There's a lot of follow-up comment about google.co.jp results in the October Updates thread [webmasterworld.com]. Not truly conclusive yet, but lots of suggestive observations.
As I wrote in the other thread .I don't see much difference and am ranking about the same in Google.jp as I am and have been in Google .com and Google.fr ( these being the only two I really pay any regular attention to ) pre , post and throughout panda ..
But Google.jp does put ehow and other content farms ( in English language versions* ) and MFAs higher than they are in Google.com..personally I don't find that a reason to rejoice..and I hope that it does not represent anything other than a country specific range of serps which are as yet not totally touched by panda..or where it has run , but that the results are local version panda only..
The Japanese do however seem more used to and tolerant and accepting of large amounts of "in your face ads" ( including flashing , blinking etc ) in all walks of life, not just websites and webpages, which may well explain why their serps have more ad ridden and MFA sites higher in them..
Members in that area have not been vocal in decrying the effects of panda..given the cultural acceptance of what we would consider "intrusive ads" and the "large quantity of ads per page" I expect that panda may have been run but using different criteria..
Which would make perfect sense..:)
It wont be exactly the same "mix" for any two countries ..there must be subtle cultural differences allowed for ..even between the panda run in the US and the one run in the UK ..
* I would be hard pressed to tell at a quick glance ..an MFA in an all Japanese site ..unless it was running only adsense ..without looking carefully at the underlying code for ad calls to networks etc
I can say that for one of my sites hit with panda, the results are very similar on google japan as they were prepanda....
I wonder from where they're pulling this data?
It has new data in it since I have a new site constructed this year during Panda releases ranking well yet I am also seeing .co.uk focussed sites ranking well and it's very rare I ever see these in the .com SERPs for my widgets.
It's almost as though they have a parallel English version not skewed towards US companies...possibly a more valid international .com result set.
>> I wonder from where they're pulling this data?
I don't think it's necessarily a different version of the index, but rather they're using different ranking signals and algorithms depending on the local version of Google. The current Japan rankings don't really seem to be relying on some or all of the calculations taken into account by Panda data.
>> It's almost as though they have a parallel English version not skewed towards US companies
I believe virtually all local versions of Google can pull data from the English language index, I just think each local version has their own rankings based on various different ranking datasets.
Google's market share in Japan is low - about 35%. And in addition the Japanese don't really bother learning English, so don't search using English keywords either.
What you are probably seeing is the underlying SERPs unmodified by user-feedback simply because the locals arn't searching those terms.
P.S. User-feedback is becoming bigger in the main SERPs - I backspaced into the search results the other day, and the "block xyz site" message flashed in red before fading to blue. My first reaction was "what was that", because all I registered was a flash of red, so I performed the action again to see what it was. G is really trying to get the attention of Chrome users to get them to feedback.
P.P.S. The intent of a searcher in English is different from the intent of a searcher in Japanese.
Try the following experiment: perform your search in english. Then translate your keyword into Japanese using Bablefish [babelfish.yahoo.com], and paste the kanji into the google.jp searchbox and search again - the results will be completely different - the urls returned are mainly .co.jp
So the English language search results on google.jp are just there for those few expats who search in English, and their numbers are so low as to not really be able to affect and modify the underlying SERPs the way users in the USA can, for instance.
It's interesting though isn't it? It suggests that Pandalisation is driven by users.
I run a Japan related website that has fairly high traffic from English speakers in Japan. Indeed, G Japan ranking algorithm is still old, though, not as old as Feb 24 update. It seems that the English language searches there are quite different in Google Japan when searched from the United States. What is interesting is that the index is as new as the one in the US. I wonder if Google.com is used as a testing ground and once they are happy with it they propagate it worldwide.
As you know, Panda has not come to Japan (and China/Korea) yet. We, Japanese webmasters have experienced some big algo changes this year but they don't seem related to Panda. Personally, I guess Google is testing Panda to google.co.jp and I heard from Matt Cutts at a conference they would roll it out to Japan, too but didn't tell when. Some of us are looking forward to Panda coming to our country but some are afraid of it.
Apart from Panda, penalties are getting severer and severer recently in Japan, though not so sever as in the U.S. That is also our concern.
My sites show very close to pre-Panda in Japan. Got all my old #1 phrases back. Too bad nobody in Japan speaks English:-)