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One year anniversary of the "Florida" Update

Can it happen again?

   
10:55 pm on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



As we approach the one year anniversary of the Florida update, I am curious if we can expect another radical google update right before the crucial holiday season. Many of us took a beating last year. I fully recovered my pre-florida rankings by January, but many of my cohorts took a lot longer to recover. I remember there was a lot of debate on if this was an intentional move by google, or some suggested google was broken. There were many theories circulating. But, there were very few concrete answers.

The biggest question I have is: Can this happen again?

I am curious of other thoughts on the Florida Update - one year later.

12:36 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



This is on the frontpage already!

Maybe something is up. Over the last few days Googleguy has been pretty active here as well.

My gut feeling though is that there is no new "florida" around the corner.

What then is about to hit us? No idea, it's about asking the right question and I don't know what it is. Catch 22.

12:58 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



One of the right questions would be:
Does what gets posted here have an impact on share prices and if so would they care?
1:01 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Can this happen again?

Can and probably will. Algo tweaking is what Google do.

some suggested google was broken

That was mostly webmasters who'd lost their rankings. Google is never broken, they just sometimes have good SERPS, sometimes have bad SERPS. Whichever it is at any given moment depends on which side of the fence you're sitting.

TJ

PS : A shake up right before the holiday season has to be great for AdWords revenue.

1:07 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Bring it on!

Google is getting boring and I need a challenge ; )

2:36 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I'd guess Google is going to take at least a few more months before it dumps the sandbox into a new algorithm. I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation of search engines use semantic interpretation in its ranking, with harsher filters to keep out blogspam, and more intelligent sensitivity to 2-way backlinks.

And PR as a measurement of prestige is probably out. forever.

Of course these are only my guesses. I agree, Google has gotten boring. It's like watching grass grow. I want the days back when you can make a change on your site and see your ranking swoop and dive within days.

2:53 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



You can bet there's going to be some radical changes when MSN releases their new search engine. It's all about PR (and I'm not talking about PageRank.)
3:00 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yeah I agree, with the launch of MSN search in the very near future, I would suspect Google will change things up. If they don't they risk losing searchers to Yahoo and MSN, as their search results are stale these days. (unless doing 3-5 keyword searches)
3:20 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)



I agree. Google is getting pretty boring.
3:26 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Boring or not, when my sites are listed at the top, it's great for our business. So, I'll take boring over unpredictable anyday.
3:31 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Well, guys, think why G did not do the PR update for 3 months.....they are always doing something....or atleast testing how patient people are :)

They always have something or the other is store for all of us. Right now my websites are doing good too, good enough for the biz and not too good to keep lots of eyes away :)

3:36 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I highly doubt anything like Florida will happen again due to the reported nature of Florida and the actual happenings did not mesh.

CaboWabo

3:55 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hmmm. Some post "Bring it on" others say "No way". Sounds like everyone is consulting their local fortune teller for answers.

Nobody knows anything should be the standard mantra. Those few who do, usually keep their mouths shut.

4:47 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Looking into my crystal ball - I do not see a florida style update.

What I do see is the new MSN search on the horizon which should prompt google to get back to the business of getting new sites and fresh information out there - pronto!

When MSN sends me more traffic than google, will I really care if they change the algo or fiddle with the sandbox? Not likely.

4:52 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



When MSN sends me more traffic than google, will I really care if they change the algo or fiddle with the sandbox? Not likely.

If you are referring to a possible MSN-dominated future, well, maybe. If you're talking about right now, and MSN is sending you more IPs than G, then you're doing something wrong with G.

4:55 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



PhraSEOlogy
I think it will be 2006 before you see that.
4:57 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Where is AcesHigh when you need him?
5:01 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think it will be 2006 before you see that.

Looking at my logs, and specifically the MSN-referred traffic, I can only say - LET's HOPE SO!

5:15 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I remember it like it was yesterday - frightening! I just took a look at my referral logs for last November -*gulp*. Let's hope it doesn't happen again. Although I think I'm better prepared for this now. I did learn to diversify after Florida, I'm not a complete fool ; -)
5:20 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Im tired of people saying the google results are stale.
At some point the top results will not change.
Look into the most competetive industries, mortgage, insurance, etc.
The results for the top 5 or so have been the same for years.
Either a. they are better at seo or can pay for better seo.
Or b. they are the most relevent to the search.
at some point all searches will react like this.
If the same companies were competing for widgets in ny as health insurance, the results for widgets in ny would eventually stay the same.

Any way my point is at some time in the future search results will stay the same.
It wont matter to google what other search engines pop up.

I personally have seen some sort of serp update every three months.
Last one was in august, this one is due for november.

5:26 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



bak70 I don't think so for most industries. in a lot different industries you will always see new companies pop up while others fail and go out of business. Things change so much over the years I don't think you can say serps will end up the same and stay that way.
5:35 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Jon-king...I think that passed most people by but I laughed.
I've got a crystal ball and a thick skin so I may take over that roll
5:36 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I can almost agree with that.
It does come down to the type of business.
Most of the keywords that get a ton of searches are dominated by online based companies.
These companies are not going out of business.
(its to easy to make money with thousands of visitors per day and very little overhead)
So yeah for now there will be some sites coming in and out with low traffic search terms.
Until a company that dominated the high traffic terms
starts to target the low traffic terms.
6:35 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I wouldn't be surprised if there is a Florida style shake up this month ... but this time I'm ready for it! :)

Those sites which comply with Google's webmaster guidelines should have nothing to fear. The problem is that Google raise and lower the bar without warning ... redifining what complies and what doesn't.

My advice should there be a shake up is to try a few different startegies and wait to see which one works. Then get to work rewriting your sites.

My problem last year was I kept waiting and hoping it was all a bad dream. I waited far too long before taking action and lost nearly half my income for the year. THAT won't happen again!

Have a back up plan folks.

6:52 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Google results appear stale because of their slavish reliance on backlinks.
I see sites that have not been touched for 5 years at #1 for some terms simply because of old links, no reflection of quality or content at all.

The sandbox is also not exactly the most dymanic tool to combat stale results either!
The only way forward to to be able to better assess on page content and site quality.

The real question now is "what is Google's priority?"
Good search results or PPC revenue?

7:03 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"The only way forward to to be able to better assess on page content and site quality."

You think the results are stale now.
Can you imagine the resources it would take to asses site quality.
It would have to be done my humans, becuase any algorithm can be figured out.
How long does it take for a site to get in to the dmoz.
Ive been waiting for 6 months and longer on some of my sites.

7:07 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>>I've got a crystal ball and a thick skin so I may take over that roll

And to that JJ I shall look forward to a few laughs. :)

7:27 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Back top topic:

It seems to me Google is running on 8 cylinders pedal to the metal. I don't think we'll see a huge change in typical search, everything will be 'eased in'. I do think Google will put more effort into ancillary businesses. They will grow areas of search other than that you normally associate them with.

8:33 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Google results appear stale because of their slavish reliance on backlinks.
I see sites that have not been touched for 5 years at #1 for some terms simply because of old links, no reflection of quality or content at all.

That why I would guess, and hope, that a major tsunami is coming our way.

In my little corner of the web, there is a very high ranking link page (in fact, an old link FARM, no less) that hasn't been touched since 2001, the webmaster's address no longer exists, and half the links are dead. But it sure comes up high in the SERPs!

Then, there's that PR0, keyword-stuffed, say-nothing, phony directory subdomain page with only two links, also high in the SERPs.

And the immovable #1 is a trashy, affiliate-loaded page that has garbage links and advertising all over the place, but hey! They've been on the web for nearly 8 years. Zero value, #1 for at least 5 years! Again, it's depending on stale links from pages that have not been updated in since the Flood.

It's not Google's fault, it's our fault for creating pollution on the web instead of real content, content that people want, rather than content we want to impose on people to make money.

8:47 pm on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Florida was the beginning of a ten week process at the end of which Google was at its all-time best, by far. And then it collapsed. Since the appearence and abrupt disappearance of what was know as the "64" results, Google has been in one long mediocre holding pattern that includes totally incompetent aspects like lag time and idiotbacklink data. This volume-of-different-IP-links-is-king status quo is similar to (though not as bad) as the holding pattern prior to Florida where anchor-text-was-king-and-queen.

I expect and hope for another major change like Florida, but the timing on it isn't going to be dependent as much on the calender as it will be on Google's failed technology being fixed. We've seen backlink and Directory updates rolled back recently because of bungled data, so it would seem unlikely that we would see a major change (either algo and lagtime-wise) soon. I certainly hope we do though.

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