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This 521 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 521 ( 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 [15] 16 17 18 > >     
September, 2002 Google Update Discussion - Part 1
Discussing the major changes that took place

 3:32 am on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

How on earth can they justify dropping sites that were ranked in the top 10 and are now page 20 and NOTHING at all has changed on the sites from the last month?

The biggest thing is they move the toilet mid stream without a hint they are going to do it...(change the rules)

Googles a joke..

tired of their games..

off to support ANY other search engine..enough of this every month change the rules nonsense..good bye Google ..Good riddence..



 6:46 pm on Oct 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

The reason I say this is that my site has fallen from page 1 to page 5 for blue widget but shows up at #4 (page 1) where it was before for "blue widget".

Exactly! In one of my categories, the "" makes all the difference between good results and worthless .edu/.org results that have nothing to do with the subject at all. I have sites on both sides of the issue -- some sites that are nowhere to be found and other sites that are being found for "fun blue widgets games" when the site is about, say, fun games. I don't have blue widgets on my site, so therefore I don't want to be found by people searching for such. Blue widgets in this case stands for something quite gross and unrelated to my site.



 7:25 pm on Oct 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

In my keyword area, pages that show phone numbers rank well. Also I have seen an increased rank for my pages which show phone numbers. Am I crazy or are others seeing this as well?


 9:01 pm on Oct 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

increased rank for my pages which show phone numbers

Something very similar in my pages.



 9:44 pm on Oct 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Wow! I just checked my favorite search; lake city keyword phrase (read lake 'any city', not the actual Lake City) where I came up #22 and #23, where I've been since the last update (15 before the update). Then I checked "lake city keyword phrase" and found I was #3 and #4. I wish I could comment further on this but I never checked with the quotes prior to this. It still has never shown up as a search query in any referral logs so i don't much care. It does make me wonder if thats where I may have been heading this update if there were no change on Google's part. Oh well. I went up for all other searches and the on e above part of my fall was due to another site i had been working on.;)

What I did notice was the money keywords being ranked differently. For instance my site stayed very close for all the combinations of the above keywords that did not include 'lake', for instance city keyword, city keyword phrase, etc. When 'lake' was included the results were all completely different. Thats when there seemed to be a much more national presence. lake city shows up much more often according to overture and wordtracker.


 1:50 pm on Oct 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

As far as I'm concerned, google's new index is just fine.

I was at one client's location last night and while plugging in some new stuff to their net, I messed up their phone lines (one of those internal digital mini-stations).
That stuff haven't been serviced for something like 10 years so it only needed a touch to fall apart.
So, I'm sitting there with a bunch of wires in one hand and a half broken jack in another.

The problem: how do you match 6 wires on two sides, all with different colors. That's a lot of combinations. I call up the IT manager of that place and he says that he does not know anything about those wires. Then I talk to another guy who is also supposed to know some stuff ans he says that they never even had a line schema or a manual for that thing; not at least since he was working there.

After I hear a few more comments about how this thing never been touched for 10 years or so, I start panicking while trying to match the wires on random and hope that it would work.

Pretty soon I realize that I'm in deep (well you know). Those guys will never order my services again.

After about 15 minutes of cold sweat, funny looks, and a feeling of a lost revenue stream I get an idea to search for it on google.

I'm not a phone technician so I don't even know what to search for.
So I get on one puter and search for something like (not the exact query, you know the rules guys):

phone colors jack wire

and the name of the company from one of the phone sets over there.

And, the first two results are from some message board with a question and an answer about that exact problem. How to match the wires on those connections with that type of a set up.

Not the company site, not a store selling phones or wires, but the conversation of two dudes with exact same problem.

... in 5 minutes I was walking around the office looking all mean about how their stuff is falling apart and I have to fix it when it's not even related to my job. he-he.

P.S. I do feel for all people who lost their ranks but from a user's perspective google did exactly what it was supposed to do. And did it great.


 2:36 pm on Oct 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

phone colors jack wire

If I were a company selling these components, the fact that this query give in Google serps like these you mention, don't hurt me at all, so I were glad too about their precision.

Tis is a typical "informational" query, and having traffic in my commercial site for this type of search is surely idiotic.
<added>At least if in my site I don't give this type of info.. In fact there are many commercial sites giving also lot of useful info.. but this is another story ;)</added>

What hurts me, is if I don't find my company, for any query about these components.



 5:00 pm on Oct 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Great story, bcc1234!

I didn't fully analyze why it is like it is now. However, all that i see at the moment is that i lost a couple of top positions for very general words and i lost quite a lot of visitors that were searching for this words. But now - speaking for the last 2 days - i receive a lot more visitors searching more exactly - they get results that come from much deeper sections of my site. What i want to say: i can live with that and i start to prefer it - since i have thousands of different pages (a specialized directory) and now i get exactly what i want ... and it's what the user wants! So the chance, that people stay at my site or come back are far bigger than before ... ;)

cminblues, think about that! You could even have this with a "commercial site", i guess. BTW: if you don't give good info that is related to your products <added>or even a forum, product votings, ecards or what ever</added> than the searcher prob thinks you're not the right shop, not the profi and will buy elsewhere, no?!


 1:05 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

You could even have this with a "commercial site", i guess.

I agree about the fact that targeted traffic is better than brainless spam-related.

I also agree about the goodness of a commercial site offering also lot of useful info.


Ok, I add to my site lot of true useful info, forum etc.
But the next update?
What if Google start penalizing the commercial&infogiving sites?


Learning Curve

 1:34 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Say, I just did the quote thing, "keyword1 keyword2" and I'm #1 or #2 for my top 10 keyword phrases. Normally, I'm #1 to #16.

Does that tell me anything important about how I can improve my web site?


 2:32 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)


Iím glad to see that Googleís new algorithm was able to produce good results for you. However, Iím pretty sure last months algorithm would have been able to help you as well.:)

The question is not whether Googleís new algorithm is ďfineĒ but rather which algorithm would you rather conduct a search with. I would prefer last monthís algorithm for the reasons that grayhair and ciml point out. Hopefully Iíll prefer next monthís algorithm over any previous one.


 3:52 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Something is rotten in the state of SearchEngineLand.

We run a specialty site which is esteemed in its niche, and had high rankings on Google.

It recently disappeared from all relevant keyword searches -- did not appear, not even 10 pages in.

We thought this was because a third party had spammed the site, and that this may have affected ratings.

We now also notice that NONE of the sites we would consider relevant (and which used to have high ranking) appear on Google in response to the keywords. Even reliable reputable specialty sites where the relevant KEYWORDS are the URL seem to show up.

Minor sites, having peripheral relationships to the keywords, and not what I would consider key sites for what the searcher was probably looking for, show up in the first several pages (if at all).

What's going on?


 4:04 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Typo correction:

The final sentences in the last post should read:

Even reliable reputable specialty sites where the relevant KEYWORDS are the URL DO NOT seem to show up.

Minor sites, having peripheral relationships to the keywords, and not what I would consider key sites for what the searcher was probably looking for, show up in the first several pages.

What's going on?


 7:22 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just a quote on WebmasterWorld's update discussions being quoted [diveintomark.org] plus some specific examples.


 9:17 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

did enjoy that reassuring (from our point of view) read :)

i would also like to add my 2 centimos:

our site has enjoyed great positioning in google for 2 years now. but we have now dropped behind a site which has not been updated in 2 years.

- we have more backward links than they do
- we have a higher page rank than they do
- we are ranked higher in the google version of the open directory than they are.
- we have (after reading these forums) started giving fresh content on our index page (since beginning of sept 2002). indeed during the whole of september we even had that magical date next to our listing!
- almost every single one of our pages is in the google index, and we rank very well for keyword combinations.


yet still we are now behind a webpage which has (wait for it) 8 words of text on the index page, and only 70 or so actual pages (we have 2000+)

THE ONLY THING we have done in the last two months is actively try to get more links. One of these swaps was with a similar site for another destination, in which our link was placed on 17 different but related websites, in return for our placing a link to their main site (sounds like a good deal no?).

Their pages have good PR (this was one of the reasons *guilty grin* why we did it).

as we have not changed anything on our index page since the last update, EXCEPT to update our index page with fresh content every two days (which is what google likes)

the only thing that has changed is that we have actively sought and got some new link exchanges within the last few months - and as a result google seems to think we are actively manipulating PR, and as a result has penalised us by dropping us a position?

Does this sound like useless waffle, or does this confirm that google is coming down hard on link exchanges with this update.

should we now remove this last link exchange with these 17 sites, even though they are a group of related and well thought of sites from which our visitors might benefit?

many thanks for reading all :)


 10:51 am on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)


Don't discard those links....give 'em to me :)

Seriously, provided that those new links still have their page rank I'd wait one more month before losing them. I think that it would be amazing if Google don't make some dramatic reversals in the next update.

I'm still convinced that the biggest change in the last update is that multi word search terms no longer have an implied set of quotes around them. In many cases if you now enter your major search term enclosed in quotes you will miraculously rise to your former position in the listings.

The results that Google is currently returning for 2, 3 and 4 word terms are mostly nonsensical and I simply cannot believe that the best search engine in the world ;) will continue to return such rubbish.

Everyone who has lost ranking in this last update is looking at every little change that's been to the website in a vain attempt to find what has upset the Google Gods. I don't think that anything that you or most other people did to their site in the past month or two has affected their rankings, it's simply that Google has goofed big time. So, leave well alone until after the next update.


 3:02 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

thanks ross,

that was soothing balsam ;)

agreed - i will wait and continue to pack good fresh content online!


 3:17 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

"P.S. I do feel for all people who lost their ranks but from a user's perspective google did exactly what it was supposed to do. And did it great."

Glad that the search worked well for you! We test everything we do carefully to make sure that it's an improvement before it goes live. Anytime something changes of course, some sites will go up and some will go down.

I put out a call a while ago in case people wanted to highlight specific sites or searches that they don't think are as relevant with our new system improvements. Very few people have written in with specific queries or sites, but I'll mention the url once more:

Feel free to mention that you've been reading on webmasterworld.com.


 3:54 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

*The results that Google is currently returning for 2, 3 and 4 word terms are mostly nonsensical*
Says it all for me.


 3:59 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have seen several posts regarding the point that many commercial sites took a hit in rnakings (as did ours). And I seen people mention that google is mainly used for research, not commercial purposes.

Before the update, it was our site and 9 other competitors selling the product used in the search. Now, there are 6 non-commercial sites that have VERY little to do with the product. They are placed because of keywords in the page that aren't even related in the context in which they are used.

My reason for bringing this up is because if google doesn't want to provide good results when people are looking to spend money, then I think a lot of people would be interested in finding this out (like investors, advertisers, etc). If I am a consumer ready to spend money and I know that I shouldn't go to google, then they are going to have some problems running a business. If they want to just make money on their search appliances and related products, that is great and I am sure they are doing very well with it. But as far as being a search engine, this will hurt their profit potential greatly.

Maybe this is their focus. Maybe the search engine is just a "public service" in order to help them get a better reputation (they do have a great reputation). If so, I applaud them. But I have a feeling that this isn't the case, and even if it were, it won't stay this way once some investment bankers get a hold of them and they go public. Then they will have stock holders who are looking for some green.


 4:10 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Mmmm. I sent a Spam Report in - but it just went straight to the Google main page without a "Thank you" message. Does it always do this?


 4:15 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

It was really isolated. There is a small group that feels there was something "big" done, and then there is another group of sites that saw zero change.


 4:18 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

My take: Since everything pretty much has settled down, this is what i've noticed. I didn't exchange any new links, no major changes to the site. The only thing i changed is my Title Tag by changing some of the keywords i had there. That alone got me to page 1 on some real good keywords. They took care of the 'go to hell' thing by putting much less emphasis on anchor link text and links from low PR sites and sites such as blogger sites and some of the free hosting sites. I think they look at the quality of links to your site and then check your title and description tags and do the results that way. I moved up on just about everything. What works for me the best is since i can't get into DMOZ myself, i try to get a lot of links from DMOZ listed sites with a higher PR than me. Quality links from high PR sites. And i think its better if someway you can have them link to your site without a reciprocal link back to theirs. As i think a link from another site to yours without a reciprocal link, gets more importance than reciprocal links. But if you can't have it just one way, then reciprocal links from quality sites with a good PR is better than nothing.


 4:24 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)


Dont take this personally but because a tiny minority say that google did well does not mean google did well and because googles serps are trash does not make them spam, just trash. That is why people are not reporting spam. IMO, This update has far less do do with spam and more to do with raising adwords revenue. If you have a URL where searchers can report irrelevant result your inbox will probaly be overwhelmed. People prefered the spam to the slop thats being served now, at least it was useful to some degree. I not speaking as an SEO but as a searcher.

To be honest I'm someone who is upset that I can't find my favorite "pleasure surfing" sites now. Unless I want to learn how to match phone wires to a jack I'm pretty lost. Pleeeeeaaaase bring back pidgeonrank.


 5:01 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

It was really isolated. There is a small group that feels there was something "big" done, and then there is another group of sites that saw zero change. - Brett_Tabke

Thereís a third group, which I find myself in, where there have been slight changes. Iím work mostly small to mid size business niches though. A few sites lost positions but like others have mentioned the traffic hasnít left and is actually more focused. For me thatís good.


 5:03 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Marmalade -

What's wrong with an algorithm that promotes Google's profitability (via Adwords)? If Google was my company, that's what I would do. Just juggling SERPs around doesn't make them less relevant. Quite often there is nothing to choose between the top results - especially in commercial categories. This means a juggle here and a juggle there does nothing to reduce search quality.

By the way GoogleGuy, I already pay for Adwords, so there's no need to punish my site :)

There is one small bugbear I have when the results change around, and that is that I sometimes remember a search I did to find a site, and if Google has changed too much since the last update I may not be able to find it again.


 5:12 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

1] Quoting positive comments about this update
2] Inviting people to report spam

Go on.. maybe the spam report page will gain > ranking/visibility with all these links, so lot of people start using them.

Just kidding. :)
Nothing personal of course, GG.
You do your job, I do mine

But the fact is that this 'improved' algo IMO is not so good for the users, "at least in commercial areas", yes..

Another fact, is that maybe GG thinks that SEOs complaining is a good sign.

Hehe he doesn't know we all here are just hiding our new terrible weapons and plains.
But let's keep the secret.
The Googleplex crew is lurking here ;)

Just kidding [2]

Hehe no.
Not kidding at all.
I'm very serious.
I'll go make biig spam.

That's a joke of course.
I'll go make very useful rich-info-noncommercial sites in Google, and the commercials in Inktomi AllTheWeb etc.

You've seen here an example of my improved Public Relation Algo.



 5:22 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have seen the majority of my sites improve, one big hit downwards but the rest improving slightly.

Am I happy - no - not in the slightest.

The searches that I do for myself - ie personal searches, nothing to do with SEO - are now showing increased irrelevant results in the mix.

Where before there was spam, it was in the main part relevant spam. Now there are wierd out of place results - its only marginally better than Alltheweb (if that)

They have got rid of some spam, but at the cost of relevance.

They can make any changes they want - its their company, no argument there. I just think they have over-tweaked things and will exercise their right to re-tweak it next time.

If not, that's fine by me, we might all get that growth in traffic from alternative engines that we have all been hoping for;)


 6:08 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

The searches that I do for myself - ie personal searches, nothing to do with SEO - are now showing increased irrelevant results in the mix.

Exactly. This is what i have stated before in all of my threads 4eyes. Irrelevant results are now abundant.

SPAM issue totally agreed. At least it was relevant SPAM and not irrelvant pages.

Googles goal should be to be as accurate as possible, even if SPAM is in the mix.

I actually have a Google Adword campaign running now that got an average of 3.5% click through while there were relevant results displayed. Now with irrelevant results I am getting 20%! Maybe they changed the algo to make more money from these programs?

Alltheweb actually in my searches are more accurate at a 50% increase since the Google changes. Alltheweb resembles in a way what Google used to be.


 6:22 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Maybe they changed the algo to make more money from these programs?
I have heard several people suggest they sabatoged the relevancy of the results in order to boost adwords sales. I find this accusation absolutly absurd. Google has 1000 times more money, time, manpower invested in thier algo than they could ever gain from adwords.

The old algo :) is worth far more than any revenue they would generate in adwords.


 6:27 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have seen the majority of my sites improve, one big hit downwards but the rest improving slightly.

Exactly the same with me. One site has just gone! It's still got a Pagerank of 5 and it has lots of quality links... Mmmmm, strange... The others, however, are doing well.

Confusing, confusing....


 7:56 pm on Oct 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Every time I do a search I get a ton of doorway pages ranked from #1
to #x.
So I suppose doorway is the vogue.

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