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Google search in logs (Mountain View, CA) - what does it mean?



12:53 am on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

A few weeks ago someone (bot or human) came to my site from Mountain View, Ca. The ISP was: Google Inc.

What does this mean?

I have a site that is 2 years old. I have never engaged in any link buying or nefarious activities whatsoever.

Is this an employee from Google doing a personal web search or is this one of my competitors filing a false report trying to get me in trouble?

I have come across about 3-4 of these searches to my site in the past 6 months. Ranking has stayed the same (as far as I can tell).

My site is not a big site, nor does it rank for highly competitive keywords. I have a TON of original content on my site, although I do have affiliate links strategically placed to pay the hosting bills/etc.

What does the search mean?


2:29 am on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

A human review most likely. Did you check to see what search was made to reach your site. If it was a domnain name search it is a review of the site for one reason or another, if it was a keyword search then it could be anything.

I don't think many Google employees do to much surfing on the net at work so me I would say your site was looked at for one reason or another.


3:01 am on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

The search query was: "site:http://example.com"

I am wondering why my site has been looked at 4-5 times over the past 6 months? The only thing I can think of is one of my competitors is filing false reports to Google.

I am doing absolutely nothing wrong, and I mean absolutely nothing wrong. I have been around long enough to know the "do's and don'ts" and as Ned Flanders would say:

"I even keep Kosher just to be safe."

Could it be that they are looking at my site in a good way?

The main keyword that my site is optimized for is about a "4" in terms of difficulty to rank for.

That's what I don't get...

[edited by: BaseballGuy at 3:07 am (utc) on Mar. 10, 2009]

[edited by: tedster at 3:27 am (utc) on Mar. 10, 2009]
[edit reason] switch to example.com - it can never be owned [/edit]


3:20 am on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

And I will be the first one to admit that my backlink profile is not that strong. Nothing dodgy, just not that strong.
It is really hard getting relevant links from quality sites in my niche.


1:59 pm on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

Check the site command to see the pages that google displays, they may be looking for one page that could contain something reported. Most of the time all you see is the query and that is it so search the site using the same command and go over the pages.
That many times I would be digging through the site.

Keep us informed if anything happens to the site in the next 30 days.


10:41 pm on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Are you absolutely sure it was a genuine google visit and not someone using one of their proxies? I get a LOT of non-bot hits from google's IP range from IPs with no rDNS and I'm fairly sure most of them are not employees out for a morning surf.

Receptional Andy

10:48 pm on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

There was a fair amount of discussion of these types of searches last year in the thread spotting a manual review [webmasterworld.com].

There doesn't seem to be a great deal of consensus as to the purpose of this activity. I've seen a lot of examples over time, and not much correlation to anything in particular ;)


12:26 am on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Some (not all) of the queries came at or around 10pm PST.

I would like to believe that one guy who claimed:

"G employees are instructed to hide their referrers".

To me, that would make the most sense. As for someone using one of their proxies....why would someone use their proxies for? What is this "web accelerator" ?


1:14 am on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Someone here posted a link to the paper which leaked I believe last year. A complete .pdf document with guidelines for manual reviewers. This document is confidential but it leaked.

There is no doubt, manual reviews take place on a daily basis.

[edited by: SEOPTI at 1:15 am (utc) on Mar. 11, 2009]

Receptional Andy

9:32 am on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

"G employees are instructed to hide their referrers"

I've not seen any evidence that this is true - I've even seen G employees using (gasp!) other search engines ;)


10:31 am on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Just for the record I started that thread last year and the site in question is still goiing strong. We still see the mountain view IP's coming up in the stats from time to time, I don't sweat it these days.


11:44 pm on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

These threads show up every now and then because it is normal for website owners to go through visitor logs and start worrying if they see something that comes from Google. The fact is, 95% of them are automated requests and not a reason to worry.

But if the IP was then you might have a problem and it would be a good idea to see if your website - including other websites with the same whois owner - has anything it shouldn't have. Webspam employees usually hide their referrers but others at G might show them.

Keep an eye on your rankings. G has a selection of new penalties that can be hard to spot. One of them will drop your site from page 1 to page 6 for only a certain keyword.

Other notes:
- If you buy Adwords your site might get a manual check.
- Human reviewers who work from home use their own ISPs.


1:19 am on Mar 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

It's funny but about 2 days ago I got some pretty odd refer type queries from a local IP - very webmaster specific type, they were clearly checking my backlinks for a certain page we have started to rank for. It's highly competitive and today surprise surprise I see the mountain view IP pop up with a few page views. hmmmmmmmmmmmm. So maybe a competitor has their nose out of joint and has flagged us for a review, maybe I'm paranoid.

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