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September 2002 Google Update

It's Official

   
11:37 am on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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7:15 est I see different results on WWW, WW2, and WW3 in Florida
5:04 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Marcia,
what I have figured out as of this moment on www2/3 is that it is as if my "classification keyword" which appears with good density in my site and in my title is totally irrelevant to Google now.
Example:
If I was "Ireland Cultural recreation" the "recreation" is as if it does not exist. I move way up on "Ireland cultural" but am nowhere to be found on searches for "Ireland cultural recreation".
5:05 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I am seeing similiar troubles with link text......

I firmly believe that the majority of my site's rankings came from using the keywords in my navigation at the bottom of each page. With a system as such, I have my keywords in link text for every page.

I was ranking quite well in most of them last month, and hoping to see improvement this month, as I changed the text to a little more popular ways of searching.

Right now I am down in nearly EVERY keyword. WAAAAY down in lots of them.

I am really hoping you guys are right about link text not yet being figured, because otherwise I will be quite frustrated.

5:09 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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



Looking at some phrase communities I know well, I don't see an increased weighting in keywords.

I'm with rfgdxm on reduced anchor text weight, it's still early but that's how it looks (possibly reduced proximity bonus too).

It's almost like the new index is less Google-like.

5:09 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)



Nice to see some analysis (well done rfgdxm1) rather than the usual WooHoo or yelps of despair (which are pretty much fruitless).

Yes it is interesting to observe how the dance develops and try to work out at which point various criteria are factored in.

A number of top notch sites are currently not on the dash board... but miraculously they will appear before everything settles. A long way to go from here.... so I wouldn't start counting those chickens (or equally the costs).

5:10 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>Interesting observation rfg, someone was asking a few days ago about different link text to the same site and I've been worried for weeks. Someone decided they "love me" and put a link to me on ALL the pages of their site - with keywords I really don't need. I emailed this morning to take them down. I've not been out of top 10 for the right phrase except for one month for well over a year and now I'm outta the ball park. Either that did it or there's a penalty or the algo changed enough so that even the roller derby is more relevant than me.

But, this doesn't make sense. If for example someone out there linked on all the pages of their site with "rfg is a doofus" or such, this shouldn't effect my site's rankings on the keywords that I consider important. My site might start coming up high for searches on "rfg doofus" and such, but this shouldn't effect searches on the keywords I am shooting for.

5:22 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



<<I have reason to believe NEW pagerank has not yet been factored in.>>

<<I think the major consensus is that Page Rank is calculated once the dance settles down.>>

That hasn't been my experience. Although the dance period can move things around some, in general, I find that what I see in the first hours of the dance pretty much sticks by the end of the dance. It seems to me that PR is already factored in when the dance begins, however you won't see the new PR displayed until the end of the dance.

For the record, my sites have both benefitted as well as suffered some. For a pair of very important kw phrases, we have achieved excellent positioning, which made my entire day. Thank you, Google. :)

5:22 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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



Doesn't make sense to me either, it's fine with the others. But the target search has an interesting mixture - a library, fashion school, historical society, state government site, even a site about religion - unrelated and doing well. There was also a shift on that particular site.

The others have improved nicely up a spot or two or holding steady, it's just hard to figure on this one.

[edited by: Marcia at 5:23 pm (utc) on Sep. 26, 2002]

5:23 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)



Oh my God, I think Google is now actually powered by Inktomi

Please tell me they havn't changed their algos, serious and I mean seriously different SERPS.

5:24 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)



So far looks like:

A) Backward links don't count for anything
B) Keywords / Links don't count for anything
C) Content doesn't count for anything.

This is Black Thursday!

5:25 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hey:

This is my first time watching the dance- fun. I have pretty established sites, high rank with good PR, and those have held steady...

I have another established site that I have been reworking with tips ganrnered from this site, and I see an improvement on www2 and www3...

I think the page <title> has helped me.

Good luck to all, unless you are after my key words....

dave

5:26 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>Nice to see some analysis (well done rfgdxm1) rather than the usual WooHoo or yelps of despair (which are pretty much fruitless).

Thanks. One thing that helps me in doing this analysis is the keywords that I am shooting for are by no means highly competitive. It is obvious that for the one keyword that at the moment I am #1 in on www2, *none* of the other sites in the top 10 made any conscious effort at all to optimize for. All are doing well simply by accident. In particular, I definitely did some careful analysis when I noticed a PR3 page month after month was consistently beating out my PR5 home page. It became obvious fairly quickly what they had that I didn't was other site's linking to that page with that keyword in the anchor text.

It makes sense to me is that either the weighting of anchor text has been lowered, or that it hasn't been factored in yet. If it isn't that, than it is heavier weight on keyword in domain name.

5:29 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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In www2, my rankings have mostly gone up (yipee!). But, for some keywords, my ranking has dropped into oblivion. No big deal. Happens every month with some keywords.

Interesting note: I removed a link, named say "blue widgets", from about 300 of my internal pages (and replaced it with another internal link). Surprisingly, the "blue widgets" page and subpages don't seem to have taken a big hit. Most have gone down some but one of them has actually gone up (in www2, anyway).

On the other hand, before the August update, I had removed a group of internal links from my home page and THOSE pages went waaaaay down in the August update - much further down than before I put them on my home page. So I'm more confused than ever about the effect of internal links.

Think I'll go back to paying attention to content, content, content.

Beth

5:30 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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rfgdxm1: I don't think there's a heavier weight of keywords in domain. One of my sites has occupied the top 3 spaces for months for the keywords it has in the url. Now it's way down.
5:31 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



It is that text in *anchor links* from other sites that they are cleaning my clock on

Yes! And I don't think text on my own page has been fully taken into account either. That's why sites from down under about truck tools rank above my European site on doogfood (well, not dogfood really :)).

I don't know what the current rankings are based on. I can't even speculate.

It's also worth noting that some of my important new backward links have not appeared yet. This indicates to me that lots is not figured in yet.

5:32 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone ever been able to understand the sorting order for backlinks? It changes with every update, but I can't seem to make sense of it.
5:33 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Weird, I have a high PR site that is typically crawled and updated on Google every day or two. Right now, it doesn't show up at ALL (even when I type in the domain name) on www, www2 or www3.

mat

5:35 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



That hasn't been my experience. Although the dance period can move things around some, in general, I find that what I see in the first hours of the dance pretty much sticks by the end of the dance. It seems to me that PR is already factored in when the dance begins, however you won't see the new PR displayed until the end of the dance.

With you 100% on that Beachboy. Not much solace for those hit this time around, but for the last three or four updates, what shows at the start of the dance is what's there at the end of it. Mat

[edited by: mat at 5:35 pm (utc) on Sep. 26, 2002]

5:35 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Im new here but if i had a new site that was recently picked up and in the www index (only picked up in the last 3 weeks) and now im looking in the www2/3 index and its not there , what does this mean, will it appear back again before the end of the dance?

is it because its new?

Help!?

mat

5:40 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes - it's because it's new. Consensus has it that you won't make it into this update, but the next one. The results showing after this dance has settled were garnered from the crawl immediately after the last dance, so chances are you'll need to wait a month. Mat.
5:40 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Dave_S: From my experience, new sites often get listed in Google between updates and then disappear after the next update. After that, they typically show up again after the next update. Don't get discouraged if your site is gone for a month.

However, I've seen lots of variances on this, so anything seems to be possible.

5:41 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



webman,

strange...., but all of our PR6- websites are at the same positions. Only the sites with PR7 dropped significantly.

Does anyone else noticed that?

Maybe they started indexing from PR1 to higher....

Though, I can see websites with high PR maitaining their rankings.

5:42 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



things look strange to me. For one thing, www2 and www3 have two month old cached copies of my front page. For another, my SERPs have dropped... and they should only go up, up, up! However, I'm still betting things will get straightened out by the end of the dance.
5:46 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I wonder if something else is going on with my sites. I have several sites hosted from the same IP address. They are not cross linked nor spam sites, so I assume there are no penalties, however almost all of the sites have been removed from www2 and www3 and now some of them from www. I wonder if I'm getting penalized for something?

I'll let you know what happens. Wish I could figure out what is really going on.

5:48 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hmm...

I don't think internal anchor text is being given much weight right now.

I don't think PR is given much weight right now.

I have 12 PR7 pages (with very few outbound links) linked to a newly optimized page for a certain keyword. It's sitting at past 200 right now for that keyword. My PR for the new page will be a 7. I know this since I essentially swapped a page that was already there (which was a 7) with this newly optimized page. I also know that the first page of the SERPS for this keyword has only sixes and sevens.

I hope this will change before the dance ends.

-squared.

5:49 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



webman,

i don't really think so. We have several website on same IPs and the rankings are not affected. Some of them are even cross-linked.

5:53 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I also accept the theory that anchor text and PR is not factored yet or toned down drastically. I know a competitor whoose site was #1 for one of web's most competitive phrase. This site is PR 7 with like 1500 back links with good anchor text.

But suddenly this site is nowhere to be find , i mean it ...nowhere to be found...its even coming only #10 when searched with the site name.

I think google engineeers decided to tone down offsite creteria like PR and anchor text in favour of inpage creterias ..As someone said its look more like INK rather than google...

Googleguy , you have to remember onething.. as long as offpage creteria weighs more than inpage factors you can minimize spam (note minimize not eliminate) ... if you throw PR out then its very very easy to manipulate SERPS...

5:55 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It seems that keyword proximity is suddenly very big - I have some odd keyword phrases that are suddenly coming up #1. My site is only PR4 (PR5 this time?), but previous months results would have favored high PR over proximity. I think this has changed with this update.
5:56 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)



I think google engineeers decided to tone down offsite creteria like PR and anchor text in favour of inpage creterias

My site is extremely content rich, with really good quality content, high page rank, themed backward links and very neat html code.....

guess what, its totally dissapeared! :(

5:59 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>rfgdxm1: I don't think there's a heavier weight of keywords in domain. One of my sites has occupied the top 3 spaces for months for the keywords it has in the url. Now it's way down.

One possibility to consider here. I have seen a *lot* of complaining in this forum about sites in the form of keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com "spamming" Google and consistently coming up high. Is it possible that Google has lowered the weight of just the keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com type, because that trick was being heavily used for doorway pages created by SEO types? The one keyword I hit #1 on is the only keyword in my domain name, which is in the form of keyword.TLD. I just checked, and the other little domain that I have, which I am just beginning to develop but has been in for 3 Google indexes now, which is in the form of anotherkeyword.org, has shot up from the #5 to #3 position. I know that I haven't done any tweaking of the HTML on that one that could cause a change in ranking. Thus, I'm not seeing any drop in rankings when there is only one keyword in the domain name with my 2 sites; in fact both those now have moved up.

6:00 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It's nice to know I can sleep with people like nell and Lazerubb watching the vast ocean of the internet for us... You two remind me of a couple of lookouts on a ship...lol

Looking at the clock, I fell asleep about 15min before the dance began.

Good luck everyone!

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