODP description is not displayed for keyword.affiliateURL.com as not obviously not listed in ODP

Please help!


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 6:49 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Chicago, your summation was eloquent - sums up our feelings anyhow!

1 - PR is gradually turning into some weird joke
2 - Data is a spammers paradise
3 - SERPS – some sites have disappeared to be replaced by #2
4 – link rot everywhere

In brief, we have decided to ignore G for the next few weeks and see what finally happens. I don’t believe this algo will be allowed to “live”, if it does then everyone will shortly be going down route #2, which will mean carnage.



10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 6:53 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I did a link check on my domain in Google with two different formats and got two different results. This is what I typed in:
link: www.widget.com
result 254 backward links

then I typed in

link: [widget.com...]
result 13 backward links

Why does typing in two different formats give me two different results?


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 7:11 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here's something strange I'm seeing. For a keyword phrase my home page shows as #1 and what should be a subpage is #2, but the url for this sub-page is formatted really weird and doesn't even exist. It's formated like this:


Now if www.mydomain.com/gadgets.shtml had showed up #2, I would understand it as it is well optimised for the key phrase, but the "widgets" page is not and it's actual url is www.mydomain.com/widgets.

The page Google lists gives a 404 error - how in the world did Google do something like this?


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 7:34 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)


Ensure that you do not insert a space between the word link: and the domian.



and not

link: www.domain.com

Let me know if you are still seeing differences.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 7:43 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is there a link to it that is malformed, like this guy-> :~)

the space changes it into a regular search for those terms, including link: (when you say that it sounds like some kind of surgery)


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 8:01 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, this month algo has changed, obviously many pages has been deleted from the past index ( more than 50% for the casino & sex industry...spammer´s world!) That mean spam filtering are very good. But I think that also many fresh pages with original content from different industries were crawled and are not on the new index. Google should explain webmasters why? and tell them that filters and new algo were not efficient. Obviously there will be for next updtate :)


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 8:40 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. two sites, first.com our old company name, second.com our new company name. second.com isn't very old, but is in Yahoo, dmoz, has several other good links. As of tonight it's PR0, no backlinks when I search (tho still shows up in Google directory with some green). first.com has 301 permanent redirects all over the waaazooo to the related pages on second.com. Only page without a PR penalty is the copyright statement -- it's still a 3 (go figure). second.com shows 38 pages listed when search for our company name (site:www.second.com "second"), first.com has 74 pages listed when search for old company name.

2. monday night. I saw green on Monday am, now tuesday after midnight and no green.

3. first.com at least 4 years old, second.com live since January.

4. PR 3 for second.com. first.com was a PR6 (and I can't tell you what it is now because of the 301s which whooosh me away to second.com)

5. all legit original material, but some text of second.com is the same as first.com -- the 301 permanent was supposed to make that a non-issue according to everything I read. One recent twist is I just shut down another firm in my industry who'd lifted the second.com home page text word for word but I don't think they were ever in google at all (discovered the stolen text on another SE) so I don't see how that could cause the current problem.

6. I think my problem is 95% the 301s, with maybe a touch of the plagarising competitor thrown in for good measure. I'm not sure what to do since we still have clients who have our old url bookmarked (they like our how-to articles) so I don't want to take down the 301s if I don't have to.

I'm totally bummed.

creative craig

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 9:21 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have seen a drop in PR on one site, but the visits have increased from Google and I have seen a drop from number 3 to nowhere (I gave up after page five) for another site.

Other sites have not moved around much this month which is good :)



10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 10:21 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. Site dropped from #2 down to #51 or sometimes #64 ... right now it's back on #2 ... but on "sj" it's still on #51 ... well, however, changes are pretty fast!

2. Noticed the first time last sunday, may 18th

3. Site is online since january 2001, redesigned january 2003

4. PR increased from PR5 to PR6.

5. It's definitely all clean. The only major chances we made within the last weeks, we inserted a dropdown link to connect our companies in different countries. That also means in some countries with same languages, like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, we also have kind of similar content.

creative craig

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 13278 posted 12:20 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

hmmm from nowhere back to number 3 where I used to be last update, bit strange.. but hey I'm back :)

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