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Should Google Penalize Resources Pages with lots of Outbound links?
It seems Google unable to differentiate between scrapers and resource pages
reseller




msg:714815
 8:25 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Folks

Since 3rd February 2005 we have witnessed Google huge collateral damages as a result of Googleīs attempt to improve serach and clean its index.

All whitehat publishers support Google in improving search. But killing innocent sites shouldnīt be part of this game. We read now that Google is also penalizing honest publishers who run site covering genuine contents including resource pages which usually cover alot, but carefully selected relevant, outbound links which really add value to the site visitors experience.

As you might imagine, old sites have through years built up such pages in good faith.

My question is; can we as publishers modify/improve such resource pages to avaoid Googleīs unjustify penalties.

Thanks.

 

reseller




msg:714816
 8:44 am on Aug 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi all

Not a surprise at all. Some have mentioned it before.

While studying one of my standard search keyphrases I have noticed at least top 5 listings on Google serps have no AdSense but ads of all kinds!

As an AdSense whitehat publisher Iīm really in doubt now.

Has Google panelized resource pages with lot of outbound links which contain AdSense spots?

In respect for the TOS of these great forums, Iīm not going to post a search thread on Google confirming my assumption.

But you can run a query on Google for free online advertising and see for yourself.

Strange.. Google engineers punishing AdSense publishers in such brutal unjustified manner.

Any of you have noticed the same on your standard keywords/keyphrases queries?

Thanks a bunch.

flicker




msg:714817
 1:09 pm on Aug 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

>We read now that Google is also penalizing honest
>publishers who run site covering genuine contents
>including resource pages which usually cover alot, but
>carefully selected relevant, outbound links which really
>add value to the site visitors experience.

For what it's worth, this description fits just about every educational kids' directory I know of. I don't notice any of them missing from Google results at present. (Including the one I volunteer for, which has Adsense; others may too, I didn't check them all.)

In general it's probably a good idea, when a shakeup like this occurs, to have a look at the educational/academic sector. These sites as a bloc tend to weather nearly every Google-storm; I'm sure the differences in content/style between them and the optimized sites would be illustrative, for directory owners who gave them a really thorough comparison.

night707




msg:714818
 5:00 pm on Aug 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

With that Bourbon update Google is trying to force quality publishers to become adwords clients.

Best to forget about being Whitehat and better work against them to make Yahoo stronger at this moment.

hunderdown




msg:714819
 5:47 pm on Aug 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Forcing us to become AdWords clients?

Please, when you grind your axes, could you do it somewhere else?

europeforvisitors




msg:714820
 6:02 pm on Aug 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

With that Bourbon update Google is trying to force quality publishers to become adwords clients.

For every site that dropped in the rankings, another site gained in the rankings. So it was a zero-sum gain for site owners and "forced" AdWords sales.

Also, Google knows that AdWords aren't cost-effective for most information sites, so--if Google wanted to "force" the sale of AdWords--it would be downranking or banning e-commerce and affiliate sites, not directories and other content sites that aren't likely to buy AdWords.

reseller




msg:714821
 6:56 am on Aug 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Friends!

Thanks for your contributions. Much appreciated.

The problems which several decent publishers (including AdSense publishers) have been facing arenīt only all these updating by themselves that have been going in an attempt to clean the index of spam and scrapers. Rather its they way Google conducting those updates in automatic manner.

Iīm not going to question the motives of Google for removing innocent sites from index or dropping in innocent sites rankings on the serps.

Fact is that publishers who spent much time and efforts to build up sites covering useful resources of different kinds canīt avoid creating pages with lots of outbound links.
You select your outbound links from directories, articles on ezine your are on, sites you visits etc.. and those pages might look like part of scrapers.

However, it seems that the algos and filters Google engineers are writing arenīt that good or arenīt as sharp as they should be. And in general speaking programs and programing sometimes generate undesired results.

Furthermore we should keep in mind that:

The updating and filtering automatic processes sometimes cause dramatic shifts in the ranking or indexing of sites.

We as publishers should do our best to enable Google to spider and index our sites correctlt, and the majority of us are just doing that, especially after Allegra update 2-3 February 2005.

We can remove duplicates, write correct robots.txt files, create sitemap.xml files, try to remove as many as possible 302 redirects, make 301 non-www vs. www.mysite.com etc.. etc.. . But we have no influence on what Google engineers are doing.

Its therefore we need to find ways and methodes to make it easy for Google to differentiate between our whitehat content sites, directories and resource pages and those scrapers and spam sites which we all wish to see them removed from the index.

Most important also is to communicate with the folks at Google and AdSense and explain to them that they are killing innocent sites and distroying friendships with 1000īs of decent publishers.

The majority here wish Google and Google folks well, but we need them to help us with clear guidelines to avoid the distructions of innocent people sites and revenues.

europeforvisitors




msg:714822
 7:20 am on Aug 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Most important also is to communicate with the folks at Google and AdSense and explain to them that they are killing innocent sites and distroying friendships with 1000īs of decent publishers.

Can you provide a source for that statistic?

reseller




msg:714823
 8:22 am on Aug 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors

Before going further, I wish to remind you of your post

[webmasterworld.com...]
------------------------------------
europeforvisitors
Senior Member

view member profile
send local msg
joined-Oct 27, 2001
posts:4706
msg #:86 5:47 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (utc 0)

I've got to say that, in one respect, allegra represents a 1,000% improvement over the pre-allegra results. When I searched for "[prescription drug] side effects" a week ago, the top 10 results were all for pharmaceutical affiliate pages and scraper directories. Today, the top 10 results are on topic. That's a huge improvement for users--and users, after all, are Google's target audience.
-----------------------------------------------

Would you be kind to mention the source for that statistic of your claim that "allegra represents a 1,000% improvement over the pre-allegra results.

And here is my reply to your current question:

In direct marketing and several other research fields, qualified predictions are much used.

I shall focus on AdSense publishers side of the equation to make things easy to understand. Google declines to be more specific about number of AdSense publishers (or I havenīt seen or read such) but it could be 500.000 publishers or more.

If we assume that only 1% of AdSense publishers have been affected, then we end up by 5.000 very sad publishers.

Tomseys




msg:714824
 11:47 am on Aug 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

resource pages - lol

reseller




msg:714825
 12:14 pm on Aug 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tomseys

>resource pages - lol <

I can see that I should have made it clear what I meant by resource pages.

Keeping in mind that internet is also about links and linking.
Resource pages could be collection of outbound links relevant to the interest of visitors of your site. For example if your site include section targetting international traders, resource pages could be; pages covering links to international chambers of commerce, business travel links, links related to stay in specific country, links to import-export message boards, reviews of shipping lines and companies, links to international trade directories and guides, links to international business related ezines, links to currency converters and exchange rate sites etc..

I hope this help.

flicker




msg:714826
 8:08 pm on Aug 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

But what is it that makes you think having outbound links is what caused the problem?

I could literally show you thousands of sites with lots of outbound links that have not been eliminated from Google's search results. Try using, I don't know, Yahoo, to look up, say, "social studies websites." You'll see what I'm talking about.

The kind of site that very naturally links out to dozens of resources because that's what their visitors are expecting are doing absolutely fine right now. If Google was whacking anything with this kind of outbound links, there'd be a slaughter in the kids' educational sector. There is not. And there's no way they're manually greenlighting every little "Hi I'm a homeschooling mom and here are the best sites about the Revolutionary War!" site on Geocities, either. Whatever Google is using to strike down pseudo-directories, a list of outbound links to selected resources simply CANNOT be the answer.

Google isn't having any difficulty at all differentiating between scrapers and resource pages, in other words. Now it may be that there's something ELSE about CERTAIN kinds of valuable but heavily optimized resource pages that is making them RESEMBLE those scraper pages more closely than they resemble the organic resourse pages. Just the fact that they have outgoing links is not why, though. You could be spending a lot of time barking up the wrong tree.

theBear




msg:714827
 8:31 pm on Aug 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, the rate at which the OBLs appeared could possibly be a clue, even so I can think of valid reasons for tons of off site links to appear.

None of which mean the site scraped, was a copy of anything else, or a directory.

Oh well you folks can figure it all out.

Meanwhile don't discount duplicate content caused by other than what you are thinking about.

reseller




msg:714828
 6:00 am on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi friends

We can only suggest and guess.

My theory is Google has established factors in identifying scrapers and some of the factors are lots of outbound links and maximum AdSense blocks.

Now..if you have a resource pages with lots of outbound links and lets say three AdSense blocks on, then there is a great risk that Google, by mistake, panelize your site.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:714829
 11:19 am on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Its therefore we need to find ways and methodes to make it easy for Google to differentiate between our whitehat content sites, directories and resource pages and those scrapers and spam sites which we all wish to see them removed from the index.

Are you sure that you yourself can differentiate?

Remember that one man's "resource page" is another man's scraper site. I can think of very few resource pages that I have ever found that have been really useful to me. If I need to find information about my topic I use Google for this. This is what Google is for so why should they be concerned about the removal of your "resource pages" when they are more than capable of providing this information themselves?

My definition of a useful resource page would be a list of links within a site that point to sites on the same or related topics with a full review of the contents of the linked sites and why they may be of interest. Do your resource pages do this?

Marcia




msg:714830
 12:28 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>My theory is Google has established factors in identifying scrapers and some of the factors are lots of outbound links and maximum AdSense blocks.

I've had some pages hit on a new site that's 100% non-commercial and doesn't even run Adsense, that's how non-commercial it is. Maybe I should put Adsense on, G doesn't even want to crawl those pages.

reseller




msg:714831
 10:07 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

BeeDeeDubbleU

>>Remember that one man's "resource page" is another man's scraper site.<<

And who will be the judge in this case?

steveb




msg:714832
 10:15 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Remember that one man's 'resource page' is another man's scraper site."

A scraper exists exactly one way: it scrapes search results pages. Resource and link pages are created totally differently. Some link pages are worthless, some are valuable, but they not scrapers in any sense.

suidas




msg:714833
 10:27 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld should add something to its TOS: no bellyaching.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:714834
 11:06 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

And who will be the judge in this case?

I don't know about "judge" but if you sticky me the URL I'll give you my opinion for free.

andrea99




msg:714835
 11:20 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>Remember that one man's "resource page" is another man's scraper site.<<
Any page that displays better results than a Google result page (or equivalent) is a resource page.

Since scrapers represent a picture of some older result page it cannot be a better resource than G or ODP, etc.

On the other hand if the result page (even if it began as scraped content) is continuously updated and improved it is a resourse page.

This is a distinction perceptible to an actual end-user but all but invisible to a bot or casual reviewer.

2by4




msg:714836
 11:25 pm on Aug 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

"resource pages with lots of outbound links and lets say three AdSense blocks on"

Try as I might, I can't see why Google should treat this as anything other than what it sounds like. If this is a 'resource page', then what's the point with having 3 adsense blocks? Unless of course that page was designed to bring in some traffic, who would get confused by all those links, then just click on adsense to get out.

If it's a real resource page, then what's the point of all those adsense blocks? Those would only dilute the value of the alleged 'resources'. If they were actually intended to be resources that is. When I see a page like this, I think one and only one thing: adsense spam page. That's about half a second before I leave the page, and about half a second after I get there. And that's probably what Google thinks too. Why should they think differently?

In fact, the only reason I don't block out all google adsense ads in the first place is so I have some warning that I've landed on that type of page.

Reseller keeps using the term publisher in these threads, I'm not sure I'd use that term myself for this type of stuff.

andrea99




msg:714837
 12:16 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

...then what's the point of all those adsense blocks?

Revenue, duh. Are you saying that the entire Adsense program is just a scam to distract users from the content?

2by4




msg:714838
 1:40 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

no, I'm saying that the entire point of those allegedly 'valuable' 'resource' pages is to generate income, not provide a valuable service, and they have been correctly removed by google in their efforts to try to get rid of junk.

If the pages were actually valuable, then you would think that reseller would not have adsense all over the place, maybe one small discreet block, but that's absurd, obviously if he has that many adsense blocks all over his primary purpose is not to create a valuable piece of content, it's to generate income. I see lots of good pages use adsense, in different ways, but I've never seen a good page use that type of page layout, or that type of link farm.. I mean, directory.

The way reseller tells the story it almost sounds like he's actually putting up unique valuable content instead of a link directory designed for one and only one purposes, adsense income boost. Then he goes on to describe this process as 'publishing', which I guess it is if you use a very very loose definition of publishing, he is generating pages and they are on a media form, so I guess in that sense it's publishing.

Nice job Google, I'm often not a fan, but sounds like you've done something right in bourbon and this directory update...

sunflower12




msg:714839
 2:08 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

"My definition of a useful resource page would be a list of links within a site that point to sites on the same or related topics with a full review of the contents of the linked sites and why they may be of interest. Do your resource pages do this?"

That's exactly how my resource pages are set up and I have never used adsense anywhere on my site. I was completely banned from google on July 28.

2by4




msg:714840
 3:17 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

My guess is that they'll loosen their stuff up a bit, I'm seeing more javascripted click tracking being used on google than I have in quite a while, so I think they are checking this stuff at the moment.

It also does seem that the value of a resource page is in the eye of the beholder.

theBear




msg:714841
 3:36 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

2by4,

If Google wants eyeballs for ads then a lot of gaming will take place.

However your comments make me wonder what you think googles SERPs are.

Are they resource pages?

or

Are they made for adsense directories?

Now what is a resource page?

A page with content and no adsense?

A page with content and adsense?

A page with content, offsite links, and no adsense?

A page with offsite links, and no adsense?

A page with offsite links and adsense?

It is getting to the point where woodland critters get confused.

How does this relate to things such as chapters, table of contents, apendixes, and indexes? In other words the normal parts of a publication.

2by4




msg:714842
 3:58 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

The question of what Google's serps are or aren't isn't involved in this question I think. But it is an interesting side track. Obviously they are adwords pages, that's what Google makes almost all its money from.

Google has to keep people visiting its adwords pages by providing results that fit what people have come to expect, I guess anyway.

So to me, as joe searcher, when I click on a serp result, and get a directory page, full of adsense, I will go back, and try another one. If I get another directory page, filled with adsense, I might go try that new fangled MSN, or trusty old Yahoo. This means I won't be clicking any of those pricey adwords links.

As Joe Searcher, I can tell you, the very last thing I want to get to when I click on any serp is a directory page. Whenever I see I've landed on a directory page, I leave as soon possible. I suspect I'm not the only one who has little interest in seeing directory pages. I already went to a directory to get the results, the google serps, I don't want another directory, that's not a result, that's just a waste of time. Unless I searched for a directory, of course.

Of course, the reason I go to google's adwords pages, aka google search engine, is that over the years, for the types of searches I do, I've found them to consistently deliver a reasonably trustworthy product - well, ok, in mid 2004 or thereabouts they were getting pretty bad. Which again puts me about where Joe Searcher is, just looking for a good page on my question.

The problem with directory pages to me is that I don't know who put them up, I don't know if they are reliable, or a good or bad resource. It's just a page that popped up from somewhere, it didn't have the answer I was looking for, all it had was a bunch of links. So I go back to the google adwords page and try again. This isn't what Google wants to happen; they want you to click on a link, like the results, then use them next time you want to do a search. I don't blame them for this, they have no other real way of generating cash flow. And if by squeezing out a few more commercial type sites, maybe some of them will have to give up and join adwords. It all works out pretty well in the end, as long as Google can keep those eyeballs coming.

You can be sure google keeps track of its various tweaks, in terms of watching behaviors of users, I don't think they'd do much to seriously jeopardize this eyeball flow, even though they will seriously annoy people making a lot of adsense money, of course, but why should google care about that when push comes to shove?

"How does this relate to things such as chapters, table of contents, apendixes, and indexes?"

Those would be internal links generally. Externals seem to be the main problem from what I'm reading here. And really, what I think most people are losing are exactly what was being targetted, sites containing link farms etc. Maybe the filter was too tight, it's hard to say, it doesn't seem many people will admit that their sites were basically link farms, just like in the bourbon threads some people didn't want to admit that bad webmastering was a primary culprit, which it was from what I saw there, fixed and returned...

I can think of no real reason to create large numbers of pages of only links, I can think of excuses I can make about why I'm doing it, unless like contractor for example you are actually make a real link directory, I've never seen his sites though so I can't say anymore. However, reseller's page I didn't need to see, I see it every day, right before I leave the site.

reseller




msg:714843
 4:52 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

steveb

>>A scraper exists exactly one way: it scrapes search results pages. Resource and link pages are created totally differently. Some link pages are worthless, some are valuable, but they not scrapers in any sense.<<

Well said, and Iīm subscribing to that.

Ride45




msg:714844
 5:05 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Plenty of sites have pages of outbound links as "recommended" resources for site visitors. This is encouraged often.. If I remember correctly, right in the Google's webmaster tips page. A resource page(s) should look like they are genuine recommendations by the webmaster....

A scraper site will typically have much different characteristcs, that even a non savvy webmaster could detect as clearly "scraping" the results from somewhere else... that these are not attempts to "recommend" sites at all, but with some other motive (i.e. create thousands of pages and then use Adsense to create suplemental results that generate income)

So my suggestion is if you have resource pages, code them yourself manually and present them to users like you REALLY want to recommend other sites to them, not in such a way that there is, or may be some alternative motive..

This 90 message thread spans 3 pages: 90 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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