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This 62 message thread spans 3 pages: 62 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Rise & Fall Of Google!
The beginning of the end of the great one?

 11:11 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is it the beginning of the fall of the great google?

I do not post much but I have been visiting this forum for quite some time and I learnt alot from all the posts I read.

The last month we all witnessed strange behavior of google that lead me to thinking that google is on its way to losing its place as the no1 search engine:
Last month we witnessed:
- No update, instead old pages being reranked in a very bad way
- New sites not being added, index getting stale
- Backlinks removed
- Old spam techniques flourishing

I still can't get clear explanation of why this is happening. Even Googleguy is not making sense.. All i have been hearing was "patience... patience... google is emproving algo".
I find it very hard to understand why google would display very bad results in its www and distribute it to all
Its partners (yahoo, aol etc..) then say that they are testing and improving their algo.
why couldn't they test their algo on other datacenters (www1, www2...) and when it is done moving it to www.
Wouldn’t that be better for webmasters, users and google's reputation?
why shoot yourself in the foot? Remember Altavista? They started losing their status as no1 when their search results got worse and worse.

Google is victim of its own success:

- Google's monopoly of the search engine maket is hurting it: over the years and especially since google became the no1 for search services, the guys at google have been at war with thousands of webmasters that would lose arm and a leg to gain top positions. Every time they improve their algo, webmasters have found a loophole to beat the algo. (redirects, guestbook backlinks, hidden text etc...)
The current fiasco in search results only shows how worried they are at google. They have to realize that their algo will never be perfect and there will always be webmasters finding ways to beat the system.

- Big competitors (yahoo, MSN) are preparing as we speak to improve their search facilities at to compete directly with google. These big whales watched google grow to its current success and only recently they realized how lucrative search services could be. Yahoo and MSN are now determined to take big shares of this market. Google is big but not as big as these companies right?

I believe google has peaked as the no1 search provider and can only go downward from here... I have a feeling the second part of this year will be full of surprises and will witness many changes to the google and other search engines and which would reflect directly on us the webmasters.
Any thoughts?




 11:27 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

well it seems to me, they were trying to pass it off as a way to allow webmasters to see the progress of an update.

I aint buying that one. I think there was an algo shift that went terribly arry.

I have no doubt they will recover in short order, but I can't believe this month was anything other than a mistake tantamount to a bump in the road.


 11:30 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree that Google should have left the previous index alone, rather than rushing this horrible index out. It is also a bit arrogant of Google to assume that the users will not notice the difference. On the other hand, people seem to scream the end of the Google era every time a bad update occurs. Most here will agree that this was a bad update; however, I doubt it is the end of Google as the #1 search engine. As my grandmother used to say "This too shall pass, sugar pumpkin..."


 11:33 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google's problems are surely a result of its success. And in the same way that a really vicious disease like TB can't be controlled without multiple antibiotics (sometimes in combination), Google's spamicidal merely left the most vicious spammers alive.

Google would only be benefited by a market in which spammers had to divide their fire between multiple engines. Perhaps Yahoo can revive Inktomi enough to accomplish that.

MSN isn't in the race, and won't be. The corporate attitude of monetizing their own excrement (well, it's worked pretty well so far...) doesn't lend itself to delivering anything but paid results. One can imagine the Soviet Union breaking up; one can imagine an Iraqi Federal Republic with free democratic elections; but M$ providing good information for free? No, that rumble you hear is merely ice floes colliding in the chaotic seas of Hell.


 11:44 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

There are still only so many algo’s you can come up with while using spiders, and unless someone comes up with a completely new and radical idea (the way PageRank was a few years ago), Google will remain on top. Yahoo basically said that Google’s algo is more relevant than human beings, and MSN has done nothing to improve its results since I started doing this.


 12:05 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

"MSN isn't in the race, and won't be"

They are not interested in the race.. so far, if they were they easily have the resources to compete.

F1 v Hill-Climbers at the mo, the hill-climber will lose on a race track.

You can work out which one is which


 12:58 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I believe google has peaked as the no1 search
>provider and can only go downward from here

Hmm, I think perhaps this may belong alongside some other (in)famous musings ....

640K should be enough for anyone

everything that can be invented has already been invented

television is just a fad

if man was meant to fly, he'd have wings

I'm in charge here

(ok, ok, I'm guilty of paraphrasing.)

Yeah, it is conceivable that someday masses of peeps will speak of google in the same "remember when" tones currently used when AV is mentioned, but I'm not thinking that day is going to arrive in the next 6 months.


 1:04 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I will never be satisfied with Google. It does not cook my eggs the way I like them.

GoogleGuy, where are you?


 1:08 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think this is the downfall of Google, however it is certainly a very strange period. I am pretty certain that things have been botched pretty badly. Hopefully, they will recover sooner, rather than later.

Although GoogleGuy can at times be helpful, you would be better off in this case to draw your own conclusions.

GoogleGuy said that Link pages have not been given penalties (PR0). Many most certainly have, while the other 20 pages on the site still have PR. You can wait and see or act now.

Reading through all of his comments, we see a lot of "over time, gradually, backlinks and new data will be added". Wow, what a revelation, my backlinks are gonna be added at some point! It really isn't useful info, and why would it be? Our job is to rank high and GG has no interest in helping us achieve this.

The point is, be careful when everyone says be patient, things are going to change. Whether it be GoogleGuy or anyone else, use your own 2 eyes. It may be this way for most of the summer. My recomendation is to spam freshbot until they sort this out.


 1:23 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, we know G is losing Y! and we also know that AOL is losing all by itself, and therefore G. There goes 25%-30+ of the current search market. We also see obvious and serious attempts by Y, AV, T, and others to win search market share. We are also seeing G move to non-search property partners to serve ads under the mantra of contextual ad serving. We are also seeing numerous acquisitions. We are also seeing explosive search growth and therefore the demand of human and infrastructure resource requirements. We are also seeing G make very little money on search relative to ads. We are also seeing speculation of IPO which drastically can change current private expectations. We are also seeing major vulnerabilities with the recent algo change. Sounds like a big can of worms if I ever saw one.

We give far too much credit to G relative to their ability to maintain their leadership in search. Undercurrents are already quite clear. Search will be an afterthought to the revenue generation needs and intentions of G. G will fall from search. But G will change and adapt towards profitability. From idealism to realism in the world of big business. From Stanford to Wall Street.

G is no MSFT, G is no Y!. Y! market cap is 17 billion dollars and Y! earns triple in a quarter what G projects for this year. MSFT revenues are 8 Billion a quarter and their market cap is 267 Billion. Hello. G is no Y! or MSFT. Not even close. G is a viral phenomina and has a long way to go from the darling stage to a long-term force. Most companies never make it. They get bought first. G may make it, but they will *NOT* look the way they do now. The public market will never allow it.


 1:41 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think Google can afford to have a few problems now. It may be that they expected there to be some problems during the upgrade that will include 9 datacenters.

It's better (for Google) to have them problems now than when Yahoo and MSN start rolling out the big guns later.


 1:50 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>"MSN isn't in the race, and won't be"

One of my main sites was getting about 20% of its traffic from search engines until the last update.

55% was from Google
25% was from Yahoo
15% was from MSN

Since the last update, the numbers have gone to

65% is from MSN
15% is from Google
10% is from Yahoo

It looks to me like Google is putting MSN back in the race.


 2:36 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Macguru - A Goog is a chook's egg here in Australia - you're on to something. A chook's a chicken. :)

For one site that I watch:

Top visitor referrals

1/1/02 to 31/12/02:

Yahoo 39%
Google 20%
MSN 18%
AOL 10%

1/1/03 - 1/4/03:

Yahoo 33%
Google 26%
AOL 14%
MSN 13%

1/4/03 - 5/6/03:

Google 34%
Yahoo 28%
AOL 15%
MSN 12%

I won't mention numbers but Yahoo uniques are actually up slightly but Google uniques have shot up much more.

But these numbers are meaningless unless you are looking at a static site that has had no SEO or marketing promotions taking place.

- Ash


 2:49 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Macguru, you're very funny. :) I'm working on some answers to the questions from Brett's thread. Next time I'm going to ask Brett to warn me first. ;)


 2:51 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think it's far too early to start projecting Google's demise. However I agree with most of the original posters main points. Eventually Google will not be such a dominant force in SE traffic. And that's definately a good thing.

There will always be "spammers" who will find ways to beat any search engines algo. In fact, most "professional SEO's" are nothing but glorified spammers.

Yet despite the mass whinning, I always thought Google did well against "spam."


 3:24 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>>- New sites not being added, index getting stale

That is not true.

Many sites were added in the last index.
(100% accurate statement)


 3:42 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Once spammers target other search engines, their weaknesses will be exposed. In spite of all the problems with Google, I don't see any search engine capable of replacing it in near future.


 3:49 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Spammers will tend to put their efforts into spam that pays dividends of some sort. If Google loses market share, then perhaps spammers will then spend the effort to spam other indexes.

The irony is that if Google loses market share and spammers target other indexes, this should in turn help Google. Either way, the reports of the death of Google are premature.


 3:55 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's better (for Google) to have them problems now than when Yahoo and MSN start rolling out the big guns later.

What MSN “big guns” are you referring too? Has MSN announced anything or is this just speculation?


 4:05 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is weird.

None of my Search Positions have shifted- they've actually improved. But I don't think I've ever seen a month go by where someone wasn't a casualty.

I went to the bar last Monday, and nobody was talking about how Google doesn't work anymore. So it must not be widespread.

Someone accused me of having a mullet, but I'm just trying to grow back my ponytail. I guess it depends on what angle you're looking at it from.

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:30 am (utc) on June 5, 2003]


 4:07 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Most everything on this board is speculation:)


 4:07 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google is broken :(

Email him and ask him fix it.

Make better now please...

arrrgghhhhhh *jumps out of window*

-another victim of Dominic's abuse


 4:18 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>What MSN “big guns” are you referring too? Has MSN announced anything or is this just speculation?

M$ has publicly announced it wants a larger percentage of the search market. It didn't say this would be via MSN search though!

There are many ways M$ can take a majority stake in the SE market, it controls the OS...a huge advantage. It has a huge cash surplice, another huge advantage.

Y! has also publicly stated it intends to be the one upfront and is now starting to throw the $$$ at it.

I don't see Google's demise happening overnight, but over a year or three the whole picture could look very different.

I just looked at the latest stats I use to monitor SE popularity, Google is less than 1% down this month, Joe surfer hasn't started voting with his feet yet.

Contrary to popular belief I'm far from convinced it is Google's search results that will determine future SE popularity, Joe Surfer can live with the occasional bad result, but he may be persuaded to go elsewhere for other reasons.

It all goes back to the age old argument of whether Mickey D's burgers are better than the Kings, or is The Sun a better news source than The Times....etc, etc,...often "quality" is not what determines popularity. Sam Walton created the world's largest retailer, quality was not the angle he played.

Maybe an SE showing half naked girls on the home page will be the final popularity winner...."honey I have to use this SE, the quality of results are much better than anything else available" ;)


 6:01 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is it just me, or has jojojo jumped out of a window for the second or third time now? :) Sorry, that just struck me and I had to ask. :)


 6:28 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Most everything on this board is speculation:)

Considering the content of last 1000 threads I'd remove the word "Most" :)


 7:25 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

One must remember before speculating such things is that google do have a hold on the search industry. Competition as we all know will hound us and them for as long as they are around. We must also remember that competition is healthy for development of new technology. My take on it is that the boys at google are good enough at their job to see competition this way to. The more msn and yahoo press, the better google will become. And although they might not be on top forever i guess we can all guesstimate for now that they will always be the big guns or at least part of them.

In my opinion if we look at it with open eyes, Google are the most independant engine at the moment. They have their own brand name behind their sponsored site campaign, search technology, and in part the directory and this is the only area I think if they took the iniciative they could make the better directory. All their competitors are still reliant on other people to provide these services. Yahoo and MSN arguably have the money to join the party. And it is true that these 2 might have money to burn but google have demonstrated their savvy by makin the right buys eg. Applied Semantics. Say no more!

Then if one looks at MSN's reliance one can see that it is not that stable. Looksmart in my opinion sucks badly and Overture has made purchases in what looks like an attempt to develop on their own to become a good SE.
Yahoo bought Inktomi which was a big move and I think cemented their position as big competition.

To round off I would like to say that these 3 players will always be in competition which is healthy and will only increase in the rise of better technology. Also who is to say that in 20 years Microsoft will still be who they are. And that applies to Google and Yahoo. We have seen more development in the last 7 years than any other industry and a point that I would like to leave you with is who is going to rise out of these fledgling years to take the helm?

Happy Surfing and "Guesstimation"


 8:15 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Further to what I said Chris_D said it a lot better go read this post


 8:24 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I will never be satisfied with Google. It does not cook my eggs the way I like them.

Google does eggs just great for me. To get them right you just take your Toolbar and.... ;)


 9:39 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Top visitor referrals

1/1/02 to 31/12/02:

Yahoo 39%
Google 20%
MSN 18%
AOL 10%

1/1/03 - 1/4/03:

Yahoo 33%
Google 26%
AOL 14%
MSN 13%

1/4/03 - 5/6/03:

Google 34%
Yahoo 28%
AOL 15%
MSN 12%

For everyone who has google referrals going down there will be someone else who is seeing an increase. This does not point to google losing a share of the market. It basically points to the fact that individual sites are not ranking as well. Most of the people in here we see complaining about dominic are not going to be the ones with increased visitors this month. Update dominic has taught most of us a valuable lesson (even though it is hopefully a temporary glitch/error/algo problem which will be rectified in the next up date). To survive on the web we must diversify and look to different sources of traffic, whether it be overture, adwords or inktomi. Google may not be gone but the days of concentrating solely on Google are!


ps If no one has named the next update can i suggest update Jude (Saint Jude is The Patron Saint of Hope)


 11:11 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Liamgt that is a good point and one that I think is overlooked. My traffic is always constant from google but it fluctuates when I talk about msn and yahoo traffic. But only slightly. Yahoo usually keeps that 2nd place. But basically if what you are saying weren't the case then I could apply the theory that msn and yahoo are falling and therefore google would remain best.
Anyway just my thought:-)

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