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Those sites had huge PR but were not targeted towards "location keyword." So, the tweak of the algo seems to have improved relevancy, at least it looks that way from my chair.
The reason you see so much spam is because google relies to heavily on "links" in it's algo.
Linking between webmasters to "help" each other in the rankings.. have I have a hundred sites with pr 5 .. I'l trade you 50 pr5 links ..for 20 of your PR 6 links..
Cant do that..I'll go 10 Pr 6's but heres so an so's email he has plenty of pr 6 traffic and has 30 new sites up I am sure if you linked to some of those for him that he would trade
Dosent matter that the sites are nothing but junk to google..so long as they have the ever important links...cause you know thats what the end user is looking for LOL
From my quick analysis, it appears that keywords in the title are counting for more this update. Prior to September, an exact match on the phrase in title was weighted a lot. After September, an exact match was almost irrelevant. Now it seems that Google has tried to balance this back into the algo. Good job Google.
Also, more of my internal pages are showing up in my backlinks. Prior to this month, there was a downward trend for me on this in Google. I am not sure if this is significant or not though. I got one new good link to my homepage. So it could just be a PR trickle down effect. Or it could be an algo tweak.
Glad to hear that most people are happy with the update. A few quick things I would add:
- If your site is brand-new and didn't get picked up, sometimes it can take a few weeks. Make sure to submit your site on our add_url form.
- We really do care about getting the best search results we can. I recommend staying well clear of shortcuts and tricks--you get much better peace of mind. And (I'll try to mention this very rarely) for the few people who have mentioned spam: please report any problems that you see. I'd recommend filling out a spam report and mentioning that you read about reporting spam on webmasterworld--that will give us more data to improve our algorithms.
- Our engineers are getting better at doing the switchover faster, but it takes a few days for us to switch all those terabytes of data. Expect to hit old vs. new pages depending on time, location, etc.
GG - "I'd recommend filling out a spam report ..."
I know you keep recommending this, but if we report something we think to be spammy (eg. CSS to hide keyword text) and nothing happens, do we resubmit? How frequently? Or do we assume that Google thinks it wasn't spammy? A site I reported weeks ago has actually risen this update ... now my client wants to know why he can't do what they did (I'm not going to do it, but its hard to justify).
While I know it would be a huge undertaking to reply to each spam report, its the lack of feedback that creates confusion and frustration.