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SERIOUS Google update algo analysis thread.

NO whining or cheering about how your site is doing in this one.

     
6:42 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm starting this thread because another member suggested such would be a good idea because the main Google update thread is cluttered with posts like "OMG, I've been dropped in the new index!" and "Yippee, I'm now #1 on a key SERP". This thread is ONLY for serious, generic discussion of changes that you are observing with the new algo in this update. As in things like "Looks to me like PR is less important this month, and anchor text of inbound links counts more.", etc. How your site is doing has no relevance here unless you can explain why you think so in terms of a general algo update.

My observation so far: little change this month from last. Anchor text of inbound links still counts big time, and PR seems to be worth the same as before. IOW, its the same old, same old. One aspect that isn't relevant with the SERPs I am most familiar with is "spamminess". I don't see much more spam, but then these SERPs don't tend to be the ones that spammers would be found on. Thus, the index may be more spammy, and I wouldn't see it.

11:55 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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translation - put your url on your business cards and brochures as this will be the only way people will find it and raw internet marketing will do nothing for you.

Probably a good idea if your customer insists on flash movie intros. I have a customer that insists on flash intros. Very irritating when I go there. I should probably add index2.html to my favorites to avoid this irritation.

11:58 pm on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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my opinion is that this update has given more weight to .edu and possibly .org sites... in my main keyword, the rise of those sites is quite obvious. anyone notice this?
12:04 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I am very pleased to see that dynamic pages are getting more equal treatment in this update. Serps for static pages still seem to get preference, but the trend continues to be good.

A drop in backlinks is noted, but the net effect on position and PR seems negligable. (wish I had kept track of the total results count in the past)

Results from pages deeper in the site have appeared. This may be just the effect of time.

Are there freshbot results without dates mixed in there? Things I changed a couple of days ago are appearing like they had just been included in the update. (wait a few days for final results, I guess)

The plague of spammers that were crowding the results a few months ago seem to have been banished entirely. Very clean results, best ever in my little category.

12:09 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm trying to see if this has been mentioned, but I was more excited to discover that www2 and www3 of the google directory IS UPDATED WITH THE NEW DMOZ RDF. New sites in DMOZ are finally showing up in Google directory, and they have never been there before... (not in the main www yet)
12:45 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Continuing to check www2 and www3 and things look good. Are these results viewable by any particular part of the country or world? To clarify, does www2 serve one portion of the world and www3 another and www the U.S.? Just trying to get a handle on what purpose it is they serve.
1:51 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have several sites that have gone from pr 6 to 0... they were previously expired domain names but have had many new links and huge amounts of content added after they were put up.

It seems to me that the easiest way for the google algo to "catch" expired domain names would be to simply assign a penalty to all domains that have expired in the past couple years in one fell swoop. I do not see how they could realistically find out which sites got new links, etc.

2:05 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"The plague of spammers that were crowding the results a few months ago seem to have been banished entirely. Very clean results, best ever in my little category."

Glad to hear that, Skier. cyberprosper, if you want to ask about specific sites, maybe drop us a report?

2:45 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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rjohara:
I've seen the same thing happening myself...on more than one site. I'm hoping next month will be better...

Clark, are many of your pages static pages that you haven't changed in a long while? I'm still trying to understand why my total indexed pages dropped from 300 to 200 last month, and to 110 this month - not a happy result! All pages are spam-free static text pages on my .org site. Nothing has been changed, and the number of indexed pages keeps dropping.

5:03 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google make the good job to filter sopam results ;) If compare the results to previous months - this is the best!

However google still has the problem with "expired domains". On my searches I still see these domains ;( Is it possible to filter them in "automated way" - so consider the anchor text and the text on the site, which refer to this site, and if text absiolutely differs - just don't count it? ... it will solve this problem and the problem with "unrelated links pages" forever. At least from searcher point of view - he wouldn't like to jump from buying small gift for his girlfriend to luxury car, or porno site - what do you think GoogleGuy?

However the sites with hidden text were completely removed - thank you!

So the general the change is "less spam".

5:47 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Only change I can see so far is a big change in back links. For my main site I'm seeing about a third the number of _internal_ backlinks displayed this time. PR and external backlinks are about the same. (The reduction in internal backlinks actually makes looking at backlinks much more useful!)
6:21 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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In my category a new website has appeared which now sits above us in top positions for important keywords.

The web site is relative to the keywords, however it is spam heavy, three domain names with largely the same contant, cross-links and the Google cached page version differs from the actual site page, with the cached page optimized for specific keywords.

My Question:
Is it possible that such sites will collapse and fall before the dance ends or do we have to settle for second, third, fourth or fifth place below spam merchants?

I love Google, but this is a bad day :(

7:18 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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A drop in backlinks is noted, but the net effect on position and PR seems negligable. (wish I had kept track of the total results count in the past)

People often wonder what the purpose of following the update is. This is why. As soon as it started i noticed I had inexplicably dropped for my main keyword. I went and printed the results from www1 and www2. I then printed the backlinks from www1 and www2 for all the sites that moved ahead of me as well as mine. I haven't gone through all the data yet but the only thing I can come up with so far is that the domain registration date is factored into the algo now. i'll get back with more though.
11:38 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So - im still watching all this google stuff. I have a site which ranks a lot better on ww3.google.com at the moment - when should i expect to see this appearing on www.google.com?

Any ideas anyone?

11:45 am on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There is an interesting case with my pages.

I had a small usual mistake(or whatever!) in my page and I did not know that. something like this example here...

ABCD, def[extra space here] , Neh2008

Now, When I ask for ABCD, def, neh2008 Google suggests me
my original phrase (with the comma after def). But, doesn't show me ANY page for that suggestion when I click on the suggestion.

I hope you all are clear about the GOOGLE SUGGESTION, it says Did you mean: ... on the top of the SERP results.

Please make me think more about the possibilities.

TIA

2:13 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thought I'd add an observation of one change that is visible for one of my sites. One of my "money" keywords comes from a foreign language, and one that does not use the Roman alphabet nearly as often as it uses one of its own character systems. The keyword in question is well known in the English language as well. Previously, this keyword would yield about a 60-40 balance of English language/this other language Web sites in Google search results, with the other language producing cryptic titles and a default snippet that says "The summary for this page contains {language} characters that cannot be correctly displayed . . ."

With this update, the English language/other language balance is a little more in favor of the English language sites, and with a much higher number of English language sites in the top ten positions. I wonder if other people with similar keywords (used in English and foreign languages) have seen similar movement . . .

3:11 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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my opinion is that this update has given more weight to .edu and possibly .org sites... in my main keyword, the rise of those sites is quite obvious. anyone notice this?

Have a read about my post "I'd sell my wife for PR" I've made a similar conclusion but a slightly different way.

e.g. Sites with greater human involvement get higher rank.

The purchase of blogger.com is no coincidence - it's
about creating filters to track more human based recommendations, and how people recommend sites.

3:53 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Powdork

You may be right about the domain registration date having some influence. One of our sites was registered in 1995 and is now #2 for it's main term up from 4 two months ago and 3 last month without a significant change in backlinks.

7:01 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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With this update, the English language/other language balance is a little more in favor of the English language sites, and with a much higher number of English language sites in the top ten positions. I wonder if other people with similar keywords (used in English and foreign languages) have seen similar movement . . .

For the first time I tried using foreign language last week. (on a totally english site) Not as a "keyword", but just a few words of text buried down in the main page. I am amazed to find I am getting first place for searches of the non-english words.

Since I've never tried this before, I can't comment on any changes with this update, but the results for the foreign words are way better than I expected. Always been like this, or result of algo changes?

7:39 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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e.g. Sites with greater human involvement get higher rank.

i know this... but i am talking about this update giving a little "extra" (possible change in the algo). the edu & org sites for my keyword that have NOTICEABLY jumped up, are sites that are quite static, and have not been updated in years (i.e. one page that is ahead of me is an article from 1991, and has not been updated in a long time). so this page has not added new content, not SEO'ed, not anything. just jumped up about 7 spots. just wondering if anyone else has noticed this, or am i just a coincidence?

8:06 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure that this question has been raised before, but I am surprised that G has not yet addressed the issue of multiple listing of the same sites in the serps. On the surface, it seems simple enough for G to narrow results to only one instance of each site listed for a specific query.
I understand that G looks at each page as a seperate entity, but they seem able to filter all sorts of things already, why not this?

It can't be good for the searcher to get results that list;
Site #1
Site #1
Site #2
Site #2
Site #3
Site #1
Site #1 affilliate
etc.

I should not complain, as I "enjoy" several #1 or #2 pairings for my own site. Still, it can't be good for any of us. Better access to the best results is the goal isn't it?

8:13 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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mattglet, I would bet that this rather an effect of links. New links pointing to those .edu pages; or links pointing there, which carry more weight as before, coming from sites which increased their PR, or from links, which reflect the keywords you are searching under better.
12:54 am on Mar 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I still cannot figure out how a set of low PR3 spammy sites (domains all cross linked) are trumping quality sites in some major categories with over 500000 results. This update is a little weird and seems to gone the wrong way ...
1:05 am on Mar 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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skier, do you have your preferences set higher than 10? If you have it set to 50, say, you will see that more. Cut it back to 10 like most surfers and you will see a difference.
3:01 am on Mar 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Zapatista. Thanks for your suggestion. I do have 10 results per page as my preference setting.

I guess the results have not yet stabalised. The results for the example I gave this morning have now changed to; 1,1,2,3. So things are better. (sort of, I was 2,2 this morning)

8:58 pm on Mar 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My first post on this board though I have been lurking around since last 2-3 months and that too is to point out that the sites that were previously banned for participating in massive "free for all" link page schemes like linkstoyou . com have staged a comeback in this update. So far I have come across 3 sites that are appearing on first page of search results but are still using above mentioned "link exchange" scheme, which is clearly visible on the index page of the sites. May be Googleguy will take notice if he is around.
12:26 am on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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if you want to ask about specific sites, maybe drop us a report?

How and where? "Not satisfied with search results?" does not seem to have any effect. There are two software sites that use gibberish phrases and show up inapproriately, one of which shows a directory listing for renewable energy! There are about 10 doorway pages all displaying the same Flash menu.

I have been wondering if they can somehow "straddle googlebot" by appearing to be fresh content. I use javascript:alert(document.lastModified) in the address bar to check their last mod date and this technique always displays my system clock time for their pages (but correct for other sites). Is that why they cannot be evicted and get this inappropriate exposure?

12:53 am on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The only thing I can see is that that my backlinks have dropped even though I have added more. Still some pages on my site have been worked on very hard as far as links go and those pages have been rewarded substantially. Also a lot of sites in my category that seem to have been cloaking, except for one, have been knocked way back or disappeared.
3:13 am on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It seems that back link add some blog's link
8:07 am on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i am seeing that many of the new pages in the index are freshbotted and up to date. maybe google went with late update knowing it would still be minty fresh through new freshie regime? anyone else seeing this?
10:45 am on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have the same PR 0 problem as cyberprosper. GoogleGuy, could you maybe have a look at the spam report I just submitted? I mentioned my nick, WebmasterWorld and GoogleGuy, I hope you find it. Thanks a lot!
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