| 12:41 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Useful tool for determining authority sites - put the words B*charest Ap*rtments on your site and see if it ranks :)
Only kidding ;) - please don't do this as it will mess up the guy's SERPs even more
| 1:46 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
The travel industry has been hit hard as have other competitive ones like real estate etc.
While I disagree with valeyard's assessment of Google ignoring title and H tags they do seem to be less important. The closest thing I've figured out is that you just don't want to repeat the words too many times in body text if you have them in the title tag.
By the way, my mom (who does not follow webmaster world and its obsessed webmasters and SEO stuff) commented how she couldn't find things easily anymore on Google...
Personally I believe the G has had to apply their own algo (not the PR one developed along with Stanford U.) so that when they finally do make the IPO they can say "this mess is all ours".
| 1:59 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|The closest thing I've figured out is that you just don't want to repeat the words too many times in body text if you have them in the title tag |
I hate to make another of those 'the exception proves the rule' posts. But in good english prose it is sometimes unavoidable using the same set of words frequently, and there are many examples of high ranking sites where this is done. The interesting thing about the accidental B*charest Ap*rtments 'bomb' is that Google has made no attempt to place it into the context of the page or site before giving it a high rank. It may also explain why Brett disapproves of search terms on these pages - have they produced totally off target results before?
| 2:37 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|I think that you're probably right NovaW but if they're still developing their algo then they could have tested it more before releasing it to the wild. |
They probably did. But remember, search rankings aren't averages that can be calculated from a random sample, so results in the lab may not be replicated in the real world.
|Maybe we should be looking at the big picture and asking if Google are doing the right thing by trying to "improve", "refine", "filter", call it what you like. What are they really trying to achieve? I seem to remember that part of the fun of searching for something on the Internet was the fact that you were prepared to find stuff that was not totally relevant. |
In the Web's early days, just using the Web was a novelty, and stumbling across a livecam photo of a coffee machine in a British computer lab or a Coke machine's temperature and inventory at a university in Western Australia was fun even if it was a waste of time. But the Web is no longer just a toy: It's an information resource, and people who use search tools expect to find the information they're looking for.
Also, luck and serendipity worked a lot better when the Web had 1,000 or 5,000 sites than it does today, when there are millions of Web sites and billions of Web pages. And don't forget: Back in the "good old days" of the non-commercial or newly commercial Web, search results weren't cluttered with duplicate content and other annoyances.
| 2:52 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I think I realized what may have caused my site fall from 12 months in top10 to page5. My guess is there is a new filter that is keyword specific.
The problem is - if what I suspect is the culprit - there wasn't any grand SEO manipulation intent behind it - ie - the problem with filters is filters attack a percieved problem but they don't necessarily do anything to improve the SERPS because you can't filter in relevancy based on a potential SEO "tactic" that may or may not be actually a tactic or could just be something innocent. Much better if a filter was based on filtering out useless content like affiliate sites and those search result sites (that seems to be all over Google recently).
I was searching for something related to a construction project in my garden yesterday and going thru upto page30. The google is bad yada posts on this site just spurred me to give AV a look (I use google exclusively) - so just for fun I did - I was shocked. I found relevant stuff on page1 and AV looks a lot better since I last looked at it. Will certainly continue with google because it's like 2nd nature - but maybe I will dip into AV now and again when i need to.
| 3:10 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|grand SEO manipulation intent |
The whole SEO idea needs a new spin; some better press! We know how to optimise sites, but we're also serious about what we do, and in the main honest and professional about it. I would rather look at a website designed by one of the Bretts of this world, or one of the members of this forum - because it is likely to be professionally done, and contain a lot of content. *If* an SEO filter is in place, and it is obscuring excellent sites, then Google has democratised the web to such an extent that its results are suffering. It's a bit like going to H*rley Street and complaining that all the doctors there are in the top league. What have they been up to? Have they been cheating by using their brains and working hard? ;)
* included in H*rley Street in case WW transmutates into a medical site :)
| 3:19 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|I would rather look at a website designed by one of the Bretts of this world, or one of the members of this forum - because it is likely to be professionally done, and contain a lot of content. |
I think that's a questionable assertion. SEOs are like package designers--and while package design is a useful, legitimate, and creative occupation, it takes a different set of skills to create what goes inside the box. :-)
| 3:22 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I'm weening myself off Google and onto a combination of AV and ATW. I'm thinking, why should I support a search engine that wants everything it's own way?
There will come a time when Joe Bloggs will also come to the conclusion that there is more to search than Google, especially if they keep showing such poor results.
| 3:28 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|I think that's a questionable assertion. SEOs are like package designers--and while package design is a useful, legitimate, and creative occupation, it takes a different set of skills to create what goes inside the box. :-) |
Agreed, but who's talking about mere packaging? Good professional SEO involves the whole package and its contents from ground-up, and makes for great sites - like this one. It's like writing a novel, do we ever criticise authors for producing good, quality output?
[Your post a bit picky me thinks :) ]
| 3:41 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Europeforvisitors wrote ...
<But the Web is no longer just a toy: It's an information resource, and people who use search tools expect to find the information they're looking for.>
Never has a truer word been spoke folks!
I am in the UK and while looking for some information for a friend I just did a G search for (in quotes) "jogging jokes". Now this is a pretty specific search, which was illustrated by the fact that I got only 62 results. On just two of these pages I found a couple of jokes. Of the remainder one page was in Greek and 36 of the others were German sites. The rest were irrelevant and off topic.
I am certain that the results would have been better a few months ago. They may even have been in English!
I then tried the same search on MSN Search and I got only six results. Two of these were the joke sites I found on G. What results would you prefer?
We gotta face it folks - Google IS broke!
| 3:44 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
They should let the people decide. Make the European regional SERPS an independent search engine.
People will most definitely flock there. Results are relevant compared to the mess of US Google.
| 3:50 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Atawolf, if you think Europe is better read my post above.
|The Subtle Knife|
| 3:54 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Webmaster World is now 10th For the keyword bucharest apartments
Google is clearly broken, does anyone know is this state of affairs is permanent?
It appears that if you have a large site with high page count, you automatically become an authority,
so any occurence of those words, instantly get's higher ranking?
The webmaster result for "bucharest apartments" is clearly, wrong, yes, it's got a match on those words,
but a general search around pages surrounding it, should easily show that webmasterworld, bears no relevance at all to bucharest!
The google algo is clearly flawed:
*** Does that means it's impossible to optimise a site
now to get relevant traffic? ***
Won't that just mean people will start producing sites, with zillions of junk pages, jut to see if they can?
| 3:59 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|Won't that just mean people will start producing sites, with zillions of junk pages, jut to see if they can? |
that pretty much sums up my vision of the future.
| 4:00 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
BallochBD, you use Google.co.uk right?
That regional version has been flaky from the start.
Use any other (non-english) regional Google.
If you sticky me your search term you're targetting I'm quite certain I can sticky you a screenshot of the results I'm seeing back, and your site will be there along with other relevant sites.
| 4:03 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|Won't that just mean people will start producing sites, with zillions of junk pages, just to see if they can? |
The Webmaster community could throw a large spanner in the works overnight if everyone simply included a random off-topic phrase on their pages. Such is the weakness of the new 'algo'.
[edited by: Chelsea at 4:14 pm (utc) on Feb. 2, 2004]
| 4:07 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
"Won't that just mean people will start producing sites, with zillions of junk pages"
Probably, but from what I see, google seems to be either dropping or at least limiting some of these junk pages at the same time... though it is far from complete.
| 4:10 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
"Google is clearly broken, does anyone know is this state of affairs is permanent?"
This is the most important issue. When will they fix it, if at all.
Our site is the authority on the topic in the human world. It sells nothing, just holding academic papers on the topic. Yet it has gone as of Saturday.
Searchers are now provided with a variety of deep deep pages that are not even related to the topic.
We remain #1 on every other search engine, side by side with other academic topic related sites. Google has gone from useful to useless for our topic in one day. Surely they can reverse this in a day as well?
| 4:14 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Certainly makes you sit up when the academic world is hit as well...
| 4:18 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Please Google - when I do a search in English can I please have results in English? It does not seem to matter what I search for now, the results are mixed with foreign language sites.
| 4:40 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
It's really very simple.
1) Learn to search more effectively, and
2) learn those foreign languages.
Come on, we expect much more of an effort from Google searchers these days :)
| 4:48 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Well, I for one think that since many SPAM (sites positioned above mine) are in English, Google is doing a great job by filtering English language sites from the index. You people are going to have to stop your spamming and start producing sites in Swahili along with the rest of us RESPECTABLE webmasters.
| 4:48 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Actually, I may be in the minority here, but I'd actually prefer a highly on-topic site in Spanish, German, Swedish or Czech than a very marginally on-topic site in English.
It's actually a big time saver to get all the results from google.com (as you might expect from an international TLD) rather than having to go to google.us for US pages, google.ca for Canadian pages, google.co.uk for British pages, google.de for German pages, Google.es for Spanish pages....
If Google.com becomes a genuinely international portal rather than limiting itself (generally) to english speaking pages, I couldn't be happier...
| 4:51 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
When you have 50 PhD's working on search - you can be sure that they are not going to sit on their thumbs for more than the length of time it takes to grab a coffee. Maybe too many cooks spoil the broth.
Changes that result in radical overnight changes in the SERPS is the direct result of a bunch of eggheads trying to create the ultimate steam cracking machine, but in reality they will end up just chasing their tail. Filters are nothing but an admission that the core algo can be improved. That is what the brain trust should be tweaking, not on inventing new patches.
I wonder how the business management side of Google regulates the genius farm.
| 4:52 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|I for one think that since many SPAM (sites positioned above mine) |
| 4:53 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
You have got to be joking and you most certainly will be in the minority. If you want results in Czech why not search in Czech?
| 5:02 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Does anyone here seriously believe that Google has said, "Okay, we're done" and that the SERPS we see today are the SERPs we'll see a month or two months from now?
As steveb pointed out, and as GoogleGuy confirmed, what we see now is a process. It may be messy, it may have fits and starts, but if it leads to better search results in the long run (and I think we can assume that's Google's objective), then cries of "Google is dead" or "MSN is the new Google" are as silly as they are premature.
That isn't to say that everyone here will be delighted with the results a month, two months, or a year from now. Some will gain, and some will lose. That's the way it's always been and always will be.
| 5:08 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
When did we start to assume that this was Google's objective?
This may be a PROCESS but since you raised the subject again I will answer it again (as briefly as possible). The place for development processes is in a development lab. Clients and customers should not be used as guinea pigs. Surely this is a no brainer?
| 5:13 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Processes are fine - but I think it was the economist Keynes who wrote that "in the long term, everyone is dead."
So could someone speed up this process a little :)
| 5:19 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I guess for me this whole thing isn't good, but it is what it is. I for one am changing my operating basis and diversifying.
Whether the avg. public notices anything or not only google really knows as they see their own stats, everything else is pointless speculation.
It is interesting though that this is so parallel to Altavista. I remember in 1999 seeing altavista ads on TV. They were supposed to do an IPO in 2000 around march or april if I remember correctly.
At around the same time they declared war on "spammers"
which simply upset a lot of small business people who relied on them for advertising ableit free. they emplyoed seo's to help them with this.
So basically the public most intimately involved with Altavista, the seo's and the people that employed them weren't very happy. I'm sure this was commmunicated to their less knowledgeable peers then as I find myself now voicing my frustration to friends and aquaintences at times during normal conversation.
They in turn at least become aware that something is happening and at the very least are curious to see if the results are in fact not as good at they used to be.
Whether what happended to Altavista happens to google remains to be seen. If Microsoft was ready to release their new SE and it was actually a real product not some crap, it would be interesting to watch.
| 5:23 pm on Feb 2, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Overnight there were some definite updates to the Google index. I have a newer site that had a number of pages added, although PageRank is not updated. Also, another established site that moved from page 1 to page 13 in the SERPs for the main key phrase, is now on page 9 (after some deoptimization last week).
Still, "authority" sites that link out to dozens of other sites are dominating the SERPs. This includes one-page sites with very little content. Also, some spammy sites are filtering back in to certain SERPs.
While I approve of Google making good-faith efforts to get rid of the spammy sites, I agree that there has to be a better way to identify them. I hate this optimization penalty idea, or the fact that sites that don't provide directories of links to external sites are pushed down to the bottom. My sites need to use certain 2 word key phrases repeatedly... they are almost impossible to avoid.
There has got to be a better way to give a score to the quality of unique content on a page. This whole idea of backlinks and PageRank being a spam-proof way of identifying the quality and relevance of a page is nonsense these days... thanks to thousands of spammy webmasters who work on generating top results as a full-time job. What about the quality of the content on the page?
Just a thought... but what if you could raise the quality score of a page every time someone added it to their bookmarks? Now THAT would be a great scoring algorithm! Of course, you would have to be Microsoft or AOL (Netscape) to do this... or have a toolbar installed.
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