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The May, 2004 Update

     
10:54 pm on May 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I see new backlinks here:
[216.239.41.104...]
11:29 am on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing any PR changes or any traffic changes or any ranking changes or any backlink changes, until I saw this thread I had no idea that anything could possible be happening. Are any of you guys who are seeing changes based in the UK?

None of my competitors have moved around me either and I'm not in a niche category. Results are the same stale ones I've been seeing for 8 weeks now.

11:36 am on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi Mike

I wouldn't have known either; none of my four sites moved anywhere. The only thing that alerted me to an update was the drop in PR on one of my neglected sites. As far as I can see, no backlinks from the last three weeks have been counted. A real non-event!

12:17 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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My backlinks have gone down actually by about 20% and one thing I noticed is that it no longer shows my Dmoz or Google listings (although both are still there) in the current backlinks.......what's up with that? Anyone else noticing the same thing
12:45 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Are any of you guys who are seeing changes based in the UK?

I am in the UK Mike.

12:46 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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History:

New Site launched: 1st April, 2004.
Indexed by Google: 4th April, 2004
Managed PR 7 in less than 2 months due to massive paid links. No cross linking.
Backward links (as per google): 1670
Rankings since launch: None. Site was in google¡¦s cache but no ranking for any keyword whatsoever.

WHAT WE EXPECTED: Top 10 rankings as per SEO Experience and past records.
WHAT HAPPENED: SITE HAS BEEN PENALIZED. Although PR has not gone down to 6 or lower. The site does not appear in the SERPS when I run the command for checking if it has been penalized i.e. has been penalized.
New backward links: 165

If the site was sandboxed initially, where is it now? Why was it penalized?
All my SEO theories failed ƒ¼

1:45 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi, Hawk.
Don't be disapppointed yet.

I have a site that was launched in late Feb 2004. It has PR4 now but do not show up on major targetted keywords yet on Google. It started to get a minimal traffic from yahoo but nothing from Google. It has no reciprocal links. The sandbox may stay longer than you guys thought.

2:14 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else noticed that PR appears to have dropped across the board, in relation to number of backlinks? Or is it just me?!?

I've seen PR drop by 1, across all pages in my site, even though number of backlinks has gone up. For example, my index page went from PR7 with 5000 backlinks, to PR 6 with 10,000 backlinks! My guess is that it is just Google re-classifying their PR scale, to accommodate for growth of the web...

As far as seeing the PR/links update being reflected in SERPS - nada. Diddly squat. I have several pages where I moved links/PR away which are still riding high in the SERPS, and several where I have added links/PR and they have yet to change their positions.

So, when does the *real* update begin?!? The one where the SERPS change...

2:38 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It is easy to get a pr4 quickly but I have read here about the age factor which definitely affects the serps
2:39 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So, when does the *real* update begin?!? The one where the SERPS change...

My traffic is up a considerable amount starting 5/31. (Up 40% 6/1 over May average.)

My server had problems in April, which I think affected the Google crawl and my listings. Traffic has been way down ever since. I just (6/1) had the highest traffic day since April 19th, so I think things are and have been changing.

2:41 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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@hawk, <snip>, you did pay for links, so i think we can conclude that your site is normally not interesting for those sites. So you did try to fool Searchengines. Too bad you loose.

[edited by: Marcia at 5:10 pm (utc) on June 2, 2004]

3:29 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Are any of you guys who are seeing changes based in the UK?

Yes, but all I am seeing is a small redistribution of PR between my pages, possibly a small loss overall. My stats haven't moved, so it looks like just a toolbar update to me.

3:32 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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raptorix, it's a completely legitimate practice (both legally and morally) to pay for links. Most webmasters who do so actually do it for the visitors sent directly by the links. Just like companies that advertise in a newspaper.
3:37 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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raptorix-
your generalization is quite misguided. Paying for "PR" may not be the best move, but depeding on the link/site, "paying for links" can accomplish many goals. There is no reason to be so snide in this forum.
3:54 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I just noticed that a small UK site that I launched on 17 March has now started ranking and it has gone from PR0 to PR5 overnight. Is this because it has a link from a PR6 site?

This may also prove that the time in the sandbox is variable, in this case less than 11 weeks.

3:54 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have several new sites which PR has been allocated in this update but has only been allocated to the index and not to any of the other pages. Has anyone else seen this? Is there any reason for this that anyone knows of?...
4:54 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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raptorix -- I buy link placement all the time – as troels pointed out, it’s called “advertising”. I can't believe Google would access a penalty against commercial sites simply because they advertise.

If you are willing to invest in a site, surely that demonstrates that the site has value.

5:07 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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raptorix -- I buy link placement all the time – as troels pointed out, it’s called “advertising”. I can't believe Google would access a penalty against commercial sites simply because they advertise.

I agree. There is absolutely nothign wrong with paying for links (advertising) on relevant sites. Our products appeal to the 18-34 year old age group, so we advertise on several college sites via paid links, which bring us both relevant traffic and, as a side benefit, additional incoming links. Is that abusing the system? I think not.

If you are willing to invest in a site, surely that demonstrates that the site has value.

I don't, however, necessarily agree with that. The fact that an affiliate marketer is willing to attempt to buy PR on completely unrelated sites (especially gambling and/or RX sites), doesn't legitimize that site one bit.

5:09 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>If you are willing to invest in a site, surely that demonstrates that the site has value.

There is no correlation between your expenses and a site's value.

>Most webmasters who do so actually do it for the visitors sent directly by the links.

Page rank was not intended to be ballot stuffing (paid links), but organic links. It seems that by giving weight to the age of links, Google gives you the chance to prove that the reason for the paid links really is advertising, not just buying PR. How many of hawk's paid links would have been purchased if none passed PR?

5:43 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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raptorix,
I think he was penalized becuase he reached PR7 in months, or maybe he bought links on questionable sites and probably Google has filters that put two and two together. PR sandbox, if you get PR7 within months, something is up...
5:47 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hawk,
read this:
"We have been pursuing a decent link building strategy and so far we have exchanged links with over 400 sites."
[webmasterworld.com...]
this might be it...
6:06 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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raptorix, it's a completely legitimate practice (both legally and morally) to pay for links. Most webmasters who do so actually do it for the visitors sent directly by the links. Just like companies that advertise in a newspaper.

Paying for visitors is fine but my instinct tells me that before paying for the links, most webmasters check the little green bar on top of the linking page, and the code and link command to make sure PR is transferred, than check the traffic that page gets.

I get this feeling from the way many highly successful webmasters on this forum seem to be walking deeply hurt just because a site of theirs couldn't get into DMOZ in spite of the fact that the DMOZ listing brings almost 0 visitors.

7:16 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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back to the "update", is anyone noticing changes in serps, significant or not?

MartijnH

7:46 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure if it's new but it seems Google Answers pages are now listed in the search engine as well. I never found this before.
8:07 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Nothing significant, at all. I wouldn't class this as anything different than the current Google 2/3 day small update cycle.

Show me an update where sites are taken from the "sandbox" please Google!

8:17 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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back to the "update", is anyone noticing changes in serps, significant or not?

I have not yet seen a significant change in SERPS and I believe I have a good vantage point given my PR increases from this "May, 2004 Update". My primary page is up from PR6 to PR7, and many second and third tier pages are now up from PR4/PR5 to PR6.

I monitor changes daily and I'll chime in here as any changes ripple through my monitored SERPS.

Sean.

[edited by: Marcia at 8:36 pm (utc) on June 2, 2004]

9:14 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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RAPTORIX,

Are you always this horrible, or do you have to practise at it

Bek.

9:35 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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As usual, when Google takes longer to do something than normal, something is screwed up. In this case no new backlinks or PR for new pages put up after late April. I expect we'll see another PR and backlink update relatively soon, in a couple weeks. And, I'd suggest that the toolbar PR we are seeing is temporarily further from "real" PR than usual. All those new pages and new sites are mostly factored in already, even though they just show whitebars. The fact they have some (often incomplete) backlinks suggests that.

The serps changes from this update occured ten days to two weeks ago.

10:41 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Show me an update where sites are taken from the "sandbox" please Google!

See message 135.

11:49 pm on June 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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who cares about link updates if the serps never change?
12:13 am on June 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Serps change daily. There is no such thing as a major serp update anymore.

There are occasional updates to backlinks that are shown but ranking calculations are carried out daily.

A link from a high PR site will usually give benefit to the recipient within 1-3 days but will not show for 1-3 months even though it was being counted from day 1. It all stems from the changes Google made with the continuous rolling update. There really is nothing to get excited about anymore. Go add content to your sites instead.

As for PR, if it doens't show, this does not mean that it is not there. I have 1000's of pages that are PR0 and rank very well. When the PR does show, nothing will change. It is just the way things are with Google nowadays.

Long gone is the buzz of a major update. :(

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