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Q: My site listing on google ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: My site listing on google
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: londoncufflinkscouk-ga
List Price: $7.50
Posted: 25 Nov 2003 15:07 PST
Expires: 25 Dec 2003 15:07 PST
Question ID: 280608
My site over the last week has vanished from the google listing after
being on the first page under the search criteria of 'cufflinks' can
anyone explain why this is - after 2 years of being within the top 3
pages it has gone all of a sudden - im still getting google bots daily
and this is having a massive effect on my business any tips / ideas or
Subject: Re: My site listing on google
Answered By: serenata-ga on 26 Nov 2003 00:44 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Londoncufflinkscouk ~

I am sure that this is no consolation, but you are not alone in your
experience. It does indeed seem that your site, isn't listed among even the first 100
results for the search term "cufflinks" (with or without the quotation

It seems Google has changed its algorithms, and many sites have
experienced the same phenomenon over the last ten days or so. This
particular change has led to a lot of speculation on what is happening
and how to regain search engine results placement (SERPs), but so far
no one has been able to figure out how some of the results can be so
bad for search terms nor how they can change their own sites to
recover lost ground.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of upset webmasters, website
owners and search engine optimization specialists who are trying to
figure out what is happening. There has also been a lot of
speculation, based mostly on anecdotal accounts, of what is happening
or what has actually happened.

The Search Engine Journal - Search Engine Marketing site has
speculation this is a 'spam' filter, discusses some filters, makes an
observation some sites are "coming back" and suggests waiting to see
what is really happening before you rush to make changes.  That
observation in its entirety is here, dated 11/20/2003:

More discussion can be picked up from Webmaster World ... and a lot of
complaints, too, from website owners who are in your shoes ... in the
Google News discussions here:

There are some indications that this particular Google Dance is not
over, and the only posts you should take at face value are those made
by GoogleGuy, who is a Google employee. His advice is to follow the
guidelines which are provided by Google, and you shouldn't encounter
any problems.

Remember to take any of the above observations with a grain of salt
... because the only ones who know exactly what *has* happened and
what may be coming up is Google itself, and they're not going to tell
us. Google is working to present the most RELEVANT results, and not
necessarily results from sites who have decided to 'spam' or 'game'
the system. You might want to read that philosophy on Google's
"Corporate Information - Google Today":
   - ://

The soundest advice from any source has been to wait this latest
series of changes out, as there still seems to be a great deal of
change happening.

So, What About Your Site

I've been over your site with a fine tooth comb. The good news is that
you've not been dropped from Google's index, although right now it is
of little use if you are buried so deeply in SERPs.

Entering "allinurl:" in Google's search bar
shows that you have 'about' 1020 pages indexed.

Performing a search on your URL, "" (without
the quotation marks), gives us these results:

     "Showing web page information for London Cufflinks - Novelty ,
      Fashion ... Categories, Silk Knots (8) Sport Cufflinks (5)
      Wrap Over Links (1) Fashion Cufflinks (58) Flag Cufflinks
      (10) Novelty Cufflinks (58 ...
      Description: Novelty, work and flag designs.
      Category: Shopping > Clothing > Accessories > Men's

      Google can show you the following information for this URL:

      * Show Google's cache of
      * Find web pages that are similar to
      * Find web pages that link to
      * Find web pages that contain the term

[Search link:]
   - ://

Clicking on "web pages that link to ..." returns 3 results
   - ://

Clicking on "web pages that contain the term ..." returns "about 741" results.
   - ://

A glance at the first two dozen or so of those "contain the term"
results show a great many pages of links only without any relevant
content. It could be that all those pages of links only are being
treated as 'spam' by Google and this *could* be the reason your site
is no longer at or near the first results.

Google has continuously admonished against participating in linking
schemes to bolster SERPs. The fact that all those link pages are not
listed as "links to" your page are an indication that they're not what
Google considers to be 'relevant' links.

And if you take the time to read some of those posts at Webmaster
World, you will see specific recommendation to following Google's
Webmaster Guidelines, which are here:
   - ://

You might want to rethink your inclusion in some of those link pages,
as they may not be to your advantage, unless they really are relevant
to your site.


Basically, your website contains decent enough content about your
number one search term, "cufflinks", but you clearly have disappeared
from ranking high in the SERPs. However, this may be more a result of
this current Google Dance (referred to as "Florida" in Webmaster
World) than a real penalty for any wrongdoing.

My suggestion is still to wait and see if these are the 'final'
results or temporary. It could well be that this is part of a series
of results to accomplish Google's goal to produce the most relevant
results for search terms.

Important Google Links For Your Reference

I have taken the liberty of including some important links from
Google's Webmaster Information and Webmaster Guidelines. 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)
     - ://

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 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:

It never hurts to keep track among these discussions, but remember,
trying to optimize for search engines only is like trying to hit a
moving target. You'll notice among the more experienced contributors
to the discussions - plus the SEO experts listed above - that there
really is no substitute for content, relevant links and good HTML.

Search technologies

I didn't use any particular search strategies, except to check your
preferred search term, "cufflinks", and for results for your site in
particular. The information provided in this answer is from knowledge
in keeping up with current changes and observations in order to better
understand what is happening.

Best of luck - I suspect your site will reappear, and I still suggest
both reconsidering links from link pages which are NOT relevant and
also to wait this recent dance out.

Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Answer by serenata-ga on 26 Nov 2003 07:46 PST
Hello again Londoncufflinkscouk ~

I located an article by Barry Lloyd on Search Engine Guide, which may
help shed some light on the subject as well. The article is entitled
"Been Gazumped by Google? Trying to make Sense of the "Florida"
Update!" and can be found here -


This adds to my suggestion that the links to your pages may be
considered spam, which is also supported by my colleague in his
comment below.

This is, of course, speculation, because only Google knows, and
everyone is trying to figure out what is happening. It is also just a
good course not to try to 'game' your search engine ranking, as we may
be seeing a whole new era in search engine competition to bring the
best and most relevant information to the searcher.

Your page doesn't really need to 'game' the search engines. You have a
lot of product that is entirely relevant - literally any cufflinks
anyone could ever hope to find, all there in one place.

Again, best of luck,
londoncufflinkscouk-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent! Great detail - i'll hope this google dance gets sorted

Subject: Re: My site listing on google
From: robertskelton-ga on 26 Nov 2003 04:12 PST

Google has implemented a filter that removes some of the ranking
factors for some competitive keywords. It could be that in this
instance competitive keywords are any that get bidded on in Google

The non-filtered results can be seen by adding -mt-tb.cgi  to the
search keywords. If you do this, your site is at #5:

(I don't know why that works...)

No-one has really worked out what the filter affects, but to me it
seems to remove the power of the keyword:

- within reciprocal link text
- within internal link text
- within your page's URL
- if it has too high a density in the page text

Looking at your site I find that

a) obviously the keywords is in your URL

b) it seems that you have tried hard to optimize the text of your home
page for the word cufflinks

c) I think that because the only links pointing to your site are from
Open Directory, or sites using Open Directory as a source, because all
the external links have the same text (with the word 'cufflinks'),
Google has mistaken them as an attempt to control the keywords of
links pointing to your site. Hopefully they will fix this, because
Open Directory listings are encouraged by Google. I feel that the
intention was to thwart reciprocal linking schemes.

Although this new filter seems to have increased the relevancy of
search results overall, in this instance I think your site has
suffered unfairly. The solution is to get some more incoming links,
from quality sites if possible, that have a different linking text
than the linking text at Open Directory.

Google Answers Researchers

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