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September, 2002 Google Update Discussion - Part 1

Discussing the major changes that took place



3:32 am on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

How on earth can they justify dropping sites that were ranked in the top 10 and are now page 20 and NOTHING at all has changed on the sites from the last month?

The biggest thing is they move the toilet mid stream without a hint they are going to do it...(change the rules)

Googles a joke..

tired of their games..

off to support ANY other search engine..enough of this every month change the rules nonsense..good bye Google ..Good riddence..


8:38 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I've started reading/posting here 'cause of my 1st 'disaster' after 3 years of Google SEOing.

Never lurked.. ;)



8:40 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Mat, Cminblues

The subdomains are still going strong. A search in "Barcelona hotels" (my industry, but not my location) will show several subdomains occupying top spot.

I also disagree about hyphenated domains. Although a couple of mine were hurt I don't think hyphenation was the reason. Check "london hotels" (not my location) and there are several such domains at the top.


10:15 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I wonder how many of the people that have been hard-hit have keyword-hyphenated domains?

My keyword-hyphenated-domains have held well...

It sure looks like most who are saying they have dropped in rank have low post counts

There are other SEO sites on the net, hence no direct correlation between number of posts at WW and experience...

I still think its the PR Smart Bomb theory that Everyman suggested, how ever I think selective "collateral damage" has been caused, everyone knows that more backward links = better PR. Therefore what Google have done is identified which sites have obtained backward links in an "dishonest" manner, and which sites have genuinely been "voted for".

For example if your backward links have gone up by 500% in one month (when historically they have risen by 10%), then it's obvious that you're trying to manipulate PR. Or if you have links back from sites that are one way affiliated with PR for Sale and totally unrelated content then you'll find yourself buried under 50 other results.

This would explain why some people here have seen an amicable update and others have "disappeared". It would also explain why anyone who's only just jumped onto the whole "backward link bandwagon" have found that their sites have dropped.

Don't forget we may be SEO's but we're also probably the most experienced surfers and "customers" so naturally we're going to be the ones who pick up on a change first.


10:28 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

hi crimblues and subway. I didnt mean to suggest that low posters were inexperienced. But the number of new members posting there was very noticeable and I was trying to look for alternative explanations as a way of working out what sort of sites had been affected. It is obvious that very many here who are new have long experience in SEO and much more than me.


10:32 am on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi chiyo. One explanation could be that for the first time in a while lots of SEO's are panicking, and trying to find answers here?


12:15 pm on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

For a long time many people have been warning of the 'eggs in 1 basket' problem. In the main, they were ignored - now a Google tweak can severely disrupt site incomes for those who had no alternative methods of driving traffic. Hence the panic and cries of 'why me?' with this update.

I see nothing inherently 'bad' about this update - it is just a little different from what most people expected. A lot of good sites (some of them mine) have done well this month - a few good sites (some of them mine) have fallen way down for reasons that don't strike me as being very apparent straight-away. These things happen, next month another change will take place - then (maybe) we can start to see a trend. In the meantime, condemning a search engine for not ranking your site stikes me as a little futile. Surfers will either like the results and stay with Google or drift to other SEs. A site with good content and decent representation across the SE board will win either way in the long run.

I may not agree with a particular algo - but I like any search engine which gives me the potential for giving me qualified traffic from people interested in my subject(s). If the SE isn't giving it to me and gets plenty of traffic then that is my problem to cure - not a fault of the SE concerned (IMHO) :)


12:49 pm on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"Basically, the guys at Google know exactly what they are doing and they are very good at it."
This is an understatement and I strongly agree.
Problem is, it seems I don't know what I am doing or where to go from here.
Apparantly the importance of page rank, back links and keywords have been minimized and doorway pages have been maximized.
Some of the top ranking sites have zero keywords.

One of my sites dropped from one to 50 and I have no idea why.
I was at number one for months and made no changes at all.

Another site dropped from 2 to 19 - no changes made.

I love Google but they seem to be gaming on this update for some

I hope some of you much smarter than me can provide some insight
on where Google is heading and why a lot of tails got kicked.


1:49 pm on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A couple of points:
1) having had specific search terms snipped from posts - and, to be honest, the nice message I received from the moderator did give a good reason why webmasterworld prefers to keep things at a hypothetical level - the people asking for specific terms are probably not going to get what they want without using IM's.
2) I don't understand the confusion on Google's business model: think broadcast TV networks - a product (search results) provided at no direct cost to consumers (searchers) to generate advertising revenue and syndication rights (aol, netscape, etc.). The significant difference is independent webmasters provide the - to continue the tv analogy - "programming" (i.e. search listings), for no direct remuneration from Google in return for "sales leads." Google does bear the cost of crawling, formatting and delivering the product to the consumer.
3) While this is not strictly Google news I have a feeling it is related. I have Lycos site select and was only deep crawled when I signed up months ago. These results never appeared in their index as far as I know as no searchers other than for index page content ever arrived. Friday I started getting lycos/ATW traffic that made it clear they had suddenly "activated" my 3 month old crawl data and I see today they did - for the first time since I signed up - a deep crawl of my site (I only paid for my index page). You have to wonder if they are making a move to take advantage of any perceived weakness in Google's new index (or is this too Machiavellian?).


4:33 pm on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>Also people who have been on this board a while know its mainly best to leave for the shuffling to slow down for a few days before commenting on what may not be significant.<

Chiyo that is proving to be good advice for me. Earlier in this thread I complained that my index page had dropped completely off the map. Well after three or four days it has now reappeared just as before. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come for the rest of you that have been hit.

(But chiyo, I am coming after you if it disappears again - I'm going to have to take my frustrations out on someone.) :)


7:19 pm on Sep 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I started this thread out of pure frustration at the lack of STABILITY of Googles results.(ranking from my perspective)

The thread had nothing to do with spammy sites,or with "quality" content sites or with all this other stuff..although I do understand the different theories of why the results can change so drastically so fast..

My point was once again the stability (if I dont change anything on my site..leave it the hell alone)...I dont mind moving up and down 5 spots..even 10 spots ..new sites are always trying to move up other sites falling to the side...and thats understandable.

Many here talk about how %50 %60 %70 and more of their traffic is from Google..at one time most of my traffic also came from Google...

Overnight NONE of my sites rank well in google any more (Umm wonderhow that happened ! LOL)..looks like it's going to be around a %25-%30 drop in traffic for awhile...


My frustration with Google began over 6 months ago ..I have concentrated on other engines since then or otherwise MOST (%60) of my traffic would be gone..

I am no longer ever giving my support to just one engine..diversity is king..sometimes when things are going so well with one we dont give any attention to the others..

It is obvious no matter how much the Google cheerleaders try and add rose colored glasses to the issue.. Google is NOT stable , has no consistency, its results for the searcher or it's ranking for the webmaster..it's appeal is fading ...this thread is evidence that the frustration level is not mine alone..

Are they a good engine...yes they are..but they are no longer a great engine and they will at some point fade like others..

I could go on and on about the different problems with Goolge, but the main problem is consistence is results/rankings..

Yes, I fully understand then use adwords ..in fact as I mentioned earlier..I fully believe that is part of the algo's equation...to NOT have a stable FREE ranking...to FORCE you over to pay for a desent ranking.

And you know what, some claim thats far fetched.. seems not only logical but perfect business sense..

The problem then arises..as I mentioned before ..
adwords (as with every ppfp) is that your competitors(the larger corps) drive the bid up actually taking losses (that you cant afford to) simply for the sake of position for that keyword..the to hell with profits ..they do it simply for coverage..while you (I) am in the business of actually trying to create PROFIT...

Sour grapes..no..just frustation....

I will start a email caimpaign next week and move on..the world s consumers are not all lined up at googes door..it's really that simple..


12:04 am on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Where is google heading?

For all that arent up on the business world.. their is ALOT of talk of google going public by the end of the year. I hope not because really wicked things happen to a company when they go public. Not very good things for their employees as well for their customers. I have seen companies that were amazing companies go to crap once they go public- basically because they now have to answer to stock holders who own them and everything is done around them and to please them. Lets hope google dosent sell out because who knows what that will bring.

Also, somoene mentioned:
There is no logical business reason for them to keep SEO types happy.

That is so untrue! And also to the people mentioning google frowning upon commercial sites-

First off.. if google dosent make people happy with their results, they will loose their contracts. They need to produce, good quality results.. would yahoo want them anymore if they didnt produce exactly what people want? Would iwon? would AOL? (even though AOL changed the results and are quit horrible what they did- much more spammier) You get my point.. google does need to keep commercial sites very much active and produce results at the top for the consumer doing their shopping, google does need to keep commercial sites in. If google dosent, they will be yesterdays news .. it may take time but they will be forgotten about.

Commercial sites are everywhere.. everyone is selling something.. if its just a dumb site on delta airlines or something.. well their selling you or not selling you on Delta.. they are selling! Google needs to pay attention to commercial sites! Why you ask? Because look at the amount of money spent by consumers on the web... it is steadily increasing every year.. Sorry but I do not have current stats available this second.. do people want a search engine to do all their searches on or just one for information.. I think not! They want one search engine for everything they need to look up - for information or for shopping. Who uses northern Light these days? Anyone? Not that I ever did but I certainly dont even think of them when I need to do a search.


2:09 am on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

first my thoughts on this update

from my POV it is EXTREMELY frustrating...we've dropped from 11th to 23rd on the crucial single word SERP...although keeping our #1 on most of the two words the site is most relevant for (and the one we got by accident and hence added content for...one has to assume that it's a gap in the market)...but in a field dominated by information sites operated by charities and NGOs I'm ticked off that we lost ground and amongst the sites that displaced us are a porn site and a couple of music sites where the keyword is irrelevant to their content...in that sense it's a BAD update

I look at it from the POV of the searcher...something is wrong...the number one site refers all vistors to ours, or to another site that refers most vistors to ours...so we get the traffic in the end...but visitors are going round the houses in order to get information they need in a crisis...three or four of the top ten are excellent results...the rest are poor...a number of sites that should be the first port of call don't rank well at all...before this update the majority of the first twenty results were good choices

from my own POV I'm not too worried...I'm fairly sure that once I've had the money released to do a serious bout of link chasing we'll show up right at the top of the SERPs...I'm confident I've got the rest as close as I can without it affecting the meat of the site's content...from a searcher's POV it's a poor update

now...an issues raised in this thread

SEO is NOT "hacking" a search engine...or it shouldn't be...to me it is a matter of using the SEs as a tool to help organise ones content so that it can be found easily...I want visitors to find the content they want...so does the search engine...we are aiming for the same thing so long as I think first of the visitor...which is actually good practise in marketing terms

making the site rank well in Google has had a number of major effects...file sizes are down...accessibility is up...the pages are better organised...OK, so I've renamed the odd file and directory after a keyword...but by and large the process has been optimisation of the site...not just optimisation for it's search engine placement, but optimisation for the user


3:26 am on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Google will IPO, you can count on it. The people who initially invested in Google are eager to get their money back and are said to desperately want to IPO. The only reason it has held out so far is because of the current financial troubles in the markets. AN IPO now for a .com would not make nearly as much money than it would in a better market. Once the markets are back in shape, you can count on the IPO of google going ahead full steam.

My $0.02 :)


7:42 am on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What else have you got?


10:31 am on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


> The final irony is that my new site went from unlisted to PR7, and the essay on PageRank is itself a PR6, and shows up at position 7 out of 475,000 in a Google search for "pagerank." I'd like to thank all of those big-guy sites (Salon, Slashdot, Alternet, Searchenginewatch, some media, numerous blogs), who denounced my essay as trivial, mistaken, vindictive, misguided, sour-grapes, and non-authoritative. My point was primarily that PageRank is undemocratic. All this negative attention convinced Googlebot that my new site is really important. Everyone voted against me and I won! <

Googlebot is the crawler component of Google that picks up pages. It doesn't decide whether your pages are "important" or not from a ranking perspective. That's left to Google's ranking algorithms. Those algorithms take into account the links from across the web, so all of us "big guy" sites that linked to you didn't "vote against" you but instead voted for you. If we were really voting against you, no one would have bothered mentioning your site at all.

Our voting for you, by the way, reversed a key part of your argument:

"Those who launch new websites in 2002 have a much more difficult time getting traffic to their sites than they did before Google became dominant."

I'd argue that Google's system and link analysis in general made it far more likely that people are now finding your site through search engines than if we were back in the old days of relying more heavily on "on the page" criteria.

You'd also written:

As Google explains, "Votes cast by pages that are themselves 'important' weigh more heavily and help to make other pages 'important.'" In other words, the rich get richer, and the poor hardly count at all. This is not "uniquely democratic," but rather it's uniquely tyrannical.

So in a tyrannical system, you wouldn't expect your site to be found at all. The exact opposite has happened.

And for the record, I said your essay had some "serious flaws" in parts and also said you were "absolutely correct" on one of your points about changes in linking patterns. Trivial, vindicative, misguided, sour grapes and non-authoritative were not charactizations I used.


3:24 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

Well said Danny. This update seems to demolish a lot of everyman's arguments by Google SERP ranking rather than vindicating them. I agree with some of what Everyman says. Those things have not been challenged by this update, but a lot has.


4:03 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Eric_Jarvis,

>but in a field dominated by information sites operated by charities
>and NGOs I'm ticked off that we lost ground and amongst the sites
>that displaced us are a porn site and a couple of music sites where
>the keyword is irrelevant to their content.

That is exactly the same kind of problems Im seeing here. A frustrating number of regional civil liberties sites, popular sites but without major links from big media sites, had gone all the way down thanks to, mostly, porn spammers. Its a same, but is also the logical result of reducing the weight of popular linking.


4:36 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"Irrelevance" seems to be the main focal point of the current algorythym these days doesn't it? We've prided ourselves on be able to create content rich, relevant and very clean sites that have ranked well in the past on GG but have now almost completely dissapeared into the netherworld of top 100+ rankings. Now that we have cluttered our pages with links and more keyword heavy phrases (Still relevant links and keywords mind you) we still cannot gain any ground!

We have tried to do everything right by GG and it seems we either cannot get our rankings back or good PR! (We do know the difference between these two) More often than not we are seeing irrelevant SERPS on keywords that we used to rank well in. I know our sites were of much better quality then what is ranking now, our sales stats have proven that. Now here we have this alogrythm that defies all logic and reasoning that continues to kick everybody in the ass except those sites that are lucky enough to get listed in irrelevant SERPS. Granted, there are some SERPS that actually are relevant to the search term and some are even decent........but, when analyzed for optimization 90% of them show very little in the way of backwardlinking, keyword relevance or any other good SEO techniques that are supposed to help a website rank.

Well, diversification is definately going to be King as someone said earlier. Who can survive on this Rollercoaster of Algorythms that Google insists on putting out these day? Why fix something that isn't broke?

Fare thee well SEO's, and GodSpeed!


2:04 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Let me start by saying this. This will be my last rant about this months update and welcome all others to do the same. The changes have been made and they are set in stone for the next month at least. Please make your last rant and justifications for ranting here and let it go.

Ergo said this, from the thread Google Algo Discussion...

Site 2 of the search above I didn't mention. Its not a relevant result. is a big software company with a PR of 8 and the two keywords appear separately on the page.

What Google has done:

1) Removed SPAM at a cost of quality.
This is exactly what I have been ranting about in other threads. How can they justify making changes like this? They are placing a boat load of results, which are totally irrelevant to a search query, in order to remove a little SPAM. Sites that are either government or large corporations with 1,000s of pages have just been dramatically boosted, even though their placement in the results is totally unwarrented. This is SPAM.

2) The little guy is who got bent.
They have kicked sites that were relevant but smaller, in order to remove some spammie sites? Previously, the results were relevant and hit the target, even if they were a little spammie. To me the quality of results was sacraficed to remove these bad seeds.

3) Are they really bad seeds?
I am not trying to justify SPAM in any way, nor have I ever used sketchy tactics to get to the top, however, relevancy of search query is more imorptant by far. So called SPAM is not always irrelevant. Just because certain tactics are used that push a site to the top, does not make it an irrelvant web page to the query.
Again, I am not justifying SPAM.

Sam's Doggy treats for example. They have a doorway page which was ranked #1 under "doggy treats" previuos to this update. Now, Sam's is gone, and in its place is a big corporate site that had a press realease saying - "Big Bad Doggy of the Networking World" - as a title of the release and later in the release the CEO quoted as saying - "Nobody treats our employees...". If I am a searcher, and I searched for "doggy treats" and I got the corporate site, is it relevant? Now if I got, Sam's is it relevant?

This is what we are now seeing, unjustified results are replacing justified results. The purpose of a "search engine" is to produce the most relevant results within a given query. Does big corporate qualify or does Sam's? I think it is quite clear what is right and what is wrong. As far as I am concerened, Sam's is now being eliminated by SPAM. At least Sam's was relevant to the query, and exactly what the user was looking for.

I agree that if you use shotty tactics to get a site to the top then you should be penalized, and Sam's should. However, should big corporation be put in it's place even though it is totally irrelevant? I call this SPAM, agreed?

It is like Google felt like they were getting figured out by SEOs and all they wanted to do is stab them in the back. We are not all bad. We are trying to promote sites that belong in relevant search results, that is it, they belong there and should be there. Also just beacuse a site is not 100's of pages doesn't mean it is not relevant.

4) The little guy gets it in the a!...?
Last one...
I optimize my wife's site for 1 stinking 3 keyword phrase. That is all I want. Why? Because that is all her site is about. I have built a theme for her site. It is all about that one 3 keyword phrase and that is it.

No, I do NOT have thousands of dollars to start a new company for her, nor do I have thousands to spend on marketing. I just want her to get some work to bring us a little extra income and to keep her busy with work, plus she enjoys it. And there is no better place for her to be than in the search results for that one 3 keyword phrase, because that is all she sells and that is exactly what the people are looking for.

After this update, she is now on page three. And in her place are larger companies, that are not relevant to the search query. They do NOT even sell ONE of the items that people are searching for, but they are there because on one of their pages they mention the 3 keywords somewhere and not even in the same conjunctive string. They are just there. Now is this what the searcher is looking for? No. And why is my my wife's page not there when this is all she sells? There are no sketchy tactics used, just plain title tags, h1's, nothing even remotely called SPAM. Now, she is the one getting the shaft, and not only by me. And I don't like it. It is sad.

5) More Content, oh just write more...
Do you people realize that some peoples content is visually represented, and not textually represented. Just because a site does not have a lot of content, does not mean that the content that is there should be taken lightly. Think about it.

I know a lot of you are happy about the algorithm changes and say that there are quality sites showing up now. I agree they did remove a lot of the spammy sites, but at the sacrafice of eliminating sites that were smaller and more relevant than the results that appear now. I have done extensive research and it seems to only be happening at the 3 or more keyword phrases and more. The smaller sites are definitely being pushed way out of the way by .gov domains, larger corporate sites or sites that have just been in the index longer, but which are not relevant.

I thought Google was on the right path before, but I have to say this time around they have taken a step backwards. More and more people are becoming smart searches and using more words in there queries, exactly where the results got hit. Although, some times you have to take a step back, to move forwards, I think that this step back should have been more thoroughly thought out before being implemented. The reason people like Google is because of quantity and most importantly relevancy. Remove either one, and they are only hurting themselves.

I really hope that the people's thoughts on this sites are taken into consideration with the next update.

Please feel free to state your last rant, or comment on mine, that is why I started this thread. I finally done and will now expend my energy elsewhere.

Thanks for reading and bearing through my crappy writing,



2:48 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

the problem with google is, it thinks machines are smarter than people and in googles case thats probably correct as far as google staff is concerned


2:59 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have been silent on the issue of Google's update so far this month, so here is my main complaint:

1. Bull in a china shop
Every month we now hear of how Google has chucked out yet more sites from the database. Sometimes these webmasters are casualties of their own efforts to optimise their sites, but more often they are simply unfortunately caught up in the latest "spam" cull. Many are webmasters who have just followed some dodgy advice from a board like this, others have done absolutely nothing to warrant this.

As Google tweaks its algorithm each month, like a bull in a china shop, they damage the livelihood of hundreds of webmasters, whether they are "guilty" of anything or not.

Now, if this was Alltheweb or Ask Jeeves it wouldn't matter so much; you learn from your mistakes and move on. However, Google is the most important engine by some margin, and for many sites provides 80% or more of their traffic. The callousness with which sites are dropped is scary. Google seems to take no responsibility for their near monopoly on free search results.

I am not complaining about them changing their algorithms - that can only be expected - but they could at least provide some way of rectifying problems that cause a site penalty, which brings me to the second point...

2. The Google haze.
I had a site completely crippled by Google this month (down from a PageRank 5). I believe that it was penalised because I had a copyright notice on every page of another site that linked through, and hence had over a thousand pages on the same site all using the same text link. But am I sure? no. And that is my complaint.

Google is very happy to slash sites like mine out of the index without any warning. They don't even have the manners to tell you what you have done wrong. Apart from a few painfully and irresponsibly undescriptive "rules", Google doesn't actually tell webmasters what they can do and what they can't. As far as I am aware, Googleguy's sparse postings here are the only way webmasters can find out that they shouldn't be signing up to Links 2 U, or using Zeus for their sites (and thank you for those by the way!).

But how is the average Joe Webmaster supposed to know this? There is nothing inherently wrong with using Zeus to create a useful links directory if it is hand edited. Nor do Google explicitly state anywhere that this is a banned product. Hence webmasters are forced to stagger through Google's fuzzy rules haze hoping that they don't break some existing rule. Even worse...how can they know whether they are going to be breaking a future rule? It is like a parent spanking a child for picking its nose, despite never having told the child that this was a bad thing.

What Google needs is a very detailed set of rules about what is acceptable and what isn't. And this should be updated the month *before* new rules are implemented to give us a chance to fix any potential breeches. Surely the purpose of rules is to gain compliance rather than to gain some sadistic pleasure from punishing confused webmasters?

So my overall point is this:
When is Google going to grow up and realise that with their immense success and importance comes responsibility for people's incomes and jobs?


3:01 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ranting and Raving makes us all feel better but I am afraid its not going to make a difference to this update.

I am trying to come to terms with what to do next myself but I am running in circles.

I have a site with about 6000 pages of good content - half of the listings this month have improved while the other half have gone from page 1 to page 7-15. Pages are template based with similar design and marketing strategies, so it makes absolutely no sense why some are unaffected while others have dipped big time.

I guess I will be sitting back and waiting for the next update before I make any radical changes.

Google - you've killed my business overnight and theres not a damn thing I can do about it.


3:06 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I can tell you that your penatly wasnt because of the link.. I have footers that are identical in 2340 of my pages with all the same links, basically linking to the main sections of the site and no penalty as far as I know.. I didnt move up a notch with some good yahoo and dmoz links being picked up which I thought would of put my PR +1 which confuses me why that didnt happen but I dont think your penalty consists of that one link you talk about..



3:15 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

eh, guys all this ranting and raving is fine and well and gives good points of discussion in retrospect, but the overall lesson to be learned is an old one (and im surprised its came to this level of "disaster" before the issue is addressed).

something to do with eggs and a basket, I believe....now whats that saying again? :)

Everyone is placing far too much reliance on getting traffic from google (IMHO). I think its about time webmasters started looking to good old fashioned marketing techniques to get people to their site - there are been plenty of sites gain sucess thru advertising or good old word of mouth.

General users only use search engines as a last resort cos they dont know a site to find the information they want.

At the end of the day SEO is going to expand into the mass market in a short while anyway (much like web design did a few years ago). At that time every man and his dog will be able to optimise their site and it will no longer give webmasters the advantage it once did cos search engines like google will continue to adapt to the techniques (lets face there is an extent to which google can adapt its algo without totally oversteping the mark).

SEO will become a standard practice for all web designers not just for the priviledged few who have discovered it before the rest!

Its time to move on my friends!

Diversify! Wean yourself away from Google! :)


3:32 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

1) Removed SPAM at a cost of quality.

On a keyphrase I follow(and had #1), I dropped to #27. #1 and #2 now belong to a site with hidden text that is nothing but stuffed keywords. #3 and #4 belong to a site that stuffed the same exact keywords into 40 small icons all over the pages.

My point: They added spam to thier results! I believe the results will return to normal next month.


3:38 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I feel for you guys, I really do. It could happen to anyone at anytime.... and yes, I agree that Google is waaay over the top with its periodic culls.

Jackofalltrades.. come on my friend... get real with this. There is no other basket of this size. I wish there was.

As for offline marketing, most guys on here are small fry and haven't the budget to compete. The resource they do have is wit and brainprower (along with hard work). However, Google's purges create yet another barrier to the small guy successfully taking on the deep pocketed big guy.

Whilst in rant mode: GoogleGuy... this can hardly help your position in terms of presenting an acceptable Google face to webmasters. What are guys like the ones posting above to think? You are bound to be viewed with suspicion.

One irony of course is that over the last couple of months I have read numerous threads in which some people have suggested specific 'spam traps' (in other words, methods to kick out sites that use approaches that they don't happen to use themselves!). Some people don't help themselves.

Overall, a rather damaging update for Google itself I believe, in terms of both quality of returns and reputation.


3:46 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Googles basket is so big because so many people rely on it to hold their eggs! :)

Id say if everyone on this forum decided to turn around and shun google they could - all it would take is marketing another SE to the users of the thousands of sites we run (just a point to note Mr kind Googleguy, please dont kick my sites out! :))

But then, we risk creating another overflowing basket! better the devil you know, eh? ;)

As for budget being an influence on marketing activities, well, if you have a unique product or service to offer then free publicity is easily available and I think we all know in this game that the bigger you are doesnt mean the better you are!

If you are in a competitive market, then thats just the burden you bear, isnt it?

I still maintain that reliance on a single entity to shove users your way is going to end in tears!


3:50 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Amen on every count. Well said.


3:53 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the reply. The only reason I think that this is the cause is because other people here have suggested this as a possibility, and the site has never had any problems before. I built the entire site with Google rules in mind; no spam, no hidden links or text, no link farms, good internal, hierarchical linking etc. I followed every rule that I know of with Google and played it ultra safe. And it still got penalised. That's what really annoys me.

jackofalltrades, as Napoleon said, it is impossible for many webmasters not become dependent upon Google. Google is the research tool of choice on the web, so anyone running information sites (me, for example) is completely dependent upon Google.

PPC, magazine advertising, press releases etc are all pretty much out of my financial range; the returns just don't justify the costs because I make so little per visitor. For many webmasters like me, Google is the web.


3:54 pm on Sep 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Google is the web"

yes, and Microsoft is software! ;)

This 521 message thread spans 18 pages: 521

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