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This 312 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 312 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 11 > >     
Big sites suffering no title / no snippet in SERPS
Is google penalising big sites?

 12:15 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

As of around a week ago it seems that a lot of big sites, particularly some UK search sites, have lost a lot of their indexed pages in Google.

The pages haven't been totally removed, instead it seems that the pages exist in the Google SERPS but they have no title and no snippet and therefore no longer appear for any searches.

At first I thought this was some sort of penalty / filter to remove some of the controversial search sites from its index, but it seems this applies to other large sites, e.g. dmoz. I would estimate that dmoz has had around 200,000 pages "nuked".

Has anyone noticed this phenomenon on any other sites?


Patrick Taylor

 11:05 am on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well yes, try to establish if there is a penalty, to be prudent, but in Balloch's position I would also be working flat out to make changes to how the pages are put together, bearing in mind that there are many other sites similarly affected, with, so it seems from this thread, no provable reason why they would have been penalized.


 11:59 am on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Patrick et al thank you very much for your valued inputs. (I only have five minutes - just popped back in to check my email.)

I will admit that my site is not an example of excellent web design but the point is that it did well enough for two years until this happened.

Also, the same thing has happened to millions of other pages that have been dropped without explanation.

All I am saying is that this situation is causing many people many hours of work not to mention lost income. A brief comment on the reasons for it would be helpful.


 1:51 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry BallochBD, I am at a loss. When you go to PR0 that has usually been done manually. There are no algorithm issues here. Google has decided for whatever reason that your site should not perform.

One thing that occurred to me is - is google struggling to interpret correctly robots.txt? I have to say I am always nervous of the command:
User agent: *

To a layman I read that as disallow everything. I know there is a protocol here, but what if Google is not interpreting this file correctly?

Put it this way - there is nothing to be lost from removing robots.txt altogether and seeing what happens.

One other thing - are you absolutely sure that you have no problems like images same colour as the background, invisible text, 1 x 1 pixels etc?

Other than that it seems to me that the only way to resolve this is to harass Google for an explanation - only they can tell you why you have gone to zero, which in turn should explain your snippet problem


 1:55 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wow, see what you mean by snippets problem, i agree with both of you guys; Balloch you have heaps of HTML above your content (like 50% document length), but those snippets and PR's arent exactly googles endorsment of the site; so i would guess some sort of penalty aswell...

Now, i understand PR and other ranking values are calcuated on a per page vs site basis, but if PR is allocated by page, then has it found something wrong with every page on your site, or does google have a site-wide PR/penalty attribute perhaps?

I have a few pages with snippets from my site, but most have a PR of 2 or 3 and some 4.... Perhaps wacking out the odd snippet on sites it finds nothing wrong with masks the fact they are doing it as some sort of penelty aswell now?..?


 1:57 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

One other thought on this - where is your site hosted? Is there a problem with that IP address? Find out what other sites are hosted on that IP address (or on that range if you are the only site hosted on that IP address) and check those sites to see if they have a PageRank and are performing in the search engines. A long shot, but maybe that is the problem.


 4:44 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

My robots.txt file validates and I use it on other sites with no problem. These other sites are on the same server - also no problem.

I have no spammy techniques on my site, no 1x1 pixels, no same colour text and while the HTML is not state of the art it was OK for two years until Google decided to boot me. I also have far more relevant content on my subject than any of other sites that are figuring in the results.

I will however contact Google again. It's now two weeks since I did so and about two months since I first contacted them.


 7:56 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have now had another reply from Google, this time with a titbit more of information. I don't think that we are supposed to reproduce Google mail here so I won't, but what it said was that they could NOT provide updates for individual sites.

This is disappointing because I seem to remember some people on the forum quoting incidences where they had had more detailed replies from Google. (I am sure that someone will correct me if I am wrong.)

They also said that IF their engineers change the way that they review my site it would take six to eight weeks for it to be seen in the results. Seems like there are more hard times ahead for me.

I still don't know if I have had a penalty imposed?


 9:53 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

I.ve got 36 websites - no title etc etc, every single one.
Reply from google was that i was not banned etc and was showing no faults on there system.

Anyway im knacked, been like this since November and now my company is going bust!


 5:04 am on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

You have my sympathy and it would seem that your predicament is even worse than mine. The unfortunate thing is that if as Google say, they have not banned your sites then you must figure it out for yourself. Did they actually respond to your emails and tell you that there was no ban? (As I understand it you should remember that a ban is different from being filtered out by the algo.)

All I can suggest is that you try to determine what is common on all the sites that could be causing the problem. The bad news is that even if you do it could take months for you to get back.


 1:51 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I thought it was worthwhile updating interested parties with some developments at my site. During yesterday and today the Googlebot has been a bit more curious and it has "looked at" 18 pages from my total of 80. I now have a cache and title showing on 5 of my pages and my home page cache has been updated twice in the last three days.

My page rank is still zero and I am not getting found unless I input a five or six word phrase but I am hopeful that these are signs that I am on the way back.


 2:34 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

My index page has been spidered and updated and now shows title anddescription. Still no pagerank.


 2:45 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is sort of related. We had a 10,000 page site. Disappeared from google several weeks ago completely, i.e. out of the index. Has re-appeared today with all 10,000 pages. The only thing is that we removed 9,000 of them about 3 weeks ago! So, Google is pulling up this information from an old cache, the usual story! So we are expecting that it will disappear again in a day or so, but if it does not then there is some real movement going on at google to sort out the problems and maybe those who said google was broken are right! Needless to say, we have re-uploaded the 9,000 pages again!

Is anyone else seeing situations where sites are appearing back in again with full titles and descriptions? And is anyone seeing that these are old pages? (BTW, googlebot still revisited the site and spidered it furiously every day for the last 3 weeks so it is not as if it has yet to respider and see the changes)


 8:59 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

hi everyone,

I have a site in Hebrew that suffers the same thing.
The title/ des.. Goes on/off every other day.
More sever problem is that google did not find new pages since Jan.



 10:37 am on Apr 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I now have 24 of my 79 pages back in the index and for the first time in three months I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now I don't know what (if anything) I did right. Was it my emails to Google, my redirect, my disassociation with the sites to which I was linked, my content updates, who knows?

Is anyone else seeing changes?


 10:45 am on Apr 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Did your home.html used to show as either an indexed page or a url only? I don't see it listed among your pages now, which I'd take as a good sign.


 11:19 am on Apr 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Steve, this has been going on so long I honestly can't remember. DOH!


 12:44 pm on Apr 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

It looks like I have been stung with this problem, many of sites have been struck with the no title/ no snippet/ just the URL bug for the majority of the pages. All of them are content rich, but large-ish (over 2500 pages) and don't have many external 3rd party links. Interestingly, some of the snippets on the pages that do still have them are very old - Google has spidered, indexed and been displaying the new content in snippets up until now, but seems to have reverted to older data.


 12:47 pm on Apr 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I now have 24 of my 79 pages back in the index and for the first time in three months I can see the light at the end of the tunnel."

All my pages came back but they are so far down the
SERPs they might as well stayed off. Got work to do.


 1:08 pm on Apr 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Are the sites back in old or new sites. Does anybody have a timestamp on the site and can comment about that?


 4:44 pm on Apr 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thomas, my site was first indexed in December 2001 and disappeared at the end of January this year.

Jakpot, regarding position in the SERPs I am also way down the list because my previous PR5 has not returned but at least I now have a chance of climbing back up the rankings. My site should be getting found and if Google does not think so they should have a look at my guest book.

Has anyone who lost PR during this episode recovered it yet? Does anyone know if there is anything that can be done to get G to recognise inbound links?


 7:42 am on Apr 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Purely on a hunch I took a trip over to look at my webhost's own indexed pages and what did I find but that out of several pages in the index about 50% of them are missing the title and desc snippet - I have been experiencing some intermittent down time, not for several hours at a time, but an hour here and there that I am recently aware of - could this type of thing cause these problems?


 12:17 pm on Apr 4, 2004 (gmt 0)


You might want to remove that link before the mod does.


 4:08 pm on Apr 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Any conclusive evidence yet as to what is the cause of this problem?


 5:43 pm on Apr 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

ya, conclusive that this thread was done a long time ago.

Lets call it quits and move on.


 1:01 am on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Be nice if we could get an answer to the problem


 2:06 am on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes I never saw an answer?

Couldn't find my post to remove the url lol


 9:17 am on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

The same thing has just happened to one of my sites. Half of the dynamic pages have no title or snippet, just the URL showing as the title.


 11:19 am on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

and it goes on ... 2 other of mine sites affected.

It really makes me nervous, but I think that G is working on it because even well-known, high PR sites are affected. Or is it a penalty? ;)


 11:28 am on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have just looked at a major UK store; at least they are having the same problems too.


 11:48 am on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)


since few days back I am affected too. When I first saw this thread I knew it wasnt about me, just an odd problem others get.

It is mostly affecting my dynamic pages; I also added a robot.txt recently and that may explain many of my pages, but many pages are not banned in robot.txt but still have this problem.

(I banned scripts that creates useless for Google to index)


 1:40 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I see new penalties mostly on sunday. Can anybody confirm that?

This 312 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 312 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 11 > >
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