Monday, December 8th, 2003

Google Bouncing Back

Reports from WebMasterWorld have Google starting to show sites that had been hurt by the Florida Update. While we have not seen any major changes, we’ve only been at our desks for about an hour this week (pacific coast time). Will update frequently on this one.

Happy Monday. It rained all weekend. Today it is sunny. see below.

Monday, December 8th, 2003

Monday – It's Sunny

Looks like Google took over the weather bureau as well. Too much power…

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

Amazing Analysis, too bad it's bunk

I just heard the silliest thing. Ross the Boss is IM’ing with one of his oldest and most trusted contacts. The contact tells Ross the Boss that another SEO is claiming that use of ALT Tags and anything other than H1 and H4 tags will get you burned at the “new” Google. Read more…

The impact of Google’s Florida Update has not been fully realized yet but, with reports from some of our clients who have been hurt, the damage will be extensive. Literally hundreds of thousands of websites have seemingly disappeared from Google’s listings, most of whom enjoyed a Top10 placement before the massive update which started on November 16th. Like most retailers, ecommerce sites that have faded from the listings needed a good Christmas season to remain viable into the next year and many of them staked their sales plans on a their previously strong placements at Google. The fallout will be noticeable, particularly among small businesses who’s advertising options were limited by small business budgets. Small businesses, however, will not be the only companies facing an uncertain future because of the Florida Update. When the SEO community starts receiving calls from the mainstream media and people who are not clients, asking what is wrong with Google; one knows that Google itself has a problem that goes far beyond their data centers. As one of the pioneers of the web, Lee Roberts of The Web Doctor points out, “It was word-of-mouth that generated their popularity because people could find what they were looking for. Now, we only find sites with less quality content and less sites that offer what we want.” Read more…

I am tired of reading other SEO practitioners telling each other that this is the long-term algo from Google and we had best get used to it. Maybe they are right maybe they are wrong. Either way, I don’t think there is enough evidence in yet to say one way or another what Google is really up to. Quick tip colleagues, we are considered the experts. People listen to us and take our words quite seriously. Before telling webmasters to recode their sites or other SEOs to retool their promotions, I think we should sit back, observe, analyse and draw slowly formulated conclusions. I realize how difficult it is to tell a desperate client that they will have to wait for accurate information but I assume they will appreciate me for preaching patience until we have a collective handle on what is happening. Anything else seems very irresponsible to me. It blows me away how many people read our words but there are about two dozen of us who seem to carry a lot of weight with the public. Let’s be a bit more responsible and only give answers when we know what the REAL questions are.


More major spider activity to report. Google-Bot is raging according to more client logs.

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003

Google Word Stemming – Sort of

It has been reported in many search engine optimization discussion forums that Google is now using word stemming, or treating the plural version of a keyword the same as a singluar version of the keyword. Google seems to be slowly introducing word stemming as the results of our tests show. Generally, the Top3 listings under the plural and singluar keywords are the same but subsequent listings tend to differ.

It is still too early for the SEO community to announce with authority that Google is totally using word stemming. I think they are slowly introducing word-stemming or at least experimenting with its effect. It does not appear to cover the entire algorithm though.

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003

Google Update Update

nothing new to report yet but we are still watching every hour.

This morning Ross the Boss was IM’ed by one of his contacts in the US mid-west noting that Google-bot has spidered his site several times in the last 36-hours. A glance at our logs and those of a few associates show the same thing, extra attention from Google.

That made me turn to Scott, our PPC expert and ask him to run a few common tests at Google. Our perceived link density is fluxuating as is the number of sites associated with the keyword phrases we are testing with.

This leads us to believe Google is working overtime for some reason. A good guess is that Google is working to fix the errors caused with the FLORIDA UPDATE. Scott and I will be checking every hour or so to see what Google’s up to and will update this BLOG with new information when it comes.

Monday, December 1st, 2003

Google Goofiness Continues

Not much to say about this one but, for the record, Google is still goofy. There was a good article in today’s Search Engine Watch ( but, still no real and substancial ideas on how a minor fix could become such a major headache

Don’t take this too seriously unless you have experienced a similar issue. We are now receiving Email from non-clients asking for advice regarding their websites’ loss of position at Google. Regardless of whether or not they are clients, we try to help anyone who asks us for our opinions and advice. What is bugging me is that many of the people writing us DO NOT have commercial sites or SEO techniques applied to their sites! Several SEOs have speculated that it is only commercial sites or sites with obvious SEO techniques that have had their rankings disappear at Google.

I can’t say I know why this is happening but it is a heads-up to others studying the FLORDIA update. It’s not only commercial and/or SEO driven sites… have a nice day.