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Is Google Update "Bourbon" affecting your publishing site?
Dramatic loss of traffic this weekend?
Undead Hunter

 8:48 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Folks:

Over on the Google News thread [webmasterworld.com], there's talk that many legitimate publishers are taking a major hit this weekend.

Just wondering how many AdSense publishers are affected?

We've lost more than 3/4 of our traffic. PR 5, 7 year old domain with more than 750 articles. More 285 links in, on the DMOZ for years. Just broke the Alexa Top 100,000 last month, too.

Even a search for our unique domain name doesn't bring us up until Page Two results, where we used to be # 1.

Needless to say, we're losing 80% of our revenue overnight, the way things look yesterday and today.

It seems more than strange that legitimate sites like ours and many others are going down, while scraper sites and others are in place.

Obviously, if this is wide spread, Google will see a hit in their AdSense revenue...



 6:13 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've survived every other update just fine until this one. :(

I've survived every update so far, including this one, with some eccentric changes in SERPs but no significant overall change in traffic. I feel for any "white hat" website operator who gets taken down by "friendly fire" in the fight against SPAM. There, but for the grace of Googlebot....


 6:43 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

This last update was a disaster. Here are a couple of examples:

1. On one of my biggest sites (I've published it for five years), Google managed to drop all my existing pages, but retain all the my old publishing system pages that haven't been on-line for over a year. In other words, every page listed in Google leads to a "page not found" error. The results are the opposite of what they should be. And this site is PR6.

2. I have a unique slogan on one of my sites, and as a test I searched for it in Google. About 100 scraper sites are listed with my info --- but my site is not one of them!

The whole concept of how search engines work is obsolete. Put in some popular phrase and get 70,000,000 matches. There are so many matches that the idea of giving you the "best 10" doesn't even make sense. You're really just seeing the 10 that somehow got filtered through their ever-changing algorythm.

The results need to be intelligently organized and presented as sub-topics or grouped in some other way that humans can deal with.


 6:59 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Y'all(the ones complaining about lost traffic) need to stop complaining about the update and get to work. Same thing happened to me, back in mid-December, after I'd given up my own business for Adsense. I've published many 100's of pages containing quality content, stuff you can't find anywhere else, I know, I looked around. Google became only 4% of my site traffic. That was my reward.

They went from sending me tons of visitors, to almost nothing. I got to work, building an Internet presence and making sure Google knew that I didn't need their traffic, I'll get it on my own and I did.

I'm back on top of the serps now.


 7:13 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Every update lowers my traffic from Google. I've pretty much given up on SEO entirely. I think that's their goal though so they must be doing something right I guess ;-)


 7:37 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was into SEO, back in the day, even before you could make money at it. I just wanted the thrill of seeing #1 in serps. Ahh... to feel important.

Doesn't work anymore, IMO.


 7:43 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

spaceylacie, good point its not good to depend on google, but one thing, if we get to the point that we give up and lets this scrapers sites take over which seems to be the case then we loose the internet browsers loose and the scrapers win, I mean is it so hard for google indexer to see when a site is a scraper or not or they just dont care


 7:46 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Scraper sites are Google's problem, not ours. That's what I think. In my niche, I've seen tons of scrapers come and go, they don't intimidate me.


 8:11 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

They dont intimidate you thats good to hear, I guess you havent being hit hard by them, Emagine working hard in making a great content site, and ranking lower then them,
Its not intimidation that most of us have is anger at a situation that we believe Google can solve but they just dont want to.

And the bottom line is, many sites depend on google to Exist, should it be that way not, but it is.


 8:24 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have been hit, hit hard. I'd call 4% of traffic from Google... hit hard.


 2:22 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Third day report ... we're slightly above normal. Maybe 10% in terms of revenue.

Back to less paying clicks.

Those two days were very exciting.

Does anyone know of a way to track the pages that are getting clicks for adsense on your site?


 3:09 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Scraper sites are Google's problem, not ours.

I dunno about that one, I think that scraper sites are the bane of the internet; they are everyone's problem, from search engines, to advertisers to publishers. (kind of like parasites of any sort.)

I wish there was both an algorithmic way to filter scapers out of search engine results, and, the intiative to do so.

For eg. all those dmoz scrapers all have similar URL strings, cant they just filter that crap out?

Or, maybe... if there was somthing like a human edited directory, which was run strictly by some sort of conglomerate of advertisers. Then they could pick only bona-fide sites, and exclude the crap. Then, the results from seaches would actually be worth something more quantifiable.


 4:12 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google referers are now running a far distant third behind Yahoo (45%) and MSN (38%) on our main "information only" site.

Google was solid above 40% since Yahoo dropped Google results from their SERPS but they have dropped to a traffic level close to Ask Jeeves, Dogpile, Mamma, and "Unknown search engines."

I guess if that is the kind of company they want to keep then they are succeeding.


 5:41 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

ok, it's about an hour before the Adsense stats flip to the new day (25th for me) and my earnings are up approx 40% for the day. page ctr is about 11% and ecpm is about $19 - and those numbers are network wide across nearly 2 dozen sites in various niches.

Burbon has been very good to me. Hmmm. Maybe that'll be my drink of choice from now on. I can certainly afford it now ;-)



 10:17 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Bourbon wasn't pleasant, but it has learnt me that you can't always win. Sometimes earnings won't continue to grow but will take a serious dip.

Before Bourbon I averaged at $175 a day while Sunday my earnings dropped below $70. Yesterday I managed to reach $100/day but I'm still wondering whether I should cry or be happy..

Luckily I'm now even more determined to reach my $333 per day goal.


 11:53 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm willing to get in on starting our own human edited search engine. Since we all have the best sites out there, we could put our sites sitting pretty in the serps. Fight the power!


 2:50 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Luckily I'm now even more determined to reach my $333 per day goal.

Good luck.

Any strategy in mind?
Content, content, content?

I am afraid that, unless you are extremely familiar with the understanding of weirdness of Google's algo, it's gonna be very, very hard.


 3:19 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm with spacie on starting our own directory. I've given it some thought, like a directory all done by humans with only the best (I may not even qualify).

That's a huge task, though look at Google, it was started by just two guys.

Short of that, spacie, could you share any tips on what you did to get traffic from sources other than the Great Googly God?

I've been hit hard here, lost about 75% of traffic, and I'm tired of dealing with Google's very unprofessional tactics.


 3:43 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yahoo, it was nice of them, took me under their wings a bit. Mainly though, I just tried to keep every visitor that came through, if you leave before signing up for my free newsletter or before bookmarking this site, fear Armageddon! Well, not that bold...

Links with other popular sites too, actually. I got a link on a major message board in my niche, on every page of the board, this brought me as many visitors, just about, as Yahoo, after Google decided they didn't like me anymore:(. Free link exchange, they didn't ask much in return, just one prominent link on a popular page. Stuff like this is how I kept visitors.


 7:10 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here is my theory... Some sites may be making to much money from Adsense. The only way to cut this down is to sink the sites in the serps. The other way is to deliver bad ads. However, that would look bad for the adsense program. Therefore, it is my conclusion sites were making to much and taking away from clicks they could get from the main serps. Google sometimes likes to take the 100% cut. They must have some algo that values your site in terms of adsense dollars and delivers appropriate number of visitors from the serps so that you meet that dollar amount. If you site is worth $100 a day, it knows it needs to deliver 2000 people from the serps. Beyond this, a site can have no further traffic.


 7:16 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

You are aware, aren't you, that Google is presently actively working with webmasters to improve the CTR and CPM of their AdSense pages? Bizarre conspiracy theories are fine and dandy, but they make money when we make money.


 8:17 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

>Here is my theory... Some sites may be making to much money from Adsense. The only way to cut this down is to sink the sites in the serps.

I doubt it. It would terribly hurt Google's integrity and there is another, easier, way to cut earnings of publishers: smart pricing.

This 81 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 81 ( 1 2 [3]
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