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Google Glitch / Bug

 6:41 am on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Something strange

My site listed in google has become a hybrid listing

The title / URL is from some random totally unrelated site

The directory path & directory is from my site.

This appears in the position where my site was 30 mins ago (& has been for months - #1)

Googleguy any clues why this would happen - looks like a bug?



 6:48 am on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I meant to say in the above that the description (dmoz description) is from my site


 8:38 am on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thats strange...

I have also noticed something strange on the serps for my main keyword. There is a totally unrelated site listed in the #2 spot. So, for example if my keywords were "Blue Widgets", there is absolutely nothing on this site that has anything to do with Blue Widgets. There is nothing visible, or in the source code. Nothing in the alt tags, nothing, nothing, nothing. They are an educational site with very little on the page. I even checked their incoming links, and the words "BLUE" or "WIDGETS" isn't listed anywhere on their inbound links. I can find absolutely no reason they should even appear in the serps for Blue Widgets. Any thoughts?


 8:40 am on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

4crest: can this be just a googlebomb?


 8:48 am on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

This happened to me several months ago when I was using shared hosting. The site Google indexed was another site shared on the same IP address, totally unrelated in every way shape and form to the site it should have indexed.

Back in those days I had to wait a month for it to get fixed, I believe freshbot will take care of it now, given you have a PR 5ish+ site that freshbot likes :)


 9:17 am on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

It fixed itself by the look of it. This was definately a bug - there is no other site on the same IP, plus the main point the actual google text was messed up

URL & Desc - from some unrelated educational site
DMOZ site description + DMOZ directory path - my site


 12:01 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've just had the same bug on a common keyword. Completely left-field sites in positions 1 to 3. They didn't even contain the search term.

By the time I'd captured the bad SERPS screen and read this thread, the results were back to normal.

Looks like Google is having an off day. Maybe we should get the DMOZ people to run it instead :)


 12:55 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just got sent a screen shot from a search on my keyword. The top two results were totally unrelated sites, with their own ransom notes and the DMOZ descriptions of the sites that are normally in those two positions. It's a Google snafu rather than a Googlebomb.


 8:45 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

When I click on the CACHE button for the unrelated site, it has this message:

These terms only appear in links pointing to this

Does this mean that this site is listed in the #2 position ONLY because it has a link from a page that has BLUE WIDGETS on it?

Is the Google Algo putting more weight on inbound links than ever before?

What's the deal?


 9:00 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sometimes it seems that they edit sites results by hand. I Know, I Know, they denied it, but they seem to be doing it any how.
Maybe you cath them doing so, changing manually the text of the spot. If that's the case, you may not be in that nice number one spot for very long.

[edited by: Marcos at 9:03 pm (utc) on Jan. 3, 2003]


 9:03 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)


It's probably just a glitch -- nothing whatever to do with anchor text.


 9:59 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

the glitch is back. Aggh! My description / dmoz path - a different URL

Googleguy - this is a bug in google. Something you probably want to know about.


 11:10 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

4Crest, I think this may have been what GG meant when he recommended to "take a few days off" while the update stabilizes. Weirdness is not uncommon during an update, give it a few days and this may resolve itself. Wait until the update is complete before you start to panic.


 5:05 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is nothing to do with the position in results or the update - this is a bug - that impacts me greatly

even the cache is my site - the url is something else. A hybrid listing is far from normal. My cache, my dmoz description, another URL? Believe me that sucks!

the bug is in evidence on datatcenter 2 & 5 (sj / ab)


 5:12 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

today i have seen that bug in some search results too.

looking in the cache you can see to which website the ranking really belongs to.

the ranking title and the cache belongs to two completely different websites.


 6:07 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmmm. Send any example queries, with as much specific detail as you can (e.g. which two sites appear to be mismatched) to search-quality@google.com. If there's a problem, having 2-3 examples would really help us diagnose it. After NovaW and maybe puzzled and a few people send some examples, we'll get some engineers to look at it. If it's a glitch on our end, we'll get it fixed as soon as we can, and I'll report back what I find out.


 6:14 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks GoogleGuy!

I had sent one to webmaster@google.com - but have just forwarded it to the email you suggested & mentioned you + webmasterworld



 6:38 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

i searched "crossword puzzle" (is this allowed to write it here, too specific?)

Results for #3-6 are totally useless. but if you look in the cached version you can see the real website.


 6:50 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yep that is a good example - but i only see it on datacenter 5 (www-ab)

#3-6 have the same cache etc as the other datacenters, but the url is totally unrelated, dmoz path & description the same as the correct versions.


 9:40 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow. I am seeing it big time on a keyword phrase of mine. Yikes. Amusingly enough, however, it's replacing my site with Will Wheaton's! Erm, help ... heh.. (GG: Just e-mailed as requested mentioning your name in the subject and body of e-mail)


 12:06 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy - I just sent you a screen cap and detailed message as well to the same address.


 12:24 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)


I too have sent an example of a mismatch, the first item if you look for "hotels London" on Google.co.uk

As far as I can see the first Serps site is not cheating, but is the result of a mismatch.

Note to moderators Feel free to remove query string, but I thought it was useful!


 2:59 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks everybody. I'll pass this on and see what's going on.


 6:46 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Okay, issue diagnosed and it should be solved, if not already then within a few hours. Thanks for pointing this out, NovaW! If people see any problems with after this, post here to let me know, yah?

Thanks, everybody. :)


 11:45 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, the London one is solved

As a matter of interest, how widespread was the problem at Google?
I assume there was a fair amount of it around as we picked up the glitch here across a range of queries.

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