Is Google (Break) Dancing? & Search Engine Forums Spotlight

Florida Google Dance Resources

Google's monthly update is known as the Google Dance to those really into search engine optimization. The "Florida" update, the nickname for the most recent major changes to Google's search algorithm, has sparked an uproar among search marketers and web searchers alike.

Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan has been tracking the changes and getting the full scoop on what they mean. In a special section of Search Engine Watch called Florida Google Dance Resources, you'll find answers to questions such as What Happened To My Site On Google? What Happened To My Searches On Google? What Are the Future Implications for Google?

You'll also find a number of Google dance case studies that illustrate the changes in detail, as well as an extensive collection of links to other sources of information on the web.

This is a work in process, with new material planned for the weekend and early next week. Keep an eye on the Florida Google Dance Resources link for the latest news and information as it is posted.

Search Engine Forums Spotlight

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web.

Florida and Cloaking - Did Google Shoot Itself In the Foot?
Webmaster World

"With all the upcoming changes in the search space, there is no way I'm going to start dramatically altering pages that are doing well in Ink/Teoma/Fast/AV in order to satisfy Google. If they feel that quality results means that they must return a completely different set of results than their competitors, then I'll just cloak all content to Google so I can tweak it to match their ridiculous filter."

Domain Name Dilemma?
Cre8asite Forums

"Optimising is all about trying to maximise potential and minimise problems. An optimal domain name solution is the one with the least problems, and this is to have all of the variants you can get."

Google Should Understand This
JimWorld

"To suggest that... Google is culpable in any way for a loss of business due to how they operate the free portion of their operation is both ludicrous and dangerous. ...In a free market, the cream rises. Google became Google because everything else out there was crap, and they found a way to make search better, faster, and more relevant."

Google Is Stemming Now
Cre8asite Forums

"... yes, it is a pretty fundamental change. It could be quite an annoying one for those who've carefully practiced 'niche SEO' [search engine optimization” - finding the search term variants that were less competitive."

2004 Search Engine Marketing Predictions
JimWorld

"I'd love to hear what predictions people have for SEM [search engine marketing” in 2004 in terms of industry trends, technologies that'll come to the forefront, and any other interesting thoughts about how things will change in the SEM world next year."

Web Analytics - Is It Worth It?
High Rankings Forum

"If you know what you're doing with pay-per-click advertising, you have the potential to make an unlimited amount of money from it... So yes, web analytic software is extremely important. You need to measure and test everything with a PPC campaign."

Examination of a Florida SERP [search engine results page”
Best Practices Forums

"I'm more interested in which pages have risen in the rankings, and what they have in common, than I am in the pages that have fallen."

Seven Day Advertiser Test on AdSense
Webmaster World

"I am sure you have opened plenty of eyes, and perhaps more advertisers will opt-in for search and content, especially with that huge branding aspect of it. And the pleasure of being shown on your biggest competitors is always a nice added bonus, too."

Referrer Spam - Why You Shouldn't Publish Your Web Logs
Best Practices Forums

"Why would spammers [look for people who publicly publish their Web stats”? Because it's then possible for them to send hundreds or thousands of spam requests to the Web site, each request with a fake referrer, in order to obtain a link from the Web stats page."

Google: Current Algorithm Update-Dance
High Rankings Forum

"Well, I'm sure Google could do LocalRank if they want to. Moreover, I think they are doing this. I think that when you run any standard query, you're getting back LocalRank results. However, when you run a difficult query -- such as one that involves excluding a word -- then Google falls back to its old system. If I'm correct, that explains why you see an old site coming back when you exclude a word."

Search Engine Forums Spotlight courtesy Search Engine Guide.

SearchDay Week in Review

Meta Search Engines are Back
SearchDay, Dec. 4, 2003
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3109441

It's been a busy year for the major meta search engines, with a number of notable developments that have restored their usefulness as worthy search tools.

Search Engine Milestones for November 2003
SearchDay, Dec. 3, 2003
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3114361

Notable news and announcements from the web search world during the past month.

Searching With Invisible Tabs
SearchDay, Dec. 2, 2003
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3115131

Behind the scenes, search engines will one day automatically push the correct tab for your query and retrieve specialized search results. This should ultimately prove an improvement over the current situation where everything is answered by web page matches.

Google Dance Syndrome Strikes Again
SearchDay, Dec. 1, 2003
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3114531

There's been a new outbreak of Google Dance Syndrome, causing some web sites last month to lose top positions for some search terms. However, unlike previous outbreaks, a cure exists that makes it easy to compare results from old to new Google. These comparisons have some marketers convinced that recent changes at Google are designed to boost ad sales, a charge Google flatly denies.

Search Headlines

Florida Fever: The Google Update Uproar...
Search Engine Guide Dec 5 2003 11:32AM GMT
Google goes to court for keyword reassurance...
Silicon.com Dec 5 2003 10:16AM GMT
For Google Marketers, Relief, More or Less, is Just a Paid Click Away...
FinancialWire Dec 5 2003 7:39AM GMT
'Lord of the Rings' Rules Searches on Shopping.com...
dmnews.com Dec 5 2003 6:07AM GMT
Reed Elsevier shares hit after US sales warning...
Scotsman Online Dec 5 2003 1:37AM GMT
Yahoo Faces Messenger Flaw...
Boston.Internet.com Dec 5 2003 0:28AM GMT
W3C Presents at XML 2003...
XMLMania.com Dec 4 2003 9:55PM GMT
Online database marks a first for Scots law...
Edinburgh Evening News Dec 4 2003 8:29PM GMT
Shopping Search Engines Listing Information...
web ad.vantage Dec 4 2003 7:52PM GMT
Blizg for Blog Metadata Information...
Research Buzz Dec 4 2003 9:11AM GMT
More file-swappers sued by RIAA...
Silicon.com Dec 4 2003 8:15AM GMT
SuperPages.com Enters Local Search Fray...
dmnews.com Dec 4 2003 6:12AM GMT
Yahoo co-founder Filo muses on the early days...
CNET Asia Dec 4 2003 3:00AM GMT
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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was About.com's Web Search Guide.