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Recovered from Panda - and how I did it
brinked

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 6:42 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Alright so one of my sites just recovered from panda. Its a site I bought a few months ago and have mostly neglected but it earned a decent income (all adsense). Site had 3 adsense ads on every page, I removed them all, since the panda update it was only making about $5 a day anyway.

Site has about 80 pages, all with unique content, its an old site, really should have never been hit IMO. Here is what I did:

- removed all adsense ads from every page

- Updated the homepage text a little bit, added some and tweaked some old text.

- removed duplicate meta descriptions (there were 6 pages that had identical meta descriptions)

That is all. I am encouraged that it only took about a week for the panda to gets its paws off. I wish my other site was recovered but its much bigger and many more pages. I am not sure if it was one thing or a series of things...to be more clear, there was one adsense ad at the top posing as a top navigation and then two of the smaller banners 1 above content and one below it.

 

walkman



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 7:21 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I started ranking for a few nice keywords tonight too.
Of course as everyone knows, I removed my adsense too. That much is on the record.

As this trend picks up, watch Google say that Adsense has nothing to do with it :)

My recovery is very partial, although tonight was much stronger. I can't say what will happen, but obviously I hope it improves, or at least doesn't go down. It has beena very painful two months. It hit me hard and all of the sudden.

Matt Cutts was saying just last year not to worry much about dupe pages and then they say you are hit because of them and the ads.
What we would typically recommend is to just go ahead and let the Googlebot crawl those pages and then de-duplicate them on our end. Or, if you have the ability, you can use site architecture to fix any duplication issues in advance. If your site is 50 percent KML files or you have a disproportionately large number of fonts and you really don't want any of them crawled, you can certainly use robots.txt. Robots.txt does allow a wildcard within individual directives, so you can block them. For most sites that are typically almost all HTML with just a few additional pages or different additional file types, I would recommend letting Googlebot crawl those.


Same with adsense.

Edit: I hope this isn't the boost before the Panda 3 slap, the SERPS are very fluid. But it will be two months this week so maybe Goog came to its senses

falsepositive



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 8:12 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wow, congrats to all of you who are recovering! My question to you Brinked, is what will you do about monetizing a site now that adsense seems to be a big element here?

Another thing: I am trying to resolve issues by doing different approaches -- sitewide changes such as ad placement, navigation, etc as well as page specific changes, wondering if the issues are found in the page content.

It's hard to say at this point and am wondering -- is it possible to recover doing *just* sitewide fixes along the lines of what you've done or should each page also be investigated (looking at those that have been hit the hardest, for example). I gather it may be necessary for some of us to do both.... if so, there could be a lot more work for some of us...?

RichTC

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 8:43 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

One of my sites got hit -60%

i have other sites in a similar page style format (different subjects)that havent been hit, the BIG differance is that the hit site has adsense on it. two ad blocks and an image block.

Its a superb site (i would say that) and has some great content but its was still hit

I will see how the nexr couple of weeks go but if its still the same by the month end, which looks likely from what im reading here, i will remove adsense from it.

It will be interesting to see what googles results are like a month after the update - anyone know, i pressume as this was stateside first the figures should be out?

brinked

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 9:21 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I own many websites. This is the only one that runs adsense. I purchased it from the previous owner and never got around to developing it so I just replaced the adsense ID with mine.

I dont think people should stop running ads on there site. Rather limit the amount of ads on any given page and make sure you are not taking away from the article.

sitewide fixes can help. If all your pages have the same problem, then a sitewide fix can be possible.

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 10:28 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

So, if the adsense theory is correct, where is the sense in a company with responsibilities to it's shareholders encouraging the destruction of one of it's biggest earners?

alika

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 11:03 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Over at the Adsense forum [webmasterworld.com...] , the Adsense folks posted on their blog a new best practices guide with the recommended placement of the ads.

The main idea is that you can use Adsense, but you need to be sure that they don't take away from the content of the site. If you're running Adsense, take a look at the blog to see their recommended placement.

[edited by: alika at 11:50 am (utc) on Apr 22, 2011]

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 11:16 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for sharing! Encouraging news.

goodroi

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 11:25 am on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

What size were the 3 adsense units? What is the size of your content space (not including sidebars, footers & headers)?

walkman



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 12:04 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

So, if the adsense theory is correct, where is the sense in a company with responsibilities to it's shareholders encouraging the destruction of one of it's biggest earners?

Maybe search was really doing its job and decided that too many Google ads ruin the 'quality.' ;)

You can have ads, but probably below the fold.

robert76

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 12:08 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Nice work. Is this recovery from Panda 1 or 2 or somewhere in between?

walkman



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 12:25 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'll wait a few days, but either way it would be to the immediate post-Panda I level if trend holds. Serps are all over, and so is site:

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 1:08 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

So google changes its heatmap graph after panda without making any noise.They first destroyed sites without informing them and then do this.That blog post also indicates that using the maximum allowed no. of ads may not be good anymore.But i wonder why they still try to send automated mails asking people to add more ad units.

Google has taken people for a nice ride with Panda and then their adsense team discover new heatmap rules.If they can do this, then I believe that they will do anything and there is nothing called "TRUST" with Google anymore.

kd454

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 1:41 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google has taken people for a nice ride with Panda and then their adsense team discover new heatmap rules.If they can do this, then I believe that they will do anything and there is nothing called "TRUST" with Google anymore.


Yeah a ride, a HELL ride .. now off to fix my sites :)

Pjman



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 1:43 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for sharing. Not sure what to do with this info. I'm not sure I'm going to run off and remove all adsense. It definitely indicates that ads are part of formula even though everyone is down playing it. I will definitely have to consider where to incorporate this in my big sites. Do I put ads where no one will click on them?

Pjman



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 2:19 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't wish to discredit this. But in my niche I have 4 sites on many keyword SERP ahead of me (after Panda) that have those full page/ throw the content to the background ads that pop up when you visit any of their pages.

I find it hard to believe that my quality score gets affected for a stray adsense unit when all of those sites SE traffic doubled after Panda.

kd454

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 2:20 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Pjman

I am thinking no ads above content (I am very guilty of this). Look at new heatmap.. tells you what to do.

[webmasterworld.com...]

I find it hard to believe that my quality score gets affected for a stray adsense unit when all of those sites SE traffic doubled after Panda.


It is about placement, the sites that doubled in traffic have ads place in the "new" correct format.. maybe they were giving a warning?

[edited by: kd454 at 2:23 pm (utc) on Apr 22, 2011]

wingslevel

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 2:21 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

brinked, i am glad for you. on your recovered site, how steep was your panda loss in percent of organic referrals? i am curious if you were one of the 90% severe cases or maybe one of the lighter ones. also, was the panda loss on this site all panda 1? or panda 1 and 2?

my reason for asking is that i am seeing a continual rollout of more data into the panda2 serps - on the longtail. my site, which was mildly affected by panda2 has recovered somewhat, although sporadically. i have had (and others have reported this too) record levels of spider activity since the first week of april and i believe they are folding more of this fresh data into the panda2 serp daily. is your recovery coming from long tail or across the board?

Elsmarc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 3:24 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I didn't change any of my pages on any of my sites which all have the maximum adsense ads, etc. allowed on all pages. I didn't get hit by Panda, nor did many, many others. This tells me adsense has little or nothing to do with the Panda update problems people have complained about unless it's how some people integrated adsense ads into their pages.

mromero

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 3:31 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

"I'm not sure I'm going to run off and remove all adsense. It definitely indicates that ads are part of formula even though everyone is down playing it. I will definitely have to consider where to incorporate this in my big sites. Do I put ads where no one will click on them?"

You may want to practice on a couple of sites. I believe the new G is semi-allergic to Adsense, provided the site is not on the big media / government /wikipedia white list.

If I do a search in one of our niche areas, almost uniformly we see the top 10 to be:

1. Wikipedia (main entry)
2. Wikipedia (side entry)
3. State Dept. (main entry)
4. State Dept. (side entry)
5. CIA (main entry)
6. BBC (side entry)
7. Lonely Planet Books (Wholly owned by the BBC)
8. Target Country Government Financed Site
9. Target country Chamber of Commerce
10. Independent country website

Of the above only #7 and #10. run adverts - Adsense.

Despite whatever tune of the day the search engine is singing a non empirical analysis indicates there is a relationship with Wikipedia, government and Big Media.

Of course the results layered at the top and bottom maps, videos, books etc. are mostly G products.

Makes for bland, skewed results but for sure safe SERPS and a funnel back to G.

supercyberbob



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 3:48 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I haven't changed jack and a bunch of my keywords have made a recovery today.

Correlation is not causation.

That said, the ad factor is definitely worth exploring, hopefully we see some more data from everyone else.

Thanks for sharing though.

netmeg

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



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 3:49 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry, but I'm skeptical. That whole 'correlation doesn't imply causation' thing. This is what - one person with one site? Out of how many total sites that were Pandalized? Sure, it'd be nice if this was the silver bullet (unless of course you depend on ads to monetize your site) but I am unconvinced. And my own observations and experiences are completely different (also statistically insignificant even with the number of sites I own and oversee)

(whoops, supercyberbob slipped in with correlation/causation while I was writing this, ork ork)

That said, the ad factor is definitely worth exploring, hopefully we see some more data from everyone else.


I would not be surprised if ad PLACEMENT were a factor, as well as the ratio of ad/nav/header/footer to content as well. But just having AdSense? I'm not buying it.

imbckagn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 4:14 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a website that earned 6 figures a year with Adsenese. I completely removed it and redesigned the entire website. This was about 5 weeks ago and there has been zero change in rankings.

I don't think this has anything to do with Adsense.

supercyberbob



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 4:20 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think it's time for a group hug.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 4:33 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

causation or correlation: in the original Panda seed sites there was a question asked: does this site have too many ads? And now adsense comes with 100% different suggestions. Do sites with blocks of adsense text above the fold scream 'quality'?

So do the math

netmeg

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



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 4:37 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

causation or correlation: in the original Panda seed sites there was a question asked: does this site have too many ads? And now adsense comes with 100% different suggestions. Do sites with blocks of adsense above the fold scream 'quality'?

So do the math


I own a good number of sites running AdSense, many if not most of which have one ad above the fold. Not one Pandalized; some gained. So yea, I've done the math.

londrum

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 4:38 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

what does "above the fold" mean, though?

if youve got one on the righthand sidebar, which pops its head above the fold, you cant say that that reduces the quality -- even though technically it is above the fold. because a very large chunk of the web does that, its pretty much a design standard.

and how good is google at reading CSS layout? that is what i really want to know.

my ads currently appear high up the HTML, but appear on the righthand sidebar.
if i move the code to the bottom of the HTML, but leave them exactly where they are on screen, im wondering if that will be enough to claw some traffic back.

dazzlindonna

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 4:40 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

As I mentioned in this thread, [webmasterworld.com...] , I also removed all adsense ads from a pandalized site, and saw some very positive effects shortly after. That was the only change I made to that site - because I was testing that specific thing. So it is possible there is a correlation, especially in light of the new adsense best practices guidelines. Now, my second test will be to take a second pandalized site, remove ONLY the above the fold adsense ads, and see what effect that has. I'll report in if/when I know.

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 4:49 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>righthand sidebar

Try thinking "must have content above the fold" rather than "must not have ads above the fold"

Pjman



 
Msg#: 4302355 posted 5:08 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

@kd454

A 1000 Thanks for pointing out that new heat map to me. It's a no brainer. Put my ad right after the first paragraph. It will probably be a win-win, by improving CTR too.


I think it's time for a group hug.


We should organize Pandalized Anonymous Day Too.

Try thinking "must have content above the fold" rather than "must not have ads above the fold"


Exactly what I am thinking Googlebot wants to eat up some content prior to seeing an ad.

Looks like I have 5,000 to crack away at.

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