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two sites, one for Google and one for everyone else?
it sounds bizarre, but I can't see why it wouldn't work
danny




msg:753705
 11:43 am on Jun 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

None of my pages now rank anywhere in Google for any search, to a good approximation. And while it wasn't quite that bad before Bourbon - my site could at least be found using its name before that! - things have been pretty bad now for four months.

I'm not about to shut down a site that's still doing fine with Yahoo and MSN and which has several thousand incoming links. So my idea is to do the following:
1) block Googlebot from my site using robots.txt
2) copy the entire site to a second domain, call it justforgoogle.com
3) on justforgoogle.com, block all spiders *except* Googlebot
4) get a few links to justforgoogle.com from other sites

The pages on justforgoogle.com won't rank very well in Google, with so few incoming links, but I think at least my more obscure reviews will show up for title/author searches (which isn't happening at the moment) and the site should rank somewhere on the first page for "my name book reviews" (which I know people use to refind me).

Meanwhile my main site will continue to work as normal for people using MSN and Yahoo and other search engines.

Has anyone tried anything like this? Given how little traffic I'm getting from Google, it's hard to see how it could hurt. (If I ever get hopeful again and think Google might sensibly rank my main site, I could just remove the Googlebot robots.txt block from it and redirect justforgoogle.com back to it.)

 

novice




msg:753706
 12:16 pm on Jun 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Danny, one thing to consider (from what I read on this forum) is that justforgoogle.com might be sandboxed for 6 - 14 months. Do you really think that your site won't recover in that time period.

You have a great site, and I am sure that Google knows that they have been letting the babies go down the drain with the dirty bath water.

Google, your drain whole is too large. You need to get a smaller drain hole, or figure out a way to get the babies out first.

wiseapple




msg:753707
 1:56 pm on Jun 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have often thought of doing the same thing. Our baby went down the drain after Feb. 2nd. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to do a "Google Only" site.

Shurik




msg:753708
 3:01 pm on Jun 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Danny, register a new domain (www.your-company-name.com) and setup a doorway page optimized for your company name. Get few one way links to it. Use client side java script to propel visitors to your main site. Put the script in an include file (just in case google gets smart). This is a non-kosher solution but it is cheap and it works.

ilikeyou




msg:753709
 10:02 am on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Keep the old site up and change your site design. Copy everything over but change the headers and footers and all that. Don't ditch it.

I was about to do this but then the site finally got indexed while I wasn't even watching it.

Doorway pages? Come on... Anyone notice nerdbrains.com and their doorway pages get shot down?

JuniorOptimizer




msg:753710
 10:18 am on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

What do you need Google and their low conversion rate for?

danny




msg:753711
 11:24 am on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

What do you need Google and their low conversion rate for?

I'm not fussed about "conversion rates". I just want people looking for information about the books I've reviewed to be able to find my reviews, at least when they're the only ones available!

Langers




msg:753712
 9:56 pm on Jun 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am considering doing the same thing as I am in google but blocked from Yahoo for some reason.

It might be that yahoo thinks that they can get me to pay for listings due to the amount of commercial content on my site (ads).

So I am going to create a new site (using the same data from the old one) and block all engines except for Yahoo. Think I will also leave a lot of the ads off for now too!

I just need to trot off to the Yahoo forum now, to find the best way to optimize for it :)

larryhatch




msg:753713
 10:45 pm on Jun 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

" I just want people looking for information about the books I've reviewed to be able to find my reviews,
at least when they're the only ones available! "

Danny: That's fine. Hopefully you have some really good original content.
Assuming that is true, what's the purpose of black-hat stuff like deceptive cloaking etc.?

If you're white-hat and contributing something, make the most of THAT. Go link building. Add content.
Somebody put up a nice list of free directory submission sites (thanks much BTW!) Go work those.
You'll sleep better playing it white hat. -Larry

danny




msg:753714
 1:42 am on Jun 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hopefully you have some really good original content.

850 book reviews, 400,000 words, written over twelve years. And then there's the content on my personal site as well.

Assuming that is true, what's the purpose of black-hat stuff like deceptive cloaking etc.?

What I propose would involve robots.txt, but no cloaking of any kind.

At the moment people doing title/author searches on Google can't find my reviews, even when I'm the only person with any substantive information about a book. I consider that a usability flaw in the web, which I might be able to fix by running a second site just for Google users. Whether the "good" of that outweighs the "evil" of complicating the web's link structure by unnecessarily creating new pages, I don't know.

I have a pretty strong aversion to creating new web pages - in my opinion, every page should have a unique purpose that isn't duplicated by another page anywhere else.

If you're white-hat and contributing something, make the most of THAT. Go link building. Add content.Somebody put up a nice list of free directory submission sites (thanks much BTW!) Go work those.

Since I write all my content myself, I'm in no position to "add" it any faster than I am doing so already. I have bucketloads of incoming links already and I don't want to get involved in "link building" or suchlike to acquire random links - I'm happy for people to link to my pages if they think they're useful and relevant.

You'll sleep better playing it white hat.

I would, except that I now have almost no Google traffic to lose! But I'm not prepared to make my web sites worse for users just to please Google, so if I want to "do evil" it'll have to be something that doesn't compromise usability, accessibility, or my own aesthetic criteria.

I used to trust that Google was aiming at the same targets I was and that if I did my own thing I wouldn't ever need to think about Google. But after nearly a year of being dumped on I'm beginning to think maybe I have to treat Google as "part of the landscape" and work around its foibles.

landmark




msg:753715
 8:41 am on Jun 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Danny,

This topic so needs to be discussed at the Meet The Google Engineers session in New Orleans. Your site has content, backlinks and is clean, yet doesn't show up even when it is the only site that has relevant content. So many other people have similar experiences (not just at Bourbon but since Florida), but yours sounds like a perfect example.

Are you going to New Orleans? If not, would you like someone to ask about your site?

danny




msg:753716
 11:09 am on Jun 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Are you going to New Orleans? If not, would you like someone to ask about your site?

I'm in Australia, so New Orleans is a bit of haul, I'm afraid.

I very much doubt the Google engineers will take questions about particular sites, but if they do and you want to use mine as an example, feel free to.

I've been thinking about what Google could that would make me feel better. I think a simple note along the lines of "a human has looked at your site and, yes, our algorithm has screwed up here; please wait for the next update when we hope to fix this kind of problem" would help a lot. Even if there was no intervention to change anything, it would reassure me that it wasn't something I was or was not doing that was causing the problem, and that feedback about collateral damage was being used to refine the spam filters.

Google obviously won't actually get as much feedback about pages that "go missing" as they will about spam - how many users are ever going to complain about a page not being in the search results? And it's not clear to me that Google has any mechanism for dealing with this asymmetry. Unfortunately I have no bright ideas for them here.

(Heck, at least we notice Google's having problems with our own sites! I'm sure there are some hobbyist sites whose authors don't even look at their logs.)

flicker




msg:753717
 2:49 pm on Jun 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hey, Danny, looks like Google found your site again--I just looked up an obscure author and one of your reviews was the first hit. (-:

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