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This 180 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 180 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 > >     
What exactly is right or wrong with Google?
It looks just fine from this consumer and information seeker's view.

 2:30 am on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Whats the reason everybody claims that the current Google index is terrible, bad, full-of-crap, the spawn of Satan, an elaborate conspiracy to get us to spend more on Adwords, etc.? 90% of the reasons Ive seen listed were I fell from #2 to not even in the top 100 which I would never use as a measuring stick for the quality of SERPs. Ive even seen people claim that the Ink results are better than Google.

I can say that based on the searches I have done as a consumer, I like this index more than the old one. When I put in a city I get SERPs that have information about the city, not ten thousand affiliate sites waiting to send you to the exact same site. I just got done doing quite a bit of x-mas shopping and guess what, I found what I was looking for without having to go to page two of the SERPs.

I realize this place is full of the SEOs whos #1 (if not only) concern is their own sites ranking highly and in most people opinion on here their site is always the most relevant site for whatever keyword you are looking up. But, what reasons other than my site was optimized for Google and ranked #1 for a year but now its not ranked THIS IS GOING TO RUIN MY BUSINESS! are there for the condemnations of this new index?




 7:49 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Google has dropped by about 90% in the last 24 hours

Today, MSN is beating G on my strongest site's stats for the first time since it was indexed.

A search for 'city state big widgets' doesn't return a single competitor in over 100 results, where there once were many, clean & spammy, big & small. It's all directories or sites that link; by the time I'm near 100 results, Google's showing other cities & states in the results. At least they too have been wiped off the planet for the money words.

Nope, everything looks just fine from here woop01. ;)


 7:56 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

wanna_learn, the top 10 results of the link you posted looks fine to me.

[edited by: Chndru at 7:58 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2003]


 7:57 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another sanity check: I did a search on an informational subject that I've often gone 200-300 results deep on multiple SEs before, looking for good sites -- so I thought I know what was out there, and how well hidden it was.

I was blown away! I must say that I have NEVER seen ANYTHING like the quality of those results! They are comparable to, and perhaps even better than, my own list: which I had personally hand-culled from hundreds of hand-reviewed search results from multiple search engines for the Open Directory category. I found more excellent resources in the first ten sites than I usually find in the first hundred.

This is the next generation of search engines; this is the millenium! I'm going to have to go repeat some of the searches for obscure historical persons for whom I built ODP categories last year.


 8:01 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Old saying, but when my father notices something "isn't right with Google" then you know the big shiny dial at the 'plex has been turned too far.

Countless posts, hundreds of examples here and many other forums about Florida and the problems it's brought. This ain't like every other update. It's different, very different.

No conspiracy theory is needed to guess why Google did it at this time of year and why so many e-commerce index pages have taken a dive. I know I'm spending more on Adwords now...although as many others are too since hurricane Florida, the ROI isn't proving to be great.

Maybe I live in hope they will remove the "filter" so I don't have to keep going to (censored..Mmmm) to see what's missing ;)


 8:04 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Please read the title of this thread: "What exactly is wrong with Google?"

Everyone on this thread knows Google returns good results on "obscure historical" subjects.

The problem is with highly competitive search terms that happen to be the ones that provide income for Google.


 8:12 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

>highly competitive search terms

You have defined the problem as well as the solution.

As per your definition, it is HIGHLY competitive. That implies, the seperation (of PR or total score or whatever) between the top 1% of the total results would be so closely spaced, that whatever way you turn the knob, someone is going to be thrown out the top 100 or however many.

The question is: In those competitive results, do the top 10 results provide the information the query (keyword) is intended to give? Or is it full of spam sites?


 8:20 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can assure you that for the term that I follow, "mycountry real estate", Google returns on the top ten mainly outdated pages that haven't changed in at least 1 year.

Not even in the top 100, there is a site that provides fresh listings for the end user.

Again, everyone on this thread knows the NEW Google returns good results on "obscure historical" subjects.

The problem is with highly competitive search terms that happen to be the ones that provide income for Google.


 8:31 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

The problem is with highly competitive search terms that happen to be the ones that provide income for Google.

Maybe this is true. However, since most webmasters are interested in commercial searches and because these are the most competitive searches, perhaps it is simply the case that poor results are more obvious in some categories than others.

I for one doubt very much that Google is targetting certain keywords to produce poor results and thereby increase adword revenues. From a post in another thread, this is probably illegal and even if it is not, were a disgruntled employee ever to escape with proof, the publicity would be absolutely horrendous - in one instant Google's white- hat image would be destroyed.

If I were forced to guess between cockup and conspiracy, I would say Florida, etc. is a cockup.

If Google vanished tomorrow, neither I nor my web site would miss it. My site does ok on the other search engines and I would simply use ATW for my own searches - often do anyway.



 8:34 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

If what i hear is true, then its time to register i-hate-google.com or burn-google.com or once-upon-a-time-there-was-google.com :)

And for all the conspiracy stuff - it was fun for a while to live in the fantasy land. don't push it


 8:44 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

The main problem with Web people is that they are so technologically savvy that there is little room for them to think from a business point of view.

Google employees deserve to have a nice Christmas like the rest of us.

What's needed to enjoy a nice Christmas especially in the US?

The answer is MONEY!

Also, Google employees with stock options deserve to have a nice profit some months after the IPO.

What's needed to have a nice profit on stock options?

A lot of clients paying for AdWords.


Maybe another glitch occured in Google's algorithnm just as the one reported by the Washington Post last October [washingtonpost.com...] . However, that glitch helps pretty well to have a nice Christmas and to have a nice profit via stock options.

<Gramatical error corrected/>

[edited by: zafile at 8:59 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2003]


 8:49 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

hope googleguy or someone from google reply this post, is google changed and filter all the HIGH commercial keywords to increase income from adwords?


 8:53 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry to stray off topic, didn't want to start a thread for this...

My hosting company is once again having problems generating log files and I have nothing since Nov 25. Ususally, at least the index gets Google freshtags almost daily, but I haven't seen them for my site for a few days. No log files means no way of seeing if I'm getting a decent Google crawl lately.

Are others seeing googlebot being normal, slack or busy since Nov 25?

To get back on topic...

I don't really think there's much wrong with Google, it's as spammy as ever but if you refine searches intelligently and dig down deep enough you'll find what you're looking for. Just like Ink, ATW, AV and the rest. My hosting company on the other hand... they keep the site online 99.999% but are truly p*ssing me off with the lack of log files.


 8:54 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I dun feel there is any need of any Confirmation abt this fact!
its there... u read whats written on the wall!


 9:01 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Everyone knows Google used to return good results on obscure historical topics.

Now Google returns preternaturally fantastic results on obscure historical topics. And don't think those "obscure" topics hadn't gotten competitive. Hundreds of generic keyword-snarfing sites purporting to offer "books by and about Joe Blow" with Spamazon links, and other similar SE-scams were by no means constrained to the pop-teen-idol figures.

The question isn't "does Google bury some good site somewhere?" Of course it does. If there are 30,000 Viagra sales sites, all of them "good" in the sense that if you send them money they send you something in a Viagra-shaped capsule -- then 29,000 of them AREN'T going to appear in the first 100 pages of Google results. This is a fundamental law of mathematics that Bill Gates and Carl McBride together can't violate.

No, the proper question is, "how good a job does Google do of burying the BAD sites?" I'm sure there's a need for tweaking, and I'm sure the new algorithms have many little knobs and levers that the Google Grinches will be using to personally zap any sites belonging to anyone with webmaster posts (or anyone in the ODP, or anyone that's too politically correct for California tastes, or whatever the current conspiracty theory is. I suspect for a couple of months, some QA reports sent to Google may have quick effects as the GG's tweak away. If you see bad sites dominating particular searches, this is the best time in years to report it.


 9:05 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

concerning googlebot:

i wasn't getting but 1 to 2 hits if i was lucky for the last 5 days. yday and today i'm seeing about 25 hits daily for my highest PR sites. the others aren't seeing googlebot hits yet.


 9:11 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was waiting for GG to suggest again to use Google's feedback form to make a constructive report of SERP's returning bad results.

I'm sorry. That's not my job.

I already worked enough on building Web sites that are helpful for end users.

So far, since Google has had little competition in the search business, it has relied on technologically savvy people outside of Google to find glitches in its system.

That's gonna have to change because "white hat" Webmasters already contributed enough to the growth of Google by providing helpful sites.


 9:17 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

The vast majority of searches that I have done since Florida have improved, and some are even greatly improved.

I have made a few searches that are junk, but there have always been some searches that are junk. Floriday just seemed to cause some problems in some areas by fixing problems in others.

As for travel related searches, the sort that I am most likely to do have been improved. The spammers are out, and the good sites are in. But just as a research experiment, I have sone some searches for places that I have no interest in, but would be money results, and a *few* of them do look pretty bad.

Google has some adjusting to do, as they have to do every time they change their algo. But since the results are generally better than before, there will not be a mass exodus of users. They might lose a few that happen to search a lot in the affected areas, but that is an insignificant number.


 9:21 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google cant be on 2 boats at the same time
Either earn money by persuading and forcing the commercial sites to opt for Adwords
Or can simply list them at SERP in decent manner overlooking the fact that its a Commercial site being ranked high for a lucrative Keyword.

I can clearly notice the top results floated with Govt, educational, amazon etc pages.
Dig down, you'll see there are sites which are though commercial but have good Content BUT killed becuz of google's rage to propt them for Adwords!

PS - I am majorly talking about travel industry.

And can anyone justfy the fact that the No. of impressions for KW i track have a nosedive of abt 500%?


 9:26 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

"But since the results are generally better than before, there will not be a mass exodus of users."

.org sites are not being affected as .com ones.

Again, please read the title of this thread "What exactly is wrong with Google?"


 9:29 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

What I find extraordinary is how Google continually serve duplicate pages. How difficult would is be to compare the titles of pages (and a few other factors) and get rid of the duplicates?


A pure spam site I reported 5 days ago still hasn't been removed.


 9:32 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks, seijitsusa. It was very slack for me through the update, then on and off for a few days, then no log files for 26, 27, or today yet. Maybe they'll catch up tomorrow. I'm hoping, like you, the bot has been active for us... I put up new pages and made changes to others lately.

My apologies for temporarily hijacking the thread. As you were... :-)


 9:33 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

After two weeks of reading, crying & reflecting, the topic of what is wrong with Google is thought provoking. I am fairly sure at this point there is absolutely nothing wrong with Google but here is what is wrong with certain industries. Many of us have either spammed or BEEN CAUGHT in a spam filter. It is important to understand the distinction between the two. Before I go any farther it is important for you to understand that we got hurt very badly in the Florida update for most of our keyphrases so I am saying this from a certain point of view.

If I had the ability to write a spam filter here is how I might go about it.
- look at word combinations and identify those that have a higher probability of containg the most amounts of spam. It is almost never about getting rid of all spam but getting a statistically significant amount of it (let's for argument sake say 90-95 %). These word combinations would then be put into some database for rapid retrieval & for automatic re-weighting.
-The next thing might be to look at sites that are in the index using a separate process and again scoring them for the probability of the site being spam.

- so when a search term is entered, it is quickly compared to the word combinations and then compared to the site probability and if the rank of the two exceeds a statistically significant threshold then sites are filtered.

Ok , big deal that still doesn't explain the funny results that are coming up for SOME search terms. Again it is important to understand this has hit some industries much harder than others. The easy explanation here is that, the particular industry really doesn't have many sites with good content for that term. So what rises to the top is the left overs.

Now I would anticipate that Google foresaw that this might happen. (This also gets into the will it change back concepts). Given all of the above it strikes me that webmasters, especially in some of these very competitive areas, will realize the truth of it and work very hard to produce pages & sites that are 1. relevant and 2 do not overuse SEO in order to avoid tripping the spam filters. With the rolling update feature in place, these new highly relevant pages will quickly rise up to the top and replace the so-so results we are seeing now. In hindsight it is obvious that Google needed to have the rolling update in place before it attacked the spam problem.

Yeah but I can disprove that. Keep in mind Google has always favoured automated methods and so that forces the process to use statistics and so the exceptions will always exist but be statistically irrelevant.

Bottom line here is that the results are good for many searches and as webmasters come back in line (with re-built sites) the results will improve drastically for those ultra competitive categories.

As an aside, when I took a really hard look at my own site and asked myself about whether or not it would trip a spam filter, the answer was---YES!

I invite you to do the same.


 9:33 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

its being 5 months I am reporting few sites with doorway and Exatly same mirrored pages, nuffin till now

They are performing very well on SERP still.

Wrong with Google - It cant decide upon its objectives!
It started with an aim to serve best and freshest search results, and reached to a point where it play a game to care for Christmas and IPO.


 9:36 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

From a searchers point of view (for information), I can't really complain about this new index. While there are some dodgy sites listed, I haven't found a greater number of them now than before the update. I've done a number of informational searches since the update and generally have been pretty pleased with the results. Are they perfect - of course not. But I can't say they are worse now than before the update.

That said, I can see where a whole lot of webmasters probably got nuked on their home pages - ending up as collateral damage to this new algorithim. I've seen a couple of home pages of good quality sites (not mine) removed for no explicable reason - and these are not on money search terms by any stretch - but informational searches. Because of this, I'm not so sure I can buy into the whole Google conspiracy thing about Adwords and "select phrases" that people are saying get special attention now.

Just my two cents.



 10:07 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

For me the results are worse for a searcher trying to buy something. I could be wrong but I'd imagine the majority of searchers are looking to buy.


 10:32 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Presumably, most searches are in competitive areas. If competitive results are poor then users are being poorly served by Google.

The argument that Google is still good for information searches is interesting but irrelevant. Let me put it this way - if Google develops a reputation for being good only for obscure info searches then people won't use it for the majority of their (big money) searches.

If Google want to make big bucks the public must be confident that they are getting good results in commercial searches. If the results in commercial searches are perceived by the public to be poor they will use other search engines and adword revenues will fall.

It is clear to me that Google's algos for eliminating spam are very poor. There are pure spam sites (no useful content) doing well in the SERPS. If their algos were any good, these sites would be nowhere. As for duplicate content, their algos are clearly diabolical.

Google is wrongly filtering some sites, failing to filter others and serving masses of duplicate results. That is not a satisfactory performance for a search engine.

The results for some searches may be marvellous, but the results for others are not and the reason is quite simple - poor algos.



 10:40 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

>For me the results are worse for a searcher trying to buy something. I could be wrong but I'd imagine the majority of searchers are looking to buy.

Then you'd be seriously wrong. This is just a very small percent of total searches. Likely most people who use the Internet never buy things on it. And, of those that do, as most aren't very wealthy this limits the amount of commercial searches they do compared to info ones.


 10:42 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Some comments about "informational searches" in this thread by Senior members remind me of Nothern Light ...


 10:53 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I tend to think that results in the top 10 for "SOMETHING in MY LOCAL AREA" searches that return a "doorway" page for some company 1400 miles away is not a very good move.

We have a Client base of over 250 - WE DONT DO SEO work only development, but we do follow SEO patterns and the TOS of the engines. Still can not find any method to the maddness both as a consumer and as a professional.

P.S. Anyone else notice that doing searches for REAL ESTATE in your local area do not return ANY individual realtor sites as they used to? Now the results are Wunderground and other directories. Hey if I am looking for a new home, Wunderground isnt going to help much!


 11:06 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is clear to me that Google's algos for eliminating spam are very poor. There are pure spam sites (no useful content) doing well in the SERPS. If their algos were any good, these sites would be nowhere. As for duplicate content, their algos are clearly diabolical.

Yes I agree. Whatever is happening it has not reduced spam. many of the sites that have risen to the top are using tactics such as link farms, meaningless text with keywords repeated over and over(keyword stuffing), and other tricks.

[edited by: Goanna1 at 11:11 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2003]


 11:10 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

...please read the title of this thread "What exactly is wrong with Google?"

Well, if you're going to complain about search results, you're shooting at a moving target. The Googleguys and Googlegals appear to be fine-tuning the controls, because search results have continued to change every couple of days for the major keywords and keyphrases that I track.

I'm not big on conspiracy theories or hypotheses about a sudden widespread drop in IQs and the Googleplex, so I tend to think that the obvious glitches will get fixed via tweaking or another update. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the day after, and maybe not in time for Christmas, but certainly in time to prevent AltaVista, AllTheWeb, and Teoma from relegating Google to the graveyard of search engines.

However, that doesn't mean every Webmaster and SEO is going to get what he or she wants.

This 180 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 180 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 > >
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