Google Webmaster Forums, Crawling Indexing; Review & Bias
First to readers of the blog, let me provide the reason for this post.
A couple reasons are obvious; that is simply setting the record straight and venting.
The third and most important and hopefully this will serve and warn others is that the only reason I came to this forum is when attempting to get honest answers from Google, this is where I got re-directed.
Typically Google hides behind these forums where by they use volunteers that while I believe most are quite sincere in attempting to help, many can get quite rude and nasty if one questions Google or their intentions.
This is not just my opinion as I know of others who have attempted to get help for the YouTube/Google Plus and the Gmail/Google Plus synchronization and were redirected to similar forums whereby good help was not forthcoming.
I asked a very simple question in Google Webmaster Forums only to be very rudely and disrespectfully treated.
This too is not only my opinion either, rather a co-worker and friend I later sent the thread too found their manners, dishonesty, and lack of basic logic appalling.
Lets look at what I asked.
I asked why this web page fell drastically in Google rankings in the summer of 2013:
Aquarium & Pond UV Sterilization
Here is what I know as a fact, this web page was copied in part by another high authority site with Google without proper accreditation.
Later after legal threats this web page that copied copyrighted content placed a hyper link, but the damage was done in Google as it has never recovered.
Yet it is at the top of search in Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo.
Rather than answer the question they went on attacks, many that defied logic as if you went to the hospital complaining of chest pains, would you expect to have a Podiatrist see you? Of course not, but this is essentially what they did in attacking the web site as a whole and making incorrect comments about the web page in question.
LET'S LOOK AT SOME OF THE COMMENTS MADE BY THIS VERY UNFRIENDLY GOOGLE FORUM:
Sadly they claim to be friendly, but if this was friendly, I would not want to know their definition of rude
- It maybe time to update the site, it really does look its age.
I also noticed that you had similar issues with Google indexing way back in 2006 and you talked about incoming link building.
It is hard to take someone seriously when they are this misinformed or dishonest.
While it is correct that this was my question back in 2006, many-many changes were made and we jumped in Google and other search engine.
HOWEVER since then I hired a professional artist who has gone over so many of the pages with very unique graphs, pictures, etc.
Proof of the quality is how well we do on Pinterest and feedback based on pictures, diagrams, etc.
Also since this time, in 2010 to be exact we hired a professional SEO and web designer who added the quick jump index, side bars and many other modernization's (again the feedback since then also speaks volumes against the utter ridiculousness of his comment).
We also hired a proof reader to go over many of the articles on a regular basis, not to mention the fact that the content is second to none and WELL REFERENCED, unlike most of what comes up in aquarium information searches on Google
The bottom line is this page does not even look remotely like the same page in 2006.
A point a friend made about the web site in general, in trying to see where these persons were coming from is the web site does not use the e-commerce template that is so common/popular of late; but his point is so what! When Google first came on the scene they were radically different from the then dominant Yahoo and they (Google) still are with a more clean look.
So why should my web site that specializes in accurate information as a hook to then maybe get a few buyers look like every other e-commerce website when we are quite different in our content?
My web site has much less clutter above the fold that is attempting to get persons to buy this or that or other spammy "hooks". Our only hook is unique, accurate content that is constantly re-reviewed for accuracy that can be found NO WHERE ELSE, and all we ask of readers then is if you like our information, to please consider a purchase from us too as a thank you!
Finally, this person could not stay on subject, as the question was about the "UV Sterilization" web page, not the web site as a whole.
In fact my Lighting article in particular is doing well in forums, search, and quite bluntly is about as modern and eye catching as it gets, partly in thanks to the artist we hired.
Reference: Aquarium Lighting
- Google wants good information, but they also care greatly about the user experience. Users like using sites that load fast, function well, are easy to skim, etc.
This page meets ALL this criteria unless you are from Mars
- What is the ad network you are linking to? http://chitika.com/publishers?refid=cstrohmeyer
Why is that there? and in SUPER TINY font no less.
This is a comment that takes away much of her credibility.
Chitika.com is the second largest Ad network next to the corrupt Adwords network, she should know this.
As well, most similar information website place their Adwords "above the fold" and have many more including annoying pop ups, which I do not.
Admittedly our Ads were above the fold many years ago, but the professional SEO moved these to the bottom after he asked me "what was more important, the handful of extra dollars I might make, or a better user experience".
- And stuff like this - http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/GreatLinks.html
As a common courtesy when requesting a reciprocal link exchange, our back link must be placed first on a permanent page prior to requesting a link back
While off the subject of the web page in question (remember the question was about a PARTICULAR web page, NOT the web site, this part unfortunately rang true.
I am surprised this page was not brought into question in 2010 in the web site over haul, but heck, no one is perfect and we had stoped exchanging links in 2008, which I am sure Goolge's algorithm can spot.
True we have only removed these back links as other web sites have gone dormant or removed ours, but otherwise this part of our website has been mostly ignored for 5-6 years.
In the end, what she complained about is now gone anyway, so I will at least credit her with the only truly useful advice.
- What is your connection to http://aap.atrixnet.com?
Another silly question that had little relevance to the question, which I answered only to have it brought up again by others.
The Fact is this is a web site built by a very high level web designer for me have I helped him with many of his aquarium problems, where by he could not get good help elsewhere.
This was his reward to me and ANY search engine with ANY credibility would look at this as a vote of confidence. BTW, as a side note, this guy was a free lance software designer for many years and has done contract work for none other than Google!!!!!!!
- And then it's numerous dofollow backlinks from here:
Also: You've got several dofollow backlinks alone from this site on every page in the blogroll
Reference: Aquarium & Pond Answers
This is our sister web site, which we link back and forth as we do many of our internal pages, why would we place a vote of no confidence with nofollow tags???? I also HAVE READ a link he gave me:
Webmaster Tools; rel="nofollow"
Here is what it states as to when to use it:
*Untrusted content: If you can't or don't want to vouch for the content of pages you link to from your site — for example, untrusted user comments or guestbook entries — you should nofollow those links. This can discourage spammers from targeting your site, and will help keep your site from inadvertently passing PageRank to bad neighborhoods on the web. In particular, comment spammers may decide not to target a specific content management system or blog service if they can see that untrusted links in that service are nofollowed. If you want to recognize and reward trustworthy contributors, you could decide to automatically or manually remove the nofollow attribute on links posted by members or users who have consistently made high-quality contributions over time.
*Paid links: A site's ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to it. In order to prevent paid links from influencing search results and negatively impacting users, we urge webmasters use nofollow on such links. Search engine guidelines require machine-readable disclosure of paid links in the same way that consumers online and offline appreciate disclosure of paid relationships (for example, a full-page newspaper ad may be headed by the word "Advertisement"). More information on Google's stance on paid links.
*Crawl prioritization: Search engine robots can't sign in or register as a member on your forum, so there's no reason to invite Googlebot to follow "register here" or "sign in" links. Using nofollow on these links enables Googlebot to crawl other pages you'd prefer to see in Google's index. However, a solid information architecture — intuitive navigation, user- and search-engine-friendly URLs, and so on — is likely to be a far more productive use of resources than focusing on crawl prioritization via nofollowed links.
Nowhere does the above fit into any of how I link to Aquarium Answers or Aquarium Answers links to my web site. Ditto for aap.atrixnet.com (which again is not owned by me anyway).
While he may this does apply to my website, I have been told by others that my reading of this information from Google does not apply to my links to my trusted websites.
So in the end here, I will respectfully agree to disagree! This said, I have contacted the owner and he has agreed to make the blogroll nofollow links, but he disagreed as to individual post links.
We will see if he is correct, if so, I will stand corrected here!
- I second the unnatural backlinks issue. I'd work on addressing that. Unnatural links are where you have an association with the other site/s. Natural links are votes from random users/
I think this person was being more helpful, but again I have tackled this question and in fact have an account with www.majesticseo.com/.
In analyzing this data and comparing it to similar websites that out rank me, I and others I consulted found little difference.
Also in my Google Webmaster Tools a few unnatural link examples came up, AND Google themselves in a rare reply stated that these were false positives!!
In my opinion and experience, this term "unnatural backlinks", is simply an excuse for the massive fail the Penguin updates were, which by the way, another webmaster blog I follow has stated similarly, at least on user comments.
- Your site is dated, hard to use and has employed spam tactics (like link exchanges and unnatural links) for a long time
Simply NOT TRUE.
As stated earlier, we have not participated in Link Exchanges since 2008, the amount of links here are also about 1/3 what they were in 2008
As for unnatural links, we clearly have a difference of opinion here, but my excellent Stat Software shows that we get 100s of referrals from forums, blogs, etc. EVERY HOUR in the aquarium/pond keeping field. In any sane point of view, this is a natural link AND a vote for quality of information!!
- I hate the view of "look at this other page doing better than me that sucks" as an argument.
This IS a relevant question to note why a page about the scientific process of UV Sterilization is now missing while page selling products, that do not even perform this process are now present in Google search.
Sorry, but if Google brings up web sites stating that the world is flat or that gravity does not exist in searches for the "earth" or "gravity" this is an indicator of a relevant issue, and to brush it aside is intellectual dishonesty at best.
This was brought about because I noted that in the search for "Aquarium UV Sterilization", Google brought up a product, NOT the scientific process of "Aquarium UV Sterilization", which other search engines managed to do.
What is also noteworthy and lowers some of the credibility of claims the web site as a whole has major issues, the use of the title tag from the source code pasted into Google search brings up two pages from American Aquarium Products that link to this article. However these two are selling pages, not pages about the process of aquarium/pond UV Sterilization as the title tag clearly differentiates.
So in other words my site does OK, just Google is refusing to allow the pages that should be there (& used to be there I should also note)!!
- For what search term? I don't know. I'm also unaware whether Google tests each product to determine whether it performs as expected and then uses that in the search engine algorithm.
This is related to the last question where the product was a "green Killing Machine" sold by Amazon. While I believe this is a more fair question, it still begs the question that with over 15 years of search expertise under their belt, Google should be able to spot this, which in the past they DID!!
So the fact remains that Google could stop this if they wanted to, such as by cross referencing references, etc. Also the fact remains that they have a report spam tool, which I & others I know have reported this poor search result on many occasions over the last 6 months, to no avail! Sorry sir, Google can stop this if they wanted to!!
- I don't agree and I actually know your field of endeavor quite well. My tank mates all agree with me.
Here, the user "Black Belt" makes the claim he understands my field of endeavor.
However this statement clearly shows he does NOT!
Rather he has taken whatever "Cut & paste" web site Google has given, obviously not knowing if they are factually correct or up to date!!
An example would be the friend who owns aap.atrixnet.com.
About a year ago, he was using Google (which is where we disagree) in a search for these small worms in his tanks. Google at the time had a massive amount of "cut and paste" web sites misidentifying Planaria with Detritus Worms, which unfortunately for my friend these have as much in common as shark to a monkey.
As well many snake oil web sites have sprung up selling products for this false problem, which unfortunately he took the bait as he did not know better being a Google aficionado himself.
Many dead fish as Detritus Worms are not harmful, but live in colonies in the 1000s in an aquarium gravel, so treating for Planaria, which are harmful but live only in the dozens results in a massive die off that raised his ammonia over night and killed many of his fish.
Shame on Googles spammy search and I AM SO SORRY for Mr. Blackbelts fish as he is willing to believe Google search results.
This said, of late Google is improving on its search in this area, but a spammy incorrect search still yields scientifically incorrect information such a page from FishLore
Reference: Aquarium Planaria; Wiggly Detritus Worms, in Tank Water, on Glass
In the end I deleted all my posts, right or wrong.
While they or others might question this, especially to then write this blog post, I have to add that my time is in big demand, as I too have many who DO respect my knowledge, which is was clear from this Google Group, that they did not have any respect for anyone other than themselves.
I was getting so many circular questions, and I simply did not have the time for their "Spanish Inquisition", with real work piling up.
It is much more simple to address their comments here when I had time to gather my thoughts and not to try and juggle their Inquisition and the work such as answering email, my ongoing research, working on experiments, and of course my family.
I also voted down many of the posts I felt were attacking me incorrectly, but in the end here, I believe I too was wrong and went back and changed these.
In the end the lady who came off as abrupt, explained herself, and I respect that, the other person (Black Belt) continued his attacks on me even after I apologized for my voting down his answers in frustration. In his mind her explanation as to why she was so abrupt was OK, but when I explained my frustration (not to justify, but to explain like her), it was NOT OK. He even attacked me for a miss-spell of the word "thread"!
So I have to say; Why waste my time any further in their Inquisition which showed little respect for what I know in a VERY unfriendly atmosphere. As well, while I would not mind another SEO expert to replace Blaine who moved on to much bigger companies than me, I think many here shot themselves in the foot for gaining my business.