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  1. #1
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    Last 3 weeks have been Google Hell
    Hi all,

    The last 3 weeks (since the 27th December) have been absolute hell for my site. Google referrals dropped 90% on that day and have not recovered since. Has anyone else been having a rough 3 weeks? Matt Cutt's said on his blog that a 'data refresh' took place on the 27th Dec and my reckoning is that it has affected affiliate pages as the non-affiliate pages of my site have remained relatively untouched.

    Anyone else?
    Keep on learning, keep on earning. :fan:

  2. #2
    Sinclair Oil Lurker Jones's Avatar
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    Sue 'em.
    [B][COLOR=Red]I look forward to Google's demise[/COLOR][/B]
    Look who is suing Google - [URL=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=google+gets+sued]click here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=google+gets+sued&FORM=MSNH&srch_type=0]here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=google+gets+sued&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8]here[/URL]

  3. #3
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    Keep on learning, keep on earning. :fan:

  4. #4
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
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    I got clobbered, too. Not only my affiliate pages but also my non-affiliate pages are being ignored by Google, and we're talking about pages listed in DMOZ, no less. This is the first time I've had this happen with Google and I'm taking a philosophical approach...it was just my turn to sit in the Google corner wearing the Google dunce cap. I'm just grateful it happened after the holiday shopping frenzy rather than before it.

  5. #5
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    IMO it's all cyclical.. aff pages or not.

  6. #6
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    For the search phrases I am watching the results that are much higher than mine contain:
    - a lot of thin affiliates (i.e. sites with no other content other than product pages created from a datafeed). This suggests that there was not a duplicate content penalty on the 27th.
    - raw affiliate links. Yes, raw!
    - 404s
    - pages containing all the words of the search phrase but seperated around the page to such an extent that the page is not relevant to the search phrase
    - supplementals
    - pages with script errors
    - many subdomains for one single site take up a lot of the results. All of these results point to the same content anyway
    - pages of a 'ahem' large size. I've just run a search where a result just above mine was 5085k !!!! Mine was 18k

    The rest of the results contain the major players of course, bizrate, ebay, shopping.com etc... When they do finally come to show my site they usually show a page that contains the search phrase but is not the most relevant page for the phrase e.g. a category listings page rather than the targeted product page containg the phrase in title, description and H1.

    Google is very, very broken at the moment.
    Keep on learning, keep on earning. :fan:

  7. #7
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    I am totaly AMAZED at the quantity of scraper sites that are coming up in top 10 results for pretty much any type of search phrase I'm looking for.

    I was trying to do some health research, and all I was getting from Google was scrapers. They really need to fix the problem.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary-AvantLink
    IMO it's all cyclical.. aff pages or not.
    I agree with Gary on this one. It seems to me that Google drops a lot of sites and then comes back again within 3-4 months while in turn dropping others. I've had this happen to me twice now since December 2004. I lost my listings (and traffic) slap bang in the middle of the Halloween season and then got it back around December 27th. At the moment I am in the G's good graces, but I'm sure that somewhere down the road it will probably happen again.

  9. #9
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary-AvantLink
    IMO it's all cyclical.. aff pages or not.
    It definitely is an interesting theory. Makes absolutely no sense though. The Google rollercoaster.
    Keep on learning, keep on earning. :fan:

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager tmartini's Avatar
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    Angry
    I was hit on 12/27/05 too. Lost over 4000 referrals/day from Google for the third time in a little over a year. The first time it took 3 months to come back, the second time 3 weeks. So far we're at 20 days and counting with this one, and yes the current SERPs are cr@p.

    Just makes it that much more important to find ways to promote your site that don't involve Google (e.g. media, blogs, podcasts, etc...).

    -- Todd
    Todd Martini
    Digital Marketing Manager
    Jones Soda Co.
    Follow Me on Twitter

  11. #11
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    I had a feeling I wasn't alone on this. It will be interesting to see what happens when the next 'data refresh/update' takes place, will the sites that have suffered here receive a boost and a new group of sites will then take the damage?

    There is an interesting aspect to this drop that I should mention. On my site there are non-affiliate pages (forums and blogs). On the non-affiliate pages I promote some of the affiliate product pages by means of a small box containing latest offers etc... The thing is that a non-affiliate page containing the product search phrase, because it was indexed when the bot visited, will always outrank the specific affiliate page promoting that product. This seems to suggest that Google is treating the non-affiliate and affiliate areas of my site differently i.e. some filter/s have been applied to the affiliate areas only. What these filters mean I don't know. It is almost as if a lookup index for items such as the page title, description and header tags has been damaged or lost at the datacenters or maybe the new Mozilla Googlebot has yet to finalize the lookup index.
    Keep on learning, keep on earning. :fan:

  12. #12
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreacherMan
    For the search phrases I am watching the results that are much higher than mine contain:
    - a lot of thin affiliates (i.e. sites with no other content other than product pages created from a datafeed). This suggests that there was not a duplicate content penalty on the 27th.
    - raw affiliate links. Yes, raw!
    - 404s
    - pages containing all the words of the search phrase but seperated around the page to such an extent that the page is not relevant to the search phrase
    - supplementals
    - pages with script errors
    - many subdomains for one single site take up a lot of the results. All of these results point to the same content anyway
    - pages of a 'ahem' large size. I've just run a search where a result just above mine was 5085k !!!! Mine was 18k
    Sorry my sites beat you out!

    Sounds like my sites, anyhow.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  13. #13
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    Grrrr @ SSanf
    Keep on learning, keep on earning. :fan:

  14. #14
    I like traffic lights
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    Hopefully Joe Average web surfer is getting sick of the irrelevant results too and is trying Yahoo Search or MSN instead. Maybe we should be putting Yahoo or MSN search boxs on our pages to try to help move people off the monster?

  15. #15
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    No complaining here. Things have been looking up.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson992
    No complaining here. Things have been looking up.
    Same here in fact Google traffic is holding strong while Yahoo and MSN are fluctuating.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  17. #17
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    NOT WHINING FROM HERE
    *********************
    IMHO, I think Google has gone too far in its efforts to clean things up. The possible result being that only professionally SEO optimized pages get to the top in some cases. This can backfire w.r.t providing good results in that the true content matching the searches may get displaced. They place so little weight on the text of the page now. And, in this last update, one of my very high ranking pages was reduced to only an URL. But, unfortunately, for most people (99+%) it's "out of mind out of sight". They don't realize the results they are not getting. Just have to live with it and find other ways to promote till others figure this out and start looking elsewhere for their searches, or google changes how they do things. (That could take a long time!) In spite of this, my overall traffic has gone up. My new content sites are really doing well in Yahoo and MSN.

    ***********************
    TO HERE
    (Even though it sounds like it!)
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  18. #18
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    Interesting thread on WMW about someone who leaped to the top of the SERPs when they removed all the content from their site http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/32788.htm

    Need I say more. Slightly broken.
    Keep on learning, keep on earning. :fan:

  19. #19
    Sinclair Oil Lurker Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreacherMan
    Interesting thread on WMW about someone who leaped to the top of the SERPs when they removed all the content from their site http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/32788.htm

    Need I say more. Slightly broken.
    and, as usual, their moderators try not to surround Google with controversy, being the butt kissers they are. One mod refers to the situation as an "anomaly":
    anomaly
    n
    Definition: deviation from normal, usual
    This would not be a deviation from normal with Google, it IS normal with Google. Google sucks.
    [B][COLOR=Red]I look forward to Google's demise[/COLOR][/B]
    Look who is suing Google - [URL=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=google+gets+sued]click here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=google+gets+sued&FORM=MSNH&srch_type=0]here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=google+gets+sued&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8]here[/URL]

  20. #20
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    You know those *really* complex equations that they show scientists or mathematicians working on in the movies or on TV, the ones with all the complicated squiggles and stuff?

    The Google algo is just like that.. change a parameter here and there and the whole thing can change completely. Unfortunately, sometimes they substitute a plus for a minus and accidentally screw the whole planet up.

    Of course, Google doesn't care. It just wants the results to look non-spammy, so they don't really care who they hurt along the way.

    Back in the early days of course, the Google algo was quite simple and elegant - but it's been patched and bodged so many times that we now see these stupid random swings in results.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  21. #21
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    As of Late last night things are changing rapidly again

  22. #22
    Newbie
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    Yes, heres my story! Google does it again.
    Gotta find a new welfare program!

    There arent any real jobs left, unless your name is "Casino Jack".
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  23. #23
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    Yep my graph is looking like that from the Dec 27th onwards.

    Matt Cutts / GoogleGuy have been quiet as of late. I wonder just what is happening at the plex. There is a new Googlebot on the loose and the SERPs are at their poorest since Jagger. February seems to be one of their favourite months for BIG updates so I would reckon hold onto your hats next month.
    Keep on learning, keep on earning. :fan:

  24. #24
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    They are teaching ethical marketers that it's pointless and foolish to follow their recommendations and guidelines. I wrote them and asked what happened to their Do No Evil creed. The SERPs are swollen with BS and good sites (updated, fresh, fast, relevant, designed for human consumption) are in spots 300+.

    I subscribe to CopySentry - a service that uses the Google API to crawl and find copyright thieves who've snatched your content - these scrapers sites are always ranked so far above my site and the other site's they've stolen from, that it's a joke. And they're nothing but collections of snippets (under the 400 word limit for usual and compelling copyright prosecution) stolen via script from human authors and webmasters. They're assembled onto pages that make no sense and humans can't even read them - they don't even take whole sentences, fragments galore.

    I have a site that I use Google Analytics on and it was recently dropped completely from the index - no sign of it even using site:domain.com While I know Google prides themselves on keeping ppc/ga separate from serp crawling, their answer was a suggestion for me to use google sitemaps. Between ga reading it's every move, ppc driving it's every visitor, adwords conversion tracking watching where they go, backlinks I have pointing googlebots to me and my whopping ~15 page website's clean / categorized site map (which is linked from my home page), there's no freaking reason for me to use G sitemap.

    Personally, I think they were all too busy skiing over the holidays to give a shiot.

    The only thing that will get them to improve their SERPs is competition: Yahoo stock tumbled today, Msn and Aol show more ads than serps and Ask is a pack of bho operators intent on monetizing every pixel. So it's ski time baby!

    Think I'll start selling skis and snowboards and marketing them to millionaires at the plex...

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Google's making big progress in their war against 'thin' affiliate sites.
    Against 'thin' scraper/adsense sites - not so good. (For some reason)

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