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Many Weeks since the Panda Update - Any Improvements?
grimmer




msg:4280353
 7:04 pm on Mar 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

It has been 2 weeks now since google's Farmer update on Feb. 24th, for the sites that are affected, anyone see any improvements? For my site, we have started to remove low quality content a week ago, but have not seen any ranking improvements so far.

 

indyank




msg:4283087
 4:19 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

well Digital Inspiration is one of the three sites that I mentioned earlier to have recovered.Now that Amit himself had posted it, I don't have problems in letting it known here.

I still know of two other sites that have recovered.One of them is in the sistrix list.

Coming back to backlink profile, I do notice a drop in number of domains (and the total number of links) to all the inner pages, whose ranking have gone down.I keep an history of my backlink profile (as in GWT) and I clearly notice a drop.Is it that google is discounting some links?

I also see a clear pattern here.greater the loss of links, greater is the drop.

But what I fail to understand is how did those backlinks disappear suddenly? Could it be that google is discounting a certain percentage of links based on the quality score?

or is it that the backlinks have really vanished because of google not crawling certain parts of the web?

But how are certain sites able to recover immediately?
for eg, digital inspiration and cultofmac. Is it that when they update the quality score, those links that got discounted are counted again?

But there is a clear pattern and I definitely see a change in the backlinks to the inner pages.

walkman




msg:4283136
 5:32 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Labnol is quite popular, I'm sure some Googler visited it and it was on Sistrix list that Google must have manually checked. And to be sure he also filed a re-inclusion request.

So we know
1. This is how like a sitewide penalty of sorts
2. It can be removed manually
3. That innocent sites are getting caught in.

falsepositive




msg:4283153
 6:01 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Walkman, seems like high profile, high quality niche sites are caught in there and getting a pass (e.g. CoM and Labnol). I checked Labnol before and liked it. I didn't find anything particularly wrong with the site as a reader, but what may have triggered the Panda effect though, except the forum maybe? He also had a lot of pagination, thin articles AND external duplication. He mentioned he did not change anything with the content and just fiddled with noindex. Also his ads were barely obvious IMO and his site is laid out well.

walkman




msg:4283164
 6:12 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

But how are certain sites able to recover immediately?
for eg, digital inspiration and cultofmac. Is it that when they update the quality score, those links that got discounted are counted again?


Google will deny but they got a manual exception. There was a thread about CultofMac coming back after a tweet exchange with Matt Cutts and Labnol said that he filed for reconsideration.


Google denies for PR (public relations) and possibly legal reasons, but obviously both were good sites and didn't deserve any filter

supercyberbob




msg:4283169
 6:21 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

So to get our rankings back we have to beg Google for forgiveness?

What kinda algo is this?

I'm renaming it Begging Panda Hidden Sitewide Penalty.

outland88




msg:4283221
 7:28 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

So to get our rankings back we have to beg Google for forgiveness?


Actually to a degree yes but most will get no further than a reconsideration request because they lack the clout to enable evaluation by those much higher up at Google. In other words the vast majority will have to change regardless of whether they were collateral damage or not.

semseoanalyst




msg:4283581
 9:35 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi,Folks..I'm new in webmaster world....Hope I will get some tips here...
We are managing 11 year old fresh content based website and having almost 45k to 50 k unique visitors every month...after Panda-Farma update our traffic became half and revenue becoming hell down...should I place our site for re-consideration?Is it working for panada affected websites?
For an information:
We have fresh copy of industry experienced professionals..which published regularly...
no link schemes/exchange and so forth has done..

rustybrick




msg:4283616
 11:22 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yea, Matt Cutts said CultOfMac was not touched to be included again. It was likely another issue that they saw. Thinking maybe DigitalInspiration is the same...

rowtc2




msg:4283622
 11:52 am on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Regarding labnol and cultofmac I am wondering if they have improved algo to make these sites to return in serps. Not all sites are treated with the same algo instead manual subjective job?

Who will pay for the lost revenue of these sites until yesterday? Anyone checks the changes before applying online or they like publicity?

Monopol is really bad.

TheMadScientist




msg:4283623
 12:06 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Who will pay for the lost revenue of these sites until yesterday?

Questions like these always apply in the converse also ... Who will pay for all the revenue the sites not in the top 10 until the change lost by not being there in the first place? Who will pay for the lost revenue of sites now in the top 10 replaced by sites regaining their rankings in the future?

Depending on Google is really bad.

fom2001uk




msg:4283642
 1:20 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm renaming it Begging Panda Hidden Sitewide Penalty.


LOL

Edge




msg:4283650
 1:30 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Depending on Google is really bad.


Traffics up, revenue is up, my servers are perspiring – let’s see how long it lasts…

tabish




msg:4283671
 2:13 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

My site results are behaving very very dramatically. One day it is good and another day traffic drops by 40% and then another day it shoots up.

Don't know when it is going to get settled.

Whoa




msg:4283686
 2:29 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

No recovery here. Stuff I've done:

- Dropped Kontera ads. Kontera says their analysis is that they are a non-factor in site's dropping since some of their publishers have gone up post-Panda.

- Starting to reduce, eliminate or push down my AdSense ads (takes a while since it's an old legacy site with many templates). While my content is good, ads are in your face (mea culpa, visitors). I am also coding something to report on words-to-ad-pixel ratios within the site to see where ad density is too high on high-performing pages. If a page never made money with AdSense in the past, then I will likely kill all ads on those pages.

- Killed a footer link to my web design firm. It was unpaid -- I've never bought or sold a link (OK, literally once I bought a link; never, ever sold one). I killed the link to my web design firm because you never know with Google -- if they thought it was a paid link, reality doesn't matter.

- Killed a left nav call out asking people to submit articles to the site. Nobody ever submitted anything good to us anyway. No good reason for doing this for Panda recovery purposes.

- Added gravatars to my comments. No really good reason for this for Panda recovery purposes.

- Trying to be more diligent about giving thoughtful, useful responses to people who ask questions via comments.

- Fattening up thin content. This is a slow process. Trying to figure out if there's a UGC way to improve content that is thin.

- Fixing various things that were broken, e.g. an XML feed that wasn't getting updated; a few minor 404 issues, etc.

- Thinking about spinning off some sections of content to new/other sites. This would include some affiliate product pages that are not that great a fit with the site's charter. It would also include pages associated with a massive database I got via a FOIA request; I think Google may equate volume with low-quality, regardless of what's actually on the page and how hard you worked to pull it together.

- Lots of other stuff in process. Main strategy is to improve the quality of the site, take it from B+ to A+ and deliver more value to my target audience. Looking at more community-building stuff to get less reliant on SEO over time. Looking at some ideas that can't easily be scraped by jerks or rewritten to be slighly different.

I'm not very optimistic that any of this is going to help. If you are an algorithm casualty, you are pretty much a dead man walking. You're basically hoping for a miracle that Google will get this fixed and that the fix fill positively impact you, or that something you fix will fit the new algorithm and return your rankings. There's no empathy there -- it's just math. My hunch is that for small web publishers, the fix/rebuild time is way too long to make it worthwhile; it's almost like starting over from scratch. Honestly, part of me just thinks "Punt."

walkman




msg:4283712
 3:42 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yea, Matt Cutts said CultOfMac was not touched to be included again. It was likely another issue that they saw. Thinking maybe DigitalInspiration is the same...


And I'm the Queen of England

JohnRoy




msg:4283748
 4:43 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I removed 20 or so "thin" pages, and replaced with new original content, also pulled all ads off home page.


Thin pages on a site don't necessarily make it a thin site.


Furthermore - here's a quote:
The thin site ideology is something of a myth.

Its more about unique and quality content on a site that matters, rather than the size of the site in terms of page/post count. [josepharchibald.com...]

apauto




msg:4283754
 5:00 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

It seems to me like the process begins with a page-by-page assessment. A site-wide score is then applied, based on how many good quality pages versus low quality the algorithm scores. So it's not a black and white situation, not just page-specific or only sitewide.


@Tedster - On my main ecommerce site that was affected, I have a subdomain for questions and answers, similiar to Yahoo Answers. No ads on there, but it's for people to ask questions about products or product use. I have a bunch of questions, but almost no answers, so the content is extremely thin.

I was curious if this could be giving me a site penalty, even though it's on a subdomain.

My other smaller ecommerce sites without questions suffered a similar penalty, so I'm not sure if that could be it.

No ads on my ecommerce sites, no articles, just products with hand written descriptions.

Wonder if this subdomain might be hurting me...

apauto




msg:4283755
 5:02 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Regarding labnol and cultofmac I am wondering if they have improved algo to make these sites to return in serps. Not all sites are treated with the same algo instead manual subjective job?


It's already been stated in other threads that there is a google whitelist, though it's use is still a mystery. Google says this whitelist is to prevent sites like "essex.org" from being hit wiht a penalty since it has "sex" in it. However, I'm sure they use it for other purposes such as cultofmac

TheMadScientist




msg:4283756
 5:07 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google has stated they do NOT have an exception list for the Panda Update and CultOfMac did NOT receive any manual intervention. They might qualify every statement and answer evasively on occasion, but it's not like them (Matt Cutts made the statements) in my experience to flat out lie.

There's no stopping these rumors is there?

Shaddows




msg:4283776
 5:41 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

<OffT>
TMS, I thought I should just lend you my wholehearted support for your various tenacious campaigns against sloppy terminology, FUD and embyonic mythology.

I wish I had your patience
</OffT>

netmeg




msg:4283777
 5:45 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

<OffT>
TMS, I thought I should just lend you my wholehearted support for your various tenacious campaigns against sloppy terminology, FUD and embyonic mythology.

I wish I had your patience
</OffT>


Word.

walkman




msg:4283778
 5:45 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)


Google has stated they do NOT have an exception list for the Panda Update and CultOfMac did NOT receive any manual intervention. They might qualify every statement and answer evasively on occasion, but it's not like them (Matt Cutts made the statements) in my experience to flat out lie.

There's no stopping these rumors is there?

Why should we stop them, because Google said it isn't true? Duh! The minute Google admits to this they open themselves to horrible press and possible legal issues. With one check-box they can make you a millionaire or drive to bankruptcy and when certain sites know how to contact Googlers (or Wired.com) and others don't...it raises a lot and a lot of issues. And with 70% of market share they are essentially a monopoly.
[en.wikipedia.org...]

TheMadScientist




msg:4283781
 5:50 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks Shaddows and netmeg ... Definitely Appreciated!

I think I'm fighting a losing battle and keep feeling like I'm in HS again though ... lol

TheMadScientist




msg:4283782
 5:58 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Because Walkman, when they're unsubstantiated rumors and you continue to spread them, imo you stoop to the level you say they're at ... IDK what you hope to get out of the deal, because even if you're correct and they pushed a button to put a site at the top, their results have been determined to be opinion legally twice, so even 'hand curating' those results as Yahoo! used to with seed sites (if I remember correctly) does not do a thing to their defensibility of their opinion and no amount of whining and complaining or even being right is probably going to do a thing to help you or anyone else rank better.

econman




msg:4283786
 6:12 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why should we stop them...


We should try to stop rumors before they get rolling, and we should discourage implausible/most likely mistaken theories because this will help reduce the amount of noise and misinformation we all have to deal with.

I'd rather not have to slug my way through a cacophany of noisy debates about incorrect theories while reading through a thread looking for some useful bits of solid information I can use and rely upon.

I'm not saying we should completely dismiss a theory just because it seems inconsistent with the impression Google is giving us. We could be misinterpreting what they are saying, or they might have deliberately left out a key piece of the puzzle, encouraging us to leap to incorrect conclusions.

But, we should also put a higher burden of proof on any theory that is clearly inconsistent with something Google has explicitly stated in a public forum -- particularly where the statement is made by an employee tasked with working on the issue at hand, or the statement is published on an official Google website.

Given the litigious nature of the US and European legal environments, and their potential vulnerability to future antitrust action and class action lawsuits, Google would be foolish to deliberately lie.

Regarding labnol and cultofmac I am wondering if they have improved algo to make these sites to return in serps.


Perhaps neither site was collateral damage in the first place, and whatever hit them went away on its own accord, for reasons that are unrelated to Panda. That strikes me as the most plausible explanation for these anomalies.

walkman




msg:4283788
 6:17 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Because Walkman, when they're unsubstantiated rumors and you continue to spread them, imo you stoop to the level you say they're at ... IDK what you hope to get out of the deal, because even if you're correct and they pushed a button to put a site at the top, their results have been determined to be opinion legally twice, so even 'hand curating' those results as Yahoo! used to with seed sites (if I remember correctly) does not do a thing to their defensibility of their opinion and no amount of whining and complaining or even being right is probably going to do a thing to help you or anyone else rank better.

I can't go back and forth. Some people even if they see a videotape will not believe certain things (no video t the links but...)
[cultofmac.com...]
[twitter.com...]

Regarding the legal issue. Personally I think Google has that right, but they have been found to have that free speech right in USA. The world is more than that and has a different view of 'free speech,' especially when it involves money.

First and foremost is BAD PRESS. Imagine headlines like 'Google screws 1 million small businesses, manually fixes it for their friends'.
Second, Congress and DOJ will cause problems for Google if not in this, in other areas, once they start seeing them as 'evil.' It isn't as black and white, especially for companies like Google, Microsoft, GE and the likes. [emoney.allthingsd.com...]

[edited by: walkman at 6:19 pm (utc) on Mar 18, 2011]

ken_b




msg:4283789
 6:18 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen any significant improvement.

I am usually pretty cautious about making changes after an update, but this time I'm a little concerned that my SEO practices have been a little aggressive in the past and so I have decided to tone things down a bit.

So I switched to a lite beer.

apauto




msg:4283790
 6:20 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

There's no stopping these rumors is there?


TheMadScientist...

Like other search engines (including Microsoft's Bing), we also use exception lists when specific algorithms inadvertently impact websites, and when we believe an exception list will significantly improve search quality. We don't keep a master list protecting certain sites from all changes to our algorithms.

The most common manual exceptions we make are for sites that get caught by SafeSearch - a tool that gives people a way to filter adult content from their results. For example, "essex.edu" was incorrectly flagged by our SafeSearch algorithms because it contains the word "sex." On the rare occasions we make manual exceptions, we go to great lengths to apply our quality standards and guidelines fairly to all websites.

[seroundtable.com...]


Happy now?

They admit to having a whitelist. What goes in that whitelist is only up to the imagination.

If you believe everything Google says about who goes into that whitelist, I have a bridge to sell you.

universetoday




msg:4283797
 6:39 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm way up again.

TheMadScientist




msg:4283798
 6:42 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

apato I think you may have missed this thread: [webmasterworld.com...]
I'm pretty sure I saw that quote days ago, even before the discussion was featured on the home page...

You might also be interested in this one: [webmasterworld.com...]
It's not featured on the home page, so you may have missed it too.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 6:44 pm (utc) on Mar 18, 2011]

TheMadScientist




msg:4283809
 7:01 pm on Mar 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

BTW: Google did not admit to having a 'white list' they call it an exception list, and the one site I know of (via tedster referring to a situation he knows of with John Mu making a manual exception for a site) on a list like that gets flagged for a hand review every time it trips the filter it would normally be filtered from the results by, which to me doesn't sound like a white list at all ... You don't hand review sites on a 'white list'; you let them do whatever they want.

I do think we should try to keep the discussion separate though, because right now we have too many topics in too many places to actually discuss anything, so I probably won't be replying to any more 'listing posts' in this thread...

Let's take the listing discussion back where it belongs, here:
Does Google Keep a White List [webmasterworld.com]

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