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Update Allegra Part 2 Update 2-2-2005



11:51 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

complain about a real problem

Can't see the sandbox being a "real" problem, or a problem at all. It's there to stop the SPAM. If I start a new company called Mesothelioma Lawyers Ltd you reckon I should show up in the top 500 purely because that's my company name?

Sure, the "sandbox", whatever it is, hurts some. It hurts people who are creating sites for free traffic. Many of them are spammers/freeloaders. It also hurts others. They - particularly anyone starting a new business with a business plan that relies on free SE traffic - are probably better off staying unemployed (or employed if they can find a job). Any new site starting off on the premise that free traffic will sustain it deserves to fail.

So, if you remove the sandbox as a reasonable cause for complaint, and remove most of the other whining, we'd reduce this thread to one page and those that can't even be bothered to read it will get a personal reply from Googleguy because he owes them.


11:39 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

metrostang said:
The results should be embarassing to Google.

I couldn't agree more. I've actually found myself going back to Yahoo to find stuff I'm looking for. Their results are currently BETTER than Google! Especially for 3-4 word phrases like metrostang mentions.

As I posted earlier: a search for "active server pages determine age" related query produced results on breast cancer, vitamin E and concrete. Hardly relevant results.

I can't believe that Googleguy hasn't showed up to defend the Google SERPs other than to say "we test thouroughly before updating" - that's BS - maybe the public is collectively stupid, but the people posting in these forums aren't!

Click your mouse and repeat three times:
Google is broken
Google is broken
Google is broken

I'm frustrated not only as a merchant, but as a user!



11:56 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

For the glance of a second I saw better results from my site this morning. After that, they were gone.

I still think the update is going on. Maybe Allegra is over and changed to a puzzling permanent process.


11:57 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I know it's easy for me to defend google, because I did alright out of this update, but I can't agree to claims the serps are rubbish....

"active server pages tutorial"

Google - ten on topic results.
Yahoo - ditto - ok so they got MS at the top as well
MSN - eight on topic results. 2 generalised IT.

I just don't see the junk other people are claiming.

In my own area, spammy, zero utility affiliate pages have been booted out and replaced by proper commerce sites. I run an affiliate site and I think that's good, because I am at least trying to add some value (but then I would think that wouldn't I?!)



12:36 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well suggy, you're right about "active server pages tutorial"

I guess my point is that in the past, when I did a search for something like [google.com...]

I actually received relevant results in Google concerning active server pages logic. This has changed dramatically.

Compare these results:

Yahoo: [search.yahoo.com...] (Funny - the WebmasterWorld thread is actually number one! Shows Yahoo's attempt to stay fresh...)

MSN: [search.msn.com...]

Google: [google.com...]

At least Yahoo and MSN results actually contain results about "active server pages" WHICH HAPPEN TO BE THE FIRST 3 WORDS OF MY QUERY! For all of the PhD power around Google, you would think that they could tweak their LSI and lexicon servers to notice extremely common word groupings like "active server pages" - regardless of what you tack onto the end of the phrase.

Anyhow, I won't repeat all of this again. Promise. I need to get back to work diversifying my business!


1:32 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One the note of being a consumer I was searching for some info on a DVD box set this morning (normally I only search for my site terms etc) and the results were appalling went through pages of garbage to no avail - had to go to Yahoo.

Prior to this update I would never have had to do this and have always defended Google as being streets ahead of everyone else - sadly no longer!
I cannot understand why they seem to be sticking with this mess


1:52 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This mess generates more Adwords $$$! plain and simple.

Whoopee! way to go google! . Amazing what greed can do to your core business model (which used to be relevant search results!?).

The little SERPs switching experiment proved VERY PROFITABLE, now what?


1:57 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I cannot understand why they seem to be sticking with this mess

I think it's because they have no other choice right now. I believe Google has a very serious problem. Either they are having technical issues that they're having a difficult time working through, or they've totally lost their perspective on what people want when they search for something.

For instance, I have a couple of pages dealing with a specific topic. They are the only pages on the internet that cover this topic in detail, and they have been online for years. Other pages mention it, tell you that it exists, or that it happened, etc., but none of them really cover the topic. Just mine. And when I do a search for them, by specific, unique page title, they either are so low in the SERPs I give up trying to find them, or they are at #50-something, or worse.

Above these pages in the SERPs, however, are pages that mention my pages, or my site, but don't go any further. So how is that relevant? You're going to bury a page with almost everything one could want to know about a topic, and place multiple pages above it that mention the page?

That's kind of like, "neener, neener, neener, we know what you're looking for but you aren't going to find it on page 1...or page 2...or page 3...in fact, you might not find it at all, but we're gonna show you a bunch of other pages that MENTION WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR!" It's almost like they're teasing people. They can see what they want, the words are highlighted in bold in the snippets, but where is the page? You have to click on another page to see if there's a link to the page you wanted in the first place? That's crazy.

If this keeps up, Google will be driving people to their competition. People know they've seen the page before, in Google, but they can't find it now. So they go somewhere else to look for it, and guess what? It's #1 in every other search engine EXCEPT for Google. Now how is that relevant? And what does that say to long-time Google searchers?

Google is broken. Google should be embarrassed. I know I am embarrassed for them, because I know there are good pages out there that can't be found right now on Google. And I've had E-mails from people telling me how relieved they are that my site is still online, because they couldn't find it on Google...



2:01 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

well, at least the drama and suspense are over:

Feb 18 07:59 (Chicago time):
terms: "domain.com" page: domain.com
number of zeros: 59
average of nonzeros: 0.0

time to buy an existing domain and move over the files. It sucks, but what else can I do? Starve as google says there's no problem? There's no way.
Time to do things differently. First this isn't black hat at all since I will block my-current-domain.com from G, but I am actually thinking of trying black hat stuff. If I got caught it will be like it is now, at least I will have no regrets, and have a few great months.


2:32 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

im seeing too much difference to think they have finished whatever it is they are fixing/implementing.

i am seeing constant daily rises in the amount of results returned for specific terms which makes me think it isn't over.

after spending a lot of time going through the sites we run it turns out that we have probably come out even (traffic wise)

the sites that have suffered and not ranking for their companyname now have Yahoo as their default search engine.

in my case i was very *shocked* when this first happened and couldn't believe that some of the senior members were saying "oh there is nothing wrong, etc".

these senior members have probably done well out of this update which is why they are happy.

personally, we are about even, but, Google is still not functioning PROPERLY

for those who are frustrated (as i was), at the end of the day if the poor results continue for much longer then word will spread and Google will find themselves HAVING to let people know what is going on.

In this case i think the silence from Google will cause them more trouble than if they just come out and said "oh give it a while we are implementing previously dampened/sandboxed/whatever into the index"

why not google?

you are losing some of your strongest supporters, i am sure there are members here who have some stock in Google (myself included (only tiny but still stock).

why would i want to change the default SE from one I firmly believed in to one i am not really keen on?

it's not to cut off my nose to spite my face, it's a case of wanting my visitors to find what they want, without having to wade through loads of scraper sites first.

obviously the relevance of results seem to be sector specific, in a few of ours the results are truly unbelievable.

<rant over>



2:55 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

it's not personal if you don't rank for "yourname" anymore. Google is broken and has thrown the baby out with the water (sorry to use it again ;)).

Just finished reading a blog that describes how several very well-knwon blogs are not ranking for their name anymore. Some moved 34 or so places, some 800. Their pages are the model of a webpage for Google. Plenty of related links, thousands of words of text to chew on, and ZERO spam. I mean not even an extra keyword, yet they're gone. Now a news story or directory that links them is ranking higher.

Makes me think that is (at least a large part) related to incoming anchor text. Maybe "too many" people linked them with the same or close enough anchor. Their names are not names or words you would use in everyday life.

Congratulations over there at GooglePlex!


3:59 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A regularly updated thread on the most prevalent Black Hat SEO techniques would be very useful in determining (or speculating on) what Google will be doing a few months into the future.

We can see the junk accumulating over time on results page 1. With Allegra, Google has addressed a number of manipulations (directory spam, blog spam etc.) that were becoming common and obvious. If we had been discussing them in advance, could we have forseen much of Allegra's impact? Some legitimate sites with a vulnerable style were badly affected.

Within a few weeks the next gen. of junk will start to show up. It's in the interest of both Black and White hats to discuss the likely Goggle responses and the implications - and to get out of the main current before the waterfall. Sort of like staying one step ahead of the engineers... Anyone?

May I sit out the next dance?


4:58 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Guys. You really don't have what to do just to blame Google?
I really don't like to argue a lot, but its funny to look at some of you from the side.
1. one cries that his site lost the positions but in other post he calls himself black hat seo.
2. Some others tries to show poor results (which happens very rarely) have you tried to search: ["active server pages" determine age] instead of [active server pages determine age]? Its easy to find info in Google as always, nothing much changed. And I see much less spammy, doorway, advertising pages in Google after the Allegra.
3. some other shouts "Google is broken Google is broken, let go to yahoo or msn":) Go on. It will be more place for others in Google. I advice you to block googlebot in robots.txt :))
4. few invites to play black Seo games. Go on play it. Wish you good luck, just don't cry after another update.

I have various sites in various themes, some are in very competitive areas like poker, spyware, modeling, some in less. Some sites were not affected by Allegra at all, some got huge rise, some dropped a bit. Anyway the advice is simple: imagine there is no Google. Do the site for visitors, not for Google, only natural linking counts, so if your site has lots of artificial links or links which looks artificial, you dropped, if your links are blog links - you dropped because of recent "rel" attribute. Maybe your site was put on probation, so called sandbox, there are lots of reason why your site dropped. Analyse your site, work, instead of crying and blaming google.


5:23 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

5. There is always a wise guy using threads like this to tell how wise he is

I'm sure you did read the whole thread. Some of us have real problems with that update and try to cope with that.

Let's be constructive and help each other.

6. There is always someone else who cannot withstand answering to 5.



5:32 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Some of us have real problems with that update and try to cope with that."

It is your fault, Google can't make mistakes. Stop blaming google and start designing poker and spyware sites. They have lot's of unique and relevant text...almost as unique as lyrics' sites. Actually do like 50 sites so if a few get caught, it's no big deal.

[edited by: walkman at 5:34 pm (utc) on Feb. 18, 2005]


5:33 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yes couldn't withstand.:)
yes I've read all thread. Its the same like always. Like every update. Some happy - some not. Remember Florida?
How do you define helping and be constructive? by blaming Google and shouting Google is broken?
Sorry I'm not on that side.
I'll be glad to help if there will be normal discussion.

walkman - Are you trying to tell that spyware and poker sites don't have / can't have unique content? :)


5:38 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

walk: I'm sure it was my fault -- never change all your URLs to lowercase one day before allegra starts ;-)


6:48 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


what the hell are you trying to say?

give me some facts to back up your point


7:34 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Facts for what? For Google Not broken?
Let me rephrase where do you see it broken? give some examples.
Examples I saw in this thread were just the examples how people don't know how to use the search engine to find certain things.

Give some examples of so called rubbish results. Some general results - highly competitive keywords. I still find what i search.

One of my sites was affected in mid December, but it came back with Allegra. I didn't cry then, just examined, added some links and everything came back.
My Other sites were not affected by Florida, were not affected by Allegra. they are still at the top with thousands of keywords.
Its the content sites, lots of articles, lots of valuable content we add every day, people usually link that sites because they want them to link.

As I said there are lots of reasons for the site to drop in results, even for the unique name, even for the 9 years old site.

BTW I was affected too. I can't find myself with my unique name and surname even I have my own weblog. I was at the top before the Allegra. I see some reasons why my site dropped, but they are not general. Should I cry now and blame Google or should I try add some more links, some more content, fix the mistakes, reanalyse my site?


7:44 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Everyone knows that URL-only listings don't help your site, because the page only shows up if you hit on a word that happens to be in the URL.

Look at all these URL-only listings for Google's own site [google.com].

Broken? You betcha.


7:45 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Now that the update is over, for those of you who made it out of the box, would you be so kind to share any changes you made to your sites?

Did anyone hit on Sept. 23rd make it out after Allegra?


7:53 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

what do you want to see with that query? omitting 2005 Google from Google?


7:59 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


<-- Give some examples of so called rubbish results -->

do your own research!

listen mate, if you really believe that there is nothing wrong with the latest update then fair enough, but don't try to undermine what other members are saying.


8:02 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I wanted to see how many URL-only listings would show up if I asked for pages from Google that do not contain the 2005 copyright notice on the bottom.

Lots of them showed up.

There shouldn't be any URL-only listings showing up anywhere on Google. You won't see any in Yahoo or Microsoft. It's a worthless listing and it inflates the counts.

All large sites have many URL-only listings in Google. This issue has been going on for almost two years now. It started with update Cassandra in April 2003.

Do some research, and then come back and tell us that Google isn't broken.


8:15 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

anyone know what this this?
site:yahoo.com -yahoo
site:google.com -google
site:microsoft.com -microsoft


8:16 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

ScareCrow, if you think that it is a big issue then great. I see it different. As I understand: its 2 years you see that Google is broken.
For me as a user everything was and still is great.:)

Don't send me to do the research, doing it everyday for years, and I don't see anything wrong in areas I'm interested in. That's why I asked for concrete examples.

Sorry guys for not standing on the same side of river. But lets talk with Facts and without offence to users and google.


8:28 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The URL only phenomenon bugs me a bit.

The most sensible reason behind Google's listing of URLs only is that it does not have the space to store the URL's content or (much more likely) that it deems the URL's content too unworthy (low PR etc, banned site etc) to store its content.

HOWEVER - when using link: command to see my site's backlinks there are plenty of URL only listings which do not have cached content.

So, errr, how does Google know that there is a link in there to my site if it doesn't store its content?

Or does Google use different bots to look for backlinks and content? Sorry, I maybe missing something quite obvious here...


8:29 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I see that you joined WW today.
Seems strange that someone would bother to signup to a forum just to defend a large corporation...


8:34 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Widespread shuffle in relevancy scores started appearing in Google around the beginning of February, and the consensus is that major changes have occurred in Google’s ranking algorithm. The weighting of back links appears to have been reduced while the weighting of on page factors appears to have been increased. Many agree that Google has been using Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) in it’s algorithm for quite some time, but in this recent change LSI appears to play more of a role in relevancy scoring. In general terms LSI allows for a better understanding of keywords within the larger collection of content on the page.


8:41 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

just couldn't resist this time.


8:42 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Seems strange that someone would bother to signup to a forum just to defend a large corporation...


Nice conspiracy theory but I don't buy it.

If someone from the Google Allegra team signed up here undercover their username would be something ridiculously over complex. To choose the best one they'd probably analyse the names and posts of all the existing WW members and work out a list of ideal results.

Then they'd throw half of them away and put the rest in a random order.

This 610 message thread spans 21 pages: 610

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