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Google June 2003 : Update Esmeralda Part 3

 7:15 am on Jun 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Continued from: [webmasterworld.com...]

Has anyone here ever heard of a Kalman filter? It's a mathematical way of building a model of the world. The math is pretty complex, but basically you try to build a model of the thing you're trying to represent. When you get a new data point, you update your model's estimate about the state of things.

Why am I talking about this? Well, Kalman filters have a knob that blends between how much you believe your model vs. how much you believe each new data point. If you tweak the knob all the way in one direction, you always trust the model and any new input just gets ignored. On the other extreme, you can ignore your current estimates about the state of the world, and only trust each new data point as it comes in. If you set the knob too far in that direction, the object you're trying to model jumps all over the place each time you see even a hint of new info.

Lots of people here are getting more stressed than they need to be--their knobs are turned a little too far toward worrying about the very last thing that happened: "Now my subpage is coming up higher than it should! Okay, now my index page is back and the SERPs look good. Gaaack! Now I'm showing well at DC but the subpage still shows up higher at FI! Too much pressure--I'm going to drink now, and start spamming every FFA I see tomorrow!" :)

If you look around, you'll notice not too many senior members posting here. They chime in every so often, but their knobs are twisted further in the other direction. They know that the index switchover takes a little time to settle, and they have the perspective not to get too worried about things right now, and in general.

I haven't posted much of my take lately, but if I could give advice, it would probably be: don't panic. Here's what I would expect. Probably about one data center per day will get switched to the Esmeralda index. You may see some improvements during the course of the switchover as ingredients get blended in as they're ready. I would expect another round of ingredient-adding after the index is switched over.

So: if you're really into Google-watching as a sport, I would check in once a day to see what data centers have been switched, and maybe to run 2-3 searches. Browse a little while, and then come back the next day. Find something fun to do at night besides poring over every last thing that GoogleGuy (or whoever) posts on WebmasterWorld. You'll feel better, I promise.

This is just my take. You're welcome to ignore it. But I mention it because during this index, I heard about a lot of good and bad searches from webmasters, and the more I dig, the more confident I am that things will turn out well.



 3:47 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

UK_Web_Guy, I think some people have already mentioned that for the searches where they noticed subpages, index pages are starting to come back again. So I think it's begun to some degree already.

Note: I am not making any promise/statement about the long-term ratio of index pages to subpages. ;) I'm just noted that several people, after waiting for a day or two, notice that things seem more normal or like what they expected.

As pardo said, if you grab a helicopter and get a broader view, you'll feel better and learn more than watching every bump or rise from grass-eye level. I still expect data centers to switch at a one-a-day rate, which is our typical switchover speed (Dominic took a few days longer, as some people recall. :)

[edited by: GoogleGuy at 3:51 pm (utc) on June 19, 2003]


 3:48 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Maybe I'm just in the wrong side of the planet or knob :) but the www is stil showing old index.

I did checked the data centers and so far...

Not updated yet -> EX, IN, CW

Updated -> DC, FI, VA, SJ, AB, ZU

It's just probably my location is being served by the 'Not updated yet' data centers :(

[edited by: Net_Wizard at 4:25 pm (utc) on June 19, 2003]


 3:55 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

In the case of my main site GoogleGuy, the minor internal pages that were doing well have been replaced with the index page, and the most important internal page, taking over in the SERPs. Things are now looking a lot more like I would expect.


 4:00 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


Thanks for the reply.

One observation I have is that I am seeing more occurences of the index page missing on UK only searches.

For example, a site appears at no 25 in the SERPS for a search using "the web" option for a particular term, this is the highest ranked UK site, so you would expect it to be high on UK only SERPS, however, it is not - "contact us" page comes up higher in SERPS.

Is it likely that regional searches will be more skewed than straight searches on the entire web at the moment?

I am just concerned there may be some other underlying problem here?


 4:16 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

index pages are starting to come back again.

Hmm... it appears that the sky isn't falling... ours seems to be making a comeback...


 4:20 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am sitting somewhere in the middle on this old site vs. new site, senior member vs new member debate.

I am firmly entrenched at #1 and have been for over 2 years for one keyword phrase with a site that has been online since 1999. But since February of this year, for a second kw phrase, the same site has been a yo-yo from #8 to #17. Not a big spread, I'll admit, but page 1 vs page 2 nonetheless. For a 3rd keyword phrase I have dropped from #1 to #7.

Now before I get flamed for complaining about these results, my post is a lament only about the fact that I cant figure out why the same site doesnt budge in one serp and is a fricking yo-yo for others.


 5:03 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd appreciate if someone could elaborate on the backlinks issue.

I understand that Google only reports backlinks that are PR4 or greater.

But if I do a search on 'keyword', Google reports two numbers. First, it says there are 'about YY backlinks'. On examination, they don't all display, and perhaps only XX might actually be shown.

How do I interpret this:

a. There are YY total backlinks, but XX are PR4 or greater?
b. There are YY backlinks of PR4 or greater, but only XX are unique enough to display.
c. Something else?

This has confused me for a while, and I appreciate any help.


 5:18 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, after having dissapeared, reappearing and then dissapearing again, my index page is nowhere to be found in the SERPS today. Given that it was just in the SERPS a day ago, I'm optimistic that'll it'll make the final cut. If it doesn't I'll have to conclude that there is indeed a "glitch in the matrix".

On another note, a new site that had been in and out of the index, is now on fewer of the data centers today than it was yesterday(though it remains in the -fi data center). Seems odd to me.


 6:08 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

For those who insist on checking the update's progress more frequently than once a day (of course, I'm not one of them, any conjecture (or GG input?) on whether it's fair to say that they (ah, em...OK, we) can stick with www2 & www3? (Which assumes that -fi is furthest along most of the time.)

At least that would stop some from checking all nine data centers all the time...

P.S., there's no lake near me...I know, I know...


 6:58 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

How long has -fi had the new index? At midnight last night my site was #1 for several keywords on -fi. Today, its not in the top 10 of -fi for any of those same terms. So, which one is the new index?


 7:13 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a funny feeling that my index page has vanished out of google.

What is the query to check if its in?


 7:21 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

jaffstar, I am afraid I have the same funny feeling :(


 7:26 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


I'm in the same boat. I was rockin' last night on -fi and today my results all dropped. I've got to remember to look at the big picture......right? Lump starts to form in throat. Don't worry, I'm taking this all with a grain of salt.


 7:49 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

im with you kellyann and vrian,
i was very excited that i was number one for my main (highly competitive) keyphrase on -fi two days ago. Now, I am twenty one and that's spreading to the other data centers. After the blow the last update made to me, I am not sure I can handle another month (or more) in virtual obscurity.


 7:50 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

It looks like -ex has the new index...only -cw and -in to go.



 7:54 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I saw the change in -fi like everyone else. I am seeing that the changeover to the new index takes a few steps on the datacenters. It's not an off/on thing, there's a process involved that takes some time after a datacenter switches to the new index.


 7:55 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Could Google add some kind of highlight to the cached version when a PR penalty is found by the algo.

It would be alot easier for website designers to say in this forum,
"My H1 is highlighted on the cache version. Its of color #ffffff on background #ffff0f. Is this a problem"

"Some of my links are highlighted, why" with an answer being "Click them to check they direct to the correct URL"

Would this be easy to apply?

ps. Why cant I start a New Thread?


 7:58 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is the new index jumping in and out of the main www database? The reason I ask is because my stats shows that im getting hits from a search query that can only be coming from the new index.



 8:02 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

> It looks like -ex has the new index...only -cw and -in to go.

Notice the same. This update is pretty fast and I like it so much! :) I think everything will be completed in Saturday.

> Is the new index jumping in and out of the main www database?

It is normal. That's how Google distribute searches to its 9 datacenters.


 8:08 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think posting the index was back on WW was bad mojo. It has vanished from all DC's.


Is the new index jumping in and out of the main www database? The reason I ask is because my stats shows that im getting hits from a search query that can only be coming from the new index.

The partially cooked new index is already on the main www database.

Depending upon traffic load and where you are, when you punch in www.google.com you will get one of the 9 Data centers that people are talking about.

Someone mentioned one of the CD's may not be live...but I haven't paid too much attention.




 8:48 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

New member here. Hello everybody!

Be patient guys. Everything will be back to normal again. Until then bite the bullet.


 8:54 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, -fi changed last night alrighty...

My index page, which has been #1 for its kw's since the site was first found by Google, including in the early Esmeralda serps, is now #4 with my "Who we are" info page in first place. I''m still #1, so alright I guess, but there is no way that page should be #1 with the index #4. I thought I'd been spared from the dropping index page business reported here by so many. Guess not.

Added: Actually, it's my main page in 4th place now, the index page is gone. What a joke.

[edited by: Stefan at 9:01 pm (utc) on June 19, 2003]


 9:00 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

-in has changed, but still different from the rest, -cw is still static.

trying to improve

 9:03 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

GG, thanks for the perspective. I'll sleep better tonight knowing that all the money I've lost over the last month or so is stuck in a Google data center and will be refunded to me when Google sorts itself out.


 9:08 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Welcome to Webmaster World abraham!


 9:08 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

The partially cooked new index is already on the main www database.

Stats are telling me the same. Looks great. Fix the index issue & a fresh DMOZ dump & I see a work of art this time.


 9:10 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

In this update I checked "more results from" and discovered that only four of my pages have been indexed with text, yet all the pages have the same layout. Why is this?

G, if I'm gonna go up and down like this I wish I could find out why!


 9:13 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I noticed trend to....index page #1 on all datacenters yesterday for keyword and just dropped to #26 on all datacenters and the page google ranked isn't even the index it is a sub/sub page

What is up with that?


 9:14 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

trying to improve,

remember that Google doesn't care much about whether you make money or not, nor should they...what they care about is getting their SERP's to be of a high quality. You may have more success with responses if you focus on the quality of the SERP's. ;-)


 9:18 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I certainly hope they do fix the index issue... as far as I can understand, maybe mine has been dumped because some guy linked to it without the www, and a directory has a snapshot of it with a url, www.mydomain.org/?theirdomain.com

If Google can't figure out which of the 3 is the right one, then it's pretty feeble. The index has 24 backlinks listed, (good ones, mind you), most with the right text in the anchor, the index without www has one backlink. The directory with the? in the URL should be easy to understand and rank accordingly. ATW, Ink, AV, and Overture all still have the index #1 for the same kw search. It's not my page that's out of step, it's Google.


 9:18 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

forgive me if this has be raised elsewhere but pagerank has been update for my site and it has a PR3 (was PR4) but shows 52 backlinks .. I understood only PR4 sites showed backlinks... or have I missed something during this update..?

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