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Are old "original post dates" now hurting our rankings?
DirigoDev




msg:4297125
 8:30 pm on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

We run an all original USA-based content site with thousands of super high quality pages (original stuff, professionally written and researched, big investment); we don’t run ads on our site. We’re 100% clean. We have seen our SEO rankings on keywords drop dramatically (>60%) as of Monday. Anyone else seeing this type of significant drop-off?

A lot of people take content from our site and post it on their site, and then link back to us. We have lots of inbound links from blogs. We’re wondering if all of the link-backs are making Google (and the new Panda) think that we are some sort of content farm and we have been penalized as a result.

Anyone else seeing SEO drop off like this for their original content sites since the beginning of the week?

Like many others, our SEO rankings took a nosedive on April 6th. It seems as if the Google Panda International roll-out has some sort of glitch.

We have one other theory having to do with dates. We are certified by hon.ch – they require us to display the original publication date as well as the last modified date. To hide the original publication date from Google we’ve been using document.write in JavaScript. This did the trick for much of last year in that our last modified date has been showing in the SERPs. We constantly update our content to keep it evergreen and fresh – a huge investment. We’re now seeing the original publication date in the SERPs. When did Google start reading JavaScript? Could the much older dates (2004-2007 vs 2010-2011) be significantly impacting our SERPs? Does anyone have a fix for the date problem?

[edited by: tedster at 8:16 pm (utc) on Apr 14, 2011]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

 

tedster




msg:4297855
 8:20 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I doubt that the dates are a big factor here. However, many people are reporting that Google is not getting original source attribution correct, with apparently more problems since the Panda roll out.

DirigoDev




msg:4297879
 8:55 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Are you saying that the date method is probably not the reason for downgrade. This is the site: < sorry. no member site reviews in public areas >

[edited by: tedster at 8:57 pm (utc) on Apr 14, 2011]

tedster




msg:4297886
 9:02 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

sorry we don't do member site reviews in the public forums - only in the
private Review my Site [webmasterworld.com] area for paid Supporters


Yes, that is what I'm saying. I know that we have a lot of threads about Panda to stay up with, but the summary is that Panda did NOT lower rankings based on any single factor. instead it is a mix of factors, not all of which are currently identified.

Among those who are studying the actual data, no one has found even a low level correlation between dates and lowered rankings.

goodroi




msg:4297960
 10:48 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have not seen a direct correlation with dates and ranking. I have seen manipulating the dates to be more recent leads to a higher CTR. A higher CTR could possibly help with rankings but I wouldn't blame old dates for ranking problems.

DirigoDev




msg:4297973
 11:26 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well then, looks like I've been eaten by the PANDA. I'm not a content farm. I'm a rich content site. We spend ~$8k/page on content development. Several hundred hours of investment per page (doctors, PhDs, nurses...). We are #1 in our industry segment. My 2MM uniques/month are now 600K. We will survive and prosper again. We'll figure this out.

walkman




msg:4297982
 11:36 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

DirigoDev, with Google you're like a Politburo member under Stalin: one day on top, the next day you violate Stalin's 'guidelines.'

DirigoDev




msg:4297996
 11:49 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've been a Google fan for a long time. They've gone too far on this one. We've got 51 employees and we did nothing wrong. This is not right. I've decided to join the Google resistance! Where do I sign-up?

tedster




msg:4298003
 12:02 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

People (including me) were saying the same thing about the Florida Update. As I see it, we can either complain and resist, or we can work to understand and adapt. This is not a penalty, it is a new algorithm - even though it generates a ranking change that looks something like a penalty.

As I see it, there has not ever been an update this extreme, and that includes Florida. We all got very accustomed to Google's algo being essentially consistent and predictable. In fact we got so used to it that we forgot it was their algorithm and always subject to change.

The previous algorithm became so predictable that start-ups were getting millions of investment dollars based on their ability to predict Google's response. That practice is probably over.

We will survive and prosper again. We'll figure this out.

That is always my choice. I think this case will be a lot like Florida. I think we will figure out some parts and Google will adjust other parts and we'll meet somewhere in the middle. But until then it is pretty painful.

tranquilito




msg:4298087
 5:16 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Were there sites that recovered after "Florida Update" by making changes and adapting the web sites to the new algorithm ?

viggen




msg:4298088
 5:18 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've been a Google fan for a long time. They've gone too far on this one. We've got 51 employees and we did nothing wrong. This is not right. I've decided to join the Google resistance!
Where do I sign-up?


...at the robots.txt

good luck
viggen

DirigoDev




msg:4305172
 3:34 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

The date theory is bunk. We changed all the dates and got nothing. We did get the correct dates back in the SERPs and this has helped to drive more traffic.

Planet13




msg:4305183
 4:08 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've decided to join the Google resistance! Where do I sign-up?


Easy. Just block googlebot in your robots.txt file. Then use Webmaster tools to de-index your URLs that are already indexed.

That'll show google who's boss...


(And, of course, viggen beat me to the punch. Curse you viggen!)

Planet13




msg:4305185
 4:19 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tedster:

The previous algorithm became so predictable that start-ups were getting millions of investment dollars based on their ability to predict Google's response. That practice is probably over.


In some ways, google's success has become its Achilles Heel.

Because one algorithm (google's) has so much market share, it became easier and easier for people with deep pockets to rank higher. After all, they only had to SEO for ONE algorithm.

Lots of hunters in the bush, but only one duck flying overhead.

For purely argument's sake, one could say that if search share was divided equally among, say, four different Search Engines, then maybe the quality of ALL of those search engines would be better, since it would be more difficult to game four search engines than to game one.

(Or you could say it would be harder for all of us practicing SEO to game them.)

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4305218
 6:54 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

As I see it, we can either complain and resist, or we can work to understand and adapt. This is not a penalty, it is a new algorithm - even though it generates a ranking change that looks something like a penalty.


Not only that but YOUR site doesn't even need to be affected in order for it to fall in rankings. That sounds silly but think about a house of cards, what if the sites below you that were supporting your site (via your backlink profile) DID get a ranking demotion, their ability to keep your site propped up would also change.

Panda brought on some new guidelines and we'll figure them out in time. Don't assume too much and keep moving forward and improve what you can.

FranticFish




msg:4305222
 7:12 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

We spend ~$8k/page on content development. Several hundred hours of investment per page (doctors, PhDs, nurses...)

I would contact Google via Webmaster Tools myself. It might never get read, but it sounds to me like your site is the sort of false positive that Google SHOULD know about. $8K per page sounds like the very definition of authority content to me.

If your pages don't rank well and used to then there is something wrong with the new algorithm. Google doesn't owe you a living, but it does owe its users the best results.

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