|This is not a rant, this is a complaint, to Google employees. My website is invisible because of you||briac||7/23/13 3:47 AM|
I've read the FAQs and searched the help center.
My URL is: htp://www.graphiste-video.fr
Hello, as the title says this is not directed towards the community, I am trying to catch Google’s attention. Google, with its latest algorithms has completely killed my website's visibility. I am sick and tired of trying to get visibility again, which is vital for me, in order to find clients, of all the efforts I've been doing to no avail. I am sick and tired of the behavior of Google, in a “we know what we’re doing, our algorithm is perfect, and we don’t interact with our users because we know better than them” kind of way. When I posted a complaint on Google webmaster tools, I got an automatic message telling me that no manual sanction for my website was identified, directing me to a page telling me all the reasons my website would be badly ranked: not original content, not interesting content, badly done website. I found that very arrogant, because it’s not the case.
When I posted here I got answers from the community. Nice people who were trying to help. But not from Google itself. Google doesn’t want to be involved, as if they were god. The users should interact with each other, because Google knows better than them. Google already gives all the answers on their website. Except they don’t.
I’ve been trying to make my website go up again by working on it like crazy. Deleting some stuff which could be problematic, unnecessary divs, making my website more semantically correct, with the use of lists (ul,li), of relationships (dl,dt), and a lot of other stuff. I deleted duplicated titles and added big descriptions (I mean paragraphs of text, not speaking about meta) to all of my content, as it’s a portfolio. Informative to people, but also showing Google there is actually content in these pages, showing I’m not trying to cheat search engines with a crazy link structure. All of that is thought ergonomically, yes I have stuff like an image map linking to sections, and when I did that I had the user in mind, not search engines. Nothing hidden, the links are mapped to images with related text inside. This is something I have since the beginning, and haven’t wanted to delete for the sake of Google because it is useful for users.
Not only my website stays at the same position (sometimes going a little bit up, sometimes going a little bit down, a yoyo game), but following Google’s own advice made my situation even worst. A user here pointed me out to a Google page stating how to deal with multilingual websites, thinking maybe that was the reason I was badly ranked, because maybe my international website was considered as a way to create unnatural links, Google being unable to detect that it was two different languages for the same website. That user was nice and was trying to help. But Google’s information is wrong. Using rel=”alternate” href lang=”” doesn’t help you for an international website unless all your domains are well ranked, then there is a purpose, preventing people coming from the bad country to go on the version of the website which is not for them. In my case, the French version of my website didn’t go up, even a little bit, on Google.fr, to thank me for doing “clean” SEO. But it disappeared from Google.com WHEN TYPING FRENCH KEYWORDS (now on page three). A lot of people in France use Google.com, because they also get French websites that way. And the English version which was never well ranked didn’t become more visible.
What does that mean? I did Google’s work. Google is obviously not able to detect the language of a website. If you help them out with good code, you get penalized if your English website is not well ranked, as it down-ranks the none English version of your website, and doesn’t even up-rank the well localized version of your website in French, on Google.fr, which would be a minimum considering the damage done by helping Google out.
Of course when I saw that I deleted all these alternate language tags. But the harm is done, I’m invisible on Google.com.
Google doesn’t care about quality websites, please don’t fool people. If you did, my website would be well ranked. I don’t cheat with people. My website is completely consistent with the keywords people type to get there. Otherwise I wouldn’t have a 50% bounce rate, which is a good rate, and it already was like that when my website was much more visible. Obviously Google doesn’t care about bounce rates. So they don’t care about quality, or consistency.
My website is coded in a modern way. CSS. And as semantically correct as I could (I’m not a developer)
It has a lot of content, and it’s original content.
It is 100% compatible with tablets, not just computers, I put all my videos on Youtube or Vimeo in order to achieve that. Of course my Flash design work is not compatible with tablets, I’m a graphic designer and that’s part of the work I do. I’m not going to delete it from my portfolio for compatibility reasons.
I used to be well ranked on keywords I was targeting, which have a low search volume but which were completely consistent with my site. Don’t tell me Google is in favour of “natural” ranking. How is it natural to censor the internet? Because that’s what your doing.
If you disagree with me please tell me what is wrong with my website. From a user perspective.
Because I can tell you plenty of things which are wrong with the website which now ranks first with these keywords. My aim is not to stab other people in the back, these ranking issues are not their fault but Google’s, so I won’t give the name of the site nor the keywords here.
Continue like that and you will lose your clients in the long term. The same way Microsoft lost their Internet Explorer users thinking that because 90% of the people were using it they could decide how websites should be designed. How many people are using IE now? Well I wouldn’t be surprised the same thing happens to you. But it’s not going to happen right away and in the meanwhile you’re going to kill businesses like mine. Businesses which are your clients, from which you get your money, no matter how small. I pay Google Adwords. Not only if I don’t get clients I don’t get money to pay you, to invest more in ads.
But considering the problems I have finding clients come from you, I also don’t want to give money to Google. Instead of paying more to that company I’d rather give to other companies (such as ads on LinkedIn, which I’m considering).
|Re: This is not a rant, this is a complaint, to Google employees. My website is invisible because of you||Lysis||7/23/13 5:13 AM|
Oh look it's you again. You like long rants, don't you?
This is your third rant.
|briac||7/23/13 5:46 AM||<This message has been deleted.>|
|Re: This is not a rant, this is a complaint, to Google employees. My website is invisible because of you||briac||7/23/13 5:52 AM|
Oh hello. Who the heck are you by the way ? I don't really care about what you think about what I post. Why would I? As written this is for Google employees to read.
- This is a legitimate complaint and not a rant, but maybe you don't know how to read long texts written in proper English. Are you from the SMS generation ? I'm not, I like literature. I like movies with things to say and not boom boom bang bang.
- What you call my first rants were requests for advice, which I have followed, and which made things worst (maybe you would know if you would have read) because Google's own advice is only made to help there search engine in some tasks it doesn't do well, instead of actually being proper advice to people. And yes there was some criticism involved because I expected Google to take some interest in what their users think about their way of doing things, and at least give some clues.
I have a reason to post here. My website. Do you have any proper reason ?
I don't care about the opinion of somebody who states their own answer to a question as being the good one, same as a high five to yourself, as I have seen from you before ... Especially not someone who does that without answering anything.
Have a good day.
|Re: This is not a rant, this is a complaint, to Google employees. My website is invisible because of you||Lysis||7/23/13 6:25 AM|
Enjoy your rank.
|ets||7/23/13 9:53 AM|
I see you have got a long history of problems with internationalization going right back to a post you made in 2010 - connected with a move to Australia? http://productforums.google.com/d/msg/webmasters/Ba0YQNRFvh0/2UsL4g0BYfYJ
It looks like you've had a variety of technical issues with geotargeting, internalisation, and so on since then? But you also have pages that are, in some respects, search-engine unfriendly. For example, no h1 tags on some pages, no indexable text on some pages, some duplicate content across other sites.....
.... probably lots of small, easy to fix things that could be implemented in a day or two and would make a huge difference to your
performance on Google.
Anyway, if you'd like to get some help with the technical issues, I'm sure people would be pleased to help. I suggest open a new thread and simply ask "How can I improve my performance on Google?".
|Grandmaster Flash||7/23/13 11:04 AM|
People would be more sympathetic and helpful if you weren't a jerk.
Having two nearly identical sites in separate languages is SEO suicide...by your own hands. There are ways of handling such things but I would suggest hiring someone to get it sorted out properly rather that wasting your time pointing fingers.
Willing to bet the good advice is not accepted
|briac||7/23/13 1:09 PM|
Hi ets, before I write anything else you need to know that even though my post was directed towards Google, from which I would like to hear, I really appreciate the tone of your message. You are the kind of person who really tries to help, and helps the world be a better place. I'm not saying that just before of what you write here but also because of other answers you've given to other people.
What do you mean by no indexable text? I would have thought all my pages did. Are you speaking about the galleries?
All my pages without exception have meta descriptions, which are always unique (even if there is a repetition of some words, normal given the quantity of content). I thought that was what search engines indexed if they didn't find anything else. Only my five main portfolio sections (motion design, graphic design, ...) don't have much text besides the meta, but still they have some, just above the thumbnails. And that's a header. And only five pages are like that, out of about 200.
If you click on any of these contents, there is quite a big description on the right side, which should be indexable.
But I'm not contradicting you, am I wrong about this, is there some text which would not be indexable and I thought would for some reason?
I do have h1 tags, it's the name of the section, as I'm a graphic designer, this is an image in order to have a nice layout. But there is an alt tag of course, which says the same as what's written in the image. I don't know if that's a bad thing, and I need to find another solution if it is. But again that was because I designed a website for people and not for search engines, which is what Google claims is the way you should do it...
The internationalization issue you are speaking about was my fault and has since long been fixed. I had changed the localization of my website in the webmaster tools. And forgotten I had done that, especially as I had deleted the profile of that website, because I was concentrated on the .com.au version of my website, which doesn't exist anymore. I was surprised to see that all the settings had been kept when I re-created the profile. It was my fault, but I also think it's (or was) a bug as there's no reason a deleted website profile should still have any impact in my opinion. After that, and a lot of other things I did, my website was very well ranked, first place, for the keywords that interest me, and which are not very competitive ones, and I got a good amount of visits, and a good bounce rate. That was before Panda and Penguin.
Now that being said, and much appreciating your help if you can answer these questions, I was, and am, trying to catch Google's attention, that was the object of that post, not to get help from the community, that is why I entitled my post the way I did. I am extremely worried about a company which doesn't interact at all with their users, doesn't have any transparency at all about why their algorithms are wounding a website's ranking. Yes I know, it's supposed to be in favour of quality. Then if someone from Google comes here to defend their "censorship" algorithm, and explains to me, after having visited it, as a human being and not a robot, and finds some reasons which my website would qualify as a bad quality one, with proper arguments, maybe I would trust them a little more. Now I don't.
And the reason I wasn't addressing the community first, besides thinking it would be normal for a company to have some kind of dialogue with their users, no matter how big, is that that my latest attempt to get help from the community ended up in a disaster. Not because the community didn't really try to help, but because I was pointed out to Google guidelines which should logically have helped my ranking, in the best case, and certainly not make it twice worst by making me invisible on Google.com from France with "search for pages in any language" selected, with French keywords. Before the change I was ranked the same on both google.com and google.fr. At least I would have expected a bonus for google.fr, for proper localization (I mean considering that change had ranked me to the third page of google.com with these keywords, otherwise I wouldn't have cared about staying in the same spot on the .fr.) I absolutely don't understand the logic behind that system. The result was twice less visitors (about 3 / day), from France, on a website where I had made a change because it was already having sever issues, which I didn't have before (about a year ago). Even though I since then deleted that bit of code, my rank has stayed the same ever since.
Again that is not the fault of the community, which was nice and should have been extremely helpful if Google's information on internationalization, which they logically rely on, was 100% correct. I find extremely surprising there is no Google employee at all in these forums. As if they thought their system was so perfect it could only be the people's fault if they're having issues.
I've already done a huge amount of these small little changes you're speaking about. And the result I get is that things sometimes get a little better, sometimes a little worst. So I'm really tired. All these "little things" took me more than two weeks full time. Actually much more, because I often try to make some little changes, but working on them by periods and not in a row like last time. That's why, exhausted, seeing yet again my website had dropped a little bit (to the second page, with the keywords I target, on which I am the best ranked), I write this and would like some transparency from Google about what could be the reasons to that huge degradation.
|nycwebmaster||7/23/13 1:10 PM|
I had a good look at your site, in English and French.
Here's some free advice:
- on those pages where you have Icons, jpegs, gifs, etc., but not too much else,
add some descriptive text to the images. Make the images bigger, I have a big screen...
- make use of H1 tags for page titles to help google understand what is important
- EVERYONE hates videos that play automatically. Don't do that.
- Use LYNX (text browser) to check each page on your site - this will allow YOU to see what GOOGLE sees
- register the site in google webmaster tools so you can see performance and structure issues
- you got a 63 on google page speed online - use that resource to move your page speed to at least the low 90 range
- your content management system (if you have one) looks obsolete / dated - consider moving the entire site to run on self-hosted or managed hosting wordpress
- be SURE to set the proper geotarget in GWT
- having two domains with the same content, but in different languages, can make trouble - be sure to get this right:
- Your site seems a bit thin, you might consider adding more content to the existing pages...
- I see some broken links here and there....
- Many of the other sites that link to your .fr site use the same anchor text - that looks artificial - and is targeted by new google algorithms
- I see a couple of sites with the front page linking to your .fr site - that doesn't look natural
- The lack of anchor text diversity on your backlinks limits your google visibility
(google wants links to be given naturally)
- The English version of your site would not receive passing marks from an elementary school teacher: Get someone who speaks English as a first language to re-do that
|briac||7/23/13 1:17 PM|
And to the person who is calling me a jerk, it was written in the title of this post it was directed towards Google employees, asking answers from them. I am not trying to get the sympathy from anybody, thank you, but to get some a transparency from the company which claims to be the "good company". A company which by the way is not very transparent these days (referring to some recent actuality, a guy who is stuck in Russia). Not getting any answer from them doesn't help me get a better impression.
Don't tell me you didn't know before clicking on the message.
|ets||7/23/13 2:53 PM|
what could be the reasons to that huge degradation.
I only looked quite quickly but I did see a number of things that needed fixing - and I know that if I spent longer looking, I would find quite a bit more. The things I mentioned were just quick examples - and nycwebmaster has helpfully made a list of some more. I expect nyc was also looking quickly: it needs a longer inspection.
The thing I'd say is that a lot of people come to the forum and say things like "My business is on the rocks/I have lost all my traffic/I have lost 50% of my earnings" [or whatever] AND it's because Google is x/y/z. Now you might be right about Google or you might be wrong, and I might agree with you or I might not. But in my experience, the two things are always unconnected: the argument is a non sequitur. People try to connect two unconnected things because they want an explanation for their problems and, understandably, because they are angry and upset, exhausted, frustrated, worried about their business, home, family, or whatever it might. I fully understand this. However, in my experience, there are always technical reasons for why a website isn't doing so well - and there are always people willing to help put these things right. So while you're completely free, of course, to say whatever you wish about Google, I just don't think it will help you to resolve the real problem - or make your website better in any way.
But there are always plenty of people here who will help you find and resolve any technical issues....
|Ashley||7/23/13 3:02 PM|
Google is an algorithm. Not an angry person, and not god. An algorithm is ranking you.
An algorithm isn't going to respond to your posts. Buck up and take the free advice or go kick some rocks around out back, I guess.
I do not buy that it is Google's fault that you don't rank well in Google. That's ridiculous. Do you want them to burp you after you eat, as well?
We all have the same opportunities to build a good website and take advantage of the competitive search landscape out there.
|briac||7/23/13 7:04 PM|
again this post was directed to Google employees from whom I would like to hear an answer, but free advice is always good to take of course, and I thank you for it.
And I need to add for that the site was very well ranked (for the keywords I care about, and which don't have a huge competition) before Penguin and Panda. So the main problem is not really to optimize it, even if it will help of course (even though I've already done a huge amount of things which should theoretically be positive to no avail, not even a slight amelioration) but to find what makes Google filters down-rank it...
That being said, all my images (the important ones, not if they're just a decoration element) have an alt tag. What do you mean by description ? Do you mean they should have a longer description ? or something else ?
Big images, no, that wouldn't impact my ranking. Tablets have small screens, laptops too. Most people don't have huge screens.
As written to ets I do have h1 tags. There is an image inside, because images look better than text, they enable you to use other fonts than the standard ones. And the alt tag says the exact same thing as what's written on the image. It's always the name of the page we are in. Isn't that method understood / or accepted by Google ?
I will try Lynx.
All my websites are registered under webmaster tools since a long time and everything that had to be done there (such as geo-targeting, preference for the www. version, etc.) has been done. And I'm actually considering getting rid of geo-targeting, as I use a geo-targeted url anyway (.fr) and considering the damage which has been done when I applied Google's guidelines on multilingual sites (more of that later, in answer to one of your advices)
I will see what I can do about the speed. However it's a full PHP website and I can't do miracles. I can't spend too much money on hosting either. I've got plenty of other bills to pay and I'm a freelancer. I'll check in comparison with a Wordpress site I have on the same server if it's slower than it.
Wordpress is not adapted to a portfolio. I don't want my portfolio to be a blog. I wouldn't get the ergonomics I want, I couldn't adapt it the way I want. I don't use a CMS. I made this website by hand, with PHP and MySQL. I don't think it looks obsolete, but different, which is certainly something Google doesn't like. Basically when you go through a portfolio you want to be able to go easily from one image to the other (there are arrows for that, in each section), you don't want to go through big blocks of text which get in your way (it's good to have the text, but it's not the most important)
For autoplay videos, everyone hates advertisements they haven't chosen to play automatically. If they are going to a motion designer's website they expect to see the videos they have selected playing. I don't think they want to go through an extra step of clicking on a play button. The description of the videos is for people who have watched it. Same for the index page, they would expect a show-reel on a motion designer's website, that's actually certainly the MAIN thing they want to see. Anyway I don't think Google takes that into account. And it shouldn't. And again I've got a 50% bounce rate, I don't think I would if most people who got to my website didn't like the way it was made. As a person. As a potential client.
This link, https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182192?hl=en, has already been given to me. And I applied what is written in the page linked at the bottom of the page. It was a disaster. What it did was to offer an automatic Google translation to my French website, which disappeared from the first page, to the third page, using French keywords. So much for being automatically able to detect a language. Why would people need a bad automatic translation when there is a fully manually translated version of the website available ? On the .fr my website didn't get any positive impact. It stayed at the bottom of the first page, with the keywords I was interested in. I wrote about that on my "open letter" to Google. Weird way of thanking people for following their guidelines. I therefore deleted the code since then. But my website didn't go back to its original position and I lost half of my French visitors. Which is huge as I had already been very badly impacted by the two algorithms, since a year. I don't advise anybody to follow this advice, unless all their sites are well ranked to begin with, just not properly targeted. Only for people who have a high bounce rate to begin with, which I didn't, and have never had. My website is geo-targeted in Webmaster tools (which maybe is actually a mistake given that experience) and I use a .fr for the French version and a .com for the English one. I don't see anything else on this page that could apply to me...
For a portfolio my site is huge. I've checked competition, and it's bigger than most. The one which is now at the first position for the keywords I'm interested in (in my French website's name) has much less content. Amongst many other things. On mine there is a big introduction text in the index page, four pages which describe me (about me, my offering, motion designer - explaining what my work is, my legal status, and there are two in-between sections (if you click on the portfolio icon instead of choosing something in the dop-down menu, or if you click on the about me icon instead of choosing a link in the second drop-down menu). There also is the resume. I don't see any extra page I could add. There is already too much information, actually, I was trying to move up again in the ranking that way, but there was no positive effect whatsoever. I don't mean uninteresting or unnecessary information. Just too much of it. My potential clients want to see my work, what I am able of doing. And image galleries - video galleries are bad for search engines.
Broken links ? What do you mean ? Where ? Everything is dynamic, normally all internal links are working, unless there is a mistake in my code. And I checked and corrected external links recently. Did you use a tool to get that information ?
For the anchor text of the sites linking to me, how do you get that information ? I will try to change that where I can.
Google wants links given naturally, and it's nonsense, you don't expect people to like your house and create the address for you, so that you can receive your mail. Which is basically what it means. This only works for big companies which are so famous people are going to write about them. You don't expect yellow pages to add your name in their list because people speak about you. It's the exact same idea. Everybody knows people pay for SEO experts to do this kind of thing if they're not big enough. That's not natural at all. Anyway I completely agree with your advice, I'm just saying, which was the point of my post to begin with, I don't agree with their way of doing things and it's not in favour of a better internet at all. And they don't respect their own rule. I heard they were going to launch a new service for which they will appear above all the natural search. I don't think that's normal.
Which websites have a front page linking to my website ? Do you mean my blog and my journey pictures ? Isn't it natural to link to my own website? A website, especially a blog on which I don't put any advertisement, certainly have a reason to exist. I don't write posts on my blog for glory. And that blog has proper content, things people might be interested by. Not advertisement posts for my website. Again that's unfair. And Google keeps on doing the same thing with their own services. Such as Youtube. So why would they penalize that ? (again your advice is good, I criticize their way of doing things and their power abuse).
Hum I passed a preliminary English test with merit back in the days. I had been three years in a British Preparatory school. I travel a lot and speak nearly in English as much as I do in French. I read most of my books in English. So I don't think your last comment is very objective. Maybe I translated a bit too quickly - because I was fed up of doing all of these efforts - from French instead of writing in English from scratch. But no offense taken. I'm not going to pay someone for something I can do myself...
|briac||7/23/13 7:16 PM|
I am very thankful for your help, however have you read my answer? The issues you state are not obvious to me, as I answered, the old internationalization issue you pointed out has been fixed a long time ago, all my pages have indexable content, unless I'm mistaken, so if they don't I would really like to know why they wouldn't because I don't have a clue, normally I have done everything for that. You said there was duplicate content across other sites but which ones? Normally there is none. A translation is in no way a duplicate content. I am not saying I'm right, I actually would like you to prove me wrong to be able to correct an issue I haven't noticed yet. The h1 tags might be an issue *for Google* because of the way I made them, even though they are there, and I think semantically correct.
I do think these two things are connected as my website is not of bad quality, and the one which ranks first, where I used to be, is not better. At all. It's the opposite. My website is in first position on Bing, where it used to be, with these keywords. I call that censorship. And it's not as if I hadn't attempted anything. I have, and a huge amount of things which should at least have had a small positive impact. As I explained here. I got none.
If I was complaining for a position I have never had and didn't deserve, hadn't obtained through hard work, then I would agree with you and I could say my website sucks and I just did it wrong. I've got a proof that's not true, as it has been doing well, and was successful within the audience to which it was targeted. Which is what you expect from a good site.
And that audience (potential clients) is not going to be the one to make "natural" links to me, neither would my actual clients, as in some ways I can be a competitor to them (which is not true the other way round).
That's one of the flaws of Google's algorithms. They were developed with, in mind, normal people searching for anything on the internet, and applied on any keywords. What about specialists searching for something specific? That's my audience.
|briac||7/23/13 7:24 PM|
An algorithm is made by people. And if they detect flaws in it they should change it. And if an algorithm is made to detect good and bad websites (which I think is ethically problematic, for what is a "bad" website, already hard to qualify by a human being ?) the people who made it should be able to explain why it degraded the ranking of this or that website, how it qualifies as a "bad" one. Otherwise it means their algorithm is flawed or tries to do things which it should just not try to do in the first place.
Google is not an algorithm. It's a search engine, which uses an algorithm. And it is a company. A company is made up of people. And they have clients, or users. They can, but they don't have to, communicate with their users. If they choose not to, and don't listen to them, it's their right and I don't think it's going to be good for them in the long run. It is a company which is becoming too powerful and which is censoring a part of the internet, whatever what their reasons are, whatever the kind of censorship. And controling the internet, as now about 90% of the people use them, means controling economy, information, and a lot of other things. The fact they don't interact with their users is very frightening. Because that's not being transparent.
But when it comes to big companies they do interact with them, they help them out if they were hit badly by one of their updates. Is taht normal ? I don't think so.
My website used to be well ranked and has "disappeared". Around three visitors per day is as if it were invisible. From Google. It is still in Bing. And I have always had a good bounce rate. Which means people who come to my website think it's good for them. So yes I do think it's a good website and the users think it too, no matter what Google's algorithm is programmed to think about it.
Yes, as a user I use Bing. I am one of the people who have left. I like a free uncensored internet. I pay Google Ads because I have no choice, nobody uses other search engines in France. Yet. But yes I am searching for other solutions, which don't involve Google.
So, where are the Google employees and what do they have to say about this ? No I don't think Google, or their algorithm is God, you completely misunderstood my point. And by the way I am agnostic, not to say atheist. I think Google's management seem to THINK they are god, have the perfect algorithm and don't need to interact with people. That's very different. And very frightening too. The fact that no Google employee whatsoever (officially) posts here gives me that impression.
|StevieD_Web||7/23/13 10:35 PM|
It is becoming clear based upon the OIP's responses that this thread is a rant rather than a discussion on improving a specific website and as such I am moving the thread to chit-chat so that it can properly continue.
To the OP (briac), others have provided you some excellent advice on quick and obvious fixes that could have a positive impact on your site. I would strongly suggest you open your mind to improvements that could be made to your site rather than focusing on trying to scream for the attention of a Googler to wave their magic wand and bounce your site to the top of the search results and displace a more deserving website as that is not going to happen.
|briac||7/24/13 2:33 AM||<This message has been deleted.>|
|briac||7/24/13 2:43 AM|
So asking for a Google employee to give their version on the subject, explain what could be the reasons for the down-ranking, is chit-chat? This was since the beginning intended to them, and I understand there is no support service in this company. Frightening for a company which controls 90% of the internet not to get the kind of answers I am looking for FROM THEM, who know best the way their algorithm works.
That says a lot about their way of doing things.
Regarding the advice, I am not saying there is none, but I have already taken into account a lot of it, as written here I already changed a lot of things to my website and added a lot of content which didn't change my ranking whatsoever. And especially looking at competition IN MY SECTOR most of the things written here are not the main reason for my bad ranking. It can work as small fixes, but it doesn't explain the source of the problem, which is why my website was taken in the net of Penguin and Panda, and why because of that all the efforts I do don't seem to have any impact. Because that's THE CORE of the problem. As I wrote, one of the advices, about website internationalization only made my website's internationalization worst. I am open minded. I have applied a lot of changes. And the results I got were either not a positive impact, either a very bad one. That is why I wanted since the very beginning an answer FROM A GOOGLE OFFICIAL, not the community, as is written in the title. Because I think in that kind of Forums, owned by them, there should be answers from Google officials. If it were a transparent company. So, where are the Google employees in this forum? Is there any of them?
The main input I got here is about the anchor texts linking to me which are always the same. About the broken links, which would indeed explain a ranking problem, in the webmaster tools Google doesn't say there are any (internally) and I haven't noticed any with manual checks. Now I might be wrong and that's why I needed more input on that. Also the fact some websites (which I very officially own and are stated as such in my webmaster tools link to my portfolio is a good input. Which I think is unfair / not normal if Google doesn't follow their own guidelines for their own websites, and again on that aspect an answer from an official would be appreciated. But obviously that's too much to ask. Google is untouchable. Or so they think. And doesn't interact with "common people".
On the missing indexable text on some pages of my website, I don't know of any such page and that feedback could come from a too quick investigation. But again I would have needed more input on that because maybe some things which I thought would be indexable are not. This information without an actual example of why a page is not indexable doesn't really bring me anywhere, especially considering the amount of pages I've got on my site.
On the answer about multilingual websites being nearly identical and just in different languages being SEO suicide, well maybe it's true. But that doesn't mean it's logical, understandable, acceptable, and the input of a Google official on that issue would be good. If there is a TV channel in two countries (Arte, In France and Germany for example, or Euronews, international) I expect to have the exact same content in both countries, just in a different language for each version, as I'm watching the same channel. In some cases it might make sense to have content adapted to a specific place, not just translated. In some it doesn't. In my case it doesn't. I sell the exact same service, whether it's to French clients or international ones. My legal status is the same, the French one, even if I work for international clients. Etc.
So if that really is an issue, I would like to know why, I'm not saying the advice is wrong, and I did read it, simply saying that if it's true, there is some kind of abuse. But yes who am I to contradict the big Google and their way of dealing with web content ? When they don't even care about European regulations ?
|Ashley||7/24/13 9:22 AM|
Google employees comment on threads here a very small percentage of the time. Very small. And almost never when someone demands to speak to them.
If you want to have a conversation with a Google employee, I suggest you reach out to them directly.
|luzie||7/24/13 11:56 AM|
>>> ... there should be answers from Google officials.
They answer where necessary. In your case it's not necessary because flaws on your site can be detected and named easily by any other knowledgable webmaster out there, as has been shown. That's what they've founded this community for.
|briac||7/24/13 1:20 PM||<This message has been deleted.>|
|briac||7/24/13 1:31 PM|
I'm sorry but I absolutely don't agree. As I've written in my answers, these very obvious flaws actually showed up in a previous request for help not to be the cause of my issues AT ALL. When I applied what I thought could be a solution, for multi-lingual website, my situation just got twice worst, and even though I deleted the code impacting me, that hasn't been solved. There was absolutely not a single OBVIOUS answer.
A lot of the kind of flaws you are speaking about, which have yet to be proven, I couldn't actually spot (I still think I have indexable text everywhere, and I haven't been shown a page which didn't, none was pointed to me explaining to me why it couldn't be indexed). Now I would have liked to get more hints because maybe it's true... Or it could come from a too quick investigation, as said by the webmaster themselves.
As a matter of fact I have corrected a huge amount of these little things you consider as flaws since two month, some were pointed to me, some weren't, but it didn't solve anything. My site is at the EXACT same position. Actually deleting something which could be problematic (repetition of anchor texts) made my ranking drop a lot. After a week, I put them back.
The website which ranks first has a lot of bigger flaws (such as lack of content, outdated code... I don't want to go into detail). It ranks first. I'm last on the first page. For two specific keywords. For the other ones I simply don't exist.
So no. That is not the reason for Google officials' silence. Can you point me out any subject on the forum where they make an intervention ? Interact with the users. I'm sorry but I haven't seen ANY. That is very frightening. They do interact, but with big companies, which I'm not. And they wouldn't do it on the forum.
Saying that a bad ranking HAS to be because a site is badly made is very arrogant. Especially when that site gets a good bounce rate. What about competition ? If it's well ranked on Bing does that mean Bing is a bad search engine ? I don't think so. My site is well ranked on Bing. Since that issue I've been using it a lot and comparing results between both. I didn't think the quality of websites I got on Bing, which often were not in the first place on Google, if they even were on the first page in that search engine, were of worst quality. At all. I say that as a user. Not as a person who has a problem with the ranking of his website. It is now my main search engine. Very exceptionally I need to use Google for this or that kind of result. Obviously I'm not the only person who thinks that about competition, if you look at the number of people switching to it. One of their big flaws is that they don't have a mobile version. As I don't own a Windows 8 Phone. That's stupid. I would like to use Bing, and not Google, on my HTC Android Phone.
Now if you can show me any interaction between small non American users and Google on this forum, I will re-think my point of view.
Ironically Microsoft was doing the same as Google is doing now, with Internet Explorer. Thinking they were so big they could dictate the way websites were made. If you asked internet Explorer users why a website was not showing up well on it, they would certainly have answered that it was because it was badly made. We have seen the results. No offence, but I don't like these biased, one sided opinions. And as said before, I don't like censorship.
About the deleted message: I just deleted it because there were a few spelling mistakes as I wrote too quickly, and there is no way to edit a message here. The content was the same. Every time I delete a message it's for that reason, and none other.
|luzie||7/24/13 1:36 PM|
>>> Can you point me out any subject on the forum where they make
There are thousands if not tenthousands of threads where they're present and of great help. This is the place where Googlers are more actively engaging with users than anywhere else.
|luzie||7/24/13 1:40 PM|
Look for Johannes "JohnMu" Mueller, Googler in Zurich and head of webmasters in here if you want. As I said, there are thousands of similar threads where he and other Googlers respond.
|nycwebmaster||7/24/13 1:53 PM|
As someone already pointed out, there is no authority to receive your appeal.
Google machines rank your website, it's just that simple.
We can go back and forth for months about changing that, but the energy
might be better used to take action and implement suggestions made
by the volunteers, here.
Just because your website was "in good shape" at one point
doesn't mean that will hold true for the foreseeable future.
The google algos have more than 200 factors and they change 500 times a year.
Personally, I don't like to rely on organic search for my livelihood; in fact,
of the many websites I control, most get just about 1% of their visits from organic search.
Building a brand and a following on social media is much easier
than trying to "crack the code" of free traffic from organic search.
What if everyone demanded to be found on page 1 of google for their desired term?
Would Google be useful if we allowed the users to control the search results?
Google is about returning relevant, useful results to searchers. Period.
The google webmaster guidelines are some of the most helpful
documents produced by anyone, anywhere, to assist you in making your website more visible.
People answering your questions here aren't just making things up - they are quoting Google:
- webmaster guidelines, spam team videos, etc.
I will be the first to admit: Not everyone can implement Google guidelines:
it would be like thinking anyone can go work on a motor for a 2012 car.
No, not just anyone can work on a 2012 motor, you need training, tools, equipment and experience. Maybe even tools made just for a specific year-model engine.
If you want to fix 2012 motors, you must be prepared to invest heavily in training, reference materials, tools, equipment and maybe even a skilled mechanic...
I've looked at thousands of sites here and answered thousands of questions,
unfortunately there is nothing special about your case - simple technical matters, easily discoverable and repairable.
|briac||7/24/13 4:23 PM|
nycwebmaster, I absolutely respect and appreciate the help you gave me and I would like to get more detail about the issues you pointed. I gave you a huge answer, about my doubts about some things, the need to get deeper information about the ones which really seem to be issues. And it's very important to understand that I am trying to rank up well on keywords which don't have a huge search amount (which is why I consider as censorship the fact on these particular keywords I have been down-ranked), targeted towards the kind of people who are actually searching for me, and which are not the most commonly used keywords to describe my job, I chose them very carefully.
You said there were broken links. I didn't find them. And Google Webmaster tools doesn't either. So I would like to know where they are...
My biggest issue is that I have done a huge amount of these fixes since two months. Some were pointed out to me. Some weren't. And after all that I'm still at the same rank for low search amount keywords. And one of these changes, advised to me here, actually had a very bad impact I didn't recover from. So my frustration comes from there. All these changes on my side, and no change whatsoever on the Google side. So I do think I'd rather find the core problem and fix it, find what caught my website in the net of Penguin and Panda. I can give you a list of these changes I made, it's huge, and it was a huge amount of work. If my issues really were simple technical matters as you say, the huge amount of ameliorations I've been doing these months would have given a result. But none of them, no matter how important they could seem, were the core of the problem, and they barely had any impact. I wouldn't be asking for advice here if it were that simple.
The thing you pointed out to me of the home pages linking to my website could be one these core issues. And I'm going to try to see if I can do something about it. The thing about the anchor text of sites linking to me it could also be a core issue which I admit I didn't understand and would like to get more details about. Did you mean the text which is linked to these links, the description of the links ?
Regarding search relevance, I have to disagree with you. As said before, as a user, since these filters, since a year, I haven't found the results to be of better quality, of better consistency, and sometimes actually the other way round. And I am not the only person to think that. For normal end user searches, maybe it has got better. And better is yet to define. I'm not very happy of always getting Wikipedia articles first for a big amount of the information I search for. As if it were the only and always trustful source of information. It's not. And on specialist terms, I think it has got worst. That is a user opinion, the one Google doesn't care about, and I don't say that because of my website ranking, even if regarding the specialist terms, I am impacted by that. I'll be very frank, I used to find Bing not up to par with Google. But it didn't get Panda and Penguin filters. That is the main difference that make me find it better and actually more relevant for the kind of searches I do. If Google didn't have these filters, I would still think it's better. Again I say that as a user, not because of my website. I don't like reading the excuse that these filters are supposed to be for relevance, when all I really consider about them is that a whole bunch of the internet, interesting websites, is censored. And I didn't have any issue whatsoever about the results I was getting before these algorithms. I actually prefer users trying (and only trying) to control the way websites are ranked than Google controlling what they show on the internet in a not transparent way at all. Especially as in the end, big companies with a lot of money always getting well ranked because they can pay for SEO experts, which help them even with these filters, and other people with good content are just hidden with no clue about what happened to them.
And but, that's more of an ethical issue, I don't like the kind of censorship these filters involve. As in my opinion their aim is other than the quality they are claiming to be fighting for.
I have the position I had because I had worked like crazy for it. I haven't lost a little bit of visibility but a huge amount of it, about 90% of it if I'm not mistaken, from the numbers I've read. This is not comparable with just anyone demanding to be found on page 1 of google for their desired term. I didn't demand it but worked for it, very long and hard work. And it was relevant, I wasn't cheating anybody.
Regarding social networks, I'm on two professional ones and I've never really managed to get anything, or rather much, out of that. Maybe I don't use them correctly, I don't know. And I am thinking about spending more energy on that, I already have started, but with few results. Maybe for some kinds of professions they aren't the best options. Twitter I never got into it, and for graphic design I don't think it would be any good. Regarding Facebook, I don't mix private and "public / work" life, and I think they have an issue in that aspect. Like Twitter, I don't think it can be a good showcase area for a graphic designer. Especially not for the kind of company I target.
Anyway whatever I think about Google, nothing I wrote was directed against you or anybody in the community who helped me, please don't take it personally, your help is precious, and I have already appreciated it a lot. If I could get further information.
|luzie||7/24/13 4:42 PM|
>>> ... a huge amount of these fixes since two months.
Two months is a relatively short period of time if it comes to possible reactions of Google regarding any changes you apply to your site. There's a certain latency, partly due to security mechanisms and partly due to given conditions: it takes time to calculate, recalculate and recalculate again rankings for billions of sites ... patience and endurance are essential in order to push through SEO strategies ... think, act - and wait.
|luzie||7/24/13 4:43 PM|
Erm ... I know this is commonplace - but it's still worth considering from time to time when dealing with a dinosaur like Google :-/
|briac||7/25/13 4:27 AM|
It's good to remind that. As a matter of fact I do tend to forget that as some of the changes (especially the bad ones, such as my disappearance from Google.com, when I applied their guidelines for international websites, only took one week, and I have never recovered from that after deleting the code.
And that by the way was one of the main reasons for my complaint. The fact Google very badly handles multi-language websites, and down-ranks them unless they're huge. I'm nearly sure that this is the main reason of what happened to me, not "quality" issues even if I'm not denying they have an impact. None of the other websites which rank up in the first paewith the keywords I target have an English version, except one, which uses the same domain for it. And that's not the proper way to do it if the aim is to get international clients outside of your country.
One of the free advices I got here was that having a multi-lingual website with the exact same content (except for the translation of thei text) was SEO suicide. If true that's an issue. As much as I perfectly understand why having two exactly similar websites in English just because one is supposed to be American and one is British would be bad, and only selling different products for example would justify this duplication, having the exact same content in two very different languages totally makes sense. And should actually be a criteria of quality rather than the opposite. If that's true.
|Ashley||7/25/13 8:06 AM|
Localized sites aren't bad - as long as they are done well. Sites that are auto-translated is a big no-no because auto-generated text, of any kind, usually is crap for humans to read.
|briac||7/25/13 12:30 PM|
Ashley, I have absolutely nothing auto-translated on my website. The .fr is fully in French, the .com is fully in English. I think that Google translation is of extremely bad quality. I don't use automatic redirection to the "proper" language either, I know that's not recommended at all.
Amongst the huge amount of fixes I did, one was to follow the Google guidelines for international websites, adding a piece of text indicating that a link was going to the same page, in another language. This had as result to kick my .fr website out of the first page on Google.com, after a week, when searching with French keywords, and offer a translation into English (Bad Google automatic translation of course), instead of giving any visibility whatsoever to my .com version. I deleted the piece of code, but haven't recovered from that ever since. So much for following these "very helpful guidelines".
As a result I lost half of my visits from French people. With these keywords, the ones with which I'm on the third page of Google.com, I get only French websites (I've got search for websites in any language selected, which is the default option). And there is no link underneath most of them offering an automatic Google translation. However these websites are in French only (except one) and considering they DON'T have a manual English translation, an automatic one could actually prove helpful. The big majority of these websites are the exact same ones which show up on Google.fr, except for mine and two or three others, which then show up in the first page with these keywords.
That's one of the reasons I'm getting sick and tired of reading that the position of my site must be related to "quality" issues. That problem is not a quality issue. In fact as I've written many times, the website which shows first, both on the .fr and .com version of Google, which is only in French has WAY more of these "quality" issues.
So I'm very well placed to say that Google doesn't handle multi-language websites properly.
But my input apparently doesn't any value whatsoever to Google staff.
|briac||7/27/13 1:26 AM|
OK now I get censored on the Forum? Apparently I disturb. Why did the subject I just opened which was centred on the fact is not present Google.com with French keywords when it is on Google.fr, with screenshots, get redirected to this one, which was mainly about the Panda and Penguin penalty on my website, get classified as a duplicate??? The two things are NOT related. The more I write here and the more I get an extremely bad impression of Google. No criticism allowed. But it has to be technical issues with the websites of the people who complain.
|briac||7/27/13 3:30 AM|
I'm not the only one who complains about Google's power abuse in Europe. This is not about technical issues of websites. A few sources taken from the internet. Sorry they're in French, for that's my nationality :
The websites which complained were very big, I'm nothing compared to them, or compared to the European commission.
But I don't think that Google staff not even investigating into a complaint, of even a small user, is in favour on the General opinion about Google.
My reasons for complaining are the exact same ones as the big companies which complained : abuse of power. Maybe my website is not perfect. But it is a good one. It is liked by the people it targets. In the answers given here, there is absolutely nothing which explains to me transparently, why a website which has much more of the technical issues which are supposed to be the reason of my ranking, is in first position and mine so badly ranked. Normal, as only Google staff, who exactly know how their Panda and Penguin filters are made could give me this kind of answer. Being this opaque is against a free internet, I think going precisely against the complaints which have been filed against Google. Oh, and there are other complaints, which I didn't document here, about privacy issues, partly related to somebody who is stuck in Russia right now.
There is even less to explain why my website nearly has no presence on Google.com, and when I opened a new subject about that issue, because that was a very small part of my complaint, and didn't get ANY answer whatsoever here, it got marked as duplicate content, and linked towards this post. Fine, here is my answer about that way of doing things.
|Lysis||7/27/13 6:01 AM|
It was me who dup'd your post. This is your third rant and all you want to do is rant. Keep it to one thread. You're lucky I didn't dupe this one.
|webado||7/27/13 6:58 AM|
From where I'm looking on google.com (from Canada) I see your site in position 22.
You will hardly ever get the same results when using different google tlds.
But have you tried it using incognito windows for both the googlefr and google.com searches?
I see your site in postition 11 on google.fr with an incognito window.
I see it in position 22 on google.com with an incognito window.
I see your blog in position 220 on google.ca with an incognito window. I gave up looking further for your homepage.
These results through incognito windows will be less tainted by search history and preferences, although geo-location of the searcher may still play a role.
|briac||7/27/13 9:25 AM|
Lysis, there was absolutely no rant whatsoever in the TWO posts which have been redirected here, it was a request for help, ONLY about the difference of position on Google.com and Google.fr. This is censorship. On the other hand in your interventions you have never attempted to help whatsoever. Only frontal attack ever since the beginning. Do you work for Google? If so that's very disturbing. Why are you hidden here? Why aren't you very officially shown as being Google staff? Why do you say that Google cares about you, the user? In a free country it's called propaganda. It's very bad practice and would give me an even worst impression of your company that I already have. And I don't think I'm the only one who would find that disturbing. But it, unfortunately, wouldn't surprise me.
If you are not part of Google staff, what's your business here? Why do I find you in so many posts? Especially in my posts? What is your business with me? I don't care about you. Don't you have more interesting things to do?
|briac||7/27/13 9:39 AM|
webado, actually in France, with Google.com and Google.fr, I get the exact same results as you. Which is not normal, France is not Canada, so much for proper localization. I regularly delete my cookies, and am not logged in when I do my searches.
In the screenshots I posted in the... two posts I wrote which were redirected to this one, I was showing that nearly all the results on Google.fr and Google.com the websites which were ranking on page 1 were the same ones, except for mine, which was on page 3 on Google.com and was asking how that could be possible, as if proper localization was giving less visibility (the fact I'm "not present" on Google.com resulted in a drop of clicks from French people, about half, if I'm not mistaken).
You're absolutely right it's position 11 now, since yesterday. It used to be on position 9. I haven't made any change to the site since about a week now. And all my changes should have been positive ones. It's very disturbing to see that this drop coincides with the time I started on this forum again...
|webado||7/27/13 9:55 AM|
You cannot control how other sites perform in relation to yours. The web is continuously changing. Some move up, many move down.
n Canada, especially in Quebec (where I am located) there are tons of websites dealing with the same subject, in French, so it's completely normal they'd show up first on google.ca, there's a lot of competition for those terms and many sites showing up first would be naturally geo-targeting Canada.
By the same token since google.com covers the entire world as a global melting pot but probably a great percentage of sites are just in English, having French words in a search will eliminate most of the competition and you'd rank better overall.
In google.fr it's your basic local competition most of all, so you may be doing ok there too, though not as well as on google.com. Remember all other .fr domains and other sites that geo-target France will be contenders as well.
|luzie||7/28/13 1:53 AM|
>>> Don't you have more interesting things to do?
We sure have. Having to deal with you is not that interesting indeed :-/
|briac||7/28/13 2:12 AM|
Hi webado, it's nice to get help from people here, even given the attempt of some other ones to hide my requests for help which were a 100% legitimate, and not a duplicate of this post which was an attempt to get a feedback from Google staff, which I didn't get.
I perfectly know that there is less competition for French keywords, and especially because I had very carefully chosen some which didn't have a big competition (the most used term is motion designer, graphiste video, I made it up, and was the first person to use it as a domain name, but I have very good reasons besides from SEO to use these terms which I explain on my website, the main one being my legal status which only enables me creative work and nothing else) I had managed to rank first with these words, which were completely relevant, reason why I was getting a 50% bounce rate. If the targeted audience hadn't liked my website it wouldn't be the case.
Then Panda, or Penguin, or both, hit me, and my website has been buried deep. Which I think is extremely unfair, especially after doing a huge amount of changes to my site, ameliorations, and seeing that instead of getting more visibility, I actually lost two ranks. Amongst ameliorations : deletion of meta keywords, addition of more content (Four pages to explain who I am in different ways, addition of an intermediate page linking to the child pages for people who would not have a browser compatible with the menu system - touch screens, and who can just click on the portfolio icon or the who am I icon), cleaning up of my code (less divs, more semantically correct tags such as <p>, <dl>/<dt>, deletion of duplicate <h1> tags which became <h2>... And a lot more. I also added much more descriptive text in the galleries, all my pages got proper names to show they were proper content (for example /motion-design/video-film-institutionnel-hutchinson.htm instead of /section0/contenu1.htm, which was very bad because any time I would add a content the number would change), changing all my videos to youtube or vimeo ones so that they would be compatible on tablets too, not just computers. And yet other things. And the result is negative. That doesn't make any sense. So much for these filters being in favour of quality if you ask me.
Unfortunately I don't have analytics documents to show the very negative visitor impacts I have had on my website because I recently switched servers for a much better one, losing the former server data, and deleted and re-created my analytics profile when I changed it to a newer version of the code. I stupidly didn't have the reflex of making a backup of that data...
Anyway regarding the difference between Google.com and Google.fr, the request for help which has been censored by Lysis, and redirected to this page which was about something else and didn't have any answer whatsoever regarding that issue, it is an altogether different one. The problem is that on Google.fr and Google.com my ranking is very different. When I took these screenshots, on .fr I was ranked in the first page, at the bottom. On .com I was nowhere to be seen. Actually third page.
What I don't understand is that the other websites, only one of which is multilingual, but on the same domain unlike mine, are ranked at the exact same position (or nearly the exact same position) on Google.com, with French keywords. It gives me the impression that
- multi-lingual websites have less visibility than single language ones, for their main language (twice less).
- that a properly localized website gets less visibility, and not the opposite.
I'm not exactly sure but I think I used to have the exact same position on .com and .fr. I lost visibility on .com when, following Google guidelines, I added a piece of code in one of my pages, telling Google that one of the links was a link to an alternate version of the same page, in a different language. Of course I added that to all my pages, on both domains. I deleted the code, but haven't recovered ever since. And chances are that only Google staff can answer about that issue, reason why it was formulated as a complaint, because, if I'm right about the fact I was present on Google.com before adding the code, it looks like a bug. If not then it means their guidelines are extremely confusing. And at least the deletion of the code should have corrected the issue, and it didn't.
What do you think about that?
|briac||7/28/13 2:17 AM|
Luzie I didn't say anything against you, unlike Lysis you have had a proper behaviour with me. Check the other posts I've written in the last couple of months, and check her interventions if you want to see what I mean. Again, the two posts which have been redirected here were not duplicates, they were requests for help. I don't respect somebody who doesn't respect me. Therefore I respect you, and I don't respect Lysis.
|luzie||7/28/13 3:14 AM|
>>> Which I think is extremely unfair
You need to revise your notion of what a search engine is. It's not there to please you, it's sole aim is to deliver good search results. There's ten slots on the first result page, and if you're not there, chances are this is no loss for users, so your complaints are quite irrelevant. "Fairness" and "justice" are no ranking criteria.
>>> ... and I don't respect Lysis.
She'll survive it, enough I respect her :-)
|briac||7/28/13 5:09 AM|
A search engine is here to get relevant results, and the fact that a search engine has added filters that make some results become hidden, doesn't mean these were less relevant. In my case they definitely weren't. I just need to check the site which ranks first now because of their filter to say it's not more relevant than mine. I don't say it's less relevant than mine, I don't have anything against the person who created that site. But in no way more. In a dictatorship there is only one source of information. Does that mean that source of information is relevant in any way? That's basically what abuse of power is, that's why the European commission is not "pleased" with the way Google is acting.
As I said before I don't find my results on Google more relevant since these filters. That's why as a user, I don't use it anymore.
Lysis probably didn't have the kind of behaviour she had with me, and which was totally out of place. One gets what one asks for. Respect is deserved. Or not. On my blog the kind of behaviour she has had here, in my posts, frontal attacks and no attempt of helping whatsoever, of being constructive, would have been banned. In most forums it would. Fine with me if you respect her. I don't.
Power abuse wouldn't be power abuse if at least there could be a dialogue with Google staff. If they (and not just normal users) could explain, as human beings, why a website has been struck by their filters, and why huge positive quality modifications haven't had any positive impact, only a bad one.
If they could explain the huge localization issue I have, not being present on Google.com, when the search is made FROM FRANCE, when most of the sites which are on Google.com are the same as the ones on Google.fr. If they could prove me that it's not because I followed their guidelines that I had that issue, if they could explain why after deleting the piece of code which had caused that issue, the problem is still there. If they could prove me that being properly localized doesn't bring me LESS LOCAL VISITORS. Because that's the conclusion I make, and it's in no way logical. That has nothing to do with quality, nothing to do with filters.
Seeing that there is no transparency whatsoever, no dialogue whatsoever, neither here nor on webmaster tools, is in favour of thinking that there is an obvious abuse of power. As the European commission thinks. Why do you think I'm posting here? Because filing a complaint on webmaster tools only got me to be redirected to this forum.
And seeing that my requests for help, not rants, not even complaints, nor duplicates, are being censored illegitimately by people who have admin powers here (Lysis) gives me an even worst impression.
Maybe there is an issue with localization, maybe there is something which is not working quite right, quite the way it should. And maybe the issue is not on my site's side. Up till now, nobody here is has proven me that issue was, and why it would. Unless having a multilingual website where the content is not different, just translated, is bad, and that wouldn't make any sense whatsoever, and again would require a dialogue, some transparency. Maybe I complain because there are some serious issues which are worth investigating.
|travler.||7/28/13 6:09 AM|
A few things that also may be affecting serps/ traffic that I noted on one of your earlier threads some time ago, and again a few days ago. Perhaps also look into issues such as:
These are simple issues to modify yet these tweaks would make the site more useful for visitors.
That's my two cents.
|webado||7/28/13 8:17 AM|
Briac, the images you attached show not only that you did not use an incognito window to perform the searches, but you didn't clear cache and history either.
I spent a fair bit of time trying to explain what I see and why I see it that way (to the best of my understanding). I must have wasted my effort.
If that code on your English site was something like:
and, on your French site:
then removing it was a big mistake. It is this type of code used on every page of each of the two sites, giving the url of the corresponding page on the other site which ties them together instead of appearing like massive cross linking between 2 sites you own .
The same consideration would be if your 2 language versions were both on a single site as subdomains or subfolders, though with 2 domains it becomes imperative to use the proper markup to tie the 2 domains together properly, not to be seen as part of a domain farm.
I appreciate the fact that your site switches languages correctly, in a 1:1 fashion. Go the extra step to help search engines with recognition of that.
Your 301 redirection from the root of the domain to /index.htm is also a mistake. In fact the opposite should happen and navigation must not use links to anything ending in index.htm, either for the root or for any subdirectory urls.
I agree with Travler, kill the automatic audio on loading of any page. For your homepage this may also mean replacing its spot with a single good image and a button to start the video in the same location.
I am one of those who don't relate to an all graphic navigation menu.
I'd add an X-Robots-Tag via the .htaccess file set to "noindex,nofollow" to your pdf files, since they are likely to contain duplicate content (within each site):
Presentation-wise, your text is too cramped, the font is too small. Breaking text content into proper paragraphs, with breathing room between lines and paragraphs can go a long way to improve readability, and hence viewer interest and retention.
You have a large block of text on your homepage hyperlinked to a rather poor url:
with the anchor text:
It doesn't read very well. It looks like an attempt at keyword stuffing, artificially associating an internal navigation page with additional keywords.
What's with the session id? Get rid of it.
What's even worse, further navigation after that introduces the session id in other urls, rather on a random basis. Get rid of session ids.
On http://www.graphiste-video.fr/portfolio.htm, from a visitor's perspective, and potential client's point of view, I'd not feel reassured reading the text of some of your subsections. For instance for Graphisme print . You can mention that skill without all the derogatory connotations. Just saying....
Whatever I say for your French site very likely can be also said for your English site.
And more content off the cuff remarks: is it possible that there's no adequate French term for "motion designer freelance" or "reveals produits" ? Seems to me "conventions" is a typical false friend, the correct term in French being "congrès`..... Just saying ... My employer would chastise me for peppering my written documents with unjustified anglicisms ... Just saying ... ;)
Of course the above doesn't affect search engine placement as such, except to the extent that language gets blurred when not used consistently.
Take it or leave it, but for me, I had to say it, since the idea here is to help you with a variety of big and small issues from different perspectives: some technical, some presentational (especially since you are a professional graphic designer) and some touching on actual indexable content.
Remember a website is never ever truly finished. When it is, its usefulness is over. I have too many more or less dormant websites of my own and am painfully aware of wasting web space keeping them around. But for some I have hope of revival and see no good reason to continue tinkering with them at this time, while for others I am simply nostalgic for all the hard work I put into them way back when they actually mattered.
|briac||7/28/13 8:18 AM|
Hi travler. First thank you very much for your input.
You're absolutely right about auto-play sound, I didn't agree with the auto-play videos somebody else pointed out, but the sound could cause problems which you perfectly explained and I didn't think about. I need to check if there is an option for Youtube and Vimeo embedded videos to play without sound by default.
And right for the text too.
Precious information even though these two things should not have any impact on SEO. Except for the separation of the text into different paragraphs, which I guess would be one of the things Panda takes into account.
I have to add though, that even if it would definitely be an amelioration, my website is already considered as a good one by its visitors, as the 50% bounce rate attests. That doesn't mean it cannot be better.
Meta tags and titles : I'll check that link out, I thought I had got that right. I've made big changes already (especially to prevent duplicates). I'll also check the link about link schemes. I thought all my external links had the _blank attribute, but I need to check that out... For sure the link to French or the English version doesn't, because it's the same site. Is that a wrong way of thinking?
For the icons, well I'm a graphic designer, I want a website that stands out... That's why a CMS is a big no-no for me. My target audience, such as production agencies, searching for a graphic designer, used to "new technologies" and different kinds of interactivity should therefore be icon-intuitive. I know that's a problem for Google, because I don't think it likes links made out of images as it cannot check if they are relevant with the kind of content they point to. Same issue I have with my h1 tags which have an image inside, for I use a non standard font... I know this is most likely to be a cause of down-ranking, but the aspect of the website is more important to me than the SEO in that regard. Panda was developed (or maybe Penguin in that case) with very standard websites in mind, which is hard to cope with because a portfolio is already one of the most difficult kinds of content to get indexed, due to its nature... Anyway, not much I can do about that (I don't want to use real text which I hide through CSS and risk being black listed if it's noticed to get around that issue) considering what I don't want to lose. Users is the priority to me, Google shouldn't be. I mean a website shouldn't be developed with search engines in mind first, and even if they should be optimized for search engines, it shouldn't be normal that one would have to rework the ergonomics of a website when these are better for the kind of audience targeted, because of the way they are treated by search engines...
If the French site has issues, the English site has the exact same ones, for that's a dynamic website which, on server side, is a single PHP page, and the English version only calls for the English content instead of the French one in the database. Therefore the structure is exactly the same.
For the language structure, I don't understand. A long time ago, my website used to be the way you describe, with folders (well to say the truth, an FR version which wasn't in a folder, but there was an EN folder for the other version). I changed it because most of my visitors were based in France. I read - in the Google guidelines - that such a language structure would be good for targeting audience of a different language in the same country. Such as a French and an English version in Canada. But my English version's target is international clients, not French clients. That enables me to have best geo-targeting possible for the French version, a .fr, which proves I reside in France. If I remember well even proves that I own a "company" in France. And a .com which is for all the other countries (even if I geo-targeted it to UK in webmaster tools, for that's close to France). The guidelines say that's the way you should do if your website is international and not just multi-lingual (Or did I get something wrong?).
You had already told me about the backlink profile being skewed because of that, that is why I had added the piece of code which tells Google that a link is going to the same page of a website, in a different language, which I had found in the guidelines you had pointed me to. Unless I'm mistaken the result after a week was to lose a few ranks on Google.fr, which I recovered after deleting it (I need to check my former posts about that) and a huge drop on Google.com. I am not completely sure about that, for I was doing my searches on Google.fr, being logged in, and having selected French and English as search languages. All I can say is that during a week my results were nearly the same, with a few variations, but my website was always at the same position. And suddenly one time out of three it disappeared, which I found weird. Posting about that here I realised I wasn't doing my searches properly, and always did them logged out since then. But I noticed that the pages which were showing one time out of three were the exact same ones as I was getting on Google.com, where my site was on page three. So I'm nearly sure it dropped, for the addition of English in my parameters had been done more than a week before. I haven't recovered from that, if it really has happened, even though I have deleted the code. Don't get me wrong, if that really has happened, this has absolutely nothing to do with you, you were extremely helpful, and you pointed me to a page which should have been a fix, and applying what was advised had unexpected results.
Anyway I need to watch that video, maybe it gives further information than what I have read.
If I'm wrong, well that doesn't explain why my website is not on Google.com anyway, when searching from France, when all of the other results are nearly the same as Google.fr. And Google.com does show some .fr sites. Do you have any clue about that? And if my internalization is not correct, then how do you recon I should do it? Keeping in mind it's important to have a .fr for France, how do I target international clients in the English version, if my way is not the proper way?
|webado||7/28/13 8:51 AM|
If your youtube video's url contains autoplay=0 then it will not start playing automatically and will need a click.
No idea for Vimeo videos.
You can of course provide a version with no audio.
|briac||7/28/13 11:09 AM|
Wow that is a huge amount of information you give me webado. And of course I'm going to take it.
These screenshots were taken before your post. What is incognito window? I know there is that kind of thing on Chrome, which is installed on my computer only for testing. But I don't like using it, my main browser is Firefox.
Yes that is the piece of code I added, and then deleted. Because as I wrote before I think (again I'm not sure) it drastically dropped the ranking of my French version on Google.com. If that's not the reason then I still don't understand why my ranking is so bad on Google.com. And the thing I'm sure about is that after a week, instead of giving more visibility to my English version, Google added a link underneath my French version offering auto-translation into English, which I really didn't like considering I had translated everything manually.
Anyway I will try again, maybe I haven't waited long enough, a week, I guess, is short for this kind of thing.
I didn't know about the index.htm thing... Sure, I'm going to change that...
OK for the videos. I was happy with auto play videos especially as my main target is people searching for motion designers (100% of my missions since five years) which expect to see a showreel, and it's also the kind of work I like most, thus the name of my website. But times are tough, because the crisis impacts the clients I already have, and because of that website issue, so I want to leave the other options just in case somebody is interested. Anyway I guess the sound issue can be a big one so my best option if I can't deactivate sound is to pause the video... In motion design, just as in video editing, sound is very important, of course I know I can upload videos without sound, and that's not an option.
Sure I'll add that about PDF files, I didn't know that was counted as duplicate content.
About the link in the index page, I now understand what the anchor text is, somebody else used that expression, I wasn't sure what he meant. That section it links to has a better explains why I chose graphiste video instead of motion designer to describe my job, how it's linked to my legal status and other stuff. In English a motion designer is a motion designer... Even though some people don't know exactly what that means. I might have written it a tad too quickly, too...
The session ID is necessary, as I have some hidden contents, which only show up once a login and password are entered. However that's only in the gallery section. It is not useful in the index page anymore since I changed the way the urls were written in the gallery, with proper names, not just sectionX/contentXX.htm. Maybe it should be hidden but I don't know how to do that or if it's possible (I think it is and that I've read something about that, I'll check it out).
By the way as all my pages are dynamically generated and as I use htaccess to convert them to fake htm files, with a security system checking the pages names really exist, can that create any issue whatsoever? I mean, I know that Adwords tries to add a code to the url to tell analytics that a click comes from there, and that code gets wiped off on my website, therefore analytics "understands" these clicks come from organic search. I absolutely don't care if it's just about my statistics, I perfectly know which clicks come from adwords, but could that have a negative impact on SEO for any reason?
About the derogatory connotations, I guess you're right, even though that's really not one of my skills I want people to focus on (the print one)...
For the Frenglish words, actually in France they're correct, I don't know for Canada, Canadian French is slightly different to French in France. Convention is (I think) originally a French word, as many English words are. We say convention for a company "forced holiday" in a nice place with a lot of meetings. We say congrès for a congress (generally medical, but there are other kinds). If I'm not mistaken the differences between these two words are the same in French and English. I need to check in an English dictionnary I'm right though. Motion designer is the most commonly used term to describe my job. Just like we say webdesigner and webmaster. I kind of made up graphiste video, even though it seemed logical to me, and something people would be searching for. That's why I was the first person to use it as a domain name. Motion-designer.fr was certainly taken since a very long time. We do have a word for freelance in proper French, which is "indépendant" but both are used and freelance tends to be used more. Even though not accepted as a legal / juridic term (then it's the French word).
Reveal produit is a technical term used for the kind of work I do (There is another kind called pack-shot, but that's more for advertisement). All of this is proper French, I know Google doesn't like mixes of languages and I hope the algorithm doesn't consider this as such, because it's not... Same as in Korean for example they say computa for computer, ball pen for a roller pen (that one is quite funny)... And a huge amount of other English words.
Again thank you very much for your input. It is the most constructive one I received since I started posting here. Even if some other people like travler have already helped a lot - without any noticeable positive result for my ranking unfortunately for now even though I've already applied a lot of fixes already... Precious help whatsoever.
Any clue for the very bad positioning of my site on Google.com compared to Google.fr?
|webado||7/28/13 12:12 PM|
Your browser usually allows opening an incognito window - meaning you'd be accessing web addresses without prior set cookies, without passing referrer information and without saving a copy of the accessed document in your browser cache. The closes thing to being anonymous without actually using a proxy - hence your real IP is still known to the server you access.
Incognito windows are available in Chrome. In MSIE 10 it's called InPrivate browsing. In Firefox it's called Private browsing. Not sure about Safari, but must be available in some form.
If you change your navigation to not use index.htm then here's the .htaccess directive which will 301 redirect index.htm to the site root (or the current folder root):
Was that for a search using words in English or in French? It will make some sense if your search terms were in French.
Or if you were searching for your name, your .fr site would be more readily available. Not using the hreflang link tag you missed making the connection between the French site and the English one. Even after having that, it will take quite some times for Google to understand the structure and relationship of both sites. Be patient. We are talking weeks, maybe even months until it's settled.
And then also think that your sites will never carry the same value. Much depends on the number and quality of backlinks to each. If you have more backlinks to your .fr site from other French sites (which are all relevant in France), than backlinks to the .com site from English sites (relevant elsewhere than in France) then the .fr will score better, especially in France.
It's a delicate and tricky algorithm that matches searches and searchers with sites and their content. Time tends to solidify all the relationships.
My comments about Franglais or Frenglish are just that: comments. In Quebec we are a bit more intent (perhaps to a fault) on using the French word if it exists at all (and if it doesn't, dammit, we'll invent it LOL;). It is often to a fault since sometimes the language laws (yes we have them) insist idiotically on eradicating any trace of English or what is considered English by ignorant bureaucrats, such as the word STOP being replaced systematically by ARRÊT (especially on our ubiquitous stop signs) whether it makes sense or not. Just because STOP is understood and used by Anglophones it must therefore perish from French in Quebec ;) Never mind that it's also understood and used by most other language speakers of the world and it is an inoffensive part of many languages and in fact the perfect word. But this is now in the realm of politics ;)
There is always a juste milieu as well as le mot juste for everything.
It's just that if you use a lot of English words in your French content Google will get seriously confused when a search is made by such words. Which page should be returned? It will make a best guess as to the searcher's intention which may not be the best from your point of view.
|webado||7/28/13 12:17 PM|
>>Sure I'll add that about PDF files, I didn't know that was counted as duplicate content
Well if the content in the pdf is pretty much the same as on other pages, then it is duplicate content, which has the effect of diluting the value of all pages and documents dealing with the same content (not a penalty, just a consequence). You'd want to offer the proper web page as result fro a search rather than the PDF, from which there's no further navigation to your site.
Let the pdf files be there for purpose of downloading, but for web consultation, html web pages are best.
|webado||7/28/13 12:25 PM|
>> I know that Adwords tries to add a code to the url to tell analytics that a click comes from there, and that code gets wiped off on my website
Do you mean that you strip off the query string from the Adwords link and 301 redirect to the url without that query string? That's perfect, it will ensure your page only gets to be indexed under one url, not a multitude as woudl be cause by query strings like that.
In fact this is the same problem with session ids - they create endless urls for the same pages. You should not need them for the crawlable/indexable part of your content. While it may be OK for the shopping cart of an e-commerce site or for sections of a website behind a login (a part that should not get indexed), I don't see its utility otherwise. Even in those cases session ids can be risky. Suffice to say many an account has been hacked through theft of somebody's session id token.
|webado||7/28/13 12:27 PM|
>>Any clue for the very bad positioning of my site on Google.com compared to Google.fr?
Like I said, it's not very bad (22 vs 11, it's just a bit lower from where I'm looking). But things look different for everybody.
|Lysis||7/28/13 1:28 PM|
4 posts webado and I still don't think you added up to 1 of the ragefacer's rant posts.
|webado||7/28/13 1:43 PM|
We might yet be getting somewhere more productive ;)
|Lysis||7/28/13 2:50 PM|
Well this is the guy's third rant post not counting the ones I dup'd, so lets see if he actually implements anything unlike his other 2 rant threads.
|webado||7/28/13 2:56 PM|
I am hopeful :)
|Lysis||7/28/13 4:50 PM|
You get a gold star in patience, my friend, if he follows through.
|webado||7/28/13 5:47 PM|
|Lysis||7/28/13 5:54 PM|
lol I <3 you, webado.
|Ashley||7/29/13 12:18 PM|
Webado, you are hero of the internet!
|briac||7/30/13 1:20 AM|
Lysis, unlike you webado didn't post 4 messages in a row just to say nothing and to go on insulting a poster. On normal forums that's called trolling. He gave me precious information that I will follow, because I was asking for help, ESPECIALLY in the posts which you redirected to this one, which was not a request for help, but a complaint to Google staff and was NOT about the same things. Have you read 1984? No offense, but you don't seem to be the kind of girl to read that kind of thing. In the French version there is something called novlangue, I don't know about the English version. About changing a word to change the perception people have of something.
Basically like saying both a complaint and a request for help are rants. Maybe you should think about it. But you seem to be very proud of yourself, and self criticism doesn't seem to be your thing. I doubt you will. Before criticizing other people, check your own behaviour, and don't call a rant something which is not just because it is too long for you to read. Respect other people if you want them to respect you. You know, in real society, even police needs to treat people with respect. Not just that but it's even more important for them to, to justify their position as protectors of the law, and in order to give the example.
Unlike you I don't spend my time on the internet, I've got a life, sometimes more interesting things to do, and sometimes, like right now, some work I'm paid for because fortunately even IF Google has too much power, and generally speaking American search engines have too much power (Bing is American too), which tends to give a one-sided view of the cyberworld, there are other ways than internet of finding good and big clients, being very appreciated by them, because my work satisfies them a lot as does my behaviour with them. When I work for a client, I'm concentrated on the mission only, and don't go surfing on the internet.
Now, YOU seem to spend a huge amount of time on the internet, and I really wonder what you get out of it. Unless you work for Google. And I've said what I think about that if you do. All the posts I wrote here were because I've got problems with my website. People answered these posts because they're nice and want to help. Which I often do myself too. Now what do you get from the kind of posts you just filled this page with?
Now I'll add something, I got a lot of help here, but I still don't have an answer to the request for help you call a rant (maybe you should ask ets, who wrote an answer in it, if he thought it was constructed as rant whatsoever) about the positioning of my website being so different on Google.com and Google.fr. And I still wonder if proper localization doesn't make a website LESS visible for local people. As I've added the piece of code which has been discussed earlier, and deleted it BECAUSE I noticed a negative impact. Now I need to check again. And if what I noticed is true in the case I'm in (My .fr website used to be well ranked, my English one has never been, even before Panda and Penguin) it is absolutely NOT logical NOR consistent and has nothing to do with the "quality" of a website.
Now I wonder why I even discuss with self-satisfied people who mark as good answer their own answer, which doesn't answer, or try to answer anything.
I absolutely don't care about you or about what you think about me Lysis, because your behaviour in my posts says a lot about the kind of person you are.
Now if you'll excuse me,I've got a lot of work to do.
|briac||8/1/13 12:53 PM|
Hi webado, sorry when I wrote this post to Lysis, because her comments were so pointless and non constructive they really pissed me off, and I was in a rush, on my way to going to my clients' company, I didn't realise how much more precious information you had given me. Thank you very much for all of that. This week-end, I guess, I will take the time to apply them. I understand I need to be veryyyy patient about the multi language thing.
I know how to write a htaccess as my site completely relies on it (actually I think the file needs to be optimized and is way too long) but the fact you were that detailed will save me some time, chapeau bas...
Regarding the Google.com position, the things I don't understand are that I get the same result as you from France, for a French site, which doesn't seem logical to me, and that the other sites, if they have a slight position difference between Google.com and Google.fr for these keywords, don't have such a huge difference. Between first page and third page, I do think the difference is huge. And the main difference they have with mine is the fact they are not multi-domain multi-lingual sites...
I don't expect miracles and as my English website has never well ranked I didn't expect it to suddenly do just because I had added a piece of code. The main idea was to avoid my website being considered as a link farm, which it's not.
What I didn't expect was to get a negative impact on the French version of the website, which I think I noticed, because I didn't wait long enough I guess...
Nowadays my website has been so deeply hidden by Google I get only about four - six clicks per day, and that's including adwords campaign (limited to two clicks / day, I'm not a millionaire, and I'm not really willing to give a lot of money to them because of what has happened to me because of their policies change) and people coming from professional social networks or directories, which have themselves been impacted by the algorithm change, and are therefore less visited.
Anyway thanks a lot for all your advice, I hope I will get some positive changes this time. I'm really exhausted by all the energy I've wasted on ameliorations on this website just to get... a small drop a few days ago.
|nycwebmaster||8/1/13 12:59 PM|
Please, let me help.
Your chief complaint seems to be low visibility, low traffic.
Your social buttons are tiny at the bottom of the screen.
Consider making the social buttons bigger, perhaps in a floating share button.
Work hard on google plus, fakebook and twitter to promote your brand.
It worked VERY well for me...
You don't want to rely on organic search for traffic.
|briac||8/1/13 1:12 PM|
Hi nycwebmaster. Yes it is. I'll take your advice and make the buttons bigger.
And I'll try to focus more on social networks.
|Lysis||8/2/13 6:49 PM|
Three sentences. Brevity is the soul of wit. Grats on evolving.
|briac||8/7/13 2:40 AM||<This message has been deleted.>|
|briac||8/7/13 3:01 AM|
No. SMS language (like LOL) just means you write for saying nothing. But you like having the last word to show how smart and right you are don't you? An you like insulting posters, that's what you do everywhere in this forum. Maybe for some people it's more deserved than for some others. But in my case you chose the wrong person, and just redirecting requests for help to this post as you did just because they were too long to read for you was very childish. And again, I don't get the point of just spending your time insulting other people on this forum. Do you think you're great just because you've written a huge amount of HOLLOW comments on this forum? Do you feel you are somebody special? You're not. But good for you if you think so. All I can feel is pity, it means your life is not a very nice one. What's written in your profile? I'm not a SEO guru wanker? Short and hollow. Sorry.
Complicated things cannot be written in short sentences. That's just a fact. Maybe it would be good for you to read some philosophy. Again, strangely enough I don't think you are the kind of person to read that kind of thing.
Please stop cluttering my posts with hollow comments.
I haven't evolved, I have no reason to, I reply well to people who try to help me when I'm asking for help. And I reply badly to you because your comments are aggressive, hollow, and don't try to make anything progress whatsoever.
YOU should evolve. But I don't think you have what's required for this: self criticism. For your own good.
I deleted the previous post to add this to my post. You told me that the filters of Google were good because they were made for people like you, a user. As I said before used to be a user too, and have switched to competition, because as a user, I feel there is a censorship in the search engine and I don't like that, I like freedom. I understand they fight against abuse, which is never what I've been doing on my website, their filters are much more than just that, what they claim to be. And I can reassure you: my website is not made for people like you, at all, so if the search engine has changed the rules to fit only people like then there is a problem.
My target audience is not, and has never been, people like you, but production agencies and marketing specialists, who are searching for people like me, and my website has been hidden from my target audience. Maybe you should think about that. That's why I told you many times I didn't care about you or what you thought about me. I care about what my clients think about me. And in that aspect I don't have anything to prove considering the kind of projects I have and have had, and the kind of clients I've worked for.
Have a good day.
|briac||8/7/13 3:55 AM|
Ashley, I just noticed one of your posts in this page, suggesting me to contact a Google employee directly. Somehow I hadn't seen it before.
Well you need to know that the reason I wrote here is that I didn't find ANY way from France to contact a Google employee directly for the issues I had with my website. That was the very first reason to that complaint. No phone number, no email, nothing.
And I found that extremely disturbing. Maybe in US it's possible. But Google is supposed to be an international search engine.
I have written in webmaster tools, and the only answer I got, was a standardized answer telling me that there was no manual sanction on my website, with a link to an already made page explaining to me all the reasons why my website would be badly ranked. Except none of these applied to my website. Especially not in comparison with competition in my field (A portfolio is very hard to get well ranked to begin with. For a portfolio, I've got a huge amount of content, it's relative, it's not a news website, or a blog. My blog has more content of course, due to its nature, but my blog is not a showcase of my work). And the other thing that was in that message, as I wrote before, was a link to this forum. That's all.
I don't know of ANY other way of contacting Google staff. Unless it's for adwords, then there is a support service, because I pay for it, and Adwords staff is not related to search engine staff.
If you know of a way I'll gladly make use of it. Except, from what I know, in France, such a thing doesn't exist.
|Ashley||8/7/13 9:44 AM|
You can find an employee and reach out via Twitter or G+. I'm sure you're smart enough to figure that out. But no - as far as organic ranking, there is no email/phone/etc. This is it. OR, as I hinted, go find an individual employee and start harassing them. No guarantees on a reply though since your case seems pretty straight forward to me.
You have plenty of documentation - from articles, blogs, videos, tools, etc. from Google. What they want is a secret to no one. I don't believe you need special help. I believe 99% of all cases we see don't, really. Because the algorithm isn't personal - it's an algorithm.
I think your website would benefit greatly from you adding content as passionately as you do here, in the forum.
|briac||8/8/13 3:27 AM|
Well that means there's basically no official way of contacting them. Which again is very disturbing. Twitter is not a support service, you can react to twits AND you need to subscribe to twitter which I don't want to do and shouldn't be necessary for contacting staff.
Same applies for Google+, a social network is NOT a support service, and there's no reason you should subscribe to it to contact Google staff.
Unlike what you're saying I don't harass people, and I'm not going to try to find where the Google HQs are to try to find where Google employees are, especially as I would be surprised they have a lot of power, decisions are taken in the US. Again it's very disturbing that there's no official way of contacting them. They run a service, no matter if it's free there should be an OFFICIAL way of contacting them. Especially if they have a monopoly position, which means they control information, as a matter of fact. Not to say privacy. Some scandals are very fresh, and how they're implied has yet to be defined.
I didn't like this kind of un-constructive comment on my website. The truth is that I've already spent A HUGE amount of energy on my website, respecting the guidelines, and the reason I'm pissed off is that it's not getting me anywhere. Again it's a portfolio, and I cannot create content out of thin air. It's not like a news website or a blog. For a portfolio it has a huge amount of content and there's nothing I can add to it - that I'm allowed to add publicly on the internet, otherwise it would be twice bigger.
My case is absolutely NOT as straightforward as you say, and I didn't like the comment which accompanied the classification of my post as chit-chat: that I wanted to move a website which was more deserving than mine and take its place.
In no way it is, and again my aim is not to stab in the back somebody I don't know and have nothing against. But the name of that website was chosen when mine was top of the rank, using the same name as mine without the hyphen, and that name as I explained before is not the correct French word to describe my profession, the real one is motion designer, written in English. But it just made sense to me and I made a good strategic choice when I chose the domain name I chose, and it was completely relevant with the service I was selling.
That website has WAY less content than mine and WAY more of the kind of technical issues which have been discussed here. For example videos without any description whatsoever, simple links to quicktime movies.
I don't say that website is not relevant with the keywords. But my website is in absolutely NO WAY less deserving. It's relevant, has way more content, and is bilingual. That's why I speak about what happened to me as being unfair. Because it just is.
Of course the filters were not targeted towards my website as some people seemed to think I thought. What I'm saying is that
- The algorithm is in no way perfect, and it's disturbing to see that there's no way to contact Google staff to discuss obvious flaws. Because sorry but even for the internationalization issue, Google should be able to detect by itself when a website is the same in two different languages. They have Google translate. When each and every page is linking to the same page in a different language, they have the technical ability of detecting it, without a piece of code, and there's absolutely NO REASON that kind of website should be considered as a link farm, and therefore automatically penalized by the filters for "bad behaviour" when that's not what it's doing. And if that happens, and it's obviously a mistake, there should be a manual way of cancelling the automatic downranking. Websites shouldn't need to adapt to a search engine, no matter how big. The search engine should adapt to them and not dictate the way they should be made. I absolutely DON'T like the way the new look or ergonomics of Youtube for instance. If that's Google's idea of a perfect website and they want all "gallery websites" to be like that, then we don't have the same opinions on what quality is. Technically it's a very good website of course. But in terms of ergonomics it used to be better before, in my opinion. And not as ugly as now.
- I yet have to be proven that adding the line of code which has been discussed doesn't have some very bad side effects. I'm going to add it again and wait longer than last time. I do think I didn't wait long enough. But I do think that because of that line of code, doing things properly, I lost my ranking on Google.com after a week and it didn't help me in any way on Google.fr. If I wait longer I hope I will see a difference, but I do think that the loss of visibility on Google.com is an internationalization issue, even if I wait longer, it will fix other things but not that one. Now only if I try I can tell, and I haven't had the time yet.
- I do think that the Panda and Penguin filters have other aims that what Google officially claims. They say they want a better quality internet. I think they want the small websites made by one person or a small team to disappear so that the only way to stay visible is to use Adwords, and pay them. A company which has a monopoly shouldn't be allowed to take this kind of decisions, and of course if they do have that purpose they're not going to officially claim it. That's what I call abuse of power.
|Ashley||8/8/13 8:21 AM|
Well that means there's basically no official way of contacting them.
Not "basically". That's EXACTLY what it means and what we've all been saying. Why is that disturbing? It's a business model. Organic search is free and algorithmic - I think it'd be sort of absurd and expensive to offer direct help. Are there other massive FREE services that you know that offer direct help?
- Webmaster Tools, Analytics, and other tools
- Webmaster Guidelines, Webmaster Academy, Help center articles
- YouTube videos, blog posts, etc
Seriously - go and read. Be self-reliant and learn to help yourself! If you have questions, you post here to bounce off ideas. I feel like the model is fine except for people who throw tantrums and demand special attention.
Keep in mind that as well, Google employees can and will often pipe into threads here if it is warranted.
You can SUBMIT FEEDBACK in the bottom of every SERP. I recommend you use that function.
Honestly, I can't weed through half your answers. They are far too verbose, overly emotional and based in rants versus trying to get assistance. The aglorithm is free, help here is free. If you want more specialized assistance I'd do some homework and find a very reputable firm and pay them to do a little hand holding.
|travler.||8/8/13 8:25 AM|
|luzie||8/9/13 5:58 AM|
>>> I think they want the small websites made by one
Wow, this is super-clever :-) Let the big ones with money get away and try to rip off the small ones without money. They should hire you as business manager :-)
|briac||8/9/13 10:24 AM|
Luzie, the big ones with money (unlike me) have money to pay for big, trustful (and very expensive) SEO companies, they don't need Adwords to actually be visible, but they are going to pay for Adwords anyway in order to get an even broader visibility, they have enough money for that. Google doesn't want to piss them up by completely destroying their visibility, these companies have power, and money, that they can spend otherwise if they don't like what Google is doing (TV advertisement, for example). Some big companies have dropped in visibility with the filters, never more than 40%, and still that's extreme cases. There has been 60% visibility drops for big companies but in touchy areas like porn or gambling. For the small ones like me who try to do everything by themselves because that's their only option, when getting invisible on Google, paying Adwords is their only way to become visible again. I don't think I'm the only one who wasn't abusing in any way and got a visibility drop of way more than 60% (towards 90% or more). Yes it is clever and they didn't need me as a business manager to achieve that. I can just see guess it. You just need to check which kind of websites are the most well ranked nowadays, compared to before the filters. Are you that naive that you really believe Google wants the good of people and that's the only reason they create that kind of algorithm?
I remind you, Ashley, that this thread was not a request for help but a complaint to Google staff, as was written in the title, ever since the beginning. A little bit too easy to turn a situation against somebody isn't it? The only reason I tried to get some help in this post was because MY PROPER REQUEST FOR HELP WAS REDIRECTED TO THIS POST which had nothing to do with it, tagged as a duplicate, which it wasn't. I think I mentioned that already.
Yes it is disturbing, because when a company basically rules the internet, has a monopoly (about 80% of the world's people use it, and more than 90% of the French people, because we were not careful enough to have our own quality search engines as the South Korean people do), you don't speak about business models anymore, but about control of the information, and a minimum of transparency (like contact with the public) is necessary. You could compare that to a democracy and a dictatorship. In a democracy the people have the possibility of "overthrowing" a government when there is a scandal, and votes are organised again. The government has as duty to explain what they are doing, why, and to be transparent about it. If it is proven they have lied about something they are in trouble. That goes through dialogue with the public. In a dictatorship the government is untouchable. They control information, and there is no way to reach them for any kind of dialogue. That's the impression Google gives me.
Yes it is a private company, and its aim is to make profit. But that's exactly the core of the problem, for a private company, it has way too much power, a monopoly. If they had a support service, a dialogue with their users, they would still have a monopoly, which is bad, but it would be less disturbing.
Especially disturbing when they managed to get the number of users they have just by being a quality search engine, and just when they reach the monopoly situation, they create some new filters which can basically be considered as censorship, no matter what reasons they give for them, which I absolutely haven't noticed myself (For me results didn't get better, nor worst in terms of quality, but the same with censorship IS actually worst). The excuse for these filters was to get better quality, so I feel there's something extremely wrong.
I am absolutely sure that if they had done that kind of modification when only 50% of the people were using them, they would absolutely not be in the position they are in now, most people wouldn't have liked that. And it wouldn't have been abuse of power then, because they wouldn't have had a monopoly.
Maybe these filters had an impact on people who were abusing. But even if they got in the way of... let's say 60% of people who were really abusing, if the side damage is 40% fully legit websites there is a big issue. And there should at least be a support service to help these people who have been struck by automatic penalties they didn't deserve. There should at least be a support service to check if the automatic penalty is wrong. And there should be, on their side, a manual way to override that automatic penalty.
Unless their filters were perfect of course. But of course they're not. They're made by human beings. And unless, as I said, they actually have other means than what they claim to have...
Instead what they do is to tell you that your website didn't get any MANUAL sanction.
If it's true that my main issue, as it seems to be, is what the robot detects as being an automatic artificial back-linking system, because it doesn't understand it is a multilingual website - problem that I didn't have before Panda and Penguin - a human being part of the staff should be able to fix it, after checking that's the actual cause of the down-ranking, because it is an error, the algorithm qualifying as abuse something which is not. But the only way they would be able to do that would be to have the actual ability to do it, a manual override, and to have a support service to be warned about individual issues, which they don't have.
If you don't understand what my point is either it means either you are brainwashed... either that you don't care living in a world ruled only by money and not by actual governments as it seems. I personally find that extremely disturbing, because I care for democracy. And freedom.
And when I am pissed of about something, I don't become a hypocrite about it to try to get special favours and say things such as "oh yeah you're right my website is so much worst than all the other ones" because I know it's not, sure it's not perfect, but I know the amount of content it has, the bounce rate it has, how relevant it is to the keywords I target, I know my language skills (yes here I make some mistakes because I write too fast and don't spend enough time to check my grammar and spelling as I've got other more important things to do). When a product doesn't satisfy you and you contact the support service about that, it's normal to say that you're not satisfied about it. Yes I know this is not a support service. And that's precisely the problem. That's absolutely not normal in a company which controls the internet, and therefore information.
|StevieD_Web||8/9/13 11:06 AM|
I have yet to find a company demoted/penalized/de-indexed that fundamentally didn't deserve being dropped. Yep, you read that correctly, every company deserved what they got.
For me fixing the flaws is reason that I remain on this forum. And that is what we do... fix flaws.... The vast majority of which were introduced by the webmaster or their agent.... and sometimes there are platform, server etc issues. We help find and fix the flaws.
Your site (and for that matter all of our sites) has flaws. You don't want to fix the flaws instead you want to wail/whine about how unfair life is treating you. That is a choice you made. What about your competition, should they be harmed/penalized because they willingly fixed their problems and you did not?
You talk about freedom and democracy..... where is the freedom and democracy in your system if your site can out rank others who are more deserving?
I think it is time for you to grow up and realize your recovery is in your own hands. You can follow our free advice or you can choose to ignore it. You can recover or maybe you won't, the ball is in your court.
|briac||8/9/13 11:43 AM|
My site has some flaws, I don't deny it.
The advice which has been given to me is going to be followed is going to be followed. As it has already been during two months. Without any positive result, actually a drop.
But no, an AUTOMATIC penalty by an engine which has flaws (as it will always have when made by human beings) doesn't mean a website is more deserving than another one. Have you even have a look at the website which ranks first with the keywords I target and compared it with mine? A down-ranking because a website is considered as a link-farm because it is multi-lingual just because it didn't add a piece of code to help Google, absolutely unnecessary for human beings, is not a website which deserves a penalty.
In terms of relevance, it is even possible that mine is more relevant than the other ones, as graphiste doesn't exactly mean graphic designer, but creative graphic designer, which means not just technician. The technician, who works with graphic material made by other people is called infographiste.
My legal status forbids me to work as a technician, unless it is for completion of a an original creation I originally made. I wouldn't be surprised that some of the ones which rank above me with the use of this word are actually technicians, not creative people. They have legal statuses which allow them to. For instance, for the exact same reason I am not allowed to sell video editing, which is considered as technical work, and they all do (Video editing not being creative is arguable, but I'm not the one to make the rules).
So in which way exactly would have be less deserving? Especially when I was the first one ever to use that domain name, graphiste video, which as I explained before is not a real French word (in English it translates to Video graphic designer, which doesn't exist either, the proper name is Motion designer?)
No I'm sorry, I'm not less deserving. And considering search results I got for other things I'm not the only one who got badly hit by these filters in an unfair way, especially amongst websites made by just one person. I am NOT a company, but a freelancer.
Yes I do speak about democracy and freedom, I speak about manually overriding automatic down-ranks which have been made by mistake by filters which are not perfect, not about over-ranking other websites without any reasons. I used to have the top position for these keywords and suddenly lost it for the second page, a year ago. To me, it was completely random.
You still think I don't have any solid ground to my complaint? OK what about that: I put a video on Google+ and added a text to it, a text which was using these keywords. It was an original text, but written by the same person : me. After a week, it was on page two of Google.com, not present on Google.fr. There were only a very small amount of websites linking to it. My website is now on the third page of Google.com with these keywords. As soon as I added a link to my website, it disappeared from Google.com.
Don't tell me that text, one paragraph of text, and a video, was more deserving than a big portfolio. The paragraph of text was not better written nor worst, it was written by me. And there was only one content. That little experiment was very conclusive...
So don't tell my bad ranking is because "less deserving" or "more deserving". It just has nothing to do with that.
|Ben Griffiths||8/9/13 11:58 AM|
big, trustful (and very expensive) SEO companies
I've been in a room for pitches to a FTSE100 from these. Most of them are mooks with good connections who couldn't even get a real marketing gig. Some are genuinely innovative and interesting, with really cool ideas about leveraging brand and scale into SEO. They never get the deal.
|Ben Griffiths||8/9/13 12:00 PM|
Also, you're getting angry at either an algorithm or a US Corporation.
Neither is effective.
|Lysis||8/9/13 12:16 PM|
>> Most of them are mooks with good connections who couldn't even get a real marketing gig
haha me too. I've seen some big SEO names give people some really horrible advice.
yep, so true.
|briac||8/9/13 12:18 PM|
My problem is not that it is a US corporation. My problem is that it claims to be an international company and a "good" company. And doesn't act likewise. As dialogue with users, a proper support service, would be a first step into achieving that.
By the way sorry for the grammatical and spelling mistakes of my latest post, I know it is not respectful of readers but I wrote too much, too quickly.
I absolutely respect the reasons StevieD_web posts in these forums, and it is important to understand that my posts are not directed against the users of this forum but against Google which shows they have no way of being reached when an issue which seem unfair is found.
My posts are not against US either, I hate any kind of racism (otherwise I wouldn't travel as much as I do) but about what I consider as an inappropriate behaviour of a monopolistic company, which is even more disturbing when it claims to be international but seems to only listen to the users of the country it originates from (for example there has been a Penguin feedback form, in English only, what about the people who don't speak that language).
I thought it proved necessary to be more precise about my way of thinking not to offend anybody, for something I don't actually think, but wouldn't have explained well.
|Lysis||8/9/13 12:19 PM|
>> I know it is not respectful of readers but I wrote too much, too quickly
Personally, I don't read any of it but skim through the post looking for my name so I can be amused.
|briac||8/9/13 12:25 PM|
Oh yes I know that. That's why you have some very interesting and displaced reactions. Such as redirecting a request for help to this post.
I wasn't referring to you when I write about users I don't want to offend, you don't need to worry.
|Lysis||8/9/13 12:52 PM|
You can't offend me, Mr Internet Poster Guy.
|briac||8/22/13 5:57 AM|
Just so that you know, StevieD_Web, I have followed the biggest advice I got, and after a week and a half (I know I have to wait more), things didn't get better for me, I am still at the bottom of the first page with the keywords I was targeting. Which means I'm doing even worst for all the other ones.
That's very ironic considering these keywords are basically a name I made up, as I explained earlier it doesn't exist in French, so it's basically the name of my company (the correct way to call my job in French would be graphiste dans le domaine de la vidéo, graphiste vidéo doesn't exist) and I was the first one to use that domain name.
Worst than that Google skipped my meta description and title for the open directory ones without any proper reason, as if the content of my pages were not consistent enough. The Dmoz description dates from a time I used to be a versatile graphic designer, trying to specialize in the video field (reason why I chose that domain name), but for five years I've only been doing motion design as that switch was succesful, what's the point of taking a very outdated description instead of what is written in my pages, and which has recently been modified ? Of course when I realized that I added the piece of code to prevent Google from showing such an inconsistent data.
So, as we say in French, and especially as a Breton (we are known for being very strong headed, especially when we know we are right) I persist and sign, as much as I respect all the people like you who write in here to help people, I DO think that Google's filters are against freedom, and that a website ranking better is not a more deserving website. They just want people to pay for Adwords, one people companies like me who don't have enough resources to get their websites ranked well as they could before by themselves. I just saw an advertisement on Youtube for plumbers to advertise on Adwords, they weren't targeting big companies who are going to pay for Adwords anyway.
I also received a newsletter from Adwords telling me I wasn't paying enough money and should in order to be more visible.
Adding filters supposed to be in favour of quality, but actually made in order to force you to pay for Adwords, that's not a business plan, when more than 80% of the people use you in the world, that's control of information, censorship... I absolutely don't like that, and I'm definitely NOT going to pay Adwords more in order to rank well on keywords which were basically created by me (I mean I didn't create the individual keywords of course, but the two together were my way to describe my business, not a real French word, and since then others copied that). The biggest amount of clicks I get with adwords are from the keywords graphiste vidéo, but that's the name of my website, there's absolutely no reason I should have to use Adwords in order to have a visibility for these keywords...
As I wrote before, maybe Google should listen to their users... And customers. Abuse of power doesn't pay in the long run.
|Lysis||8/22/13 6:15 AM|
And now, the "google wants us to spend money in adwords" rant.
|Ben Griffiths||8/22/13 6:20 AM|
As I wrote before, maybe Google should listen to their users... And customers.
Who is the user/customer in this sentence? You? Bzzt.
|ets||8/22/13 6:53 AM|
after a week and a half (I know I have to wait more),
I'd allow 3-6 months for any significant, site-wide change to take effect. It can take weeks just for a site to get recrawled....
|Ashley||8/22/13 9:32 AM|
I also received a newsletter from Adwords telling me I wasn't paying enough money and should in order to be more visible.
Feel free to post a screen or paste that here - because I have never, ever heard of Adwords saying spend equates to great ranking visibility. The two are entirely separate.
|briac||8/25/13 2:58 AM|
Ben Hof, if you read my messages you would know I am both : user (Android phone, former search engine user) and customer (Adwords). And I am moving away from Google considering how I feel treated as both.
Lysis, you never give up, do you? YOU are very predictable. I complain because I have a reason to. What is your reason for posting here as I asked many times?
ets, yes I know it takes a lot of time, as I wrote. But I already got a negative impact in one week and a half. Following Google guidelines as well as I could only made things worst (I checked analytics and for the French version of my website, these changes have already resulted in a drop of clicks and visibility in the engine. Not to mention this is not the first time I do big changes to my website, I've already made some big ones a few months ago and also noticed a drop... Not waiting long enough does not apply to these older changes. Basically what I see is that the more I work on my website, the more I try to make it be conform to Google rules and "deserving" as people would say, the worst things get. That's why I say you don't get better ranked because you're more deserving. They claim that but it's not the truth. For a specific search, as a user, which has nothing to do with graphic design, I noticed it once again, the results in Google were irrelevant because of these filters, in Bing they were slightly better - I was searching for a Walkthrough of Monkey island 3, in Google I was getting answers for Monkey island 1 and 2, in private surfing mode, because Google thought I was wrong for searching for that information, as it finds more pages for the two other games I guess. Just as Google seems to think that a "video graphic designer" needs to be a "video editor" considering the websites which rank up before mine, and that doesn't make sense, video editing and graphic design are two different jobs.
Ashley, I wasn't refering to ranking when I wrote about visibility, that's exactly what I'm complaining about: Google isn't hiding some websites because the staff thinks these websites are worst, but because they don't want these websites to rank up well "easily" (Don't get me wrong it has never been easy, but it used to at least be possible without being a big company), so that the only way to become visible is through Adwords (not being visible in the organic search). It is no secret that Adwords looks more and more like organic search (on my laptop they don't show up yellow but white) for people to click by mistake as if it were organic search, a fake organic search you pay a lot of money for...
|Lysis||8/25/13 11:15 AM|
>> What is your reason for posting here as I asked many times?
For my post count. Why do you ask?
|JohnMu||8/27/13 7:42 AM|
While i can't magically change your sites' rankings, I took a look to see if things were working as expected (which we do for many of the cases that come up here in the forums, in our office-hours hangouts, and from other places). In the case of your sites, there's nothing really special happening -- it's ranking where it is based on our normal algorithms, which use over 200 factors when working out which sites are the most relevant to the users' queries.
Looking through your English & French sites, there's nothing specific that's broken or wrong, there's no technical setting that's holding the sites back, it's really just a case of how our algorithms view your sites overall. Improving that, is something that can often be done by working on many small things that essentially add up over time, or perhaps even by making bigger changes that significantly change how users - and search engines - view your sites. That's up to you in the end.
Personally, going through your site, as a user I'm a bit confused. There's lots of neat content there, but I don't really understand what it's supposed to mean to me, there's no "call to action" if you will. I might be looking at an example graphic on your site, but it's really hard to see where I - as a user - can go from there. Are the graphics reusable? Should I share them online? Or are they really only relevant to those who are looking for someone offering a similar service? So my personal recommendation - completely outside of the search area - is to think about what you want to achieve with these sites, and to think about what you could do to get there. What would your preferred user be interested in, what will they search for, what would they want to find & how can you help fulfill their needs? When users are able to understand your site, and especially if after visiting it, they get passionate & recommend it to all of their friends, then that will - over time - generally be reflected in the search results as well.
|Baruch.L||8/28/13 6:25 AM|
I would really put my mind on the user so they have an amazing experience, I would redesign the site from scratch. Have a look
at this example http://www.ic.gc.ca/Intro.html I am from Canada and I read french so yeah, when I feel like it I read French or English,
ask the user do they want English OR French.
Hope this helps and yeah John is not Copperfield but he is the best Google coach, tutor on earth .