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This 278 message thread spans 10 pages: < < 278 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 > >     
Google June 2003 : Update Esmeralda

 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.

For the Team,
Brett Tabke

Google Update FAQ:

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

Understanding Dominic: (the previous update):



 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.


 9:51 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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.

Hi Lounova

I treat every page on my site as a standalone page, over time i've found that people don't 'browse' my site, rather, they are looking for something specific...hence i don't want them on my index page, i want them on the relevant page...

so whether index pages or sub-pages are being returned makes no difference, as long as its relative to what the surfer searched for...



 9:52 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

No... bad for Google.... because it DOESN'T work like that:

a) The index page is the main page on wood screws

b) It's throwing up pages like the 'contact page', or the 'web links' page, above all others.

This isn't an enhancement. It's an algo or weighting glitch.


 9:57 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

That's an interesting one Dazz. It would kind of explain some of this.... maybe we are looking for weighting/etc glitches, when the glitch is in Google's fundamental URL identification logic.


 10:01 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......


 10:06 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Its the only explanation I can find for why one of my sites ranks great for certain keywords and then I find it at about SERP 300 for a keyword I would expect to be in top 20.

The only time I find it ranking poorly is when Google has indexed it as mydomain.com and not www.mydomain.com.

I think Google is recognising it as the same page and only putting either 1 or the other for each keyword search BUT it ranks them completely differed because it doesnt find all the backlinks when it uses the mydomain.com version for the SERPS!

Although a search for link:mydomain.com shows up the same backlinks as link:www.mydomain.com when it does a search it ranks each version very different.


 10:19 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......

Looks like current dominic www to me - no update there!


 10:27 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Am also seeing sub pages related to say "blue furry widgets" no longer appearing for searches for "blue furry widgets"

So maybe, this problem is not just restricted to index pages?

Very strange if this is not some sort of error?

Not serving pages up in the SERP's that relate to the search term?!

Kinda against the point


 10:30 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

the old index is still on all datacenters, only not -fi and not on www2 www3


 10:41 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a bunch of new sites that only use the index.html page and they are all pr3-4's with 5-6 backlinks each and they are NOWHERE in the top 1000 for their keyword?

This makes no sense whatsoever


 11:03 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

the VA datacenter is definitely showing different results......on one of my keywords I'm number one on the VA index and 36 on all others....

Even if this isn't anything to get excited about I'd like to know what this index is to try to work out what I did right if its an older one....

Tropical Island

 11:07 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


They are not current...

I replaced one of my competitors on two highly relevant sites on April 16 - one with a PR4 and the other with a PR5. The backlinks are still showing for the competitor and not for my site. He's on page 1 - our site (not the one in our profile) is buried on page 8. We have 34 backlinks, he has 11 (actually 9 now).

Conclusion: the "freshdeepbot" is not current although they may be picking up some new sites and pages. They are NOT getting an accurrate deep picture of the web as it now is.

EDIT: 7:27 EDT - our new links are now on www2 & 3 however our competitor still has non-existent links showing. Conclusion - this thing is still in flux. Also from here www is showing new results.

[edited by: Tropical_Island at 11:27 am (utc) on June 16, 2003]


 11:09 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Back to this issue with the homepage ranking lower than subpages on the site... During Dominic I had this problem and it's exactly the same in the new index. Previous thread is here:


If I search for my site name in www-fi as keyword1 keyword2, my homepage doesn't come up at all because I have two subpages outranking it. This is despite the fact that every page on my site links back to the homepage and amongst other links I have two dmoz and Google directory links with "keyword1 keyword2" as the anchor text, both pointing at the homepage.

My site is still being outranked in that keyword1 keyword2 search by a really simple one page site at www.keyword1-keyword2.com as compared with my www.keyword1keyword2.com . Detailed analysis given in the above thread - all the variables appear to be still the same. www.keyword1-keyword2.com is a whole page frame of another domain and the other domain has a link back to Google as its logo - surely this isn't a factor in the ranking algorithm?

I was hoping that this weird site ranking would have been cleared up after Dominic but it appears not to be the case.

My site is listed in my profile if anyone cares to shed some light on this. Thanks.

<edit>corrected the facts</edit>

[edited by: John_Caius at 1:19 pm (utc) on June 16, 2003]


 11:11 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


va is a version of ol dominic - exact same basically.

fi, www2, and www3 have the new index - everything else is a version of dominic


 11:28 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

My own experience - I'm having problems with subpages showing instead of the main category pages (index pages). It only affected me on Dominic with 1 or 2 categories, but my subpage still ranked highly for the main search phrase. Clearly the main category page was more relevant than the subpage listed.

With Esmeralda, many more of my category pages have gotten buried (usually in the #30's, sometimes in the #50's) in the SERPs with subpages being listed instead. I may have been lucky this didn't affect me last month, but this month it got me.

As for the person who suggested maybe this is about using CSS to resize H1 tags - I do NOT use CSS, but I do use H1 tags and it seems to be 2 or 3 word phrases that are in anchor text, title tags, and H1 tags that are being affected.

I'm just trying to make an analysis of why the sky is falling :)


 11:50 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I checked up for my websites last night and they ranked well on fi.

However, now in the afternoon (IST), I see that is live on google.com MAIN. It seems now it will keep switching for some days before being finally available.

Any word on the PR updates? Reciprocal Links have been updated and I see them live.

Nakul Goyal


 11:51 am on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes John_Creed, exactly the same results at [www-sj.google.com....]

In other sites I see a very small difference between www-fi and www-sj ... only a few urls in major sites.


 12:05 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is it reasonable to assume that the results now found on -fi will work their way across to www or should we expect changes on what is currently on -fi?


 12:22 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is it reasonable to assume that the results now found on -fi will work their way across to www or should we expect changes on what is currently on -fi?

Minor changes in top 30 of SERPs minor or major changes after that...


 12:32 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


>> I'm having problems with subpages showing instead of the main category pages (index pages). <<

>> this issue with the homepage ranking lower than subpages on the site <<

This is a widespread problem with the current update.... for many sites, on important keywords the index page ranks below subpages, contact pages and even the link pages.

Therefore, in an attempt to assemble a reasonable sample size, to enable proper study, could I invite anyone affected to sticky mail the following:

a) Name of URL
b) Keyword for which the problem occurs
c) Name of sub-page that ranks higher than index
d) Approximate age of site

Obviously, anything gleaned from the exercise will be posted back.

NOTE: If you are happy for the information to be shared with Google please state this explicitely. The default will be that the information will be treated as strictly confidential.


 12:35 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Please reread the first message in this thread.
Members have repeatidly ask us to keep these threads usable and as clean as possible.


 12:41 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a new site that has been indexed for Google for 2-3 weeks. PR0 being new, which is OK. When I search for my site www.widgets.com it does not come up though. When I just use widgets it shows some links, but none of my website. I am searching on fi, but nothing. I am nowhere to be found for any search terms. Any suggestions?


 1:00 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Did anybody else see their site(s) constantly moving in and out of the Dominic update and then for Esmeralda to drop them way down in the SERPS.
In my exapmle I had three sites which were in the top 5 positions in Dominic for different keyword for days on end then they would move way down for a few days then they would come back...and so on throughout the whole of the Dominic update. Now they are way down again in Esmeralda.

Please let me know if this has happened to anybody else.


 1:01 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, I did read 1. post and the rest of them too, some has been edited away so msg# may not fit.

SlyOldDog msg #107
When checking -fi SERPS for other languages/countries I do the following:

Go to Google language tools page, choose the language and/or country --> do the search --> type in -fi in the Address bar and hit refresh.

GG msg #136
"sky is falling" - can't be avoided, mods are doing a great job though!

Fathom msg #203
Normal update duration is expected (GG somewhere).

Dolemite msg #220
About the Index/subpage question, yes most sites are build like: index > more specific > more specific-er pages. This seems to be reflected in -fi SERPS.

One preliminary observation for the index/subpage questions suggests that incomming links to index pages requires a higher PR to count than subpages incomming links.


 1:11 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

The new index seems to be a bit better than Dominic - less spam where I live.

However, the new ranking algo seems a bit screwy as some of the web's oldest most established and authorotative sites are not showing up under searches they have been synonymous with.

I mentioned before that I find it odd tat Google is on page #3 for search engine with #1 for allinanchor/PR10/200k+links. It makes me think that the new ranking system/algo is a bit worse than pre-dominic as it would be tough to find a reason why Google is not on the first page when the web overwhelmingly voted for them via backlinks.

BTW, to those that asked before (may have been deleted). Although SERPS can fluctuate during this process, generally they pretty much stay put other than some spam filters being applied and some "hand checking".


 1:15 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have noticed something in this update that has me worried and is also consistent with some of the other having index page problems.

here's the situation, my site is not new, it's not spam and never has been in any trouble and should never be.

my main page (PR7)seems to be in the new index, after not being in Dominic, but occasionally appearing over the last few weeks from #2-nowhere - the new update has my main page, but it has fallen dramatically, and is listed as:

www.domain.com/index.shtml (PR6)
(www.domain.com is still PR7)

it has always been listed as www.domain.com

all of my internal pages(PR5-6) stayed about the same in Dominic, and look to have improved now. For many terms, only internal pages show up, 15-40 spots below where my main page has been since 2002.

I also see that almost all search results for main pages are showing www.yourdomain.com/ - when you click it, almost every site says it has no PR (greybar) until you remove the "/"

I do not recall seeing the trailing slash added to so many sites, all of my competitors look like they have no PR at first click. Somehow it would seem that G is having some kind of problem with main pages.


[edited by: my3cents at 1:26 pm (utc) on June 16, 2003]


 1:16 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

As far as the www.site.com and site.com problem with rankings in google.... I've taken the approach of adding in my index page a check to see what url the user went to. If it is prefixed with www, I redirect the user with a PERM MOVED numeric to site.com.

I'm hoping this will forward all backlinks from www.site.com to site.com, helping PR instead of spreading it around "two" sites

Any comments on if this is a good thing or a bad move?

if (stristr($_SERVER["HTTP_HOST"], "www.site.com") {
header ("HTTP/1.0 301 Moved Permanently");
$path = "http://site.com".$_SERVER["REQUEST_URI"];
header("Location: $path");


 1:18 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Further Interesting Point about Missing Index pages:

Info for all + Feedback for GoogleGuy

SERPS delivered when selecting "United Kingdom" from the Language Tools page of the toolbar - display a lot more index pages (of one's that would otherwise be missing) than if "Great Britain" was selected.

Google.co.uk (select UK only) defaults to GB searches, hence alot of index pages missing - why should these be so different?

Anyone else see any regional variances?


 1:20 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well one thing for sure is that this update is better then dominic, I think thats what is missing before we see good result like early may is,
we need backlinks from internal sites, I think there is the problem, PR within a site has sliped a little with the past updates,
if the value of the internal site will be back to normal (PR), then we will see the index page rank good again.

I have noticed that the internal links within a site has fallen the last 3-4 udates, that could explain, why the index page does not rank that good.



 1:20 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

All my internal pages have a PR of 5 yet home page is 0. There have been no changes to the home page over the last 2 months. Is there a way to find out if there is a penalty involved that I am unaware of or the origin.


 1:36 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Natim: PR will fluctuate until the end of the update. You'll have to wait until then to make any concrete observations about pr.

Might be another point to the missing-index phenomenon:

Not sure if this is a common observation or not... But basically since Dominic I am not seeing any fresh versions of my index page (www.mydomain.com) in the serps, but for the site search (ie it's there for a site search, fresh tag and all).

Google is showing an old version of my index page but sans-www, ie mydomain.com. This page does rank lower than *some* internal pages on some serps, higher on others.

The site has been in the Google directory since the January update.

This 278 message thread spans 10 pages: < < 278 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 > >
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