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traffic from google has dropped
dhaliwal




msg:203576
 5:51 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

anyone seen the drop in traffic from google?
I am seeing that the traffic has dropped nearly 50 % in a day while the pages in index are the same and also the SERP have not changed that way.

I am talking about traffic of nearly 7 k from google everyday and hence its a sizable decrease.

Looking for early answers on how we could check the things

 

ownerrim




msg:203966
 12:39 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

well, who knows. i just think the stuff "that's like everything else" and lighter on unique content will always be subject to flapping about in the latest google wind. original content tends to be "heavier" in this regard and less subject to be driven by the gales of whatever algo tweak is presently in the works. But it takes a bit more time and considerably more effort to produce this sort of content, which is exactly why you don't see it much at all on the entire web. I can't tell you how many times i've looked for something, checked out the first 10-30 serp results and found paraphrasings of exactly the same crap. what was unique enough to differentiate the different sites? I couldn't see it. And it's this kind of stuff that google shouldn't want ranking high, because it will kill its value in the eyes of users. so, when everything looks alike (spamlike), i guess that's when they weed. and, since weeds keep coming back, the job of weeding never ends for google.

div01




msg:203967
 12:42 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

With all this talk about big websites and duplicate content, I just thought I'd mention that my site hit hardest by Google has only ~100 pages of unique content written by me with multiple DMOZ listings (deeplinks). It has seen its Google rankings and traffic tank though I am sure that the made for Adsense 'scraper sites', including one that probably used to be a math help site, are doing better because I seem to be getting the odd visitor from them. Quite pathetic, IMHO.

[edited by: div01 at 12:47 pm (utc) on Aug. 13, 2004]

sit2510




msg:203968
 12:46 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>> [google.com...]

mfishy, I like your example. This is the type of website that I would totally agree to be of real great value with genuine contents. It was registered since 1999 with a lot of contents from a lot of members "AND it is a bit just over 100k pages."

diamondgrl




msg:203969
 1:21 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

glad i stirred things up with my underwear comment. no offense intended to anyone, really.

xcomm, i'm not sure where i pointed out that i have a 200,000+ page spammy site. i don't have one that is that large or in the least spammy. perhaps someone hijacked my account in writing that (?!?!) or maybe you were mistaken about who said it or misunderstood what i tried to convey.

i agree that webmasterworld is indeed a site that is google-worthy. and it doesn't need a professional staff of hundreds.

DaveAtIFG




msg:203970
 1:23 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can't see any "common theme" in this thread as to why some sites were clobbered and it occured to me that Google may have incorporated the results of "spam report" investigations into this recent update.

A very critical review of your site with respect to G's webmaster guidelines may be prudent and revealing. Are you cross linking "excessively" (or even a little)? Are you buying or selling PR? Do you have anything "hidden" on your site (links, text, redirects)? Are you linking to a "bad neighborhood" or two? Are you in a "link exchange" program that has become popular enough to be "on the radar?" Didja ever spam a blog or two?

Please don't reply with "My site is spotless! Google made a big mistake!" until you've carefully reviewed. It might be wise to ask a friend to do a site review for you to insure objectivity...

Personal opinion: The Google algo is very heavily dependent on links as we all know. Google has changed which backlinks they display twice that I recall, the last change is very recent. I suspect this is a "defensive" measure to protect their algo. If so, "questionable" linking practices should be given extra attention.

sit2510




msg:203971
 1:58 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Very nice post, DaveAtIFG

erykalefrak




msg:203972
 1:59 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

it's funny how we are all starting to attack each other and each other's work, but I don't think it's that simple. I have said it before and I will say it again. My competition and I monitor each other quite often, and they stayed up while I fell. My competition has hidden text, blatent keyword lists, and other such crap, and they are there and fine. I don't think this is simple a matter of something is wrong with your site. Why are the PRs going up and down like bouncing on a trampoline, and why do they suddenly have nothing to do with the SERPS?

Also, not to say that I am perfect, I have gone through my site to see if I was spammy in any way with my wording, and I even rewrote some things that I thought may have unintensionally been spammy in that my keyword density was quite high. But I don't have hidden links, or lists of keywords, and I don't ovcersubmit to the search engines. I follow rules and protocols to a tee because years ago I did get warned about spamming from dmoz. Many years ago, when it happened I was able to speak with them and correct my issues and not be tagged for spam, and ever since I have used their reccommedations to me to ensure I am not spamming the SE.

Copper




msg:203973
 2:32 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi cabbie & erykalefrak,

Thanks for the update.
It was very kind of you both to elucidate my queries.

Cheers.
Copper

JuniorOptimizer




msg:203974
 2:37 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure this update had nothing to do with "spam removal". It definitely seems more related to the new confusing PR policy.

europeforvisitors




msg:203975
 2:43 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

ownerrim,
you seem to be incredulous that any site could have 100,000 pages. i have one such site. i won't tell you what mine is but let me describe for you hundreds of such sites: newspapers.

I'm not ownerrim, but I'll defend his right to be skeptical. The member who made the comment about 100,000 pages referred to "my site," which isn't a phrase that's likely to be used by a newspaper employee. Of course, it's possible that he (or she) was Rupert Mudoch writing under an alias. :-)

IITian




msg:203976
 3:52 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Annual fee of just $1 per page to be indexed will take care of 99% of the web. And change the algos to reward smaller sites resulting in overnight transformation of 100,000 (unique content!) page sites into single page (or less judging by their content) sites.

Future generations will then thank Google for cleaning up the mess it has created.

ltedesco




msg:203977
 3:57 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Does anybody think that all this changes in SERPS have any relation with Google IPO happening right now? Is this just a big coincidence?

wanderingmind




msg:203978
 4:26 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

IITian,

$1 per page? I would be starving :)

I am in India, and have a site that is run just because it is useful for people. I make a meagre profit, and the site has 1,00,000 pages.

By your calculations, forget continuing making that profit, I would be worse than Enron by now.

Or perhaps you would like the Net to be populated only by the ones with laaaaarge pockets... no NGO do-gooder types?

BOOHOOOO

petehall




msg:203979
 4:27 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

ltedesco I think it has everything to do with IPO...

caveman




msg:203980
 4:35 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>I'm pretty sure this update had nothing to do with "spam removal"

I'm pretty sure it did. G is in a neverending battle with spammers.

The fact that spammy sites still exist high in the SERP's doesn't mean that the update did not include measures to knock out more spammers. In the most of the categories we operate in, the sites that got hit this time around were typically among the spammiest of the bunch.

That does not mean that the innocent sites were immune; they never are. Since Florida, unfortunately, G has been hitting a lot of innocents in their efforts to kill the spammers. Acceptable casualties.

europeforvisitors




msg:203981
 4:56 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Annual fee of just $1 per page to be indexed will take care of 99% of the web.

Won't happen. Why? Because the only sites that would pay the fee (and, in many cases, would even know about the fee) would be commercial sites that have a strong financial interest in being listed.

To use an example, if you wanted to look up "observatories," you wouldn't see any research observatories in the SERPs--you'd see nothing but pages selling home observatories and telescopes.

mahlon




msg:203982
 5:03 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, all I can say is, the changes in serps have been good for us! I have not seen the results look this good for a long time, remember Amazon?

bhd735




msg:203983
 5:11 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Annual fee of just $1 per page to be indexed will take care of 99% of the web.

Won't happen. Why? Because the only sites that would pay the fee (and, in many cases, would even know about the fee) would be commercial sites

Even if this idea was only used by commercial sites, that would be a vast improvement. I would think a separation between commercial and non-commercial would be beneficial for all involved. Commercial and non-commercial are separate universes after all.

walkman




msg:203984
 5:12 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Well, all I can say is, [u]the changes in serps have been good for us[/u]! I have not seen [u]the results look this good[/u] for a long time, remember Amazon? "

I disagree...my site got hit hard.
;)

shri




msg:203985
 5:31 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> Commercial and non-commercial are separate universes after all.

I think we need to put a meta tag into our pages to help Google identify the difference.

Ok.. I promise .. last post in this thread.

europeforvisitors




msg:203986
 5:49 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would think a separation between commercial and non-commercial would be beneficial for all involved. Commercial and non-commercial are separate universes after all.

I've often thought that Google search would be vastly more efficient if users could use radio buttons or separate search boxes for:

"I want information on:"

"I want to buy or book:"

The results wouldn't have to be from separate indexes; Google could simply skew the SERPs toward information or commercial pages. For example:

"I want information on: [Widgetco WC-1 digital camera]" would tend to display Widgetco's own pages and third-party review pages at the top of the SERP.

"I want to buy or book: [Widgetco WC-1 digital camera]" would tend to display dealer and affiliate product pages at the top of the SERP.

The problem, of course, is that some commercial sites would try to second-guess the algorithm and crank out two pages for each product or property, one a commercial page and the other an ersatz "information" page. Still, Google could be extremely aggressive in filtering out questionable pages in information searches, since those same pages would still be available in a commercial search.

tomasz




msg:203987
 5:53 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm not ownerrim, but I'll defend his right to be skeptical. The member who made the comment about 100,000 pages referred to "my site," which isn't a phrase that's likely to be used by a newspaper employee. Of course, it's possible that he (or she) was Rupert Mudoch writing under an alias. :-)

No, I am not I have over 100k unique items in my inventory database, and no, it is not Amazon XML feed.

IITian




msg:203988
 6:38 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

wanderingmind

>$1 per page? I would be starving :)

Okay, make it one rupee per page for India. ;)

>I am in India, and have a site that is run just because it is useful for people. I make a meagre profit, and the site has 1,00,000 pages.

A few thousand free page allowance for all sites, perhaps depending upon PR, will be fine. Any special case like non-profits can be handled separately.

No excuses like this - I have 1 million unique products and I need 1 million unique(right!) pages to be indexed because that will be good for my visitors (Yeah, right.) Even Wal-Mart does not store one product only on a shelf. Sites can keep their million pages but let Google index only a few thousands, rest can be found easily by the visitors once they arrive at the site.

insyte1




msg:203989
 11:05 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

To return to the original question posed by dhaliwal August 6th - "I am seeing that the traffic has dropped nearly 50 % in a day" .... Why?

Google traffic on five of my sites dropped dramatically on the same day (August 5). Two of my sites were almost totally dependant on Google and traffic is now 20% of what it was. Other sites have a better balance with MSN-Yahoo-Google, so the loss of Google traffic has impacted overall site traffic maybe 30% istead of 80%. But it is still dramatic.

All of these sites used directory-like pages with same content aimed at specific keywords.

So Google has penalized one or both of two things:

A) Internal duplicate content(pages within the site that have same content, but different keywords in the title)
B) Directory-type structure - main directory pages pointed to 50 sub-pages where, apart from the keywords in the title, each page has the same content and the same set of external links.

Google penalty must be aimed at A or B or both, because I have other sites without any of these directory-type pages, and Google traffic is up in August.

Comments?

HarryM




msg:203990
 11:41 pm on Aug 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

So Google has penalized one or both of two things:

A) Internal duplicate content(pages within the site that have same content, but different keywords in the title)
B) Directory-type structure - main directory pages pointed to 50 sub-pages where, apart from the keywords in the title, each page has the same content and the same set of external links.

Looks like Google got something right!

WebFusion




msg:203991
 12:14 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

All of these sites used directory-like pages with same content aimed at specific keywords.

Sounds like a text book definition of doorway-spamming to me. If your site wouldn't stand the scrutiny of a human review (and from the sounds of it, it wouldn't), then it's a case of the Algo working like it should.

diamondgrl




msg:203992
 12:25 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would have to agree with HarryM that from the sound of it, insyte1's pages should have been penalized as search engine spam. Correct me if I misunderstand your site, insyte1. But as we've been through before, there are many others who have quite unique and user-valued content that is being penalized as well.

From everything I've read, the only conclusion I can draw is that a whole bunch of different changes were made, some to penalize spam-like sites and then some other tweaks of the knob that has the effect of devaluing large sites, whether intentional or not.

Some large site manager reported seeing a rebound a couple of days ago. I have not. All I have seen is Googlebot going nuts - more than 120,000 pages views this week in my logs.

my3cents




msg:203993
 1:20 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree that it's good news the algo is catching things like this, but I have noticed over the last several days that when searching for brand names and major store names a couple really poor quality "directories" are ranking very well. One directory has links to a few dozen pages right on tha page in the serps, the other has moved the links into one of two other pages, and each page links to these two pages. One shows adsense, the other does not, but each have some things in common, only affiliate links (which don't show up or work in firefox for some reason) and very little unique content.

Search for some major brand name stores, such as best buy, sears, JC penny, Circuit City and more and you will see exactly what I mean. I am now seeing them show up at the top of some of the best words in my industry that they don't even have one single instance of on their entire website! They are ranking well for terms that have nothing to do with their (limited ammount) of content.

This is two great examples of directory style affiliate spam that is dominating hundreds of popular searches and in some cases outranking the main company with two short, generic paragraphs of text.

I usually do not post specifics and I mention no url's but these are just a few of the very popular brand names these sites rank great for. Surely Google did not intend for this.

erykalefrak




msg:203994
 1:44 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK, I have been doing this for what I thought was a while but I know I have a lot to learn...

Isn't your home page generally supposed to be that way? A home page with liknks to all of your other pages on the site, and a little bit of information on some if not all of what is on the other pages you are linking to? I mean it doesn't mean that I repeat anything from the home page to the other pages, but let's say I have my home page "a" and then content pages "b-z" There is a little sentence or blerb in general about "b-z" on the home page, so people know where to look for what? Plus I have news about recent things say "b" that will also show up in the actual "b" page.

I thought this was giving accurate user friendly content... am I wrong? Is this filterable spamming?

diamondgrl




msg:203995
 1:58 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

erykalefrak,

you are right. and these spammy directories do not have any page rank and are still ranking near the top. there's no question that some folks are gaming the system and winning the gold on google (i'm watching the olympics opening ceremony right now so pardon that).

erykalefrak




msg:203996
 2:55 am on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been making my site "less efficient" let's say... like taking out some of the image alt's and such and my ratings are going up. odd, becauase they were not spammy.

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