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The pages haven't been totally removed, instead it seems that the pages exist in the Google SERPS but they have no title and no snippet and therefore no longer appear for any searches.
At first I thought this was some sort of penalty / filter to remove some of the controversial search sites from its index, but it seems this applies to other large sites, e.g. dmoz. I would estimate that dmoz has had around 200,000 pages "nuked".
Has anyone noticed this phenomenon on any other sites?
When people start reporting something new, I tend to assume it's just some peculiarity with their site. When people claim "New Penalty!", I tend to assume that they've missed some other problem.
This probably isn't just one thing. Google's quest for freshness has at times reduced crawl depth (anyone who remembers the Big Switch last Summer will know what I mean). Still, there are sites/pages that don't fit the normal answers (in this case, get more PR/deeplinks).
If there's a change of crawl-depth habbit at the same time as a new crawl-depth-reduction penalty, then this is another goal for Google in the battle to stop people from understanding its mechanics too well.
I had a deepish crawl for one of my sites Friday night and the new serps have updated this morning reflecting this. I know exactly which pages were taken as I cache each page on the server after being viewed and I had only just cleared this cache.
This mornings serps reflect the new pages which were visited and then I have the no title/no description sydrom on lots of other pages that were not visited (replacing what were full title/description before these serps appeared.)
As has previously been posted, this tends to happen when Google knows a page exists but has not indexed it! - Well it looks like Google knows of a lot of pages at the moment but is not crawling them :(. (On my site I personally think that this is because my site in question is still being crawled and Google updates the Serps so quickly now - before the site crawled is complete.)
But for this to happen with DMOZ and WW - how many more backward links are required?
Because where there are technical problems, people start spreading your resources thinner (most problems, if you think about it, are concerned with how far you can spread your resources.)
IMHO, FWIW, IMO, etc.,etc.,e.,(latter e stands for etc. BTW ;)
G has had crawling problems for months. IMHO of course (IMHO used to save electricity :)
I have seen some big shopping search sites effected, and perhaps even a big booksellers UK site (Trying to decide if they are affiliate urls or proper urls - definetly seem to be a fair number of proper urls.)
It's like taking your pedigree dog back to the breeders saying:
"look, but it's got a leg missing!" and them saying, "well at least it's got three"
Fair enough, you think.
Then you you go back next week, and say:
"but look, it's got a leg missing!" and them saying, "well at least it's got three"
So you go back next week...
There's a danger the dog will be dead before someone fixes its leg.
Either that, or the breader going out of business ;)
For this problem to still be around, and being noticed / Seen More & More frequently now, isn't it strange that GG has never commented on this.
How many more sites do we have to see for it to be confirmed that Google has a problem in getting these sites back in the index.
Just a thought.
Sounds like a good way to eliminate spammy sites, affiliate sites, and non-organic sites to me.
Which way? And I know some BIG and clean sites out there that experience the same thing.
-The no title/description occurs when a page has not been updated for a period of time.
-In the last month we have seen many webmaster stating they have seen little of the googlebot (myself included), it seems high pr sites (6+) are getting crawled more and (5-) are getting crawled alot less.
The BIG sites mentioned above have PR 6-8 which makes me think that there must be another reason.
And I personally don't think that it's a problem, because I've heard from somebody playing with SPAM (PubCon people know who I'm talking about) that this kind of penalty exists.
I used to think this too. However with more and more sites being effected, including good quality sites it is started to point more towards being a bug. :(.
Problem? Sounds like a good way to eliminate spammy sites, affiliate sites, and non-organic sites to me.
My consultancy site, which is information based, has been afflicted with this for nearly two months now. I have had no useful response to my requests for assistance. The content on my site does not change on a regular basis but it is an authority site.
Surely sites cannot get punished for not changing their content regularly? I would say that sites with content that does not change frequently would be more likely to be authority sites. Otherwise the Bible, the Koran and the Encyclopaedia Brittanica would all have been taken off the bookshelves years ago. Content does not have to change regularly to be useful.
Content does not have to change regularly to be useful.
Agreed, that's why at the start, it may have looked liked it was a spam filter kicking in, but when you take a look at the broad range of sites that are affected, good clean, no spammy techniques to be seen, then this is pointing more and more towards a bug that's growing.
Did you mean Dmoz is not a clean site as a lots of only urls are listed in the G SERP's. And what i understand with the listed url's in the google for DMoz, the cateories having commercial sites, only those are having the only urls listed in the SERPS. Like if a cat is for books, or guide, or informative, that is full listed in G with Title & Description but when it comes to Hotels, travel tourism, or other services the problem starts here only.
Any expert comments.
Just checked some smaller sites and there seem to be loads of sites effected.
My work colleague who only has a site for which he has done for fun (200 pages) and is not at all spammy and does not know how to ompitise (no fear of OOP) has lots of pages with just the title/description too.
Noticed some other members well known site have also got this problem but are not posting - are they concerned too or just waiting to see how this shakes out
Google introduces an algorithm that favours authority sites / portals etc. Google knows that a side-effect of this algorithm change is that every optimiser on the planet will start creating portals purely for the sake of getting top ranking under a wide range of search terms. It is also aware of these "search engine results" sites that benefited greatly from the algorithmic change.
So, Google introduces a filter whereby in large portal sites it decides to disregard pages that fall into this filter (low PageRank, too little content, too few links, too many links etc etc). It still indexes them as they are unique and need to be indexed but once the filter kicks in it retains no further information on them, including a cached copy of the page, which results in them not performing under any search terms.
This makes a lot of sense to us, particularly since we have many examples of literally thousands of pages that have been fully indexed and other examples of pages that have not been fully indexed and have been that way for quite a few weeks.
If this is correct, the big question is, what implications does it have for someone who is listed in a small dmoz category that has received this treatment? Will they still get the benefit of the link or is it now disregarded?
The other possibility is of course that Google is broken!
It still indexes them as they are unique and need to be indexed but once the filter kicks in it retains no further information on them, including a cached copy of the page, which results in them not performing under any search terms.
Interesting theory... if that's the case though it would appear that the filter has gone wild because it has removed lots of "good content" pages as well, such as pages from WebmasterWorld.