Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.231.226.211

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Finally out of the sandbox... Now what?

afraid to touch my pages

     
12:03 pm on May 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


Finally after disappearing last November, this Bourbon update has my website resurfacing. I know several people are seeing the same thing. Someone even mentioned they didn't even touch their website the whole time it was in the sandbox.

With me, it's exactly the opposite, I've been messing around with my site the whole time it was in the sandbox, trying to get it out! Three days ago in the morning I check the stats and Google is still pulling images that are directing to a 404 cause I deleted them to simplify my site.

In the evening, I check the stats and amazingly, Google found my index page and is sitting pretty in second spot on a dc. Even now this is a shock to me, after being buried so long.

But now what? I'm afraid to even mess with my pages anymore. Probably should wait till the dust settles? Would it help at this point to add more content? I don't know. Change a few titles to more relevent keyword searches? I'm afraid to mess with them...

I'm beginning to think that the site has resurfaced not because of something I did, but because it did it's time.

5:13 pm on May 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


So, this is what I'm in the process of doing right now. Checking for broken and redirected links and fixing them. (Actually I'm going to get rid of all the redirected links)

Last month I forced myself to learn CSS and put the main site in CSS.(that took an amazingly long time)

Then I moved two folders outside of the main directory because I found out how simple it was to make subdomains and wanted to try it (since my website was buried anyway)Now I have to fix the broken links in those too.

The strange thing is, that three days ago with this update, I was already convinced I was going to stay buried in Google. So now that I have been released from the depths of the unknown, I have to kind of rush to tidy things up. So I'm not changing anything yet, just doing some tidying up.

12:25 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 18, 2004
posts:238
votes: 0


Disclaimer: only Google knows how it works.

I believe that now Google "filters" for the significant deviation from the regular behavior.

Therefore do nothing is as dangerous as do more than an average site of your topic does.

Probably the best way is to modify your site with the regular speed for the similar sites ignoring all the Google dances.

Vadim.

2:47 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


Are you saying I should just continue with whatever tweaking or updating I would normally do?

Well that's good then, because once I get inside my site, I can't leave it alone. I either find tags messed up or a mispelling or move a pic someplace else, etc. etc.

So it's really hard to leave it alone. I've been doing it for so long. Like sometimes I'll find a new tip on WW I'll try out, or I'll move the adsense to the other side, or even recently tried adlinks (which was a flop)so then I had to take it all back off)

What upsets me the most is that while the site was sandboxed I deleted pages thinking I had a dup content penalty. Now as it turns out today I was checking the stats and a supplemental page came up, that had a cache of Nov 4 2004. So I got upset because it wasn't a dupe pen at all. I'm tempted to reupload everything I deleted last year. But what good would that do now, they're all supplemental I guess.

My hubby just says, "Why don't you leave the site alone and stop moving everything around?"

Well, today I just used that cute little link checker xenus and cleaned it up quite a bit. Those 302's from CJ drive me crazy though, and I'm ready to delete them all! Just seems all those freaky urls just weigh down the pages.

3:04 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 17, 2003
posts:310
votes: 0


I know what you mean Cognac, I had one pop out to and now I'd like to make some changes, but I'm scared as hell, so I think I'll what a bit just to make sure my site has stablized.
4:10 am on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:July 14, 2003
posts:1783
votes: 0


Over the past few years, I've been able to get my new sites ranked high on Google and other SE's in a matter of a month or two.

After last year's sandbox, and after finally getting to page one for just about every term I want, I'm not touching a thing.

Yes, I will add new content. But I will not do anything that may cause the GoogleGods to change Their Minds about my front-page rankings.

All things considered, I liked it a lot more when I used to do some little-fish work (meaning, delivering a package here or there) for a small-time mobster named Tommy "The Fish."

At least Fish was honest about what he was doing.

2:53 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


This morning it looks like we're back to the old serps. Have gotten exactly 2 hits from Google and both were local. :(

So I guess it doesn't really matter what I do to my site. But who knows, tomorrow they may change back to the other DB. (I'll bet if I check that other database, I'm still sitting in #2 spot.)

But if I have been "resandboxed" then what? I don't think the dust has settled yet hopefully. Now I understand it when people say they have unique content and yet can't be found.

It is possible that the "age factor" kicked in and all the other sites above me are older, but it doesn't explain why I'm not being pulled up for obscure phrases.

Anyway, Google looks like today, (in my stats) like before Bourbon even started. Wierd (still pulling up old images):(

By yesterday evening the traffic dropped half.

4:14 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


Now, by 12 noon today, all my keyword referrals are back to Yahoo and MSN with just a couple web.ask

For my 3 keyword search I'm still #1 on Yahoo and #4 on MSN. Yet if I do a 4 keyword phrase search on Google, there I am, #4.

So I can't still be in the sandbox. Maybe people aren't using Google anymore?

4:33 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 6, 2003
posts:2523
votes: 0


The more you try to chase the algo in its unsettled state, the more potential damage you will do to your site.

Stop trying to second guess Google based on different DCs, and just concentrate on improving your site for your visitors.

Once the algo has settled down, take a look at it, see what worked, and what didn't and go on from there.

5:06 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


Hi Patrick, thanks for the advice. I really don't know anything about the databases, and just thought I would check them out since everybody seems to talk about them. I was just curious as to what they were about.

I made my site for my visitors, and continually improve it. (My kids think I'm crazy and wish I would get a real job :)

I had just gotten to a point in my mind last week, where I could care less what Google does anymore. It was just a shock to see stats last Friday (and it was after midnight as someone else suggested)

So, nothing for me has really changed, I'll just keep doing what I know to do. Thanks

9:17 pm on May 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 4, 2002
posts:1921
votes: 3


Re google serps--Don't take them too seriously. I have been watching the top 20 ranking sites for a 3 word phrase for over a month now and I'm seeing sites bouncing back and forth 5-8 positions every other day or so. Some of them I suspect they have spoofed their PR (PR 7 with 0 links), and some of them I know have KW spam (30% density for the 3 keywords) but most of them appear to be clean honest sites with no reason for the bouncing.
2:08 am on May 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


Hi Lorel, it sounds like you're saying the serps don't ever really settle down? Sure doesn't seem like it. :)

I just realized something though, when you said "keyword density." Is it still true that you either have to optimize for Google or optimize for Yahoo? Because when my site was sandboxed, I went in and reoptimized it for Yahoo, increasing the keyword density. Maybe that is why it is #1 on Yahoo and not doing so well in Google?

I don't know if I want to change this now. I find it easier to deal with a "Yahoo sure thing," rather than "Google never knowing"

At 10:00pm, my visitors today were 60% Yahoo, 35% MSN and 5% Google

1:58 am on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


Right at this moment the Google serps are back to what I was seeing last Friday night. Now I'm #2 out of 66,000,000 for my 3 keyword phrase. Nice!

I think I will take a screenshot this time. :)

3:13 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 4, 2002
posts:1921
votes: 3


Sweet,

I just realized something though, when you said "keyword density." Is it still true that you either have to optimize for Google or optimize for Yahoo? Because when my site was sandboxed, I went in and reoptimized it for Yahoo, increasing the keyword density. Maybe that is why it is #1 on Yahoo and not doing so well in Google?

I manage about 28 sites. Those that have very little content (mostly pictures) do very well in Yahoo, i.e., high keyword density and they do lousy in google. Those that have a lot of content do better in google as long as the keyword density is optimized (not too high or low).

I have heard that Yahoo and MSN are very picky about keyword spam and google isn't but I'm not seeing that. A 3 keyword phrase I'm monitoring has the top site with 33% density for part of that phrase and over 20% for the other words and it's ranking #1 in all 3 major engines. However other sites with similar density dropped out of site this last month in google so they may have been penalized. All other sites in that 3 Keyword search are clean except the #1 spot but it has PR 6.


At 10:00pm, my visitors today were 60% Yahoo, 35% MSN and 5% Google

I have just the opposite. My own site has about 95% traffic from Google, and very little from Yahoo and MSN, which is very worrying. But I'm a prolific writer with lots of content--information, tutorials, etc. and google loves it.

11:43 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


Today in Google I am holding a #4 position. Two new ones above me have a new cache date of May 30. One is a .gov one is a quiz site, and one is a pet site. The amount of sites changed to 67,400,000 instead of 66,000,000.

Today I spent time building a couple of more pages. All of my pages are about something that I know about, and feel others would be interested too. I don't get alot of traffic even though it is high in the serps. For instance yesterday I only had 268 visitors, but the pageloads were 618. So they do stick around to read what I have to say.

10:22 pm on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2004
posts:321
votes: 0


More than 2 weeks have passed since they started passing the Bourbon around, and whatever tinkering Google has done has moved me to the #2 spot. (Seeing my site out of the sandbox, has made me drunk with happiness)

I've also noticed that everytime I change something on my website Google recaches it. I've been seeing that the longer I go without changing something on my site, the further I drop down, like to #4 or #6, so I've been doing something to the site everyday, like adding more content, changing - adding a link, or adding a page.

The stats are now opposite of the stats above, with Google being the main referrer, MSN is about the same, settling me in at #4.

The site above me in the Goog serps is a .gov site and really should be #1 It appears, that for the first couple of pages for the keywords I search, no one has the information I have, so I've lucked out in all the work I've done to build the site, and hopefully it will stay. :)

But, after all the things I've read about people losing top positions, I'm skeptical of my "rise out of the sandbox," and I'm just going to keep - going on - as if it could change tomorrow. Definitely learning, not to take anything for granted.