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Is Google going to do something drastic? No PR updates in months!

 3:27 pm on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I was wondering what everyone thought about Google with the PR situation.

From my observations, I have not seen the usual PR updates that usually occur. Only Pr's going from PR5, PR6, and PR7's to Zero's. Some coming back and some staying there.

Mind that I am tracking domains that I work with, as well as very popular domains.

I have a domain that had over 11,000 backlinks and a PR8, and the links have dropped to under 1,000 and the PR still remains an 8. It was previously a PR6 before that backlink campaign.

So this leads me to think that something drastic is going to happen and when it hits, it will hit hard on many different sites.

There are already many out there with PR0's and no real answer to why. Usually when you got a PR0, you knew why and it was usually related to spammy, cloaky reasoning. This time around, the question is BIG, and people aren't sure.

Some are relating it to too many backlinks from specific directories saying they may now be categorized as link farms, and then others are simply lost.

I would be interested to hear other people's theory on what is up with the Google PR and what you think may happen in the very near future.

With minimal PR updates for about 3 full months, and many backlink updates, something is bound to happen soon.

Let me know your thoughts



 10:29 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

My site just got hammered. I had been number 1 for many different search terms within a few specific categories, and now all of those listings are down around 20. I'd say I had been ranking well for around 1 year for most of these terms, and some of them for several years. I am hoping this is just one server and it won't propogate to the rest, but I have a feeling this is just the beginning.

I actually don't think this is a major update though, because it doesn't appear the other sites around me have changed that much. Not a good feeling.


 10:53 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hammered is putting it mildly - Try #1 to #160 in many cases.......Also noticing the top end now packs a keyword density of 1% to 2% in a lot of cases - most interesting.


 10:55 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Right there with you. 4 year old site, some good links (including Yahoo and DMOZ directories), ranked well for a large number of terms within my topic.

As of last night, I'm down from page 1 on my terms to page 8 or so, except one term that is.

When I do a search for a term that I very consistently rank #1 on, I'm still #1, but instead of listing www.mydomain.com as usual, it's showing mydomain.com without the www (which is how it's listed in DMOZ).

Odd and kinda scary, since I've changed nothing. I'm hoping it was a 'server down while the spider was visiting' issue.


 11:19 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am seeing massive changes in Australia.

It's all good for me but not for my competitors ; )


 11:20 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am seeing some pretty significant changes across quite a few terms. Not impressed so far.

Lest folks think I am whining, I still rank #2 on a key term, it is the sites below that have changed. There's Amazon showing in the top 10 again!

Hopefully this too shall pass.



 12:11 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am seeing bad changes in Google today traffic way down and lots of sites with little content are being raised higher.

Does anyone know the datacenters to check out that could be a preview of what is to come? I know there are thousands of them now but I wonder if there is one to check out to get an idea...


 12:19 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

big spammer just made the top in air travel keyword I follow ..no content just tons of links

And right below that is a teen forum LOL

Hopefully the shuffle isnt complete


 12:21 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy Last Post: Aug 21, 2004

Where did he go?


 12:48 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

As I posted above that I got hammered, now I'm wondering if I actually had my site hijacked by another domain - when I search for the name of my site, I don't show up anywhere, but #2 is a redirect to my site. I can only hope that is the reason I'm dropped as I should recover once that is fixed. If it's a new algo - I guess it's time to learn how to use adwords - which may be what Google wants?


 12:57 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok , I have noticed twice in the past few weeks..I have comepletely lost PR on a page..(and ranking) ..the first time this happend the PR came back aweek later ..but notthe ranking..

Tonight..same thing ..I have completely lost PR on a page(and it's ranking #1 ) and I'll bet you thosand bucks PR will show back up in a week or so..but not the ranking..
so whats that all about?

Pages are basicaly clean text


 2:19 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)


This change should be another shift since Aug 26th.

I guess those who lost google traffic yesterday might have gained traffic in the last shift on Aug 26th,is that true?


 2:20 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I guess those who lost google traffic yesterday might have gained traffic in the last shift on Aug 26th,is that true? "

I've been losing traffic since August...from 4000+ referrals to 50 today. It happened in steps, each update I lost some. Same site, a lot more unique backlinks and every single page is cached. GoogleBot stops by dayly and picks up a lot of pages so I don't know what it is. My keyword density is about 3.X for my main keyword...

[edited by: walkman at 2:26 am (utc) on Sep. 24, 2004]


 2:23 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Seeing Huge changes for my rankings on two sites (from Australia).

Mods , can we please have a thread on the changes I submitted two which haven't obviously been accepted...


 2:31 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

My Gut tells me we should be ready to name this one, it appears that there has been a slow build up to this.

Strange bot activity.
Appears to be a change in the algo and how it ranks
change in how links are viewed
The Time of the year
Some large bans
the removal of www2 and www3 to view the dance.

then again that just me, i'm sure there is more.


 2:36 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

How about naming this one "Ivan" ?


 2:52 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

For those sites seeing a drop in traffic, how would you characterize the incoming links? Are they from solid sources? Have the links been around for a while?

The reason I ask is that a few sites that I am seeing affected (not my own fortunately) seem to be of the variety that have purchased page rank or the page rank comes from single sources that comprise most of the sites incoming links.


 2:54 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

we should be ready to name this one

Brett already named it: update Vegas. That said, I have yet to see a major change for any of the keywords I tried...


 3:05 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just found a page of results where the top 18 are "supplemental results" for a search phrase I have been targeting for almost 5 years. Now that is so very strange.........


 3:16 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

For my site that has dropped, I have many incoming links from many sites, and many of the incoming links have been there a long time.

I've had some time to look around a little more, and it turns out two of my main sites have been impacted. One site gets a lot of it's incoming links from the other site, but I don't think I have any links going back to the main site. For my main site, as I said above, I used to have a lot of #1 listings - now I haven't found a single #1 listing for that entire site. The rankings are actually fluctuating a decent amount, with the highest result for the site was #4 and that was for the name of the site - it is actually at #20 most of the time - with almost all of the sites above it being sites that link to me. I do still have a lot of rankings between 20-30, and a few in the top 10. Another thing about these two sites is that there are a lot of pages on the sites that are generated from datafeeds - like Amazon, but a lot of the pages are totally unique content.

I am guessing that the sites have been blessed with some sort of filter - otherwise I can't understand how the site wouldn't come up for it's own site name.

I did email webmaster@google.com as I'm also thinking the one site may have gotten hurt because of a "hijack" - as the 2nd listing for my site is another site with a 301 redirect to my site - and the cache shows my site.

I'm really curious what other people are seeing. I want to know if this is a new filter, an actual algo change, or just a penalty my site has gotten.

I'm hoping if it is an algo change it will be like the updates of old - the initial listings aren't that close to the final results - usually things would settle down over 4-6 days. I sure hope my sites will wind up better than where they are now.


 3:24 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just had a site go from PR4 to PR5 TODAY!
I saw a report on another forum of a site with PR4 that has a June 22 2004 whois record.
I believe SOMETHING is a going on here.
Please forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

Note: I have been the first poster on 2 previous Google updates.


 3:41 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I'm really curious what other people are seeing. I want to know if this is a new filter, an actual algo change, or just a penalty my site has gotten."

does Google use penalties /demotions or just bans? I'm curious


 3:44 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Somebody tell me I'm crazy. I see 2 sites now that have gone from PR4 to PR5 today. For the most part everything is the same, but I have found these 2 exceptions.


 3:46 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nothing is 100% these days, but some people have referred to sites ranking lower as "filters", some people call those "penalties", and some just call that an "algo change". If I remember right, a long time ago, some people thought there was a specific filter/penalty that would cause your site to rank around 20 spots lower than usual - they did this as opposed to just banning sites it seemed.

Google does also ban sites, from what I can tell.


 4:32 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I knew something is shaking, and it will probably only get worse. Google loves keeping us on our toes!
I will check my stats across the board and report any major changes.



 5:20 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Some odd results.

california widget maker returns at number 3 a totally unrelated site's link page that has, you guessed it, a few links to california widget makers

More telling is #4. Title = "Widgets - Widget Maker in Bend, Oregon" The word "California" ONLY APPEARS IN THE TEXT! And then, only twice! This suggests that the content knob has been turned up pretty dramatically. Title and anchor text have been turned down.

I am seeing too many directories in the top ten (and one of them is mine). And, I see a webring at number 9.

Similar searches are showing similar results.

Has this reduced spam? Well, I just tried a search I did a couple of days ago that gave me nothing but scraped directories and redirects. I am still finding much of the same, although it is a slightly different set of spammy sites. Still couldn't find what I was looking for.



 5:49 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have yet to see any violent shakeup of the keywords I watch. My mature site is the same as are its surroundings. My site that was once up to its shins in sand is now apparently up to its knees in the fine grainy stuff. For a search in which it should easily be number one it has dropped from 164 to 288.
Come on Overture, send me the go ahead reply.


 6:29 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is a good little update, offering the first sign of anything positive in the past couple months, but my goodness, whatever it is sure isn't a "Vegas" update. For one thing, lag time is still effecting most things. This level of update occurs ever couple weeks.


 7:03 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

steveb, i am going to catch you in Vegas.;)*
If and when vegas does come it would be cool if instead of not counting posts in update threads, we could count them separately. I plan on taking a tax deduction (belated) for all the posts I made during Florida but am not sure how much to take.;)

*# of posts that is.


 8:55 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

re posts 52 & 53, thanks for the info, much appreciated. I did indeed try tracing and searching for the location but every time I tried any combination it brought an error page, unfound, canot find, 404 etc.

My one site affected by this has gone from page one to page 9 and as of this morning traffic is down 96%!

I feel this is more of a penalty rather than an algo change leading to a shuffle in serps. Having read peoples posts on KWD - I wonder if this is the problem.

Very demoralising


 9:51 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

One of our sites completely disappeared, but not from the index (using site:www.domain.com) just from SERPs.

Today it's back, although not quite as strong.

One of the money phrases on another site has slipped 100 places - all others results for this site remain very similar. This is still the case today.

No need to panic about anything just yet, but wouldn't a PR update be fun :-)


 10:05 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

One of my sites lost 94% of google traffic since yesterday (Sept 23). Pages that were on first page of SERP now in oblivion. The site is about a year old and was holding steady until now. Has about 3 incoming links. Index page has PR4, other pages PR2. May never should have been on first page, but shouldn't have been sent to oblivion.

Another site dropped on about September 7. It might be because a couple of sites joined the competition. Traffic from Google is about 30% of what it was in August. With this site I went to second page of SERP instead of oblivion. Used to get traffic from general keyword searches, now they need to be pretty obscure. Changed some outgoing links hoping it would make a difference (hasn't yet).

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