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How do we tell Google we were wrongly Pandalized?

 7:02 am on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

In Matt's youtubed keynote speech from Pubcon he specifically says that if we feel we were unfairly demoted in Panda, to "LET THEM KNOW" about it so they can refine the algorith. Does anyone know of the effective procedure to do this or DID you have to pay the big buck to attend Pubcon in order to do this?



 8:02 am on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

There was no special method offered for giving that feedback, at least as far as I heard. I'd say the Google Webmaster Forum is the place to go, or maybe a Reconsideration Request.

However, note that Matt was talking about using this input to improve the algorithm. That's not the same as a manual review of your site that could lift the Panda verdict.


 2:23 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think it is this thread on the forums at Google Webmaster Central:



 6:47 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

It probably wont do any good, I posted ours there back in March and we're still losing traffic.


 9:06 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yeah, submitted a reconsideration request a month ago and they answered almost right back saying there was no manual penalty.
Yeah that forum looks like the place though.


 9:51 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

if we feel we were unfairly demoted in Panda

It's the rare person here (or anywhere else) who feels their demotion was "fair". If there is one thing these threads show, it's the almost universal unhappiness with the way Panda has unfolded. That is to say, quality sites too often downgraded, mediocre sites upgraded.

So whatever MC says, we must always remember that he is first & foremost representing what the PTB at Google want him to represent. He is not going off the reservation for anyone, either in public or in private.

In saying you should "let them know", there is an implication that a webmaster can do something about a rankings drop, which gives a glimmer of hope. In my review of threads here & elsewhere, there is nothing you can do (admittedly I may not have seen every single posting). To me, it's like being falsely accused of something and being told to write a letter to the editor ~ there is an almost 100% probability that nothing will come of it.

But you might feel better... at least for a few days.



 10:15 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

>> It's the rare person here (or anywhere else) who feels their demotion was "fair".

It's strange that there is more complaining here on WebmasterWorld than other forums which focus on the more grey- or blackhat webmasters. From what I've seen in the official google webmaster forums on the first few pages when I've taken a peek, is that most of the complainers deserved having their sites nuked.

I actually don't think what Matt Cutts says really applies to a lot of the long-term members of this site, based on what I know about some members here and their sites. Without going into too many details about his official posts, he says nothing more than to create great content that is worthy of being ranked and for those that are not new members on WebmasterWorld, we pretty much knew the rules and especially what not to do. Everything he has spoken about is such old news to us.


 10:24 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree that giving this feedback to Google is not going to make any immediate difference for your site. As with spam reports, they will use the feedback in an effort to imporve the algo, not to make a one-off manual change.

Things to remember - no one wants to be told their baby is ugly. No one likes to lose income. And so complaints are going to predominate quite heavily, and they certainly have.

At the same time, there ARE reports of recovery. There are webmasters who had no trouble spotting their shallow content, once they've been hit. DemandMedia was willing to say "mea culpa".

At this point, the most common theme I see in wrongly Pandalyzed sites is that their original content is too widely syndicated and sometimes scraped. The signals that Google uses to identify the canonical source of the content are being swamped, and the result is that the original source starts to look like a scraper.

Advice from the Pubcon keynote if you find your site in this position - use pubsubhubbub to serve Google "fat pings" the instant you publish new content. This will give them a strong signal that you are the original author.


 11:13 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Everyone believes they have been wrongly pandalized, even people who deserved it. And even people who are aware they rightfully deserve it will claim otherwise for a chance to get their traffic back. I remember when Panda first came out, we saw press releases from the obvious targets applauding Google's decision to downgrade poor content but wondering why they got caught in the penalty, because, obviously, "they" couldn't be content farms. It's all predictable marketing PR. I think the best you can do is post in the thread set up by Google so they can improve their algorithm, or do a media stink like some famous web sites if you have the weight.


 11:37 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

We got some big media to write about our sites, didn't help:-)

Speaking of Panda, anybody have a educated guess when the next cycle is due?


 11:45 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just took a look at eHow (Demand Media's main site) on Alexa, they didn't get hit until the second Panda purge, but after that they took several demotions. They've only recovered from a very short hit in mid-October which could have been anything.

My hobby site that got killed at the same time as eHow came back and then jumped way ahead a couple months ago. But my site that got nailed in the original Panda has never budged, and I'm not sure any site that got killed in Panda 1.0 has recovered.


 11:53 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Oops, here's my mea culpa. I just went pack to look at the Google thread, and the very first site to post a complaint, which took a hit in Panda 1.0, clearly recovered in late-September.


 12:19 am on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

He said the feedback was entirely for algo tweaking, no manual exceptions.


 12:48 am on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sorry Content_ed, but I don't know what tua culpa you mean. eHow, the first Panda 1.0 site at Google forums or your own site? :P


 1:45 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)


The first Panda 1.0 site at Google forums.

I ended up looking at the first couple pages worth, it's pretty interesting. For starters, around half the sites that reported being penalized weren't, they just saw a big shift in their keywords and assumed it was a penalty when it was the algorithm shift part of Panda. Several of those sites were in the top couple thousand on Alexa and have seen nothing but traffic increases since. They were primarily community based.

On the other hand, there were another bunch of high ranking sites on Alexa that got hit in the first two Panda's and haven't done anything since. Then there were a couple that recovered at various times and stayed up. Whether they recovered due to making changes or whether they came back on their own like my hobby site isn't clear since it's hard to find comparisons in the Internet Archive for large sites.

Now that I think about it, I should have started by finding an pre-Panda for each in the Internet first, and than looked for it on the current site. I'll have to try that later when I have time. If it looks useful, I'll post the results here in a new thread, but I suppose I'd have to do it without domain names.


 7:54 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

my sites that got hit by panda deserved it, and they deserved the recovery they got as well.

sweating on the next update, to see how the next 2 sites i have revamped fair.

I have programmed the following.

a. If page less than 2000 characters of content(after ignoring navigation, ads, excerpts from other pages etc) then no index no follow and record that page needs expanding If its an important navigation page, then no index, follow.

b. If search of google for first 255 characters of 1st, 2nd or 3rd paragraph does not return my page in google as the top result, no index no follow, and report - probably its a dupe content issue either where i have 'borrowed' some content, or someone has borrowed it from me.

c. All adsense blocks now conditional. If 2000+ characters, then show 3 adsense blocks, if only 1200 then show 2, if 600 then 1.

None of the programming was difficult but DAMN is it effective in telling me where my


pages are and what i need to do to fix it.

Anyone who thinks they were wongly pandalised, program and run the above tests.

I bet, you fail.


 9:23 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)


For me, 2,000 words is a short page, I can't imagine 2,000 characters, sound like a paragraph.

No Adsense on one Pandalized site, Adsense on less than a quarter of the page views and never more than one unit a page on the other.

Zero duplication.

You lose your bet.

One of the things that's already clear from studying Pandalized sites (and recoveries) is that there are different things going on, especially at different Panda updates. And as I go through all the Google Forum sites checking, it's turning out that nearly 75% of sites that reported being Pandalized weren't. Some just had very uneven traffic on a week to week basis for as long as Alexa can look back, other's were really reporting on traffic losses that started back in 2010 but figured they'd get attention if they blamed it on Panda.


 10:03 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

For me, 2,000 words is a short page
hope not , even at 60 lines a page you are looking at 33 words a line , who is going to read 60 lines of text on a web page ! Talking actual content here , not navigation and adverts etc

 10:06 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

How do we tell Google we were wrongly Pandalized?
1. get drunk
2. compose rambling re-inclusion request
3. press send
4. opps .. never mind


 10:54 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

You think 2,000 characters is content and 2,000 plus words isn't? You've got something backwards here. I could break pages up endlessly, but it would just be a distraction and force people to keep clicking.

Anyway, it's clear we're talking about different things here.


 11:38 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I stand by my bet.

20 cents BAM! slapped down on the table for anyone who wishes to call me on it,.

Any takers, sticky me, have your 20 cents ready, i intend to collect.


 4:49 am on Nov 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, I tried another method...sort of.

I've had a repeat customer buy three very expensive widgets over the last several weeks. $1500 each for these "toys", so the guy must be doing well.

Yesterday he emailed to say he wanted to order one to be custom-built. Even more $$$.

In the course of our emails, I found out that he was a vice president at Google. I kiddingly said that I'd trade him one of the expensive widgets if he would get the Panda penalty on my site lifted.

I guess he didn't catch the "I'm kidding" part, because he explained that he couldn't do something like that. He also expressed surprise that a good site like mine got hit.

I guess the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.


 10:44 am on Nov 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

4. opps .. never mind
Got a canned reply in under 24 hours ! The usual no manual penalty one ...

 3:04 pm on Nov 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I guess he didn't catch the "I'm kidding" part, because he explained that he couldn't do something like that. He also expressed surprise that a good site like mine got hit.

If I were you I'd try and work out a theory about why your site was hit and let this guy know in some detail what that is. After Florida a few of us were put in touch with GoogleGuy, I sent him a very detailed case study on my site and a couple of competitors and explained where I thought they had gone wrong. He put it right and sent me a PM to tell me to "take a look now". Perhaps you'll be as lucky.


 12:29 am on Nov 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hissingsid, I think discussing anything about Panda with him would be out of line. As much as I hate what Google did, I believe there are boundaries that shouldn't be crossed. He's become a very good customer very quickly, buying expensive things, and I'd hate to jeopardize that.


 10:09 am on Nov 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

I know exactly what you mean, its a bit like approaching your doctor in the bar. Not really the done thing. Perhaps if desperation sets in or you have nothing to lose the time will come.




 4:06 pm on Nov 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

...its a bit like approaching your doctor in the bar.

I wouldn't do that unless it was the female doctor I saw a couple of years ago who was filling in for my regular MD. ;)


 11:29 am on Nov 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am yet to see a site wrongly pandalised. Yes, I can see several people on this forum are saying they were.... but without seeing their URL I'm just taking their word for it.

2 people on this forum who claimed they were unfairly hit have shown me their URLS - I found multiple major problems they were not aware of. One followed much of my advice, saw a 30% increase in traffic 30 days later after 8 months of getting nowhere. If he followed the rest of my advice...

I don't think there is a need for a notify Google of unfair pandalising - if you've been hit, you deserved to be, you just cant work out why.

If you recovered by doing nothing, you are on the cusp of a moving border and could get hit again.


 11:38 am on Nov 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Nippi, What kind of "Major Problems" did you see?




 12:00 pm on Nov 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

1. Short pages created by letting location + category be indexed... or any category be indexed that had few results.

2. Multiple versions of a page.

3. same product descriptions on multiple products with say just color different.

4. Dupe content with other sites, regardless of who was the originator.

5. silly pages being indexed. 1 site had 7 pages per listing being indexed, one for contact form, one for gallery, on for send to a friend etc, all thin.

6. Wrong canonical tags = canonical for www.sitename.com/ = /home so effectively say the home page, was not the right page.

all sorts of things.

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