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Google operators - site:, link:, inurl: & related: are all giving weird results

     
3:04 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Many of the old, dependable search operators are currently acting very strange compared to what we are used to. It's not a few isolated reports, either. The site:, link:, inurl: and related: operators are all behaving in very unfamiliar ways. I'm just taking stock of the current moment with Google and trying to wrap my head around what such widespread changes could mean.

No Backlinks - What Happened? [webmasterworld.com]
site: operator is returning way low pages [webmasterworld.com]
inurl: is now dysfunctional [webmasterworld.com]
Google 'similar pages' update [webmasterworld.com]

Clearly, this is some Richter Scale change in the works.

4:54 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good morning ted

It seems so. And thats a sad readings on a Friday morning. Couldn't imagine that such thing happen to Google.

Still hope that The Mother of All Search Engine will emerge victirious after all those problems get fixed.

That BigDaddy things hasn't been as good as we all have expected (:(

5:22 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I notice it on all my websites.

The worst thing about it is that us webmasters used that information provided by Google to analyze issues that may have happened to our clients websites.

5:24 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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after all those problems get fixed

Well, these changes may pose problems for us -- but I can barely imagine that this much disruption is some unanticipated accident or "bad data push" that just needs to be fixed. This seems especially so because, in the midst of it all, we're seeing some reports of search traffic coming back for sites where it had dried up lst summer. In some cases, the report is that the site made no changes and bad situation just turned around.

Who knows, things may go even stranger -- but something intentional sure seems to be brewing, by my read. We've seen reports of apparently good sites getting hurt in past months. We've seen reports of unusually successful spamming that sort of faded in and out.

Here are some of the ideas that have been tossed around lately:

1. A huge chunk of the Google team has really lost it.

2. They're intentionally obscuring more types of data that can be used in reverse engineering

3. Something new is being rolled out that can't be done all at once. This would most likely be some factor that makes use of the newly gained "BIg Daddy" elbow room. A new type of.spam detection? Some new kind of filter against scrapers? More in-depth use of historical measures for site-wide changes, link growth and manipulation of various kinds? Better trust testing for new subdomains?

Any other ideas? Just too soon to tell, I suppose, but what else is there to do but guess of areas to watch. The picture is not yet in focus.

5:59 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That BigDaddy things hasn't been as good as we all have expected (:(

reseller, there's hope for you yet, brother ;)

8:03 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was just about to post a new thread called:

Has Google gone screwy? - 'cos I might do
Perfect site:tool results one day - inperfect the next.

How is the google site:tool working for you?

What inspired this?

Yesterday things were almost perfect - no supplementals on site:mysite.co.uk on the UK DC [ not .COM ] after months of work.

Today all the regional Google sites have blown up. Supplementals everywhere, site tool screwy, old caches mixed with new ones, results with old URL's mixed with new meta descriptions.... i may have missed some things but this is enough for now i think.

Am i losing it, or is Google going screwy? Or are we being s#?*W%d?

4:18 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ya, I'm seeing the same thing across all of my sites. I didn't check all the commands, only the "site:".

My experience:

When I do site:, I get only 3 pages listed. Shows page count up at the top right and doesn't shw an "omitted" pages or supplemental ones either (not that I have any anyway).

At least I can still see how many pages are indexed, just not the actual pages themselves.

4:34 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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From what I can tell, the site operators are freaking out, but the rankings and traffic for my personal sites and about 200 client sites are all running about the same, and in a few cases, have actually increased. So I'm somewhat curious, but not really panicked, at this point.
4:38 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google is like a dictator and we are the slaves.
Each day we are more dependent, and it's google who makes the rules. All of us say "yes" and we follow without objection.

We community of webmasters have also a lot of power, we must not forget it.
Remumber FireFox, many of us put the logo of FireFox on their websites. We have encouraged a lot of people to download it. Internet Explore still have the monopole but each day there is new users of firefox.

WE HAVE THE POWER and IT IS US WHO MADE THE INTERNET AND NOT GOOGLE.
Perhaps we have to put a logo on our websites like for firefox and encourage people to use other search engines.
Google is perhaps powerful but we also are, we must not forget it.

4:49 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Looks like Google is wanting people to start using - [google.com...]

Very interseting tools in there. I hadn't seen this before. Looks like they're stab at what siteexplorer.yahoo.com is doing.

5:55 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i registered with sitetools, did everything except for sitemap.

it didn't fix the site: operator mess at all.

5:55 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google is like a dictator and we are the slaves.

No you aren't Google didn't ask you to add your site to their search engine, nor did they promise you traffic, rankings or anything.

[edited by: CainIV at 5:56 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2006]

6:39 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google is like a dictator and we are the slaves.

No you aren't Google didn't ask you to add your site to their search engine, nor did they promise you traffic, rankings or anything.

This knee-jerk anti Google-ism is indeed becoming annoying.

8:53 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have one good thing to say..

Thank G it is not just my site!

<added>

I noticed site search on my website isn't working to well so everyone is clicking the ads.

10:21 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If this continues, then you might as well forget everything that I ever wrote about using site searches to fix your canonical and supplemental results problems.

Google has totally foobarred those searches into a 500% unusable state. Matt, Vanessa, Adam, et al, seem to be awfully quiet right now too...

11:25 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Without eyes i cannot see, without ears I cannot hear. I can't feel anything, nor smell anything. Sadly, the relationship with our sites on Google per webmaster control is limited.

Without information my brain doesn't function and i have no idea what's going on.

What's happening? Are there any intentions to make this reliable? It's been wobbly for some time and now we're talking crazy.

[edited by: Whitey at 11:27 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2006]

11:50 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google seems to be more interested in buying other businesses and venturing into markets other than their search engine. Now they are negotiating with "YouTube" and have been reported to be offering 1.5 billion dollars for it!

They could care less about us. As many of us have observed; they have a different agenda. It is not making their search engine the best......It's all about making dollars.

The last several months, or should I say, two years, just proves it!

It's about time to move on. Yahoo or MSN?

11:53 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is wide spread, even Apple, IBM, and Google itself is showing almost every result Supplemental with the Site: command.
11:59 pm on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing very strange results also.

for the site command, it lists 506 pages, but only shows 10 results, nearly all are supplemental.

The really weird thing is. 8/10 pages which are showing I added "noindex" to just over a week or so ago. It only seems to want to show the pages I told it not to!. what the hell!

Also when I click "show all results" or the like, it only shows up to 38 results, when it says there are 506!.

12:02 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is wide spread, even Apple, IBM, and Google itself is showing almost every result Supplemental with the Site: command.

Noticed this happenning off and on for a couple of weeks in various data centers. Looks like the sh%# has really hit the fan!

[edited by: tiori at 12:03 am (utc) on Oct. 7, 2006]

12:02 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes. It is broken. Totally broken.

Every site search returns the same sort of junk.

12:11 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Matt, Vanessa, Adam, et al, seem to be awfully quiet right now too...

Probably the most important observation made so far. When the going get's tough, the tough get quiet and hide for a while.

1:05 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Right now, from the Boston area, I see sane site: results again -- on google.com, served on 216.239.37.99. In fact, all four operators look they're giving very usable results. Also, the regular search results are in a different configuration from any that I remember.
1:18 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That IP gives sane results in the UK too.

There are only a few DCs [webmasterworld.com] left that do now.

I did not look at gfe-va earlier today, so I cannot confirm any recent change.

3:41 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm now seeing 719 supplemental results placed ahead of the current results for one of my sites on 66.102.7.104. Now, if they can just flip-flop this it might look okay.

:(

5:47 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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<complete conjecture>

Google has made some adjustments in the infrastructure to fix problems they've been seeing, tested it, and is now spidering like mad and will be rebuilding the index.

</conjecture>

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:51 am (utc) on Oct. 7, 2006]

6:32 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good morning Folks

Good News!

I see Google Operators are back to normal on most of the datacenters.

Enjoy! ;-)

7:16 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, looks like whatever was wrong has been fixed!

[edited by: vik_c at 7:17 am (utc) on Oct. 7, 2006]

7:16 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Same here!
Everything seems to be fixed now ^_^

ann

8:56 am on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Have you tried regular search?

I searched for one of my sites that I had changed the title on the index page and it was at the top of the 2nd page. I decided to change some of my prefs and then went back and my site was gone---just gone, I tried numerous times but it would not come back.

I closed the browser and reopened, went to search and it was there but with the old title and a loss of 6 places.?-

Ann

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