free html hit counter Google Update "Bourbon" | John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Update "Bourbon"

By - June 01, 2005

Bourbon-1Now here’s a Google algorithm update they must have named just for me. Nicknamed Bourbon, (I guess this is better than Florida), the update is ongoing. According to “GoogleGuy,” a Google employee who hangs out in search related forums and assuages the fears of webmasters (he’s been know to show up here too…):

Here’s the advice that I’d give now: take a break from checking ranks for several more days. Bourbon includes something like 3.5 improvements in search quality, and I believe that only a couple are out so far. The 0.5 will go out in a day or so, and the last major change should roll out over the next week or so. Then there will still be some minor changes after that as well. So my “weather report” along the lines of http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000095.html would be a recommendation that rankings may still change somewhat over the next several days.

Hat tip:

Threadwatch


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3 thoughts on “Google Update "Bourbon"

  1. Thomas Ducroix says:

    John,
    Your first link is broken. It links to
    “/archives/Here’s the advice that I’d give now: take a break from checking ranks for several more days. Bourbon includes something like 3.5 improvements in search quality, and I believe that only a couple are out so far. The 0.5 will go out in a day or so, and the last major change should roll out over the next week or so. Then there will still be some minor changes after that as well. So my”

    Regards,
    Thomas

  2. ChickenHole says:

    I believe Danny Sullivan named it Bourbon to draw attention to an event he was having in New Orleans. Either that or because he is an alcoholic. Can’t remember where I read that though. Maybe a pink elephant told me after I’d had a few glasses…

    Bourbon hasn’t really effected me yet but sounds like it has just begun so I’d better hold on to my seat!

  3. J. Tenassian says:

    What’s surprising about this update is that it seems that a number of legitimate publishers who have coasted unharmed through every previous update have been slashed badly in this one.

    Post after post on WebmasterWorld are from content based publishers who have been ranked for years, who update regularly and don’t employ any SEO tricks, who’s results are suddenly buried – even for their branded site names.

    There’s some theory that Google’s algo is “broken”; that in attempting to catch the black hat SEO trick of adding a massive amount of incoming links in a short period of time, they’ve hit all the regular publishers who have had 1,000’s of scraper sites link to them because of their high ranking results. It remains to be seen whether GooogleGuy will confirm or deny this, although he has already stated that any “unnatural link growth” WON’T help your rankings.

    The end result right now is that in a lot of keyword phrases, otherwise legitimate content sites who have followed Google’s suggestions for years are no longer easily found, and no longer “relevant”. It’s the kind of thing that can lead less scrupulous publishers to more black hat SEO techniques, as Google makes it more appealing to toss up throwaway sites than invest years in building good content.