What seems different to me is that these are widespread tests - apparently served to any access of the SERPs. In the past year or more, Google tests were run at a relatively low level of exposure.
This is again exceptional handling, in the root sense of the word.
Leosghost - Yes.
I just thought I'd point out all the recycling that people elsewhere are documenting because some people here are thinking they've recovered or near recovered (see the UK thread) - it's too early to say.
|More often than not, Google's ads are up in your face more than webmasters' ads. |
Google will answer this way: if you design your search engine, don't index Google's serps pages :)
Something is changing especially in the UK serps.
Alyssa, some of those those sites mentioned in the Warrior Forum are the type that Google loves to outright ban or give a -50 penalty. But they have dozens and dozens of sites so they play their odds. I'd be surprised if Google let most of them out.
I still think that Google sought to hurt the sites caught in the algo. Like when they catch you buy links that penalize you for a while to send a message, even if you remove the links the next day. Makes sense if the review was manual...
|Alyssa, some of those those sites mentioned in the Warrior Forum are the type that Google loves to outright ban or give a -50 penalty. But they have dozens and dozens of sites so they play their odds. I'd be surprised if Google let most of them out. |
Walkman - don't assume that just because they are posting on the Warrior Forum they are all spammers, and that if you post on Webmasterworld your site is gorgeous/beautiful/the best thing since sliced bread. Warriors are less emotional than Webmasterworld posters, but that's it.
Both forums are reporting sites dropped and both forums are reporting gains. G is just looking at the site and not the pretensions of the poster...
Someone on there posted the following:
|My unique content sites are nowhere to be seen. They went from top rankings to page 100+ or no ranking at all. |
My sites with scraped content? All three of them improved, one even took #1.
Which prompted someone else to reply:
|a good time to run a copyscape check and see if you can weed out any duplicate content. |
Very good advice.
AlyssaS, I just looked at some sites linked in that and a few other threads. I didn't say all, but quite a few were one to few pages targeting a single keyword.
Sites here can be even worst for all know, no one has a monopoly on that :). And people cross-post
Walkman, the good posters on there don't link to their sites at all (they'll just get their niches nicked)! It's only the noobs who expose their sites (and because they are noobs, their sites are not very good).
I find the WF fascinating. The attitude there when they tank is "what have I done wrong" and they may indulge in a few moments of hurt, but then they get on with figuring what G changed. On here, when a site tanks (because G thinks it's the same quality as some of the WF sites!) you get long tired emotional essays about how G is evil, which took the author several hours to write. And which is not productive at all.
The other reason people should get over their snobbery and visit and read WF from time to time, is that because it is so huge, you can virtually see trends developing and predict G's next algo change. When that herd gets an idea and stampedes into a fad, you can be sure it's statistically significant and G will move to deal with it. If they are stampeding onto a patch/technique you use on your own sites, it's time to take evasive action. People should visit just to gain intelligence on an eco-system that affects us all.
Absolutely agree with you AlyssaS ..open minds..open eyes..open ears..and many respected posters from here ..are also in other places ..and reading other things..
|That means Panda is hunting for business plans that are essentially parasitic and feeding off the Google SERPs in some fashion or other. It's important to bump any "cleverness" up against that reality check. |
THIS is the element that I myself have been watching closely since Feb 24.
My own observations have shown me that in most (not all but most) cases, the business plan that is clearly serving the users and has obvious unique elements to it can get away with, well, pretty much murder. Thin content, shallow content, no content, ads in the content, ads above the content, ads inside your eyelids. This is in good part why we see such a brand preference, even when the brands aren't the big ones. I'm talking about the kind of sites where it makes Google look stupid not to have them indexed and ranking. I don't think it's enough to have a site that has an exact ratio of content to ads, ads below the fold, 1000 page "articles" whatever, if your site and/or your business plan is still pretty much identical to a thousand or ten thousand or a hundred thousand other sites out there just like it.
|That means Panda is hunting for business plans that are essentially parasitic and feeding off the Google SERPs in some fashion or other. |
Would your site exist ..if Google didn't ?
Google's split testing... but it's not algo tweaks...
|Google's split testing... but it's not algo tweaks... |
Care to share what you think they are split testing? Or do you prefer to just leave us wondering? :)
It's not sites, it's SERPs. As in, search engine result PAGES. For the avoidance of confusion, here's some methodology:
Every SERP is a classified dataset. The same SERP is shown to classified traffic sets. User satisfaction is garnered* and the SERP rated. The most satisfying SERP for each 'demographic' is noted.
Now here's the important bit.
The best sites might not make up the best SERP. Like any team sport, its the blend that matters, not how good each individual is on its own. Only user testing can make this determination, not predictive algos. A manager can select a squad, but sometimes the expected star flops in one team, only to shine in another.
Historically, split testing was done on small sets, usually with well understood habits (like the US military - as per my convo with Whitenight AGES ago). Now personalisation is so ingrained, and user metrics so advanced, it makes no sense to test these things in small bubbles. Hence the high visibility recently.
*Click backs plus ad-based tracking cookies work wonders - with both having further refinements. Did you click back and click again? Click back and refine your phrase? Click back and try a related phrase? Click back and try a totally new search?
|Why Haven't Sites Come Back from Panda? |
During all this Pandalitis I have been experimenting with my example.co.uk and every product page is now back on the first page of the g.co.uk SERPs. I went through every titlebar, meta description and on-page stuff and where there were possibily any doubts as to what had been written, it was amended...these pages are now very focussed and their climb up through the SERPs has been interesting:-)
Also, during this Pandalisation I have been building a new site on a .eu extension. To be honest I stopped touching it a couple of weeks ago since I was so dismayed with what Google had done however I have been checking its SERPs today on both .com and .co.uk and its doing very well indeed, and also in image search I must add.
I have been constructing it the same way as my .co.uk site with all its new images, text, etc. and I'm impressed enough to start work on it again tomorrow and complete it over the next week or so.
Now a few things to note:
1. I am using my standard css template site I created 11/12 years ago.
2. My layout includes a 728 x 90 leaderboard and a 728 x 15 AdLink above the fold and a 336 x 280 at the bottom of every product page.
3. It is interlinked to my other example.tld sites through the lhs navigation on every page.
4. Panda did not impose this on me, I was going to build this site like this anyway therefore it's very interesting that it seemingly is having no problems...yet!
Oh, and none of the pages had a newbie boost, they've just steadily trundled their way upwards.
Does that help anyone?
HuskyPup : Came to same conclusion i.e page emphasis
Hadn't bothered to check today, suffering from that well known medical problem "google depression" - but I did after your post, our positions moving as well +5 positions in some cases - others, including some on page 1 steady.
If this is the case I think it will take some time to filter through ..
Not sure it is the only factor involved though as navigation ( again creating emphasis ) may be involved.
Fingers crossed ...
Anyone care to speculate on what Matt Cutts meant when he made this comment from a while back:
International Roll Out
Matt confirmed that the algorithm change is still U S. only at this point, but is being tested internationally and would be rolling out to additional countries “within weeks”. He said that the type of low quality content targeted by the [Panda] changes are more prevalent in the United States than in other countries, so the impact won’t be as strong outside the U.S. [Source: [searchengineland.com...]
Pretty straightforward, don't you think? Total traffic and ad revenue from the US market tends to be significantly higher, in most niches, than in other countries. Therefore MFAs target the US more heavily.
My US site got hit losing about 30% of Google traffic in Feb and UK site got pounded for 60% google traffic in April. I cleaned things up a little on both site in Feb. The US site seems to received quite a bump beginning on June the 12th (nearly recovered half the google traffic lost) but i'm not sure if its a Panda update. Some of my keywords are back - but google seems to have better targeted my pages. Instead of showing the home page for the results it seems to be targetting more specific pages. Hope it holds.
There are more MFAs, scrapers and people behind spam in the USA than anywhere else..
Look at where the adsense payout figures say the money goes to..
The Indians and Chinese etc get accused of sending spam ( everyone glosses over who they send it for ) and scraping, and content theft..but in reality they are waaaaaay behind the USA..
Google's data shows this ..to the plex and anyone else who looks carefully..
What webmasters in the rest of the world get up to is a much smaller deal ..Google want cleaner serps..they go straight to where the biggest problem is, they next rolled it out to the UK ..another "get rich by any means, fair or foul" society"..
They deal with these two areas ..more than half their job is done..
Just read who has been complaining about panda..and then who has been admitting to using other peoples content or scraping or "curating" ..or re-writing or spinning..and where they are from..
Look at the published lists of who was hit..where are the vast majority based, where are their owners from..the USA and the UK..
Nothing to do with targeting..Google aimed for where by far the worst of problem comes from...and began there.
potentialgeek, I agree with Leo, if MFAs and content farms are anything like spam email, the great majority of the problem come from the US (even if some resources are outsourced in other countries). Mix the high technological literacy with a societal obsession with getting rich, and it explains the prevalence of problem which often translates into a multitude of regular joes using the lowest form of marketing.
Let's not take the anti-American sentiment to far. I have dealt with over 500 actual cases of CI and 95% arose from outside the US. Plus I don't normally go after them if its not at least 500+ words. I'll lay odds that 95% of these culprits relied on American based hosting so where they originate from is speculative. As I delve more into that comment PG attributed to Cutts it seems what is being said is the US results are the target of most this junk. Cutts must have pulled his actual comments because I'm only seeing references to Vanessa Fox. Lets face it most countries outside the US except for a few are so centric you can't make a dime outside the US.
No taking it too far :) you misunderstand me :) I'm not anti-American ..I've nothing against the the vast majority of the USA's inhabitants..
And hosting in the USA is cheaper than in many other areas and many sites rely on the Geo targeting element of the SE's ..and so are hosted there even if their owners are elsewhere..I host in the USA, for sites directed at the USA traffic or market..
But the big losers on all the lists of Pandalised sites..the big MFAs and the content farms and scrapers were virtually all USA owned and operated or UK owned and operated..their owners be they companies or private individuals were not by and large citizens of other countries..only a handfull of the hundreds on some of the publicly discussed ( here and elsewhere ) lists were foreign owned.
Google knew that to clean up their serps ..they'd have more effect, and do a much better and faster job if they began with the seat of the problem..the USA owned and run and hosted sites..and then they rolled it out to the next worst ..the UK.
They knew that the English speaking market gives them the biggest headaches..but they didn't start out with Australia :) which would have been really easily "corralled" if they just wanted to teach a lesson and put the fear of demotion into the rest of the English speaking world..
After they said they were content with the effects of panda in the USA ( the seat of the problem )..then they began rolling it out to the rest of the world..
Slam down hard on the ringleader for misbehaving ..and his buddy ..and the rest of the kids in class tend to calm down some just because they witness that enough is enough..and that Google was prepared to take on those who would squeal the loudest, the hardest, and who were nearest to the front of the room...
As Koan says we all know which companies are behind the guys who send the spam..I get waaaaay more spam on behalf of US businesses and US products than I do all the 419s etc put together..the US companies just have it sent from the other side of the world from them .
The US is a single huge affluent market ..and the scraping got so bad that special laws, "DMCA" had to be passed to try to deal with the domestic scraper problem ..
Its not "speculative", the corps and individuals on the Panda losers lists that we all saw ..are in the main USA or UK owned..
Matt, if he has pulled his comments, probably did so because someone said something like "we'll be called unAmerican" ..I have heard thatv used to silence critics many times..
BTW ..You can make money outside the US ..but you cant make any "dimes"..
You have to lose the US centric view and vocabulary .. and adapt to the market(s) you find in other countries..and even use their languages :).
How many US members here even run non English sections of their US directed sites ? ..those who don't are leaving a huge market to others, lots of money on the table, and it is right across the street or around the corner ..
@HuskyPup - Could you clarify -did this return coincide with the Panda 2.2 roll out dates, or was it gradual "climb" to use your words.
|or was it gradual "climb" to use your words. |
A gradual climb, every few days a few more places higher, several are now at #1 and 2 with ALL product pages on the first page now in G.co.uk
None of these pages rank in G.com and they're not intended to do so.
My new example.eu continues to climb upwards with several pages now on the first page of both com and co.uk and many of the remaining pages within the top 20-40 results and noticeably climbing day by day.
I'm trying to add 20 new pages a week to this site with maybe another 100 pages or so to go. They're all seriously high quality widget pages and images, and like my co.uk, the most informative I've ever constructed.
One thing about images, someone posted about getting the info meat above the fold. I haven't changed the way I do things, all product page images are above the fold with the meat well below the fold. Quite simply it looks better that way and if Google doesn't like it, hard luck!
The G.co.uk SERPs are looking better for my widgets yet my UK registered and hosted example.com can rarely be found in the results whereas many pages are top ten in G.com
I've speculated before whether there is an element of geo-targetting with Panda and I'm convinced there is judging by trade searches and some of the quite bizarre results that turn up sometimes in G.co.uk
My biggest decision is what to do with my example.com. Do I leave as-is and build a completely new site or do I modify that one to the same standard as my co.uk/.eu?
Is G's geo-targetting good enough now not to hand me any duplicate page penalties since there would undoubtedly be some duplicates owing to the nature of my business?
This has been a concern of mine for about 18 months or so now as I've studied what G has been doing overall and the Panda certainly threw a new spanner into my equation!
I saw a funny result today, ranked 4th out of 1.2 million.
The site ranked 4th had copied the google results page and reprinted it with real links minus the google logo. It had no markup, not even a title, and the url was an ip address. google listed it simply as /home instead of giving it a better title.
It really seems like you'd better get everything right or don't do it at all. having no descriptions is better than having duplicate descriptions etc. I thought it was a classic anyway.
I have noticed this too. Better to be a big fat zero (ie zero content) than score a 5 for what you do offer. Somehow that seems perverse?!
Anyone still looking for Panda recovery stories should consider beyond this website. There are more examples elsewhere than here. Use some creative quotes of what people would write if they recovered, and you'll find them. Those ones are the best; a bunch of other websites merely speculate.
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