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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.


Sally Stitts

 9:56 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

October 17 - Put up new site - about 100 pages.
October 17 - Submitted to Google, spidered immediately.
November 17 - All pages went live on WWW in the last 2 hours.

I just checked 5 pages for 5 different two-word search terms-
FIVE #1s! Holy Moses! Land-o-goshen! Jumpin' Jehosephat!
How broken can that be?

This old kid is NOT complaining.
Many thanks to Brett and WW for all the fine advice.
I'm a happy camper.

I know. The next post will be "probably won't last".
We'll see.


 10:08 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

sally..sounds like your have a new site..so thats the point....new and old sites dont seem to suffer in the same way as sites caught in the middle of a certain time frame...add to that the boost new sites get in the algo anyway and maybe youll join the bocken gang like an old hand in a few updates...see u there!


 10:14 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)


that is the one thing I have noticed

the two site of mine that have crapped out, we launched between 7-10 months ago.

Only factor the same.


 10:19 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Our sites upto & around a year are about normal but our main site of over 2 years is listed if called directly but not for ANY keywords and it has always been #1 for many of them.

Very bad news.


 10:21 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

new pages and smap pages seem to be the stars of this update


 10:24 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Many thanks to Brett and WW for all the fine advice.

Ditto - no blackhat stuff has really paid off (so far):)


 10:30 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Interesting SERPs at [www-zu.google.com...]

Old sites well known for using doorways/hidden links and link farms are gone.

Also, the SERPs are displaying mostly sites that received fresh tags Nov 16, 2003 and without DMOZ descriptions. Yahoo is displaying ZU results.

In the case of [www-in.google.com...] , the same sites with doorways/hidden links and link farms vanished from [www-zu.google.com...] are still on IN SERPs. However, newer sites (1-2 months old) with doorways/hidden links and link farms aren't showing on IN SERPs.

WebmasterWorld.com, thank you to for letting us exchange our perspectives.


 10:39 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

What amazes me is how sites that were so highly ranked and relative in Googles eyes are today blackhat sites.

Its a huge shift in Googles ideas of a good relative site to a bad non relative site.

I have to say the last update a month ago which had more fresh dates etc (rolling updates) was the best ever. Some of my sites where not 1st etc but the results of good web sites showed how Google improved.

This update however has gone a little far, my results are not bad however thier is a lot oj junk highly ranked that don't have Dmoz listings I may only have 1 page relative to the search where as other sites with 20 or so pages relative are either slightly below or way down the index.

I was actually doing a search before to help me with a new project, and to be honest the results where relative but not very helpful, the sites in question where not of a professional standard and was very limited on the imformation supplied.

I also have to say that with such a huge response in WW this month something must be wrong, usually its just 5 or 10 threads of light discussion regarding the changes with webmaster chit chat etc.

I am very surprised also that Google (or should i say GoogleGuy) is so confident about this update when only the red button had just been pressed. These sort of things takes months of statistics and feedback before you can comment on whether the black hats or white hats have been punished fairly.

Again really surprised how last month Google says we have it right and now this month with such a big swing this index is right.

Sorry Googleguy, but their is a lot of honest professional web site developers here who work hard on their sites building content following the rules etc, you can't be at all surprised by the response of this update.

The need to allow 3-4 days for it to settle is also strange. In the old days we had www2 and www3 showing results, onced everything was correct Google switched it over, now you make a big mess for 3-4 days to your main site for everyone to see and use before fixing it. I am sure many agree that developing sites you test it, again and again before publishing. I think you guys are getting over confident and would be shame to see you spoil it.

May big companies make the same mistake time and time again they grow and become to big for their own boots, then fall to the ground (altavista comes to my mind, even yahoo)



 10:45 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)


I'm searching in the Travel industry and we are certainly NOT seeing that. Hidden text, massive link networks of similar sites are still doing very well right now.

My conclusion from this is that possibly different categories or even different sections from the same category are updated at different times. That's why we get constant contradictions all the time.


 11:02 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

"What amazes me is how sites that were so highly ranked and relative in Googles eyes are today blackhat sites."

You shouldn't be amazed. Remember these events:

October 22, 2002 - Google sued over site ranking [news.com.com...]

November 13, 2002 - SearchKing Google Rank Restored [thewhir.com...]

January 10, 2003 - Google counters search-fix lawsuit [news.com.com...]

May 27, 2003 - Judge dismisses suit against Google [news.com.com...]

June 2003 - Google starts a long process to eliminate "blackhat sites."

July through October 2003 - "Blackhat site" operators receive the benevolent opportunity to fix their tactics.

November 2003 - Google deploys its own "Iron Hammer" operation. :)


 11:08 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

There has apparently been at least some algo change.
I lost 1st page positions for keywords that I built almost exclusively on anchor text. Putting all eggs in 1 basket didn't do me good but that probably means that anchor text lost some value in favor of PR or whatever else.
What in your view will be the new set of values for google?


 11:18 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

OK so I have a 200 page web site.

No duplicate pages.

No link farming or redirects.

Good relative content for my visitors to do reserch on a destination.

I have 30 inbound links not 500 from any old web site

No keyword stuffing.

Site is 1 year old.

No 302 re-directs any redirects are 301 on the server.

No hidden text.

Good Navigational structure using text links each page has the same Nav bar.

New content added every week.

Completely whiter then white however hammered from Pos 2/3 to 500/800

All my other sites which may be quite gray are doing very well :)


 11:20 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Day 3 "Florida Massacre"

Changes in my the keywords are now this in order:

1) message board spam
2)1 page site with 10 interlinked keywords at bottom page
3)1 page site different domain same person as #3
4)1 page site different domain same person as #3
5)1 page site different domain same person as #3
6) message board spam same company as #1
7) good listing not mine but should be there
8) good listing same as #7
9)1 page site different domain same person as #3
10) message board spam same company as #1

The above is for my keyword in plural form blue widgets
If I put in the keyword blue widget singular I own the page. What the heck? How can this be? Any one? Can you be a blackhat for a plural and not a singular?

Just to mention GG is looking at the above.
I am sure the update worked well for alot of folks and maybe over all it did but just like everything there are holes and you will always have slipping thru the cracks.
I saw a post about people crying about the ranks.
This is my main source of income and I am not crying I am losing sleep and worried about paying my bills.
My biz relies 90% on the internet as I also have listings in the yellow pages at over 3k a month. I get 10 % of my calls from the yellow pages. Crying no. Concerned yes.
This forum helps in a small way to release fustrations get help and tips and let folks speak their minds.
It can be positive and it can be negative. But you have to have both views for either to exist.
Anyways if anyone can explain this to me I would appreciate it alot. Sticky me.


 11:28 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WW killipso

My last posting is from 1 of my sites that had 200 people per day, yesterday and today so far us about 40 visitors.

I usually get 20 good postive enquiries today not had 1 yet.

I am still confident that the site will suddenly re-appear like it did in April/May but it still hurts me now.

I am programming my sites in Php and building a members area to help maintain my customer base, depending on something that you have no control over is playing with fire but thats business all over.

Google is my favorite search engine to finding relative sites (also making a living) I like their ideas their plans and the way their operate.

just sometimes they go a little too far :(


 11:34 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well from what I can see of our sites, the ones which were involved in link exchanges (All be it with relavent sites) have not done at all well on this update. They have definately been penalised.

The ones without reciprocal links seem to have faired much better showing multiple pages ranking well on SERPS.

Looks like the end to reciprocal linking to me. I am not adding anymore links to my sites for the time being.


 11:35 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well thats strange the site that I have has many link exchanges and is grey not black and doing very well.

The others that I have are not so grey are struggling.

No logic in this update.


 11:37 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I dunno about reciprocal linking. The number one entry for one single keyword is still the same, and has a massive reciprocal links directory which they worked very hard to build over a long time. They are a uk site but appear number one everywhere for this very broad keyword. If they disappear, I will agree about the reciprocal linking, but so far they are still there.


 11:37 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Looks like the end to reciprocal linking to me. I am not adding anymore links to my sites for the time being

I'll second that, it seems to be the only certain thing so far. I've spent all morning dumping 80% of all reciprical links. I'll start again fresh if I've done the wrong thing.


 11:40 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Somebody please tell me it's not over yet.


 11:41 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not dumping my links yet! The company I mentioned before has 1,340 backward links and is still no. 1.


 11:46 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dumping your links and making big changes so early into an update is a big mistake.

This is the same as working with the stock exchange, I had shares in companies and just because of a bad day people over react sell everything and loose money only to realise
that the week after companies would release great results and share prices rise by 20-30%

Google is no different and to suddenly make changes so big with little evidence or statistics is very risky and dangerous.

My main site with the biggest link exchange program is doing the best. The others with less exchanges are suffering so wheres the logic?


napoleon bona part 2

 11:55 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with what lasko said. Google have failed badly in thier so called effort to sift black hat and white hat sites. Though there are some people who are celebrating the 'update' saying all the cheaters have received a hammering, there is still a lot of inconsistency in Google's efforts of weeding out the 'blackhat stuff'. I'm afraid I can't recall I have ever seen so much of discrepencies. The 650 posts here at this forum and innumerable at others just goes on to explain what a mess Google have created. Google have never been so inept and what's worse is that GoogleGuy is defending the operation blackhat elimination. We can only hope that it's just a fleeting tempest. Those with the roots planted deep will survive the mayhem.


 12:03 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dumping your links and making big changes so early into an update is a big mistake

Thing is in my case I've got caught up in some "farm" that's only just showing in my backlinks for the first time on -mc.


 12:06 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

dumping links is stupid.

the biggest ranking site in my neighbhood is mytown.com. It links to every local site for a fee, and demands a home page link back to boot.

EVERY link is a recipricol from this site, and not just from an inner link page, but direct from the page it links to! As people pay to list, they can not refuse to link to sites with dubious se policies.

They have the most inbound links with anchor text for "mytown" and rank no1 by a long shot.

same principle applies to all sites who recip. link.

I am up on most sites, down on 2. One I am up on has 4000 rec links.

sit tight


 12:17 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)


I'm finally in the top 10 for two nice keyphrases except the -in datacenter where I'm No.24. Near the beginning of this thread folks said -in was where the update was first noticed, so do you reckon this one freak result is a bad sign or not that significant?

Good to have the update thread back again, it just wasn't the same without it.




 12:39 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>...a huge response in WW this month something must be wrong

Or that something has stopped being wrong.

We'll never resolve the 'good/bad' questions. Things look a certain way when the people judging the results have vested interests.

This isn't strictly a zero sum game, but there are probably roughly as many webmasters happier today as there are sad. Well, maybe not. Many of the happier one's won't know until they see their sales figures.


 12:42 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

The above is for my keyword in plural form blue widgets If I put in the keyword blue widget singular I own the page. What the heck? How can this be? Any one? Can you be a blackhat for a plural and not a singular?

Make sure that your on page optimization is good for the plural form as well as the singular. I had that problem a year ago since I naturally wrote all my pages using plural forms. I did some text tweaking to include both singular and plurals scattered around the title, meta description, and body text and it pretty well fixed the problem. In the mean time, I used adwords to so up on the singular terms.



 12:47 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Funny I just made a typo and got just 1 result returned. My www.google.com was pointing to -gv. Tried the same typo on other dc's. Alle other dc's except -kr returned 3 results, the new ones pushing the old result to 3th place. Both new results are labeled supplementary results and both have snippets.


 12:49 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have looked through this update thread with a lot of interest. There certainly seems to be a lot of jumping to conclusions.

If you compare all the servers, the results are still not the same everywhere, so we have to conclude the update is still not over. In fact, some of my research shows some of my results going good at one server that shows changes (yesterday)and then not good today!?! Best course of action at the moment seems to be watch and wait...

What does seem to be showing through, however, as a common theme throughout is that bigger sites are doing better than smaller sites. One of my sites at almost 1000 pages is faring much better than most of my smaller sites. On the bigger site we're back up to #1 on our main key phrase and also in the top 10 for most of our page titles. What I can't understand, though, is that some of our new pages are appearing in the top 10 on page 1, but have been assigned a PR0? They still appear above many PR5+ sites. Any ideas?

Thanks, Paul


 12:52 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Vbjaeger wrote:

Somebody please tell me it's not over yet.

Googleguy posted in this thread, Msg #210, at 6:47 pm on Nov 15, 2003:

TravelMan, 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 I think there are still about 2 days of 'incorporating data' to go.


 12:58 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Very strange.

I am on a customers site. when I search www.google.co.uk my keyword search places my site #1. I have remote controlled to my office PC and the SERPS it display for the same search on google.co.uk are completly different. I have cleared the cache and tried a difernt PC.

Any ideas?

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