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Google snooping at my sites with + between keywords? Manual Penguin?
Oimachi2




msg:4474067
 11:48 am on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've seen in my logs that Google is hovering around my sites adding + between keywords.

Something like this:

blue+cheap+widgets

Looking at the logs it's from MOutain view with Google ISP, seems to be a human because I know what screen resolution, browers and operating system he is using.

Could this be proof that penguin is a manual penalty and Google staff is monitoring sites by hand?

The sites they are "visiting" are hit by penguin.

 

deadsea




msg:4474157
 2:55 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts justified a penalty on a site because he could type different keywords into a search box and get back the same content on different crawlable URLs. Sounds to me like this is that sort of test.

Oimachi2




msg:4474162
 3:02 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)


Matt Cutts justified a penalty on a site because he could type different keywords into a search box and get back the same content on different crawlable URLs


Can you specify what that means?...

Oimachi2




msg:4474165
 3:10 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google claims Penguin is not a manual penalty, I suspect that it is.

There is absolutely NO difference about the search keywords and the content of my pages.

I omited my URL and the keywords but it looks something like this:



Search Referral:

Host Name:yn-in-f85.1e100.netBrowser:IE 7.0
IP Address:74.125.178.85 [Label IP Address]Operating System:WinXP
Location:Mountain View, California, United States Resolution:1024x768
Returning Visits:0 Javascript:Enabled
Visit Length:Not Applicable ISP:Google

These are keywords that are 100% related to my site, and then even if it shows on #3 or so...

Afer Google checks it like this, it drops to #30 -

Seems like they are deliberatly manually manipulating rankings.

No Matt Cutts comments please!

jimbeetle




msg:4474171
 3:35 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

How are you getting from these visits to your conclusion that they are Penguin related?

netmeg




msg:4474175
 3:39 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

For someone asking questions about relieving penalties, you have a lot of restrictions on what you want to hear.

Oimachi2




msg:4474185
 3:50 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi Netmeg,

The reason I said that is that everybody always answers with a "canned" Google TOS answer. Seems like half the webmasters on this site work for Google ;)

I'm open to everything of course.

Has anybody seen this pattern before? These stats are from Statcounter

To Deadsea:

Sorry I jumped the gun a little, every time I hear Matt Cutts I do...

To Jimbeetle:

Yes, these "surprise visits" from Google are from Penguin hit sites, but since my sites are on the same server, seems like it's an epidemic, they seem to spread to all my sites slowly but surely

blackhatsejournalist




msg:4474192
 3:56 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why do this thing manually when they can hire the best programmers in the world?

Do big G really care so much about quality?
I doubt it.

Oimachi2




msg:4474202
 4:01 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

They claim it's not manual, "Penguin is an algorythm change and not a manual penalty"...yeah, right!

That's their official story from my friend "Matt Cutts".

But it seems like it might be manual after all.

I'm on standby for an expert to prove me wrong on this.

deadsea




msg:4474226
 4:34 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

When you say they are playing around with keywords, you mean on your URL right. Somthing like http://example.com/mysite.php?category=abc+def+efg ? Or do you mean that those keywords are in the referrer url? I had assumed the former.

The site that I was referring to was a shopping comparison site. They had a "search by price" feature. You typed in a price (like $.99) and got a list of products back. The url was usually something like http://example.com/?price=0.99 Matt Cutts noted that if you visited url like http://example.com/?price=big+important+keyphrase you got a page with products instead of an error. Because of this, he stated that a manual penalty that Google had imposed was justified.

Oimachi2




msg:4474229
 4:48 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi Deasea,

I mean this:

blue+cheap+widgets

not:

blue cheap widgets

It seems like a dirty Google trick, and it's done by humans according to my stats.

The destination URL is irrelevant, all to index file.

thms




msg:4474315
 5:55 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing this too and I'm also using statcounter

the search term used is something like: keyword1+keyword2
browser: IE7.0 but sometimes is reported as unknown
location: Mountain View or Oregon

but the page they are landing on is totally unrelated to the search keywords they used, actually i spotted this 3 times and all 3 they landed on wordpress categories pages unrelated to the search term

zehrila




msg:4474317
 6:00 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Afer Google checks it like this, it drops to #30 -

Sounds more like -30 penalty than penguin, your site could be affected by both. Do you see site wide drop in pages or just handful of pages? what percentage of traffic you have lost and on which date?

jimbeetle




msg:4474321
 6:11 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, these "surprise visits" from Google are from Penguin hit sites, but since my sites are on the same server, seems like it's an epidemic, they seem to spread to all my sites slowly but surely

I still can't quite make the leap from "surprise visits" to Penguin, there's really nothing to prove causation.

lucy24




msg:4474358
 9:29 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've seen in my logs that Google is hovering around my sites adding + between keywords.

Something like this:

blue+cheap+widgets

Please tell me this is a joke.

Spaces between words are converted into plus signs in transit. This happens to all searches and all queries everywhere.

Now, if g### is physically editing the <meta name = "keywords"> section of your original html files-- not in SERPs but in the actual page-- that's a whole nother thread.

Str82u




msg:4474390
 11:06 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm trying to get my head around why it would be anything to do with the Penguin algorithm.

Doesn't it sound more like someone at Google were doing a spot check? @Oimachi2 said that all the sites are on the same server? I check my comprtitors like that. Also: are all the domains registered to you or in different names? That has nothing to do with the keywords unless you've got multiple, UNunique sites, like a ring of satellite sites (not an accusation).

The + signs are just how they found your site, any manual penalties have nothing to do with an algorithm. IMO

Oimachi2




msg:4474393
 11:20 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for TMS for his reply, he's seeing the same thing as me:

I'm seeing this too and I'm also using statcounter

the search term used is something like: keyword1+keyword2
browser: IE7.0 but sometimes is reported as unknown
location: Mountain View or Oregon

but the page they are landing on is totally unrelated to the search keywords they used, actually i spotted this 3 times and all 3 they landed on wordpress categories pages unrelated to the search term


Let's make something clear:

- I never did any spam
- Some of the sites have been around since 2001
- Most sites have PR3 or more
- Most sites but all affected by penguin
- The only thing I did wrong is over optimize my anchor text(who knew not to prior to penguin?)

This is a human at Google looking around my sites and manipulating rankings, they have been doing this since April 24 periodically.

I have confirmation that this happened to TMS, anybody out there is observing the same behavior from Gooogle?

Oimachi2




msg:4474395
 11:28 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

[edit]

And to Lucy24


Please tell me this is a joke.

Spaces between words are converted into plus signs in transit. This happens to all searches and all queries everywhere.
Please tell me this is a joke.


This is NOT a joke, the only queerie with + between keywords is quite rare, but from Google EVERY SEARCH is like this and consistently.

Then the stat shows the position as high, then you try yourself and they dropped you...sounds so hypocritical from them.

Like they call you and say "We give you an A++ on your exam, come and pick it up" but when you pick it up the teacher crossed it out to an F, no explanation.

It's not a joke...please do your research before saying things like that!

The joke however is G__gle with their new unfair practices.

tedster




msg:4474409
 12:18 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

As I understand it, Lucy is making an accurate point. The plus signs are a normal part of the Google Search referrer string. They're added as keyword separators - and they do not represent the literal search string that the user entered.

Maybe we've misunderstood your description - if so, let's clarify that.

blackhatsejournalist




msg:4474448
 2:01 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree with tedster. sometimes spaces between keywords can also be translated into hexadecimal notation and you would see something like %20%. it is pretty normal.

BaseballGuy




msg:4474458
 2:46 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Perhaps a Google employee on his/her lunch break, on his/her computer in the Mountain View offices needed to perform a search. So they used their office computer to do a Google search for whatever they were looking for (while on their lunch break).

Perhaps they came to your site looking for more information?

Also, I have been using Statcounter for the past 6? years and as early as 2007, I saw Google coming to my site for various queries.


I wouldn't read too much into it.

After all, as the old propaganda adage goes:

"If you got nothing to hide....."

Oimachi2




msg:4474461
 3:05 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is there a way to send a screen capture of the stats so everybody can understand?

This is NOT normal and ONLY from Google no other searchers have the + sign between keywords. But EVERY search from Google (from a human) has them.

tedster




msg:4474469
 3:42 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Where do you see these plus signs? You said they are in your server logs. Are they in a regular line in the raw server logs? Or are they showing in an analytics program of some kind that taps into your server logs?

Another idea - does your site have a Site Search function that is open to indexing? If so, Google might be testing that or you might be seeing regular search results that are from your Site Search.

And finally, uust to reinforce what others have said, this is definitely NOT "proof that penguin is a manual penalty". It isn't. And even if there is manual checking of a site, that doesn't mean it has a manual penalty.

thms




msg:4474484
 4:51 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Let me clarify as I'm seeing the same thing as oimachi2 and I'm also using Statcounter but i'm not very concerned.

Statcounter shows the search term used by the user if they come from a search engine. Statcounter doesn't replace spaces with the plus sign. SO if the user searched for keyword1 keyword2 that's exactly how statcounter will show us, with a space in between, not a plus sign. Statcounter will only show a plus sign if that's what the user entered, so the google guy must have manually typed the plus sign.

Oimachi2




msg:4474510
 7:30 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank TMS

Statcounter shows the search term used by the user if they come from a search engine. Statcounter doesn't replace spaces with the plus sign. SO if the user searched for keyword1 keyword2 that's exactly how statcounter will show us, with a space in between, not a plus sign. Statcounter will only show a plus sign if that's what the user entered, so the google guy must have manually typed the plus sign.


This is my point, now I'm wondering why they are looking around my sites, this has only started after Penguin, for the decade prior to that I have never seen that behavior from Google...

I guess this will remain a mystery...unless I could call the guy from Google poking around my sites, wish I had his email address! ;)

The thing that worries me about that is that everytime he (she) does that, the actual keyword drops.

- This started with the advent of Penguin
- THis is done by a human
- The result is a drop in rankings

tedster




msg:4474563
 11:11 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google does request all kind of test URLs to understand how a server functions - whether errors are handled in a standard way, whether the site has accidentally created an infinite URL space and so on.

This has been going on for a few years. I know they really checked out some Windows hosting I have - and I get that because the IIS server has been traditionally difficult for websites to configure properly. (it's now a lot better, thanks to Microsoft's recent versions.)

Assuming that you are now seeing this kind of test crawling, how does your server respond to these queries?

Spiekerooger




msg:4474660
 4:02 pm on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi,

this user agent (IE 7 w/ 1024/768 resolution and mountain view ip) is the typical user agent for the adwords landing page quality review bot (sorry for that name, I dunno the real one ;)

If you set up new adwords campaigns or keywords, the landing page will get hit by this user agent faking a referrer google search for one of the keywords or terms of your site (most often not related to the keywords on the particular landing page of yours but the main traffic keywords for your overall site).

Maybe Google had just a glitch in this referrer faking and double encoded the plus sign.

jimbeetle




msg:4474676
 4:28 pm on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Statcounter shows the search term used by the user if they come from a search engine. Statcounter doesn't replace spaces with the plus sign. SO if the user searched for keyword1 keyword2 that's exactly how statcounter will show us, with a space in between, not a plus sign.

No, you have it backwards. Google sends the search+string+with+plus+signs. Most anaytics packages then strip the plus signs out. Sometimes analytics packages can get confused by slightly malformed referrer strings and miss cleaning the search term completely. That's probably what's being seen here.

Edit: I should amend that to say "you're browser sends the referrer in which Google formed the search+string+with+plus+signs" but it sounds too cumbersome.

nettulf




msg:4474691
 5:12 pm on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Strange, I plus'ed some of my pages today. First I saw the usial hits from Google Plus reading the pages. Then after 2 minutes I saw exactly what is described above here in Statcounter: Two visits from different Google IPs according to Statcounter (located in Council Bluffs, Iowa and Lappeenranta, Finland). Both hits were within the same second, using search queries with plus sign (%2F), relevant search term for the site but not for the page visited, and searching via google.com. What is interesting is they do not show up in Analytics, but a similar search query I did just afterwards is showing in Analytics... what can that mean?

jimbeetle




msg:4474725
 6:52 pm on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Interesting, nettulf. So it's plus-related, I was having a problem trying to wrap my head around the Google IPs.

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