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New Panda Update - September 27
BrodyDodes



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 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

 

clickfire

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 5:02 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok, if that list from searchmetrics doesn't make the Google team scratch their heads, and wonder where they went wrong, then I don't know what will.


Based on that list, I know who I'm NOT doing a press release with.

ACFinLA



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 5:12 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Has anyone seen traffic drops in Yahoo/Bing? The site I mentioned above also took a 50%+ drop on both of those sites beginning the same day of the Google drop(Sept 27).

This did not happen the last time we got hit by Panda in February.

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 5:22 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Several members here reported a traffic SPIKE the day before this new Panda demoted them. Is that pattern something other demoted sites are seeing? I wonder...

chrism

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 5:26 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tedster, yes we saw a spike for the preceding two days (UK site)

ScubaAddict

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 5:51 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes, extreme spike a couple days prior on one of my subdomains, then a monster slam on all of the subs.

chrism

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 5:59 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does anyone get the spike then not get hit? I assume the spike is to do a 'final check' on whatever factors have tripped the impending Panda doom.

danijelzi



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 6:30 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Got just a small boost after the latest Panda, but at least it appears they solved scraper problems for me. No scraper outranks me now with my content.

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 6:56 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Um.... did anyone notice the WINNERS list here:

[blog.searchmetrics.com...]

Notice anything? ALL big corporate sites and big media conglomerates.

Now look at the losers list. MANY of their biggest, independently owned, direct competitors.

danijelzi



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 7:29 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hm, Youtube the winner... I got pushed down two days ago from the 1st page to 2nd for a product review, because they put three Youtube videos on spots #1, #2, and #3 (btw, #2 and #3 are the same videos uploaded by different users). But, even worst, on the 2nd page again on spots #1 and #2 are the same #1 and #2 videos from the first page uploaded by other users. That's shameless.

Shatner



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 8:02 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Every single winner on that list is some sort of big media conglomerate. And most of the losers are their DIRECT, independently owned competitors.

This is pretty blatant.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 8:16 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Every single winner on that list is some sort of big media conglomerate. And most of the losers are their DIRECT, independently owned competitors.

This is pretty blatant.

ya think an advertising agency would favor the biggest brands :) ? The writing has been on the wall for quite a while and to their credit, they have been honest about it.
Thankfully, Big G's revenue has soared 29% through the first six months of the year. As the leading online advertising platform, it would make sense that Big G's performance helps cover for the weakness of other dot-com giants. However, that growth is padded by Google's healthier growth overseas and favorable currency translations. Just 46% of Google's revenue during the first half of the year was generated in this country, compared to 48% during the first six months of 2010. In other words, the 29% figure is inflated.

[fool.com...]

Anyway, you may want to check these threads
Why you should outrank a brand? What have you done to deserve it?
[webmasterworld.com...]
and Evidence that "Branda" is possibly not to boost all brands
[webmasterworld.com...]

Whitey

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



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 9:47 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

A few things I observed :

Brands have been promoted, but the algo is not producing good sets of results. As i mentioned earlier 4 out of 10 organic results were from the same site for a couple of common phrases i checked which is not a positive sign for search quality.

If you get out of Panda by breaking an initial threshold, you probably need to treat this as the first step of an infinite set of adjustments.

Sites that are coming into the results contain all sorts of junk, versus sites that were often well organised. Shopping sites have been hit amongst others and Google intends or already does replace these with focus on it's own properties. So if you want to compete, buy adwords etc consequent to the intended disruptions.

Big corporates with large Adwords spend cannot strategically ditch their dependence on Adwords. Pump up their figures with inflated organic, and then pull the rug from them as well and see what happens.

I maintain the view that Google is screwing the juices strategically out of global organic to introduce revenue lifts via it's own properties.

seoskunk



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 10:13 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think there is a danger the discussion becomes about GOOG BASHING and not about solving the problems we all have which would be a shame. The fact is this has apparrently only effected 10% of sites so we all must have something in common. For me I did the crime.... I am reminded of the shawshank redemption and to paraphrase Red

"I am the only guilty person in Panda"

Forum link spam, paid links, #*$! content I did it. However I am now correcting the problem. There are I am sure some people that have caught collateral damage but maybe the rest are being a wee bit delusional

super70s

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 10:21 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Has anyone seen traffic drops in Yahoo/Bing? The site I mentioned above also took a 50%+ drop on both of those sites beginning the same day of the Google drop(Sept 27).

This did not happen the last time we got hit by Panda in February.


My site is hosted by Yahoo Small Business, on the first page of the control panel they have a "Keyword Ranking" of the Big 3. For my keyword search they say I'm "Ranked number 1" for Google, "Ranked number 1" for MSN, but "Not ranked in the Top 30" for Yahoo.

Until a few days ago, I was also "Not ranked in the Top 30" for MSN.

Pre-Panda, I was ranked either 1, 2 or 3 for my keywords in all three.

seoskunk



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 10:28 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

My site is hosted by Yahoo Small Business, on the first page of the control panel they have a "Keyword Ranking" of the Big 3. For my keyword search they say I'm "Ranked number 1" for Google, "Ranked number 1" for MSN, but "Not ranked in the Top 30" for Yahoo.


I think these days yahoo and bing are same listings so you should have a full house....

seoskunk



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 10:36 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

What goes black/white black/white black/white?

A panda rolling down the serps.......................

SocietyRoyalle



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 11:11 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

@danijelzi @ScubaAddict

We do have ads above the fold and they do push some of the content down. We have up to 7 advertisements on a page including one each of 728x90 and 300x250 and up to four small non stanard 120x40 units, and one Adsense link unit - all except for the Adsense link unit are served using DFP (so Google knows we have all these ads). We don't believe advertising played much of a role in why we were Pandalized. But we did make the effort to bring as much content as possible above the fold. About the only other notable thing with our advertising is that most of it is sold in house - only a very small % of our inventory goes to Adsense.

We believe our recovery was primarily due to the removal of over 300K pages with very thin user generated content - sometimes as little as one sentence. Where possible we merged multiple pages into a single page and 301 redirected the removed URLs.

Prior to the latest Panda update Google had detected over 80% of the changes in our URL structure.

Our traffic had been growing slowing over the last 2 months, but this had nothing to do with Panda, but rather our social media and brand marketing efforts which saw us gaining traffic from non-search sources. Tip: writing high quality controversial articles is a good way to get Social Mentions, forum links etc.

In our long tail Google traffic the average time on page went up after the changes, but so did the bounce rate. In other words once we restructured our content the visitors were more polarized into ones who found our content engaging and those who immediately hit the back button.

Our major SERPs returned instantly with the latest Panda run - it was instant the moment the penalty was lifted.

Our belief is that the massive increase in our content to URL ratio was the primary cause for removing the Panda penalty.

We haven't stopped improving our site - we are going to remove and restructure at least another 30,000 URLs. We are going to continue our high quality unique content production. By unique I don't simply mean writing about the same things as our competitors with slightly different words, I mean writing about topics our competitors haven't even written or thought about. Being a news site in a niche area we will sometimes have to cover the big news items everyone is writing about - so when we do that we try to find a unique angle on the story where possible and try to source original content by doing some basic journalism and contacting the sources for comment.

We will continue to build our brand via social marketing, and perhaps even some advertising.

All of this is labor intensive - there's no easy way to generate quality.

Whitey

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



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 11:39 pm on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's good to hear reports of those that have avoided going backwards.

SocietyRoyalle indicates it's going to take continual effort of introducing fresh content, usability and "signals" rather than re arranging lot's of stale content, or doing the same thing differently, which tweak the thresholds momentarily. Is that how others see it ?

Leosghost

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



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 12:02 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

We do have ads above the fold and they do push some of the content down. We have up to 7 advertisements on a page including one each of 728x90 and 300x250 and up to four small non stanard 120x40 units, and one Adsense link unit - all except for the Adsense link unit are served using DFP (so Google knows we have all these ads).


Funnily enough, all those hit by any panda iteration and who have or had a load of ads either above the fold or on the page in general, think the following..
We don't believe advertising played much of a role in why we were Pandalized.
..or are even in total denial, as are many here still..of "its not the ads"..or "it cant be that ads" etc..or they will now say "well maybe some of it is the ads" ..after having spent many many weeks saying the precise opposite, with equal fervor..

And some have been clinging to this "belief"for months now..even to the point of "without the ads we can't exist, therefore judging us by the % of ads is wrong" ..or "I took away the ads now I should be depandalised ASAP..and G is disgusting if they don't do it soon" the sites cited as anomalies and "they should not have been affected" all had high percentages of ads above the fold or on the page in general ..persistence in denial of the "ad % factor" ..is to waste your efforts towards producing what you think G will perceive as "quality" in other areas..

The fact that your ads are served by DFP merely means that one part of G serves them ..it does not mean that using DFP makes you immune from being rated as "ad heavy" by Panda..

The usual voices will be raised against ads being major factor ..and the usual noises made ( totally incorrectly ) about sites who have been named in past threads, Daniweb being one which was so obviously designed to get ad clicks as was "the builder" that it is was a miracle that they had not been hit and demoted in serps long before Panda..

If a site is structured around the ads..and the ads are the major reason for its existence then it is an MFA..( and as such needs to be very very high quality with regards to its other content ) in the eyes of visitors, not to get mauled..neither of the sites I mentioned above fit that very very high quality" description ..and nor I suspect, ( and know in some cases ) do the sites of those who constantly rush to their defence.

Note I'm not saying it is entirely about ads..but the "ad % factor" is very much heavier than many here would like to believe..because the ads are the only reason for their sites being on the web..putting ads on a site does not entitle one to a higher SERP in any search engine, than any other site..in the vast majority of cases the way people implement ads or place them on their sites is detrimental to the experience of the visitor and is a royal PITA..

SocietyRoyalle



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 12:20 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

The fact that your ads are served by DFP merely means that one part of G serves them ..it does not mean that using DFP makes you immune from being rated as "ad heavy" by Panda..


That wasn't what I was trying to say. I was simply pointing out that we serve our ads in a standard way so that they are completely recognizable by the Google bot.

ScubaAddict

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 12:28 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Leosghost - I'm confused - didn't SocietyRoyalle recover from Panda despite having a good amount of ads on each page?

In his case I think that either his content is so good that it overcomes the ad factor that could be pushing him down. If that is the case, that is valuable information.

digic

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 12:39 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Our belief is that the massive increase in our content to URL ratio was the primary cause for removing the Panda penalty.

@SocietyRoyalle, first of all congratulations on your recovery. Pardon me for my ignorance, can you please enlighten me on that content to URL ratio?

Whitey

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



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 1:00 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

can you please enlighten me on that content to URL ratio

...an increase in content, while the number of URL's were reduced

SocietyRoyalle



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 1:01 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

@SocietyRoyalle, first of all congratulations on your recovery. Pardon me for my ignorance, can you please enlighten me on that content to URL ratio?


Thank you - fingers crossed we keep Panda away from us in the future :)

Basically in removing 300K pages we reduced the number of URLs on our site by ~80% but only reduced the effective amount of content by ~10%.

That tells you how bad these old user generated pages were - many of them contained only a single sentence - usually a question, and could have up to 50 replies of people simply repeating the question - each reply was on a separate page.

Leosghost

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



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 1:03 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

edit.. this post was in reply to ScubaAddict ( many here type faster than I can In English on this French keyboard ;-)..

SocietyRoyalle has posted again since and cleared up and reinforced what I suspected to be the case ..content to ads ratio greatly improved ( cutting URLs will do that ) and content quality improved..

(s)he ? did so by increasing the amount and the quality of the original content on the site and per page..

I'm not going to quote all the paragraphs but virtually the entire post just above my previous one.. by SocietyRoyalle testifies to a vast improvement in quality ..and in the ratio of content to ads ( which is why my comment about (s)he not believing ad % and placement was a factor ..it is not the only one.. but it is major ) ..the other major factor is "genuine quality"..so many times people tell us about their ""quality writers ..or they "buy quality articles" ..this is a rare find ..someone who writes their own ( now ....as opposed to copy and pasting previously ) ..(s)he actually contacts people and does journalism ..

Most here who have been hit by panda and think that they should now be reinstated merely respin what they had previously spun or copied..or pay another cheap writer to write yet more crap ..and then nudge an ad or two around ..but leave the overall quality and placement the same ..

Like merely shuffling the deckchairs ( and making a lot of noise about how busily they were doing it and what hard work it was ) on the Titanic would have stopped it sinking..

Many here have been doing just that since the first panda..whilst deluding themselves and apparently attempting to delude others that they were genuinely surprised at the lack of results of their "fixing up their sites"..

SocietyRoyalle appears to have actually made real efforts on both fronts..and began bailing out the ship and moving the emphasis in ways that count..and so is coming back up..and views it as a process they need to continue.

[edited by: tedster at 4:29 am (utc) on Oct 2, 2011]

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 1:11 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google knocked down MotorTrend ?

Alrighty, Bing it is then, I've been meaning to remove the Google search box on my now Pandalized site for a while now.

I got confirmation from Google this morning that it was NOT a penalty that knocked my traffic down 50%. (Nearly all traffic to transactional pages, informational still receive good traffic)

Atomic

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 1:14 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Leosghost - Thank you. I was trying to write something similar to what you said, but your post is much better.

Many here have been doing just that since the first panda..whilst deluding themselves and apparently attempting to delude others that they were genuinely surprised at the lack of results of their "fixing up their sites"..

Some of the fixes I have seen are just terrible. Holes where ads used to be or worse, major interface changes that were obviously made in haste, without any real plan, and resulting in user experiences as bad or worse than what the changes were supposed to address. Just another design for Google and not the user, only this time maybe with an ad unit or two less than what they started with. Some removed ads but went overboard with social media thinking that's some kind of magic bullet resulting in interfaces that look gimicky and, well, cheap.

Whitey

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



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 1:17 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Leosghost - seems highly likely. But the data sample we're getting back is still too small. People are not sharing enough useful information - just lurking. We need a lot more input. Hat's off to those here who have come forward.

Dave_Hybrid

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 1:29 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Plenty of sites have been hit that are not ad dominant.

Leosghost

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



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 1:40 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ad dominant ( that should be "dominated" btw ;-) is not the only way to low quality..spun , stolen or low quality content also helps a site to get "hit" ..ad dominated ( actually I find that more than 30% ad to content on the page makes the page vulnerable ) and 30% is not "ad dominated"..but it does scream MFA..

Loads of ads together with those lower quality aspects including tacky design or difficult nav etc ,makes it a near certainty..that a site will be hit.

Many here didn't ( and apparently still don't think that daniweb and the builder were ad dominated ) which makes me think many here really do not know the meaning of some of the words that they use.

btw ..to anyone currently pinning their hopes on Bing or Yahoo!..their current guidelines as to what they consider to be quality sites/ pages and their current "dos and don'ts" ( re ad placement and overall site visitor experience ) are far more stringent than Google's would appear to be ..you can expect to see them being applied more rigorously over the next six months and their serps to become just as "ruthless"..

All the search engines are cleaning house..why would they want to waste their efforts and money on keeping what they ( and average surfers ) consider to be low quality MFAs in their various indexes..if you were a search engine ..you wouldn't want to waste your resources on promoting such sites either.

[edited by: Leosghost at 1:50 am (utc) on Oct 2, 2011]

digic

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4369313 posted 2:14 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

@whitney and SocietyRoyalle, thanks for that.

many of them contained only a single sentence


This is pretty related to my site. Since I was hit by Panda mid of June, I immediately removed useless pages with less than 100 words. Also did some adjustment, but 'til now didn't see any recovery.

I also have those pages with a single sentence for a question (a wordpress site turned into Q&A) but with around 500 to 1k accumulated words on comments. All in one page. Does G sees it as thin content? Are comment/replies counted as content?

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