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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.



 5:20 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Since the seperate thread didnt seem to get posted - what is everyones take on the possibility that in their "anti-spam" campaign, Google has started using the new whois feature "blacklist" that relys on the spew database of IP blocks listed as spamming emails? I have seen a very good correlation between some friends domains that have lost complete listings and the fact that their domains in a whois search show "listed" for the blacklist feature - the only problem I can see with this is that the spew database tends to blacklist entire blocks of IPs in response to the spam reports - so these friends sites just happened to be on a server that shared IP blocks with other dedicated servers that were spamming emails.
Not a conspiricy theory or anything - just a small parallel that seems to exist between different hosts/different servers having the same problems.


 5:31 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Not a conspiricy theory or anything - just a small parallel that seems to exist between different hosts/different servers having the same problems. "

and I had Heineken for breakfast the day before my rankings tanked. I doubt Google would rely on a third party to ban sites. Not to mention that e-mail spamming has nothing to do with your site's content


 6:29 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

The benefits of doing nothing?

For five years I spent some time every day tweaking on-page stuff, link hunting, and monitoring G's every twitch. The basic Brett's G-in-twelve program. It got my site positioned more or less where I wanted.

Over the past six months I was distracted by other issues and did no SEO on the site at all. New inbound links have appeared on their own, nothing much else happened on the site.

Now, with all the posts about Allegra I thought I had better take a detailed look at my logs and check my list of keywords to see how G was positioning us in the SERPs.

Referrals from G are running at just over double the volume of six months ago. SERP positions for my money keywords are as high or higher (#2, #6, #4, #1...) than when I left them. Inner pages that had never ranked well had taken positions above the fold on page one. Overall, the best situation my site has ever achieved.

Is there some actual benefit to doing nothing?
Is G penalising competing sites for doing SEO?


 6:48 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)


The basic Brett's G-in-twelve program.

What's that? Sounds like a twelve step program to cure something or other.


 7:32 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)


Well, I guess it helped cure my poverty...



 7:33 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Its a superb article on how to gather visitors to your site and improve your ranking - a great article as ive said.


 10:04 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

walkman LOL - the beer for breakfast would actually be a good idea. Seriously though, with Google recently becoming a registrar, and all companies that do kid-safe and other types of spam protection already being used by Google, I dont think its a far reach to just start using that database (heck they already use chilling effects for DMCA publication)
That tied to the recent trojan bots that brought the search engine grinding down looking for email addys to use for spam, might be enough to trigger something like this.
Again - I can see other factors that would cause loss of rankings on these other sites that also have yet to be proven like Googles change in their handling of aliases/stacked domains etc. splitting sites into many pieces, but it was just a common factor on every domain I looked at for others.


 1:39 am on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I say the update is still moving.


 5:23 am on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

It has to be moving!

This is unbelievable. On a 17.5m keyword a third place result is totally unrelevant. I think it might have something to do with the site - its a popular tech site built in OS. Sticky me for the particulars and I guarantee it will make you re-think a few things.


 5:48 am on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

definitely moving.

pre-allegra (pr some version of it) do not seem to be dying out, they are spreading across datacenters and retreating, then spreading again


 1:22 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I noticed something that seems to support the tightening up of the duplicate content theory:
I had 2 almost identical sites up. Both appeared in the SERPs (albeit one a lot lower than the other). Now, however, one of them has completely dissapeared. There are only 102 results for the site name so not hard to search.
Not sure why G has chosen which one to remove.

Even with the filter=0 option I can't find the site. Pages with links to the missing site are showing up, including orphaned supplamental pages.


 2:32 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Observations from a semi-newbie:

1)A search for a non-competetive term that I formally ranked #1 for now has me at #13. The #1 spot and three of the top ten are Ebay re-directs. Another in the top ten is an actual Ebay url.
Conclusion?: Whatever they did to try and fix their re-direct problem has really screwed up the serps.
They also haven't done anything to thwart the spam. They're still obviously very susceptible to google bombing and link manipulation.

2) My link count is down from 908 to 714. I'm sure most of the links I've lost were internal links because I've been continually adding links from other sites. Conclusion: Downgrading internal anchor text links would explain a lot of the movement I've been seeing.


 5:40 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is there some actual benefit to doing nothing?
Is G penalising competing sites for doing SEO?

I would say no to both. The more I change my site the more often google returns for more. And when I mess up a page and the rank drops Google returns right after I have fixed it and boosts the rank again. I can add new pages and within 2 days they are in the serps and usually ranking high for their major keywords. I can also tweak the keywords on a page that isn't ranking well and watch the results in a few days.

I thus say--Google likes fresh content on a well designed page.


 5:48 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have noticed some ranking changes, must have started in December and is onging.

1. On one site, backlinks, as shown by Google, were alternating between 49 external backlinks (dec), 89 internal only backlinks (Jan) and 22 external only backlinks (Feb). Now what's that all about?

2. In addition, the Google Dir/DMOZ listing in the Google toolbar for this client went away for a while, only to come back mysteriously about 10 days ago.

3. The PR dropped from 5 to 4 while all this went on.

Something is definately going on and it's not over yet.


 7:37 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

RE: my post at the top of this page:
It's a bit of a worry that a site that is a copy of another site copletely vanishes.

How, does Google determine which is the original - the oldest site? or do they know which page has been up for longest?


 7:48 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here are some ideas about Allegra changes, in my opinion.

Good: on-topic links out
Very, very Bad: irrelevant links out
Good: on-target links in
Bad: impertinent links in
Outstanding: directly on-topic link in from an authority site and containing keyword phrase
Good: directly on-topic link in from a site
Good: directly on-topic link out to an authority site
Ugly: unnatural, repeated keywords in paragraph text
Neutral: keywords repeated in separate anchor texts
Very good: Broad, rich presentation of a topic
Good: Specialized presentation of a topic with authority links out
Good: keyword phrase in anchor text of many relevant pages


 10:38 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

A question about duplicate content: on my site, I have individual pages for widgets from different manufacturers. I use the manufacturers' description and specifications for the widgets, which I copy from the manufacturers' sites.

I also have my own text on the pages, including drop-down menus for finding stores that carry the widgets in different states, and a line that reads "Click here to visit our Acme widgets page to find information about all models of Acme widgets."

I've done this very same thing with other sites before, and those sites rank in the top five for the desired keywords.

Could this be close enough to duplicate content that the new algo would push a new site such as mine into a black hole, while leaving mature sites alone?


 11:32 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I cover a very specific niche, so my observations are limted in scope. I dont have the benefit of watching numerous number of sites across different niches.

In my niche, 10s of 1000's of template sites put out by a dozen or so companies are very common. In December I saw many of these sites that share similar hosts take big dumbs. It seemed that Google had turned the LocalRank knob a bit too much and filtered out the weaker sites on these IPs. This has definitely eased with this update and many of these sites have come back.


 1:15 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd like to revive this thread!

What happened on Feb 2nd? I got killed in the SERPs - my daily referal stats went from this:

Google - 52% (350+ referrals)
Yahoo - 21%
MSN - 12%

to this:

MSN - 38%
Yahoo - 30%
Google - 12% (<100 referrals)

I'm still seeing lots of sites above me that have 0 page rank, off-topic subjects, and sometimes don't even contain the entire keyphrase in their page.

What I do see:
> PageRank mania - almost no correlation - random PageRank for results 1-100
> Longer page titles, de-emphasis on this element
> Less keyword density in overall page
> Higher ranking for pages with keywords embedded in internal hyperlinks
> Possible dupe filter increase

Anybody else?


 1:26 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Things are still developing. The "big index" is still on several IPs (and can only be accessed using the correct IP address) and is still evolving.

A week ago:

Google.com and most IPs: #3 in 42 million results
Big Index 'A': position #6 in 60 million
Big Index 'B': position #7 in 64 million


Google.com and most IPs: #3 in 42 million results
Big Index 'A': position #2 in 64 million <<
Big Index 'B': position #7 in 68 million

One of the "big index" versions has evolved. It has all of the pages of the big index as of last week, but the SERPs order is the same as the older "small" index.

I see a similar pattern with a number of other searches. One IP set looks like a melding of the two indexes and algorithms.


 10:13 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well - either it has not settled and is on again, or a new one has started - there is a whole new much smaller set of results that has been released today and is roaming around again - completely different than the other sets that have been no-again off-again for the last week


 11:29 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Forgot to mention - using the old "quantifier" for updates - I am seeing different numbers for backlinks on www.yahoo.com on some datacenters - dont know if maybe I missed it before in the rotating indexes but some have 581k and some have 585k BLs


 11:33 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Seems to me like there are more than just daily fluxes. Seems like this is going to be a continuous dance.


 2:14 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The keyword I monitor with dropped 270mill results - down to 60mill, which usually indicates a new index coming in - its happened every other time theyve done "more than a fresh update" - the normal signal I see is the results going way down like that - then feeding in the newer results over a few days - its happened every update for the last 6
That keyword normally runs 330mill SERPs - right now its fluctualting between 65, 95 and 330 mill for the last few hours

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