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Sites with associate networks like this have done very well ever since Bourbon. In my sector the #1 was nowhere 2 years ago and then launched 5 near identical sister sites all at the same time. Result was they have been firmly rooted at number 1 for almost 2 years. Plus they get the new sub topics underneath their listings.
Confusing and spammy link networks are a sure sign of authority for the dumb Googlebot.
I crunched my logs and saw a search term in Google that I had been checking earlier in the day. Results varied all day from my site at number one, to nowhere to be seen.
So...imagine my surprise when I try this one more time...and see my site not only occupying the number one slot...but sitting there at the top of the page, proud as you like, with some additional stuff on there that I've never seen before.
Here we go - it looked like this:
Widget Stuff, More Widget Stuff, Widgets (page title)
How to make widgets; homemade widgets; special widgets;(page description)
[mysite.com...] 22k (cached) (similar pages) - the normal stuff we expect, and then:
Foreign Widgets - Maple Leaves
Junior - Junior Stuff; Recycled Widgets
More results from mysite.com
Each of the four categories below the usual SERP listing was a link to four different main directory index pages on my site. The More Results link pulls up another page featuring links to all pages on my site.
Awesome. Maybe I was wrong asking Google to turn the volume down. Maybe this update is just starting to make sense. And maybe, just maybe, Google is lifting the bar here on search engine results.
Blue Widgets Here - Review of Blue Widgets
more blurb about blue widgets etc
product.php?content=blue-widgets Cached - Similar pages
None of the php pages above appear in searches other than site:www.mysite.com
All my static pages are ok.
I am guessing that I'm getting done over for duplicate as many of the php pages had similar info. The annoying thing is that there is unique content on each page (maybe two paragraphs and of course 'variable' word) so why are they being dropped?
Yahoo and MSN seem ok with them.
GG - the symptons I outlined in this thread still apply:-
Hopefully Google will try a proper fix soon rather than a dodgy patch.
Homepage does not seem to get crawled very often (Cached date is currently 10th August) - but other pages in the site do get crawled more often than homepage. Homepage does not rank for own company name or main keyphrases. Homepage does not even rank well for "www.example.com" search or site:example.com example.com search - which indicates to me that the homepage is not considered the most important page of the site. Rest of the site not ranking as required/expected - but I guess if your main page is up the shoot then the internal pages may have problems. Drastic differences in DCs now lasting months. EG. "Company Name" search can be listed in the 50s in some dcs, 30s in others, 200s in others - or not even found. Homepage can sometimes go url only or disappear from Google - but reappear later.
If my homepage is "Red Widgets are very nice" and I do a search on this phrase and it is outranked by a page on my site that links to the homepage - How is this correct?
The whole bug seems to effect the ranking of the homepages - then the rest of the site follows in its decline I guess.
It is just crazy and has been going on for to long (IMO)
Then I do a search for "www.example.com" - as a phrase and my homepage is out ranked by sites that link to the site - erm How is this correct? (Ok these sites may deserve to outrank me for my own domain name if it was Amazon or WebmasterWorld!) - but then how does an internal page then out rank the home page again!
I have PR3 on the homepage at the moment (Used to be a PR6 about 2 year ago - although went to PR5) - however some internal pages are still PR4 - so outrank the homepage in PR.
It just feels that Google can not sort out my homepage - if it can not sort out my homepage which has the strongest backlinks etc - the rest of the site is going to suffer.
Of course - I have not really got any feedback from Google about this - apparently the engineers say I dont have a penalty - pffffffff
Darn it. Here I was thinking that perhaps Google wasn't so asinine after all and I can rest easy and get some sleep -- and then you give me a reality check to take to bed with me.
However, there has been some improvement in my traffic over the past 24 hours. Not back to normal levels, but better. Guess I'll just have to sleep on that.
Good luck to everyone; I'll catch up on the news tomorrow. :)
Last night I thought I was getting somewhere and that crossed my mind too. With 2 browsers open searching the same term, 'Michelle Ryan', one normal, one with &filter=0.
Went through them picking out the ones that were missing from normal serps and yes they all had repetative and duplicate Titles & Descriptions. The only diference was the celebrity name.
Then I thought Id have a look at the site that comes first for that search term in the normal serps, opened a few pages and opened the source for each and my theory was gone. Huge numbers of repetative Titles and descriptions after doing a sit wide check on google.
One other strange thing with my sites serps, about 1 in 400 keyprases still show up as normal, maybe 3rd or 4th in the serps, before they were 1. These pages fit the mould of all the others that have gone though.
This is starting to confirm our own research, but provides extra data. In their case NONE of the papers published have been published externally. This is interesting, because it raises question marks over the issue of external duplication being the issue.
Having said that, as our site, but not theirs, uses a common external template, and as most of our papers are published outside as well, I feel that at least in some cases external duplication plays a role.
Back to the other institute again though, their website also uses a template for publication, but it is unque to them, and was written by them. I notice that many pages in their library are very small, although some are very very large. I'm pitching here that the small ones may be seen as internal duplicates, which may be compounded by the common navigational HTML they use on all pages.
Whatever, both sites are important (I like to think ours more so) and both are now sunk in their entirity for some reason known only to Google. The fact they are missing will certainly be noticed within our sector.
A knock on effect here for Google though is that as we are not commercial, we can freely share this knowledge with other institutes, and have already done so. The second occurance has re-enforced this, and it is now clear that 'Googlebot' will be blocked from entering any new libraries placed on most of the sites in our sector. This will have the implication that other search engines will be much better places to find sector information, but this is entirely of Google's own making.
For me, I still find it surprising that an organization as large as Google can enter into such a position seemingly so casually. Equally, that they can seemingly do relatively little to address it, when there is quite clearly a significant issue in terms of search quality and disproportional impact on important websites.
I would philosophically end by stating that they must know what they are doing, but I really am not certain that they do!
Of course then you have the problem of understanding the awful spam they have left in place or even promoted. Perhaps these sites get a fresh boost out of sandbox. Perhaps it is a said linked to duplicate supplemental pages which the new spam sites have yet to amass. Blimey at the end of the day it doesnt seem to work very well what ever it is.
>>Today is Google's 7th Birthday ...<<
You are right!
I saw those 7 delicious piece of cakes covered with testy chocolate. Wow... someone celebrating a 7 years birthday. Who could that be?
Matt Cutts? no of course not. Matt is on his way to the 40és :-)
Matt´s cat which use to wake Matt up each morning with her famous Meow? it can't be. Because Googlene is only few years old.
GoogleGuy? no way. Nobody knows the exact age of the nice helpful GoogleGuy.
It must be Google´s Birthday!
Happy Birthday Dear Google ...and Many Happy Returns of The Day.
And Google pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease... return back on top of the serps my WebmasterWorld's fellow members websites and leave them there in peace for the rest of 2005 ;-)
Now I hope them good folks at the plex aren't gonna have a big party and be eating cake and drinking champagne and saying to each other what a woinderful job they are all doing...........but of course they will.
Anything but would be a fairytale and talking of fairytales maybe if they get drunk enough they may figure out whats went wrong with their fight against spammers.
PS I do say all this in jest as Im the fool for having to many eggs in the google basket.
Yeah Reseller, very funny, I hope this will be so ... But I think google guys are making big mistake with this latest update ... I just compared their result relevance with Yahoo results and I found 1000 cloacking websites by Google like never before ... Unbelievable... These guys are kidding with us? This is maybe just a joke update for Google CEO because today is Google's 7th birthday ... who knows ...
Perhaps it is unfair to compare Google with Yahoo.
I mean Yahoo are a forward looking company with a more diversified income stream. With staff who are probably committed to providing a good product.
Google just has adwords and all there staff are rich and dont care about the product.
Or so it seems.
Perhaps it is a joke - a joke attempt at fixing a bug which has underminded Google for to long.
Google - hang your head in shame :(
Please fix the problem though - how much feedback do you want ;)
Listen Google - I will say this only a hundred times. The canonical url for my site is the homepage with the www - I have done the 301 - this is the page with the most backlinks - it is the page that should rank for the company name search. Etc.
Hmmmmmmz - Brick Wall - Head Bang against!
The weird thing about this current change is that although there are changes to listings and recent links our results page on the site name is almost exactly the same as it was 6 months ago. In addition lots of sites that went off the map then seem to be back...so what does that mean?
Our traffic from Google is also now roughly what it was 6 months ago...very weird. Like the last 6 months of 'rank' growth have just gone.
Starting to think that a test crawl went out a few days ago as an expirement.
As I mentioned earlier I have a couple of sites that Google has now realised that the home page is the most important page - the rankings have not returned for these sites - but if you have been experiencing the problems I have then it is an intresting development.