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Google June 2003 : Update Esmeralda
Confirmed
Brett_Tabke




msg:213427
 8:59 pm on Jun 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

We are seeing significant changes in Serps, back link numbers, fresh dates, and indexes at a couple of data centers.

This might mean a possible update.

WebmasterWorld Google Update Changes:

The problem: Chit chat noise in update threads.

Last month we hand several thousand messages posted about the update. The volume level was intense and people couldn't find the info that was appropriate. Many senior members complained about the "me too" chit chat messages being left.

We are not going to do that this month. If you don't have anything new to add to a thread thing please kick back and read. Additionally, we are going to be proactive in keeping those threads clean. Again, the volume is so high this time of month that informing everyone of any thread tidying is near impossible.

We would appreciate your continued latitude, cooperation (thanks), and patience as we head into this months update.

Thanks.
For the Team,
Brett Tabke

Google Update FAQ:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Messages in this thread do not count towards user message totals.

Understanding Dominic: (the previous update):
[webmasterworld.com...]

 

Napoleon




msg:213607
 7:17 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

One other point - PR in place, all back links in place, but site missing on main phrase. It still appears on sub-phrases but the index page doesn't show on the main phrase (just sub-pages).

This thing's all over the place.

For me this is far worse than before. Yup - I've had enough this time. If they are going to drop balls like this, it is far better to have multiple (x-linked) sites around to at least pick up some of the loss.

lasko




msg:213608
 7:35 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I know I can not compare the update from pre dominc to the current update as google guy says its like apples and oranges.

But and their is a big but!

I worked very hard and spent a lot of time getting over 200 good links with no spam to my web site. Then dominc came and slashed it to 109 links.

Ok so I wait and take in the comments from everyone that links specially GoogleGuy that they will return in the next update.

No, this update now shows 98 links and my site is dropping I have not changed the way I work and I don't intend to but what google guy says about more links returning in the next update didn't happen. If I had not have listened I would have spent my time getting more links instead of waiting. We learn everyday!

Napoleon




msg:213609
 7:38 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

SteveB is calling it right:

>> The minor page versus index page travesty seems epidemic. <<

>> Ridiculously, in all five cases Google is ranking one of my minor pages above my main/index page.<<

Exactly what I am finding.... and it's widespread.

GoogleGuy also noticed:

>>I did notice the tendency to return subpages rather than index pages for some queries <<

Again, important (for the searcher) sites are missing because of it. They just happen to be different to last time. IMHO, they should have held off with the update until this sort of mess was sorted. It's very poor I'm afraid.

The solution is as I mentioned above.

Powdork




msg:213610
 7:45 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

A friend's site appears now in the fi index, with a PR1.
The weird thing is that the search link:domain.tld returns 13 backlinks.
I checked with a PR2 site and backlinks are reported as well.
Is this a new feature to report backlinks on sites with low PR?

During this stage sites are showing old prs, but in many cases, newer backlinks.
In any case it is the pr of the linking page, not the receiving page, that is important (although I can't imagine a pr 1 page with a pr 4 backlink). If the page linking to the page in question has a pr of 4(approx) or greater, it should show up if the link has been indexed.
You can adjust your toolbar to read the new pr and I believe the how to can be found in this thread.

crobb305




msg:213611
 7:47 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Ridiculously, in all five cases Google is ranking one of my minor pages above my main/index page.<<

I am also seeing one of my subpages showing up higher in the serps than the main page--especially for major keyphrases, and higher in allinanchor:major-keyword than my main page! And I do not ask for incoming links to subpages...only the main page. Obviously there is still incomplete data (i.e., backlinks and anchor text) being fed into the algorithm. Maybe this will inprove over the next few weeks. This index is very similar to Dominic in my industry.

C

[edited by: crobb305 at 7:51 am (utc) on June 16, 2003]

makemetop




msg:213612
 8:00 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nice to see fresher data included. It will be interesting to see how this settles in a few days. But so far, I'm impressed with the eradication of many cross-linkers and hidden text merchants (only to be replaced with some new ones). I'll leave it to the algo to sort this out - but looks like Google is getting there though!

SlowMove




msg:213613
 8:00 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

"related:URL" doesn't work with some sites that are showing backlinks.

UK_Web_Guy




msg:213614
 8:00 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

With regards to the index page issue / possible penalty, please see reminder of what GG said in his Q&A and also early on in this thread -

Think we all need to sit tight and await more info from GG.

Presume all of the people experiencing this have been doing since Dominic?

This is true to my case, and like others, expected this update to fix things.

------------ Q & A ---------------

Q: For many sites, the index page seems to be buried on search terms for which logic determines they should rank highly. Is this a transient feature, like some of the other recent issues, resulting from the changeover to newer data? Or is it due to a more fundamental algorithmic change?

A: I donít think itís a fundamental algorithmic change. I donít recall hearing about any changes would bring about long-term behavior like this. Iím pretty sure that itís more of a transient issue, and I wouldnít be concerned about this.

------------ Earlier this thread ---------

I did notice the tendency to return subpages rather than index pages for some queries. I'll check around with a few more folks than I did last time to find out if that characteristic will change over time.

Dolemite




msg:213615
 8:02 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

You guys that are having problems with subpages coming up before index pages, that may not be a problem but instead a solution to what I noticed during Dominic.

Most sites have a structure similar to:

Index -> More Specific Pages -> More Specific-er Pages

Where the internal pages are optimized for more specific keywords/phrases and the index is optimized for more general keywords/phrases.

During Dominic, many SERPs I watch contained index pages where the more specificly-optimized pages seemed more applicable for the search phrase.

I.E., searching for "blue furry widgets" returned www.widgets.com instead of www.widgets.com/blue-furry-widgets.html. Despite the fact that you may want to direct people to your homepage, those internal pages are often better results for more specific queries.

So consider where these keyphrases fit in your hierarchy. I can sympathize with your complaints if your index is indeed missing on main phrases, but subphrases belong with subpages.

Powdork




msg:213616
 8:14 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Uk_Web_Guy,
Thanks for putting those two replies down together. It now sounds as though it may be more permanent than previously mentioned.:(

Mine is a different story however. My backlinks have risen. Contrary to some others, my allinanchor for the keyphrase has plummeted. The drop from serps only occurs when fresh tags are given (regardless of daily crawls of index.html by 64.68.*). There have been changes since the March crawl involving many image links pointing from all pages to home page.
The logo is split into several jpgs, all of which pointed to homepage with keyphrase from every page. Because that was screwing with the description (mysite.com mysite.com mysite.com) I removed most of the links and the description has been cleaner since dominic. I don't think this matters because there is a text link with the same keyphrase (its our name after all) from every page anyway.

[edited by: Powdork at 8:16 am (utc) on June 16, 2003]

Napoleon




msg:213617
 8:16 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> but subphrases belong with subpages... <<

No, there is something badly amiss here. It is very widespread and has sunk product and info sites all over the place.

In some cases contact pages are thrown up ahead of the main entry page that actually describes the topic.

It just HAS to be something pertaining to missing links, or links not properly counted, or some tweak to anchor text relvancy that has gone askew. Something somewhere in this area is glitched.

[edited by: Napoleon at 8:19 am (utc) on June 16, 2003]

fathom




msg:213618
 8:17 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry if I am writing about something others have already noticed, but this morning www.google.de already has the -fi index and 799,000 backlinks to Yahoo!
Although I notices www, www1 and www2 are still on the old... go figure!

seeing fi in www2 and www3 now

Alphawolf




msg:213619
 8:19 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

UK_Web_Guy

Presume all of the people experiencing this have been doing since Dominic?

Yes- here.

This is true to my case, and like others, expected this update to fix things.

Same here, again. :)

------------ Q & A ---------------

Q: For many sites, the index page seems to be buried on search terms for which logic determines they should rank highly. Is this a transient feature, like some of the other recent issues, resulting from the changeover to newer data? Or is it due to a more fundamental algorithmic change?

A: I donít think itís a fundamental algorithmic change. I donít recall hearing about any changes would bring about long-term behavior like this. Iím pretty sure that itís more of a transient issue, and I wouldnít be concerned about this.

Keyword from GG here is 'transient'. Temporary is relative. What is transient to Google may be 3-6 months or more. They've had complaints about this since Dominic first broke.

------------ Earlier this thread ---------

I did notice the tendency to return subpages rather than index pages for some queries. I'll check around with a few more folks than I did last time to find out if that characteristic will change over time.

Granted, GG is probably tired and focusing in on words may not be good here, but...

...when he states "...if that characteristic will change over time." That is a shift from stating it is a temporary issue to stating he'll check to see IF it will change OVER TIME

Not a good sign at all, but hope GG will relate this to the GooglePlex.

AW

webdev




msg:213620
 8:21 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anyone know hat the www-va.google.com index is showing this appears to be completely different to all other indexes......

Powdork




msg:213621
 8:34 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy has *repeatedly* said that although guestbook links may appear in the backlinks...they are still not being counted towards PR.

Define guestbook. Show me where he said they are NOT counted towards pr. With the emphasis on NOT as opposed to MAY not be. You could prove me wrong but some would consider the above to be misquoting someone.
I only point this out because yours went up and mine went down. Obviously, you're spamdexing.;)

suggy




msg:213622
 8:45 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't understand how the number of backlinks can go up - from never being able to show any (even after Dom) - yet PR goes down from 4 to 3?!

I had a few good quality links - regardless of what Google was able to report with 'link:'. And, she obviously counted them. Now I have tens, rather than hundreds, in the PR4 to PR6 range, with most showing through 'link:'. Yet PR slides.

Anyone else seen this?

I'm hoping this is not the final PR.

Suggy

steveb




msg:213623
 8:46 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another data point tidbit on how confused the various googlebots seem to be these days... a lot of newhoo.com pages are showing as backlinks instead of dmoz.org backlinks. Newhoo is one of Dmoz's mirrors.

Worse than just showing though, the newhoo.com pages seem to be valued for their pagerank rather than the parallel dmoz page's pagerank. This is usually 2 to three points lower.

So, if you happen to be having your backlink counted as link from a newhoo page instead of dmoz, you are screwed big time.

It appears this phenomenon is at random, but it spells disaster for certain sites, especially those listed in alphabars in dmoz, where all the other sites benefit from a PR6 link but those sites starting with R and W might only be getting a PR3 link.

It's scary that errors of this magnitude (and so utterly unfair to boot) get by undetected.

This also may bode very ill for anyone who has had their content copied. Want to hurt your competitors? Copy their content onto a PR0 domain.

steveb




msg:213624
 8:49 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but it looks like Google is showing backlinks for all PR3 and lower pages now. All pages.

That's nice. Might be like saying the color scheme on the Titanic is nice, but it still is nice.

fathom




msg:213625
 9:01 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy has *repeatedly* said that although guestbook links may appear in the backlinks...they are still not being counted towards PR.

My question was why do you feel guestbook spamming is still effective? Are they spamming certain kinds of guestbooks that Google may not have picked up on? Are guestbooks the sites only backlinks or are only some of the backlinks from guestbooks?

GoogleGuy has *repeatedly* said [webmasterworld.com] msg #:479

The only "direct" quote I could find > doesn't really clear this up though... other than "it is effective unless a complaint comes in".

yannblitz




msg:213626
 9:11 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello,
What is the IP to put in the hosts file to see the PR in the fi server please?
Thanx

dazz




msg:213627
 9:11 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Still see a problem with google getting http*://mydomain.com and http*://www.mydomain.com mixed up.

When it finds 1 of my sites with the www at the begining the site ranks fine for most keywords, but when it doesn't and thinks its mydomain.com and not www.mydomain.com it is absolutely nowhere!

Very frustrating....does anyone else have a similar problem?

shaadi




msg:213628
 9:28 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

kpraxis you may read this:

[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]

Clark




msg:213629
 9:32 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just wanted to report that after not seeing googlebot all weekend, she has been "visiting" since 2:45 am. Not that she's seen any new pages, but she is there.

edited to add that within 45 minutes she's pulling up pretty much all pages again and again...

[edited by: Clark at 10:06 am (utc) on June 16, 2003]

UK_Web_Guy




msg:213630
 9:32 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

GrinninnGordon

No - nothing at all to do with hidden text.

The reason is unknown, semi-penalty best explanation I have heard, unless GG confirms it is hangover from Dominic and will eventually disappear.

Quite a few people in this thread are experiencing the same

Napoleon




msg:213631
 9:35 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Did anybody make some changes to their index pages <<

No... and the missing site has re-appeared. The problem is that two totally unrelated sites have now gone instead.

They seem to be having real problems in this area. Maybe the balance between: PR, keyword density, internal/external weighting, and similar.

Whatever the precise cause, it is simply wrong. I'm sure they will be looking at it. What I'm not sure about is how long it will take. I certainly can't (and won't) sit on my hands and just HOPE they sort it in another 4 weeks.

I also see that backlinks are all over the place on some sites as well, a number well out of date. This area too is not at all right. For me the index is a bit more up to date in SOME areas, but still stale with respect to core areas.

It looks to me like it needs a full deepbot crawl... urgently... to tackle the latter problem. I can't see any evidence thus far that Fresh is going to address it properly.

Lounova




msg:213632
 9:41 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

My first post.

Re:sub-pages returned above index page.

If you are selling "hardware" then your index page tells me about your line of hardware.

If I search for "wood screws" then I want your sub-page on wood screws NOT your index page. Good for Google.

Just an observation from a new guy on the block.

GrinninGordon




msg:213633
 9:42 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Napoleon

"it is simply wrong"

Yes, it is. And I think the older the site, irrespective of the cache and backlinks, the higher it is. I have just seen a few sites I have not seen for a long time on the higher pages. It is almost like being in a time warp!

Napoleon




msg:213634
 9:42 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Mmmm, looking again this morning I notice two of my sites with the index page missing <<

Got you too eh, nuts? If you probe around you should actually find that the index page is there on some related searches. It's just been zapped on the core, most logical, terms.

Yes, you will be clean. All the sites I have found (mine and not mine) all look perfectly OK. They just fail to show on the most logical term (sometimes even a product name).

Napoleon




msg:213635
 9:46 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's a fair point GrinninGordon. We were in a 'time warp' with Dominic. Now we are still in one, but just a different time zone.

What we have not seen is a clean sweep of the web picking up the latest links. The backlinks may differ, but there are still so many recent ones missing, going back a number of months.

Hence my conclusion that we need a traditional deepbot crawl to sort it out.

It seems to have found a few (not all) but lost others in the process. I suppose a bit like the missing index: some have recovered, but many others have now gone walkies.

Dayo_UK




msg:213636
 9:47 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I know GoogleGuy will not come on again for a while - but an intresting point re backlinks - I wonder if he could confirm the same regarding Page Rank.

Googleguy said that comparing current backlinks to backlinks before Dom is like comparing apples to oranges.

Is the same true regarding Pagerank - is comparing current PR to PR before Dom like comparing apples to oranges?

dazz




msg:213637
 9:47 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Napolean sounds like you have the same problem as me.

I think google is sometimes looking for mydomain.com and not www.mydomain.com.

Obviously nearly all inbound links are www.mydomain.com so I think that google is having trouble realising that they are the same!?

Whenever google puts my site in the index without the www. at the front it ranks terrible but when it uses the www. version it ranks what I would roughly expect.

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