Google’s Shake Up: A View From the Beginning - Part 2/3Written by Jim Hedger
December 3, 2003 - Google’s Florida Update
The impact of Google's Florida Update has not been fully realized yet, but it appears damage will be extensive considering reports we are getting from some clients. Literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of websites have seemingly disappeared from Google's listings, most of whom enjoyed a Top10 placement before massive update which started on November 16th. Like most retailers, ecommerce sites that have faded from listings needed a good Christmas season to remain viable into 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 where advertising options are limited by small business budgets. Small businesses, however, will not be only companies facing an uncertain future because of Florida Update. When SEO community starts receiving calls from 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 pioneers of 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." The Florida Update encompasses most substantial changes to Google's famed ranking algorithm in young company's history. There are several theories as to why Google forced this update. Some say that Google is trying to force small businesses to join their highly profitable AdWords program by making such a comprehensive update just before Christmas shopping season. Others say that Google has always used weeks around US Thanksgiving holiday to make changes in hopes that sudden decrease in traffic over what is often a 4-day weekend will give their engineers enough time to introduce a new algorithm, (and fix any minor errors), without causing massive disruptions to their normal users. A third theory, (the one I lean towards), states that Google was simply tired of being gamed by growing cadre of less ethical players in SEO sector and has simply changed rules overnight by applying this new algorithm. Whatever reason, damage is being done and now advertisers and web-users want to know what to expect next. Unfortunately, that is not an easy question to answer as Google does not comment on any changes to their algorithm, therefore only thing we can do is offer experienced and educated guesses. I suspect that folks at Google know they have a major problem on their hands and are working to fix it. We have seen MAJOR spider activity from Google-Bot in past 48-hours and see evidence that another Google-Dance is currently underway. We have seen updates to algorithm in past. The most recent happened earlier this summer and one before that was in October 2002. Each time Google augmented its algorithm with a new feature or filter, massive dislocation was temporarily felt across commercial web. Both times, however, Google began producing relevant results within a matter of weeks. The new filters added to this update were too comprehensive and penalized sites that Google couldn't have been targeting on purpose. Again, I suggest that Google's engineering staff knows this, and if they don't, their customer relations and PR departments are most certainly telling them. I expect to see parts of this filter retained and applied to formula that eventually evolves into their new algorithm but I simply can't see Google keeping this algorithm, continuing to serving up spam, and throwing its hard-earned reputation out window. Regardless of number of MBAs they have on staff, Google's brain trust is simply too smart for that.
Absolute & Relative Links How Do They Rank?Written by Martin Lemieux
Absolute & Relative Links How Do They Rank?
The question for this article is whether or not you should use "absolute url's" or "relative url's"? Not only that, this article researches whether or not Google ranks these methods differently.
Absolute: You use entire url pointing to designated page. ex. www.yoursite.com/page1/index.html
Relative: You use an automatic path to file ex. /page1/index.html
Relative gives a path that is "assumed". Your browser will automatically "assume" to put www.yoursite.com before link.
When researching these two methods, I used 4 factors to consider:
1) 20 Different popular search terms 2) Top 20 listings 3) Top 10 "Inbound Links" for pages within site 4) Relative/Absolute urls NOT images
So here's results of this study:
1- The average results within 20 search terms had a ratio of: Absolute 40% / Relative 60%
2- The average inbound links for each site I researched had a ratio of: Absolute %50 / Relative 50%