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Google's Panda - The Main Factors
brinked




msg:4399270
 6:24 am on Dec 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok, so like always, every time google comes out with a new algo update, I become obsessed with it in trying to understand it as much as possible. I have taken on clients for free in an effort to learn about panda and recover them, usually on a paid by performance basis.

We know that panda mainly targets sites with a lot of pages and I am seeing that as well. Some of my theories may have been mentioned elsewhere but some of them have not. This is what I have seen from my own experiences. Of 9 clients I have worked with, 4 of them have made some sort of recovery. There were 11 test subjects but it turns out that 2 I did not feel were effected by panda, but a regular google penalty.

Rewritten Content - When you mention the term "unique content" most webmasters generally think of content that is not plagiarized from another source. Technically, paraphrasing an existing article usually passed for unique content. Not since google panda came along. Years ago one of my sites was mentioned on a very popular blog. After that story was published many other small blogs started writing about my site. It was essentially the same article just reworded. That is no longer considered unique content. Writing about a story thats already all over the web no longer does you any good. If your entire site or the bulk of your site deals with writing about popular stories that you did not start, you could be a target for panda.


all pages look visually similar - Look at any content farm and you will see page after page of just text. It is just paragraphs and essays of boring text that is all unique, usually written by a freelance writer at very low cost per word. You know how google says "do you have any graphs to support your argument?". Well in one case, I added dynamic feature rich graphs to a portion of the pages of a panda hit site as needed. This added life to every page and made every page visually better. On other sections I advised the client to add videos, images and anything else that would improve the usefulness of each page and that client has recovered over 60% of their lost google traffic within 2 months. She is still applying these rich media snippets so I think her recovery will continue to improve. Not only that, her bounce rate has improved from an average of 46% over the last 3 years to 35% over the last month. Videos and images are starting to prove very useful especially in my early tests. I have not did too much testing in this regard but this just makes sense so thats why I am listing it here.

Too many auto generated pages vs high quality content pages - If your site automatically generates content or you have a ton of user generated content, you may be in trouble. User generated content left un-moderated can cause big quality concerns for your site. If your site is a UGC type of site that is fine, just make sure you have some useful articles as well. This is also a big cause of empty/shallow content pages.


poorly placed content, ads given prime real estate over actual content - Where your content is located is a big deal right now. What is your intention for your visitors? Do you want them to browse your site and read your articles, or do you want them to click your ads? If you're giving priority placement to your ads over your content, you deserve to be pushed back. If your only intention is to get your visitor to another site then your site is just essentially a doorway page that users can do without.


Content Intention -What purpose does your content serve? Google has made it well known they don't want anyone to try to manipulate their SERP's. Over optimization is a real issue and it plays a role in panda. Do you have to scroll all the way down on your homepage to view a welcome paragraph? That's not very welcoming is it? Is your welcome message really a welcome message or is it a place just to stuff your money keywords?


A lot of time went into this and I usually hate sharing information with strangers that I put a lot of time into but I am just paying it forward. Thanks to tedster sharing his experiences, helped me become very successful so I feel I owe it to him and this community.

It is very possible to recover from panda. Its hard to get a 100% recovery but the more you improve your site the better your chances are at recovering traffic. Not only will you recover traffic by improving your site but your site will be of better quality, users will be more likely to link back to it, conversions will improve, bounce rates will go down etc.

I have one client who I was unfortunatley not able to recover at all in fact he took an even bigger hit since working with me. However, we improved his site and he recovered his sales so that he is almost making as much money as before panda hit. If he ever recovered from panda he will be earning much more than pre panda. There is more than one way to recover. Alternative traffic sources is also a great place to start. Get up a facebook page a twitter page a free iphone app etc. Be creative and beat google.

 

qcloud




msg:4399712
 12:47 pm on Dec 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

As the hundreds of thousands of people who got rich with Adsense will no doubt testify.


The point is that without a more solid business plan, the steady flow of money is temporary and can evaporate any time. Which is why we see all the moaning and complaining around after the panda.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4399724
 1:27 pm on Dec 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is moaning and complaining from a percentage of publishers every time a change is made to the Algo. Anyone who earns money from Adsense and stakes their future on it is just daft. ;)

maximillianos




msg:4399733
 2:27 pm on Dec 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Adsense is just advertising. Saying that businesses built around advertising are daft is a generalization that just doesn't apply to all companies. Some do very well in the ad business. One I can think of starts with G.

Quadrille




msg:4399743
 2:51 pm on Dec 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not all sites can successfully negotiate direct with advertisers, and for them - millions of them - there is no better than Adsense and many (many, many) that are worse.

Provided you run your site(s) in an honest and sensible way, Adsense is safer than houses. Only MFA sites need to live in fear with Adsense; those with genuine content need not look over their shoulders.

Sure you'd be sensible to use other income streams if you can; that's only sensible. But Adsesne has provided a great service to most users.

netmeg




msg:4399751
 3:11 pm on Dec 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think it matters if you're the originator of a piece of content or regurgitating it, the bit Google is interested in is whether you're doing something different with it (which it detects by looking at the content on your page, the internet noise around the page and the internet noise around your site generally).


Don't overlook this point; it's an important one.

brinked




msg:4399842
 7:07 pm on Dec 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

ecommerce sites keep putting the blame on using the default product descriptions. I do not see this as an issue as many ecommerce sites that I follow do just this and have not been hit at all.

Lets look at it this way. When you are reselling a product that many other businesses are selling, essentially all the retailers are using the same product title, product image and description. This is all fine, why would you change any of this? This is the most accurate representation of the product so it is best to stick with that.

The problem is with the sites that do not add any value to this information. Consumers want more than just the default information that can easily be scraped. If you have 10,000 products then you probably have 10,000 pages of non unique content. You are not offering anything different than the rest of the resellers selling the same stuff. Why not improve these pages with something useful such as..

A video of the product being used. Not only will this add rich content to your page, it will increase sales because consumers can get a better idea of how the product works.

Reviews. Why wouldn't you let your customers review the products they purchased? If you think it is hard to get reviews, email your customers and ask them or give them an incentive (10% off next purchase?)

How popular is that product? Is the product a best seller? Has it gained popularity in the last month or so? Is it a seasonal product that might be featured for the holidays?

Additional images. If you're only using the images provided by the manufacturer you are doing your site a great injustice. Why not provide more accurate photos of the product such as it being used, different angles etc?

Most of these things are already being done by amazon and that is why they are ranking for everything. Yes, they are a big brand, but they are also the best resource for a given product because not many sites provide as many features as they do. Even if I do not plan on buying a product from amazon, I will visit them to check out a product in more detail, get feedback from buyers and see additional images of a product.

Stop being lazy with your site and offer something new, much like news stories. Make your site a resource that people will want to revisit much like amazon.

superclown2




msg:4399857
 8:28 pm on Dec 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

As the hundreds of thousands of people who got rich with Adsense will no doubt testify.


Yep. Joined no doubt by the hundreds of thousands of others who saw their businesses wiped out instantly when Google cancelled their Adsense accounts without warning or explanation. The first law of business; don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Plus; there's plenty of evidence that an over-reliance on Adsense has helped a lot of sites get pandalised, and I have seen plenty of them recover somewhat after dropping it completely. In the sectors I'm interested in barely any of the top performing pages carry Adsense ads. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

Quadrille




msg:4399902
 11:00 pm on Dec 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Joined no doubt by the hundreds of thousands of others who saw their businesses wiped out instantly when Google cancelled their Adsense accounts without warning or explanation.


Twaddle

99% of people who lose Adsense accounts know EXACTLY why they lost them. The others are too stupid to understand that Google doesn't like scammers.

It takes a scammer or a total d-head to screw up Adsense.

You show me ONE innocent Adsense chuck-out, and I'll show you a unicorn, a dodo (alive) and an honest banker.

Hundreds of thousands? Gimme strength!

rayqin




msg:4399940
 3:38 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

my main site has qualitay content, while the backlinks site such as free blog, i use the best spinner spun content.
it had been penalized more and more frequently since this month even i 301 them.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4399981
 7:30 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Twaddle

99% of people who lose Adsense accounts know EXACTLY why they lost them. The others are too stupid to understand that Google doesn't like scammers.

It takes a scammer or a total d-head to screw up Adsense.

Quadrille takes no prisoners but I have to agree. :)

superclown2




msg:4400017
 9:41 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

99% of people who lose Adsense accounts know EXACTLY why they lost them. The others are too stupid to understand that Google doesn't like scammers.


Most of those "too stupid" people and "scammers" were small business people trying to put bread on the table by obeying Google's guidelines as they saw them. The guidelines changed, they were out without an income.

The really "too stupid" (I prefer to be courteous to fellow webmasters and call them "misguided") are those who trust a company like Google to provide all their income, long term.

Since I was kicked off adsense for having a site which was too successful with 75% visitor/click conversions (yes, I do know why my account was terminated) I now do very nicely indeed, thank you, with far more security by dealing directly with many different merchants; if one or more of them drop out it doesn't matter a jot.

So let's look at Panda. Google is looking to promote sites which are unique and have worthwhile content, but a site that carries adsense ads screams out that apart from perhaps a few affiliate ads there is likely to be nothing there worth buying, because which webmasters worth their salt would put more competition for their own products on their own sites? Adsense = affiliate site, and they are devalued in Google's eyes. It takes real effort of course to build up a network of partners - some are prepared to do it, some prefer to take the easy way out and trust Google not to dump them and their families on the financial scrapheap whenever they feel it suits them to do so. It won't happen to you? After more than half a century in business I've seen similar things happen with monotonous regularity, time and time again.

nippi




msg:4400019
 9:44 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Its not using adsense that is daft, its relying on traffic from poor content monetised easily by a 3rd party application. Yes, adsense is one of these.

if you but move to a better content, direct revenue from listings model you are more resilient to google swings.

Quadrille




msg:4400026
 10:04 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

What the ex-Adsense whingers choose to forget is the the money they got from Google was not Google's money, but advertisers' money; Google's business model is predicated almost entirely on advertising, so they simply have to keep the confidence of advertisers. Wisely (and inevitably) they need to operate a 'zero tolerance' policy with publishers.

A non-stupid publisher - especially one who relies entirely on Adsense fees - would be sure that their site was in compliance. And 99% of the rules are little more than common sense. A publisher who relied on Adsense and thought they could ignore those rules is not misguided, but plain old-fashioned stupid.

I have seen many threads over the years in which "wronged" publishers have aired their grievances, and I cannot recall a single case where there was real evidence of Google doing anything but sensible business practice. Under cross-examination, it always transpires that the plaintiff has acted on the basis they were in some way exempt from common-sense regulations - ie stupid - or the plaintiff has dropped out of the conversation when they realized they were getting close to being exposed as, er, stupid.

Many webmasters still think that they can do what they like - the 'Wild West of the Web' theory - but when they do business with big companies, the web is set deep in the business area of New York.

No-one can deny that there are untold billions of pointless pages that are MFA, pure and simple. As a publisher, every move Google makes against this scam competition is music to my ears, and this is the one area that advertisers, publishers and Google agree 100%.

And anyone who defends these folk ... well, I guess I've used that word once too often already ... :)

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4400043
 10:40 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

but a site that carries adsense ads screams out that apart from perhaps a few affiliate ads there is likely to be nothing there worth buying

Many major brands (like Amazon) carry Adsense and other ads. Don't you think there is anything worth buying there? ;)

superclown2




msg:4400055
 11:14 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Quadrille; many of we 'ex-adsense whingers' make more money than I suspect you will ever see. We do so, not by calling those who disagree with us 'stupid' or 'd-heads' but by using sound business practices instead of taking the easy route.

Some more courtesy towards fellow webmasters; more facts and less rhetoric; may be in order.

@BeeDeeDubbleU; fair comment, but I wonder how much more of their own products the major brands would sell if those ads weren't there. Even the big boys take the easy way out sometimes. Perhaps the accountants can put up a case for carrying ads but I never could see the logic in promoting the businesses of competitors. As an old salesman myself though I know how persuasive those adsense reps can be!

suggy




msg:4400075
 12:45 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think there are possibly three parts to the content problem:-

1) Does the content actually say anything? Does it contain specifics (phrases, facts, etc) that can be compared with a corpus of similar documents. Is yours comparatively shallow/ meaningless when compared to more fact-filled documents or those that cover more of the bases.

2) Is it a straight rewrite offering no added value over dozens of other documents. If so, it's probably down to brand, link authority and the site wide Panda aggregate score as to which documents get ranked. Google is certainly motivated not to give all SERPS space!

3) Does it have any extra added value in terms of rich media, like unique pictures, all the pictures, video, charts, graphs, bullets, etc.

Probably the perfect match for a document that Panda would destory is the old ezine articles format: no pictures, paragraph after paragrpah of text, no new information, potentially spun from another source and a very off-putting design causing users to bounce!

superclown2




msg:4400092
 1:47 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

The best performing content I have is written with a bit of humour and is dictated into Dragon so it comes up in a conversational style with a bit of UK slang, rather than the formal way that most of my competitors have written their articles. This way it looks completely different from theirs and could well be a factor in helping the pages rank so well.

claaarky




msg:4400111
 2:20 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone who thinks people are not too smart relying on one thing too much for their income probably need to look at their own operation a bit closer. I'd be very surprised if there's a business in existence that doesn't rely on something too much (a key person, main supplier, health of the economy, housing market, etc.). It's the nature of life and running a business.

The trick is knowing your risks and having the time, skill, resources or inclination to reduce them or prepare for them. Even employees have all their eggs in one basket - lose your job and can you guarantee you'll find another one that pays so well?

I started as an affiliate 9 years ago and spent all my time working out how to get to the top of Google. I made some money pretty easily but saw Google didn't like affiliates so started an ecommerce operation. That became very successful very quickly while my affiliates sites got hammered by Google. Before long I didn't have so much time to watch Google and, realising this was a risk, I hired an SEO to do that for me. I realised depending on an SEO company was also a risk so I made building up a financial safety net a priority.

You could say I relied too much on experts to advise me, or that I hired the wrong experts, didn't pay them to spend enough time on me as a client, or that I should have hired someone to run my business while I continued to watch Google, or that I should have devoted more time/money to direct marketing, Facebook, Twitter, a blog, email marketing, getting reviews, creating unique content, getting videos........the list goes on. Fortunately I did build up a good financial safety net so I can handle Panda for now, but with hindsight I think if I'd reinvested in all the above I might not be suffering. It's all a gamble, but that's business.

Panda came along much like the banking crisis did. People who really gave it some thought saw it coming a long time ago but nobody knew what shape 'it' would look like when it came. It was obvious to me that Google would eventually move against the multitude of ecommerce sites selling the same thing but somehow I thought Google 'liked' my site. It rode out every storm in the last 8 years so why wouldn't it continue to? I thought we'd be okay and so did our SEO advisers so we continued link building, optimising the site and running the business that came from all that.

Now, I think we have to look much further into the future, not just at what's required to overcome Panda now. If everyone hit by Panda overcomes it the game will have to move on again, the bar will be set higher and higher. The quality of sites will be phenomenal but so will the costs involved in producing those sites. Eventually it will become unprofitable for many smaller online businesses to chase Google traffic and the big companies will be left to slug it out. So now is the time to become a big company.

This of course is exactly what happens in the real world, the web is basically catching up with that and Panda is Google's way of dealing with the rise in competition. It will probably be a few years before getting traffic from Google is just too expensive for the man in the street. Maybe something else will spring up to give small sites a voice and keep the web interesting, but as far as Google is concerned I think now is the time to become one of the big players if you want to make a real living from the internet in 3-5 years time.

enigma1




msg:4400120
 2:42 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

The quality of sites will be phenomenal but so will the costs involved in producing those sites.

I agree with the quality but disagree with the costs. Prototypes have way higher costs but once mainstream the cost drops significantly. It's the same with old static sites that are now replaced with dynamic ones. It's part of the web and software evolution. Perhaps what will change is the niche type of market as we know it today, it will become even more fragmented, more custom with much higher focus on a subject or item. It's directly proportional with the virtual content available online.

claaarky




msg:4400126
 2:56 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was meaning the all costs associated with producing a website of the quality now required (videos, images, obtaining reviews, writing unique text, effective use of social media, obtaining links of a high standard) not the actual framework/template.

enigma1




msg:4400150
 3:23 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's the same there, many multimedia tools are available now you can link videos freely from video service sites etc. Things a decade ago were out of reach for the average site owner. At some point you will be able to create your own movie or create a virtual reality site with very low cost. A small business typically cannot afford the initial R&D costs but once applications of a technology are released, they use them and become competitive.

Because Google no matter what wants to see new relevant content for a search and being an expert in your field, you have the ability and the tools to create it.

superclown2




msg:4400170
 4:07 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some costs will nosedive in the future. For examples; a decent graphic for a website with permission to display it from the copyright owner used to cost me around 100 USD. I can now buy them for a dollar or so each. Registering a domain name for a year was 75 dollars or more, now it's about 10 or even less for most TLDs. Short movies were unheard of but now stock footage is available for just about any subject under the sun for just a few dollars with editing software easily available. If Google demands lots of media then a website can still be put together for a whole lot less than it would cost to set up just about any traditional business. Yes it will take more work, greater imagination and a willingness to keep up with new techniques but people without those shouldn't be in business anyhow.

claaarky




msg:4400191
 4:41 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Websites with their own video footage, unique images and bespoke graphics will be seen (if not already) as better quality than those that use edited stock footage and graphics that you can buy for a dollar.

If I have an independent 1,000 word review written for every product I sell, complete with our own video, unique images, 100 reviews from real customers and masses of publicity around every product I sell, and 50 other sites do the same thing we will all be spending a lot of money to a) be seen as quality so we're not affected by Panda and b) rank well.

If another 50 sites try to achieve the same thing with borrowed footage and graphics and a handful of reviews, those will be the sites Google will see as low quality.

Anything that will cost less in the future makes it easier for anyone to do it, which means more people will and the quality bar will have to be raised.

Phrases like low cost, easily or a few dollars should be extinguished from the mind of anyone looking to build a high quality website that will thrive in Google over the coming years.

Quadrille




msg:4400223
 6:16 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

In response to superclown2:

Most of those "too stupid" people and "scammers" were small business people trying to put bread on the table by obeying Google's guidelines as they saw them. The guidelines changed, they were out without an income.


Not so sure; the overriding 'guidelines' that have not changed in 10 years is that Google wanted to see adds on good solid content-based sites, not on MFA sites (go read the rules, it's always been there). Fact was, Google could not enforce their guidelines, and so the Stupid People grew to think they could ignore them with impunity; just because they 'got away with it', they grew to think they were entitled to 'get away with it' - just like the guy who gets away with robbing two banks, then a new sheriff in town catches him, and the guy feels hard done by; well, Google has regularly upped their sheriff, and the latest one - Sheriff Panda - is finally beginning to shift the dross. Does that make Google wrong? No. Does that make the rules unfair? No. And for publishers of quality sites with REAL content, you'll hear no complaints.

While the details have changed as Google has developed, Google's stated aims and objectives have not. Get over it. And if you find some other way to make more money, good luck. So long as you aren't scamming visitors or advertisers, I have no quarrel with you at all - and never did.

many of we 'ex-adsense whingers' make more money than I suspect you will ever see.


And many of them don't. So what?

We do so, not by calling those who disagree with us 'stupid' or 'd-heads' but by using sound business practices instead of taking the easy route.


Piffle. For a start, I was specifically talking about those ejected from Adsense, not those who chose who chose to change business model. I stand by my statement - for this (and every other SEO forum) contains copious evidence that 99% of those who whinge about ejection know perfectly well why, and therefore are self-identifying idiots. I find it hard to conceive that anyone with a brain would deny the obvious evidence that supports my stance.

It's not about the 'easy route' - For many webmasters, Adsense is a very good option, indeed, for many it is the best bar none - not all have the many options you claim to have. If Google was such a poor option for you, why did you wait to be ejected before changing your practice. When I see a better option for one of my sites, I take it; no need to be ejected, therefore no need to whinge. Just good business practice is all.

Some more courtesy towards fellow webmasters; more facts and less rhetoric; may be in order.


I give courtesy where it is due, and respect where deserved. I do not respect scammers and spammers and really have no worries at all about upsetting them; your mileage may vary.

While you can find evidence to support my statements wherever you look (or choose not to), I notice that you offer zero evidence in your response. It seems you are upset; I wonder why? :)

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4400242
 6:38 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Websites with their own video footage, unique images and bespoke graphics will be seen (if not already) as better quality than those that use edited stock footage and graphics that you can buy for a dollar.

Can you tell us how the Google algo will make a call on the quality of graphics and images?

brinked




msg:4400274
 9:40 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

BeeDee,

If your site has an image that is not used anywhere else, that usually means this image was created by the author of the website. The fact that this website or page has a unique image is a good indication of quality.

This does not mean every page with a unique image will be seen as high quality. This is just 1 of many quality signals google uses.

Images and videos are very useful, sometimes more so than text. Images can be used to illustrate a point you are trying to make, decrease bounce rates (which might be another quality signal) as well as make your page overall user friendly.

Images and videos are beneficial to your USERS and that is what google is looking for. Lets stop thinking of this as "what does google like" and instead "what do my users like?" because that is how the people at google determine how their algo determines quality.

You would have to think that google has ran tests to see which pages were useful to people and which are not. I know for a fact that pages with images, videos, graphs etc are much more useful to website visitors than a page full of text. I know because I personally find this to be true and whenever I use rich media on my sites, the bounce rate decreases and the average time spent on the site increases.

A lot of people do not want to read through an essay of text. We live in a generation where people want instant gratification. A lot of people would rather see the movie than read the book. When you have text combined with video and image, you are appealing to a wider audience.

The people who leave your site didn't necessarily leave because your site was not useful, but because they could not find the answer fast enough or in the format they preferred.

superclown2




msg:4400280
 9:52 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Websites with their own video footage, unique images and bespoke graphics will be seen (if not already) as better quality than those that use edited stock footage and graphics that you can buy for a dollar.


There are few if any visitors who would know the difference between bespoke and stock graphics and videos, there are hundreds of thousands of these easily available and just because a graphic costs a dollar or even less it doesn't mean it can't be superb quality. Most of those I buy are marked as never having been downloaded before so they may as well be unique. Simple things such as rounding off the corners of images, which is easy with Photoshop, can make them look more professional, and there are innumerable other artistic changes you can make to enhance them if you wish.

Whilst I agree that there is some evidence that incorporating videos in a site can make it more attractive to both the Panda and the human a high spending developer can easily overdo this. There is a great danger in making sites too 'busy', most visitors want to find what they are looking for as quickly as possible and an excessive number of graphics and videos can make this difficult and send them elsewhere. The old acronym KISS, in other words "keep it simple, stupid" (at the risk of sounding like Quadrille; heaven forbid!) is still one of the first laws of marketing.

The panda likes to see people going to your site and staying there, or clicking through from there, not leaving the site and trying the next one in the SERPs. There is a world of difference between making a site bright, attractive and easy to navigate and spending a fortune on fancy graphical or multimedia elements which may look great and feed the ego of the developer no end but which don't actually help to produce the desired effect. Rule A is to design the landing page in such a way that the human visitor can achieve the purpose of the visit as easily as possible, the rest is just window dressing. For the panda, make sure the site is unique in as many ways as you can without breaking Rule A.

randle




msg:4400306
 10:57 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not so sure; the overriding 'guidelines' that have not changed in 10 years is that Google wanted to see adds on good solid content-based sites, not on MFA sites (go read the rules, it's always been there). Fact was, Google could not enforce their guidelines, and so the Stupid People grew to think they could ignore them with impunity; just because they 'got away with it', they grew to think they were entitled to 'get away with it' - just like the guy who gets away with robbing two banks, then a new sheriff in town catches him, and the guy feels hard done by; well, Google has regularly upped their sheriff, and the latest one - Sheriff Panda - is finally beginning to shift the dross. Does that make Google wrong? No. Does that make the rules unfair? No. And for publishers of quality sites with REAL content, you'll hear no complaints.

I dont completely disagree with your position here, but there is a bit more to it than:

Google could not enforce their guidelines, and so the Stupid People grew to think they could ignore them with impunity; just because they 'got away with it', they grew to think they were entitled to 'get away with it' -

The thing is any time your in a business relationship once there becomes a pattern on how things are conducted, that becomes the acceptable arrangement. For example your "invoice" to your customers may state "net 15 days due" on it, but if you go three years letting them pay around 45 days out, then in reality that is the deal you have; in fact your endorsing it.

In regards to "MFA" sites (whatever that exactly is) bear in mind for years webmasters made the sites, people clicked on the ads, Google charged their customers for the clicks and made a decent profit on them, and paid the "MFA" webmasters like clock work for the clicks. On and on and on and on it went.

I'm not defending those that made a living off a business model that certainly had inherent risks; in fact when it comes to making money off organic traffic I'm squarely in the "live by the sword, die by the sword" camp and at the end of the day if thats all there is to your income stream your asking for it.

However, if someone sends you a monthly check, every month for 5 years for a service your providing most people are going to assume the buyer is satisfied with the arrangement and that would include intelligent people as well as the stupid ones.

claaarky




msg:4400323
 11:37 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

We use very high quality images but they are the same high quality images our suppliers and hundreds of other resellers use. They're not unique to us, even if we round the corners off. Anyone shopping around will quickly spot that and their conclusion on whether our site is good or not may depend on whether they perceive we have a more extensive range, better prices, or something else to offer that others don't.

A visitor's reaction to seeing the same images, text or video over and over again on different sites, even if they've been cleverly edited/rewritten, could be to exit quickly and that tells Google everything it needs to know.

So we have to produce our own videos, images and descriptions, get customers to contribute reviews and so on. I'm not a professional with a camera or camcorder so I need to hire someone (cost), I'm not a professional copywriter so I need to hire one (cost), it takes time to contact customers and encourage them to contribute so I need more staff (cost). Fortunately I can do the website bit!

That's why I say it's becoming more and more expensive to create a quality website.

Quadrille




msg:4400329
 12:05 am on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

@randle - I agree with you - up to a point.

In this case, Google had consistently and repetitively stated their case; innumerable updates took place - each accompanied by wailing and gnashing of teeth on these forums and many others. It is hard to accept that many 'genuine' webmasters thought anything other than they were living on borrowed time; if they flouted the rules, then Google was trying to catch them - and was getting ever closer.

And in law - as in life - ignorance is not innocence; the interweb is not the wild west, it's wall street - and that's been obvious for a long time now.

I do have a certain sympathy for the genuinely naive; but they aren't the people I refer to as scammers and idiots: I address my comments directly at those running million-page MFA sites, using crud content clearly aimed purely at SEs, with no expectation of visitors other than those who would use any link - preferably an (often disguised) Adsense link - to escape.

These people and their kind deserve no sympathy or respect, and if they've found a new way to scam advertisers via another method, I look forward to that route being closed too.

None of my comments above have been aimed at 'genuine' small businesses (or individuals) running genuine sites and using Adsense as they go along - they are the backbone of the web, and if any have been affected by collateral damage, I'm with them, not Google. But I believe such victims are rare. Most 'genuine' webmasters have little to fear from Google, because they don't used machine-generated crud, they make content-driven web pages. Most of those pandalized either should have known better, or are so selfish that no warnings would ever have been heeded.

And THOSE people are responsible for >95% of all pages on the web; probably over 99%. I spit on them. ;)

johnhh




msg:4400335
 12:30 am on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Now I'm angry
Most 'genuine' webmasters have little to fear from Google, because they don't used machine-generated crud,
really - we, and others, have had to lay off people, many personal friends.
In business since 1995, all unique content years in the making, smashed by Panda. Quite a few of our respected competitors were hit as well.

You don't know what you are talking about .. Wall Street .. New York.. Haven't you heard of Berlin, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Rio, Mumbai.

Or you are American , 90% of which don't have passports and don't even know where Australia is.

We had our website up and running before others even had heard of WWW, yes thats right a WORLD wide web, when local papers in the US reported local pig prices...

this is going off-topic the OP was happy to share his/her info - now it's a rant that's annoying people.
edit spelling but I'm angry so mis-typed

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