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This 1225 message thread spans 41 pages: < < 1225 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 41 > >     
Dealing with the consequences of Bourbon Update
Which changes has Bourbon brought about & How to deal with them?
reseller




msg:799260
 3:41 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Assuming that the greatest part of of the latest Google update (Bourbon) is completed, its rather important to do some damage assessments, study the changes brought about by Bourbon and suggest ways to deal with them.

We need to keep this thread focused on the followings:

- Changes on your own site ranking on the serps (lost & gained positions or disappearance of the site).

- Changes you have noticed on the new serps (both google.com and your local google site) especially in regards to the nature of the top 10 or 20 ranking sites.

- Stability of the serps. I.e do you get the same serps when you run the same query within the same day or 2-3 successive days (both google.com and your local google site).

- Effective ethical measures to deal with the above mentioned changes.

Thanks.

 

Clint




msg:799290
 2:58 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)


Honestly.. it wasn'tīt my intention when I started this thread to start a "Bourbon Update 5", but to discuss how to deal with consequences of Bourbon.

What you outlined in your first posted sounded the same to me. ;)

Dayo_UK




msg:799291
 2:59 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually today looks like one of the more intresting days of the update - just going to look at a few things and will post back shortly.

Dayo_UK




msg:799292
 3:04 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ok,

On some DCs there are a load of results which are showing title, description etc but have not got a cache link (When they should do - eg not a Webmaster choosing not to show a cache link)

Soooo Google maybe digging up lots of old pages and showing them in results (dont know when from - no Cache date :))

With reference to sites which have had the page rank caconolised (EFV - eg PR5 www - PR6 non-www - Caconolised meaning PR6 on both) this has moved to more datacenters than it ever has done before so far in this update.

Someone else has reported new backlinks (cant really check this - lost track of mine)

Mmmmm - things are still chugging along IMO.

The Contractor




msg:799293
 3:25 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dude, read the posts, at least several pages. If I had to subtitle the Part 4 thread I would call it "Victims of the Google update: compare our sites to find commonalities; compare sites affected and sites NOT affected to find commonalities; and discuss what we can do about it".

I understand what you are saying, but you cannot compare your site to mine in this update IMHO. Every niche has different sites that remain or have risen - the only factor I see is "age". You are beating your head against the wall and chasing your tail if you compare 20 sites that are all in different niches and trying to find the common factor of why they were dropped (in this update anyways).

Much better to compare the common denominators on those that are still in. Again, this is not an update that one can say, "large sites are doing better", "white-hat SEO is doing better","black-hat SEO is doing better", "small sites are doing better", "keyword density has changed", "h2's are doing better than h1's", "# of backlinks"etc. etc. etc.....

That common factor I am seeing is age....period. Meaning I am seeing large topic themed sites doing well, whitehat/blackhat techniques doing well, single page sites doing well, less/more # of backlinks, single pages on off-topic sites doing well, pages MIA doing well etc. The only factor they have in common is they are all the oldest sites/pages taking the top positions. Now, I am not saying this is the rule across everyone's niches, only this is what I'm seeing.

The age factor reasons well with the sandbox effect also. I started a site in a very new industry and escaped the sandbox with it ranking very well on a 4 letter single word. Why did it rank well out of the gate - the reasoning I'm seeing as all sites/pages on this topic are NEW.

[edited by: The_Contractor at 3:31 pm (utc) on June 11, 2005]

annej




msg:799294
 3:26 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

There are STILL no commonalities to the sites removed, nor in the sites not removed....except for NON relevant content I should say for the sites not removed.

Are you saying that sites that have more varied content are doing better? My site that dropped is totally about a niche topic while the site that is still doing fine has it's largest and most popular section on the niche topic but has other non related sections beyond the fact that all are of interest to women.

<added> I should mention both sites are constantly updated with new articles so that are not old stagnent sites.

BillyS




msg:799295
 3:38 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

What I am seeing today:

Google directory is updating. More specifically, it's in the middle of some kind of update. The structure is changing and the listings are flipping around (updated and not).

Links have REVERTED back to previous results - of that I am sure. Google.com for me is 64.233.161.99.

bunltd




msg:799296
 3:42 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

they are all the oldest sites/pages taking the top positions

Here to refute that one, in my area at least, my site is in the doldrums at #95 or so, when it was #1, and it is older than the current #1. (the domain is older by nearly 1 year, and some of the content predates that by another year (different domain).

My site hadn't had huge updates done to it, but there were updates about a week prior to Bourbon that affected the site, sitewide.

This update grows tiresome. Perhaps discussing Bourbon, while drinking bourbon on Bourbon street will help.

LisaB

Pico_Train




msg:799297
 3:47 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nevermind...

The Contractor




msg:799298
 3:54 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

My site hadn't had huge updates done to it, but there were updates about a week prior to Bourbon that affected the site, sitewide.

Were they established navigation changes sitewide? Change of established site structure? Renaming of pages that were established?

<a href="yourlink">Link</a>

If this is against the TOS, tell me too, I'll remove it...

Yep, all links whether hyperlinked or not to sites not within the ring of trusted resources are against the TOS (W3C, .gov topic resource etc.)

sailorjwd




msg:799299
 3:57 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Further solidification of my understanding of what is wrong with my website and why it got booted.

Some of this info I've mentioned before...

I simply don't have enough content on too many pages.

Of 287 total pages I believe that 180 of them have less than 300 words, many less than 200 words, and a bunch less than 100 words.

When I put adsense on my 4.5 year old site in Feb '04 I decided to break up longer 'discussion' pages to pages that were about 1.5 screens tall.

I also had dozens and dozens of screen shots with a thumbnail on the main page and a simple popup jpg to show the full sized image. To optimize adwords I made everyone of those jpg images into an html page with a paragraph describing the image (usually < 100 words)

In my programming examples section I started out by having one long page for each programming subject. These types of pages had a 'table of contents' and contains 10-20 programming examples and were likely 2-3,000 words long - they ranked very well.

Again trying to optimize adsense, I split each example into it's own page often having more boilerplate than unique content.

When I'm done putting everything back together again I'll probably go from 287 pages down to 87 (fat ones).

oldpro




msg:799300
 4:49 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dealing with the consequences of bourbon update.

There are very few commonalities other than the effects of 302's and scrappers tripping the dup. content filters. Analysing different kw serps...keyword densities seem to make no difference. I see many in the top ten that have less than 1% with no cloaking. PR makes no difference. I see low PR sites out ranking high PR sites all over the place.

One thing I do see is that html (non css) written sites that use tables for layout arrangement seems to rank lower than those html sites that don't use tables. The snippets for table layouts are convuluted and non-table sites have snippets that are completed sentences. Like the bot is reading the content from left to right as it appears on the page and not down the table column as it appears in the code.

Another commanality I see is that the top five positions for the most part remained unaffected, while the most change is seen in positions 6 thru 12.

I think we will be "shooting in the dark" for a long time to identify what bourbon was all about.

johnhh




msg:799301
 5:08 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

oldpro:

We were wondering about key word density/table reading as well. So changed a few pages on our main ( 8-9 years old now) PR6 site without going mad on on the keywords.

If the page was lurking on the SERPS at page 10-12 it jumped +2 or +3 pages after being recached. However this didn't work 100% on all the changed pages. Sorry to say.

Pages we have recorded as being in top 10 at the start of this (May 20/21) have maintained position + or - a few positions.

However a 2 yr old site we have with many pages having a zero PR is in top #10 for most three keyword combinations. Where of course it it belongs :)

In our subject, sites that have massively stuffed key word phrases everywhere ( page top/left/right/bottom) seem to be winning generally, however I have found exceptions.

I wil wait and wonder - I think there is more to come.

From - a forum lurker!

Solutions




msg:799302
 5:25 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google directory is updating. More specifically, it's in the middle of some kind of update. The structure is changing and the listings are flipping around (updated and not).

Yes, I am seeing it too. BL updated as well. I am now no. 1. in the Google catalogue, but my serps are all over the place - from page 2 to page no-where-to-be-found. Used to rank well for many KW. Now the site can't even rank well on very specific queries.

Judging from the serps I monitor I see that the very big sites is taking it all.

A 5 year old site with many PR5 and PR4 pages. 150 well written, validating, flat structure, xhtml pages and all I can rank well in is Google catalogue. Hurray for that and Yahoo and MSN which btw is giving me credit for my hard work.

If anybody have a hunch about what could be wrong with my site I would be happy to provide info via PM.

Best regards

oldpro




msg:799303
 5:42 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

johnhh,

Did your changes include doing away with a tabled layout in addition to lowering your kw density?

MSN snippets of tabled layouts return bits and pieces of content while non tabled layouts return complete coherent sentences. With MSN it has been this way awhile and I have always suspected tables trip up MSN.

Never noticed this with google before bourbon...maybe google has changed they way a site is spidered?

phantombookman




msg:799304
 5:55 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

One thing I do see is that html (non css) written sites that use tables for layout arrangement seems to rank lower than those html sites that don't use tables

All my sites use lots of tables and are completely unaffected by Bourbon, all still #1 or top 3 for their most important searches and 1000's of #1 matches to internal pages.

I have never been adversely affected by any update nor have any of the other main sites in my area. I really do believe that overdoing SEO is at the heart of most peoples woes

Please note the above is not meant to be smug or critical

walkman




msg:799305
 6:04 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

what is the timeline GG gave us, anyone keeping track?
Did the last 1.0 go in effect yet?
I see that I rank where I should (#1 for domain.com) on these DCs:
[66.102.9.104...]
[64.233.183.104...]
[66.249.87.104...]
[66.249.85.104...]

wordy




msg:799306
 6:11 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

GG
"No skin in the game." harumph. :)

Still stuff to come.

samwise




msg:799307
 6:11 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

-

I think the eval.google.com has something to do with this.

-

annej




msg:799308
 6:18 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

tables for layout arrangement seems to rank lower than those html sites that don't use tables

That's an interesting idea that relates to my experience. The site that lost so much was done with tables while the site that is just fine I'd redone with CSS.

But the site that plunged was in the top 5 on many searches so that part doesn't fit.

walkman




msg:799309
 6:22 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

> "No skin in the game." harumph.

translation needed. anyone?

wordy




msg:799310
 6:24 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

> "No skin in the game." harumph.
translation needed. anyone?

Off page factors is my take i.e external

outland88




msg:799311
 6:34 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

>Judging from the serps I monitor I see that the very big sites is taking it all.<

Yes, for the top three money keywords in my areas Google has totally given it away to the multi thousand page sites with usually only one page devoted to the keyword. These large sites have long learned to target the top payoff keywords. To me a certain percentage of a site should be devoted to the actual category and keyword for a site’s pages to rank well. If not you're just giving away the search engine to big business unless you have at least a 2000 page web site to compete.

Another warning is this update has been going on so long I've had to start updating many pages. I'm already dropping farther as I suspected I would. So be warned.

Dayo_UK




msg:799312
 6:44 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think GG just meant he had nothing to lose by saying which DC had the future.

Dont know though - not heard that expression before.

reseller




msg:799313
 6:46 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

walkman

>what is the timeline GG gave us, anyone keeping track?
Did the last 1.0 go in effect yet? <

According to GG the last 1.0 has been implemented last Tuesdag.

wordy




msg:799314
 6:50 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dayo_UK

You could well be right - It's an expression I am not familiar with either.

Just my take!

oldpro




msg:799315
 6:57 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

All my sites use lots of tables and are completely unaffected by Bourbon, all still #1 or top 3 for their most important searches and 1000's of #1 matches to internal pages.

I use tables also...the basic 2 column type, with the left being the nav. bar and very little content below the text links. The right being my main content. However, I use the old table trick to push my code for the nav. column to the bottom of my code.

My site has not been affected by bourbon either. Lost one position...was #10..now #11 and on the 2nd page for my money keyword phrase. Secondary kw phrases still at the top of the serps.

My point is not that all sites using tables have been affected, but it seems from reading the google snippets...a majority of table based sites do not have coherent snippets. Sites using one table to center content on a page do not seem to be affected, but sites with multiple rows and columns seem to be confusing the bot based simply on the snippets.

Just an observation I am throwing out there.

econman




msg:799316
 6:59 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

"no skin in the game" is a slang term I've heard or read occasionally. In the context of an athletic event, it means the person doesn't really have anything of value riding on the outcome -- not bets placed, no emotional commitment, or the like.

Doing a quick search for the phrase, on Google, :) I found this quote near the top of the SERPs

"Having skin in the game means you are willing to make a significant investment or financial commitment to your business venture. If you aren't willing to put your own skin in the game--or put your own butt on the line, as I had an investor so eloquently say to me once--why should anyone else be willing to risk his or her money in your business idea?"

oldpro




msg:799317
 7:04 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Having skin in the game means you are willing to make a significant investment or financial commitment to your business venture. If you aren't willing to put your own skin in the game--or put your own butt on the line, as I had an investor so eloquently say to me once--why should anyone else be willing to risk his or her money in your business idea?"

So...is googleguy really saying if we buy adwords our problems are solved?

wordy




msg:799318
 7:10 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

GG original post:

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.

Just seems his comment relates to the additional algorithmic change!

Anybody clarify "No skin in the game." as a regularly used term?

Will Spencer




msg:799319
 7:14 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

I avoided most of the damage done to my one site which was slaughtered in this "update" by moving the content to another domain.

The content now ranks just fine at the other location.

P.S. TheContractor: The other domain isn't a new one, so this does not contradict your theory about site age.

Dayo_UK




msg:799320
 7:16 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well - looks like a new sentence about the algo change.

econman - based on your definition I think that he had nothing to lose by saying those dc had the future.

He he - GG posts get analysed like a politicians :)

Mind you a lot of us have a lot of skin in the game.

(I have no idea if that makes sense)

[edited by: Dayo_UK at 7:29 pm (utc) on June 11, 2005]

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