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The End of Large Sites?
After August Shake-Up: Considering Smaller Sites?
adfree




msg:171752
 3:38 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

What's your take: percentage-wise it seems as if smaller, more static, more focused sites might be the name of the game right now. Much more than large, primarily dynamically, automaticaly controled sites with less of a human element.

Does that make sense?

 

diamondgrl




msg:171753
 5:34 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Maybe. I'm not sure we know yet, though. I certainly have suffered in the latest Google changes but I think it's a little early to start pronouncing that small sites are the way to go.

And in my case, it won't really change my behavior because my sites are going to be the size that they need to be from a user perspective. Yes, I need search engines to bring in those users but if breaking the content up into different sites doesn't make sense for the user, then it's a pointless exercise to try to please the search engines.

phantombookman




msg:171754
 6:06 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like smaller sites personally.
I think people will move more to specialist sites, search engines seem to like a tailored site (specialist relevent domain name etc).

I have 5 sites that could all really be on one but seperately they perform very much better.

Regards
Rod

phpdude




msg:171755
 6:44 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

August Shake-up?

Did I miss something? I see nothing out of the ordinary in the areas I watch!

5stars




msg:171756
 6:55 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

A couple years ago when theme sites were the “In Thing” I broke my site up into smaller more focused sites with keyword domains and they all seem to do very well.

In reading posts over the last year or so, I got the impression that theme sites were out… but I kept mine around because they seem to be working for us. We are thriving on G right now.

I do think the SE are aware that all the domains are micro domains of our primary domain. When I do a search on Alex for any of the micro domains – The results show data for my primary domain.

seoArt




msg:171757
 7:36 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

phpdude, I second that.

No "shake up" for the SERPS I watch either...

BigDave




msg:171758
 7:53 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

What's your take: percentage-wise it seems as if smaller, more static, more focused sites might be the name of the game right now. Much more than large, primarily dynamically, automaticaly controled sites with less of a human element.

Could you do a better job of defining your statement? You have jsmmed all sorts of things together that are not necessarily related.

What about large, dynamically-served static human generated content that is well focused?

Size has nothing to do with how the content is served, how it is generated, or how focused it is.

What do you consider large or small?

How do you determine the "human element"?

etc.?

christopher w




msg:171759
 7:54 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah - what was the August shake-up? I saw some very minor reshuffling but nothing that I would classify as a "shake-up" - please explain.

ezrydr




msg:171760
 7:57 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nor is there any shake up in the serps I follow, which makes me think this august "shake-up" might well be a google glitch - that some search results are affected while others were not.

I've noticed there has been very little, if any, movement in serps for SE's that use G's results since last Saturday. Normally I see daily movement which makes me think google might be putting a hold on things as they work things out.

Others have stated gbot stopped spidering for days (sites which normally are crawled daily) then coming back stronger than ever, PR going to zero then coming back, etc. - all of which makes me think this might not be a shake-up at all (except it has shaken up a lot of folks around here).

herb




msg:171761
 7:57 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Adfree, I hope your perception is wrong. We have been running 50-150 page static sites for years. Decided to make the jump to one of the larger sizes. Just putting the finishing touches on a 10K site. We did make all of the pages static HTML rather then DB driven. Let's see what the next couple of months bring.

lorenzinho2




msg:171762
 7:59 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ditto to what DiamondGrl said - our site isn't big to please the search engines, it's because it makes sense for our users.

I have to think that things haven't settled yet.

It seems to me that the sites that have been hit by this update are large, previously stable sites that have been around for a number of years. From a spam / quality perspective, I can't imagine that Google would want to drive these types of sites out of the index.

When you're seeing a scale of 70-80% of a certain type of site's Google traffic disappearing, it just feels like the small site / big site pendulum may have swung a little too far, and G may still be working out the kinks.

webdude




msg:171763
 8:18 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

No shake up here on my end either.

ownerrim




msg:171764
 8:24 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

no changes here (knock on wood)

steveb




msg:171765
 9:17 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is the one possible large negative in the recent shakeup. Google has encouraged webmasters to make large, content-rich websites rather than break their content up onto multiple domains which interlink in a sometimes fake/decepetive way. They have been downgrading these mini-webs of low quality sites for several months.

Now the knob looks like it was turned way the other way. Deep pages on authoritative sites seem to be doing less well, while very weak (but non-spammy) domain main pages seem to be doing much better. I'm seeing the most authoritative sites having their dozens of #4 or #6 rankings for a term now being #12 or #15, while the sites that have moved above them are not spammy, they are simply weak.... meaning a page with excellent quality resources on Paris has dropped below a page that basically says "I went to Paris and it was cool." Nothing wrong with the latter, just not worthy of a high ranking.

This may be just an example of why on page content should never be considered very important in ranking a page. I could write a paragraph on the theory of relativity, with all the right keywords, and then another site could have Einstein write a paragraph on relativity. A bot would never be able to tell the difference in quality, but off page factors would normally clearly reveal that the Einstein page is the one to rank higher.

The authority knob seems to have been turned down, especially authority you grant yourself -- meaning even if other quality authoritative domains lavish authoritative linking on a domain's main page, that main page is not able to transfer as much of an authoritative vote to its own internal, more topically focused pages.

Personally I suspect this knob turn will be undone like a similar one early in the year. The low quality domains are much better than the pure piffle of last year, but still, if you want authoritative domains, you have to respect internal linking and the transfer of authority within a domains own pages.

phpdude




msg:171766
 10:17 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I still don't see anything.

I ran a search on the most competitive phrase in my area and checked all 10 results on the page.

EVERY single result was relevant and truth be told any one of them was worthy of #1.

All of them were from 10 different companies and all were normal run of the mill sites. No BS seo stuff.

This is a phrase that commands over 7.00 per click.

So, if there was a big "shake-up" as has been said, then it was only in very specific areas.

To come to the conclusion that the end of large sites is on the horizon when many sectors where untouched, is just conjecture. If they turned a knob, it would apply across the board and not be industry specific.

If indeed some industries are seeing huge changes, then I would bet it is more than a knob turn.

jimh009




msg:171767
 10:18 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

For the SERPS I'm familiar with, I haven't seen anything like a "shake up" either. Just a little tweaking here and there - nothing out of the ordinary for G today. And I have a very large, static site, too.

lorenzinho2




msg:171768
 10:23 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

< This is a phrase that commands over 7.00 per click.

That's what makes this update so weird. The SERPS that have been shaken up are the NON competitive ones. The sites that are taking hits are typically those with a high home page PR, thousands of relatively unoptimized pages with keywords not interesting or monetizable for most SEOs.

That's why this one is so baffling. It's a clean up (?) of SERPS that weren't dirty to begin with. As SteveB says, Google has decided to replace the internal pages of big sites, with primary pages of hobby sites.

cabbie




msg:171769
 10:29 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

A quality post SteveB.

lorenzinho2




msg:171770
 10:31 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

As an added note, that's why were not hearing from anyone whose G referrals have grown 70%. Because there aren't any.

Maybe 500-1000 big sites got dinged by 70-80% (pure speculation), and the gains were spread out across millions of hobby sites, whose webmasters are most likely not on WW anyway.

i hope i don't sound bitter

steveb




msg:171771
 10:33 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

"EVERY single result was relevant and truth be told any one of them was worthy of #1."

That isn't the issue here.

"If they turned a knob, it would apply across the board and not be industry specific."

LOL, it would? Your statement is totally wrong. They sometimes even turn knobs that effect one single site. If you don't understand that some industries can be heavily effected by a change that doesn't concern most other industries I don't know what there can be said. Every industry doesn't have the same group of influences in play.

BillyS




msg:171772
 12:17 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

"LOL, it would? Your statement is totally wrong. They sometimes even turn knobs that effect one single site. If you don't understand that some industries can be heavily effected by a change that doesn't concern most other industries I don't know what there can be said. Every industry doesn't have the same group of influences in play."

LOL, are you suggesting that Google would place a good deal of effort figuring out what dial to turn just to affect a single site?

Honestly, if Google is focused on tweaks at that level, they are missing the target. With the results they are returning for searches, I would think they are turning much larger knobs - on a much broader scale.

steveb




msg:171773
 12:53 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

"LOL, are you suggesting that Google would place a good deal of effort figuring out what dial to turn just to affect a single site?"

Who said anything about a good deal of effort? They aren't loading coal here.

Apparently it isn't, but it should be obvious to everyone that Google can significantly effect the rankings in an entire niche by doing something as simple as PR0ing one domain. That should be a very clear basic of basics.

However, while that is obvious, more interesting is how some knob turns will strongly effect some sectors while leaving others completely undisturbed. For example, a lot of the travel industry types have complained about how Google basically altered how it handled "location widget" searches. A geolocation tweak could drastically effect the travel niche while being completely unimportant to adult or php or entertainment or many other niches.

phpdude




msg:171774
 2:01 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

-Apparently it isn't, but it should be obvious to everyone that Google can significantly effect the rankings in an entire niche by doing something as simple as PR0ing one domain. That should be a very clear basic of basics.--

If an entire niche can be affected by PROing one domain, then it was a disaster waiting to happen anyway. If all those sites in the niche were basing their ranking on one domain, then the spoils go to those in that niche that did it right to start with and were not affected by the one site. All the sites that got wacked got wacked for a reason.

Never the less, it is also apparent that Google is trying to clean up the rampant affiliate sites that are popping up. I say Good riddance!

I don't see a problem with Google doing this.

ferfer




msg:171775
 2:08 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

steveb, about your first post on this threas, I agree, but I doubt the change will be undone, because I think that the primary objetive was to push down spammy pages, and I am seeing less spammy pages in first pages, theme spammy sites are ok, but homepage unrelated spammy pages are in lower places....

TerrCan123




msg:171776
 4:00 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't see this as an attempt to remove affiliate sites as many affiliate pages moved up and many moved down, it appears to be a wash in the results I see. It seems they tried to broaden out the results to more sites if anything, the problem is pagerank becomes almost meaningless when you do that.

That may be why many have said they have Google traffic down to Yahoo levels, and that isn't good for Google. I think Yahoo results are about two years or more behind but catching up fast after this debacle.

trimmer80




msg:171777
 5:00 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Many many people have seen traffic drop 70 - 80% on the same day....Aug 5. It is not isolated to industries. It also has not hit everyone. I have sites that did react to the change at all. Others that have dropped 80%.

the primary objetive was to push down spammy pages, and I am seeing less spammy pages in first pages

I am seeing the spammest spam i have ever seen getting to no 1.

I mean pages with 50 hidden links, redirects. spammy noframes tags. Dynamic content generation. The Works.

If google doesn't turn it back then more and more of us will start using these spam methods (myself included) and their results will get worse and worse.

ferfer




msg:171778
 5:24 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I mean that some kind of spammy pages were pushed down, but of course I am seeing those thematic spammy sites well ranked now, entire sites spamming 1 topic are ok, spam sites covering many topics are down.

The same happened to geniune content sites, but As I theorized in the other thread, most genuine sites are one-topic or multi-topic but with strong inbound links (specially the biggest, I mean, thounsads inbound links) so those got a special status and remained without the "lowering filter".

It seems tht big loosers are multi-thematic sites without huge link popularity. If you had good section about X , but your site homepage has nothing to do with X, then you are "lowered"...

adfree




msg:171779
 9:33 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

ferfer - It seems tht big loosers are multi-thematic sites without huge link popularity. If you had good section about X , but your site homepage has nothing to do with X, then you are "lowered"...

I think you are right on the money there as I already supported your view in the other thread, this covers my observations 100%.

petehall




msg:171780
 1:26 pm on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing movement here.

Our site is rising again, so I think they may be turning the knob back round a click or two...

adfree




msg:171781
 1:35 pm on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

petehall - some knobs just snap either on or off, me for my part hoping: turn it all the way baby...

This 83 message thread spans 3 pages: 83 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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