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Old 06-02-2005   #1
mcanerin
 
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Admin Note: People have been reporting changes in rankings and listings at Google over the past week or so. Now it's official, a major update, that Google itself has confirmed in an index "weather report." A few more changes are still expected to come over the next week.

This thread is for general discussion about the May 2005 Google update. Some related threads are posted here: Google's May 2005 Update. Please contribute what you've spotted generally, concerns and other reports below.


1. This past weekend, Google rolled out a major update of their index. Since the index is new, the rankings are new.

2. The index is really, really big.

3. Google has many different server clusters - when you refresh you will often get a different one each refresh for load balancing purposes.

4. Since the index is really really big, it takes a day or two for each server to be updated. They are not all updated at the same time.

5. During that day, results from that server will change based on what percentage of new vs old information happens to be available on the server at that exact moment. It can change from minute to minute on the same server during an active dump.

6. A full update of all the servers can take up to a week or so. During this time it's very common for you to have a completely different rank for each server, due to differing levels of updates. This phenomena is commonly referred to as a "GoogleDance".

7. If your rank hasn't changed, you won't notice a difference in rankings between old and new - if it has, you will.

8. Once all the servers are updated, your rank will be relatively stable (+/- 3 slots) until the next update. Sometimes these are small, "rolling" updates, sometimes they are huge changes (like last weekend).

9. It should be straightened out by this coming monday - have a beer and go see a movie in the meantime.

10. A good movie would be "Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy" Pay close attention to the friendly yellow book that says "Don't Panic" on it

Ian
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Last edited by dannysullivan : 06-02-2005 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 06-02-2005   #2
ThouShaltSeo
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> It should be straightened out by this coming monday - have a beer and go see a movie in the meantime.

the latest change might be ready by then, but GoogleGuy said that more will be done in a week or so.
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Old 06-06-2005   #3
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I have checked the rankings for most all my sites and the one site that dropped off the face of Google has 4 domain pointers and 1 site that redirects. Gone from # 2 and 3 position for selected search terms.

I guess i'll need that beer about now.
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Old 06-06-2005   #4
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Is there any information about what is the most updated server ?
I've seen pretty nice changes over the week end but now I see like Google would bring back the old sites that were on top but not at the same position (so it would not be just an outdated server)...I dunno if i'm that clear

Someone has a tip about the most up to date IP ?
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Old 06-07-2005   #5
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Unhappy I've taken a 10 - 20% hit - I'd like to know what to change.

Its hard to tell the site i run for money is mostly an 8 AM to 5 PM type of site, traffic falls off on three day weekends and 4 day weeks. It normally falls of on friday early but picks up Sunday afternoon for a few hours, then the hits come in on Mon-Thu maxed on Tue and Wed.

I also vary the pages so that they work in different methods, some pages target a keyword while others target phases but contain the keywords of other pages. Normally and by intent this buffers any change in algos that effects one kind of page. I have keyword density both too high and too low for many income phases.

At this time in google i've got pages that have replaced pages in the top ten that I have not yet figured out why. There is a big shift in the on page algo portion at first glace. But overall I am down and would like to share why and get ideas.

I guess I set myself up for the drop because I practice dummy SEO, I make major changes to pages that don't get SE traffic, while the ones that do i only make minor updates too (some more often than others) and over the last year i've had alot of good google pages. Things seem dynamic and at times complicated (b/c of the need to have old pages and new pages) but overall its a system that nano bots could do.

My first impression of the pages that have lost are the ones with a fairly rich collection of the search keywords in the Google Serp IE title
the best keyword1 are the keyword2 with the description of When looking at Keyword2 always consider keyword3 these pages for me were works of art because google scapes the page for the description, working a good description in took me months in some cases, sure I got high clicks because of that but they lead to content and looked good in the serps.

So reviewing my traffic today I am no longer loved by googlebot, I am sure there are others like me. What I lost were the pages that had keyword density in the scraped description with a lean keyword density in the title (only two out of three search words were in the title).

At first glance at the replacements from my sites for my pages in the top ten Maybe one keyword in the title, maybe the scaped content description contains all the keywords or maybe a keyword is missing ... all keywords exist on the page ... anchor text of links to the page still are important.
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Old 06-07-2005   #6
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All my sites have enjoyed a nice bump thanks to Bourbon. I think this update really eased off on the sandbox. Most of the sites I've been working on recently were around 6 months old but other, older sites rose as well.
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Old 06-07-2005   #7
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Most the changes I've seen so far are links related. New links being counted, some old links not counting as much anymore, etc.

Just what I've seen.

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Old 06-14-2005   #8
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Question Is it over?

We were dropped for the fourth time last Friday since the update started for a number of our major keywords and have not returned as of today. The last few weeks have been a great ride, we went from 3 to 2 to no where to be found, back to 3 to no where to be found, back to 2, then no where to be found. Craziness I say.

I was wondering if the Googles update is complete, so I can move on to figure out why we might have been dropped or should I sit tight a few more days to see if we come back?

Thoughts?
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Old 06-17-2005   #9
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I was just having a look at the relevancy of Google's results for a term ('uk holidays') that I used to be on the first page for until Bourbon hit me. Here's what I found:-

Page 1
01. ok
02. ok
03. ok
04. ok
05. ok
06. foreign holidays only
07. ok. government site about national holidays but it's relevant.
08. foreign holidays only
09. discuss foreign holidays????
10. foreign holidays only

Page 2
11. you tell me if there are any UK holidays in there. It's about flights and such.
12. travel insurance
13. ok but only about a small part of the UK
14. mostly foreign stuff, including flights
15. foreign holidays only
16. travel insurance
17. ok
18. ok
19. ok
20. foreign holidays only

This is the best they can do? 6 relevant results on the first page, and only 4 relevant results on the second? And my UK holiday accommodation site, that covers the whole of the UK, has moved from page 1 to page 5??? Well behind that lot??? I don't think they are even trying to produce relevant results any more. Or maybe they think that 10 out of 20 is pretty good these days.

Not long ago I reached the dizzy heights of #23 for 'search engine optimization'. Alright, it's not so dizzy, but it was better than where I am now. I haven't looked at the results closely but, in skipping through looking for my site, I noticed Alexa somewhere around 70 or 80. I found my site around 130 or so. What's Alexa doing so much higher than my site? Is my site a lot less relevant to 'search engine optimization' that Alexa? (If you know my site, you'll know what I mean.)

Is Google trying to self-destruct, or what?

Last edited by PhilC : 06-17-2005 at 11:46 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 06-18-2005   #10
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All I know is I'm not see less keywords in descriptions at all, especially for the top 3 results. I'm finding my keyword rich titles and descriptions are still holding their ground.

However I have noticed google mess up on indexing the description, or I have a mistake in the code, but it's using irrelevent snippets from the page as a description other than the specified description. This is greatly effecting my position.

Anyways, first post here, nice to be here
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Old 06-18-2005   #11
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Google almost always uses snippets from the page and not the Description. They've done that since they started.
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Old 06-18-2005   #12
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right, but it's just doing it more now lol.

Of course this might not be due to the update directly, I wasn't exactly freakishly watching my search results in the weeks before it.
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Old 06-19-2005   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilC
Not long ago I reached the dizzy heights of #23 for 'search engine optimization'. Alright, it's not so dizzy, but it was better than where I am now. I haven't looked at the results closely but, in skipping through looking for my site, I noticed Alexa somewhere around 70 or 80. I found my site around 130 or so. What's Alexa doing so much higher than my site? Is my site a lot less relevant to 'search engine optimization' that Alexa? (If you know my site, you'll know what I mean.)

Is Google trying to self-destruct, or what?

Quick Analysis on your site:
what is this tags in your homepage :
<meta name="robots" content="noarchive">
<META name="VIEWER-GOOGLE" content="NODISPLAY">

Your content is very middle of source page this is not good. (166th line !)

Where is your encoding tag, Page language is very important.

use less stop words in the Title tag.

'NOARCHIVE' value set in your META Robots; remove it,

Some keywords density in page content is reaching Spam Alarm line, remove some. (avoid spam suspicions)

Some keywords density in Alt/TITLE tags reaching Spam Alarm line, remove some. (avoid spam suspicions)
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Old 06-27-2005   #14
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Sorry, composer, but I didn't see your reply until now.

The noarchive tag means don't display a cache of the page, and it makes no difference to rankings.

The viewer-google tag means don't display it in a slide show of the serps, and it also makes no difference to rankings.

I don't think that the keyword density on the page, position on the page, or stop words in the Title, are problems.

I don't go after the phrase 'search engine optimization', although I am aware of it when I create some pages. My post wasn't about my sites - it was about the lack of relevancy of the serps. 10 out of the top 20 results for 'uk holidays' (no quotes) were nothing to do with UK holidays - that's a helluva lot of wrong results at the top. And I observed that Alexa ranks much higher than my site for 'search engine optimization', and that's a bad bit of the results. I didn't examine anything else in those results, but what is Alexa doing outranking a search engine optimization site by a long way for that query? It was the retorical question - the post was about the deterioration in relevancy, and not about my sites.

My thoughts:-

Google became very popular due to their relevant results (plus the fact that it was a simple engine when most of the others had gone over to being portals). Since then they've had a number of major updates, and they've generally succeeded in reducing the relevancy of the results - the very thing that made them popular. This time is no different - a significant reduction in the relevancy of the results. If they were a start-up today, they wouldn't stand much chance of succeeding, imo.

Florida caused a bbc.co.uk page to jump from 800+ to the top 10 for 'uk holidays', and it's been there ever since, even after they rolled back the Florida effects a long way. I mention it because the page has nothing at all to do with uk holidays - it's about overseas holidays, and it's an example of deteriorating relevancy. The page still there, but Bourbon caused it to be joined a load of other irrelevant results, so that 4 of the top 10, and 6 on the the next page, had nothing at all to do with the query. E.g. what has travel insurance got to do with the query 'uk holidays'? But most of the wrong results are because they deal with overseas holidays, and not UK ones

Today, only 8 of the top 20 are completely irrelevant to the query. It's an improvement, but they still couldn't be called a set of relevant results by any stretch of the imagination.

<added>
The encoding tag, or lack of it, doesn't matter either. Some people imagine that it matters, but that's just rumour

Last edited by PhilC : 06-27-2005 at 02:41 PM.
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