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Google Hand Tweaks - Just for Spam or Editorial Reasons Too?
martinibuster




msg:3619574
 10:35 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

A colleage saw his critical page about a certain corporation drop out, go poof. It was number two just below the official page. But I thought you needed court order or DMCA for something like that.

Thoughts?

 

Syzygy




msg:3619582
 10:50 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Drop out? Has it come back? Is it further down in the listings? Temporary? Is it com, uk, nl, es, etc?

Anything more specific?

Syzygy

jimbeetle




msg:3619584
 10:53 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Any comment below the SERPs about pages being removed because of whatever? That's usual if Google removes something because of DMCA or some such action.

Barring that it's, well, I don't know what. All the usual suspect stuff including Sergey burped. There's been a lot of bouncing around going on at G lately. I guess have him or her sit tight for a coupla' three of days as they dig down in to see if they can spot some sort of reason.

martinibuster




msg:3619586
 10:56 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Drop out? Has it come back? Is it further down in the listings? Temporary? Is it com, uk, nl, es, etc?

Well, I think that's kind of a different issue for this discussion. I don't want to diagnose the reasons why the site dropped. The claim that Google might hand tweak the algo to minimize corporate identity issues is what raised my eyebrows and concerned me.

No comments below the SERPs, that would be a DMCA or court ordered issue. This person suspects that an editorial decision outside of the usual reason of spam may have been made. In which case I don't think they'd put a disclaimer. As far as I comprehended, I didn't think they did that. Or do they?

Miamacs




msg:3619621
 12:41 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some sites I manage outrank certain companies for certain keywords where it'd really make sense for image manager people to complain. Except that if they *did* complain, and Google *acted* on their behalf, Google'd have a lot of explaining to do in court as to how this web search system thingie actually works. Mind you 'my' sites are all white-hat. It's just they are very popular on these topics.

One of the keywords was a brand name. All we had was a very strong page, a pretty positive *article* on them. This ranking, as expected, didn't last long: only a couple of years ...!

But even then, all that happened was that it was overtaken by the official page, and thus ours became #2, which it still is. Considering its link growth, this was fair enough.

The other day one of the *other* brand names this site ranked for stopped showing the page in the top 10. I had two thoughts initially, for the first one I folded a custom shaped tinfoil hat ( I wonder if your friend has one ) and pondered about recent job listings posted at Google ( a fact's a fact ). The other was: we don't have not one link with the anchor text of a *very* common variant for this brand name ( which is incorrect, yet often searched ).

I corrected the problem.
The ranknig came back.
( this happened two months ago, ranking is still there. )

...

I've never seen 'brand image' kind of editorial manipulation of the SERPs over these phrases... even though I bet some of my / my partners' / affiliates' sites are really making a few PR people crazy. Mind you they're all postivie / supportive of the brands, services they are about. And none of them were selling stuff directly.

Thus I don't buy the story of such manipulation. Google'd have too much to lose.

If they really did edit out a listing, there's something about it that was illegal/unethical or already covered in their guidelines in the first place.

What I can imagine: related words, brands, company names turning into monitored ( 'competitive' , 'high trust' ) words overnight. Whether this can be done on request... who knows. But all it'd do is set the bar... very... very high.

If they managed to get rid of a listing with the algo, the page lacked** something vital, or had something in excess, making it unwanted in the top league ( for this phrase ).

...

** : What I *do* see often, is Google's understanding of phrases and their relations getting better. Some words suddenly get included in the matrix of semantically related keywords, and thus get their own trust threshold to filter SERPs with. Also, from then on, a healthy link profile will have variations of the now admitedly 'competitive' word/phrase. Any and every 'new' aspect of phrase and trust based filtering, reranking gets turned on: co-occurrence, anchor text variations, percentages, everything will be monitored. A site that's lacking in *either* deparments could disappear overnight. Example: new brand name gets included on the list of monitored words and/or categorized along the related subjects/keywords. For this you can always check AdWords, see what their sytem thinks.

[edited by: Miamacs at 12:49 am (utc) on April 5, 2008]

steveb




msg:3619626
 12:50 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

It could just be a 950 issue, or lots of other things, but if somebody could complain to get rid of crtical pages, I imagine a search for Daniel Brandt would soon return only one result...

jimbeetle




msg:3620200
 5:53 am on Apr 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

This person suspects that an editorial decision outside of the usual reason of spam may have been made. In which case I don't think they'd put a disclaimer. As far as I comprehended, I didn't think they did that. Or do they?

I see where I think you're going here, but as far I think we know the only editorial type stuff lies with the search quality folks. Now again, always a disclaimer, we really don't know how this feedback is fed into the system. I'd *assume* that if a page or site were adding to the "conversation" -- in whatever light -- it would be (barring other factors) positively reviewed.

Sheesh, can I get more whishy-washy than what I almost and not quite said above?

I don't know of any other Google editorial on-off switch (again, quibbling, as far as I've seen). It might exist, but I doubt it; I think G would *have to* add a disclaimer if it did exist.

Robert Charlton




msg:3620206
 6:54 am on Apr 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, I think that's kind of a different issue for this discussion. I don't want to diagnose the reasons why the site dropped. The claim that Google might hand tweak the algo to minimize corporate identity issues is what raised my eyebrows and concerned me.

Without knowing why the site dropped or where it ended up, it's necessary to say that there are a great many algorithmic factors in Google that could cause a sudden drop, and therefore it's possible that the drop was due to any one of these.

We've had discussions in the past about whether AdWords advertising might affect rankings, and the prudent answer has always been that Google isn't likely to risk its corporate reputation on such kind of manipulation.

I'd have to say the same thing about corporate identity issues, particularly when Google has been unwilling to manipulate serps where some socially offensive sites have risen to the top.

Bewenched




msg:3620218
 8:17 am on Apr 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't know of any other Google editorial on-off switch (again, quibbling, as far as I've seen). It might exist, but I doubt it; I think G would *have to* add a disclaimer if it did exist.

Google may not state that they give editorial preferences to particular sites. However they have made it public that they do partner with sites. Amazon for one. And we all know how they dominate for products most of the time even though they display duplicate content even within their own site.

They have maybe hundreds of the same product being sold by different people, displaying the same descriptions that are stock from the manufacturer.

fishfinger




msg:3620226
 9:06 am on Apr 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Looks who is 4th for 'PayPal'. You'd think that if PayPal can't get critical websites dinged then no-one else can.

Think also of the Googlebombs for 'miserable failure' (George Bush) and 'liar' (Tony Blair). Despite being public knowledge for months if not years these were removed finally by an algo tweak and not manually.

However Google did manually interfere with it's 'related' suggestion for searches for English footballer Ashley Cole to remove the prompt "Did you mean 'Ashley Cole Gay'?" after threat of legal action.

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