| 12:05 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
No good news yet. Still sunk. Afraid to change anything much since Yahoo, MSN, and ASK deliver great amounts of traffic. After the last Yahoo update, I have to now consider Yahoo the main player. They are handling things much better at the moment,
| 1:03 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
The funny thing about this 'light switch' update is that although I have re-gained my position in many of my SERP results...all the Google cache dates on my best pages are showing around July 5th-July 11th. When we were cranking our site was crawled everyday or every other day, at the worse. Wonder what 'light switch' will bring to my SERP's when we finally get re-crawled?
Lets hope even better things...
| 5:10 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
*you may not like this*
I'm assuming the site you are talking about is the one in your profile - if not then please ignore what I'm going to say...
In all honesty if I was searching for "anything" then I wouldn't want to find your site in the SERPS.
For example. If I came across your Home & Garden page then I would be very disappointed to find a page with 3 small paragraphs, saying very little, surrounded by CLICK ME ads! As far as I can see, this goes for the whole site - so in my opinion maybe G has got it right!
If your site contained a wealth of useful information on "Home & Garden" then your 'complaint' may stand up.
Be assured I'm not trying to offend you.
| 5:19 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
We are back on one keyword (not in all DC's). Also got hit hard on 16 June. Hoop the same will hapen for our other KW's.
| 5:56 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|There are probably many Bourbon victims who died then were born again and did nothing substantial to cause either result. |
I agree, but I believe it is sensible to ensure my site is completely white hat. As this has now happened to me twice this year, I don't want it to happen again if there is something I can do about it.
I note that several people have said that they have given up on Google and are now optimising for other search engines. So presumably these sites were previously optimized for Google. Maybe that's part of the problem and Google just doesn't like sites that have been optimised.
| 7:08 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I've been keeping track of the latest updates in Google, MSN and Yahoo and there's ONE CRITICAL item I haven't taken into consideration during the past weeks/months.
Lately, MSN and other engines have been looking at how often Web pages are updated [research.microsoft.com...]
The main pages of my Web sites haven't been updated in a long time. These main pages give weight to a key phrase that has been slowly loosing positions in Google, MSN and Yahoo.
While the internal pages of my Web sites have been updated constantly, the texts and photos of the main pages remain pretty much unchanged since many months ago.
I have corrected many items in the past weeks/months including semiduplicate content, bad links, etc.
It might be wise to consider to update my main pages with new texts and photos. Will this restore the previous ranking of my main search phrase? I hope it does!
| 7:16 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
"Maybe that's part of the problem and Google just doesn't like sites that have been optimised."
Optimized means using accurate titles and descriptions which signal the nature of the content on the page. An optimized page about widgets will have "widget" in the title and maybe the url and the word "widget" will appear throughout the text.
And yes, Google does penalize against this -- at least in my niches.
That's why my red fuzzy widget page (which is the only page that shows up for a search (in quotes) for "red fuzzy widgets" does not appear anywhere in the SERPs for the same search without quotes. A thousand pages which don't include the phrase (because they are not even remotely about red fuzzy widgets!) are listed instead.
Meanwhile my MSN and Yahoo traffic goes up on a daily basis, which is amazing for an educational site in mid-July.
| 8:20 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Did anyone that had a site that dropped off with Bourbon notice if the Googlebot was indexing their pages regularly post bourbon? My site dropped significantly with this update, and I usually have googlebot all over my site daily. Now, there is just about zero googlebot activity.
| 9:59 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
mahoogle: After bourbon my main site dropped from 1st page serps to 100+, but the crawling patterns stayed the same (home page gets hit several times a day, other pages at least every few days).
Since about 2 days it's come back, allmost upto the pre-bourbon position (sites that took my place clearly use black-hat techniques). Crawling patterns are still the same.
I read some posts from people thinking they were penalized for being over-optimized. Well, I had the same idea to be honest. But if the black-hat techniques that some of the sites that took 'my' positions used really kicked in, then I suppose they would have been over-optimized too.
The only thing I changed out of the ordinary is that for one page I re-enabled the use of php's session id's. When I started this site several years ago, I read bots have problems with session id's so I disable them whenever a bot is detected. After bourbon (although I prefer wodka) I figured maybe this got wrongly detected as cloaking and I was penalized for it (seeing I dropped about 100 serps for each of the keywords/phrases I was monitoring, I figured this was no coincidence).
Seeing that a bunch of other sites are back to 'pre-bourbon' I guess it wasn't this change that triggered this.
| 10:56 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I am finding just the opposite of most here, but with one thing in common... "Mid June"...
My site has added several pages since mid June that were ranking quite well. Yesterday all of the pages that have been indexed for the first time since mid June completely fell from the serps. Also, my pre "mid June" pages are now back to the same result positions they were at that time. (since mid June they had also climbed.) The new pages that don't show in the serps any longer still have fresh cache's and are still being crawled and remain indexed.
This looks to me like some type of rollback seeing as those people whose sites were hit around June 16th are back, and my results have reverted back to about how they existed at that time. There simply is no other explanation I can find why the new pages are nowhere to be found anymore and the old pages are back to those "mid June" positions while at the same time people whose pages disappeared after June 16th are suddendly back.
| 11:05 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I'm not sure if this is a roll back or not, although i'm back to #1 and #2 for my keywords, new sites are still there under me that were not there pre bourbon.
| 11:07 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Just to let you know, my site is completely back to where it was before May 21st. AdSense is back to normal.
The only things I did was use PHP to redirect non-www's to www's, and I also redesigned the entrie layout of the site, but that was planned long before May anyway.
There's hope yet... stick at it!
| 11:12 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I have also regained most of my traffic lost in June 16 (Spanish site) - changes started mid-day July 21 in some DCs and ended mid-day July 22 for all DCs...
but, as said in post#152, also have I seen that the cache of all my pages have not been updated since July 12 when almost all the 200+ pages of my website were cached, before then the cache always got updated on a daily basis, at least for the home page...
Let's see what happens when a new cache is finally archived by Google...hope it stays because this year has been such a roller coaster (lost 80%+ with Allegra, recovered strongly at Bourbon Part 1, lost more than what had been gained with Bourbon Part 2, etc...) I do believe that now I really deserve some rest for the next few months
What drives these changes? For sure, no clue...but as most people just said, 2 key aspects: make the web look as "natural" as possible and regularly obtain new IBLs...and patience, lots of patience...
| 6:32 am on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
First Allegra took away 75% of my Googleīs referrals. My site was recovering gradually and wasnīt affected by Bourbon.
But... then this reshuffling/update on 22nd July has hit my site leaving only around 10% of my PRE-Allegra Googleīs referrals.
The strange thing is that all other factors seem normal:
- site:www.mysite.dk shows all pages indexed correctly; no duplicates, no non-www vs www.mysite.dk problem etc...
- link:www.mysite.dk looks good.
- PR values seems not affected.
- Googlebot still visiting my site once/twice aday.
So whats this reshuffling/update all about? I really donīt know.
The only thing I can see is that the DCs are still moving and shaking for my testing keywords.
| 7:45 am on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|In all honesty if I was searching for "anything" then I wouldn't want to find your site in the SERPS. |
I honestly think your trying to find an excuse for why sites dropped. There is no explanation, and the above quote, implying that the site was not designed well or had no useful content, in my opinion, has nothing to do with why a site was dropped, not to mention, a low blow. Is your site perfect?
You know what, BS about all this canonical and absolute linking crap. I took measures to fix this stuff, and so far, nothing.
My own site still sucks in Google. Here are my traffic breakdowns:
I am convinced that there is nothing that we can do (those of us affected), and all we can really do is wait it out.
Recentely I became owner of a PR 7 music website, after I made possibly the best deal of my life. The site was neglected for a few years, stale content, not optimized, and probably had tons of spam (unmoderated forum). It also had both www and non www versions, without any absolute linking. Guess what, the site is doing just fine! Not affected by Bourbon at all (I thought it definitely was). Its great for me, but this contradicts a few ideas, such as "stale, unhelpful content, canonical problems, and absolute linking theories" reulting in a penalty. I bought a stale site that fits everything I mentioned above, and it has capabilities of ranking beatifully, with some work. Perhaps age is a factor, as the site is 9 years old, however, its still stale, designed poorly, and WAS totally not useful, so what gives?
| 8:26 am on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
>I am convinced that there is nothing that we can do (those of us affected), and all we can really do is wait it out.<
Agreed. Problem is nobody knows whats going on this weekend. Is it an update? is it a reshuffling? or is it just the usual "everflux"? who knows..
>Its great for me, but this contradicts a few ideas, such as "stale, unhelpful content, canonical problems, and absolute linking theories" reulting in a penalty. <
And thats the sad part of Google story. Honestly I canīt take those "bright" Google enginners and Google "updates" serious anymore. I guess they themselves donīt really know what they are doing or care about the consequencies of what they have done.
| 8:41 am on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
The strangest thing about these updates continues to be the yo-yo effect. Publishers are again reporting wild swings from page one to page none for their sites.
Why in the world does G drop a site from page one into oblivion or visa-versa? How can any searcher feel confident in the Google SERPs du jour when this is the way they operate?
| 10:58 am on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Agreed. Dropping from top-ten ranking to position 40-50 is one thing. Disappearing entirely from the SERPs is another.
One page dropping out is one thing. An entire site disappearing is another.
It's a strange state of affairs, IMHO.
| 12:04 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Yes the on/off filter is just there to confuse the webmaster/seo I am sure.
| 4:00 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Did any of you; whos site has come back after Bourbon e-mailed Google explaining your site problem?
| 4:42 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Yesterday, I was pushed way down in all dcs. Today, I'm back in one of them, although not recieving much traffic. I follow the travel industry closely. It will be interesting to see if this is just the beginninng or the end for another month or so. Went Pre Bourban of under 500 G referrals per day, post bourbon >15K referrals a day and now back to 500.
| 5:08 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
>> Went Pre Bourban of under 500 G referrals per day, post bourbon >15K referrals a day and now back to 500.
is this for the site on your profile /email?
| 5:29 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
That is one of them. Any insight...I updated the status of my profile since I didn't want all that info public, but you can sticky mail me.
| 5:58 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
One of my theories about google and updates is that when they make changes to the rankings, it can have a huge impact to their revenue and since they have a responsibility to shareholders that they must balance quality, revenue, marketshare of queries in a tricky formula. One of the things I noticed with Bourbon is large sites with Adsense had a boost, it now appears that there has been a rollback/update. My analysis is simple, but it appears that these results may have a negative impact on adsense revenue, which makes me question if they will stick....We'll see...
| 6:13 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
One other thing about this update/rollback is that that allin* searches that used to show my site highly have slipped majorly as well. This is a little odd since Pre Bourbon Allin searches showed sites highly that didn't rank well, now allin seems to have a more direct correlation to the serps....
| 6:54 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|One of my theories about google and updates is that when they make changes to the rankings, it can have a huge impact to their revenue and since they have a responsibility to shareholders that they must balance quality, revenue, marketshare of queries in a tricky formula. |
That isn't even a theory, it's a hypothesis. (To be a theory, it would need to be accompanied by supoprting data.)
We hear similar arguments all the time at Webmaster World, and those allegations require a huge suspension of disbelief. One has to accept the proposition that Google's search engineers and programmers are willingly accepting direction from beancounters, and that no member of that corrupted search team has ever been disgruntled enough to drop hints to outsiders or to be overheard grumbling at the local bar. IMHO, that's a pretty farfetched scenario, and it's a distraction from serious discussion of what really happens during Google updates.
| 7:10 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
>We hear similar arguments all the time at Webmaster World, and those allegations require a huge suspension of disbelief. One has to accept the proposition that Google's search engineers and programmers are willingly accepting direction from beancounters, and that no member of that corrupted search team has ever been disgruntled enough to drop hints to outsiders or to be overheard grumbling at the local bar. IMHO, that's a pretty farfetched scenario, and it's a distraction from serious discussion of what really happens during Google updates.<
With all due respect, your defending Google blindly and by default all the line since your site recovered has the same effect on any discussion as the post you criticized. And "that's a pretty farfetched scenario, and it's a distraction from serious discussion of what really happens during Google", to use your own words ;-)
| 7:23 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Gee EFV I don't know if I want to agree with you or fan the flames a bit. What a situation to be in ;-).
First, most of us programing types have zero love for bean counters, that goes double for those of us that have done operating system work.
I put a lot of it down to minor logic errors and that "tuning (aka, fudge factors)" sometimes nails more than it (they) should.
Computers only do what they are told, and do it very quickly.
The real problem starts when it is rolled out over a period of time that approaches 1 month or more and then requires "tweaking" that takes another few weeks.
Now for those that say you need a better marketing plan, yes someone does, but that someone isn't me.
| 7:26 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|With all due respect, your defending Google blindly |
I'm not "defending Google blindly." In fact, I'm not defending Google at all. I am suggesting that logic and common sense are more useful than unsupported hypotheses that are presented as theories or, in some cases, as fact.
Webmaster World update threads used to be about updates; lately they seem to be evolving into b#*$! sessions.
Hmmm...as long as we're talking about conspiracies, maybe Brett is posting rants under pseunonyms so the real discussions will move to the Supporters Forum. :-)
[edited by: europeforvisitors at 7:28 pm (utc) on July 24, 2005]
| 7:28 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
"those allegations require a huge suspension of disbelief. One has to accept the proposition that Google's search engineers and programmers are willingly accepting direction from beancounters"
What you're doing here is the exact opposite of scientific method. You're starting with your conclusion as predefined. There are several massive holes in this line of reasoning. The first of course is that all the major google players became beancounters when the IPO happened, they had stock options, and now are major stock holders, and so have a massive interest in maximizing their beancounting skills. But somehow those players are now sitting in a condition of zen like detachment, focused on the pure task of search for searches sake, completely impervious to the pull of money. Must be all those yoga classes or something.
If you actually approach this question scientifically, you begin with observed facts, then formulate a hypothesis to explain those facts. This is an example [theregister.com] of a fact. A similar fact [theregister.com] was observed pre IPO. I can think of no other business where an increase in profits is ascribed to some magical event, completely disconnected from the actions or intentions of the company or entity creating that increase.
To make a micro version of this, say a site's adsense income or conversion rates increase dramatically. Following your line of reasoning, the following factors should be discounted a priori from consideration: The site owner has done a lot of SEO work to increase traffic.
Careful analysis of how to maximize adsense income [webmasterworld.com] is carried out, then implemented.
Testing which methods boost profits is carried out in an ongoing manner.
Designing the data structures and page/site architecture to maximize crt and conversion rates.
But still, despite the fact that pretty much every serious website owner would be a fool to not do this, we're supposed to believe that Google isn't doing this.
This belief can only be held if you do not begin from the facts, rather begin from a flawed premise, with exactly zero empirical foundation, in this case the belief that Google isn't trying to maximize its income. I for one have far too much respect for the intelligence of the primary googlers to make or believe a claim this naive.
| 7:48 pm on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Regarding your unwillingness "to accept the proposition that Google's search engineers and programmers are willingly accepting direction from beancounters," please consider that the sole purpose of a corporation is to provide profit to the shareholders and that an eye towards short-term gains almost always outweighs the concerns about the quality of the product which the coprporation produces.
"In general, management of publicly traded corporations are thought to have a fiduciary duty to always increase the amount of profit made."
To say that engineers would rebel if beancounters took over quality management of a search engine is to completely ignore our old dead friend, AltaVista. And to say that no corporation would ever risk long term stabilty for short term gains completely ignores the history of companies such as Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Anderson, etc.