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Update Brandy Part 3

 7:41 pm on Feb 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Continued From: [webmasterworld.com...]

"Any clue as to the possible role greater reliance on semantics is playing in your never ending quest for more relevant results?"

I'd say that's inevitable over time. The goal of a good search engine should be both to understand what a document is really about, and to understand (from a very short query) what a user really wants. And then match those things as well as possible. :) Better semantic understanding helps with both those prerequisites and makes the matching easier.

So a good example is stemming. Stemming is basically SEO-neutral, because spammers can create doorway pages with word variants almost as easily as they can to optimize for a single phrase (maybe it's a bit harder to fake realistic doorways now, come to think of it). But webmasters who never think about search engines don't bother to include word variants--they just write whatever natural text they would normally write. Stemming allows us to pull in more good documents that are near-matches. The example I like is [cert advisory]. We can give more weight to www.cert.org/advisories/ because the page has both "advisory" and "advisories" on the page, and "advisories" in the url. Standard stemming isn't necessarily a win for quality, so we took a while and found a way to do it better.

So yes, I think semantics and document/query understanding will be more important in the future. pavlin, I hope that partly answers the second of the two questions that you posted way up near the start of this thread. If not, please ask it again in case I didn't understand it correctly the first time. :)



 5:27 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>If so, are the phrases that are downgraded more important from a search volume standpoint?

Chicago, from looking at just one site as an example, phrase one - which is far more competitive - has many pages mentioning it prominently and is doing fine. Phrase two, however, is barely mentioned outside of one or two pages and and is doing poorly. Same optimization just about, the difference is in the amount of text on the pages and therefore the KWD - and the number of pages on the site for one or the other.

Inktomi loves the interior page about phrase two and likes the interior page for phrase one but does not care much for phrase one at all for the homepage - exactly the opposite of Google. Ink is looking at on-page factors, and I truly believe (gut level, nothing empirically provable) that if there were more pages on that site for phrase two it would do better with Google.

Both those phrases are the some for the second word - it's the first word that's the modifier. It's the second word that's really the important one.

I can grasp the concept with individual words, but I've been trying to wrap my head around the concept of IDF when it comes to phrases.

[edited by: Marcia at 5:30 am (utc) on Feb. 17, 2004]


 6:43 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google SERPS just went completely bezerk! This cannot be right... what the heck is going on? Within the last 10 minutes results have turned completely on their head!


 6:45 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google SERPS just went completely bezerk! This cannot be right... what the heck is going on? Withing the last 10 minutes results have turned comptetely on their head!

You beat me to it, 'mytown widget' search was showing me very nicely placed. Now I am unable to locate my site at all.

[added]Can now find a deep listing for my site for this search on page 13, main index page is not in the SERPS at all and the keywords are very relevant to that page[/added]


 6:53 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Google SERPS just went completely bezerk!"

Absolutely agree. This is just impossible to describe if you aren't seeing. Sites being totally lost one second, ranking forst the next dropping forty spots, rising to second, dropping to 400th... I kid you not.

This would be on www, www2 and www3... 64 is steady.


 7:00 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

NeverHome, didn't you hear?
Google has decided to show their SERPS upside down, to fool some webmasters. Funny eh?

Seriuos Observation:
It seems as if inbound links from pages of the same domain count much more than before. I have a website with a menu showing on every site pointing to some subdomains. One of the menu entries is a quiet competitive search term but the site it points to was never optimised in anyway. Not the keyword in the title, only one time on the page. Now this sundomain ranks pretty high for the anchortext used in the menu although it has zero links from other domains. The page is pretty relevant for the keyword so that is not the problem, I was just wondering how come this site beats all those highly optimized sites for this keyword.


 7:04 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am in Sydney Australia, and www,www2,www3 and 64* all appear stable here. The 64* serps are the only ones reflecting the full Brandy changes.

Where are the people who are reporting the jumping around of the serps situated?


 7:07 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, I think what we see here is what Googleguy promised. Curently I am seeing 64 results on www2 and www3. The next minute is 216 results. So I think 64 has started to roll out to the other datacenters.
But indeed I saw some results I have never seen before, but they looked good to me , too. No need to worry for me.


 7:11 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Where are the people who are reporting the jumping around of the serps situated?

West coast USA.

IP addresses: 216.239.57.x


 7:22 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is genuinely fascinating. -cw seems to remove 10 to 15 different sites from the top 50 every few minutes, tossing them down hundreds of spots, then doing it with some other group of sites.


 7:23 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, the 64* and the other data centre serps for my area of interest, the money phrase searches, are still consisently different. Even though I am in Australia, how is that possible?


 7:24 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

What is so astonishing about it? GG said the 64 results will move to the other dcs?

These are very different results to the 64 results


 7:25 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

It'll change it thirty seconds (hopefully...), but right this second I'm looking at the worst search results I've ever seen.


 7:28 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

It'll change it thirty seconds (hopefully...),

I am seeing very steady results with my site nowhere to be seen (except for in the 64. listings)

I have even done an 'ipconfig /flushdns' many times and still get the same results from every ip address that resolves to www.


 7:29 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

>What is so astonishing about it?

You have to see it to believe it. Was there an earthquake in Mountain View? Or maybe a Y! mole at the 'plex who sabatoged the index just as Y! rolls out INK. This stuff is garbage and makes Florida and Austin look good.


 7:30 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't believe I've ever seen this..

"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:14:48:39 -0700] "GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.0" 200 25 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:14:48:39 -0700] "GET /bottom_widgets.html HTTP/1.0" 200 13148 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:15:15:28 -0700] "GET /mmobile_widgets.html HTTP/1.0" 200 12431 "-"


"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:15:25:28 -0700] "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 11178 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:16:09:54 -0700] "GET /about_widgets.html HTTP/1.0" 200 15562 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:16:26:34 -0700] "GET /stringed_widgets.html HTTP/1.0" 200 12809 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:16:29:25 -0700] "GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.0" 200 25 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:16:29:25 -0700] "GET /contact_widgets.html HTTP/1.0" 200 9892 "-"


"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:18:11:42 -0700] "GET /top_widgets.html HTTP/1.0" 200 13044 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:18:11:46 -0700] "GET /widget_accessories.html HTTP/1.0" 200 8905 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:18:53:56 -0700] "GET /differentwidget.httml HTTP/1.0" 200 23414 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:19:26:46 -0700] "GET /attaching_widgets.html HTTP/1.0" 200 11341 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:19:54:34 -0700] "GET /connecting_widgets.html HTTP/1.0" 200 1330 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:20:13:04 -0700] "GET /widget2.html HTTP/1.0" 200 10785 "-"


"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:20:48:18 -0700] "GET /widget7.html HTTP/1.0" 200 11649 "-"


"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:20:48:24 -0700] "GET /widget4.html HTTP/1.0" 200 9249 "-"


"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:21:26:46 -0700] "GET /single_widget.html HTTP/1.0" 200 23376 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:21:26:47 -0700] "GET /widget_convertible.html HTTP/1.0" 200 15877 "-"
"Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)" - - [15/Feb/2004:22:37:47 -0700] "GET /widget_Moving_brochure.pdf HTTP/1.0" 200 60358 "-"


I double-checked the IP addresses; they're all genuine.
Is this part of the Brandy update, w/ multiple 64.****.xx.xx
based Gbot's visiting-&-revisiting..?

o []

[edited by: a_chameleon at 7:42 am (utc) on Feb. 17, 2004]


 7:30 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

The www results I see just flicked back to something resembling normalcy, and with fresh listings dated 15 Feb.

[edited by: NeverHome at 7:33 am (utc) on Feb. 17, 2004]


 7:30 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wild guess, this may be a rare opportunity to see sites ranked by only ONE algorithm factor at a time. I'm going from 2, to 57, 404, to 1, to nowhere, to number 11. Unbelievable.

[edited by: steveb at 7:32 am (utc) on Feb. 17, 2004]


 7:31 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

vrtlw: Not in my area. I'm seeing 64 results on all datacenters for the keywords I am monitoring. Of course there may be a change in your area.

steveb: Obviously we are not seeing the same. For me the IPs you mentioned above look all the same and like 64, no matter how often I reload or switch the IP.

Very confusing that people see so different things.
BTW this is the first time I am seeing Senior Members posting "I am seeing this on that datacenter" threads ;-)


 7:37 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

This gets curiouser.

I flushed my DNS, pinged www.google.com and it returned the IP address

I typed that IP address into my browser and it searcherd for 'mytown mykeyword' and it put me where I expect to be.

Now, from www.google.com - which I have confirmed doing a 'netstat -a' is resolving to the same IP address, my listing is nowhere to be seen.

[added]This is the same for

If you search using the IP address you get stable brandy results. But if you search at www.google.com (which is resolving to the same address) the results are whacko. I am just playing with a hosts file entry and it initially appears that if you set the hosts file to an ip address for www.google.com the results are solid.[/added]

[edited by: vrtlw at 7:45 am (utc) on Feb. 17, 2004]


 7:43 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Seeing lots of examples of pages on domains like... suppose you had pages devoted to each US President. You type in Abrham Linoln and expecct to see your Linocln page in the top ten, and instead down at 407 you get your Warren G. Harding page that happens to mention Lincoln.


 7:51 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is certainly amazing to watch. Even though my site flicks in and out of the serps I'm not concerned at all - the whacko version is SO bad it is hilarious. I look forward to hearing Google Guy's take on this one! :)


 7:53 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)


Back to normal now. Let's hope it sticks!


 7:55 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Using steveb's example - even worse are the pages with just links to Lincoln, but not Lincoln the president - but Lincoln towncars.


 8:05 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Forget the Semantic Web. Welcome to the Demented Web! A search for <snip>

I guess they key to this pages success is no SEO tricks, and no links to "dark corners of the web". haha.

[edited by: Marcia at 8:17 am (utc) on Feb. 17, 2004]

Oops, sorry Marcia. I'll paraphrase the page content then... ERROR 404


[edited by: NeverHome at 8:20 am (utc) on Feb. 17, 2004]


 8:06 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have read some people have lost rankings and think it is googles way to boost up there adwords. I buy adwords too, but wont continue if search results keep getting worse and junk sites. Google users will drop off as well, so will put my money where the best engines are. If there is no one searching google, then adwords have no value.

Google has put to much weight on page linking. While so many webmasters have purchased links on high pr rankings sites just to get there page ranks higher, does not mean they have a high quality site. Good quality site should have nothing to do with who is linked to you.

My opinion is google had good quality sites, when you did a search you found exactly what you wanted. Then they changed it. Sad to see a good search engine keep getting worse and worse.


 8:11 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)


On 64.* I'm seeing some interesting results when I look close.

For my main 2 word term which was a problem from Florida onwards now on 64, 14 of the top 20 slots are pages from "real sites" and only 6 are auto generated directories.

For an example three word term which was fine until Austin and then filled with pages from generated directories at that update. On 64 just seven of the top 20 slots are taken by real sites the rest are still auto generated directories.

64 still looks like a work in progress to me and I still expect a rough ride for the next few months as the Google engineers leanr how to play tunes on their new instrument. Whatever was done at the Austin update was IMHO very bad indeed but what is on 64 is not a roll back it looks to me like the same Florida algo with significant ajustment. I'm hoping they've put a big block capital note next to the code that caused the Austin problems saying ### DO NOT TOUCH THIS OR VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN ### and we won't see that again.

Best wishes


PS I'm starting to wonder if the Guys at Google were so excited with their discovery that they could actually make the new algo create good results that, having had a big cigar and 5 star brandy they sent GoogleGuy off to his computer to tell us all about it and then realised to late that it was going to take longer than expected to roll the thing out because of all the DNS faffing that they've been doing recently.

PPS Leave off Bobby whoever it was flickering him (I was going to say flaming but it was a mear flicker) . Just because you don't understand LSI doesn't mean that it isn't having a big influence on all of the updates since and including Florida. In LSI and by extention CIRCA document means something much wider than the old Google definition of document = page.


 8:16 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google has put to much weight on page linking. While so many webmasters have purchased links on high pr rankings sites just to get there page ranks higher, does not mean they have a high quality site. Good quality site should have nothing to do with who is linked to you.

I think it has to do with who links to you.
You are right saying that there was too much emphasize on anchor text, but I think this is solved looking on the 64 results. For me they seem very clean and the Top results for example in the travel industry, where one of my sites is located are not the ones with the highest amount of backlinks but the highest quality sites.
I think determining the value of a page by the sites linking to it is the best way they can do it at the moment. In the future the LSI will be a very powerful tool to be added to the Pagerank and Anchortext criteria, if not done on 64. Not sure about that, yet.

[edited by: djgreg at 8:22 am (utc) on Feb. 17, 2004]


 8:22 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Im still seeing very different results on www.google.com

This time instead of being dropped from the serps I am at a new all time high and am very near the top of page 1. I have never been this close to the top for these terms and even on 64. I am listed on page 2


 8:23 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been waiting for a resolution of a specific spam type within the German Google SERPs - even this update does not take care of it.

Some sophisticated techniques that I can not figure out make Google unuseable for major keywords. Looking for something local or regional in combination with descriptive keywords that can not be narrowed down any further the SERPs are dominated (first 100 or so results) by just three guys (maybe it's just one with varying formats), cloaking like crazy.

I have switched over to other SEs for that matter, many of my friends and colleagues have too.

GG, where can I drop you examples to have a close look as your sticky is off?

Thanks, Jens


 8:33 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Can someone ref the LSI paper? I have searched through the thread with no luck.



 8:34 am on Feb 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

try webmaster@google.com and put webmaster world in the title

This 327 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 327 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 11 > >
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