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Google Update Bourbon Part 4

 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.


Billy Batson

 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.


 4:56 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

ooh, no, it is broken, yes, for sure, I've just found a horrible #1 listing for a keyword likely child oriented (shamoo whale) with a nude! an adult site actually :(
What is this? the 90's? Can't believe it.


 5:00 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hey, wait a minute, is SafeSearch OFF by default?
Wasn't the filter ON by default?
When this was switched?


 5:01 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's frustrating enough to have my pages with good well researched and documented information (I even use footnotes) to now be buried in the serps but to have spammy sites that have copied some of my text to be rated above me is just too much. AAAUUUUGGGGHHH!

Just venting since I can't for the life of me figure out what I can do about it.


 5:01 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

umm yeah. you're right. probably not what the searcher wants, but #1 with a bullet anyway.

That kind of search result is why the kids' computer is in my living room.


 5:02 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)


My interpretation of GG 3.5 post was as follows.

We're looking at 3 algorithmic and 1 human assisted change to the index.

The 3 factors could be new ranking parameters, algorithmic penalties (new dupe content checks for sure based on Amazon and various affiliate datafeed sets), "sandboxing" fixes?

The 0.5 was probably a new set of domains released, dmoz related rank updates etc ..

The CJK mention is a bug that was affecting double byte searches (CJK = Chinese Japanese Korean) or ranking issues.

One thing noteworthy.. a LOT of the algorithmic changes, specially contextual interpretation of various languages is restricted to English or may be (big may be) a couple of major European languages. Like most American corps, Google's cool stuff lags behind in the DoubleByteCharacterSet and other SBCS languages.

Billy Batson

 5:25 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

More info that may be useful.

When I search for www.mydomain.com I get:
My Site Name
Old Meta Description

Cached page: 8 Jun 2005 02:09:43 GMT

When I search for mydomain.com I get:
My Site Name
New Meta Description

Cached page: 6 Jun 2005 18:07:24 GMT

I haven't used the url with the parameters in over 5 years since we stopped using framed pages. I'm tempted to request a removal of "www.mydomain.com/?[parameters]" but I'm afraid doing so would completely scuttle by listings.

I did a 301 redirect to weed out all the non-www links a few days back.

Again, any opinions?


 5:31 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Seeing some changes on these datacenters "
me too .....I show some new faces in town most of them real spamers-well just a few more tones of spam hidden links and black seo.Google rocks :)


 5:40 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...."

There are no specified "updates". Google is constantly changing its results by the day. One webmaster might notice changes on monday, the other might notice them on friday.

For example, one of my domains just got 3000 pages indexed two days ago, while my buddy got about 1000 new pages indexed 5 days ago.

There is no such thing as "times of the month" or "times of the week" that google is updating all of our websites. If that were the case, their server would blow up on friday and catch fire due to all the electricity required.

It's spread out by day, and there are no "updates" as many spread rumors about.


 6:57 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh please, please, please, let it be true.

Powdork, that's probably a good place to start looking for the last algorithmic change. "No skin in the game." harumph. :) I have hopes for an additional algorithmic change that should help Clint-type sites as well. The weekend might be too soon for that, but it's possible. I'll write more when I know more.

Billy Batson

 6:58 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about some help for Billy Batson type sites, GG? ;-)


 7:15 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)


What did you mean by "Improvements in search quality" in connection with those famous 3.5 of yours ;-)



 7:31 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

What's hilarious is that I read in todays WSJ that the Google stock price is flying high.

The results for the keyword phrase that is the title of my site are all mentions and links to my site...while my site has moved from page 1 to page 20. And I am not the only one, as we can all see.

Google really is broken. Perhaps I should link this thread over to the Wall Street Journal, as the only thing going well for Google is the stock price and NOT the search results relevancy...


 7:33 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)


>Face it, Google really is broken. Perhaps I should link this thread over to the Wall Street Journal.<

I guess what you see is "everflux" serps which is following the last part of update or just part of it. I´m not buying the "Google is Broken" theory ;-)


 7:42 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was trying to make sense of what happened to my trashed site. I seem to have acquired over 3,500 backlinks - virtually all from directories and 'search sites'. The vast majority of the pages returned have no PR or a PR of one.

I did a narrower search for pages containing the URL of a fairly deep sub-directory on the site which used to get high traffic. A couple of my own pages appear in positions 21-25.

The top result - and this also appears at one of the datacenters that Googleguy feels should give us hope (!)has the following characteristics:

* It is one of several pseudo-directory sites using a colour word as part of its domain.
* It uses a top banner Google Adsense block
* It uses a left sidebar Google Ad Unit
* It has a top-centre block of Google Adsense - with the heading 'Premium Results'
* It has a left sidebar block of Google Adsense - labelled 'Sponsored Links'

Below all this we are provided with 'More Results', the first of which is a 'sponsored link' with a click through another PPC provider.

Then we have a bunch of results (including one of my pages) with garbled snatches of words taken almost at random off my page.

There is no contact facility or privacy policy on the site.


Nice one, ey?


 8:26 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Powdork, that's probably a good place to start looking for the last algorithmic change.

Oh Dear :(

Just did a search on a product we sell - 10 results all supplemental (all old dates) - not mine though (despite me having the product on a page cached 25th May)

change that should help Clint-type sites as well

What problems do "Clint-type" sites have? Anyone deffo know why "Clint Type" sites suffered. Looks like a riddle to me :( :)


 8:32 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)


I live in hope he is refering to Clints post msg #:514


 8:35 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

johnhhhhh ;)

I thought that problem had been denied 100s of times by Google :) - Explains the riddled answer if that is the case though.


 8:45 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

fearlessrick, ditto every word!

I've been warning about the scrapers affect when this update first started. I'm glad to see more and more affected webmasters noticing the direct relation between an exponential growth of incoming scraper links and their site disappearance from the SERPs.

Dont you just love how GG keep ignoring this burning issue.

This reflect very poorly on Google. Allowing all them adsense scrapers to excel and take down so many good quality sites. The only other explanation for this crazy phenomenon would be a broken algo. Algo that is choking on spam - spam that is motivated by adsense $s and fuelled by Yahoo APIs.

If true, did i already mention that this SE is going down? If this to continue, YOU BET it is. What we are seeing right now are just the first cracks.

It is a slippery slop from this point on unless google immediately start taking care of all them adsense scrapers and remove their motivation plus (and here is the really hard part) go back to the drawing board and find better methods of detecting spam, Because their current algo is crap and is easily manipulated. This algo is virtually killing the web, many start ups and many hard working webmasters.

GG, you guys are fast becoming clueless.......get a grip and start cleaning your act. scrapers=ad$en$e should be your starting point and the sooner the better for YOU.

<end rant>

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.

[edited by: max_mm at 8:55 am (utc) on June 9, 2005]


 8:52 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0) shows my previously hijacked site returning to #1 for its site name; to the top ten for the term it was between #1 and #15 forever; and to the heady territory of #500 for the megamoney term it was #21 for.

At the same time, these are the spammiest results Google has served up in a very very long time. Endless redirects, blog spam garbage, keyword subdomain crap... while authoritative sandboxed domains are hurled deeper into the freezer.

Its as if Google had decided to make its worst results since dominic/esmerelda just so the improvements this summer would look better.

Google has been unrelentingly mediocre for sometime -- putting it head and shoulders above its competition -- but now it has slid down a bit closer to the other two.


 9:04 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>> Endless redirects, blog spam garbage, keyword subdomain crap... while authoritative sandboxed domains are hurled deeper into the freezer.

Added to that millions of supplemental results (dated months and months ago) coming up for searches.

Just dont get it at the moment.


 9:07 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

[edit: To be deleted]steveb if you tested Search Engines on average you will find Google to be the best. Just because our sites have been hit its not good practice to start slating off the results.[/deleted]

I have looked at many penalised sites now and this update is mostly to do with duplicated content on other sites and internally duplicate content with only title changes eg: titles along the lines of “web design in London”, “Web design in Manchester” etc

My site had been hit because I was using an “ethical” integrated affiliate shop that is also being used by a few other sites (dupe content) and only one or two have survived maybe because they added some alternative text that kept it out of the threshold to get a penalty. I have taken out the shop and hope Google re-indexe's quickly!

Duplicate content is text and titles related and has nothing to do with HTML layout.

If anyone wants to know if their site has been penalised or simply naturally dropped send me PM.

[edited by: Johan007 at 9:21 am (utc) on June 9, 2005]


 9:13 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Looks like Toolbar PR has gone for a walk once again :) Anyone?


 9:15 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

"steveb if you tested Search Engines on average you will find Google to be the best."

Um, that's what I just said. One eyed man with two blind men as competition.

"Just because our sites have been hit its not good practice to start slating off the results."

Huh? Whose sites? Sorry but it is just dumb to judge results based on "your sites", and a total waste of time to post about the quality of the results with the only criteria of how you rank.

Most of my sites remain just about the same as always, which has nothing to do with anything here.

I guess I will add that if you just ignored the piles of redirects and other obvious garbage, the results would be not bad. If Google were to deal with this pure crap as well as it was even in January, these results would be a clear improvement, but the very poor handling of redirects alone would make this update a major step back even if you ignored the obvious love affair with blog comments this time.

One other thing, non-english Googles seem better overall, but still with the redirect junk.


 9:20 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Whoops sorry steveb I am just waking up here and read you post back to front :(


 9:35 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Looks like Toolbar PR has gone for a walk once again :) Anyone?

It turned out to be a short walk. No worries.


 1:43 pm on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a site that is 30% in Portuguese and 70% in English. Could be this the reason my site droped? My home page is in Portuguese and it has a PR4 my /english/index.html has PR5. Does Google penalize sites with 2 different languages?


 2:02 pm on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Need some input of what to do....

Before Allegra, our site was ranking well for multiple competetive terms. We dropped in Allegra and found many scrpaer sites and one hijack. The hijack took the site down after a c&d was sent. We changed all of the content a little to avoid the scraper issue. We came back in rankings.

During Bourbon we are seeing the same setbacks we experienced in the beginning phases of Allegra.

Googleguy mentioned we should see some changes to help fix these issues.

My questions is do you think we should wait it out or should we make some changes now, similar to what we did for Allegra?


 2:02 pm on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)


I am a new member, but a constant lurker since 5/21. This forum has given me a crash course in the ins and outs of SEO, therefore by joining Webmasterworld and paying my “dues”, I am saying thank you for all the tips, explanations and theories regarding this recent update/tsunami (since it wiped so many of us off the map). My site has also been lost to the Bourbon update.

Question: I feel that somehow I received a penalty, as many feel. But the bottom line is if we did receive a penalty, even if not our own faults (eg. spam sites) what do we do now? I sent Google two reinclusion requests from their Support site (one on 5/24), received two automated answers. How do you know for sure if you have been penalized so you can work on repairs and is there such a thing as a repair at this point?

- History site of over 400 pages of historical content in over 50 categories.
- Online over 9 years.
- Over 100 pages have a Google PR 5 or PR 6.
- Over 180 pages have a Google PR 1 or PR 4.
- Pre-Bourbon, average visitors 5000/day, 12000 page views.
- High search ranking (1-15) with Google for years w/ home page, internal directories and individual pages.
- Still in 8 different google directories, listed 1-3 in four of them
- Google spiders crawl regularly
- Site is still high ranked with Yahoo and MSN in major keyword categories.
- Home page, internal directories and individual pages are well linked on the web to legitimate .org, .edu, and .com sites.
- Internal pages are listed in 11 different dmoz.org directories.
- Joined Adsense in 2/05, make only enough to pay the web site expenses because of a low paying keyword niche (no complaints though)
- Site disappeared from Google search results 5/21, although all pages were still indexed, lost 97% of Google traffic
- This week one page returned to a #3 position (was #1 forever), a few others returned to the #165 and higher (had been in top 8). Important pages are still out of reach.
- When I search my main keyword I am 124 from originally #10, but if I do a ‘search within results’ with ‘mysite.com’ I get 4400 pages and I am #39. At least the first 100 links appeared to be legitimate on topic sites.

Sorry for the long introduction and thank you for all the information.


 2:17 pm on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dayoooooooooooooo :-)

<Just dont get it at the moment.<

Yes you do of course.... ;-)

Are your sites still on a very looooooooooong business travel?


 2:20 pm on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)


Welcome to WebmasterWorld - might be worth waiting a few more days for Google to finish there update.

Do you know of any redirects to your sites?

Have you got problems with non-www and www duplicate listing?

- When I search my main keyword I am 124 from originally #10, but if I do a ‘search within results’ with ‘mysite.com’ I get 4400 pages and I am #39. At least the first 100 links appeared to be legitimate on topic sites.

Bit confused by this bit - are you saying that if you do a site search on your domain for a keyword on a certain page then other internal pages appear before the correct page? Or that lots of other sites with 'mysite.com' which link to you are above you - eg scraped content?


GG - Clint Type sites?

Cant work out if you mean 302 redirect prob or canonical url prob - although I think these two problems are heavily interlinked (eg canoncial url leads to loss of "reputation" which could lead to hijack being easier?)

Or something totally different.

Confused Ellie - I might want to change my name to Confused Dayo_UK


Reseller - I just dont get the fact that I always seem to have two ant steps forward and one ant step back.

[edited by: Dayo_UK at 2:20 pm (utc) on June 9, 2005]

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