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Q: My Google Ranks ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: My Google Ranks
Category: Computers > Algorithms
Asked by: hologos-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 30 Jan 2004 08:02 PST
Expires: 29 Feb 2004 08:02 PST
Question ID: 301787
What happened to all of my pages?  We have a robust site with high
page views and we went from page 1 to page I can't find in a matter of
days.  What happened with Google?  Our site is  Popular keywords which we used to have
first page placement for include Russell Hobbs, Big Train Chai,
Republic of Tea, Rancilio, FrancisFrancis, Briel, and Capresso (2nd
page).  Can you tell me why my page got demolished from the rankings? 
Thank you!
Subject: Re: My Google Ranks
Answered By: serenata-ga on 31 Jan 2004 10:35 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Hologos ~

In answering your question, it helps to understand that Google's
mission is to deliver the most relevant results in response to a
searcher's query.

Google Today presents its goal in a straight forward manner,

      ""The perfect search engine," says Google co-founder
      Larry Page, "would understand exactly what you mean
      and give back exactly what you want." ... Google is
      committed to blazing that trail."
   - ://

The key word for ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) is
content - *relevant* content.

To place well in SERPs, it is the site owner's responsibility to
deliver relevant content in a user-friendly (which is also search
engine-friendly) manner.

For purposes of answering your question, I chose one of the terms you
mentioned, "Capresso", as an example.

Google Results for "Capresso"

With the understanding that Google's responsibility is to the
searcher's query, the results there would be appropriate for either
information about Capresso or to buy Capresso products.

Notice, too, that with the exception of the Capresso site itself, I am
NOT getting any other website's index page, but am actually getting
internal pages within those sites.

There is something else to keep in mind - search engines return web
PAGES, not web sites, if there are individual pages within a site that
are *more* relevant to my query.

The first results for the Google search are the Capresso site itself
(excellent information), and then ...

Amazon's information ... and there IS relevant information about two
of Capresso's products with the ability to purchase it. ...

1st in Coffee's site with content, rich text, about the Capresso
machines, including pricing and photos ...

Aabree Coffee's with more information about the Capresso products ...
and the results continue.

The search results all have relevant content, often one click away
from even MORE content. Most also have the ability to buy the product.

From a searcher's point of view, these are excellent results,
especially with as broad a search query as just the one word,
"Capresso", and no other qualifiers. I have no doubt that I have
gotten the best results Google has indexed in answer to this query.

But what about your site?

By now you must feel like I'm missing the point altogether, because
YOUR site has information about Capresso products, too.

Since your site wasn't anywhere near the first 100 results for the
query "Capresso" alone (in fact, you came in at 158),
   - ://

I ran a more specific search query for your site, using the search
term " + capresso" (without the quotation marks) on
several search engines.

The results:

  * from Google
    - ://

  * from MSN

  * from Yahoo!

My point in giving you these search results is that your own site's
Capresso page *should* rank higher than Bizrate's and other sites for
that specific a search query. I couldn't even FIND your site's
Capresso page, "" in the
top results.

There are a couple of reasons for this, your site's design and the page's content.

1. Design

I took the liberty of checking the WayBack Machine for what your site
used to look like. The results below are from May of last year -


Frankly, the design from last year was cleaner and easier for search
engines to find and index.

Problem No. 1

With your present design, search engines have to get beyond some links
which seem to be choking them ALL the search engines.

Those are the items in your left hand menus. For example, your link
for Ghirardelli,

Your design seems to be stopping the search engine crawlers in their
tracks with links like that.

It *appears* to be a search result. No search engine is going to
deliver a "search_results.asp" page to a search query - for the simple
reason that no searcher would consider such results as relevant to
their query. (That link for your site, Ghirardelli - doesn't show up
at all in Google's results)

While Google can index dynamic pages, it specifically warns against
using them in its Webmaster Guidelines,

     "If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL
      contains a '?' character), be aware that not every
      search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as
      static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short
      and the number of them small."
   - ://


Take Google's recommendation and download Lynx and review your page. I
can guarantee that the results will NOT be what you want.

There are better ways to pin those dynamic links down so they are
search engine friendly, and consultation with a programmer who can
help you do that is probably in order.

It certainly looks like the major search engines are no longer getting
beyond those dynamic links, so if you are relying on the search
engines to drive traffic, they need to be fixed.

Problem No. 2

From a searcher's point of view, there is no reason for your index
page to show up for the search term "Capresso", because the term
"Capresso" is used only twice on the page itself (remember, metatags
don't count) - and there is no real content, just the word.

Neither is your link page, capressomain.html, as relevant as the
results the searcher gets from the search engines.

While that "capressomain" page does mention the search term more than
once, there is no information on that page, merely links to other

And, at 10:05 am PDT this morning (Saturday, January 31st), none of
your links are working - I'm getting "Internal Server" errors for
every dynamic page.


As I experienced "Internal Server Error" messages for every dynamic
link on your site this morning, search engines may very well be
encountering those errors, too.

One of the many error pages I encountered is reproduced in part below
so you have it for troubleshooting purposes:

======= Error page ===========

The page cannot be displayed
There is a problem with the page you are trying to reach and it cannot
be displayed.

Please try the following:

    * Click the Refresh button, or try again later.
    * Open the home page, and then look for links to
the information you want.

HTTP 500.100 - Internal Server Error - ASP error
Internet Information Services

Technical Information (for support personnel)

    * Error Type:
      Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server (0x80004005)
      [DBNETLIB][ConnectionOpen (Connect()).]SQL Server does not exist
or access denied.
      /SFLib/, line 36

    * Browser Type:
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.5) Gecko/20031007

    * Page:
      GET /detail.asp

    * Time:
      Saturday, January 31, 2004, 1:07:42 PM

========== end of error page =========================


You question was why your site suddenly disappeared from high ranking
in Google's SERPs.

The answer is two-fold (and it is not personal):

1.) Google has found other pages with information it deems
    relevant to search queries; and

2.) It is very likely that Google cannot properly index your
    site as it is designed at present in order to index and
    (perhaps) offer your content to a searcher.

There is a plethora of information on how to design your site to be
user-friendly and search-engine friendly, starting with Google's own
information for webmasters. Most of the webmasters who incorporate
these suggestions and recommendations in their website design have no
problem ranking well in Google, and all the other search engines as

Important Google Links For Your Reference

I am including pertinent links from Google's site. This information
will help you understand Google's goals and responsibility to the web
searcher (and not the webmaster or site owner).

Webmasters who follow the guidelines and avoid Google's "Thou shalt
nots" usually have no problem getting listed and showing up under the
search terms they desire.

   * Google Today (absolutely the best information you
     can read about the "how and why" of Google's results
     - ://

   * How Do I Get My Site Listed on Google?
     - ://

   * My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed (a good 'primer'
     on how and why Google works so well)
     - ://

   * PageRank Information (covers both Google's PageRank and
     - ://

   * Webmaster Guidelines (contains both the dos and don'ts)
     - ://

   * Google Facts & Fiction (can  you buy your way to a
     high ranking in Google?)
     - ://

   * Search Engine Optimizers (some good advice on what to look
     for if you're going to hire a Search Engine Optimizer)
     - ://

   * Frequently Asked Questions (pretty much what it says, but
     definitely worth wading through)
     - ://

   * Remove Content from Google's Index (just in case you feel
     a burning need to start all over again)
     - ://

Other Sources of Information

There is also good information from many of the top search engine
optimization experts, such as

   * Detlev Johnson, Search Engine Guide

   * Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Watch

   * Jill Whalen, High Rankings

   * Shari Thurow, Web Pro News (and quoted all over the Internet)

who all have regular columns or newsletters to which you can subscribe
and keep abreast of the best way to use good content for better
positioning in search engine results.

In addition, Webmaster World - - has
discussion boards on most of the search engines. While some of the
discussions are anecdotal and/or questions for information, there is
usually enough discussion to keep abreast of what seems to be

There is an entire section devoted to Google at:

Search engine watchers predict that 2004 will be good for the
searchers, because there is competition among the top search engines
to product the best results.

*Relevancy* and content will determine if and where any site will
appear in SERPs. Without relevant content and user-friendly design,
sites just won't show up for the user of search engine's services.
There really is no substitute for content, relevant links and good

Search strategies

Besides the above-mentioned specific searches on Google, MSN, and
Yahoo, I relied on the information bookmarked for regular use in my
own business.

Other sources of information included a review of

   * most recent newsletter

   * discussion forum

   * Webmaster World Forum - Google News

I know that optimum design can be difficult; however, design that
encompasses the recommendations and suggestions by Google will enable
you to place better in the SERPs. As competition heats up among the
various search engines, delivering *relevant* content will become
increasingly important.

As I conclude this answer, I found that the internal server errors
seem to be resolved.


Google Answers Researcher
hologos-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Wonderful explanation.

Subject: Re: My Google Ranks
From: serenata-ga on 03 Feb 2004 16:24 PST
Hello again, Hologos ~

Thank you for your kind comments and your rating. Thank you, too, for
tip. That was generous of you.

Warm regards,

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