Open Letter To:
Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt
I'm asking you kindly in the name of public interest, the truth that should always be told and decent conduct to withdraw or amend your following statement which was published September 26, 2005 on CNET News.com :
"We're announcing tonight that in terms of unduplicated pages our index is now three times larger than any other search engine,"
- You haven't mentioned the exact number of "unduplicated pages" on Google index at present. The public has the right to know the exact figures you are operating with and base your statement on.
- You haven't mentioned how you define and count "unduplicated pages".
- Several members of WebmasterWorld community have documented without any reasonable doubt that Google has removed the "legitimate originals" of hundreds or maybe thousands of pages from Google index, while the duplicates of such "legitimate originals" are left to appear and rank on Google serach result pages. I.e you are counting and regarding duplicated pages as unduplicated pages.
Finally, I'm in support of the following statement of my fellow WebmasterWorld member steveb:
"Then, Google, you should be embarrassed. Forcing people to go to the last page to click a link to bring up your "real" search results is embarrassing to say the least.
Then, to state the obvious, no Google employee has earned the right to say "unduplicated pages". Google has not demonstrated *any* ability to know what those two words mean."
Looking forward for your urgent action.
All the best,
>>I sometimes wish I was back at my old job in TV (I was just a low level grunt) because someone needs to pick up this underground rumbling and make a national story out of it... there is a lot of "meat" to this whole SE war taking place... any reporter with half the knowledge of myself could make a great special about all of this.<<
But you can do something about it, even when you are no more in TV ;-)
Why not invite the reporters you might know or still in contact with to visit this thread?
Thanks a bunch.
"Maybe we are just looking at the reason(s) why THIS update hasn't been recognized yet as an update."
The reason in our opinion is that it is not an update - it is the introduction of a new filter, and the subsequent application of a penalty to all sites that attract that filter.
That is certainly our impression.
Of course we can live with a filter in our scenario. No problem if Google wish to omit major libraries like ours and other institutions from their search index. In fact we are helping them now by blocking their crawler from new libraries, as are others.
What takes the buscuit here is that they decide the library trips a filter (?!) and then penalise the WHOLE site! Reasonable? We don't think so. We can't even be found now on the name of processes we invented! Goodness knows what the searching public think of that.
To be fair, the same applies to the other institution I mentioned yesterday, so they are certainly not picking us out for special treatment.
The whole scenario is staggering. In a single day (last Thursday) they managed to destroy all the confidence we had ever had in them. Although I hope we are wrong, we have reached the conclusion that they aren't going to revert any time soon.
Really - I have never seen anything more stupid than that duplicate page comment from Google.
Google - you also have the biggest index of url onlys - errr - well done? - These pages dont even exist - they are not duplicates.
Ummmmm - very worried now by the people in control of G.
For Google to even think they are in the same league as Yahoo at the moment - they must be delusional.
Google - you know what is wrong with the index - sort it out, start again, but dont pretend that there is no problem - and certainly dont give the impression to the public that you are the best search engine when this problem is present.
We are in same boat, overnight set back 6 months for no reason I can work out.
What it does say to me is we have not concentrated enough on repeat visitors, though luckily we seem to have 40-50K a day who do check us every day. Which is enough to keep us ticking over. But still looking at a 70% loss in traffic and income.
I think we took a double whammy as a Google News site as well, since the two seem tied regards traffic. So I think from now on we will pay more attention to what Yahoo and MSN are up to as well as pushing ahead with alerts, news bulletins etc for users. Something we had on the back burner but that will make the site more sticky.
But I don't agree with those saying search engines owe web masters nothing. It is a symbiotic relationship I think...
Can only hope this is not complete and that someone who actually knows what has/is happening will weigh in.
I seem to be in a similar boat to Kimkia. My widget review site is hand coded and has been doing very nicely in Google. It's a hobby site though it earns me a bit of pocket money. But I really do it because it gives me a good excuse to get free widgets. I've never bothered with reciprocal linking or anything like that - I maintain that my reviews stand on their own merit and those that find them seem to like them (on the whole). Appearing in Google was a massive benefit to this.
Now I've disappeared. Where I could do a search for 'widget name review' or 'widget name creator' and come in the top three, I'm now nowhere. In fact, I use blogger to feed 'news' into my site, which is basically a tool for those looking to know when a new review comes up. These news stories get listed before the actual reviews.
I recently started a similar thing to Kimkia in that at the bottom of each review I put some links to reviews of similar widgets - 'If you like this widget, you might also like this' sort of thing. It was designed to keep people on my site and to help the visitor find more of the widgets that interest them.
My livlihood doesn't rest on this like a lot of you guys but I've seen my visitor rate drop off dramatically. What I percieve to be badly designed sites with poor navigation and shorter, less informed reviews are now rife in the search results. My site is nowhere.
I think Google has a responsiblity to look into individual cases like this. I don't think it can argue that it's the best search engine when its results appear, to me at least, to be in decline. I can understand the rational behind stopping spammers from bombarding the results with rubbish, but when perfectly innocent sites are being hit as badly as it seems they are from this thread, I think the only answer is to do a roll-back of the results and start the work on the algo again. Something has gone badly wrong and I certainly won't be using Google for my personal searches until I'm assured that the results I'm going to see are the best sites for my search terms.
Hello Yahoo, I'm sorry I've been so fickle with you in the past. Will you have me back?
[edited by: wordmonkey at 9:35 am (utc) on Sep. 28, 2005]
Listen Google - I will say this only another 99 times. The canonical url for my site is the homepage with the www - I have done the 301 - this is the page with the most backlinks - it is the page that should rank for the company name search. Etc.
For some bizarre reason it is not the page with the highest PR!!!
Does anyone there understand?
Eric Schmidth is the 52nd wealthiest man in America, according to Forbes. You think he has time to read your letters, Reseller?
>>Eric Schmidth is the 52nd wealthiest man in America, according to Forbes. You think he has time to read your letters, Reseller?<<
Yes he will, especially if he is the 52nd wealthiest man in america. Trust me.
We just need more reporters to visit this thread ;-)
>>>>Eric Schmidth is the 52nd wealthiest man in America, according to Forbes. You think he has time to read your letters, Reseller?
Hmmmmz - you would think however that he would have advisors who would check his facts and make sure that he knows what he talks about?
Listen Google - I will say this only another 98 times. The canonical url for my site is the homepage with the www - I have done the 301 - this is the page with the most backlinks - it is the page that should rank for the company name search. Etc.
"We can't even be found now on the name of processes we invented! Goodness knows what the searching public think of that."
For what it's worth we are already fielding questions on this. We may end up having to put something on our website and in our literature explaining the issue, and that our 'crime' was adding a new library to the site!
Scratching the surface, like we have done over the last week, and understanding how many sector essential/defining sites must have been chopped: well it does make it rather difficult to continue to use Google as a search tool. Every result page I see on there I find myself wondering what great sites must be missing through erroneous and OTT filtration. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
That is twice, now, that I have seen messages from (educational) Institutions staggered by what Google-changes have done to their website SERPs. One is above (Salon99) and the other (cannot find the link now) was a UK institution with a USA-server that could not feature in Google-UK SERPs. In both cases they banned the G-Bots from all or part of their site.
It is the most hopeful sign that I have seen, since G has hit them in their most vulnerable part - their pride.
Such institutions are not driven by economic necessity in quite the same way that we independant webmasters are. But imagine the bad-mouthing that they are now going to spread around.
Not the short-term fix that most of us would wish, but what a result in the medium-to-long term!
Without seeing Salon99 site I can only guess.
But I guess that it is a non-www/www canonical url problem rather than adding the library.
This bug has undermined the index for about a year.
>>Listen Google - I will say this only another 98 times.<<
"Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and you shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened to you..." ;-)
"But I guess that it is a non-www/www canonical url problem rather than adding the library"
We are actually quite confident that it is adding the library that must have caused it, as the library is extremely large. That is the only change we have made for a long long time. I think the same applies to the other inst I mentioned, who had also added resources fairly recently.
The thing is though that we have no intention whatsoever of deleting it again. We'll just work around it as mentioned above.
I caution everyone to think this a mistake they did. I re-checked all of my work, and could only find 4 pages that were questionable. I also tracked down the 4 remaining site copiers and had them remove copies of my pages.
I feel like I've done everything in my power as a webmaster to make my site "search-engine friendly", and it still is according to Yahoo and MSN. I think Google is the one who screwed this up. And I'm sure the SERPS I'm looking at are using backlink data from January.
So as mentioned earlier in the thread are we looking at s situation where entire domains have been penalized because a portion of the site is duplicate content?
I have one site that by it's nature is duplicate content. It's rankings are unaffected. Maybe because every other "competitor" is duplicate content so it's a wash?
Google is clearly bug ridden.
If you can access your site from non-www and www I would look there too.
This bug is huge - loads of sites have been effected - Google knows about it - you get the occasional hint that they admit to it, you can see attempts at a fix for the bug.
The bug exists - it is real - they have not fixed it yet - they try - but they might not be able to :(
Listen Google - I will say this only another 97 times. The canonical url for my site is the homepage with the www - I have done the 301 - this is the page with the most backlinks - it is the page that should rank for the company name search. Etc.
I agree, the most striking thing I noticed about this was that the results for our "site name" are almost identical to those of 6 months ago...very odd.
>>And I'm sure the SERPS I'm looking at are using backlink data from January. <<
Which IP of Google.com you are looking at?
I'm looking at www. And I mean this is the EXACT crappy results from January.
How do I know this to be true? We'll take the example of my main competitor and uber-spammer, who was finally derailed in June. He has over 700,000 links according to Yahoo, all invisible, all from a cross-linked network of domains. He was completely banned in June.
He is back in action, with all 10 of his sites ranking in the top 20, all with NO backlinks according to Google. I checked his source, and he removed the invisible links. So what link power is making this fool rise to the top again? This is a snapshot of backlinks made at the beginning of this year. As soon as the real backlink totals come in, I expect him to plummet and me to rise again.
Hmmmz- backlink data from Jan?
Well I have got backlinks that have a cache date of November 2004 - I also have backlinks in place since Jan showing.
My theory is that Google has a base index - one of these base indexes was clearly the massive crawl that was done in November last year.
Unfortunately - this crawl was flawed and perhaps the problems stem back to that time (lots of supplementals from November 2004 time too)
However, there also seems to other base crawls that still appear (even older)
Whatever - google is clearly bug-ridden - wonder when the next big crawl is - maybe, hopefully things will improve then.
But for some reason I doubt it.
"So what link power is making this fool rise to the top again?"
he's obviously less of a fool in the SEO arena than everyone below him.
He's smarter than me because he ranks higher? LOL. I completely disagree.
i don't mean it all personal like that.
My only point was that he's obviously not that foolish if his site is doing well.
I see heavy movements at the moment on the DCs for my testing keyphrases.
Here are few of the Dcs that have shown changes today (since yesterday) within the sector I watch. How about your sector?
Sure blows the "build helpful pages" theory out of the water, doesn't it?
I honestly don't know what Google wants anymore. When I build pages that aren't optimized for search engines at all, I'm wasting my time. The SEs don't find them! So how helpful is that?
We're not supposed to do anything in the way of SEO for the benefit of the SEs, but if we don't the SEs never find the page, and if they do, it's buried at #126 in the SERPs, so no one actually finds it.
Dumping all the affiliate pages seems contrary to Google's new "bigger than anyone else" stance. Allowing them back in would add millions of "new" pages to the index.
I really don't know what Google wants, but I'm tired of doing a specific search, only to find pages with little content rated way above my page, which has loads of content and is the only one on the Internet with this content. It just doesn't make sense.
Well guys, it seems Google update is still running, but I think this is its last stage. However it still doesn’t looks good for most of my web sites. 30% traffic loss! Here is another article I found with pretty cool scenarios of this current situation ...
Check it out:
I'd relax on the url's its probably against TOS here.
Sorry, but anyway it's intresting and I couldn't paste so big article because of copyrights, or?
However, this guys showed just a little bit different view of current things right now, don't you think so?