Hi Essex_boy, I'm in the UK too, the results in my sector look really terrible this morning. Relevance has slipped even further. When you look at the quality of the Austin SERPs, the mess the directory is in, and the confusion around country specific searches, it does make you wonder if all is well at Google. Is this why they've delayed the float?
I think it is becoming more obvious all the time that this is the reason for the delayed flotation (UK speak for IPO). Surely there must be several Google people having sleepless nights about this?
Google is broke! My results have now completely disappeared for my site this week and I am nowhere to be found. My inquiries are now down by about 95% and this is on an authority site which is only marginally commercial.
They have stopped spidering my site and my PR has dropped from 5 to 3. I am in despair. My business will probably now fail because I don't have resources or cash to use any other methods of marketing.
I am self employed (also in the UK) and I have just about had it. I do all my own web site work and I have spent literally weeks since November trying desperately to counteract the whims of the good folk at Google. This cannot be happening. Tell me it cannot be right - can it?
Why can't it happen? Do you honestly think Google cares about you or anyone else?
If you cannot afford any other marketing besides just free search traffic, your business model is already in trouble.
The bot is only spidering 2 of my pages now.
I'm wondering if it's even worth chasing Google anymore. Allintext and allinanchor gives my site no 1 in serps and half of the local DC's show a 1 or 2 But www's always position it 180 to 190.
The question is, do I (de)optimise for G and lose the good rankings with all the other engines or risk it and chase a dream.
I'm thinking of disallowing Googlebot from the site and pointing it to a rather trimmed down duplicate.
Good point about the floatation delay - I did wonder why but had no real reason to imagine the algo was the reason. It really does make sense.
The whole situation is daft in the extreme - 'Oh look we have a highly successful search engine lets see what we can do to upset the users'.
Why fiddle with something that works and works dam well?
So what now?
Do I continue to build pages in the (vain) hope the missing ones will return and new ones will also be spidered? Or do I drop the whole thing and forget about about the months of work preparing suppliers etc etc etc
hahaha this is so funny....
For "state + 2 keyword" one site as the top 350 places yep 350.....
So if you search any state + 2 keywords for any state you have to go 351 for another site.
Dupe content filters aren't working imho, and sub domains are ranking.
Add directory listings and Amazon, eBay etc etc I can't find anything I I'm LOOKING for..........
Waaahaaa! I think Google has some serious problems that need addressing - In some respects Its pleasing in as much as my site being dropped probably isnt down to me.
Googleguy - cmon mate lets us know if theres a problem (some hopes) - or even a roll back of filters....
|In some respects Its pleasing in as much as my site being dropped probably isnt down to me. |
Of course it's not down to us - although it has been a clever strategy to hint that over-optimization etc. is the cause - it's a complete red herring when you look at the SERPs. But it's got us all blaming ourselves and not the obvious shortcomings of Google since mid-November. I've made a number of site changes in response to Florida and recently Austin, but I haven't 'de-optimised' it in any way.
By the way, over-optimization is a non sequitur, if something is optimised, it can't go any further!
|Why can't it happen? Do you honestly think Google cares about you or anyone else? |
If you cannot afford any other marketing besides just free search traffic, your business model is already in trouble.
|Read the TOS JuniorOptimizer, you're not in a position to comment on other members' business models |
Yeah JuniorOptimizer please pull up your socks
|Google isn't handling 301 re-directs well at the moment. It just drops the pages. |
Perhaps just wait for the stacked 301 [webmasterworld.com] to be crawled
I'm thinking Chelsea is making a making a good point. We are scratching our heads thinking it's us. We are thinking that we need to adapt to Googles new update, but in reality, if google has a serious problem then we are chasing a ghost.
BallochBD I think hit the nail on the head when he said "Google is broke", referring to the search. This seems very apparent because most theories about this algo and the shift in the SERPs don't hold true, someone is able to poke holes in it. Plus you have people that have followed G guidelines or people who have followed Brett's Twelve Rules absolutely screaming because their site has disappeared. If the basic webmaster that doesn't use alot of trickery is having serious problems then you got a serious problem. How many website owners seriously spend every awaking moment SEOing. Not a huge percentage. On the other hand you have people using some really tricky SEO methods and those aren't working either.
As for my own industry sector. For my 15 keyword I watch, nothing has changed in the last month. The top 10 have stayed so constant that I'm feeling like the SERP I'm seeing might be static.
Bottom line and probably the reason for the IPO waffling. I think Google's search is broke, I think what ever happened, happened last summer. Florida was an attempt to fix it, but it didn't really work and actually made it more apparent that there was a problem. Austin was another attempt to finally fix it once and for all and it didn't work either, now they problem became even more apparent. Naturally, we are all getting frustrated and of course Google is probably really getting frustrated.
I'm sure it doesn't help them that they are trying to fix what is broke and we are trying to react to the illogical changes and so the data is changing so fast that they can't even keep up. Can't blame us though, afterall, we wouldn't be trying so hard to adapt if someone at google would just come forward and ask us to "hold on a minute". However that isn't going to happen when your trying to cash in and get the most out of your google stock. You certainly are not going to publically imply or say you have a problem.
<If you cannot afford any other marketing besides just free search traffic, your business model is already in trouble.>
What kind of a smart a$$ed comment is that? When you don't know what you are talking about you should hold your tongue. Here's a little history for you. I lost my job in 2001 and at my age and in my part of the world, experience and qualifications mean nothing. The only option open to me is self-employement and I was gradually building up a business that would soon perhaps have allowed me to start looking at additional methods of marketing. Business Model? Harrumph!
At one time Google provided people like me a with a means of competing against the big guys and possibly even to create wealth, work and employment for others (if we were successful enough). With time we could also perhaps get to the stage where we were earning enough to purchase Adwords and use other marketing and "Business models".
Perhaps I am feeling sorry for myself and I am sorry to go on a rant about this but this is extremely serious business. We are talking about the loss of my main source of income here. If am not earning I cannot consider any alternative business models. Not funny!
'Bottom line and probably the reason for the IPO waffling. I think Google's search is broke, I think what ever happened, happened last summer.'
- Yes I agree I think the problem arose around the May 2003 update, explains why there were NO updates for nearly 6 months.
Its now an 8 month long problem, just what could it be that takes this long to iron out?
"I think Google's search is broke"
This is becoming more obvious lately IMHO. I've recently been hearing from (non-technical) friends that Google is becoming 'hard work' lately. They've all said that it takes more searching/refining than it used to to get what you want. I wonder how many people are noticing a difference outside of webmaster circles?
My main website hasn't really been affected by these updates so I'm counting myself very lucky. I think the next 6 months will be crucial for Google.
> I think Google's search is broke
You can use Altavista, AllTheWeb or Teoma. It is your choice. No offence, it is Google choice to serve whatever SERPs they want. And if it is really broken, they take the consequenses, not you. :)
[edited by: AthlonInside at 3:03 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2004]
>Also, there were a few news reports about a problem with Google's SERPs: when school kids made homework about human sexuality and used Google to obtain information, Google's results contained pornographic Web sites among valid clinical results.
Google is an index, not a directory. Given that porn is about human sexuality, clinical sites and porn sites likely will match the same search terms. It is when porn sites pop up on searches for identifying rocks that it would seem a problem.
[edited by: rfgdxm1 at 3:06 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2004]
Something certainly happened over night. In the category I watch most, four new sites just joined the top 20, and their presence could only be explained by stemming (or so it seems).
The category I watch has nothing to do with sports, but given what day it is here in the U.S., here's a sports analogy: If the category I watch was "football" (again, it's not), then the newly appearing sites would be highly relevant for searches on ... "baseball."
Think I'll start drinking beers early today. :-)
(Mods, sorry; I couldn't make the example work with "widgets".)
In every thread I read on this forum theres someone suggesting that webmasters dont have the right to appear in the serps if they have a commercial website or if they dont want to pay up to adwords and this attitude is sickening.
How does it help anyone to suggest to them that if they cant or dont want to pay ppc they should just give up? If every company in the real world that operated on tight profit margins were to follow this advice there wouldnt be much choice. The attitude that commercial sites and/or affiliate sites have no right to be in the serps is a myth. Though it may be hard for some here to belive, consumers do actually use google too.
Where are the mom and pop sites? Do you really want a web thats dull and strictly controlled by the elite just like television?
|And if it is really broken, they take the consequenses, not you. :) |
I'm not entirely sure about that :q
|... we wouldn't be trying so hard to adapt if someone at google would just come forward and ask us to "hold on a minute". However that isn't going to happen when your trying to cash in and get the most out of your google stock. You certainly are not going to publically imply or say you have a problem. |
I think you're right - I also think it's very short term thinking by Google.
Whether Google broke last summer or last weekend, everyone can see it's broken now. Not just us, real people as well.
Yet Google refuse to say anything for fear of bad publicity. In doing so they generate far more more bad publicity and ill-feeling in the long term.
If I was Google's accountant I'd be writing off goodwill on a daily basis until they either fix the SERPs or make a public announcement.
Sure Google can serve any results it wants.
Like people can use any search engine they want.
However google is broken, people rely on Google to get it right and serve accurate results - Inaccurate (muddled) results = firms go bust. Simple really.
I and many others can see NO reason for the incredible results that we are seeing it makes no sense. Therefore its broken its not a new surfer 'feature' its as dead as a parrot. This will hurt Google, visitor numbers drop, credibility drops along with my sanity too.
The results as I see it have been falling down since May 2003 and its still not fixed, this to me starts to show major league incompetance and maybe even negligence.
How many people have lost their jobs because of this? had to close online ecomm sites? We are not complaining for the sake of it - We have so much at sake.
|Inaccurate (muddled) results = firms go bust |
More and more non-techies are asking me for alternatives to google... They want the google they had a year ago, but you won't find that anywhere :-(
I don't know MSN is putting up some pretty good results for me right now, I can't believe I'm going to MSN and searching now!
Google what have you done ;0(
MSN! Yes I found the great satan was a useful as well.
How I dislike micro$oft... Might have to eat my hat.
Goodbye google, it was fun.
My referrals from MSN have doubled since early November. People are switching. I expect that to pace to increase.
|In every thread I read on this forum theres someone suggesting that webmasters dont have the right to appear in the serps if they have a commercial website or if they dont want to pay up to adwords and this attitude is sickening. |
I think you're misrepresenting what others have said. I don't believe anyone has said that commercial sites shouldn't be in the Google index; that's up to Google. But nobody has a "right" to appear in the SERPs; those SERPs belong to Google, and Google has the right to decide what should be listed and how the listings should be ranked.
I personally believe that we'll see more segregation of information and commercial listings in the future, if only because the main index has become too huge and unwieldy for the current everything-in-one-pot approach. If that happens, it won't necessarily be a bad thing for commercial sites, because users who are looking to buy things (an opposed to reading about things) won't be distracted by information listings when they do a commercial search.
I also believe we'll see an end to the duplicate pages that clutter today's SERPs--or at least to high rankings for such pages. Does the user, Google, or the Web as an institution benefit from having the same ad/promo copy for Morton AntiVirus or the Hotel Whatsit listed in the SERPs at 500 or 1,000 different URLs? In a recent post on this forum, a WW member drew attention to a new Google patent (from December, 2003) for a method of identifying duplicate and near-duplicate content. That's something that every Webmaster with vendor-supplied page content should regard as a warning sign.
|How does it help anyone to suggest to them that if they cant or dont want to pay ppc they should just give up? |
You don't have to give up. But if, for example, you've got an affiliate site that uses boilerplate pages supplied by a vendor, and if Google becomes more aggresive in purging duplicate content from its index to better serve the user, then you've got to stop thinking in terms of business as usual. You can buy PPC ads, or you can add real content that provides value to the user. Remember, Google's stated corporate mission is to "organize the Web's information." If you can provide users with real information in a format that isn't duplicated on a thousand other pages, you'll have a better chance of doing well in Google.
|If every company in the real world that operated on tight profit margins were to follow this advice there wouldnt be much choice. |
You're on slippery ground when you make comparisons with the "real world." In the real world, the media and the Yellow Pages don't provide free ads. :-)
|Where are the mom and pop sites? Do you really want a web thats dull and strictly controlled by the elite just like television? |
Mom-and-pop sites continue to do well in Google. The idea that Google's SERPs are being taken over by large corporate interests is a myth propagated by those who can't understand why a search on "Widgetco digital cameras" shouldn't have Widgetco Inc. in the #1 position instead of the affiliate page that was there before.
My question is once you are bumped by Florida or Austin, how do you get back on? I didn't have any spam in my sites, but perhaps I did use my keywords excessively. I redid my front page in plain English and Googlebot has scanned the page, but I am still not back on for my keywords. Is this a permanant ban by keywords?
By the way, my friend who is not a webmaster told me yesterday has switched to vivismo - not using google anymore.
> My referrals from MSN have doubled since early November. People are switching. I expect that to pace to increase.
MSN has dropped look smart and now inktomi appear in the SERPs so you got higher listing from that.
At the time you are upset because you think Google is broken (BRoKeN due to your listing gone), there are same amount of people who are happy because Google is 'NO Longer Broken' (Not BroKEN because their sites replace your position).
I've now become an "authority" for about a 50% increase of randomly placed keywords throughout my webpage. Unfortunately, people are not looking for these keyword combinations. Yes, I sell a product, but am also an authority on my product with dozens of clean, content rich, easily navigated pages. Users used to happily navigate throughout my site. Now, about 90% of these "new" hits are wondering what this webpage has to do with their search and are gone before the page can load.
Here's the bad part. These "new" hits have replaced anybody searching for my product. Search for "myproduct/any term", and I'm MIA. Gone, zip, nada....If you've got nothing but time on your hands, you'll find my page about page 30.
The good part is my traffic hasn't hardly been affected. The bad part is that half these hits now have NOTHING to do about my site, and anybody searching for my topic or product are sent to directories, spam redirects, or opinion sites from people who don't know what they're talking about when it comes to my product.
Out of the 5-6 main, well built, content rich sites that generally bounce around on page one of the SERPs, only 1 survived. Guess what? This is the ONLY site that doesn't advertise on Adwords. Co-incidence? You tell me.....
I've had about a 400% increase on users searching for me by domain name, as they can no longer find me by typing in the product.
And yes, my evil M$N traffic has doubled and just about all other search engine traffic has increased.
Better check under the hood Google. The clocks ticking....
>I can't believe I'm going to MSN and searching now!
I was at a board meeting held at a well known university a few days ago.
I fired up the laptop and connected to the network and ... WHAM ... my default home page was changed from google.com to msn.com.
I asked the IT folks "what the heck?"
"It was a recent policy decision."
Quotations, I think we'll be seeing more of this activity. There seems to be a growing tide of anti-Google sentiment spreading fast. Could they have forgotten the way AV went down?
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