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The results look really good.. hopefully this will reflect across all the datacenters soon. Seems like the spammier sites I compete against have moved down while the good honest pages have moved up.
I've followed Brett's 12 month plan to build a site, but am buried behind a spammer who takes up 8 of the top 10 results with 4 different domains (2 listings per domain). I do allinurl:onthespammersdomain.com and I get 49,000 pages of spam! These are 49,000 pages of sneaky redirects to an affiliate program. In other words, no content! I've sent in numerous spam reports on this redirecting spammer, but nothing ever happens. I just sent you another one. I just can't understand why google can't detect a huge amount of redirects on a domain.
example: Instead of linking to home.htm, I put the full [mydomain........]
This was because I had a number of directories, so it seemed to make more sense to put the full URl instead of the just the page...
Is this spam? Because Google did list alot of my pages as backlink pages for my home page.
Hold your breath, I think fresh bot may be our saviour.
Good luck, I hope this is the end of a hair wrenching 48 hours.
Google minimally, or even hugely, devaluing anchor text should be of nearly zero consequence to a webmaster with quality content. Anchor text is nearly totally irrelevant as a gauge of page quality. Anchor text is one of those (nearly) worthless SEO things -- it really shouldn't matter if a link says "Red Widgets" or "RedWidgets.com" or "Home". There is absolute zero greater quality implied by "Red Widgets" over the others.
Targetted anchor text still rules, but instead of a dictatorship its more like a constitutional monarchy now.
Also, folks need to consider that Google should not differentiate between external and internal. It costs $30 to put up another domain to create "external" text for yourself, meaning it is just as easy to make internal anchor text and external anchor text.
One extremely huge positive I'm seeing on -ex is a devaluation of keyword in domain. Like the non-differnce between the anchor texts above, it is ludicrous to give significant value to red-widgets.com over redwidgets.com. Keyword in url has been very important lately, but on -ex at least it seems less so. Very good Google.
Two main problems I see are like one poster said above, "mini-webs" of no content anchor-text trash are still doing very well. And then, for one of my terms, results 16 through 36 are all redirects, not actual sites. Result says this-site.com, but you click it and are taken to parent-of-affiliates.com. Twenty of these suckers in a row. Not good Google. (Very good on getting rid of the one though GG... :)
When I allinanchor, my site does not exist in the results, but a G search for the same keyphrase has me listed on page one.
Can you explain this?
OK, I stay quiet normally but I have a point to make which may or may not be contoversial?
I run a company that sells "Widgets" and I have no interest in SEO or trying to "cheat" google. All I am interested in is selling our stuff and doing it well.
We are told by our customers all the time that we are the best "widget shop" they have used, we pay great attention to customer service, our prices are always the lowest and we only sell good quality widgets.
So how do we make sure that people can find us? Google has pretty much a monopoly when it comes to search engines so I make it a priority to try to get good google listings. I come here and read some threads, i submit my site to directories, i get some inbound links etc.
Then i take some more advice, I make sure my keywords appear on my page in the right places. I put a few links on my other websites with the right anchor text, i try to get inbound links from sites with high PR, i put a mini site map with good keywords at the bottom of each page etc.
So am i a white hat or a black hat? I don't know, I don't care really, i just know i've done what I had to do to get a good listing, as I said i'm not interested in cheating google, I know my site is one of the best in the country because I work hard. It's not a scam or anything like that, just a good honest widget shop.
I guess what i'm saying is that because the top couple of pages for my keywords are full of bad websites that are over-optimized I had a choice to make, do nothing and let these rubbish companies get all the customers, or optimize and run the risk of getting dropped if I broke one of the rules without knowing it.
In an ideal world I would be able to just get on running the company and dealing with customers, not worrying about whether my H1 tage was close enough to the top of the page or something stupid like that.
Now my listings have dropped off the face of the earth and if i've been penalised because of the changes I was forced to make to my site to get a good listing then I won't be happy.
I know the replies i'm going to get to this, "google doesn't owe you traffic" or "just use adwords" or "serves you right".
However, I am sure that google would agree that having to spam to be in with any chance of getting good rankings is not an ideal situation for them or us, we're a good site and we shouldn't need to resort to tactics like that, apart from anything else I don't have the time. I also do use adwords, about £8000 spent so far this year.
I am obviously biased because our site has been dropped but I have to say that the quality of results for searchers on our keywords have also dropped. It's gone from a page full of spammy sites to a page full of irrelivent results and bbc news articles, although the number one site is still the most spammy site i've seen, no idea how they've hung in there.
So in my industry at least google scores 0/10 for this update, assuming it's not going to revert back in a couple of days.
rant over....as you were :)
The results are going to greatly fluctuate over the next 3 or 4 days... (3 or 4 days was the estimate GoogleGuy gave earlier as to when this update would be complete)
However it seems to rank better than ever for "best widget cityname". In some cases 'cityname isn't even mentioned on my site. weird..
As with many others I am not standing in very good shape after this update. Sites with esoteric keywords that were top 10 since 1998 are now in the 100's, if findable at all.
The .biz subdomain spammers are all still there with the same text on every page. All the searchenginecloaker guys are still there. The only guys I see totally gone are the anchor text relevancy guys. We had one competitor who had no text on his page whatsoever, his results were all generated by anchor text. He is gone.
Things seem to be fluctuating like crazy, a few hours ago we were back in at traditional positions. One wierd thing is that the results on the Google dance machine are not the same are NOT the same results I see in my browser. Anyone know why?
I have a page in my domain with the title "word1 word2 word3 word4". The anchor text is "word2 word3".
I type "word1 word2 word3" into Google, and behold! I am at the top of the SERPs.
But I type in "word1 word2 word3 word4" into Google, and my page is nowhere to be seen!
Now this makes absolutely no sense. I would have thought I'd be more likely to be at the top of the SERPs if the search term exactly matched the title of the page.
It'd be nice if everyone would just shut up and stop jumping to conclusions
You're words were delicately choosen and that's a great way to make friends in a place you may want to have some.
Join a club and make one of the first things you say "it would be nice if everyone would shut up".
If you dont want to see a traffic accident, don't slow down and look at it.
I don't suppose anybody can give a summary
Google has obviously made some type of a major new update and/or applied filters. Results will be fluctuating across all datacenters for days to come.
GoogleGuy said to give it 3-4 days to settle, then decide if you need to rethink your SEO practices or not.
I am in the top 10 for most of my terms and really can't knock most of the other sites that are ranking above me from a website perspective. I don't like the work of some of them and think my widgets are better designed or better quality, but that isn't something that Google can determine.
My site is pretty similar to Brett's description of how to build a winning site, and I try not to push the envelope on optimizing. I have good titles, descriptions, headings and links that use my targeted keywords, but I always make sure that they pages are geared towards humans first. I have a small number of links to my site mostly from relavant sites and maybe a dozen exchanged links on a links page. This has helped me slowly rise in the SERP's and survive most of the purges and other problems that many sites seem to have. I even survived Dominic last spring with no drastic changes in my SERP's.
What's good to see on the keywords I monitor is the fact that at this stage the spammers are gone. One site in particular which used to be top 10 employed the tactic of repeating 2 words in the title and up to 70 times in the keywords and description tags! Where is it now? Gone. Happy days.
GoogGuy mentioned before about how he thought most of the webmasters here belonged to the white hat brigade (chortle) which raises an interesting question; In the same way that one woman's terrorist is another woman's freedom fighter, could one woman's white hat techniques be another woman's black hat techniques? In other words, how can you reliably translate qualitative judgement techniques into algorithms?
how can you reliably translate qualitative judgement techniques into algorithms
You can't, which is why Brett wants the whole "hat" thing dropped ;)
Personally, I'm stickin to my yellow hard-hat to protect myself from all the falling sites ;)
I'm actually seeing an increase in visitors now, despite being completely dropped for one keyword. Incidently, it was a keyword I used in anchor text a lot, within my own site.
This update really doesn't seem that drastic to me. It is about like all the other updates over the last couple years. I gain a couple positions on some terms, and lose a couple on others.
Same here. I've seen a minor fluctation or two over the weekend, but nothing dramatic. At the moment I'm ranking where I'd expect to rank for the top keywords and keyphrases that I monitor, and that's true of all 10 data centers. (Disclaimer: I did say "at the moment"!)
My site is pretty similar to Brett's description of how to build a winning site, and I try not to push the envelope on optimizing. I have good titles, descriptions, headings and links that use my targeted keywords, but I always make sure that they pages are geared towards humans first.....I even survived Dominic last spring with no drastic changes in my SERP's.
Ditto, ditto, and more ditto. It's an approach that minimizes stress and Google-inspired revisions. :-)