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In FI, CW and DC, my site is in the index. Most search terms performing the same as usual, EXCEPT the top keywords.
Top keywords are keywords used a lot in anchor text and contained in the title of my page.
The reason I am posting this is not to blame google or what. I need to at least find our the reason why this is happening.
Anyone here having the same experience? Maybe we can discussed here and find out the reason. Maybe there is a new filter working againt us.
I can't believe that Google would penalise external anchor text which is relevant to your site. As I mentioned a few days ago if a site links to your site about "blue widgets" then the most logical thing to have in the anchor text on the external site is the words "blue widgets"... this way the surfer on the external site knows exactley what to expect at the other end of the link.
Possibly another consideration for Google would be that a workaround to this would be very easy for spammers.
joined:Mar 6, 2003
needinfo, I sort of think and hope you are right. I can see why Google might surmise that this is a spam issue, since spammers can easily set up lots of dummy sites and point them to their key properties with total control over anchor text...but this would be a bassakwards way of dealing with it, as it would penalize lots of good links. It's probably not that simple either, if it exists at all; may be codependant on other signs of spam that are present.
It could also be an algo element that is getting higher importance than it would ultimately, because they are just testing it.
The only reason I've even raised it before is that it's the only thing we can find that would explain some of the activity we're seeing on a few sites we own. And in mentioning it here, a few others have responded that it's a possibility with their sites too.
Hey, me neither :)
I'm not one to get stressed out by it though. A few months down the line i'll have figured it out ;)
>>I just changed the meta-refresh to permanent 301 redirect
A wise decision.
I changed to the H1 tag in time for the April deep crawl as far as I remember, but maybe that's not been included in this update? I don't see how it can be the H1 tag that's caused the site to sink like a rock, but a few other people had mentioned it which just made me wonder about it. Nothing else on the site had changed at all, other than getting more backlinks over the last 2/3 months that have never been factored in by Google. It's a site belonging to a shop that sells local widgets made by local widget-makers. It's always been at around #10 behind sites mainly belonging to American importers of local widgets and that seemed fairly reasonable. Now our local widget site is around #300 and about 200 of the sites above it have nothing to do with local widgets and make no mention of them anywhere. Weird...
joined:Mar 6, 2003
Meanwhile, at our place at least, we're combining GG's (at times cryptic) feedback, plus our own observations, to conclude that recent developments at our sites are not really factored in yet for the most part, despite the (apparent) addition of some freshbot data to the (apparently) older indexes being used...plus, no one knows what filters are turned on, how the current ones are interacting, or how those yet to be implemented will affect the SERP's.
Then you have GoogleGuy recently stating that the new algo is "waiting in the wings"...with backlinks to be added, etc...
If nothing else - short term financial losses aside - it doesn't appear to be time to panic yet...only time to start preparing to panic.
Keyword1 is was seems to have taken the hit, also it is one that I would like to target. It was at #45 on the old index, was at #23 when -sj and -fi were first updated. Now it is around #250 in the new index. It is at #22 with allinanchor, and it is #4 in the directory, which tells me that the penalty will not or has not yet transferred to a directory search.
Keyword1 was the first word in the title, appeared twice in the meta description and meta keywords. It appeared once in the body text and twice as alt text image links. I didn't use h1 or h2 on the page at all.
It comes up as #9 in the serps for key-word1, even though I don't have the word like that on the page. I don't have anchor text like that either. Most of my links are either text links with the title as the anchor text, or a image without anchor text.
Multiple keyword searches haven't been affected. Most of them are used on the subpages. The main page that I targed does not have a lot of content on it.
Anybody seeing a pattern yet that perhaps we can fix?
OK. I checked my panic button. It's working fine, so I guess I am ready.
Talking about buttons...whatever happened to the big red button that GG used to push every month? You know, the button that let's them switch to using the results from the latest crawl...
I see a lot of discussion here about minute details of Google's latest algo, but I haven't yet seen anyone coming up with a plausible explanation as to WHY ON EARTH ARE THEY USING SUCH OLD DATA to test this new algo.
I see the same: for "keyword1 keyword2", my site has sunk 2 pages on all datacenters now except for -in, but for "keyword1 key-word2", I get results that seem to be like the old ones on all the datacenters. Does anyone have an explanation for that?
One problem with this idea. On my single most important keyword, the #1 site has 20 instances of the keyword out of about 200 or so words in visible text. Arguably this site deserves to be #1. Although, I wouldn't mind that spot. ;) I doubt the webmaster even thought of SEO. Basically, this page is a links page, both to internal links about the topic, and also external sites. The way this is done makes sense for the reader. If sites with too high KWD were knocked down in the SERPs, this is a case where this would mean less relevant sites rising to the top.
joined:Feb 26, 2003
Is it possible you just said that outbound link text is now the flavor of the month? Just like it was 18 months ago? This would explain and thank goodness for my krappy old site I can't change (can no longer ftp in) doing well.
No. This page has been #1 for years on this SERP. And decent inbound links. Only solace now that Google has driven a site through the heart of my site, they happen to link to me twice on that page. Better than nothing.
Add in new data, new back links, spam filters, new algorithm tweaks - ALL things that GoogleGuy says are on the way - and you may well have completely different SERPS
And subsequently completely different views
My experience in past updates has always been that once the new index hit the www2 and www3 there are very few movements after that. Agreeably this update is different in many ways, and like others I am still hoping that this is just a glitch, but I am not holding my breath.
The biggest problems Google faces today is that their algo is so simple that any 5 year old can get to the top for almost any keyword, by simply doing some basic on-page optimisation and getting lots of non-reciprocal links with keyword anchortext from high-PR sites. This wasn't a big problem a year ago, but with the explosive growth of this forum the spam is increasing every day, as more and more people understand how simple it really is. I think what we are seeing this update is an attempt to curb the buying of high-PR links, and the introduction of a penalty for some sites that are overdoing it, (like one of my sites :(. However, if I am right there certainly is a threshold since my other sites in slightly less competitive areas have escaped the penalty.
What I can't understand is why they didn't just remove the little green bar from the toolbar. If they replaced it with some other cool feature instead, and motivated the move by saying that they had improved their algo so much that PR is no longer the best way of displaying the relevance of a site, no one would really question it IMO.
I hope that I will be proven wrong and that everything will “go back to normal” in a few days, but that does not solve Google’s long-term problem...
Yes, it is too early to analyze the new algorithm completly. However, since in my case the problem appears on all data centers which have the new index (7/8), I don't expect that it will disappear.
> Add in new data, new back links, spam filters, new algorithm tweaks - ALL things that GoogleGuy says are on the way - and you may well have completely different SERPS
At least in my case, new data and new backlinks won't change the situation, since it seems to be an on-page problem (Backlinks, anchor text and PR doesn't seem to be part of the problem). Also, adding filters will remove some entries (of course, that's good), but won't affect my general situation.
I mentioned somewhere before that www.google.com are pulled directly from the 8 or 9 data centres. What you see there is what is on Google.com NOW so whether or not the 'update' is 'finished' I am dealing with current Google serps and there effects.
joined:Mar 6, 2003
What do you think is *causing* the penalty (if there is one)? Backlinks (external sources)? Internal links? Too much keyword density? (In our case, the only distinction we can find between our sites that went up and our sites that went down is that, counterintuitively, the sites that went down have more/better external backlinks. Or, is it too many links with *perfect text*?
Geez, do I have to write all the sites that link to us with good descriptions, and ask them to make their links to us less clear?
Crazy isn't it... that's exactley why I think the semi-penalty has nothing at all to do with so called "perfect text" in anchor links.
joined:Mar 6, 2003
Isn't it too soon to be trying to analyse any new algorithm?
WARNING - RANT TO FOLLOW: Believe it or not, I do not enjoy practicing SEO, and FWIW, we don't go overboard on it. But the constant refrain from Google that webmasters should just "build good sites that appeal to users" is absolute nonsense - unfortunately.
We had good sites that were built for users. They were built in '99. I didn't even know about SEO then; nor did the agency that desinged them; nor the builder that built them.
The sites did well...for a while.
Then they disappeared altogether from some SE's and dropped like a stone in others. Why? We designed for the user, not the SE, and it turned out that we ran afoul of some basic "rules" that we had no idea even existed...not with hidden text or cr*p like that (those things don't help users).
We suffered because of:
--too much cross-linking (done for ease of navigation, and for cross-promotion reasons...you know...like all the other major media types do!);
--too much keyword density (we had some really cool-looking pages that, but because of graphics, keyword density for the limited text on the page was too high;
--spammers, who practiced extreme SEO and skyrocketed above us (in some cases).
Lesson: SEO is a necessity if you want your site to make money (and, if you don't have millions for marketing, or an off-line infrastructure to defray some of your costs, like CNN).
So, now we keep up with the Joneses in SEOville. We still design primariy for the user...but now we always do it with SEO in mind. Not doing that in this environment would be, in a word, stupid. But what a waste of our time.
Google has gotten so big and powerful that they are now setting the course of the Web, not just showing it to us. They are a business, and so they can do what they want as long as it's legal. But when you reach a point where you have so much power, you do have at least some responsibility to your community (in this case, the Web), to get it right. Google, the way you have handled Dominic...well, let's just say that it has not been your finest hour.
I posted my latest theory as a new thread (http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/13322.htm). Of course, many people will disagree with the idea, but I am convinced enough that I am changing my site accordingly. Only time will tell.
The obvious complication is that some of the people posting here may have dropped down the SERPS for miscellaneous other reasons, that's why it all seems so confusing.
[edited by: Spica at 3:09 pm (utc) on May 20, 2003]
If search engines were not a consideration, I would suggest that most webmasters would have moved by now to the far more aesthetically powerful Flash or other graphics based medium for their sites.
However, within those considerations, you design for users.