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Many Weeks since the Panda Update - Any Improvements? [part 2]
rustybrick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 12:26 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

So, still, no one is seeing any significant improvements?

[edited by: tedster at 5:00 pm (utc) on Mar 25, 2011]

 

Pjman



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 12:50 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

@rustybrick

Still my major site has the same post Panda number of Google referrals. I have never seen three exactly identical patterns of G weekly referrals. The last three weeks were the same in the U.S. to the exact number.

My International G referral traffic picked up a bit, since Panda. It's like G is throwing us a bone.

danimalSK



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 12:59 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)



I think this hits the nail on the head totally! I really think it all has to do with thin content.

How do you quantify thin content? You know it when you see it... You are basically looking for something that is mostly that is really just your web site's template with a small amount of content. I.e. the content accounts for less than 30% of the total code.

That is the only thing I see on all my sites that were hit. If more than 10% of my site was those "thin" pages, Panda ate it!


I think one area where Google may have messed this update up is not considering search intent vs thin content.

In my vertical thin content is usually exactly what the user is looking for. If I search for "what percentage of French people have blue eyes?" then 25% (i.e. 3 characters) is probably all the searcher wanted, not 5 paragraphs of waffle. Similarly if I search for "Widget whacker download" all I want is 1 link, not a load of pointless BS.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 1:08 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

So, still, no one is seeing any significant improvements?


Nope, just getting worse, several weeks after removing the really thin pages.

Content_ed

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 1:12 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't know how many people here have taken the time to read the 1,000+ posts in the WebMaster Tools thread. I have. It's like reading about two completely different search engines. Here, everybody is obsessed about thin content (guilty concious?) and duplicate content within their own sites. In the WebMaster Tools thread, everybody with original content sites is obsessed with filing DMCA complaints about the that content being stolen and ranking above the original.

It's entirely possible that we are seeing two different facets of Panda in play. I just want to warn folks who haven't read the WebMaster Tools thread not to take the expert advice here too seriously, since it only applies to a subset of the sites affected.

dickbaker

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 1:47 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

@dickbaker, as I understand it, you've broken your pages into two groups -- 1) hit hardest by Panda and 2) hit hard by Panda. You said #2, which is doing relatively better post-Panda, has more scraped (can't think of a better word for what you've got) content but the word count is greater because you augmented scraped content with additional unique content.

Although Dan01 is correct that those pages will have more diverse keywords because they are longer and will naturally get more long-tail traffic, it could also be that Group 2, because it's longer, is more attractive to Google on these metrics (which many speculate are important in a post-Panda world):

- Ads on page divided by words on page
- Affiliate links on page divided by words on page

Food for thought anyway. Thanks for sharing your analysis.


Yes, I'm looking at the sections of my site that were hit by Panda (which is all of them, really, since it appears to be guilt by association), and the sections that were really hammered hard.

The pages I've been mentioning are scraped content. Four, five, six years ago taking content from a manufacturer's site was common and accepted.

These pages have little or no original content. I'm fairly certain they're all scraped content from the manufacturer.

While it's tempting to just add words to pages to get the word count up (as in taking my article from yesterday and tacking it onto 100 pages), I have to believe at some point after the bugs in Panda are worked out, Google is going to address the issues of dupe content, grammar, quality of writing, etc.

As for stolen content, I've decided that if I spend a significant amount of time writing something, as I did yesterday, I'm going to include it in a bulk submission to the US Copyright Office. It's only $35. When the copyright is registered and has a number, I would think (or hope) that Google would be more apt to act on stolen content.

If not, unauthorized use of registered copyrighted material can be pursued for punitive monetary damage, where material that's copyrighted but not registered cannot. I did bulk registrations as a photographer, and the threat to some violator of being hit with a five-figure judgement is a powerful motivator. :)

walkman



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 2:08 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here, everybody is obsessed about thin content (guilty concious?) and duplicate content within their own sites. In the WebMaster Tools thread, everybody with original content sites is obsessed with filing DMCA complaints about the that content being stolen and ranking above the original.


I have read it and not everybody there is obsessed with filing DCMA complaints about the that content being stolen and ranking above the original.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 2:20 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm not convinced that content duplication has the strong focus in Panda that many seem to feel it does - not in any of its on-page or off-page flavors. Remember the Wired interview [wired.com] with Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal - they were talking about very diverse factors. In fact, there was a scraper/syndicate update a couple weeks BEFORE Panda.

Scrapers are an emotionally easy place to focus, because otherwise it's like someone telling you that your baby is ugly. But maybe Google does think your baby is ugly - it's just an editorial opinion after all.

I think it's worth thinking more about content issues. For example, "shallow content" was a phrase that they used frequently in the interview. Questions like "Would you be comfortable giving this site your credit card? Would you be comfortable giving medicine prescribed by this site to your kids?"

walkman



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 2:31 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I run a few site:example.com for many of the mentioned sites in the Google thread and have an impossibly large number of pages. (I did on for mine and have an idea on the accuracy of site: right now.) One site for example had stats for every single product (how many was clicked, accessed etc) which doubled the pages and only 5-6 numbers in each page would be different. Or a furniture store with 50,000 pages that seem way too many if you browse them. Some had their content blatantly stolen, others had identical feeds but most, that I saw, had too many pages /stubs.


Nevertheless, it's a sad situation, all of the sudden Google changes and many risk their livelihood. With the 70% market share Google should have been more careful, with power comes responsibility. Now we don't even know what's going on, Google is silent. Pages ranked for years, Google liked them and now they are on page 10.

Content_ed

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 2:39 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was careful not to say that everybody on the Tools thread was obssesed with filing DMCA complaints, just the sites that write their own original content. That's maybe a third of the sites that posted. Some of the others are the very sites that are sites that are scraping them:-)

I don't believe Panda targetted duplicate content, per se, I do believe that it's one of the side-effects. An original site that would have been #1 a month ago based on relevancy (incoming quality links) that loses credit for curb appeal reasons now falls in the scoring to the point where duplicate content matters.

I realize it's hard to keep track of individuals when so many post, but thin content is not an issue with us, I haven't seen fatter content anywhere on the web. Maybe as fat, here and there, but not fatter.

Yes, I read all the Cutts and Sighal statements about their new human testers and have commented about it here. It's not a search engine algorithim, it's a beauty contest. They know quite a bit about math at Google but apparently little about human psychology. They've attempted to combine the two. The results, in the areas I continue to do research suck.

In any case, my post wasn't intended to contradict Tedster, Walkman, other posters making an effort to understand what's going on with their sites. I just wanted to let other fat content webmasters who may have entered in the middle of the discussion know that Google isn't making editorial decsisions about their content at all. Panda is clearly focused on macro site design.

econman

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 2:47 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

My hunches/hypotheses about the Panda update:

a. Multiple factors (dimensions, aspects or "indicators" of "quality") are being considered.

b. At least some (perhaps all) of these factors are being evaluated in an interactive manner.

c. At least some (perhaps all) of these factors are being evaluated on both a page-specific and site-wide basis.

d. Small indicators are being interpreted in a big way -- similar to how the opinions of a small number of survey respondents will be extrapolated to guesstimate the intentions of millions of potential voters.

e. The heuristics included in the Panda update rely in part on data sets that don't directly distinguish between low and normal quality, but are statistically correlated. Reliance on data that isn't directly related to content quality helps Google pull off the "hat trick" of identifying low quality content, but it results in "collateral damage" (hurting sites that actually have normal quality).

browsee



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 2:48 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

@walkman, site:example.com is buggy. It is showing 10 times more pages than the actual pages indexed. I tried with readability level settings in Google, I got correct results back.

On March 21st, all my international serps increased. US results are same. I am back to where I was on Feb 25th(after panda), so I gained back additional 10% I lost due to noindex, removal etc.

I also randomly checked some US .com results(remember we have our own analytics, we don't depend on G analytics). California results are completely different than NY results, not sure if it is related to G data centers.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 2:58 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am back to where I was on Feb 25th(after panda), so I gained back additional 10% I lost due to noindex, removal etc.

NICE!

We should put that up in neon lights! It sounds like your site was one that Panda originally flagged as "mixed" rather than the full "shallow content" rating. You are the first to report a complete recovery that I've heard of.

browsee



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 3:06 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tedster, I did not recover completely. Only international serps increased.

I am back to where I was on Feb 25th(after panda)

Not before Panda.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 3:15 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

@browsee,
I thought we had hope with you coming out. The Serps are still flowing so who knows.

For me the site:example.com is kinda right plus or minus 50%, not the WM Central one but main Google. I can tell because I deleted some pages and the numbers reflected that. The site I mentioned had, say 300,000 pages indexed, when based on their disclosed number of products should have had about 20,000, tops.

ckissi

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 3:16 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Same here, about 50% recover from international SERPS . btw: I didn't do any changes on site.
Now I wonder if it's rolling out in the rest of the world or what's happening. If my site was bad for US quality guidelines is it good enough for international guidelines (including UK and CA) ?

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 3:27 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sorry I jumped to conclusions, browsee. I keep waiting for that first spark, hearing about someone who fully recovered.

mslina2002

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 4:06 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

it's like someone telling you that your baby is ugly. But maybe Google does think your baby is ugly - it's just an editorial opinion after all.

I think it's worth thinking more about content issues. For example, "shallow content" was a phrase that they used frequently in the interview. Questions like "Would you be comfortable giving this site your credit card? Would you be comfortable giving medicine prescribed by this site to your kids?"


I think perhaps just the opposite for *my niche*. Maybe Ugly is new Black. The sites that I see that have moved up to page 1 and that were untouched by Panda are 7 out of 10, ugly sites. We all know that ugly sells, and perhaps human subjects prefer ugly as there may be some trust factor associated to them?

falsepositive



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 4:25 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I continue to work on giving my site a facelift. I can see why it may have been suspected to be a content farm given some quality issues I'm seeing with it after a site audit. Then again, it may just be that I'm seeing things where there isn't anything wrong to begin with, just because someone else implants opposing ideas in your head.

Definitely some changes from my end re Google -- seeing an increase in pages indexed, noindexed pages seem to have been cleaned out/disappeared from cache, but some mistakes I made while tinkering with my site over the last couple of weeks are still cached, but diminishing each day. So good news for me is that more pages are on the index (why they were not there to start with, I am not sure). Traffic has gone worse over the past few days but as mentioned, I made some technical errors with redirections that I may have ended paying for these past weeks. So I'm still on wait and see mode.

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 4:52 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

The advice she gave to let Google know that you are the original owner of the content was that you should ask the site that copies your content to link to the original article on your site. That way Google would know what the original is that is supposed to rank higher.


Yeah, that's not practical, and it's a ludicrous suggestion. Some of my pages have been scraped over 100 times. Heck, I can take snippets from MC's blog and find dozens and dozens of copies. Is he or anyone else going to send DMCA to everyone of those? No way. There isn't enough time. If Google can't determine who the original author is, they shouldn't even be messing with this. I've been fighting scrapers for years...10 years to be exact. Friendly emails, link requests, or DMCA work occasionally, but they take time and resources.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 4:55 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not every scraper, no. However, I would consider a DMCA notice for a site that starts to outrank me with my own content.

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 5:00 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

However, I would consider a DMCA notice for a site that starts to outrank me with my own content.


For two of my original-content pages, they were suppressed to the bottom of page 2 for snippets that I searched. That's close to 20 websites per article that I have to email. These articles were largely taken by lazy webmasters running similar sites who want some easy links from article hubs -- and those duplicates were outranking me. To make my life easier, I just deleted those two pages (a decision I made after looking at their traffic from last year, which was deemed to be negligible). Nevertheless, it can be cumbersome to deal with duplicates. These were very old articles. If anything, Google should have a big enough memory (like other archives out there) to remember that a particular article was around in 2006 and these leeches came along in 2010 and duplicated it. It's a simple cache comparison.

Content_ed

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 5:33 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm only bothering with DMCA complaints for our pages that draw over 100 visitors a day from search. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we have (had) well over 50 of these.

In some cases, I can get a half dozen URLs into a single notice to an article farm, and the big ones normally respond. However, they also syndicate, so some of our pages have been copied on thousands of sites. Google only indexes the first few hundred.

The sleazier sites don't respond to DMCA requests. The sleazier hosts don't respond to DMCA requests. ICAAN doesn't want any part of host servers for DMCA reasons, the only option is court, which is too expensive and takes too long.

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 5:52 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

In some cases, I can get a half dozen URLs into a single notice to an article farm, and the big ones normally respond.


Ironically, this was a "farm" update, but "farms" are outranking me with MY content that was written years ago. Now I am stuck doing damage repair. I'd say that's a big FAIL.

chrisv1963

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 6:27 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ironically, this was a "farm" update, but "farms" are outranking me with MY content that was written years ago. Now I am stuck doing damage repair. I'd say that's a big FAIL.


This shows that the Google people are no longer able to build a good search engine and making a fool of themselves. Announce a "farm" update and then let farms rank higher than the original is not exactly good PR. They are no longer the "standard" for search engines. Bing is actually doing better these days.

dickbaker

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 6:28 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Tedster, I don't think that dupe content is a factor in the Panda update. I think the example I've given with my site is an example of that position.

However...as long as I'm writing new content, I'm steering clear of duplicate content as much as possible. I would bet money that dupe content will be part of a future update.

As for improvements, I've seen none. My traffic is lower than it was even days ago. March started out with sales at 70% of what they were for March of last year. Now it's down to under 50%. Yahoo and Bing deliver traffic, but for some reason they don't deliver conversions as well.

What's frustrating is that it seems like making changes isn't going to be enough to get rankings back. It's not like previous updates or penalties where a site bounced back. I think that getting back to page one is going to be as much work as it was to get there the first time. Actually it will probably be more work, since we'll be competing with new sites using new rules that nobody fully understands.

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 6:34 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

What are the chances that Panda has basically applied a permanent penalty to all the old content on your site and any tweaks you make will only apply to new content posted?

That's what I'm starting to suspect.

SEOPTI

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 6:44 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Since this re-ranking is applied site-wide I think any new content added will be treated with the score for the old content.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 6:49 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Announce a "farm" update and then let farms rank higher...

Google announced a "shallow content" update. They very carefully avoided the phrase "content farm" - it was the rest of the industry that used the word "farm".

Also note, the content farm concept is not about scraping or duplication, it's about churning out junk just because you see a technical way you think it might rank, and then monetizing it with ads. Here's a satire of a content farm article, minus the ads: How to pour milk [thecontentfarm.tumblr.com]

What are the chances that Panda has basically applied a permanent penalty...

Except for the word "penalty" I'm with you. At least for now, it's very hard to move the needle. But it is more like a new global score or evaluation of the site - using new criteria. I don't think our old mental model of penalty applies to the way this algo component works.

[edited by: tedster at 8:33 pm (utc) on Mar 25, 2011]

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4287485 posted 7:18 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google announced a "shallow content" update. They very carefully avoided the phrase "content farm"


I think most people (including myself) have the impression that this is a farm update, at least in part, especially judging from the Sistrix List (even though some of the sites on there don't deserve to be, and some that aren't on there should be). We even have a thread here on WebmasterWorld calling it a "Farmer Update" [webmasterworld.com...] So if there is any confusion, we need to make sure we're all on the same page and using the right wording, so we can target the core issues. I have been paying close attention to the words spoken by MC, John Mu, et al., and trying to do what's best for my sites. Finding the hubs listed on the Sistrix list outranking me for my own content is very frustrating.

a satire of a content farm article, minus the ads: [thecontentfarm.tumblr.com...]


That's hilarious. And ironically, that article will be good link bait, irrespective of how "shallow" it may seem to the algorithm.

[edited by: crobb305 at 7:24 pm (utc) on Mar 25, 2011]

This 383 message thread spans 13 pages: 383 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 13 > >
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