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www2, www3 - what are they?

I've read other posts, but still don't fully understand



3:20 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've read a bunch of posts here over the past month or more about www2, www3, and everflux, but I'm still confused. Sorry. I also did a search on this site for www2 and got the "No results" message. I wanted to read more about this before posting a stupid, already hashed out question, but...

I have a site (clients) that just ranked #7 for a 3 word key-word-phrase on Nov. 10, 11, 12 and 13, but today it is gone from the top 200 for the same KW phrase. I did a search for the domain and it is still listed in google, but no PR (either that or the toolbar is grayed out, I'm not sure how to tell which is which).

Server logs show FreshBot-64.68.82.* visited a few times around these dates in Nov., but nothing from DeepCrawler-216.239.46.* shows at all during Nov.

I'd like to check the www2 and www3 indexes as has been discussed here, but I'm not sure how. I tried going to www2.google.com, but when I do a search it returns me to just www.google.com.

I'm not an SEO, I am just trying to do the best for my clients.

Thank you,


3:27 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Taken from the Google update FAQ [webmasterworld.com]

2. What are www2 and www3?
Google has several data centers around the world composed of at least 10,000 individual computers. When Google updates its index (copies the index throughout the system), there is a "staging area" for the new index on www2.google.com and www3.google.com. You can watch the new index migrate from www2 or www3 to the standard www.google.com, during the 'Google Dance' www, www3 or www3 may be the old or new index periodically. This process of migration, usually takes 3-7 days and will appear to fluctuate between the three wwwX.google.coms.

There is also further explenation at WebmasterWorld Google Knowledgebase V2: What are www2 and www3? [webmasterworld.com]

Also www2, doesn't look different that the normal Google (in design), it's just that it presents different results sometimes.
If you view the addressbar when you've done a search you will see that your still on www2.google.com/search?q=whatever

What you describe happening with your sites seems like Google Updates and Everflux, the Monthly Mid-Cycle Changes [webmasterworld.com]


5:10 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks lazerzubb.

Please let me follow up:
When I go to www2.google.com, enter my search terms in the box and click "search", the results are returned via www.google.com according to the address bar (not www2).

If I hack the returned URL by just entering a 2 after the www and hit "enter", results are returned via www2.


But, I have tried this with a few different keywords and get the exact same results on either www or www2. Am i dense or just missing something obvious?

Thank you,


5:29 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You won't really notice any results difference unless 'the dance' is going on which is when google shuffles the next months results through the www2 and 3.

If you keep your eye on this forum it goes absolutly mad with people saying google has gone to pot if their listings slip or praising it if they rise!


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