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4 different Panda demotion targets
whatson




msg:4355950
 10:15 pm on Aug 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I believe there are various levels of Panda penalization, from my experience and research. There is the non-panda sites, then there the Panda'd sites. These consist of:

Scraper sites - web sites stealing/copying content from other sites in order to build their content.

Thin content sites - sites that consist of pages with little or no content, serving very little use to any visitor.

Similar content sites - sites that have variations of the same content on different pages.

Badly structured sites - sites that have not been developed well, creating duplicate pages, thin pages, and bad pagination, just through incompetence more than anything.

Having too many ads is not a factor, but a lot of the thin content and scraper sites, are likely to have a lot of ads. Hence the relationship.

 

tedster




msg:4355955
 10:29 pm on Aug 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

These four areas all do seem to be part of what Panda is looking for. Another area I've become sensitive to is "SEO text" - somewhat related to third item, but it can even be just one page if the content is essentially written not to inform visitors but only to rank.

That kind of page is often monetized by advertising, and if it's not CPM but PPC, then the template often downplays the actual content - to make ad clicks more likely. That's where the idea of "having too many ads" came from, in my opinion.

spyjunior




msg:4355964
 11:50 pm on Aug 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

It is always brilliant to know the factors that may penalize and ban a website so you may always focus on quality content and over all quality structure of your website.

whatson




msg:4356008
 5:34 am on Aug 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Now if you wanna focus on monetizing your site to its best potential, its simple, just provide the best user experience and solutions to the visitor.

Whitey




msg:4356053
 11:18 am on Aug 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

some more permutations around the above :

Aggregated content sites with little added value
Mashable content sites with rearranged aggregated, content
Machine driven content sites with scripted and repetitive texts

Much of this seems to resemble an upgrading of the duplicate content filtering, both internally and externally. However, I'm not sure that sites are returning with the same speed of reversal.

littlegiant




msg:4356070
 3:33 pm on Aug 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tedster,

I totally agree with the 'SEO text' thing. But do you think a single page like that is enough to pandalize an entire site? Say, a 150 page site? Did I understand you correctly?

chrisv1963




msg:4356082
 6:34 pm on Aug 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

It still doesn't make sense. My best website with unique quality content and happy returning visitors got pandalized. My "crap" websites, not updated in more than a year, didn't move an inch.

A foreign language version of my best website (same articles, same layout, same number of ads, different language) gained about 20% with the last Panda update.

whatson




msg:4356103
 9:34 pm on Aug 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

@chrisv1963, there must be something in the way of what we are discussing that your site is doing. Just try to be really honest with yourself. Or are there possibly other sites that have been scraping your content? That's my only other theory.

tedster




msg:4356104
 9:47 pm on Aug 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

do you think a single page like that is enough to pandalize an entire site

It doesn't seem likely - at leaast I haven't seen any examples. That's mostly because once a webmaster finds success with one page they are very likely to extend the same tactic to more pages.

However, if that one "SEO text" page was successful before Panda and was ranking well for a competitive query term, then it might happen. The site sort of stuck it's head up too far and that volunteered it to be shot down. We still only see the outlines of Panda in a fuzzy way and may never have a lot of precision, so I'd hesitate to claim a definitive answer.

[edited by: tedster at 1:52 am (utc) on Aug 29, 2011]

austtr




msg:4356125
 10:54 pm on Aug 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why are we still continually putting "panda" and "penalty" into the same sentence? Hasn't it been made abundantly clear by now that affected sites don't meet Google's new criteria for quality. As a consequence, those sites now have changed rankings.... some slightly different than pre-Panda and others a lot different.

Google rolled out Panda because they believe it can better detect quality signals. If we continue to focus on trying to find and fix "things that got me penalized" we are going to remain stuck in SEO 2000 mode.

aristotle




msg:4356131
 12:03 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Tedster said:
Another area I've become sensitive to is "SEO text"


Wouldn't that need to be fairly heavy-handed for an algorithm to detect reliably? I think that a clever writer could produce an informative article yet still be able to slip in some SEO in subtle ways.

whatson




msg:4356132
 12:15 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

@austtr, Panda is a penalty for lack of better word, you can call it whatever you want, but either way it is something that affecting rankings for specific causes.

tedster




msg:4356148
 1:59 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm with @austtr. Many webmaster's get misled about Panda and Google altogether when we call any ranking/traffic loss a penalty. A ranking loss can mean either an algo change or a penalty. Panda related losses are a specific kind of algorithm change.

Similarly, an algorithm change may discount the way some kinds of backlinks are valued. If a site's rankings were dependent on a lot of that kind of link, then the ranking drop from that particular algorithm change might be significant, but it's not a penalty.

A penalty can be removed through a Reconsideration Request. A Panda loss cannot.

And that's why some members invented the word "pandalyzation" or talk about "demotions". For this reason, I'm editing the title of this thread so it doesn't use the word "penalties".

[edited by: tedster at 8:55 pm (utc) on Aug 29, 2011]

whatson




msg:4356151
 2:18 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sure, penalty more so implies an individual site is targeted. Panda targets a specific type of site. Of which this thread is trying to determine that criteria.

littlegiant




msg:4356237
 11:00 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

I find that a ranking loss as a result of Panda quality score a very specific thing that is unlike other ranking losses. My experience has been that if a page is affected by a lower Panda quality score, it loses all ranking, and I mean all ranking for many relevant longer tail keywords while it can still rank well for shorter tail keywords.

For example, I've seen time and time again, pages on my site that got hit by Panda rank solidly in the top 5 for 'blue widget' but is nowhere to be found in the top 900 for 'small blue widget' even though the page title tag and h1 tag actually read 'small blue widget'. This is something I've never seen before. Pre-panda, a loss of ranking would typically affect the short tail keywords first while the long tail would weather the storm better. My loss in traffic due to Panda has been primarily as a result of a complete loss of ranking for longer tail keywords and, in fact, has taught me to have a much greater respect for the huge amount of traffic you can get from the long tail.

Penalty or not, this past six months has been like Backwards Day for me in the SERPs. To me, getting hit by Panda is like something that says, You can have some meat but no potatoes! Whereas Pre-panda it would be the opposite, e.g., You can have some potatoes but no meat because your page isn't 'relevant' enough.

chrisv1963




msg:4356243
 11:55 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

@chrisv1963, there must be something in the way of what we are discussing that your site is doing. Just try to be really honest with yourself. Or are there possibly other sites that have been scraping your content? That's my only other theory.


A lot of sites are copying my content. I sent out more than 400 DMCAs (to website owners, hosting companies, Google Search) for copied content. On top of that I submitted DMCAs to Blogspot for more than 800 blog pages with stolen content (texts and images).
I began submitting DMCAs in June and most of the copied content was removed promptly. However, I'm sure there's more copied content out there that I didn't find yet and probably even today others are stealing content again.

Google's "scraper update" did not affect my website. Actually, traffic increased after that update. Then suddenly on Feb. 24th Google decided that my website was "bad".

AlyssaS




msg:4356250
 12:37 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

For example, I've seen time and time again, pages on my site that got hit by Panda rank solidly in the top 5 for 'blue widget' but is nowhere to be found in the top 900 for 'small blue widget' even though the page title tag and h1 tag actually read 'small blue widget'.


I can give you a counter example. I have a small site that was just pootling along without much input from me (I had bigger stuff to worry about, because I was working on a pandalised site), and suddenly when panda 2.3 happened (July), it surged to #2 for a term it was not optimised for (because this keyword never occurred to me when I first made the site).

When I say not optimised, I mean the phrase was not in the title, the url, or any of the headers, and it wasn't in any anchor text in backlinks either (I checked in case someone had kindly built one for me!)

It didn't even occur as a phrase on the page that they chose to rank - though the words that made up that phrase did occur loosely in a 12 word sentence (which G has picked as the snippet for this particular SERPs). [Edited to add: my page is definitely relevant for this search, they haven't ranked it because of some random occurrance of words]

It's remained ranked, and it converts nicely into sales.

I've been racking my brains to work out how it happened, so I can duplicate it, but it's beyond me. Unfortunately this hasn't happened to any of my other pages, so I've no other example to compare it to.

All I can conclude is that G did one of it's experiments - tossed the page up out of nowhere to see how it did, and then ranked it based on user metrics.

I think there's a luck element to Panda, because if you haven't been tossed up as an experiment, G doesn't get to gather enough data to reward you (though of course you could fail whatever test they are setting).

dancinmoonlit




msg:4356279
 2:08 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree with Tedster... two of my specific sites got affected due to numerous low quality backlinks. This was not a problem before panda update. But Google somehow found out the pattern of links that we have been adding... so all our backlinks were devalued. So we are now building a new set of backlinks for the two sites... and have removed several low quality backlinks and also requested a reinclusion. The keywords which were NF are now showing up in 100s

tedster




msg:4356304
 3:10 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Welcome to the forums, dancinmoonlit. Just to be clear, I wasn't suggesting that low quality backlinks are a Panda factor. Instead I was using that as an example of another kind of algorithm change that can lower rankings.

That's not to say I've ruled out backlinks as a possible Panda factor, too. Did your ranking losses occur on the exact date of one of the Panda Updates? - Feb 24, Apr 11, May 10, Jun 16, Jul 23, and Aug 12 are the ones Google commented on.

nippi




msg:4356386
 7:38 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

whatson. I am so with you. 100%

whatson




msg:4356449
 10:41 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

@dancinmoonlit did you lose PR, that is the best way to realize if you have had backlinks discounted.

dancinmoonlit




msg:4356525
 3:32 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

It happened after Feb, and there was no PR penalty, but for all the main keywords that we were targeting we suddenly went NF in Google US. For some time we've been coming up in other local searches. Say in UK, eventually we lost that too...
Also, there were two factors one was the backlinks... and the other was a few thousand duplicate pages generated dynamically with almost same content. So we removed those page using URL Removal tool to not to crawl. So as you all say it could also be the content spam. But we still have many other quality pages.

cloud36




msg:4356530
 3:46 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

I believe there are various levels of Panda penalization, from my experience and research.
---I can disagree with this after working on several Pandalized sites, you either have the penalty or you don't. Any varying degrees are just misinterpretations of different ranking factors.
whatson




msg:4356540
 4:16 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree that you either have the penalty or you do not, but when you do have the penalty I think there are possibly different levels of penalty. I have sites that have lost from 70-20% of Google referrals. So I am assuming that there is a possibility that the penalty is more harsh for some offenses, than it is for others.

nippi




msg:4356543
 4:29 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Again - my analysis is the same as whatson. Panda very much appears to be a degree penalty applied depending on bow bad your site issues are.

If there are many issues and you address them gradually you will see a gradual is staged recovery.

Whitey




msg:4356599
 8:02 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

appears to be a degree penalty applied depending on bow bad your site issues are.

Seems highly likely based on what I see, also sites in the same format that i watch went down a standard 60% approx.

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