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Corrective Measures After Panda: What are you doing to recover?
zehrila




msg:4298400
 6:20 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Apparently the panda has caused enough damage and i am one of the victims. From past few days, i have been working on fixing what i believe have been reason for the the massacre. I have two hostings, and about 8 sites spreaded on them. I believe, this penalty has a lot to do with excessive ads and thin content.

One of my main site has the qualitative links and to Camouflage my back link profile, i linked it from some of my own sites (related in some way). Now after the panda, all sites having same adsense account, got demoted, including my main site. My mistake that i was lazy about a lot of thin pages, which i now have put no index attribute in.

I want to know, what corrective measures you guys have taken and taking and whether it has changed your serps. This is what i believe has done wrong.

1: Thin pages
2: Excessive ads, specially on Thin Pages!
3: Cross linking with in your own sites

Corrective measures iam taking.

1: Adding Noindex and Nofollow tag in thin pages untill i fill the up.
2: Taking off ads altogether for a while.
3: Changed hosting of main site, different IP and nameserver
4: Slowly removing links from my own sites and getting fresh links to accomodate to loss of links.
5: Once iam done with al above, i will get my self a listing in botw and yahoo.
6: Post fresh indepth articles on Blogs, which i have been finding for a while.
7: If nothing above works, i will move my content to a backup dormant site, which actually picked up in serps and 301 my old site.

I think if you mention your corrective measures, it shall help us all see what actually works.

Note: Some of my sites, which do not publish any ad and are relatively thin page, did not get hurt.

 

chalkywhite




msg:4298406
 6:29 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

The only problem i see with is, if yuo see success , then what fixed it......

crobb305




msg:4298413
 6:37 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Changed hosting of main site, different IP and nameserver


Has host/nameserver been implicated as a factor? I haven't heard this as of yet. I have two sites with the same host, one soared, one tanked. I don't think the host/IP matter. A dedicated IP may help, but this has always been suggested.

zehrila




msg:4298421
 6:42 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

chalkywhite: You are right, i am doing each step gradually and trying to ractify other sites at same time, it might not be possible to put a finger on what exactly worked.

crobb305: It should not matter to be honest, but i am taking this site out to different hosting for the reason that it was linked from some of my other sites, which were hosted on same IP. I am just trying to weed out whatever the negatives i see.

crobb305




msg:4298425
 6:47 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

crobb305: It should not matter to be honest, but i am taking this site out to different hosting for the reason that it was linked from some of my other sites, which were hosted on same IP. I am just trying to weed out whatever the negatives i see.


I do believe that some hosts are "safer" than others (but not due to Panda), so if you're following your gut instinct it's probably a good move. If you're moving hosts anyway, I'd pay the extra $2 or $3 a month for a dedicated IP for each of your sites.

MrFewkes




msg:4298467
 8:04 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

BOTW - does that really mean anything these days?

Its stupidly priced.

tedster




msg:4298473
 8:16 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Having recently tested it, I can say that BOTW links do flow PageRank (even from pages that show graybar). In addition, their editorial process is quite real and possibly more strict than Yahoo.

MrFewkes




msg:4298488
 8:40 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well - in context of the panda update - I doubt a link would overcome a slap with a bamboo stick. But then again who knows - borderline whacked sites might benefit.

I would find out what else could be fixed and see if that works. Mind - this is in my area tho.

So much speculation. Its no way to live. Even though I didnt get hit.

tedster




msg:4298492
 8:46 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree - I also doubt that any new backlink, on its own, would undo traffic damage from Panda. A widespread viral event might be different, but even then, Panda recovery is still not commonly being reported no matter what.

crobb305




msg:4298496
 8:50 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would find out what else could be fixed and see if that works. Mind - this is in my area tho.

So much speculation. Its no way to live. Even though I didnt get hit.


Speculation leads to testing. And those of us who were hit have been testing many, many things and no one (that I have heard from as of yet) has seen recovery after 8 weeks. Unless you've been hit by Panda, it's hard to understand what anyone else is thinking/going through. It's easy to speculate about the effectiveness of speculation when you weren't hit :) Everyone else is doing their best.

Planet13




msg:4298502
 8:55 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I believe, this penalty has a lot to do with excessive ads and thin content.


One of my main site has the qualitative links and to Camouflage my back link profile, i linked it from some of my own sites (related in some way).


With all due respect, if you are worried about thin content and camouflaging your back links, well, then you probably know already why you were hit by panda, and you probably know what you need to do to fix it.

Shatner




msg:4298571
 10:10 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

1. no-indexed and disallowed tag pages and search pages which Google may have misinterpreted as "thin content"
2. Reduced the number of ads overall, in particular removed text-link ads.
3. Reduced the number of internal links per page, which were up around 80 to around 20.
4. Began using canonical tags, which I was not before.
5. Added branding into page titles. Example... Page Title For This Page - MyBrand.com

Current Panda Status: Google traffic has not improved, in fact it continues to decrease.

zehrila




msg:4298604
 10:57 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

crobb305: I am doing that, got dedicated ips, diferent hosters.

MrFewkes: stupidly priced, i think permanent listing is 400 dollars now, i remember my first listing in their directory was at 40 something dollars, it was in 2006 or 07.

Planet13: As far as back links are concerned, i don't htink they should be too much of problem here as they only contribute 10% of my total back links. It was not cross linking, only 1 way and my sites were related in some way, but yea, that could be one of the reasons.

Ofcourse, thin pages and excessive ads hurt me the most here, my over all content and specially backlink profile is stronger than all my competitors. Its just that, i had added some additional pages to my main pages and i had been lazy to add content into those pages, well, it has now stung me and i have no indexed and no followed them!

walkman




msg:4298719
 2:11 am on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree - I also doubt that any new backlink, on its own, would undo traffic damage from Panda. A widespread viral event might be different, but even then, Panda recovery is still not commonly being reported no matter what.

I wish my site was on the top loses column being released after each update, those guys have gotten hundreds if not thousands of links because of that ;).

Looks like it's a set time penalty, of at least two months (we're on the 7th week now) but I fear a longer one. But 2-3-6 months it's a just a number to them, it's not like they care. Respect the Google gods or you and your family will be on the street, living in a car, if you are lucky to manage to keep it. Oh, and obey the Google guidelines, because those that were on page #1 for years and now are 6 pages down apparently didn't. Or so Google says.

I will go out of my not do business with arrogant Google from now on. Not so much as to hurt myself but on borderline cases I will pandalize them. And if you think a few hundred here and there don't matter, you are wrong.

brinked




msg:4298750
 3:27 am on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >
edit: Sorry about that! didnt realize a similar thread already existed.

From what we know, the panda update is about the quality of a given sites content. Its been said that many low quality pages can effect the entire site even if other pages are of high quality. Here are some factors that may contribute to being "pandalized"

- Too many ads per page and not enough content. Otherwise known as the MFA effect. Ads can possibly play a large role in this panda update, especially if google feels you are drawing attention away from your content and directing it to the ads.

- Too many useless, dead weight pages. Do you have a lot of pages with little/no unique content? This can possibly bring you down as well. Try removing any dead weight or disallow them from robots.txt

- Too much duplicate/copied content. Does your site have a lot of similar/same content? Similar/same title and meta tags might be a factor as well.

- site structure. Is your site hard to navigate? Poor site structure may be another factor in panda.

If anyone else has any other theories, please post them.

Here is what I am doing for one of my sites that were hit by panda on the day it was officially announced by google.

The site is a social networking type deal. A lot of users, and user submitted content. The script was done poorly years ago but I never really bothered with it because it always did well. Here is what I am changing:

- removed ads from all user profile pages. The profile pages were very bare with little to no content and with over a million users, this is a potential huge reason why the site was hit.

- corrected all duplicate titles on all pages

- made sure all quality content pages are found easily over the other pages.

- reduced the number of ads on any given page so now there is a max of 2 ads per page.

- added unique content on pages that were pretty popular but lacked any real content. I used ajax instant edit so I hired a content writer to go in and easily add content to those pages without it being too difficult.

- made use of canonical tags (finally). The script was done without seo in mind so there are duplicate copies of every page which do occasionally get found.

- submitted a reconsideration request to google..lets see how it goes (fingers crossed)

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 3:37 am (utc) on Apr 16, 2011]

potentialgeek




msg:4298776
 5:59 am on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Rome wasn't built in a day. Quality construction takes time. If you order a new mansion, for example, that is over 8,000 square feet. It will take 1 to 2 years to build.

I don't know that you can expect a quality algo to give a site an easy return to its good graces; so we shouldn't expect a quick fix with instant improvements.

Google's engineers are probably writing a reinclusion algo to every site it marked with a Panda "X" even as we speak.

About ads there's lots of speculation but only two comments with authority. One is direct; the other is indirect.

Google said at the beginning of writing the quality control algo, one of the issues they looked at was ads.

And Matt Cutts said he understood and didn't disagree with the hit taken by Suite101.com. (Which has a left column of ads where you expect to find navigation menu... and two other ad blocks.) A closer study of that site might be worthwhile.

Maybe we should do a new study of Google's quality guidelines, point by point, and see how many if any we've missed, for those who got hit by the Panda's paw.

Has anybody asked a Google rep if any sites have recovered yet from the Panda hit? Or if it's even possible?

It's evil if they are saying:

"One bad page can ruin your site, so go fix everything, but even when you have fixed everything, you still won't get your rankings back. Hehe."

walkman




msg:4298784
 6:33 am on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Maybe we should do a new study of Google's quality guidelines, point by point, and see how many if any we've missed, for those who got hit by the Panda's paw.

This Google logic is funny. Especially for sites that were in top spots for many years and then awoke up all of the sudden on page 4, without changing a thing. Did Google rank them high for year despite them violating the overly broad guidelines, are the guidelines are a bunch of BS or has Panda gone crazy?

Rome wasn't built in a day. Quality construction takes time. If you order a new mansion, for example, that is over 8,000 square feet. It will take 1 to 2 years to build.

Not everyone is building an 8000 sq ft mansion and depends on the number of workers :). If googlebot sees the changed site a few times and it's better why not give it credit?

Shatner




msg:4298791
 6:58 am on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>If googlebot sees the changed site a few times and it's better why not give it credit?

Because Google isn't being at all honest about what's going on here. Anyone who takes anything Google says (what little there is) at face value is headed down the wrong road.

tedster




msg:4298917
 2:12 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Did Google rank them high for year despite them violating the overly broad guidelines, are the guidelines are a bunch of BS or has Panda gone crazy?

Good question. I don't think Panda is about guideline violations. It does seem to be a try at measuring something that we have always consider a human judgment: quality.

In other words, Panda isn't exactly "a penalty" even though the ranking drops often look like a penalty. It really is an attempt at a new way of ranking that hit some sites particularly hard. From the reports so far, Panda seems just plain weird - the same way that speech synthesizers sound just plain weird.

So I do not expect violations of Google's traditional guidelines to be the root cause for Panda ranking losses.

potentialgeek




msg:4298962
 3:31 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Is anyone seeing sites hit with not just pages which are too thin but too thick? Most of the focus has been ones that are too thin, but could long pages be misinterpreted as spam?

I'm also wondering if navigation links (sitewide) could cause huge Panda troubles. Say one or more of those target pages are too thin/too thick or deemed "low quality" and then devalued by the new algo. Google sees you linking to bad pages many times (every page on your site)... you get a sitewide devaluation.

Maybe the first place to start in considering changes to your site is the target pages of sitewide links?

johnhh




msg:4298979
 4:03 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

It really is an attempt at a new way of ranking


I go with Tedster - been having a really close look today .

It looks like the "balance" has changed - its just a "small" <cough and splutter/> matter of working out what the new balance is.

I'm afraid its going to be different for every site.

So far
1. changed IP address - for another reason - avoid bad neighbourhood- just in case
2. took off adsense -
3. took off adwords - not giving my money away :)
4. Spent the day seeing what pages have dropped and by how much - and , more important, who is above me ? - seems wiki, newspapers, photo sites, and those pesky key-word-domains.com's but I am still working on this

next stage - go back over the pages that have dropped and compare the big drops with the little drops.

also it keeps me busy so I don't get too depressed

dickbaker




msg:4298981
 4:06 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google's engineers are probably writing a reinclusion algo to every site it marked with a Panda "X" even as we speak.


I have no proof to back up my thought that your statement is not true, but then again I don't think anyone has any proof of anything regarding Panda.

I think Panda is so completely different from the algo changes in the past that there isn't some checkmark next to a demoted site that gets unchecked when that site becomes fully compliant with the new guidelines. That's just my gut feeling.

I can argue against that gut feeling by looking at the degree of demotion given the affected sites. It's highly unlikely that a page that was #2 on the results and which then went to #85 is worse than results #20 through #84. The demotion to #84 is a penalty of sorts. If that is indeed the case, then one could argue that the #84 ranking is artificial somehow, and that page may have some additional weight once problems are fixed.

Geez, I sound like a politician, having it both ways. ;)

johnhh




msg:4298983
 4:08 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

<aside>I joined this forum on May 22, 2005 - which was about 6 weeks after I got hit in a big way before and I was a lost soul - almost exactly 6 years ago !</aside>

johnhh




msg:4298989
 4:17 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

one could argue that the #84 ranking is artificial somehow, and that page may have some additional weight once problems are fixed.

There is a possibility that there is a Panda No3 yet to come ( Like+1 button ?)

stevelibby




msg:4298993
 4:21 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I not touching anything until the search results settle down as they are all over the place right now. Changing stuff could cause more problems.

c41lum




msg:4299019
 5:44 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have removed (404) THIN sections from my site along with thousands of product pages. Im still thinking of being more aggressive with page and section removal. Small is better for Panda.

chrisv1963




msg:4299022
 5:55 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is a possibility that there is a Panda No3 yet to come


It looks like sites hit by Panda are on a "hold" and we can not see whether or not our changes are helpful. One day Google might re-calculate everything and this would be Panda No3. Some sites will recover and some might even get better rankings than ever before beacause of the clean-up they did. Sites that were not hit by Panda might drop in rankings then because improved "Panda Sites" will get better rankings.

indyank




msg:4299028
 6:02 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

AFAIK only two sites have recovered so far - Digital Inspiration and cultofmac. Bothn were definitely hit by the Panda algo but came back strong mysteriously.I also know for sure that the international update has increased the traffic to DI massively.

what did these guys do to recover or what did google do to make them recover?

I know that there were a few changes done on DI but not many on cultofmac.But how is no one else seeing any recovery despite doing several changes while these two have recovered quickly?

I find it difficult to believe that google isn't whitelisting for panda.

[edited by: indyank at 6:16 pm (utc) on Apr 16, 2011]

SouthAmericaLiving




msg:4299030
 6:07 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

potentialgeek - good info, took a look at the format of Suite101 and saw larger block of ads on right and left-side of pages... many sites have top navigation menus now, not sure what is in use more top or left-side navs (the original navbar location) so not sure why that would be a major issue.

It may be they are being hit more from the large outcry (and supposedly what the primary purpose of this algo-change was about) against ´content farms´ and how they shouldn´t be ranking high in the serps.

indyank




msg:4299034
 6:13 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

it is obviously no. of ads in the case of suite101. Even about.com (part of The New York Times Company) have too many ads but still not as bad as suite101.

This 52 message thread spans 2 pages: 52 ( [1] 2 > >
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