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This 114 message thread spans 4 pages: 114 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >     
Serious Google Update Algo Analysis Thread
The update's settled. Let's analyse it.

 2:05 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Right, I for one am sick of reading through pages of whinning and conspiracy theories and #*$!ing and rants. // That's my rant over ;-)

The update now appears to be over. So let's discuss the algo.

What I think google changed in the algo this update...

- Backlinks count for less. I see pages with a handful of less than outstanding quality doing well.

- Keyword density counts for more. I see poorly linked pages stuffed with a set of keywords doing well.

- Semantics / LSI - no evidence. If anything I notice a narrowed focus works better. 'clothes for women'!= 'clothes for her'!= 'clothes for woman' in Google right now.

- Hilltop = no evidence. Seeing pages from small, obscure, never seen before sites ranking well.

- On page factors count for more. It's the only way I can explain some pages rankings.

- No evidence of penalising affiliate sites.

There's a start... my tuppence worth.

I look forward to reading your analysis / thoughts.

ps: mods, please help keep this thread clean by deleting rants / moving to other Allegra thread.



 8:09 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sorry, don't see any major algorithm changes. That's across my fourteen major sites (US and UK only) which pull in around 80% of my total server traffic. The fluctuations in my smaller sites (i.e. 100-500 visits per day each) I am therefore attributing to the usual backlinks and cache updates.

There was a big shift in algorithm priorities DURING the update that I saw, but this is usual as things are shifted around. During the update I saw my older sites drop in traffic whilst my newer ones jumped in traffic. Things are back to normal now at my end though.


 8:16 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just a thought...

The recent cnet article about Google becoming a registrar has me wondering. It was stated that Google doesn't want sell domains, quote:

"Google became a domain name registrar to learn more about the Internet's domain name system," a company representative said Tuesday. "We believe this information can help us increase the quality of our search results."

I am wondering, as I have my company listed as billing and tech contacts for all my clients' domain info, if this has not factored into the new index and site ranking?

Anyone have any thoughts?

Matt Probert

 8:20 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

We see NO CHANGE in the PR of our site's home page, sub-pages or our UK gateway home page. Everything as it has been for at least 12 months.



 8:22 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I second the motion... I don't see any major algorithm changes. We have several, well positioned, highly ranked sites in a very competitive area... SERP's have changed for none, competition has not changed. We receive ~9000 google referals per day... this number remains constant.


 8:30 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

5% increase in visitor numbers so far this month across 100+ sites.

Definitely noticed that the odd page that has gone to #1 from #2 or 3 has a lot of on page descriptive keywords, nothing else was changed to those pages.

Interestingly the same pages have also at the same time gone to #1 in Yahoo! and MSN.


 8:31 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Basing my analysis entirely on who is complaining and who isn't in the Allegra thread, I think sites that are identified by Google in some way as primarily informational were left alone or moved up, while sites that are primarily commercial are ranked lower....

I also SEE this in the areas I've checked on Google.


 8:32 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't see any major algorithm changes

That is the real confusing thing. I see a huge changes in the serps I monitor.


 8:32 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

No evidence of penalising affiliate sites.

I found some evidence. Me!


 8:36 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Jakpot

What makes you think you were penalised for being an affiliate?

I said 'no evidence' on the basis that my sites are all affiliate sites in competitive retail areas and remain strong in this update - many #1/#2/#3 positions on 20million plus results terms.

Of course, we can only analyse what we see for our own sites. What makes you think it was the affiliate aspect that caused your fall from grace?


 8:44 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

My guess is a severe duplicate content filter because otherwise, I've changed nothing.

I've gone from an average position of #3 on several medical terms to an average position of #100+ with a substantial drop in Google traffic. (1000 referrals/day to <200 referrals/day)

I have gone through 3 mild name changes in the last 5 years - domain1.com, domain2.com, domain3.com

Each time, I have pointed the old domain at the new domain, because I didn't want to lose the traffic I got from Yahoo and MSN, who gladly index all three domain names individually. As a matter of fact, that's why I'm not now out of business after the Allegra update.

Google always pretty much ignored the old domains in favor of the newest domain. (which I assumed to be because of the duplicate content filter)

I also registered a 4th and 5th domain variation of my name (for spelling purposes) and pointed it at my web site for a total of 5 URL's showing similar content with slight domain name variations.

Now, I've dropped 100+ slots on most key words, and show up #4 for my own unique business name - with 3 results above me that link to me.

So my quess is that they are splitting the Page Rank between the 5 domain names that point to the same web site.

Unfortunately, to test my theory, I will lose the Yahoo/MSN traffic that now sustains me if I turn those domains off and/or point them to different content.

Any similar experience and/or ideas to overcome this Catch-22 situation is greatly appreciated...


Google Page Rank results for "mybusinessname"

Pos - Pagerank - Incoming Link Count
1 3/10 (5 inbound links)
2 0/10 (9 inbound links)
3 0/10 (0 inbound links)
4 4/10 (320 inbound links) << Here I am
5 2/10 (7 inbound links)
6 2/10 (5 inbound links)
7 4/10 (0 inbound links)
8 2/10 (0 inbound links)
9 2/10 (0 inbound links)
10 5/10 (0 inbound links)

These are not consistent with the PageRank theory...


[edited by: rehabguy at 8:57 pm (utc) on Feb. 9, 2005]


 8:48 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

What about duplicate content filters? Are the sites that got hit datafeed or webservice sites?

I really don't monitor specific kewords so it's hard for me to evaluate any changes. I do know that traffic has dropped for me between this update and changes made on 12/17.

What is strange is that on one site of mine the traffic doubled. This site is nothing but duplicate content, but so are the other web sites on this subject. I don't know if this is due to getting out of the sandbox or not. The site went live in April 2004.

I noticed that many of my long standing positions for my "hobby/content" sites seem unaffected.

[edited by: MrSpeed at 9:04 pm (utc) on Feb. 9, 2005]


 8:50 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

My previous "Serious Google Update Algo Analysis" threads had this stipulation:

"For those who have been here a while, this is a thread topic I have started before for earlier updates. I'm starting this thread because another member suggested such would be a good idea because the main google update thread is cluttered with posts like "OMG, I've been dropped in the new index!" and "Yippee, I'm now #1 on a key SERP". This thread is ONLY for serious, generic discussion of changes that you are observing with the new algo in this update. As in things like "Looks to me like PR is less important this month, and anchor text of inbound links counts more.", etc. How your site is doing has no relevance here unless you can explain why you think so in terms of a general algo update."

The key element was how *your* sites are doing is irrelevant. Thus, please keep everything generic.


 9:02 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I saw something interesting on today, it is still there. (Hope this is not a repeat.)

When searching for my website via its name, the description appearing in the search results is from the Directory listing. These are the exact words from DMoz and do not appear anywhere on the website at all as written. Anyone else seeing this?

Could this be an attempt to link the directory with the results more closely?


 9:03 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

How can we have an Algo Analysis when the update is still going? google still have two sets of backlinks showing, the update isn't quite over yet. And the results are still in flux


 9:10 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I run several websites (both for myself and for clients) across several different topics (both related and unrelated).

Of my websites and SERPS that I monitor the only major change that I have seen is that one of my sites is MIA.
The only difference between that site and the others (that I have noticed) is that the site that has disappeared had no redirect from the [mysite.com...] to [mysite.com...] while all of my other sites did.
I would also have to say that the MIA site competes in an area that is particularly prone to spammers (although my site is not an affiliate site).

Other than that I don't see any more changes than the normal small fluctuations.


 9:11 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

from what I am seeing in my keywords there is less duplicate content

other than that most everything else is the same.

lots of keyword stuffing sites

ie search for "generic clothes store"

shows tons of spam pages that are efffectivly dynamically generated keyword lists


 9:13 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

paulbay - I haven't seen movement in the areas for 48 hours or more. And, I took Googleguy's " " as a hint the inks dried - at least on this algo.

Something else that strikes me about this new Algo is the favouring of sub pages? 80 to 90% of top ten pages on three money terms I just checked are subpages not the domain / index. This is something I hadn't noticed previously?

Has anyone else noticed increased prevalence of subpages?


 9:15 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

On page factors appear to be given a bit more weight on sites I am involved with. One low PR site (PR4) came from nowhere to top 20 on a couple of niche terms. Has to be on page stuff.

By on page I mean clean/lean code with the basic optimization in place. Another site I am associated with that has a bunch of Flash garbage munging up the code fell far from grace. Similar search terms, PR 5. This one fell to #60 of 342 for its business name, which is a VERY unique name. 59 sites containing links and/or reference to the site in question now rank above it.

1st site is PHP on linux/apache. 2nd is straight HTML running on a windows server. Both are "informational" in as much as neither engages in any sort of e-commerce.

Both have DMOZ listings. The lost site is at least 4 years older than the found site.



 9:15 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't say aff sites are penalized as they still rank in the areas I play. However I see the "review" affiliate sites ranking higher in many cases. If this is considered "unique" content that could be a factor.

These pages seem to have few/no external links to the pages.

<speculation>They seem to be ranking on the authority power of the site passed thru internal navigation</speculation>

I also see "chat" and "forum" pages where people mention products ranking above people selling the product.


 9:30 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing 3 sites, 1 my own, 2 by other people in my area, which have all tanked. The only thing i can see in common is that all 3 sites have their link text the same or close to the same for most of their links. These are really small sites...say 30-40pages 30-40links in been in the index for 3 years. I'm betting on a filter which is triggered if a percentage of your link text is identical downgrading the whole site. My site is still there..all pages still in the index...pr the same. ranking nowhere for unique company name. Only starting to rank in top 100 when searches are really specific say 500 results. Any site even mentioning my site is guaranteed to come above me.


 9:34 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

This update might has well be over, don't think my site will return now. Right, i run a gambling website and most of the casino affiliate programs provide reviews for the affiliates to use, what i'm seeing very strongly is what looks like a duplicate content penalty, most of the sites ive been monitoring that have dropped use the content provided by the affiliate program, from what i'm seeing those that wrote their own unique reviews have survived, most the ones that used the affiliate reviews have dropped totally, guess what i used?


 9:35 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

My thoughts so far:

- On page factor scoring has changed a lot. It seems that less importance is now given to the TITLE tag. Also the "implicit quotes" around search terms are not as strong. Together these mean that having "blue" in your TITLE and "widgets" somewhere on your page is pretty much as good as having "Blue Widgets" as your TITLE. Big mistake.

- Keywords in the URL are now pretty much irrelevant.

- Internal links count for a lot less. You need deep links from external sites more than ever.

- I still have this feeling that they've turned way up the weight given to anchor text on outgoing links. This could be one reason that blogspam and directories rank highly.

- No real evidence of LSI, though a combination of the above mistakes could result in the appearance of poorly implemented LSI.


 9:48 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

- On page factor scoring has changed a lot. It seems that less importance is now given to the TITLE tag. Also the "implicit quotes" around search terms are not as strong. Together these mean that having "blue" in your TITLE and "widgets" somewhere on your page is pretty much as good as having "Blue Widgets" as your TITLE.

>> So a search (without quotes) for "allegra update" and "update allegra" must give same SERP?


 9:50 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I could be wrong, but a review of stats just a while ago has me believing that this is still not settled. In many categories I still see substantial jumping around beyond the daily jigs and jags we've gotten used to in recent months...

My tracking graphs still look like there's a bad liar taking a polygraph.


 9:55 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

valeyard - I would have to disagree:

1. Title tag very important IF body text relevant
2. Keywords in url important IF body text relevant

You need deep links from external sites more than ever.

Not for me.

Strangely "keyword keyword" on a very important keyword moves me from #2 to #1 and the current #1 to #2!

Interesting views eh?


 9:56 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> So a search (without quotes) for "allegra update" and "update allegra" must give same SERP?

No. But the distinction between the two seems to be less than it used to be.


 9:57 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

None of my sites have changed significantly (up or down a few spots and total referals from google about the same), but looking at search results, I'm seeing a few more duplicate sites (almost identical urls and content) and a few new affiliate sites (look to be doing some kind of redirect).


 10:02 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here is my theory...

- Google is going to cleanup the 302-redirect issue...

- The sites linking to me using the "go.php" and other 302-redirect scripts all have their cache dates set to 1969. They are also listed as suplimental results. I am hopeful that the next place for these people are to be completely removed from the index.

- I think sites are being penalized temporarily to find out who the real owner of the content is... Once the scraper sites and 302-redirect sites are removed - the real sites will rise back up in the standings.

- This may be a multi step process. Google could have started last month with a certain segment of the index. Notice how people are saying there sites are rising once again after being down.

Any takers...


 10:06 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I disagree on the 302 issue as I haven't been affected.

I have tons of 302's to other sites ( my links directory uses 302's, I am to lazy to fix it, and a few frontpage links use 302's to some people who scraped me ) and all the pages that perform the 302's rank well for there area.

furthermore I am not seeing this 302 ( page jacking ) issue at all with my stuff.

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