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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.



 8:01 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

crobb305, I think it is more like dozens of threads with a number exceeding 1000 messages and going back to at least 2003. And discussions on slashdot and other forums.

I think if you want to see it in action that a search on Adsense and the magic word might even turn up some screen shots. I know I have a picture of it.

uksports, I've seen that happen in the past. Google is saying that the relavent pages are in supplemental status . The reason, well who really knows. I did a search once where the relavent page was in the omitted due to being similar to the all ready provided results (it was the only relavent result) it was both omitted and marked supplemental. I've also done searches where the first relavent results were close to the end of what Google shows.

This stuff isn't a slam dunk 100% correct, update it in a blink of an eye deal. It takes tons of time just to move the data around.

g1smd, I knew you had said something about those 301'd pages coming back into the index in full glory. I just couldn't find that post to show the boss and I thought (and he probably did as well) I had hit the happyjuice a bit too hard and imagined it. I feel a lot better now.

A cleanup of supplementals would almost be a requirement for a full fix of the 302 situation.

As well as to rejoin now correctly 301'd but otherwise not spidered pages that went supplemental because of being outgunned by their brothers and sisters.

How or when Google would do this I don't know.


 8:03 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Apart from all DCs having the same SERPs, all the Powered by Google websites like Alexa, Netscape, AOL etc have the same SERPs too.


 8:10 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Activity of Googlebot has also intensifed on all sites monitored by me, anybody else noticed that?


 8:11 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yep - Googlebot has been active over the last few days.


 8:54 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ok, i have to chip in here.

Brett made a smacking huge post (which is in the archive) about the 26 steps to getting a good SEO friendly page up. I suggest everyone read it. If youve already read it, go and read it again...and again...and again.

The site i run is old, over half a decade old. From 1999 to this year though all updates, all algo changes and through 10 server moves and inbetween the server moves leading right up to the move to our own dedicated server 2 months ago and a full resubmission (cause the old site was closed and there was no redirects) the site i work for has been consistently in the top 3 and mostly in the no.1 position for the key target 10 keyword phrases and in the top 10 or at least in the first page for the sub target 35 "other" keywords.

As Brett says, the Ying and Yang of web design is Content vs File Size.

The old version of the site i run was a DreamWeaver mess, heres a note to all your dreamweaver folks...remove the whitespace and use CCS. The content was good, the filesize JUST for the page with NO images was 75k, its now down to 12k thanks to the CSS forum in here with all the helpfull folks in it.

Each page should be optimised...and i mean EACH page. You have content about widget blue's on one page, then make the titiale and all the meta tags about widget blues. You have content about widget reds on another page then compleyely redo the entire meta tag top end, NEVER skimp. Use H3 tags for headings if you dont like H1 tags being so big, use ALT tags on your images to give the bot something to chew on. Wc3 Validate all the base code of your site, dont worry about small stuff like character issues, concentrate on getting shot of the depreciated tags and again, use CSS where you can.

I have done this for the past 5 years but only during the past 2 months have i completely redone the base code of the site i work for to make full use of CSS to get rid of nested tables.

...and guess what?

Google LOVES it.

People can sit in here and demand that Google do this, and do that or they may say they will go to the press, well hey, i work for Computer Active Magazine UK, and some of the staff are rolling about on the floor laughing at some of the wild statements in here by people who have been rightly told off by Brett. Yes, we have had a small stack of emails with people worried about Google's update, but we tell them what I am telling you all to do in here. Go look at Brett's post and if you run a site with pages that havent been updated or changed for a period longer than 8 months then go and add content to it.

It has now got to the stage where i dont even need to check what my listings will be after a google update. I KNOW my positions wont be lost. The same goes for DMOZ, Yahoo, MSN, MetaCrawler (anyone remember them?) AltaVista, Ask Jeeves and the rest of the "minor" search engines. I dont need to check anymore.

You cant expect googlebot to rummage its way through a site if the site itself has flaws. Even when another site which was a competitor of mine was stealing my content it didnt matter, i complained to Google and they was more than happy to get rid of there listing. When another site hijacked one of my sites old URL's which i forgot to pay for 1 month before Bourbon and done a link farm, again, i just sent an email to google, and they were more than willing to help.

It shows just how "on the ground level" google actually is when they actually let one of there staff (GoogleGuy) post in here giving information. Do you see any of the other search engine's let there staff post in here so much?

No...you dont...and that should tell you a few things about how well google knows the ground level of its business. The ground level is the webmasters. Without keeping the webmasters at least a bit happy most of the time they know they will lose popularity and Yahoo/MSN will rise up once more.


 9:21 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)


We have been around since 1997, add new pages every month, add new content to pages, change tags all the time, changed servers last year, always tidied up, never worried about page rankings ( never looked!) or Google, grown at 150-200% per year in sales terms.

Yet this time - and hence the reason for joining this forum recently - we have been hit losing '000's in whatever currency you like.

We have the same page design in different sections, within a section one page is ranking #1 the next identically designed page with different content ranking #80+

No adsense, no link swapping, no spamming key words - just good content - must be it gets copied!

The real point of the posts here ( given the ranting and possible red herrings ) is that there doesn't seem to be a logical consistant reason why some pages are dropping out and others stay...and hence this thread - any clues would be welcome at this stage.

Oh dear - I'm appearing to support these guys and girls :)


 9:21 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Katie Venra, what you're saying is proposing everyone concede to the Stockholm Syndrome and do what Google says.

That, on my book, is not SEO. But it may be a way to a successful site, who knows. All I can tell you is that too much bean spilling is going on and people who spill the most are being rewarded by Google.

Google, through GoogleGuy, has effectively neutralized SEO. "Build content, add value" is what the big guy does.

Suddenly the small guy is gone forever and you're in the same boat as CNN, Amazon, CNet and EBay which obviously is certain defeat.

Anyone else see this or am I a lone survivor of the goold old days? Seems like everyone now is a google agent spreding the geeky well behaved SEO lore...


 9:35 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

So what your saying is that a site the size of mine which is over 1000 pages at the core base has been worked on by over 4 staff and optimised to be read by Opera, Mozilla, FireFox, IE and Netscape and is SEO friendly is "cheating" and should be outclassed by someone who just put up a site using basically the same content as mine on Tripod just cause they are the "little guy"?


 9:37 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ohhh, and as for the good old says, i remember them as well, nothing but messed up BBS, Gopher and newsgroups.

Sorry, i didnt like the old days :)


 9:52 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

No, Katie

What we're actually saying is that good quality sites are being hit. And non-commercial sites as well. What are they replaced with - the big sites e.g. metacritic, epinions, amazon, cd universe (in my area). I mean getting buried in the SERPS where someone types your site name in and you are at #70.

In my case it's a poor band who wants to send out their self-produced CD just so that someone will listen to them and give them a fair hearing. Why have they typed my site name in? because they have seen reviews quoted on the BBC or Amazon or CD Baby or any of a hundred websites.

And then there's the quality of Google SERPS overall. I typed the name of a band about whom there is a very big buzz. Google didn't even have the band's site on. Instead it had pages you could buy their CDs or look at guitar tabs - the problem is the band haven't even released anything and the CD and tab pages were blank. I go off and try the same search on Yahoo and I get the official site and 7 other good quality SERPS.

I'm very glad you haven't been hit as well, but it could be you next update who loses all the Google traffic.


 10:02 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)


I'd agree with what Iguana has mentioned. You may very well be next sometime in the future.

I myself thought I was bulletproof for so very long having never been affected by Florida, Allegra or any other update in the past 4.5 years. 'and wham, overnight it was all taken away (well, a huge portion).

I've never partaken in spam tactics, and have always consistently had updated pages on a regular basis to the point where even now I've a large number which continue to be frequented by Google on a daily basis...and yet, inexplicably their SERP positions had dropped to where I get tired of finding them after the 10th SERPage. 'and to think that some of these pages which are doing poorly rankwise have Freshdates and such in the SERPs.

Methinks there's good reason for this thread to exist.

[edited by: cyberfyber at 10:02 pm (utc) on June 5, 2005]


 10:02 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)


>Reseller - mmm - I am seeing movement - slight (and if we were not in update mode I would not normally think anything of it - but there is movement) <

Correct. But i thought of it as business as usual because I expected more remarkable movements at this stage of the update. So it seems that tomorrow shall be "The Day of 0.5"!


 10:11 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)


Are you trying to make a point or are you just boasting that your site is doing well.

What point are you making about the dreamweaver mess? If you've always been top 3 positions then it can't have been that bad. Perhaps you wasted your time switching?


 10:22 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

planetary alignment has been achieved on all datacenters. anybody else see this and agree that the proverbial fat lady in on her last chorus?


 10:23 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

or that elvis has left the building?


 10:24 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

"i dont even need to check what my listings will be after a google update. I KNOW my positions wont be lost."

That sounds like a bit of a sweeping statement to me.
I would suggest that nobody (including Google) KNOWS what's going to happen in the next update.
Being quietly confident is one thing, but "KNOWING" - behave!

In my experience, blowing your own trumpet is not a great idea


 10:25 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)


What makes you think that a lot of these folks aren't adding more content on a regular basis?

I can say that because guess what? I "ain't" a content person. I don't consider myself as a Google expert or a SEO.

I'm seeing a lot of folks that have server setup issues, and others taking advantage of it.

Plenty of messes can be made with an invalid server setup. I've looked at a number of sites listed in profiles and folks some of you have issues.

I also see a number of commercial (large content sites in fact, some with heavily interlinked networks) some playing the hidden text game and with decent results.

So there are plenty of kettles and pots out there and in here.

This update should be entering its final phases if GoogleGuy's outlined schedule is still operative.

He must have a really thick skin to read this stuff,

I haven't even attempted to figure out what is going on with the update.

I can however say that some of you have issues to address with your server setups.

Sorry Katie, pointing to building more content as the only sure fire thing is a bit too narrow.

I've read Bretts advice and it is sound.

I'm glad that your site has made it through without problems as long as it has.

Now I'm going back to lurk mode.

[edited by: theBear at 10:33 pm (utc) on June 5, 2005]


 10:30 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

well hey, i work for Computer Active Magazine UK, and some of the staff are rolling about on the floor laughing at some of the wild statements in here

Hey, that's funny - some people do the same thing when they read your magazine too ;)

Seriously though, the "I'm all right jack" posts are pretty useless. There are always those knocked off with every index update that don't deserve that fate.

GG has stated there is more to be put into this mix. Let's wait and see.

confused ellie

 10:40 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am noticing some sort of planetary alignment... I was steadily bouncing between 547 and 807 and all the numbers in between to a pretty consistent 344'ish. Not a huge improvement, but an improvement nonetheless.



 10:42 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)


Was just looking for your web site in google uk, had to go down to position 101 to find it. Thought google loved it.


 10:59 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yet this time - and hence the reason for joining this forum recently - we have been hit losing '000's in whatever currency you like.

I noticed a lot of similar posts lately.
I have to say, although I am not an offical voice here: this forum would more appreciate you if you started posting when you had been MAKING '000's in any currrency.

[edited by: activeco at 11:02 pm (utc) on June 5, 2005]


 10:59 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Was just looking for your web site ..had to go down to position 101 to find it"

We are maintaining position where we are in top #10 ( rare) lower ones #80+ are moving around between +20 or -20 positions aprox.

Still some way to go I think - we have a spreadsheet of positions per main page as at the dreaded 20-21.05.05

Interesting our stats show the massive drop in visitors is on www.google.co.uk only - not the .com

Anyone else see the same in the UK?


 11:13 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

"if you started posting when you had been MAKING '000's "

Much hard work over years and LOTS of hours went into getting to that position - ask the wife!

Find a niche where you have some knowledge or enjoyment and go with it. Everyone jumps in later - but core audience already established - until Google messes it up.

We treat Google as as supplier of traffic - they give us that - we spend on content so they have a better product.

Off topic this - so back to topic.

About 100+ posts ago someone mentioned the way Google changed the way it was reading two/three KeyWords in the web pages - I think this is correct I have tested this - but the changes due/happening may alter this.


 11:15 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

As for the actual update...y'all remember that, right? ;-)

Been poking around, analyzing, etc. as I always do during big updates. Fun and informative (at times) seeing the iterations G goes thru.

One thing I'm fairly sure of. Those who are pleasantly surprised to see your sites in the top 10 for the first time ever, or the first time in very long while ... don't get too used to it ... not for a few more days, anyway.

Inability to clear important well established hurdles will knock some sites back down once those hurdles are back in place ("measures of quality").

Some important filters that are not there now, but are almost certain to return, will hit other sites.

I have a couple of old sites that are right now in the top 10 all over the place. They had not been there in a long while, and shouldn't be there now. They have pretty good on page optimization, but break other current rules, and/or fail to live up to certain 'measures of quality' that have been in place lately. ;-)


 11:51 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

It has now got to the stage where i dont even need to check what my listings will be after a google update. I KNOW my positions wont be lost.

I was in exactly the same position -- right up until my pages dropped out of the rankings. And if you think there's anything "unclean" about my site, I'd love to know about it.


 12:19 am on Jun 6, 2005 (gmt 0)


If I may chime in.... First of all, those of us that lost traffic are frustrated. And it's even more frustrating when I read your guidelines for how you've maintained your high Google listing because I've done exactly what you've done and lost a ton of traffic with Bourbon. I used to sit back and not worry about Florida, Allegra, just like you and thought only spammers and lazy people got affected with these updates. Now I see that is not the case anymore.

Kudos to you for keeping your position. I wish I had been that lucky.

No one's bashing you...we're just frustrated because we follow the rules just like you and lost our traffic. Back in the day, you could assume the spammers were the main people that got hit with Google's updates...it's a new era now and those of us who are playing by the rules are now getting "penalized". And there are too many factors involved in Google's algorithm now to just assume a ranking was lost because of one reason or another.

It's funny how those that lost their rank think its because they did something wrong and those that kept their rank keep telling everyone else to just follow the "rules." What rules? Only Google knows. It's not that simple anymore.

All we're saying is choose your words carefully. Good luck to you.


 12:19 am on Jun 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Katie -

Run back to CSS if you want, but I've read Brett's 26 steps dozens of times. I've got an 800 page site (all content written by me) that's totally ignored by Google (2 referals so far this month). Not sure why it's happening but it is.

There is at least one topic that I've written more on than any other webite. Every search engine recognizes this - I mean every other engine ranks the site as #1 except for Google. In Google the SERPS take a dive for this topic after about #3. I don't show in the top 1,000.
I don't complain (a lot), but please don't bust in here and tell us all that we just need to work harder and add more content (which I do every day...). It's a little more complex than that these days.

Ok, ive just started with CSS 2 days ago.

You posted the above on May 22,2005. I've been working with CSS for a bit longer than 2 weeks... Not sure how you claim this is your solution to our problems when you are just getting started.

[edited by: BillyS at 12:26 am (utc) on June 6, 2005]


 12:21 am on Jun 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

The one thing I did do, across the board, after Bourbon hit was rectify the www/ no-www issue. Now everything on all my sites directs to www.mysite

This sounds like a good thing to work on while waiting for Bourbon to finish. The only links that have [mysite...] without the www are very old but does it mean I also need to make a change on links like

<a href="blue.html"> to

<a href="http"//www.mysite/blue.html">?


 12:25 am on Jun 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would annej.

GoogleGuy has stated [webmasterworld.com] - I recommend absolute links instead of relative links, because there's less chance for a spider (not just Google, but any spider) to get confused


 12:32 am on Jun 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy has stated - I recommend absolute links instead of relative links, because there's less chance for a spider (not just Google, but any spider) to get confused

He also said that, if it's a lot of effort to change them and the relative links are working okay with Google, he wouldn't worry about it.


 12:37 am on Jun 6, 2005 (gmt 0)


annej asked specifically about

<a href="blue.html">


<a href="http"//www.mysite/blue.html">

I thought to be more specific, it was more a matter of using the slash (absolute) vs. not using the slash(relative)

as in:

<a href="blue.html">
<a href="/blue.html">

Or am I wrong on this one?

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