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The Bad Guys Are Definitely Winning On Google!
Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:06 PM
You say that something Google did caused your sales to plunge, so it follows that they have harmed you. But does it then follow that you were in their debt for the business you were getting from them?
They have power because people have found the service they provide for free to be valuable. But it's free. If you'd been paying them for the traffic you had been receiving, that would be one thing, but that's not the case.
Please understand that I don't mean to imply that it's a good thing that you're hurting. But Google simply does not owe anything to anyone who hasn't paid them or signed a contract with them.
Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:24 PM
I used to worry about my clients sites placement in several engines and directories. There was a lively competition bewteen the SE's for leading referring site.
Now the logs show that Google brings in 35% of vistors; MSN and Yahoo! each about 10% (of course that's partly Google too); AOL 3%; Netscape and Google CA and UK each about 1%; Dogpile, Overture, AV, Ask, CS, EarthLink, and DMoz each about 0.5%. The remaining 35% is mostly no referrer.
So Google is responsible for more than half the referrals to this site.
Google is great and deserves the success it has but search is far too important to ecommerce sites to be single sourced like that.
Especially since it is so arbitrary and unresponsive. Evidently I did someting bad and many of my clients have disappeared from G. I have used the keyword tool at DigitalPont.com and some of the critical words for this site now rank 9999 instead of the first results page number they enjoyed up till this past summer.
I still have no clear idea as to the nature of the problem and there is really no recourse.
It is particularly frustrating to see sites with egregious abuses rank at the top of the page.
So, I dunno if the Bad Guys are winning, but I know that my clients are not.
Of course this will all change in the next few months as Yahoo! and MS develop their own engines - maybe there will be search competion again...
Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:59 PM
They have power because people have found the service they provide for free to be valuable.
Bob that is one of the most powerful statements made yet.
Now we are getting into the world I used to be a part of (ie figuring out the consumer).
Turn that around, if the feds get involved ,and the “people” begin hearing that maybe, the valuable service they perceive has some flaws.
I am willing to bet the average consumer thinks, when they do a Keyphrase search, the results being presented to them, are the best possible resources for their purchase. That is, the sites have highest of quality and the best prices.
You guys know exactly what is the results of a search. Mr & Mrs average American taxpayer has not got a clue how the searches come up.
Remember we are talking PERCEPTIONS not FACTS for public opinion.
So in our case, apples to apples comparisons can be made showing pricing/quality of product.
It also can be documented that we sent the Goggle founders, and a bunch of other Google’ites, a documented comparison of their top 20 sites presented for a certain key phrase.
In all but 2 cases of the 20, our prices were lower (in those two it was close to a tie) and in all 20, the quality, at a minimum was a tie.
Yet on AltaVista, Alltheweb, Lycos, LookSmart and bunch of others, we come up in their top 1 to 10 for the exact same key phrase saving the consumer significant money. Thank God for those guys and our other channels of sales.
So the little search engine algorithms found us relevant and deserving to be where they placed us accordingly.
Mr & Mrs American public would ask, why do we get an "objective" search with these other little guys , but with a search engine like Google, we do not?
Remember, Mr & Mrs American public does not care about hidden text, divs, layers etc etc.
Remember we are talking PERCEPTIONS not FACTS as to why sites get ranked the way they do.
Hopefully Mel will find the problem and we can get back to work, potentially saving folks lots of money for a high quality product.
Posted 13 November 2003 - 10:10 PM
Since you're helping Greg with his site I'm going to PM you some info. There are some points which I simply cannot express without including some information which I simply will not do on a public forum. Not because of anybody here, but because of the "harvesters" out there who actively look for misconfigured servers to hack.
For everybody else reading along, it's not simply having no PTR Authorization. It's also not having the nameserver problem I mentioned previously.
It's that a combination of things is causing the entire attempt is being thrown into an endless loop. Think of it (in unethical SEO terms) of having a cloaked site which includes a spider trap so that the *bot can never exit. I have an inkling this may well be keeping the server from ever being reached. Is it the entire problem? Probably not, but knowing out the 'Net works, I'd bet a Crispy Creme that it's the main cause.
btw, I agree with the sentiment that Google doesn't owe any of us anything. There's my two cents on that discussion.
Posted 13 November 2003 - 10:10 PM
If you need to be found in Google in order for your business to survive, Google has paid options to enable that.
So what are you doing to make up for the lack of sales you were getting from Google, besides sending them letters and emails?
What other marketing are you doing? Anything? Or are you just spending time complaining? Think of all you could have been doing in the time it took to write these forum posts. Why didn't you write a press release instead, which talks about some special promotion on your site? Why aren't you creating your own forum or newsletter geared towards the people who might be interested in your products? What about advertising in print media?
If you are doing these things, then great. That should make up for your loss in Google traffic. If you're not, why not? Why in the world do you thinik Google owes you or anyone else anything? When did you pay them to list you in their database? Last I checked, that's not possible.
It takes money to make money, yet you seem to think you should make money for free, off of Google's back. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't, it's time to move on.
Posted 13 November 2003 - 10:12 PM
A site is relevant to the user, but hasn't been optimized. Another site is less relevant to the user, but has been optimized. Who should win?
Also, the perception of objectivity is fundamentally flawed. SERP's are opinion. Newspaper reporting is opinion. TV News is opinion. Actually, I'd argue most of it is propoganda at the moment, but that's beside the point.
Posted 13 November 2003 - 11:11 PM
They pretty much said they do penalize hidden text as of June, didn't they?
If you can believe GoogleGuy they do:
during this March 2003 discussion at WMW GoogleGuy said:
I wanted to do a quick post and let people know that another set of penalized websites are about to re-enter our index. The last times I mentioned something like this, it was for clients of a particular SEO or company who went way past our guidelines... This time, it's mostly independent websites that were outside our quality guidelines, but that corrected whatever it was (hidden text, hidden links, etc.) and asked to be re-included. Many sites will return to our index within 24 hours. A few sites that used to be way past our guidelines will have to wait for a complete crawl/index cycle before they return completely.
It appears to me that if Greg had known about his penalty, corrected the problems and asked for reinstatement early this year he stood a good chance of being reinstated during the March lifting of penalties.
Posted 13 November 2003 - 11:18 PM
The site will probably be back in the index within a month.
Posted 13 November 2003 - 11:20 PM
Google obviously doesn't find your site as relevant as the others according to their algorithm. That's life, deal with it. They don't owe you or anyone a listing in their database...
Its not really a matter of rankings which can clearly be seen by the fact that a site which has 1437 inbound links from external sites has a PR0 in Google.
IMO the correct response to a google penalty is to clean up the site to confrom to Google quality guidelines and then ask for reinclusion, not just forget the fact that half your business has disappeared, while more sophisticated spammers take up the top positions in the serps but attract no penalties because Google is either unable or unwilling to act.
Posted 13 November 2003 - 11:23 PM
I think it behooves you to look further into the info that Randy sent, and please send it to your server people to straighten out.
The site will probably be back in the index within a month.
I can understand that there may be DNS problems, but how can those be the root of the problems (or be causing a PR0) when Google is spidering the site and adding new pages regularly? It seems to me that when new pages are added and old pages updated within a week of posting it is a clear indication that Google is not having problems spidering the site.
I don't think Google is passing out PR0s for improperly set up PTR records, since half the web would be affected if they did.
Posted 13 November 2003 - 11:51 PM
If that were to happen Scottie, we would all do our searches on other search engines since the number of searchers is not going to disappear even if Google did.
...I love thinking about this scenario... what happens if Google shuts down? Does everyone file lawsuits for their lack of traffic? They are a private business- there is nothing that says they can't just shut down the servers. Then what do we do?
It might be a big hiccup to businesses which had not bothered to optimize for the other search engines, but pages with good optimization would still rank on the other search engines, but they would get much more traffic from those sources than they do now, and life would still go on even without Google.
Posted 14 November 2003 - 12:41 AM
Also the LinkExchange Ads may not be in your favor if Google looks at your site for a review. The home page is pretty lengthy and lots of Dead space. Your testimonial are good but just use a quote from a few (in actual text) and then link for more testimonials.
From a users standpoint the navigation is a bit spread out making it hard to know what to click.
I found a PDG software link to your site saying you are using their shopping cart. Is the server requiring a session ID or Cookie, it doesn't appear but SE's don't like session ID's.
Don't throw away the site yet, but make some changes to hosting if you haven't yet. Stir the pot to see if you can shake something loose.
Posted 14 November 2003 - 01:40 AM
You have to search a bit harder before making generalizations.
for instance the site has several links from PR5 or better sites which are direct links and all the web reports 1437 inbound links from external sites. Most of these links can be read by Google.
Mel, Once again I would like to say there seems to be no backlinks for your site in google. Dont worry about what alltheweb.com shows. I know one site which showed 4000+ backlinks in alltheweb.com but only 11 in google.com.
So do you really have backlinks if yes did google pick them up that is my question. For instance my usually method of checking backlinks for a site if google doesn't show any back links(for any site) is, by just tying the domain name in the search box. For example I tried typing "ringdesigner" on the search bar. The sites bearing the domain name with the highest PR usually turn up on top of the SERPs. But top 30 sites doesnt have any proper URL of yours.
Some with PR4 only has redirect or tracking URLs. If you want do a check your self. I probably feel google has not picked up any direct backlinks you have on other sites.
Still if you feel you know any example that google has picked up before 2 months or so and still doesnt show up as backlinks just PM me the site. ill check the google SERPs if it is true but until then I can assure there is no proper backlinks for you in google.
And about hidden links what ever you have said is right but also remember he had clearly said the ban or penalty will expire in a month here is the extract. This is one of many comments he has made on hidden text expiry.
Panalties Removed: Hmm. I know that a lot of hidden-text penalties will be expiring this week, or have expired recently. That could be it..
SO it is an automatic expiry and you dont have to mail google to get your site back into google index.
This is a wrong opinion. And you know one new site which I got was doing so heavy cross linking with sites in links2you.com it got totally banned in google but I removed all the links made some modifications to the site, got some quality links now it is back in index.
IMO the correct response to a google penalty is to clean up the site to confrom to Google quality guidelines and then ask for reinclusion
But I cant understand already you have 1500 pages in google still you think you are banned or penalized that is something peculiar. One suggestion please read google's quality guidelines and whether you site is satisfying all the criteria's they have specified there.
My suggestions try different things try changing your site design(colour background basic structure etc), try changing your hosting provider experiment something man instead sitting and mailing google and doing small modification to the site that is not the way if it doesnt work out. Keep experimenting couple of months ago google used to visit a site only once a month. But now they visit atleast twice a week if you have lots of back links. So why to worry keep trying different things.
JUST FORGET YOU ARE BANNED OR PENALIZED. Then nothing will workout. Keep working on your site with different stratergies.
Edited by powerofeyes, 14 November 2003 - 01:59 AM.
Posted 14 November 2003 - 02:34 AM
You might be interested to know that when Google penalizes a site it sets all the backlinks to zero, which causes the PR to go to Zero and also means that when searching for backlinks in Google you will find none. The best way to confirm if a site has back links when Google says they do not is to use alltheweb.
If you doubt that there are 1500 pages in google do and allinurl:www.ringdesigner.com search.
The idea that one should just forget about a Google penalty that is ruining a business I find ludicrous, and as to the idea that changing the background color is going to affect the rankings.......
Edited by Mel, 14 November 2003 - 02:40 AM.
Posted 14 November 2003 - 02:46 AM
Google obviously doesn't find your site as relevant as the others according to their algorithm.
Well, Jill, in January to July of 2002, they found us relevant enough to rank us #2 for a very significant Keyphrase. August 2002, overnight, they sent us to #177 for the same EXACT key phrase.
I guess over that one night, without us making any changes, our site became significantly less relevant in Google’s eyes, than the 175 who stayed right were they were.
Why in the world do you think Google owes you or anyone else anything?
We have NEVER said they owe us anything. All we have ask for, and continue to ask for, is a Google spidering of our site without accessing a penalty. When that happens, we are willing to put our site up against all comers for relevancy in our category when the playing field is level.
What we do think, which is probably a radical thought to some of you, is that search engines owe the Internet consumer consistency.
To that point, Jill, I just read your story about sites taking liberty with manipulating their page rank. Please look at our initial postings! That is how this whole thread started. We agreed with you and wanted to communicate a blatant example of sites in our categories, who Mel has said, exemplifies some of the worst spamming he has seen. Yet they continue to be Page Ranked high and are in Google’s top 5 in several of our Keyphrase categories.
Then there is us Jill, despite what you think, putting in 16/7/365 building our business (not just writing letters and posting in forums). Yet we can’t get a simple answer from the folks who instituted our penalty, as to why we have it?
Jill, I have to admit, I expected you to be far more professional than to lecture us, as you have in this thread, on what we have or have not been doing. We have TOO MANY very satisfied customers in 2003, that would definitely beg to differ with you, versus you sarcastically inferring throughout this thread that all we have been doing is complaining.
Again, our appreciation to all of you who continue to e-mail saying you agree that we have a legitimate complaint and hope that Google rectifies it fairly.
We continue to work extremely hard on our core business and we continue to have faith in God for assistance. We also continue to have faith, that there just might be, just one person at Google, who might be able to get our plight in front of the proper Google people, to get a fair objective review our situation.
And let us restate again, Google owes us nothing. But, we just want to be treated the same as they are treating our competition. Is that so unreasonable??
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