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Google Update Bourbon Part 3

     
8:35 pm on May 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Continued From:

[webmasterworld.com...]



My whole site has a new cache date of May 25th. Maybe once these other sites around me get recached, I won't hold such an honorable top position. But at least Google has found my pages worthy to sit in the Search again.:) It seems strange to look at the stats and see Google in there, after 6 months of just seeing Yahoo and MSN referrals.

My website has plenty of outbound links, but they are on relevant pages. The problem my site has always had, was a lack of "inbound links." I got tired of searching for people to link to me (with all the spammy sites around) and gave up. So my pages have acquired some links naturally I guess(and I'll bet I still don't have more than 30 inbound links for the whole site) Still have a PR4, which I've had since it disappeared in Nov.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 8:54 pm (utc) on May 27, 2005]

7:23 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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'Abandon hope all ye who enter here' ...now where have I heard that before?
7:23 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Last couple of days I have seen an increase inthe number of referrels for pages that have been gone for ages. Mostly amazon store stuff.
7:48 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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GoogleGuy posted on another respected site that Google is going to be in flux for the next week. With minor tweaks there after.

Dayo_UK

8:20 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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GG

Any thoughts on canonical url improvements?

And esp when sites go url only on the homepage (both non-www and www)

Cheers - I know its late - sorry. I know you have part covered this - but any fix for sites that have the problem, timescale after 301 introduced.

Dayo

8:36 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I did a www vs. non-www post in the answers thread. Normal time would be a few weeks. There's also some really good info here: [webmasterworld.com...]

Dayo_UK

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Thanks GG.

It seems to be a bit (lot) longer than that though. :( - I guess I am abnormal.

Thanks anyway.

8:48 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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GG

This new algo that's working it's way round the dc's - part 2.5 of the update - is it based on older more stable data? or is it bang up to date data?

Someone posted it might be the former as you have suggested this was procedure in the past - can you confirm?

thanks

10:27 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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MikeNoLastName - my site isn't in position 15...

I'm on PAGE 15!

Believe me, I'd be shutting up and counting my blessings if I had only dropped to page 2.

I'm still not seeing any changes in DCs. Still two same stale sets for results for "helleborine's spinning widget plans"

12:07 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I never really cared about search engine spam before this Bourbon "update" -- because the spam always seemed to show up below me in the SERPS.

Not anymore. Now that search engine spam is placing ahead of me in the SERPS I'm going to be filing hundreds of spam reports with Google.

Hopefully Google will fix these horrible new SERPS in some future "update". I had a technical issue at work this week and I had to go to Yahoo to find a page with the information I needed.

12:21 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This is an actual letter I received yesterday. I want to post it to illustrate that it's not just webmasters with vested interests that have noticed a sudden drop in the quality of the SERPs. Regarding my fictional search term "free spinning widget plans":

Dear helleborine, I spent some time last night using different search engines. Using Google I found you as a link after 160 others. Lycos was a no go after 125. Yahoo brings you in as #1 and is the engine used by Netzero and Juno. I don't know what's up but Google should get a life. It seems to me that all of the sites shown are folks selling "spinning widget" supplies first and "plans" as an after thought. As far as I'm concerned Yahoo is the engine to use.

Not my words, folks.

Bourbon's effects are noticed by Joan Surfer.

12:56 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Oh man, that's gotta be the biggest piece of propaganda I've ever seen. Have you gotten similar mail from God too?

Good job.

1:51 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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walkman,
Google's stock is through the roof and they're making a killing as it is, they don't need to ban your site or my site to make more money. They're too young to pull those tricks and they don't need to. If their stock starts crashing and they're under pressure to make the expected revenue, then I guess one can speculate.

It is hard to believe that google's current market value is over $46 billion, trading at almost $300 per share. However, with a P/E ratio of 115 to 1 would indicate a strong hint of irrational exuberance.

Even so, to all those who may think Bourbon has anything to do with maximizing revenue...IMHO this is not the case. As an avid searcher I can attest that Google, Yahoo and MSN serps have been terrible for awhile. PPC and the such has spawned so much spam that I have taken to using gigablast.

It is not a matter of maximizing revenue, but rather an attempt to stop the bleeding of market share (ie; users).

According to CNN yesterday: Google is worth over EIGHTY (80) BILLION $, (I believe their current shares are at $288 per), and G ads is just HOW they ARE making their biggest bucks, (which would explain why so many non-relevant sites & spam sites that now hold top spots just so happen to have G ads on them). They (CNN) of course failed to mention what is currently going on with their SE. Those shares are not only going to soon drop when word gets out, but so many businesses now being trashed and replaced with NON business sites instead, could have an detrimental effect on the national economy. That's NOT just my "opinion" either but the general consensus at several forums.

I guess it just depends on what you search for, but when I search for phrases, MSN & Yahoo are still returning sensible relevant content.

2:03 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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SignMeUp:

I just want to tell google: We are in the same boat. We are not spammers. We are not scrapers. It's time for us to fight back!

I think we all agree, but HOW do we "fight back"?

2:08 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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GG has said there is more stuff to be put in the mix. Question is, why does Google insist on doing this with the live Google index over a period of MANY weeks instead of behind closed doors?

Does it really need to take so long to add/mix/distribute an update?

2:11 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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GoogleGuy,

First I would like to say that it is nice that you have chosen to answer questions when possible. I wish that when I had written to Google last week and asked if something was going on since my site vanished, they could have simply said they were going through a known update called Bourbon rather than tell me no. So I appreciate your answering questions.

I can say that summer is not always the best time for updates as some sites rely heavily on summer traffic. Mine was one of them. Though, on May 21st, our site vanished from the #5 position for our primary keywords to anywhere between 350 to 800+.

I have been monitoring datacenters and they went from some of them having us where we originally were (#5) to all of them putting us incredibly low. A few days ago we were seeing some datacenters showing us back up to our original positions, but only on a few datacenters. While the rest still showed low results. Then yesterday, we seem to have vanished from those hopeful returing results. However, the "allinanchor" and "allintitle" seem to still have us where Google had us before this disaster (#5). I am not sure how this works, but I am holding on to those results as last feelings of hope.

I hope after this update things will improve again for us but I am getting more and more discouraged. We have no spam, we have abided by the rules and yet this is simply amazing to me. Google is still caching our site and almost each day I see more pages being picked up by Google for our site. So it looks like it is growing and yet still no changes or improvements with our positioning.

Many are reporting great results here, but I am afraid what is happening to us is slowly killing our site.

If you or anyone have any hopeful thoughts or words of encouragement or even things to consider we need to change, please let me know. I am open to any advice.

Cheers,

Confused_Ellie

P.S. We experienced something very similar in Feb/March 05. We did recover after about 5 weeks but we still don't know what went wrong there and we were still getting more traffic than this time. We did not vanish as badly as this time.

2:14 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"GG has said there is more stuff to be put in the mix. Question is, why does Google insist on doing this with the live Google index over a period of MANY weeks instead of behind closed doors?
Does it really need to take so long to add/mix/distribute an update? "

bingo...

you would think they would crunch the info and then present it rather than using their live production servers and telling everyone to just wait it out...

we're all webmasters here... development on live servers is risky and the professionals develop on another system.

2:17 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I wish that when I had written to Google last week and asked if something was going on since my site vanished, they could have simply said they were going through a known update called Bourbon rather than tell me no. So I appreciate your answering questions.

It's useless to email them. They don't answer emails, especially not on this topic. They couldn't care less about the thousands, perhaps millions of businesses they have destroyed.
2:17 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi All.

I have seen something very interesting. The longer my site is in Google, the higher it ranks. Is this right? I have sites that have been in there for ions, but only now receive a higher rank, and have slowly been creeping up towards the top in the last two months or so. Then I have others who do well in a very short time, and have not been sandboxed too badly. Maybe it's just luck, coincidence, maybe it's part of bourbon - call it what you may, i'm not complaining. What do you guys think of that phenomenan?

2:22 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have seen something very interesting. The longer my site is in Google, the higher it ranks. Is this right? I have sites that have been in there for ions, but only now receive a higher rank, and have slowly been creeping up towards the top in the last two months or so. Maybe it's just luck, coinsidance, maybe it's part of bourbon - call it what you may, i'm not complaining. What do you guys think of that phenomenan?

From what I have at least seen, in my cases, this has nothing to do with it. My "nothing" one-page sites are much newer than my main site (which has been around for 8 years) and they are near the top where as my main site is "toast".
2:30 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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MSN & Yahoo are still returning sensible relevant content

Best engine right now seems to be Y!, with Google a close second (even with all their problems right now). MSN still has a lot to learn.

Conspiracy theories continue in this thread - too bad. Each one I've read has the tone - My site is not doing well because Google is evil. Well come join the club...

I've written over 500 articles over the last year. Most of which appear in Google's index and none of which rank for anything. I've followed Brett's 26 steps almost to the letter. I've been lucky enough to have some readers here look at my site and make suggestions - all of which made sense and I've changed.

I think that I calculated once that I make in the range of 50 cents an hour working on the site (all in, since its start). Thankfully, I do rank pretty well in Yahoo recently.

Do I think that there is a sandbox - yes. Do I think my site is being punished for some unknown reason (relating to the algo) - maybe. Do I beleive that Google is conspiring against me because I run adsense (or any other reason) - No.

Hopefully when this update is over, we'll get back to analyzing the changes.

2:33 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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yeah, well, Yahoo is pretty simple to get ranked in, for me at least. I just have a problem with Google because I'm not 100% sure about their Algo. All I know is the longer my sites are in there, the better they rank.
2:55 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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GoogleGuy posted on another respected site that Google is going to be in flux for the next week. With minor tweaks there after.

Only MINOR tweaks? I just ran a check again for some search phrases where I WAS at the 1st positions prior to May 21st, and the results are even MORE senseless and non relevant that a few days ago! The sites with hidden text have MOVED UP in the hits, as has the links directory pages and the like, "yellow pages" results for proprietary cities having nothing to do with search phrases.....it's hideous. All the while, my RELEVANT site is getting trashed further and further into the bowels of cyberspace, along with my LIFE. I would pray that there would be a LOT more than "minor" tweaks.

5:43 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Here here Clint :S
5:50 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The update is not even over yet os we are not at the minor tweak point yet. So you'll have to just be patient.
5:51 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Clint, I see no such movement in my keyphrases.

Still dominating the top positions are very ancient, dull sites that have lost backlinks, and some poor quality directories/linkfarms with aggressive reciprocal linking policies.

5:51 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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hellebourne,

Validate your code, this could only help your situation. You have a few errors that would be considered fatal when a bot crawls your site. I am sure to save bandwidth during this update, the googlebot is making an early exit when it hits a site that it has to make accomodations for. This could explain your drop in the serps.

Dayo_UK

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GG

Just a quick thought - I would turn the allintext down a bit. Surely this is how some scrapers are doing so well in that they do very very well in the allintext search (as they are keyword rich pages - taking snippets from lots of different sites and therefore the keyword appears throughout the document?)

Just a thought - some of the searches I have done recently look very close to allintext.

Dayo

PS. Yep know its not done. Cant help myself in looking though.

6:27 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Bring on the FTC.

Many of you are going to hate me for this but...

Any site that carries Google Adsense on the front page should never be allowed to list in the top 10 positions of any natural google listing. Seems to me this is a HUGE conflict of interest that Google can manipulate to its own ends just like so many other issues they currently sweep under the rug. Are they a search engine or a marketing engine? Seems to me they are going head long into so many different media avenues they have become a marketing entity and therefore should be REGULATED based on market share similar to how AT&T was regulated at one time.

Don't worry if the feds get involved the SEO game will still be afoot but this time there will be some set of rules a search engine must abide to be a search engine.

Maybe I'm crazy.

What's your take on this?

6:55 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Wow . . . am I glad I found this thread. At least I now know I am not the only one.

I don't for one minute think Google has a personal vendetta against anyone - we are all too small in the scheme of things. But ask yourself how many insects you trod on today without even being aware that you were exterminating a life.

I have never actively pusrsued placement in Google pages. Of course when it started to happen I was delighted. All I have ever done is add content to the site and write about things that interest me and are relevant to the sites subject matter - I would hate to think that isn't going to work any longer.

What is really spookey about all this is, that two weeks before May 21st, I launched my first commercial enterprise on the back of my site's success on Google. I have since had to suspend all marketing and ignore the enquiries that have come in (in the hope this disappearance from Google is temporary and short term).

I may yet turn back to religion and start praying! Perhaps I could even create a new site where you could all light a candle dedicated to St Google, patron saint of all webmasters!

7:09 pm on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Any site that carries Google Adsense on the front page should never be allowed to list in the top 10 positions of any natural google listing. Seems to me this is a HUGE conflict of interest that Google can manipulate to its own ends just like so many other issues they currently sweep under the rug.

Sure, and General Electric (which owns NBC) could--in theory--use NBC News to promote its kitchen appliances and hair dryers.

Now can we get back to a discussion of the Bourbon update? :-)

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