|Will Google lose the battle because of their penalty policy?|
we own a very popular website about "widgets". There are thousands of pages about widgets on the website. Thousands of photos and a long descriptive text per photo to give more information about that widget. Every day we get thousands of direct visits from people that remember this site because they found so much info about widgets and remember the URL.
We used to have position 8 in the Google serps. A couple of months ago we dropped to something like position 15, then 21 and yesterday 41. A lot of websites without widgets in front of us. How did they get there Google? Not relevant at all!
Our guess is that according to Google too many pages about widgets on a website about widgets is "suspicious". Just imagine! A lot of people link to us with the anchor text "widgets". Even more suspicious! Time for penalties!
And of course penalties for "short widgets", "big widgets", "new widgets" too.
Our serps on Bing are normal, with relevant websites about widgets in front and behind us. Conclusion: B=B or "Bing is Better"
Google simply doesn't get it. With their stupid and childish penalty system they are destroying their own credibility and search results are no longer relevant.
But ... the average user IS getting it. I was talking to 2 "average" internet users this weekend. They both used Bing out of curiosity, loved what their were seeing (good results, clean and fun layout) and decided to swith to Bing.
It's only a matter of time before the "crowd" will know this too.
it's easy to get downbeat but you have to look at it from their point of view. maybe there is something about your site that isn't as good as the others.
maybe the pages haven't been changed for ages. if you've just got a picture and loads of text which stays the same forever, try and work some changing content into it to keep the page fresh.
There are many of us on this board who have been saying for years that Google's over-emphasis on penalties is an achilles heel. Your extensive widget site dropping while other less informative sites moving up is just one of many examples. Bing is only a minor thorn right now to the Gods in Mt Googlympus, but if more people see what you see, that will change, and when it does, we can only hope that Google will seriously review a penalty policy that barely made sense 5 years ago and makes even less sense now.
I think the one problem Bing is going to face is it's branded w/ Microsoft. Microsoft in a lot of people's minds means "bugs". It's going to be tough for Bing to overcome it no matter how good the search engine is.
Speaking of Microsoft and bugs, I recently upgraded to IE8. Firefox doesn't have to worry about losing me for awhile.
|I think the one problem Bing is going to face is it's branded w/ Microsoft. |
I like bing but it amazes me when I talk to others how many non-geek types do not even know it is associated with MS, which makes me think that if it delivers, that association may not be fatal.
|it's easy to get downbeat but you have to look at it from their point of view. maybe there is something about your site that isn't as good as the others. |
Maybe, just maybe Google has dropped the ball along the way - well maybe its a fumble not a complete drop but their getting slippery hands ;)
I'm glad to hear most people don't know it's associated with Microsoft cause I really like Bing too.
To the OP, please describe for us what factors you have analyzed and what changes you have tested in response to that falling ranking.
What has been happening to your long-tail search traffic recently?
To Buckwords: We did not change anything. Same content, daily updates, no change in metatags, no link building (except for the natural links we get from users).
Actually I just noticed that one of our major competiors, a very relevant website, dropped with about 30 positions too. Google must be joking!
By the way, I noticed too that average web users don't know Bing is associated with Microsoft. Also, I never met an average computer user that "hates" Microsoft. They are happy when the computer works and that's it.
If you didn't change anything, then something in the algo must have shifted.
That's not the same as getting a penalty, BTW. It might be, but not necessarily.
If an algo change hurts your rankings, you're allowed a brief period to cry in your cornflakes, but then you have to get to work. Start doing some serious, systematic detective work to figure out what is being weighted differently than before.
What about your long-tail traffic?
I don't feel like doing detective work because Google is no longer able to serve relevant results. I want to do what I have been doing before: work on the website and give my visitors good, unique and relevant content.
"I don't feel like doing detective work because Google is no longer able to serve relevant results. I want to do what I have been doing before: work on the website and give my visitors good, unique and relevant content"
Unfortunately, "good, unique, and relevant content" is only one of the factors that determine rankings. The Google algo also uses other factors, which in some cases could outweigh the quality of the content. As a result, some pages could get an undeserved high ranking, whereas others are unjustly demoted.
|Unfortunately, "good, unique, and relevant content" is only one of the factors that determine rankings. |
Which is exactly why many have been questioning the quality of the results for awhile now.
There was a time when G was the best at returning good, unique and relevant content. That is no longer always the case.
Where quality was once G's best friend, now it is inertia.
To those who claim the penalties can derive from stagnant pages - I have been suffering various penalties since April 2007 and have analysed and over-analysed anything and everything which could have contributed - all the usual, inbound & outbound links, site structure, keyword frequency, popularity, relevancy, freshness, etc etc etc and have found in the last week, Google is ranking a site which I literally haven't touched since January 2007 way above my other sites (and some proper authority sites) for various short (hyper competitive) and long tail terms. Nothing makes sense to me about its positioning, the site is a directory (strike one), with mostly broken links (strike two) and has sitewide affiliate linking with no regard to nofollow, or indeed, particularly good content (strike three, four and so on!)......
Whereas Bing, as much as it pains me to say, looks like Google did for me a couple of years back. Yahoo's not far behind. I am actually looking forward to the Bing/Yahoo SERPS merger.
I know we all get bitter and twisted when our gravy train courtesy of Google speeds off and feeds other sites, but after several years of swotting up on doing everything completely white hat, I am too am at a loss as to why G's algorithms are doing what they do now, especially when it comes to penalties.
Google is now a word on the internet that has replaced search. People don't search for sites anymore, they Google them.
For so many people it's a thing of habit....my brain just automatically starts going to Google when i need to look up something, I don't even think about it. Google's going to have the search market for a long time, regardless of what Bing does.
I admit, it was tough giving up Google at first. I'd been conditioned to use them, but once I started using bing and finding everything I was looking for, I dumped the Google toolbar and don't use Google anymore at all.
Most posters in the Google section wear Google blinders and would give their first born to Google if they asked. You won't get much Bing traction in the Google forum.
|We used to have position 8 in the Google serps. A couple of months ago we dropped to something like position 15, then 21 and yesterday 41. |
On the face of it, that does not sound like a penalty. It sounds more like a changing algo, combined with some optimization by the competition that you may not have identified yet. For example, other domains that are 301 redirected can carry a lot of link juice to the visible domain - and that is not immediately easy to see.
|A lot of websites without widgets in front of us. How did they get there Google? Not relevant at all! |
I very rarely see first page results on important keywords that are completely irrelevant to the search. Maybe they're not ideal, but they're not irrelevant. If the results you see are truly irrelevant to the search, that's worth reporting via the "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" link at the very bottom of the results page.
A gradual drop won't be a penalty. That's like easing a prisoner into jail by making hims erve one hour the first day, three hours the second day, etc. A penalty will smack you in the face.
Sounds more like you lost your #1 best link in the world, or maybe two or three of your ten best.
|For so many people it's a thing of habit....my brain just automatically starts going to Google when i need to look up something, I don't even think about it. Google's going to have the search market for a long time, regardless of what Bing does. |
I had the same disease for quite a while (5+ years), but then realized I was using FireFox and added Bing to my Search Engine list in the quick search and now I just end up there instead, because that's about the only place I search from...
I do miss the calculator though!
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Will Google lose because of the penalty policy?
I think they'll change the policy before they turn into Yahoo! if they decide it's an issue for them, but I think regardless of their penalty policy they're going to lose some (significant) traffic to Bing, just because there's actually another option for people now and some of us like the results as well as the way Bing looks, feels, functions. Yeah, the Google fade in is neat and all, but it's just not quite doing it for me... Maybe if they added some scrolling status bar text I'd switch back, but I'm really not sure? Gonna try something different for a bit I think.