February 27th 2006 Posted at Google
Comments Off on Google Update
Well Google has gotten back to me. Thalasar is not penalized at all or at least that’s what the email said
Thank you for your reply. We apologize for our delayed response. Your site
is not currently penalized, and it is included in our search results. To
see the results of our search, please visit the following link:
They took nearly two weeks to get back to me. They have reduced my Page Rank from 7 to 6 and as of this writing – today, February 28, 2006 I am seeing ZERO from my machine (I hope that’s only an update flux). Other tools such Page Rank Checker have it at 6.
While thalasar is now all good (or rather it’s actually in the index) other sites I own are somewhat strange/ Best Buys Zone, my shoppping comparison engine, only has 850 or so pages indexed in Google. Before the Big Daddy rollout it had roughly 113,000 pages in Google. I did have some down time when my caching server went belly up but it apparently didn’t affect the UK version of the site as much (it went from 413,000 pages to 239,000 pages). The Best Buys Zone site has been up longer and has more incoming links. I suspect that is it’s problem. Initially I submitted Best Buys Zone to a huge number of directories – many of them are smaller and niche. I supect that Google has penalized these sites or at least devalued the link because they can be purchased. I also originally had Best Buys Zone with various sub-domains for each catalog, a practice I have since discontinued.
What ever the reason Google hasn’t fully indexed the site, I suspect it’s a temporary condition. Many of the pages at Best Buys Zone have a PageRank of 5. Many of the internal pages have a page rank of 4 or 3. I suspect that a large part of the problem is the internal linking structure at Best Buys Zone. So I am looking to making some slight adjustments to those links in order to improve the user experience. I also suspect that the recent Big Daddy roll-out has really increased the number of pages which contain the Best Buys Zone URL. For example Syndic8 has over 11,500 pages with Best Buys Zone on it. Syndic8 has done a good job of indexing my RSS product feeds. Best Buys Zone is a mash-up in the classic sense. It takes the Amazon web services catalog, combines it with the XML feed from shopping.com and makes the results available in an rss feed for each individual product. Maybe I have made the solution to the problem far too complex. I think that shopping via RSS feed is really useful way to shop – you get updated pricing every day and can moniter multiple vendors for a SPECIFIC product. MSN shopping has product RSS feeds but they are for classes of products only.
Could my RSS feeds themselves be the problem? It’s apparent that Google wants to segment off the blogosphere from the rest of the web as the link structure of the blogsphere makes it easy to Google bomb various terms. I suspect that Best Buys Zone problem is a mult-variant one. Remarkably this has had almost zero impact on the traffic to Best Buys Zone since most of the traffic that comes to the site is from the 263,000 pages indexed in Yahoo. I can only hope that the site will recover as the Big Daddy update continues. Given the amount of PageRank on the interior pages it seems quite likely. I suspect that part of a problem is the canonical url issue and the re-directs on the front page to various catalog sub pages. These are artifacts from the changes to the URL structure we made in November 2005. I will have Eugene make an change to that page. This combined with the Big Daddy update and the resulting decline in value of the incoming links for Best Buys Zone, and the two day outage we experienced might have resulted in many of the pages being dropped from the index.
It might also be that Google doesn’t like this particular mash-up in the United States given the number of people that use Amazon content in the US. Easy to use tools such as Associate-O-Matic means there is a lot of duplicate content out there. Perhaps I should focus my mashup on the products in which I have the most unique mixture of content, namely a match from my shopping.com merchants and Amazon. It’s a pretty big list so be prepared to wait a while for it to load.
Another strange thing about this Big Daddy update is that the RSS link for Adding to My Yahoo are showing up for Best Buys Zone. It also is showing up for Best Buys Zone UK. I think this is pretty strange since that link is there for the user’s benefit and not the search engines. It would also be a very easy link to filter from the search engine perspectative. Maybe Google thinks my web site is just a series of blog and relegated it to the blog search. Quite frankly this would suck since my product feeds are not blogs, they are product feeds not blogs. This creates a problem for people want to use the RSS format in an innovative way. Search engines may not actually know how to use that content. The directions provided at Best Buys Zone’s about page more than cover how to use it if you are user. If you are a search engine, I am not sure what to say.
I have come to this conclusion. Link building is rapidly becoming a losing proposition. You cannot tell what Goofle might do next and how it might value that link. That’s why I stuck to a few press releases for Thalasar Ventures and a link from Perl.org
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