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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Feb 2012
robdob




msg:4412985
 7:50 am on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Any help would be greatly appreciated, is it possible that this lastest update woull dump the SEO of my sites because I had link to them within the footer of one of my other sites? Also Google shown within its webmaster tools that there were some 2,000,000 + pages linked from the footer to my site.. is this a reason for google to penalize me? Any input wouldbe greatly appreciates..

I own all the sites involved...

Thanks

[edited by: tedster at 5:41 pm (utc) on Feb 1, 2012]

 

Fabt




msg:4420781
 8:18 am on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is what I think,

I had worked for a public local search engine that had purchased a lead gen company. The problem was that this company put a link back to them in the footer of EVERY client lead gen site.

What happened next was that Google considered them "doorway" pages, and not only did they devalue the thousands of websites-as in not in first 100 results after being on first page, but they had blacklisted the main company that was purchased by the local se.

This was a manual devaluation, not panda.

Lenny2




msg:4420959
 5:06 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anybody see any Panda Updates this month? There was the "shift" but, has there been an actual update? It seems like we've been waiting since November for a legitimate full blown update. Is Panda updating a thing in the past? What does that mean for us still struggling with it?

ohno




msg:4421010
 6:23 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seem to have have a good day on one site, good conversions & good UK traffic. Anyone else?

Whitey




msg:4421140
 11:54 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anybody see any Panda Updates this month

@Lenny - no signs of sitewide adjustments, but we must be getting close to a data refresh or update. Things are too quiet.

We're closing off the 4th week since the last data refresh. So weeks 5 and 6 make that probability more likely by the day, except weekends when Googlers probably don't implement this switch.

From what i see interim quality signal adjustments on a site level continue and they are quite fast to implement in the SERP's. Not sure what this means in the grand scheme of things and sitewide recoveries, but hopefully it's a sign for those working hard that they are heading in the right direction on their specific sites.

Best of luck to folks out there in the coming days for your enduring efforts.

zerillos




msg:4421144
 12:13 am on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hey guys, a year has passed...

Lenny2




msg:4421165
 12:39 am on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ Zerillos: Anybody doing anything special for the Panda Anniversary?

Seeing a big uptick in Googlebot activity today... looks like the panda will be returning... soon.

trinorthlighting




msg:4421218
 4:58 am on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Reseller, if I wanted to buy from amazon or ebay, would I not go directly to those websites or would I want to search in google first and have google direct me?

When I go to google, I want to see alternatives to the big box online retailers.

I would venture to say that amazon ranks higher and in more keywords than the wikipedia days when they were ranking for everything.

tedster




msg:4421219
 5:11 am on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sometimes, as a user/consumer, I don't even consider Amazon as a source of what I'm looking for. They are so big and carry so much variety that I stop thinking about them. Even so, my experiences with Amazon have been so positive that if I know they sell an item, they are often my first choice - at least to check it out.

I think it's to be expected - I think it is Google serving their users.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4421251
 8:21 am on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

tedster,

the sad thing about that is, if there will only amazon be left... where is the choice. And think of the businesses that will be destroyed and the families behind them. At amazon only a few can survive. And I hate, when poeple are only looking for the cheapest price but leaving service etc. behind, where is the value of the goods? I hope for you that amazon will never ever put up an system where you can offer services ( like SEO )!

I know it is off topic but think about it!

And why mst there be 5 results in serps within pos. 1 to 20 of goog results?

Tedster, please donīt bother itīs just my 2 pence.

ohno




msg:4421252
 8:26 am on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

/\ That is what bugs me, fair enough Amazon & eBay APPEARING in the top 10, what isn't fair is Amazon & eBay taking the top 10 slots with multiple references! That is what I was seeing last week, thankfully it seems toned down....for now. I wonder if Google was testing to demonstrate just what they CAN do for Amazon & eBay? Now that IS a scary thought......

suggy




msg:4421348
 2:51 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Give me a 'U'
Give me a 'P'
Give me a 'D'
Give me an 'A'
Give me a 'T'
Give me an 'E'
Oh for goodness sake Google, give us a bloomin' update!
These monthly updates are soooo 2002!
Wake the lazy freakin' Panda up!

reseller




msg:4421352
 3:03 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@suggy

Wake the lazy freakin' Panda up!

There would be several Google Algorithm Updates in future. Hopefully Pandalized sites would have a fair chance to recover. Best wishes.

As to Panda Updates, its something belong to the past, just like Marilyn Monroe :-)

Panda factors have been integrated in Google indexing/ranking system. As such no individual Panda updates anymore.

suggy




msg:4421361
 3:16 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Reseller

I'm talking about recalculating the Panda data (specifically the site-wide devaluation impact), rather than changing the algo. Are you?

You seem pretty confident about your statements, can I ask whether this hsa come from Google direct?

100up




msg:4421368
 3:26 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

suggy

I asked John Mueller point blank yesterday (we were 'hanging out') when "panda was going to run again" and he answered much like what reseller is saying. 'Lots of algorithm updates, but no more Panda iterations'. So I clarified by asking 'I'm talking about the numbered updates' (as in, Panda 3.5, affecting 8% of queries, as an example) and he said no, no more numbered Panda updates with official announcements, although they will continue to announce other, major changes.

suggy




msg:4421375
 3:42 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

But the Panda data still needs to be recalculated periodically, right (like what happened 19th/24th Jan)? Otherwise, no new sites included and no possibility for sites to escape and no new pages factored in. Or, are you saying this is now done in semi-realtime - like the rest of the algo? Because, I don't see much movement on anything anymore... Frozen in time cannot be good for searchers or google?!

claaarky




msg:4421416
 5:42 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sounds like the Panda recalculations are an everyday thing now, so sites will be assessed for quality on a daily basis and hit (or released) when they slide over the threshold (possibly with a delay or allowance in case it's a temporary improvement or degradation in site quality presumably).

That seems to fit with various reports on this forum of sites being hit and released at all different dates.

Our Pandalised site (since April 2011) jumped 20-25% on Feb 14th and has been up ever since (now slightly higher than at any point since Panda hit). We launched a revamp the day before (although I'm sure it's just a coincidence because Google never reacts that quickly!) but hopefully it's a sign we're moving in the right direction in terms of quality and that Google really is running Panda on a daily basis.

It would be interesting to know if any sites see a sudden and complete release from now on. If Panda is running continually as part of the overall algo, Google can respond much faster to sites developing quality issues (or improving) and react more proportionately than suddenly removing 50% of a site's traffic or giving them a 100% uplift when they're released.

It would make more sense and provide more stable results if quality issues were dealt with promptly and proportionately. It would also give businesses with huge overheads a chance to deal with a small developing problem rather than waking up one morning and finding out you can't pay the bills any more.

Whitey




msg:4421494
 9:43 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

'Lots of algorithm updates, but no more Panda iterations'

Makes sense - we haven't had an update since Oct 14, that was minor but it still shook a lot of sites.

The real focus of Panda recovery is likely to be on the data refreshes and the interim movements within the "quality range" of the site. My sense is a site wide quality score is getting reviewed every 4-7 weeks and within that pages will rank with Panda restrictions if they are sufficiently good quality. for a site to break through sitewide , I'd still expect it to occur on those dates, rather than in between. It's kind of like the old PageRank update of 5-6 years ago.

[ I'm sounding like a broken record, but am trying to convey some hope to those involved to keep up the work, if their resources will allow it. ]

One thing that strikes me is, if it's so easy why aren't more getting released. RustyBrick's survey indicates 13% have fully recovered [seroundtable.com...] Why so few, for something supposedly so simple and with such a broad consensus of leading SEO's on how to do it, is it so hard for 87% to fix. I would think a fair chunk of the 87% have a fair idea of what to do and have acted upon it.

Thoughts?

aok88




msg:4421502
 10:33 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

for something supposedly so simple and with such a broad consensus of leading SEO's on how to do it, is it so hard for 87% to fix. I would think a fair chunk of the 87% have a fair idea of what to do and have acted upon it.


Maybe what Google says webmasters should do, and what the consensus of leading SEO's/webmasters think ought to be done, are in fact not what actually needs to be done. Maybe no one's figured it out yet, or the worst case scenario, Pandalyzed sites are tagged by Google as such and nothing you can do will get you 'un-tagged', for a set amount of time which could be a year or more or forever.

danijelzi




msg:4421508
 11:05 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

i would like to know if anybody from that 13% got hit in Feb 2011 and recovered without moving content to a subdomain or another domain... for some reason i think that no Feb '11 affected domain recovered significantly.

jsherloc




msg:4421519
 12:21 am on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

IMO they have turned up the dial for spotting "over-optimization/unnatural link building" and THIS is actually demoting lots of websites that believe it was Panda/onpage related.

In the last few months I have seen tons of great quality established websites drop in rankings for their targeted keywords, seemingly because Google has decided they are "over-optimizing".

If the majority of your incoming links (whether you controlled this OR NOT) contain anchor text of a high- search-volume keyword...it would be in your best interest to attempt "diluting" the incoming links with natural phrases like "Click here", "this website", "www.url.com" etc.

I still don't understand why there is not more of an outcry among webmasters and businesses worldwide regarding the fact that their online businesses can be penalized/dropped in ranking by incoming anchored links. These incoming anchored links that often trigger that "unnatural linkbuildsing activity" msg in WMT can be bought and distributed to any website on the internet for 5 dollars.

Even scarier is that our team went through a lot of the popular freelance gigs offered at that popular gig site, and Google actually showed one of clients an example of the unnatural activity that matches the exact pages a popular article-marketing program creates.

So, not only are people that use these types of links potentially harming themselves, they can without a doubt use these types of links to penalize a competitor, etc.

I know I have heard folks downplay this issue on here, but what I am seeing the last few months it has become a SERIOUS issue, and one that not many are publicly discussing. IMO this is the "elephant in the room, along with the Panda of course".

Another note, what we are seeing is that not all of these websites we believe to have been flagged for OOP or whatever are receiving messages in WMT (some don't really even use Google tools etc), but when looking at link velocity/anchor text usage/percentages we do see some patterns...so it might be worth checking out for some folks, even if you've never received any warnings or anything.

Whitey




msg:4421539
 2:22 am on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

for a set amount of time which could be a year or more or forever

Some folks have thought there may be a time related penalty, somehow hooked into the trust factor. I'm not so convinced as several of the good news stories of release are pretty straightforward in terms of procedure and timelines [ even though the webmasters involved had blood , sweat and tears to deal with to get the initial work done ]

It's a thought, but i don't think they would, as it wouldn't be fair after all the work that folks put in. The Google engineers concerned don't appear to have conveyed a penalty period in their communications, even though they might have underestimated the practical havoc and difficulties it has brought in the community while folks scramble around trying to feed their families and fix things.

for some reason i think that no Feb '11 affected domain recovered significantly

I can't believe Google wouldn't bring sites back quickly if they had great content , engagement and usability. I think sites are responding, and some have been reported to be way above their pre Panda levels of traffic, but why the 87%.

What i am hearing from some very large multi national business' in diverse verticals with no shortage of resources and expertise, as well as Mom and Pop business' is the reluctance to reinvest in a channel that is beyond unreliable and for fear of a repeat in some other form.

Perhaps Google needs to look at how it invokes these changes in conjunction with it's communications and WMT console relationships with sites, and reflect on those considerations.

tedster




msg:4421572
 4:03 am on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

IMO they have turned up the dial for spotting "over-optimization/unnatural link building" and THIS is actually demoting lots of websites that believe it was Panda/onpage related.

This idea holds a lot of credence for me. Coupled with Google's growing confidence that it now can measure whether a site has quality content or not, I could see unnatural backlink profiles standing out in major relief on the link graph.

wokka




msg:4421642
 10:29 am on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

What i am hearing from some very large multi national business' in diverse verticals with no shortage of resources and expertise, as well as Mom and Pop business' is the reluctance to reinvest in a channel that is beyond unreliable and for fear of a repeat in some other form.


I can definitely understand and see this happening more and more..

Pjman




msg:4421655
 11:10 am on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@tedster

"over-optimization/unnatural link building"


Any idea how to come back from that when you did not place any of those links in question? I think one of my competitors placed about 1000 profile links to an area of my site. On June 22 my site got the hammer.

The weird thing is that they targeted one single page. The page has about 35,000 natural links.

Do we know if WMT shows you all the links that could hurt you? That would only be fair. Most of those profile links are not listed in GWT.

tedster




msg:4421752
 6:50 pm on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WMT shows a large proportion of all the links Google found, whether they are hurting you, helping you, or simply being ignored.

You can always document these dubious links in a reconsideration request, disavow any connection to their placement and tell Google you hope they are just ignoring them rather than lowering your rankings for something you didn't do.

onebuyone




msg:4421761
 7:34 pm on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

What i am hearing from some very large multi national business' in diverse verticals with no shortage of resources and expertise, as well as Mom and Pop business' is the reluctance to reinvest in a channel that is beyond unreliable and for fear of a repeat in some other form.


Don't do anything stupid and just try to survive, because if it all goes this way, next year you will get much less competitors.

Lenny2




msg:4421768
 9:24 pm on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

next year you will get much less competitors.
Do you think there will be less competitors overall? Or probably just fewer new entries than in previous years?
danijelzi




msg:4421815
 12:11 am on Feb 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

about over-optimization/unnatural link building:

I have a Pandalized news site and most of the time when I get a backlink like "source: mysite.com" I'm ranked below sites that backlinked to me. They rank #1-#5 with my original story slightly re-written and I'm usually at #7-#10 or below. They simply re-write my content and get top spots. I assume the page (content) itself is not so important like Google's estimation of site's usefulness (or whatever) itself.

wokka




msg:4421906
 10:31 am on Feb 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

@sherloc
Another note, what we are seeing is that not all of these websites we believe to have been flagged for OOP or whatever are receiving messages in WMT (some don't really even use Google tools etc), but when looking at link velocity/anchor text usage/percentages we do see some patterns...so it might be worth checking out for some folks, even if you've never received any warnings or anything.

I'm pretty sure this is what's happened to my site last week. Does anyone know how long this sort of penalty can last, and what are the best steps to recover? Start building lots of de-optimised anchors "www.sitename .com" "click here" type links?

tedster




msg:4421942
 4:04 pm on Feb 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

The problem there is that if "you" start to build lots of new links, that activity on its own can also leave a kind of manipulative footprint. The approach I would take is to ATTRACT new and natural backlinks by creating really useful content for the specific marketplace.

Marketing Guy




msg:4422200
 10:52 am on Feb 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seeing a huge change yesterday (Sunday 26th) - organic referrals up across the board. Almost 300% increase compared to previous Sunday. Still shooting 50% less than pre-Panda (April 2011), but I removed a lot of content so would expect it to be.

Main keyword rankings still up and down (sometimes they are jumping in at top 5, other days they're nowhere).

May not be a Panda thing though - I did merge two similar sites into one. Redirects in place and WMT new address, etc all done, so it could just be this kicking in.

Still nice to see a big increase in traffic (and earnings!).

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