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Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

Google coming back!

It looks as if Google is starting to show standards again. We have seen relative stability in the search engine return pages and a fairly massive decline in SPAM listings. We expect a full update by this time next week so stay tuned.

We all know just how sadly irrelevant the results can be at Google. The reason for this is that Google has difficulty distinguishing the intended relevance of a search. As a result, search results often include results from web sites that may only include the words searched without actually proving relevant to your needs. Read more…

Yahoo seems to be ratcheting out Inktomi results along with their standard Google results. We believe Yahoo will be moving towards Inktomi in the near future.

It has been exactly one month since Google introduced its infamous Florida Update. As the Florida Update has brought about the largest and most comprehensive shake-up of Google’s listings ever, it has generated a great deal of interest around the world and genuine panic for the literally millions of webmasters who’s sites have been adversely affected by the change. Read more…

Well, there is still alot of movement with Google right now. I am not sure if it is going to be positive or negative but the movement is real. Many in the SEO forums are talking about “the other shoe syndrome”, a rather fatalist outlook for a bunch of optimizers.

Again, this looks more like an experiment than a full algo shift. Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks.

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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.

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.

FLORIDA UPDATE UPDATE

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

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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.

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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003

Google Update Update

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

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