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Google Update Bourbon - Part 1

Has the sandbox been busted?



8:35 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

continued from: [webmasterworld.com...]

Seeing something happening on and - might be worth keeping an eye on.


8:52 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Does anyone have any insight into what the change may be based on, or are we just going to hear 'I'm up 40 places / I'm down 25 places' for another 500 posts? If so this thread isn't worth following.


9:30 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)


There will probably be a thread anaylising the change when the update has settled.

No point yet as it is still moving - with this thread though you might be able to tell what DCs are leading the way.

To add to what others are seeing - some of my pages have stuck in the dcs - some have gone back.


9:40 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Seeing two previously sandboxed sites ranking for competitive phrases. Both are at least one year old and in the giftware sector.

Total Paranoia

9:41 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Day0_UK - I am in the UK as well but I am seeing the same across all DC's for the KW's I watch. But all of my sites have been stable for 6 months or so.


9:43 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Site area: travel informational, 3 countries, original content, no trickey stuff.

We rank #1 for lots of cryptc placenames that not many people search for (under 10,000 results), and those results have remained the same.

For the more commonly searched for terms we're seeing a mixed bag of changes so far - some are up 30 to 40 and onto the front page - quite happy -- at the moment!

In answer to previous comment about request for details:

We've made one substantial change since Allegra (which didn't treat us badly):

The change was a complete site redesign (that qualifies as substantial I assume). Aside from the look of the site, three changes within the redesign are probably the most important with regards bourbon.

1)Moved the totally text-based navigation from the left side of page to the right. The old navigation was very repetitive - imagine sumthin like:

north elbonia
south elbonia
east elbonia
north embonia
south embonia
east embonia

This was repeated adnauseum across the site with some minor variations. Because some pages have little content (individual bar reviews etc) the text of the navigation bar was somtimes more lengthy than the actual content.

So, we shortened it drastically and used more stepped navigation as the user went further into the site -- eg only when they click on "elbonia" and goes to that page do they see "north elbonia, south elbonia" etc displayed in the navbar. Not only did it make things clearer for the user, but it also cut way down on duplicated text.

Secondly by moving it to the right column, we hoped the robots would "see" all the real content of the site before they got to the nav bar -- we hoped this would help us re duplicated content.

2)We removed a lot of nested tables that were being used for layout purposes only. This not only made the code perhaps easier for Google to digest, it also cut down page size, load size etc.

3)more use of header tags (mostly h1 and h2, though some h3 also) across the site re-inforcing three main sets of keywords.

So nothing special really - just bringing the site up to scratch -- nothing tricky -- though best to wait a few more days before making any hard and fast decisions.


10:02 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The best results I've seen so far for my sites are at:


10:43 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

agree MrMister,
best for me as well


10:46 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Very good for me as well. Seeing the same results on


11:10 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Not good for me. Win some and lose some.


11:51 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just emailed Adsense today ,I don't give a a cent about if there spyes are here and they will find out who i am and close my account in adsense,they just lost over 200 $ a day only from my site.If they will go on with those updates every week,thats a Goodbye Google in a couple of Years,and by the way there are out there other search Engines like Yahoo and Msn and more to come in next years(Larry page and co are not the only genius in the planet),soon others they will create same programs like adsense and GREAT SEARCH ENGINES),My site will exist when Google will be bankrupt .Like Neuton sayed what goes up must come down.I use to gamble in stock exchange and I have seen ups and downs and bankrupts.In our free enderprise Capitalist system your enemy wait you to make just one mistake ,and there has the chance vanish you.I have a site made 3 years ago with 90% one way links from the most Authority sites PR9 because my unique and informative content,a lot of free yahoo listings because my unique and informative content,bbc recomended pbs.org recomended usatoday recomended,what the h$%^&l they want more.Instead Crap keep on taking my place with black SEO tricks(i informed them about in [google.com...]
targeting spamers that are enjoing top 10 listings and bullet proof since florida update,
My bloody site that I work 4 years now ,spend thousands for my archive ,spend thousand of travel cost for unique content ,put my mariagge in problems took me to hospital on Christmas days because of an other GREAT BRAINS ALGO UPTDATE? OF GOOGLE is always the victim.GOOGLE GUYS FOR GOD PLEASE. JUST TELL ME WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY SITE AND I HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT HELL ANY TIME YOU THINK YOU MAKE A NEW INDEX WHILE SPAMERS ARE ALWAYS THERE.


12:13 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

george123, sorry to hear that.

But it's *way* too early to call this update finished. Some sites that moved out of the sandbox yesterday are now back in but they have a good change of re-appearing in the next few days. I saw the same thing during the past few updates.

Patience! While you wait, continue to build quality content...


12:21 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

tnanks for your sympathy:
but how i can go on,i just went out baught a 0.7 johny and crach my 870£ lap top on the wall, got several phones from relatives advice me to go out get a holiday or something instead of kill my self every few months because of Google and its updates.


12:24 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

and if anyone wants to know my site stick me up and i'll give you in Yahoo linkdomain:www.george123blabla.com

Total Paranoia

12:27 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Whats a 0.7 johnny?

I don't understand this as I am not seeing any changes at all in any index for several KW and sites I watch. I cannot call this an update at all - Really ODD. Can anyone in the UK can show me some changed results?


12:29 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

George123 step back a bit and take your family's advice.


12:31 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"anyone noticing increase /decrease in traffic cause of this?"

Increase. We may recover all of the losses that started March 23 which is something to the tune of 60%. Changes made? None. What's the new update based on? I dunno. Quit figuring that stuff out two years ago. Maybe the link campaign last fall is finally paying off.

Other things we never look at:

- Keyword density? Never bothered with it.
- Page Rank? Useless
- html validation? Don't know much about that one either but that thingy checker says we have oodles of errors and we sit very well with Google and Yahoo. It's been a long hard uphill battle.
- Too many others to think about. You'll go nuts with the theories around here if you chase them.

It has to be all about links. Link text rotation works wonders! Recip links work great! Content helps too- we have oodles. As for myself: I'm a little fish in my industry but fortunately we're only competing with 1-2 m results for competitive phrases.

PS--not looking forward to the NEXT update. Will we fall out of the top five SERP slots to page two again?


12:41 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"What's a 0.7 Johnny? "
(it's against the TOS to tell you what is 0.7 J.W)
by the way I had a call from a friend webmaster he told me don't worry just Spam the net like they spaming it. well if Google show us the way why not, at the moment I pay 4 web design developers and 3 editors)"J.W.helps to come out of your misery and go forward think new strategies.


12:42 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

after march 23 lost 75% of traffic, after this update lost quite everything. 90%. from 30k uniques - to 3k.
yahoo send more referers than google...
Did nothing... I guess google thinks this site is scraper site because it is in very tough market, lots of similar pages...
Other my sites seems not affected.
new sites still nowhere to be found 5th month...
Got hit badly, dont know the reason at all...

Total Paranoia

12:46 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Goerge123 thanks for stickying me with the URL. you appear to have a heck of a lot of pages on your website (over 4000) but many seem to be no more than fluff pages stuffed full of keywords with an affiliate link back to a well known travel site and adsense at the top. You seem to be doing the same in many different languages to bulk up the total number of pages and target a greater number of keywords.

It may be that these trick pages are hurting you with Google in some way, and if we are honest they do not really serve any other purpose than being "doorways" as they are not very useful to the users of your website should they stumble across them.

Put this right and continue to build a truly useful site for your visitors and each update should be much less painful in the future, especially with those high quality one way links that you speak of.


12:48 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My pages in the supplemental result seems to be continuously increasing. Any changes done half a year ago is still not being reflected in this update. Don't understand why. Duplicate content? I take a sentence out from my page and could not even find any page with that sentence.

Take it easy, george123.

You're not alone falling out of favour with google.


12:51 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

after google let me uncovered with this new update I will tell you that I knew about this update a week ago :
here is the email

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 1:30 pm (utc) on May 21, 2005]
[edit reason] please no private emails on WebmasterWorld. please see tos item #9 [/edit]


12:52 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well now everybody knows me.GREaT


12:54 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

not if you remove the links. Spare the mod some time...


1:07 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Would agree with Total P, even sympathy seems wasted on this...


1:11 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I hate to break the news to you, but what you have there is a keyword stuffing site with 0 content. This crap has been ruling the serps lately and is bringing down many good quality sites.

As a matter of fact, Iím not really sure this IS your site. Your posts and recent links look like an attempt to bring a competitor site down.

I don't think you are that naive as to not knowing what might be the problem with the site you mention.

But if you are than, I'll tell you. IT IS PURE SPAM!

[edited by: max_mm at 1:16 pm (utc) on May 21, 2005]


1:12 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Would agree with Total P, even sympathy seems wasted on this...

Agree too... looks like a classic 'got what you deserve' :)


1:14 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am sorry to write this, but you have a link farm at the end of many pages. I do not think, this is white hat SEO, so everybody who is involved in something like this must be ready to loose.


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

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


First, there's nothing you can do about the update while it's going on, except get needlessly depressed or angry if your down at the moment, only to bounce back when things settle down, or set yourself up for a big disappointment if you're up at the moment and fall again befeore it ends.

Second, whether you are seeing better or worse results on various data centers, they are pretty much meaningless untill the whole mess settles and the final results roll out across the board.

Third, it's way too tempting to start trying to decide what changes need to be made to your site, let alone actually start messing with it. You can't make valid decisions like that until you have the final deal. ANYTHING you do, or decide to do, to your site before an update ends, based on what you see "during" an update, is as likely to hurt you as it is to help you.

Fourth, there may well be a bunch of other webmasters making all the wrong choices because of what they saw during the update. You might as well sit back and wait to get the advantage of these folks mistakes.

Fith, there may not be much you can, or need to, do anyhow. Even after an update ends, and whether it looks like you got hurt or helped, the time to act may well be AFTER the NEXT update.


Because some of the sites that get a bump up often seem to get over confident and overdo whatever it was that got them that upward bump. More is not always better. Another group of sites will get overly worked up about losing rankings and do all kinds of screwy things to try and correct the situation. Both of those situations may well work to your advantage in the long run.

In the end...

I know it can be hard to take a long term view during an update, but it's a heck of a lot easier on your nerves, and better for your site, in the long run.


1:21 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't know about george's site, but I have real unique content and I'm down in the sewers. My site must LOOK like a spam site. I'm the proverbial baby thrown in with the bathwater.

I'll wait until Tuesday, then I'll have to figure out the simplest site re-design possible to help Google not wrongly label me as a spammer.

Unfortunately we are in the dark. What does Google now consider to be the hallmarks of a spam site?

If I knew the answer to that... I could fix my problem. I'm going bonkers with all the guesswork.


1:25 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hmmm, I'm totally gone too, no spam, clean site, clean links, easy navigation.

Hopefully the algo calculation for my site is so complicated it is taking longer than normal...

This 612 message thread spans 21 pages: 612

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