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How may front pages did you lose?

Google kicks clean html front pages



1:08 am on Nov 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I lost 2 top ranking front pages
All other pages on the sites still getting a few hits
both still top ranked by msn
urls = keyword1 - keyword2 - keyword3 - keyword4

Anyone else with losses please post like to get an idea of simliarities


10:00 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't expect that Googleguy or anyone else at Google really cares about the recent comments made in this forum. They have their sights set upon the BIG picture and what will be achieved by their adjustments to the algo.

But please remember Google, that the BIG picture is made up of lots and lots of smaller elements. The latest Google update is hurting many honest webmasters, while the spam remains intact.

If an honest webmaster cannot get valuable traffic, they will go out of business leaving the spammers and heavy-duty SEOs to clean up.

This update is NOT GOOD. But please don't just take my word for it - listen to the webmasters who are posting here in the HOPE that someone at Google will actually respond to the people who have been working with you for many happy years.

We are grateful for the traffic you have sent us, we have based our businesses around your traffic. And to have the rug pulled from under us like this, when we have done absolutely nothing wrong is a total nightmare.

PLEASE Google, rethink this mess. :(


10:07 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Even stranger. I lost a few top 10 rankings for my index page. Like others it's disappeared altogether. This happened last thursday/ Friday, however my index page was a pr5 last week, today it's PR6! They've really messed up.


10:12 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Similar thing here Dave. My home page PageRank went from 4 to 5, but disappeared out of the rankings! Baffling.


10:13 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I give adwords 1000's in adwords revenue a month and I get replaced by some blogger. Makes me mad that I cannot top it up with good RELEVANT serps.


10:19 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just like to remind people the topic of this thread is

How may front pages did you lose?

Lets not make this another update thread please.


My front page is still in Google however because the update is not over my internal pages are appearing in the results instead of the default setting of the main index page.

This will be fixed soon, seems to happen often in updates.

Tropical Island

10:20 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

We dissapeared for the 2 two word names of our area which are the most heavily searched however we still remain number one when you append the country name.

I would like to make changes to our index page to return us to the main terms however I'm afraid to touch anything for fear of losing what we already have.

Any suggestions?


10:29 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I lost two sites - my only two sites - my only income.

What am I supposed to do now?


10:36 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The results are so far from valid at this moment. I had a completely relevant site for the categories I was listed for the past 2 years and I dare say that I was the most relevant for the entire category and now 4 of my competitors and myself have disappeared, leaving the category in complete disarray.

[edited by: jasonale at 10:55 am (utc) on Nov. 24, 2003]


10:36 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What am I supposed to do now?

Carry on as normal and wait for everything to settle down.

Again I say that this thread is dedicated to those who have lost index pages!

How may front pages did you lose?


10:42 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Tropical Island, you have that box of text that duplicates on your index page and what you call your homepage. There is certainly nothing good in that. I'd fiddle with the text on one page or the other so they weren't exactly the same.


11:03 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello everybody!

Nicola: I agree completely with you. This update has not been good for many honest webmasters. Also I think that details like this are not so important in some organizations, when they are growing.

Tropical Island: Also I am scared to make any change. I believe that I have made the correct things, and any time, sooner or later, my site will recover its deserved relevance.


11:21 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've looked at over 15 "lost index pages". All 15 were webmaster fault.

Make your mind up Brett! :-) How many pages were there? 15 or more thn 15? How many were the fault of the webmaster. 15 or all of them (more than 15)?

Duplicate content on www.domain.com vs domain.com.

Is this new tro the Florida update or is it a penalty that's been knocking around for a while.

On another note, calling it the webmaster's fault is a bit ridiculous. If someone's clued up on all of Google's little peccadilloes, then they'll know not to do this. However, the average web site creator who doesn't care too much for studying the intracacies of Google will probably not realise this until their site is doing suspiciously badly in Google.

The fact is that a lot of sites use domain.tld as well as www.domain.tld. It makes it easier for a user to type in the site name, especially whgen the company is also called domain.tld (Very popular during the dot.com era).

Why should they even put a thought to creating 301 redirects? As far as they and the user are concerned, the site at domain.tld and the site at www.domain.tld are one and the same. They're not likely to be doing it deliberately to cheat the search engines.

In my opinion, if google sees exact or near-exact content at www.domain.tld as it does at domain.tld or even *.domain.tld, then it should treat it as the same page. Penalising somebody for this is insane.


11:25 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My index page went AWOL for some keywords but I have noticed more of my internal pages being returned (although a little lower) instead. Net effect is 25-30% traffic loss.

To those, particularly Lasko, who believe that the update is not over, I would suggest that you get used to the fact of your new positioning. The update is over, the data centres on many, many terms now agree - some slight variation but that has always been the case.

The results may not be what we want but I think its time to start rethinking your sites and strategies - hoping against hope that suddenly things will go back to 14/11/03 is not the answer.

Google has imposed a new order - we all better get used to it. I don't particulary like the impact, but in Google's eyes I'm not meant to.

Look for ANY tricks you may have been using to help your rankings. Forget the hats thing. Can you honestly say that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about your site content that you did especially for the bots. I know I have - even if I may like to think it was only minor.


11:34 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I haven't been following the threads about the last update a lot but what I can see is another drop in the overall quality of the search results on Google, not the first one since May. I mean, if a site is about <keyword>, why not use <keyword> in the title? A lot of real quality sites have dropped to almost invisibility (no disgruntled webmaster here - mine are still doing well), while now we have sites mentioning <keyword> somewhere (!) in the body text but actually having a different main topic are occupying the top spots. Relevancy has been killed by another weak update - I'm using Altavista again for my personal searches, with better results...


11:39 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Googleguy said:
I'd go ahead and do a 301 from the version that you don't use to the version that you do use

That doesn't appear to work.

We were listed 5th for a given phrase..then about a week ago, we noticed that the listing had changed.. we were still in 5th, but the domain name was wrong (it was using an old domain name we've not used in AGES).. so I set up a 301 from the old domain to the new domain name. What happened? Well.. we're not in 5th anymore.. The correct domain is still in google (doing a site: domain) but it's nowhere to be found in SERPS.

So.. if you do take GoogleGuys advice and do a 301, prepare to lose your position in results.

I've lodged this with webmaster at google.com (#5078192) but had nothing but an automated reply so far.

Like BlueMi says, I've had many users saying they're getting more relevant results on AltaVista now.. :(


11:50 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well here is one more victim of "lost index page" ...

I am just wondering, how the Biggest SE (G) just in November of 2003 decided to seperate domain.com and www.domain.com?

I think the problem isn't that....

What about thinking of another reason of "lost index pages"?
Most of us know how important the index page was until now on every SE and of cource in G too.
Most of us, i am sure about that, use alot of kws in index page and sometimes in a high density.
So... what about if G just changed the kw density in index pages and gives a "kick" to the pages that have a high kw density?
I am just wondering.......;)


11:51 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

To those, particularly Lasko, who believe that the update is not over, I would suggest that you get used to the fact of your new positioning. The update is over, the data centres on many, many terms now agree - some slight variation but that has always been the case.

Hmmmm........everyone can make their own mind up weather the update is over, go ahead make your changes now with so little statistics.

I for one believe its not over.


a) in the last few hours the links on 8 out of 10 datacenters has just been updated, used to be just -VA only two data centers have old back links.

b) Pr has only just filtered through on some datacenters and not all.

c) May/June was the same, webmasters site were dropping for no reason, index pages missing, PDF's, Amazon, Directories in the top 10 results.

d)Internal pages are displayed instead of the index page of the site which also happen in May/June.

So their is my thought, and I'm going to wait another month for things to settle, make a professional judgement on Statistics and advice then when i am ready in the right frame of mind I will make changes to my site where I see fit.

The update will be more then weeks less then months :)


12:05 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The worst part about it all is that relevant index pages are lost and replaced with non-relevant pages from message boards and other random off topic sites.

Like I said in my earlier post, I lost two pages which were spot on the theme of the search, provided free useful & abundant information, were both listed in Dmoz and Yahoo! directories and were considered good sites by the visitor comments I got.

All the searching surfers will see now are spammers and message boards. :(


1:34 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My site that had dissapeared (using it's title) is now back online along with all the sites linking to it. None of those other sites came up in the results in last 3 days which is strange. I wrote Google last night so maybe they fixed the problem.


1:55 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Also lots of Amazon pages showing up again, at least for my relevant keywords. If I want to buy books I can go directly to Amazon's site, can't I?

spamoogle.com... :-(


1:56 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

My site is back on page 1 too today - despite its H1 and keyword optimisation. Looking promising.


2:04 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I only lost my front page ..as all my other pages are #1.
Just thinking since message board spam has replaced every listing. Theres not one regular site under at least 10 different keywords. Some keywords have over 2 pages of message board spam.
I wonder if googles keywords got message board spammed if they would start to care ... Hmmmmmmmm


2:31 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I see alot of message boards / icq boards coming into the results and the reason is because spammers have realised that if they post:-

"keyword keyword keyword keyword keyword keyword keyword"

enough times then surfers will find their spam. Trouble is the message boards are usually off-topic and by the time the surfer sees the results, the message board has moved on.

Google was the LAST true search engine and it's success was/is based upon the good serps, because without them it's RIP.


2:57 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

As for index pages, i'm not planning on losing any. As for "can they be found in Google" - yes, no problem, but really: Deeper pages are more important to me, as once people is on my site they will have no problem locating the front page.

Tech stuff:
On one domain it is technically possible to have different fully spiderable and validating HTML pages shown for all these URI's (and even more..). Any of them could also be returned when you type in the URL "domain.com" in your browser.


For that matter, you could even let your domain or any of these URI's display the current content of "webmasterworld.com", "google.com", or some template site having only one set of content, but, say, a different title or <h1> depending on domain. It's all technically possible, but that doesn't mean that it's fun, smart or wise to do it.

Add "www." in front, and you get twice the number of combinations - but on another domain, as "www." is a subdomain of domain.com. My own opinion on the www-subdomain is unchanged since August 15 (post#3): [webmasterworld.com...] - basically four irrelevant keystrokes for your users. Others may have a different opinion.

To get back on topic, i'd say: Do what suits your purpose best but do it consistently.

The most important points seem to be:
- Don't show Gbot or anyone else the same content on two different URL's.
- Don't show Gbot or anyone else different content on the same URL.

As for a 301 howto, see msg #32 in Site change of URL [webmasterworld.com]


Added: "Newbie cloaking primer" for Q by caryl below: [webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: claus at 3:27 pm (utc) on Nov. 24, 2003]


3:11 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>>The most important points seem to be:
- Don't show Gbot or anyone else the same content on two different URL's.
- Don't show Gbot or anyone else different content on the same URL. >>

You lost me there claus...

- Don't show Gbot or anyone else different content on the same URL. (?)

Please explain.



3:24 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)


different content for the bot and a separate content for normal user.


4:24 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

i've lost one site completely - from page 1 to NONE. i suspect that i am being penalized (in part) because it's a subdomain and repeats content.

see, my sites work like this: the central www site contains all content that is catogerised by geographical location. for those locations that are more important i have set up subdomains that pull the same content from the DB but with a different looking interface.

my most important (and lucrative) key phrase is 'keywordGEO kewordPROD' (keywordGEO = name of the product's location & keywordPROD = product type) for one of the subdomains. For this combination I am no longer listed 3rd for. Vanished.

What is really strange is that the new site in the third position is about another product! Admittedly a similar one (a car rather than a motorbike, for example). On this site keywordGEO is the same, their main kewordPROD is different, as I just mentioned, and *my* kewordPROD is mentioned twice on the page as 'kewordPROD in keywordGEO' text links.

I can't explain this and are rather frustrated that a site that is effectively out of context (same market but different product) gets a top spot.


5:10 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just wanted to add an ounce or two to the topic. I have lost several long standing, top 5 positioned index pages, that adhere to Google guidelines.

On one of my client's sites that ranked well for keyword keyword disappeared. The #1 ranked site for that phrase is a hidden text spammer that has held that position for years despite me reporting them. On another, the #1 postition is held by a "Not Found
The posting you were looking for has been removed from the server... ". Seems like poor quality prevails.

I have a question. I have spent several hours on trying to figure out what to do about this situation. I have clients who have trusted in my reputation and pay me decently to get them ranked, and so I feel compelled to continue my investigation. But at the moment I feel like the idiot that was told to locate the corner in the round room.

I will gladly comply with whatever the new guidelines are if I understand what they are. Re-direct, Re-direct didn't help, change title, h1, tags, no wait... don't.

OK... there's my oz's. Just a bit frustrated. I guess what I'll do is keep investigating as time allows, and continue trying to improve my sites in the hopes that quality will prevail at some point.


6:22 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

While I have had my primary site go missing from Google after having worked my way up from page 40+ to page 2 over the last few months, I now have an old, neglected, out of date and quite poorly constructed site move from page 60+ to page two of the results. Dollar wise, I would expect to maintain my current income. Speaking of POOR, the first two irrelevant results for my keyword/phrase are dated 1994 and 2001... Several results after that are blogs, message boards, or commercial sites whose backlinks are blogs, message boards, or guest books with hidden keyword text. Almost all of the non-cheating commercial have disappeared. Way to go Google!

I should mention that I have used adwords in the past and for the short period that I used them, the income was $100 for every $1.18 spent. This may be due to the fact that Google allows deeper pocket, high ticket advertisers to advertise in areas unrelated to the keyword. Way to go Google!

It has been stated that with the new update, income has shifted from some sites to others. I disagree. The income is going to Google via Adwords. This is unfortunate in that with the irrelevancy of the current results, surfers have no choice but to click on paid ads. Given that paid ads cost the business more than "free" search results, they either have to increase the cost of the product to the consumer or lower the quality of the product. Either way, the consumer pays more for less. Way to go Google!

Like I said above, I expect my income to remain about the same, I am just sickened but how poor the search results are now. This appears to me to be a pretty transparent ploy to increase greedy Google's income for the eventual IPO. I for one, expect to go short on Google stock.

Interesting note...
My spouse is a systems admin for a major university library in the northeast. I was surprised to learn this morning that she (I had not previously mentioned the update to her) and the other library admins are considering removing Google from the recommended search engine page because of the poor search results and anti-commercial site bias in the results or at least noting that if the patron is searching for consumer products, they are better off not using Google. This would involve several hundred public terminals. She told me that they are taking a "wait and see" attitude right now, but that a couple of the heavy weight librarians are quite incensed at what they consider to be censorship for financial gain. Before today, I had not been aware that they even had a recommended search engine page or that they took any active role in investigating search quality, particularly for commercial searches.


8:33 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

For those who has index page missing, can you please do this simple test for me?

1. Do a search for

allinanchor:keywords phase that you have missing index page

And tell me if you rank well with it.

2. And also, do that keywords phase that you have missing index page appeared exactly in your title?

This 409 message thread spans 14 pages: 409

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