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Is Google Update "Bourbon" affecting your publishing site?

Dramatic loss of traffic this weekend?

     

Undead Hunter

8:48 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi Folks:

Over on the Google News thread [webmasterworld.com], there's talk that many legitimate publishers are taking a major hit this weekend.

Just wondering how many AdSense publishers are affected?

We've lost more than 3/4 of our traffic. PR 5, 7 year old domain with more than 750 articles. More 285 links in, on the DMOZ for years. Just broke the Alexa Top 100,000 last month, too.

Even a search for our unique domain name doesn't bring us up until Page Two results, where we used to be # 1.

Needless to say, we're losing 80% of our revenue overnight, the way things look yesterday and today.

It seems more than strange that legitimate sites like ours and many others are going down, while scraper sites and others are in place.

Obviously, if this is wide spread, Google will see a hit in their AdSense revenue...

roldar

9:14 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm seeing a 90% loss in traffic overnight.

Went from #3 and #4 to page 10+.

As for the loss in revenue... I think it may be the reverse for G. The more junk they bring up, the more likey people are not going to find what they want, and thusly the more ads will be clicked on.

Zygoot

9:15 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Bourbon was terrible.

Traffic from Google dropped terrible since yesterday. It looks like I'm going back to hardly $80-100 a day from $175 :(

roldar

9:26 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Bourbon was terrible.

Never thought I'd hear the words...

It should have been named something awful.

freitasm

9:31 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I barely saw any traffic coming from Google this weekend. The number of pages served were 1/3 of the usual traffic.

This and the fact that Google seems to be using a rediction script now. Some of the results are like google.com/url?http://[domain]/content.asp?contentid=5453... This script is somehow causing problems because sometimes it return a 404 on google.com domain itself. Look like it's trying to retrieve google.com/content.asp?contentid=5453 instead of the fully qualified domain...

Iguana

9:36 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I'm practically down to my Yahoo traffic only. I never liked whisky anyway - roll on the McKewans update

sailorjwd

10:13 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Too bad I don't drink bourbon.

Visitors now 95% paid for through adwords.

Google is apparently redoing my site from scratch - turned 90% of pages to url-only and now they are coming back about 20% at a time each day.

But I tricked them this time and rewrote all the boiler plate one night and reduced page overhead by 60% so that should confuse them!

221b

10:18 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



traffic down money down.

GrantNZ

10:42 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



This update helped our site. We were #2 (previously a #1) and went back up to #1 again out of nearly 2,000,000. The former #1 developer had tried all sorts of tricks to raise their ranking and it's worked for quite a few months, but maybe G's got smarter now. Even things like the year of establishment/rego may be being taken into account now, who knows. We wait to see if all this will last.

I still do not like the way G leans towards country codes if selected under G's country domain names. As a techie I always start at google.com not my local google and I encourage others to do that too. Google.com is the ultimate benchmark for ranking imho.

Yahoo's looking quite good, were #1, but they apear not to update their index as fast as G, and searches for multiple words at the same time they're not as good... as G.

MSN.com is quite good however MSN countries auto lean towards their country codes - auto bias.

Nitrous

10:55 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)



Trafic down 85 percent on one MAIN site, others about the same.

Either its not finished indexing yet or lots of us are in big trouble. I have been reading the other 48 page thread! Total income down about half or less! All are unique content niche sites with pages about a foot long. On one "unaffected" site the normal 7 percent click thru is somehow 1. something too! With the same ads as usual...

All the pages are there but buried for almost every normal high ranking term.

I think patience and more beer is needed!

roldar

11:04 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think patience and more beer is needed!

Or Bourbon as it were.

I wonder how long it will take for things to settle down. I think I'll start working on another site now and pretend like everything is okay.

Jenstar

11:04 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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



Please keep this on topic with being AdSense specific please :) If your post is not specific to AdSense, it will need to go in the regular Google News Bourbon [webmasterworld.com] update thread. Thanks!

chopin2256

11:32 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My site got hit big time this weekend! My earnings on Saturday and Sunday got cut by about %70. Although I am not found by my 300 or so unique keyphrases per day by Google anymore, (yup, I must be penalized, not banned though) it is still worth it to keep adsense on my site. CTR is just a tad below average, and cpm is just a little bit down. Nevertheless, any little bit counts, even if its just $250 for the month. Yahoo and MSN work well together to help keep my site somewhat profitable in the meantime.

pgrote

11:49 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I stopped by to see if Adsense was being affected for anyone else and saw this thread.

Yesterday was one of the worst days for us ever. Down 80% in revenue even though the CTR was the same as our baseline measurements.

Today it's off the charts for us. Record day for both CTR and revenue. 100% over baseline. Very odd.

zulufox

11:53 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Nothing is different for me. But I'll have more stats in a week,

RoadRash

11:55 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My rev droped by 60% over the last few days. eCPM is down 20%.

ken_b

11:55 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Too early to tell yet.

So far I"m seeing what (for me) is a typical pattern. In other words... chaos.

Up, down, up, normal, down, up, etc., etc., mix and match in no discernable manner.

Sort of sounds like Adsense in general, huh?

crescenta

11:56 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm confused. My "big" site's internal web stats tell me that things are pretty much the same (perhaps a little down, but not anything that hasn't happened before). I have checked how the site ranks in its main keywords, and that seems to be pretty solid.

Yet I get very low impressions on Adsense (and have for several days). Another (inexact) tracking program I use also says I am getting a lot less visits.

Yesterday earnings seemed to be very slow in coming, but today I see they are refreshed and are respectable (even with the low impressions). Today's earnings and impressions are low, low, low. But, it's too soon to say if they'll stay low (as they didn't from yesterday--at least not the earnings).

Nothing too bad has happened to me yet, but obviously, something is amiss.

[edited by: crescenta at 11:58 pm (utc) on May 22, 2005]

shoreline

11:57 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Bourbon Update?

My Stats are way down as well, posted to [webmasterworld.com...]

dbcooper

12:06 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I may be down 20% but weekends are sometimes subject to large fluctuations.

kokopoko

12:30 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



My traffic and revenue have taken a hard hit as well. Revenue down 75-80% I'm hoping Monday will come back up to near normal.

PatrickDeese

2:08 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The good news is if the update affects a large number of websites, Adwords bids will go up, and earnings for publishers with adsense will improve.

Sorry about the people who lost their Google traffic - just be glad that Yahoo didn't have an update at the same time. :)

europeforvisitors

4:14 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)



Yes, the "Bourbon" update is affecting my revenues, and not for the better.

On the bright side, my eCPM is up quite a bit, which would be great if I were more interested in statistics than in the size of my Google EFT deposit.

fearlessrick

4:51 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The more I think about this the more it becomes clear what a parasite on the internet Google really is.

How did Google make all those billions of dollars? By "indexing" the entire internet. They are the mother of all scraper sites.

I never put much stock in link popularity in the first place, because if you have a bunch of people linking to you, it makes you popular. It does not make you relevant, insightful, honest, fair, or right or wrong.

Linking was also always subject to plenty of fraud and scraping, caching, etc., and it has overwhelmed the web just like email spam.

That's just one complaint I have about the "Google way" of doing things.

I have a feeling that when I search from now on, I'll be hitting the "I feel lucky" button more often or doing searches from Yahoo, Ask, MSN, Dogpile or any other search engine that doesn't change their super-secret-double-hush-non-relevant "algo" every six to eight weeks.

Google was great before they became the de facto king of search and went public. I believe they are now doing the internet community a grave disservice by forcing webmasters and publishers to dance to their tune instead of creating solid, intelligent content.

This Bourbon update is aptly named. The search results are sloshy and besotted, blurry and obscure, just like after downing a fifth.

As usual with these behemoths, I first praised them, now I curse them. They will be their own undoing. Yahoo did it, ebay's done it, Amazon's been there. Google will go the same route and all of it will be richly deserved.

Am I a little upset, perhaps jaded in my contempt for the mega-corporate mindset? You betcha. We put our faith in G and their revenue-producing scheme and it's been nothing but a hellish game of catch-on and catch-up, fall down, roll over, bark. The webmasters have become nothing more than Pavlovian dogs in a grand Google experiment.

Ruff!

stuartmcdonald

5:03 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



No major flux attributed to Bourbon here -- unluckily for me I managed to combine a complete server transfer, and subsequent collapse of the lot followed then by an IP address mix-up -- all in the midst of the ongoing Bourbon update. So Saturday and Sunday were pretty messy for me and google money was way off. Now that the server (and my blood pressure) are sorted out, Google dollars have returned to about on average with the rest of the month.

markus007

5:10 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Ya pretty much no effect here, one of my sites got pushed into the sandbox, but overall it balances out.

Hanslicht

11:02 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My english section is down a bit, but spanish and german version are going high up. Now I am nr. 1 at my searchterms in those languages.

Make sure you have another income than adsense...

-Or at least have more sites with different sources of income - and more than one language :-)

kennebec

12:47 pm on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



We're a an established niche content site with steady growth over a six-year period. (Forbes Best of the Web, Yahoo "cool shades" etc.) We lost about 85% of Google referrals in in mid-December and slipped a bit more with the update in February. Over the winter, we worked on some canonical stuff per GoogleGuy's suggestions elsewhere here at WW.

In mid-March our Google referrals roared back, in a day's time, to similar levels to those before mid-December. It seemed as if our work had paid off. Alas, traffic fell apart again with the Bourbon update -- with Google referrals again dropping about 85% on Saturday. Our Adsense revenue has been affected, obviously, as Google provides (or used to) a fair amount of our traffic.

ncreegan

1:07 pm on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



A site of mine is still in the sandbox after this update, but EPC is up about 50%.

No changes to the site at all, still same rankings @ MSN & Yahoo! -- 1 and 2 respectively.

Edge

1:19 pm on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I'm a content site, 5+ years online.

I'm seeing a slight reduction in weekend traffic, however I feel this could be the annual end of school year start of summer dip.

In fact, I use this time of year to determine my professional employed useage.

This 81 message thread spans 3 pages: 81
 

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