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The problem doesn't seem to be related to a specific data centre (i.e. it can occur at all of them). The problem also arises for a search of allinanchor, allintitle and allintext of keyword1. However, it seems that other keywords or combination of keywords are not affected.
Anybody else seeing a similar behaviour?
The refresh thing is still going on, but the other seems a bit more stable now. I may have been a bit quick to judge that one.
I'd probably be less paranoid about the whole thing if we could get some kind of word that this is being worked on. (hint hint)
Hoping to get a summary of this thread here, and then maybe point that summary in a direction... (every time I see a new post here I think it's GG with his input...)
doc_z's original post outlined one of the problems, while the other has been around a bit:
1. Search for Keyword A and the index page of your site isn't there. Hit refresh and it's back. Doesn't happen this way for all of your keywords.
2. The index page isn't there. End of point. Don't even bother refreshing.
Now, Napoleon had a good look at problem #2 after Esmerelda (hmm, can't find the link..), but problem #1 is a bit different.
I can't figure it out from the sites we have worked on. It's not age, keyword density or inbound anchor text, from what I can tell.
Questions for us all to maybe help GoogleGuy see a pattern:
I deduce from the deluge here all these months later that some kind of bug is cascading through Google's system, worsening over time.
I'm not surprised to see GoogleGuy expressing skepticism that this problem even exists. When I queried GoogleGuy's identity and role on this board my posts were deleted.
[Noticing the date I joined this forum, I may have first noted the problem eight or nine months ago.]
I don't believe that all is as it appears to be.
Site is kept relatively fresh, with approx. 50-75 new pages of fresh content added per month, as well as weekly/bi weekly updates to main page (nothing major, as design has lasted in top 5 for 2+ years).
Have checked all link partners, and none seem to be "bad neighborhoods", although, since we've maintained our PR6 (although I'm not sure how reliable that is anymore), I don't think we've incurred any sort of penalty per se.
Since I've seen this occurring to other sites in my general vicinity in the SERPs (the latest occurred just last week, for a LONG TIME competiotr with a much larger/older site), with a return to "normal" listings within a week or so, I tend to think the "New" google rolling update thingy is the culprit behind all this relative inconsistency/instability.
In retrospect, this is the first time in almost 3 years that any changes at google have affected our site. Even with all the algo-changes in the last year or so, we scarcely moved a spot or two.
Having said all that, and looking at the state of the current results, it looks to me to be a beta-test on a grand scale, one which is causing a number of (what appear) to be unexpected results (i.e. poor relevancy, almost unrelated epinion/amazon/dealtime links, etc.)
I do, however, see light at the end of the tunnel. With all yahoo's new acquired crawlers, I think we are mere months away from a MAJOR shift in SE traffic. I, for one, will be glad to not have to be at the mercy of one player for the majority of my traffic.
I am not sure if I question GoogleGuys idenity etc.... I am sure he has a "full time" job that require his attention.
I stll have the "refresh problem" but it has changed slightly.
yesterday I would be number 9 then after a refresh of the page I was number 2 on this particualr keyword phrase.
Now today I am number one for this sarch phrase but after a refresh I am number 2. This does not happen everytime however.
2) I moved servers, but that didn't affect the problem. It was happening both before and after. Plus I'm the host, so I control all dns records and can move things seamlessly.
3) Refresh and it's #4 for us. :) At least for the SERP we're most interested in.
5) We're in DMOZ, but still (after months) have yet to show up into the google directory.
5) Early April.
GoogleGuy: Thanks for the info! :)
1. No. Stable virtual hosting
3. Not just #1, it happens for all sorts of positions
4. Yes, they are in there
5. All less than the 18 months
6. Yes, first owner
Given the tempramental nature of this, it will be an impressive bit of problem resolution if it's fixed. It's easy to check if you know for certain which sites are affected on which search terms, but I would imagine a nightmare if not. Here's hoping.
mipapage, I doubt that you will find a pattern through these questions, but here we go:
1. Did everyone here have both problems with their site?
2. Have you switched hosts lately? Are you virtual?
3. I've seen a lot of 'refresh and it's #1'. This is the case for me, how about the rest of you?
4. Are all of these sites in the Directory?
5. When was your site first into Google/Directory?
6. Were you the first person to own your domain (we weren't!)
2. Swiched host in May. No apparent problem with this move.
3. Refresh and I am # 3 (actually, #4 as of tonight :( )
5. Since end of last year
mipapage, I doubt that you will find a pattern through these questions...
I was more hoping these may spark some inspiration in some of the minds here - we tend to get stuck on SEO reasons when it could be some 'out there' reason. Anyway, hopefully the GoogleTweak sorts it...
Thanks for the updates GoogleGuy!
5. 2 weeks ago. Has plenty of #1 and #2. Now all pages are gone
url: www.mydomain.com brings back the old cached page for the place-holder text that existed on my domain before my actual site was launched. That was about 3 weeks ago. Since then, my serps have been excellent but about 12 hours ago, my site's pages ALL dispappeared COMPLETELY.
Thanks for your presence Googleguy.
I'll check back for further updates :)
Hmmm, maybe premature. I had checked on ((three computers)x'many times') with clean caches, but the fourth failed... Of course right when I said "it's 'fixed', try it!"
It seems to be getting more and more consistent to the good for me. I wonder if the fix has to propogate across the servers, datacenters, thousands of little pc's and their thousands of little hard drives etc etc..
[edited by: mipapage at 1:48 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2003]
The baffling thing is...one of them actually increased in PR, and yet his iste has started disappearing from SERPS as well...
Nothing like losing $400+ per day in income to get you motivated on diversifying away from the big G...
Yesterday, GG acknowledged that a Google engineer "did identify a potential issue that could have affected some of the [index page] reports."
I just read an article titled "Server breach raises Linux code worries" at [news.com.com...] Could it be any connections?
[edited by: zafile at 5:56 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2003]
By the way, I forgot to mention my problem with the index page issue was fixed. I'm pretty sure the issue was corrected when I lowered my keyword density a little under 5%.
My index page has been steady in the SERPs with some small variations.
I haven't experienced the temporal vanishing.
All the best.
one day this will mean something but untill theres an agreed way to meaure density this doesnt mean a lot right now. 5% , is that with or without stop words?, are you counting a single word or a keyphrase? are you counting meta tags and title? page comments? image tags? etc. etc. there is no standard for density so 5% to you could be 10% to someone else or vice versa.
HTML title, meta tags and alt tags aren't included in the figure.
The figure excludes the following words: a the but i or and of it he she her his on in an.