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Google serp shows:
Web Page Under Construction
Network Solutions - Original domain name registration and reservation services with variety of internet-related business offerings. Quick, dependable and ...
And it still ranks #4 on -sj server.
That is weird - really weird - because the page you mentioned has PR0, Google says it isn't ranked and has no backlinks, and the Google cache says that the search term only apprears in links to the page?.
Someone else nailed it a few hours ago - there is no update - we've all been chasing shadows.
The only explanation for a result like that in www. is that something is broken, or half baked
We can hope half-baked, but my guess is Google is just seriously broken. Time will tell. Check Alltheweb. ndb.com has gobs of backlinks. This is why they are ranking so high. Google is just doing such a rotten job they can't spot a standard holding page like this.
But I have to take issue with "As a user, this is an awful search result with 0 relevance." as that is a single word search that will not meet the needs of just about any searcher on that word.
Let's do a search on some other verbs next. "run" does not return useful information at all when I want to run my model trains. That find does not damage the SERPs.
Take a look at #2 also:
Index of /donaldj
Index of /donaldj. Name Last modified Size Description
Parent Directory 02-May-2003 16:21 -
Google sure seems to be sucking really bad to me. More evidence of how widespread lousy Google SERPs are.
"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.". - (Hamlet, Act II, Scene II).
One might wonder if Google broke the algo on purpose to increase profits?
"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
Then again, it could be just that Google doesn't know what they are doing. ;)
Regarding the discount site this is only due to anchor text in the backlinks which have not been updated. If the backlinks are not showing they must be below PR4. Check alltheweb and you will get all the backlinks for that site
Lately, Google results appear as if Google is wearing beer goggles. OO
No, never happened, and I haven't seen anything from Google to indicate that was in the works. Theming just isn't happening.
Google's algo is the property of Google. All we can do is make an educated guess about particulars.
In any case, the search result is pointing at a parked domain and not Network Solutions itself. Network Solutions should not be benefiting from inbound links to the parked domain as there are no links on these parked pages.
Let's try GoogleBombing Google to see if the GoogleBomb still works. Anybody game? The term is SERP [google.com].
#9 is napster.com. The site that is closed since last 2-3 years. The only page hosted on napster.com is a holding page with 2 links going to roxio.com (its new owner?).
Most will agree that MP3 is one of the most competitive 50 single keywords out there and yet this holding page with "great content" is out there masquerading on page-1 most likely due to large number of backlinks because the site has been in news due to all the wrong reasons.
One benefit we would see from a post-IPO Google is that their public relations people would be more responsive. For example, if a major journalist were to pick up on the "Google is broken" story, a public-corporation version of Google might actually investigate the problem. Why? Because they'd be nervous about the reaction of stockholders if they lose credibility.
But a pre-IPO, private Google just shuts out the critics as if nothing at all has happened. They have more to lose by responding than by keeping their mouths shut.
Meanwhile, those of us who have a lot to lose with a broken Google, depend on forums such as WebmasterWorld to glean clues about the true state of affairs at the Googleplex. While GoogleGuy can be helpful when it comes to the "small picture" of what's happening, he's not helpful with the big picture of how it's all fitting (or not fitting) together.
Maybe GoogleGuy doesn't know enough. The really scary thought is that maybe no one at the Googleplex can see all the ramifications of insanely complex algorithms. It's almost to the point where a new search engine, starting out with near-random ranking and a little bit of filtering, would be as interesting as Google's SERPs.
Keep those "I'm feeling broken" search combos coming. I know of a site that would like to do some screen shots for a new feature.
So far we have "discount brokers," with or without quotes, and www or www2. You have to be number one to make the "I'm feeling lucky" button work.
However, the indexed pages on those servers are ancient.. it really looks like an index that's a couple of months old. The snippets are about 3 months old I'd think and the SE results look just like the old ones.
I did have a problem with Google PR0ing some sites when it shouldn't have, so I would hope for better results. However, I'm getting good search results on domains which haven't had new backlinks, so it looks like the expired domains algo hasn't been applied yet.
The only people they matter to are those of you looking to find little faults, and the google hackers that are trying to make the best search engine they can.
With these isolated cases, would it be better to report it to google than run a bitchfest on WW?
It's very rare for me to get a page where I am willing to click on all 10 results. And of those 10, at least one will usually lead to a 404 or a parked domain.
I understand better now what is happening. It's not a bug, but rather a dramatic illustration of the role that link rot is playing in the decline of any search engine that uses link popularity.
First of all, by using the Wayback Machine, you can see that the empty directory was empty last November. The previous Wayback entry is April, 2001, a year and a half earlier. You can see what the page actually looked like in April, 2001. Google has had several crawls to detect this empty directory, and it still ranks at No.1 or No.2. It's probably been longer than several crawls, but I don't know how to figure out more accurately how long that directory has been empty.
Secondly, several major engines are ranking this empty directory at or near the top the same way that Google does. It's not a Google glitch, it's a generic search engine problem.
Third, the empty directory still has many backlinks that are valid, with the words "discount" and "brokers" in them. The problem is basically one of undetected link rot on the part of these sites that link to this empty directory page. Those that use link checkers to catch 404 pages cannot catch this empty directory, because Apache puts out a little HTML to display the directory listing automatically, and it looks like a 200 instead of a 404 to the link checkers (and to the crawlers). This is one of those Internet service providers that gives you a /username/ or /~username/ web directory with a basic service account. The ISP won't set Apache to produce a 403 Forbidden for directory listings, probably because many of their clients don't know how to make a real index.html page.
Fourth, I think we have to admit that since this page was about reviewing online stock and commodity brokers, and since the market has by now wiped out the day traders, this is a somewhat unique situation. Link rot is much less likely to be noticed when it's found in the middle of a huge graveyard. To put it another way, the half-life of the average URL, which is distressingly low to begin with, has been extremely low recently in the field of online brokers.
Finally -- and this is worrisome -- if it's not a bug, but rather business as usual at Google and other engines, it means that anchor text plus link popularity is just about the only game in town. On-page characteristics cannot hold a candle to anchor text plus link popularity. I guess this is what the Googlebombing phenomenon should have taught us a year ago.
In fact, about a year ago, Google actually said it had the cached version of a page from this site (it couldn't produce it when I called its bluff).
However, I am sure, at least in the case of this stock trading site, and in the case of the site I ran with my former partners, the sheer mass of links to it dictates that google keeps "seeing" the site. It simply is giving the site the benefit of the doubt, and assuming that the site is having temporary difficulties.
Truthfully this should be great news to the folks who are always worried that their server was offline for 6 minutes during a crawl. A site with incoming links can live for years without a server. :)