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This 521 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 521 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 ... 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..



 11:30 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)


I thought about your last post and i did a search using only two of my usual three search terms and there was my site sitting in the same position it was in last month for the three word search( i dropped the pen I was chewing on my jaw dropped so far). I'm off to do some more checking but I think you may have hit the nail on the head.

" used a bazooka to kill the mosquito of “go to hell” and did a hack that affects searches using 3 word keyphrases?"


 11:39 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

OMG big balou!
The other thing I noticed is that the movement on the order of the 2 word phrases seems normal - sites go up and down a slightly as you alternate the order - but the 3 word kephrase results are far more stable regardless of order.


 11:47 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

bobmark, I'm glad someone else is experiencing this.

This particular site that is number 1-3 for over 40 high hitting keywords that I've checked has more than 1000 words, all within H1-H3 tags, keyword loaded links (looks like a web position gold job) burried within loads of other dribble - all contained within a <noscript></noscript> tag which is subsequently not showing any of it when viewed in a browser.

I know this is the update, but updates last for 5-6 days, and at 150,000,000 searches per day on Google, then thats like a billion unsatisfied searchers.


 11:51 pm on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

boy subway, am I sorry I stopped echoing all my meta tag within <!--> comments tags like we used to do years ago (joking).


 12:02 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)


that is it exactly. The two word phrases are moving as you would expect up and down, but normally, without the drastic changes i'm seeing for any three word search i've checked so far.

The big killer is that none of the two word searches make any sense for someone searching for the info/product.


 12:18 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey all, I might try to post more later, but I wanted to mention a couple things. If you want to write and highlight individual searches or sites that you believe deserve special investigation, the right url for that is

Google is always trying to make sure that we deliver the most relevant pages to searchers. If there's a specific site that you think is doing better than it should, or a search that you feel declined in quality, feel free to let us know.


 12:26 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks - and in the spirit of the new Google - merci & danke Googleguy.
I have to say you're a stand up guy to keep reading this thread.


 12:46 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

wow Big_Balou!
I would rather be wrong as it kind of shakes my faith. I only know the pre-update ranking of my category from memory so its hard for me to compare other searches.
It would also explain the differences of opinion on here. If I usually test searched by a 2 word phrase, i might have been one of those saying "the update looks ok to me!"
I think what subway says is true too that somehow in some related way, spam sites have slipped in through the window.


 12:51 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Has anybody noticed how small the Google is Good thread is? That speaks volumes.


 12:53 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I second that.. I think google guy is a good guy though.. of course this is a guess, but he tries to help and give hints here and their... dont forget he does have a job to do to, I am sure he is not here strictly to help us or as a hobby, I am sure its a mix and that when he sees something like PR for sale he has to try and work a way around that... although I dont think paid PR is such a bad thing.. I mean it is in essence a form of paid advertising like any company does, but google dosent like the fact that they dont see the money ... I really am curious as to how many web savy people out their read these forums anyway.. until I quit my job in the medical field and went full force starting my own company and website it still took me months to find a message board like this one and still many more months to find this one.. so if we do share something that works on here.. out of all those websites, how many see it? and something like paid PR isnt all that bad, except the money dosent land in googles hands. Personally, I dont spam, I dont do the Pay for PR thing, not that I think it is so bad, I just dont mess around with questionable things. Well thats my two cents for whatever it is worth...

Ciao.. its Saturday night.. time to pack in work and this whole google thing.. tomorrows another day...


 12:56 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

well I don’t think google is horrible, in fact google has just blown me down to like #357 from 20 so it does not hurt so much but it is a super competitive area. I ACTUALY HOLD THE KEY THIS TIME...I finally figured it out.. I know how to play the google game, google tells you exactly how to do it..

Here it is!..

Just have good content and make websites that are extraordinarily good and full of relevant interesting and useful content and spend some time and some of your own resources in telling the world about your site and you’ll see how google will come to you.. you don’t have to chase it every month just make sure you are a good site and sit back and relax. if you are in a competitive area well make sure you are better than your competition and you will shine Period. :)


 1:18 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi all

A couple of things that I dont understand, firstly, if there is a problem because people link to a site with "go to heck" as the text in the link, isnt checking that the page being linked to actually contains that term the logical thing to do?

Secondly, I cant understand why people are saying that googles current serps are relevant. The only relevant results I am seeing are from corporate sites like MSN or ebay, etc. Who needs a search engine to find them?

Thirdly, Why does google or any SE take a dim view of SEO's? The SE's are trying (supposedly) to provide relevant results but so are SEO's. I know there will always be a small percentage of bad guys that will always beat the SE algos but how many of you here work more than 20-40 hrs a week on your site(s) trying to please your audience?

Finally, and I really am quite upset about this, I dont often get the time anymore just to surf for pleasure, I would say maybe once per month. Two or 3 days ago I was using google to find websites relating to a hobby of mine, this was my pleasure surfing and I found some wonderful sites, truley marvelous! Of course now theyre gone, replaced with worthless listings.

I really hope google rethinks what some are calling the adwords algo because this is making gigablast look like a viable alternative. Imagine that.



 1:30 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

>I think google guy is a good guy though.. of course this is a guess, but he tries to help and give hints here and their<

I think his job right now is to keep the peasants from storming the gate... :)


 1:39 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

> Has anybody noticed how small the Google is Good thread is? That speaks volumes.

Not necessarily. It's a known fact that in polls and surveys people with complaints are more likely to participate and voice their opinions than people that have no issues.

Owners of themed sites with heavy content and lots of DMOZ entries did great with the last update. For every site that got kicked out or dropped down from the top 20, other sites got added or climbed up to take their places.

Google's customers are the web searchers, not SEO types. There is no logical business reason for them to keep SEO types happy.


 2:22 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Has anybody noticed how small the Google is Good thread is? That speaks volumes."

What speaks volumes is that users the world over use Google because it is a FAR better search engine than any others, period. Could it be better, sure, and constructive and proactive behavoir can lead to that. But there is just no arguing with the volumes, Google does better than anybody else.


 2:31 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

You have a very good point everyman. There is no sense in argueing whether the google changes are 'good' or 'bad'. These are relative terms that only depend on how your site did. The question I ask, is what do we want for our sites in the future.

If we can do specific experiments on how changes have effected sites, we may be able to once again find out what "works" and what effects sites in a negative manner.

I think that undoubtedly the best SEO technique is to build good quality sites that are relevant to the keyword searches that a webmaster is hoping to obtain. I also think that as webmasters google doesn't really owe us anything. As users, they are providing us with an invaluable service, and I think some of us are becoming spoiled. They DO have the right to change the algo at anytime, and keep SEO's on their toes.

I think it's time to quit all the whining and get back to what this board is popular for -- good relevant observations that lead to quality insight on how to get our SERPS back up.

Google is still the best, and their are cracks and bumps in the success of any company. I think with this update they have solved some problems, but may have created some others. Time will tell if they will stay the best, but in my mind their is still no comparing.
Let's just all hope that they keep their service free.


 2:35 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Euphoric jubilation and high-fives all around the Gooleplex. A group of excited search engineers runs down a hallway and bursts into the office of the Google CEO.

"We've done it! We've done it! We've implemented the perfect search algorithm!" they all shout in unison.

"Outstanding," replies the CEO. "You people are all top notch. Great work. This means that all web surfers will find exactly what they're looking for. It also means I don't need any of you anymore - you're all fired."

Moral: The Google search algorithms will always be changing, and the Google search results will never be perfect. It's called Job Security :)

In practical terms, this means no one should expect their top 10 results to stay the same, and you certainly shouldn't count on it, especially for feeding your family.


 2:38 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Google's customers are the web searchers, not SEO types.<<


Goggle's customers are the advertisers (some of which are SEO types).


 3:42 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Goggle's customers are the advertisers (some of which are SEO types).

Google's customers are advertisers; the seachers are the commodity that's being sold to the advertisers. The search engine is the bait used to get the commodity to view the advertisements. SEO types tend to reduce the value of the bait, which in turn lowers the value of the commodity, which in turn makes the advertisers (the customers) more likely to look elsewhere.

Richard Lowe


 4:24 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

> Goggle's customers are the advertisers (some of which are SEO types).

A matter of semantics. Substitute the word "user" for "customer". Google's business model is clear - "Google's goal is to provide a much higher level of service to all those who seek information, whether they're at a desk in Boston, driving through Bonn, or strolling in Bangkok." Notice advertisers and SEOs aren't mentioned.

BTW - Google's web site identifies their customers as their business partners, companies like Yahoo and AOL - [google.com ]


 4:42 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Semantics don't pay the bills, google search is subsidized by advertisers. You can parrot the pr, but it is what it is.

BTW...I think this thread is mistitled, I don't think google is "horrible". Maybe the title should be changed to reflect the content.

Some posts are referring to very specific ranking factors, not pro -anti google sentiments.


 5:00 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Something does seem to be going on this month.

Up to a week ago my stats was showing google as number one in driving traffic to my site...now it is number 2, being aced out by msn. Yet, my site has actually climbed a wee bit in the serps and still holding onto it's PR 7........go figure.



 5:12 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google Giveth and Google Taketh Away!

You can't imagine how discouraged we were to take a hit in our PR also. We went from PR8 to PR6 on the home page. We went from PR7 to PR4 for some internal pages. We're still holding strong for our main targeted audience but we took a big hit in other semi-related traffic.

Since we make changes regularly, we have no clue yet as to what may have caused this. I'm sure we as a directory come under heavy scrutiny and maybe we stepped over the line somewhere although I doubt it. Hey GoogleGuy, are one of your family members an SEO and we maybe declined their submission to our directory?

P.S. Our dmoz cat went from PR0 to PR6 at the same time.


 6:11 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm sure its been mentioned somewhere in the 600 or so update posts but what happened to the pagerank for Google directory pages?
Sometimes when I visit the directory I get this URL

Google Directory - Restaurants & Bars Local Category [directory.google.com]
which shows pr0.

When I visit FROM the directory (start with the directory and then go through folders till you get there)Similar Google Directory Category [directory.google.com]
This has page rank. Obviously this is from the?il=1 but why?

[edited by: Marcia at 6:18 am (utc) on Sep. 29, 2002]
[edit reason] fixed side scroll [/edit]


 7:18 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, back in the next day and the fur is still flying. Going way back to the post by chiyo, I'm firmly in the 'well-treated' camp, and I too find this new db to be pretty much spot on all-round.

The last few updates have been good to us, and this time round we're still number one for our main (three-word, note) keyphrase. No change in PR (still 6), but a decrease of around 400 in links. Have to figure that they're mainly internal ones. Whatever, hasn't hurt us. We've spent the last few months trying to emphasise a wider geographical area, and, bingo, this time round, we do very well on generic rather than specific searches as well.

So, we didn't have much scope for improvements to begin with - why then do I think these results are better? Well, being objective as I can, and that IS pretty objective, there is just less junk and small-beer in the top results. We're in a competitive area (travel), and out of the top ten results on all sorts of related searches, I'm hard pushed to find a site that doesn't belong there. As someone else said elsewhere, we're even seeing some of our competitors appear for the first time in ages.

And why is that? - the cr*ppy multi-keyword domains (not all are like that, nodding to Napoleon) have gone. The useless virtually-hosted sub-domains have gone. No doorways, less mirrors, and less mom-and-pops at the top. Before the fair-crack-of-the-whip howls start, I'll expand on the mom-and-pop point. If you're searching for a generic term, they're mainly gone, and rightly so - if you're searching on a country-wide level, you want sites that deal with the whole country, yes? They only begin to re-appear in the results when a specific locality or smaller region is specified in the search, and it is at that level that they SHOULD appear - a level playing ground is only valid and fair for teams of the same size, no?

I wonder how many of the people that have been hard-hit have keyword-hyphenated domains? Care to post anyone? It may well be that Google has applied a shotgun-effect and some innocent bystanders have been caught. However, for the big and long-term picture, this has to be a good thing.

I'm not being glib here, and obviously some people are hurting (though, as someone else said, they seem to be newbies mainly - my posts may be low, but I've been lurking for a long time), but, I'm sure that the wheat will rise again and the chaff will be, rightly, gone for good.

It is impossible to move from the specific to the general, and that is what so many posters are doing. Too many dogmatic statements of 'fact', too many judge, jury and executioner all in one. Well, my posts may be equally dogmatic, but at least they're from the other side.

ATW better? - purleeese. Mat.


 7:49 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've a keyword hyphenated domain, but what I've found is for our 4 word main keyphrase we're way down, for the minor 2 word keyphrase we're OK (so far!)


 7:53 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Mat, I think you're judging from your Google-area, like I judge from mine.

About your statement on the hurting people,
they seem to be newbies mainly
I don't agree..

virtually-hosted sub-domains
what this means, in a correct technical explanation?



 8:05 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, how 'correct' in terms of behind-the-scenes this is, I'm not too sure.

OK, you have your own domain. Let's say it's widgets.com. Subdomains would be www.blue.widgets.com, www.green.widgets.com, www.red.widgets.com. They are all the same people, same content, and, if my understanding is correct, they'll all be on the same IP.

Whether this is achieved by different boxes or simply an apache/IIS config, that I'm not too sure. I DO know that it's a sad spam trick, and it seems to be failing big time.

Get one domain and make it work. If it don't work, make it better, don't try to double it, copy it, mirror it, chop it up and disguise it (sorry, enhance the end user experience by making it more focused), or dilute it in any way. Mat


 8:23 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

also the 'www' part in www.widget.com is a subdomain.
But this is not the question.

I only invite you not to think in a so simple way that
the people dropped/underpenalty has to do with mirror content, spam, doubled sites etc

Because, for many of us, the reasons of the penalties aren't at all simple & visible like you expose.

Anyway, good luck for your sites, good work on content makes you high, you've noticed.. ;)


[edited by: cminblues at 8:31 am (utc) on Sep. 29, 2002]


 8:25 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

It sure looks like most who are saying they have dropped in rank have low post counts, but they could have been lurkers for a long time and the "shock!" has shocked them into the open!

Also people who have been on this board a while know its mainly best to leave for the shuffling to slow down for a few days before commenting on what may not be significant.


 8:38 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)


I've started reading/posting here 'cause of my 1st 'disaster' after 3 years of Google SEOing.

Never lurked.. ;)


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