It appears that - for whatever reason - certain highly profitable keyword sectors suffered a big old shakeup in Google. The biggest cog is usually the first to get the oil because it is usually the loudest cog when it runs out of oil.
We've been here for every major update since the beginning of Google in 98. Every time there was an update, the stakes were raised and more lives and careers were effected by it.
Yes there are some searches that are better for the user, some that are OK, and some that are worse (a lot worse!).
But now Google is in such a dominant position, it has some responsibility to the industry not to make such massive and arbitrary changes without warning - especially in the prime shopping season. There are many, many search terms where 80 or 90% of the top ranking pages have been wiped off the face of the earth. There will be many people put out of business by this - not SEOs, just small businesses with normal websites that had come to rely on Google traffic. OK, it was never a sound business plan to rely on Search Engine Marketing for survival, and if you don't want to get burnt, stay out of the fire. But many people are in the fire out of necessity, not out of choice.
Whether the search results are better or worse, it was not a responsible thing for Google to do - especially at this time of year.
(By the way, I am not affected personally - my employer will just have to spend a bit more on Adwords traffic.)
I wouldn't be here if I knew what was wrong with Google. I have no idea why so many good "white hat" sites have been filtered out of the serps. I do know that I will be looking for another job very shortly.
Merry Christmas :(
>It appears that - for whatever reason - certain highly profitable keyword sectors suffered a big old shakeup in Google.
Many of the sites targeted to these sectors have been replaced by more broad, generic, so-called authority sites.
|Retailers got a taste of the power of Google this month, as the search site changed the way it combs through the Web, knocking some companies in its rankings - and in the wallet. |
|broad, generic, so-called authority sites |
Like unrelated government sites and message boards which have nothing whatsoever to do with what you are searching for, except for the fact that someone posted off-topic on there several days ago.
The fact is that Google are inbetween a rock and a hardplace. On the one hand they have SEO SPAM and on the other they have genuine websites. Working out which is which is going to take a SUPER ALGO and update Florida has proven that no such algo exists.
There is no doubt that some results are simply irrelevant and much worse off for the searcher. If you like, I can give examples but I am sure you know of 1 or 2 already.
1. There are many complains about Google's current search results.
2. Yahoo and AOL are displaying the same results.
3. Yahoo will soon replace Google as search results provider. There are 3 options for Yahoo's new provider: Altavista, Inktomi, AllTheWeb.
a. Why is Google displaying "questionable" search results?
1. To collect more income before Christmas via AdWords.
2. To obtain more AdWords clients before its IPO.
3. To send a warning message to Webmasters about using fraudulent means to obtain good rankings.
b. Why is Google risking its reputation about providing "questionable" search results?
The end user hardly notices a difference. Web site owners and webmasters are the ones who notice the differences. Therefore, the risk is low. It's even lower since Yahoo and AOL display Google's results.
Current MSN search results aren't so good. The user notices that MSN's best results are sponsored listings.
Hence, the price paid by Google to accomplish items 1, 2, and 3 from question a is low.
c. When will Google be forced to return "unquestionable" results?
1. When Yahoo changes its search results provider.
2. When MSN starts using its own search technology. [news.com.com...]
d. When will Yahoo replace Google?
December is the key date.
Because of Web logs generated by Web sites, it seems the switch could occur in early December. Altavista has been "crawling" the sites heavily since June 2003.
e. When will MSN start using its own search engine?
Microsoft will want to have a negative effect on Google's IPO. It could happen in December. However, early next year seems more logical.
f. When will "white hat" sites return to Google search results?
As soon as Yahoo replaces Google.
Current Altavista results look pretty similar to Google's results before November 20th, 2003.
Therefore, Google will be forced to provide "unquestionable" results.
As soon as Google displays "good" results again, those results will contain some anti-spam algorithms.
Therefore, it will be wise for "white hat" site operators to look for possible spam variables in their sites.
I already checked mine!
> Current facts:
> 2. Yahoo and AOL are displaying the same results.
Nope, I cannot vouch for AOL, but Yahoo seems to be showing the "old" results on the search I looked at ( a 2 keyword phrase that could be considered commercial ).
What's wrong with Google results?
Try performing various searches to see how the 'new' Google compares to the old one, or to search results on other engines.
Although I don't feel that Google has any moral obligations to webmasters or small businesses I do feel that they have overcompensated for what they suspect are overly optimized sites. The new algorithm may well turn out to backfire on them as users begin wasting time where previously they found 'good' (although optimized) results for their search queries.
Have a look at the pure spam Google is returning in my sector (Vicenza accommodation) and you will see that the first few pages are all the same site with redirects.
You have to really dig deep to get alternatives.
My feeling is that Google's strength lies in the number of pages indexed and speed at which it provides (and provided) pertinent results. For commercial searches other search engines are just as good if not better, but nobody beats Google at picking out the obscure information.
As long as there are search engines there will be search engine optimization, it's just a matter of time before the SEOs catch on and then we begin a new cycle.
Is it really in Google's interest to 'punish' SEOs or overly optimized sites?
I can say that based on the searches I have done as a consumer, I like this index more than the old one.
>>> Who knows what sites are Dumped 100 Pages down
Good Better Best is always on comparison
You searching for Blue old Widgets, how do you know that site at 150th position is not better then what you see at 1st 3 Pages?
You never happened to look at them? who bothers 150th result?
When ppl say the results are crap they mean GOOD sites are buried under and normal user cant take notice of it.
We have tons of irrelevent examples to debate upon.
Woop01 recently said,
|I can say that based on the searches I have done as a consumer, I like this index more than the old one. |
I respect your point of view and I can see how I might write the same message as you have if I just couldn't get what everyone is ****ing about but...
Exactly the opposite has happened in the niche I opperate in. The sites in the top 10 were optimised to keep all of these pseudo directories and affiliate gateway pages out. Consumers who used our critical keyword searches were presented with direct links to some of the most appropriate web sites for what they were searching for. Now the top ten are dominated by pseudo directories and affiliate gateway pages which take people away from Google and the possibility that someone might click our Adwords.
The focus of much of this debate is not on the right and wrongs of what Google has done but what should we do now. We were at #1 because we found a way to feed the old algo what it wanted. All I want to know is what the algo wants now and I'll make sure I feed it that from now one.
You see there are still 10 sites in the top 10 and whether or not they are a better 10 than the previous ones is a matter of opinion or personal taste. The one thing I can guarantee is this we will find how to feed Google what it wants and we will be back at #1 the only problem is that we may need now to create a whole new site specifically for Google because I for one don't want to give up my other #1s and #2s on other search engines in order to keep the Google monster happy.
All that Google has done is to temporarily shift the SERPs and by targeting keyword pairs that are worth something they have guaranteed that people who have something to lose will be beavering away to ensure that they get back in there.
If you like the way the index is now enjoy it while you can because one way or another the old one will be back and sooner than you think. :-)
>>When ppl say the results are crap they mean GOOD sites are buried under and normal user cant take notice of it.
Depends on what ppl you hang out with.
When real Google users and customers say results are bad, they are NOT AT ALL, EVER, IN ANY CASE referring to good sites that are buried! How could they? THEY DON'T KNOW THOSE SITES EXIST! Real ppl are referring ONLY to BAD sites that AREN'T buried. If there are more than 20 good sites in a category, some of them ARE going to be buried too deep to be found by 99.9% of all users: if the results are "bad" (USER'S definition), many of them will be buried. If the results are "perfect", the users will find what they want on the first page and never go any deeper.
But by your definition, ALL Google searches on topics with 30 good sites are by definition "Bad". That's nonsense.
Can I suggest that everyone who doesn't believe there is a problem go to www.**** , it shows the sites that have dropped, and also the current list, you can easily compare the quality and relevancy of the results.
Take a look at the hit list if you need a keywords where many pages have dropped.
[edited by: geebee2 at 6:18 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2003]
I don't understand why Web people give Google so much importance.
I guess those Web people tend to avoid certain Web logs that indicate search.msn.com and other referrals.
Also, those Web people tend to avoid looking at graphics such as the one at [news.com.com...] .
Those Web people tend to concentrate their efforts on getting a good ranking in Google and avoid other search service agents.
I have employed time on getting a good listing at MSN (paid of course) since Inktomi seems quite biased (more than the NEW Google).
Thanks to the time I employed on getting a good listing on the OLD Google, I have a good ranking with Altavista which eventually will provide help on Yahoo.
What's all the excitement about Google?
>>> The sites in the top 10 were optimised to keep all of these pseudo directories and affiliate gateway pages out. Consumers who used our critical keyword searches were presented with direct links to some of the most appropriate web sites for what they were searching for.
I've been trying to make this point for a *long* time. Google only ever seemed to have succesfully combated the issue of spam because it ranked at least 20 relevant - yes SEO'd - sites above the spam, hence nobody every got deep enough into the results to notice the spam.
Now G have got a chip on their shoulder about SEO'd sites and tackled it - too harshly IMO - they have left themselves exposed belly up.
So what if some SEO's make some money in the process through affiliate programs or directly from clients. I see SEO's as actually being responsible for the quality of Googles results (they are the engine). What Google needs to realise is that Google needs SEO's more than the other way round.
SEO's will always optimise for the biggest engine be it Google, ATW, AV.
allow me to Sticky you, and I'll send you 100 Examples/Day of Google's Bad (My definition) SERP.
you said absolutely right :-)
If a SEO'd site comes on Top, the owner of that website would not sit idol....he gotta make Money...and that needs a good Content and well presented site!
Though he works on Content at later stage but eventually it comes.
SEO should not be confused with Spam
and that Google did!
I've seen a corporate public face site (non-spammy) disappear from the rankings for a not very competitive industry term for which it was previously number one. However, number 7, number 12 and number 13 in the SERPs are the dmoz listing of the site, the Google Directory listing of the site and another listing of the site elsewhere. I'd understand if Google was replacing the site in the index with other sites it considered better, but for instances of that same site in directories seems a bit daft to me.
|I've seen a corporate public face site (non-spammy) disappear from the rankings for a not very competitive industry term for which it was previously number one. However, number 7, number 12 and number 13 in the SERPs are the dmoz listing of the site, the Google Directory listing of the site and another listing of the site elsewhere. I'd understand if Google was replacing the site in the index with other sites it considered better, but for instances of that same site in directories seems a bit daft to me. |
Bulls Eye! Now the question is how long it will last.
The new results are certainly bringing up a lot of spammy duplicate ODP content ;)
|allow me to Sticky you, and I'll send you 100 Examples/Day of Google's Bad (My definition) SERP. |
Please sticky me with some examples.
Google, the new search engine for directories. Anybody that's not seeing this isn't looking hard enough.
The standard & directory searches started to become one & the same a few weeks ago & the G directory is STILL dancing after like a month. What the heck are they doing?!
Gooooooooogle may be dumping the ODP data from their directory.
|What the heck are they doing?! |
Running out of feet to shoot?
To me, it seems there are three problems with google.
1) excess of pure spam sites high in SERPS.
2) excess of duplicate results in SERPS.
3) Some very suspect filter algos.
Duplicates: For many searches for software, the duplication of results is terrible and has worsened in recent months. (Florida did not seem to affect this.)
Filters: A few days ago, I posted an example for GoogleGuy in which all but 6 of 154 results were filtered out on an entirely innocent one-word search. (That's 96 percent of results filtered out). The post was deleted and the search was fixed several hours later. (The search I specified could only be deduced if you already knew my url to the post was not in breach of WW TOS.) Now this search was fixed so quickly it probably had nothing to do with my post but it did prove that broken filters were (are?) being used by Google.
Personally, I have another problem (with Google?). Despite rising in SERPS a few days ago, my traffic from Google has dropped by about 90% in the last 24 hours - VERY ODD.
|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. |
Depends on the city. Also, try appending the word "travel" to the city name and see if the results have improved.
|But, what reasons other than “my site was optimized for Google and ranked #1 for a year but now it’s not ranked THIS IS GOING TO RUIN MY BUSINESS!” are there for the condemnations of this new index? |
Well, for one thing, a whole lot of index pages disappeared in the Florida update (at least for the keyphrases that might have been expected to show them in the SERPs). And in quite a few cases, Amazon book pages have jumped to the top of the SERPs for no apparent reason. That's fine if you're looking for a book, but most people who seek information on the Web don't have book purchases in mind when they type in a keyphrase and hit the "Google Search" button.
Don't get me wrong: The Florida update isn't an across-the-board disaster as some WW members have suggested, but whether it's an improvement for the user depends on the search keyword or keyphrase.
BTW, I think the comments that I've made above are fairly objective, because I haven't been hurt much and may have been helped slightly by the Florida update. I lost three of my four index pages, but my positions in the SERPs have stayed the same or improved somewhat for most of the keywords and keyphrases that I monitor. And my traffic has been edging upward since the update, so I can look at the results of the update more dispassionately than a publisher who's been hammered could do.
If we are talking about quality of SERP
Gentlemen please excuse me for daring to post a specic URL
Dont kill me for that :-(
Have a look at Google's capacity to fight with Mirrored content!
and please dont tell me exceptions are everywhere OR allow me to post URLS here. Lets talk on solid ground.
[edited by: wanna_learn at 7:49 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2003]
Here's one for ya:
For this one search term, we'll call it "blue widgets" my client has dropped off from the #2 spot. While trying to figure out why, I noticed that the person who got filtered from the #1 spot also has a yahoo store page that is now ranked #1. It's the EXACT same page except that the currently ranked page has the Yahoo Store URL, logo at the top left of the page and Yahoo links on the top right.
What's up with that?!? Two identical pages, one (with its own domain) gets filtered from the #1 spot, and the other (yahoo domain) takes its place!(?)
Has anyone seen any occurance of this? Sticky me if you want the example.
[edited by: delsurf at 7:50 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2003]
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