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This 337 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 337 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 > >     
Analyze Panda Losers That Don't Fit The Mold
Shatner




msg:4297725
 5:55 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

So we've had two iterations of Panda now, and with each iteration has come a publish list of the biggest losers. We all know, if we're honest, that a lot of the losers on those lists deserved to lose and lost for obvious reasons.

The point of this thread is to pick out the sites from those lists which DO NOT fit that mold, sites which it's not obvious why they lost, and figure out why they were hit.

In doing so, maybe we'll understand why Panda has hit so many here who don't seem to deserve it either. Here's the list of sites to discuss, I suggest we take them one at a time and simply go down the list one at a time and each list reasons we think each site might have been Pandalized. Once we think we've come up for an explanation for that site, we check it off and move on to the next one:

prnewswire.com
blogcritics.org
cinemablend.com
digitaltrends.com
technorati.com
daniweb.com
popcrunch.com
techradar.com
reghardware.com
pcadvisor.co.uk
techwatch.co.uk
just-food.com
computerweekly.com

 

crobb305




msg:4302135
 8:04 pm on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

jecasc, it sounds like you and I are saying the same thing with respect to subjective quality definitions/guidelines. You referenced my statement about search engines' inability to fact check, so I'm not sure if you're disputing that or not; but your points are in general agreement with mine about quality detection by an algorithm.

Search engines can't actually fact check a document to determine whether or not the information is factually accurate. For example, if two scientists post information with opposing view points on a topic, the algorithms have no way of knowing which is correct. Site A says global warming is real, Site B says it's a scam, Site C says it's anthropogenic, Site D says it's real but occurs in cycles, etc. That was my point. I agree with everything you've said in terms of defining quality for the purpose of detection by a computer program. Those definitions/signals can always change with time. Meanwhile, like incredibill said, we've seen otherwise quality sites get thrown under the bus because of the unknown (but highly speculated) "signals of quality" that Google used to devalue them.

Bewenched




msg:4302147
 8:29 pm on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I guess I could deal with being "Pandalized" if it werent for the OBVIOUS scraper/garbage/adsense sites that are ranking for my page titles..... I'm talking total nonsense mashup pages of scraped data hosted in india and china.

I guess Panda goes ... "Oh the original writer of that article wrote it a year ago, but now these chinese and indian blatant adsense site is publishing some of it.. but it's new ... ooh shiney and new... let's rank them first.

I guess the signs of quality aren't any of the following:
Hackersafe/Mcafee certified
Authorize.net certified
Industry certified
14 year old ecommerce site
totally white hat
Using GWT since it first became available! (mistake)

If they're going to penalize a site why not at least notify us in GWT.

crobb305




msg:4302182
 9:16 pm on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I guess the signs of quality aren't any of the following:
Hackersafe/Mcafee certified
Authorize.net certified
Industry certified
14 year old ecommerce site
totally white hat
Using GWT since it first became available! (mistake)


Bewenched, I'm curious about how severely you were impacted? Was your domain completely deindexed? Did you see a 60% reduction in traffic? A 30% reduction? Some have been completely deindexed. I've seen a 50% drop, but still have a lot of good rankings. I think there is probably a spectrum of pandalization, based on the aggregation of all possible trust/quality signals. This might determine the severity of a site's "penalty" from Panda. I credit my site's age and some of the seals you mentioned for only getting a 50% drop. It could have been worse. Just my personal theory anyway :)

tedster




msg:4302191
 9:40 pm on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Using GWT since it first became available! (mistake)

I'm curious why you think that's a mistake. The was I see GWT is that Google is actually giving webmasters access to data that they already have anyway. It's not like analytics where you are giving them more of your data.

Play_Bach




msg:4302192
 9:47 pm on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

> I'm curious why you think that's a mistake.

I wondered the same thing.

suzukik




msg:4302258
 12:47 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

AdSense team tweeted [twitter.com] about the layout.

Best practices for laying out your site and your ads [google.com]

Seems different from what they recommended before.

crobb305




msg:4302260
 1:02 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

AdSense team tweeted [twitter.com] about the layout.


It seems to further confirm the "above the fold" speculation (anything that pushes content below the fold). Sounds like they have finally consulted with the search team.

tedster




msg:4302268
 1:38 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the link suzukik. You're right it doesn't sound like the old familiar tune:

While it's exciting to maximize your ad performance with AdSense, it's also important to consider the user experience and the AdSense program policies when placing ads on your site. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

First, consider your users: Organize your site's content logically and make your site easy to navigate. If users can easily find what they're looking for, they'll come back to your site. Also, choose an ad color palette that is easy for your users to read.

Show off your content: While placing ads above the fold is a good way to improve ad performance, also make sure that users can easily find the content they are looking for.

Sounds like Google's organic search team had a meeting with the Adsense team about their messaging.

walkman




msg:4302271
 1:52 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ads were probably the first thing we noticed on pandalized sites (look at the first Panda thread). Many said no, but it was just too much to ignore. Google's internal mess has hurt many sites. And it's not just ads, Matt Cutts himself urged people to liberally use tags (until recently) and not to worry too much about internal dupe content.

What a nightmare, especially since they don't care and are penalizing for *at least* 2 months, no matter what.

crobb305




msg:4302277
 2:09 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ads were probably the first thing we noticed on pandalized sites (look at the first Panda thread). Many said no


Even JohnMu said on March 13 on GWC, "For our algorithms, ads generally don't play a big role. However, they can play a role with your visitors."

This has added to the uncertainty a little.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4302298
 3:20 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Links still power Google, they just added another level of filters on what constitutes a good link from a ho-hum link, it may not even be on site metrics at play here.

bluemountains86




msg:4302310
 3:57 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

About adsense, reading the new document is sure that is important the ads-position to avoid problems with panda, but also it seems is important to have different colors between ads and content... what you think about?
well, is sure that panda will reduce very much adsense incomes for a big number of sites

walkman




msg:4302316
 4:13 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

well, is sure that panda will reduce very much adsense incomes for a big number of sites

Pandalized sites have very little revenue to begin with because of the huge drop, so the idea is to remove or modify only as many G ads as needed to survive Panda. Knowing what and how many is key. Personally I removed all the Google ads from my main site. I had two below the fold, when I got pandalized. Other things most likely have contributed to my decrease in rankings, but I doubt that the Google ads helped my case :)

So will you try and hope to make 10 but know that Google might not like your pages...and cause you to make 2, or settle for less ads and have a better chance of getting maybe 6? That's the dilemma that everyone should consider, no one else can decide for you.

Dan01




msg:4302325
 4:40 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

About adsense, reading the new document is sure that is important the ads-position to avoid problems with panda, but also it seems is important to have different colors between ads and content... what you think about?


That is a good question. I have seen many Adsense ads that are bright red letters. Is that the best user experience, or does it look unprofessional. Personally, I think they look a little hokey. The ads stand out though.

I just use their default.

Bewenched




msg:4304199
 4:29 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)


Using GWT since it first became available! (mistake)

Because that is the exact time that we started having issues with our site being listed with Google. Every time Google does an update we get slammed. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Sad thing is that we are totally white hat and ALWAYS have been. It's almost as if it has made us a target.

I am curious if anyone has completely deleted their webmaster tools account and information and seen any type of recovery. I'm really to the point of doing it.

enigma1




msg:4304243
 5:06 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

if anyone has completely deleted their webmaster tools account and information and seen any type of recovery

In my case not quite, but at some point a couple of years ago I did block access to the SEs and disabled google accounts for one domain that had an average ranking. I left it like this for almost a year and then I went back to normal. Not much happened, several months later it went back to the same position it was before the SE block. Whilst the SEs were blocked, they would still list my domain but not any pages. I don't think it will make a difference.

I believe the Google updates in general is to improve content not trash the sites. The side effects caused may be just an indicator that old content needs either to be archived or updated or removed and for my part I just try to improve the content on my domains although it's not a simple task.

piskie




msg:4304309
 6:16 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm joining this thread a bit late, but for blogcritics.org I would look at the load time. Even with the old expectations in the days of Dialup, this would have been a problem with drop-outs.

tedster




msg:4304362
 7:30 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

that is the exact time that we started having issues with our site being listed with Google. Every time Google does an update we get slammed. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

What could possibly be the cause and effect connection? The only thing Google gets from you when you sign up for WMT is an email address to associate with the site. Timing is a notoriously deceptive issue in doing analysis. It creates the post hoc ergo propter hoc [skepdic.com] error (after this, therefore because of this.)

Is there any other change you instituted at that time? If you were setting up a GWT account, it might have been a time of renewed "seriousness" in SEO.

I now set up Webmaster Tools accounts for every site I work with, but it did take me quite a while to warm up to the idea. I've never seen that step introduce ranking problems, or any sensitivity to updates - and we're talking about dozens of websites.

----

I also see blogcritics.org having a slow load time, and no other factor seems immediately obvious. But their load time isn't any worse than many other contemporary sites. Site Speed was only an extremely minor part of the total ranking algorithm before Panda, so I'd be surprised if it has any increased importance in Panda.

netmeg




msg:4304396
 8:33 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I now set up Webmaster Tools accounts for every site I work with, but it did take me quite a while to warm up to the idea. I've never seen that step introduce ranking problems, or any sensitivity to updates - and we're talking about dozens of websites.


Me too and me neither. And I have a few hundred sites in my account, between myself and my clients.

incrediBILL




msg:4304622
 6:46 am on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am curious if anyone has completely deleted their webmaster tools account and information and seen any type of recovery. I'm really to the point of doing it.


What would be the purpose?

Googlebot surely tracks the same data whether you're registered to view it or not.

koan




msg:4304637
 7:01 am on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

What would be the purpose?


Not that I believe they do it, but if you register all your sites into one account, Google can associate those sites to one owner and dismiss any interlinking.

incrediBILL




msg:4304678
 8:14 am on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not that I believe they do it, but if you register all your sites into one account, Google can associate those sites to one owner and dismiss any interlinking.


Google is also a registrar, I'm pretty sure they already know who owns what.

Bewenched




msg:4305191
 4:45 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

What would be the purpose?


WMT gives more than just an email address to associate it if you actually give them sitemaps to use.

It's "supposed" to tell them where your pages are (your deep pages), what value you put on them (0.0-1.0), the last time you updated them (an actual date).

We don't do SEO, I don't have time for it.
We're ecommerce and products are put in our system by our salesmen and myself. We give the information our customers are looking for to purchase what they need and not a bunch of over optimized fluff. We're a 14 year old site with a lot of products (about 100k) and that doesn't even scratch the surface in our industry (close to 1.5M).

We never had issues with google until we started using WMT and sitemaps and it's always in the back of my mind that maybe we should not ever given google that much information about our site. Maybe we wouldn't be having the issues that we are today.

You would think that if you "bare all" to Google that perhaps you would be rewarded for the honesty. That it would "validate" your site.

Just curious if anyone else has wiped their GWT account and if so what happened.

Sorry to get a bit off topic.

tedster




msg:4305194
 5:00 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ah - you're talking about submitting XML sitemaps. You don't need to do that to have a Webmaster Tools account and get all the data Google already has about your website. I was a skeptic about sitemap submission long after I came to appreciate WMT in general.

In fact, even now I don't think they're a universally good idea - but they certainly can help sites that show a lot of content churn to get their always freshest content indexed faster. But if you have a modest site, relatively stable, then I think it can be better to see if Google has trouble finding a page through their regular crawl.

Just curious if anyone else has wiped their GWT account and if so what happened.

I've got no such background, but I wanted to re-focus on your question. I'm curious about the answer, too.

np2003




msg:4305293
 10:59 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I cannot believe this. I have just read this thread and the first post indicated the sites being penalized used dark background colors. I have about 20 sites and 2 sites completely tanked in PANDA update and those two sites had BLACK BACKGROUND everywhere and white text... The sites have lots of backlinks and PR7+.. The panda update threw them from page 1 to page 7.. wow! could it be really COLORS that tanked my two sites? :O

jinxed




msg:4305301
 11:12 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes, Google has now decided that black backgrounds are no longer allowed on the internet. Its very 2008.

Next on the agenda, Google are due to sit down and discuss 'Blue'.

:)

indyank




msg:4305304
 11:15 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

that is the amazing part of panda.PR 6, 7 etc doesn't matter.This new quality algo can bring down any site as it induces a site wide phenomenon while all other algo factors focus more on individual pages.

np2003, are you sure that your content doesn't exist anywhere else? scraping is one big issue.It looks like panda excluded forums, blogspot blogs and in general UGC sites from applying this duplicate content quality thingy. Since they appear to have been excluded and if a certain percentage of the total content on a page is copied and posted there, your site looses out as yur page gets marked as low quality and a few such pages will bring down your whole site.

[edited by: indyank at 11:33 am (utc) on Apr 28, 2011]

indyank




msg:4305309
 11:29 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I also noticed this trend.If I search for one or two lines of my content and if it is there on a blogspot blog, I mostly tend to rank above them. But they still seem to be hurting the page.

But if I notice the content posted on a site like yahoo answers, microsoft forums etc., they tend to rank higher than my site for such sentences.

This tells me that that they being widely visited sites are having more authority and rank higher for the content scraped and pasted there.

It also means that google has not applied the same panda on those sites. I don't know whether it is deliberate or whether they felt that UGC sites will normally have such content and hence excluded them from this check.But they definitely seem to be hurting the sites from where the content is scraped.

The impact is clear if what is copied and pasted is a significant percentage of the content on the page.If your page is thin, the chances of getting "panda slammed" is higher when it gets copied.

netmeg




msg:4305419
 3:31 pm on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

wow! could it be really COLORS that tanked my two sites? :O


I have 52 white-on-black sites, many of which actually gained. So my opinion is "no"

brunotorres




msg:4306389
 9:57 pm on Apr 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Almost all of these sites have one small thing in common that may or may not be related to the pandalization: they repeat the posts' titles two or more times throughout the page, most of them on the breadcrumb and then on the main heading.

cinemablend.com repeats the title four times, two in internal "jump to top" anchors, one in the main post image and one in the heading.

Problem is, a lot of non-pandalized sites also use this so maybe it's not related at all.

Just food for thought, anyway. What do you think?

scooterdude




msg:4306392
 10:48 pm on Apr 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Me thinks only those who've not been penalised by the G team are comfortable with gwmt.

So nothing I say will mean anything to you folks.

Some time ago, a site of mine which was penalised started ranking again, very , very shortly after ,a google IP appeared to trace through a few urls that were marked as errors in gwmt,

I investigated the urls an found , belatedly that they where real errors , and that was that, penalised again

basically, no matter what they say, these folk like to pick on those who talk to them, first


Afterall, tis a lot easier than pursuing all the multi hypenated, sites supported by links from sites of distinctl similar provenance, which now profiliate in many of the serps i am interested in

Anyway, enjoy your warm cosy relationship with them,

Very successful fellow once posted on this forum , stay at arms lenght from the G , an i cheerfully ignored him ,,

anyways, what do i know


P.S. The lenght of this thread reassures me that my understanding of Panda is sound :) They say that exceptions prove a rule, problem is how do you define the word exception

This 337 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 337 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 > >
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