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Has anything different actually happened since May 2nd?
The only difference I see is that this forum, for the first time in the years I've been coming here, has not looked as professional and smart as it always has.
How Googleguy can post (numerous times) about how backlinks and spam filters will be added slowly over time, and then there will be 3000 posts from people asking why there is so much spam and where their backlinks are is just beyond me. I can't even begin to think about the 500 "I see sj on www, no, I see fi on www, no, I see sj on fi, no, I see fi on sj, no I see altavista on sj......" posts.
This thread scares me, not as an SEO or webmaster, but as a human being. =]
A few days ago, I traced the IP address of one of these bots and it was one of Roadrunners. If memory serves me well, don't they use Google's results on their site? I didn't give that fact much significance until today.
2 Theories based upon what I see.
1)The Fresh Pages aren't really fresh but are from late April's Deepcrawl and are just being added to the index.
2)The Fresh Pages are fresh and were crawled by bots other than Googlebot.
Intuitively, it would make sense for Google to have crawl partners given the ever expanding size of the web and Google's commitment to providing the most up to date, fresh results. I've yet to see anyone mention this, so I thought I would throw this theory out to people more expert than I.
P.S. I'm not normally a conspiracy theorist but I was formerly a Roadrunner customer and was their customer when I created all the sites in question (though they don't host any of the sites in question). A Whois check on that aforementioned IP address a few days ago showed the Roadrunner office in a nearby suburb to where I used to live. I now live out of the area in Comcast country. Geographical targeting anyone?
...hmmm. Some of my PR friends might call that shift(?) from "-sj" to "-sj or -fi" spin... ;-)
GG, what some of us are saying, which I'm sure you're hearing, is that we currently SEE substantial distinctions between -fi and -sj. That's as of 10:10 PST.
Now, I'll say again for background that we're up slightly in one, down slightly in the other...and that's across MANY sites...overall -sj and -fi, were they to rotate, would be a slight positive for us as far as traffic goes (Chiyo, you can believe that or not). But also, my users access G data, so G's quality matters to me beyond occasional shifts in our own traffic...
What I don't like about -fi is that for the 10 categories we watch (some we're in, some we're going to be in, and some we'll never be in), -fi is showing noticeably worse results. Go look at a few variations of searches with 'toys' in them and you'll probably see what I mean; specifically, more spam in -fi, and some sites that are clearly #1 all the sudden deposed (NOT US).
Now, I know that 10 categories is NOT close to a statistically significant sample, and hopefully your "extensive testing" says that overall these new algos are an improvement. It's just that such is not the case for -fi, in the specific categories we look at.
(Note to Perfection) I wouldn't even be commenting on this - on the assumption that these new SERP's will change, as GG repeatedly stressed - except for GG's occasional posts that seem to imply that Google is happy with -sj and -fi as is, notwithstanding the backlinks, filters, etc. that are still missing in action. That would seem to be supported by the fact that these SERP's are now showing up at partner sites. Until these SERP's went live into AOL and Yahoo, I wasn't concerned, just providing feedback. Now, I'm concerned.
So, either the two data centers in question have results that will tend to converge once the other factors are added in (which may be why GG "doesn't see much of a difference between the two"), or differences will remain, in which case I sure hope that things move towards the -sj direction. MY customers have to deal with G's results too, and right now, in the 10 categories we watch, for the first time ever FAST, is returning better quality results than Google in 7 of the 10. NG.
Meanwhile, I of course doubt that Google is too worried about the opinions of the Wackmaster, but you just never know ... ;-)
I know that Y changes the site descriptions to match their own, and that they also lose the sub-listings (which I like), but I was not under the impression that the ranking order ever changed...
Anyway, for the search term I always check I'm usually #14, on the -sj index I was #4 for a few days a week ago, then I dropped to #11 where it is now. The problem is, on the www and the -fi index, my site is no where to be found for this search term. Allinurl, and mysite.com still bring up about the same number of results as always. PR is still 4.
Here are the locations from each datacenter:
fi- Gone! (checked all the way to 600)
Should I send an email to google seeing if some penalty or something was invoked, or just wait another day and see if another index makes its way to www? It is frustrating because all the datacenters but 1 have me #11-#13. We don't have crosslinking, hidden text, cloaking, etc.
[edited by: ciml at 3:44 pm (utc) on May 15, 2003]
The problem with individual sites going up and down is that we (in here) don't know if a given webmaster's site has been gunned down for spam reasons (intentional or otherwise).
To me at least, that's different from seeing some well established, well-known sites, with thousands of backlinks and thousands of pages, dropping from #1 to substantially less than that, in -fi. (Again, not ours.)
GG, maybe you can be just a tad clearer on whether these two data sets could be expected to converge soon, without giving away precious secrets regarding algo details? Nope...probably not.
maybe they are incorporating a diversity system of results , using different indices and results at various times of the day or month or whatever to bring more diversity to search results.
of course, if the searcher couldn't control the diversity, that problably wouldn't be a good thing.
they are in the early stages of eventually offering more advanced search options to include diversity options on multiple, differently tuned, databases available to search through?
oh boy, imagine that. than optimization efforts would really be fun. haha
GoogleGuy: There's a lot of backlinks on the web. It will take some time to bring them all in. To clarify a couple things:
- it helps to think of sj and fi as similar. It's better conceptually to think of them as cut from the same cloth.
- chiyo, every data center has different machine characteristics. So similar/identical indices might look slightly different at different data centers. This goes back to the point above. Don't think of it as if we build a different index with a different theme for different customers. Our partners get the same scoring/data that we use. That said, the global index that we build can emphasize different things more, such as topicality or more diverse file types.
So sj/fi are different in several ways. I would expect that difference to spread to other data centers. Then things will resume moving forward.
GoogleGuy: trillianjedi, I'm saying that sj and fi are of a different nature than previous indices, and that I expect that different nature to spread to more data centers (ex, anyone?
I've been using "sj" to denote this different nature, but I appreciate the chance to clarify.
i'd like to know who's lead to follow. who;s the real genius here, please stand up, please stand up. hehe
in a few cases, GG has decided he can point out a good observation or two, and nix a real bad one or two. fair enough.
Google doesn't really want SEO's to be able to fully understand what is going on, chaos etc is really in their best interests.
By driving us all nuts, speculating this and speculating that, Google wins.
I think of Google as a fabulous babe being chased by a 1000 or so adorant suitors, all dying to know what makes her tick, so that they may win her charms and affections ;)
They make blind dates with her, she fails to show, or wears a different dress than what she says, or gives elaborate reasons why she couldn't be where she said.
Her suitors are lovesick fools, so just cant let go of their dream, even though many of them suspect that they haven't a chance in hell of getting her where they want her. Every once in a while she used to stop for them, do a little dance and blow them a kiss or two, she'd even hang around a while and let them think that they'd gotten their wicked way.
Perhaps she's having an identity crisis, perhaps she doesn't really know what she wants anymore, perhaps too many of her suitors have gotten too close for comfort.
She's certainly not playing the game the way it used to be played, thats for sure!
Re: Yahoo filtering sites.
In My Experience they do seem to filter out some sites (Not as likely to see two sites from the same domain on a search) - and other filters.
Pretty sure they do not change the ranking order though.
Note In My Experience though - if you look at other older threads (possible in the Yahoo forums) you will see that other people have had Experiences also :)