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This 195 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 195 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 > >     
Many Weeks since the Panda Update - Any Improvements? [part 3]

 12:18 am on Apr 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

I'm not at all convinced that it's any kind of penalty

After some discussion, I think I should explain this a little more. There is one way we might say Panda is APPLIED like a penalty. You basically have two kinds of affected pages - the primary pages that Panda assessed as low quality, and then the rest of the site that received some kind a site-wide demotion.

The site-wide demotion is applied like a penalty in that a negative factor is consistently applied to rankings across a lot of pages. However, I'm not assuming that rankings will return after a set "time put" period in the penalty box. If Google feels they identified pages that give their users a poor experience, then they would not let those pages rank again just because a certain amount have time has passed.

The site-wide demotion seems to flow backwards through the site's internal linking. This I'm still not totally certain of, but there does seem to be a pattern that says "the negative site-wide factor is strongest for pages that are just one click away from the really bad page and not as strong for pages that are more distant."

Does "idea two" line up with what others see on affected sites?

[edited by: tedster at 3:01 am (utc) on Apr 8, 2011]



 2:02 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am convinced that the Google algorithm as a whole, and Panda in particular, is not using the generic "bounce rate" as a ranking factor

I concur. Our site with the highest bounce rate is doing just fine (did not get hit). Our site with the lowest bounce rate got hit the worst.

I think it is a factor, but a small one.


 10:29 pm on Apr 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok, so my site got a deep crawl on April 6. Between April 4 and today (April 9), the average position for all my pages has gone up (all green in WMT). I only have one page with an average position of -250, and two or three in the -100 range. The rest are in the top 100. Some of those pages jumped +200 in just the past 3 days. HOWEVER, my overall site ranking seems to have dropped further. Traffic today is down 25% from each of the past four Saturdays. If I was going to benefit from the data collected during the deep crawl, it seems that 72 hours would be enough time. So, while I am seeing some positive signs in WMT, I see no improvement in overall traffic as of yet.


 10:41 pm on Apr 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't get excited about any permanent positions yet , everything is still pretty 'shakey'.

I wish Google would understand how crazy this is driving all of us. Especially us who have high content sites and are still affected by whatever they've done over the last few weeks. (whether or not they wanna be hush-hush about this additional update)

I've also seen sites that have been in the top 3 for important keywords for years....that are now all 'shook up' in position as well.


 12:09 am on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I started to post a new thread to ask propose this, but I'll just ask it here...

I have 3 pages (on the same site) with affiliate links. One page was unaffected by Panda. The other two were tanked (300 positions). The two pages that tanked were using the linked company's trademarked name as the link text (per their terms/requirements). The unaffected page did not do this, I just used whatever text I chose to.

Could Google have a problem with the use of a Trademarked phrase in a tag or affiliate link? I know Google has had some issues with this in Adwords, but I wonder if it was a factor for Panda (or some other filter that I got hit with). All three pages had the same amount of content.

If Trademark is an issue, I wonder what they are using for detection (the existence of a Trademark symbol, or a database against which to compare the text)? Just a thought.

These two pages also happen to be the most heavily linked from my homepage, so my opposing theory is that I am linking to them too much.


 12:55 am on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Tedster, I would have to agree with Idea 2 because my main (home) page is not affected, only secondary pages tied to third pages that might be weak.


 1:17 am on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Tedster, I would have to agree with Idea 2 because my main (home) page is not affected

I also agree with Idea 2, but my homepage IS affected, because of my linking structure. Historically, 80% of my traffic comes in through my homepage, which is funneled to internal pages via top nav (and other links on the homepage and Sitemap). My hardest-hit pages (determined by position reductions in WMT) may have been linked too heavily from my homepage. The respective pages dropped, then it seems that the "penalty" flowed backwards to the homepage. For me, it also seems to be very keyword specific and I seem to be hit hardest on the text used to link to those Pandalized internal pages.

See my post (two up) about one of my pages that escaped Panda. I proposed a theory about tags and affiliate links that used Trademarks for anchor text. Very convoluted I know, I hope what I am saying makes sense.

Where is everyone today? I miss the active chatter :)


 2:34 am on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ever since about 6 years ago when I was obsessed with recovering from penalties I decided there was only way to go about things, to look at every page on my site and say to myself "If I were building a search engine, would this page be beneficial to searchers or would I count it as spam?" so I have become somewhat of a paranoid skitzo in my thinking that anything google can factor in, it will. That means covering all my bases, making sure as many pages as possible have unique content, dont use google analytics, dont use adsense, dont host similar themed websites on the same server and so forth and so forth.

Finally, google is catching up to my thinking and I am glad to have been ahead of my time. I am seeing it is much harder to manipulate google with backlinks alone as they are counting content as a much higher ranking factor as before.

My advice to everyone here is do not try to manipulate google, try to build a quality site with as much updated quality content as possible.


 6:07 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Since Friday, my bounce rate has dropped from 40% to 27%. This coincides with an additional 25% reduction in traffic from Google this weekend. My entry pages are unchanged (still coming through the homepage). So this tells me that Google took traffic away from me that wasn't very good to begin with. Granted, I want that traffic back, but I think it says something about the state of their search engine right now. My bounce rate is now back down to what it was before they implemented auto-complete. Interesting to see what happens when you no longer have bad traffic coming in and bouncing right back out. Anyone suffering from poor site performance (if Google is using those data, i.e., bounce rates, etc) may have Google partially to blame for creating that problem to begin with.


 7:09 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

My traffic went further down too. And got a new cache for all the inside pages, April 7th.

I will wait until the next update, content now is absolutely not an issue, no matter how one sees it.


 7:58 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

For a while there I thought I was recovering. Was up 10% from Feb 24 and up 25% from the traffic lows I was experiencing. Now, I'm back down 10% (same as Feb 24). I did some more changes and am not sure if I triggered something again or whether this was just some algo tweak that has nothing to do with anything we try to do anymore. It's horrid -- there is no real indication that whatever changes we're doing (even if they are big improvements to what I see is user experience) is helping at all.


 8:08 pm on Apr 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

And got a new cache for all the inside pages, April 7th.

@Walkman, I also got a new cache on that date, and I see the deep-crawl spike on April 6/7 in WMT. I get this spike about every 5 to 6 weeks. In my experience, my biggest re-rankings, filtering, penalties (and penalty removals) have coincided with this spike in spidering (normally within 48 hours). I know the spider is just collecting data, but it seems to be a special form of data collection on a deeper scale that feeds into the algorithm(s). I am disappointed that my traffic dropped further, and now we are going on 96 hours and I no longer expect to see a re-ranking for my site this go round -- maybe next time. On the upside, my WMT data for my lowest-ranking pages are showing +100 to +200 position rises. Lots of green (while looking at my WMT data, I am taking a spoonful of salt -- not just a grain lol). This is a step in the right direction for a change.


 4:55 am on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

So basically, this is permanent. We all need to accept it and either learn to live in that world or give up and find another line of work.


Side note, anyone hear about AOL's big layoffs on their blogs? They basically fired all their freelancers on blogs like TV Squad and Cinematical.

AOL had basically constructed the equivalent of a blogging content farm with hundreds of freelancers churning out content on entertainment topics.

Any chance Panda had something to do with that?


 9:56 am on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was hit too, my network of blogs were hit by a minus 30, 40 penalty...Although all my content is original, no shady practices etc I assume All my sites were flagged as farm sites...

I think this is a filter that will expire in 90 days or more.


 10:46 am on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

CRedou, do you rank for "domain" ?

Google does dish penalties when they deep crawl the web, might not be related to Panda or farm sites


 11:51 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

I had thought that my new content was ranking better... but now I notice that my new content which is ranking well seems to sink on average about one SERP rank spot a day.

For instance on new content keyword ranked #3 the first day it was published. Then it slipped to #4, then the next day to #5, then the next day to #6.... now it's #10 and I expect it to be off page 1 by tomorrow.

It's like my stuff is allowed to rank well when it is initially published, but the older it gets the more it gets penalized or deranked, and pushed out of the way in favor of other things.

Note, the things it's being replaced by are not any newer at all.


 12:17 am on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>I think this is a filter that will expire in 90 days or more.

In week one people said that in two weeks that would happen.

In week two people said that in a month that would happen.

I think anything less than 3 months is probably silly to hope for at this point.


 12:26 am on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I launched my primary site in 2004, right during the Florida update. Where prior to that I'd been able to get a new site ranking on page one in a month or so, it took my new site nine months.

My gut tells me that three months isn't enough, or if sites will come back on their own at all.


 2:28 am on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

It would be an injustice if this were permanent. I've seen sites create link farms scaled to hundreds and hundreds of fake sites to manipulate SERPS. They get a slap on the wrist and are back dominating search with the same methods a year later.

If Panda is permanent there is no justice in this world.


 7:20 am on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

If Panda means that sites like eHow dominate the SERPs, I suspect it will be the beginning of the end for Google. Am I being unfair? Within my field of professional expertise, eHow content is not just bad - it's sometimes dangerously bad. Their authors are clearly referencing and trying to artfully rephrase articles they find that contain many terms of art that, in the final product, make about as much sense as a computer-generated translation of a document to another language. And in trying to explain or simplify concepts about which the author knows, in essence, nothing, you get misleading and even internally inconsistent instructions. If the amount of that type of content continues to increase, displacing the technically accurate material I'm searching for, I'll end up having to use a different search engine.

But eHow's content is unique, it's fresh, it has been spell-checked and grammar-checked, the subject is algorithmically determined to fill a perceived void in the SERPs, the title is optimized for Google and (and ad targeting), and no algorithm is going to spot the problems with the content so it ends up on the first page of the SERPs.

I am of the impression that Panda has diminished the extent to which Google distinguishes original content from copies, but I don't think it has affected Google's ability to do so as opposed to the importance it places on originality as compared to other factors. I'm beginning to suspect that Google has de-emphasized that aspect of its algorithm with regard to older "evergreen" content and that, perhaps, to keep your site ranking you need to regularly ad content - that is, I think Google is algorithmically assuming that content that has been online for a number of years is going to be less important than new content that, at least to a computer, seems to cover similar ground, is unique, and is grammatically sound.

I haven't tested this theory yet but I intend to. The worst that can happen is that I refresh my site's content and add some valuable new content - whether or not it helps with the Google SERPs it should improve the user experience.


 7:39 am on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

fresh, original, buzz
accurate, works, tested


 1:00 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

If Panda is permanent there is no justice in this world

There will be justice ... the day Google's shareholders realize what is really happening.


 1:20 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think the shareholders will be fussed. Its only Webmasters who feel the sites above them are scrapers.

The thing is, the user doesn't know that content is scraped, only if it meets his requirements. If it does, the user is happy, Google maintains user satisfaction.

You can't have it both ways: either your content is good content, or not. The fact that it was encountered on someone elses' site is immaterial.


 1:31 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

What about sitemaps? I have about 5-6 sitemaps submitted for one of my sites with different site sections. My site is UGC: country -> region -> city -> many ugc pages. I notice on my ugc sitemaps numbers like: URLs submitted: 41,200, URLs in Web Index: 29,800. I changed one thing, I simply ignored all UGC pages where content is less than X characters, recreated the sitemap and resubmitted to google. Bingo! Now I see: URLs submitted: 26,303, URLs in Web Index: 26,303! The same number!

So, it looks like Google already ignored the "thin" pages as they were not in index but is this possible that the presence of these pages in Sitemap created a sitewide effect that hurt rankings of all other pages? If yes, should I completely noindex these less than X char pages as well or it is enough that I removed the links from the sitemap?


 1:41 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

Zoltan, many of us have done as Google suggested and either noindexed or deleted what we thought were the thin pages, and nothing...nothing mattered. Either we picked the wrong pages or we are in a period of timeout in which we aren't being re-evaluated yet, or we are blacklisted. So, even if you decide to noindex them, don't expect anything to happen any time soon.


 2:04 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was going to write but reading hyperkik's post thought no need to copy his post.

One thing to add to this thread - webmasters do have power. We optimize our sites for google not bing, we spread the word that google is good.

Think if all of us start using bing for just searching - how much share that'll bring to bing? A lot. Will that worry google - yes! 90%+ revenue of google is from ads. Decreased revenue - unsatisfied shareholders, demotivated webmasters..

Do this.. I already set my mozilla's default search engine to be bing ...

Why - it's just ridiculas to see my site dropping for nothing. Absolutly unique and informative content. Not even copied to elsewhere - simply saying because none wanted to copy that. Written by experts in the niche...

So angry webmasters you can do that.. until google realizes it f@ked up with this updates.


 3:37 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

A few things are undeniable facts: Never have we seen Google kissing up to the press as much. Notice how they are working harder at press releases with "quality" "Good sites algorithm," and other crap. They are on a defensive and for the first time Bing is giving them a run for their money.

And of course the myth of "do no evil" is being challenged everywhere, especially in the courts and anti-trust investigations. So Google will not care much about you or me, they're out to save their @ss. Their arrogance will cost them


 3:59 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

Would have to agree with Tedster on Idea 2.

In a world where most of our content is down more than 30%, we have a selection of content that is completely siloed from everything else, and in fact, isn't even in the navigation in any way.

This siloed content is our best performing content and is only down about 5%. . .

there could be any number of reasons why, but it is interesting that others have seen this as well.


 4:05 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

(I rather expect that the eHow conundrum will be dealt with at some point)


 4:11 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

10:59 am on Apr 12, 2011 (utc -5)

Would have to agree with Tedster on Idea 2.

In a world where most of our content is down more than 30%, we have a selection of content that is completely siloed from everything else, and in fact, isn't even in the navigation in any way.

This siloed content is our best performing content and is only down about 5%. . .

there could be any number of reasons why, but it is interesting that others have seen this as well.

What do you mean? The more you link to a page the more it goes down ?


 4:37 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

What do you mean? The more you link to a page the more it goes down ?

I have suspected this. Five of my hardest hit pages in WMT after Panda are all linked from my top navigation (on every page of the site), with the exception of one page in the navigation that tends to get linked more within some of my articles. So there may be an expected ratio of in-context links to navigational links. If navigational links tend to be monetized and unlinked contextually, they may be bringing the site down. Just something that I have thought may be happening.

On a different note, as I reported in the Worldwide Panda thread, my site's rankings are fully restored on all countries that received Panda yesterday. I find this very interesting. My initial reasoning is that when Panda was unleashed, it utilized the most recent data from my site, which incorporated the changes I have made over the past 6 weeks. I haven't heard anyone else report this phenomenon, so I have no idea why I see full recovery on Panda international. I see no improvement yet here in the U.S.


 4:55 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just dont get it:
1) 14 year old site.
2) Totally white hat, always have been.
3) Ecommerce, not a content adsense farm.
4)Asked for reinclusion and posted on their forum of those that thought they were falsely impacted by panda.

And and nothing ... no change... no messages, no nothing.

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