Search Engine Watch
SEO News

Go Back   Search Engine Watch Forums > Search Engines & Directories > Google > Google Web Search
FAQ Members List Calendar Forum Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-07-2005   #1
martinuboo
Free Directory Listings Reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 118
martinuboo will become famous soon enough
Question Google Feb. 2005 Update: Observations About Changes

MODERATOR NOTE: This thread is for discussion of recent changes at Google that may be due to factors OTHER THAN LSI/LSA. What's that -- and might it be a cause? See the Major Google Changes: Latent Semantic Analysis? thread to read or discuss that.

I posted this in the Compilation of Anti-Sandbox Tactics thread, but I think I got in the middle of an ongoing discussion and got overlooked. So I will try again here:

I have a site that dropped out of the top 200 (that's as far as I checked so far) this past weekend after the February 3rd IBL Google update.

Pasted and edited from other thread:

This site was first indexed back in July, 2004 and has steadily risen in the SERPs (GG, Y!, & MSN). As of Friday, it was top 10 in all those SEs for most of the applicable keywords. One exception, was in Google for the most common two keyword phrase. For that phrase I have only be able to get into the 30s. The keywords are basically non-competitive (# or searches) but there are a lot of competing results.

Since Sunday, when I search for ANY of my keyword phrases, the site doesn't appear in the top 200 SERPs. I can find it with the site: command and I haven't lost any indexed pages. I did loose several of my IBL in the last IBL update (it seems it dropped the internal links mostly)(although this didn't appear to impact the SERPs until yesterday).

I used Rand's Sandbox detection tool on Friday and it returned a result in the teens (Not enough factors available for interpretation).

I went to the Sandbox detection tool again Sunday and it shows the site as "41.36 - Light Sandbox Factors" for the two word phrase I checked on Friday. When I run it for a four word phase (usually in GG top 5) it shows "64.68 - Moderately Heavy Sandbox Factors" (I didn't run this on Friday since it ranked well).

Sunday, I went to the McDar Datacenter watch tool and checked the ranking in all the datacenters and it's about 50%/50%, with some showing the old rankings and some the new rankings. Today, Monday, I went back to McDar's tool, it's about 85%/15% (in favor of the new dropped SERPs). So it appears that the "New" dropped/lower rankings are propagating.

Does anyone have any information on what this recent update is aimed at or the results? Do you think I'm now headed for the sandbox (after avoiding it for several months)? Or is this one of those strange Google gyrations, that will hopefully be gone in a few days?

Any input would be appreciated!

Last edited by dannysullivan : 02-11-2005 at 05:26 AM.
martinuboo is offline  
Old 02-07-2005   #2
s0s
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
s0s has disabled reputation
It's cold comfort Matinuboo, but one of our sites went walkies too: so you are not alone.

The site in question was good, clean, and non-commercial, and was launched originally in summer 2004. It had ranked well on a not-very-competitive term from about Oct-Feb 3rd. Now it's toast on every term of any use whatsoever.

No, there is no good reason for it, as nothing remotely dodgy has been applied, either now or in the past. It's just gone.

All I would offer is that you should bear in mind that many filters are in play here. The 'sandbox' is simply one of them, albeit one of the most widely reported (and of course one of the most idiotic). Although both of our sites were launched during the sandbox period, I would suggest that there is every likelihood that some other rogue or malfunctioning filter has nabbed them.

Our strategy will be to simply leave it, and hope that Google gets its act together at some point.
s0s is offline  
Old 02-07-2005   #3
Chris_D
 
Chris_D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,099
Chris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud of
Don't panic just yet. I'm still seeing dramatically different results depending on the datacentre you hit at a particular time, with a particular search.

Look at the number of results -

Results 1 - 10 of about x number for searchphrase. (0.05 seconds)

I'm still seeing that number fluctuate between x, and double x number of pages on 2 searches made 10 minutes apart.

It don't think it has settled yet.
Chris_D is offline  
Old 02-07-2005   #4
I, Brian
Whitehat on...Whitehat off...Whitehat on...Whitehat off...
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 940
I, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of light
The update appears to be still incomplete and I'm seeing a lack of consistency across the DC's.

NOTE: you can use a tool like the following to check DV results:
http://www.uncoverthenet.com/google-dance/

Certainly there are some wacky results out there -

- missing index pages
- brand name sites listed after scrapers and directories
- comment spam ranking for keywords

Seems like everything is still very unsettled - there's a 60+ page thread at WebMasterWorld covering the issue, and sad to say, I've actually read it.

Things can go screwy at the best of times, but this seems like a very major update - I don't believe I've seen anything else like this on the post side of Florida.

Allegra as one to be remembered with infamy?
I, Brian is offline  
Old 02-07-2005   #5
martinuboo
Free Directory Listings Reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 118
martinuboo will become famous soon enough
Thank you sOs, Chris_D, and I, Brian,

I was just looking for comfirmation that this was a big update and that I was not alone (somehow that is reassuring).

I have been monitoring the different datacenters via the McDar Datacenter Watch Tool and so far it seems to be going against me, with only about 5 datacenters left showing the "Pre" update results. I will look at the tool you provided, I, Brian. The funny (not ha ha) thing is most of the sites that have links to my site are now showing up prominently in the SERPs. I have seen other posts about this elsewhere.

I just found the WMW 60+ page post on Allegra (didn't even know this update had a name yet) and I'm only on the third page (anything worth reading further into that thread. I, Brian?).

Thanks again for the support!

martin
martinuboo is offline  
Old 02-07-2005   #6
shor
aka Lucas Ng. Aussie online marketer.
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 161
shor is a jewel in the roughshor is a jewel in the roughshor is a jewel in the roughshor is a jewel in the rough
Quote:
Originally Posted by martinuboo
Thank you sOs, Chris_D, and I, Brian,
I just found the WMW 60+ page post on Allegra (didn't even know this update had a name yet) and I'm only on the third page (anything worth reading further into that thread. I, Brian?).
No not really. Much postulation and very few facts are gleaned from that thread.

I love WMW's naming conventions, simply because they evoke the image of a huge Google-Cyclone leaving behind devastated website SERPs.
shor is offline  
Old 02-08-2005   #7
s0s
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
s0s has disabled reputation
Quote:
Originally Posted by shor
No not really. Much postulation and very few facts are gleaned from that thread.
Well there's a surprise from a WMW thread... NOT.

The fundamental issue is of course that the relationship of quality of product (search) and income is probably inverse, at least in the short term. Certainly, quality issues won't have an immediate negative financial impact. I guess this can be equated with the buggy software M$ releases, with the attitudes of the two corporations evolving closer as time progresses.

Back to the nuts and bolts: the only thing you can realistically do that this stage Martinuboo is sit it through. There is a problem, and I can assure you that it isn't with all of the sites that have been zapped.

We've been here before of course with Google.
s0s is offline  
Old 02-08-2005   #8
I, Brian
Whitehat on...Whitehat off...Whitehat on...Whitehat off...
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 940
I, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of light
Nothing much to report from the WMW thread I'm afraid - about the only information I covered in the prior post.

I've no idea how WMW threads compare on updates, but I am seeing some silly results here.

For example, my business reference site site "Platinax" now ranks about 75th for its own unique name on Google.com, but it's not even the index page that appears in the search results. Seems a common reported issue on WMW.

I'm not complaining though - the update is not over, and I'm sure Google will look to correct current problems with the update.

Last edited by I, Brian : 02-08-2005 at 04:13 AM.
I, Brian is offline  
Old 02-08-2005   #9
sem4u
Digital Marketer
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 236
sem4u is on a distinguished road
I see that 1bu.com have mirrored your site Brian but I can see from threadwatch that you are aware of that.

One of my sites cannot be found by the company name - it is on page 7 for a search in quotes.
sem4u is offline  
Old 02-08-2005   #10
ThouShaltSeo
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 206
ThouShaltSeo is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by I, Brian
For example, my business reference site site "Platinax" now ranks about 75th for its own unique name on Google.com, but it's not even the index page that appears in the search results. Seems a common reported issue on WMW.

I'm not complaining though - the update is not over, and I'm sure Google will look to correct current problems with the update.
I hope it's not over but my gut tells me it's over. You're not alone on the business name being way back in the serps, it seems like a widespread glitch.
ThouShaltSeo is offline  
Old 02-08-2005   #11
martinuboo
Free Directory Listings Reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 118
martinuboo will become famous soon enough
Thanks for all the feedback, guys! I checked the multiple datacenters last night and all of them showed the "bad" results for my site. I checked again this morning and they are showing mixed "old/new" or "good/bad" results again, about 50%/50%. Google.com is still showing "bad" results for me. I hope this means it's not over.

I too have the symptoms of searching for company name or title and either not finding or finding the page buried below other sites (way buried!). I don't seem to have lost any indexed pages via the site: command. As I said in my first post, I lost a lot of IBL listed in link: command (mostly internal links). Yesterday, when I tried http://www.uncoverthenet.com/google-dance/dancing.php tool that I, Brian suggested, all the datacenters, except one showed the new lower IBL count, this morning 4 out of 17 DCs show the old/higher IBL count.

I am new to these "big" updates (is this a big update? It is for my site), but fortunately I read about the aftermath of Florida and I know to just sit tight for now and wait to see what happens.

Thanks again for the moral support.
martinuboo is offline  
Old 02-08-2005   #12
krisval
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The US of A
Posts: 190
krisval has a spectacular aura aboutkrisval has a spectacular aura aboutkrisval has a spectacular aura about
Quote:
I hope it's not over but my gut tells me it's over. You're not alone on the business name being way back in the serps, it seems like a widespread glitch.
I am hopeful that this is not over. I can understand an algorithm shift periodically to improve results, but I can not believe that eliminating businesses names in serps is part of that equation. It would not be a good business decision because a lot of people search for a particular brand or web site. This would make the serps worse and get people frustrated. I hope that I am right.

2 out of 5 of my sites have been affected with this sitename issue. I am looking at all the backlinks now and the internal linking structure to see if I can determine a pattern. I will post anything that I can "prove" and only what I can prove. Speculation at this point could be disasterous for others reading these posts. I hope some others will do the same.
krisval is offline  
Old 02-08-2005   #13
I, Brian
Whitehat on...Whitehat off...Whitehat on...Whitehat off...
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 940
I, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of light
I agree - I get a nasty feeling that there's an initial "phase over", but I would also expect to see Google tweaking things for a couple of weeks at least.

My business reference site was badly sandboxed anyway, but it used to at least rank for it's own name. What's really interesting is that when Aaron covered the topic of LSI at his blog, he gave warning that one effect could be sites unable to rank for their own name:
http://www.seobook.com/archives/000657.shtml

Without trying to get into an argument about LSI (I really don't care about abstracts as much as practical observations) there does seem to be something fundamentally flawed with Google's results at the moment.

While I'm sure that Google's PR dept might spin it as "tackling spam", a lot of observers seem to agree that there's a problem with the index. I figure therefore we should see issues dealt with, and affected searches resulting in some degree of relevancy returned over the coming fortnight as the changes are "tweaked".
I, Brian is offline  
Old 02-08-2005   #14
krisval
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The US of A
Posts: 190
krisval has a spectacular aura aboutkrisval has a spectacular aura aboutkrisval has a spectacular aura about
Quote:
Fiction: A competitor can ruin a site's ranking somehow or have another site removed from Google's index.Fact: There is almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. Your rank and your inclusion are dependent on factors under your control as a webmaster, including content choices and site design.
I read the same thing in the LSI document about your site name, but if this is true, isn't it possible that someone could hijack your site by linking to it with thousands of pages containing the same keywords?
krisval is offline  
Old 02-08-2005   #15
ThouShaltSeo
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 206
ThouShaltSeo is on a distinguished road
Brian,
I hope they're working on it too but this LSI can't explain the sites not ranking for domain name IMO. Looks seems like all the links have been removed (their benefits) since the other pages aren't that good either. Even if Google removes from it's calculations the links matching "Yourdomain.com", most stes have dozens of mixed anchors. How could a spammy directory that mentions the site name once, ranks at #1, while you're on the 3rd page???


Quote:
Originally Posted by I, Brian
I agree - I get a nasty feeling that there's an initial "phase over", but I would also expect to see Google tweaking things for a couple of weeks at least.

My business reference site was badly sandboxed anyway, but it used to at least rank for it's own name. What's really interesting is that when Aaron covered the topic of LSI at his blog, he gave warning that one effect could be sites unable to rank for their own name:
http://www.seobook.com/archives/000657.shtml

Without trying to get into an argument about LSI (I really don't care about abstracts as much as practical observations) there does seem to be something fundamentally flawed with Google's results at the moment.

While I'm sure that Google's PR dept might spin it as "tackling spam", a lot of observers seem to agree that there's a problem with the index. I figure therefore we should see issues dealt with, and affected searches resulting in some degree of relevancy returned over the coming fortnight as the changes are "tweaked".
ThouShaltSeo is offline  
Old 02-09-2005   #16
mannersg
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 12
mannersg is on a distinguished road
In my experience, when I do a search for "Alternative Film Guide" -- that's the name of my site, and it's pretty much the only combination of those keywords anywhere on the Net -- the site itself, www.altfg.com, shows up at #33 (it used to be #1, for obvious reasons). Ironically, almost all of the other 30+ sites that now show up before AltFG appear in the results pages for those keywords because the sites in question are actually referring to AltFG itselt.

Also, a few times in the last couple of days, the old SERP showed up on Google. AltFG had great placement for a number of keywords -- but the number of backlinks shown was considerably lower than in those times when AltFG is nowhere to be found. (83 backlinks when AltFG is #1 or #2 or #3 for several keywords or phrases; 117 backlinks when AltFG is literally nowhere to be found -- and I mean *nowhere* to be found for any of the keywords.)

(And I know that the site has *many* more backlinks than those shown in Google. I don't understand why those links -- some old, some new -- don't show up. If backlinks are so important for the SERPs, how could Google's robot be so inefficient when it comes to counting them? By the way, this is just a rhetorical question. . .)

Luigi
Alternative Film Guide

Last edited by dannysullivan : 02-09-2005 at 05:14 AM. Reason: no live URLs in signatures per forum FAQ, please
mannersg is offline  
Old 02-09-2005   #17
I, Brian
Whitehat on...Whitehat off...Whitehat on...Whitehat off...
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 940
I, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of light
On LSI - indeed, I merely point out Aaron's interesting pre-warning.

Lack of ranking for own company name was an issue particularly reported at WebMasterWorld, though - especially for unique names. I'm inclined to see this as suggestive of something.
I, Brian is offline  
Old 02-09-2005   #18
pleeker
www.SmallBusinessSEM.com
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Washington state
Posts: 295
pleeker is a jewel in the roughpleeker is a jewel in the roughpleeker is a jewel in the roughpleeker is a jewel in the rough
I'm sorry to get a bit off-topic here, and I haven't read the big WMW thread, but why "Allegra"? Just curious is all......

Oh, and to get somewhat on-topic, I do agree that it's not over. The DC rankings for the clients I'm watching most closely continue to change pretty dramatically every day (using McDar). I don't see these as just tweaks at this point, not yet.
pleeker is offline  
Old 02-09-2005   #19
krisval
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The US of A
Posts: 190
krisval has a spectacular aura aboutkrisval has a spectacular aura aboutkrisval has a spectacular aura about
On topic. Maybe LSI, but I am looking to other variables too. I just looked at my backlinks to one of my sites that does not show up for "domainname". I have a lot of back links from recommend pages without accompanying text. For example, my site was picked up by a chicago tv news station and was placed on a recommend list. This was published on all ABC news affiliates across the country. No text surrounding the links, just www. mydomainname .com. I also looked at my "link to us" title and description and I did not include my domainname in the descriptive text. A lot of sites are using this code.

Anyone else who has this problem, please check your back links and try to see if there is surrounding text with your domainname. I am thinking that Google may be looking more at surrounding text than just the link the title to reduce spam and/or text link buys. Most text link purchases do not have a description.
krisval is offline  
Old 02-09-2005   #20
seobook
I'm blogging this
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: we are Penn State!
Posts: 1,943
seobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to all
many people renting links are ranking just fine.
__________________
The SEO Book
seobook is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off