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Google Rankings...
Google rankings dropped off in a major way!
derek

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 11:28 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know what the heck is going on with Google right now? I know the algorithm changed recently and GoogleBot was spidering. Some of the client sites I work on who last month ranked on the first page are now not even ranking in the top 50 and even top 100!

What's wierd also is today I did a manual search to confirm that the site wasn't in the top 100 and then the next hour I did the same search and they came up 8th. Then, another hour later did the same search and the listing was gone again.

Anyone with some insight would be great. I'm confused.

Thanks in advance.

 

Mohamed_E

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 11:49 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, derek!

This post will probably be moved to the Google Forum [webmasterworld.com] where you will find lots and lots of speculation on what hapenned in the recent update. Not sure how useful you will find it, though ...

This is one of those updates in which Google makes changes in their algorithm that have a major effect on some segments of the web. Theories abound, and very slowly some sense emerges.

derek

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 11:52 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks. Sorry for posting in the wrong area.

jbage007

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 5:49 am on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

yeah, only problem is, the powers that be aren't real keen on starting new threads with new (conspiracy) theories

so I'm glad they started this thread because it gives me a chance to bounce my theory around again--last time it got shuffled to the bottom (poopies)
:(

we were dominant #1 for about a year
now, we're gone.
poof
at least for the MAJOR search term--you know, the one people ACTUALLY use.
*some* secondary terms still show us number one
but for most secondary and ALL primary terms we have been zapped.

what's in our place?
#1 is now a goofy freaking PDF file printed by the Internal Freaking REvenue Service! no kidding!

THIS is "RELEVANT" results google?
I think not.

SO what about numbers 2-9 (and on down the line)?

here's where my theory kicks in.

what's left primarily is a bunch of DOT GOV and mainly DOT ORG sites

in other words--sites google thinks to be non-commercial

anyone see the trend here?

someone posed the "dictionary" theory relating to key search terms (paid)

I am afraid there is much more to it than that--there is now no question in my mind that google has zapped COMMERCIAL SITES with SELECTIVE TERMS ONLY--the MAIN money makers that dumb bunnies like me are now forced to PAY for (or file bankruptcy)

sooner or later, this is the very kind of thing that will lead to google's downfall--by producing completely IRRELEVANT and NON-USEFUL results--not only our site but the majority of our competitors--also all gone--we all had good solid content--the very stuff people are looking for.

We have replace the google search tool with alta vista.

AVRocks!

I urge all of my brethern to do likewise.

The lesson google has yet to learn is that the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Herenvardo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 9:01 am on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I manage a webpage that was listed always in 1st 2nd page, making only minor changes from one week to another. Yesterday, when we searched for our main keywords, the page was not listed! We manually checked the 1000 results that google gave, but we were out. Searching for other keywords, we get listed in the serps.
I'm sure we have not been banned: we are still listed for some words, but I don't know what's happenning with our main keyword.
I've also checked the PR of some of the pages listed: until the 6th page of results (10 results per page), the sites have a PR 5-6, but from the 12-13th page, PR are 4 or fewer. Our homepage is PR 5, so it should appear at least in a bad ranking.
If somebody can tell what is happenning, thank you.

Greetings,
Herenardö

[edit]PS: I have checked some of the firsts URLs listed: in the top ten there are 4 .org sites (2 with PR6 and 2 with PR7) and 6 .com sites: 3 with PR7, 2 with PR6 and 1 with PR5. In the next pages there is a normal mix of .org, .com, some .edu and many regional (.co.uk and .es mainly) so I don't believe that google is caring too much the domain name extensions.[/edit]

onfire

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 9:24 am on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WOW the fun just does not stop, Does anybody know what really is Happening?

After the brute of an update (Florida) where it seems a lot of us took a hit, where sites that had been steady in the SERPs (well as steady as they can be since the early changes in the year, no old monthly update, but onto the rolling update) suddenly got lost in the abyss never to return ahaha

So to my surprise last night when checking the state of the SERPs i find we are back at#1 for Keyword-keyword.

Now since last week like most it had completely disappeared right off the face of the Web World, and even though we were still getting traffic, this particular Keyword-Keyword is our bread and butter and brings the right traffic which converts into sales.

But what i cannot understand is the big change in the SERPs, after Florida there was 700000 for this Keyword - Keyword (when it had only been 135000 +)

But now it back down to 139000 where we are back at #1 across all DCs what happen to the other 560000 results then?

This is driving me crazy, should i make changes to my site, But what changes, should we wait and see, to see what.

The Big G has got us on the Run!

Nicola

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 11:31 am on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's obvious that we are wasting keystrokes on Google. I've seen enough to convince me that this latest "update" is not worthy of what Google used to be. :(

I suggest you start using Alta Vista or ATW, and tell everyone you know to do likewise.

The term "SEO" in future will stand for "Sadly Everything's Over".

dirkz

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 1:09 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

If your page suddenly has to compete with three times the number of search results it's no wonder it can get buried.

tomapple

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 2:49 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

After seeing traffic drop by 30% beginning last Thursday and then continue to dwindle, I started checking things for the site in Google.

The overall number of pages for the site contained in the Google index has increased from the previous month. The site's index page still has the same PR (PR6). And a substantial number of the pages in the site have fresh tags.

But, a search for keyword phrases for several pages that would normally return results in the top 10, now do not show up in the top 500. Even though the pages are in the index and in fact have fresh tags.

Does anyone know what is going on?

Any advice?

derek

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 4:16 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I know it could be a lot of things. We will never know exactly...well maybe someday. Google could have just made incoming links much more important? Alot of .org sites seem to have a lot of links to them. I am kind of siding with the conspiracy theory above. Who knows?

dirkz

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 4:33 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Any advice?

This update isn't over.

In the meantime, gather more links, and put some eggs in other baskets as well (PPC etc.).

allanp73

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 4:37 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

jbage007,

Excellent. I feel the same way. The funny thing is I think Google made a mistake long ago believing that in order to improve results it meant waging war against the SEO. Google should really realize we are on the same side. I don't want to see Google suffer, but may be it is what is required to make them understand.
I am already telling people that if want to find things to Hotbot or Altavista. Why pay for Adwords, we made Google and we unmake them. The only reason Adwords are popular is SEO's presented it to their clients.
Sorry for the rant, but it is frustrating hearing Googleguy and others defend these horrible serps.

Macro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 4:39 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

#1 is now a goofy freaking PDF file printed by the Internal Freaking REvenue Service

So you believe it's presumptious of the Google to assume that the IRS has anything that anyone may want to read? <sigh>

...the MAIN money makers that dumb bunnies like me are now forced to PAY for

That's a complete rip-off. Googleguy do the honourable thing and give him/her a refund of all s/he's paid to date.

AVRocks

The lesson google has yet to learn is that the bigger they are, the harder they fall

Geez, I wonder why G didn't figure this one out. If falling involves a multi-billion dollar IPO... .I'd like to fall.

lgn1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 4:53 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

This may be out of place, however I have already typed this
up, and the thread on the long term future for SEO got locked while I was typing my message. So I figure I place it here while it was still in the cut and paste buffer.
--------------------

I would it hard to believe that google would only hire on
education only.

You need a balance between the dreamers and the pratical people. My experience with the exceptionally gifted is that they are very hard to manage, and they are
constantly going off on tangents. They often come up with great ideas, but they often have difficulty applying them.

By combining the dreamers with the people that has had
practical experince in the workfore, and throw in some
mediator types, and some devil's advocates then you have a real driving force.

Any company that has quadrippled in size is going to face
some problems, but I feel that the fortune article is very heavily biased against google.
--------------------
And now back to your regular scheduled thread

Jimville

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 4:59 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

FACT: The SERPS are significantly different from a couple of weeks ago.

FACT: Overall, Google (thru Google Guy) is proud of the changes. They more accurately reflect the wants of searchers. (Advice: Make your sites more with the user in mind and you'll do fine.)

As a 1 1/2 year Adwords customer (gold or preferred or something...they have sent me Christmas presents and a nice beach towel - Thanks!), I have the following...

QUESTION: Were the changes based on research (focus groups, surveys, etc., or are the Goolge folks smart enough to "just know" what searchers want?

I would sincerely appreciate an answer from Google Guy, Brent, and/or others who so enthusiastically support the new rankings.

I admit that I think the old results were superior. But, it really doesn't matter what I think personally. It really doesn't matter what Google Guy's personal opinion is. All that counts is what searchers think.

I have spent 34 years in advertising. Some of those years were spent at some of the largest media firms in the US, who would never make major changes like this with gobs of research.

So, here's my...

REQUEST: If Google has research backing these changes up, please let us know. I certainly don't expect confidential info. Just the company that did it, the dates, sample size, the overall conclusions, etc. That would certainly shut up the complainers.

Otherwise, expalin that thses changes are strictly Google's opionions about what's best for searchers and the Internet. That's certianly their right.

I think all of us would feel a lot better knowing that these "improbvements" were made for the user, rather than being based on the ability of technology, or that "a bunch of the Google PhDs got together and decided..."

I'm sincere about question, and will appreciate any help.

Thank you.

lgn1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 5:04 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Remember New-Coke. Well this is Google's new coke.

However I expect Google will be alot quicker in realizing that people prefer old coke.

I expect that old coke will be served up on google datacenter very soon, or else everybody will be switching to Pepsi.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 5:35 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>So you believe it's presumptious of the Google to assume that the IRS has anything that anyone may want to read? <sigh>

One thing that needs to be understood is that the Google algo (PR and anchor text) tends to favor non-commercial sites because they tend to link to each other. Competitors don't want to link to the competition. I'd also question if the search term jbage007 referred to would have seemed obviously commercial? Such as include "buy", "sales" etc. If the search is just "blue widgets", maybe the person is just interested in safe use of them.

aspdesigner

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 5:39 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

LOL Good analogy, lgn1!

New Coke's downfall was because in Coke's rush to "improve" their product, they didn't realize the reason people drank Coke because they liked how it tasted.

But they couldn't call it "old Coke", didn't sound very good.

Maybe...

"Google Classic"? ;)

woop01

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 5:46 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

If Google has research backing these changes up, please let us know. I certainly don't expect confidential info. Just the company that did it, the dates, sample size, the overall conclusions, etc. That would certainly shut up the complainers.

If you have research backing up the fact that these results are irrelevant other than the self interests of SEOs, please let us know. I certainly don't expect confidential info. Just the company that did it, the dates, sample size, the overall conclusions, etc. That would certainly help me understand what everyone is complaining about.

Trawler

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 5:54 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Food for thought, and my best guess after some research.

A. The filter is only applied to "Money Keywords"

B. Once triggered the filter is then applied to the entire domain, not just the specific page causing the offense.
By this I mean if the offending key word term was "Reno Casinos" the flagged term then would be casinos and no mater what the term before it, the filter suppresses the page for that term.

This of course means a database of offenders now exists, and will grow in the future. In my opinion a database existed even before this latest update but was used rather selectively for experimenting with the filter, it sure was kept very low key.

C. Once triggered the filter remains in place until the next major update some time in the future.

D. "Over optimization" is measured by the new rules the "Gods" have set up and not as it has been in the past.

My sites did not employ excessive page optimization or spam, and very few " Backlinks" were used.
Simply, KW phrase in title, meta, 1 occurrence of H2 and a few sprinklings on the page.
What leads me to these conclusions?

(Database)
1. I have two sites (call them A & B) which by nature of the trade are virtually identical. Of course they look different but both internal structures are equal. 1 year ago both sites enjoyed top rankings.

2. Over the last six months, one site (A) consistently held decent ranking across the spectrum. The other (B) languished in the SERPS between 300 and 500 across the board and even worse in some cases.

3.. No mater what optimization I applied to (B) before this update or since the update, (B) would never rise in the rankings.

To my way of thinking, site B was "tagged" way back when, during the experimental portion of the filter.
Site A now got "tagged in the latest update"

(Money Keywords)

This is really quite basic. Of course the keyword terms used in this post are only an example and they are not from my sites. Having said that, My site (A) does act as below.
Site A

KW search "Reno Casinos" off the map. "Reno Slots" in the top ten.

No optimization whatsoever for Reno slots other than one term of slots on the page.

That tell me two things!

A The keyword "Reno" is not where the filter is applied - It is only applied when the Keyword phrase becomes "Reno Casinos"

B Casinos in now the word that causes the filter to kick in, no matter what the page.

It could be Miami casinos or Nevada casinos --- makes no difference, the filter kicks in as long as the keyword phrase is a money phrase.

I doubt that Pollyanna Casinos or Wingding Casinos would trigger the filter. But just try Atlantic City Casinos and BAMM

This affirms my conclusion that the filter is then applied across the domain as my sites are geographically oriented.

My theory Of
Once triggered the filter remains in place until the next major update some time in the future.

I have, since the update, changed a number of pages, no difference whatsoever.

Sorry for the long post but maybe in some way this is helpful to others.

Jimville

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 5:59 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

woop01,

With all due respect, I think you missed the point. I want to believe the "New Google" is better. I want to believe that people want results that are "relevant, but not too relevant". Unfortuantely, with out some credible proof of that, I just can't. I'm sorry.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 6:04 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>With all due respect, I think you missed the point. I want to believe the "New Google" is better. I want to believe that people want results that are "relevant, but not too relevant". Unfortuantely, with out some credible proof of that, I just can't. I'm sorry.

I haven't seen much evidence that the punters out there tend to be dissatisfied with Google. I doubt that they are flocking to Altavista and Alltheweb in large numbers. All complaining seems to be by just *some* commercial webmasters.

Jimville

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 6:07 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Woop01,

BTW, Marketing 101 dictates that companies do research to find out about their customers and potential customers in order to serve them better and get more business. Not the other way around.

Nicola

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 6:11 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I haven't seen much evidence that the punters out there tend to be dissatisfied with Google. I doubt that they are flocking to Altavista and Alltheweb in large numbers. All complaining seems to be by just *some* commercial webmasters.
_______________________________

Infoseek had the same attitude if I remember correctly.

HyperGeek

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 6:13 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

To quote Googleguy, the update should take "more than days, less than months" to run it's cycle.

Hang in there until at least Friday, 12/12/2003 - and in the meantime, get those christmas pages designed and uploaded. I would say that everything should be fairly glued down by then - pending another possible update by the first of the year.

It would make sense to do this until after Christmas so that Adwords revenue rises. However, that is fairly unethical and I have faith that Google is honestly just in a state of change right now.

I remember similar things happening to other SEs over the past five years or so. This is far from a unique event in SEO history - but not many of the newer folks have experienced a "Black Monday" yet, so I can understand their panic.

And as for optimizing, you should be doing just that. Measuring up a web site to rank high on Google is not considered optimizing that site since it does not have optimum potential to rank high no matter what search engine it is indexed by.

Always keep Intomi, Altavista, and Fast in mind.

Sadly, most "optimized" sites experience only a piece of the traffic they potentially should.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 6:18 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Infoseek had the same attitude if I remember correctly.

The question is whether the punters are dissatisfied? Google surely would notice if the number of searches went down.

yankee

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 6:21 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not changing a thing. I have confidence Google will correct these ridiculous SERPS. I'm just creating new content and looking for good links to sites that my users would be interested in. Patience!

Nicola

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20040 posted 6:22 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>The question is whether the punters are dissatisfied? Google surely would notice if the number of searches went down.
___________________________________

The number of searches will increase to start with - because some users will have trouble finding what they are looking for.

Decline in market share is never a rapid thing.

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