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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.



 7:37 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Don't feel back we have been pushed from #2 to about 1000 and the #1 SERP for our #1 keyword is titled template2(has nothing to do with the keyword, I think they forgot to change the tile page)... it contains a list of links by an organization, the only relevent site in the list of links for the keyword is a link to OUR site.


 7:45 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is it possible Google has reduced the effect of anchor text on a site's internal 'home' page links - where webmasters have used 'search term' as the anchor text for the home link instead of just a plain 'home' text link?

I don't think so. I have an index optimzed for 2 phrases. I only use one of the phrases to link back to the index sitewide. It's gone or hopelessly buried in the SERPs for both phrases.


 7:45 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<I'm a little fuzzy on the "allinanchor" search. Could someone enlighten me on how to use it, and what the results mean? Seems to be an important factor to understanding this update!>>

Type in allinachor:keyword and see the results : they are VERY similar to the usual SERPS. You could almost say that without some kind of ranking here, you wouldn't get a good G ranking.

This latest change would, I assume, be directed at spammy linking campaigns : I have been rejecting irrelevant link requests all year -- even explaining that G will target people like this.

The bad news is that I can see evidence that blatant, spammy "mini-webs" set up to boost PR etc through masses of links are surviving this update intact.

If G thinks it is achieving anything, I would suggest it has fired wide of the mark, wiping out loads of innocent civilians while missing some of its prime targets.


 7:50 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure that the allinanchor command is giving true results right now because the total number of pages returned is vastly lower than a normal search.

Normal search for my keyword phrase returns 169,000.

Allinanchor equivelant returns 747.


 8:01 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Right now I'm seeing some progress on www-ex, it's listing my sites index page at No.95 which is still way down from where it was but significantly better than 400+ which it is on all the rest. So do we think www-ex might be leading the way?



 8:03 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have found sites that contradict every though or idea that has been given for big drop in SERPS or disappearance from SERPS.

Also, besides the irrelevant junk, I am seeing tons of doorways and cloaked pages ranking well in some very competetive industries.


 8:10 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Does anyone tell me that backlinks have changed with florida I have seen someone mentioned before



 8:17 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

So do we think www-ex might be leading the way?

I certainly think that but this update has a way to go yet.


 8:22 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Why should a site be penalized for a "Back to Widget World Home Page" anchor text on a search for "widget?"

Well, despite the question I put out about internal back link text causing damage, I tend to agree that it would be bad for G to penalize pages benefitting from those links. That said, since I doubt that G was giving much weight to those internal back links previously, discounting them completely now would not account for the drop I see for our index page results (subpages look fine so far).

IF the allinanchor and related measures are correct now and I'm not sure they are, then maybe the notion that it's a bug still flies.


 8:29 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

-EX is generating the fresh tags, but no home page sitings as of yet. I looked at some major sites, and their home page is missing as well. Looks to be a major home page blip. Other than that the results are clean.


 8:39 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, in our niche we can only hope that -ex is NOT leading the way. Top SERPS across multiple terms are littered with dead links and sundry other irrelevant results. I have watched a site floating around in the top ten for the past 10 months whose entire content is "This business no longer exists", and it is still there! Only difference is that where before it showed on one term, it is now in the top ten on multiple terms!

This whole fiasco really reminds me of esmerelda, both in the breadth of changes, but even more so in the quality of the SERPS.

Were I to take a guess, I would think that there is someone at Google that thinks they have a great idea and keeps tweaking on it. Unfortunately, whenever it goes live it just doesn't work.



 8:40 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am very happy with Google.

WELL DONE Guys! :)


 8:44 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's the big "five-0" for me today, so be nice in your responses.

One of the things that I have learned in the last half century, is not to spend my time worrying about the things that I have no control over and instead concentrate on things that I can control.

I've read this entire thread and the majority of messages are from self-proclaimed "white hats" "leaping off buildings" because "the sky is falling" and they had "all their eggs in one basket". :)

Remember, Google became the powerhouse that it is because it defined its market and went after it. It was a fast loading page that provided better results for SEARCHERS than the other search engines out there. If their current "algo" is bad, they will either change it or watch as their traffic shifts to other search engines providing better results.

I have no control over what Google decides to do.

What I can do while Google dances without me, is to look for other dance partners.

What other search engines are out there providing quality results?
What other methods other than search engines can I use to drive traffic to my site?
How can I improve my site, so that it will be even better than it is today?

These are things that I have some control over, and a lot of that info is just waiting to be discovered in others threads in this forum.

Question: If WebmasterWorld disappeared from Google, would you stop coming here?


 8:45 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am very happy with Google

I'll second that - so much spammy trash has disappeared - for the moment.


 8:57 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've read these forums on and off for i would say "years", i learned alot, and i just wanted to share my experience with this update.

During the past couple of months i've read about how inbound links with keywords in it was so important, and in fact it was (based on searches i performed..). Many web sites where getting away being brand new with bad content but being #1-5 on keywords that where very competitive.

So offcoarse, I started to look for inbound links myself, thinking it CANT be a bad thing. I put alot of work on all 5 of my sites, buying links (not from those high PR fake sites but from real directories, like yahoo, etc.), trading links with similar sites, etc.

IT WORKED!, offcoarse, as i read here in these forums the guys that post here know their stuff (most ;)), anyhow, so this update comes and blows everything away, the 5 sites that where doing good are no where to be found. The other sites i have which i did not do the same with are still there. This tells me the inbound linking with the important keyword is now killing instead of helping my ranking.

I don't depend on the traffic, but im worried that if inbound links can hurt you, how the heck will you be able to increase the page rank of a site (in order for it to rank better in searches...)

Small Website Guy

 8:58 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

This Florida update hasn't affected me, Google still ignores me for the keywords I have been targetting, and I'm still at top for the same keywords that I was on top of before (unfortunately such keywords don't pull in very much traffic). I still remain "small website guy" for now.

BUT, I have an observation. The search for "keyword1 keyword2" USED to bring up the site www.word-keyword1-keyword2.com as the number 1 result, and that site had the title "keyword1 keyword2 word1 word2". Now that particular site has sunk all the way to the very bottom of page 2 of the SERPs (he's going to be losing a lot of money--not that I care--someone else other than me will now get a shot at the big money).

Based on the above observation, PERHAPS the new Google algo is no longer giving weight to domains with names like keyword1-keyword2.com, and titles that are perfectly optimized for the keyword.

Just a thought, I have no idea if this is true or not.


 8:59 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

a massive amount of unstructured information
+ ontology-based software ~knowledge base of concepts and their relationships
+ linguistic processing algorithms
+ G's old algo
+ G's new spam filters
= an attempt to understand what a word or phrase means and how it relates to other concepts on a web page
= Florida
= what G was doing all summer
= isolated and unintended problems (collateral damage)
=a better search environment


 9:00 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Everyone has had great input.

On to mine...

Remember Google is in the search business.

Let Google do their jobs and we will do ours. All quality content and well designed pages will benefit in the long run. Let's look at the big picture not just a short "get lots of traffic" plan. It is better to get 50 people a week that return often then 1000 people a week that will never return again.

[edited by: RobbieD at 9:04 pm (utc) on Nov. 16, 2003]


 9:02 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)
I have over 25 websites on google. 4 of them that have been within the top 3 rank (for certain) competitive keywords are still there.

Most of them that were rankings for keywords within (Rank 5-10) have disappeared.

I can see the following pattern:

www.domain.cim/KEYWORD/ seems to be working. Sites with such keyword directories seemed to have taken the top slots. Of course they all look ugly.

http://www.google.com/ie?q=&num=100&hl=en is also showing funny results that do not match any of the 10 servers search results on http://www.google.com/ie?q=&num=100&hl=en I noticed that one of my websites is showing up for a competitive keyword with 15,500,000 competing pages at No. 7 on this is no where ranked on any of these servers. It was never optimized for that keyword anyways. In fact there are other sites that are being optimized for that keyword but they are no where even in the top 100. ļ

Never put all the eggs in one basket I guess. People who have group of sites could still survive this update as some sites would stay there and some vanish. But ones with 1-2 site owners are sure going to be thinking now.

I see these results as old and maybe Google¡¦s server that is responsible for showing the top 3 rank results is working. The servers that show the rest are malfunctioning. I know, it¡¦s a very weird logic but we can only keep our fingers crossed and think of something. Only God knows what is wrong with the google guys.



 9:20 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Question: If WebmasterWorld disappeared from Google, would you stop coming here?

No I'd still come but I might not be here now if WebmasterWorld never had shown up on my search request.

>> It is better to get 50 people a week that return often then 1000 people a week that will never return again.

Maybe. But what is better than 50 people that return? 1,000 that return. I want to be found by the 1,000 and then the quality of my site should get them to return.


 9:25 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is a page which has been on the top page of G since I began 8 months ago - it is no. 6 for my best keyword - if you look at the source code, there is not one single occurrance of that keyword, and the site is just a holding page for a domain - it has 4 links, and a pr of 4. It took me 6 months to get past it on the G page and it's still there while I have gone!
The one keyword I am still showing up for is closely followed by a brand new site I am building which has a pr of 0 and no links whatsoever except one from my site (it doesn't even have any pages except for index page yet).
All this talk about links and anchor text and stuff..I'm not sure it makes a difference.


 9:26 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Little Green Bar goes missing for a few days... (Rumor has it some Google employee was collecting them for use on the Google Xmas Tree ;-)

Google SERP showing some very interesting results...

Google Directory showing some interesting results...

Google updating in the middle of the month...

Backlinks and/or PR not being updated...

GG denying anything wrong...

Glad I have top listings in ATW and Inktomi...


 9:37 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

The theories in this thread are just that - theories.

I have evidence to show that focused (identical) inbound link text from several sites has not been devalued or penalised, as some people are suggesting. I still have a #1 ranking for a good, seo related searchterm solely on account of identical inbound link texts from several sites.

If any spam pages have bitten the dust, it's probably just coincidence because many whitehat pages have also vanished from the rankings, and I can still see highly placed cloaked listings that have the target searchterm inserted every few words in a large amount of text. So cloaking and keyword stuffing hasn't gone.

The index page problem is right, I believe. I've searched for index (home) pages in searches for several searchterms, and looked as deep as Google would produce results for (1000 results or less). In thousands of listings I saw only one home page - domain/index.asp. It was the only variation of an index home page that I found. There were a few with name/value pairs added, but that was the only index home page without additions.

My conclusion is that Google does have a problem with index (home) page URLs again, and I don't believe that it's intentional - it's an unexpected mistake.


 9:39 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

yin~yang and the only constant is change
To all of you who have suffered and are concerned,
don't bother worrying, things will change, maybe for the better, maybe not...but they'll change. I wish you the best.

For all of you who are very happy with the recent changes
and are saying "good job google" and "ha- ha", don't get too comfortable ... the only constant is change. Many of you posting happy comments will be crying later and many of those crying now will be posting happy comments later.


 9:41 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

On a positive note. A majority of my traffic comes from type ins because of my domain name. I have noticed since the Florida update my conversion rate has doubled. Probably because visitors are searching for competitive sites on Google and not getting any relevant results.


 9:59 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Its broke again.

My personal sites appear to be doing better than previously, but I am seeing the same kind of nonsense rankings on some of my test searches that we had when they broke the algo last year. Some of them are EXACTLY the same poor results that appeared in the bad updates last year. That was eventually fixed, this one probably will be too, I suppose.

I'd like to help you out by posting the bad SERPS, Googleguy, but frankly I hope it stays broke:)


 10:04 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thankx, onedumbear, for busting my bubble. I've been reading this thread all day and keeping my mouth shut because I haven't seen ANY change in my SERPs. I'm still happy at #4.

Now I must bite my nails and hope the axe doesn't fall my way.

Good luck to all.


 10:21 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have terms that I have been #1 in for over 6 months - now nowhere to be found(at least not in the first 300 results). That doesn't make sense - I think I'll wait for the dust to settle before I jump out of the window.

Either that or its time to up my daily adwords budget ;)


 10:26 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think I'll wait for the dust to settle before I jump out of the window.
That's an excellent idea. The dust will help soften your landing.;)

Worry not, there's still probably another 16 hours until the "index pages are back" thread starts.


 10:31 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok, good news maybe. My site was at #3 then tanked to #56 at the beginning of this hairball. 20 minutes ago it was at #8 and now at #7. Looks positive so far. I'm thinking what GG said was right. If you wear the white hat you probobly don't need to worry.


 10:33 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

well I failed to mention I'm on the ground floor - so maybe I'll just jump now and get it over with so I can get back to work.

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