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Post Florida Tweaking
Have you changed your home page?

 9:07 pm on Dec 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anybody deoptimized their home page and seen no impact on ranking since the Florida update?

If you have seen no impact, how many times do the keywords remain in page title, outgoing links and body text from your home page?



 11:43 pm on Dec 26, 2003 (gmt 0)


Actually, I touched nothing on a site and it came back from 1000+ for two important phrases to #17-#20 across all DC's except IN where it is #7.

For another phrase is came back from 1000+ to just under #40 across all DC's.

Nothing has changed on the site at all except more dynamic content was created via a forum.

The index page is the same now as it was when it was beyond the first 1,000 results.

That site also lost 3 links.

It is the only company site in the industry to come out from the death blow on a couple important phrases...

I think unless one has a LOT of sites to be able to really compare data- it is impossible to know if it was something one did on-page or simply something Google did...or a little of both to move around a site.

Had I tweaked a few things I probably would have correlated the rise in SERP's to those changes...but that would have been wrong. ;)



 11:48 pm on Dec 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing -in as the serps now. More competitors disappeared.
I'm around the same. I think I'm going to have to wait for a deep crawl before seeing any meaningful change in my positions.
I have tweaked the page considerably, largely ensuring that I had nothing that looked like kw stuffing, and making the internal pages more unique from one another.


 2:17 am on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

I deoptimized by reducing main keyword phrase from 15 to about 10 instances. Due to the nature of the keywords in the subject it is hard to reduce much more. My site rose from 550 to 300. The best I have been able to do with the main keyword phrase is 140 and that's reducing the keyword phrase to two instances. But then I didn't even know what I was talking about.

Actually I an about to go back to the original index because I'm tired of playing Google's games. By reducing my main two keyword phrases the three word phrases are loosing rank. In about a month I'm going to have to concede I can't break the algo and I'm out of business. I don't even have to check for orders anymore. They're not there.


 2:31 am on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yep Googles games are hurting a lot of people, one of my sites had just over 250,000 banner exposures in October, this month I have less than 8000.

The trend is seen on several of my sites - its not going to put me out of biz, but its making a big impact on my ROI!


 2:51 am on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

The domain I recently took over for had 2 index pages on doorway domains, I removed them and de-optimized the homepage, and the next day we were back at #5 from oblivion. The new page wasn't in the cache, so it had to be either random timing or changing those pages to 301s. I would guess that we would have got our serp rank back had I done nothing.


 3:05 am on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

My problem is for keyword 1 keyword 2 and keyword 3 that I optimize my site for I have 1 keyword sitting at 35th and has never moved no matter what I do. The other two was 9th and 17th are no longer on the planet. But keywords that I didnt optimize for im 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th for 3 phrase keywords.

Go figure!


 3:13 am on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)


I had keyword 1 on my site 22 times in text (content) and tags ect. and keyword 2 17 times i have reduced keyword 1 down to 10 and keyword 2 down to 7 . I was crawled the 23rd 24th and 25th with no change in the serps.

What to do?



 5:22 am on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

After Florida i added more content to my site.

www-in results have finally propogated to all Datacenters, even in www.

Goods news anybody?


 7:24 am on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

my site returned from the depths. #1->#350->#8. It has returned farther than all other competitors. I have made many changes just as before the update. I don't think any of the changes are responsible for the return. Once the site returned I have seen the typical movements one would expect associated with title changes. I have made significant structural, navigational, and contentual(?) changes but they shouldn't be completely absorbed yet.


 7:29 am on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)


Site is now #5 or better across all DC's for KW1 + KW2 out of about 5,380,000 results!

...and #3 across all DC's for KW1 + KW2 + KW3

Better still, is the fact that most companies are still no longer within the Top 20 listings.

I did the hardest thing of all in SEO...nothing. :)

Hope it lasts a little while. Even one month would be nice.

Only thing that has changed is that the site lost 3 links.

From the pits of 1,000+ it's back and I have print screens to smile over...for now.

Hope others made a come back as well.



 9:17 am on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am again noticing -in and www to be different!
www seems showing loads of crap again, thats NOT there on -in!.

edit- the spelling was edited


 1:10 pm on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have been seeing my site yoyo in the last 3-5 days like you wouldn't believe....it's not in oblivion now only on 10th page that is 1000% better than the last update and traffic is up a massive 0% from last update.

Infact I am so p*** with what has been happening in the last few months with Google I have decided to change everything myself.

Before Florida I did not want to touch a thing, now the rankings are so bad for me I have decided to test with a new site. In a minute of madness I decided to crank up all keywords in all areas of my site, I have my phrases contained in css files and ext. java scripts as well as everywhere else I could fit it.

Im ramming it up to the max, I just wanted to see the impact on Google -- To my suprise I have started to see it climb again, waiting eagerly in suspense....thought I would move the opposite way.


 6:33 pm on Dec 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, I was just curious. I tweaked one site - removed a load of keywords (target phrase is only on the page 5 times now) and replaced them with synonyms and we rocketed back 10 or so days after Florida. But so did a lot of other people, so I wasn't sure if the tweaking was responsible.

I also have 2 other sites which I did NOT touch and which have not come back. Hence this post. For me tweaking has a 100% success rate. But it's only one out of one.

What I was really trying to find out is if someone made drastic reductions in keywords on their index page and saw no result at all.

So far only one post above indicates that to be the case.


 4:50 pm on Dec 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

My site was one of the lucky ones to stay around after Florida. I remained #1 for a 3 word phrase, but for my 2KW money words I dropped from the top 10 to around 15-20.
So I dropped my KW density down below 5%(includeing title,discription,and alt's)and added synonyms. My site has gradually been going downhill ever since. The only thing that has stayed stable is my 3 word phrase which has many inbound links with that phase attached.
Yesterday, I went back to my old version and will now have to wait for G to update my changes. I'll let you know how it turns out.


 5:43 pm on Dec 28, 2003 (gmt 0)


Did you tweak the whole site or simply the index page?
How long after Florida did you do so and how quickly did you get results?

I have made a few changes to a site of mine, but nothing in terms of reducing "keyphrases" but it's too early to tell how Google has viewed them.

I have a situation where there is a 2-word keyphrase (that is very rarely separated but can be) and my country.
Previously I held the number 2 spot for about a year until florida for the search "kw1-kw2-kw3" but now am not in the top 1000 results. A search for "kw1 kw3" or "kw2 kw3" brings me right back to the top. The minute you add the 3rd kw then I'm back out in Siberia.

To me this is proof enough of a filter of some sort.
Has anyone else experienced something similar?


 9:51 pm on Dec 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks Otnot. Looking forward to the results.

Bobby - I changed only the index page. I think the page came back right after it had been crawled. I guess 2 or 3 days later. But this was at the time everyone's sites came back, so that meant very little.

Admittedly this site which returned was the least punished of our punished sites. The ones I have not yet touched can't be found at all in the SERPs for their target keywords.

My plan is to try two things on these sites if they don't come back after the next update, or at least the next quasi-update:

1) Rewrite them to static (they are dynamic). I have noticed very few true dynamic sites in the serps since Florida
2) Rewrite the home page using Google Sets as an aide to try to find what Google considers relevant related keyphrases.

If this doesn't work I will probably ditch the sites and URLs and rewrite them along the directory structure Claus/Brett are proposing. But that would be a pretty desperate move because the sites is in 5+ languages and would need to be retranslated. Hopefully it won't come to that.


 1:17 am on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)


Here's an interesting idea if all else fails, check out Harwich's post in this thread:
[webmasterworld.com ]

I think it would be useful to expand a bit and sort of develop more into "directory" type of sites, but I am not convinced that Google is necessarily rewarding these structures nor themed sites.

I think the basic problem is in what Google interprets as spam and therefore penalizes.
Whether or not a site or linked sites actually IS spam is another question.

Do you happen to have a number of cross-linked sites sharing similar IP addresses by any chance?


 2:03 am on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think it would be useful to expand a bit and sort of develop more into "directory" type of sites, but I am not convinced that Google is necessarily rewarding these structures nor themed sites.

Hmmm... it's all speculation really, isn't it?

I had a very popular directory page on my site which brought in about a fifth of the traffic on my site (no, I know it's not clever, but the page was an authoritative resource on a popular topic).

Despite the fact that the page was about 15 screens high and 106kB, I didn't want to split the directory, because it was, I felt, more useful to visitors to have a single uniform resource.

Anyway, it bombed, I waited, it didn't come back, I waited it still didn't come back.

So now, I've split the directory into three pages, restructured the pages with CSS, so that all the content is at the top of the code and the advertising and navlinks (actually towards the top of the screen) are all at the bottom of the code and I've added a four hundred word article to the top of each page describing the latest developments in the field on which the directory focuses.

Unfortunately, this means more maintenance, since I will now have to update the articles regularly (although in practice this means nothing more than writing down the results of the research that I have to do for the directory anyway)... and I'm not convinced that splitting the directory across three pages is better for my human users (who are my primary concern... I don't want more people to find the pages if a lesser percentage find them useful enough come back later).

As for what Google and other search engines will make of it, I have no idea. I'm still trying to convince myself that it was the right thing to do... somehow it feels like a year's work down the drain and starting from scratch.


 2:59 am on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, Bobby, have seen something similar.

Just a guess - were all of those three keywords in your title?


 9:01 am on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

were all of those three keywords in your title

You bet they were aspdesigner! AND They all happen to be in the domain name too.

I'll leave speculation of domain name hyphenated keywords to that thread ([webmasterworld.com ]) but couple it with a few H1 tags and kw density issues and I'd say we're looking at a filter here.

Just a thought on the IP cross-linking, and maybe you or another programmer could enlighten us as to the feasibility of such an algorithm: would it be a complicated issue for Google to analyze domains sharing similar IP addresses like abc.def.gh.jk1 and abc.def.gh.jk2 for cross-linking in order to reduce PR benefits?

note: I still love Google, no other search engine checks my spelling so quickly! Ex: Did you mean feasibility?


 10:04 am on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

DAMN, I' a good guesser! LOL

To answer your question, there was some talk quite a while ago that Google might be reducing the benefit for links within the same class C address block (i.e. - x.y.z.0 - x.y.z.255), however, the prevailing thought at the time was that if this had any effect at all, it was not affecting PR.

The other issue was the possibility that this could play into auto link farm detection (having numerous cross-linked sites all on the same or nearby IPs was a popular spam "trick" at the time), which could result in the dreaded PR0 penalty.

It was these concerns that led some to recommend spreading cross-linked sites across substantially different IPs, when possible.


 11:22 am on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just checked all my IPs and name servers and there's no connection between IP and site penalty. If anything it's the reverse. My untouched sites are on the same class C and have the same name servers.

Some banned sites have keywords in URL, but those sites have also been chopped for other keyword combinations.

My only theme common to all penalized sites is that they all went dynamic in the summer. This could be significant because Google is slow to allocate pagerank to dynamic pages and there was talk of SiteRank after Florida. If the dynamic pages were all still zero, this would give a very low site rank. That's why I was thinking of rewriting all my sites to static html.


 11:37 am on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

the directory structure Claus/Brett are proposing.

Any pointers? Have I missed something during X-mas? :)


 12:04 pm on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sly, I would agree that IP does not appear to play a role in the Florida penalty, at least from what I've seen so far.

Was just giving Bobby an answer to his "is this programmically possible" question by way of a history lesson.

Sly, the effect seems dependent on what search phrase is used, the same page may do well on one search, but be penalized on another.

P.S. - The sites where we are seeing this penalty for us happen to be on static pages, so I don't think that's the cause of the problem, although I would agree on the increased difficulty in getting dynamic pages indexed properly, even though Google is better at this than most SEs.


 12:19 pm on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

My site was #5 pre-florida then 1000+, and back into the top 5 about 2 weeks ago. I awoke this morning to find it #1 for the first time ever with 5.2 million results. :)

I did some small tweaking:

1. Removed Header tags
2. Removed reciprocal links to sites with multiple domains/identicle sites/bad neighborhoods
3. Added more descriptive content/descriptive keywords
4. Used Bold to make certain keywords stand out.
5. Basically made it easier to read (less Search engine talk and more people talk)

That's it. Hope this helps and I prey my position stays where it is for a little while anyways. Happy Holidays everybody.


 1:08 pm on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. Removed Header tags
2. Removed reciprocal links to sites with multiple domains/identicle sites/bad neighborhoods
3. Added more descriptive content/descriptive keywords
4. Used Bold to make certain keywords stand out.
5. Basically made it easier to read (less Search engine talk and more people talk)

Hi VB,

Was this just on the index page or on all pages in the site?

The descriptive content interests me. Did this strengthen the topic towards the meaning of one of the two keywords that you are targetting at the expense of the other one.

Surely Google wouldn't be so stupid as to penalise or disregard <h> tagged text would they/it?

Best wishes



 1:50 pm on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Sid,

We pretty much only tweaked our homepage. Our entire site is about 1 subject/product and the homepage is one of the most important aspects of our site. We target a 3 keyword phrase and from what I have found from Florida is that this phrase could have multiple meanings.

I added more descriptive phrases to help describe what type of K1K2K3 we offer.

The header we had pre-florida was just repetitive and actually took away from the flow of the page. Since our site is about a product, the marketing aspect and appearance of it is very important. I wanted to make sure end user knew exactly what the site was about when they got to the site. We were already doing a good job of this and the Header tags just being repetitive.

I'll be happy to sticky you the URL and keywords if you want to take a look.

Keep in mind that we have a lot of content about our product on the site though. We believe that the end user should be able to answer any question they have about the product from our site and find it easily. It helps pre-qualify the customer.

If I was going to pinpoint one thing we did that made the biggest impact in regards to Google, it would be the reciprocal links. After fixing this, we were back in a matter of days. Although I cannot be 100% sure it wasn't a combination of everything.


 1:57 pm on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

the homepage is one of the most important aspects of our site

Maybe this is the problem, perhaps inner pages should take the weight? I'm thinking of much earlier posts on themes.


 2:09 pm on Dec 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

As in a previous post. I decided to load anchor text to see if I could negatively impact my site...

[webmasterworld.com ]

So far I have gone from #20 to #18 for my main 2 word money phrase, so go figure. This search generates results of about 1,320,000.

My domain name has one of my kw's in it with no hyphens. The site is also in frames. My last deep crawl was over the weekend.

I am popping up #1 for various 3 kw phrases, unfortunately, the drop from #1 (pre-Florida update) to #18 for the 2 kw phrase has dropped traffic to my site by 80%.

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