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This 612 message thread spans 21 pages: < < 612 ( 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 [18] 19 20 21 > >     
Google Update Bourbon - Part 1
Has the sandbox been busted?

 8:35 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

continued from: [webmasterworld.com...]

Seeing something happening on and - might be worth keeping an eye on.



 4:02 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I've noticed the same thing in some of the travel SERPs, where a search on "elboniaville" might yield a one-page description of Elboniaville in a hotel-booking site for the whole of Elbonia etc etc"

Agree -- I'm seeing the results as you describe when searching by country name -- eg Elbonia, but am seeing pretty good and relevant results when searching for XYZ place or city in Elbonia. Also agree that unfortunately the www.user-submitted-trashy-travel-content.com type sites appear to have done quite well out of this.

We've slid on some destination names, stayed the same on others and improved considerably on yet others -- a bit of a mixed bag overall.

I'm still seeing a lot of different results across the DCs at the moment though -- some look great, others less so - fingers crossed they go with the former


 4:23 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

We are a user review, template based site - though not trashy, and we've been hammered by Bourbon.

PR7 Home page, tens of thousands of organic inbound links, all unique content, 6 year old site.

We've lost more than 80% of our G referrals.

It's not any narrow group of keywords that has decimated us either - on a typical day we'll get referrals from more than 10K different queries, with no single query accounting for more than 1%.

No panic over here (yet), as I've seen this happen before. Things have always recovered within 30 days or so when Google relearns that it's a quality site - no logical reason to think that after 6 years, G would suddenly wake up one day and decide the site is crap.


 4:33 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

<how utterly logical...>

wattsnew...not sure if that was laced with sarcasm.

fearlessrick...yours is an epiphany I had along time ago. Google is bipolar...not a SE to entrust your livelyhood with. G opened pandora's box with adwords and adsense...the chickens are coming home to roost so to speak. The end result is google always changing the rules of the game to eliminate the "gamers".

I think what is really going on now is that inside google they also are aware that the Yahoo and MSN serps have been of much better quality lately. This is a no-holds barred re-shuffling...seems to me they are desperate to improve the quality of their results so as not to lose the competitive edge they once had.

I'm not sure it is possible right now. Yahoo and MSN have pretty good serps. The best they can do now is be a "me too" search engine. Bourbon will make or break Google. Hmmm..maybe it is time to unload some of my G stock.


 4:35 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

a search on "elboniaville" might yield a one-page description of Elboniaville in a hotel-booking site for the whole of Elbonia

On a related note I'm noticing searches that usually bring up one of my home pages now bring up a lesser page on my site. This is not consistant, more on and off.


 4:52 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Any guesses what is considered by G as an authority site?


 5:01 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sometimes I like to browse up the name of a small town just to learn about it.
I learned to use negative keywords to avoid the inevitable commercial stuff,
I disallow -hotels (note plural), -florists, -travel, etc. That helps, but other telltale kws remain.
I disallow those as I find them. -Larry

Will Spencer

 5:23 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The interesting thing is the percenatge of people complaining about odd/unjust/unlikely changes who don't have the www/non-www issue consistent, or have inconsistent linking like relative links or some links to "/" while others go to index.html or default.asp?

That percentage is close to 100%, if not literally 100%.

That stuff is childs play and not at all relevant to any serious SEO discussion.

Google dropped ONE of my many sites during this update. The sites are built and SEO'd by me, all to similar standards. They are all on the same IP.

This isn't a penalty for poor SEO -- this is Google not being able to manage their database properly. They are randomly dropping entire sites -- not dropping them in the SERPS but dropping them (effectively) out of the SERPS.

To quote Google:

Our spiders regularly crawl the web to rebuild our index, but keeping tabs on eight billion pages is tough work, and they may miss a few. As for the sites they find, updates to the content of pages often result in ranking changes. Normal changes include, but aren't limited to, the addition of new sites, changes in the ranking of existing sites, sites falling out of the index or getting dropped for particular keywords, and fluctuation between old and new webpage content.

At least for this update, this statement seriously understates the scope of the problem.


 5:23 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)


<< <how utterly logical...>
wattsnew...not sure if that was laced with sarcasm. >>

Only toward the search engines who have placed everyone but the originator top of the SERPs where they belong! It would be nice to see the change; I'm in a similar situation.


 5:29 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

"small town"

I live in a hamlet of about 600. Google has never done well on small town searches, in my experience. MSN zeros right in on local business and things of interest. G has real estate, singles clubs, etc.

But, back to the update. I inhabit a small niche. From what I have seen in the past few updates, changes to the SERPs begin long before reports show up here on WW. I was seeing movement about two weeks ago, though the top 4 sites on most of the terms I track were pretty solid. My niche seemed to firm up a few days ago, unless we are still waiting for the BIG changes that everyone else is reporting.

I know it sounds trite, but I am a believer in the "content is king" mantra. SE's exist to serve the interests of the surfer. It is only logical that they want meaningful content. So, I just keep plugging away.

While I do still use G as my primary SE, I have found myself using Google Scholar for serious informational searches, and I have been using MSN more also. I guess they each have their own role to play.

Sure don't hear much about Ask/Teoma anymore...



 5:42 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am afraid that each day there are many thousands of new pages/sites added to the Internet and Google keeps adding that to the index. Pure logic would say over time your chances of staying at the top are less and less. Also unless traffic rises at the same rates as the new pages do, then average traffic per site via Google search will continue to drop. Yes some should rise but most will fall, it is inevitable.......


 7:19 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The update looks interesting so far. I see some major upward movements in some of my MAJOR keywords. But it's too early to be happy, and I would wait to see 2 things before actually calling it a plus or a minus for me.

1. Top Rankings getting stable across all data centers
2. Increase in Traffic


 7:30 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The above DC seems to be showing the best results and has also been very consistent over the weekend (in my area at least)

Other DCs I look at seem to be a halfway house with some of the new and some of the old.
Personally I hope the above DC is a sign of what we'll see across the board once everything has filtered through


 7:31 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

<<Congratulations on anyone who is doing well out of this update. Don't plan on retiring on your sites income though. Personally, I'm designing a 'find me in Yahoo' advert that I plan to put on all of my pages.>>

Good idea. I think I shall do the same.


 7:38 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

well some how we have to "try" and get people using Y again, I've had top rankings for months/years on Y but it only sends a fraction of the traffic G does, or should I say DID


 7:47 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)


>well some how we have to "try" and get people using Y again, I've had top rankings for months/years on Y but it only sends a fraction of the traffic G does, or should I say DID<

Agree. For most part, it was us publishers, marketers and SEOs who promoted (through writing and word of mouth) Google to the public since the begining. Now when Google is killing our sites, its about the time to promot Yahoo and MSN. Lets help those who send us traffic.


 8:01 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The one thing that is a given is that after every update you will have a certain % of the people happy and a cetain % unhappy. But in the end, there is always another update a few months later and usually the emotions switch. Maybe that's how google tries to be fair to all of us. We all can't be number one all of the time.

But every update should teach all of us that we need to find other avenues besides search engines to get traffic. You really can't depend on any search engine. I believe most successful websites have branched out so that they can weather updates like this. If you are in it for the money you have to.

This update seems to make sense to me. I see alot of trash removed from the first page of many keyword searches that I watch..


 8:30 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)


I just deleted my post for unexact content.


 8:35 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not much change this morning in the DCs - not settled though.


 8:48 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am not seeing much at all in my areas in the UK, nothing changed since the shuffle last week. I do have a couple of sites out of the sandbox on

but have yet to see these move over onto the full results.



 8:50 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is weird that those 2 dcs do seem to have something different about them.

Oh well - perhaps when the Googlers get back to work this afternoon they will flip a couple more switches.

bloke in a box

 8:57 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Carlsberg don't do updates, but if they did, they'd probably be the best updates in the world!

Nearly fell off my seat laughing. :)

Seen very little changes in my niche, nothing seems to change much in any update so far.


 9:25 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Liking this update - as with every update my site drops off the radar, panic, read WebmasterWorld, wait for dust to settle, it moves up a couple of notches. Am now #1 for 2-word plural phrase against 463,000,000, #3 for the singular against 47,900,000 - #7 for the main keyphrase I target against 493,000,000 where previous update had removed me altogether :)
Site has not been majorly updated for 2 years, few changes here and there, few organic backlinks, mostly reciprocal (114), uses Flash, about 250 pages - code is well optimised/streamlined/valid though.
Still seeing movement on Google.co.uk - site moved from #3 to #4 then back to #3 in front of my eyes 30 mins ago.


 9:26 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The only two dc's that have any shown any changes for me over the past week are and These dc's show a big and negative change for my quite competitive keyword (serp 6 to 19).

I am in the UK and every other Google index accessed from here shows similar results to those we have had for the past several months.

It seems that people here are presuming that the results from the two dc's above are the 'new' results.

I hope they are not!


 10:18 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

What really annoys me is the fact that my own site is not listed for some phrases used in headlines, while the SERPs is showing every other site syndicating my RSS.

It looks like the original source is not an authority in G's eyes :(

I feel baffled with this. My traffic is very reduced, but everyone else using my feeds are probably happy.

[edit] Cleared sentences [/edit]


 10:20 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)


I'm in the same boat as you, my SERPs look fine (pretty much as before) on all other DCs except for these 2.


 10:24 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have to agree with the general consensus - that the genuine authority site's are getting downgraded for complete and utter crap.

to use a phrase that i picked up from the florida conference - google have just screwed the pooch!


 10:26 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nice phrase

I am getting a bit worried by the lack of movement in the DCs know. I know they dont align. But that was the case after Alerga and the update seemed to be over with them out of line.

This cant be it can it?!?!? - What a mess.


 10:47 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hello all, this is my first post but have been watching for a while and you guys and girls have really helped me out so thanks! :)

Anyway for my sites on localised keywords Im seeing...

DCs and
- New SERPs
- All sandboxed sites released

DC and
- New SERPs
- Sites still sandboxed

- Pre 'Update' SERPs



 10:55 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi WebInker

Welcome to WebmasterWorld - I am not seeing pre-update stuff anywhere now.

What DC are you getting from google.co.uk (by pinging google.co.uk)


 10:56 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm probably not cynical enough.

One thing you learn with the years, is that you can never be cynical enough.

Clearly, natural and obvious authority sites are being targetted out of the SERPs.

Why? A tragic, unintentional error in the algo?

Or are authority sites often the "rich sites" that can afford AdWords? Mmm...

People, it's really time to unite. Praise, promote and support Yahoo. Take off your webmaster hat, wear the shoes of a search engine user. Compare the results if you need to convince yourself you're promoting the right SE.

Try with "enough keywords to take you to the site you're looking for with surgical precision." Google is now completely baffled. Yahoo will take you there immediately.


 11:02 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks Dayo

DCs and, have just had another look and the SERPs are alternating between pre-update and new but both do not include the sandboxed sites that are present on DCs and, I've been seeing this since 19/05.

This 612 message thread spans 21 pages: < < 612 ( 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 [18] 19 20 21 > >
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