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Regardless of what everyone else says, I know that this is affecting the quality of the results which Google is providing to it's users - how could it not, the last deepcrawl results are from months ago. And what percentage of the results are from the deep crawler? 80%? 90%?
Try searching for Today is April 6th 2003 [google.com], this stuff hasn't been updated in months. How could this not affect the quality of user results?
All the work that I've done in the past two months is worthless, right now, and it hurts. I'm just asking for information, so I don't continue to look like a fool.
This is quite true.
My questions to all that feel that an older core of data does not negatively impact the SERPS are: Why would Google have updated their backlink/ranking data about every month if they did not think it was important in determining serps for users? It seems like a huge waste of resources if the users don't even notice?
It seems ot me like it is unlikely they were happy about having to use an old index this time around and the transition period has been a bit longer than expected.
If ANYONE thinks fresh results are currently an adequate replacement for an update, I would love to hear your thoughts.
As for the comment on "irrelevant examples," I'd like to know how those examples are irrelevant. Are they irrelevant because the my test search strings don't include keywords that make money for your sites? The test strings that I chose were completely random, and they're the kinds of terms that real people look for in Google. Still, if you'd like to try searching on "blue widgets" (an old Webmaster World standby), go ahead and see what you get. :-)
Oh Please! Back to the line that 'real' people won't notice. I despair, but I'm more than happy for you to continue to think that there isn't a growing problem here.
Seattle_SEM started this discussion saying:
Is it going to be days, weeks, or months, before the next update? At this point, I'm completely exasperated. I've had to explain the current situation ten different times, to my clients, and I don't even have enough information to explain the situation with a modicum of confidence.
All the work that I've done in the past two months is worthless, right now, and it hurts. I'm just asking for information, so I don't continue to look like a fool.
This is not a discussion about Google and search quality. Neither does this discussion have anything whatsoever to do with spam. So let's not let yet_another thread deteriorate ad nauseum into another one of those. We've heard that song so many times that we've got the lyrics memorized.
This discussion is about an issue that is of serious concern to the original poster. This same thing is seriously affecting many of us, so let's take a quick look at who we are:
News and discussion for the advanced web professional
For the sake of brevity, let's assume three broad classifications:
1. Professional webmasters, Type A: independents (individuals or firms) who develop and/or promote sites professionally for others.
2. Professional webmasters, Type B: who work as inhouse employees of large companies.
3. Website Publishers: those who work exclusively on their own sites, as proprietors.
The three have different perspectives, and in fact if we really think about it, the goals and motivations of the second two, particularly the third, might not necessarily be congruent with the welfare of the first. Obviously, it's to be expected that views will collide.
Assuming Seattle_SEM is a Type A professional webmaster, let's stay with that perspective if we're to go on with this productively for those among us who are also Type A's - or even for for the benefit of our small independents, who while not "professionals" in the same sense, often rely on Type A's for their sites and therefore are also affected by the same issues.
From my perspective we really don't know anything solid. I would simply be honest with my clients and tell them that Google is in a state of flux right now. Things most likely will settle within a couple of months.
In the meantime I would bend your effort in finding ways to reduce your dependance on Google traffic. After all, your clients want results and results can be obtained through a carefull study of ALL of your options.
Show your clients the effort you are putting in and how you plan to stabilize thier results. They will understand.
Just my 2 cents.....
The most pathetic posts are from those who cry that Google is costing them their living. These people need to look into the mirror to see who's costing them their living. I'd hate like hell to be a family member depending upon these losers to provide for me.
What is this forum turning into? People angry about Dominic and people angry about people angry about Dominic. Could we please stop with the name-calling, especially by those who should know better? How about we treat people, even those we think are annoying, like we would if they were standing in front of us? If you don't agree, say so, but calling them losers just brings this forum to a level that is unprofessional.
To be on topic - GG said there will probably be one more monthly update, so I'm hoping it's soon. I'd love to see my sites sit in the same position for more than two hours. ;) Oh, sure, my non-competitive sites haven't moved for a month, but those other categories...whooo, whiplash!
Seems like tensions are rising and tempers flaring...
Per Marcia's analysis of Type A thru C (kinda funny on the 'Type A'classification; driver-control freak definition); I'm all 3.
Current action step (tomorrow, actually) is to fax our 10,000 client contact base with the general news on Google, with an email blast follow-on.
If clients don't understand that you don't control a resource outside of your ownership control, time to take 'em out for a cocktail and explain the facts of life to them.
Many of our clients are 'too stupid to own web sites'. Yet over the last 60 days, they've accepted every notification because... they can see it themselves.
Google is an extraordinarily powerful search solution; flexible and constantly trying to innovate and lead the industry before going IPO. While some of their strategies recently seem to have backfired, I still think this is temporary. Even if they have to revert to the original algo and go back to the drawing table.
Rememeber the $200M+ Yahoo! aquisition of Inktomi- that problem is nOT going away for Google...
I have shown this - and it is ignored and people claim - oh they might be fresh, but they suck at ordering.
The fact that Google now SUCKS is so obvious it's not even worth debating. At first I thought my views were bias simply because many of my sites have a taken a hit in recent months, but a conversation with my father the other day (who is not a computer/web type of guy) pretty much concluded the situation.
He's been planning a trip to Germany for the past 6 months and doing a lot of investigating on the internet, and out of the blue he asks me: "Is something wrong with Google?" Turns out he's stopped using them altogether because the results are horrible now compared to MSN.
You must be joking - You don't even get free results on MSN until result #16.
A search for germany travel on google gives the first three pages as:
1) A site in both German and english on busines travel, cities in germany, and travel tips.
2) A site from the US State Department about Germany
3) A travel.org page with the lonely planet guide link (free) and activity and travel info.
A search on MSN give their first three free results (which aren't until page 2) as:
1) "Learn about German cuisine and learn how to make some of the country's most popular dishes."
2) "Opening Adventskalender doors, opening presents, and attending Midnight Mass fill a typical German child's Christmas day. Observe baking and poetry traditions."
3) "Shop for the "Rick Steves: Best of Travels: Germany & Austria" video or find special interests videos at Amazon.com. Get free US shipping on orders over $25."
The Google results are what people are looking for when doing a search on germany travel. The three MSN results are useless to 99% of the population - as people looking for germany travel are in most cases not looking for cooking or christmas celebrations. The last one is only good if you want to spend $25 on a video.
Still waiting for a single example of this SO OBVIOUS problem. Fact is it isn't obvious - or people could have come up with one by now.
Googleguy has said weeks not months. Thats mean not today, but anytime between next week and a month and a half by my estimate based on his other posts. Google has been bringing in more fresh data each time. So hopefully they will go deeper.
Right Now - Google Seems to have ABOUT
6% June (Freshbot)
Last Year at this time - we would have had:
Mostly April (didn't check back then, but I know about when google was crawling)
Some May (probably close to 25%)
and Some June.
Unless Google's big mystery update brings about substantial changes, the average joe really will begin to vote with his feet. I know that saying is old hat around here, but just watch...
blah, blah, blah when is the update going to happen?
When was the last confirmed deepbot sighting?
If a train leaves Chicago at 4:55pm...
round and round and round and round... bandages on my arms and my legs from you! Up and down on my arms from you!
Bandages! Bandages! Bandages! Bandages!
To get on topic, I'm calling it to be one more update, as GG said, then sticky fresh results getting added regularly. This might turn out to be a very good thing.
That being said, I noticed today in the first real change in the serps for my kw's, the first in Dominic, that kw occurence is pushing sites up, and that <title></title> seems to be less important. I'm trying to figure out how to add more "widgets" to one page that suddenly went from #1 to #2, displaced ridiculously enough by an article that I wrote for a different site that has more occurences of the particular kw. I'm hoping this ranking by numbers of the kw business is temporary.
The sort of businesses that think their customers are stupid tend to not survive very long. Google made the impression that it actually cares about it's users in the past, but that may have been an effective marketing trick.
I wonder if there's been a change of management at the googleplex - wouldn't be the first time some ***hole comes out of nowhere and gets paid very well to ruin a perfectly running business.
Tell me that the "average user" would not notice this?
Since "Spam reports" appear to be the only thing that Google pays attention to, then fine, that's what I'm going to spend my time doing - flooding their inbox.
If that is your best evidence google is broken - it isn't very impressive. Pages go 404 all the time. Two of the top three listings are for a seattle drum store.
#2 and #9 on altavista for the same term is a page that has moved. Two of the top three ARE NOT for a seattle drum store.
None of the top ten on all the web appear to be for a seattle drum store.
Teoma gives the best results with most seeming to be relevant, but it also contains a link to the same site (different page) that google has the 404 for and same page that is #2 for altavista.
There is a whopping one result for this as a phrase at Teoma and AV for this term and 0 at google and ATW. No searches were done on this term last month at overture.
This isn't what I would call a great example - but yes - google has an outdated page - as do two of the other three engines I searched - and still gives better results than all except Teoma.
I do believe the most recent "update" has caused much angst for the average webmaster, as noted throughout this thread.
I'm a perfect example (independent webmaster with a PR7 site). Freshbot works fine still, but I have a medium size site, ~2,500 pages, and i've been waiting for over 3 months now for my latest 2,500 pages to get indexed. It's like the fellow who started this thread said....all the work I've done in the past three months (except for the pages I could get fresh bot to hit) have seemed for naught.
Based on my personal calculations using the old Google formula of updates, I figured I've lost a couple thousand dollars the first half of this year because of the lack of Google updates.
Google may still work for the average user, but it has wrecked havoc for this average independent webmaster.
With all the talk about Dominic,I'm wondering (psst Google Guy) if this note in the NSF press releases has anything to do with your current technical problems.
Researchers Develop Techniques for Computing Google-Style Web Rankings Up to Five Times Faster
Did you Google Guys institute a brand spanking new research algo that your techies could not keep up with? Could you please give us a little more info.
I'm sure Brett chose some good questions, and if we get equally good answers I think that will ease some of the speculation going on.
Surely it will start another round of speculation, but at least we'll have more of a basis on which to speculate. ;)
But 9 out of 10 results on the first page having relevancy to my query is not acceptable. I'm sure that not having dead pages in their index is the "prime directive" of the folks at Google, and if it is, they are failing.
Most users stop searching when they find what they are looking for. They don't continue on to find one broken page that two other search engines still have as well.
In all fairness to the pro google sucks people - mfishy sent me what is a REAL example of a crappy SERP - one for a term people ACTUALLY SEARCH FOR.
This is certainly a bad page, mostly because of six pages that are not working on the top 10 serps. This should not be this way, but again - someone searching for this term finds what they want. If they want to find this product, a drug, there are at least 12 people on the front page (if you include the ads) screaming BUY HERE for all intents and purposes.
Having done searches for drugs before on google - I have almost always had to add more words to the query to get QUALITY non sales information. Usually - I use "double blind" as an add on phrase to find scientific information on drugs.
In this case - the SERP sucks - but it would have sucked before at google as it only would have contained sales pages. Now it contains broken sales pages and working sales pages. All the broken ones only list the domain.
So some genius webmaster out there needs to get their sites back up as they are missing out on some good sales (I already checked to see if they were expired - one step ahead of you all :) )
a conversation with my father the other day (who is not a computer/web type of guy) pretty much concluded the situation. He's been planning a trip to Germany for the past 6 months and doing a lot of investigating on the internet, and out of the blue he asks me: "Is something wrong with Google?" Turns out he's stopped using them altogether because the results are horrible now compared to MSN.
I'd like to hear this from someone not related to a webmaster. So far, I haven't.
That's too funny- good find!
Odds are you aren't going to hear from too many non-webmasters at WEBMASTERworld. :)
But keep in mind that real users also search for the same phrases webmasters optimize for.
One aspect that has not been mentioned is the fact that the toolbar is broken. Even GoogleGuy has said to ignore the toolbar until the next update. Google put out the page rank indicator as a service to their users (although we use it differently) and they have definitely failed them on this account. It is bordering on irresponsible for GG to show users their measure of importance of a site when it flat out doesn't work at all- even showing sites as PR0- not grey bar, that have not been found by Googlebot (tough to rank a site that you haven't even "seen")
Seattle- I think you may be stretching a bit with the example you gave. Even if Google was completely up to date, it would be difficult to spot all the dead links 100% of the time.
They haven't noticed.
Right up front I will admit that I am pro-google, though I have noticed a slight degradation the quality of the SERPs. So you can judge the accuracy of what I say based on that.
My girlfriend travels the country doing computer training at libraries. The courses include search skills. She works with a group of about 40 other trainers that do the same. They train people that are professional resaerchers, that is what librarians are trained to do.
Of course librarians will almost always run information searches instead of commercial searches. So this will be biased in that direction.
None of the people in her classes have noticed anything strange or different about google in the last few weeks, or if they have they haven't mentioned it. She has asked several other trainers for me and they were all shocked that anyone was saying that there was anything wrong with google.
Of course the librarians are the sort of people that actually use their brains. They understand that google just returns a bunch of sites, and you have to filter them our yourself. That has always been the case, even before Dominic.
If they are getting more SPAM or 404s, it isn't enough for them to notice because they were getting those before.
Librarians aren't Joe User, but they aren't webmasters either. So there is aome feedback for you.