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July Update?
Heywood_J




msg:193183
 12:59 am on Jul 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is it me or does it look like a significant update is going on at google. I am noticing a number of SERP changes for a few of my sites and they've been fluctuating for the past few days.

Anyone else noticing any major changes?

 

Liane




msg:193303
 4:35 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Since I use a Mac ... I (thankfully) have no toolbar to consult. Like everyone else though, the PR for my site has been going up and down like a toilet seat at a beer festival for the past two days.

However, when I check the directory listing which shows the green bar measure ... it remains the same as it has been for many, many months.

I wouldn't get too excited about this yo-yo effect we are seeing. As long as your rankings remain similar or unchanged, there doesn't seem to be any reason to panic.

Making major changes to the algo DURING an IPO would just be too dumb for words! As much as people seem to love to bash Google these days ... I seriously doubt this is anything to worry about. Of course, Google may have discovered "the" perfect algorithm ... in which case you can ignore this post. :)

Powdork




msg:193304
 4:37 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's a glitch.

Maybe,
Maybe not.
[webmasterworld.com...]
see message 5

Liane




msg:193305
 4:48 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well that's interesting!

If you see the link: command start to return a wider spectrum of backlinks instead of high PR links only, you can thank a WebmasterWorld member for the suggestion!

Thanks Dave N ... it really is an interesting approach! AND ... thanks to Powdork for highlighting GoogleGuy's post :)

bts111




msg:193306
 4:54 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good find PowDork.

I know the backlinks that I have, so the link command does not really matter.

It matters to my competitors though ; )

IITian




msg:193307
 4:55 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Showing all the high PR links plus random sampling of low PR links is fine but in the current apparent approach by Google, since each DMOZ link has hundreds of clone links, most of the high PR links for sites with DMOZ links wouldn't be shown.

Marcia




msg:193308
 5:00 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

'Tis not an update, they are playing with us. We were at least warned - isn't that special. ;)

Most of my decent links aren't showing, including ODP. Mostly what's showing is sites with scraped content, including one selling page crankers. I wrote that one and asked that the link be removed.

IITian




msg:193309
 5:21 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is so easy to GoogleLINKbomb any site now. I had provided thousands of low PR links to a government subdirectory. Its backlinks show mostly my pages linking to it.

Next step: Create a 10,000,000 page site with all pages naturally PR0. Provide a link from each page to Google's home page. In the next update about 90% of its backlinks should be yours.

steveb




msg:193310
 5:48 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

This may be what GG was talking about, but he denied in that thread that this is what would occur.

Two things are possible. One is they just bungled what they wanted to do. The other is this stupid idea is deliberate, and in which case it is just that, stupid.

At worst it is just plain mean to inexperienced webmasters. I see posts on other message boards talking about how people like how their backlinks went up, when in fact (unless you are something like Yahoo) you should only be seeing an increase if you have mostly very low quality links... unless you aren't seeing any backlinks at all. Lots of PR5 and PR4 pages show no backlinks now because they had a few quality links, and quality links are only rarely being shown.

I suppose this could be half of a stew. They just forgot to include 95% of the quality links with the worthless junk they are showing.

Showing links for low PR sites is a fine idea. But at the same time to NOT show the better links for domains is mind bogglingly stupid, as well as rude and semi-mean. Obviously experienced webmasters will just ignore this garbage and look at links on Yahoo, even if that is not a complete solution either.

Since PR didn't update, a good case could be made this is an embarrassing mistake and more complete backlinks will accompany a PR update in a few days. If not though, we will be able to have a benchmark for future "stupidest things Google has ever done."

steveb




msg:193311
 5:50 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Next step: Create a 10,000,000 page site with all pages naturally PR0."

Make 10,000 dmoz clones. You'll look like you rule the Internet.

The new branding... backlink spamming.

zafile




msg:193312
 6:11 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I hope Google is selecting which links count and which don't.

It'll be a mess if Google gives some kind of a value to links that aren't authorized by the developer of a particular site.

Can we rely 100% on Google to function perfectly?

Google shouldn't give any value to links coming from unauthorized Web sites (sites that I don't link to).

Marcia




msg:193313
 6:16 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is too beautifully executed to be a glitch.

srinivas




msg:193314
 6:27 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Now i am seeing the old backlinks!

Powdork




msg:193315
 6:27 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google shouldn't give any value to links coming from unauthorized Web sites (sites that I don't link to).
Huh?!
markus007




msg:193316
 6:28 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Marcia they could do even better and just remove the link: command. I mean who uses it other then people who visit webmasterworld?

union_jack




msg:193317
 6:51 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

wow i thought i had done well seeing my links go from 450 to 3900, you guys know how to knock the stuffing out of someone.

What i have to do to get a pr of 6 is beyond, my main compitors all have pr6, are all above by simply linking all there sites together in total tens of thousands of pages and it works for them. I have worked hard on individual links and also interlinkeg my 3 main sites but from what i read here its not going to make a jot of difference.

Can someone tell me if i take 3 main compitors all with thousands of links and pr 6 and put a link to them on my front page with no linlk back from them, will that increase or decrease my pr.

It would be nice after 4 hours of soul destroying work to get a little success.

steveb




msg:193318
 7:07 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Linking to competitors will raise their PR, and will give you less PR to recycle through your own pages. If they have solid, quality, authoritative sites though, linking to them could possibly help you for other reasons. Better to ask about that in a separate thread though.

Powdork




msg:193319
 7:27 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

union_jack, I have a similar problem. The sites that run a network that place very well for 'region name' queries have invited me to join them by exchanging links. They have high pr and by most standards would represent a coup to have them ask me to exchange links. But they also have a linking pattern that greatly disturbs me. They all interlink with a network of sites that are obviously trying to game the system. Each site has thousands of links from the network all with varying beneficial anchor text, all controlled by the same webmaster. Google seems to have a clue since they rarely rank more than two well at the same time anymore. Their content is often copied from .gov's, or just as often is someone else's site in a frame. My site is young and I am in it for the long haul, so I have not replied to their inquiries. I simply take it as a compliment that they asked, and keep doing what I'm doing. There are pages on their sites that I already link to anyway, since it benefits my users.

That last sentence IS IT in a nutshell.

zafile




msg:193320
 8:37 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Google shouldn't give any value to links coming from unauthorized Web sites (sites that I don't link to)."

I found a bunch of pages that were copied from valid sites with links to one of my sites.

One employee at one of the companies that I manage a site for created his own Web site.

To obtain content fast, the employee copied a bunch of other small sites and only modified the bottom of their pages to include his contact information. However, the employee also included links to the main company site (the Web site that I manage!).

So let me rephrase the issue:

Google shouldn't give any value to links coming from unauthorized Web sites that use stolen content which link to my sites.

[edited by: zafile at 8:58 am (utc) on July 18, 2004]

TravelMan




msg:193321
 8:52 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Google shouldn't give any value to links coming from unauthorized Web sites (sites that I don't link to)."

Some might argue that statement in the reverse. ;)

powerofeyes




msg:193322
 9:01 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>>>>>>This is too beautifully executed to be a glitch.

Agreed, Already commands like allinurl, allintitle was broke now they broke link: command too, So what its worth to google, All webmasters/SEOs/Site owners go to Yahoo/MSN/Alltheweb to check their backlinks, End result they loose valuble traffic, I hope it is temporary because big looser will be google and no one else,

claus




msg:193323
 9:37 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> random sampling

Imho it does not look like randomization (in the literal sense). To me it looks more like the previous PR4 threshold reversed, so that they display pages PR4 and below.

Still, they don't display all, it's only a selection. If that selection is a random sample, it does not seem to be changing much for each request, so until (random) change has been seen, i'd prefer the term "selection".

(having a statistics background, the term "random" has kinda, well, special meaning to me ;) )

percentages




msg:193324
 9:50 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google 30, webmasters 15!....in the second set!

Well done G! you seem to have beaten most of the SEO's!

You have destroyed your quality of results in the process......but heck, who really cares about that?

Go G! go.......you are now on the right path to success by delivering largely irrelevant results!

Delivering irritant results is good, people will learn they should be clicking on the Adwords results instead, or going to the Adsence based results :)

Don't change a thing to make your results more relevant to users......that will only end up costing you money ;)

PCInk




msg:193325
 10:34 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

> Delivering irritant results is good, people will learn they should be clicking on the Adwords results instead, or going to the Adsence based results :)

That's a good idea! Only people will stop clicking on AdWords and AdSense when they realise the complete irrelevance of most results. Then Google loses a ton of cash and advertisers put their money where it works (such as Overture/FindWhat, whoever else may bring ROI) and it's goodbye Google. You could always sell yourself to Yahoo! (Don't think it won't happen - one word: AltaVista! - or is that two words?!?!)

I've noticed in my trade that most search terms are now bringing up a whole new set of top ten results on nearly any search - companies I have never heard of. Many are shopping comparison sites or information about products. People don't want information on these search terms - they are looking to buy!

As stated earlier, Google seems to be trying to filter out ecommerce sites and concentrating on information sites, which is a bad thing. I, for example, will not spend money to advertise on AltaVista - the traffic it brings me is so low that I won't risk advertising on their site. If Google stops sending free traffic, then the AdWords money will also have to stop. New advertisers will not be so easy to sign up (why should someone sign up for a search engine that only sends them a handful of free results every month when Yahoo/MSN sends them more - why not advertise on Yahoo or MSN? It makes more sense).

I don't know what Google are trying to do but they seem to be breaking their (previously) excellent engine. Every month, the results seem to gradually get worse. I find myself using other engines more and more to find what I want - I didn't have to do this in 2001 and 2002.

metatarsal




msg:193326
 11:25 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I hope they haven't done another wierd Florida-type thing.

I've been trying to find the email address of a famous Cambridge (UK) prof. - and even using the advanced search features been getting some very poor results indeed.

BTW, the other week I was after some basic NASA results, and spent 3 hours on Google trying to find some stuff on the Space Shuttle (just an animation or video of a launch) - I failed miserably and felt something was a bit wrong then.

BTW2, if they are attempting another ecommerce algo (this is only an assumption - but I strongly suspect it) - I think it messes up their results right across the board, and they should stop it pronto.

Stefan




msg:193327
 12:25 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Imho it does not look like randomization (in the literal sense). To me it looks more like the previous PR4 threshold reversed, so that they display pages PR4 and below.

Still, they don't display all, it's only a selection.

Hmm... I noticed that one PR4+ link survived for us; one of our two G directory listings. The rest are <PR4 ODP clones and total about half of our previous listing of PR4+ links. If they were going to show a selection, why knock the number down so far from what was there before.

Good find, Powdork, on GG's post from June, but I still say it has to be a glitch, otherwise it's just plain ridiculous... I mean, what is the point, (other than to play games with WW members)? The vast majority of our backlinks being displayed are from the absolute worst of the links. No one in their right mind would bother visiting any of those sites in search of more info on the topic of our site.

IITian




msg:193328
 12:58 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

While this could be part of a desperate attempt by Google to defeat the SEO industry, I surely will miss the previous links command.

Checking out the links often told me about the quality of a site regardless of its PR. I have seen sites with enjoyed high PR with bought links, and there were sites that had links from quality sites. Now I can't tell.

Kirby




msg:193329
 1:48 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

FWIW, this link update is at least a few weeks old. 90% of the links shown for one of my sites main page were removed 2 weeks ago.

rustybrick




msg:193330
 3:40 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I did an analysis of the backlinks Google is showing for my site. Here is the distribution of links based on PageRank.

PR0 60.33%
PR1 00.82%
PR2 08.36%
PR3 12.46%
PR4 14.43%
PR5 03.44%
PR6 00.16%
PR7 00.00%
PR8 00.00%
PR9 00.00%
PR10 00.00%

PR Mean = 1.3082
PR MIN = 0
PR MAX = 6
PR Median = 3
PR Mode = 4
PR Standard Deviation = 1.7264

Before the update, the backlinks PageRank distribution for my homepage was:
PR0 43.04% (PR0 is from dynamic URLs mostly)
PR1 00.00%
PR2 0.39%
PR3 07.60%
PR4 24.48%
PR5 21.91%
PR6 01.80%
PR7 00.77%
PR8 00.00%
PR9 00.00%
PR10 00.00%

PR Mean = 2.4729
PR MIN = 0
PR MAX = 7
PR Median = 3.5
PR Mode = 5
PR Standard Deviation = 2.2376

europeforvisitors




msg:193331
 5:29 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

As stated earlier, Google seems to be trying to filter out ecommerce sites and concentrating on information sites, which is a bad thing.

Even if that were true, why would it be a bad thing for Google or users? It would be in keeping with Google's stated mission of "organizing the Web's information and making it universally accessible."

Also, Google indexes pages, not sites. So, even if Google were trying to filter out e-commerce pages (such as boilerplate catalog pages, affiliate pages, or order pages), affiliate and e-commerce sites could continue to place well by providing "added value" content pages for their prospects and customers.

Finally, who's to say that the results you see today will be the results you see tomorrow or next week or next month? There's nothing new about Google's testing and tweaking its ranking algorithm or spam filters, and there's nothing permanent about any set of search results.

PCInk




msg:193332
 6:07 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, if they filter out ecommerce sites, it will be a bad thing:

1) bad for ecommerce sites : will have to focus on MSN/Yahoo
2) bad for Google : AdWords will be dropped (revenue)
3) bad for shoppers : they will have to find new search engine(s)

I can't see why content is more important than ecommerce. Surely the search phrases should determine if a person is wanting content or is shopping? They have always been good at getting this correct in the past.

If it is Froogle they want to promote, then that is a bad thing. Froggle is USA only - they would need to roll this out to other Google's very quickly in order to not lose their searchers.

outland88




msg:193333
 6:44 pm on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Even if that were true, why would it be a bad thing for Google or users? It would be in keeping with Google's stated mission of "organizing the Web's information and making it universally accessible." <

That makes no sense to me. Are you saying that most commerce sites don't contain good or accurate information about what they sell? And if the commerce site contains information why isn't it being treatly like every other site. What you need to realize is Adword commerce sites can't provide revenue streams to Adsense totally from those Adword campaigns or Froogle while and at the same time be relegated lower in the serps. It takes a combination. Few sites can go strictly the Adwords route.

I was trying to purchase some computer supplies today and again I had wade through a plethora of sites (link sites, doorway pages) on Google to find a commerce site selling the products. I donít want to see a picture of the product and a link to a site selling it. I want to buy as quickly as possible. The commerce sites give me all the information I need about the product. I donít need to see a page optimized for click throughs or Adsense calling itself an information site.

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