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Panda - how low can you go?
whatson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 3:52 am on Jul 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

(maybe we need a new sub-category for panda posts)

So anyway, we hear about people getting hit by panda 1, 2, 2.1 and 2.2, some sites getting worse with each update. So how low does it go?

All of my sites that got hit suffered from panda 2, were untouched in 1. Most of my sites have remained consistent since then, except one that was affected even worse by 2.2, as in went from 2500+ visitors/day to under 500.

However, I had one site "recover" from Panda 2, in the Panda 2.2 update. The traffic went from 2000/day down to 1300/day on Panda 2, but from Panda 2.2. it went back up to 2000/day, perhaps even slightly more visitors than Panda 2. So yes, I do have an official Panda recovery story, with evidence.

HOWEVER, I didn't touch this site, I didn't do anything to it since Panda, in fact I haven't done anything for over a year with the site. So I can't claim that I tweaked my site and did the right thing to get out of it.
On top of that my rankings are still not back in full, my main keyword that I had been #1 for years, is still down at 5, which is what Panda did to it. So it's not a complete recovery.

I believe that some people think they have got out of panda by tweaking their sites, but it was actually Panda that changed. Which just makes it harder to really know what the hell is going on.

 

johnhh

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 10:27 pm on Jul 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm going to make this assumption it was essentially tech targeted
No idea where you got that from my friend.
Best option: forget panda - just check for any site problems and add new content

JerryRB

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 10:43 pm on Jul 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

Panda is an algo run on more active sites (sites that publish fresh content on a regular basis) which get some decent traffic for some decent keywords.


I find that really interesting. Our site saw a substantial decrease in qualified traffic right around Panda 1, but only our high quality pages took a hit.

Our crappy low-quality templated content still ranks as high as ever (even though we receive virtually no traffic from it). It's as if all those pages are still living in a pre-panda world. I guess I don't understand Google's logic there - leave the cancer but destroy the healthy cells?

When Panda was released, Google claimed that it only affected 12% of search results in the US - I wonder what percent of actual searches Panda affected.

nickreynolds

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 10:57 pm on Jul 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some are describing Panda as a cancer or virus. The thing about viruses is they spread. Some of my sites were affected by Panda2.1, others weren't. By and large sites that didn't have adsense or analytics were spared. I might be wrong but I think it may be that my weaker sites may have been affected directly by Panda and that my stronger sites were affected as Google could see a link between the sites (if having a common IP address was a factor, it was a more minor one)
The thing that concerns me is this : if i have a Padalized site will all future content be subject to the same Panda "penalty". If I build new sites with the same analytics/adsense code, will they in turn be affected by the Panda "virus" by association?

whatson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 11:18 pm on Jul 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

All my sites use analytics, but not all were affected, so this theory is debunked. I have sites on shared hosting, again not all were affected.

Reno

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 12:44 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

so this theory is debunked

There is no theory because by definition "theory" implies a kind of understanding of a subject and there is not yet any understanding of Panda. Its behavior is outside any kind of pattern or logic (that I can see), so all we can say is that "for MY sites, there does not seem to be a connection". For other sites, the connection appears to be valid. This is the mystery of the Panda virus ~ it will strike one website dead, and another with very similar DNA, will be spared.

.......................

BillyS

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 2:02 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Coming out of retirment to report something changed in Panda about two hours ago. That would be around 8:00 Eastern time...

supercyberbob



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 3:01 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

If Panda is a virus we should just destroy it.

On a lighter note, I wonder how many site owners are thinking about wrecking the serps with black hat.

I guess if they got smacked hard there's not much to lose.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 3:02 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

"Coming out of retirment to report something changed in Panda about two hours ago. That would be around 8:00 Eastern time... "

What is it BillyS? Positive...negative? Sites come out? More pandalized?

whatson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 3:22 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

As for black hat, I am sure if all the Pandissed web site owners went to the dark side, they/we could create a enough disturbance that a lot of serps would be compromised.

[edited by: tedster at 3:39 am (utc) on Jul 13, 2011]

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 4:04 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Billy is right. Things are jumping around big time (at least for pandalized sites) and I am only seeing it get worse.

Is anyone using google analytics seeing this? on the dashboard, for any chosen date, I am seeing an "avg. time on site" which is much lower than what is reported as "avg. time on page" when you drill into content Overview -> view full report.

It is as if someone is tinkering with the final report.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 4:10 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

On my non-Pandalized sites I am seeing a 20-25% increase yesterday and today. Check over several weeks in the past month too.

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 4:14 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Walkman, are you talking about the traffic to your non-Pandalized sites?

walkman



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 4:16 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes, and usually means that whatever was Pandalized slips further. At least my pandalized site did go down each time I gained on my non-pandalized sites. This is insane and has absolutely nothing to do with quality.

It's probably time for the next Panda, June 16th was the last one.

whatson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 4:29 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yeah, they are probably not far off. But whether it is just panda adjustments and additions, or an update (if there is such a thing), is another thing. We are in completely in the dark, and its not on, after all the hard work we have done building those hallowed serps.

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 4:47 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>wait until we hear some real success stories

Ok Tedster, I owe you an apology. A lot of people are in denial about some of the recoveries.

Guys, there have been success stories. Lots of them. Search this forum.

They are real.

None of them offered any really useful, this is how you fix your site answers, but that doesn't make them not real.

whatson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 4:52 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am not entirely sure. I have "success stories", as in traffic returning to pre-panda levels, but I think it was more of an adjustment, not a recovery via tweaking that got my out of jail.

I have not seen any evidence of real success stories to date, and when I mean success stories, I am talking about positions returning, not traffic. As in pre-panda you were #1, after panda you were #6, and now you are back to #1. Not meaning to sound so negative, but I just haven't seen any. If anyone wants to show me some evidence, then I would be more than delighted to review it.

Shatner, if you believe there are success stories then why are you saying that you have given up so easily?

freejung

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 5:01 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am not sure why people aren't understanding that panda is not an algo that has been run on all sites and all keywords.


By George, indy, I think you've got it!

All this time we've been asking, why do most pandalized sites see no change in ranking even after making significant changes?

The question assumes, perhaps incorrectly, that Panda 2.0 re-evaluated all of the sites hit by Panda 1, and that 2.1 and 2.2 did likewise. This need not be the case.

We tend to think of Google as computationally all-powerful, but they are not. The web is very large. Machine learning is expensive. We suspect Panda was enabled by Caffeine, meaning maybe Caffeine has just barely enough juice to run it. What if Panda is so computationally intensive that the vast majority of sites hit have not yet been reevaluated?

If this is true, then most of us have only been scored once. Some would be rescored, of course, to test the accuracy of rescoring. This would probably be a random sample, which is why it's so hard to figure out. The rest of us just have to wait it out. It is entirely possible that the changes we have already made are completely sufficient to remove the pandalization, but we won't know it until the Panda comes back our way.

The trouble is, spam is like a hydra. The first round got rid of lots of spam that ranked well for good keywords (and some good sites too, of course, no algo is perfect). But there was plenty more spam waiting to take its place, and behind that are the scrapers who copied the spam, and on and on... we've all seen it. We complain that post-Panda the SERPs are still filled with crap, but of course they are, and there's plenty more crap lurking on page 3 and 4 and 5 waiting to take its place too.

So if you're Google, what do you choose to spend your incredibly expensive massive server farms evaluating in subsequent rounds -- the sites that you've already determined to be spam (rightly or wrongly, all that really matters to them is that it's mostly spam), or the new spam that has arisen to take its place? It would be far more efficient to evaluate the new spam and get rid of it, rather than reevaluating the old spam in hopes that some of it has been fixed.

To us this may seem horribly unjust -- our sites have been sentenced to a slow, painful death with no appeal -- but to Google it's just a numbers game. We have X amount of computer power, which can evaluate Y number of sites. We can get better results by continuing to evaluate more sites than by reevaluating over and over again the sites that we already believe are probably spam.

Trouble is, there's a lot of spam out there. They may have bitten off more than they can chew.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 5:06 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Shatner and whatson,
the theme here seems to be that sites still suck that's why they have not come back. And any changes /improvements are worse that's why sites keep dropping and dropping.

I've been questioning this wisdom and mentioning even a set time penalty (Google decides when) but eventually you give up. I find it odd that in 5 months we haven't seen lots and lots of sites come back. It can't be quality, we see the crap that's ranking in many niches.

To us this may seem horribly unjust -- our sites have been sentenced to a slow, painful death with no appeal -- but to Google it's just a numbers game
I hope you have your asbestos underwear on, you will be taken to task for suggesting Google doesn't care about the average webmaster. It's sacrilege, look here [webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: walkman at 5:17 am (utc) on Jul 13, 2011]

freejung

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 5:16 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

sites still suck that's why they have not come back

That's what I'm saying: it's not that they still suck, it's that they haven't been rescored.

That would explain why

in 5 months we haven't seen lots and lots of sites come back.

It would also explain

the crap that's ranking in many niches

because much of that crap has yet to be scored.

you will be taken to task for suggesting Google doesn't care about the average webmaster

I'm suggesting that what Google cares about is the quality of their search results. I know that's a strange concept, but it's only what they built their entire multi-billion dollar business on, eh?

walkman



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 5:23 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

@freejung
I agree with you but have to tone it down because some people get very emotional regarding Google.

IMO pandalized sites keep going down becuase Google still has them as "bad sites" and obviously wants them to get less and less traffic. On other Panda google added certain things, took some out in the next one, add new ones..etc so we see some sites come out.

I'm suggesting that what Google cares about is the quality of their search results. I know that's a strange concept, but it's only what they built their entire multi-billion dollar business on, eh?
If that's not balanced then they don't care. Think of US dropping a few nukes in Pakistan to "fight the Taliban". So I'm not buying it. You don't launch a new system with such draconian penalties based on how the site was that one day with no recovery in sight. You can start gradually for example, not with a 70% drop.

I still think that they have enough power to run the whole thing at least monthly. IMO, they are having their "nerds strike back" victory dance even though many sites were caught innocently.

freejung

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 5:39 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google still has them as "bad sites" and obviously wants them to get less and less traffic

Right, but not because they have rescored your changes and found them lacking, but simply because they haven't got back around to you yet. Now that I think about it, Matt's comments we talked about in the thread you linked support that as well: "The general rule is to push stuff out and then find additional signals to help differentiate on the spectrum. We havenít done any pushes that would directly pull things back."

Think of US dropping a few nukes in Pakistan to "fight the Taliban".

Dude, the "slow painful death" thing was just a metaphor. I'm not actually dying of pandalization, and neither are you. Moving your site from page 1 of the SERPs to page 2 is not even remotely equivalent or even vaguely similar to nuking a country. Have a sense of proportion. (of course, as any hitchhiker knows, "if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.")

I still think that they have enough power to run the whole thing at least monthly.

What makes you think that? It's just a hypothesis, and IMO it doesn't explain the data.

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 5:55 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have any idea on why google is reporting a different "avg. time on site" on the analytics dashboard than what is on other reports?

The difference is huge. The dashboard is showing me "00:00:35 Avg. Time on Site" and it has been like this for the past 4-5 months. The inner report (content overview -> View Report) is showing it as "00:02:37 Avg. Time on Page" and this one is close to what it was before panda.

freejung

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 6:05 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have any idea on why google is reporting a different "avg. time on site" on the analytics dashboard than what is on other reports?

No clue. Bug in the new interface? Mine is the same in both interfaces, same as it's always been (it's up just a hair since my layout redesign, which I take as a good sign, but has been close to the same - a little over 2 min - for years). I'm not seeing the anomaly on other sites either.

CovertSEO

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 6:15 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have sat quietly in this forum taking in the many arguments and more often the not itching to let my two cents be heard, yet at the same time having no desire to enter any frivolous debate. I often tend to be rather blunt hence my reservation.

Having read the various comments and arguments the following has peaked my interest
I am not sure why people aren't understanding that panda is not an algo that has been run on all sites and all keywords.

If you have a dormant site targeting popular keywords (in terms of traffic) and doing well now as some of you claim, you are lucky to have escaped it so far.

if your dormant site doesn't target any popular keywords, panda may not have acted on it at all.

Panda is an algo run on more active sites (sites that publish fresh content on a regular basis) which get some decent traffic for some decent keywords.
]

I am in agreement with your statement that Panda is specific to the more competitive niches which have been plagued by brand infringements and other practices to gain an "unfair" advantage. For this reason "content farms" were heavily affected because they cut across several verticals. It would be interesting to take a cross section of the niches in which the various that are affected sites compete. I have read person attributing their decline to "scraped content" but for me it does not have merit. If it did it would also affect the offending site ranking.

Additionally it suggest that so the so called big players are not subject to content infringements.

The very nature of the Internet makes it subject to duplication it happens in real life why not the virtual world?

I remember at recent googlewmc presentation Matt Cutts stated that content duplication was not so much a issue in Panda. This does make sense why it is not a huge factor in rankings.

I have read persons prescribing the removal of tags yet Cutts did admit to using tags on his personal site. He did however caution against abusing that facility.

Persons are going through the motion of fixing but what are you fixing if you don't know what is broken. It is an exercise in futility in my humble opinion. It is all a guessing game.

In closing I would recommend that you should proceed with caution and don't be so hasty to implement everything you read. Take some time, analyse and determine whether it has merit and seek other opinions.

Lest I'm accused of monopolising the thread I now make my hasty exit

walkman



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 6:34 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Dude, the "slow painful death" thing was just a metaphor. I'm not actually dying of pandalization, and neither are you. Moving your site from page 1 of the SERPs to page 2 is not even remotely equivalent or even vaguely similar to nuking a country. Have a sense of proportion. (of course, as any hitchhiker knows, "if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.")
I meant sites dying. I was going to use baby /bath water but throwing babies out seemed too drastic to use as a metaphor. Baby killer label and all :)

I still think that they have enough power to run the whole thing at least monthly.

What makes you think that? It's just a hypothesis, and IMO it doesn't explain the data.

OK, let me ask you. For long do you think this will go on once started? Suppose Google says "I want to re-run original panda to assign a new score to those Pandalized on Feb 24th.' I seriously doubt it goes for weeks or months running on the background. Plus, if Google really wanted to they could run this instead of other Pandas. It's 5 months already and many businesses have been almost frozen out of the search engine with 70% (Us when adding AOL /Ask) to 95% (Europe) of traffic. Different people feel it differently but many it's extremely serious. Especially for those that have one good business site and that's it.
Then they are their resources, they have lots of computational power and it makes no sense to have a system you cannot update for many months.

I am voting on deliberate punishment, with some knife twisting* as a bonus.

* not a real knife.

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 6:39 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks freejung. it is somewhat strange for this site but several strange things had been happening to it for the last 4-5 months and I cannot stop getting the feeling that it is being used as a test bed.

Edit: I tried the new interface and the difference is the same there!

anyone else seeing this?

freejung

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 7:49 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

For long do you think this will go on once started?

Until they decide that they have succeeded in weeding out most of the spam from most of the high-traffic SERPs. If search quality is the highest priority and computing power is the bottleneck, it would be only after most important SERPs are clean that it would be efficient to start reevaluating previously scored sites.

I have no idea how long that would take.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 8:21 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

No I meant running the panda program, like the one they run on 2/24. When do you think they pressed the "Start" button if it was finished on say, Feb 24 (I know it was done earlier since they tested but assume 2/23)? A week before, month, day?

whatson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 9:14 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thats true walkman. I think that maybe we could look at it in a similar way as to how Pagerank used to be calculated and we used to all await to Google Dance.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 9:33 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thats true walkman. I think that maybe we could look at it in a similar way as to how Pagerank used to be calculated and we used to all await to Google Dance.

Now it's month five though!

BillyS

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4338264 posted 10:26 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

There are sites that come out of Panda, we just did. We were hit with Panda 2.2. On June 17 at 1800 (eastern time), Analytics showed me a clear drop off in traffic of 45 to 55%. It was all Google. Very obvious. Over the coming weeks, this was evident in GWT, where I could see ranking decreases of 3 to 10+ positions on thousands of keyphrases.

On July 12, at nearly the same time, Analytics showed me a very clear increase in traffic of 120 to 130%. Again, this is very obvious because it's a mid sized site that went from 545 visitors to 1,253 (week over week - actual data for the hour 21:00 last night).

Nothing else happened in this timeframe, we have about 1,300 pages in Google's index, and that number was very steady over the last four week.

Again, when you go from 25,000 visitors a day to 11,000 you know something happend.

That trend continues this morning, back to pre 2.2 levels (perhaps doing slightly better, way too early to tell).

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