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Allegra vs. Florida

which update was worse?



2:59 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Many of us has been affected by both of these updates, but which one was more servere? And, I know that some of us got it worse from Allegra and others got it worse from Florida. But overall which update makes the least sense and is hard to justify the end results?


12:28 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

"Do you think people who disappeared have done so not because of some refinement to a mechanism/filter but rather due to a 'bug' or 'pagejacking'?"

Mostly, for sure. Maybe some crap that relied on blog spam got dropped because of other issues but this pagejacking stuff is quite rampant now.

Some people lose ranking any update for a wide variety of reasons, but "disappear" should mean "gone", not dropped ten slots. I don't know why the other stuff keeps getting focused on. Any disappeared site I've seen has an obvious hijack, and even in these threads people talk about sites linking to them taking their ranking spots, or of sites with lots of links given loads of opportunity to pagejacking.

The issue has been well reported here, and widespread, but I guess some people will always look for other explainations rather than the obvious one effecting lots of others.


1:06 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

Regarding latent semantic indexing in both Allegra and Florida.
Was LSI first introduced with Florida?

Also do people feel LSI is used solely to judge a page/surrounding pages for penalising/points off/filtering? Looking for the bad basically.

or is LSI now integral into the scoring of pages. Is a pages merit now judged on the content (related words) of linking pages and not just the anchor text of the linking pages and the title perhaps. If this is true when did it become true? (not that clear but hopefully you understand)

grail, you're asking lots of good questions that no one had definitive answers to.

As for the nature of the blow-up's, we see all sorts of example of sites vanishing and dropping that have nothing to do with the well documented pagejacking issues.

We felt within days of Allegra that dup issues were hitting a bunch of sites, and so were LSI-like measures. Our conclusions, particularly WRT LSI, were not based just on the sites that dropped or vanished (we saw both), but also on pages/sites that rose in Allegra. In our case the rise in traffic apparently related to LSI-like shifts was quite dramatic.

Plus in many cases, we're now ranking for semantically related searches that we *never* ranked for before. Nothing to do with pagejacking or bugs. It's pretty clear when looking at our tracking charts and wide data sets.

And pagejacking does not appear (to me anyway) to have caused the disappearing brand/site name issue, which very much looks like a filter problem related to external links. Guess you could call it a bug, but it's a filter, I think. Vaguely similar in nature to some that caused a bunch of problems for homepages in Florida and Austin.


1:21 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I didn't notice Florida until I read about it here. The update in mid February of '04 was the one that killed my site. What was it, Brandy or Austin, I can't remember. Every page I had vanished and it tooks about two months to bring them back.

This update has been confusing, at #5 one hour and off the the 2nd page the next. Still seeing 90,000 results at one datacenter and 500,000 at another for the same search. It's obviously not over, since we're seeing possibly the 7th and 8th set of results in the past week.

I don't know how you can make a judgement or compare this update to others until we see the final results.


4:15 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Both updates have been so bad as far as serps go that its not funny.
I felt embarrassed for google in Florida and I feel embarrassed for them now.
I am incredulous that they needed to ask for feedback on this one.
Don't they look at the results themselves?


11:25 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Does Google even look at and consider the feedback?


1:21 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

They will listen when their brand as the provider of the most credible search results suffers because of these appalling SERPS.

This will mean less 'common all garden' searchers using Google and less eyes on AdWords.

If I were Yahoo, MSN et al, I would be making capital out of this by shouting about how bad Google results are.

They need to sort this out before they loose brand equity, not with us but with 'searchers'...


4:53 am on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Florida seemed slightly more radical and was worse for me.

Allegra is a mixed bag. I don't really know what to make of it, but here are 3 distinct examples I am trying to analyze. I have 3 main sites in different areas.

(Site #1) My commercial site is still in the so-called sandbox, so there was no change. IMHO this site should rank highly, and Google's results in this area are appalling. Site #1 is completely unrelated in content to site #2 and they do not link to each other.

(Site #2) My hobby site, which IMHO is the best and most comprehensive in its area, got a tremendous boost and now ranks for everything under the sun (which I know will not last). Even though it is a hobby site, it is in a competitive area (travel). Results in this area seem to be generally good, but I shouldn't be ranking for quite as many terms as I now do.

(Site #3) Another smaller, very low-commercial site, which has around 5% of the links and content of the two sites above, is seeing more traffic, and probably gets about what it deserves with one exception. The strange thing is that a page on this site (which is the only one of my sites that links to the site in example #1 above) now ranks on page 10 for the term that site #1 targets... the page is semi-related to the topic ("marketing for widgets" on site #3 vs. "widgets" on site #1), but the general site theme is not related. I also link to Site #2 in the same manner. I have no idea why this page ranks and site #1 is MIA - the page on site #3 has no inbounds and site #1 has around 100 quality relevant inbounds and decent content. I guess I could remove the link and see what happens...

Now the kicker - all 3 sites above are "SEO'd" in the same way, on-page and off-page, although example #3 is a much smaller site. And all 3 generally do well in Yahoo and (to a lesser extent) MSN.

Sorry if this post is boring, but personally I like to hear of examples that I can compare with my own experiences to find a common thread.


7:37 am on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

When I see the word "worse" as in "which was worse",
I presume that something bad must have happened.

In any realignment of listings, some lose ground (sometimes severely) while other gain.

True or false, and please try to be objective:
Did Florida, Allegra or both harm the browsing public, or help them? - Larry


8:00 am on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Florida, being right before Christmas made some commercial searches less than helpful to e-shoppers.


10:44 am on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Good point, on the presumption that the better more honest retailers
were dumped in favor of the scummy ones.
Can we be sure of that? -Larry


10:48 am on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

After Florida there were loads of large portal sites dominating the top results. Now, after Alegra at least this seems to be less of an issue (in my industry anyway). So the results are definitely better now (once again in my industry at least).

The fact that on balance my sites are doing great after Alegra is a bonus, the first prize though is the improved quality and variety of results at the top of the serps.


11:02 am on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Many of us has been affected by both of these updates, but which one was more servere?

To me, both were about equally bad. In Florida they introduced the sandbox, in Allegra they're still using it.

I would have expected Google engineers to employ the sandbox as merely a temporary fix, but all those PhD's can't seem to be able to think of anything better.

Getting a site sandboxed (just because it's getting redesigned), basically means you can't SEO on it for a while (not if you want to see the results). I was #3, now #439 for a site that was in the middle of getting redesigned when Allegra blew into town. (fwiw, it's #1 in MSN and Yahoo still - no spamminess, lots of good relavant topical content).

For web designers who update sites often, it becomes a disincentive to update an entire site. I'm almost ready to tell my clients to keep the old designs and slowy migrate over to the new designs spead out slowly over time, so that the entire site doesnt take a hit.


9:28 pm on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"Did Florida, Allegra or both harm the browsing public, or help them? - Larry"

I don't really know about the browsing public.
I do know as a webmaster both Florida and Allegra
gave me a hard kita.

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43

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