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Google Update Bourbon Part 3

     
8:35 pm on May 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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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]

8:10 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Venix,

Writing content is not necessarily the solution.

Scraper sites can beat you on content volume quickly, and their ability to fool SEs is only increasing.

Focus on natural ways to increase backlinks, and on alternate revenue strategies.

8:13 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I know that many feel G is broken and I believe that something is not right.
In the "Good old days" G use to read the text on the page to suitably place a site, in my opinion this is no longer the case.
I have been watching a competitor site of mine that has actually been off line for a couple of weeks now with a message in large font "Account for domain www.***********.co.nz has been suspended" The title also has the same message "<TITLE>Site has been suspended</TITLE>"

G still has the site listed, 6th on the page with the short description showing "Accommodation and information directory" last spidered 01JUN05 and the cached page showing the site suspended page.

In the good old days your pages were read for content but seemingly no more. Lets hope they manage to fix it soon as G was a good search facility.

8:18 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Whooo hooo! Thanks bear

rewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^.*\/index\.shtml
rewriteRule ^(.*)index\.shtml$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

^^^^All I can say is finally.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}!^www\.example\.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}!^$
RewriteRule ^(.*) http://www.example.com/$1 [L,R=301]

Still get a code 200 for non trailing slash www root.

www.example.com < code 200
www.example.com/ < code 200

Will this cause any problems?

8:36 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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...that many feel G is broken

For what it's worth the RankPulse index for 1000 search terms shows very little activity over the last 2 weeks.

I'll let the rest of you figure that one out.

8:40 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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theBear,

Fabulous and informative post. The kind that is helpful and awe inspiring as to how many things can be done with the right knowledge.

…….

Perhaps GoogleGuy can learn how to reply to posts in an informative manner and let some webmasters here know why their sites were sent into the darkside of the abyss, instead of insulting remarks like 3.5 updates. We don’t mind even whilst he eats caviar in first class during globe trotting trips at the expense of good websites.

He is not aloof nor is google to anybody else. They are secretive and cryptic in their answers. Webmasters want a proper reply as to what is in Bourbon and why so drastic an update.

Google must know that this will foster the biggest spamming techniques yet on the internet. It will not stop a determined webmaster finding a weak algo's loopholes. Google cannot stop webmasters from being ranked. We will find a way that beats the algo rather than work with a secret formula.

As soon as available and Longhorn incorporates msn search it may be payback time for google. By simply dispensing a script that offers to change homepage via a click on your website may be what it takes. If that does not I am sure more industrious webmasters will force the change via a trojan script.

Clints website was tanked into total oblivion and we want answers as to why this was the case.

8:51 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I suppose the 0.5 has been implemented. Now all is left the last 1.0, correct? And we should expect that in the next week or so? am I missing something?
9:01 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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walkman,
I don't know about you, but I am missing my old page rankings! :o)

Did anyone notice any difference on this 0.5 update? It looks the same for me!

9:01 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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arubicus, there is an Apache mod that handles that as well as a set of rewrite rules, I haven't played with the rewrite rules for it nor have I checked to see what comes back if I hit the server without the / on the ones that auto include it.

HTH on one of the things.

I found that after I stopped paying attention to what has been posted on a lot of sites and read the documentation on rewrite and in particular extended regular expressions (yes it is dense) it all started to make sense.

You still have site specific things to consider, things that are different in your setup and software than mine. Always check the server headers and always verify using more than one tool. Tools have been known to be wrong (duh).

Now we know about the mess and we have have an Idea why and in some cases we even know who.

What we don't know is why it isn't easier to fix the mess.

Don't confuse the site spliting mess with some other stuff that is different but can be used along with spliting sites.

Now for the folks that think spidering a site is black magic wget -r -w1 domainname will do it if you have a copy of wget (a small 184,236 byte program) on your system I'm not saying that wget and Googles spider are even close but the basic code kind of has to be.

[edited by: theBear at 9:08 pm (utc) on June 3, 2005]

9:02 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't think the "O.5" has gone through. I've been seeing the same depressing two sets of SERPs for at least 4 days.
9:17 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Clints website was tanked into total oblivion and we want answers as to why this was the case."

Mine's in oblivion too. :S So many in oblivion....

9:18 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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*Clints website was tanked into total oblivion and we want answers as to why this was the case.*

You might find it in that SEW thread, but to recap, duplicate content, interlinked sites, hidden text.

Anything to do with Bourbon? Probably not...

9:19 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The results are bad now. Only half the update elements have been applied. It's like a car on an assembly line that is half done being pointed at and called a butt ugly useless car. It isn't finished. Perhaps that is bad for your business, but it still isn't finished in any case.

I would have assumed that they would apply the "quality elements" to their current results, therefore a penalty applied sustained in Bourbon would carry to up to the next update at least.

To follow your analogy, I understood the update process more as in "putting in a new motor to the car." Do you have actual insight into this? It would be nice to know.

Are you suggesting that they are rebuilding everything from scratch?

9:29 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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He is not aloof nor is google to anybody else. They are secretive and cryptic in their answers. Webmasters want a proper reply as to what is in Bourbon and why so drastic an update.

Alan Greenspan has nothing on google. Some of googleguy's comments were helpful, but with other comments, even reading "between the lines" still leave me in oblivion.

I am sure that higher ups at the plex stresses that he has to be very careful with what information he can give us. Never the less, I certainly appreciate his taking time to give us attention.

We need to spend a little less time critizing his comments and just be thankful such an important person participates in this forum.

9:33 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I know Clint has duplicate content because of faulty redirects, parked domains, and that the bots got to those domains, further I know he has some files that he changed the names on as well which causes duplicate content problems. Compared to a pile of sites (some of which rank very high for traffic keywords) his is pristine.

I didn't look at the content of his pages for hidden text etc, I stopped after seeing a pile of duplicated pages in the index.

As well as at least 39 probable hidden 302 leaches.

9:48 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>Instead of complaining, some folks ought to be using this time to be working on their site construction and related issues.

What's the use if noone is ever going to get to see them?
------------

A few pages back (it actually took me that long until now to research this with interruptions) some people were mentioning js and how it might possibly have an effect because of being misread, etc..

I've had this spreadsheet with pages that were affected on our site (dropping 80-100 places) and those that we felt should have been but weren't (because they were similar, on the same domain, etc.) and their differences. I noticed one new difference I hadn't before because of that comment. How do I say this?...

We hand code almost all our pages, so we use very simple html. On some pages, for formatting sake, we have added a very simple style script like the following:
<STYLE TYPE="text/css">
<!--
h1, h2 {
margin-bottom: 1px;
margin-top: 1px;
padding-bottom: 0;
font-family: Arial;
}
-->
</STYLE>
All it does is get rid of that irritating extra space above and below standard Headlines <H1> and make them Arial font and should have no impact on overall readability (as far as hiding text or anything). It is pretty much the ONLY style code we use on 99% of our pages, so it makes a good clean comparison. In the H1 tag on most of our pages is typically the keyword we are targeting.

- About 90% of the pages which WERE dumped have this code on it. (i.e. some have been dumped for other reasons)
- NONE of the pages, which we checked, which were UNAFFECTED (kept their top 10 ranks) had it on them.

This does NOT imply that ALL those which had it were dumped (although I've yet to find one which wasn't). Nor does it imply that NONE of those WITHOUT it were NOT DUMPED.

However considering the quantity of pages we've checked (close to 100 on either side of the wall), it is a very high correlation.

We will be testing removing this code today to see what effect it has on rank.

Any suggestions as to why G might penalize or possibly misread this code?

9:56 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google results continue to be a pile of ****. What a joke company.

Too much power and they have blown it - Microsoft will clean up!

9:59 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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glengara

Thanks for the guess.

In fact I will go further and possibly anticipate that it could have been any number of 500 factors that google may take into account. Or indeed a combination of factors that Clint should have known about. Though I don’t know all and certainly not any new ones, but google may expect Clint to know and abide by it. Or indeed a webmaster must spend his entire life scouring websites to find forums and clues hidden in them to determine the future of his website. Is it a 301?, maybe a 302? or a trailing slash, one too many keywords?, empty container element?, inbound outbound links? shared ip? new domain name?, the list is endless.

Clint, I think it is the obligation of webmasters to know google’s surreptitious 500+ parameters that a webmaster must adhere to like “a google decree of the internet”. Any one of these parameters being violated or blasphemed ultimately sends a website into oblivion without mercy or compassion.

I will now make a guess myself and say that it is not a guess but a fact that google singles out websites with its algo. If you are in its radar “”BANG”” down goes your website. I will stick by this even if confronted by GoogleGuy and it will be his job to disprove my claim. Google is not as advanced as many poople may think. It is using a crude method of depleting ranking sites via its algo and it is as simple as that. Those that are not affected are not winners and those are affected disappear in results. 8billion pages represents a money making facility that will never run out and can be tweaked to kingdom come.

Winners and losers are effected by a balancing algo that takes into account acceptable methods to rank. An algo that blasts a website into oblivion is an altogether different ball game, one that invokes anger and hate.

A stoic and merciless algo script awaits any unsuspecting webmaster in the next spectacularly named update.

10:00 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's all very well holding up Clint as the iconic victim of some whimsical algo-change by G, but it's a load of cobbblers.

If he's typical of those who've suffered a drop, you've no-one to blame but yourselves ;-)

10:11 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone seen their websites disappear from Google recently? My site seems to have dropped off the face of Earth as far as Google is concerned.

On May 20 I had over 150 referrals from Google. The following day on May 21 it was down to 7 referrals, and hasn't gone above 12 since.

Traffic to my site had dropped by 50% and AdSense earnings are down to around a dollar a day, whereas before May 21 they were regularly up into double figures per day.

I searched Google for some virtually unique key phrases that appear on my web pages, but all I got were results for other sites and mine was nowhere to be seen. The site is still on there as I searched for the domain name, but it just isn't coming up in the SERPs.

What the heck is going on? Is this to do with the update do you think? I'm going to start losing sleep over this if it doesn't go back to normal.

10:16 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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glengara,

Nobody is holding anyone up for anything.

I told what I found and where I stopped.

He knows he has duplicate content problems, there are currently serveral milion sitting duplicate content targets for all kinds of fun.

If duplicate content is a major concern then best that be cleaned up. If the text is light grey on a lighter grey background, eyeballs are all different, if the text is absolute positioned off page then fine. I didn't go that far.

10:20 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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glengara,

You said;

“””It's all very well holding up Clint as the iconic victim of some whimsical algo-change by G, but it's a load of cobbblers.
If he's typical of those who've suffered a drop, you've no-one to blame but yourselves ;-)”””

I suppose you would have uttered the same comatose sentiment when we proved the 302 hijack was hurting websites. The webmasters who were hijacked were to blame in your opinion? Am I correct?

And Clint is to blame for his site now in the dolldrums, yes?

I think google is to blame. The guy's website has tanked into total oblivion and a single company running 80% of the internet should be held responsible. The internet was not created for google to control.

Wake up and get a life before you make such silly comments.

10:27 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The Bear, Clint was new to this game, went too far, and is now suffering, Japanese will have you blame G, I won't ;-)

Japanese, you obviously didn't bother to read the thread dealing with Clint's problems over at SEW.

I suggest you do before putting him up as the latest martyr in your (IMO), paranoid ramblings ;-)

[edited by: glengara at 10:31 pm (utc) on June 3, 2005]

10:28 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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listen to theBear...take it from me, he knows what he is talking about.
10:30 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well I am blaming Google. I'm skimmed through these very long threads, and it seems as though my site has been picked out to be a spam site. This isn't true at all, and I can't even think of the remotest thing that could be wrong with it.

I feel like I've been arrested and put in jail for something I've never done.

If Google doesn't sort this out soon, I'll have to go find a job. I rely on AdSense for my income, and now my referrals have dropped, my earnings have also dropped by 90% and I'm not even exagerating either.

>:(

10:33 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately Richie, many of us are going through the same problems. It's frustrating and the update isn't over. Many of us are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best. I am sorry to hear you are suffering as well. Many have made some interesting points or have suggested things worth thinking about. Maybe something in this thread can help you but I have a feeling we are all going to have to wait this "event" out and see where the chips fall. :(
10:37 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have a suggestion...

Why don't all that have been severely affected by Bourbon include the websites in question in their profiles. Then let us that have been in this game awhile take a look at them.

Maybe then we can make some valid assumptions as to what Bourbon is all about.

10:40 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Now that's a good idea guys, let's do that, I'll go first....

Come on Japanese, I want to see you in particular ;-)

[edited by: glengara at 10:45 pm (utc) on June 3, 2005]

10:43 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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that seems like a really good idea - but maybe in a new thread?

The thing is, the bourbon update has been nothing but good for me and my clients (maybe 150 sites, but there's only about 25 where it's critical enough that we watch it like a hawk) and I couldn't begin to tell you WHY it has worked so well for us; as far as we are concerned we did nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, we undid some stuff we'd done before to get better ranking.

One of my personal sites went from tons of referrals three years ago, to absolutely no referrals for the past two years, only to move to the top of the list with bourbon. I'm not bragging; I can't take any credit for it cause as far as I can tell, I didn't do it. It just happened. But maybe there's some things can be figured out by comparing notes more specifically.

10:50 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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when we proved the 302 hijack was hurting websites. The webmasters who were hijacked were to blame in your opinion? Am I correct?

Yes, in my opinion you are correct. Googleguy stated that many of the sites that were outranked by scrapers and redirects had spam penalties. In most, not all, but most, of the sites I've looked at the lower rankings than the scrapers and redirects are very likely due to spam penalties.

I think a lot of people here don't realize how easy it is to get a spam penalty these days, and it gets easier and easier with each tweak of the algo. ;)

11:04 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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glengara, I'm not blaming anyone.

If I wanted to blame someone it would be the folks who set up stupid defaults for canned hosting services like oh WHM and cPanel, etc. etc . etc. just like M$ putting a mess on most folks desktops.

If Clint pushed it fine, if not fine, he knows he has duplicate content problems.

Just like DMOZ and it's 11+ million pages at least 47,000 of them on the IP addy as an alias.

All I know is what I have seen I just take a quick look tell them what I've found.

This 789 message thread spans 27 pages: 789