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Google dropped our plural

blue widget=#1 - blue widgets=#nowhere

     
11:16 pm on Jun 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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more Google wierdness.

After 8 months of ranking #1 for our main search term - 'blue widgets' - we are suddenly nowhere to be found (as from approx 8 days ago).

But now I discover we are #1 for - 'blue widget' - i.e. without the 's' - this is bizarre. Our competitors haven't been affected in this way and our site hasn't changed in the slightest.

I've never come across this before - it doesn't make any sense.

The site is NOT even remotely optomized for 'blue widget' - and to demonstrate this point we cannot be found in the top 100 for this phrase in alltheweb.com yet we are #1 for 'blue widgets'.

Why has google suddenly dropped the significance of the 's'?

Has anyone heard of this happening before?

9:56 am on June 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i can't find any previous discussions about this. is it just me?
9:59 am on June 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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[webmasterworld.com...]

There the another discussions similar to it - maybe you can check wheather this bug has affected your site!

7:45 am on June 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Same problem and I don't know what to do.
My site is #1 for non plurial two different search terms and absolutely lost for same terms plurial version.
No way to explain why?
8:09 am on June 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google just drop me from more than 5000 top ten spots to just 100. The funny thing is he also dropped all of my competitorís sites too!
8:35 am on June 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Try a site search for 'semi-penalty' or 'index page dropped' although I think you will be somewhat familiar with the recent threads. It could be just another example where you are dropped (temporarily) for a key phrase that one would think 'logic determines they should rank highly' in the results. If you feel you've done nothing dodgy then there is likely nothing to worry about, according to the GOspel Of GoogLE guy (GOOGLE).
The singular, while very similar in the way we think, is a wholly different phrase to the plural according to google.
Check for allinanchor:blue widgets across the nine datacentres and see if you can find any of the old results to compare to. It is likely that it had dropped.
Did your ranking for 'blue widget' increase or was it just something you were previously unaware of due to a lack of traffic coming from the singular?
These are where I would start. Or it could be something strange.
9:00 am on June 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Dear Powdork,
I'm really new with google and don't know much about what to do if we're penalized or not.
I did what you have suggested and tried allinanchor for the plurial search phrase, and all data centers show us #2 as it was since since 4 mounths.
But when I search regularly for "blue widgets" we're no where.
As I've mentioned before we're #1 for "blue widget". Maybe I should also say we're pr6.
Still I don't understand why this happens, my competitors seem not to be affected.
Do you have any other suggestion?
9:15 am on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sekron - looks like we're in the same boat.

I'm of the opinion that this is a problem with Google's indexing software (for want of a better name for it).

Has anyone else had this problem?

Perhaps there are some webmasters that don't know about it, its not something that I would have expected - I only found out by accident whilst looking through my logs. If your site ranked high in the SERPS pre-esmerelda and now its vanished, try a non-plural search on your usual key phrase (if applicable) - it may just show up.

11:32 am on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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stavs, my sites have had the same problem - during the last 10 days. From what I can see so far urls seem to play a major role in plural(s) targeted key words.
1:00 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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> From what I can see so far urls seem to play a major role in plural(s) targeted key words.

our url *does* contain the plural - so if you are suspecting that this is only happening to sites with singular key phrases in the url, I believe this is not the case.

Subway, do all your incoming links use the plural key phrase in the link text? and do you include the plural key phrase in your title?

this is true in both cases for us. And this was not so much a conscious effort to optimise for that key phrase, its more a case of that being the *only* key phrase - the singular just isn't appropriate.

Take this for an example:

If you sold 'italian oranges' would you expect anyone to use the search term, 'italian orange'?

3:29 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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< If you sold 'italian oranges' would you expect anyone to use the search term, 'italian orange'? >

Or worse, if you sell 'Italian Pants' would you expect anyone to use 'Italian Pant'?

4:27 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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excellent example, Chndru.

I'd be interested to hear any theories about why this has happened.

6:39 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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At the beginning of Esmeralda, we had a clients site listed #1 for the plural phrase, and #2 for the singular phrase.

Two days ago, the singular dropped out completely.

Yesterday, the singular came back and the plural dropped out completely.

Both are very applicable to the site and both are optimized equally. Both have good internal and external anchor text.

Sure makes an honest SEO nervous. But I'll be patient :-)

10:03 am on June 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi all blessed guys :)
We had still the same problem. I'll try to explain in depth what's going on whith us:
"country1 tour" #1
"country2 tour" #1
"country1 tours" index page is nowhere - one of our subpage is #70
"country2 tours" index page is nowhere - one of our subpage is #51

On other topics I've seen &filter=0 and tried searching for this. Voila!
We're #1 for "country1 tours" and "country2 tours" :(
This means Google banned our index page for keyword "tours" but why?
Many people was talking about duplicated content, I checked with every phrase of my index page and found no duplicate at all.

So I'm totally confused now about how to describe the problem and find a solution.

I know GoogleGuy is very busy and will never take care of such an uncommon problem but still writing here, I don't know why.

"Hope is a waking dream" said Aristotle, maybe I'm just dreaming.

10:08 am on June 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>> do all your incoming links use the plural key phrase in the link text? and do you include the plural key phrase in your title?

URL contains singular - all inbound text links contain plural - it's a good combo (normally). Actually happened by accident.

10:09 am on June 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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to speak purely for myself though - I've noticed that more people in more fields accross the board tend to search for the plural of anything.
11:09 am on June 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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-Subway,

You're 100% right :(

When we were #1 for plurial and singular version of our search phrase, plurial one was taking at least twice more hits.

1:28 pm on June 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'd be very grateful if GoogleGuy could offer some feedback about this.

I genuinely believe that this is a Google bug, because its totally illogical.

1:36 pm on June 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Its not a bug.

Plural and singular searches have always delivered different results on google.

>added: I should have said that google handles plural and singular queries as different searches.

1:44 pm on June 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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john, i think you haven't understood the thread.

if a website is optimized for a plural key phrase, and then it becomes #1 for the singular, and nowhere for the plural - that is what i mean by a bug.

Okay this may not always be the case, indeed often it isn't, but sometimes you 'just know' when a site has not been indexed properly.