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Dealing with the consequences of Bourbon Update

Which changes has Bourbon brought about & How to deal with them?

   
3:41 pm on Jun 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Assuming that the greatest part of of the latest Google update (Bourbon) is completed, its rather important to do some damage assessments, study the changes brought about by Bourbon and suggest ways to deal with them.

We need to keep this thread focused on the followings:

- Changes on your own site ranking on the serps (lost & gained positions or disappearance of the site).

- Changes you have noticed on the new serps (both google.com and your local google site) especially in regards to the nature of the top 10 or 20 ranking sites.

- Stability of the serps. I.e do you get the same serps when you run the same query within the same day or 2-3 successive days (both google.com and your local google site).

- Effective ethical measures to deal with the above mentioned changes.

Thanks.

10:17 am on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



And most important at present is the point:

Effective ethical measures to deal with the changes brought about by Bourbon Update.

Thanks.

12:02 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



There might be some confusion in the discussion.

You have sites that have been subjected to reasonable shifts in rank. That's one branch of the discussion, where algo changes may be speculated upon. Webmasters may adjust their sites accordingly, and improve their position.

You have sites that have gone from the heights of the Olympus to the depth of Hades in 5-seconds flat, no longer coming up for their company name. Perhaps these sites should be excluded from this particular discussion. They reveal nothing about the nature of the new algo, only that any old update will stir new ranking hijacks to the surface. No amount of page fixing will help these webmasters.

12:11 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I wonder which is more important.. Down a few places or totally wiped out? I thought we were making progress comparing those that were totally wiped.

Not that there is a damn thing we can do about much of the theories.

I for one am working with Adwords support to find out why sites such as about.com and ostg.pricegrabber are having their adwords ads/links indexed as pages (of our sites) in the serps.

12:16 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)



So is this the "Bourbon Update Part 5" thread? I guess we can look at it like that. I tried to start a new topic earlier called Part 5 that I couldn't!

So who said this update is almost over? Last I heard it was about 2 more weeks.

12:16 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well, our industry must be an exception in the Google dances for the last 2 years. The top10 Google results among 30,000,000 results for a single business highly-competitive keyword have changed by just 2 or 3 sites for that time period!

Our site used to be #8 about 15 months ago, then #5, then #3, then #4 and now it must be #3 again (I am not sure, as the SERPs have not stabilized yet, so sometimes we are still #4).

I keep reading about all the effects of Google updates but - thankfully! - nothing has effected our rankings yet.

Please note that we did a backlink campaign about 18 months ago (If I remember correct!) and we have done nothing since then...

What we only kept doing is adding quality content and content and content. We intent to start a new link campaign very soon, in order to target the #1 position; the right time has come indeed :)

12:30 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)



Reseller, for the record, I answered 1, 2 & 3 of your first post on Bourbon Part 4 pg 75. 1st post here: [webmasterworld.com...] . As for your #4.....well, the way I see it, IMO, G sure as hell wasn't exactly "ethical" in what they did to me and countless others! :( However, I'm not going to do anything "drastic" until about 2 weeks have passed and I'm still non-existent. I have no idea what that may be, not even a clue. But I WILL have to do something, I will have no choice. It's survival. I hope to God (and should I say "hope to Googlebot") it will be a non issue.

BTW, in case any newcomers to this thread are confused on what's going on, see "Bourbon Update Part 4" here, this is the LAST page of it.
[webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: Clint at 12:33 pm (utc) on June 11, 2005]

12:32 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)



I just now saw this post from "Japanese" on the other thread.


Clint,
EUREKA.. I found the answer to your woes.

*There should be a binary push this week to improve a corner-case of CJK-related search, and that new binary should have the hooks to turn on the third set of data.*

Get it. If not then you are not a webmaster wothy of ranking in google. Get another job.

While you are at it get me one too because looking back on a few of the posts I made my sites are going to go into oblivion with yours. Into the infested nether regions of google's cordon saintair of unwanted websites.

Hell I'd rather rank last in alltheweb than rank first in google knowing that I am only ranking in the absence of good sites. I am not gloating I am a winner, I feel sorry for webmasters who tanked for no apparent reason.

Google cannot expect every webmaster to be an expert and play its ever changing secret rules.

That so called "binary push" was apparently BS. Didn't do cr@p for me.

I know what you mean, but when you've already been to college for your trade, 45 with some health disabilities, with a family + retired parents, have your own business.......(HAD your own business I should say), that is much much easier said than done. Perhaps I should practice filling out bankruptcy papers and start practicing saying: "Would you like fries with your order?" I'd have to get SEVERAL of those jobs to make a @!#$%!@# living. :( :( :( I couldn't do them anyway due to my medical problems. Thanks again Google. (Praying for a miracle because that's what it seems like it's going to take).

12:47 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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



I'm going to make an off-topic statement here... maybe I'm just being overly optimistic - could be.

I'm not sure this update is over yet, so it may be premature to be dealing with an update that is not over. Why analyze something that's not finished?

That being said, I am seeing some very strange activity from Googlebot right now on my site. I used to have links to .pdf files for each page of the site and you could also email the page to a friend. With these links the number of pages of the site was essentually tripled. I took off the links to these pages months ago.

No bot (including Googlebot) has asked for those pages in about four months now. Between yesterday and this morning this is the only thing Googlebot is requesting.

That being said, the fat lady may be in the room, but she's not singing yet.

12:56 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)



Since May 21st, the ONLY THING the G-bot has touched at my site is a handful of IMAGES!
1:01 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)



Interesting, I thought I would post that BEFORE I checked my logs today so that I may have the (luck?) of being wrong. I Just checked, and yep, for the first time since May 21st the G-bot is in my logs in many places and crawling my webpages, but only a few PDF files (I have dozens of those).

I'm seeing something strange though. Pages that I HAVE CHANGED, the bot is returning an "Http Code: 304", and doesn't that mean "page not changed"? I'm also showing a lot of http code 301 which is evidently from it accessing my non-www pages and it's getting sent to my www version of the pages. So, is that good or bad?

1:06 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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



Clint - 304 = not modified, you're right.

I am going through my morning checks and I am seeing an update to the Google directory. Sorry if this is a repeat. Google.com for me is 64.233.161.99 right now.

I KNOW this is an update because about two months ago DMOZ removed several bad players from my category. Google is now reflecting those changes. Although it seems like the directory update might not be complete.

1:06 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)



Someone please correct me on that http code 304 if I'm wrong, it seems backwards. The G-bot is showing the code 200 for OLD pages it's crawling that have NOT CHANGED, and showing the 304 code for pages it's crawled that HAVE changed!
1:08 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)




Clint - 304 = not modified, you're right.
I am going through my morning checks and I am seeing an update to the Google directory. Sorry if this is a repeat. Google.com for me is 64.233.161.99 right now.

I KNOW this is an update because about two months ago DMOZ removed several bad players from my category. Google is now reflecting those changes. Although it seems like the directory update might not be complete.

Ok, so then the GoogleBot is wrong, it is indeed backwards! What's going on with that?

1:13 pm on Jun 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Well, I haven't read through update thread never do. I can say that what I am seeing in some serps that I have followed for 5-6 years doesn't look good at all.

I can only say what happened in a couple areas I watch (10-70 million results) and they are:

Lots of cloaking. Some of these have been gone from Google for a years and they are back. Some have suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

More mirror sites are showing up also not like Yahoo, but Google had always been pretty good at finding complete duplicate sites and not showing them.

Many large sites gone to be replaced by sites that offer a single page or just a few pages on the topic. Also seeing more pages show up that are using free hosting services.

I am seeing more error/blank pages like "This page doesn't exist" , "page moved", "account does not exist" etc. Some of these "page moved/does not exist" have been in the index for literally years on a few .gov sites they have gained positioning in this update.

Very "corporate" sites. What I mean by that are the big money spenders with huge affiliate programs and multiple sites that end up taking the user to the same place at the end. Often these cloak for Googlebot - not even good cloaking, change your UA to Googlebot/2.1 and you see all the keyword stuffed pages that the user cannot see without filling out multiple forms. 99% of this spiderfood/info pages will never be seen by users/visitors.

So, what do I see? I see the age "signal" being cranked way up way too far in most cases. Just because a page has been indexed since the late 90's doesn't mean it's good or relevant. I think this is the single most damaging "signal" that has been cranked up and could be the single largest cause of some very good sites dropping from the serps. It is the common denominator I can really look at and see clearly for the reason behind abandoned pages/sites showing up and the sites/pages that have risen.

I also see that "bad" cloaking still works wonders, but the sites that I see doing it are also "old" sites so I am not going to jump to the conclusion that the cloaking is working just that it's not hurting them.
The same goes for mirror sites that have reappeared after 3-4 years. I don't think creating mirrors is a smart thing, but the ones showing up have the same common denominator they are old (7-8 years).

Google has thrown out a lot of "babies" with the bathwater - which were actually some of the most useful sites (for visitors anyways).

My own sites? I only have a couple. The one that has been hit has always been my pet project and has been around for about 5 years. It has "never" been affected negatively by an update (once lost by google though for a month a couple years ago). This is the first update that has affected that site in a negative way.

Will I change anything? Nope, built it for visitors and I will continue to do so. The only sites that moved up which pushed it back are sites "older" than it. I cannot do anything about that, so I will continue doing what I have for the past 5 years.

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