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One year anniversary of the "Florida" Update
Can it happen again?
Heywood_J

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 10:55 pm on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

As we approach the one year anniversary of the Florida update, I am curious if we can expect another radical google update right before the crucial holiday season. Many of us took a beating last year. I fully recovered my pre-florida rankings by January, but many of my cohorts took a lot longer to recover. I remember there was a lot of debate on if this was an intentional move by google, or some suggested google was broken. There were many theories circulating. But, there were very few concrete answers.

The biggest question I have is: Can this happen again?

I am curious of other thoughts on the Florida Update - one year later.

 

JuniorOptimizer

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 2:13 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I look at it as "lower blended click costs" for the keyword. With a combination of paid listings, augmented by some free SERPS you can lower your blended click costs quite a bit.

Switching off the AdWords has never resulted in the natural listing being lowered either.

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 2:39 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

It always amazes me how people who have not seen a reality have the silly audacity to speak as though they are an authority when they are clueless. It is one thing to ask questions to explore an issue, but to speak with an air of authority when one has NO knowledge, well... that is just ownright silly.

I am with a non-commerce keyword topic. (That's right, folks, not every keyword is all about money!)

With years of experience in my somewhat rare keyword, experience has revealed and proven that there are about a dozen or so sub-niches by which searchers contemplate when seeking to investigate this little-understood topic.

They only know to search the generic parent keyword, but they are looking through the SERPs with one of those dozen sub-niches as they have in their mind. (So, it is not reasonable to say that they should be expected to search with more complex search queries -- they know so little about the keyword that they do not know do to that. They are trying to learn, after all.)

To serve the searchers, there are individual web-sites which each serve those specific sub-niches, with pages and pages of relevant non-duplicate content. As a community, they are the "elite" authority on the topic -- there is NO ONE ELSE, only those sites. I know this for a fact becuse I know the entire community for many years. (Any response which hereinafter tries to imply otherwise shall be treated according to the open idiocy it is. So I encourage anyone to refrain from wasting their or our time here on that. I DO know this matter as a fact and any such response will only be made by someone without any knowledge whatsoever.)

Before G$ decided to go deliberately dishonest to instead force authority sites to pay for AdWords, all the "elite" sites in this particular community appeared at the top of SERPs, because they combine to form the overall community authority after all, in addition to the truest top authority site in the keyword, which is an actual organization. All the sites used to rank high because they served searchers with an abundance of the exact information they were seeking in each particular sub-niche.

But G$ destroyed the natural SERPs and almost none of those sites can be found in even the Top 100. No, they are not spam (before any self-exalted silly person tries to suggest that here, too). G$ had deliberately forced them out in order to blackmail them into AdWords, if they wanted to be found in G$.

And so, a searcher will search for this keyword, but because they see nothing in the SERPs addressing the sub-niche issue in their mind, G$ HAS LIED TO / DECEIVED THEM by implying that none exist. Yes, G$ is a free company to do as it pleases, but putting out dishonest SERPs to a user who is being "told" they are relevant SERPs is deception indeed. (The user has no idea about the AdWords blackmail which webmasters face.) And so, not having their answer specifically answered, the user is not served at all.

The only way for such sites to be found, if at all, has been to pay for AdWords (or to hope for a clicked link from a linkbck on the authority site paying for AdWords). G$ loves that all the way to the bank -- even though these blackmailed AdWords ads are not in a commerce-topic with which to afford the expense.

Absolutely, G$ now puts out dishonest natural SERPs soley for the purpose of blackmailing established community and authority sites to pay or not be found.

The new M$ beta shows all those sites in the top SERPs (as used to be in past honest SERPs of past SE's including G$) -- thereby showing that established "elite" sites which do serve the searcher WILL appear in an HONEST presentation of natural SERPs.

While I sadly anticipate that M$ will later go dishonest in the beta's SERPs to in order to raise ad revenues the same evil way as G$, the present display of the current M$ beta shows honest SERPs for now.

JuniorOptimizer

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 2:45 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Maybe your tinfoil hat is a bit too snug.

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 2:49 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Inappropriate, little junior.

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 2:57 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Multiman - a tour de force of sophistry.

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:06 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

When one shares the truth of their experience, it is neither an invalid argument nor any intent to deceive. Only an actual sophist would accuse my post of supposed sophistry.

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:17 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Except you use personal experience to extrapolate as fact that Google is screwing up SERPS to encourage Adwords clicks. No proof of any connection of course - hence sophistry.

How about:

Irrelevent SERPS = Less Traffic = Less Adwords Revenue (lower bids/fewer advertisers)

wellzy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:20 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I run an authority site and have never been forced to use AdWords. I have remained steady in the SERPs for over 3 years. I believe you are having problems with irrelevant search results for your niche, but to say that 'Google destroyed the natural SERPs' is not true. I see junk in the SERPs from time to time, but overall what I am searching for is at the top.

You say people search for the parent word word with your niche in mind. What happens if the search for the niche keywords?

wellzy

petehall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:23 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

wellzy: My site was not hit by Florida, so I can't say much about it. I just know that the only ones who trash Google are the ones not doing well in the rankings (and the opposite for those doing well)

I think the main problem is you are not really in a position to comment if you are only responsible for a single website.

If you were responsible for any one of four, out of six main websites we manage, you would not be aware of Florida and still dominate Google SERPs today... as we have always done.

The other two sites on the other hand are a completely different ball game, and it can become very frustrating at times.

So we very well in Google; but I still agree with MultiMan that Google has it's fair share of problems today.

Whether or not these issues are intentional is a completely different matter... I for one have no idea.

On the plus side I am seeing a slight improvement on 216.239.57.99 so I think another Florida is looking unlikely :-)

randle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:33 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

When the Florida disaster struck last year I instantly went into, "its a conspiracy to drive adwords revenue, has to be!". I honestly believed it. I figured that now that all of my great placements are gone, I have to start PPC'ing to drive traffic. Just what the Googlers intended! However, that scenario is a result, not a cause.

It took a while for that belief to die down, and once it did we got back to work. I can honestly say that all of our sites are truly better now, we did improve them. What caused the Florida shake-up I have no idea, some say they do and I wish they would share.

I will say, respectfully so to all who disagree, that I do not believe Google manipulates the results in any manner so as to increase the use of Adwords. 11 months ago, I was no where near being able to state that. Maybe it all depends on where you are at.

As far as another shake-up like Florida, I donít want any part of it, and hope it never comes. Minor storms are okay, no hurricanes please!

Jakpot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 4:58 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Florida - The biggest question I have is: Can this happen again?

I hope not. My traffic and income was reduced by 90 percent and has not recovered.
Surely Google wouldn't kill the remaining 10 percent
or would they?

Essex_boy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 5:49 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Why not? They dont owe you anything?

wellzy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 6:31 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

petehall
I agree Google has some problems. For the record I have 8 websites (and growing). None affected by Florida. I have helped a few WW members in the past figure out where the problem was. One site we never could put our finger on it.

All I am saying is that Google has problems, but I think MultiMan went overboard.

wellzy

bak70

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 7:04 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Does everyone at least agree that google has had a major update in november for the last 3 or 4 years?
If you do agree why wouldnt it happen this november.
I hope it does.
All of my sites I got lazy on were hurt last november however the ones I kept working on all did better.
The lesson I learned is you can never have to much seo.

Nikke

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 7:52 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm awaiting the Thanksgiving update. I'm too sure it will come.

But MultiMan's post just made me think about one thing.
The Post florida lesson was "link to auhority sites and you will get rewarded with good serps". No re-read MultiMan's post... Aren't the authority sites gainging at all by all these links?

ronin100

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 8:16 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree that I saw the Florida update but don't recall others? The Ohio update or the Texas update?

I think Google's updating constantly now. Multi man writes:

"I know this for a fact becuse I know the entire community for many years. (Any response which hereinafter tries to imply otherwise shall be treated according to the open idiocy it is. So I encourage anyone to refrain from wasting their or our time here on that. I DO know this matter as a fact and any such response will only be made by someone without any knowledge whatsoever).

I don't pay too much attention to posts that preface by noting "here comes 'the deal' and don't anybody disagree with me"!

I'm a googleholic and my life has become unmanageable ;)!

JuniorOptimizer

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 9:02 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Rare is the man who's perceived monopoly on truth is accurate.

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 9:19 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am glad for the lucky ones who escaped the tyranny of the dishonest G$.

However, that does not negate the reality suffered by others.

In our situation, we did EVERYTHING to try to solve the problem of all the important sites disappearing from G$ natural SERPs in our keyword. We went to google groups for help (which later brought me here).

When seeking for help, and trusting that being open about our keyword and the sites affected would get real help from G$ or its supporters, we allowed ourselves to be open about the keyword and sites, despite our knowing that most people are simply not smart enough to intellectually handle the topic without showing their idiocy. And indeed, we got so many stupid statements and distractions from people who simply do not know our keyword, that I now will not let my time be wasted with such things. (Hence the caveats I make which some mis-interpret as "arrogance," despite how those same ones will say a person should know their market, and yet when I show how much I DO know this specific market, they malign me as having arrogance!)

Anyway, we did also get lots of supposed experts on many forums. Not one could solve the matter.

We spent 1000s of man-hours trying and G$ simply would not fix the problem and no SEO tweaking on our part would help. Nothing. A total waste of a monstous amount of manhours.

After half a year of such unfruitful manhour expense in attempted SEO tweaking for the community, it became clear that the only option was for the organization top authority site (the one the media and colleges turn to for information on the keyword) to give in and pay the extortion blood-money to AdWords.

It was the only way.

G$ had destroyed our non-commerce keyword in order to blackmail the only organization authority site into AdWords.

No matter how much help we sought help, G$ allowed no solution.

People can interpret that however they want, but when always honest white hat SEO can never solve the problem, something is clearly amiss, for sure. (In fact, until the devastation, all we ever did was focus on content, and never got that concerned with SEO. We were only concerned with serving the user with valuable and wholly FREE non-commerce information.)

And even when we went to AdWords, when liars and scam artists and utterly useless off-topic anonymous affiliates created ads to adversely impact the AdWords adspace, G$ still refused to be helpful.

Oh yes, they were helpful on a couple issues, but only where profit for G$ was not on the line.

But in every single case where the AdWords complaint issue presented the opportunity of G$ making more money, even if it meant G was allowing currupt things, such as deliberately false advertising to mislead users, G$ ALWAYS responded on the side that makes them more money. ALWAYS.

They showed that there is no basis by which one can ever expect them to be honest about anything, at this point. The only honest thing is that they want money. While capitalism totally a good thing, unchecked never-limited greed is destructive like a bull in a china house.

So, no, I have not gone overboard. We tried and tried. G$ simply refused to allow any valid SERPs. And they always respond on the side which makes them most money. Even if dishonest, it's always about their profit.

Profit is fine, but not when earned dishonestly --such as by claiming to have honest SERPs when they are obviously not-- that's not legitimate capitalism.

When Y came out with their new Y this year, many but not all of those good SERPs showed up. Y was on the right track.

And now the new M$ beta takes it the next step and actually displays all of them -- as they used to be in all SE's years ago.

Plus, I must add, this has all been only white hat stuff. All we wanted to do was present content to educate. We were not out to make a buck. We were what G$ claims it wants, sites that serve the user the information the user seeks. But G$ lies that way, because G$ is clearly only out for its profit, even if dishonestly earned.

Yes. G$ has destroyed the natural SERPs to sequeeze money out of such non-commerce information sources, as the organization site I mentioned.

Other people here can live in their naievete if they want, but these are the FACTS. Believe what ever you want. At this point, an honest G$ or a tooth fairy, it's all equal fiction anyway.

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 9:26 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

To refer to the truth of one's own experience is not the same as the accusation of supposedly claiming to know all truth in all things.

To demonstrate for the simple-minded....

I do not know the color of someone's hair on this board. They say it is blonde. If I was like some know-nothings among us here, so that I then said that the person's hair color is brown as if I knew it was some kind of fact, then that person would not be arrogant to say they know the ab#*$!e truth of their own hair color!

Clearly, the false accusation is simply more sophistry being directed my way.

bak70

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 9:36 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

MultiMan
Does any of the following look familiar?

"As we approach the one year anniversary of the Florida update, I am curious if we can expect another radical google update right before the crucial holiday season. Many of us took a beating last year. I fully recovered my pre-florida rankings by January, but many of my cohorts took a lot longer to recover. I remember there was a lot of debate on if this was an intentional move by google, or some suggested google was broken. There were many theories circulating. But, there were very few concrete answers.
The biggest question I have is: Can this happen again?

I am curious of other thoughts on the Florida Update - one year later. "

This is the question that opened this thread.
You complaining about google does not help anyone on the board.
The fact of the matter is Google lists sites based on an algorithm.
If you cant figure it out on your own you are out of luck.
I for one would not tell anyone how im having success.

for you respective keyword Im sure the number owner of #1 result is tickled pink.

Anyway back to the topic at hand.
Will google update this month?

otnot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 10:04 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's anybody's guess if there will be an update this month. But I think G. would be stupid not too! If we do have another Florida, I think it will happen gradually over the next couple of weeks instead of one big hit. In factI think that it has already begun. Several of my money terms that have been rock solid since last January have begun to slide down and are being replaced by non-profit informational sites. The one thing thatI learned last year was not to count on S.E. traffic for your business. This year I have my war chest ready for the Christmas season advertizing. Let's hope it doesn't happen.

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 12:16 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

bak70,

Your trouble is not with me, but with the off-topic digressers who have taken my initial post to your thread and taken into new directions.

I had said my piece and would have been glad to leave it at that.

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 1:41 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Multiman,

I didn't accuse you of knowing everything based on your experience. I'm pointing out that you are making an assertion - that Google is dishonest - based on the fact that your sites have dissappeared. The fact that your site has dissappeared is no proof at all that Google is dishonest.

You have accused Google of dishonesty, false advertising and blackmail - pretty strong stuff with no proof to support such allegations.

And those who challenge you - you label them variously idiotic, naive and stupid.

MultiMan

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:02 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

When one woman is raped, but another is not, it is irrelevant and insulting for the non-raped woman to accuse the raped woman of supposedly making it up just because the non-raped woman never "saw it with her own eyes."

I am done with the sophists and sycophants.

I have told my piece. Anyone else is free to believe their own delusions.

BillyS

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:19 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have told my piece. Anyone else is free to believe their own delusions.

So it appears that there is only one version of the truth - yours. I also take offense at your example - and I am a man. If youíre so sure about your facts, hire a lawyer.

wellzy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:21 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I believe Google will do an update soon. Hopefully not as drastic as Florida. It seems there has always been one around this time. I'm hoping with the rolling updates they do, it will just be a tweaking.

As for the Florida update, have most of you seen your rankings come back?

wellzy

ronin100

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:38 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I sure hope you're right about the continuing "jitters" we see on Google, being just that, a (continuing use of updating) with their algorithm.

Post Florida it took me about 2 months to get one of my sites back to spec. and just when I was ready to jump off a bridge (after 9mos.) the other site is ranked well again finally.

What's puzzling, is that both sites were on top of their search terms..."pre-Florida". Both sites used the exact same SEO concepts and techniques. One was affected for a very short time and the other a very long time. I have tried a whole NEW method for the "hard to rank" (post Fla) site. I went to the top of all of my search terms and Google is grading the SEO efforts quite differently. All of my terms came up within 2-3 weeks after following some new stuff saw by watching what the competition was doing!

What a dope! Why didn't I look after a couple of months? I'll be on my game a little faster in the future.

Powdork

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:39 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I also take offense at your example - and I am a man.
But you are only one man, not multiman. If you were a gemini then you too could be multiman.;)

Lets take this opportunity to drag this thread back OT.

Can it happen again?
If sandboxed sites begin to rank as well as mature pages, the effects on the serps will be large and Florida-like, possibly larger. I think it is likely something large is headed this way. We'll just have to wait and see. Its also important to realize that as people become more comfortable with spending money online, the effects of updates will mean larger changes in income, so each update seems a little larger anyway. In the meantime create more quality content, push your websites through email and offline programs, take some time to make sure Google is only indexing pages you want the world to know about.
One thing I learned in Florida is that watching your Google rankings too closely can paralyse you when you should be acting. Fortunately, working as hard as you can to promote your site in a world without Google traffic is also likely to get you Google traffic. Thats not always the case but its a good strategy.

bose

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 3:49 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am not sure if we would see a major update (Update Vegas?) real soon, but I think there could very well be a few major announcements between now and the new year. Considering that Google is now a public company, and the fact that Microsoft Search seems to be closing in on them, I doubt they would do any thing drastic that could potentially bring them bad publicity or upset the stock holders.

my 2 c.

nzmatt

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 4:16 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with your words above bose

Google may just be bit more responsible, and have less fun, now it is married - to its shareholders. Google won't be hanging out with its old mates experimentation, invention and innovation so much anymore...

Jakpot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 26542 posted 9:56 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Why not? They dont owe you anything?"
Great response! Thoughtful and to the point.

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