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Results playing peek-a-boo
Google doing some testing for an upcoming release?

 3:45 am on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Over the last week I've noticed SERPs changing briefly, and dissapearing. Looks to me like they are rotating in another update and haven't committed to it.

Anyone see similar things? Is it me?



 1:25 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have, and badly for me, the bot visited me last night, and I still have a PR 6, but my top five results have dropped to 115.


 2:46 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Where did you see it?
Was it one of the data centers?
Was it the main www?


 3:39 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Over the past three days I have seen one distinctly different set of SERPS show up for about an hour, then disappear - twice.

It seems unlikely they would test an algo live, but:
The "new" SERPs appeared to include results based on semantic interpretations of the search phrase. The results looked as if the semantic part of the algo needed more work. Not yet ready for prime time.

Anyone else get a chance to review these phantom SERPs?


 4:00 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

It seems unlikely they would test an algo live

I disagree. I think they do it all the time. Every release is a test for them, otherwise they wouldn't track clicks in the free SERPs.

Where did you see it?

On www. I don't know what datacenter/s it was pulling from. Several refreshes changed the SERP's back, so I assume I was pulling from different machines in the same datacenter.

[edited by: jcoronella at 4:20 pm (utc) on Oct. 29, 2004]


 4:12 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yep we've seen it a couple times. Took some snaps too. If the snapshot is any guide, their quest to rid the Web of aff's continues.

But actually we view it as an extension of what we've been seeing for months. In a few of our cat's the SERP's change quite substantially every couple of days. Some sets of SERP's are littered with affs, then others far less so. One might guess that they identified a base and are evaluating a series of changes and how each measures up versus the base.

It seems to us that they've generally been playing with filters/algo elements relating to dup content and code (html, text, meta, title, anchor text, Hx and more). Then there's the big crawl now underway.

I feel tremors in the force.


 7:43 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

This has been going on regularly for quite some time, a month at least. I think it means nothing other than Google dumping data in, much of it incomplete.

More puzzling to me is something possibly related, which is every few days on some of the minor datacenters their appears a significantly different result set that is much superior to the normal. These better results appear on two or three datacenters for awhile, but they *never* move over to the others.

Google has so many blatant problems right now that they obviously have to be working behind the scenes to fix them, so maybe some of the work pops up once in awhile, but it seems more likely we are just seeing the death throes of the problem-plagued, mediocre 2004 Google.


 8:09 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have seen this also, and I thought I was going crazy. I need to see a major update soon, its been so boring this year. Last year was a lot more fun with all the updates and changes


 8:39 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Somebody just sent me an email that there pagerank increased from PR6 to PR7. Does anybody else notice PR updates too?


 9:05 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nothing going on here on the east coast, so far.


 9:06 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<I feel tremors in the force.>>

I cannot recall a time where I have seen more stagnant, stale, results with so little changes. I have junky little one page sites sitting for about a YEAR now in hyper-competetive spots - this would NEVER have happened in the old google!

That being said, I do NOT see tremors in the force, just business as usual with "Google light", which, frankly, reminds me a bit of Inktomi of old. Sure, they rolled out a few brash, sloppy, unsuccessful filters, but nothing earth shattering for certain.

IMO, folks are giving google WAY too much credit for the minor iterations and general snafus they are seeing. For months people have been saying, "Something BIG is coming", but nothing ever happens really, still anchor driven serps with nearly identical techniques as 3-4 years ago....yawn....methinks google has hit the wall....

Thank goodness there are 2 lively engines out there for those who like a little excitment! :)


 9:27 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank goodness there are 2 lively engines out there for those who like a little excitment! :)

There are?


 9:53 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<I feel tremors in the force.>>

Actually, I just like saying that. :-)


 10:18 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

LOL! You could write a novel caveman. The only guy who could make data analysis seem exciting....


 11:18 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

The changes I saw were significant changes to competitive SERPs that I expect would be driven by added incomings/anchor text. Changes I expected to already have taken effect, but are absent from the current mainstream SERPs.

I feel they are too significant to be an incremental weekly/biweekly data merge and that they are more likely to be filter and/or algo A/B tests.

The same type of thing that is silly to talk about unless anyone has anything significant to add, which is why I asked and why this thread will either soon die or degenerate into doomsday speculation.


 11:49 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

When g sees the adwords that work and the ones that don't..that will be the update.
Seems really easy to me what they are working on, major mistake number 2! Mistake number 3 will end it, roll out msnbot


 11:58 pm on Oct 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

nakulgoyal, the Google Directory just reverted to the previous version instead of the most recent where where the PR display was screwed up. Perhaps that is what your friend saw.

(And for me non-english Googles like .it and .fr are showing results with Directory links and the old layout)


 5:29 am on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

It seems from this discussion that update is on the anvil.Hope for the best guys, Christmas is arriving and so is the shoping season.


 8:46 am on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

There is constant change in the results. Every few days they are jiggled about.

A few days ago I noticed that most of the PDF results dropped out of a number of searches where the were previously prominent.


 11:42 am on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Any observation on how the previously sandboxed sites are ranking on this new set of results?


 3:54 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> sandboxed sites

There is no determination yet that it is a new set of results. These could just be business-as-usual tweaks. Although they looked to me more significant that that, I am more consistantly wrong than right.

But no, I did not check any sites that may/may not be stuck in that filter, nor did any of the SERP's I've been seeing stick around long enough to check more than a few searches before rotating back (dissapointingly) to the current SERPs.


 4:22 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Last year was a lot more fun with all the updates and changes - Hmm I dont think so.


 4:24 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Me either, steady as she goes is my hope. I don't want any part of what happened last November.

For the areas we monitor there was a bit of a change-up today, nothing major. However, what does amaze me these days is how fast changes roll through all the data centers.


 4:32 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yah I Strongly feel Google played with the Adsense campaigns to report more earnings for the last public report to shareholders.

Now that Google is public expect the company to be run by crybabies and not by Googlies.

Sad but true serps and results will now favor pocket stuffers, dont care what anyone else feels, I know the show.

Now watch another search engine start moving higher, only thing Google has now is Adwords... thus the Adsense changes... all a scam now - just one's wise opinion.



 7:29 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

my site, which has consistently been top six for about six months fell back to the mid-fifties for a week or two (for my #1 term). then, last week, i saw that it was back to the old listings, but when i refreshed, i'd be back in the fifties! each time i would refresh, i'd flip from top ten to the fifties and back. now i seem to be back in the top ten for the time being.


 8:14 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have one site which literarlly dissapears PR 6, lots of links shows up high then goes way too far down for me to ever find out where it ended up. It has been happening for a month. It is in the software industry. I had 6 sites in the sandbox and one has come out into the regular serps in the Top 10 results and one is #1 for the main keyword but the URL in the serps is the secure site not the real one. Both escapees are 7 months old.

All of those 6 sites are all over Yahoo in the top 10 for a range of keywords. I just dont promote Google like I used to they have moved on we need to do the same.

Tropical Island

 8:26 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

From where I am it looks like they are using two different sets of results.

One of our sites keeps switching from 10 to 14 every time I check.


 9:05 pm on Oct 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't forget that Google has multiple data-centres, and each will have a slightly different version of the index, and they might try slightly different algorithms too. Results are often slightly unstable for most of the month.

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