I was going to come in here and say "no" but then I thought about it and realised I was thinking purely as a webmaster. With my user hat on I think I'd have to agree that my results have improved.
I mainly search for techie stuff and I see less of the crappy 'ask-a-question-answer-with-my-link' sites and those really annoying Q&A sites where you have to scroll past a thousand ads to get the answers. With shopping I generally know where to go anyway these days I guess so I don't search as much on that stuff. Might search for a price comparison every now and again but again I probably go straight to Kelkoo.
Overall I tend to want genuine user opinions and reviews rather than commercially-biased stuff and I'd say overall I'm getting that better than I was. Not sure if that's Panda or just plain old evolution though. There is still some rubbish in there but that's a never-ending battle. Rather like hacking: put up a new barrier and it's only a question of time before someone gets round it.
Edited to add: some of this may be down to my own search techniques evolving of course...hard to quantify really.
have to say that I never ever used bing at all before about mid June 2011. I tried it purely because every tIme i really needed anything google was useless except for 1 of 10 results. Bing is just a little better to maybe 3 of 10 are good. I tried going back to G twice always a worse experience. I even took G off my phone.
IMHO, it is worse.
I certainly do see an improvement in less of that shallow, content farm, database spam junk. Google definitely was being gamed by it, and they made their move. I'd say it is a mixed bag overall - but I don't think all the negatives I see in the SERPs can be blamed on Panda.
The negatives seem to be coming from borderline irrelevant results on the mid- to long-tail queries. I'm not sure that Panda is to blame here, as I said. There's a lot more to the algorithm than the Panda module.
|I certainly do see an improvement in less of that shallow, content farm, database spam junk. |
I don't. Just tonight my niece was looking at Madonna during the superbowl halftime show and she decided to Google for more of Madonna's looks after she was hearing that Madonna has matured since her wild 80's. One article titled "how to dress like madonna" by ehow plainly says...
1- put on a madonna cd
2- wear what madonna would have worn in the 80's
3- slide on some jewelery
4- curl hair
5- put on makeup
even my niece thought that was a crappy #1 result and it doesn't speak badly about ehow, it speaks badly about Google.
Clearly it is better since the content farms and article sites were junked - just cannot see the point of creating something as complicated as Panda just to nuke content farms and article sites, a simple list based demotion could have achieved the same thing in an afternoon.
Then again google engineers have to have something to do.
Sgt_Kickaxe - the same eHow's are on the top of Bing too, along with several "answers" type sites. The problem with that query is that most publishers don't want to spend their time writing a detailed article on the subject (it's not often searched for and not easily monetised, so why bother), so all the search engines have to go on is what bored people on the "answers" type sites have written, plus eHow.
On the quality of the search results - they have definitely improved compared to this time last year, but are no where near how good they were in G's heyday. But the other search engines are suffering from teh same problem - it's because the nature of the web has changed. The days of teh enthusiastic amateur writing pages of quality stuff on their particular hobby or interest even if no one searched for it are gone. All that's left is professional webmasters, and they tend to focus their efforts on topics that earn them a profit. As those old hobby sites disappear because their owners have not renewed the domains, I guess the gap will have to be plugged by indexing Google+/social discussions by hobbyists.
I do not think the hobby type sites have been killed of yet - though my point is it is Google doing the killing, it is very difficult for a small miche site to rank nowadays without webmaster type input.
Some of my most rewarding searches online are when I surf link exchanges, I find loads of quirky little sites which I would never find with Google and it's current brand focus.
They may have got rid of the article sites - and I applaud that because they were rubbish, but they replaced them with large brand type sites.
These days I find I am surprised if/when Google gives me a quality result in search therefore I tend to be splitting my searches between Google/Bing and DDG which usually results in a lot slower search but I get the answer that Google used to be able to provide but seemingly cannot now.
My own sites are also getting a lot more referrals from Google images, they always got a lot however this last year has seen even more via that route.
Certainly not an improvement from my perspective.
For me, the natural results have probably been as bad or worse as they have been for finding things.
However, the Adwords results seem to have improved in terms of relevance. maybe it is because so many legitimate sites are finding it so hard to compete in the organic results that they are now forced to us Adwords to get on page 1.
I try to just copy and paste the displayed URL from adwords into the browser so that I don't cost the advertiser anything. (If you are an adwords advertiser, my advice is to try to make your display URL resolve to the actual page, whether through a 301 or whatever.)
Most of the ehow articles I see are irrelevant to my queries. The "Ask Me" sites with compiled answers are even more worthless, and to be honest, seem to be ranking just as well as before Panda. At least with ehow you can scroll right down past the article (and their adsense ads) and sometimes they will list good resources to check out - hey, they OFTEN list my pages in the resources section, so at least ehow has got that part right ;-)
|I tend to be splitting my searches between Google/Bing and DDG... |
Off Topic: So many frustrated webmasters say, "If we just ALL band together and BLOCK google, then somehow google will release us from Panda..."
Maybe it is a better idea if we all LINK TO Duck Duck Go (or bing) or whatever our favorite search engine is.
i think panda has made the web a smaller place. or, at least, thats what it seems like because it doesnt seem to dig as deep into the wilds like it used to. it just returns the same old stuff all the time.
but i suppose thats what people want. i buy my stuff from amazon all the time, im guilty of that. and people look for info on wikipedia all the time. so i suppose google has cottoned on to that fact. and they just serve up our favourite dishes all the time instead of risking something new and improved.
[offtopic]DDG needs to get itself together a little more before I use it more. They rely too heavily on Google/Bing results and integrating their search into your site is not very dependable right now[/offtopic]
My feeling is it's no better or worse - for some searches it is better and for some it's worse - But, like many of you, I've learned how to search google to find what I'm looking for - actually "Search" and not just type a few words in the search box and hope for the best. So in these cases I think the results are better in my opinion.
But again we are thinking like webmasters/seo's - i'd like to know what the "average" person thinks? Did they even notice a difference? Did they even notice the big change?
The non-industry people I know (mostly clients, family, and a few friends - haven't really noticed, and are still happily googling away.
|But, like many of you, I've learned how to search google to find what I'm looking for |
Yep, I'd mostly agree with that however it was very evident in our very internet savvy house that I was being asked more and more by my wife and youngest daughter to find things for them since they didn't think like I did and how an SEO would probably describe/word/explain something...mind you, they learnt quickly when they saw what I did and now they're not having so many problems:-)
How many others are that fortunate is another thing.
|The non-industry people I know (mostly clients, family, and a few friends - haven't really noticed, and are still happily googling away. |
That's the crux of it I guess. The answer to the question lies in monitoring Google's market share since Panda was introduced (if they are out there).
It's not a year yet, what's your hurry?
|It's not a year yet, what's your hurry? |
Yeah I did jump the gun a bit.... LOL
Mind you waiting for a site to return from Pandalisation feels like more than a year
I think Google search results have been getting worse and worse over the months. Some days I'll see results for certain search terms filled with (as others are saying) those "answer type" sites. Other times it will be completely off-topic and irrelevant, yielding no results for things I'm looking for.
I don't think Panda really made anything easier to find and indeed, there are far too many scrapers still ranking and pulling in so much traffic.
>> i think panda has made the web a smaller place. or, at least, thats what it seems like because it doesnt seem to dig as deep into the wilds like it used to.
I completely agree. Most of my searching involves refined queries and today, more than ever this decade, it has become so much harder to find specific information. I don't find Bing that useful, but I think they are on the right track: trying to be what Google used to be.
If you are searching for something general, then Google may have improved the way they rank that information. If you're looking for something exact, good luck!