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Implications of Florida covered on UK TV

     
12:54 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Just watched a UK news item on a lunchtime programme (Working Lunch, BBC2) aimed at UK small businesses encouraging surfers to obviate the, now largely accepted new filter, by typing '-waffle' after search terms. If such advice spreads, this will render Google's silly new filter redundant.

The same programme also commented on the irrelevance of results returned by just typing in keywords. Pointing out most sites returned for their search of "shelving" were comparison shopping sites, plus an educational site.

They also encouraged viewers to use the advanced search facility or to put search terms in quotes, which I have noticed also obviates the new filter.

The item was accompanied by sob stories from small co's and an expert from a UK Internet magazine stating the purpose was to reduce the amount of spam in searches.

IMHO, I think that, while Google's efforts are valiant, the results are a miserable failure - at least in the areas I monitor. In trying to kick out the spam, which wasn't such a problem anyway, they just got rid of all the most relevant matches! And the pages from certain top price comparison sites are still there - even when they only say "your search for widgets didn't return any matches.... are you interested in oozamewotsits instead?"!

Regards,

Suggy

1:31 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Fully featured on todays broadcast of Working Lunch

Story can be found on the BBC site at:

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

2:14 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Ahh..this must have been the first update that has been covered extensibely by the main stream press. (correct me, if i am wrong)

And Google withstanding this enormous pressure. Awesome!

2:22 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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And occasionally it carries out a fairly major overhaul. The latest happened in November and is known as the Florida Update. It's this which has caused the anger and bewilderment among web users

Woohoo, the Florida Update and Google Dance - I wonder where they got those phrases from? WebmasterWorld maybe? ;)

To discover the extent of the problem, search engine specialist Barry Lloyd carried out some tests

You know who that is right?

[edited by: Rumbas at 2:42 pm (utc) on Dec. 4, 2003]

2:24 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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this must have been the first update that has been covered extensibely by the main stream press

That's right: SEO is now mainstream.

More money all round!

2:31 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hope this pressure goes some way into getting Google to reverse or at least tone down some of the Florida algo / filter /changes

especially for sites like mine that are banned from keyword# keyword# which was 50% of our Google traffic (still works fine on all the other SEs) just because our domain name has the same keyword# keyword# which is what we are, and what we do, and what we sell.

Why get banned for that?

Lets hope the more high profile Google Florida update gets and the continued negative press we should be seeing some big changes soon.

Forwards or Backwards only Google knows!

2:37 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>the continued negative press..
I highly doubt it. Incase, G thought it was a wrong update, they would have changed it a long time ago. <did you see the Adsense related search fiasco and their instant reversal?>. They are quick to admit, if they were wrong. G is under the impression that all is well..And i dont except any major changes from that.
3:11 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google are very wrong if they think their users are not noticing the serps are poor.
3:18 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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yet again i went to see a web design client this morning who knows nothing about SEO and had no prompting from me. She manufactures school uniforms and she was bewildered as to why all the normal sites in google had gone and she had had to use MSN to find decent sites.

I then went on to explain what google had done over the last couple of weeks and she thought it was as crazy as i do.

3:22 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Nicely done report and let's hope people remember to -waffle... Now, where's my coconuts...
3:24 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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do you think that there's any chance that word will spread and people will start waffling?
3:28 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This is one of the better articles I've seen yet.

Features The Victim, the Search Expert, and Specific Search Data.

Bravo!

The BBC article is top notch, and Barry Lloyd rocked it with his evidence- Good job!

I was disappointed by the NY Post article, the SEO Dude they featured was so full of self-promotional posturing he failed to contribute a meaningful explanation about what was going on. Thumbs down to you, SEO Dude.

[edited by: martinibuster at 3:43 pm (utc) on Dec. 4, 2003]

3:31 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've actually started searching like this:

"desired keyords -adwordsfilter" - no quotes obviously

works like a charm ;-)

4:13 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You can rely on the BBC to be unbiased. Google has the monopoly and should take some time to actually listen to what webmasters and now *users* are saying.

With a monopoly comes responsibility. Google was an excellent engine and I hope they manage to maintain their position in the market by listening to what *almost* everyone is saying about the serps since Florida.

Google's strength was it's loyal user base. This user base is NOT locked in. Without looking after their user base Google's business will suffer.

On the other hand, if Google are totally confident that they know what they are doing, then please explain to me how the lowering of quality in the serps will secure user confidence?

Google LISTEN.

4:18 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>do you think that there's any chance that word will spread and people will start waffling?

google has same goals, if that comes in the way .. I am sure they will take care of it.

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

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A few critical quotes that really stand out in the BBC report: "all this extraneous rubbish", "very bad news" and "they have done something dreadful"

But they do point out that the intention was probably good- intentioned, and not connected with the IPO.

4:27 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> But they do point out that the intention was probably good- intentioned, and not connected with the IPO. <<

Usually, the fact they refer to something like that at all is enough to have many people thinking the opposite.

4:28 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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But they do point out that the intention was probably good- intentioned, and not connected with the IPO.

This was merely speculation on the reporter's part...

4:32 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What is amazing - and rather sweet about the report - is all the consumer advice towards the end, explaining what consumers now need to do in order to complete a decent search on Google!

Will we have millions of people typing in -waffle, if so wouldn't it be simpler to remove the algo!

Bit worrying for sites that sell waffles though :)

4:39 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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For the main key phrase (3 words) for my company's website the " -sfdasfsd" worked yesterday morning but no longer works today. Has any one else experience this?
4:43 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Still no response from Google.....Common google stand
up to the plate. We are not interested in it's long term plan, just if your going to fix or adjust this mess.
4:51 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm looking forward to seeing the Beeb report being listed in Google News...
4:53 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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<self snipped>I attempted irony, but it appears it is best avoided</snip>

[edited by: superscript at 5:05 pm (utc) on Dec. 4, 2003]

4:56 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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reffering to snuggy: utter crap
4:56 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sid, thanks :-) I got mixed up there regarding the exclude operator.

Regarding Google News, why not go the whole hog and filter that too?

Filtered coffee anyone?

superscript :-)

[edited by: Nicola at 6:30 pm (utc) on Dec. 4, 2003]

4:58 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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They were obviously too scared to ask where the Emperor's clothes were!

Absolutely spot on!

I wonder if any of them realise exactly what is going on or are they so completely brain washed that they actually believe the BS they are putting out.

I've now written to help@google.com, adwords as a client, named people I found on the web @google.com and every time I get very similar replies. Either they know that they are misguiding me by suggesting that nothing is wrong and if I follow guidelines my site will get the ranking that it deserves or they don't know that they are misguiding me. Either way they are misguiding me.

I would really appreciate someone at Google saying "yes it does seem a bit odd that you are #1 for those more specific terms but have been completely dropped for the more general term. And yes it is very strange that when you use any of the advanced filter search techniques your site returns to the top 3. We will get someone to look into it and will get back to you within the next 5 days to explain".

Sorry I've got to go now, a low flying pig just smacked me on the back of the head and I'm seeing stars.

Best wishes

Sid

5:02 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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superscript, I don't think you're quite understanding what is really going on here.

Nicola, I really didn't think I would need to put a ;) at the end. But if I must...

5:04 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Don't know if this was mentioned in a different thread, but there was a Reuters article on the Google 'issue' too:

[story.news.yahoo.com...]

5:06 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The floodgates are open! Google is about to get some serious bad press.

Here's another negative article that appeared today in a real estate journal, of all things.

[inman.com...]

I'm not trying to take credit for the BBC report, but I *did* have a letter published in this morning's Guardian asking why the mainstream media had not yet picked up on the Florida update ;)

[guardian.co.uk...]

5:06 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google looks fine to me, I simply don't hold with all these conspiracy theories.

p.s. I bet the producer has a pharm site and is in on it as well...

ROFL!

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