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New Panda Update - September 27
BrodyDodes




msg:4369315
 9:53 pm on Sep 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google rolled out its most recent iteration of the Panda algorithm on Wednesday 9/28/11 (or Tuesday according to who you ask). Saw the first recovery of one of my punished sites since the first iteration back in February. Anyone else see recoveries?


[webpronews.com...]

When asked if an iteration of Panda was implemented this week, a Google spokesperson told us, “yes.” She also provided the following statement:

“We’re continuing to iterate on our Panda algorithm as part of our commitment to returning high-quality sites to Google users. This most recent update is one of the roughly 500 changes we make to our ranking algorithms each year.”

If you’ve followed the Google Panda update saga throughout the year, you may recall Dani Horowitz’s story. She runs an IT discussion community called Daniweb, and it was hit hard by the Panda update, but she made a lot of changes, and gradually started to build back some Google cred

 

asusplay




msg:4371289
 11:03 pm on Oct 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Did something happen yesterday (Oct 4th)? I lost about 70% of my organic traffic on the 26th, and suddenly yesterday I lost a further chunk of traffic so now I have lost 95% of all traffic. I am seeing the same today which is why I wonder wther there has been a mini update? Also the number of pages indexed on GWT is only half that of the URLs submitted in the sitemap, which I don't understand. Anyone else seen this?

walkman




msg:4371290
 11:07 pm on Oct 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Did something happen yesterday (Oct 4th)? I lost about 70% of my organic traffic on the 26th, and suddenly yesterday I lost a further chunk of traffic so now I have lost 95% of all traffic
Apparently a 'fix' has been launched to make sure certain sites escape Panda. That fix may have hurt smaller, less known, sites.
Whitey




msg:4371341
 1:03 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

asusplay - Can you provide a bit more insight into your site to give your question more meaning, like :

total URL's
type of content ( unique / aggregated / UGC / forums etc etc )
proportions of unique content
what you have done to protect yourself from Panda updates

Any site that doesn't address basic criteria is at best vulnerable, so the timing is not notable in the context of the current update and flux. More info needed could assist with helpful comments though on the bigger picture though ....

It would be nice to think you were a false positive and can look forward to a rampant return of increased traffic.

drall




msg:4371350
 1:49 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Bounce rate would be a terrible measurement of site quality, I think Matt even said such.

Think of a download site that gives the google user exactly what they are looking for with one page view the searcher gets what they needed and bails.

Or a software patch site, or a image site and on and on. Just because someone hits and bounces doesnt mean the site didnt meet or exceed the searchers expectation or need.

Lenny2




msg:4371355
 2:05 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

"rampant return of increased traffic..."


Ahhh, I've been waiting since February... don't hold your breath! :)

indyank




msg:4371373
 3:23 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Is Daniweb the ultimate site on the web? I have come across that forum several times with answers that don't help at all.

Every site has its own strengths and weaknesses. Small sites do well when competing with popular brands because of their strengths. Now if Google were to adjust their algorithms every time it hears that a popular site is affected, it signals a doom for other sites. The brands which were hitherto ranking only for their strengths would also rank for their weaknesses due to these adjustments they do often.

There does exist a site wide effect and in Daniweb's case, the weaknesses (as determined by google's algos) seem to outweigh their strengths. This might affect them whenever google does a few tweaks as they tilt their balance towards the negative. Other popular brands might have more strengths than weaknesses making them immune to such changes.If google keeps reverting or adjusting things because a few sites like Daniweb were affected, they are surely hitting the sites that ought to have been positively impacted.This is surely not desirable.

Google is trying to find one common recipe for all because they want to impose a site-wide factor (panda). This is something which no sane person will understand.

1) I am referring to strengths and weaknesses "as determined by google".
2) The site-wide impact is definitely the major issue with Panda. If it wasn't site-wide, Panda wouldn't have been talked about so much by so many.

[edited by: indyank at 3:43 am (utc) on Oct 6, 2011]

walkman




msg:4371375
 3:29 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

@indyank
with a few lines of code Google just whitelisted 300,000 pages from her site, good or bad.

P.S. My user engagement stats are way better than hers, but some animals are more equal than others. Maybe I'll double check the spelling again like Amit Singhal said, that might just do it.

indyank




msg:4371384
 3:45 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Walkman, I don't even understand why Googlers talks about adjusting things for certain sites. There cannot be one medicine to cure all diseases.

I do believe that one reason they are talking about finding those common denominators for all sites is because they want to keep this algorithm site-wide. They have definitely talked about the negative pages on a site affecting the rest of the site, in their blog post and in several other instances.

walkman




msg:4371385
 3:50 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Walkman, I don't even understand why Googlers talks about adjusting things for certain sites. There cannot be one medicine to cure all diseases.
They want to cure those diseases that give them bad press, and that's the truth. Your small site got smoked? Too bad.
indyank




msg:4371400
 6:16 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Your small site got smoked? Too bad.


Nope, I neither gained nor lost for the past few updates...not sure why...

asusplay




msg:4371450
 9:15 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)


asusplay - Can you provide a bit more insight into your site to give your question more meaning, like :

total URL's
type of content ( unique / aggregated / UGC / forums etc etc )
proportions of unique content
what you have done to protect yourself from Panda updates

Any site that doesn't address basic criteria is at best vulnerable, so the timing is not notable in the context of the current update and flux. More info needed could assist with helpful comments though on the bigger picture though ....

It would be nice to think you were a false positive and can look forward to a rampant return of increased traffic.


well my site isn't big by other people's standards so please don't laugh! but my site isn't money maker so it's important to me. i have about 800 pages of unique content (all written by me and i make sure news articles are 250 words minimum but many pages are much bigger), nothing duplicated. after the 26th i noticed on GWT that the number of URLs indexed had fallen to about 460, and on the 4th following the further drop it now stands at 378.

I have been working this last week to fix any possible errors. Got rid of some dead links from the articles but there weren't many, checked database content for any suspicious content but there was no injection or suspicious content, and I have removed most of the internal site-wide links from the footer.

I'm clutching at straws really, but other things that I have done are remove the mailing list form from an iframe (so that the user didn't leave the page when submitting) and this is now done with jquery. I had 301 redirects to affiliate links which were nofollowed and these are now on a template page with a meta refresh (saying "you are now being redirected bla bla") and have noindexed this both on page and in robots.txt and removed the nofollow on the links accriss the site as they are now internal links. I have also taken steps to increasing site speed, so i have reoptimised images, created sprites instead of the classic image rollover, minified css and javascript...

and now i'm looking at htaccess and thinking over whether i did right some time ago in 301'ing removed content to the homepage or whether i should have left the 404's (which were showing up on GWT), and whether I should re-404 those pages.

But I find it truly depressing.

Hissingsid




msg:4371458
 9:47 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Bounce rates for my key site

February 2011 Google 32% Bing 26% Yahoo 27%
September 2011 Google 42% Bing 25% Yahoo 25%

Whitey




msg:4371489
 11:40 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is a thumb suck, and the focus needs to be on what is required by Google to make your site a standout visitor experience. Don't take these questions literally, but use them to exercise your approach to things :

all written by me and i make sure news articles are 250 words minimum

Are you recognised as an authority / signatory to your articles?
If not why not?
If so, why so?
How are you supporting those assertions ? Links ? Unique video clips ?
Who is talking about your articles?
Is you content constantly refreshed?
What makes it a place to come back and revisit?

These are wild questions, but what I'm attempting to do is make you think differently about what you have done for the last x number of years. Get some folks around and have a coffee and ask them how you could make your site sing. If you hang on to the past, the Panda is threatening to kick you out, so I'm just testing your imagination a touch. Good luck.

asusplay




msg:4371505
 12:20 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks Whitey, I think I know where you are getting at.

Whitey




msg:4371516
 12:58 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Nope, I neither gained nor lost for the past few updates...not sure why...

...but are you pushing big improvements in ? If so what ?

Things can't be left to sit still ... just challenging you for a reaction :)

alika




msg:4371519
 1:13 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

@walkman
You do realize why you came out in July, right?


That's the thing - we have no clue. When we got hit in Feb, we did nothing. No change in layout, no change in content, no removal of pages, no redesign, nothing. We did not remove any ads.However, our content is typically around 500-2,000 words, with some multi-page series running at 20,000+ words. We just continued on.

In September, Adsense contacted us to add leaderboards on our site, which we've been doing. This brings our Adsense ad units to 3 per page plus the banners/skys we sell ourselves. I'm not sure if the additional ad unit was what tripped us this Sept 27.

Dave_Hybrid




msg:4371523
 1:19 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

alika, if ads are involved in Panda, its the ads to content ratio above the fold over anything else.

MC has hinted that "although they may or may not be in the Panda sauce, too many ads above the fold/too little content creates a bad user experience."

[edited by: Dave_Hybrid at 1:57 pm (utc) on Oct 6, 2011]

indyank




msg:4371527
 1:22 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

What I know is I did nothing on those sites during the past few updates...Yes I did change a few things in the first three months...However, I later decided to not waste my time on them any longer as I didn't find anything else to change. Google was however determined to decimate them.

I then chose to spend time on other things (that aren't Google dependant) and I am making a slow progress there...

At the same time I am seeing stability in traffic on the panda affected sites...Though I have lost a lot of traffic, I am happy that I am now seeing stability there..no more pains or gains...

I guess that doing nothing might be one secret recipe to at-least ensure stability...

walkman




msg:4371536
 2:10 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)


@walkman
You do realize why you came out in July, right?


That's the thing - we have no clue. When we got hit in Feb, we did nothing. No change in layout, no change in content, no removal of pages, no redesign, nothing. We did not remove any ads.However, our content is typically around 500-2,000 words, with some multi-page series running at 20,000+ words. We just continued on.

Alika, I have read from at least another 5-6 site owners that were de-pandalized in July with Dani were hit, then de-pandalized again a few days later after Dani made it public. It looks to me like in July, Google made an exception for certain sites that fit Daniweb's profile but they forgot to do the same this Panda,so Panda hit them again. It makes no sense otherwise. In other words, it is almost impossible to come out of Panda as it is now, especially for large sites.

freejung




msg:4371562
 3:39 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Bounce rate would be a terrible measurement of site quality... or a image site...

I have an image site. I think bounce rate is actually a pretty good indicator of quality for my site. I did an experiment to test this about a month ago.

I found a particular category page that performed poorly in terms of bounce rate and time on site for search traffic. I have to admit, the pics on that page sucked: bad light, inferior camera, boring subjects. I happened to have taken about 50 new pics in this category that were superior in every way: better light, better camera, more interesting subjects. I ruthlessly edited them down to the best 4. These are really nice pics, if I do say so myself. I posted those 4 at the top of the category.

Bounce rate for search on that one page went from ~60% to ~35% overnight and stayed there. Average time on site doubled. It turns out that, amazingly enough, having better content really does make people stay longer.

So far that page has not recovered from Panda - it used to be on page 1 for "widget pics" and is now on page 2 - but it's only been a month and maybe it takes time to collect enough data to make a difference. We'll see. In any case, this exercise convinced me that quality has a strong measurable effect on usage metrics.

Now I just have to go through the same exercise for my other ~150 categories. That'll take some time, but I bet it'll be worth it.

supercyberbob




msg:4371565
 3:45 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

You guys are seriously wasting your time trying to fix your sites that have been hit by the Panda algo.

Just look at the big picture for a minute. It's pretty clear that Google is broken and needs fixing, not you.

Still wanna "fix" your sites? ok, delete everything and start from scratch. Good luck.

Andylew




msg:4371567
 3:57 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Still wanna "fix" your sites? ok, delete everything and start from scratch. Good luck.


Tried that earlier in the year, took site down so nothing was there for a month ten put it back up with a complete new site, design, url structure etc with no difference.

Seperate site with a penalty - (can we confirm either way whether panda is considered a penalty needing a reconsideration request?), took site down. single holding page put up and reconsideration went in after a month. Reply was site still doesnt comply - bonkers!

freejung




msg:4371569
 4:00 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

You guys are seriously wasting your time trying to fix your sites

I'm not convinced of that -- it depends on what you mean by "wasting your time." In the case of just the one small change I mentioned above, I still get visitors to that page, ~20/day from search, not nearly as many as before but it's still something. Those 20 people are now getting awesome pics, where before they were getting crappy ones. For them, it wasn't a waste of time.

OK, so in the short term I'm not making any more money because of it. However, I think it's a good idea to shift priorities and think long term. Over time, I bet this page will get more traffic even if it doesn't rank any better in Google. It'll get shared on Facebook and posted to stumbleupon (I've already seen an increase in referral traffic to this page). It's only a small change, it doesn't really affect my bottom line in the near term, but over the long haul I bet making a large number of such improvements will eventually result in more revenue regardless of what Google does.

It's the kind of short-term thinking that says an activity is only worthwhile if it increases revenue immediately that got us into this mess, IMO. Time to change that.

zeus




msg:4371571
 4:23 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

freejung0 - hmm about bounce rate, mostly 90-100 on many pages thats be cause they see exactly what they want, look at it or mostly download it at once, thats what I also want, that they get what they need in a split sec. Other sites in my category you really have a hard time finding what you are looking for.

Hissingsid




msg:4371572
 4:28 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

zeus - what is your "new visitors" figure like.

I have a product that is purchased on an annual cycle. Typically my new visitor figure is around 85% so it looks like I have no loyalty.

supercyberbob




msg:4371574
 4:30 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

I should probably clarify.

My main point is, yes, make general improvements to get more traffic and revenue and all that good stuff.

Just don't make changes for a algo that is clearly having major issues. Yes, even Google messes up, and sometimes, really really badly.

And yes, long term thinking is a much better business model in general.

Dave_Hybrid




msg:4371582
 4:50 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

I dont get the i give people what they want so i have 100% bounce rate argument.

People are greedy, give them more than they want and they will lap it up, if you have 100% bounce, in any vertical, you are not doing as good as you could.

Even if you are better than competitors with 100% bounce, you could be doing much better.

DirigoDev




msg:4371584
 4:59 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google is looking for a new algorithm. Why? Because their PR patent becomes non-exclusive this year and because their algorithm could be gamed. This is the catalyst behind everything this year. The change has little to do with end users finding good SERPs. It is about intellectual property, Google dominance, and in the end, Google’s profit.

We have good weeks followed by bad weeks where the numbers are totally different (bounce rate, conversion rate, KW mix, etc.). Google is just thrashing around testing new stuff. And if Google market share is a barometer, I’d say they’re doing a piss poor job.

Google, you’re seriously impacting e-business in a bad way in the middle of a bad economic time. This is hurting America. This is hurting the jobs recovery. You’re screwing with people’s livelihoods. Please figure it out soon. We (the ones that make our livings from e-business, the ones that made you all powerful) demand a stable environment.

I was hit by Panda 2.0 and I’ve moved-on. I’m no longer trying to fix a Panda problem. Why? Because I’ve had a dozen people full-time on Panda fixes since April and we’ve run out of good ideas. With more than 10k hours invested in “the fix” we have little to show for our efforts. We’re still in the Panda 2 traffic pattern with wild swings from time to time (e.g. right now – because of 2.5 and Cutt’s weather forecast). We’ve increased conversion/revenue from less SEO traffic so that the impact is not as great. We’re still far from being financially whole. Our focus has turned to making our website better for our audience. This is our North Star.

I have nothing but bad things to say about Google right now. I am one of thousands, possibly millions, in the same position. Yo Google. Happy customers = profit. Unhappy customers = RIP.

cupid




msg:4371587
 5:06 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

we've been losing traffic with each panda iteration except the Aug one, which didnt affect. The latest one we gained 26%
we have been doing what everyone else has- removing unimportant pages, & beefing up the main ones, through text, videos and pictures.

walkman




msg:4371595
 5:21 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

dirigodev, I agree with you 100% as someone that has tried almost everything. But I think there's a conflict of interest and Google isn't exactly doing bad, their horses are winning to use someone's analogy.

we've been losing traffic with each panda iteration except the Aug one, which didn't affect. The latest one we gained 26%
A lot of early hit people are reporting some gains, or at least not loses in Sept. Google tweaked it? Sure makes you wonder how many have come out by changing things.
freejung




msg:4371611
 5:54 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

about bounce rate, mostly 90-100 on many pages thats be cause they see exactly what they want, look at it or mostly download it at once

I don't know, zeus, I'm just sharing my experience. Maybe it's different in your niche or with your setup. I have a separate HTML page for each image. My category pages have thumbnails, and clicking them leads to the image page with a higher-res version and options for download.

My average pageviews per visitor is around 4-5. People who really like my pics view dozens of pages. In my niche, if you like one of my widget pictures, you'll probably like more of my widget pictures, and you might very well be interested in some doodad pictures as well. Maybe in your niche all they want is one pic and then they leave.

I bet Google is looking at Chrome data which would include file downloads. If your average searcher lands on your site, downloads one file and then wanders off, I expect it would be pretty easy to figure out that means they got what they wanted.

In my setup, if they like what they see they will click on it, which means at least two pageviews per visit, and if they like the first one they are very likely to click "next" and look at another one too.

Edit: incidentally, in case you're wondering, it's not an "adult" site.

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