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Google Update Bourbon Part 4
GoogleGuy




msg:736898
 12:02 am on Jun 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Continued from part 3 here: [webmasterworld.com...]


I did the rounds to check on the state of various data updates. I'd estimate that the "0.5" (not algorithmic changes, but rather responses to various spam/porn complaints + processing reinclusion requests) should go out this weekend sometime or possibly Monday. There should be a binary push this week to improve a corner-case of CJK-related search, and that new binary should have the hooks to turn on the third set of data. Regarding finishing up the second piece of data, there's still two data centers with older data. Those data centers will probably be switched over by Monday. By Monday, 2.5 of the 3.5 things will probably be on.

 

walkman




msg:737318
 3:56 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess that's why they suggested you do the 301, your PR /Links are being divided in two (not to mention a dupe penalty).

>>EDIT: Now in Y when I remove the www: link:http://mydomain.com it's showing the correct amount"

Jane_Doe




msg:737319
 4:12 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

If their mission is to mess up the SEOs, because lately they're starting to view things as an Us vs. Them scenario, they've done remarkably well.

Actually, I think it is their mission to mess up SEOs. They understandably don't want people artificially manipulating their search returns. If there were awards for the two most significant posts of the year, I'd vote for the two by Gopi and Googleguy in the thread "2005: What will it hold?" -

"Google Organic optimization is going to be much harder and only serious players will "get it" "


Interesting way to put it, gopi. I was going to say something like "in addition to launching new things, Google will hone its focus on core quality. Many people will like the results, but not every SEO will."

[webmasterworld.com...]

Clint




msg:737320
 4:17 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)


I guess that's why they suggested you do the 301, your PR /Links are being divided in two (not to mention a dupe penalty).
>>EDIT: Now in Y when I remove the www: link:http://mydomain.com it's showing the correct amount"

But it's backwards. When I go to G and do a link:http://www.mydomain.com I get only 20 results. If I remove the www, it's the same. Doesn't matter if the http is there or not.

Now when I do this in Y, I get over 90 with the www prefix. (The http MUST be used in Y). But Without the www prefix, I get over 600! Again, both G and Y DO NOT show any search results where I appear for search phrases WITHOUT the www prefix, all results are with the www prefix! See what I'm saying? If my site shows in Y in search results for ONLY the www pages and NOT the www pages, then why do so few pages show for the www versions? Is it just because the link: command only shows HOW sites are linked to you? As in, it just so happens that more sites are linked to me using the NON-www version?

Did I do my redirect wrong? My www pages have a MUCH higher G PR than my NON-www pages, so I made the 301 redirect FROM the NON-www pages TO the www pages. Someone please clear this up. :)
Thanks.

Clint




msg:737321
 4:24 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

FWIW, site:mydomain.com in Y shows many more pages that in G. Y shows the same amount with or without the www prefix. G shows more of my NON www pages using that site:mydomain.com command! Again, this doesn't make sense since G only indexes (Or should I say DID index) just my www pages!

If "something is wrong with this picture" and what I mentioned above about the link: command, someone please tell me. ;)

Atticus




msg:737322
 4:30 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

To me, SEO has always meant accurately signalling to search engines what a page is about -- the equivalent of including a book's author, title and subject in a card catalog.

Google has decided to create a card catalog for the internet which no longer lists some of the best books in the library. Oh, and if you want a book on widgets, don't look under "widgets," because anybody with a book title including widgets is probably just pretending to have a book about widgets and therefor has been dropped.

Real books about widgets will be cataloged under some other term entirely and your guess is as good as mine as to what secret, magic word will reveal them to the searcher.

lorenzinho2




msg:737323
 4:32 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

From UnionJack's quote of GG:

<Too often though, affiliate sites don't add much value to users.>

I guess the problem word here is "sites" (versus pages). What I'm interested in is if whether the addition of a block of thin affiliate pages with zero value add content can "infect" the reputation of other pages on your site, that do add value add content.

I think yes.

outland88




msg:737324
 4:48 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

An interesting thing I’m seeing, in my areas, is that after the first 15-20 results 80% of the returns are sub-pages from sites. Sites solely devoted to the keyword and subject area (by virtue of the index page) have lost ranking. Content really isn’t king. Multi thousand page sites who publish fluff articles across hundreds of categories and keywords is really king. The articles rank well because of site size not quality. Interestingly most of these sites will never put a penny in Adwords.

Also it seems in my areas Google has totally thrown out many results pages and replaced with totally new results. The changes shouldn’t have been so dramatic.

Regardless of what anybody says Google assures itself of churn in Adwords by ranking so many sub-pages highly. When index pages are not the primary consideration for ranking under a major keyword then you’re likely juggling results for revenues, in my opinion. You could argue the results are more relevant but conversely not using the index page as a primary ranking tool probably goes hand in hand with increased Adword revenues. Again these things could vary by area and it was strange Google left my areas virtually unscathed till Monday.

oldpro




msg:737325
 4:57 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

To the best of my recollection, the few days Pagerank was turned off (in the middle of bourbon)...the serps were the most relevant and the highest quality google has served up in months.

Its heavy handed reliance on off page factors is google's achciles heel...couple that with it's inability to handle 302's (both practical use and underhanded use). We are now seeing the consequences of this flaw in its algo.

Although my site have not been hurt with this update, the serps surrounding my listing are awful. Not only that, do any keyword search and you will get the same lane results.

There has been no movement in the datacenters for a few days now. The serps we are seeing now may be the way google wants it...if so, the old saying "there is a thin line between genius and insanity.

To illustrate my point (these are not actual keywords to comply with TOS)...

With almost several searches...for instance a search for "shampoo" will have results of sites in the top ten that are about "turkeys"...or "dog training" will show up with sites selling lighting fixtures.

Come on google...what is this all about?

KrisVal




msg:737326
 4:58 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Definitely seeing a lot of titles in the serps that don't match the keywords. ex. search for "big blue widgets" and only see a couple of titles with those terms. This really isn't good for the user. In realtiy some of those sites without a matching title may be relevant, the user will most likely click on the matching titles. This could lead to frustration and lack of relevance.....I still think this is not done. Hopefully, Google will correct this. Have you noticed that these Updates are taking longer and longer. Lack of stability is not good for the user either. My rankings haven't changed much so I am not frustrated from that perspective, but from a user perspective, I have already started to use Yahoo much more and even installed the toolbar.

fearlessrick




msg:737327
 5:02 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

EFV, my point is not that there is human intervention, there always has been. The point is that NOW, with their algo apparently not working correctly, there is probably more human intervention.

Google's claim to fame was their algo, not their humans.

Your site being returned to high rankings in the SERPs was most likely human intervention, because I recall that you were complaining earlier in this tread (Part 1).

You have chosen to ignore the obvious, and suck up to G as you always have. No wonder your site was moved back up.

Many of us have not been as fortunate as you and the results from the SERPs show that G is not as formidable nor are their results as accurate as you and others wish to think.

The evidence that G's algo is "broken" (maybe that's a poor choice of words, and I can always count on you to pounce on such minor details) is in the SERPs, in the length of this thread and the lack of any solid understanding by experienced webmasters as to what's going on.

Many of us here know that we can count on you to praise Google as long as YOUR results are good. Some day, maybe you will be the only travel-related site in the SERPs and you can once and for all claim victory, wisdom and infallibility for yourself and Google.

Godspeed.

(sorry to waver off-topic, but this guy simply won't admit to any inefficiency by Google)

oldpro




msg:737328
 5:06 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

krisval,

what i am seeing is not only are the titles are not relevant, bur nothing in the websites are relevant. Take for instance the "shampoo" example. A site shows up for a turkey hunt club. No mention of complimentary shampoo in there lodge rooms...nothing.

This is really messed up.

europeforvisitors




msg:737329
 5:24 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Fearlessrick, I wasn't happy when my site lost 70 to 95% of its Google referrals between March 23 and late May, and you can rest assured that I've never claimed Google's SERPs are perfect. But I didn't spew venom at Google when my site was down, and I didn't clutter up this forum with rants or flames. (By the way, if you're correct in your assertion that my site's recovery was the result of manual intervention by Google, I can only say that they did a sloppy job, since some of my most important pages are still missing in action.)

As for the state of Google's current SERPs, I think the quality varies according to what you're searching for. Some SERPs are great; others aren't. Some good sites have been hit hard for unknown reasons; some crappy sites are doing well when they shouldn't be. That's been true of search results since the heyday of Excite, Webcrawler, and Lycos--and it's hardly surprising that perfection remains elusive, given the challenges that Google and other search engines face in an era of "button-pusher" sites and exponential Web growth.

Atticus




msg:737330
 5:34 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Google Organic optimization is going to be much harder and only serious players will "get it" "

OK, so now we know one of Google's secret, mystery words. All those who want find info about or publish a page related to a turkey hunt club should now use the highly relevant term "shampoo."

Sounds "serious" to me!

flicker




msg:737331
 5:43 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the "shampoo" thing was a joke. If you check, all ten results on the first page of a search for "shampoo" really do have "shampoo" in the title. (-:

Atticus




msg:737332
 5:49 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rotating algo.

Shampoo only equals turkey hunt club before noon* on Tuesdays during months without an "r" in their name.

*Daylight savings time may be an additional factor. Your results may vary.

Jane_Doe




msg:737333
 5:49 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

The shampoo serps I see look pretty good. The only exception being that I personally would not rank the review sites so high as I never trust any of them myself, but Google, tends to like those kind of sites. So by their own standards they would probably be pretty happy with the results as shown.

KrisVal




msg:737334
 6:16 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oldpro,

You may be right. I was just looking at the titles and non-matching serp titles.

I think this is still being tweaked as GG has said so this may be corrected...hope so just from a user perspective.

My serps really weren't affected this time. After the Allegra fiasco, I changed my link strategy to look natural - Internally and Externally. I am not feeling the pain like a lot of you guys, but anyone feeling the pain may want to focusing on your links. Non-related IBLs (Mortgage Site links to Family Site), Multiple Site Wide Ads, Repetitive Anchor Text (Internally and Externally), Aggressive Reciprocal Links, and if you don't have any links at all from Authority sites like Yahoo, DMOZ, and Authority Blogs and/or well established sites.

Just a thought....

ltedesco




msg:737335
 6:18 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about the search for "<widgets>"
There is a sport site on first page of results!

[edited by: ciml at 8:02 am (utc) on June 8, 2005]
[edit reason] No specifics please. [/edit]

nemo2




msg:737336
 6:36 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

the most funny results are in Google.de

Johan007




msg:737337
 6:52 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I hate to spread panic and alarm! but its going to need more than a tweak to get sites back onto page 1/2 from 80th.

What is puzzling me is that I don’t know if the effect is due to the new algorithms or Sandbox on my site because for some reason I have thousands more inbound links and i don’t buy links - they are all of sudden natural links (including BBC and DMOZ). Banned sites show PR0 but there is no way of finding out penalised sites or “Sandboxed” sites.

oldpro




msg:737338
 7:02 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

reading comprehension anyone?

I said shampoo was not the real keyword...just a substitute for one of the actual cases I saw.

I cannot believe all of ya'll searched "<snip>"

<snip>

[edited by: ciml at 7:52 am (utc) on June 8, 2005]
[edit reason] Members can Sticky when they want, but no "sticky me" comments in the forum please. [/edit]

bears5122




msg:737339
 7:07 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

The evidence that G's algo is "broken" (maybe that's a poor choice of words, and I can always count on you to pounce on such minor details) is in the SERPs, in the length of this thread and the lack of any solid understanding by experienced webmasters as to what's going on.

I'd have to disagree with your posts as well, and I'm not a Google fanboy. In fact, I think many of their business practices are unethical and disrespectful. However, I'm not going to say that their search engine is broken.

Let's be honest, Google is still better than any other search engine. Although not perfect, and although some results are bad, they still win on most of their searches.

I think you are taking the wrong approach to this, as many will do in the same situation (heck, I've done the same thing). You are looking at Google, and saying that your site deserves to be #1 and if it isn't, it's broke. You are expecting Google to build their engine around your sites, and not the other way around.

There is a reason we don't see the "Yahoo is broken" or "MSN killed my traffic" beef on the forums. It's because these search engines are very easy to game. The same old tactics of "plug some keywords in my title and body and build links till the cows come home" work. Google doesn't work that way anymore.

I'd suggest taking a step back from everything and re-think strategy. If what you are doing now is not working, try something else. Google doesn't care if a few webmasters lost rankings, nor should they.

It's a long race, and Google pulled ahead for awhile. Head into the pit, get some new tires, and get back on their tail.

fischermx




msg:737340
 7:33 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

OldPro :
Being as deep as we are, you could drop the keywords here, they are just generic anyway, aren't they?

helleborine




msg:737341
 7:36 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

bears, I could understand if my site had dropped from page 1 to page 2, or even 3.

But page 15? In my tiny non-competitive corner, that means my site is keeping company with scrappers and x-rated sites.

The fact is, some other webmaster has a 302 re-direct on me such that the backlinks that should be "credited" to my site, are credited to him.

As I understand it, my huge drop in rankings is not caused by "natural" factors related to how Google ranks websites. It is due to the kind of off-page factor that is normally out of the control of webmasters.

I've been looking at many people's sites that have experienced a drop in ranking, and a picture is beginning to emerge.

Hijacks. I'm not the only one.

It's like Bourbon is bringing these hijacks into the open, or activating them, I don't know.

Are you familiar with those topical directories or link clubs where you login, and add your own link? Bear with me, I'm not a techie, but many seem to employ 302-redirects in the way those links are set up. This might be for practical reasons, or they might be purposely exploiting Google's weakness in handling 302.

I'm beginning to think that Bourbon is exposing more of these 302 glitches (read: dropping sites' ranking in the SERPs to the ground) for some reason or another. It could be because of an increase in the malicious exploitation of Google's weakness. Or the Bourbon algo is even more vulnerable, which would be illogical unless there was a trade-off between correct handling of 302's and quality of the SERPs. Meaning that if Google handled the 302's correctly, the SERPs might suffer somehow - if that's the case they might have grossly miscalculated.

In closing, I'm not sure if that's a sign that Google is broken, or the mishandling of the 302 is done on purpose because it brings about some benefit that I can't even guess at.

longcall911




msg:737342
 7:36 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

posted by europeforvisitors "As for the state of Google's current SERPs, I think the quality varies according to what you're searching for."

I agree that quality varies. There are really only 2 sites of mine that I care much about. For both, SERPs have hardly changed at all. One of my sites stayed at #2. The other, for a completely different keyword moved from #5 to #4.

Others in the top 10 for both keyphrases hardly moved either. You'd never know there was an update.

/*tom*/

bears5122




msg:737343
 7:58 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

search <widget>...
then look at 7th listing down.

They have a DMOZ link coming in with <widget> as the anchor text. That'll do it.

[edited by: ciml at 7:57 am (utc) on June 8, 2005]
[edit reason] Widgetised [/edit]

helleborine




msg:737344
 8:01 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you click on the cached version of the turkey site you are undoubtedly referring to, you can read, in the header:

These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: <widget>

So someone has anchor text for "<widget>" that point to the turkeys!

Bear was faster than me... so it's DMOZ, eh?

[edited by: ciml at 7:56 am (utc) on June 8, 2005]
[edit reason] Widgetised [/edit]

joeduck




msg:737345
 8:16 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think helleborine has correctly her basic problem as Google's challenges with 302s and copied content.

Google sometimes allows copies and spam pages to outrank legitimate pages. It's become a common problem as they try to eliminate / downrank duplicate content.

Our site has had the same problem since Feb 2's update.

Google has a HUGE challenge as thousands (tens of thousands?) of large sites come on daily, many of which are cleverly pulling in copied content in various forms.

Unless WebmasterWorld experiences are unusual Google could solve a lot of problems with a "ranking review" process.
The "reinclusion" fails for sites like helleborines or ours because most of our pages remain in the G indexes, but they are ranking below those who copy or sneakily post our content.

Kangol




msg:737346
 8:16 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am seeing some strange results on a very competitive term. For "buy keyword", "cheap keyword", "keyword testimonials" and so on I see in the first 20 results blogs and forums that had been spammed. A few lines of text and links added as a comment on a blog makes it rank for those keywords. The spammed did not make it, instaid the blog spammed took its place. Interesting.

Atticus




msg:737347
 8:23 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

bears5122,

"You are expecting Google to build their engine around your sites, and not the other way around."

Many of us had sites before Google existed. So, yeah, they did build their engine around us. (OT, but I never even tried to "optimize" for G. I used to rank highly in AV. AV went bust, but what worked in AV also worked in G and I had hundreds of page 1 listings without trying).

"Let's be honest, Google is still better than any other search engine."

G is only better than Y when looking for very recent info, or info really deep in a site. For my average 'red fuzzy widget' searches, I always use Y.

"You are looking at Google, and saying that your site deserves to be #1 and if it isn't, it's broke."

My G traffic had all but disappeared by Allegra. But I wasn't comfortable saying that G was broken until enough time had passed for them to fix the 302 problem (which GG did finally admit was a problem). After Bourbon, the ever increasing number of old time publishers showing up here because their sites were trashed, plus the fact that I often can't find what I'm looking for on G makes me pretty darned sure it's broken. (OT, but this may be why they hired Dan Senor. He's very good at standing in front of a podium and saying, "Don't panic, all is well!" while the world is crashing down around his ears.)

"Google doesn't care if a few webmasters lost rankings, nor should they."

I for one, never said they did. In fact, I have said they don't. And I don't care about them either. I just come here because the Y and MSN forums are soooo dead and because watching G shoot itself in the foot is actually very interesting.

"There is a reason we don't see the "Yahoo is broken" or "MSN killed my traffic" beef on the forums. It's because these search engines are very easy to game."

Not necessarily a bad thing, although I wouldn't use the phrase "easy to game." It's more of an "even playing field" and "transparency" thing. See my post #194 in this thread, beginning with:

"G should let the Invisible Hand do it's ranking for it. When G had a readily understandable method of ranking sites (title, text density) qualified by the hurdle of aquiring page rank, their engine worked well.

It worked because when the playing field is relatively even and well understood, those who will benefit the most economically by promoting a site about stained glass achieved high rankings for stained glass searches..."

oldpro




msg:737348
 8:52 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

They have a DMOZ link coming in with <widget> as the anchor text. That'll do it.

yeah...i saw that to before i posted it.

proves my point...google gives to much weight to off page factors

[edited by: ciml at 7:57 am (utc) on June 8, 2005]
[edit reason] Widgetised [/edit]

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