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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 14 15 ... 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..



 4:01 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

It was posted: "Google is the most important engine by some margin, and for many sites provides 80% or more of their traffic. The callousness with which sites are dropped is scary. Google seems to take no responsibility for their near monopoly on free search results."


Me thinks it is only a matter of time until a hot-shot lawyer (or 2 or 3) sees the awesome potential in taking the googleheads to task for the irresponsible manner in which they are systematically dumping sites.

My little site went from page one to page fiften. How about them smackers, eh?

I've had it with google. The only thing you can rely on with google is their inherent unpredictability.

And yes, talk about IRRELEVANT search results. Fully 60% of the search results for my topic are now wholly irrelevant. This hardly makes for a happy consumer.

And therein lies the ultimate revenge.

One day...yes, one of these days, the actual end user will get fed up with google's IRRELEVANT search results. When that day arrives, google is dead, at its own hands.

Hmmm, wonder if there isn't a better, more suitable search engine out there somewhere?



 4:02 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well here is my small rant.

Google is a great search engine - all things aside, it's not filled with flashing ads and it has a certain integrity that is unique. I also don't think Google is on a path to sell itself out & there will be ups and downs as they move toward better results.

But, at this moment in time - Google has taken a step back in the quality of results - a significant step back. Where the top10 results used to be sites that were valuable to the consumer - the top10 I look at is now maybe 30% relevant, has 1 cloaked & totally irrelvant site, has 1 site twice (.com & .net leading to the same page). The No.1 site has absolutely no relevance at all.

You have to hit page 2 - 3 to get any consumer valued returns. Good sites that were in the top10 for almost 2 years are now buried.

I have faith that Google will fix this mess. Fingers crossed eh!


 4:03 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

jackofalltrades, I suppose that the other point to make here is that I wouldn't have a problem with the one large basket if the handle didn't break on a seemingly random basis.

There is no problem with Google updating its algorithm so that some pages move up and others move down. The problem arises when Google just throws an entire site out without bothering to inform the webmaster, without answering in detail an queries regarding the problem and without issuing any useful rules to follow.

Nor is it simply a case of webmasters needing to concentrate elsewhere as well. Google controls 50% of search traffic, so if a site is dropped it halves the search engine traffic on average.

Whether they like it or not, Google is a public service and needs to start acting like it. With just some minor effort on their part, by announcing the upcoming and existing rules in detail, they would dramatically improve relations with webmasters and stop many many "spam" methods that people still use without realising what they are doing.


 4:10 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

i agree with that bobby,

its fair enough that our sites may go out unexpectedly - at least we have some chance of guessing why (perhaps less chance this month!).

But those new to web design or unfamiliar with the way the SEs work would benefit a great deal from some feedback from google as to why their sites went out.

At lot of web designers may be spamming without realising after an algo change.

But on the other hand, any info that google gives us can then be used by spammers to give them an idea of what they can and cannot get away with (thereby forcing google to change its algo more frequently).

bit of a catch 22.

I still think it would be better all round without the monopoly.


 4:21 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google sucks for relevance now unless you really like corporate crud. Darn it, even the so-called spam was better than this. Its like the entire web has been handed over to ted turner (you know what I mean) on a plate. The spirit of the web has been wiped away in one swoop, replaced with dull lifeless gray dross. All the creativity, all the humanity gone.

I am convinced that the only people that are saying google has done good are the people that did well out of this update and possibly the mods because they don't want to upset GG. A few days ago I could find what I wanted immediately but now I cannot even with the advanced search. I will wager anybody here that searchers will be voting with their feet.

I guess its just coincidence that google now dominate the web and then introduced this adwords algo.

Fast IS better than google now, see for your self, type something in other than your usual keywords.



 4:25 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

duh kidz, as long as google ranks web sites exclusively with machines ( puters ) this problem of relevance is going to get worse, not better. when i was first listed in google a couple years ago i had a fairly high ranking in a category with mabe 5k sites. today google lists 2.7 million sites in that category. are their really 2.7 million web stores selling my products? hell no. soooooo, what does this all mean? it means as the WEB grows google by design is going to become LESS relevant, you may as well face it ( i felt your pain about a year ago ) and do as i did, drop your dependence and find other ways to market your web sites.


 4:26 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

does anyone want to work on a partnership - www.giggle.com?

The Toecutter

 4:31 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

So my overall point is this:
When is Google going to grow up and realise that with their immense success and importance comes responsibility for people's incomes and jobs?

I could not have said that better myself. Thanks Bobby_Davro and jtoddv for having the guts to lay it out there.

Our site was accidentally removed from Google in May/June timeframe (I did nothing and it came back at the next update). However, the financial pain of the lack of traffic was immensely painful, and it made me realize the power that Google wields. This experience has caused me to look very closely at our site to make sure it was on the up & up and that no trickery was being used to decieve visitors or search engines.

We have competitors doing underhanded things. They are sitting pretty in this latest update and continue with their trends of trickery, and spam. I've reported it to Google several times to no avail.

Blatant deception, trickery, spam, and the "Google Haze" continues.



 4:50 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Google seems to take no responsibility for their near monopoly on free search results."

Google didnt ask for any monopoly they are perceived to have. The others shot themselves in the foot and didnt have the guts to realise that you COULD succeed just by sticking to the knitting and making a good product. Google's only responsibility is to their investors, to provide a search service that people continually use because of it's utility and to build their brand. I havent seen any users complaining yet that the results are bad, or even worse than other services. Even the reports on the go to hell issue say that Google is the most relevant search engine. They DON'T have a responsibility to Webmasters. Webmasters make their content available for inclusion - in return for the chance of exposure, if google thinks their content is good for their customers. Some thought this was a good update, though you wouldnt beleive it from this thread! Should these people be rushing up to google offering to support google with an income and a job. Hardly.

When is Google going to grow up and realise that with their immense success and importance comes responsibility for people's incomes and jobs?


Double huh?

When are YOU going to grow up and realise that google is not a government public service, and does not owe you an income or a job. If they did just how many webmasters around the world will they have to pay termination awards to? Google didnt force you to become dependent on them. They did not force you to work with them, and they cannot afford to allow a certain proportion of disappointed Webmasters to tell them how to do their job. Their constituency is their searchers. Running a successful business is full of hard knocks, and you cant go crying to clients who dont renew, or a free source of advertising that decides it dosent need you at the moment. Doing business on the Web is no different from doing business anywhere. It's no kindergarten.

Do you pay taxes to google? Have Google made any promise that they will provide you jobs and incomes? Has Google made you any undertakings that will rank your site well, and even include it? If you place an ad in a newspaper, is the newspaper going to be responsible for your ROI? If the answers to any of these questions is anything other than No, with all respect, you are crazy... Google is not a charity, its a business, Just because it does not charge webmasters, does not make it a charity.

Sorry for ranting, I do feel for those who feel they have not acheived the results they wish for. I have the greatest respect for those here who have taken the hit and are now busy redoing their sites. But I dont have sympathy for those who deluded themselves that google in any way owes them an income.

How could you let this happen? Most people would know that free search engine traffic is not something to build a job on, and in the future it may reduce to almost nothing anyway.

If you take the sensible long term view, its worth about as much as you paid for it...


 5:02 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

More ranting.........

It is fairly evident that Google is trying to shake up everyone and get them all to diversify. If this algorythm attempt discourages 10 or 20% of the most heaviest site submitters to not submit thousands of crappy pages a month then they have that much less crap to deal with. Google is basically shaking like a wet dog trying to get as many fleas off of it's back as possible. All the rest of us are just being considered "COLLATERAL DAMAGE". You can't blame them but what I'm really dissapointed about is the damage of the quality of the SERPS that are coming up. Google was about quality and easy of use. You searched, you saw your result with a clear description and when you clicked through the top 20 you usually found what you were looking for in a quality site............now........well, the SERPS speak for themselves.

Diversify, for now. What else can you do?


 5:09 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

This is all really sad... Do you think Google even realizes that this is the big step in the wrong direction that may actually ruin them? Don't they realize that the word of mouth that made them huge can work against them twice as fast? One month is a long time.

Some of my sites are getting traffic for some of the most absurdly off-topic searches (the words happen to be scattered throughout a single page on my site)... but I get nothing anymore for on-topic searches.

I'll tell you one thing, if Yahoo and Google part ways, this recent update is sure going to make Yahoo feel a whole lot better. I've done a few searches lately (not for research but because I actually needed to find something) and guess what? Yahoo found exactly what I needed but Google didn't. Ouch...


 5:11 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

No, Google is not a charity - that is the whole point.
Google is a business that profits (through adventising and syndication of their results to aol etc.) from the hard work of independent webmasters. WE are the SOLE PROVIDERS of their content. In essence, they are selling our product in the form of search results.
For this we receive "referrals." Google does not pay us in any other form for the use of our content. Think what position Google would be in if every website blocked them from crawling through their robots.txt file (and I do not think this is going to happen nor am I advocating it).
As such they should acknowledge the implicit business relationship between independent websites and themselves and not arbitrarily make changes that affect the incomes of hundreds, if not thousands of us. It is a very unusual situation where content providers are given nothing but the most vague and general guidelines by which to make decisions that affect their economic survival.
I honestly see the day coming when a real, fully supported association of independent websites - and ask yourself, what other industry has no association to lobby for them, interface with monopolies and otherwise protect their interests - comes into being as a result of the arbitrary behaviour of large corporations whose entire business model depends on our content.
You want to regard Google et al as a kind of benovelent society that helps us out, go ahead. But it is NOT the reality.


 5:14 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well said, chiyo.


 5:20 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

bobmark, good point but...

If there should be a RELATIONSHIP in which google provides traffic - then ALL webmasters should avoid spamming/cloaking or otherwise optimizing their sites at all; honoring their part of the relationship.

The sites should be designed (and linked) as though there were not SE's at all.

That way - there would be no need for google to change their algo in the first place, would there?


 5:22 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)


There is no law that says Google cannot index material on the Web.

They also provide a way for you to not have your content indexed at all if you are concerned.

There is no law to say you cant go to them and offer to SELL them the right to index your pages. Im sure they will say no thankyou and just not list you.

This is the Web.

We provide pages for public viewing.

And other than passing it off as their own or copying it in breach of copyright, anybody, including Google and hundreds of other search engines can do anything they WANT to do with it within the law. I think Google's snippets would count as "Fair use", though I would agree that the cache is a grey area. The latter is a different issue however.


 5:35 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I did not say, imply or otherwise suggest that there was anything wrong, illegal or otherwise bad about Google's business model. I have no problem with that and I am fully cognizant of the fact that - with the exception of "adwords" - they absorb the operating costs of providing us with referrals with no direct charge to us.
What I am saying is it is NOT a usual way of doing business for them to provide us no true guidance as to their listing practices or to alter rules with no notice or apparent consideration of the far reaching effects.
Let me give you an analogy so you get it.
Do you think TV Guide ever said to NBC (or Turner or you name it):
"We think your listings are too wordy and use too many attention grabbing words like "sex" so we won't carry your listings this month. This penalty will be in effect until we feel like lifting it and we won't even tell you precisely what our criteria is to carry your listings in the future."
Or how about:
"We have decided that Turner Network shows are less relevant to our readers than those from The Basketweaving Channel. Starting this month, we are placing your listings on our 64th. line and have moved The Basketweaving Channel to the second line."


 5:39 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

chyio, commenting your entire post...now your are defending google but replace word google with microsoft and their free products and somehow i have a feeling that you would not agree with everything you wrote...while reading your post (the one with HUH) i couldnt help replacing word "google " with microsoft in my mind and i have a feeling that no one here would post so defending post about Ms if this would case of one of their products, of course one of free ones.

i didnt read all things becasue ranting doesnt do good althout my sites have pr 0 and i am now buying new domaisn and staring new. but chiyo i think that even if you are not goverment or soemthing you should take some responsibility..

now i think that we talked about this same example once more time jsut take this example: MICROSOFT...

do you think givcing us FREE things like outlook and iexplore and not caring about responsibility is correct? they have terms that "you cant blame us" but 80% people use this and when you get hacked or you crash your diss or i dont knwo what becasu of this program will you really say "oh no problem, it was in term anyway that this is free program ,they didnt force me tio use it .. so cant blame them!"

and if some secuirty hack on outlook or better some new update would crash half of disks of members here on WebmasterWorld including your "years of work" would you rant here at microsoft or would you say "MS didnt forcce me to use this update.. they even say that we install this on our risk.. they have terms which say i am fully responsible for using product.. bla bla.. cant blame us.. bla bla...".

it is simmialr here, you see some people psoting about google ruining biz etc..some companies that rely on net can be ruined over night.

i dont think that this excuse would be coming from you or any other person here if we were talking about microsoft or other big software company that gives away something for free.. not every small program, but things like iexplore that majority of users use... it is jsut too easy to say "what are you complaining? they are free, they didnt force you, they didnt aks you, they dont owe you anythign..."...

to make it short i THINK that with power there comes responsibility and it doesnt matter if this is goverment or free service.here i am ranting :)


 5:50 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Most other industries seem to exist without the shroud of secrecy that SE's invoke. In most cases, standards are a matter of public record and those in the industry can conform to them or try to cut corners at their peril. The problem is, we don't know precisely what practices SE's define as unacceptable or - other than by trial and error - know what is acceptable this month as opposed to last month.


 5:51 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

PR7 to PR6, traffic cut in half.
Google can create unprofitability overnight.


 5:53 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Google can create unprofitability overnight."

according to the bbc article they can also create an imense amount of profitablity! ;)


 5:55 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Bobmark said:

"Let me give you an analogy so you get it."

Chiyo says "shucks - thanks very much Bob!"

Bobmark said:

"Do you think TV Guide ever said to NBC (or Turner or you name it):
"We think your listings are too wordy and use too many attention grabbing words like "sex" so we won't carry your listings this month. This penalty will be in effect until we feel like lifting it and we won't even tell you precisely what our criteria is to carry your listings in the future."
Or how about:
"We have decided that Turner Network shows are less relevant to our readers than those from The Basketweaving Channel. Starting this month, we are placing your listings on our 64th. line and have moved The Basketweaving Channel to the second line."

Chiyo said:

Well that would mean that TV Guide would lose their readership, and lose out to their competitors. I also think that TV Guide (USA?) is probably owned by the networks anyway so NBC would just get them sacked. Someway or another i think the networks PAY to be listed (either through part ownership or ads on the side), so they should have some say in how they are listed.

I honestly cant see any problems in SERPS in terms I search for. I listed about 20 of them in another thread so wont repeat them. Some of them got even better! Now thats a small sample, but none of us individually could hope to get even close to an infetemsial proportion of all Google queries. Many people here i feel are generalising from perceived bad listings in their fave keyword areas and thinking that ALL of Google has gone bad!

to me it just got better!

Now, my (perhaps bad) assumption is most problems are in highly competitive, higly commercial areas while i was looking at economic, business, and country stats information.

Ive always beleived that Google can never be a good engine for higly commercial categories, as the whole priciple of Page Ranking and link popularity just does not work with competitive comemrcial entities (try getting yoru competitor to link to you!) Il'd not be totally surprised that that part of the index is having problems. If i wanted to buy something II'd go to overture, or MSN or Amazon or Shopping directories anyway. However I will click on an Adword is its relevant to my search and provided in context with more objective information on the left!


 6:01 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm not ranting or raving; just observing. If an entity attains the lofty status of monopoly, and if the entity either becomes or is perceived to be indispensable to commerce, and if there is a perception that the entity is not acting in the best interests of commerce, and if a government agency interevenes on behalf of commerce - well, you get the idea.



 6:06 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi JohnB, thanks for your response. And yes i agree with most of it! I agree with you that large or influential companies should show some responsibility, and to webmasters too. Im not a raving right winger! But Im not convinced yet what the problem is, and if we are just gabbling amongst ourselves. I cant see yet users complaining. I think Google has a major responsibility to their users yes! I also think they have a responsibility to the Web. I think they have a responsibility to Webmasters too, but all webmasters. I have a feeling that a silent minority or even majority of webmasters are pretty impressed with the new Google results overall, as i am. Some problems, some improvements, but I really do think google is behaving responsibly, and any major problems that really do exist for their users and webmasters as a whole will be sorted out in time. I just dont see how they are "Actining irresponsibly" at this time and how they are responsible for webmasters jobs and incomes.


 6:12 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Not that it relates to the points made, but TV Guide is owned by Gemstar-TV Guide International who do not have significant investment from the major networks.
So now it's well I like Google, but they're not good for this or that and that's life.
The problem is when a corporation such as Google achieves virtual monopoly status through their business practices their choice is to disregard the needs of the hundreds of thousands of smaller businesses who are dependent on them for their survival (and let's not forget, Google on them for it's survival) or to adopt flexible policies that are responsive.
To date, the only semi-monoploy who seem to have survived for a significant period while acting in an arbitrary manner is MS. Standard Oil fell, IBM fell, numerous SE's fell from their positions.
I think Google has to address the reality of their dominance by some meaningful cooperation with the rest of the industry (I mean US) or risk the same fate.

I just saw your post. You said it better and quicker!


 6:23 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I just saw your post. You said it better and quicker!

That's me; younger, better,faster, and hipper - well, better, faster and hipper. :)



 6:32 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

"That's me; younger, better,faster, and hipper - well, better, faster and hipper."
As the Orville Redenbocker of webmasters you don't have to go far to surpass me in those categories (sorry to take up board space with this...I'll shut up now).


 6:33 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Do you think TV Guide ever said to NBC (or Turner or you name it):
"We think your listings are too wordy and use too many attention grabbing words like "sex" so we won't carry your listings this month. This penalty will be in effect until we feel like lifting it and we won't even tell you precisely what our criteria is to carry your listings in the future."

That's EXACTLY my point here.
What if they provided listings like (i don't subscribe to tv guide, so it might not look accurate):

10:30pm CH 56 - <substitute repetitions of adult words>

I doubt tv guide would accept it :)

Or, what if they provided something like:
10:30pm CH 56 - Gardening tips with Joe Johnson (whatever)

and showed hard core p*rn instead on that channel at this time?

Ha? Does remind one of cloaking doesn't it?

[edited by: Marcia at 6:59 pm (utc) on Sep. 30, 2002]
[edit reason] edited for semantic propriety [/edit]


 6:39 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

That would have been a good argument several years ago, bcc1234. (and I'm surprised webmasterword does not have filters in effect).
However we are long past those days and now are moving into very fine definitions of what consitutes abuse that affect legitimate sites whose perfectly acceptable content or practices are being targetted, inadvertently or deliberately...we don't know which.


 6:49 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

bobmark, your paraphrasing of my post was incorrect and superficial.

I am trying to discuss why Google is being perceived as returning poor results when I personally cant see them. It is nothing to do with "liking Google", but facts and analysis, which you prefer to ignore in favour of twisting words. That Google seems to be getting better at returning good SERPs in some areas and seemingly poor in other areas may be a good clue to what the problem is. However you preferred to play with other's words so I think we may just have to agree to disagree.

Google is nowhere close to being a monopoly and if it was it would be trasient. Remember when AV dominated the free search arena?

And what are the practices that Google engaged in to become your "monopoly"? Did they aquire their competitors? Did they bribe there way into the yahoo contract or the AOL contract? All i can see is that they just provided a better service.

And no I'm not providing an analogy so you "get it" :)

[edited by: chiyo at 7:01 pm (utc) on Sep. 30, 2002]


 6:52 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

bobmark, i know that repetition does not work any more.
that was not the point.

And apparently, the filter does not work with upper case. :)

I though what I was trying to say is obvious.

They are making changes not because they want but because we (the webmasters) don't leave them other choice.


 6:53 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

lol, I think we both are running into the same problem in this discussion :)

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