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This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44 ( [1] 2 > >     
Why does Google hate me when Yahoo and MSN love me?

 3:11 am on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Now, I'm certain the original perception is that I'm just whining, but this is not the case. I have been infuriated before but now I'm just very interested, like a long time dejected friend, why Google perpetually ignores me no matter how good I am.

I keep saying Google because using the mass quantities of information I have absorbed about what to do and what not to do, I have, over the last 2.5 years, optimized and fixed my site up so it is beautiful.

As a result I am consistently on the first or second page of MSN and Yahoo for the keywords I target but Google keeps completely ignoring me.

I suppose my question is, aside from technical aspects, and the concept of "trust", is there a little thing that differs between Google and (MSN and Yahoo) that I seem to be missing?

In other words, is there some Google filter that has all of the following characteristics:

1. Google penalizes the hell out of you for this... by "the hell" I mean pushes you back to where you are no longer listed for those keywords.

2. Yahoo and MSN do not penalize you at all for it.

3. It is an uncommon thing that most SEO documents don't cover... for example, I recently registered my domains for 8 years rather than renewing it every year because I "heard" Google checks this.


Although I know no one knows for sure I'm certain there are a lot of people here who spend a lot more time examining the differences between Google and Yahoo and MSN.




 10:22 am on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Without looking in detail at your site, I cannot be specific, so this may be wrong.

but in general, a site that performs well in Y! and M$N but poorly in Google, usuallyvdoes so for one of two reasons.

1. The site is less than one year old.

2. There are linking issues.

In your case, examine all your outgoing links; if you have been involved in industrial link exchanges, dump them yesterday. If you have non-related reciprocal links, drop them today. If you have reciprocal links to directories, jettison them without delay. If you have links to any sites you genuinely do not recommend to your visitors, ask yourself why.

If any part of your site allows third party access (eg blog, forum), then introduce nofollow. Tighten up on moderation, and consider the value of signature links.

Use M$N and Y! to examine your incoming links, and consider applying to Quality Directories for stable, long term free links.


 11:26 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

No link exchanges except with highly related sites that I do recommend. No link exchanges with directories and no link exchanges with sites that are not on topic.

There are no forums or 3rd party content on the site.

Any other possibilities? (site is almost 3 years old now)


 11:29 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's generally related to links. Do you have links other than recips?


 11:30 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I had the same situation for almost three years; nowhere to be found in Google and #1 in MSN and Yahoo - and then boom - along came an update in May of 2005, and I was all over everywhere at #1 for my niche, and have been ever since. The site was not new, I hadn't done anything or made any changes - I have no idea why it went away for a couple of years, and even less idea why it came back. Such is Google.


 11:52 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

As others have already said, Google is much more sensitive in the area of links - both inbound links from other domains and those within the site. Yes, Yahoo and MSN look at links, but they are not so close to the "heart" of the algo, and so Google is much more protective of their link information. They watch over link profiles and anchor text much more closely.

For example, overuse of keywords in anchor text, even within the site itself, can hurt you on Google long before it does on Yahoo or MSN. Only Ask.com is arguably more sensitive to link manipulation - and even though their SERPs re not much of a target for traffic right now, Ask still won't even offer the public a link: operator, not even a strongly limited one like Google does.

Google also has some very interesting things going on, trying to make the algo do all the heavy lifting and still be scalable far into the future. These two patents can offer up some interesting factors on a close study:

History and Age Data [webmasterworld.com] - the 2005 patent
Human Editorial Input [webmasterworld.com] - the 2006 patent


 12:52 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have the same problem as Decius :-(

One of my sites ranks extremely well on Yahoo! and MSN. Unfortunately Google doesn't like it :( nearly every url is supplemental when I type "site:www.mysite.com" ... I don't understand why (I have solved duplicate content issues and redirected non-www to www).

My site is 11 months old.


 1:06 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

In this brave new world Google is creating, both Matt Cutts and Adam Lasnik have confirmed that low PR for a URL is a big factor in labeling it supplemental. If you get more PR circulating through your domain (from an increase in quality inbound links) that could do it.


 1:08 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Curiouser and curiouser.

Frederic1 and Decius; what are your policies on meta descriptions? Do you have them? Are they unique to each page?

Decius: You say Google ignores you; How exactly is Google treating you? Supplementary? Few listings? Penalty?


 1:32 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, I get traffic from Google, but for none of the keywords I am targeting... and lots of the keywords I am good for are ones that are so abstract that the PR flowing to that page probably hold it up there because Google doesn't have anything better to put there.

I own a large network of sites that are certainly off topic... And i have from the get-go linked to this site of mine from these sites (one way).

I'm quite certain a majority of the incoming PR is from that so I was always hesitant to remove it, but I have removed it now and will see how it goes.

So, to re-iterate, the two changes I've now implemented in desperation is the removal of incoming possibly off-topic links and registering the domains for 8+ years.

Meta tags are unique for all the pages... and do not re-include the title. The url generally contains the same keywords as the title, but I don't see how google can penalize me for that. Also, that wasn't always the case.


 4:19 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

First thing is to recognize that Google is not Yahoo!, is not MSN, is not ASK. They are different search engines with different algorithms.

That's like saying "all the jocks like me, why doesn't the chess club like me."

Next, why are you in a penalty mindset? By far the most common reason to not rank well is that you are not doing what google likes. Google only penalizes you when you do something that is a bit underhanded in their eyes.

Have you done anything underhanded in an attempt to rank better?

Did you happen to do a major site redesign in the last few months? Google is kinda slow at dealing with those. If you did such a redesign, did you specifically design it with Google as well as your users?

Did you make sure that you cleaned up any old junk files that might appear to be spammy if someone were to look at them?


 4:30 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

optimized and fixed my site up so it is beautiful...

First.."in the eye of the beholder" regarding anything beautiful..

Second..."optimized and fixed" means you have been focusing on the algorithm more then your human visitor...and since Google keeps very deep records of your many changes along the way...trying different things to "rank"...you site continues to be hit by filters (over optimization...or too many algo variables changes too many times trying to "rank" in Google..)

Solution...focus on your human visitors first and foremost...address every need they have...then set your site up so that human visitors can quickly navigate through and find what they are looking for (do you know what "they" are looking for?)..

Next..consider how your site is set up for the bots...but don't try to "feed" the bots what you think they want to see (on page variables)..rather...make your code streamlined (CSS) and your content top notch...AND...original...

Then focus you efforts on building real working business relationships (links) ...when you do this...you will build credibility in your sector and actual traffic to your site (that tends to convert well)...

Did you make sure that you cleaned up any old junk files that might appear to be spammy if someone were to look at them?

Make sure you don't have any indexold.html type files in your directory tree...only the actual files that represent your site...too many times I have come across a project where the site owner uses their server (virtual or dedicated) as their personal storage zone for anything ...(and much of this is not related to the site)...


 7:52 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is degrading to a "how to optimize for google" thread which isn't what the purpose is.

Do swear words or adult oriented words degrade your listings?


 8:00 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can find out if you are tripping the "Safe Search" filter on Google by changing your preferences to any one of the three levels they offer, and then repeating the search.


 8:10 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Okay, can't be the swear words. That's absolutely incorrect. I did a search for some random competitive keywords and some guys have some very adult oriented swearing and content and they are on the second page or first page. Most certainly harsher and worse than mine. So that is an incorrect suggestion.

To state that Google is a different animal than Yahoo and MSN is to state you know something everyone else doesn't. They are all search engines, and all spider websites and display results based on a scoring system. The method under which these scores differ is where these are different systems. Therefore, to discover where there are similarities and where there are differences to maximize your likeability is most certainly a legitimate inquiry.

The biggest change I've done now is removed a large incoming link site that has probably 50k pages. I launched that link promotion almost immediately after launching the site so perhaps Google thinks that this is "spammy". I will wait a week or so to see how this affects it.


 8:30 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

That sounds like a good step to me -- Google is extremely hawkish around anything they suspect to be link manipulation.


 8:54 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>So that is an incorrect suggestion.

It's a correct suggestion. Some words used in the context of other words being used on the same page can certainly trip a filter.

[edited by: tedster at 9:04 pm (utc) on Nov. 25, 2006]


 9:33 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm not overly concerned with the strict filter. If moderate is default and the main page shows up in that (which it does), I am content.

And it is not a correct suggestion (in this situation)... Algorithm filters that change your score are not the same as the filters they use to protect youngsters.

Unless there is some reason to believe that Google will actually penalize your ranking due to adult oriented words (or combinations of them) it is not relevant. (And if Google did do this, it would be beyond ridiculous. That is saying that adult oriented words make a site's information less valuable)

And given that other sites have worse words and rank a bazillion times higher than me for the keywords I target, it is unlikely I snagged the one keyword combination filter that Google really, really doesn't like.

Although there is no clear answer to this, I am leaning towards some error in my linking system and as I stated above, changed that. Although, I find it somewhat of a stretch to think Google would penalize me for 2.5 years based on this... That would mean Google things those are spammy links and have been spammy for 2.5 years.

That's dedicated spam!


 9:49 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>some error in my linking system

<Remember that you need> links back to your homepage from interior pages on the site.

The bottom line is that either sites hit the sweet spot with an algo and will rank well, or they don't and they won't.

[edited by: tedster at 9:05 pm (utc) on Nov. 25, 2006]


 10:48 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

The top has a link to the main page and is present on every page.

The bottom line is that either sites hit the sweet spot with an algo and will rank well, or they don't and they won't.



 6:02 pm on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

They're simply weighted differently. Forget page rank and keywords etc.....the main thing driving Google these days is Trust Rank. In their never-ending quest to fight spam, it's not just how many links, it's the AGE of the links and Trust Rank of the sites they come from. As just one example, an old dmoz link from 1998 is still treated like gold from Google while Yahoo and MSN could care less.


 6:12 pm on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Forget page rank and keywords etc.....the main thing driving Google these days is Trust Rank

No, don't forget anything. It's all important.

The main thing that TrustRank is driving is discussions on WebmasterWorld. It's the factor du jour. As soon as someone says that one specific thing is all you need to concentrate on, you should discount their advice, but note what they consider to be important and compare it to those who seem to pay attention to everything.


 6:53 pm on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

They are all search engines, and all spider websites and display results based on a scoring system.

A car and a kayak are both modes of transportation.

The method under which these scores differ is where these are different systems.

Knowing the difference between a kayak and a car will not help you to drive or paddle. They are completely different skills

You are much better off concentrating on what you need to learn, rather than concentrating on the differences.

Therefore, to discover where there are similarities and where there are differences to maximize your likeability is most certainly a legitimate inquiry.

It is certainly a legitimate inquiry, but one that isn't going to get you that far.

Look at the title of this discussion. You seem baffled that one search engine can hate you while two others can love you. The questions should simply be "Why does Google ate me?" The fact that those other two love you has noting to do with Google hating you. Not even Ferris Beuler was loved by everyone, no matter what the secretary at the school said.

[edited by: tedster at 9:11 pm (utc) on Nov. 25, 2006]


 9:58 pm on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Analyze your competitors inbound links. Separate the "real" links from the paid, the scrapers, the DMOZ clones, etc. and get to work acquiring similar (if not the same) links.

...And if you have paid links, scrapers, or DMOZ clones pointing to your site, don't expect those to help you rank in Google. (Heck, the paid links can get you penalized if the network you buy in to is spammy enough.)

This is degrading to a "how to optimize for google" thread which isn't what the purpose is.

The only way to help you get Google to hate you less is by sharing "how to optimize for google." Anything more specific than what has already been posted and it'd be a site review, which we don't really do at WebmasterWorld. Although, if you ever have the chance to do a site review at Pubcon [pubcon.com], it's an amazingly worthwhile activity. :)


 11:10 pm on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, we do want to optimize for Google... you are correct. But its important that every suggestion be one that may not be clearly identical to Yahoo and MSN... because as stated, the point is to find out where you will get nicked on Google whilst doing well on the others.


 12:56 am on Nov 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd like to summarize the ideas so far. The biggest differences in Google's scoring compared to Yahoo and MSN surround links.

1. Links within the domain: repetition of keywords in internal anchor text can trip a Google filter quicker

2. Links from other domains. There are many types of IBLs that Google may ignore, where Yahoo and MSN give credit. This is especially true when your backlink profile is unbalanced in one of these directions and does not show a healthy number of "natural" or spontaneous links.

--- a. your own "network" of domains (they're getting better at spotting common owership)
--- b. paid links
--- c. reciprocal links
--- d. low quality links (forum sigs, blog comments, FFA directories and link exchanges)
--- e. links from domains that Google has flagged not to pass on PR
--- f. rapid growth in one of the above areas

3. There are definitely other differences, for example in the area of things Google watches that others do not. Historical data, for example -- your history of on-page changes in the many areas of "SEO" rather than content changes obviously made to help visitors.

Just a few months ago, Matt Cutts blogged a kind of storm warning for webmasters who tend to experiment with many SEO ideas on a regular basis. You could easily do this a while ago. Today, your footprint remains indefinitely.


 1:17 am on Nov 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

And to check at Google against the competition to see how a site lines up by comparison, check for allintitle: (with and without quotes) and allinanchor: (with and without quotes) and also check for how a site is indexed with no filtering and with strict filtering on, how many pages are indexed and which ones for both searches. Also do link:www.domain.com (for an individual page) and linkdomain:domain.com (for the whole site including subdomains) searches at Yahoo Site Explorer to get an idea of the link profile.


 1:28 am on Nov 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Links within the domain: repetition of keywords in internal anchor text can trip a Google filter quicker

I am interested in this... Can you give me examples of what you think to be accurate in regards to bad internal linking and good internal linking in reference to this?

And further, do you think Google will penalize you or just ignore those?

[edited by: Decius at 1:29 am (utc) on Nov. 26, 2006]


 1:41 am on Nov 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's one generic example where I have seen a site recover: They wanted to be sure that their service ranked for "city name" and so they included "city name" in many (15+) navigation links on every page, including the main nav bar and some footer links. Their previously good rankings took a nose dive, but returned gradually, step-wise almost, after we restored a more natural balance to the use of keywords in links.


 1:49 am on Nov 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

So using the same anchor link as the title and the keywords in the actual URL... would that be considered as included in this or would that be good SEO?

How about keyword density in the url? Would Google be more picky about this than the others?

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