homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.204.58.87
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Pubcon Platinum Sponsor 2014
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

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

 

zerillos




msg:4297985
 11:39 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

About the ads... my market is completely dominated by a certain website since panda. They are premium publishers and have six adsense blocks on each page...
I've always suspected them of foul play, but i never really managed to put my finger on it. Over the years they have been penalized again and again, even de-ranked at one point. Panda came and made them kings of a very competitve market...
Even so, i have to admit, their SEO is one smart dude, at least in my eyes. If i managed to really understand what is he doing over there, i bet i could get a few really good pointers...

In conclusion, i strongly believe that ads have very little influence regarding panda (i did not say NO influence)

tedster




msg:4297997
 11:50 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think it's very important not to focus only on the home page, so I'm also checking out article pages on cinemablend.com.

On my browser load times were not as slow as for some of you, 8 seconds on regular cable. But the article pages needed to be redrawn three times before the display settled. If I had clicked through from a search result, I would have been out of there.

In order to recreate the effect, I need to block the cache - just as most search visitors would be coming to the page with an empty cache.

Shatner




msg:4298024
 1:05 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tedster That's interesting. What do you mean you had to redraw 3 times? The page just didn't load right and you had to refresh? Or was it an ad related thing?

I wonder if some of the others might have similar issues.

I'm definitely digging down into article pages, I think that's probably far more relevant on all of these than what the site's home page does.

Dan01




msg:4298025
 1:08 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

"Ads above the fold" may be a slight red herring for a description.


I agree with that. I got a call from Adsense about a year ago. She wanted me to change some of our text ads to image ads. She said it was great all were above the fold.

Again, Adsense may be separate from Google search, so they have different interests.

Also, AOL (advertising . com) pays us more for having their ads above the fold.

It is a tough choice, give up rank to make more in advertising - but rank will cost you too.

Dan01




msg:4298030
 1:21 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Cinemablend looked like a WordPress blog. But it isn't. Perhaps WP is merging into the mainstream look, or the mainstream look just looks like a WP theme.

It also had a pop-up ad.

[edited by: Dan01 at 1:25 am (utc) on Apr 15, 2011]

willybfriendly




msg:4298031
 1:22 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

sloppy code? I have a site that is a customized e-commerce template. Horrible, archaic code. It took over #1 spot for its main money word. It is also annotated "4 posts" from the comment section (being confused for a forum). And it has a dark background, generic file names for design graphics, even worse file names for product images, etc. Zero ads, hundreds of incoming affiliate links. Only the most basic of out of the package SEO done on it. (SEO was never a primary marketing strategy for the site.)

I know its not on the list of what is being examined here, but should put to rest some of the ideas floated so far.

Shatner




msg:4298032
 1:23 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

It feels like we're all waaaay too focused on ads in this discussion.

Let's look for other things. Even if ads were a determining factor (and odds are they are not, it's more content to non content ratio) they surely aren't the only one.

bluntforce




msg:4298076
 3:58 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

prnewswire might be affected by different factors, such as the duplicate content previously noted.

blogcritics.org seems to have a large number of links from technorati.com

cinemablend.com seems to have a large number of links from MTV movies and wikipedia

digitaltrends.com seems to have a large number of links from techmeme.com

Some devaluation of those inbounds could create issues with the individual sites being able to support large numbers of their internal pages, shallow or not so shallow.

Just a thought, I didn't look through the whole list so it's possible it won't hold true for all.

viggen




msg:4298079
 4:18 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

<conspiracy>manual interference - technorati is a blog search tool, G. doesnt want on their turf someone that does search better</conspiracy>

bluntforce




msg:4298116
 7:15 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Without doing the conspiracy thing, it appears blogcritics is part of a technorati network. I'd think an algorithm could identify that without breaking a sweat.

Shatner




msg:4298152
 9:28 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

@bluntforce I agree. Actually blogcritics and technorati's reasons for being penalized probably go hand in hand.

So let's start talking about:

technorati.com

Any theories on why they've been Panadalized? Is this just google killing their competition? They used to be a very respected social source.

Shatner




msg:4298153
 9:29 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>>blogcritics.org seems to have a large number of links from technorati.com

>>>cinemablend.com seems to have a large number of links from MTV movies and wikipedia

>>>digitaltrends.com seems to have a large number of links from techmeme.com

@bluntforce Since technorati was penalized that probably killed blogcritics. Not sure what techmeme is but you'd think MTV and Wikipedia linking to a site would be a sure sign of quality wouldn't you? Those kinds of links should help not hurt.

Shatner




msg:4298154
 9:31 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Re: Technorati...

I wonder if in their case it's just a loss of authority? Technorati isn't what it once was.

It's also worth noting on Technorati that their interior pages have a LOT of interior links on them. I think someone here in a different thread said you shouldn't have more than 40? They DEFINITELY have more than 40. Huge dropdown menus of links, tons of interior links just everywhere. Maybe 100 or more per page.

BillyS




msg:4298178
 10:40 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

It feels like we're all waaaay too focused on ads in this discussion.


My earlier calculation didn't focus on ads, just the ratio of search content to total html space.

I can do some addiontional calculations later today. The method I'm using is accurate, but time consuming.

jelikin




msg:4298198
 12:26 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I know you don't want ads to be the reason, but after checking all the sites on the list (and not just the home pages) ads are what scream out at you. However most of the ads are animated - thus very distracting. It's like revisiting the world of websites of the 90s with their animated gifs.

Also many of the sites have a featured article slide-show. These compounds the distractions, making it difficult to focus on the content and distinguish between links to content and links to ads.

These sites may not be content farms, but their website design suggests a revenue earning focus over a good user experience.

The only 3 which don't completely fit the mold are:

prnewswire.com
just-food.com (though they had an annoying newsletter subscription pop over)
reghardware.com (yes they had ads, but nothing too bad and all below the fold. Seemed OK to me)

DISCLAIMER: I've been using adblock+ for years so am not used to seeing ads on websites. Perhaps they are all this bad.

HuskyPup




msg:4298201
 12:40 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)


HuskyPup, you are missing the point entirely.


I'm not missing any point, if no one wants help so be it!

jelikin




msg:4298209
 1:02 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Oh and I forgot to mention, for me most of the sites were SLOW! I run them all through firebug and page loads were between 15s and 45s. Huge number of requests for third party content. Sitting around waiting for ads/facebook/disqus etc to load isn't much fun.

Also on some of the home pages (e.g blogcritics) there was barely any content that wasn't a link.

walkman




msg:4298214
 1:13 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Truth is we're nitpicking on this and that. You can find something 'wrong' on every site, but doesn't mean it's wrong at all.

My_Media




msg:4298305
 3:33 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Walkman,
I totally agree with you also Sites must have ads to survive and producing good contents else who is going to make enough money to support it. Google can count that as a major negative signal.
You guys may want to look at those sites that ranked up for major keywords.

ackkster




msg:4298374
 5:39 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Looking at this list of sites, the two biggest things that stand out to me are:

- Content/Non-content ratio above the fold. Not only ads, but also just having a relevant image that pushes the text content of the article below the fold.

- Lots of duplication of content across domains. If you look at article pages on just-food.com, which aren't very ad heavy, and copy and paste (with quotes) the first sentence of any article into Google, there are numerous duplicate sites with the same article ranking higher.

Same applies to pop crunch, cinemablend, etc.

In many cases spammy scraper sites/syndicated partners are ranking above the original source of content.

Google has had a real problem identifying the original source of content recently, but perhaps Panda just dialed up the penalty for sites that it identifies incorrectly as scrappers?

ackkster




msg:4298380
 5:46 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think another way to look at, combining those two points above, is like this. Google may be looking at the ratio of "good" content to "bad" content above the fold on a page.

"Good" Content is:

- Original, textual content (with perhaps some experimental English language analysis for quality of text, etc)

"Bad" Content is:

- Content duplicated across domains (i.e. syndication, scrapper sites, etc) and not identified as the "original" source

- Internal duplicated content

- Ads

- Large Images


Where the algorithm seems to fail is in that it ignores relevant, large images (i.e. pop-crunch) and often mis-identifies the original source of content, penalizing the original content creator.

Viewed under this system, most of the sites in this list seem to fall under the "bad" content category (rightly or wrongly)

chrisv1963




msg:4298383
 6:00 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not only ads, but also just having a relevant image that pushes the text content of the article below the fold


This would explain why my own site took a hit with Panda. Hundreds of pages with a large relevant image, but with the text under the image = below the fold.

tedster




msg:4298465
 8:03 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'd say there's a good reason to look at ads specifically, as well as other page elements that obscure the content. In the original interview with Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal [webmasterworld.com] they specifically called out excessive ads as one of the factors in the initial training criteria.

There was an engineer who came up with a rigorous set of questions, everything from. "Do you consider this site to be authoritative? Would it be okay if this was in a magazine? Does this site have excessive ads?"

[edited by: tedster at 9:55 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2011]

triggerfinger




msg:4298485
 8:30 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

let's not forget about bounce rate, a metric we can't determine, that might explain why some sites with ads got hit and some sites with ads (and perhaps compelling content, low bounce rate) didn't get hit...

tedster




msg:4298486
 8:31 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hey Tedster,
Did webmasterworld.com benefited or punished by these 2 algo. I assuming it should benefited since it got only one small ad on top right corner.

I'm not trying to ignore the question - it's mostly that I don't have access to the stats. In addition, we have historically never made our traffic details public.

Certainly the posting level is up in the Google SEO forum since Panda - as anyone can see who is here on a somewhat regular basis. I know that's not the same issue, but it's a clear sign that Panda is of major significance and impact.

Shatner




msg:4298525
 9:25 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>>I know you don't want ads to be the reason, but after checking all the sites on the list (and not just the home pages) ads are what scream out at you. However most of the ads are animated - thus very distracting. It's like revisiting the world of websites of the 90s with their animated gifs.

It's not about what I or anyone else wants. Really that's not constructive.

There seems to be a dedicated group of people who just run into every thread and shout "ADS!" without any evidence to back their claim up.

Those who are doing actual analysis in this thread like calculating content versus non-content space are accomplishing something. This constant "oh it's ads!" cry is getting a little tiresome.

It's unproductive.

Let's take the two examples we've looked at so far, to show just how unproductive and pointless this excercise is:

blogcritics.org
cinemablend.com

Now compare their ads to other sites in their area which were NOT hit by Panda.

comingsoon.net
joblo.com
slashfilm.com
darkhorizons.com

You will see that they're all running pretty much the exact same ads. In fact if you view source, you can tell that some of them are even using the EXACT SAME ad providers.

So how can so many continue to sit here screaming "it's all ads!" when the affected sites aren't using ads any differently than the non-affected sites?

What's far more productive and far more relevant is to consider the ratio of content to non-content areas on the affected sites. And to only consider that as ONE POSSIBLE FACTOR. There will and must be multiple factors.

Panda isn't the "penalize people for having ads on their site" algorithm and the sooner we all give up that notion the more likely it is we'll finally make some progress in figuring out what's going on.

walkman




msg:4298546
 9:49 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)


You will see that they're all running pretty much the exact same ads. In fact if you view source, you can tell that some of them are even using the EXACT SAME ad providers.

So how can so many continue to sit here screaming "it's all ads!" when the affected sites aren't using ads any differently than the non-affected sites?


Who said it's all ads? Maybe ads were the deciding factor on a borderline case while not matering on another? For many people it's worth removing adsense so the site recovers (or at least try to see if that's it). Don't take my word for it, just ask Google search why they asked to rate sites by the amount and positioning of ads sites had. Why are we off base?

There was an engineer who came up with a rigorous set of questions, everything from. "Do you consider this site to be authoritative? Would it be okay if this was in a magazine? Does this site have excessive ads?"

Shatner




msg:4298563
 10:05 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

@walkman What I'm saying is that it's not the only factor, if it even is a factor.

When 500 people have already screamed "it's all ads" I think we can move on to looking at something else. For instance, content to non-content ratio.

Address my example. If ads really are such a huge factor, why are sites running precisely the same ads as the affected sites not Pandalized?

It's just not logical.

BillyS




msg:4298627
 11:24 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I did a calculation for cinemablend.com...

Area of Page = 1,775
Area of Content = 136
% Content = 7.7%

Shatner




msg:4298705
 1:31 am on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Awesome Billy. As you do that for more of those sites, we'll compare them all against each other. Maybe you can do the same for the winners list too? Then maybe we'll really know something.

Billy you're doing that calculation on interior, content pages not index pages right?

Whitey




msg:4298745
 3:12 am on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

There may be some offsite factors as well analysed here:

I'm just reporting a phenonomen that might provide a clue on the quality signals.[webmasterworld.com ]

This 337 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 337 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 12 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved