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Update Florida - Nov 2003 Google Update
Looks like an Old Fashioned Dance Baby!
synergy




msg:54674
 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.

 

KevinC




msg:55214
 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.

yankee




msg:55215
 10:43 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Googleguy,

I've followed Brett's 12 month plan to build a site, but am buried behind a spammer who takes up 8 of the top 10 results with 4 different domains (2 listings per domain). I do allinurl:onthespammersdomain.com and I get 49,000 pages of spam! These are 49,000 pages of sneaky redirects to an affiliate program. In other words, no content! I've sent in numerous spam reports on this redirecting spammer, but nothing ever happens. I just sent you another one. I just can't understand why google can't detect a huge amount of redirects on a domain.

willardnesss




msg:55216
 10:45 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is it considered spamming to put a full link to your index page on all of the pages of your website:

example: Instead of linking to home.htm, I put the full [mydomain........]

This was because I had a number of directories, so it seemed to make more sense to put the full URl instead of the just the page...

Is this spam? Because Google did list alot of my pages as backlink pages for my home page.

KevinC




msg:55217
 10:47 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is it considered spamming to put a full link to your index page on all of the pages of your website:

No - google will treat absolute and relative links the same.

webjockey




msg:55218
 10:53 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good news - our main site dropped into the abyss on Friday and I was panicking just like allot of you. We have a new fresh tag dated the 15th Nov and have started to come back into the serps better than we were before the drop.

Hold your breath, I think fresh bot may be our saviour.

Good luck, I hope this is the end of a hair wrenching 48 hours.

tambiz




msg:55219
 11:01 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

Don't forget the "index pages are gone" threads that will inevitably pop up.

16 hours, you say? Okay, let's all sync our watches, but remember not to hold your breath.

steveb




msg:55220
 11:10 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's plain to see that there is no anchor text penalty as the sites at the top of the serps, especially stuff like keyword.com, just keep chugging along fine. allinanchor: is still a close approximation of the serps (though no longer exactly the same).

Google minimally, or even hugely, devaluing anchor text should be of nearly zero consequence to a webmaster with quality content. Anchor text is nearly totally irrelevant as a gauge of page quality. Anchor text is one of those (nearly) worthless SEO things -- it really shouldn't matter if a link says "Red Widgets" or "RedWidgets.com" or "Home". There is absolute zero greater quality implied by "Red Widgets" over the others.

Targetted anchor text still rules, but instead of a dictatorship its more like a constitutional monarchy now.

Also, folks need to consider that Google should not differentiate between external and internal. It costs $30 to put up another domain to create "external" text for yourself, meaning it is just as easy to make internal anchor text and external anchor text.

One extremely huge positive I'm seeing on -ex is a devaluation of keyword in domain. Like the non-differnce between the anchor texts above, it is ludicrous to give significant value to red-widgets.com over redwidgets.com. Keyword in url has been very important lately, but on -ex at least it seems less so. Very good Google.

Two main problems I see are like one poster said above, "mini-webs" of no content anchor-text trash are still doing very well. And then, for one of my terms, results 16 through 36 are all redirects, not actual sites. Result says this-site.com, but you click it and are taken to parent-of-affiliates.com. Twenty of these suckers in a row. Not good Google. (Very good on getting rid of the one though GG... :)

tambiz




msg:55221
 11:17 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

steveb, I'm not a seasoned professional, but I have to disagree about allinanchor...or maybe I'm just not interpreting it correctly (straighten me out if that is the case):

When I allinanchor, my site does not exist in the results, but a G search for the same keyphrase has me listed on page one.

Can you explain this?

Thanx :)

naturalinstinct




msg:55222
 11:30 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Get comfortable, long post this....

OK, I stay quiet normally but I have a point to make which may or may not be contoversial?

I run a company that sells "Widgets" and I have no interest in SEO or trying to "cheat" google. All I am interested in is selling our stuff and doing it well.

We are told by our customers all the time that we are the best "widget shop" they have used, we pay great attention to customer service, our prices are always the lowest and we only sell good quality widgets.

So how do we make sure that people can find us? Google has pretty much a monopoly when it comes to search engines so I make it a priority to try to get good google listings. I come here and read some threads, i submit my site to directories, i get some inbound links etc.

Then i take some more advice, I make sure my keywords appear on my page in the right places. I put a few links on my other websites with the right anchor text, i try to get inbound links from sites with high PR, i put a mini site map with good keywords at the bottom of each page etc.

So am i a white hat or a black hat? I don't know, I don't care really, i just know i've done what I had to do to get a good listing, as I said i'm not interested in cheating google, I know my site is one of the best in the country because I work hard. It's not a scam or anything like that, just a good honest widget shop.

I guess what i'm saying is that because the top couple of pages for my keywords are full of bad websites that are over-optimized I had a choice to make, do nothing and let these rubbish companies get all the customers, or optimize and run the risk of getting dropped if I broke one of the rules without knowing it.

In an ideal world I would be able to just get on running the company and dealing with customers, not worrying about whether my H1 tage was close enough to the top of the page or something stupid like that.

Now my listings have dropped off the face of the earth and if i've been penalised because of the changes I was forced to make to my site to get a good listing then I won't be happy.

I know the replies i'm going to get to this, "google doesn't owe you traffic" or "just use adwords" or "serves you right".

However, I am sure that google would agree that having to spam to be in with any chance of getting good rankings is not an ideal situation for them or us, we're a good site and we shouldn't need to resort to tactics like that, apart from anything else I don't have the time. I also do use adwords, about 8000 spent so far this year.

I am obviously biased because our site has been dropped but I have to say that the quality of results for searchers on our keywords have also dropped. It's gone from a page full of spammy sites to a page full of irrelivent results and bbc news articles, although the number one site is still the most spammy site i've seen, no idea how they've hung in there.

So in my industry at least google scores 0/10 for this update, assuming it's not going to revert back in a couple of days.

rant over....as you were :)

icebane




msg:55223
 11:38 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

It'd be nice if everyone would just shut up and stop jumping to conclusions. I wish the moderators would shutdown this thread. GOOGLE IS NOT DONE UPDATING. THIS IS JUST THE START. STOP JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS AND THINKING IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD.

The results are going to greatly fluctuate over the next 3 or 4 days... (3 or 4 days was the estimate GoogleGuy gave earlier as to when this update would be complete)

netnerd




msg:55224
 11:46 pm on Nov 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah - i agree. Its nice to have somewhere that people listen to you panic - its like therapy.

As he said - you dont have to come on here.

1milehgh80210




msg:55225
 12:16 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Update looks incomplete to me. My travel site index.htm used to be ranked 9/1.3M for "best widget". (also anchor-text optimised for that term).Now NOWHERE to be found.

However it seems to rank better than ever for "best widget cityname". In some cases 'cityname isn't even mentioned on my site. weird..

Shoplifter




msg:55226
 12:17 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Haven't posted here for a long time...No need until today.

As with many others I am not standing in very good shape after this update. Sites with esoteric keywords that were top 10 since 1998 are now in the 100's, if findable at all.

The .biz subdomain spammers are all still there with the same text on every page. All the searchenginecloaker guys are still there. The only guys I see totally gone are the anchor text relevancy guys. We had one competitor who had no text on his page whatsoever, his results were all generated by anchor text. He is gone.

Things seem to be fluctuating like crazy, a few hours ago we were back in at traditional positions. One wierd thing is that the results on the Google dance machine are not the same are NOT the same results I see in my browser. Anyone know why?

Miop




msg:55227
 12:20 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

My site is showing good ranking for three word phrases and nothing for two words. A good days sales in spite of the problems, but since this is my first xmas on the net, there's nothing to compare it to.

Miop




msg:55228
 12:21 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

PS I have a .biz domain - it was all that was left. The day after I bought it someone phoned me with the .com version offering to sell it to me for megabucks.
I hope that .biz survives and thrives (with spammers weeded).

newwebster




msg:55229
 12:45 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

something is up with -in datacenter again. My index page is beginning to appear on a few keyword serch terms. May still be too early to tell what this means. Anyone else seeing anything?

Small Website Guy




msg:55230
 12:57 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is weird:

I have a page in my domain with the title "word1 word2 word3 word4". The anchor text is "word2 word3".

I type "word1 word2 word3" into Google, and behold! I am at the top of the SERPs.

But I type in "word1 word2 word3 word4" into Google, and my page is nowhere to be seen!

Now this makes absolutely no sense. I would have thought I'd be more likely to be at the top of the SERPs if the search term exactly matched the title of the page.

Jakpot




msg:55231
 1:02 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am very happy with Google.

Me too - but I wasn't for a very long time.

ALbino




msg:55232
 1:02 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't suppose anybody can give a summary and start a new thread and lock this one down so we don't have to read 39 pages of posts just to find out what in the world is going on? :) Heck, even a summary in this post would be helpful. For what it's worth every data center returns the same results for me except -in. Is -in going to be the new index? Has it already migrated to www for some?

onedumbear




msg:55233
 1:06 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

icebane
It'd be nice if everyone would just shut up and stop jumping to conclusions

You're words were delicately choosen and that's a great way to make friends in a place you may want to have some.
Join a club and make one of the first things you say "it would be nice if everyone would shut up".
If you dont want to see a traffic accident, don't slow down and look at it.

synergy




msg:55234
 1:13 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't suppose anybody can give a summary

Summary:

Google has obviously made some type of a major new update and/or applied filters. Results will be fluctuating across all datacenters for days to come.

GoogleGuy said to give it 3-4 days to settle, then decide if you need to rethink your SEO practices or not.

paulewing




msg:55235
 1:17 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, I guess I'm in the minority here, but probably not in the greater website world. This update really doesn't seem that drastic to me. It is about like all the other updates over the last couple years. I gain a couple positions on some terms, and lose a couple on others. Seems I had a bit more losers this time, but it may be because i haven't paid enough attention to my site in the last couple months.

I am in the top 10 for most of my terms and really can't knock most of the other sites that are ranking above me from a website perspective. I don't like the work of some of them and think my widgets are better designed or better quality, but that isn't something that Google can determine.

My site is pretty similar to Brett's description of how to build a winning site, and I try not to push the envelope on optimizing. I have good titles, descriptions, headings and links that use my targeted keywords, but I always make sure that they pages are geared towards humans first. I have a small number of links to my site mostly from relavant sites and maybe a dozen exchanged links on a links page. This has helped me slowly rise in the SERP's and survive most of the purges and other problems that many sites seem to have. I even survived Dominic last spring with no drastic changes in my SERP's.

andy_boyd




msg:55236
 1:21 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a site which jumped about 50 places on Saturday after being destroyed by Esmerelda. It went to No. 7 and then on Sunday around 7PM it jumped again to No. 2 with an indented No. 3. All white hat stuff.

What's good to see on the keywords I monitor is the fact that at this stage the spammers are gone. One site in particular which used to be top 10 employed the tactic of repeating 2 words in the title and up to 70 times in the keywords and description tags! Where is it now? Gone. Happy days.

Jimville




msg:55237
 1:22 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

If this drastic change in the SERPs holds, Google will be admitting that they've had it wrong all these years. I wonder if the press release is written. I can see the headline: Google Finally Figures Out Search Engine Business. And, THIS TIME they mean it.

sblake




msg:55238
 1:28 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

My index page, which disappeared a couple days ago, is back in -in with fresh tags, and slightly improved standing in the SERPS (#4 on page one) for my targeted keywords.

JonB




msg:55239
 1:35 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

as far as i can see- the serps look "exactly" like 1 or so year ago with few new sites in...on the terms i follow..

panicbutton




msg:55240
 1:50 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yay, another update! This forum had become very moribund without the impassioned whining/gloating/pleading from webmasters that occurs simultaneously with Google updates.

GoogGuy mentioned before about how he thought most of the webmasters here belonged to the white hat brigade (chortle) which raises an interesting question; In the same way that one woman's terrorist is another woman's freedom fighter, could one woman's white hat techniques be another woman's black hat techniques? In other words, how can you reliably translate qualitative judgement techniques into algorithms?

plasma




msg:55241
 1:52 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

FYI: www.google.de shows click-through links for me again.
They always bring me luck :)
They usually occur in the middle of an update for me.

TheDave




msg:55242
 1:54 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

how can you reliably translate qualitative judgement techniques into algorithms

You can't, which is why Brett wants the whole "hat" thing dropped ;)

Personally, I'm stickin to my yellow hard-hat to protect myself from all the falling sites ;)

I'm actually seeing an increase in visitors now, despite being completely dropped for one keyword. Incidently, it was a keyword I used in anchor text a lot, within my own site.

europeforvisitors




msg:55243
 2:09 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

paulewing wrote:

This update really doesn't seem that drastic to me. It is about like all the other updates over the last couple years. I gain a couple positions on some terms, and lose a couple on others.

Same here. I've seen a minor fluctation or two over the weekend, but nothing dramatic. At the moment I'm ranking where I'd expect to rank for the top keywords and keyphrases that I monitor, and that's true of all 10 data centers. (Disclaimer: I did say "at the moment"!)

My site is pretty similar to Brett's description of how to build a winning site, and I try not to push the envelope on optimizing. I have good titles, descriptions, headings and links that use my targeted keywords, but I always make sure that they pages are geared towards humans first.....I even survived Dominic last spring with no drastic changes in my SERP's.

Ditto, ditto, and more ditto. It's an approach that minimizes stress and Google-inspired revisions. :-)

prodigyfx




msg:55244
 2:25 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey! Google sells black-hat...

https://www.googlestore.com/cgi-bin/googlestore/GO0008.html

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