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Google, Panda: Results After Three months
tangor

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



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 10:58 am on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

One of my clients, bit on the thin side, was hit back in March by a Google change (pre-Panda, Panda?) and WTF they asked. Heck I don't know. What to do? Move on. Okay...

So we did...by ignoring what SEEMED to be indicators, just tightened nav, reduced some interstitial pages, removed breadcrumbs...

Managed to maintain 80% traffic. And 70% income (which is n.nnn over 1,200 pages daily, 72 of which truly pay). Traffic is about the same as before but NOT GROWING in CONVERSIONS as one would expect (though we have noticed that real money ads are not showing up), all things being equal. Almost looks like a dollar throttle, but that would be ... duh... counterproductive for G and me, right? That said:

Not a happy report, or a down in the dumps report, merely a report that even under panda sites can survive... for a time---at any rate.

 

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 12:00 pm on Jun 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I do not have site with duplicate content.


Neither do I.

I have several sites with absolutely unique, trademarked and exclusive products for more than 30 years yet many Chinese scraper trade directories and US blog sites now rule the SERPs with my information and images.

I can see what the Panda is doing however combatting it is another thing altogether and a route I shall not go down because all the other major search engines have got it right...G's the one with the problems, not me.

shallow

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 1:11 pm on Jun 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tangor Why did you remove breadcrumbs?

shallow

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 1:15 pm on Jun 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

My traffic remains down 50-55% too, as does my income. To add insult to injury, I'm now getting paid pitiful amounts per click, much less than ever before. Maybe it's the time of year, the economy, another effect of Panda; who knows?

I've decide to do nothing to my site. Thus far, I haven't read one thing in these and similar forums to make me believe there is anything that can be done that is worth the time and expense. I no longer have money to experiment.

I'll write an article or two a month but otherwise I'm just biding my time. Maybe things will improve in the future but I'm not counting on it. Or, maybe ScubaAddict has it right: "Time to just give up and let google kill me off."

dickbaker

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 3:03 pm on Jun 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was going to make the change I mentioned in my last post sometime in the next year or so. Panda seems to have made it a better idea to do so now.

The section I want to spin off is the ecommerce part. It's a small online store, but it was aggravating a few of the retail stores that advertise on the site because I sell the same stuff they do, and usually at much lower prices.

I can link to the new online store from my existing site, just as I have Online Store links on the site right now. I'll 301 all of the brand pages (Acme Widgets) to the new site, but keep the individual product pages (Acme model XYZ) on the site, but noindexed. Google Products will accept the noindex (I've asked), and that's where my sales are coming from.

So, I'll continue to get sales from Google Products on the individual model pages of the existing site, and increase the number of products I sell. As I do that, I can reach out to other forms of promotion to get customers. I won't rely on Google organic for the new site (or Yahoo or Bing).

My site was the top-ranking directory of widget stores when searching by city or state. Now Google has taken that over with their locations search. Even before Panda, I was down below the fold after searches brought back five, six or seven results from Google's location feature, then the organic results.

If Panda is changed, and my existing site regains some rankings, then I'll be able to get more money from the retail stores and the banner advertisers on the existing site.

I can't just wait to see if Google is going to offer me resurrection. That's something that only happens every 2,000 years or so.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 4:19 pm on Jun 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just don't call it a penalty and make sure you spell check because you will automatically come back if your site is a little better ;). How many believe that lie now?

Looks like those that suggested having dozens if not more sites were right. I have about 3-4 commercial (one adsense block) that I casually and very easily put them online. Now those no-pandalized sites are paying about half of my bills right now.

One more is almost done with a killa name and life goes on.

tangor

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



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 1:27 am on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tangor Why did you remove breadcrumbs?

Decided to return to what works best: K.I.S.S. And with simplification, it is easier to see where things change/don't change.

coachm

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 7:30 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just wading through this thread, agree with some, disagree with others, but I think that technological issues aside, there's a fairly simple solution available to google, if it's not already doing it.

My understanding is that google isn't so much ranking individual pages as it is ranking some strange combo that are influenced on a DOMAIN basis. I might have that wrong, but it seems to me that's grossly stupid to everyone. It doesn't help searchers, it doesn't help webowners, and it doesn't mean a better experience for anyone.

Apart from load issues, it would seem if a site has 10 really good pages, and 100 thin crappy pages, the 10 should be evaluated according to their individual "value", and be ranked accordingly, while the thin pages should plunge out to the ends of the earth.

As a search user i WANT to see those 10 good pages.

I have no problem if google decides some of my pages are junk, I mean nobody can be consistently good at creating pages in any volume. Then at least, please give me decent rankings (if otherwise deserved) for my pages that have original articles, ideas, whatever.

Isn't that how it used to work?

It would also help me figure out what works and doesn't work, by looking at what google tanked, and what google liked, without really giving me any hidden googlesauce secrets.

What I find depressing is that, yes, I have good pages, average pages, and I'll even go along with the idea that some of my pages, which are built for the convenience of my users and customers, don't quite have enough information to satisfy google. But to have the really good stuff turfed because its on the same domain seems insane.

Am I missing something here? Wouldn't this be a reasonable solution, provided the server loads and processing power could accomodate this?

falsepositive



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 7:48 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Starting to sound like a broken record. I don't mind getting hit. I mind having traffic erode over time despite obvious improvements and changes I've made to my site. I have gotten steady feedback from people I've shown my site to that say they are scratching their heads as to why there have not been any traffic upticks. Things have just gotten worse. I also mind that scrapers continue to hang around and beat the original articles in the serps.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 7:48 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

@coachm
You are right. For a large number of sites google has given up ranking pages: good pages are buried on 'bad' sites and horrible pages rank very high on 'good' sites. This has happened Post-Panda 1, IIRC, and as far as I can tell that Google has not taken in account any content changes. Maybe they want to drive out of business 'bad' site owners as identified by panda 1? Google hates content farms but it is lumping everyone from online stores to blogs with content farms.

I have gotten steady feedback from people I've shown my site to that say they are scratching their heads as to why there have not been any traffic upticks. Things have just gotten worse. I also mind that scrapers continue to hang around and beat the original articles in the serps.

Not even Google engineers can tell for some sites. This is why I never understand why Google is making everyone suffer and wait. (I don't that our sites got much worse after cleaning up for Panda))

johnhh

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 8:21 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Its Day 54 for us - and the story so far..

For our main site: traffic still dropping, but googlebot visiting more than last month..
Noindexed any pages that may be considered thin or duplicate, rewritten hundreds of description tags, removed adsense and put it back again (any money welcome ), 301'd any old pages that shouldn't be there anyway, run A/B tests on pages, added content to any pages felt as "weak" to add empthasis. Removed code which was showing hidden link as advert graphic was not showing , as supplied by a third party server. Added new content. Changed font sizes, changed section index pages. Downloaded Chrome is see if any clues in that.

Offloaded all possible overheads, including staff.

And still competitors with boiler plate pages saying "we don't have info on blue widgets please email us a description of a blue widget" rank above our nice fresh articles on blue widgets.

We are not greedy - some sites have better articles on some topics, all we ask is a fair crack of the whip.

Oddly our other sites which haven't been touched for months still have the same traffic and slightly better income than before.

Also our main site has some pages still ranking high in postions 1-6, any new content seems to get lost.

Also, and finally you will be glad to read, we get +/- 10% variance in traffic over a week rather than +/- 30%.

falsepositive



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 9:02 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

@johnhh,
I can imagine the scenario you've described as being repeated across many sites. It reminds me of Google's stance on wanting a much healthier web. Remember their words straight out of their blog about Panda:

Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.


Right now, the words just ring hollow. But a part of me is hoping (and crossing fingers) that someday down the road they'll get it right. With all the work we're doing, the web ecosystem SHOULD ideally be much healthier going forward.

I believe I deserved the Panda slap 3 months ago. But I'm deserving it less and less each passing day (if I were to measure this against my own personal scoring system). And based on what I'm seeing ranking out there, I don't even believe I deserve it at all! And yet, traffic continues to slip.

shallow

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 11:06 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)


@tangor Why did you remove breadcrumbs?

Decided to return to what works best: K.I.S.S. And with simplification, it is easier to see where things change/don't change.


But I thought breadcrumbs were integral, if not critical, to navigation. If you remove the breadcrumbs, isn't it more difficult to navigate?

tangor

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



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 12:35 am on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you remove the breadcrumbs, isn't it more difficult to navigate?

No. Think about it. :)
If you have to step more than two to get to any place your visitor is not likely to be a very happy camper. While there's been some minor uplift in traffic (which means I can't say the change was beneficial) I can say that time on site DID improve...

Panda is all kinds of things we don't know about... but did make us rethink what we have been doing, so perhaps there's some good out of that, but I SERIOUSLY doubt that all the "clean up", "change", "dropping thin pages" means all that much to the Panda... However, it did scare the bejeezus out of webmasters and killed a bunch of pages and odd navigation pages and upped Google's bottom line by having "that much less" to deal with.

Panda, I believe, is something quite different than what has been discussed... I think it is the first step toward PAY TO PLAY SERPS. That, kiddies, is where G (and B, too) are headed. That is REAL ADVERTISING (placement, show, branding) and has been around several hundred years. Google just figured out how to get folks started with "web income" then changed the game in recent years to get where they want to be: SELLING...

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 9:20 am on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think it is the first step toward PAY TO PLAY SERPS


I don't think it's the first step, I think it's the continuation of a master plan that only very few at the plex have known about for quite some time, it's just becoming much more evident now.

The problem Google has with this is that I am seeing the high street starting to fight back in certain sectors therefore Google relying solely upon more and more people using the Net to purchase from Google ads or Google properties may possibly be a big error of judgement.

For instance, realistically in the UK there is absolutely no reason for many people to go to their local supermarket to shop but they continue to do so...personally I never do but there's no denying how busy they are.

Google, all eggs in one basket?

YMMV!

gmb21



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 3:39 pm on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think it is the first step toward PAY TO PLAY SERPS


Already, if I search for a competitive phrase on Bing or Yahoo, there are only ads and a location map above the fold on my standard size screen. :(

Most users probably only visit the first couple of links they see at the top of the search page.

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 4:18 pm on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

> Most users probably only visit the first couple of links they see at the top of the search page.

Once upon a time, that area was reserved for search results like my site and yours and ads were in the right sidebar. Like I said, once upon a time...

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 4:31 pm on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

> Most users probably only visit the first couple of links they see at the top of the search page.

Once upon a time, that area was reserved for search results like my site and yours and ads were in the right sidebar. Like I said, once upon a time...


Isn't it funny that google does it now but doesn't like others doing it anymore ever since Panda...the whims and fancies of a few :(

ErnestHemingway



 
Msg#: 4318945 posted 5:15 pm on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

No recovery since May 5th. And I am loving the top 3 spots. All owned by some guy in India, each one has 3 adsense leaderboards on top and they all look doorway pages :)

I bet they give good user experience not to mention we ran a test on MTurk and had 500 people rate the top 10 sites in our vertical and those 3 sites hardly got any votes.

However according to Google they are giving GOOD USER EXPERIENCE and DRIVING GOOD $$$$$ from Adsense. From what I know the top guy is touching $2000-$5000 a day with Adsense.

No doubt why Google loves his 3 top sites.

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