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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.

 

reseller




msg:737438
 9:35 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Billy Batson

>Any other ideas?<

- Have you added big number of pages in a short time period?

- Have you recieved big number of backlinks in a short time period?

- Have you checked for duplicates within your site?

helleborine




msg:737439
 9:37 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I confirm what MyWifeSays says happened to my site to be true. Carry on.

Atticus




msg:737440
 9:47 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

thebug151,

Some people claim that you can get rid of them using a procedure involving the Google removal tool. A few folks have shot themselves in the foot with this thing by not following directions carefully. You'll have do do a search to find the procedure, I don't remember what it is, just that you gotta do it right -- or blamo!

outland88




msg:737441
 9:47 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I swear you must be reading my mind at times caveman.

thebug151




msg:737442
 9:56 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the heads up, I will start the research and walk carefully.

BillyS




msg:737443
 9:59 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)


Seeing some changes on these datacenters
64.233.183.99
64.233.183.104

I'm sitting at #21 for my domain name on these centers. Up from around #190. Could be the start of the real deal.

Powdork




msg:737444
 10:01 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

BillyS did you do a reinclusion request? I am wondering if that is playing a part with mine.

caveman




msg:737445
 10:09 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

reseller,

I hear ya. In fact, that's sort why I made my fat lady comment seemingly eons ago now. At that time, a decent amount of time had passed (about a week) and some of the less dramatic updates of recent past took about that much time before the normal Everflux settled in. So, it preliminarily seemed to me like one of those updates had come to an end, with the usual caveats.

But shortly after that, a whole series of other shifts occurred, and the nature of these SERP's changed, from our vantage point at least - quite a lot in fact. So it quickly became more feasible that we were at that point in the midst of a more substantial update, a la Florida, Austin, Allegra. Then GG started commenting, which confirmed that.

All I can go on now is past experience with SERP watching and assessing what I see now. Yes there's the flux type movement. But currently we still see different data sets all over the place, and not just that. Some more meaningful changes are bubbling. One of WW's very senior posters noted one change to a site that was interesting. Top ranking sites that hold one spot for ages, and then move even just one place or two, well into an update, are noteworthy IMO. Then that same member noted again how that site dropped a handful of places.

But mainly, things look wrong. I'm not talking about people being happy/unhappy. And I'm not talking about redirect and www issues, though they seem to be further confusing the issue.

It's that there are WAY too many sites doing well right now that have not done well in a very long while, and that should not be doing that well. Can't be too much more specific, but I'm referring to some of my own sites; not competitors that I hate. ;-)

Even if these results settle in, they can't last, because it has seemed for some time now that G watches clicks pretty closely. When G plops a bunch of new sites into top spots that don't measure up to G's standards, shifts happen again, usually pretty quickly. IMO, this explains at least part of the tweaking and jerking around we sometimes see for many weeks after the most severe updates. Plus there are the quality reports people file for GG, etc.

So, from where I sit, either the update still has a way to go, and certainly GG has made some comments that this may be the case ... or like I said, they've got a hecka lot of tweaking yet to do in coming weeks.

Seeing some changes on these datacenters
64.233.183.99
64.233.183.104

FWIW, one of our weaker, older, not very valuable sites jumped from page three to page one on these DC's. Was on page 143 for the past two years. :) Somehow I can't believe it'll hold. To me, looks like just more percolating.

BTW, anyone remember how on some of the old updates, some sites would seem to have made great progress, but then right before it all settled, they blew up, and the oldies but goodies came back? Not saying it'll happen now. Just thinkin' out loud.

Atticus




msg:737446
 10:14 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Over the past 2 days, my page count for site: has increased from about 100 to 800/900 (there are really 1700 pages).

When I was on top of the SERPS (pre Allegra), site: showed 4500 (even though there were 1700). Following the Allegra ordeal page count dropped over time to about 100.

Not only has the page count increased in the past 36 hours or so, but the listings look more "healthy" -- full title and description, not url only.

I still don't actually show up in the SERPs, yet though.

BillyS




msg:737447
 10:22 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

BillyS did you do a reinclusion request? I am wondering if that is playing a part with mine.

Yes I did send a request and got a "canned" response on 4/20.

I'm thinking back on GoogleGuys post that said:

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.

Looks like these centers are showing the results of 2.5 of the 3.5 items.

reseller




msg:737448
 10:33 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

caveman

Thanks. Great analysis!

>So, from where I sit, either the update still has a way to go, and certainly GG has made some comments that this may be the case ... or like I said, they've got a hecka lot of tweaking yet to do in coming weeks.<

One thing which I find difficult to follow. In his last update GG mentioned the followings about the last (one) out of the 3.5 which is supposed to be started since yesterday (Tuesdag 7th June 2005):

"After the other changes that went out, this last change should be less noticeable."

Which might means what we see now is what we are going to get!

Or am I wrong on this one?

Dawg




msg:737449
 10:45 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)


"After the other changes that went out, this last change should be less noticeable."

Which might means what we see now is what we are going to get!

Or am I wrong on this one?

Depends on the DC I guess. I also see several changes on those two mentioned DCs. Not that positive overall. Still lots of irrelevant (because old and outdated) content ranking high up in the serps.

Some people brought up that Google turned up the age-filter. Might be true for the changes I see on those DCs.

I hope you are wrong with your interpretation. Still lots of cr@p around :-(

caveman




msg:737450
 10:48 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

> Which might means what we see now is what we are going to get!

Well, I agree that GG's comment in that regard did seem to indicate that most of the big changes were over. However, a very noticable change from his persective and ours may not be the same.

As for that code language GG delivered, if you understand all that 3.5 and .5 stuff please explain it to me because I haven't a clue what the heck he was talkin' about. I'm pretty simple minded however. In fact, really simple minded. :)

No offense meant GG. A lot of what gets discussed in here is geek to me. Ummm, sorry, I meant Greek. ;-)

reseller




msg:737451
 11:26 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

caveman

>As for that code language GG delivered, if you understand all that 3.5 and .5 stuff please explain it to me because I haven't a clue what the heck he was talkin' about. I'm pretty simple minded however. In fact, really simple minded. :)<

Lets recall what GG said after returning back from his vacation:

>Here's the advice that I'd give now: take a break from checking ranks for several more days. bourbon includes something like 3.5 improvements in search quality, and I believe that only a couple are out so far. The 0.5 will go out in a day or so, and the last major change should roll out over the next week or so. Then there will still be some minor changes after that as well. So my "weather report" along the lines of <snip> would be a recommendation that rankings may still change somewhat over the next several days.<

So the first two parts were to "improve search quality", which I donīt yet know exactly in which way. I asked GG about it in a post on this thread and still awaiting a reply.

Then we have the 0.5 which covers very complicated technical terms which I couldnīt understand but understood a little of after reading a translation done by Reid, which I canīt find now. Reid please would you be kind to post the link to that translation ;-)

Then the last part of the 3.5 :

"a bunch of reinclusions (and the responses to some spam complaints) went out today, along with some improvements to one of the first two things that went out with Bourbon."

caveman




msg:737452
 11:37 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks reseller. But I read all that. Still don't understand any of it. :-)

BillyS




msg:737453
 11:47 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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.

Translating...

Later this week we are going to recompile our algorithm to improve our some of the infrequently occurring problems we have with certain asian languages. While we are at it, we've made some other changes which will result in the third set of data you're going to see in Bourbon.

reseller




msg:737454
 11:49 pm on Jun 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

caveman

>Thanks reseller. But I read all that. Still don't understand any of it. :-) <

I might be writing a new eBook soon with the help of Reid:

Decoding GoogleGuy Codes Tutorial
In Memory of Cavemanīs Fat Lady
;-)

Good night...

ken_b




msg:737455
 12:14 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

My site has historically floated through updates pretty much unhurt. I wouldn't claim to be all that highly ranked, but I am running a bit over 1,000,000 pageviews from 1,400+ pages for what that's worth. That's been more blind luck than any skill on my part, although what I've learned here has no doubt helped a lot, and it's been happening pretty consistently like that for 4 years or so now.

So much for background, here's the point I wanted address.

Don't give up hope if you are still down at this point.

Typical update behavior for my site is to get a fairly significant 20 - 25%, boost in traffic during the update. BUT that increase almost always has been at least partly, maybe 50%, reduced as the update comes to an end.

I've been watching this long enough to have seen what is happening. Basically, during an update, my bottom level pages move up in the serps for two word phrases. Towards the end of an update they begin to move back down a bit, ending up not quite as far down as they had been before the update.

This update seems to be running a little long, but so far the pattern looks pretty normal from my perspective.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this experience. so I'm guessing that when this thing is done there'll be a ton of clicks trying to find their way home again. Leave the lights on, ok?

Of course I could still crash and burn before this thing ends, if it does.

caveman




msg:737456
 12:23 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

ken_b's experience more or less matches our own.

Reseller, you're never gonna let me forget that, are you. Ah well, the curse of being right most of the time, I guess. When you get one wrong.... :-)

BillyS, thanks much. Aside from all the greek stuff various members are trying to help me understand, there are the quotes like: "While we are at it, we've made some other changes which will result in the third set of data you're going to see in Bourbon."...which of course might mean anything.

AFAIK, more movement to come, of a meaningful nature. That, or a ton more tweaking post update. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Until I'm proven wrong. Again. ;p

BTW, for those who are newer to WW, the way you really know when the update is over is that the mods close down this thread. Then, tradition dictates, a well regarded senior member - usually the same one - has the honor of starting the first major post update analysis thread. So don't any of you young whipersnappers get over anxious. When the time comes, we'll be told by the people who actually understand all this stuff. ;)

fearlessrick




msg:737457
 12:51 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

caveman, thanks for that information, though, as an inherently impatient person, I gave up on this update about 10 days ago.

I was also alarmed by the number of people who have had sites hijacked, redirected, scraped, etc.

I just did a search for the title of an important page on my site, in quotes, and was amazed at the amount of junk that came up. I am supposing that this is the result of doing good SEO and having a #1 ranking, though I still don't understand why Google can't distinguish between the original (me) and the scrapers, fakers and spammers.

In the serps for the same phrase, I am hammered down to almost oblivion. Actually, I am beginning to sense that my site falling so hard was a direct result of the scrapers grabbing keyword content.

The price of success? In this case, failure. It just ain't right.

danny




msg:737458
 12:54 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm having a lot of problems looking for hijacks, duplicate content, and scrapers. There are a few features of my site that make this particularly hard:

1) I have a lot of ODP entries, which have been syndicated all over the place (copying the ODP seems to have gone out of fashion, but it was all the rage a few years ago).

2) my reviews were originally (until January 2000) on another site and some old links still point at that. There's a 301 redirect in place, which Google has always seemed to do the right thing with (except for the very occasional page).

3) I have had an RSS feed for quite a while, and a few sites use (or have at one point used) that. (Currently around 70 different IPs a day pull that, though most of those will be desktop RSS readers rather than other web sites.)

4) there's no systematic mirror of my web site, but there are mirrors of e.g. Usenet's rec.arts.books.reviews, where I used to post many reviews. And some individual reviews have run on Slashdot.

None of these things have been a problem when Google gets it right, as it did in January. In a couple of cases Google decided the Slashdot versions of a review "outranked" my own copies - which was not unreasonable (and which I didn't mind as a tradeoff for reaching tens of thousands of readers). Otherwise the pages with the odd copy of one of my reviews, or RSS-feed links pointing at them, or content scraped off me, never ranked anywhere.

So it seems to me that having a variety of these pages ranking higher than my reviews now is more a symptom than a cause -- their ranking hasn't changed, it's just that my own pages have dropped fifty or a hundred places.

There's no one site I could hope to do anything about, either -- Yahoo and MSN reveal that there are literally hundreds and probably thousands of pages on scrapers/ODP clones/RSS feeds/etc. out there that link to me.

Now I can't be the only site in this situation - there's nothing that unusual about the features I've described - but maybe the particular combination of these features has been enough to trigger sandboxing.

So I'm going to sit tight for the moment, submit reinclusion requests to Google (following GoogleGuy's advice) and hope things get better. I don't think anything I can do to my site is likely to help.

cyberfyber




msg:737459
 1:19 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

FearlessRick: "as an inherently impatient person, I gave up on this update about 10 days ago."

=======

ummm, yah, that does seem to describe me as well as your choice of words: "oblivion".

Though I must say, my misfortune stems from the fact that I can't attribute my huge decline to anyone such as scrapers or anything else of the sort. ACK!

BUT, I'm quite happy to be seeing hopeful posts from the likes of caveman, ken_b and others that help me to keep from making drastic changes before the end finally comes and to simply try and keep a cool head? Whatever that might hold.

This thread keeps me from feeling all alone. Thanks all!

novice




msg:737460
 1:24 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

but maybe the particular combination of these features has been enough to trigger sandboxing.

Danny, I am in the same situation you are in, but none of your 4 features apply to me. Although I do have 1 ODP listing that propogated to countles clone directories.

For years I always place #1 for 15 popular searches and #5 for my main keyword. Now I rank @ #10 for the popular searches and #120 for my main Keyword.

I have been copying lines from my homepage and searching Google with them. I cannot believe what I found. Countless pages that have copied whole paragraphs from my site. I even found one page that copied my entire page.

When I search "www.mydomain.com" I see tons of scrapers that link to me. I also see a few domains that forward to my site and have my entire site framed with their 728 x 90 banner ad as the footer.

In my case I have come to the conclusion that I am getting a duplicate content penalty, but there is really little I can do about it. I have already sent out some emails asking webmasters to remove my content, but I am beginning to realise this will be a losing battle.

My point is, although we are in the same situation we must have got there for different reasons.

Looks like I am going to wait for the next update.

caveman




msg:737461
 1:44 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

> keeps me from feeling all alone

There are some very useful bits of info to be gleaned from update threads to be sure. But IMO, you just defined perhaps the most valuable aspect of these monsters.

I hope that Brett takes some pride in the service he does to wm's by letting these insanely long update threads become insanely long.

And the mods too for that matter, as they to their level best to keep members calm and civil during these times of seeming crisis... ;-)

fearlessrick




msg:737462
 1:52 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

cyberfyber, to see if you're being scraped, put the title or meta description or a key prhase of content into a google seach in quotes, like, "colorful balloons for parties" and see what comes up. Your page should be #1 or #2, but sometimes it's not. And then see what kind of junk sites are ruining your business by scamming your content and destroying your rankings in search engines.

The overwhelming number of sites like this have a number of things in common (excuse me for going off tipic a bit here) - they provide little more than stolen informatin and dodgy links and display adsense ads or google search or both.

And here's the point at which I get really hot and I think I am completely justified. After dealing with AdSense for about 6 months and using totally white hat techniques and playing by the rules, my hard work is easily stolen by obvious scammers and Google does absolutely nothing to prevent it, discourage it, correct it.

Now, according to the AdSense TOS, I'm also not to say anything that might reflect poorly on Google. Well, I say to H--L with that. They've done nothing to protect my interests and the interests of probably thousands of honest webmasters.

I've already written one article on the topic and submitted it to various sites. There's a link to the article on my home page, which you can find in my profile. The manner in which Google is operating - completely mercenary without regard to quality or controls - needs to be exposed, and I very well hope that I am kicked out of AdSense for speaking out (the $2 per day doesn't really matter to me).

AFAIC, AdSense is the bottom of the barrel for online advertising. They allow scum-sucking scrapers, obvious thieves and spammers free reign alongside quality sites. It's nothing more than an overrated money-grab.

cyberfyber




msg:737463
 2:03 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks FearlessRick!

I've done what you mentioned in the past and just did it again (with my homepage title, which is very unique).

I've found that I'm not #1 but instead #5 this time around. What'd I find in the results?

Well, basically what I've found often since this update began is a prevailance (sp?) of directories. Crappy pages lacking the utmost of originality short of being able to simply list other sites on their page along with their respective links.

I never gave much thought to this since I figured things were always screwy during updates.

So, would this constitute SCRAPER SITES? 'never thought so on my end...but if folks here think otherwise then I guess maybe I do have a problem.

Thanks by the way for mentioning your article. 'always looking for a good read...WILL DO!

theBear




msg:737464
 2:34 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

danny, did you find my sticky interesting?

Folks,

I did a search using an extremely unique bit of text from his home page his home page doesn't even show up in the results but it does show up in the cache of an unguarded 302 in additon there are a number of sites that show up with no cache and don't respond to any clicking on the links.

The sites without the caches are registered in Europe in two different countries.

But Google had access to them to index them.

I'll abide by the forums TOS. which is a royal PITA when dealing with details.

fearlessrick




msg:737465
 2:51 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hello, Bear and others, I think we're finally discovering the reasons for the disappearing web site tricks being performed on Google these days.

Hijacking, 302's (I'm not exactly sure what those are, but I know how they work), scrapers, outright theft of content. All of this is happening because...

dishonest webmasters found a cash cow, and honest webmasters are the pigeons. Since both the search engine and advertising network are owned by the same company, I believe it would behoove the harmed parties (honest webmasters) to complain and the enabler to respond with honest answers and at least an attempt at a solution.

While I would like to believe that Google is addressing these problems during this update, I cannot help but think that it has taken a long time for them to get to it.

A few words from Google would go a long way towards extinguishing what could become a major conflagration.

BTW: Google stock was down 13.56 points today.

walkman




msg:737466
 3:48 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>A few words from Google would go a long way towards extinguishing what could become a major conflagration.

first, the stock has been way up, and a small fall has nothing to do with we see as problems. For every one of our penalized sites, Google can find another 100 to take their place so Joe Schmo is happy.

On a few DCs some sites are back, maye Google decided to losen up their way too sensitive filters. GoogleGuy's comments seem to indicate that things will get better, not worse for us, so there's hope.

faiyu




msg:737467
 4:30 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

guys is the update over? cache is showing old dates, some of the results look to be old too....

Billy Batson




msg:737468
 4:55 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Caveman asked:

Billy Batson
>Any other ideas?<

- Have you added big number of pages in a short time period?

- Have you recieved big number of backlinks in a short time period?

- Have you checked for duplicates within your site?

1. We add about 10 to 20 pages of new content per day - we're a magazine site with reviews and news of our product area.

2. Backlinks: I'm unaware of any great surge, but it fluctuates depending on where our items get picked up on blogs and the such like.

3. Duplicates: this is tricky - I have noticed a lot of links to an old version of our index page. Perhaps I should set up a direct to this? Other than that, I have pages that are printable versions of the regular pages, without all the advertising and superfluous stuff.

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