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June 27 - changes Part 2



3:12 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Admin note: Continued from [webmasterworld.com...]

I'll offer my symptoms as well and put them in chronological order since it appears I have patterns similar to many, but a few smaller differences.

Before June27 everything had been running smooth for a very long time. No significant changes in SERPS had ever occurred. The only "weird" thing I ever saw was about eight or nine months ago when during a PR update my homepage went to PR 0, yet all of my internal pages retained their PR of 3-5. The next PR update "fixed" this and my homepage went back to PR 5 as it had been before.

Otherwise all indexing was normal. Page title in the blue link, multiple lines of snippet text from the page in the black description, etc. Using the "site:" command showed normal results, homepage listed first followed by other pages in some semblance of order. I've never previously, nor currently, have any problems with "supplemental" pages.

June 27 during the evening I lost 95% of my traffic from Google and disappeared in the SERPS.

After June 27 traffic is still way down. Yesterday I saw a tiny increase in SERPS but no increase in traffic. Today I'm down a tiny bit in SERPS from yesterday.

Looking at the "site:" command there are two huge differences. First is that my homepage is missing out of about 700 pages. It isn't listed at all. The second big difference is that most of the pages are listed with the meta-description as the black description text rather than snippets of the text previously used. Pages are still cached.

If I search Google for a specific phrase in quotes that only appears on my website, the page is returned in the search results, however again the description text is just what is in the meta-description and no snippet from the page itself.

June 29 - Googlebot went on a deep crawl of my site, crawling pretty much all of the 700 pages in the site. The crawled pages are not yet showing in the cache.

[edited by: engine at 4:13 pm (utc) on June 30, 2006]


10:20 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My site is seven years old and it has been affected.


10:38 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

This has happened every couple months for nearly two years. For some people what happened a few days ago fixed problems, apparently for more it made problems. December 27th fixed problems for a lot of people, and seemed to have hurt some too.

Google's supplemental database is corrupt. It screws things up all the time for some percentage of sites. There isn't much to do besides what has been suggested here for years now. if you haven't taken the steps to protect your domain, you have just been courting trouble. And even if you have, if you had not initiated the various fixes prior to 2004, Google will still reach back that far to pull out junk that will cause a page to be lost.

There have probably been more than 500 threads on this. Google screwed up again. There is some evidence they are screwing up less, but there is no evidence they are about to stop screwing up. If we learn from the past, most but not all sites/pages effected this time will probably be fixed next time or maybe the time after that.


10:42 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I'm watching a cross section of sites - there is no adsense pattern here, no affiliate pattern from what I can see - no PR pattern either. It's like to power went off halfway through compiling the index. I am sure it is not intentional from google, I can see at least 5 datacenters that are working ok. To me that looks like they caught what ever it was that caused the problem but not soon enough. If this was here to stay we would be seeing the other data centers updating in the same manner but they have pretty much frozen also. Right now they have the brakes on I think - even if your site has some type of penalty it's not a normal state to see your supp results delivered before your index page from a site: command so it's not going to remain like this.


10:47 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have over 25 sites. One of my sites has been dramatically affected by this "update." It has been around for 3 1/2 years, is listed in DMOZ, Yahoo Directory, has thousands of one way links and has been an absolute rock in Google for years. We have made no recent changes. The site has no affiliate links and 100% original content. Not sure what is up here, only thing I can hope is that Google re-indexes and puts things back to where they were.


10:49 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

"at least 5 datacenters that are working ok"

None of the datacenters are "working ok" from what I can see. Lost sites are gone on all of them, even though a few datacenters show the pages ordered "right" for a site: search. That doesn't really mean anything tho.


10:52 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google has too much power in its hands. With a unilateral move, they can send lots of people lifes to the trash bin.

It's scary.


11:03 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just noticed that Googlebot has crawled my homepage fourteen times in the past twenty-four hours.... Whereas before June 27 it would only come by a couple of times per week.

Hopefully that is a sign of good things to come but at this point I'll try to think positively about anything. :)


11:06 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Google has too much power in its hands.

Most people agree, and the power to change that is more or less in our hands. Everybody that feels this way should start to promote their alternative search engine of choice on their website.

I detect people that arrived via Google, and to them only, I promote either Yahoo or MSN search at the top. I can promive an SSI (server side include) to detect referrals from Google, is anyone wants - just sticky me for the script. It doesn't show it to crawlers.... only people that came from Google.

As for why I think they're permanent; well by that I mean that the "quality control tests" were probably passed before putting the results live - so we have no reason to believe that anything will be rolled back or changed before the next natural update. As we know, these massive updates are few and far between these days, so for all intent purposes the changes may be considered permanent, at least to me.


11:10 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Crispy-clean huge niche portal, top-10 on google for 100+ million KW for over 3 years, now gone to page 5. Some old sites retained top-10, some are nowhere to be found.

Just quick view - among new arivals:
1) 10-yearold site with 1/100 of info that top folks in the niche have and that hasn't been updated in 2 years - actually top 2 listings?
2) supplemental result site that sells virtual product that is basically unrelated to niche
3) 2 listings from Wikipedia that have VERY LITTLE to do with subject
4) listing from another "know all, little info" site, also beyond uninformative.
5) some forum post with the KW in it? on first page? dogh...
6) 5-10 really, really small niche sites, one of them twice, once on first page, once on second
7) Jokes section of some site that mentions KW and has part of KW in URL
8) a company that closed shop in 2004 (they still have a website that hasn't been updated in 2 years)
9) some 10 edu sites that have a class or mention KW on topic
10) 2 government sites - border-line unrelated
...I can go on...

What happened to Google? After 5-6 years of solid results (personal note - we haven't been on top of SERPs most of these, so not biased here) - now THIS GARBAGE?


11:17 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

ChicoLoco, I don't want to change people's search habits. Go on with it if you want, but that wasn't the intention of my previous message.

I'd prefer that Google creates a serious and professional way to communicate with webmasters. Right now I feel like an idiot waiting for Matt Cutts to finish his (well deserved) vacations, and hoping that he gives us light in his personal blog.


11:36 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

ChicoLoco, I don't want to change people's search habits.

Noted, but the only reason they have power is because so many people search there! Most webmasters have a vested interest in diversifying where their visitors come from... think "hedging".

But that aside: Has anyone mentioned that if this is a duplicate content filter problem, then perhaps scraper sites are to blame? That was noted as a potential issue in several other large updates, but I haven't seen it mentioned this time.


11:45 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Actually, I will do analysis of my own observation, this falls into everyone else's thinking pattern.

The site and KW I mentioned 2 posts up. From analyzing sites that showed up in top-50:
1) edu sites - it is beyond my belief that anyone looking info on edu site (education, classes, etc.) will be typing just that KW - I am 99% convinced they will be using different combo - i.e. these are UNRELATED RESULTS (about 10)
2) ditto for government sites - also UNRELATED RESULTS (2)
3) G$$gle might've not known that the 2 sites that have stopped being updated in 2004 are actually outdated - so year...partially UNRELATED results.
4) out of about 10 new small sites, I'd say 5 are like that - imagine you are looking for "chinatown in new york", and you get sites from china that mention new york (just examples, not actual keywords). Yeah...completely UNRELATED.

That, plus supplemental site, plus 2 sites mentioned twice - I'd say we have 50% of the sites that are COMPLETELY UNRELATED to KW. And that is KW with 100+ million results we are talking about (but not very commercial). I don't know how about ya all, but I call it a GIANT SCREW-UP.


12:02 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Funny, as I type this, I see our site jump at page 2. Page 1 and 2 results are still beyong acceptable.


12:08 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Yes - screw up it is and big time. Sitting where we once sat in the serps is one of the biggest scraper sites around. We have not seen them ranking for months now but now after the 27th they seem to be everywhere. Plus quite a few other search results that are just not quality..


12:10 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

These cannot be permanent results, when you see this: shopping.msn.com/results/shp/?bCatId... coming up high for a main keyword in my industry you know the results are going to change soon.


1:00 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

We lost major google keyword search traffic from this change the otherday too for the first time since about Florida update I think (2 or 3 years ago)? We came back then in 2 or 3 months. Thank god for people now searching for our domain name on google way, way more than ever. Hopefully google can figure out people are looking for our site and "anal"ize.
Instead of being on top now for 1 and 2 word keywords people are typing our domain as a search more than ever before on google.
Sure shows me that a whole lot of people go direct to google instead of just typing in the domain or using their browser favorites to find their favorite sites?
We still rank high for 3+ word keyword searches?

Mmmmm? Still rank high on Yahoo, MSN still has not given us back our index page from a few months ago. Still get good traffic from MSN on 3 + keyword searches. But something is happening with our index page?


4:03 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just saw on Matt Cutts' blog that he is back. An official answer may come soon.


5:24 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

We were down from 20'000 to 900 on the 28th and now GoogleBot is crawling our site like crazy (over 5000 hits yesterday - we usually get around 600 visits a day from it) and we're back to 10'000 indexed pages today. I predict we will fully recover by tomorrow. What I see from our logfile is that in this particular reindexing-crawl GoogleBot pays A LOT attention to on-site 302 redirects. They finally seem to work as described by Cutts months ago.

We use mod_rewrite to rewrite dynamic URLs with a lot of parameters to static URLs and are sending a 302 in between.


5:41 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>>I predict we will fully recover by tomorrow.

I don’t know what you are currently being paid, but if you work for me ... I’ll double your salary.


5:45 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Things have been like this for us for the past few updates, i.e. got hit badly, 90% drop in traffic, slowly recover then on next update the process repeats itself.

We tried fixing by doing drastic changes like removing sitemaps, links, duplicate contents, nothing work. We ALWAYS get hit by this drop. So in the end, decided not to stress myself over it. Just ignore it and let it come and go.


8:34 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It is scary that 70% of traffic to my site is generated through google (i see that by some webmaster it is 90%) and i simple do not understand logica behind it.
The site have only Adsense and Google search without any other advertisement.
The team by Adsense will for sure ask themself whats going on here. 70% less traffic means not only less revenue for me but for google too.
The site was never affected by something like this in last 5 years.As i already said the site was always by top 10 in different keyword combination.
Unique content with some affiliate links from element5 that are on the site last 2 years.
It looks to me that my site is the only one from other similair site that is affected from this changes.
I did already start with experiment (because nobody is sure whats going on) to removed affiliate links from one of my relative good perform page in past (by first 15) and wait on next update to see of affiliate links are reason for this huge dropping in SERP.
And lets hope that googleguy or Matt should say something here or at least we could read something on Matt blogs.
It will give us answers on all our dilemmas and fears.


8:35 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

the last drop like this lasted 24 hrs so we've well gone past that lets just hope G doesn't string us out for too much longer


8:42 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I understand that Google must keep it’s focus on remaining number one. I understand that Google shareholders deserve a return on investment. We must do what is necessary as well … those of us that depend on search.

I get a kick when someone posts, “you shouldn’t depend on search engines for traffic”. I think those type of people are usually the kind that clap when no one else in the house feels the moment. I realize that bright lights on the internet exist, but I feel that type of poster is “perpetually” living large in there own minds.

I realize that Google must protect itself from spam. I realize I don’t have a full understanding of the scale of the problems that Google must deal with. I do however understand the problems I face. Google, needs to understand that this thing we call the “Internet” isn’t a beta.

The problem is, we can not regulate the Internet. In a perfect world, we can be publishers, and Google can take advantage of that fact. Instead, we are unapologetically webmasters who by definition must publish to a lithe and dexterous standard, and I’m not suggesting that will ever change.

That said, in this one to many relationship between us and Google … our power is inert, and Google could do better.


10:20 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I always laugh when these updates happen and webmasters start pouring out their bad luck on here.

Then they all start to blame Google for bad results just because their site has dropped!

This is child like behaviour.


10:24 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

It always makes me laugh that there's no end of 25 year old scotish wannabe's who take great joy in knocking their fellow forum contributers each time that they get hit by another Google update.


10:26 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hamish1981 >>

For someone whose sites haven't dropped throughout recent updates, I empathise with webmasters who put in months and years of hard work to create professional websites, only to see them washed downstream because of an update or algo change.

You obviously have absolutely no understanding of the way that a change in the Google algo's can affect people, and their websites.

You may well laugh, but when you get hit one day, don't come on here complaining, because very few will empathise with you.


11:09 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Judging by the amount of activity on this post and the data center post lots of people are holding their breath and waiting. Webmasters who find their way to this forum must be only a small % of those who are actually getting hurt by this. A whole lot more must be stting around wondering "what the" - the scale of this must be enourmous when you think about it. The question of accountability must one day be looked at when one commercial entity has such influence over so many. Consider the time, investment, jobs, and business infrastructure that is currently wating on the roll of the google dice. Maybe they should consider anti competitive measures similar to what they did with microsoft. Imagine if google could only serve so search many requests per 24 hour period and then search would default to Yahoo or MSN results. Sounds crazy but since when did a monopoly act in the best interests of the people?
I don't have a problem with Google as much as I hate the fact that there is a serious issue in play and they don't have immediate answers. Good PR is basic business practice.


11:22 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi There Googleguy,

Hope you had a great holiday. Just wonder if you'd like to drop in and put a few thousand of us out of our misery.

All the best ;-)


11:35 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


You suggested some of your pages were coming back?
I have a few pages in the index with ok SERPS but can't say I see a trend of them coming back just yet. Homepage is still missing from a :site command and the google cache is out of date by 6 days.



11:36 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Is he still alive?
When did he last post?
This 178 message thread spans 6 pages: 178

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