Panda isn't exactly a penalty - it's re-ranking done by a major new component in the total Google algorithm. So I don't think there will be any "return", at least not the way we've seen a return when a penalty is removed.
You're right that no site has perfectly "returned" but there are a few I've heard of who are now seeing a lot more Google traffic, up to 75% of their pre-Panda levels. That traffic has a different keyword "shape" than it did before, but it's there.
I think the way that traffic returns (where it does) is going to tell us something more about Panda, over time. But it's too early... way too early. A number of Google-watchers feel that user metrics play a big part in Panda. If that's the case, then there may well be a long delay while user metrics show the kind of signals that Google is comfortable with as signs of quality.
|A number of Google-watchers feel that user metrics play a big part in Panda. If that's the case, then there may well be a long delay while user metrics show the kind of signals that Google is comfortable with as signs of quality. |
Unless Google runs the algo how are they going to know that user metrics improved? Had they run it way more people would have come out and many more would have spoken about it. Maybe not the real 'secret' (could be as simple as deleted /tag/pages) but that they are up. I think it's a score, not do one small 'bad' thing and lose 70% of Google traffic. And of course rich content and links still do matter. How much is a different story.
I heard and seen some graphs where the traffic started to improve but it could very well be their international traffic picking up, or improve on Panda 2.0. Daniweb for example says she is back 'sorta,' but not really. Just a 10%-15% increase with the graph I saw and she really got clobbered on Panda international.
I think the wait is the penalty, and it is done deliberately the Google people. Of course they can do it because they rule the search market and probably makes them feel powerful. We need to learn and never forget.
I believe Matt C said something to the effect of... after you change your website it will take time for the algo to gain trust in your site and therefore you won't see changes in ranking immediately.
So now that I've done all my changes I'm sitting back and hoping I don't go belly up by the time I'm trusted again. Perhaps on my website's tomb stone they can put 'We trust this site now'
when /where he said that?
edit: Here he said [webmasterworld.com...]
@tomcritchlow short version is that it's not data that's updated daily right now.More like when we re-run the algorithms to regen the data.
|a few I've heard of who are now seeing a lot more Google traffic, up to 75% of their pre-Panda levels |
Tedster ... Did they modify their sites?
|More like when we re-run the algorithms to regen the data |
How do we interpret this in the context of sites returning ?
If they have done this change to bring the big brands to the front pages (or for something else that benefits themselves) then I don't see any reason why they should bring back the pandalized sites for everything they used to rank before.
Sites regaining traffic find other ways to get it back and not through whatever they lost.
Unlike a penalty which are site specific, these changes are probably made for something big they envisage and is much worse than a penalty for the affected sites.
But I definitely don't buy the argument that big brands have suddenly improved their SEO. All brands whose businesses are done online had always been doing SEO. Those brands whose business is not purely online might not have been spending much on SEO and they continue to do whatever they had been doing so far.It is just that google has tweaked their algos to bring them to the front.
I just checked stats on 3 mega sites on the niche I got killed: all had in increase of 40%-50% from Pre-Panda, or enough to drive out of business hundred of smaller sites. In April they had the largest increase, which explains why traffic keept going down still for some sites, including mine. In April I also noticed many other sites went down, even some that had gained on Panda 1.0.
Google is continually consolidating almost all traffic to a few sites, and has very little, if anything to do with specific pages. I am absolutely sure about that because they type of pages I have are not the type where people hang out there, and the info is more or less the same. So the sites that gained didn't gain because they have more info (they don't) but because they also have these types of pages and took traffic thanks to their site.
This is the worst. Either get big or die. i feel really pissed off, I wasted 3 freaking months and close to $10K in extra expenses trying to 'improve' my site while my income was slashed. Stupid me.
Unless Google turns the knob down a bit we almost have no hope. I have a great domain name, quite old links, well above average content for my niche, clean site, relatively few pages but can't rank my pages for "widget 'domain name' " let alone other keywords.
To summarize: The only thing we can control, content of a specific page has been devalued IMO, and even sites that weren't pandalized in 2/24 got slammed after to make way for 'popular' sites.
I found the secret to Panda 1.0-2.1
To late to edit: on 2/24 a certain site on my niche ZOOMED and it even made it in the Panda up/down list because they had amazing and very unique and useful That's one site I didn't mind moving up :) even though the pages are perfectly fine without that, although a bit thin.
Now, if we remember many of us also had some 'good' pages still ranking, remember? And then we got a few more here and there, here today, gone tomorrow. Where are they now ;)?
In April and May his site crashed by 70% all of the sudden and is 40% down year to year...some 2x% down compared to pre-Panda. (The numbers are rounded up, my head is hurting and Compete /Quantcast estimate them anyway...but generally speaking)
So it is my belief that Google gave up rating content and pages and added something to rely mostly on site stats. So a 'good site' even if it has pages that relatively suck they will more than outrank one with very good content. User metrics cannot be better than the sites that crashed in April and May, if you calculate them per page.
Moral of the story: it does not look good at all, these "quality improvements" will most likely kill for good many small but very useful sites. And they will probably move to other niches little by little. So instead of having great pages, you have to become a brand while you are broke and then maybe...just maybe.
No one knows what kinda of penalty this currently, if the Panda has a grip on your site it is not going anywhere.
I have been doing some testing with links and content. Google seems to be holding me back for the kw's that bring in the traffic. But for kw's that have low competition and no traffic I can rank easily and quickly.
I can send some links with the anchor text misspelled and within a couple days I am sitting #1 for that term. Do the same for the "keywords" that were hit by Panda and they do not budge.
They are setting the ceiling of how much traffic you can get on your Panda hit site and nothing is going to help get you past this ceiling until they decide to let go of it.
I am doing the same testing on sites not hit and they respond in the normal way thus they increase in traffic and move up in SERPS.
|I have been doing some testing with links and content. Google seems to be holding me back for the kw's that bring in the traffic. But for kw's that have low competition and no traffic I can rank easily and quickly. |
Yep, I totally concur, my testing has proven precisely the same which is very galling when looking at the actual SERPs.
A colleague of mine with a .com in Norway with the sole source of it in the world has been completely wiped out yet a crappy MFA keyword site ranks #1 and if I designed a site like that I'm pretty sure I'd soon be getting an e-mail to change it.
If your site was slapped by panda then you must treat the situation as you would like any other penalty.
Why did your site get hit by panda? Google released a new set of rules that takes in different factors and calculates them to see if your site should be "re ranked" if you hit this so called "quality threshold".
What happens with a penalty? If your site falls into one of googles quality algorithm filters and it calculates your site is being mischievous you will also be "re ranked"
My definition of a penalty is anytime your site loses rankings due to a new set of rules released by google. The only difference between the normal google penalty and this panda penalty is that panda is more based on quality where as regular penalties are more based on punishing webmasters who are trying to intentionally manipulate googles algorithms such as buying links, hidden text/links, over optimization etc. These are all penalties that can get you bumped a little or bumped out of google alltogether...just like panda.
Tedster does not like to think of panda as a penalty but I think this is just a new addition to googles fine line of penalties. Either way, it is what it is and there really is no official phrasing for these filters/re rankings etc. It is best to keep it simple, something is causing your website to lose rankings.
I absolutely agree that we need to keep things as simple as possible. However, even before Panda people were calling every ranking loss a "penalty" and looking high and low for what they did wrong. And that use of the word "penalty" was not fruitful either for people who needed help. Simple and over-simplified are not the same thing.
With algo changes, it's often the absence of something right, rather than being "punished for your sins." A Panda loss cannot be removed by any process parallel to escaping a penalty. A penalty is removed by 1) time itself, 2) undoing a guidelines violation, 3) a reconsideration request.
But escaping from Panda does not appear to be about removing some violation, it's about creating some new factor that registers positively in this algorithm. So I don't think the penalty model is a fruitful way to think about the challenge and how to meet it. Not all ranking drops are penalties - and they never were.
The thread's title asked if it's a time penalty. No, it is not. It also asks if it's a trust thing. That's a bit closer, although Google already had trust calculations in the algo. I have heard about good new backlinks helping to lift pandalyzed sites. If that's true, then conventional trust may play a part.
Personally I take the statement that panda is not ran daily at face value. Then to answer the question of how sites are recovering is that they have new content with links etc etc that says (outside of panda algo) to rate this content highly ... I may be mistaken; But, if taken at face value a rerun of panda will reshuffle the SERPs.
I think it is best to think of Panda like Pagerank. Every now and then they will update your Pagerank by analyzing what links you have. Well I believe every now and then they will update your Panda score by analyzing what quality of content you are offering.
It could just be the same update as when they update their index, which has not happened since Panda anyway.
Brinked were you hit at one point? I swear I remember seeing you on a such thread and then you came back.
Penalty or not there is still a question of how often is the algo run, was it run (fully?) post-Panda, etc etc. Some have come back but we don't know why, some that gained have lost in April...so until we find out not much is going to help us. Probably gave us a grade and we're stuck with it until the next 'test.'
Many 'quality sites' that gained from 2/24 were mauled by Panda 2.0-2.1 so quality is a living breathing thing, depending on what Google decides today. So it's a lot more complicated and Google is changing as we speak. It's my opinion that Google still has not re-run a full algo for the 2/24 crowd but maybe some benefited or got screwed by further adjustments. So before the change, keeping in mind the not changed Panda score you'd be at #12 now you can be #10 or #14 based on non-Panda factors.
Penalty or not this almost reminds me of a link penalty: Where you lost all your trust and all your pages were pulled down by that. And if you had a lot of trust you could rank even with two sentences.
Whatson: the difference is that PR is now calculated on the fly internally and only shown externally every quarter or so. By the time it's shown it's already calculated in the SERPS
Yeah, I know, I was just using it as an example of how Panda might work. Perhaps I should have just said TBPR.
Elsewhere I have suggested that the "next big thing" will be "Non-Google Search" by (also search for my "wild west" version of technology expressed several times here at webmasterworld) startups who will bring back the mom and pops, the small sites, the "vanity publishing" which originally made the web great and offer them a method of income.
I don't know if you guys have seen it yet, though I have, but Google is running scared these days. All these "updates", "changes", "inclusions/exclusions" are rampant examples of the Google Scramble. These "holds" on updates, these "panda" changes, the odd and confusing tweets by G players... The G has peaked and will do whatever it can to stay there, even it it requires killing several million customers (all of which get marginal returns in the dollar stream) because they still maintain other millions in the dollar stream.
Nothing algo or mystical, guys and gals. It is a company trying to stay alive and milk every dollar (dinero, peso, drachma, yen, etc.) possible. As long as they can.
Google has finally become AT&T (or similar). They made it. They broke it. They have oversight descending. Nations are involved. And the copyright folks, too. Approaching a perfect storm? Maybe.
But this "time penalty" or "trust" thing is hogwash. There's no SEO involved. Google is extending their hold on webmasters worldwide to milk the dollar. And there's nothing you (or I) can do about that. Google is the House... think Vegas...
|I have heard about good new backlinks helping to lift pandalyzed sites. |
There's a lot of good posts here , but what focuses my attention is when will improvements take hold , have there been any improvements and if so what have improved content ( and indeed good backlinks ) produced. In 3 months there has been hardly a squeak across the whole SEO divide, here or elsewhere. And Google has kept a complete lid on things .... except for content "guidelines".
This is isn't good enough is it ? ( me baiting reactions :) )
So why isn't anyone responding ? Because there are no wholesale reportable recoveries. Therefore there is no shared evidence.
Which certainly means it's been a long time.
|I have heard about good new backlinks helping to lift pandalyzed sites |
Not true (at least for us). We've been slamming the PR lately including an article from the NYT (a positive one - not decormyeyes syle!) and still stuck in the same weekly +/-%5 holding pattern we've been in for the last 3 months. I'm convinced this is a time based penalty to try and stop people reverse engineering Panda. The complexity of calculation is probably true, but if they built an algo that can only run every 3 months they are f*cking muppets (tbf they are f*cking muppets - but that's a different thread...)
Indeed .... I'm hearing Walkman for example claiming $10,000 worth of additional content and nothing. There would be 10's of thousands of webmasters and site owners pumping money into backlinks and content like Walkman, responding to the Google mantra guidelines.
So where does this leave webmasters who are doing what they say ..... is it just a waiting game ?
I'm just waiting, working on Facebook and an iPhone app. If Google stays like this then f**ck em - I'll grow our business elsewhere. They are by no means the only game in town these days.
|So it is my belief that Google gave up rating content and pages and added something to rely mostly on site stats. So a 'good site' even if it has pages that relatively suck they will more than outrank one with very good content. User metrics cannot be better than the sites that crashed in April and May, if you calculate them per page. |
You have it about right - this is why you have sites with VERY poor content pages with a single link to another page on the same site that contains adwords, ranking really well. In other words, the visitor lands on the page but has to click from that page to find what they want only, to find adwords (doorway pages)
The user has a poor site experience however, from googles metric it would seam that a vistor is on that site longer hence it must be better!
All the panda update has done is smash some great sites and let some real dross rank better than ever - The baby is well and truely out with the bathwater how long before G realise this is anyones guess.
I know I'm most probably going to get blown out of the water here, but here's my 2cents.
"Function over Content"
A telephone directory is pretty banal content, but it has a function, and if you are looking for telephone number, a telephone directory will give you the "result" that you want.
Or put another way, is a 300 word article on fixing a washing machine better than a detailed step by step diagram encapsulated in a .jpg? Whats more functional? What gives the user the best experience and result?
I believe Google is and is trying to make these connections, or rather connecting the potential result with the function.
Everyone keeps saying there are lots of alternative ways to promote a web site, but this is moot. You should be doing this anyway. The fact is for most of us if we work on every possible way to generate traffic, then Google is going to provide us the most, reliable and probably relatively less effort and cost than the alternatives. In fact alternative is not even the right word, it's additional. Anyway, I am not about to give up getting Google visitors.
Like others I am investing $$$$$s in developing new and better content. I am losing income from ads that I have taken down. But I feel I don't have a choice until I can past Panda, and I am likely to keep trying for sometime.
|Like others I am investing $$$$$s in developing new and better content |
Like 10's of 1,000's of others - but you would like some signal of hope wouldn't you and the others who are taking those steps that your site will return.
|Matt Cutts @tomcritchlow short version is that it's not data that's updated daily right now. More like when we re-run the algorithms to regen the data. |
Comments like this are open to broad interpretation and put the community in a spin, i think. What exactly does this mean ? Does it mean Google will one day, periodically, hopefully soon, flick the switch and all those sites which have sufficiently improved their content be reinstated? and when ? how often ? or must siteowners invest and wait ?
Talk about playing poker in the dark with some folks seeing their life savings dwindle and the clock ticking away.
Now I rank for the same pages more or less I ranked right after Panda. Same keywords. And I can see it was on page factors that mattered. But now those factors have changed for much better--on all the pages.
|Talk about playing poker in the dark with some folks seeing their life savings dwindle and the clock ticking away. |
This arrogance and lack of communication has turned me against Google 100%. He reportedly told NPR to use in the story, NPR didn't use it and Matt still doesn't spell it out to us. That bubble he lives on must have some effects.
[edited by: walkman at 11:18 pm (utc) on May 24, 2011]
Tedster, as far as panda goes, aren't sites being punished for having a low quality site? It is not even so much to do with low quality, I know google uses the phrase "quality" but in reality, googles algorithm can not tell whether an article is of high quality or not. The panda update is targeting content farms, so what a site did wrong was publish a bunch of farm type MFA related content which only purpose is to rank.
"Pandalized" websites are essentially being punished for farming content. From what we have seen, panda mostly hits websites with a lot of pages and ad placement almost certainly plays some kind of role here. Lets say my site widgetworld has excellent content. My content is created by experts in there field and there is no over optimization done at all anywhere on the site. I, however place 16 ads on every article page making it an almost impossible task for my readers to actually focus on the articles. Because of the overwhelming amount of ads placed on the site, google's panda kung fu's its rankings. This site would be punished for having these excessive ads and removing these ads would essentially restore its rankings to normal once the site is re-evaluated making this a penalty type situation.
|But escaping from Panda does not appear to be about removing some violation, it's about creating some new factor that registers positively in this algorithm. So I don't think the penalty model is a fruitful way to think about the challenge and how to meet it. Not all ranking drops are penalties - and they never were. |
But it can be. What if the reason I was pandalized was because I have 3000 total articles on my site and all of them are about widgets, I remove 2999 of them I therefore have removed the violation. I do not think adding content will in fact cause a pandalized site to recover unless you are adding enough of the right kind of content that will offset your existing content which it will just be easier to remove the current content you have or removing complete useless sections of your site.
| This 115 message thread spans 4 pages: 115 (  2 3 4 ) > > |