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Speaking from personal experience, I have a couple of "clean" sites that went down the tubes this last update. I also have a few "not-so-clean" sites that are doing fine--in fact, better than ever.
Nobody really seems to be able to figure out the real algo changes Google made during the Florida update. I personally suspect the keyword text in links pointing to your site has something to do with it, but it's not the whole story.
The fact is, so many clean sites are getting penalized now, that SEO's don't know what to do... and when we don't know what to do, we experiment. Experimentation inevitably takes some of us down the road of "black-hat" optimization.
My point is that folks at Google may believe they have reduced the amount of spammy sites in their index, but my assertion is that this is only temporary. New, even spammier sites are going to be popping up like mushrooms!
This month my bill is up 30%. Why?
Part of it may also have to do with panicking webmasters. Many of my competitors depend on AdWords because their websites have always performed poorly (because of badly done DIY seo, Flash, and dynamic urls).
They were not reacting to losing positions on the serps, as they never had any, but that didn't stop them from running over a cliff like demon-possessed hogs. In some cases they hiked their max bids from one dollar all the way up to six dollars.
I'm seeing an easing on their spending lately and hopefully that trend will continue.
Interestingly, I didn't see the panicking in another campaign I run that's in an entirely different sector.
GG,I highly respect you and admire you and I know your Mum would be proud of the way you conduct yourself and I would love you to meet my daughter.
But even if you did meet her and married her and became family I would still not give you my URL's. ;)
However these sites arenot connected to my nuked nest and do great for every other search term you could imagine for these 2 sites.
I am not exaggerating when I say one of them is the supremo authority on a very popular subject and is the only site that wasn't affected in these particular serps.
I am not sure this person did this to sabotage me or just linked to an authority site.I do get quite a bit of traffic from him.
Thanks for caring though GG and if you would like me to sticky a pic of my daughter I'd be happy to.:)
Powdork, thanks for mentioning those sites. I'll ask someone to check them out. And in general, we're still looking for feedback/searches where you expect different results by emailing webmaster [at] google.com. The reports that tend to get taken the most seriously are not "what happened to my site" but "I know a lot about this niche, and sites A, B, and C are industry leaders but site C appears to be doing worse now."
I refuse, personally, to resort to this, even if it would work. It's unethical in my opinion. The fact that GG says it isn't happening isn't good enough for me. I'd be willing to bet, that if I wanted to locate a few specific keyword areas I could probably get a site or two blown to kingdom come.
I recently brought up a site for a somewhat competitive two word term. Just before the update it was doing well, about number 9. It also had a few dozen links pointing to it. I then acted on a couple of hunches and, at the same time, Florida hit...this boosted it to position 4! Guess how many sites G is NOW showing linked to it... Exactly 2. Why? Dunno.
I expect that when/if more are found, this will probably lose position. On the other hand, it's not EXACTLY commerce oriented, so maybe it'll be safe.
For another site, it was ranking well. So I decided to start a link campaign. This campaign coincided with the Florida update exactly. The page was fine post-florida. Then the links got listed and whammo. The site is now (3 weeks after this started) gone!
Now, don't get the idea that I am trying to actually ratify the claims that I've seen in this thread as this is also a "small sample".
This is only what I have observed, and my gut tells me that part of the plan has to do with anchor text in links, again IMHO. However, if this is true, then at least some sites can and will be targeted by competition...tis a sad day if this is not purely fantasy.
Wait...Watch...Hope...And if in the end this fails...ADAPT!
> Granted these sites DO have a lot of content and should be returned somewhere for all these searches, but not to the exclusion of all the other sites...
Then all others must work harder creating more and better content!
This is getting funny. Now you have found someone who busted his b*tt creating great content and making it useful to the user by linking it together and you see this as wrong?
Are you serious about reporting a webmaster who you admit has created a lot of content?
How can you state his/her content is worth being in the SERPS and at the same ask for someone at Google to look at it?
You are operating under unconcious drives. Whether you are envious or not, you don't like the fact that someone has taken your spot. If I were you I would spend more time imitating the same webmaster you have just reported > create a lot of content and link it in a way it helps users. Forget about the algo and forget about Googleguy.
Uhm.... Any thoughts on Florida and cloaking by the way? still working as good as ever?
I've posted my Florida thoughts. As far as cloaking goes, I personally stay as far away from it as possible (except to feed blank pages to Alexa's ia_archiver bot as it doesn't seem to respect the robots.txt file). I don't know--it just seems that cloaking is way too far on the dark side. Maybe I could gain some short-term advantage from it and maybe it would resolve my Florida issues in the short run, but I think the long-term consequences could be very nasty.
Are you guys all using ip delivery for the content in this thread? I thought it was supposed to be about cloaking?
Actually my original post only used cloaking as an example of a "black hat" technique (some might not consider it "black hat", but Google does).
I can't remember what my original post title was, but I believe it may have been changed by a moderator. I meant to discuss the possiblity of Florida increasing the likelyhood of SEOs using "black hat" techniques in their campaigns in the future. It's my opinion that Google may have accomplished the opposite of what they set out to do with this last update.
Of course that is only valid if my assumption is true that this last update was done to reduce the amount of spam in the index. ;)