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The panic is settling down, the whine of worry is receding to a steady hum in the back of my head, and several recovery plans are forming...
I lost my index page entirely, due to lazy keyword stuffing. My fault! Unfortunately, mine is a very small business: no listing = no food (let alone xmas).
I was planning on overhauling the website anyway, and I've given myself until 1/1/04 before I accept an opening with another business and abandon my own. The question now is: overhaul the index page and resubmit to Google immediately, overhaul the entire website and resubmit the whole thing in a few weeks, overhaul the website (starting with the index page of course) and wait for Googlebot. Time is most definitely a factor.
...are any of these plans likely to restore my index page to the directory before I have to throw in the towel in January?
There are also longer range options of starting over with a new website and closing the old.
Mahalo Nui Loa! (Thank you very much!)
Everything that I have read about Google tells me that they have a clear idea of what they want the Internet to be. That there is a clear connection between the values of Sergey Brin and the way that Google conducts its business. That Google is not content to take a passive role in seeing how best practices on the Web shake out - on the contrary, they feel a responsibility to determine what those best practices are, rewarding sites that do things the right way (in their eyes), and penalizing those that don't.
Could it be that what we are seeing is a calculated gamble to change the behavior of Webmasters / SEO's? Google is at the height of its market dominance at this very moment. As we can see from reading this thread, there are countless Web masters who hang on their every algo tweak. As search is in no way a natural monopoly, there is nowhere to go but down for Google (in % of market terms).
So, as opposed to building an algo that is successful in locating the best sites for given searches, they build an algorithm that rewards sites that are being built and optimized the way Google wants them to be built and optimized. The difference is subtle, but has huge implications.
We seem to agree that its "over" optimized sites that are getting hit the hardest, and that its the SERPS for really competitive keywords that are delivering the least relevant results.
Google is telling us that they could care less about short term, nonesensical SERPS for competitive words. They are gambling that their power is so great at this moment, that Webmasters and SEOs will have no choice but to conform to Google's new rules ASAP.
I would go so far as to say that the public will never even notice (despite the "my fiancee says she will never use google again" posts). I plan to have my site scrubbed for whatever the new guidelines are within a month, because I can't afford not to. The only penalty that Google will see for delivering some ridiculous SERPS in competitive words is a big spike in AdWords $$.
However, anyone who claims that Google is simply out to maximize short term profits is missing the boat. This company feels morally bound to tell us the right way to present information on the Web, and can and will destroy those that ignore their worldview.
ESPECIALLY WHEN...get ready...IT'S HAPPENED BEFORE! Remember the last collossal cockup with missing index pages?
One day it's relevant, the next day, it's only on ATW and AV? That makes little to no logical sense at all. <<
I do see your argument... but maybe.... just maybe... the last cockup was a trial run. Maybe they somehow think they have it right this time. I guess that's the fear many people have Drewls.
You look at some of the SERPS and think "No way - that's gotta be wrong". But the GG comes on here acting as though everything is fine.
Oh yes... and there you go... a post without mentioning conspiracy theories (Oops!).
However, the *smartest* large companies understand that they have a contract with their users, and that if they let their users down, especially on a regular or semi-regular basis, they run the risk of market share loss.
Prettly clearly, G is a smart company, and not just techno-smart.
My best theory: G is attacking spammers big time and that is good for the Web and consistent with G values and consistent with good business strategy. They got the formula wrong, just as the did with Dom/Es, but they'll get it right. Unfortunately at a short term price to many innocents.
Plea: G, please do this behind the scenes in future; don't dump this nasty, half-baked stuff into the mainstream, untill the bugs are worked out.
I've heard this before... and it's true. However, is it Googles intent to simply raise and lower some pages? If so... that is working just fine.
I thought the intent was to raise the content rich, relevant, meaningful sites and lower the spammy, redirecting, zero content sites?
Hmm... the "mistake" theory... I don't know... timing is either perfect or completely insane...
responding to drewls
#2 for allinanchor
#2 for allintext
#2 for allintitle
NOWHERE IN SERPS
I see exactly this on a couple of keyword1 keyword2 terms I am watching [keyword1-keyword2 the site lists fine]. I also see index file issues which look incomplete.
However as someone else mentioned I watched results fading for some two word searches before the update started. So until things have settled I wont try to draw conclusions.
Results at the moment do not make a lot of sense in many two word searches cases and I dont expect this to remain as many 2wd terms will be showing pages that simply should not be there as they dont serve the purpose of delivering quality results.
I dont think the lady :-) has finished singing.
ps: no I dont want email notification of replies to this thread thanks :-) I feel for anyone that ticked that box by mistake on one of these update threads.
All the best all. Keep smiling.
I am still noticing alot of Blogs alot lower than previous runs. Anyone else noticing this? I wonder if google was trying to cut off blogs before they get too intertangled in normal serps.
No, my blog still shows up at the top (for a two word phrase that has little economic value but that's searched for 8000 times a month according to Overture).
And I don't think that Google wants to cut off blogs. Spammy sales sites are a much bigger problem for SERPs than blogs.
I just typed in "buy widget", and some guy with over a hundred different sub-domains came up dominating the first 15 pages of the SERPs. Google isn't supposed to do that. That's a bad result. Same guy is nowhere to be seen in MSN. MSN is giving the better search results!
I'm afraid I didn't check before I panicked and re-did it as quickly as I could. I've been doing my own SEO for several years, so I knew I had gone a bit too far. My primary keyword1+keyword2 was on at least 4-5 times, with keyword2 appearing around 15+ times due to the it being an important part of the name of the item. It's the kind of thing where there are no synonyms for the name of what you are selling, which leads naturally to overuse when you are listing variations.
If you sticky-mail me, I'll send you the website address. If you look at the cache, you'll see it was getting out of hand.
In fact one site that ranks in the top 5 of most of my searches has a flash movie and hidden keyword repeated text above and below it and that's all it's got.
luckily I'm above them in every search, must be that everyone else is just worse than them. yikes!
I feel for anyone that ticked that box by mistake on one of these update threads.
Like me? LOL. I started the original thread when I was seeing flucations in results last Wed & Thurs on -in. I had the box ticked and received (and deleted) nearly 400 "reply to post" notifications over the weekend.
Fortunately WW chunks groups of 5-6 posts together into one email, else I would have received over 600 emails
I also noticed that the keyword phrase: "blue wide cheap widget" which I use to track, no longer comes up, but when I do a search for "cheap widget", im on the first page.
I starting to see the problem here...