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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.

4:55 pm on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing a lot less backlinks. But I seem to have gained moderately in my rankings overall. So I think some sort of adjustment may have been made to what "counts" since we didnt add many links this month yet all of my existing links are still there. No link rot seems to be occurring here.

Ditto. Have lost exactly 50 backlinks for the past two updates ... about 25 in each update. However, rankings have improved slightly. Am now #2 for my most competitive keywords. Was #4 two months ago, then #3 last month. (No new incoming links were added in the past two months and I've changed nothing on the site except a few prices.

I checked the backlinks for the two sites I displaced and they have lost a considerable number of incoming links. Many more than I. (I just happened to have a copy of their links from two months ago). To me, it seems that relevance of incoming links is finally playing a big part in the PR algo which is also affecting the SERPS in a positive way. (Thank you Google!)

The strange thing is that 99.99% of my removed links were relevant to the site. However, they have been there for quite some time, so it could be an aging factor. I'm not entirely convinced about this "link rot" theory because it seems to me that relevance and not age should be the most important criteria in order to produce the best algo.

I have to check which cats the removed links were in to see if my theory holds any water, but I believe Google is working on some sort of "tiered relevance" algo based on categories.

Let's say I legitimately link my Florida yacht charters site to your Florida hotel site because my charter guests frequently like to stay in hotels for a few nights before and after their charter, the link may not count due to a large disparity between categories for which the bot cannot understand the relevance.

For instance, a link from a site in the following category:

Regional > Florida > Guides and Directories would certainly be counted if linked to your hotel site ...

But, a link from:

Recreation > Boating > Charters > Florida > Fleet Agents may not count because the categories are not associated closely enough ... at least as far as the parameters for the algo are concerned.

Don't know ... its just a theory, but one I am going to try to prove or disprove.

What I am saying is that I don't believe in the link rot theory 100%. I think Google is trying to come up with a link relevancy algorythm which will blow the doors off just about everyone else out there.

Though, while they are tinkering, some very relevant links with legitimate reasons for being on your site may not be credited in your link count. I imagine coming up with an algorythm for link relevance would be a mind boggling undertaking ... but I have no doubt it can be done.

I hope I made this clear enough to follow ... Thoughts?

5:14 pm on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have lost over 1000 backlinks since September, but have gradually gained traffic from google every month, I assumed it was just from pages droping below page rank 4, but I've been wrong before.
5:30 pm on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have lost over 9000 back links, but my site is doing better.
6:11 pm on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Echoing the experience of others here, I'm seeing a far greater emphasis on Title tags and incoming link text. In particular, SERPS for one two word phrase are matching almost exactly serps for allinanchor on the same phrase (no difference at all in the top 13!).
6:16 pm on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I lost many backlinks due to being from guestbooks. It seems as though they really cracked down on these.

Went from 110 to 26. PR dropped from 5 to 4.

No complaints, guestbook signings were done by teens that I host. It was good while it lasted. Now to get quality backlinks.

6:22 pm on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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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

Sure it can ... in some circumstances. If I am searching on OS-Vendor OS-Technology Error# then I am perfectly happy to get 5 links to www.OS-Vendor.com/OS-technology/ pages. Typically, I get pages on the technology, pages on error codes, and some how-to's ... and find something helpful.

It just illustrates how hard it is to make rules that are *always* going to work.

7:39 pm on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It just illustrates how hard it is to make rules that are *always* going to work.

dwilson - very good point..

I was speaking to an ex-collegue the other day who has hundreds of sites with the same content, all doing equally good in Google.. There are certain keywords and keyword areas where people don't stand a chance of competing till google sorts this kind of spam out..

Having said that.. when I use google, it's to search for error codes & lines out of maillogs and then you don't want it to block duplicate content of it's own accord cos you end up missing the one page that's actually useful..

Very difficult IMHO.. Those who cheat the system have very little to loose if they move fast enough and it just lowers the value of the whole system. :(

7:50 pm on Mar 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I cut out a directory page (prior to last update) with over 400 outgoing links (it was a good service to my customers) and I now rank # 1 in google for 2 key words and #2 for key (2 word ) phrase.

thats a fair gain from before where I was only #3 and #5 & #7.

to bad that outgoing links are such a drain on PR. I think they should be neutral.


[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 4:38 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2003]
[edit reason] TOS #21 [/edit]

This 128 message thread spans 5 pages: 128

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