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October 2007 Google SERP Changes - part 2



1:25 am on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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< continued from: [webmasterworld.com...] >

Now when typing a Unique domain name of one of our Unique brands, only 1 URL shows on Google.com, while the usual 2 url results show on other tld's.

Once again this was a site previously proxy hijacked months ago and quite heavily copied.

I've counted at least 7 major pages that are totally our of the index.

Even sil.y directory listings or forum posts would rank above the site itself for a search like domain name + widget. And that's only on Google.com

I looked into it even more and found out that the same was happening to a couple of competitors. Even worst as 1 of them have their homepage that is not cached.

It's like Google that keep on hitting and hitting again websites that were already victims of scrappers and hijackers. Just like if it was not sufficient to have our copies infringed and Google not being able to recognize the real author.

Really disconcerting. and only on Google.com.

I start wondering if I should ask for re-inclusion. That would totally su.k as I will have to admit we did something wrong and that's not the truth.

I have the feeling that some people have found ways to manipulate Google weaknesses somehow.


[edited by: tedster at 5:13 pm (utc) on Oct. 17, 2007]


2:45 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have done re-inclusions in the past even thought I don't think it helps a bit. You just tell them about things they didn't know about when you try to explain things.
What I have done is to tell them that I *HAD* to fill in the box but "I did nothing wrong as far as I can understand". Just to let them know how wrong it is that you have to admit you did something wrong when you don't even know that you DID something wrong. People who REALLY did something wrong, won't ask for a reinclusion anyway.
NOt sure if we are the only ones that see all this weird things in the results or not. Maybe we are in the same sphear and have been hit with the same cr@p....

I have a SEO guru looking at my site and he can't find the reason why it has been penalized either and this guy is good!


6:30 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Wondering the same thing as you Followgreg. MFA scrapers and directories have overrun my areas and bumped me in many cases. I can’t believe this isn’t hurting a lot of commerce sites. Basically it looks like Google wants webmasters to do a clean-out job for them but it’s too overwhelming. Many are probably already burnt out from filing DMCA’s against MFA sites.

Gotta agree with gehrlekrona the results are day by day becoming more pitiful.


7:50 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I usually don't have anything good to say about MSN and Yahoo but right now they are fairly accurate listing my site.
If I search for: widgets for sale I see widgets for sale. Not a lot of spam sites and other bad things. It's the same with Yahoo.
If I search for: blue widgets for sale I see blue widgets for sale in both SEs.
Searching for blue widgets in Boston brings up sites that are located in Boston and have blue widgets for sale.
I expected to see my site there and it does show up snce the site is structured that way.
Google however, also show these things, but the difference is that my site is not there anymore and no matter what I do I can't seem to get it back. So for saome reason there is a penalty and the only thing that I can come up with is a devaluation of backlinks. I hade a lot of backlinks and they are from relevant sites but for some reason they do not count anymore.
Also I have a suspicion that Google is not using the anchor text anymore in their backlink algo or they are disqualifying links with the same anchor text, so if you have 2 links with the same anchor text it only counts as one......


11:58 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have the feeling that some people have found ways to manipulate Google weaknesses somehow.

I have done an experiment that confirms just that. To remove your competitor's index page from Google search results follow these steps:

1. Place a link (without "nofollow" attribute) to your competitor's index page on your high PR website.

2. Near the link put these or similar words: Sponsored links.

The competitor's index page will be gone within a couple of months.


1:39 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

That Menial is definitely no dummy but its worse than that.

I speculate so many Google secrets have hit the streets from various Google plexes that I'll be lucky to rank in the top hundred for a phrased five word search shortly.


1:43 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My above post is a fact, not a speculation. After 3 days of removing the link, the homepage went back to where it was 2-3 months ago. It could be a coincidence, but I don't think so - the link near the "Sponsored links" neighborhood was the only possible "SEO stretch" there.


1:59 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I know you're correct. I was trying to point out to Robert in another thread that's the old way not the new. They're some pretty savage tricks moving in now.


2:07 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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menial - outland88,
So all Google talk about not being able to hurt other web sites is just not true anymore? If this is the case there is something wrong with Google and their new "spam detection - link buying" algo.
Anybody that is a competitor can ruin your rankings over-night and there is nothing you can do about it. It's scary if this is what's going on right now.
Guess all we can do is to get some bad blog sites and some rinky-dink web sites with a couple of articles instead of creating a real site because this is what I see in the serps right now.
It's kind of "funny" but I also see a lot of good results, it's just that I have been penalized for something I can't figure out. It seems, just like menial says, have to do with links, link devaluation, or anything else you can come up with.
It seems that Google have let loose a monster with tons of changes to the algo. A lot of the changes is just rediculous while some seems ok and that is why we don't see a lot of posting here right now. It seems like they have "saved" some searches like widgets for sale, but then if you get away from the beaten path then it gets all scr@#d up.
One thing I have seen also, is that a lot of times they group sites together by misspellings (spelling?). I found a page of mine that had a misspelled word and it makes me wonder if you can be penalized for not being able to spell correctly?
Guess anything is possible right now.

kamikaze Optimizer

2:25 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I do not doubt your word, nor that you even tried this, but…

I have my doubts on that working unless they (your competitor) also had other luggage of their own that triggered another penalty.

My main competitor is a squeaky clean power house of a website (with the largest internet marketing budget in history), and I am certain that a trick like this would not work on them.

But at any rate… not to play Moderator here; but isn’t this all a little off topic for this thread?

You might be better off starting a new topic on your theory.

[edited by: kamikaze_Optimizer at 2:47 am (utc) on Oct. 16, 2007]


3:23 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Anybody that is a competitor can ruin your rankings over-night and there is nothing you can do about it.

It seems it's not possible to do ruin your competitor "overnight" and I'm sure it's not in Google best interests to allow that. I noticed the situation I described actually worked in favor of the advertiser for the first couple of months (ie. the advertiser gets better rankings or the site is spidered more often). But after 3-n months there's a penalty. That way the webmster doesn't know what actually has triggered the penalty.

I think many penalties are first in a "randomly-triggered penalty zone" and realize after some formula-generated time, just to confuse the webmasters. That is a smart way of getting rid of spammers. So those who noticed a penalty today should look a few months (or years?) back for the real reason.

kamikaze Optimizer

4:30 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google seems to be doing some minor updates everyday on the various DC's, above and beyond the “normal” flex updates.

But none of these seem to be as major as the ones earlier in the month.

Is anyone catching the GMT time of these updates?


11:54 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

It seems it's not possible to do ruin your competitor "overnight" and I'm sure it's not in Google best interests to allow that.

It seems pretty obvious how to hurt your competitor, buy paid cr@p links for them. Add them to sites with tons of affiliate adult sites + Real Estate footers. Open five wiki dmoz whatever clones with links to them.

For some reason or whatever I am now on some poem site which has nothing to do with my topic, on thousands on pages in the menu. I am also on mass spam directories.

Highest page on my one word keyword is a 5 word page. I know this guy is pretty aggressive from his WP edits. He started a mass row with one of our partners, the biggest forum site in our sector. Obviously I can't proof anything but its kinda funny that he outranks even old publishers with a site on myspace design level and hardly no content.

Main focus seems to be always in the SE spam fighting to prevent you going up and not from others taking you down intentionally.

[edited by: tedster at 5:06 pm (utc) on Oct. 17, 2007]


2:32 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You can do even easier than that from my experience. At some point I've seen one of our sites having links on 12's of duplicated link exchange directories.
All on cr.ppy websites, most of them with fake domain registrants.

A few months later, it didn't miss, the link text they used made our site drop update after update, on these exact same keywords. Weird for a coincidence I think.
I checked other sites that got "scrapped" into this network, same thing, they are nowhere to be found for most of them...although it can be due to many other things of course.

It probably has to do with the link profile, but yes it is very very easy to make a competitor sink if you are a little bit patient apparently.
Unfortunately, very nasty people could use that to target any new comer on their market. It's sad until search engines find a solution, don't hold your breath in my opinion.

As long as your competitors have not yet the status of authority, you can kill them easily as it seems.

IF Google was really doing what they say, that is as long as you don't reciprocate then you are safe, it would not happen.
And you can't do anything, our company even tried sending cease and desists through our legal department, hostings don't care and site owners either won't comply or anyway have fake domain registration info.

At the same time, for a few weeks, websites with a very low number of incoming links from totally unrelated sites can rank among the stars.

So I think that Google put their hand on some network, spread some Google hate from this network to surrounding sites.

I think that they should do what they said and at the same time improve site "theme" recognition. It would help a lot.

It would also be good to mention that even though Google is going after link buyers I don't see any obvious buyer/seo penalized. Some are really obvious I think.
They should also work on spotting who is trying to win by attemting to remove others. It would help everyone, I have more than a gut feeling that world class manipulators are playing around.

They should give more budget to matt's team so he can assign more poeple to spam counterstrike. It's not like they don't have the money right?

[edited by: followgreg at 2:47 pm (utc) on Oct. 16, 2007]


2:44 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

followgreg, I've seen exactly what you're describing. I've seen some domains completely destroyed by scraping, multiple uncontrollable junk links, and outright duplication of entire page content.

There's a weakness in the algo that's allowing those practices to flourish, and unfortunately it looks like the only defense against it will be for sites of substance and means to have to engage in some of the very activities that Google is waging battle against.


3:21 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is interesting. Any pages I have, which are in the hundreds of thousands that have sponsored links on them are all gone. I am going to come up with another phrase to see what happens.


5:50 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Has ANYBODY seen ANY good come out of it? Better ranking? Better overall results? Anything positive to report?

Several of the sites I help with have risen in their SERPs for their key phrases, and in quite a few of the datacenters, their backlink counts have a marked increase!




7:34 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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When did this happen? Did it happen recently or it's been going on for a while?
I am interested in the backlinks since I think there has been a devaluation of backlinks in this upgrade. When I go into my WMC and look at the links pointing to my site I see NONE. All I see there are internal links when it says it should be external links.
Not sure if I can't trus the WMC ir not. They have been know to be wrong before.


10:46 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Someone has mentioned here before about searching for "search engine" and "search engines" (without quotes) in Google and look at the result. I just did that and the funny thing is that Google.com doesn't even show up. Google.co.uk shows up on second page and even altavista is on the first page.
I guess people don't go to Google to search for search engines but you would think that with a PR of 10 you would be at the top?
It's kind of interesting and I don't think that they are "shy" and want to be nice to other SE's. Is there something in their algo that doesn't place them at the top of the results? Maybe a lot of people put google links in "bad neighborhoods" so they lost ranking? Maybe they just don't rank for "search engine" and never had.
Searching for Google brings up Google on the first spot and then wikipedia...
Another thing I have noticed is that Google doesn't seem to use keywords nor description tags!
Wonder how big their sitemap.xml file is?


1:04 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I agree with the previous post.
There are a results that really show weird stuff, the search for 'search engines' is an obvious example but there are hundreds like this and worse.

It's not just for the pleasure of critisizing, just that for some the SEO game has become way too easy not to pulled up some of the junk of the internet.

For the person who asked, and since our company has many web properties, no all sites did not go down at all, it could be split into:

30% went way up
60% were mostly stable
10% went down

Sites that went up were very much unexpected provided the little efforts we made if ever.

Sites that went down have in common to have been either heavily scrapped, infringed or got proxy hijacked long time ago......like if any of this could be prevented efficiently on our end.

This would all be fine if the new sites that appear would not be just 100% SEO, on the cheap side of SEO.

Never in my life as webmaster I have seen so many sites bumped up on top positions with backlinks Exclusively from the homepage of non-related websites: casinos, real estate and all these usually suspicious sectors (no offence to those, the few of them,
in these sectors who don't spam).

I also think that's enough with news sites, each time one of their writers throws an article, whatever the quality, they rank.

You could take the same posts writen here 2/3 years ago, problems were exactly the same. Too much power given to some websites, poor incoming link theme understanding, this kind of stuff.

There are also pages that used to have much power that can't be found anymore, some are not even cached anymore for some reason. That's all weird to me. That a page goes down I understand but that so called PR4-5 goes awol with visible issue is really weird.

Why does it seem like filters are down with Google?
It's not only that incoming links can come from any garbage to rank a site but really some stuffs could raise filters: 200 characters page titles, meta description written like a list of keywords, sentences written like: at "widget" company with do "widget" including "widget 1", "widget 2",...and "widget n", correct?

Except for the authorities it's a festival of 2 bucks SEO strategies.
Go straight for your keywords, write anything, get 10 links from absolutely anywhere and you get it as long as your keywords are not searched too often.

Ohhh here another thing that works great, get a blog on another domain and make some silly blog posts anywhere, cross link with your site and both the site and the domain get ranked for the same keywords, amazing.
As I said looks like being back in time, 2 or 3 years back from now.


1:57 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

followgreg you posted "Never in my life as webmaster I have seen so many sites bumped up on top positions with backlinks Exclusively from the homepage of non-related websites: casinos, real estate and all these usually suspicious sectors (no offence to those, the few of them, in these sectors who don't spam)"

A very intresting observation and one that I as well feel and see but I know this is a short term deal.

--What I mean by short term--

The time it takes Google to collect enough data to have the Big Big Bad Boy Update and apply all the old and new tricks to the colective knowledge and update-. There are a few things Google needs to fix for sure. You and I can be sure they are well aware of the problems in Google search but it takes time to correct the complex algo. The time it takes to collect this data and apply corrections could take a year more or less.

I am preparing as fast as I can my site to come out from under the supplemental cloud I am under. I have nothing to blame but myself and should be completed by the end of November.

During this time I plan on staying focused on the fundamental aspects of SEO and not get dragged into behavior that will come back and bite me in the ---.

As Tedester said the the "big storm" is coming we are just on the outer bands.

PS I named it already the "Big Big Bad Boy" cuz it's gonna be something....I feel it.....


4:30 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The idea that there are "trust sites" and non-trust sites based on date of site creation, content, etc is valid for PR8 and above. The higher the PR, the more Google saves and checks data. For anything under a PR7 there is NO SAFE site standard in my view.


4:45 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

People say "just follow the guidelines" and you'll be fine, but when you see all these sites showing up that MIGHT have followed the guidelines then it is hard to think Google is serious about their Search Engine anymore.

This may seem obvious, but if such sites only "MIGHT" have followed the guidelines, then how can we draw any meaningful conclusions about those individual cases, let alone make assumptions about Google's commitment to its search engine?


11:09 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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To FlexAjaxSEO:

What if the links are already gone before your site updated with a PR7 or higher? Do you think links would come back once the PR update is completed.

I lost a lot of links. About 127,000


2:25 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I am seeing from today that the results we saw 2 weeks back on the I.P.s are now in the main SERPS. A few pages where I changed my outbound links have disappeared.

However on the I.P.s the pages came back after a week and are presently reflecting, lets see if this happens to the main index as well.

[edited by: Namaste at 2:27 pm (utc) on Oct. 18, 2007]


3:28 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your insight into the SERP changes!
I guess what I an trying to say is that any type of web site is listed right now as long as they follow the guidelines, and with any type of site I mean that it can be a web site with a few pictures, no layout, a few lines of text and a few links from their own blog or from spamming a blog, i.e. sites with no quality whatsoever to a user.

I see lots of scraper sites that might follow guidelines but they are still scraper sites, right? Not sure why they are in the SERP's at all and most of them have shown up with this latest update or whatever it is, so whatever GOOG changed made these websites float to the top above quality sites. The .cn domains are still there even if nobody write about it anymore.


3:43 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

As others have suggested, Google may have simply begun peeling off its filters before a major update or the deployment of new and better algorithms or filters.

In my opinion, that's the most likely and believable reason why junk pages may be doing well in some categories. To repeat a phrase that I used earlier, we may be seeing the storm before the calm.


3:54 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We may be seeing the storm before the calm

I agree, Gbot's also begun to do some pretty effective filtering for either removing "Junk Links" or penalizing sites that use them.

One of my associates made the mistake of submitting his site to a few FFAs and a few foreign link directories.. it has sunk to incredibly low rankings, pretty quickly since all this began.

I'm also told that Gbot is using some backlink quality filtering; my sites that have backlinks on reputable pages with relevant anchor text and decent PR have risen in rankings considerably, as well.



4:11 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I agree, Gbot's also begun to do some pretty effective filtering for either removing "Junk Links"

I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement. I still see several sites doing very well with Stat counter link spam. I mean how hard is it to devalue a site who has ALL of there links placed directly underneath an embedded, free stat counter.


4:18 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Give it some time, JakeGotMail.

I too still see many spam-based sites faring well; However I am watching a large vareity of these type websites, and I see them dropping left and right..

This 74 message thread spans 3 pages: 74

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