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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Oct 2011
Dave_Hybrid




msg:4369332
 10:26 pm on Sep 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

I just found this little nugget whilst search for something completely unrelated.

#2 Post from Google employee.

[google.com...]

That's pretty clear admission they are hitting sites they don't mean to imo.

[edited by: tedster at 10:42 pm (utc) on Oct 2, 2011]

 

kidekat




msg:4374972
 7:56 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Interesting that Google Analytics didn't alert me to my major drop in traffic yesterday!

sandman22




msg:4374977
 8:23 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hey all, I was curious if any of your sites affected also had problems with sites "scraping" and stealing your content? I only mention this, because prior to this update on Oct 13th, Google was pretty good about knowing which sites had the original content first, however my pages that used to rank at the top of page 1, also had a lot of others stealing this content. Now these pages dropped from ranking in position #1 to #300 in some cases and some of the scrapers are outranking my original content!

emodo




msg:4374986
 8:50 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Mine was original content, but not that many words per page (200 or so) and three adsense units.

I cut one Adsense unit, we'll see what happens.

danijelzi




msg:4374995
 9:24 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

@sandman22
Lots of scrapers appeared after 13th with my content and some of these scraper pages display 404 and database errors, with no content on it, just my title. After Sept. 28th the scraper problem improved, but now its here again at a large scale.

But, I advise you to also check Bing. They also had scrapers above me for a couple of keywords, so the problem maybe isn't Google-only.

tedster




msg:4374997
 9:39 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

It sounds like Google continues to have trouble with scrapers. They attempted a solution a few weeks before Panda first rolled out, but Panda messed that up. Then with the next to last Panda (September 17) it looked like they finally had a handle on it. This came right after they asked for webmasters to report examples where the scrapers had taken over the SERPs.

But now their new-found handle has turned slippery again. I appreciate how difficult the scraped content problem could be. But it shouldn't be any more difficult than designing an algorithm to measure quality, after all.

It looks to me like Panda and the scraper detection algo are at war with each other. They need to get BOTH these areas right.

kidder




msg:4374998
 9:47 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Tester reading between the lines I get the impression you think think this chapter has a few more pages left.. I can't see the results remaining like this when I have a very old exact match domain sitting on page two. What I have noticed is a lot of webmasters saying they have had multiple sites hit, that part is disturbing.

tedster




msg:4375000
 9:59 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I get the impression you think think this chapter has a few more pages left

Absolutely. I don't think Panda will be something that Google can be proud of until well into 2012, and the scraper issue may go on at least that long.

Panda was an audacious idea from the start - really, unprecedented from what I know. And the scraper problem, already a challenge, gets badly tangled in the mix.

nadavs




msg:4375001
 10:06 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ladies and gentlemen, Google Webmaster Tools has lost contact with reality. The little .edu site, which I commented on 12 times, now shows 9,208 links.

Something is definitely going on. These changes aren't over yet. The upcoming days are going to be very interesting...

nadavs

kidekat




msg:4375002
 10:09 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have found all sorts of problems in the top search results today (not just on my site's keywords but for general searches) - 404 pages, database errors, parked domains, sites not loading at all etc.

@nadavs - my links in WMT have also been all over the place today

[edited by: kidekat at 10:10 pm (utc) on Oct 15, 2011]

AlyssaS




msg:4375003
 10:09 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think the issue is that Panda only appears to be run on some of the SERPs - I'm guessing here, but major keywords, plus perhaps top 20 of others. So every time Panda demotes stuff, new dross that wasn't assessed surfaces.

What really needs to happen is that they run it every day because that way everything would be assessed rapidly and they'd deal with new rubbish in a timely manner. After several thousand iterations, they'd probably get a good handle on what was good and what not so good. As it happens we've only seen a total of 7 iterations.

Donna




msg:4375006
 10:43 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Take your popcorn and enjoy the show

gehrlekrona




msg:4375017
 11:30 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Today is definitely going to be a bad day. It started out bad and it's been like that all day long. What I see in my area is that a lot of new sites are popping up and a lot of them have no real layout or anything, look like they have thrown together in an afternoon. Maybe they are so new so they haven't been affected yet by Panda iterations or maybe this is what Google want sites to look like nowadays. My sites used to be among the top 10 in the country but not naymore. I guess it still is for visitors but not in Google. It seems like they want to push somebody else now.

kidder




msg:4375024
 1:16 am on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

We recently made a change to our search ranking algorithms, which you can read more about on the Official Google Blog: [googleblog.blogspot.com...]

According to our metrics, this update improves overall search quality. However, we are interested in hearing feedback from site owners and the community as we continue to refine our algorithms. If you know of a high quality site that has been negatively affected by this change, please bring it to our attention in this thread. Note that as this is an algorithmic change we are unable to make manual exceptions, but in cases of high quality content we can pass the examples along to the engineers who will look at them as they work on future iterations and improvements to the algorithm. So even if you don't see us responding, know that we're doing a lot of listening.

Donna




msg:4375025
 1:16 am on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Another shake up is comming.

kidder




msg:4375026
 1:19 am on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thats an old thread running hot today - the more things change the more they stay the same..

[google.com...]

indyank




msg:4375038
 2:23 am on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am in the same boat as Lenny2. There seems to be a fresh bunch of sites (or people) who seem to have been affected in this iteration. I don't have anything more to offer than what he has said but all I could say is analyzing who were the primary targets would not help in anyway. There are very few recoveries and they are mostly popular recoveries.

indyank




msg:4375039
 2:35 am on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm guessing here, but major keywords, plus perhaps top 20 of others. So every time Panda demotes stuff, new dross that wasn't assessed surfaces.


I had always been saying that keywords are the basic unit used to determine the SERPS for Panda to act upon.

I don't think they would run this on a daily basis in the near future. They might never do that. As it stands now, they don't even evaluate a complete site and it is only a certain percentage of pages which are pushed into the Panda machine to arrive at a score that is then applied site wide.

As long as this continues (and I don't see this changing any time), you will continue to see "popular" + "dross" on top.

[edited by: indyank at 2:39 am (utc) on Oct 16, 2011]

walkman




msg:4375040
 2:36 am on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

What really needs to happen is that they run it every day because that way everything would be assessed rapidly and they'd deal with new rubbish in a timely manner. After several thousand iterations, they'd probably get a good handle on what was good and what not so good. As it happens we've only seen a total of 7 iterations.
A ray of hope among despair and unfounded conspiracy theories that question Google's motives.

This also goes with the "Panda is a baby" or a beta algo theory, and that it needs to learn live. So if they need several thousand runs and run it every day in just a few years (roughly 3-9 years) they might get it right and we could get some of our traffic back--maybe. If they run it every 3-7 weeks, we'll just have to wait longer (decades).

Patience is key, I guess. Meanwhile we could always consult with the guidelines [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...] that are key to escaping Panda as shown by CultOfmac, AndroidPolice, Daniweb and some others.

gehrlekrona




msg:4375144
 4:01 pm on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

@walkman, I can't wait that long so I guess I just "eat the crumbs from the rich mans table..."
I don't know why Google has to do all their "testing" on a live system. If I would have done that at work, I'd be fired. They should be able to do extensive testing before letting the damn panda loose in the crystal vase boutique...
I'd say that my site is among the top 10 in US in my area and has been for years but when you see brand new sites popping in in the SERPs it's get kinda' annoying. I bet they haven't been Pandalyzed yet, and hopefully they will soon.
The day yesterday did not turn out too bad after all. I gained some in the evening and so far today it's been so and so. Looks like I never will get back to Pre-panda which means I have lost 75% of my visitors this year.
It's been said over and over here but there seems to be a lot of web masters here posting that has Information sites that have lost a lot of visits. There are some, but not so many, commerce sites posting about loosing visitors except the ones that also have Information about what they are selling. Not sure that makes sense, but I am thinking that Google can't keep the duplicates straight in their algo. It's got to be hard to try to find "who came first, the hen or the egg" in an algo. Maybe you need 1000+ PhD's to figure that one out!

danijelzi




msg:4375162
 5:03 pm on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've just checked stats for a website which was probably hit on September 28th, because they had a 50% drop after that, but they recovered on October 4th. So, maybe we affected people shouldn't make radical changes now, but wait a couple days more to see if dust will settle.

webastronaut




msg:4375182
 6:37 pm on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Looks like my main keywords are getting the yo-yo effect and many long tail keywords are not showing up at all now. I have always had problems with scrapers but it never seemed to effect my main site so I just let it go. I have a lot more scrapers now then ever before so I'm clueless if this is what has happened to me. This is a 14yo authority site in my niche. Since checking my stats this morning it looks like google traffic is now down almost 80%. Yesterday down about 50%. This all started happening to me on the 13th of this month.

ErnestHemingway




msg:4375190
 6:56 pm on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Weird stuff guys, anyone here running any tests for Panda?

We ran prior to this update and here is the fun part, don't jump though.

Our 12 year old site which was ranking #2nd is now 12th but another site which we started a test with empty wordpress and 2 images with no content or anything is now ranking #5.

Does this mean I should stop publishing good content and put empty sites out there with ads and images? This makes life a lot easier.

asusplay




msg:4375204
 7:54 pm on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

@danijelzi

I've just checked stats for a website which was probably hit on September 28th, because they had a 50% drop after that, but they recovered on October 4th. So, maybe we affected people shouldn't make radical changes now, but wait a couple days more to see if dust will settle.


i sure hope so because the results i'm seeing are the same or very similar to ones i was seeing after the 26th sept when my site got hit (and like yours recovered on the 4th)

sandman22




msg:4375266
 12:50 am on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hey all, I'm curious if any of you have a lot of "redirects" on your site. There is a rumor the Oct 14th update hammered sites with redirects and/or affiliate links that redirect. My site that got hurt does, because of some specific/relevant affiliate links that my readers would often click on and takes them to a product on Amazon or Ebay they may be interested in purchasing.

Another thing I noticed, is I'm getting a lot of "Canada" and "UK" results in the US google.com serps now.. Not sure why, as most the American visitors want to buy in the USA, so thought that was kind of weird. Perhaps this is something they're going to fix.

Another funky thing I noticed is that the wrong pages of my website are ranking for the wrong keywords. It's like Google is ignoring my title tags and isn't sure which page to show them in the serps.. For example I have a page about Blue Mobile Widget xx model, instead they show my Red Mobile Widget jy model. Or perhaps that particular page has a steeper penalty (or removed completely) for some reason, so wasn't able to show the most relevant page related to the searches query (which is a bad experience for the searcher in my opinion).


Also, my sites had all links nicely laid out to every page of my website in the footer section (for easy navigation and to show pages they could also be interested in). So I may have 80 links on my footer for example for my 80 page website going to each page on my site. I consider this completely white hat as it helps with my sites navigation, however is it possible Google is mistakenly thinking this is either "keyword stuffing" or "duplicate content" (because this footer navigational menu is on every page), even though it's just a harmless site navigational links on my website's footer?

What ever it is and those that weren't effected may disagree, I seriously think there was a major flaw in this recently Panda update that happened a few days ago..

If others can let me know if any of the above scenarios were also on your site, please let me know.. Lets work together and figure out why Google penalized is (whether its warranted or not).

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:51 am (utc) on Oct 17, 2011]
[edit reason] fixed typo at poster's request [/edit]

snickles121




msg:4375268
 12:59 am on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would have to agree and wait a few days before getting worried. I also lost tons of traffic in the last few days, lowest in years.

The reason I say wait is because for one of my top keywords, my test site that contains nothing but about 50 pages with the same exact pages (except for a few words changed), has overtaken my main site for that keyword.

So this I know wont stay long and if it does I feel sorry for people searching. It seems like they reset the who thing and we must now wait for it to reconfigure.

Just my thoughts....

walkman




msg:4375276
 1:21 am on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Our 12 year old site which was ranking #2nd is now 12th but another site which we started a test with empty wordpress and 2 images with no content or anything is now ranking #5.

So this I know wont stay long and if it does I feel sorry for people searching. It seems like they reset the who thing and we must now wait for it to reconfigure.

Seeing many of those. But if people think Google will reverse this becuase of that, you haven't seen the SERPs for the past 8 months. The best hope is if a famous site got hit, like they did on Sept 28 and reversed shortly. Franky looks like G is trying to avoid hitting big sites, and the non-famous ones are just yo-yos.

Aside form some stupid generic "fix your stale content" (whatever stale is supposed to mean) there isn't a damn thing you can do. All kinds of sites have been torched by panda.

Probably Danny Sullivan might write about this one day, I read that he was sharing his experiences about Apple's iPhone--apparently /allegedly he was disappointed in it, Android and Google do a better job he said on the voice SE and camera, FYI.

edit: speeling edeets.

[edited by: walkman at 1:44 am (utc) on Oct 17, 2011]

tedster




msg:4375278
 1:26 am on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is a rumor the Oct 14th update hammered sites with redirects and/or affiliate links that redirect.

I've heard the same, and somewhere or other a Google engineer did make a comment recently about "too many redirects" being a problem. However, in the context as I remember it, it was more about people who change their URL structure and don't fix their internal links, just letting the 301s "take care of it."

From what I know, the best handling of affiliate links is to send them through a script that you disallow to crawlers.

80 links on my footer

As an end user, I would never scan through eight footer links looking for a place to click. And as a web developer, I try to keep total links on a page below 100, and I prefer below 50. The more links, the smaller the slice of ranking power that each one can circulate. With lots of links, the site stops sending signals about the relative importance of different areas in its structure.

walkman




msg:4375279
 1:37 am on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

From what I know, the best handling of affiliate links is to send them through a script that you disallow to crawlers.
Yp and my sites hit on Oct 14th don't have any aff or other links at all, but just one unit of adsense well below the fold.
MrSavage




msg:4375288
 2:20 am on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just wanted to mention that my main few sites dropped about 50% or so. My non important sites are still stable, but of course mean nothing as they don't generate meaningful revenues.

To put into perspective, one site over the past 8 months went from 6000 uniques per day, to about 1200 uniques to now about 400 uniques yesterday. One site yesterday which was a good income generator dropped in traffic by about 50%.

Right now I'm looking at daily revenues that date back to where I was about 2 to 3 years ago. If this isn't a blip, I'm looking at about 50% less in what I make. For me, yesterday will go down as the single biggest smackdown, market crash, or whatever other way you want to describe it. Like a penalty, across multiple sites/niches, yet not a penalty because I'm doing what is honest and proper.

I'm still sorting through my traffic over the past 2 days, but to make it simple, I'll say 1/4 of my sites had shocking traffic drops. We're talking close shop drops in organic. We're talking "did the server go offline for half the day?" type drops. We're talking "did I just get a Google penalty because it seems that I'm just getting Bing organic traffic right now".

If I experience any sort of bounce back, I'll report here.

Whitey




msg:4375289
 2:29 am on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just wanted to mention that my main few sites dropped about 50% or so.

Sorry to hear this. Are these drops due to Panda updates?

If so, what did you do to avoid the drop?

ehgee




msg:4375318
 4:54 am on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

hello everybody,
just a regular lurker since panda hit on feb 27. haven't been writing as I had nothing really new to offer & wanted to avoid noise. But since not many have really spoken of any recoveries, I though of letting you know the status here...
Our 11 yr old info-commerce site was battered with Panda 1 (-35%) & then pandaped again with Panda 2 (-35% April 10)... thereafter, no recoveries or downgrades either with any of the iterations....stuck like a rock! Then, October 14th (Panda 3 in my books) has seen a major sitewide recovery so that panda 2 losses have been overcome but still below Panda 1. Holding still so far across the site, so I felt fit to post it here.

This 227 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 227 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 > >
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