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Seriously, buying links for the sake of advertising isn't all that bad. I guess it really depends on how the people you purchased these from advertise their "product". If they say they're selling PR then you may be in trouble. If PR isn't mentioned I think Google would have a hard time justifying any sort of penalty.
At least in the categories we manage sites in, which are ultra competitive areas. (Drugs/Finance/Vision)
I am seeing many sites with PR4 or less, with as little as 5 backlinks, ranking in the top 10 positions. Many of these sites are garbage sites with NO content, NO real backlinks, and are breaking every G guideline in building a quality site. (or even a crappy site) Lots of the top 40 positions are held by these spammers with links from guest books, bogus forums and other automatically generated pages.
SoÖ.Based on what I see in my categories it is my FIRM opinion that G has no idea what its doing in ranking sites these days. The algo that they are using is clearly flawed and needs serious attention. Over the last 6 months the serps have only gotten worse, not better.
I read many posts in here about Gís effort to combat spam using the so called sandbox effect, and other methods, but all one needs to do is to look at our categories serpís and you would see that it is crystal clear that these efforts are NOT working.
So if someone at G is reading this, get back to the drawing board. Your current algo is seriously flawed and I canít believe you donít see this. (You would have to be completely BLIND.)
since this last update (or whatever it is), the traffic G has sent us, while constant in numbers, has been converting at a rate about 30% lower than before the update. We made no changes to the site; G made changes somehow in the quality of traffic they are sending.
I concur with your logic; if the only thing that changed is Google, you have to wonder what changed.
The one thing I have noticed is that the algorithm for displaying title and summary (well, just summary, really) may have changed. Are you seeing different summaries than you did before?
I'm in a much less competitive category and I am seeing the same thing, sites that have one single affiliate link and a dozen words of text on their single page website beating out authority sites across the board.
Maybe Google thinks if they return crappy results with single page websites, surfers will be more likely to click on adwords. I personally think those people will just start searching elsewhere, our MSN traffic and Y! traffic is up 15-20% since the end of May when the G results went in the toilet.
the above tool is a great free tool that compares link popularity among a variety of engines and across competitors. I like to check alltheweb for backlinks as it shows a ll of the links that you have, but the number can be off by a lot, because they count pay per click links and paid portal links. It is good to see if some links that you may have thought were dropped, simply went below PR4 or if G just isn't showing them for reasons only the google gods know.
[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 8:04 pm (utc) on June 25, 2004]
[edit reason] See Forum Charter [/edit]
Formerly 1000's of (quality) backlinks now show only 113.
Home page still PR6
#2 rank for the money keyword
My competitor's site:
1470 (awful quality) backlinks
Home page PR0
#1 rank for the money keyword
He just displaced me from #1 for the 1st time - a position I had held for many months on end. His wretched quality backlinks remain, my good backlinks vanish. I have high PR, he has zero PR, but he gets top spot. Looks like Google is in the Twilight Zone for awhile.
We see some minor changes, mainly in the descriptions/summaries, not much on the titles. I might have guessed that that sort of change would have affected click thru's more than conversions, but perhaps not. Worth looking into more closely anyway.
I added 301 redirects for the incorrect urls G has in the index, but....
...does anyone know how to fix this:
My main page indexed as www.mysite.com/%1F
I tried adding /%1F 301 redirect to www.mysite.com but it won't work, it just goes to my 404 page.
Is anyone else seeing a similar phenomena? If a lot of such sites are now ranking high, it seems like it would be an easy model to replicate. Maybe less IS more. . .
Walkman, I think it could be possible as Ds2004 also mentioned that "...but do focus on gaining a large quantity of links to our site."
Ds2004, I guess what you had done (if your links were not bought) was to get links "indiscriminately" and perhaps you are linking to bad neighborhoods, especially the ones with large networks. You know, it is very dangerous to exchange links with someone who approach you with something like "we have 200 websites..."
I have to agree. Full sentences are not just some silly affectation, they help people understand what you are saying, or they would have gone extinct.
Back to the topic: To hear some people talk, PR (page rank) is useless, meaningless or worse. If this is so, why are so many of us willing to put Granny under the cellar steps go from a PR=5 say, up to a seven?
I watch my very well researched (20 years work) UFO related site bounce everywhere from #18 down to #35 on Google. I shouldn't bore you with the utter crap that often ranks higher in the serps .. sites with half the honest backlinks, KW stuffing, you name it.
As I do this, I have to ask myself how I might be doing if my PR were 5 instead of 6! Thank heavens my site is non commercial. My pet lemon tree will get watered whether my site does well or not. Somebody who has to feed a family will take a more urgent view.
Up in front of me, for KW = UFO, I find somebody selling motorcycle parts, a rock music fan club, various and sundry science fiction blogs, a Ghost-stories site that loudly boasts it has nothing to do with UFOs, one or two pages about a video game, and way up top some blatant KW stuffer.
None of this is meant to slam the Goog. Yahoo is ten times worse, and it usually goes downhill from there.
My one bright spot is Gigablast, which somehow rates the sites I admire (especially my own of course) more highly.
There is definitely something to be said for a fresh look and clean clear sentences. Sorry for the rant.