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This 521 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 521 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 18 > >     
September, 2002 Google Update Discussion - Part 1
Discussing the major changes that took place
dauction




msg:120053
 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..

 

CuriousWeb




msg:120083
 11:59 am on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Axacta - Google can and will do what it likes. It is not answerable to SEOs or webmasters but to searchers. If searchers think the results are irrelevant they will search elsewhere and Google will lose out.

Axacta




msg:120084
 12:07 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Axacta - Google can and will do what it likes. It is not answerable to SEOs or webmasters but to searchers. If searchers think the results are irrelevant they will search elsewhere and Google will lose out. <

Please - I am not so naive to think that Google should sacrifice itself for me. But I don't see why I must be sacrificed for reasons that I may never know. I have done nothing worthy of a penalty, and from the immense negative reaction on the board over this update, it seems an obvious conclusion that I am not alone in this thinking.

jacon4




msg:120085
 12:14 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Chiyo has it exactly right, if you are a commerical site, you are wasting your time on google. if you are an informational type site google is probably worth the trouble. the only category that google leads in is time of search ( 40 mins per search).its obvious that people dont spend all that time shopping for products & services so they gotta be doing something else on google. research would be my guess.my 2 cents

crobb305




msg:120086
 12:18 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Jacon4,

I disagree that someone with a commercial site is wasting their time with Google. The Google index is shared with many third party sites including AOL, Netscape, iWon, etc. I have a commercial site and I get 70% of my traffic from a combination of Google and AOL.

CuriousWeb




msg:120087
 12:19 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Axacta - I too have been penalised in this update, with a site totally dropping of the radar for it's main keyword so please don't think that I don't agree with what you are saying. The point I am making is that SEOs and webmasters are always going to be open to this. Google (and other search engines too) are not going to publicly reveal detailed information about their algo as then it is open to abuse and manipulation. That is what SEOs are attempting to do anyway. It is harsh but it won't change. Google looks after number one. If they get it wrong they go down. We (myself very much included) should be very wary of over-dependence on Google.

relgoog




msg:120088
 12:22 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Search Engines ARENT everything!
Most of our traffic comes from "word of mouth", traditional marketing methods, and newsgroups.
With our commercial sites we have found that partnerships with non-profit, and informational sites provide the greatest rewards. If you site is good enougth you'll find that the users will spread the word, via email, messageboards and word of mouth.
If you can get to the top the of the Search Engines, thats great, but if you choose to rely, on a particular link or a cetain position in a SE then your destined to be dissapointed at some time or another.
Just my two penny worth.

Mike_Mackin




msg:120089
 12:25 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

>someone with a commercial site is wasting their time with Google.

It is nice that we allow all points of view here at WebmasterWorld.

Google is like money in the bank. :)

Axacta




msg:120090
 12:27 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

To continue on in this thought about Google's advice to webmasters. The consensus seems to be that Google would prefer that sites NOT seo, but instead present them unvarnished, so-to-speak. But what does an update like this do? It just drives webmasters to SEO companies. How else is one to keep up with such irratic swings in the algo. Certainly amatures like me have no chance at all. As an amature I have played by the rules and that has benefitted me. But now Google changes the rules - what am I supposed to do - hire an SEO?

CuriousWeb




msg:120091
 12:29 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

relgoog you are most definitely right on that. The temptation for many though is when you see the rewards on Google is your site is ranked highly is to concentrate only on this. This update is probably a harsh lesson to those who are guilty of this. Businesses need to diversify and establish themselves by all means possible whilst also taking advantage of the best sources of traffic available at the moment, which Google most definitely has been recently. There is another thread on here about eggs and baskets which sums this up well...

CuriousWeb




msg:120092
 12:33 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Axacta - I think SEO is the very reason why the rules change. Once the 'code' has been cracked the index is open to abuse and manipulation by SEOs. Google changes the rules. SEOs adapt sites. Google changes the rules again. The game goes on...

Axacta




msg:120093
 12:42 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

>The temptation for many though is when you see the rewards on Google is your site is ranked highly is to concentrate only on this. This update is probably a harsh lesson to those who are guilty of this.<

I have limited funds, SEO knowledge and time - I must simply take what I can get, and if Google is the quickest and easiest way to more visits how can you fault me for this? Do you think Google really would want it any other way? Do you think they would be handing out advice to diversify if it meant their downfall? Do you think that if everyone like me said, "OK I'll concentrate on FAST or MSN" that Google would so glibly hand out this advice to diversify? Hardly! I play by the rules, get screwed, and it's my fault for not concentrating somewhere else?

Axacta




msg:120094
 12:47 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Axacta - I think SEO is the very reason why the rules change. Once the 'code' has been cracked the index is open to abuse and manipulation by SEOs. Google changes the rules. SEOs adapt sites. Google changes the rules again. The game goes on...<

Well of course this is true. But does Google not have an obligation to not stampede over the innocent little guy in their rush to deal with the "pro" spammers?

ciml




msg:120095
 12:54 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Axacta, each time Google stampedes over one set of innocent little guys, they give a helping hand to another set of innocent little guys.

IMO it's not for Google to decide which Webmasters 'deserve' that help, they just need to provide the best search engine they can.

> Google changes the rules again. The game goes on...

I couldn't agree more, CuriousWeb. For those of us who spend time deconstructing Google, changes like these justify our work.

mat




msg:120096
 12:54 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Axacta -
To top it off I dropped from #1 on MSN to #35 this month as well - that's another story.
- care to elaborate? You also mention that your site is 'slightly optimized' - again, care to elaborate? Mat
john316




msg:120097
 12:57 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

There is an assumption that the previous indexes were somehow "bad" or needed improvement. Those are the very indexes that put google on the map. Apparently the *user* was well pleased.

More than a few smart people have gone into and out of the search business, monetization of the serps is the achilles heel. This "tweak" looks like reverse monetization i.e: instead of just dumping paid listings into the serps, just remove the commercially oriented ones, forcing the user to an ad click.

The fruit is the fruit. Come to google, click an ad. Time will tell if the *user* appreciates being snookered, history indicates that they don't.

No matter how smart you are, you just can't hide the sun with your finger.

ikbenhet1




msg:120098
 1:02 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree with you there serious web,

Just look at the doorway pages availible today.

Someones grandmother could go to such a site, type in 3 keywords and get a optimized html code sent by email put it on, and get good rankings too.

You see, when this happen, a site that actually has good content and uses fair interlinking and no doorway pages, drops for every doorway page above him.

Every internet user want to easy (big) bucks with internet. Anybody is giving it a shot, they have a internet connection, and
think hey: 'never shot is always missed' (that's dutch expression).

Besides it doesn't cost much to do this, free host and voila, another webmaster with multiple pages in the index interlinking these doorway pages.

I'm happy with the algo change,

i'm kinda surprised that so many listings (of professional SEO) are ranking so much lower with the new algo, mine only rank better, and i mean BETTER, but maybe most of them webmasters complaining did not read Webmasterworld good enough? i don't get it why they rank lower.

i'm reading the same 'webmasterworld' right as anybody else right?

Axacta




msg:120099
 1:04 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Axacta - To top it off I dropped from #1 on MSN to #35 this month as well - that's another story. - care to elaborate?<

From what I have read in some threads about MSN they are in more of a mess than Google. They can't seem to figure how to prioritise their serps based on whether they get their results from Looksmart, Zeal, Inktomi or Overture.

>You also mention that your site is 'slightly optimized' - again, care to elaborate? Mat <

Keywords in the right places on the page, title, etc., small pages, text links, no unecessary outbound links - the usual.

mat




msg:120100
 1:15 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

OK, moving on - you say you stopped looking at 500 - are you sure that you're in Google at all this month? If you're not, then you could be looking at a server glitch at spidering time, something of that nature, rather than the down-grading you perceive. An idea. Mat

Axacta




msg:120101
 1:22 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

>OK, moving on - you say you stopped looking at 500 - are you sure that you're in Google at all this month? If you're not, then you could be looking at a server glitch at spidering time, something of that nature, rather than the down-grading you perceive. An idea. Mat<

I have other pages still showing, but much further down the serps. Actually I was just boasting a week ago how my uniques had gone up 30% over the last couple of months, my PR went from 4 to 5 and that I finally got a dmoz listing after a six month wait. I've still got the PR5 and my backlinks have more than doubled from last month. But none of this seems to matter with this update.

Axacta




msg:120102
 1:39 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Axacta, each time Google stampedes over one set of innocent little guys, they give a helping hand to another set of innocent little guys.<

That's your idea of justification? What do you do in your spare time, pull the wings off flies? ;)

mat




msg:120103
 1:45 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, Axacta, who knows ... perhaps consider putting your URL in your profile? Pretty much dead end pointless theorising otherwise. Mat

Axacta




msg:120104
 1:55 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

>perhaps consider putting your URL in your profile?<

No I don't think I'll do that. Besides from all of the speculating going on in WW I don't think anything could be resolved right now anyway. Some seem to think that the dmoz listing is important - if it is then maybe next update Google will pick it up and solve my problem. Otherwise I'll just wait to see what shakes out and what the deep thinkers on the board can figure out. I really just wanted to vent, and present my objection to these simpleton suggestions from Google that we should diversify, and not seo our sites, and that it's not really their fault anyway, because it's their SE and they can do anything they want.

heini




msg:120105
 2:01 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

<aside>
>put your site in profile
Mat, we do not encourage people to put urls in their profile to get site reviews.
Site reviews, wether per url dropping or per profile, is something we do not want to go at. </aside>

Loki99




msg:120106
 2:04 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Googleguy you just don't get it.

"If you take as a given that Google wants to give the best page to the user that it can, you're pretty far down that path."

New to this SERP:
1. Companies whose name is their URL and are also trademarked have moved from being #1 to page 2 or 3 when searching for their own name.

How does that help the average surfer? It doesn't, it just makes a few PHD's at your company feel better.

2. Foreign language pages scoring high.

How does that help the average surfer? I couldn't tell you because I don't speak Japanese or Chinese.

3. 404 pages at the top of some of the results.

How does that help the average surfer? That's just a joke to me.

4. Sites scoring high in competitive phrases that don't even have the keywords in their title or in the correct combination on their page. In fact they have nothing to do with the keywords.

How does that help the average surfer?

I live on my computer, if I see or hear something interesting I usually know a lot about the subject in minutes and google has always been my first choice for info. The point is I'm sorry to see what use to be the best searchengine on the web become useless as a research tool.

Please, maybe if enough people point out why the new results are bad for the average surfer and not why did my site disappear one or many of the brains at google might pay attention.

dukeblue219




msg:120107
 2:20 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

It's natural for any webmaster to try for better results in the SERPS to optimize his/her traffic and income, but from Google's perspective any SEO is somewhat like SPAM. I don't mean to call most of us spammer, because I'd be guilty too, but Google's goal is to provide the best results for the consumer.

They work hard to create the best algo to generate good results, and then we try to figure out how to basically cheat this algo. Mostly it's alright because most webmasters add more contentand have great sites, but a few people ruin it for the rest of us.

As far as it "not being fair," that's a pretty lame excuse. I'm sure Google may be costing you money, but what are you giving them? They can do whatever they want, and have NO obligation to tell us how to "cheat" their algo or keep sites in the top 10 forever.

bobmark




msg:120108
 2:24 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

EXACTLY! I agree 100% Loki99
To take the new index top 10 on a significant search phrase for my category it went from 9 out of 10 similar large sites all with relevant content on the 3 words in the keyphrase (of the type "country adjective noun" as in (PURELY HYPOTHETICAL) Antarctica resort hotels) to 7 out of 10 irrelevant, spammy link or doorway pages offering only a single page or zero pages on a large link farm site devoted to the country named in the search and 1 404.
Write off my fall from #5 as sour grapes if you want - maybe I have a terrible site and I just don't know it - but it was me and 7 other large, quality sites that vanished or dropped to pages 8 through 15.

(added)
"I'm sure Google may be costing you money, but what are you giving them?"
You think Google indexes us and runs their SE as a hobby? Google's product is search results for the consumer. That is what they sell and their business model is similar to the broadcast television networks where the quality of their product (or at least the volume of use of their product if quality is not important to consumers) determines their ad revenue (and of course syndication through aol, Netscape, etc.).
However, unlike the tv networks, they don't produce original content (programming) but use existing material. It is like they are 24/7 America's Funniest Home Videos where all the content is provided by people who are both consumers and suppliers.
That said, it is a symbiotic relationship where they provide quality "leads" to us in return for profiting from our hard work in providing quality original content to them. However, they hold all the cards; while I assume amazon.com, ebay etc may have direct access to an actual person at Google, the rest of us don't so the game is played totally by their rules which they neither specify except in the broadest terms or undertake to maintain any consistency in.
If you want to answer the question "what are you giving them?" think about a month in which just before the crawl every website blocked Googlebot from crawling in its robots.txt file. This is an example: I am neither advocatiing this or suggesting it is realistic.

[edited by: bobmark at 2:43 pm (utc) on Sep. 28, 2002]

born2drv




msg:120109
 2:26 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Loki,

Your 2 statements are somewhat contradictory...

"Companies whose name is their URL and are also trademarked have moved from being #1 to page 2 or 3 when searching for their own name"

and..

"the best searchengine on the web [has] become useless as a research tool"

I don't think people reasearch company names all the time but search for content related to those companies. All major companies I can think of are #1 for a search on their trademarked name.. like IBM, Apple, Mcdonalds, etc.

I'm just guessing here, but perhaps you're trying to justify having keyword1-keyword2.com sites as the "company name" lose ranking and are no longer visible for "keyword1 keyword2" searches. Just because your company is named "keyword1 keyword2" doesn't mean you should be entitled to the #1 spot, I think that's one of the reasons why there was so much of a shuffle. Too many spammy domains, not to say yours was or all keyword rich domains are spammy, but you can't be entitled to be #1 or even first page when using a keyword rich company name, even if it is trademarked.

ciml




msg:120110
 2:27 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

> That's your idea of justification?

Not quite, I don't think they need justification. For example, if Google choose to downgrade the link text weight or the proximity (phrase match) weight then some pages do less well in Google, and others do better in Google. I don't see why they have any more obligation to one set than the other.

I try to help Google understand the topic of my sites by using relevant link text, and by putting related words together. If Google aren't looking for those things so much now, then they're helping other sites with less focus.

> What do you do in your spare time, pull the wings off flies? ;)

I practice non-intervention. I don't pull flies' wings off, nor do I show favouritism to individual flies when they're in competition. ;)

Go60Guy




msg:120111
 2:32 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this. Quite some time ago, I did a commercial site targeting another engine and pretty much forgot about it, although it has produced to some extent. Its home page has a whole kitchen sink full of keyword combos in the category aimed at covering a multitude of products. Lets just say it goes on and on. I'm not terribly proud of it.

I also have numerous product specific pages for the same products on another domain, which, until this update, have uniformly ranked high and been prolific producers. I've been proud of those pages. Of course, "Pride goeth before the fall".

In this update, for each of the multitude of individual products, keyword searches now bring up my kitchen sink site in the top ten results and my formerly high ranked pages are nowhere to be found.

In each case, the description focuses on a snippet contained in the kitchen sink site.

The site is not in DMOZ or Yahoo. I haven't even touched the site in months. Go figure. Maybe this tells us something?

Loki99




msg:120112
 2:40 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Negative born2drv

I'm not talking about my sites or about keyword rich URL's. One of the refrences I made was about a member here whose company name (not a keyword) is also their username. He use to be #1 now he's been passed by sites that mention him in fact his webmasterworld post is ranked higher than his site.

How does that help the average surfer? It doesn't.

subway




msg:120113
 2:47 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Guess what?

I sell "widgets" - Good ones at that for very good prices...

I have widget in my url, widget in my metas, links, anchor text and a very "un spammy" amount of widgets in my body text.

I have a "dummy proof" site navigation, quick loading pages, very specific content and links back from dmoz, yahoo and everyone else that matters.

....and I've dissapeared onto the 6th SERP from #2 position.... to have been replaced by a totally off topic site that simply mentions "widget" twice on the index page and then apparently nowhere else?

Why do I deserve to be on the first page? Quite simply because mines the best site, and all my customers have said so themselves.

:(

We're well into the update now and things are looking bleak.

BTW why do I play so much on the "widget" theme? Because thats what I sell, not because I'm trying to trick anyone.

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