| 2:42 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Survivor, not sure about others, but the googlebot has not been as active through the recent algo update. We had about 25 of 150 pages checked yesterday, 2 the day before, 20 the day before that, and through the days last week it was only 2-5. Expect it to pick up soon as they swing back fully into the rolling update. (Our site usually gets about 20-40 per day... it's been slow).
As long as I'm helping to interrupt this thread with off-topic discussions... if anyone is sick of looking for their missing serps and wants to help me work on a database, with over a thousand entries, that needs a .dat file edited for a datum translation program, prior to being posted online, I could use a hand... :-) I'm up to the letter C.
| 2:43 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
aspdesigner - looks like our tests match. In regards to your question, I repeated the kw5 kw2 search, adding -adadsfd. I ranked the same for both searches, so 1 title keyword + 1 body keyword does not trip the filter.
I have several sites that are all behaving the same, all built around 3 keyword phrases. I made a change to one of them, and will leave the other two for now. Planning to do some more testing, but it does seem that the proportion of the words in the title to the words in the search might be the key. I did test changing the order around (say, kw1, kw4, kw3, kw2), and I was still filtered.
[edited by: Need3lives at 3:55 am (utc) on Nov. 26, 2003]
| 2:43 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Need3lives: that's exactly what we're seeing! KW1 is the "bad" word. Leave that out and the results are closer to what one expects. (in other words search for kw2 kw3 region, and we'll show up) But it's that one kw1 that seems to kill us. Unfortunately, it's a word that our customers use to describe what we do for them :( I tested by changing our titles and H1's and it made no difference in the serps It's nerve wracking since the site's been on the first page for quite a while and weathered dom/esm without any major issues.
I've since changed pages back, and cleaned up some other domains with 301's and we'll see. Waiting for googlebot and we'll see if that makes a difference. It's just odd, since many of our main competitors have been hit by it too. (although this may have been a case of having other domains pointed to the same content- no 301's resulting in duplicate content?)
Hmm, maybe this should be treated as a vacation? Lord knows I need one.
| 2:54 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Has it been confirmed that commercial sites and keywords have been affected more than information sites.
I have a non-profit, information site that has been ranked #1 or #2 for years and it is still there. But, a commercial site has droppped from #6 to nowhere to be found.
I favor the opinion that it is a plan gone bad, or a glitch, and it will be fixed. So, I am not changing anything just yet.
| 2:57 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I think it is a plan that has overshot the goal.
| 2:58 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Question for those who suggest trying changes to the title. If your keyword phrase is "apple computers," and a search for that is now tripping the filter and has caused your site to disappear, are you suggesting changing your title to "apple imac computers," and then maybe your site will return to a high ranking on a search for apple computers?
| 3:09 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Interesting, bunltd. In my case, kw2 kw3 is a very common result, over 2 million, so hard to see if I am in or filtered. So, can't confirm if it is just kw1 that is bad. In my case, kw1 is an adjective used by many people when searching for kw2 kw3. And, from the results above, a kw4 kw1 kw2 seems to not filter, and I am ranked highly. Unfortunately, people don't really search for kw4 kw1 kw2 ;-)
Widestrides - what is the definition of commercial vs. information? My sites are all information sites (reviews, articles, etc.), but surely make money through advertising. If you mean commercial=e-commerce sites actually selling something, it looks like information sites have been hit just as hard - my sites are all gone, as are many of the information site competitors I monitor.
In regards to whether changing the title works, I think it is too early to tell, but I have tested it with one of my sites, removing kw1 kw2 kw3, and replacing with something like: "otherword otherword otherword kw2 kw3 otherword otherword kw1" on one site, and just removing kw1 kw2 kw3 and replacing with totally different text on another. Hurry up Googlebot!
| 3:39 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I got same results. My site uses a title like:
K4 K5 K1 K2 K3 for the title
My domain is K4 and K5
I ommitted either K4 or K5 AND either K1 K2 or K3 and have a top 2 listing. Of course if I leave the domain Keywords alone and add two of the K1 K2 or K3 keywords, Im looking good again.
ASPdesigner, I stickied you my info if you want to further experiment on your own.
| 3:56 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Ok, once again, I'll play.
I'll repeat need3lives run with adaptations to my site.
my page title is myname kw1 kw2
kw1 kw2 : #117
kw1 kw2 kw3 : #1
kw4 kw1 kw2 kw5 : #2 indented under one of my pages at #1
kw1 kw3 kw2 : #4
kw1 kw4 kw2 : #1
kw1 kw5 kw2 : #1
kw4 kw5 : #78 (but I have a different page at #17)
kw1 kw2 -asdfg : #4
kw1 kw2 kw3 -asdfg : #1
kw4 kw1 kw2 kw5 -asdfg : #1
kw1 kw3 kw2 -asdfg : #1
kw1 kw4 kw2 -asdfg : #1
kw1 kw5 kw2 -asdfg : #1
kw4 kw5 -asdfg : #83 (but I have a different page at #1)
"kw1 kw2" : #78
"kw1 kw2" -asdfg : #4
allinanchor:"kw1 kw2" : #4
allinanchor:kw1 kw2 : #5
That's enough to convince me that my rightful, unpenalized place in the serps for kw1 kw2 is at #4. Just about anything that narrows the query will make me rise from #4.
FWIW, my page nor site are not selling anything, just an info site that some may consider an authority site. It's maybe 30 months old. The only thing I can see causing the issue is that I use the anchor text "kw1 kw2" on every page of my site to link to this page, and evidently G-sub-florida doesn't dig that.
| 4:14 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I'm bored, I'll play along:
Page title: "veryuniqueword kw1 & kw2"
kw1 = Nuked (returns 1,000,000 results)
kw2 = Nuked (returns 1,250,000 results)
kw1 kw2 = Nuked (returns 78,000 results)
veryuniqueword kw1 = #1 (+indented)
veryuniqueword kw2 = #1 (+indented)
veryuniqueword kw1 kw2 = #1 (+indented)
kw1 -asdf = #18
kw2 -asdf = #27
kw1 kw2 wordfrombody - #1 (+indented)
All I can say is thank God I'm still showing up under veryuniqueword
| 4:17 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|What is the definition of commercial vs. information? |
I'd say the difference is between competitive (which tend to be commercial) and non-competitive phrases, rather than commercial vs. information sites.
Need3lives - were your information-based sites optimised for competitive phrases that were also targeted by commercial sectors?
| 4:34 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
This is interesting, because I had noticed that if I added the firm name to my title tag that the site ranked higher than if I just had the search phrase in the title tag alone. Is this maybe because of a change in the filter?
| 4:42 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
...and actually, if Google is cleaning up the title tag abuse, I'd welcome that.
| 4:46 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Yup, across the board all of my pages that have title tags with only the search phrase I'm optimizing for are off the radar for that search. That doesn't mean it's out of the index, the PR is the same...it's just not in the results. The results look weird because I'm used to seeing 9 links in a row with the same title tag all matching the search phrase...
All of my sites that have the firm name within the title tag seem unaffected by the change (and I have quite a few sites). If the title tag is 'Firm Name ¦ KW1 KW1 KW3', it seems okay for those keywords, but if it's just 'KW1 KW2 KW3', it's gone.
Also, if any keyword is repeated, it's also gone. It seems like you need to dilute the title tag a bit.
And finally, if I have 'KW1 KW2 KW3', it ranks fine for any two of those keywords, but not all three (unless there's some other text in there.
And really finally, I noticed that many of the title tags on the first results page now are long, supporting the dilution theory.
[edited by: rrl at 5:29 am (utc) on Nov. 26, 2003]
| 5:14 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Ok you guys got me all EXCITED! I did a search with allinanchor: my top key word, and I came up number three, higher than I was before my index page COMPLETELY disappeared. I usually range between 6 and 10 for that keyword. My website's index page is full of that keyword because the index page is an index of news and articles about that topic. Do you think that I am being penalized for that. What can I do about that? Do you think that I will eventually come back with the high ranking.
Also, what does allinancher mean?
Ok I did the same thing with keyword -googlegoo and I came up number three. What does all of this mean?
| 5:31 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|Need3lives - were your information-based sites optimised for competitive phrases that were also targeted by commercial sectors? |
Not to answer a question, with a question, but I guess I am not clear on what might or might not constitute a competitive phrase - aren't all phrases competitive? I can say my sites are all about consumer products that are frequenty searched for, so I guess that would be considered competitive.
| 8:15 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
A highly optimized page itself will never bring you to top spots, ONLY IF you have a great deal of anchor text. That's why it is the anchor text that first trigger the execution of the algo. The algo then check your page and return either POSITIVE or NEGATIVE.
Since you already have 100+ same keyword phase (it is a good thing, don't change it) and it trigger the execution of the algo, how you can make the algo return NEGATIVE instead of POSITIVE? :) Now the algo is going to check your page, and you have the 100% authoring rights on your page!
| 8:28 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
linear, let's see how your results compare with the tests by Need3Lives and myself -
2-word search, 2 of 2 in title - PENALTY
3-word search, 2 of 3 in title - OK
( 4 examples, and matches with us)
4-word search, 2 of 4 in title - OK
(also matches with us)
2-word search, 0 of 2 in title - OK
Most intriguing is your kw4 kw5 example. It appears your rankings for this LESS RELEVANT (0% title match) phrase actually improved, apparently due to a few more relevant sites above you getting "TRASHED" by the penalty and moving you up a few spots from #83 to #78!
No wonder the SERPs look like trash! More relevant sites are getting "dumped", and sites that are not quite a match are getting boosted!
| 9:41 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
aspdesigner and others,
Your theories work great in many instances. But I am seeing lots of exceptions:
1. I am seeing lots of sites at the top of very competitive areas that are much more optimized than many of the sites that have disappeared - very tightly consistent commercial keywords in title, headings, text and anchor text. I am afraid the theory does not seem to be 100% consistent with the facts.
2. Contrary to what many are saying, many of the sites that have disappeared are information sites with virtually no optimization.
3. Lastly, I am still seeing as many blatantly “spammy” sites as I did before the update.
Perhaps, I am missing something in the analysis, but I would dearly love to understand why 2 years of hard work on a free information site has been punished. The site has unsolicited links from quality sites. It is listed in dmoz.com and is rated one of the best 3 examples of its type on About.com. The site has disappeared while other sites, which are there by virtue of blog/ guest book spam are doing better than ever. I am afraid there is no rational explanation for what is happening!
I am sick of hearing that all the sites that have gone are as a result of spam. It is just not true!
| 9:48 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
It could be that the sites that you are seeing 'untouched' by the update have yet to disappear. If you check out the Google users forum, you will see that peoples top sites are still disappearing...
| 9:50 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Well these observations are already made, but could give you a exact axample instead of talking about "widgets".
One of my pages is optimized for "Samsung ring tones", but cannot be found with this search string. If I just ad a product name to the search my page will show up in the top 10 search.
Example: Samsung SGH-S300 ring tones
The "SGH-S300" appears just ones i the body.
The site meta looks like this:
<title>Samsung ring tones and new polyphonic ring tone download</title>
<meta name="description" content="New Samsung ring tones! Download the latest Samsung polyphonic ring tones to your mobile phone via sms or WAP. Samsung ring tone download available for USA, UK and most of Europe.">
<meta name="keywords" content="samsung ring tones download,samsung ring tones,samsung polyphonic ring tones,samsung,ring tones,download,polyphonic,midi">
Any suggestions on how to improve or even get ranked for "samsung ring tones"?
| 10:04 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Miop and nfinland, thanks for your thoughtful comments.
|It could be that the sites that you are seeing 'untouched' by the update have yet to disappear. If you check out the Google users forum, you will see that peoples top sites are still disappearing... |
Yes, that is a good point. However, my best example of sites that defy explanation has just done the opposite. It has just gone #1 from nowhere.
|Well these observations are already made, but could give you a exact axample instead of talking about "widgets". |
I also still show up for some combinations of keywords but they are insignificant in terms of visitors.
| 10:13 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
If your site has reappeared at no. 1 from nowhere, it sort of reassures me that this update is far from over, that yours was one of the first to be reindexed.
I don't know how many pages there are in Google, but how long would it realistically take to update the PR, backlinks and reorganise the index to reflect the changes of all the pages listed there?
The results as they are are, with the exception of one or two sites, so irrelevant IMHO that this possibly is going to take a long time...
| 10:24 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
It was not my site that reappeard but a site with blog links. so much for "improved algos".
| 10:32 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Just yesterday 2 of my sites have been dropped from all existence on google.com
if i type in my domain name www.mysite.com, i get sorry no information. What have i done wrong. i use to rank no.1 and no.2 for certain keywords.
Have they been penalised.
| 10:37 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
JoeyBall, it's a new game we are playing here called "Algo" you have to roll a six to start and then travel around the serps until a crazy filter jumps on you and blows your site away.
Don't tell me, your listings have been replaced with an off-topic message board, blog or a .gov site which doesn't even contain the keyword?
| 11:05 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
does not seem to be 100% consistent
As I said where I posted this discovery, there are also other factors at play here.
We can only look at specific sites and look for a pattern, and where we find sites that differ from the norm, try to discern what is different about those sites.
2. Contrary to what many are saying, many of the sites that have disappeared are information sites with virtually no optimization.
Correct. The argument that it must be only "commercial" sites is a red herring. And, as you point out, many non-optimized sites are getting caught up in this as well.
...information site...has unsolicited links from quality sites...listed in dmoz.com...rated one of the best 3 examples of its type on About.com...The site has disappeared...I am afraid there is no rational explanation for what is happening!
Out of curiousity - out of the most popular search phrases that you USED to be listed well under and now have dropped out of sight - how many of those search words are present in your title?
| 11:12 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
For my site, my old index page (which comes up when you search kw1 kw2 -googlegoo) had all the search terms in it. That index page was long gone prior to the update though. My new index page (which is cached and shows in the current results when searched for) does not contain them.
| 11:24 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|If your site has reappeared at no. 1 from nowhere, it sort of reassures me that this update is far from over, that yours was one of the first to be reindexed. |
I agree with this point, Google couldn't possibly intend these results to be the final index.
| 11:34 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Your title seems to indicate that you are a highly relevant site for that search.
Which means that Google now hates you. ;) j/k
Notice that the first three words of your title is an exact match for the search phrase. (which makes sense, as that's what your site is about!)
Your site is just too good a result - bye, bye!
But let's try an experiment.
Take out one of the matching words, and let's replace it with something that is NOT in your title, but happens to be in your body - Samsung ring MIDI
Wow, look who just went from nowhere to #2!
| 11:36 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I have been working on how to "re-optimize our index page to get back in the results for the main $ keyword1 keyword2.
Google knows EXACTLY what people are looking for with this search term because it is a highly sought after adword.
I have been playing with the word combos, but in the back of my mind I still was thinking it has to be something more.
I think I have found the STOPPER, at least for my category. As we sell wigets, we are listed in the Google and DMOZ under the category: Shopping>...>...> Most of the sites that sell the wigets are listed in that category.
I just went through every page of the current results for keyword1 keyword2 and not one single sight listed in that category is anywhere to be found in the 996 (max) results returned. I have verified that there are sites from different categories.
I also noted that very early on in Florida that there was this "new" category being return in the results at the very top of the page. Category: Home > Consumer Information > ... > Keyword1 Keyword2. When I clicked on it I was given a page saying there was nothing found under that category. However, it is now slowly being populated.
If they are blocking pages because of Directory category my Index page does not have a prayer, no matter what I do.
Trouble is, even if a customer was resourceful enough to go to the directory and drill down in. Then tried to search "this category only" for keyword1 keyword2, Google still serves up the same results as in it's regular search.
Is anyone else listed in the Category: Shopping>...>
I beleive now that I will have to find another way up the mountain.