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This 340 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 340 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 > >     
Google Updates and SERP Changes - May 2011
crobb305




msg:4306561
 5:17 pm on May 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

I am still seeing VERY wild fluctuations in my WMT data. Despite a 70% traffic recovery, I am still seeing pages drop 300 to 400 positions, then rise. In the past 72 hours, another page just fell about 400. Clearly there is significant instability right now. There is no guarantee that my ranking improvement will stick, although the trend continues upward. This continuous cycle of pages drop 400 then rise 400 is ridiculous.

[edited by: tedster at 8:06 pm (utc) on May 1, 2011]

 

theskunk




msg:4317809
 8:27 am on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think that google has also changed on some very basic levels. I have my internal engineers build search functions for my sites. Usually they start off bad and we make them better. Sometimes they never end up great. It depends on the content being search and the way people think about searching. Ie how the google software deals with what you type in the little box. The results are NOT all about complex algo's, penalties, relevance, speed and quality. It can be more basic stuff.

For years when i searched "MyMyMedia" google wld return my site MyMyMedia.com... guess what, now they dont. To get my site i need to now search the term "MyMy Media" .. now why is that?

If I was developing Google I would consider this a fundamental flaw.

And what of brand ownership. I have done a number of sites for Blu Ray and Sony are #*$! hot on protecting their trademarks. SO why when I search for for both "Blu-Ray" and "BluRay" do i get blu-ray.com (non sony site) with blu-raydisc.com (Sony brand site) in 12th place or something.

My guess is either, Sony and google had a fall out over trademarks and google refused to delist blu-ray infringeing websites... OR

The quality factor totally outweighs the brand ownership factor. Or google doesnt recognise blu-ray as a brand. So how do they detemine brand ownership?

Anyway in my opinion google has changed forwever you can "Play It" I dont think you can understand it, certainly you wont beat it. For now the power of the linking is the strongest factor to elevate your position.. and perhaps some trust.

maximillianos




msg:4317863
 11:18 am on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I believe G is shuffling the search result on purpose to some degree. How else would they get feed back for search users? It may be similar to adwords where even the worst ad gets played occasionally just to see if it has better response now. Your site would never recover if left in position 50 for ever no matter how many great changes you made to it.


If this is true, I think many sites may never get a chance to return from the penalty regardless of any improvements made to their site for a long time. Google may have took a few years of data to issue this penalty, it may take a few more years of data to get back out of this penalty... unfortunately.

learnseo81




msg:4317984
 3:30 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Panda is not a penalty. Just saw a video of Mattcuts and he commented it yesterday. He says that they are not going to make any manual exceptions and continuously improving algorithm.

If you change things on your site the "signals" are re-assessed and you may get your rankings back.......

HuskyPup




msg:4317987
 3:39 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Panda is not a penalty.


Maybe not but it's certainly acting like one.

In the video did you notice what he said at 1.14 mins and a little bit later?

balibones




msg:4317990
 3:44 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

From this Google Patent Application:
[patft.uspto.gov...]

"According to one aspect, a method may include generating a model based on user behavior data associated with a group of documents..."

Sounds like user-feedback on the quality of your site/page/document to me.

I know one patent application does not an algorithm update make, but Bill Slwaski shared a whole list of them not long ago:
[seobythesea.com...]

Freedom




msg:4318005
 4:06 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's been suspected for awhile that user data from Google Analytics was being incorporated into the algo.

I know that since Panda, I am looking at user time on page and bounce rate and page views a lot more.

The other thing I've noticed is age of the domain is more important. In many areas, I'm seeing 10 year old domains rank higher than, what is in my opinion, more content relevant sites that are probably younger in age.

nickreynolds




msg:4318300
 10:45 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

For my main site which was position 2 for a fairly generic term. Since my drop to position 7 I'm seeing a lot more news sites. (The generic term is a fairly newsworthy one)
Position 1 - ecommerce site
Position 2 - wikipedia
Position 3 - well established niche advice site
Position 4 - News for [keyword] with two news headlines from the last hour
Position 5 - BBC story dated 6 weeks ago.
Position 6 - Old site that hasn't been updated since 2004 - single word in title tag, no decription tag, no heading tags
Position 7 - me
Position 8 - Sky News article from yesterday
Position 9 - advice forum on the subject
Position 10 - Images for [keyword]
Position 11 - News article from the Guardian from last week
Position 12 - government site archive from 2010

This tells me that in this particular snapshot that news articles are now doing very well and older well established sites are doing well.

robert76




msg:4318349
 12:50 am on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

The other thing I've noticed is age of the domain is more important. In many areas, I'm seeing 10 year old domains rank higher than, what is in my opinion, more content relevant sites that are probably younger in age.


This is interesting because I would have said the exact oppostie based on sites I know that fell. All are 10 years or older. Prior to Panda, the age of a site helped established its authority and rank, IMO, and that signal seemed to seriously diminish with Panda.

Shatner




msg:4318435
 7:52 am on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>>Panda is not a penalty. Just saw a video of Mattcuts and he commented it yesterday. He says that they are not going to make any manual exceptions and continuously improving algorithm.

Two things.

1) If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck... then it must be a duck. If it acts like penalty, lasts like a penalty, has impact like a penalty, then if it's not a penalty it's so close to one we might as well treat it like a penalty.

2) Just because Google SAYS something doesn't make it true. Newsflash: Corporations lie. A lot.

walkman




msg:4318444
 8:25 am on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

The other thing I've noticed is age of the domain is more important. In many areas, I'm seeing 10 year old domains rank higher than, what is in my opinion, more content relevant sites that are probably younger in age.

Nick,
domain age ain't got much to do with this, BRANDS matter.

Even top exact match domain names are getting crushed on purpose with top BRANDS and their ads (try a search for a jewelry item or insurance for example). Show Google a BRAND and some adwords and they will love you.
Did I say BRANDS? Yp, BRANDS are in now for obvious reason$. It's not bashing or a conspiracy theory, just the truth and this was obviously done on purpose.

internetheaven




msg:4318465
 9:53 am on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

This tells me that in this particular snapshot that news articles are now doing very well and older well established sites are doing well.


Don't like that example. As an ex-SEO, I watch phrases like "car insurance" or "credit card" to find out recent changes. Any other term where the top 10 can be completely different from one day to the next is a pointless thing to track as speculation on the cause can be as wild as you like.

nickreynolds




msg:4318494
 11:02 am on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

@walkman - my experience is that older sites are doing well even though not a brand (not saying that you are wrong in your emphasis on brands but that age may still be a small factor)

@internetheaven - the front page used to be pretty stable. In fact it probably still is apart from the greater emphasis on news sites

tedster




msg:4318653
 3:52 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

If it acts like penalty, lasts like a penalty, has impact like a penalty, then if it's not a penalty it's so close to one we might as well treat it like a penalty.

But it doesn't get lifted or removed the same way a penalty does. It's an algorithmic ranking change.

walkman




msg:4318655
 3:55 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

But it doesn't get lifted or removed the same way a penalty does. It's an algorithmic ranking change.

with a huge caveat...it's lifted when they decide run the algo, and even then, only if it meets a certain criteria they set.

engine




msg:4318706
 5:27 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wanted to wait a while to evaluate the impact of the most recent changes to allow things to settle. Trying to avoid knee-jerk reactions is not always the best move until it's possible to research and evaluate the facts.

I spend some time looking at specific sites which generate leads and opportunities from blog postings. These blogs are all niche and highly specialised.

The result of Panda is that these blogs are no longer sending leads.

If they had adsense on them I don't doubt that they will be suffering from income drop.

However, the more important aspect of this is the impact on the sites that are sent their leads through these focused blogs. Obviously, that's not the only source of their leads. The knock-on is that legitimate sites not impacted directly by Panda themselves are now suffering the effects.

I believe it's always important that we point these things out to Google and Bing that when they make such a change, they don't just affect the sites they are targeting.

Now, with 'social' becoming more prominent it just means moving from one medium to another to attain leads. Unless Google indexes these 'social signals' or becomes more social, as it is trying to do, it won't be the destination people will use to search for the information they need.

I suggested it not long ago that Panda could generate a resurgence in the specialised directories.

Shatner




msg:4318755
 6:48 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>>But it doesn't get lifted or removed the same way a penalty does. It's an algorithmic ranking change.

But it does get lifted... in theory anyway... when the algo reruns. It hasn't happened to many people, but didn't you yourself say you knew of at least one example of this happening?

And until that happens your site is stuck in quicksand and nothing you do will change that.

It acts in every way like a penalty, a penalty it is nearly impossible to get lifted.

We're splitting hairs.

It may be algorithmically generated, but it doesn't act alike any other algorithm google runs. And it's not exactly a penalty either.

Penalgorithm?

HoosierBuff




msg:4318774
 7:44 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

am seeing some lift in my sites traffic since late Tuesday PM. Odd to be ahead on traffic week over week heading into a holiday.

Still only a small lift, but, noticeable.

This lift in traffic is NOT the result of any change we've made.

tedster




msg:4318775
 7:44 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

But it does get lifted... in theory anyway... when the algo reruns.

There's nothing getting lifted or removed - the pages are being re-scored byt the current version of the algorithm, just as they would be if backlink profiles are being scored, or any other factor.

That's partly what I mean by saying it's not a penalty. A penalty is applied or not. Panda pretty much evaluates all sites and contributes its scoring to the overall algorithm.

aakk9999




msg:4318783
 7:59 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

If it would be "lifted" it would imply that upon re-run you would return to where you were before Panda.

If it is "re-scored" then upon the re-run, you will be where you will be based on how your site is re-assessed, taking into account the changes made.

This means you have to re-optimise your site/pages so that the new algo likes them.

zeus




msg:4318795
 8:46 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

well all in all I would say not many thinks that google have done a good job this time, so many sites has been filtered down.

netmeg




msg:4318805
 9:03 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

The knock-on is that legitimate sites not impacted directly by Panda themselves are now suffering the effects.


I think I mentioned a couple months ago that I am seeing this too; one of my larger ecommerce clients was not pandalized but his #1 website referrer (an industry directory) must have been hit bigtime, because referrals are suddenly way way down from there. And it looks like their rankings and traffic overall tanked as well. I guess that would be Panda Once Removed, or some such.

walkman




msg:4318833
 10:32 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

There's HackerNews story about how a legitimate blogger was pandalized and then denied an adword acct...because scrapper outranked him and they thought he was the scrapper. That got people's attention.

The response from a Google engineer in that thread (apart from some technicalities with the word 'penalizes') was tough luck, nothing I can do about it with Panda. But the scrapper ranking higher might be the symptom, not the cause.

So they have let loose, full scale, a monster they cannot control.

johnhh




msg:4318835
 10:39 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Walkman: odd
nothing I can do about it with Panda
as a recent Cutts interview indicated that they have no manual control over Panda. They appear to have released code that runs on it's own.

<edited> clarify </edited>

walkman




msg:4318846
 11:34 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Maybe because he's on the spam team? This is the quote:
Unfortunately panda is something I can't help with, other than passing the site along as an example of where it may not be giving good results.

Based on what I've been able to debug so far though, I'm pretty certain that those scraper sites aren't hurting your ranking, as annoying as they are. I'll keep digging though.

learnseo81




msg:4318879
 1:38 am on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Rankings came back for anyone? I'm seeing still seeing massive rankings shuffle from #40 to #7 and then back to #40. This is not usual google behaviour.

balibones




msg:4318883
 1:57 am on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Rankings came back for anyone? I'm seeing still seeing massive rankings shuffle from #40 to #7 and then back to #40. This is not usual google behaviour.


It would be normal if Google were trying to sample user-feedback data to figure out if you had improved your site's quality at all.

#Justfreakingsaying

Shatner




msg:4318936
 9:26 am on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>>That's partly what I mean by saying it's not a penalty. A penalty is applied or not. Panda pretty much evaluates all sites and contributes its scoring to the overall algorithm.

Except Panda's scoring outweighs all other things in the algorithm and artificially pushes and holds pages associated with that site down, no matter how well it scores in other areas... just like a penalty. :)

I'm not arguing that it is a penalty but it's dead wrong to treat it just like a normal algorithm run too. To me a penalty is at least closer to what it is.

zeus




msg:4318940
 10:15 am on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Shatner - i think you are right, it feels like a penalty, that would then be the first in my web bizz, also the Panda update just not feels correct to many sites are gone special sites with less text and more images.

when i look at panda, it dont like banners and it wants more text

walkman




msg:4318979
 1:46 pm on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

+1 for Shatner. It has the same effect as almost all your link juice gone and all because your site is supposed to be a certain way. So we can argue semantics, but it does not matter, nor does content.

Google is getting an earful on Panda, I have never such backlash, and it's from all kinds of sites. Florida was totally different, there was logic behind it, but this ignores content if...

miozio




msg:4319020
 5:03 pm on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just wanted to input my other observation:

We had a few penalties on different sites during the past 8 years online and... When we had a penalty, our WMT report declined in impressions and clicks but the positions in this report stayed, well they moved just a bit as they always do.

When Panda hit us, the positions according to WMT changed but than returned, we have all the top 10 results almost the same as prior to Panda. Everything looks great on WMT but the real SERps are down. Looks like a penalty to me...

Jessica97




msg:4319024
 5:47 pm on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

When it's all said and done from this Panda update what will matter in the end is how satisfied or dissatisfied the average searcher is with the search results they receive from a given search engine. When a user searches for a sports event and gets back results from AT&T, then obviously there is a problem somewhere with relevancy. Google can deny there is a problem from now until the end of time, and their engineers can congratulate each other on how "successful" Panda has been, but in the end it is the user base that will decide how "successful" Panda was--not Google Ph.d's. No matter how much a company thinks something works it is always, always the customer base that has the final vote. When you take the one, core product that a company like Google was known for and adjust it so much so that users can not find what they are looking for without scrolling through pages and pages of results--users are fickle and will find another option. Maybe the days of just using one search engine are gone. Hopefully they will come back but if not, users always adapt. Obviously there is some kind of trend going on right now with Google financially as there does seem to be a trend downward --anyone else find the dates of the declines interesting? The stock may tell the story better than any of us may hope to do.

P.S. Some of the sites I work with have rebounded a bit after Panda, and others continue to be rewarded although the ones in my areas that gained the most are smaller sites that I'm not sure should in fact hold the top 3 results on the front page for some results. My message above is simply to say that although every day I remain hopeful that search results will improve, I think the side effect of the Panda update has been that the one thing I could always count on Google to deliver--relevant search results is gone. Many of you have voiced similar concerns. That's the part of Panda that I wish would get more acknowledgement from Google in terms of "it's broken" and relevancy needs improvement. Wish Google would acknowledge and then fix that first. Give the searcher relevant search results. It worked back when they started and you'd think they could make it work now. Then see how the stock looks in 6 months, and then everyone can debate whether the sites on the front page are the most deserving or not. Just give us back our relevancy! Somehow I can't help but wonder if tweaking the relevancy aspect of Panda has contributed to the false positives like Cult of Mac, etc. From the financial charts I'm not sure Panda was a "win" either.

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