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Spotting a manual review

   
3:18 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I just noticed a Mountain View IP running a fairly specific site: query on one of our subdomains. I checked the IP and it came up as Google. Does this sound like a manual review?
3:21 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



yes
3:36 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I will keep you posted then - I wonder which one of my competitiors nominated me... I guess we are in the lap of the google gods now so I wonder what the lag time is between review and action either good or bad.
3:40 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Are you doing anything that could be classed as the slightest bit dodgy? I'm not accusing, just asking the question.
3:47 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Damed if you do damed if you don't. It's a revenue share subdomain in a wordpressmu setup so I don't have 100% control over how the domain is promoted. I would say given the vertical it's been pushed pretty hard, grey but not black. This raised the question, if I was to go out and do some blackhat / link buying or other dodgy work on a subdomain of wordpress or blogger what is the outcome going to be?
11:12 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do you have WMT - might be worth checking to see if you have any messages. However, I would prepare yourself for the worst.
11:21 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)



I've seen a correlation between these checks and Adwords campaigns, so it is not always an organic search issue.
1:54 pm on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I agree with Receptional Andy - I've noticed that some of these visitors also seem to co-incide with major changes to adwords accounts. Large new campaigns or similar. That's another possibility.
11:21 pm on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well its almost been 24 hours and we still have our rankings, probably still not enough time but Google index changes happen so quickly these days I'm taking it as a positive. The actual search query was -

site:subdomain.mysite.com keyword-cityname

And just to be clear on this we don't run adwords traffic into this site so I don't see the connection but the feedback is appreciated.

8:06 am on May 24, 2008 (gmt 0)



The adwords manual checks have a google ip, but they are not mountain view.
7:39 am on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Could be someone using Google Web Accelerator.

Some ip's this service use are: 72.14.194.#*$!
64.233.172.#*$! , 64.233.173 .#*$! and many others

Just run a search for the first 3 blocks of the ip you found and see what comes up.

12:55 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Another reason Google IPs can show up in your logs is if you use the Overlay feature in Google analytics (they fetch the page and then regurgitate it with additional info overlayed) - I don't think it's the reason here but worth remembering.
5:07 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I receive 200-300 pageviews per day from a Mountainview Google IP address with a Firefox user agent string. This has been going on for a long time, probably a year. I assume this has something to do with quality control, but I know Google has at least one bot that identifies itself as a human web surfer.

I don't think this is unusual, you probably have nothing to be concerned with.

5:51 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've always seen alot of spidering/visits from mountain view. i think it has to do with adwords.
6:04 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



Google IPs also run the google translator, did you do a reverse DNS of the IP?

Some Google IPs tell you what they are with reverse DNS while others remain hidden.

6:06 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've always seen alot of spidering/visits from mountain view

FYI, scrapers spider through the Google translator so your site may be translated to Russian!

10:39 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well I've seen pleny of Mountain View IP's in my stats prior to this. It was only the specific nature of the search query that set the alarm off. Our site is still ranking well in the results and it's been almost 3 days now ... touch wood.
12:53 am on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



I answered with a pretty fast and short "yes" in my first reply. It was not just the IP address itself that made me feel this was a manual review, but also the site: operator query that kidder noticed in the referer.
8:10 am on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We had a site: search on parked domains a couple of times - with absolutely NO influence on whatsoever.
8:44 am on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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When you think about it they are probably not that different to us, looking at different sites and how they are ranking based on changes they introduce. The main difference being they have all the parts of the puzzle so they can make a change first then check the outcome. We however see the outcome and guess at what might have been changed.
8:58 pm on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I answered with a pretty fast and short "yes" in my first reply. It was not just the IP address itself that made me feel this was a manual review, but also the site: operator query that kidder noticed in the referer.

I have noticed a Google IP doing site: operator query for specific keywords related to the landing pages that I have created an Adwords ad for. Usually within a week after the ad has been running. It has been fairly consistant for each time a new landing page is added, so I just concluded these were part of the Adwords quality control

9:53 pm on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Maybe an employee was actually using your site for whatever topic you cover and was looking for a more specific topic.
10:12 pm on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Maybe an employee was actually using your site for whatever topic you cover and was looking for a more specific topic.

The specific searches i.e. site:example.com keyword(s) A are ususally the title of the page or in the title of the page and would not be a search for more specific page than the landing page given.

10:26 pm on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)



I've seen these searches across multiple sites, usually (but not always) corresponding to a competitive keyword that is within Adwords lists. IIRC, the visitors view only one page from the results for that search, and I'm not convinced that it's human traffic.
11:06 pm on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Regular people actually live in Mountain View, CA too. We had a client from there last year who thought it was neat that Google was based in her home town. She used Google to find us but I don't think she knew about site: queries.

I've had a few funny calls from Mountain View & Redmond (on the fly reverse phone number checks) -- that I was sure were manual reviews.

I think we actually went down in the MSN Serps after one call from a lady at Microsoft. Oops, should have been nicer.

12:29 am on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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G employees are instructed to hide their referrers.

A specific site: query is caused by someone cliking on the "Show more results from..." link.

11:04 am on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My blog was visted by 66.249.70.132 MOUNTAIN VIEW Google.
but only have 3 access, I think that this isn't a robot. In my blog I haven't ads
1:22 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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74.125.16.67 (Google Inc)
California, Mountain View, United States

13:04:43 www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Awww.example.com exactproductname

13:28:36 www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Awww.example.com freeservicename

To clarify, this site DOES NOT host adwords / adsense - the whitest hat site ive got. This has puzzled me. Any other site I would be sure it was a manual review, but not this one - I can't even see anyone reporting is as its not even commercial.

1:52 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)



this site DOES NOT host adwords / adsense

To offer the opposite end of the spectrum, many of these Google 'visitors' only visit specific landing pages for PPC.

I still think it's a bot ;)

2:02 pm on Jun 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Why would a bot do a site: search for an "exact product name", actually a very specific product name, which is unlikely to be mentioned on any other website? It seems very odd?!
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