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Would somebody please summarize update Esmeralda 

 9:18 pm on Jun 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was on vacation from the 14th till today.
I attempted to plow through the threads but it would really help if somebody could summarize the update. From what I could gather.
--freshbot in now freshdeepbot
--backlink count is more acurate

Here are spme questions.

--How often will the new google index change and recalculate PR?
--Did Esmeralda get it all?
My older sites still rank fine but my newer ones did not do as well as I expected. It's almost as though all backlinks were not figured in yet to the PR calcs.




 12:15 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

yes to the first two. Nobody but G knows on the second two.


 12:35 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just before the update, all datacentres suddenly reverted to using data from many weeks previously, something like early-May.

The main change in data started 2003-06-15 with lots of new stuff being poured into -fi, spread to one extra datacentre per day each day, and ended with -in being the last to get the new data on 2003-06-22. This data was collected in the last 10 days of May, and from at least part of June.

[edited by: g1smd at 12:38 am (utc) on June 30, 2003]


 12:38 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

So those are the only highlights? Anything else I miss?


 12:47 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

MrSpeed <<So those are the only highlights? Anything else I miss?>>

Every few days/hours/minutes, it changes again. So, if you don't like the results now, refresh your browser and try again. ;)


 5:09 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)


First your site was ranked top ten, then it wasn't. Then your index page was in, then it wasn't. Then the index shifted three times an hour for a week straight. Then GG went really quiet. Then webmasters went really noisy. Then you asked the question that no one but G can answer. Where are we now? Know one knows but Google (I'm not even convinced about that).

What we do know!

- Google appears to have been switching indexes (major tweaking) for two weeks.
- The Google bot formerly known as FreshBot [google.com] is now acting like a full crawler [google.com].
- Google appears to be full crawling [webmasterworld.com] the web at the moment. I say "appears", because there have been some conflicting reports. Some are getting full crawls and others are not.
- The index does appear to be fairly "fresh" at the moment with recently spidered pages showing up in classic "everflux [google.com]" style.

What to expect?

Highs in the mid to upper 90's, 30% chance of scattered showers, and Google's index continuing to change.

What to do?

Go back to site building the old fashioned way and forget about Google for now. (remember, Yahoo now owns Ink, and the days of Google on the 'hoo are numbered...think about it)


 5:15 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have tried to stay quit lately, but tonight I'm seeing my site come back on every major term I lost and also gained a few.

Some new data has been added to the mix.

What happend? who knows, will it stick? I hope so!

Maybe because I broke down and wore my Google shirt in public today, the Google Gods smiled on me.

Can you summarize Esmeralda? I think Brett pretty much summed it up!


 5:53 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll summarize from my viewpoint. The mechanics of the switchover went pretty smoothly--about one data center per day. Things that drew comments included a somewhat higher level of flux than webmasters expected and a tendency for subpages to show up more where index pages had before. Most people noticed fresher data (both pages and backlinks), especially as sites that were too new to get picked up in the Dominic switchover were found by Esmeralda.

Experienced update watchers also know to look for what people don't mention as well. For example, during Dominic some people weren't getting toolbar PR measures for a few sites. I kept a list of sites where the toolbar indicator didn't list PR because of technical reasons like url canonicalization/etc. Happily, most/all of the sites that I checked were showing PR correctly for Esmeralda--so I didn't see a lot of PR0 questions this time.

Another thing that people didn't mention on the update thread as much this time was spam. That matches with internal testing for Esmeralda, and the spam reports we received. The number of spam reports for Esmeralda was lower than for both Cassandra and Dominic, for example.

There were still people who claimed that Google was obviously, undeniably, irrevocably broken. I thought that there were fewer of them--but they seemed to post more loudly to compensate. :) I think the tone of WebmasterWorld has been a little more strident lately (sometimes because of uncertainty, sometimes because newer members are getting a feel for the community here), but I take it as a good sign that right now the majority of the threads are people trading analysis about things like Flash, indexing latency and crawl IPs, what type of filenames are best (me, I'm partial to hyphens), and so on.

Overall, I'd say that the Esmeralda switchover went relatively well. Of course, people who have specific comments can always send in feedback via a spam report and mention "Esmeralda". Also, I liked the pre-post moderation system that Brett and the mods started testing. It helped to keep related threads together; the mods have also done a great job of keeping discussions on-topic over the last couple weeks.


 6:26 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

It does take some time for any new site to do well in any search engine. I agree with Brett's advice that the best thing to do is to build sites--if you haven't seen it, Brett also did an interesting post in rfgdxm1's thread too.


 6:28 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)


My problem is that I can see the same mirrored site group, and similar site group still dominating the SERPS. I gave you the details a number of time before, and you agreed they needed to be dealt with. They haven't been. But they have added to the number of their sites, thus pushing others down.


 6:36 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Questions remaining...

when will *any* PR show for post April 15th pages?

when will PR actually be updated for all sites?

When will the indexes where index/topical pages are found take control over the faulty indexes that are incapable of ranking pages correctly?

When can we expect that influx of page rank after the indexes are settled? (I can't believe this was it since obviously the www2 now can't find correct topical pages.)


 6:39 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another thing that people didn't mention on the update thread as much this time was spam.

Courtesy Brett & Team and also the Pre-moderation system. Wait till the update ends ;)

the mods have also done a great job of keeping discussions on-topic over the last couple weeks.

I would generally agree. But it also started a Carrier Update Thread ie. Update thread is closed so start discussions on any thread which is remotely related to update :)


 6:52 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

One of the highlith with Esmeralda is backlinks..

Apples&Apples(as GG said)

This update has new counters taking related, reciplocal links which makes big difference..


 7:13 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

With Google perpetually updating people should heed Brett's advice else you will go slightly crazy watching your site appear, disappear, re-appear, drop from the face of the earth, fall on a datacentre, rise on another, shake it all about every 3 days or so ;)


 8:13 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm coming in late here can some one point me to the brett thread that has been mentioned?

From looking at my logs it appears that the old idea of the deepcrawl coming from the 216 ip bank is now gone, and that 64 seems to be doing the work. We appear to have had major deep crawls around about every two weeks.

GG - if your still awake, will we see another dance this 4th?


 9:34 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another thing that people didn't mention on the update thread as much this time was spam

I think that it has to do with the google forum pre-moderation. Spam has been discussed elsewhere:
I also think that because spammy sites have been back without any changes, people start to give up on the spam report.

so I didn't see a lot of PR0 questions this time

Again, google forum pre-moderation.

url canonicalization

You're saying that some site could cause PB?, where does the pb lies - in the url?
I'm asking because my site has been up for 4 months with backlinks from PR6 pages and is still PR0. There is only 6 pages in the index (the site has 19 pages in total), and I see googlebot less than 5 times/month (meaning less than 5 page hits).
I sent 2 emails to webmaster@google.com and no aswers were received (except the automated response). I built another site 2 months ago and 12 pages have been picked up already. That's why I'm worried the first site is the one that is supposed to advertise my services to my potential clients.



 9:41 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

mil2k, good slam! - I thought that Brett had come up with some really good insite on the state of the game and that I had just missed something.

But in re-reading #6 - there is a nice sub-text there kind of like Michael Fish on the BBC doing the storm storm reports (ok so maybe only the UK readers will get that one).

One thing that I have seen (again I wish I could quote search phrases) is that long search phrases "how do I make a widget out of balsa wood" appeared to have very good results last week (6/24-6/27) but the same search over the last two days is returing sites that just impact the two keywords (widget and balsa), whereas before I was getting better, logical results returned.


 9:55 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

There are times when people are trying to understand the changes that have been made and no one knows exactly what is working and what isn't - during these times all you can do is continue to build your site for usability and try to increase the conversion rate. Yes you still employ the basics such as ensuring that the site can be spidered easily, focusing pages on particular keywords and building up the links to the site. Avoid trickery as this is likely to cause more problems than benefits.

While doing this look at what is working well and what isn't, look at the differnce between the latest update and previous updates identify what you think are the key factors and test them.

The one thing I would say is that with the last two Google updates Dominic and Esmeralda, things have changed and the tried and tested formula for Google that many people were using is not working in the same way that it used to.


 10:17 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I love the way GG and Brett keep saying "stick to the basis, don't make tune-ups with every update. Just build your site for usability and not for Google".

That is a very good advice for a long term strategy.

Very good advice from Ian Turner.

The one thing I would say is that with the last two Google updates Dominic and Esmeralda, things have changed and the tried and tested formula for Google that many people were using is not working in the same way that it used to.

I will wait till the end of the update to say this bcoz I still feel that the tried and trusted method for google might work. HTH ;)


 10:21 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

But will it give you top five ranking, or will the page just rank low? Won't whatever it is that is making the index/page 1 pages rank low just carry over?

And I do still have an index page problem. A page that ranked number 1 for its keyword has now disappeared completely. It's still number 1 at www2, www3, sj, fi, cw, ex... But on www here, nowhere to be seen.


 10:58 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that this update has started a new strategy of spidering and indexing just the “front” page from new sites. This seems like a new phenomena to me (and not a good one.) Maybe there are some capacity issues.

Someone used an analogy about websites being highways and SE being on ramps. Well, if Rand McNally won't list your new toll road on any of it's atlases, (published under many different names) you ain't gonna get many people using your road, even if it's a good one.

Brett mentioned Inktomi and focusing more on other engines. Interesting thought, becuase their bot has been more active on my newest site than Google. Hmmmn.....


 11:00 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

As ever, I favour the view that if you build a content-rich and valuable site then you can rely on Google to serve you well. That's why we're about to launch a far more comprehensive and interactive version of our site, based on the cardinal principles of ethical SEO.

My persisting query about Esmeralda however is also on the index page topic. I like the idea that subpages can come up more for specific search terms - that brings a breadth of traffic to a site across a range of terms rather than them all using the front door. However, I think it's right and even obvious that if you search for the name of the site then you should get its index page first, before any subpages. If you search for my site name now (in my profile), the first page you get is one that has only one incoming link and that is from the homepage. Every page in my site links back to the homepage, so it should be obvious to the googlebot which page is the index.

I could optimise my index page further with H1 text and anchor text on the incoming links, but this really should be unnecessary. Most websites are not built by people who know anything about SEO and Google should still be able to locate their index page if you search for their site name in most instances, in the same way that from a user's point of view it's good that IE can display invalid HTML in a correct fashion.

I'm not actually particularly bothered myself about my index page ranking currently as I'm about to completely relaunch the site, plus most of my traffic comes to deep pages anyway - but I think that it's an important Google principle that site name searches should bring up the index page of the site when it's made at least a bit obvious.


 11:21 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<Overall, I'd say that the Esmeralda switchover went relatively well.>>

How can the "switchover" be complete when all nine datacenters vary so dramatically? There are still pages that rank #1 in 5 of the 9 datacenters and are missing in the others.


 11:26 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

The one thing I would say is that with the last two Google updates Dominic and Esmeralda, things have changed and the tried and tested formula for Google that many people were using is not working in the same way that it used to.

I think this is a highly misleading statement and that too coming from a moderator! Are you suggesting that google has RADICALLY changed their results. You would be naive to think that a serious and largely used company makes any radical changes. It's all about predictibality: Google users are familiar with a certain result style and would be lost with any radical changes. Google makes only creeping changes.

I can tell you that I have not changed my basic formula since mid 2000 and it works fine. Yes there has been some fine-tuning that has been done as google and webmasters are playing chinese checkers, but the basic works. Few minor changes observed over the last 6-8 months:
1. Factors other than page rank have slightly more weightage; or pagerank is being calculated slightly different.
2. Alt text in text links is not being counted
3. Reciprocal links are being negated.
4. DeepFreshBot
5. 100 outbound links per page limit introduced.
6. Some other similar minor stuff

Other than this it is same same same

during these times all you can do is continue to build your site for usability and try to increase the conversion rate

Isn't this site "news & views for the ADVANCED web professional"? We know that we should focus on usability and increase conversion :). Please tell us what we don't know, like anything new you have discovered with the google algo...we promise not to go too hawyire in the meanwhile:)


 11:36 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

People say 'my index page has gone'.

I think the issue is 'my target page has been filtered'. I don't think Google has a problem with index pages, I think Google has a filter for SEO targetted pages (lots of perfect links etc). Your target page is usually your index page. I have a site where the index page was never important - there are lots of quality links aimed at a specific product page. The product page ranked highly for the main key phrase. Now that product page has gone from the SERP (95% of the time) and the index page is on page 2 or 3 (where it always has been), The index page hasn't been affected but the target page has.


 12:24 pm on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

There was an update? Been sitting on the sidelines watching this for the last 8 weeks as google revises its algos. Rankings back to where we started, links within 3%, and database much better than it was, Also google pull on our server greatly reduced, from the March-April timeframe. Whatever they did? has helped us....not hurt us in the long run. Instead of the negatives, how about the positive side of what is happening. I have never been starry eyed about google, but have to say IMHO they did something right here?


 1:04 pm on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd just like to know how a number 7 ranking with a 5PR that took a full year to gain that spot can be gutted into non-existence.

see message no. 38 above


 2:04 pm on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Would somebody please summarize update Esmeralda

Looks freaking great to me except for select index files flailing around like mexican-jumping-beans.

I'd rather they were there briefly than not there at all

That's why I'm keeping the faith & attempting to premoderate myself until Google gets a handle on it; over 2 months of biting my lip has taken its toll on my big mouth.


 2:13 pm on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<<This is the MOST troubling aspect. If a page is #1 on 3 datacenters for a keyword, and NOWHERE on the other centers, how does one possibly know if there is an issue that needs correcting or not? One second you are getting tons of traffic, the next zilch.

<<<Fluxing from #1 to #6 is one thing. From #1 to nowhere on a kw seems a bit harsh. Something ain't right.


I am completely with you. I am not going to sit here and take the explanation that everything is ok, because its not. While everything is "OK" for some people, it's not for others, this is quite obvious.

<<<I think Google has a filter for SEO targetted pages

Ok so maybe it does, which would be a good thing, IF it didn't accidentally hurt people that weren't abusing. The problem is, is that it seems to be penalizing GOOD sites. Ya sure, I have an H1, I have anchor text in my backlinks, kw in title etc., but I thought that was GOOD? I am not abusing anything or using any cloaking crap or stuffing kw or hidden text - NOTHING.

I am getting VERY aggrivated that my index page is gone, and want to know why. I realize that everyone has a theory, but why can't we just have some kind of a "authentic" explanation? My site started at PR7, now is PR4, and I have quite a few PR8's for backlinks, NONE of which are showing (which seems to be why I went to PR4). Ya, I'm angry. HELL Ya, I'm whining. Ya, I'm confused. Ya, I keep changing little things here and there, because I don't know what else to do. I'm not going to make 20 new sites. I'm not going to build content build content - I already did. In my "niche", there's only so many pages one can build. I was doing just fine for my liking, BEFORE this mess.

(Rant over - I'm sorry, but like some people, I have just had it.)


 2:24 pm on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<<<<I think Google has a filter for SEO targetted pages >>

This theory holds no water with what I am describing. If they were filtering some pages, there would be no reason for these pages to pop up #1 SOMETIMES and then vanish.

I have a difficult time believing that this has been the smooth transition/update that GoogleGuy describes.

I assume Google's goal is to display the best/most relevant SERPS to the user at all times. I can see no reason, other than a glitch, as to why it would benefit anybody to completely lose pages and then "find" them later- scoring the very same pages #1 that were nowhere in sight an hour ago.

This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >
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