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|So Panda made you delete "thin pages"?|
...today i got a mail request by a governmental education site to link to three of my pages (.edu), (which i happily granted).
Those three pages would be considered by many here as thin pages, they are just a hub page basically serving to click to my actual content pages, to give me a little internal sitemap to spread links to various related other pages, its duplicted content, its a slow loading page thanks to a big image above the fold and has lots of ads and lots of internal inks to commercial pages of mine, but it is still considered good enough for the Government,
...so lesson learned, if you think your page is good for your visitor stop acting as Google runs your site...
Lesson learned indeed - thanks for the post. I do not think this kind of page was part of the Panda devaluation program, either.
|...today i got a mail request by a governmental education site to link to three of my pages (.edu), (which i happily granted). |
Really?! A Government education site "asked" you if they could link to your pages?
|Really?! A Government education site "asked" you if they could link to your pages? |
Australian, bust still ;)
|I do not think this kind of page was part of the Panda devaluation program, either. |
...reading the last couple of weeks the forums; it wasnt so much what Google thought but was the webmaster thought Google was thinking, it was/is borderline hysteria, isn`t it?
Yes, but when a webmaster sees over half of their income slashed in a moment, I can appreciate why "borderline hysteria" sets in. It's a lot easier to see the flaws in that response when we aren't in financial jeopardy.
|Really?! A Government education site "asked" you if they could link to your pages? |
I've encountered that before. Permission was requested, and of course permission was granted; it resulted in a link from a .mil site.
I get asked by local governments all the time if they can link to my site. This is how *normal* people think. Not folks like us.
Hmmm, didn't realize this was a common occurrence. I guess you would call this Permission Based Linking. Imagine if that's how it worked all the time. ;)
|Yes, but when a webmaster sees over half of their income slashed in a moment, I can appreciate why "borderline hysteria" sets in. It's a lot easier to see the flaws in that response when we aren't in financial jeopardy. |
I completely understand, however it does make a pretty grim picture of any business to follow some other entity so religously into total (or 50%)dependancy, i am also fully aware that this topic has been discussed to death, but it doesnt make it any less true, dont make revolve your business plane around organic search engine ranking...
my point still stands, that a lean back, breath in and reflect for a couple of days at least approach might be not such a bad idea, before doing things to your website just because other people "think" it "might" be what Google thinks...
@pageoneresults, yes and i was told if i wouldnt have replied and given my permission to link they wouldnt have linked, as they would have thought we dont want that... :)
sometimes they even demand that appropriate permission be obtained before linking to them! Would you believe it?
The central bank of my country of origin explicitly state in their terms that no site shall link to their pages without permission!
Did you ever read FIFA's dos and don'ts on linking to their sites especially last year's World Cup?
If I remember correctly it was a 50 page pdf and don't even consider the usage of their images without permission even when linking directly to the relevant part(s) of their site(s)!
I'm sure FIFA would allow you to use their images if you give a few million to one of the members of Fifa’s executive committee ;-)
Does anyone have anything more to share about removing thin pages?
Yep, unless it's truly thin and irrelevant, don't do anything since G$$GLE is the one with the problem.
|Yep, unless it's truly thin and irrelevant, don't do anything since G$$GLE is the one with the problem. |
Google makes it YOUR problem (and mine).
Thin pages are perfectly fine for certain sites and I guess they will take advantage of this, until Google hits them.
|Does anyone have anything more to share about removing thin pages? |
Yes. I've noindexed about 1500 pages where I thought the content was either thin or borderline thin. I based my decision upon a visual review, but also checked to see if those pages were receiving Google traffic, or if they'd been pushed down significantly (using Firefox rank checker as a guide).
Immediately after Panda, and continuing in the weeks after, Google dropped from 44% of my referrals down to 28%. It stayed at 28%, plus or minus 1%.
After all of this noindexing, Google has dropped to 21% of referral traffic. I can see from the Rank Checker that I've lost rankings on the very few phrases that were on page one post-Panda. I also suspect that pages that I've noindexed were receiving Google traffic. To try to find them, though, would be like the proverbial haystack needle.
With nearly half the site noindexed, the remaining pages have good content (I think), including things I've added such as customer reviews, my own product critiques, videos, history of the widgets, performance charts, and anything else I can think of to make them unique.
With Google not bringing back any sites (that I'm aware of), it's impossible to know if I'm doing the right or wrong thing. That's infuriating. There should be a secret code or something. Maybe an email that says "John has a long mustache" or some such, so the site owner knows he's done the right thing.
Just an aside to my above post.
The pages that dropped from page one recently were ones I thought perhaps Google kept on page one because they were 100% unique content, and the whole purpose of my site from the outset: full page ads for widget stores.
So, those phrases that remained page one were ones such as "[insert state or city name here] widget stores" or "widget stores in [insert state or city name here]".
Those pages stayed page one from the Panda launch right up until sometime between 4/22 and 5/9. As of 5/9, they went to #11 or #22 or even #35.
I'm trying to find a cause and effect, but all I've been doing is no-indexing pages, and I haven't touched these pages, or any of the pages that directly link to them.
I wonder if no-indexing the thin pages had an effect sitewide on Google's perception of the value of my site, or something like that.
people have a huge misconception that thin pages can get you pandalized. This is not at all true. What can and most likely will get you pandalized are a lot of thin pages that try to manipulate rankings. Basically pages with little to no useful content which only purpose is to rank high for a popular keyword.
A good example would be a site about widgets. If a sub page about blue widgets has little to no content then it should not have its own page. Google sees this as the only reason why this blue widgets topic has its own page is because the webmaster is trying to get that page to rank for blue widgets when that blue widgets topic can be mentioned on another page which talks about other widgets as well such as green widgets. If you dont have much to say about blue widgets, dont give it its own page.
There is such thing as "Google sees it," it's a robot, not a living breathing person that can read intent. If it looks spammy based on what Google calls spammy today, you are TOAST. Not everyone suffers the same fate, or not at the same time, but you are at their mercy.
walkman, yes google is essentially a robot. You can not however ignore the fact that there are many intelligent people working over at google. There is a reason why google owns the search market.
Google has a major goal to prevent webmasters from gaming its algorithm. To say that all sites that have a lot of duplicate content or a lot of thin pages will be hit by panda is the most off based comments I have heard regarding this panda update.
If these statements were true, why are my ecommerce sites all still doing well despite over half a million product pages with all copied manufacturer descriptions which are used by thousands of other sites? Why are nearly half my sites which have loads and loads of pages with thin/no content still ranking the same if not better than pre panda? The key word here is intent. When you generate a bunch of thin, low quality pages and then build cheap backlinks to them, its pretty obvious that you're trying to rank for a bunch of different variations of the same term. I can easily write a script that can with pretty good accuracy detect these types of pages, so I know google can do this much better than I can.
despite google being a robot, google is a very advanced very complicated set of rules which for the most part DOES WORK. Google is getting smarter and adapting to those trying to manipulate its system, how can we really fault them for it? Those who have gained from this update are praising google, those who have lost, are knocking google for whatever they can. The fact of the matter is that right now google is the number 1 search engine in the world. Its survival of the fittest. If you depend on search engine traffic you need to adapt to google. Its always better to execute good web development practices rather than chase after googles algo. I always build my sites with quality practice in mind. Something that might not be a factor today may very well be a factor tomorrow. You need to pretend as if someone from google is going to visit your site and analyze every aspect of it.
Brinked, your mention of your ecommerce sites with the thin manufacturer descriptions is something I've been thinking about a lot.
In the case of those sites, I believe that Google looks at your site and says, "it's an ecommerce site. These thin descriptions are to be expected". You don't get Pandalized because the content is in keeping with the focus of your site. (Focus is something I believe is a factor, although I can't prove it).
My site has similar manufacturer descriptions but it's not an ecomm site. The descriptions are there to pre-sell the products for the retail stores that advertise on my site. I think Google is looking at these thin manufacturer descriptions and saying, "wait a minute. This isn't a ecommerce site, so that's just thin copied manufacturer content to get rankings. Pandalize that site."
Where I have a few items in my online store, I believe Google is looking at my site and again saying, "wait a minute. This is an informational/directory site. What's this stuff doing here? Pandalize it."
This is just my guess at this point, but at lot of what I see bears out the idea that sites need to be focused, and usually in one direction.
dickbaker, I was using my ecommerce sites as an example.
I watch many different SERP's and I monitor the top ten rankings for over 50 different industries and I can tell you that there are many sites in which I watch that have a lot of thin pages or duplicated content. Its not cut and dry, if this was as simple as only sites with a lot of thin pages or duplicate content then it would be very easy to recover and game that.
Fact is I am seeing many many thin and duplicated content sites still ranking very well. If you have thin pages, you should not be linking them from your homepage. Move your thin pages deeper down your site structure and give your best content quality placement as much as you can.
Brinked, I don't think I disagree with you, read my post again. Thin pages for me, you or Amazon.com are TOTALLY different and Google treats them differently. And different niches are treated differently. 3 of my truly thin sites got as much as a 100% increase after Panda. A site that is worked on everyday lost majorly.
No one is saying that the people working at Google are dumb, but let's not get carried away when it comes to getting it right in search. Aren't they same people that told us about "quality improvements" last year, and the year before and the year before...as Mahalo and the likes ruled the SERPS?
Yeah, Google does what it wants and they rule search, at least for now and the foreseeable future so tough luck to us. They can tell us 'this is how it is so suck it up or ban Googlebot'. Doesn't mean that they are right.
Now, I am not taking any chances with thin content for my main bread and butter site, even though I just clicked through a 22 page (slide) "Arnold sells his house," each with a picture and a sentence each. They get away with it, maybe because Google credits them for pageviews /visitor but it's stupid. I /they wasted my time since if it was in one or two page/s the user would have been better served. But they are a "quality site" for Google and it's circular logic
Yesterday I looked at one of the sites that jumped to the front of the line post-Panda. It is a very thin page with one small image. Other sites with thin or thinner pages rank lower.
The new #1 does not meet the quality guidelines Google submitted post-Panda. The only thing going for the new top dog is it appears to be some kind of "brand."
I think there are two ways you can attempt to recover from Panda:
1) Follow the new guidelines from Google; or,
2) Make Google realize your site is a brand.
One of my sites just recovered from Panda I believe because Google now thinks it's a brand. (I hadn't changed the site after Panda.)
It not only recovered; it is now higher for the main target keyword than pre-Panda!
When I look at my competition in my sector, all the sites that appear to be "brands" got a free pass from Panda regardless of whether or not they meet the Google Quality Guidelines.
Instead of (or as well as) tweaking your site, I suggest these solutions to recover from Panda:
A. Make Google realize you are a brand; or,
B. Become a brand; or,
C. Make Google think you are a brand; or,
D. Help Google see you're just as good as a "brand."
what do you feel like changed to make your site more brand-like?
There are many brands that were hurt by panda. A client that recently recovered from panda is a very major brand that sells deli products. If you mention the name, 90%+ people will know of this brand by name, but yet it lost over 60% of its search traffic from panda.
On the other end, some of my completely non branded websites actually got a small boost from panda, and an exact match domain website received a huge boost from it and it is not a brand at all.
Being a brand name does not automatically mean high quality. A lot of folks on here have the misconception that google favors large name brands over other websites. This is entirely not true. Big name brands usually have better rankings because they have a lot of money to invest in a high quality website, a QA team, editorial team etc etc as well as attract more back links and get more exposure because more people know of them.
Yeah, I'm not completely sold on the brand thing. If you google my industry name, you get a mix of folks like me - small independents - intermingled with the 50 billion dollar monolithic corps that run our industry and run ongoing tv and radio campaigns.
I'm not entirely sure how these companies don't have way better ranking characteristics than I do, just by default of being around for so long and being so dominant.
I'm seeing domains in my niche embed into their domain names well-recognized trademarks owned by others (www.knownbrand-land.com) and rise to the top of the SERPs, while I've been sinking since Panda 2.1 and 2.2. Of course the SERP highights the trademark in the domain name, which serves to increase click-through rates.
The trademark owners seemed to have acquiesced in widespread infringement. Presumably, they've lost their right to enforce their marks as a result. Google's position when it comes to its facilitating intellectual-property infringement is, of course, that it's not their problem to sort out. Is it really that difficult for the GA to at least level the field as between www.widgets.com/knownbrand (no trademark infringement) and www.knownbrand-land.com (trademark infringement)?
Unfortunately, I played by the rules and did NOT register a domain name that embeds (infringes upon) any of these marks. Nice guys finish last, and only the good die young. /rant-off
Fair use permits usage of a trademark in a domain name if done properly. It is protected under freedom of speech.
Sure you might get dragged into court, but you do have a right to use a trademark term, particularly in the realm of consumer opinion.
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