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A Panda Update for Christmas? Is this the longest between updates?
acee




msg:4397569
 9:37 pm on Dec 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I doubt if Google will want to run Panda before Christmas, but I most certainly do! Now that would be a nice Christmas present - even if the results showed no improvement, at least you can try something else - I'm thinking pig farming!

My site was hit hard on October 14th on the back of increased traffic, dramatically reduced bounce rate, increased views per visitor and a tidy improvement in conversion rate. So why punish a site visitors like to use?

I've done some serious housekeeping so the next Panda update will be the acid test for my conspiracy theory: positive visitor metrics = mauling by Panda!

In the event that there is no Panda update I think an appropriate graphic theme for the Google Christmas logo will be Scrooge!

The frequency of these updates is such that it is destroying businesses. I'd like to turn their traffic off for a couple of months for no good reason, see how they feel about it. Perhaps the European Commission could impose limitations on their access to the internet in Europe instead of a massive fine over the Anti-Trust case.

 

Lenny2




msg:4397594
 11:01 pm on Dec 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

ehh, don't hold your breath to get back. There are reports of only a few recoveries... and mostly people grumbling about staying hit. We've been suffering since Feb. 24th despite spending thousands of dollars in dev/design/content etc. over the year.

Wish you the best... so I'll give you this advice: "Don't hold your breath... and don't feel bad about not recovering... there doesn't seem to be a "quick fix" with Panda"

acee




msg:4397604
 11:52 pm on Dec 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wow Lenny - since Feb 24th - that's a lot of pain!

From what you're saying, it looks like I'll be facing an enforced retirement!

Do you feel your website has been unfairly treated? When I see what Google is serving up - I feel quite bitter.

I appreciate that Google can serve up what they like, but there needs to be a reasonable balance between search results and advertising, and I think G is skewing the search results way beyond what is acceptable.

If the average searcher realised how they were being played, I think they'd be pretty horrified. Advertisers don't get treated any better by all accounts.

Web_speed




msg:4397606
 12:07 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

If the average searcher realized how they were being played, I think they'd be pretty horrified


It is OUR job (and important future strategy if i may add) to let ANYONE we know about it and get them (and yourself) OFF the habit of using this search engine or/and any of its programs and services.

Like it or hate it, they've got the web by the ball$ and we (small to medium web businesses) are toast unless we do something about it. It's as simple as that...

Pjman




msg:4397610
 12:18 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm all up for OCCUPY Google..

I'll get my drum set ready.

@Web_speed


Seriously, you hit the nail on the head. The end user is clueless as to what is going on over at G. I swear that they have to be paying people to say "The results have gotten better." I routinely have to go 3-5 pages deep to find what I'm looking for, if forced to use G. I use Bing first now.

falsepositive




msg:4397612
 12:45 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

FWIW, I had problems finding what I needed for the holiday season via natural SERPS. I end up being frustrated so I just go directly to the same old brands I am familiar with because Google has a hard time serving up specific results I am satisfied with. From what I remember, it did not seem to be this difficult to find what I needed before. When I shop for specialty items, it used to be fairly easy to get what I want.

Nowadays, the small business / small brand specialty sites I used to buy from are GONE from the serps, and I don't know if they've folded or just disappeared due to algo changes.

It's really very sad.

acee




msg:4397613
 12:54 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Are there any organised groups actively working towards raising awareness of Google anti-trust, or are we it?

I find Google's arrogance rather surprising. I suppose market domination leads you to believe that you know what's best for your customer and just how much you can abuse them.

Need to get some shuteye now.

Web_speed




msg:4397617
 1:22 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Did you know they deliver their spybars into user machines with every flash player update?... the option to download and install the spybar together with the browser flash player is selected by default...

Only they (and adobe) would know how many trillion times this happens every week...

Spybar installed = total machine/joe-public control !

Call me tin hat paranoid if you'de like, but sometimes i can help it getting the feeling we are dealing with a very cleaver 1000 heads slithery Snake...

P.S.
Their algo and "spam" team are after affiliate sites yet they themselves about to affiliate with the major big brands and flood the SERPs with links to thier products (coming to a screen near you VERY SOON)...

Lenny2




msg:4397647
 3:53 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Acee "From what you're saying, it looks like I'll be facing an enforced retirement!"

If you can afford to get out now... or put things on hold until more comes out about how to deal with Panda... I'd do it. Otherwise it's like shooting in the dark.

Do I feel like I've mishandled by Google? Ahh, #*$! em... I don't give a #*$! about them enough to care if I was mishandled by them. I used think/say that they should have warned me before they changed their SERPS so drastically that I lost 75% of my business on Feb. 24th... and had to let go of 14 employees. Now I just say: take your nose out of Googles ass and build a business that you love... and love to be a part of... It's the same lesson we all learned in grade school "love what you do... and the rest will follow..."

So now I say to you, #*$! 'em. Move on and #*$! 'em. They can rule the web... they can do whatever the #*$! they want to do... I don't give a flying #*$!.. AND, yes I'm going to buy a chromebook... why? because it's cheaper and way cooler to work out of the cloud. It's human nature to do whats easiest for us.... and Google makes things easier. Same goes for Apple... and if we ran our businesses as savvy as Google or Apple we'd not be writing about how lame Google was... we'd be talking about to better serve our customers... what our vision was... what our value add is... how to rule our niche.

So yes, #*$! google by not caring. I'll bet that most of us care more about Google than Googlers care about Google. It's an unhealthy relationship. We come to work and all we think about Google... We go home and all we can think about is Google... Googlers go to work; think about Google for a good 8 - 10 hours (FOR WHICH THEY ARE PAID BY GOOGLE) and then go home and FORGET Google. (And I'll bet that 40% of those people CANNOT wait to start their own thing... and get OUT of google!)

It's a very unhealthy relationship most of us have with Google. Dump Google like you dumped that #*$!ing bitch (Or dick) that screwed you over in High School or College... remember that feeling... the feeling that came off your chest? That's how it will feel. DUMP THAT BITCH (Or Dick)... Get rid of the negative energy. Start to breath easier... Look at the flowers (and actually see them)... Smell the coffee (and actually smell it)... Drink a beer with some friends (and actually shoot the #*$!)... Have a philosophical conversation with your wife. Throw the ball with you dog... spend time with your kids... Whatever it is that you do... do it free of care for Google.... otherwise you might just end up like me, pre-occupied with how to get back from Panda 10 months later... alone in an office with too many chairs and computers, after hours... while your 10 month old child is surely being put to bed without you.

Follow the advice that Matt Cutts has been graciously giving for YEARS: Pretend like Google doesn't exist when you build web pages.

Web_speed




msg:4397655
 4:23 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

@lenny2

That would be like building and running the best store in the mall...a store you LOVE, but ignoring the fact managment decided to close public access to it recently or atleast reduce it by 98% until NO further notice. And no thank-you for your shoppers traffic either. That traffic will be redirected to the *superstore* owned directly by managment.

It just dosent (and shouldnt) be working this way!

They control the internet, they control the information.


Follow the advice that Matt Cutts has been graciously giving for YEARS: Pretend like Google doesn't exist when you build web pages.


IMO, taking Matt's advice is the worst thing anyone can do. It is precisly what they would like evreyone to do. Stay quite and ignore them while they continue to tigthen their grip on the web...

[edited by: Web_speed at 4:40 am (utc) on Dec 14, 2011]

tedster




msg:4397663
 4:36 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts also gave us what I now feel was a big fat hint about how to deal with Google rankings in the age of Panda. He said, essentially, don't chase the algorithm, chase your visitors/users/customers instead.

It's not just good advice because the algorithm is such a squirmy, slippery thing these days and probably impossible to reverse engineer - it's good advice because what your visitors are doing and saying about you IS a big part of the ranking algorithm.

So in a way, forgetting about the Google algorithm is a brilliant strategy because you eliminate the middle man... and then paradoxically, the middle man reappears with more traffic for you. But beyond taking technically sound steps (important for every website and every search engine) don't start directly chasing more Google traffic.

Instead, keep optimizing for ALL traffic from ALL legitimate sources. In other words, marketing and building your online business is now a very savvy SEO strategy too. Where should you look for links? From websites where a link brings you direct traffic. Who should be involved in social media sites? Anyone whose target market is involved in social media. Etc, etc, etc.

It's very possible that soon enough Google will not be announcing or confirming updates or iterations of Panda at all. We should be prepared for that. As it is we have had ten months of hints on the record. That's something.

Whitey




msg:4397680
 5:28 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google will not be announcing or confirming updates or iterations of Panda at all. We should be prepared for that. As it is we have had ten months of hints on the record

I think the threads will be the best indicator anyway. It's cause and recovery effects are pretty well known at a high level through the 4-7 week cycles.

There does seem to be some hightened crawler / indexing activity - so maybe somethings due soon before the Googlers head off for Christmas and New Year to open their Christmas gifts and celebrate.

Makes me wonder what's in store for the New Year - couldn't take another thumping as hard as i observed in Feb 2011.

micklearn




msg:4397682
 5:43 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's very possible that soon enough Google will not be announcing or confirming updates or iterations of Panda at all.


Why would that be? I thought they announced that they would be sharing more about updates going forward.

tedster




msg:4397687
 5:55 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sure, they will share what and when they feel they can. At the same time, I can see the Panda/quality component of the algo eventually becoming more integrated into the landscape, more dynamic and closer to real time.

Just as the core Google algorithm used to do confirmed once-a-month updates in the old days, but then evolved into a rolling update scenario, the Panda module could eventually evolve as well. That's just my guesswork here, but I can easily conceive of it happening.

Kenneth2




msg:4397691
 6:50 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

One of my key pandalized sites just received a surprise Pre-Christmas Gift on 12/13 Dec , a free G coupon that says "another -20% traffic for ya". Thanks Google for destroying my internet career (since 2005):P. Oh wait, May be I can still move all my content to Blogger.com (Stockholm Syndrome) and that would probably help ?

pontifex




msg:4397719
 9:26 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think you can not put it clearer than tedster did: just do the basic SEO stuff and make sure the site is spiderable and contains your keywords in the right places - Then go for user engagement.

Also: a new site of mine is spidered well, but the new pages are NOT showing in the index. Now 1 week after the first 700 pages are taken - still no sign of them in the index... Google will IMHO not do ANYTHING until Christmas.

My first SEO run was in late 2001 - since then the index of G changed ALWAYS substantially in January! Like a ping pong game: big updates in fall, big updates in January.

Just 2 pennies
P!

AlyssaS




msg:4397727
 10:05 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

FWIW I'm pretty sure there were minor algo updates on Nov 30th and Dec 8th, based on the SERPs I watch. No idea whether they were Panda updates or other tweaks G was making.

I think they are tweaking every 8 to 14 days, but the changes arn't as violent as they were earlier in the year.

Dave_Hybrid




msg:4397728
 10:06 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

All time low, tap now completely off.

June saw 25k a day, then a constant decline to 0.

Today is actually my birthday, how ironic.

Thanks a bunch G. Merry xmas.

acee




msg:4397733
 10:15 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

You can't forget about Google and move on while they still have almost total search domination. Whilst in this position they are effectively denying many, many websites the ability to trade. I would take Web_speed's 'best store in the mall' theme further, and suggest it's like being in the busiest shopping mall on the planet with massive passing traffic, with a gang outside your door, shepherding potential customers along to a competitor's store, and then the gang charges the store owner to let the customers in!

Google needs some serious regulation and searchers need to be aware that Google has skewed search results way beyond what is an acceptable level. I'm surprised that Google are so arrogant that they felt they could take things this far. Surely even Eric Scmidt must realise that these are the halcyon days, and you can only abuse your market position so much.

Why are you pandering to the Panda? The Panda is a parasite!

Talk of improving your website is nonsense. You were making an income from it before Panda, so why not now. Your customers weren't wrong in using your website were they? So what's changed? An anti-competitive Panda came into town and pulled down the shutters on your store and pasted a 'Closed for Business' sign on it.

And what are you doing? Sitting in the dark in your store dusting the shelves!

If what some of you are saying about recovery from Panda being unlikely to impossible is true, then Panda is a double whammy: denying you the ability to trade effectively and feeding you cynical tips on how to improve your site to recover (when it won't) which further wastes your time. Just imagine how many millions of man hours will have been wasted so far that could have been used productively in actually improving the internet experience!

With the level of global market share that Google has, they are something of an institution, that many people look to for impartial search results. With this level of market share comes a certain level of social responsibility, which is seriously lacking in this company. Just how many people has Google put out of work this year, not in the name of search quality, but in the name of greed and profit.

It is an undeniable fact that the internet would be a better place for businesses and searchers if people used a wider range of search engines, and educating people is what we must do. The first stage of that education is to make them aware of how they are being manipulated by Google and bring the Anti-Trust cases to their attention.

@Lenny - I wish I could afford to retire. My home is on the market and we've asked friends and family not to buy us presents because we cannot reciprocate. I cannot even buy for my wife and kids. I wouldn't want any of you to find yourselves in my situation.

Let's make 2012 the year that we get our eggs in more baskets! You know it makes sense.

zeus




msg:4397744
 10:53 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

happy Birthday Dave_Hybrid

If I was Google and would launch a new way to rank sites, I would give webmasters a hint, not the usual make good content that dossent help a bit. I would say "ok webmaster we are launching a new system which can shake the rankings quit a bit, so be aware of how you make your internal links or to many keywords....." that would be a part of the seo we will look more closely at. The way it is now it just not ok when you are monopoly company that rules the online world. We have been hit since April and we dont have a clue why and if I check the serps I dont understand a thing.
About recommending Bing, I have done that the last 2 years and they sure is getting better and the Bing guy also seem more direct in hes reply s to webmasters.

Kenneth2




msg:4397747
 11:00 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Another thing is even if you have recovered your former organic search position, IE 1st spot. You would still be competing for 0-3 google ad links on the top of search result. It used to be on the right side of search result.

For 11th spot, it's much worse because you would be competing against an additional 0-9 google ads (On the top and bottom page of 1st page search result and on the top of second page SR). With this placement of ads, It's not surprising they were earning record profit in the second quarter this year whereas the pandalized little guys fall like house of cards.

acee




msg:4397752
 11:20 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Recommending alternative search engines is a start, but to really make a dent we need to be more pro-active to reach the average joe.

Go on shopping forums to make them aware of the Anit-Trust issue. No-one likes to think they're being played. Email your local newspaper - most papers seem to have very little time for Google.

Get Twitter to trend #googleantitrust or something.

The web doesn't just exist for the benefit of one company to manipulate. It's up to guys like us to put the word out so that we don't have to view the internet through Google's jaundiced eye!

The internet was key in deposing several dicators this year - let's demote the 2nd biggest dictatorship on the planet!

acee




msg:4397756
 11:28 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

BTW Dave_Hybrid - Happy Birthday and my greatest sympathy.

By strange coincidence my birthday followed the Oct 14th update which nailed my site. What a treat!

AlyssaS




msg:4397761
 11:36 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

acee - there is no anti-trust issue because for every website that sinks, another rises. Essentially what you are demanding is that the govt intervenes to DEMOTE existing websites so that yours can be promoted back up - you'll just get the sites demoted filing a counter-anti-trust suit. You are never going to get any govt to agree to freeze the serps so that existing websites never get dislodged and new websites never get a chance to break in.

My advice would be to stop wasting your time tilting at windmills and start focusing on improving your website and developing other traffic streams. Hope that doesn't sound too harsh - just trying to save you a lot of time. If you read threads from previous months you will find some people spending literally hours and hours frothing about G - time they could have spent more productively on their businesses. Once an hour moves from your future to your past, it's gone forever

Talk of improving your website is nonsense. You were making an income from it before Panda, so why not now. Your customers weren't wrong in using your website were they? So what's changed?


You were only making an income from your website because G deemed it to be OK - and now they have decided they have found something better than you. I know it's hard to believe, but all the other websites in the SERPs were eyeing your rankings and working hard to win that place. It happens in every single business.

The ones who say "improving is a nonsense" - they are like the company Filofax in the 1980's. They had a hit product and didn't improve it - and were blindsided when palm pilots, blackberries and smart phones made their little paper organisers obsolete. I suppose they too could argue that there was no need to improve, people were buying their product, weren't they? Till they stopped.

acee




msg:4397791
 1:30 pm on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

@AlyssaS - no I don't think you're being harsh - because what you're saying makes no sense from a business perspective at all! And I don't understand why you want to narrow this to me and my website, when we're discussing the broader spectrum of sites affected and how we should be encouraging surfers to explore alternative search engines to avoid being played.

The search market is far too heavily polarised. It is not in the interest of any web business to be dependent on a single source of traffic, but the alternative should not be - Oh I'm marginalised by Google - I'll satisfy myself with trying to scrape a living from the remaining 10% of the internet that Google doesn't control.

The alternative is for us to reshape the internet into a healthy economy where we can all run our websites as we see fit without fear of losing a significant volume of our traffic when we drop on one search engine.

I'm sure that even people inside Google would agree that having several search engines driving more traffic is better for businesses than just one source. It may not be good for Google but it is just common sense.

You say there is no anti-trust issue.

I don't trust them. Several people on this thread don't trust them. Several million website owners around the world with good content who were adversely effected by Panda don't trust them. The US and EU are investigating anti-trust claims against Google.

So AlyssaS - why don't you think there's a trust issue? If Google claims Panda is about quality, why do their search results still suck? I've seen decent sites replaced by sites that are just plain vanilla that are likely to make you bounce so high you'll hit the ceiling! Or click on Adwords, of course.

'because G deemed it to be OK' - spoken like a fully paid up Panda hugger.

I want a search engine to search - I'll deem if it's OK!

Running an alleged quality update on a site wide basis just makes no sense at all, especially when quite trivial infractions across a small percentage of the site can result in a low overall score. This is narrow minded - conveniently skewed search.

If I could see quality and integrity in Google's search results, then yes, I would say I need to address some issues in my site. But it isn't just me. Other sites in my industry which are more comprehensive have also been hit hard.

AlyssaS




msg:4397794
 1:42 pm on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

acee - if something was going to be done, it would have been done back in Feb when some very big websites owned by some very well connected people were dinged.

Do you know why nothing happened? Because they were outnumbered by people like yourself at the time who were ranking just fine and thinking "why should I rock the boat, I might be forced to give up my rankings just to bail out these other people". You say you don't trust them and "several people on this thread don't trust them" - but none of you uttered a peep back in Feb during the first round! LOL

And now you are ranting away and the same thing applies - you are being outnumbered by other people who are ranking just fine, or who have increased their rankings. Lots of people are doing very well indeed out of Panda - some have even got a new business model which is buy a Pandalised website for a knock-down price, fix it, and voila, big earnings.

You are tilting at windmills I am afraid.

Kenneth2




msg:4397799
 2:15 pm on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

The top 1% big brands who is currently dominating the SERP (IE Youtube) can never outnumber 99% of little guys. This is why we are seeing more rants than ever.

Those (small publishers) who rank well alongside with the big brands and the top google paid ads remain a minority. In fact, I have a couple of sites that still rank well but I wont be feeling surprised if it get pushed out by the brands tomorrow.

[edited by: Kenneth2 at 2:25 pm (utc) on Dec 14, 2011]

robzilla




msg:4397801
 2:17 pm on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

So in a way, forgetting about the Google algorithm is a brilliant strategy because you eliminate the middle man... and then paradoxically, the middle man reappears with more traffic for you.

Quoting for emphasis.

randle




msg:4397806
 2:50 pm on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

So in a way, forgetting about the Google algorithm is a brilliant strategy because you eliminate the middle man... and then paradoxically, the middle man reappears with more traffic for you. But beyond taking technically sound steps (important for every website and every search engine) don't start directly chasing more Google traffic.

Instead, keep optimizing for ALL traffic from ALL legitimate sources. In other words, marketing and building your online business is now a very savvy SEO strategy too. Where should you look for links? From websites where a link brings you direct traffic. Who should be involved in social media sites? Anyone whose target market is involved in social media. Etc, etc, etc.

It's very possible that soon enough Google will not be announcing or confirming updates or iterations of Panda at all. We should be prepared for that. As it is we have had ten months of hints on the record. That's something.


Every person involved in any way in web marketing, and I'm especially talking about all the nit wit companies that bombard me with "SEO" services every day, should be forced to read this and sign something that states they did. If your running around talking Page Rank, link building, key word density and anchor text, your going the way of the local delivery ice man when refrigerators became a common consumer item.

It's way past the time to move on from all the old school stuff that helped make most of us a pretty good living, for quite some time.

Thats my rant for the day, but I'm confident we will now return to our regularly scheduled programming of discussing minor algo tweaks and theories on how to beat them.

acee




msg:4397807
 2:52 pm on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Oh AlyssaS - if only what you say was true.

For several years, on the few occasions when I've commented on forums, I have expressed my concern that we are dependent on too few search engines. My concern predates Panda!

In the last few years, I haven't really followed SEO trends, so I was actually blissfully unaware of Panda until Oct 14th (FYI). Instead, I've added content and tweaked the site based upon what I see in my referrals, paying virtually no attention to SERPs, because my traffic is mainly long tailed.

In the months leading up to October, I integrated a new supplier database and XML feed, improved the presentation, delivered the XML based info in a unique way which added value for visitors, and added more content and photos from my own trips.

When Panda was released in the UK in April I think my traffic increased a little, but at this point I was unaware of the Panda update program.

As I continued to improve aspects of the site, traffic increased a little more, I eliminated what I felt were low quality referrals, bounce rate dropped substantially, page views per visitor lifted nicely, and conversion improved proportionately.

All the human evidence suggests I was doing several things right, yet when the pedantic Panda burst into my office on Oct 14th and found that I had stuck chewing gum to the underside of my desk it decided that I needed to be punished!

Are you seeing the picture here? Human says yes - Computer says no!

Either visitor metrics aren't worth sh*t or they're being used adversely.

I'm not claiming my site is squeaky clean, but from a users perspective, it's ticking many boxes. I don't make money from clickthru advertising, just bookings, so it's performance based.

In my case the evidence suggests that Panda is at odds with human opinion.

@AlyssaS - 'new business model which is buy a Pandalised website for a knock-down price' - great phrase for people on this thread - I'm sure that will be appreciated!

Perhaps you could point us in the direction of these refurbished sites with big earnings, so that in the true spirit of webmastership, we can learn from our peers.

This 47 message thread spans 2 pages: 47 ( [1] 2 > >
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