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Google Is Working on an Algo Fix - to help wrongly demoted sites
tedster




msg:4275143
 8:56 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here's official news that many sites have been waiting to hear. Google fellow Amit Singal is quoted in Wired:

"We deeply care about the people who are generating high-quality content sites, which are the key to a healthy web ecosystem," Singhal said.

"Therefore any time a good site gets a lower ranking or falsely gets caught by our algorithm - and that does happen once in a while even though all of our testing shows this change was very accurate - we make a note of it and go back the next day to work harder to bring it closer to 100 percent."

"That's exactly what we are going to do, and our engineers are working as we speak building a new layer on top of this algorithm to make it even more accurate than it is," Singhal said.

[wired.com...]

 

chrisv1963




msg:4275960
 4:08 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

what data do you have that shows that the average user/searcher of that keyword prefers to see your site over the twitpic page?


I don't need "data" for this. I know my niche. Would you like to see a picture of a pear when searching for info about apples?
By the way, I checked again and the twitpic is gone. It looks like Google is still tweaking.

skweb




msg:4275962
 4:10 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Agree with Chrisv1963. This update is happening as we speak. I am seeing changes every day and reminds me of the Google dance days. Hopefully, like the old days, a true picture will emerge only once the dust is settled, but right now, like the old days, the results are crazy.

apauto




msg:4275964
 4:14 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

My site was affected and has no affiliate links and no adsense.

It's ecommerce.

limoshawn




msg:4275968
 4:16 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't need "data" for this. I know my niche


...well, alrighty then.

Bewenched




msg:4276000
 5:32 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

directed at web sites running AdSense in general


I find it somewhat hard to believe that Google would punish sites that run AdSense.... it's that their bread and butter?

We are ecommerce, but we do run some adsense on brands that we no longer carry and a few other select pages to help pay for our server and bandwidth. If they are really dinging sites that run adsense are you guys saying it should be removed completely from any site that wants to rank at all?

dickbaker




msg:4276009
 5:43 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

The update is definitely still going. A phrase for which I ranked #2 last December, and then moved to #5 for after the last update, then moved to #12 for last week, is now MIA. It's not in the top 150 results.

As for sites with Adense on them, if we're to believe Google when they say that organic results rankings have nothing to do with the Adsense department, then could it be that Google is viewing sites as MFA if they have any prominently-displayed Adsense ads?

limoshawn




msg:4276010
 5:45 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I find it somewhat hard to believe that Google would punish sites that run AdSense.... it's that their bread and butter?


I have to think that google can make more money getting advertisers to buy the keywords directly rather than sharing the revenue with publishers. Everyone using adsense has given google all the data they need to make sure that advertisers ads are disPlayed on google for the long tail terms that were driving the publishers business. Since publishers depend so much on google for traffic they really made themselves obsolete.

limoshawn




msg:4276060
 6:45 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have to think that google can make more money getting advertisers to buy the keywords directly rather than sharing the revenue with publishers. Everyone using adsense has given google all the data they need to make sure that advertisers ads are disPlayed on google for the long tail terms that were driving the publishers business. Since publishers depend so much on google for traffic they really made themselves obsolete.


to expand on this, google has the traffic and the advertisers. why would google want to send traffic to you for free so you can make money off of their advertisers? Now if you are a publisher and you get traffic from somewhere other than google then google will love you to use adsense. they all ready made short work of cleaning up almost all adwords arbitragers, now that they have all the data for long tail searches provided by publishers using adsense they will clean up the organic arbitragers too.

Ready for next year's shakeup? well it won't be long before google wants to get the majority of ecom only sites out of the organic results. why you say? well money of course but the public front will be because searchers don't want commercial results in their searches unless they are disclosed. searchers want wikipedia results for their organic searches... maybe i'm wrong but that's what i'm planning for with my tinfoil hat.

falsepositive




msg:4276074
 7:00 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

The problem I have is whether I'm barking up the wrong tree. I continue to see scrapers publishing 100% of my content and appearing ahead of my work in the search results as I publish new content right now. I've already shut down my RSS feed and it's still happening?

The problem is that there are potentially many factors in question, but it's hard to get focus on which ones to address, given that the biggest one -- the duplication and syndication cannot seem to be stopped.

Without these red herrings, it would be great to be able to step back and assess the true issues of a site. At this point, I don't even know whether the appearance of small scraper sites ahead of all our content is an intended feature of this algo or whether it is a BUG.

So are the existence of scrapers a side effect that they expected and just did not care about, or is this a mistake? I'd like to know.

tedster




msg:4276081
 7:14 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Without an official comment from Google, I guess we'll never know for sure. But I agree with you - we were supposed to see a 1-2 punch with the Scraper Update and the Farmer Update. Right now, the first punch seems like it missed it's target pretty badly. Several gains even seems to have been partially wiped out by the second punch.

If these two updates are somehow technically in conflict right now, then we could hope for a real improvement in the scraper area soon.

Bewenched




msg:4276082
 7:14 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have to think that google can make more money getting advertisers to buy the keywords directly rather than sharing the revenue with publishers.


Unfortunately for us every single time we have run ads on Google we have had negative ROI. Every Single Time. Whether it's click fraud or what who knows, but it has cost WAY more for the ads than what we made of the sale of those products.

@falsepositive - I'm seeing the same thing. eHOw appearing at the top of search results for one of my exact phrase titles, they scraped my content without my consent in direct violation of our copyright statement and they are ranking above me for my own content ... even with their bogus credit link back to us. Really chaps me bad.

browsee




msg:4276092
 7:31 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Bewenched, are you talking about scraping or rewriting? I will give you one example, as soon as I release my content, my competitor writes exact article names and rewrite with very few words(not American English) and release articles. They are topping us now after the algo update. I don't think I can create DMCA as they are not scraping.

eHow does that too, but at-least they add my site in their source list.

falsepositive




msg:4276141
 8:10 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Bewenched and Browsee,
I am seeing word for word copies of some of my focused articles in my niche that are appearing on eHow ABOVE my article as well. No link backs. Here's a crazy example: One of my entertaining pieces, full of opinions and tips is a "how to". It was actually linked to by CNN! It has since been plagiarized and rewritten and now appears on an EHow article above my post, when it was not there before! The plagiarized piece is a 1/3 of my huge post. And it has a few minor changes here and there.

On another example, I found a site called "gulf news" that published one of my long, in-depth articles. There's been some minor syndication of my work through blogburst in the past. But today, all my new work is taken by small scraper sites and aggregate sites.

I have shut down my RSS feed to provide excerpts but I still am finding scrapers continuing to publish my new posts in full without links. Their sites are very light, with no links in or out. They only link to their own pages. My site has monetization elements and with links that are inbound and outbound. Plus lots and lots of comments on those posts. If anything, my blog shares a similar profile to CultofMac, albeit much smaller and less visible (but a big name in its space).

Again, something tipped the balance here, a little too far perhaps. There may be certain quality factors in play, and duplication is one of them. But if it's my #1 problem, then even if I cleaned my site out, who knows if I will see any restoration of ranks? Once a scraper finds you, there may be no way to shake them off (as seen when I stopped publishing full RSS feeds... they're still doing it!).

albo




msg:4276146
 8:14 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Excuse me for a simpleton butt-in, but be plain and simple: are you folks saying you're getting down-ranked apparently for running Adsense slots on your sites?

supercyberbob




msg:4276156
 8:25 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why has eHow not been brought down by a DCMA notice? Don't hosting companies just take down sites with DCMA violations these days?

Am I missing something here, are they just too big?

walkman




msg:4276161
 8:33 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

"Why has eHow not been brought down by a DCMA notice? Don't hosting companies just take down sites with DCMA violations these days? "

You can't just send a note and expect them to be shut down just because you say so. They are a $2 Billion company

supercyberbob




msg:4276166
 8:39 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Gotcha. I guess the 2 billion dollar company part of it makes a big difference.

tedster




msg:4276182
 8:50 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

DMCA is still a good tool to use. If you aren't proactive in defending your own intellectual property rights, you can lose them. As I understand it, IP law places that burden on the owners themselves, whether the issue is copyright or trademark.

netmeg




msg:4276183
 8:50 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

It can't be just the presence of AdSense. None of my AdSense sites were hit. They don't earn on the scale of a content farm, of course, but still. I still see plenty of other sites with AdSense out there, of varying quality (in my admittedly subjective view).

Now, placement and amount of AdSense in relation to content might be a factor. But it's not just the fact that there's AdSense.

Mr3putt




msg:4276211
 9:40 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have been reading these forums since the algo change took effect. I had to join to put in my two sense and get in on the conversation so I could mention something I haven't seen in these forums.

I too have taken a 35-40% traffic hit. I used to rank for around 8,000 keywords and now it's around 5,000. I have about 300 posts all of which are unique content about 1 core topic. All in all it's about 120,000 words of unique content and over 12,000 images that accompany those posts. Google has me indexed for 1,870 pages.

I wanted to shed light on something I am noticing in my particular nitch that I haven't seen mentioned in these forums and that is the power google seems to be placing on DOMAIN NAMES in this update. (Although this could be a glitch, I sure hope so.)

After running through some main, mediocre, and longtail keywords I used to rank highly for I am finding sites ranking on the first page that have those specific keywords plastered in their domain name. A lot of them are thin content sites running adsense. Some are even adsense for domains.

It's almost as if google is telling me to break up my site into very specific sections and get a domain for each one of those sections. I guess by doing this sites will start to look less like content farms.

I keep hearing quality over relevance. But what if part of quality is being measured by very specific relevance?

It seems in this algorithm change google might have neglected all the user behavior data they have collected over the years. Where is that showing up in this algorithm update? It's like it totally disappeared.

My site has a lot of pageviews per visit, a low bounce rate, and over 2000 Facebook likes a month, or at least it did. Meanwhile sites I created years ago that are absolute crap and frankly that I have forgotten about seemed to have united together to make me $30 bucks in adsense yesterday.

I really hope some changes are made and some rankings are restored before this change rolls out all over the world. If not I guess all I have to look forward to is the sites I had forgotten about climbing up those SERPS.

dataguy




msg:4276230
 10:16 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Mr3putt I've heard this theory, too.

I've got one main broad-topic site which took a hit, and a few narrow-niche sites, which all seem to have benefited from this update. None of them have keywords in the domain.

I wonder if what you're seeing isn't so much the keywords in the domain, but the effects on targeted, narrow niche websites?

gotmetoo




msg:4276237
 10:22 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am not sure this even relevant to Google working on something, but in relation to our site some things are happening that look like Google is restoring some old backup data.

First of all, Webmaster Tools just started showing us HTML suggestions we fixed a few months ago. I know, because I have these exact pages in my old project "to do" log and now they are up again. Interestingly enough, we fixed these issues and the suggestions were gone for a few months. Now, the issues are still fixed (naturally, as we prefer not to do the same work twice), but HTML suggestions reappeared.

Second, when searching our site specifically using "site:" operator all our pages a out of order. We have a clear structure on our site and Google never fails to arrange our pages in intended order unless there are some ongoing adjustments on Google's end. Even if our pages are out of order they are very quickly sorted back and they were after the 24th, but now they are screwed up again.

gotmetoo




msg:4276251
 10:27 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Mr3putt I've heard this theory, too.

I've got one main broad-topic site which took a hit, and a few narrow-niche sites, which all seem to have benefited from this update. None of them have keywords in the domain.


Our site is a very narrowly niched site, albeit a sizable one. A lot of related products, one theme. We got hit 50%.

Jane_Doe




msg:4276273
 10:42 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's almost as if google is telling me to break up my site into very specific sections and get a domain for each one of those sections. I guess by doing this sites will start to look less like content farms.


They tend to swing the pendulum in both directions. Those sites will be the exact ones targeted in the next major algo update. They sure have been in the past. It is like déjà vu all over again. :)

The only way I know to survive long term without huge income fluctuations is to have all sorts of different kinds of sites. With this last update I lost 6,000 daily page views from one set of sites and gained about 8,000 from a different set of sites. My income is down a bit due to CPM differences but if I can get the down sites back to where they were or improve on them, overall I'll come ahead of even before the update.

For anyone who hasn't read it yet, I highly recommend reading the Who Moved My Cheese book.

mrguy




msg:4276283
 10:57 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here's what I'm seeing.

As with every update I've watched since 2000, some are losing and are vocal about it and some are winning and just smiling at all the new traffic. The only difference now is main stream media is hungry for senstational news so this type of stuff gets published now where as before it never made the mainstream.

This update is good or bad depending on where you fall.

Been that way since the start and will be that way for as long as there are updates.

Everybody can't win, somebody has to lose.

Remember the Florida upate, that was a brutal one too.

As many others have said, if you depend on one website and Google for traffic, you are setting yourself up for a big let down sooner or later.

TheMadScientist




msg:4276286
 11:01 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi, Mr3putt

Whatever the reason you were driven to join,
Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

I haven't seen mentioned in these forums and that is the power google seems to be placing on DOMAIN NAMES in this update. (Although this could be a glitch, I sure hope so.)

I thought about this too, but then ran some of my 'stock-standard does the domain name matter' searches for key phrases we would all use and some we might not, and didn't notice anything 'odd' in the top 10 ... Meaning there was a nice assortment.

I do think it could be a minor ranking factor, because I believe Matt Cutts has said he would check and make sure keyword domains didn't have an unfair advantage (notice he did say unfair, not any), but imo any advantage is slight, otherwise you wouldn't end up with the top 10 you do for searches like search engine optimization, and I also remind myself, if they were 'super important' there are some without them in that list who could certainly afford to pick one up, so I have to think it's not as important as it may seem...

Yes, I do realize those may be some of the most competitive terms on the Internet, but since that's the case, I also think if a keyword domain was a necessity those players would all have them, because they probably could if they wanted to.

There are sites there (and in others) that have noting to do with SEO in the domain name though, so I can't help but think it doesn't matter that much, because that little top 10 list definitely gives bragging rights, so if someone could 'jump in there' with a keyword domain I'm sure they would ... I do think in the 'outer niches' where optimization is more 'freelance' than 'elite' domain name may 'seem' to be a larger factor than it really is, but when some of the best optimizers on the planet don't use keyword domains and they're in the top 10, I have to think it's not a huge factor in the rankings, still.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 11:04 pm (utc) on Mar 3, 2011]

Bewenched




msg:4276287
 11:01 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

@gotmetoo just did a site: lookup on ours and yea ... they are WAY out of order... our home page is like 3rd, I've never seen it like that... also our page description is old.

did a site: lookup on a competitor and theirs is out of order too. wierd.

Mr3putt




msg:4276291
 11:10 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wonder if what you're seeing isn't so much the keywords in the domain, but the effects on targeted, narrow niche websites?


The only problem is the narrow niche websites that I'm seeing outrank me are of what I would call crappy. Sites ranking for competitive terms that have 9 million search results and consist of 5 pages of content and a contact page.

It's almost as if in this update it was easier for google to target relatively high indexed sites and the smaller ones slipped through the cracks. It's more likely google will find more things wrong with a 2,000 page site vs a 5 page site.

It's like the ratio for demoting the sites is off:

2000 page site/100 pages labeled as poor quality
20 page site/1 pages labeled as poor quality

Both sites have 5% of their pages labeled as "poor quality" but for some reason in this update it seems as though the 2,000 page site is taking the bigger hit then the 20 page site.

chrisv1963




msg:4276297
 11:14 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

did a site: lookup on a competitor and theirs is out of order too. wierd.


Something else is weird. When you do a search, the number of results is not always the same for page 1 and 2.

Sample: when I enter a certain keyword and hit the search button, it gives 3,550,000 results. When I go to the next page it tells me that there are 7,660,000 results.

TheMadScientist




msg:4276301
 11:21 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend having a look at the linked article in this thread: Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal Share Insider Detail on Farm Update [webmasterworld.com] Nice Find g1smd!

I think quite a bit of what we're seeing has 'document footprinting' factored in, rather than simply 'quality' of the text on the page. I've thought this was the case for a while and the article seems to reinforce that thought.

dickbaker




msg:4276308
 11:28 pm on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sites that are narrowly tailored have been faring well (all other factors considered) for quite some time. Search phrases I tracked last summer showed that sites that were about the search phrase only could be out sites with more traffic or links.

It's tempting to build some focused sites for products I already sell, but have lost ranking for. As Jane_Doe said, it levels out some of these updates.

This 325 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 325 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 11 > >
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