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"The Ides of March" Google Update
twinsrul

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 12:01 am on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Like many others, my network of sites has been hit hard by this latest March google update. I have not been able to tell what has changed in the google algo & why my sites are ranking lower. Anyone here been able to beat this latest update? Any tips or tricks you'd like to share?

 

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 10:58 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Find a search space with problems similar to yours and pass it on to GG with your comments."

That apparently would take too much time away from aimlessly whining.

If this person genuinely could point to a widespread problem then sending in a report, like s/he has been invited too, would take a few minutes. But instead we just get more crying, and the translation of that is almost certainly another single site or single tactic spammer has been dumped.

The serps have plenty of problems, and it is easy to point to the major ones without revealing your own information to the black helicopter-flying Trigooglateral Commision.

Ozdachs

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 11:45 pm on Mar 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Find a search space with problems similar to yours and pass it on to GG with your comments.

I am new here, and I am unsure if GG wants to be deluged with specific complaints. I see that other people are suggesting the GG be mailed. But, he wants specific examples? (with or without risking black helicopters.) Really, GG?

Auteuil

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 12:12 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

A couple of pages back I suggested some possibile scenarios in which the Google directory and its infrequent updating may be affecting the SERPS.

Since nobody has commented about that theorising, may I assume that that I may have blundered onto some kernel of insight? Please forgive my arrogance, but when people think that someone has got it wrong in these forums, the poor devil is usually pounced upon with relish ....

So, based on the still shaky belief that the infrequent updates to the Google directory may be causing undesirable "jolts" in the SERPS, I would suggest that GoogleGuy consider advocating to his peers that there be a return to the more frequent updating of the Google directory.

ILuvSrchEngines



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 1:06 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Since nobody has commented about that theorising, may I assume that that I may have blundered onto some kernel of insight?

No, when you blunder onto something good, you will get attacked real good. So keep trying... lol ;-)

elgrande

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 2:24 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Find a search space with problems similar to yours and pass it on to GG with your comments."
That apparently would take too much time away from aimlessly whining.

Was that an open invitation from GoogleGuy or was it limited to a few individuals?

I have thousands of City Widgets examples of meaningless, irrelevant search results from Google where the best sites on the topics are AWOL. I am sure that many people here could come up with even more than I can.

To which email address can I (we) send them so that GoogleGuy will see them, and what should I (we) put in the Subject of the email to get his attention?

But in reality, imagine that I or anyone else sends such a list. I am not deluding myself to think that Google will change one thing in the algo as a result of my email. C'mon, really. It would take TENS or HUNDREDS of thousands of such emails to have an impact on Google. Wink wink nudge nudge. . .

We can work with Google or work against them. It sounds like they MIGHT be giving us an opportunity to work with them. I hope it's genuine.

BrewCrue

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 3:11 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Guys and Gals if you would follow Brett"s 26 steps to building a website without spamming you would be ranked good. I track 46 1 word, 2 words and 3 phrase keywords all 46 are in the top 30 listings 35 in the top 10 in google and most in yahoo. In my opinion its all in the title tag and quality LINKS LINKS LINKS.

Best Wishes
Brew

GoogleGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 3:32 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I would suggest that GoogleGuy consider advocating to his peers that there be a return to the more frequent updating of the Google directory."

I appreciate the politeness, Auteuil. Point taken.

elgrande, I wouldn't mind getting some specific feedback about good or bad searches. It's been about a month or so since I took a temperature reading. Please use the keyword "idesofmarch" when you fill out a spam report at www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html or when you email webmaster [at] google.com. I'll ask someone to collect the feedback and several Googlers will look it over.

why2kit

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 4:35 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

GG - as far as I can tell this is one of the best indexes to come out in the last year so far as the general searches are concerned, that is - doing specific "shopping" searches - which is probably the biggest use of the net apart from what I do with my wife, and also for technical related searches.

I did find one weird situation that I've emailed to google with the idesofmarch googleguy tag that I would be very interested in your feedback.

In general though - good job done

Cheers

Richard

Powdork

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 4:54 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

...and I would respectfully suggest that GoogleGuy might advocate to his peers that there could be some sort of remedy for those that feel they are being unfairly excluded from the GOOGLE Directory because of actions not under Google's control. I'm not talking about sites that are not within DMOZ guidelines but rather those that are excluded because of some list that apparently lasts forever. These are many times sites that are well worthy as far as content, but are excluded because of personality conflict between webmaster and editor.

8cool

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 5:18 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

GG Please let us know whats going on. We are not coming in SERP for more than 10 days now. At least can we have a hope about the future or shutdown our business

mrbrad

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 5:47 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been an avid observer of this board for the last 9 months. The most notable observation I have over this period of time is the sharp increase of Google criticism on a consistent basis.

Early last year this board was nothing but a big love affiar for Google. "Google rules" ... "G is the best" ... "I love Google"

Nowadays the mood here is drasticly different than a year ago. "What happened to Google?" ... "These SERPS suck!" ... "G loves SPAM" etc etc...

The shame of it all is that it must be true. Nobody studies Google more than we do. The quality of Google search is far less superior than it used to be. Nowhere is this more noticable and talked about than among the webmaster community, here.

However, the love affair for Google is still soaring high among the main stream press and the average internet surfer.

Did any of you see the cover of NEWSWEEK Magazine today? "The New Age of GOOGLE" "The Search Giant Has Changed Our Lives. Can Anybody Catch These Guys?"
The article goes on to put Google on the throne of search domination.

The fact is: The news media still LOVES Google. Google is a household name in internet search. People love Google so much that they never question the quality of the SERPS given to them.
Their mindset is: "If these are the sites Google is showing me then there must be a good reason for it."
People trust Google to the point where it can do no wrong, and it is never questioned.

My point is, we can bicker and complain amongst ourselves about the obvious suckage factor of Google until we are blue in the face. But that wont change anything. Nobody else is listening. And even if they did listen, they wouldn't beleive it. It would take a disaster of unprecidented proportions for Google to be de-throned. (Such as serving up porn for any and every search term, if only for a few minutes).
We, the webmasters, are only a tiny tiny fraction of the searching public.

The best we can do is just keep plugging away on our poor little sites and hope that someday people will start to figure out that our beloved Google is not what it used to be.

The gravy train is over my friends. Be we can still keep doing what we do best ... making great web sites!

BigDave

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 6:04 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, there is more noise for the last few months than most, but there have always been complaints about the quality of the SERPs. Look at any update thred from a couple of years ago and you will see plenty of complaining.

elgrande

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 7:17 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'll ask someone to collect the feedback and several Googlers will look it over.

Thanks, GoogleGuy. I sent it via email with "Idesofmarch" in the subject and body. Pardon my grammar - it was a stream of consciousness. I spent two hours writing it, so if someone at Google spends two minutes reading it, I will feel that it was worth the effort ;)

Is anyone else going to send some feedback to Google using "Idesofmarch"? This seems like a good time to do it.

BallochBD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 8:15 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Elgrande, I admire your innocent optimism - best of luck :o)

Ledfish

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 11:44 am on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure what to say....Like many I'm just frustrated.

I can see little logic in the results, I can't seem to determine what direction to go in to improve my lot in Google, I can't see any value in e-mailing the great google webmaster with explainations of poor results and specifics on why, .....just nothing but a waste of time. It appears to me that G is spending so much time playing with it's algo that it is whacking good quality sites in it's attempt to weed out the spam and throw the seor's of the tracks, funny thing is, the results are not getting rid of the spam, in short, it's not the spam that is getting whacked.

While I am frustrated and lacking direction, I am confident that I'm not alone. I am confident that the general user at large is noticing, they are however a little slower to react, but when the momentum builds, the effects will be devistating.

If I where G, I would be very afraid, because when you get in BG's sights, any little weakness you have will be a major one that he and his will pounce on. The time is now for G. Don't think for a minute that MS isn't looking at what is being said by webmasters about Googles quality and not figuring out how to take advantage of it. MS did it with Netscape and Netscape was arogant and thought they knew better what a surfer wanted.......look who won that one.

flicker

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 2:10 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

For what it's worth, I sent a detailed spam report to GoogleGuy after the brandyupdate and the problem has since been fixed. No black helicopters came to get me. My own site wasn't involved, but if it was, I would still contact Google about it. There's such a thing as obstructive paranoia. (-:

*two cents*

surfgatinho

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 2:22 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't have time to try and get my rankings up in Google anymore.
Since Florida I've spent so much time working out how to and fixing my sites at the whim of each Google update.
Obviously the super intelligent algos being used by Google now are way beyond my intellectual capacity so I think I'll give up and concentrate on the oter SEs

mr_strong

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 3:15 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Googleguy,

I too have sent an email to webmaster AT google.com with a problem I'm having with a site.

The email is in my username's name and has the keyword "idesofmarch" in the subject.

Thanks for your time :)

petehall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 3:24 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I must be one of the only people on here that thinks Google is doing the right thing :-)

A lot of very useless, large and annoying auto-generated sites (some were even listing pages of Inktomi results) have disappeared from the index and now only come when a supplemental result is required.

jk3210

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 4:12 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>I must be one of the only people on here that thinks Google is doing the right thing :-) <<

Trust me...you're not alone.

SyntheticUpper

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 5:24 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>Trust me...you're not alone.

o.k. then, that's two of you ;)

metrostang

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 6:47 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

How anyone could be satisfied with current results is beyond me. When 2 to 6 of the top results are out of left field, how can that be good. When searching for a specific product, several first page results will have one word of a two keyword phrase somewhere in the page. It might be a site about a town keyword1 Ca. or the keyword2 Motel, all totally unrelated to the product or industry.

It appears Google is returning Austin results in some searches and Brandy results in others. These are all searches within the same sector. This can't be due to fresh pages being added, because they don't stay in the index long enough to matter. When is Google going to update their database with fresh pages and stop reverting to previous versions?

And yes I'm going to send examples to Google with "idesofmarch" in the message.

Robert123

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 7:27 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Have any of you looked at yahoo's serps lately. Even if google is having some trouble, they are still clearly ahead of yahoo with relevancy.

Namaste

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 7:40 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

GG, you say no Algo has been changed?

Then explain this:

- For a "major" single keyword, a site has entered at no 6.

- It has just one backlink, that too insignificant!

- It has very little text, all keyword stuffed.

- Infact it is an affiliate spam of a major site and looks exactly like the original.

- The main thing going for it is that it's URL is stuffed with keywords.

- it displays ads from Google in it's keyword category

is this last factor now swinging the weight in it's favour

[edited by: Namaste at 7:42 pm (utc) on Mar. 23, 2004]

decaff

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 8:11 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I work on several commercial sites and have found that if I build to my audience I can stay relatively stable..if I try to build towards the algo I tend to get nailed...

My base philosophy has always been..."the audience is who I want to communicate with first...then the spiders"...seems to have worked "relatively well" during all the latest changes at Google...

Namaste

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 8:33 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

folks, check the Yahoo & Dmoz directory listing of spammy sites.
I am seeing that Google has tweaked the algo to include a wide variety of directory categories in it's top 20. A sort of "something for everybody" result

GoogleGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 10:40 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reports. Earlier today only 2 people had done spam reports, but I saw a few emails--thanks. Namaste, AdWords/AdSense has no impact (positive or negative) on scoring/ranks. Feel free to send me the site with the "idesofmarch" keyword and I'll ask someone to check it out though.

best,
GG

ulysee

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 11:08 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google Guy March 17:
I don't think an update is due anytime very soon,
-------------------------------------------------------
"very"?.
If there was not an update then a update should "soon" happen by this weekend or the next?.

SyntheticUpper

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 11:14 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

GG, what precisely *is* Google's measure of search quality?

You must have some standard in mind. If it consists of empty content directories - fine. If it consists of quality sites - o.k.

But whilst your algo is kept secret, it would be helpful to know what you are looking for.

Do you have a quality control system in place?

Auteuil

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 11:33 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

An Update Or Not?

GoogleGuy has not actually explained what caused the changes in the SERPS around the Ides of March. He has dropped hints however. Its a bit like trying to read the tea leaves in the bottom of your cup, but this is what he did say in this thread:

On the second page of this thread: "I wouldn't call this an update, because no new algorithms have been pushed. In an SEO world in which search engines update their index every day, there's always going to be new data going out."

He hasn't retracted a word of that statement, however he did say: "Point taken" on page 5 of this thread in response to my suggestion about considering the updating the Google Directory more often. (I had been theorising earlier in this thread about the possibility that the updating of the Google Directory around the Ides of March may have caused some sort of a "jolt" in the SERPS, and that a return to the more frequent updating of their directory may be preferable in this regard.)

Will GoogleGuy put us out of our misery and be a little more explicit about what actually happened earlier this month? I for one certainly hope so. It certainly would do Google a power of good, just in PR terms alone, to be a little more forthcoming on this subject.

GoogleGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 22887 posted 12:59 am on Mar 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

ulysee, I don't foresee any updates short-term (e.g. not this weekend, as you asked), although I don't claim to know of everything at Google that could ever affect a search result. Auteuil, I was just trying to say that I understand why webmasters want our directory information updated more often, and that I would ping the person who is responsible for that and try to urge them to do directory refreshes on a more frequent basis. :)

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