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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.

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.

Wednesday, November 26th, 2003

Good article about Florida Update

Google’s recent update (FLORIDA) has been discussed and dissected by the SEO community for the past three weeks. WebMasterWorld moderator, Barry Lloyd has taken the time to compile and analyze much of the discussion and has packaged it in a well written and easy to understand article. This is a must read of SEOs and webmasters interested in Google (this likely means you…).

Google has been showing really bizarre results today. Just when I start to think Google is coming back to some sense of normal I see a client report or conduct a random search that shows that Google has not gotten back to normal. Before the recent Florida Update, I could be reasonably sure that if a site was in the Top10 at Lycos or Alta Vista, it was almost certainly Top10 at Google. Today, that is not the case, or at least not all of the time.

Ross noticed something interesting a few minutes ago. Google does not seem to be measuring back-links in any noticable way. Ross re-worked an optimization effort for one of his clients’ sites last week on the assumption that really strong SEO would beat sites with high link-densities and suddenly, the site is in the #2 spot on Google after being dropped during the Florida Update. We are attempting the same practice on another couple of sites (with client permission of course) in the hopes that our assumption is correct. With Google spidering and re-spidering like mad these days, we hope to see results withing three or four days.

Happy Monday morning folks… DON’T PANIC!

Have y’all taken a look at Google today? Yes, what you are seeing is real. Google is showing totally different listings on the search engine returns pages today. Actually, this weirdness started sometime on Friday night or Saturday morning. Most of our clients have not been affected and the only one we have seen effected has had his rankings rise dramatically. Our site has been affected though, rather badly at that. From the #6 spot under the phrase “Search Engine Placement”, the happy-go-lucky StepForth site has dropped past the fifth page of returns.

I think this is a temporary thing. We last saw such a massive shake-up six months ago and the listings went back to normal after a few days. This sort of shake-up generally indicates that Google is re-ordering their entire database of spidered sites.

Size is the latest salvo fired in the search engine wars. Last week, Overture announced that its recent acquisition, AlltheWeb had expanded its database to cover 3,151,743,117 pages and had grown larger than Google’s database by about 68Million pages. Google responded yesterday by quietly announcing that it is now spidering 3,307,998,701 on an active basis. In the world of search engines, size matters from an end user perspective. The more pages in the database, the better chances of finding the information you are looking for.

Google and AlltheWeb have a history of competing to be the biggest database that goes back to 2001. This time however, the battle will be a bit more interesting as Overture also announced that AlltheWeb is introducing a stronger ranking algorithm in the coming weeks in an ongoing attempt to produce more relevant results than Google. With the coming integration of AltaVista and AlltheWeb, both owned by Overture, (which in turn is owned by Yahoo), this latest skirmish in the over-all search engine war will be a long and hard-fought one.