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This 680 message thread spans 23 pages: < < 680 ( 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 [14] 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ... 23 > >     
Update Florida - Nov 2003 Google Update
Looks like an Old Fashioned Dance Baby!

 2:29 pm on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

www-in is showing some major shifting in all the serps I follow.. anyone else seeing this? These results were showing yesterday as well, but synced with the others late in the afternoon.

The results look really good.. hopefully this will reflect across all the datacenters soon. Seems like the spammier sites I compete against have moved down while the good honest pages have moved up.



 7:21 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

GG, before you go to bed...

Is there any possibility of just a bit of truth in the idea that was mentioned a few hundred pages back about the disappearing sites being newly added to the Google Directory?

I ask, because I'm looking at some of my competitors' sites and similar things are happening to ones who got into the google directory with the last update (which covers several months of DMOZ additions as we all know). This includes my site, which was added to DMOZ in May, but didn't make it into the Google Directory until the very last update.

I don't know if that's anything to give you guys a clue as to what the problem is, but every little bit helps. :)


 7:24 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

drewls, to the best of my knowledge an entry in dmoz isn't a factor. I'm heading to bed, but I'll check in again tomorrow.


 7:25 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh well...it was worth a shot. :)

Good night! :)


 7:27 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

OK, its looking a bit better:

First, main index page went from page 1 to nonexistant under several very relevant keyphrases, but no such problem with less relevant phrases. Directory listing link was intact.

Now, shows up on page 4 for most relevant phrase, with directory listing link gone, but directory listing link still appears for several much less relevant phrases that continue to come up on first page.

Same in all datacenters except for in and gv, with gv mostly same for us as before update, and in worse than gv but better than rest.

Does not seem at all like a penalty of any kind.

[edited by: ianama at 7:30 am (utc) on Nov. 16, 2003]


 7:28 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

i have had alot of my new pages indexed but some of the urls are just the actual url, dont have title,description etc.....i am assuming that is because google is in the middle of updating....for the last 4 days my site has been hit heavily by googlebot...
This typically means Google has found the link to your page but did not follow it for some reason. Among these are
1. Googlebot was denied by robots.txt or meta tag
2. Googlebot ran out of gas (PR) to follow link to page
3. Found the link in a non html format, such as js or flash
4. Improper code in document head
5. probably some others too

Does this not signal a ban?
No. Banned sites coexist peacefully within the directory.


 7:34 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I haven't participated in an update thread for about 20 months, but I've found myself following this one rather closely, for several reasons.

First, I should point out that a lot of our business comes from Google. Over the past 6 months, our site has slowly climbed to the first page of some very competitive phrases and we have reaped the rewards. A bunch of traffic leads to a bunch of buisness, plain and simple.

I woke this morning to find our website had fallen to page 8 of the results. No biggie, for those of us that followed updates back in the day already know, nothing is concrete until the janitors show up at the end of the dance.

I also noticed that we finally (10 month wait) got into DMOZ. Mixed with the 100+ new backlinks since the last PR update, and I would come to the conclusion that this update is still cooking.

Our website is optimized (white hat, grey hat, top hat..whatever!). We have relevant titles, original content, metas/alts and hunt for links on a regular basis. Whatever hat classification that may be, it's worked well.

Since this morning, the website has moved from #120 to #86, then #75 and now #67. We're still doing the mambo over here, ladies and gentlemen!

Give it another few days. Take that walk to the lake, watch some television or take this time to play with the kids.

I figure, there's more to come.


- Chad


 7:48 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

well said and as I think GG has said

"I think this update should happen over a slightly shorter timeframe, so most data should be incorporated within 3-4 days I would guess"

so take a chill pill and wait :)


 10:30 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


-va, -ab, -ex, -sj all appear to be down.

-in and -mc are still working.

Didn't try any others.

<edit>closed down and rebooted: problem fixed (it is a wierd Mozilla bug that I have seen three times in 2 years, and forgot about)</edit>

[edited by: g1smd at 10:42 am (utc) on Nov. 16, 2003]


 10:31 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is something wrong with the index pages being dropped.
I have this problem myself and some of my friends have it too.

Now consider this: my site is PR6, was in top5 for a keyword - and now just gone. GoogleGuy checked my site and said there were no penalties. So i guess we'll just have to wait - i'm sure index pages will be back.


 10:36 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

g1smd I can get to all of these.


 10:38 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nice to read the moans and groans.
Smiled quietly at the jeers and cheers.

Never thought I'd have the chance
To read about another "dance".

Does it affect me? Well, who knows!
It's business as usual for most SEOs :)

Now I'll go and lurk for another 2 years in update threads! But nothing here I haven't seen before, really. Some ups some downs - mostly the same. Some obvious link spam cleaned up and another round of cross-link zapping. I love it when that happens :)


 10:40 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

If the changes in serps we are seeing are due to excessive anchor text links then I think Google may have turned the dial a little too far.

I am certainly seeing a vast improvement for some searches, a lot of sites which contained very little original content or which were simply just links to other sites have dropped down.

However I know of a site which I buy from on a weekly basis (not my own) which has dropped substantially in the listings. This site is commercial and is pretty much the best site out there in terms of content and for getting difficult to find and obsolete products for this subject matter. What I have noticed is that the site name is "widget products uk" and there are lots of other sites which link to it using that in the anchor text, some sites also link to it from just about every page on their website! (i in fact link to it from my site!) However the site in question does not have a links page and the links all appear to be one way.

The site in question is a pr7 has been around for 5 years+ appears to be optimised (ie not dynamic links - good page titles).

If google is filtering this site out because of the number of inbound links with the same anchor text this opens up a major problem. The company name is "Widget Products (UK) LTD, and as a consequence you would expect most sites to link to it with the site name. But it seems with the new filter being applied by Google that the site no longer appears on the first 20 pages for a search on the company name (previously were in position one)?

Furthermore could a malicious competitor link to a site from all their pages and other sites using the same anchor text in order to damage the position of their competitor. I very much hope the filter is more intelligent than this.

Any comment Googleguy?


 10:45 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Don't know if anyone has seen this or been mentioned in the thread previously (not read through it all), but when you do an allinanchor: search the number of results returned is remarkably low - a few hundred results when the main serps lists 1000's. Normally the allinanchor gives similar results to the main serps.

An indication that perhaps Google has yet to finalise all the data.


 10:53 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Furthermore could a malicious competitor link to a site from all their pages and other sites using the same anchor text in order to damage the position of their competitor. I very much hope the filter is more intelligent than this."

if this is happening google would simply ignore the links so you cant be harmed by others linking to you...its just that it is ignoring links..you are not penalised as such..


 10:53 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

what is allinanchor: command?

when i do a search allinanchor: my keykord my sites comes up #3


 11:07 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Apparently even Google are having index page troubles [www-in.google.com] (they are fourth on the old SERPS).

It probably wouldn't matter, but everyone reports index.html problems. Does anyone find the problem effects default.htm/default.htm/home.htm/home.html/index.php/index.pl etc?

I'm going to try and take a positive out of this experience, by monitoring how many sales I get just from repeat business.


 11:10 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nice find borisbaloney...
Hopefully that find will lower the stress level of the other webmasters on this board :).

And in case the -in datacenter changes by the time you see this post, Google is currently not appearing in the top 100 results when searching for "search engine".

[edited by: icebane at 11:13 am (utc) on Nov. 16, 2003]


 11:11 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


I understand the point you are trying to make, but with the site I'm looking at it certainly seems as though other sites have played a part in it bombing out of the index. The site in question does not link to any other sites?

You say Google would ignore those inbound links, but how can it determine whether the link is genuine? If google makes an assessement that 30+ links with the same anchor text = ignore that anchor text, then a competitor could effectively push the anchor text over the threshold in order to trigger the filter. I would be very suprised if it is as simple as this but from what I'm seeing it does appear so for this particular site. When I search for the company name for this site, it appears way down on page 26, previously on page 1? The phrase is not even a competitive phrase as the site is aimed at a very niche market.

It is obviously not so clear cut as this as you would expect hundreds of sites to link to the BBC with "BBC" in the anchor text, but of course that site is fine.


 11:18 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

...seeing more movement in the UK... results jumpin around again ..


 11:20 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

this was on www-in .. btw


 11:25 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

steveb, I don't think -mc is in regular rotation yet. I wouldn't consider it important until it's been in regular rotation a while.

I just found out about this server. My site is #1 on this one and #4 on all the others. So when does it go into regular rotation?


 11:58 am on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


yup, thats good point about competitors putting you over a theoretical limit....i was only making the point that you dont have to be penalised in the true sense to see a drop after tripping a filter...

personally i think its is far to early to draw conclusions at all...for me it is continually the same sites that are affected during the update..and then they return afer the dust settles...so i dont see you can make any judegements or conclusions at this stage...

its curiuos to me that consistently googleguy invites spam/quality reports before even he himself recognises the update is anywhere near complete...once saying weeks to go..this time saying 3-4 days to go...is he saying yes if we see a problem now then they need to know about it even though data/filters are yet to come online? Why would he do that before a settling of the dust?.... its clear he knows this is not the final serps..and its clear they want feedback BEFORE the fnal serps..whats really going on here?

[edited by: soapystar at 12:10 pm (utc) on Nov. 16, 2003]


 12:00 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google Guy please listen to what people are saying, allot of us are hurting after this update. It couldn't have come at a worse time, just as the Christmas business was starting.

50% of my business is gone overnight and I may need to layoff warehouse staff or have them standing about with nothing to do.

We have always done everything by the book, I can only conclude that our large affiliate network has been penalised by the new algo. Overnight the bulk of our best affiliates have just disappeared out of the index together with two of our best performing sites.

Three years hard work wiped out in 24 hours.


 12:02 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not a happy experience for us.

I've taken time over the past year and a half to build up websites based on clear, clean good ethics.
Every website carefully structured, linked and optimised. Properly, so that Googlebot could see what each site (and page) was about).
Yeah, they all say that, don't they.

In this time, we've crept up the rankings for our own websites and those for clients : every month a nudge up.
In the turbulence in the spring, we were virtually unaffected, and rankings since then have gone from strength to strength.

Now, without apparent logic (:-() we have completely disappeared for some terms, and stayed the same for others. Pattern? I can only see that the most competitive terms have been hardest hit.

As for ignoring or penalising link anchor text, I can see some blatant link-spammers out there who haven't dropped at all.


 12:14 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>allot of us are hurting after this update...

May sound hard, but an equal number of people are smiling after this update. For every loser in the SERPs dance there is a replacement result which makes someone happy.

As said many times before - the words "eggs" and "baskets" spring to mind.

A sound business should not rely on free results in Google for their income. Those should be icing on an already tasty and fruit filled cake (IMHO).

[edited by: makemetop at 12:17 pm (utc) on Nov. 16, 2003]


 12:14 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

is anyone else noticing heaps of geocities sites ranking well?

maybe google is waiting to run some filters over some of the databases?


 12:26 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> is anyone else noticing heaps of geocities sites ranking well? <<

The also change pattern is that very large sites are doing well, at the expense of focused niche sites. Generally that is bad for the user experience.

I always look for a reason for things though. The last two times this happened (albeit to a lesser degree) were undoudtedly error type situations. Three times though? I'm really beginning to wonder about those claims that unstable SERPS and poor quality returns increase Adwords profit.

[edited by: Napoleon at 12:28 pm (utc) on Nov. 16, 2003]


 12:27 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

default.htm/default.htm/home.htm/home.html/index.php/index.pl etc?

Yes, it doesn't matter what you call the page. In the serps it will show up as www.site.com not www.site.com/default.htm


 12:29 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

5 years work down the pan. 30 good sites ranked in the top 3 for a year - now not in the top 200. I have not cheated at all. What's going on?

OK drop me down the SERPS if you changed your algo but to wipe me out, that takes the pi**.

What do I do now, start all over again?


 12:33 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Napoleon, why not build very large focused niche sites then ...?


 12:33 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I really think people are exaggerating, but i do understand people do depend on google for their livelyhood, so hopefully in a few days we will all be back in.

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