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Sites that dominate the top positions - this is not balanced!
besnette




msg:4437300
 12:58 am on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I spent some time typing in many keywords in my highly competitive niche today - and time and time again, the same site dominated the top half of the search results, sometimes having 3-5 of the top spots. The info on their pages is super thin, and really nothing more than what is already offered in google local results, so this site, plus google local,pushes **everything** down to the pit.

If google is trying to achieve a fair and balanced presentation of information, I am struggling to see that this model is anything but the opposite.

It makes it truly impossible for anyone else to have a presence. This was common years ago, but I am seeing a strong resurgance of it - and thin sites often-times winning.

If a site should truly rank well for a query, then they should indeed earn a top spot - and it should then be up to that site/site owner to make their site information and navigation easy to use, and find, so they don't have to 'own' the first page of google.

If this is (and is going to be) the model of the type of site that ranks well multiple times over, then I question why I have been busting my butt to create original, comprehensive content all these years. Frustrating indeed.

 

tedster




msg:4437318
 2:15 am on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I really doubt that what we currently see can be considered a "model" of anything, besnette. It seems to me that Google has decided to make some kind of temporary sacrifice while they work on something new. In the meantime, some keyword rankings are getting pretty rugged.

GifAnimator




msg:4437362
 7:58 am on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's very true what you say besnette, I'm seeing a lot of sites using frames that still dominate the results with hardly any content but if Goggle are not aware of this they are in a very sad state. I predict that we are all in for a big surprise and that the Panda update will be nothing compared with things to come in the next year.
Trust me... I'm a psychic :0)

kellyman




msg:4437439
 11:35 am on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Totally agree,


If google is trying to achieve a fair and balanced presentation of information, I am struggling to see that this model is anything but the opposite.


I personally think the updates especially Late February and March have not gone to plan, all Niches seem to be struggling, im sure as the others have said there's a big update on the way and ill bet its sooner rather than later, they cannot leave the their index as it is

besnette




msg:4437467
 1:14 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the great comments and replies everyone..

I guess all we can do is hope for better (fair, balanced) results in the future.

It kills me when a page of mine has an original video tutorial, great, original content written by a true expert in the field, and much more, is outranked 3 times over by a site that merely displays a map, phone number and address of another business, and a huge referral form plopped right in the middle.

What gets me is this seems like an obvious thing that should not happen - and should be easily avoided by google

in whatever algorithmic coding they use,

IF Sitepage=thincontent OR nocontent then NORANK
and NORANK x 5 ad nauseum..

all niches seem to be struggling....I agree. Hoping for better......

johnhh




msg:4437475
 1:49 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

outranked 3 times over by a site that merely displays a map, phone number and address of another business


We have been seeing this for months, in our niche a phone number, map, and a link to reviews ( when there are none and hardly ever likely to be any ) seems to be enough for a top 10 position.

I don't think its anything new.

besnette




msg:4437477
 1:54 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree that it is nothing new, I am just seeing more of it (and I get the sense that others are too), and this seems to be exactly the type of thing google has claimed that they have been targeting to clean up this past year, so all it is really doing is it is sending mixed and confusing messages to site owners, and promoting/encouraging sites with auto-generated non-content.

bobsc




msg:4437485
 2:03 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that Google has decided to make some kind of temporary sacrifice while they work on something new. In the meantime, some keyword rankings are getting pretty rugged.
How do you justify that? Someone should get fired.

Test, before you release to the masses.

Rasputin




msg:4437488
 2:07 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

a link to reviews


I see this a lot, that if a site claims to have reviews (even if actually absent or unhelpful) it seems to get a big boost despite very poor content.

For us (travel) we visit places, write detailed reports (say 1000-2000 words) then get outranked by brand sites who have a 10 word 'user review' of a hotel 25 miles away. Slightly irritating.

Of course I could always add a 'star system' to every page and then auto (random) populate the database with thousands of entries to give every article a 'this article has 4.8/5 average from 841 votes' type entry. Would that boost our rankings - it shouldn't but I suspect it might.

FranticFish




msg:4437682
 7:50 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do it then. You clearly appear to be confident that you can win when it comes to user engagement and quality content.

So try to look dispassionately at the sites above you and see what it is that Google prefers about them.

Unless you're a complete conspiracy theorist, there must be SOMETHING that Google is looking for that these sites have and yours doesn't. Work out what it is and then see how you can recreate those signals on your site without compromising quality.

besnette




msg:4437695
 8:18 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

@FranticFish - I understand your valid point, but when I look objectively at these sites ranking above me..in my niche, )or sites that I see just surfing (no impact on my busness) and they are ranking #1,2 and 3 by simply displaying a phone number, map, and address of a business or entity already listed in google local, what's to copy, other than copying 3 lines of information that is found elsewhere on the web 100 times?

I **could** build an auto-generated, bloated, 20,000 page site exactly like the ones I am seeing, that have no human input or element, and probably do very well, but unfortunately, my conscience won't let me, so I guess I, and many other hard-working publishers that take our content a little more seriously are screwed...for now.

arikgub




msg:4437739
 9:47 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

If google is trying to achieve a fair and balanced presentation of information


That's what google is trying to achieve? Confusing with Fox News may be? :) I guess both are fair and balanced to the same degree.

Google is trying to show nice profit in quaterly reports and looks like it is pretty good at that. Using the word "fair" is just naive ..

flatfile




msg:4437748
 9:50 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

and they are ranking #1,2 and 3 by simply displaying a phone number, map, and address of a business or entity already listed in google local, what's to copy, other than copying 3 lines of information that is found elsewhere on the web 100 times?


Are you sure that these are the only things that make them rank high?. One of my competitors has pages like that and has always ranked well. At one point I decided to look deep into what he was doing. He's got a solid backlink profile and an exact match domain, he also generated quite a buzz at some point. I've spent over a year trying to mimic his strategy(except for exact match domain) including others and they seem to have worked.

besnette




msg:4437766
 10:47 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

@flatfile - I appreciate your input - as far as the information presented on many of those types of pages, yes, it's thin - to the point of almost nonexistent content...absolutely nothing original - and I am seeing those pages are taking up the top 1/2 of the fold constantly. I understand that if a site has a great domain name, great link profile and all the rest, then yes, display their **best**, most relevant page prominently in the rankings (best foot forward), but giving them 3-5 additional spots at the top of the rankings (the toes :-)...pages with "non content" or stuff provided by a phone book - thus pushing everyone else below water - that is what is driving me, and apparently many other - bonkers.

flatfile




msg:4437770
 11:17 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

My point was that maybe there is something else which makes those "thin" pages rank.

besnette




msg:4437771
 11:21 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I do see your good point...thanks flatfile.

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