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Hit By Panda: How To Analyze Possible Reasons?
Planet13




msg:4433638
 7:07 pm on Mar 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi there, Everyone:

It looks like my site was hit by panda on March 23 (down about 30%).

What / how do we do FIRST to figure out which pages might have triggered Panda?

  • Do we look through google analytics and just look at the pages that get the least amount of traffic?

  • Do we look at GA and just look for the pages where traffic has dropped the most?

  • Is there something that the site:domainname.com search operator can tell us?

  • Is there something that Webmaster tools can tell us?
Or are there different ways to figure out what is causing the Panda effect?

Thanks in advance.

P.S: I would really appreciate it if we could stay on topic in this thread, since there are already many other threads cursing google and panda. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

 

tedster




msg:4433644
 7:54 pm on Mar 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'd go with #2 - find the pages whose Google Search traffic dropped the most.

Planet13




msg:4433647
 8:00 pm on Mar 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

thanks, tedster.

Also, s there still a sandbox / supplemental results area of the google index that can somehow be accessed and analyzed?

goodroi




msg:4433893
 12:29 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

From Google Analytics generate a list of your urls (based on google referrals) from February (pre-panda), then compare it against a list of urls (still based on google referrals) from the last 3 days (post-panda). This will help you identify which urls Google is sending less traffic to.

Then repeat those steps using keywords instead of urls. This will help to identify the keywords that are sending less traffic from Google.

This will help you figure out which pages lost traffic and from which specific keywords. That is the first step the next step is figuring out which quality signal(s) your site is lacking.

Here are some questions that might be helpful for you to ask yourself:
-How can I make my pages stickier?
-What can be added so users stay longer & interact more?
-How do clicks flow into and out of this page?
-What is not offered on other sites that I can add to my site?
-Are your backlinks organically distributed throught the pages of your site?
-Is your site/brand naturally mentioned in social areas?
-Have you monitored your content to protect it from scrapers?

tedster




msg:4433944
 3:30 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

still a sandbox / supplemental results area of the google index that can somehow be accessed and analyzed?
My sense is that there are now many database partitions in play, not just one "supplemental results area". For some background, see this patent Selectively Searching Partitions of a Database [webmasterworld.com]

However, as far as I can see, the inner workings of this structure are not visible to us in any detailed way. We do see the evidence when we look closely at some SERPs that list mixed types of results, however.

errorsamac




msg:4433976
 4:33 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'd go with #2 - find the pages whose Google Search traffic dropped the most.

Tedster - Have you seen sites recover by focusing mainly on those pages? On my site, I can clearly see some of my widget pages have fallen a few spots (but are mainly on page 1/2 still) while others look like they've been set back -100 due to Panda. Ironically enough, I think the pages that were hurt the most provide the most value to users while the pages still ranking well don't provide as much value (out of stock products, high prices, etc).

tedster




msg:4433987
 4:48 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, I have seen partial recovery at the next iteration by first addressing the pages that took the biggest hit. One of Panda's effects is that the low quality score tends to migrate to other pages. Improve that low quality and the connected pages also tend to rebound a bit.

The hardest part is seeing your pages with less biased eyes. Some web businesses know that they cut corners and built rather lack-luster content. However, others are quite proud of their "children" and can't get past the fact that Google just called them ugly.

errorsamac




msg:4434021
 5:28 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the quick response. I'll work on those now and report back if I see any improvement after the next Panda run. Also - I completely agree with looking at the site with less biased eyes and that "providing value" means something different to each person (nevermind Googlebot). :)

goodroi




msg:4434022
 5:37 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Can't emphasize enough:
The hardest part is seeing your pages with less biased eyes. Some web businesses know that they cut corners and built rather lack-luster content. However, others are quite proud of their "children" and can't get past the fact that Google just called them ugly.

kellyman




msg:4434042
 6:07 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi Planet13

I was going to ask this exact question, as way too many people are seeing reductions with that magical figure of -30%, is it panda, is it the the fact that Google has devalued 1000's of networks thus devaluing your existing links (assuming you have links on networks) could it be something else.

I personally would look beyond last week and see what's changed but I would go back to the last panda update and then see what's different about your site compared to now.

I honestly believe whatever they have rolled out is a little too aggressive to hit this many sites. and trying to fix something that may not at all be broken,

Im lost on this one and i think most are too to what is causing this

I personally would site it out for a month, and wait and see if anything changes, unless you know for sure that there are issues and you believe you can make your site better

Whitey




msg:4434079
 7:49 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Are your backlinks organically distributed throught the pages of your site?

is it the the fact that Google has devalued 1000's of networks thus devaluing your existing links (assuming you have links on networks) could it be something else.

So are we saying there is an indirect consequence and consideration of inbound and perhaps internal linking to be taken in now?

[Previously all the talk had been about onpage quality].

gyppo




msg:4434116
 8:52 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree that there's something different about this update, we were a previous Panda success story having removed the majority of the poor pages on our site.

Yet we've been caught up in this update, there's really nothing left for us to do other than wait it out & keep adding value.

kellyman




msg:4434122
 9:19 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

So are we saying there is an indirect consequence and consideration of inbound and perhaps internal linking to be taken in now?

[Previously all the talk had been about onpage quality].


For all we know there could have been 2 updates, one panda one something else, or as mentioned above they added something new to this update..

It may be worth checking your data just to make sure traffic started dropping on the 23rd which coincides with the last known panda update or did you start losing traffic before that date,

Whitey




msg:4434126
 9:28 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

So are we saying there is an indirect consequence and consideration of inbound and perhaps internal linking to be taken in now?

I think there are 2 things happening.

1. On 19th March a blog linking network saw all of it's client's sites deindexed or effected and closed it's doors. I believe it is not the only one, if you read around, so the chances are it was not a manual adjustment and it was more widespread. This could have been confused with the Panda update.

2. The above suggestion in quotes, has "maybe" been in play since inception, where effected Panda pages pass less or no linking influence.

But on the latter, we really need more inputs. But i sense it's a strong possibility and worth a bit of digging.

kellyman




msg:4434133
 9:47 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

1. On 19th March a blog linking network saw all of it's client's sites deindexed or effected and closed it's doors. I believe it is not the only one, if you read around, so the chances are it was not a manual adjustment and it was more widespread. This could have been confused with the Panda update.


The Problem with that network, is other people were selling backlink packages, and using that network, so many of the sites on there did not know they were or are on these spammed networks, they just thought buying a 5 million links package for $20, was safe where in fact your article which was spun into complete rubbish went there.

Just go to one of those forum selling backlinks those packages are still there and being advertised even after this mess

Thats the problem and In reality has Google been harsh hitting that many sites, many not knowing or is it fair game

netmeg




msg:4434135
 9:54 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure that Planet13's site wasn't part of any link network.

Whitey




msg:4434144
 10:06 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure that Planet13's site wasn't part of any link network.

I agree , but goodroi raised the issue of backlinks.

For the sake of definition, I'd say Panda is only onpage, but there's a lot of things happening as a consequence, and other major fringe interferences that are confusing the assessment task.

Planet13




msg:4434179
 11:07 pm on Mar 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty sure that Planet13's site wasn't part of any link network.


Ahh... you know me too well, netmeg. You probably figured out long ago that I was too cheap to buy links ;)

tedster




msg:4434215
 1:29 am on Mar 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

The issue might be that other sites who link to yours were part of one of those de-indexed blog networks. They lost power, so their backlinks are not sending you any juice.

There definitely was some kind of significant ranking change just a few days before this new Panda iteration. If your rankings dropped before the 23rd (even on the 22nd) then it wasn't Panda.

Planet13




msg:4434244
 3:00 am on Mar 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

The issue might be that other sites who link to yours were part of one of those de-indexed blog networks.


That might be, although most of the sites that linked to us were pretty straight shooters. Maybe their sites were being floated by links from link networks, but that seems unlikely.

One thing though: Our traffic peaked in about Mid February, and it had been in a bit of a decline since then. And then it dropped another 30% on the 23rd.

Again, part of it might be that I am moving some files around and there are probably about 20 blog posts that are returning 404s now, and possibly some other technical errors. So I will try and fix those first.

realmaverick




msg:4461707
 5:07 pm on Jun 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Planet13, 404s are fine. They're naturally occurring when content is removed. Although it's a good idea, to not link to deleted cotent. With big sites it can be difficult to diagnose, but software like screaming frog definitely help.

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