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When I want to search these sites I know enough to go directly to them and use their site search, which I have already bookmarked, so I'd rather not have to wade though their extensive listings in the Google serps.
The filters have taken the cream off the milk and we are left with what ever happens to be underneath.
I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall here. Because we still have no direct comments regarding the "keyword -asdfj" senario from Googleguy, so I guess we are correct in saying that commercial filters are in place?
This is why the statment that "For every webmaster that is complaining, one is equally happy" is complete and utter nonsense.
Thousands of small businesses and content sites have been replaced by semi-relevant large sites with no focus on the topic.
Google is a great "book" search engine now.
And it's not that I was hurt by Florida ... somehow my sites were spared ... but then I'm pretty much off the competitive keywords radar screens these days.
Florida left me unscathed but I'll lose traffic if people quit coming to Google and it won't surprise me if that's already starting to happen when I have to wade through those Amazon/Ebay/YahooStores/OutdatedDirectory/MegaShoppingSpam sites.
I also tried searching for some programming stuff. Before the update i used to get pages of relevant code samples from various sites. Now all i get are pages of friggen sites linking to books.
For this kind of every day stuff i will switch to another search engine. There is no point in wasting hours trying to find something that used to take only a few minutes.
The thing that Google seems to have overlooked is that a small site needs to be focussed, it needs good titles and headings, descriptions and title tags otherwise they would not get seen. Now Google has just shifted the goal posts altogether in favour of the big time sites who really couldn't care less about "specialized blue widgets", but the small fry hobbiest with a site about "specialized blue widgets" has vanished, leaving the searching public with nothing but crap, commercial listings.
Of course it is not difficult to go overboard and predict the end, but I cannot help but see the increased Amazon / directories presence in the SERP's correlating with the IPO. It's as if Google is pandering to large corporations. All I can say is that if we think it is bad now, just wait until Google has a babble of profit hungry Wall Street stock brokers looking for a good return on their investment
I believe it is inevitable that Google will become a harder place for small time independents to co-exist with corporations. It might sound depressing, but there you are.
One of my sites, selling tightly niched professional widgets and thoroughly clean, was blown out of the top results water by Florida, to be replaced with a ton of irrelevant .gov, .edu, and .org sites wich have the keywords somewehere in them but are useless to anyone searching for 'professional widgets'.
All my competitors were likewise relegated to SERP Siberia. Except for.... one old site of mine, which quietly sells professional widgets, is not optimized or linked to by anyone, but is ...*drumroll*... sitting on a Yahoo Stores server, using a store.yahoo/username URL. It shows up on the second page of SERPs, and is the ONLY link where a surfer could actually find a professional widget anywhere within reason (the next relevant result is around #120).
Pretty freaky, considering that pre-Florida, that link showed up somewhere around #90 and rarely got any direct-from-google clicks. Mind you, that is not the URL that my AdWords ads or account use, Google has no idea that site belongs to one of their AdWords customers.
Oh, another clue: put in 'professional widgets anyword' and there's my site on the first page again, right where it was before...
80-90%? Yes. I have one search term where it looks like all but about a half dozen of the top 100 listings that were there before are now out of the top 100.
Why would you consider an eBay Store any less relevant to a particular topic than a non-eBay retail site?
If you're looking to buy fuzzy widgets, why wouldn't you want the SERPS to include the eBay Fuzzy Widget Store?
I wouldn't mind if the search took me directly to the page selling what I am looking for. But instead I'm getting general Ebay or whatever pages and still have to search through their site.
I wonder if part of the problem is that Google no longer has a way to tell if the page just mentions the key word once or is a page solely about that topic. Maybe they are no longer looking at keywords in the text because of spammers. But then they are left with no measure of specificity.
I have a page about Ghengis Khan's Silken Underpants but when I type in that precise search term, I only get one of my pages about Mark Antony's Leather Jockstrap at #4 and one of my pages about Undergarments worn by Generals of Yore at #5...
Ghengis' briefs are nowhere to be seen...
However, if I then type in Mark Antony's Leather Jockstrap, this particular piece of Roman armoury also vanishes in the wind...
For example, you type in 'fish' and get a hairdresser's site because they specialise in 70s style 'Mullet' haircuts.
I, for one, am perfectly happy with the SERPs, as I needed a haircut. Thanks Google!
p.s. I later went to Altavista and found a site about fish!
p.p.s. Not entirely happy with the haircut though!
p.p.p.s. I think I mistyped - I meant 'extremely broad irrelevancy'
This site used to be in the top 10 with the address of
now it is found under in the top 10
The above site has not changed it's html at all.
The above site is ranking high because I think, from what I see replaced the original top ten sites for this search term, the html is below the root directory of the domain.
This would be the reason for Amazon and the others to be ranking higher. If you notice most top 10 are
If anyone wants keywords and examples of what the search looked like before the Florida update, PM me.