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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#: 4297723 posted 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

 

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:31 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Nano Aren't those links like the kind provided by those contextual link providers like kontera, infolinks, vibrant media?

Those are used by a LOT of sites, way more than the 12% affected by Panda.

On their own I doubt they're a problem. Maybe combined with all the other stuff, some small influence though.

brinked

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:32 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Shatner, like I said, its not the number of ads alone. Its the number of ads combined with the placement of the ads, combined with the transparency of them. Think of it this way. Is the page optimized for maximum content exposure, or for maximum advertising exposure? the 2 examples I posted screenshots for are optimizing there ads a bit too much if you ask me.

burcot

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:34 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Shatner

I clicked on the cinemablend.com link and 4 popups opened.
I hate that. I think everyone hates that, thin content or not

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:35 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

@brinked

Maybe it could be said that this way.

You can get away with ads that aren't clearly labeled as ads and that aren't spaced out very well... if there's only 2.

But if there's 9 you have a problem.

On the other hand you might be able to get away with having 9 ads on the page, if they're clearly labeled as "Ads" and spaced out well.

Nano



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:35 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'd also like to note that the in-text links Technorati uses are not marked as ads but are probably considered ads.

Plus, the text-link ads on technorati's pages are not nofollow links.

Most of the contextual ad programs are nofollow, and say advertisement somewhere. You've seen the ones with the pop-up window, they mark advertisement there.

[edited by: Nano at 10:38 pm (utc) on Apr 16, 2011]

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:37 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Nano If you "view source" the page you won't even see those links. They're generated by a javascript I think, so you wouldn't need nofollow right? Actually, Google shouldn't even be able to see them at all.

brinked

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:38 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Shatner, you're focusing too much on one factor. You can have 9 ads on a page, but does your content warrant 9 ads? Its the number of ads, combined with the placement combined with the non disclosure that can be causing them to be effected. It is extremely unlikely that any 1 given factor is causing this, google does not work that way, if they did they would be much easier to game.

DanAbbamont



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:43 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm definitely under the impression that it has a whole lot to do with the ratio of thin pages to actual content pages. That Digital Trends site has 34,000 tag pages and 33,000 actual articles indexed.

Cinemablend just recently made all their results pages canonical so we can see if that was it.

Techradar has tags / different sorting / pagination going on all over the place too.

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:43 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

@brinked NO I agree.

My point is, we can't say "this site has 9 ads, that's why it got hit".

It's not that. It's about where and how they used those ads, in relation to the other things on the page. It's not as simple as counting the number of ads or even the types of ads and saying bad or good.

I agree.

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:44 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>>I clicked on the cinemablend.com link and 4 popups opened.

Sounds like you have a spyware problem. Been clicking around on all of these sites for two days now and I've never gotten more than one popup at a time from any of them. And usually once I get the one popup, I never get another unless I close my browser and reopen.

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 10:47 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>I'm definitely under the impression that it has a whole lot to do with the ratio of thin pages to actual content pages. That Digital Trends site has 34,000 tag pages and 33,000 actual articles indexed.

That may be a factor. If so though, that seems like a flaw in Google's algorithm that it counts legit tag pages as "thin content", unless Google has just suddenly decided no one is allowed to use tags anymore... though it would have been nice if they'd given the world a warning since tags are kind of an internet standard.

Several of the sites we've discussed here have said on the Google Webmaster forum that they disallowed or noindexed all their tag pages, and I don't think that's helped them any yet. So hard to say.

DanAbbamont



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 11:04 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's not really a new thing, but it's gotten more strict. They're not opposed to tags, it's just that they have to be strict about duplicate content. If you noindex those pages it's obvious you're not trying to get them ranked so you're fine.

Dan01



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 11:08 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Obviously there are more issues than ads. PRNewswire doesn't have any ads at all.

Perhaps an ad to content ratio plays a role, but that is not what dinged PRNewswire. Perhaps they appear to be a scraper?

brinked

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 11:11 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Dan prnewswire is a whole new nightmare. off the bat they dont nofollow there links. Anyone can post a story and put whatever links they want.

They have articles that are duplicated all around the web, I believe many of there press releases are scraped from other sites. There are so many things I see wrong with prnewsweb, but I do not think they are suffering because of ads, but their other problems are very transparent.

Dan01



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 11:13 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Dan Abbamont:

It's not really a new thing, but it's gotten more strict.


Maybe. I have read for years that it hurt your SEO to link to low quality sites. But we kept seeing the content farms rank high. Why? Because it was not a site-wide ding.

Maybe other factors that don't fit the mold (as per our perception of Panda), may play a bigger role than before.

PRNewswire doesn't have any advertisements. None. So why did they get dinged? Maybe they got a sitewide ding because of duplicate content?

DanAbbamont



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 11:20 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you look at what PRNewswire offers, it's pretty much for inbound links through syndication and to get in the news search engines. The smaller press release sites are going through the same thing. Honestly, that's more or less paid links without nofollow.

DanAbbamont



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 11:31 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

[google.com...]

You don't even see the original copy in there. But you're guaranteed all these links from authoritative sites, so it doesn't matter if the original doesn't rank.

Dan01



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 12:06 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

They have articles that are duplicated all around the web, I believe many of there press releases are scraped from other sites.


I am not sure about that Brinked. Some companies pay them to make their press release. Other companies pay them to just distribute their release. They are not your typical article directory. I have never seen them scrape an article from another site.

There is a similar popular business model called Businesswire. That is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. They are direct competitors with PRNewswire. I don't think either scrapes content.

They do have links to all of the sites that paid them. I am sure they link to some low quality sites, but much of their business is from Fortune 500 companies (Ford etc).

I guess my point is: They are not your typical article directory like ezine, articlesbase etc that post articles for free.

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 12:15 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think we should pay much attention to PRNewswire, they are a syndication service so all their stuff is massively duplicated... since the whole purpose of their site is to publish things and get them duplicated.

Obviously Google should take into account syndication services better, and it probably isn't. But I think they are more of an anomaly and not really as relevant as some of the other sites on the list.

ianbell330



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 12:44 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am the owner of Digitaltrends.com. I want to thank everyone for this thread. We were hit hard by the first Panada update, but after a week and a half, it was like a switch was flipped. We not only bounced back, but our rankings were better than before the update.

Now with the second Panda update we have been hit hard again, and wondering when/if that switch will flip again for us.

From what we can tell, we have been hit because we syndicate content to some major partners like Yahoo News, Yahoo Shopping, Yahoo FrontPage, Sams Club and over 200 TV news stations.

We noticed that all of our syndicators are showing up for our stories, but we are either bumped well below them or not at all. Google is no longer recognizing Digitaltrends.com as the source of the content anymore, despite our partners linking back to us. We have followed all of google's instructions on how to syndicate content and even had Matt Cutts email us after looking over our site and giving us the thumbs up.

Syndication example:

[google.com...]

[google.com...]



I have a feeling we will bounce back in 5-7 days again. I already searched on Bing and Yahoo, and both of those search engines are recognizing DT as the content source, so I am hoping Google will as well.

My business partner at DT (our CTO) seems to think that Google resets everything with these updates and then applies filters over the following weeks - and that is what is happening.

I am up for any ideas you guys may have, and appreciate all the help.

DanAbbamont



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 1:05 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Again I'd check out the tag situation because for example you've got a post that's tagged with beer pong, beer pong table and custom beer pong table. When you look at the tag page for any of these, all they show is another copy of the post.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 1:54 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

ianbell330, Google whitelists sites they like and know about. It's others that are screwed. E-Mail Matt again and he will again remove your penalty or whatever this is.

Or post on Twitter so it spreads. Once they are embarrassed publicly they will react like they did with CultOfMac.

GuyFromKlingon



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 1:57 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I find pattern on PAnda: Google has financial interest? They doing ok. Google has no interests? Banned or penalized.

Example: Beat That Quote. Spammer? Yes. Doing ok? Oh you bets! Got promotion on panda!

ianbell330



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 2:05 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Walkman: Will do. Funny thing that just occurred to me. We work closely with the Google Products team where they use our product user reviews and professional reviews. This update would affect the amount of reviews they get from us as traffic increases. Would also be ironic if we are getting penalized for duplicate content for having reviews on both Google Products and DT (although I doubt that).

walkman



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 2:38 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Walkman: Will do. Funny thing that just occurred to me. We work closely with the Google Products team where they use our product user reviews and professional reviews. This update would affect the amount of reviews they get from us as traffic increases. Would also be ironic if we are getting penalized for duplicate content for having reviews on both Google Products and DT (although I doubt that).

Don't mistake the two. Google takes reviews without compensation even from sites they send to almost /dev/null. The reviews are good enough for them to use but not enough for Google to send you people so you could make a few pennies of your hard work. Get it? If you ask them not to, they will tell you to block Google from your site [webmasterworld.com...] .

Dan01



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 3:02 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ian, earlier in the thread we were talking about advertising. I noticed that there was a pop-up when I entered your site. In fact, I had to click continue or exit the ad to get to the content. After I got to your page the first time, I noticed that there was a huge ad at the top pushing the content lower.

I am wondering if this is costing you in the SERPS.

Dan01



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 3:03 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think we should pay much attention to PRNewswire, they are a syndication service so all their stuff is massively duplicated... since the whole purpose of their site is to publish things and get them duplicated.

I think you are right. Obviously ads had nothing to do with their great decline.

Broadway

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 3:42 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is mention in this thread about content-to-ad ratios and delineating page sections that are ads.

In this year 2011 as I redesign my pages' layout, is it safe to assume that Google can interpret what blocks are in which location on a page?

Is it ok to use css positioning, or should I spell it out to Google and list things in the HTML in the order they will appear?

(Now that Adsense load times are decreased, there isn't so much of a reason to insert them low in the HTML any more.)

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 3:52 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think it's color, big red herring (pun intended) nor are ads above the fold an issue, or as big as issue as people might think.

From the list of sites being discussed on this thread they all have something blaring in common to me from first glance: syndication and scraping.

They are either sites providing content for syndication or using syndicated content, meaning in either case the content is duplicated all over the place, including scraped versions. There is something about certain syndication mash-up sites, or even their original authors, that is obviously triggering a penalty yet not so for others.

I would dig deeper, I think there has to be a commonality about the type of content being penalized and what types of sites it shows up on. Some sites hit by Panda still rank well for one page and nowhere for the next page that used to rank well, and it's those that pages holding all the clues.

The human factors involved could've simply been:
"Same old crap. <click> More of the same crap. <click> Crappity crap crap. <click>"

Probably more to it than that, but mostly I'm seeing redundancy of non-unique content as a mobilizing factor.

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 3:53 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

@brinked "google does not use bounce rate, I have stated many times I wish they did!

How do you know this & that it is definitively true for Panda? No one knows what factors are used in the new algo to determine ratings in the SERPS.

The "bounce rate" discussion has been run into the ground all over the web, including here. Brinked has the right idea - just let the idea of bounce rate fade away, it's not useful. The most recent in-depth discussion was started only 8 days ago - Google Uses Bounce Rate! - NOT [webmasterworld.com]

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4297723 posted 7:19 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here's one we should DEFINITELY analyze. Sistrix just released a list of Panda 2.0 losers in the US, and on that list was:

Spike.com

That one definitely does not fit the mold.

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