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27 June screwup - theory part 2
ontrack

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 2:37 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

<continued from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/35125.htm [webmasterworld.com]>

Does anyone have any input on why if this (June 27) is a mistake it is taking so long to fix?

[edited by: tedster at 7:44 pm (utc) on July 18, 2006]

 

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 3:00 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Because its not a mistake, it was a tweak to the algo.

Here are some quotes from matt cutts right off his blog

"Bontar, I believe any changes on the 27th were refreshing data used by an existing algorithm"

"AKA, that’s what happened. Arubicus, the change went through evaluation just like any other change and showed a positive improvement. This is not something that’s radically new; this set of algorithms has been live for a while. I’m pretty sure that there will be another refresh of that data in the next 2-3 weeks, so we keep iterating to improve things based on our evaluation and the feedback that we get."

It was a change that was implemented by google.....

whitenight

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 3:17 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Because its not a mistake, it was a tweak to the algo.

Makes you wonder what quality control checks are in place at G.
What determines "improvement"?

Funny considering MC's recent post about skewing stats/metrics.
What stats are they looking at that determine improvement or decline?

Are they based on:
User behavior? If so, what?
Search engine control teams that look at the first, second, third page of thousands of pre-determined keywords?
Adsense revenue?

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 3:29 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Whiteknight,

I think its just the beginning of the change, with changes recently to page rank I have a feeling the serps will change. Notice in Matt's statement he mentioned another data refresh....

soapystar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 4:15 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

blimey..can someone point me to a time this year when data WASNT refreshed?

Martin40

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 4:27 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Arubicus, the change went through evaluation just like any other change and showed a positive improvement.

Well, that's what they always say and then a few weeks later the situation is reverved to the pre-update situation. What noticable updates have we seen lately, anyway? Jagger was not a real update. It was reversed beginning Feb. and served to keep spammers out of the xmas sales, only.
BD was an infrastructure update, not an algo update and the current update that was already going on before 6/27 has the same charateristics as Jagger: high PR sites in front, probably an anti-spam measure. But users don't like to have all the dinosaurs in front, so this update will be reversed too. The question is: what's at stake now? Summer sales (whatever that is), spam in the travel sector?
Now with everflux the question arises: if an "update" is noticable to most people, is it a real update? Google has been at it for so long, what are the chances they are going to find a tweak that will radically improve the SERPs?
I maintain that with an update we should be able to find characteristics, because that's the purpose of an algo update: to change the SERPs in a meaningful way.
And what's with the "site:" trouble? Is that part of the update?

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 4:38 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google is also trying to fight the subdomain spam. I just reported close to 500,000 page site to google that was subdomain spam with redirects.

Until they get this subdomain spammer under control, I think we will see wild fluctuations as they experiment with filters.

Martin40

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 5:11 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just reported close to 500,000 page site to google that was subdomain spam with redirects.

Trinothlightning, you're wearth your weight in gold, as well a pillar of the community.
What you're saying is quite plausible. Maybe anti-spam is a goal within itself at the moment, in view of the recent bulk spam cases.

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 5:29 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, the site I came across today that I reported showing 500,000 pages all supplemental instead of in the regular index. So that tells me that google is doing something about it. It could very well be the reason why pages are going supplemental in some cases.

Keep in mind, google wants the algo to throw out the subdomain spam, so I would venture to say that they make a tweak to the algo, sit back and see how it impacts those spam pages.

Unfortunately, if they do not set it quite right, good pages get hit as well. So my advice, sit back and wait. Matt is aware of the spammer and stated on his blog that he is going to address it. I imagine he will write a blog once they figure out the right changes to the algo they need to make.

One thing for sure, I would not be creating any subdomain pages until this works its way out and we all see the impact.

Hissingsid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 6:30 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

The problem is you get the butterfly flutters its wings in China problem.

Google makes a change which sorts out one problem in one area and cause a minor disaster in another. It truly is in chaos.

The whole thing has got too big to control.

Sid

[edited by: Hissingsid at 6:32 pm (utc) on July 17, 2006]

toothake

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 7:01 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

"I have a feeling the serps will change. "
me too ;)

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 8:08 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Does anyone have any input on why if this (June 27) is a mistake it is taking so long to fix?"

They have made other obvious mistakes for the past three years, many of which still are not fixed. This isn't like replacing a bad spark plug. The Google index doesn't turn on a dime.

They have made this very same mistake at least four times since September 2005, and a few more since February 2005. Nothing new here. Pages hurt this time might recover in a month or two when they next do a data refresh of this type, or they might stay hurt for months more.

The idea that Google is perfect and everything they do is because they want to do it is nutso. They screwed up on the 27th. They've screwed up horribly the past ten days with all this blog garbage. They'll screw something up next week and next month. We all screw up things in our businesses, sometimes things hard to fix. Google's screw ups just impact more people.

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 9:13 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Steve,

I understand your frustration, one of my sites has been hit, the other two actually improved. I do not believe they improved because of the algo change, I believe they changed because I made changes to get in google's guidelines. Sitting and waiting can be frustrating, best advice, work on the effected sites, check meta tags, make sure coding is right and add some good content.

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 9:45 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm not "frustrated" and I think that reflects why you have a problem seeing what is going on here. Forget about your sites. Judging things based on how a person's own stuff does accomplishes nothing except to make a person powerless and clueless.

Worse though is people who ignore history are condemned to repeat it. This phenomenon is very old news now. It happens every few months, and every time a new batch of newly effected webmasters ignore what has happened to others, wonder why their problems aren't fixed in days (when others have waited more than a year) and go on fools errands of trying to figure out why Google deliberately dropped a plate on the floor. Google is just doing what they do, which is doing some things right and screwing up others.

kidder

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 10:45 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Steve,

At the end of the day it does not matter what we think, what matters is G shareholders and what Joe public thinks when he searches google. I am sure that is the google perspective anyway. Right now search results are crap. But does Joe public notice and or care enough to swith to MSN or Yahoo? We don't know the exact scale of this problem, search volumes must be the same so there should be a whole lot of happy webmasters out there on the flip side... But they might just be wearing black hats.

sandpetra

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 11:13 pm on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am actually seeing a stability in the serps for all my clients - generally for the good.

Am I the only one? Of course I see the spam sites.

One or two of my site target adsense but the vast majority are client sites optimised by I hope White seo (possibly grey for my older sites which I am eradicating?).

Sometimes I wonder - are the webmasters at this forum developing sites for themselves (ie optimised to the full and geared up for "nicking" traffic from Google) or genuine businesses individually targetting natural search traffic for bona-fide bricks and mortar businesses.

If the former - is it any wonder we see Google kicking the stuffing out of sites at this forum?

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 12:31 am on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, a lot of voices do not necessarily complain about google, we are used to the flux. I for sure do not put all my eggs in the google business. There are many places to get bonafide traffic from.

egomaniac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 12:45 am on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just had a conversation with a friend over the weekened. This friend is an "average Joe" when it comes to using Google. He doesn't optimize websites for good rankings like those of us here.

He said that things had become noticeably harder to find in Google for about the last 6-9 months. And that they had gotten particularly bad in the last month or so.

So some non-SEO types are noticing a degradation of search quality.

arubicus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 2:49 am on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

"So some non-SEO types are noticing a degradation of search quality. "

What is really sad is that it dosen't matter if they are degrading. There is no compeditor close enough right now to even match the degraded results! So the average joe would still use the degraded search as their primary search facility since those results are still better than everyone elses. Maybe every once in a while shoot over to a different SE but again for what?

oaktown

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 3:06 am on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

FWIW, I am of the opinion that we are seeing a convergence of three factors. A "perfect storm" if you will.

1) G's efforts to combat spammers/black hat SEO are now getting in the way of delivering high-quality search results. I sense most of us would agree with this. The results are really something my neighbor's dog might leave on my lawn.

If we look at things from the user's perspective, it stands on its own, as a pile of dung (scraper sites, directories, spam, etc.).

The final proof of this (to me at least) is that the "Find web pages that link to www.example.com" data is wrong. It is always wrong. It is way wrong. To keep SEOs from seeing what links G knows about, they show only a fraction of the actual links (largely, I suspect the weakest or most obvious ones). If I do it in G, for one of my sites, I get 390+ inbound links. If I do the same in Y, it shows 7,200! They have rendered a potentially valuable tool useless, just to hinder SEO. This is truly the tail wagging the dog. (hat tip to stevexyz for stating it so clearly.)

2)Hissingsid got it right, I think. G fixes something over here, and breaks something over there.

3) I can't recall whether it was in this thread or elsewhere that someone said something to the effect of "G is tweaking the slgo, pushing it live and watching to see what happens." I have had this feeling for quite some time. I do not get the feeling that G is doing major testing before updating. I DO get the feeling that they say "let's do this and see what results we get. I would describe this behavior as "flailing blindy".

Of course I could be mistaken. Maybe G hasn't become so obsessed with defeating spammers that they are blindly trying one "tweak" after another, with each effort making things worse and frequently requiring a rollback.

Anybody want to join me in raising some money to pay the ransom to whoever kidnapped Googleguy and Adam? I'm sue that once released from the "undisclosed location" where they are being held, they could quickly shed some light on this (beyond saying that everything would be fixed in a couple of weeks).

kidder

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 6:49 am on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

1 thing that keeps coming back to me is that the older of my 3 main sites seems to be the worst hit. It does not even rank for it's domain name search. Previous to June 27th or "brown day" as I call it this site has been immune to everything. Many of the problem sites seem to be well established older sites so maybe this is some type of dead wood enema google is undertaking. Age of domain may just not carry the same clout as it did prior to June 27th.

wanderingmind

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 7:13 am on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

"So some non-SEO types are noticing a degradation of search quality. "

I have seen this, and variations of this, appearing in WW again and again over the last 2 years.

It has had no effect on Google.

nippi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 7:28 am on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The big issue for me, is removal of pages from the index.

If they were indexed in the first place, are not duplicate content... to now trip some filter which sets a low maximum number of pages allowed for a site.... which still allows the site to rank for its key terms is just plain silly.

androvboy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 7:55 am on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

"The final proof of this (to me at least) is that the "Find web pages that link to www.example.com" data is wrong. It is always wrong. It is way wrong. To keep SEOs from seeing what links G knows about, they show only a fraction of the actual links"

It has been like this for yonks! Of course they switched it off because everyone was just clicking on "show backlinks" in the google toolbar to find sites to link to and from!

But 90% of the time if you just search like usual on the pure domain name like "joeswidgets.com" (include the """") and you will get the link results you want!

toothake

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 8:22 am on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

"The big issue for me, is removal of pages from the index."
[mattcutts.com...]
Michael Curry Said,
welcome to * blog” “here are some links”
Very Very interesting.
"Father forgive them, they not know what they do"
Jesus from Nazareth said.
(not me)

donelson

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 12:12 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's a new idea --

Perhaps the algorithm "adjustment" is now paying more attention to outgoing "authority" links on websites?

I have seen several sites move above our own (main site), and although they have far less info on our main topic than we do, they seem to have more outgoing links to other websites.

What do you think?

mattg3

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 12:17 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

It seems that they also ruined the image search. A picture that was dead easy to find on Google images 3 weeks ago is now nowhere to be found. :\ It's not my image, just a scene explaining how some movie trick was done. Instead I get useless posters, trashy student night out pics .. :\

decaff

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 12:23 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

"So some non-SEO types are noticing a degradation of search quality. "

What is really sad is that it dosen't matter if they are degrading. There is no compeditor close enough right now to even match the degraded results! So the average joe would still use the degraded search as their primary search facility since those results are still better than everyone elses. Maybe every once in a while shoot over to a different SE but again for what?

This is probably close to how G is looking at any changes they make...AND...of course...they watch what these changes do to revenue in "real time" ... (I know that they have a "war room" where all their global data is displayed for analysis and real time scrutiny...)

They work within a set of acceptable thresholds with the bottom line revenue issues being the least tolerant....

Along the way...expect collateral damage ... no matter how good their attempts are at controlling spam...

Martin40

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 4:25 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Currently, in my country people feel forced by their herd instinct to use Google and they hate Google for it (instead of their instinct). Recently the Google board sold their stock, which suggests that they think Google has reached it's peak.
I recently said that Google's competitors are half-hearted, but actually I was referring to the whole package, including marketing, page lay-out etc and the (lack of) priority that search has to them (i.e. Yahoo/MSN). As for search quality, imo MSN was more than good enough before the summer update, that is, good enough for the avarage user. If MSN would be marketed properly, the're no reason why they couldn't compete with Google, but Google is all-search, MSN is just a subdivision of a software producer.
But at some point some group of people will think, hey, we can do this and find it's far from impossible for a startup to become a successful search engine, look how fast MSN developed the past 1.5 years. Some top geeks and a marketing crew with fresh ideas can do this. Yeah! :-)

[edited by: Martin40 at 4:25 pm (utc) on July 18, 2006]

Pico_Train

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3012637 posted 4:58 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Goohoosoft - Still my favourite name for a search engine.

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